Part XI: The First 'Alfa'
‘She’s an Alfa…’ Aidou thought, unable to speak. Both his wounds and the shock didn’t let him say it out loud. He was just watching as the prefect and Leo were going at each other. The sight in front of him was hardly something you could ignore, given that, even though in human form now, those two were like two beasts fighting for supremacy. He couldn’t figure out how could such massive creatures compress into such tiny creatures like humans and still keep the power. Seeing them in combat, he could almost hear the thunder.
Instead, he saw lightning. A huge lightning bolt he recognized as being Rima’s hit right between Leo and Lacry, separating the bests. Lacry came out of the cloud of dust, coughing up as she was trying to orient herself around. It was then when she saw Aidou on the ground, supported by a tree. His wounds were very bad, especially the one he got to the stomach, and he was pale, even paler than a vampire should be. Taking advantage by the diversion caused by Rima’s lightning, she went towards him to check his condition.
“Oh boy, this is bad...” she said as she kneeled next to him and saw him from up close. “Hang on in there, just a little more until we get out here!” she said as she went to tend to the wounds. She didn’t need to do anything though, since Aidou froze the wound so that no more blood would come out. Of course, leaving it like that would mean hypothermia, and that wasn’t good either.
Why was she helping them? He couldn’t figure this out. She was a lycan. And an Alfa, nonetheless. It bugged him. Apparently, she and Leo also knew each-other, so it added to his suspicion… even though they apparently hated each other… or at least Lacry did, judging from the way she was glaring at him. Aidou didn’t know either what to think of her.
He tried getting up, ignoring the pain that stabbed through his body. So this was how humans felt when they got wounded… and stayed wounded. With his fast healing, he never had to experience this level of pain which kept dragging on and on. It usually healed before it managed to get bad. But now…
“Idiot, what are you doing?! If you move now, you’ll bleed to death!” Lacry said, trying to bring some sense into him. “Stop moving!” she continued, seeing that he was still getting up even with her screaming at him.
“You’re the idiot, we need to get out of here before he comes out!” he protested.
“Not until you-” she started but stopped mid sentence as something ‘hit’ her. “Oh no,” she said as she turned towards the dusty area, alarmed. “He’s gone.”
“He’s…” he repeated, looking in his direction. The dust was now starting to set in, and it confirmed Lacry’s statement that Leo was no longer then.
But then, another thought hit him. Looking around, he searched for another person that was supposed to be there.
Rima was now catching up with Leo’s scent. She was aware that what she was doing was probably completely madness. She knew that he wouldn’t kill her, but chances that he’d continue his plans for turning her into a lycan were very high. Even so, she couldn’t simply let him slip away like that, because if she did, they’d be back to square one. If she at least knew where his hideout was, maybe she could prevent him from attacking her friends by having the upper hand. She would gather some hunters and surprise him before he gets to surprise them.
“That would have been a very good idea if I weren’t able to read your mind,” she heard Leo saying somewhere near her. How could he have missed his scent? She looked left and right in the woods, but couldn’t see him anywhere. She didn’t know where his voice came from.
A pine cone fell from the top of a tree right in front of her. Only the way it was falling vertically told her that it wasn’t actually a fall, but a throw. Looking up, she saw Leo as relaxed as ever on a thick branch, holding a few pine cones, crouched with his elbows on his knees. He was wearing an amused smile on his face.
“Words are needless, apparently,” she said as she looked at Leo. All the time while she was following him, she knew that he’d be able to read her mind anytime, though she just hope he wouldn’t do that while he was fleeing from the scene. Which she couldn’t explain why he did. She figured it had something to do with the prefect girl. From the way they were fighting, it pretty much looked like an even match.
“Believe me Rima, Lacry doesn’t have anything to do with my leaving from there. I just wanted to give you two some time, but I see you didn’t want my offer and that’s why you’re standing in front of me right now,” he said, and then he smirked. “Maybe you simply can’t stay away from me after all.”
‘You wish’, she said in her mind, knowing at this point that he’s probably reading it. She was starting to panic a bit. She knew that he wouldn’t kill her, but that didn’t help relieve the pressure. No, he wouldn’t kill her. He’d drive her to the point where she’d be unable to move, walk or think, play with her mind, then turn her into a lycan. Which was worse than death.
His amused smile turned into laughter, and it proved to Rima that he was still snooping through her mind.
“I like your thinking, but no, I won’t do that… not now, at least. Even though Lacry pretty much complicated things by showing up, it also means that things got far more interesting than they were before. I’m really curious what you two will come up with,” he said.
“You seem pretty confident that you’ll win either way,” Rima said.
“Oh, I really am,” he answered. “You two have a lot in common, and that will make this game all the more interesting.”
“A game? Now you’re treating this as a game? You’re despicable!”
“And that, my dear, is not something you just found out,” he said, with that smile still plastered on his face. Rima couldn’t express into words how much she despised him. She knew that’s how he was treating all this, but hearing him say it out loud made her even more enraged. Her only desire was to punch him until his teeth fell out one by one and his face got to the point where it’s be completely unrecognizable. She wasn’t sure how she’d get close to him enough to do that. Last time she just got lucky when she managed to him in the balls, and that was because he was holding her by her arm.
“That really hurt, you know. You can’t simply go hitting guys in the jewels. It won’t look good on you having that reputation when you want to go on dates,” Leo pointed out. “You’re creative though, so that’s good. It proves you have great lycan potential.”
“Oh, you’re creative enough for the both of us,” Rima said sarcastically. His mind wasn’t creative, it was just plain sick. And she didn’t have to snoop through his mind to know that like he did.
‘You could too, if you wanted to,’ he said, and she realized that he said it only in her mind. It seemed weird, seeing him talk in front of her, but not actually seeing his lips move. But what he said stroke to her as even weirder.
“What do you mean by that?”
Indeed, reading his mind could prove to be a lot more convenient that going blindly around, trying to figure out where he plans to strike next. The thought was short-lived though, since she knew that everything that came out of his mouth was either a scam or a scheme. It was probably just a trap meant to lure her.
Leo smirked. Apparently, he went into her head again. He got up on both of his feet and then jumped from the tree, landing in front of Rima.
“Why don’t you just ask Lacry? I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to talk to you,” he said, showing his characteristic smile.
She stopped mid-sentence and stepped back as his body started to tremble and his skin was changing color. She saw lycans in wolf form, but she’s never seen the process of transforming. It was actually quite a gruesome sight. That tiny shape turned into that huge black wolf. It just didn’t make sense.
The wolf made a strange puff, and for a second there, Rima thought it was laughing. Which was odd, because she couldn’t figure out how in the world could a wolf laugh. Its eyes which were now green were staring into Rima’s blue eyes, and it made Rima feel weird. Her body felt as though it was starting to burn from the inside, and she knew that at this point, her eyes started to change color and turn red. It was craving for something, and it took every ounce of control she had to not go over to the wolf’s side. Only, she didn’t know what it was craving for…
‘It’s my blood,’ she heard Leo’s voice echoing in her head. Apparently, he could do that in wolf form as well. ‘Your body’s calling for it through the link, asking to complete the transition.’
“No way in hell!!” She yelled out loud. “You’re not telling me what my body wants and doesn’t!” She didn’t want her body betraying her like this, so it should sure as hell listen to her.
The wolf’s gaze never left her.
‘Ignore it all you want, Rima. Deep inside, you know you want it. Even if you don’t know it yet.’
The wolf now was starting to leave, but turned it’s head around to look at Rima one last time.
‘Next time, there’ll probably be less chit-chat. See you around!’ the wolf said and winked before he started running, now disappearing into the woods. If she didn’t have so many things on her mind, she would have probably found that funny. It’s not all the time you see a wolf wink.
One thing was on her mind now though. She had to talk to that prefect.
And boy, was she mad. For a second there, Rima thought she would turn wolf and rip her into shreds. That’s what the look in Lacry’s eyes said she wanted to do. Instead, she just started yelling.
“Are you freaking suicidal?! Damn, I had no idea you were this kind of reckless idiot!! If I knew, I never would have come along in the first place and I would have simply just let you get goddamned killed by your stupid actions!!”
Rima was surprised Lacry wasn’t already throwing punches. Her eyes now seemed to be burning yellow.
“I had my reasons,” Rima said. Unfounded reasons, she added in her mind. “But let’s leave that aside for now. We need to talk.”
“Oh, you think?!” the girl said exasperatedly. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you all along!!”
“I still don’t trust you! You could very well be our enemy, disguising yourself a friend!”
“Oh, so I save yours and this blondie’s butt-” Lacry said pointing at Aidou, “-and I’m still the bad guy?! Wow, that’s some awesome gratitude! My work here is done!” she yelled out.
“You turned into a wolf in front of or very eyes, and apparently you’re not just any normal lycan. It’s normal that I have my suspicions about you since you didn’t tell us anything!
“I was about to tell you, but that asshole showed up! What was I supposed to do, chat with you while he’s mincing your friend?!”
She had a point though. Rima now recalled that before the attack, Lacry seemed to want to tell her something.
“Weren’t Alfas supposed to be more united, seeing that there’s only so few of you left?” asked Rima. Her tone wasn’t invasive and threatening anymore, she just wanted to know.
Lacry crossed her hands in front of her chest. She was still pretty much glaring at Rima.
“And do all purebloods get along with each other, since ‘there’s so few of you left’? Last I heard you guys were eating each other for immortality,” Lacry said, and then stopped, weighting the next words she was going to say. “And I’m not really an Alfa..” she said.
This stroke Rima as odd. She was bigger in size than the average lycan, almost as big as an Alfa. She didn’t see her partially transform that, but Rima had a hunch she could do that as well.
“If you’re not an Alfa, then what are you?”
Lacry’s expression softened as she looked at Rima when she asked that question. It seems she saw that coming.
“I’m like you, Rima… I was a vampire once.”
Of all things she expected Lacry to say, this wasn’t even on the list. She knew they had plans to start turning vampires into lycans, but she didn’t think they actually succeeded in doing that, which is why the witch was so desperate.
“Rima, how do you think they’d know Alfa blood is the key to completing the transition? Don’t you think there’d have to be a prototype there somewhere?”
“So you’re saying Leo turned you?”
“By sheer turn of events, at least on my part. I got in the mess with the witch, she cast the spell, I stumbled across Leo, got in a fight with him and bit him. It was a big mistake, but I was pretty much out of control…”
“So by ‘at least from your part’, you mean that he already knew about this even then?” Rima asked.
Lacry stopped to think about it. After a moment though, she answered Rima’s question.
“I think he had a hunch about it, but still wasn’t sure about his theory. At least that’s what I saw in his mind after the transition completed and I was a werewolf…
Why don’t you just ask Lacry? I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to talk to you, Leo’s words repeated themselves in Rima’s head.
“You can read his mind,” Rima realized. That’s what he meant by that.
“Most of the time…” Lacry added with half of an awkward smile. “Same goes for him. With time, we learn to block our mind away from someone else getting in, but at times when the mind is relaxed or there’s something disturbing the concentration, the one can easily slip into the other’s mind,” she explained, seeing as Rima was listening, taking in the information. “When his ‘barriers’ are up, I can just sense him when he’s around, kind of like you do…”
Rima was evaluating everything. If she could also learn to block him from getting into her head, things could be a hell of a lot easier.
“How do you do that? Blocking him out?” Rima asked.
Lacry smiled. Her smile was now kind, understanding.
“I’m going to teach you, but it’s going to be a difficult process. You have to clear your mind of everything, yet you still want to keep your mind there. It’s going to be tricky…”
Closing your mind, yet keeping it open. It already sounded confusing, but she believed she could nail it down if she really tried. Everything suddenly got real. Before Lacry appeared, there was this grain of hope that this might be just one of his experiments which might just as well fail. Now that hope was gone.
“Why us?” Rima asked her.
Lacry’s smile saddened.
“Some vampires are more special than other vampires. Some were born that way, lived that way. But once a vampire has a certain ‘awakening’ in his life, a change takes part in their body and it makes their body cells feel more vulnerable… I don’t understand it either, but it’s like having your immunity system down…”
“I was awakened as a pureblood,” Rima realized. “Does that mean that you too…” she was now looking at Lacry, her eyes wide.
Instead, Lacry shook her head.
“No, I wasn’t a pureblood. This is the other type of awakening I was talking about… those who were initially human… my condition was worse, since… I fell into level E when Leo found me…”
“So you were once human…”
Rima felt sympathy for this girl. Before this, she was probably just a human that didn’t even know vampires existed until she was turned, went level E, and then turned again into a werewolf. She went through so many things, yet she was this young.
“But…” Rima added, “… since you were level E, didn’t changing into a lycan help you from falling even deeper into madness?”
“Yeah… but it also meant that I’d be sired to the one that turned me. Believe me, it took me almost two years to weaken that bond. Before that, I didn’t have a choice but to execute everything he told me to. That’s how bad it was.”
“But now you’re free,” Rima added.
“Not completely..” Lacry said. “Yes, now I can resist it, but there’s still a part of me deep down that still listens to the bond and it’s waiting for me to clack and give in. You too have to be strong, Rima,” Lacry said, her eyes pleading.
“Don’t worry,” Rima said to the girl. This time, she was hit by a boost of confidence. “He’d have to make me drink his blood first, and I’m not stupid enough to drink from him myself.”
“Ouch,” Lacry said, but now smiled. It wasn’t that sad anymore now.