Lord of the Wolves Chapter Thirty

October 4th, 2018  |  Published in Haventon Chronicles

Start | LoTW Chapter Twenty-Nine | Index | LoTW Epilogue

Anna hung back watching as the others crowded around Maddan as he admired the pool. She was feeling uneasy, a cold leaden weight creeping into her stomack and freezing her blood, and much as she felt gut wrenching pity for the Winter King she found herself wanting to yell at everyone to get on with why they were there.

A cool touch on her forearm made her look around to see her mother’s ghost looking at her with a tilted head.

“Something wrong, sweetie?” she asked. “I know that look. I wore it often enough myself.”

“I feel like something bad is going to happen if we don’t get on with this,” Anna said quietly. She looked back at the group. “But I don’t want to nag… he deserves some joy before the end I think.”

Maddan, however, looked around at her. “No, you are right. My mother is probably coming, young wolf seer, so we have no time to waste.” He looked up at David. “My warrior, your friend is right we need to finish this quickly.”

David drew the Winter Blade again but hesitated. “Is there really no other way to stop this?”

“If there is I do not not know it and we have no time to discover it,” Maddan said. “Even as I am I do not truly wish to die. There is still joy to be found. And yet I cannot countenance my living on if it must be powered by the stolen souls of innocents.”

David sighed heavily and nodded. “I wish it were not so.” He pulled back his hand clearly intending to strike for the heart.

The glass at the front of the glass house shattered and hooves caught David in the chest and kicked him into the pool.

Anna spun around and saw Gwen astride her crystal horse with Laurel slung in front of her like a sack of potatoes. Strange threads of red-gold energy were emerging from the unconscious vampire girl’s skin and hair and twining around her as if forming a cocoon. She didn’t have time to puzzle about that because a snarl came from behind her and Maelin barrelled into his mother in wolf form.

Outside most of the humans were screaming and fleeing in panic but a few had pulled out there phones and were filming the events. The rest of their group wouldn’t be visible yet but someone was bound to catch them on camera eventually. This was not good…

“Don’t worry,” Brenna said before Anna could say anything. “I’ve got this. No one will recognise any of us. Just worry about the fight.”

“I’m not sure we’ll be much help,” Anna said. “She’s way to strong for you and me to be much help… Except…” she waited until Gwen’s attention was totally on Maelin then darted forwards grabbiing Laurel and dragging her over to where Maddan was. Then she ran over to David who had somehow managed to crawl out of the pond. He was ashen, tears running down his cheeks as he clutched at his ribs. “Are you okay?”

He shook his head slightly. “I think my ribs are broken.” His voice was weak as if he couldn’t summon the air to speak properly and the effort made him cough weakly. “And I’m suddenly starving.”

“That’s because feeding will help you heal, my warrior,” Maddan said. “Finish this quickly and get out of here while my brother has Mother distracted.”

David started towards him but staggered to his knees. “Can you help me, Anna?”

Anna looped her arm around him and helped him hobble the few feet to Maddan.



David had been hurt before, being a vampire hunter was not safe after all and he’d had appendicits when he was young, but he’d never felt pain like this before. It was hard to think, and he couldn’t seem to catch his breath. He had a feeling that this was more than cracked ribs and had he been human he would have been unconscious if not dead by now.

As Anna helped him sink to his knees by Maddan the Winter King reached out and squeezed his elbow. “You can do this, my warrior,” he said gently. “I know it hurts. No one understands pain better than I but this young lady is relying on you to save her life, and more than her life. You do not want to know what my mother’s accursed magic will do to her if you don’t.” He reached down and stroked Laurel’s hair.

“What are those threads?” David asked.

“She must have received an infusion of summer essence from somewhere.” It was Cheryl who answered. “Her Mistwalker blood is awakening.”

“I see.” David pulled out the winter blade again but found even that movement caused his injuries to tear at him. It hard to focus enough to strike through the pain. Desperately he reached out for the blade. You laid this doom on me can you help?

Of course. A cold wave washed out from the sword and swept his pain away. Strike quickly. This will not last long.

David looked up and met Maddan’s eyes. “I’m sorry it had to be this way,” he said. “I think I would have liked to know you better, my king.”

“And I you,” Maddan replied. He reached up and placed his hands over David’s on the hilt of the Winter Blade. “Let is end this. Strike now and strike true, my warrior.”

David nodded and aimed the point for Maddan’s heart. He closed his eyes to stop the tears that threatened to fall and stabbed as hard as he could. Maddan only gave a slight gasp so it was an agonised scream of grief from the summer warrior that told him that the blow was true and had found his heart.

A cool hand touched his face and he opened his eyes to see Maddan’s spirit hovering before him. “Thank you. Keep the crown safe until you find a candidate worthy of it.” The ghost turned and looked to where Gwen had thrown Maelin aside and was leaping toward David screaming in rage and grief. “I have one more thing to do here before I pass.” More panes of glass shattered as he flew at his mother and tossed her backwards. He may have been weakened in life due to his injuries but he had left a strong ghost it seemed. Maddan looked beyond his mother and shouted. “Lady Bronwen, evacuate them while I have her distracted!”

David followed the ghosts gaze at that name and saw that his grandmother and several of their allies were galloping towards them. Lillian didn’t correct him as she had Maelin but instead she dismounted and bowed to him before hurrying over to David and Laurel. David guessed that he must look a mess because she hissed at the sight of him.

“Can you stand?” she asked gently.

He tried but the blade’s anodyne was wearing off and the pain was returning. “Not without help,” he admitted as he sagged to his knees. “Gwen’s horse kicked me across the glass house. I really think I should be dead.”

“Those injuries won’t kill a mistwalker and probably wouldn’t kill a human if they got medical help quickly enough,” she said. “But they are certainly bad enough to trouble you. You should grab the crown and then we’ll get you to Lucy so she can fix you up.”

David nodded and took the Winter crown from Maddan’s brow and hugged it to his chest.

Meanwhile Lillian had scooped Laurel into her arms and handed her up to Michael who was still mounted. She turned back to David and carryed him to her own mount. She lifted him into the saddle then climbed up behind him and they galloped away. As they did David felt something cold touch his cheek and opened his eyes again to see white flakes falling… at first he thought they were petals but then he realised. Even though it was middle of Summer it was snowing.

His grandmother obviously sensed his confusion. “The Winter King is dead and the world mournes him,” she said softly. “It is the way of things.”

“People will notice,” David said after a moment. “They’ll know this is not just freak weather.”

“That is probably true unfortunately,” Lillian said. “We’ll deal with whatever comes, we always do. At least your night daemon friend hid you well so while people who were in the Park know something unnatural happened there will be no evidence. She’s skilled with her abilities for one so young.”

“I think her father taught her,” David leaned back against his grandmother letting the conversation distract him from the pain. “How long will the snow last?”

“The night warrior? Yes that makes sense. As to the snow maybe A day, certainly no more than two,” she said. “No longer, but as you say it is the middle of summer so certainly people will notice.” She reigned in her mount. “Here we are.”

“Already?” David looked around and saw they were indeed outside Morna’s bar. It was much more atractive outside in the mists.

“Fairy horses travel fast when we need them to.” She slid off her mount and helped him down after her. His knees buckled but she stopped him falling. A moment later he felt someone on the other side of him and looked around to see Daniel there.

“Good grief, Dave,” he said softly. “What hit you?”

“The Summer Warrior’s crystal horse,” David said. “Kicked me halfway across the bloody glasshouse. But we did win – if killing someone who didn’t deserve it can be called that.”

Daniel made a sympathetic noise but didn’t otherwise comment. Instead he helped Lillian get David inside the bar and helped him lie down on one of the couches. “Mum! I could do with some help with Dave.”

Lucy was at his side in a moment. “Let me see,” she said.

“Apparently Gwen hit him with her horse,” Daniel said.

“That explains the ribs then,” she said. “Fortunately his lungs aren’t punctured but they are bruised. It must hurt like hell to breathe.”

“It does,” David agreed. “I could get fed up of that.”

“Hmm?” she said. “Something like this has happened before.”

“He was in a fire a few days ago,” Daniel said. “I had to fix the smoke inhalation.”

“Ah well you did a good job because there’s no sign of that left,” she said. “And cracked ribs and a bit of internal bruising will be far less messy and painful to fix.” She tilted her head at him. “Do you need to feed? Damage tends to make Mistwalkers hungry.” She was unbuttoning the cuff of her blouse sleeve even as she spoke.

“I am,” David admitted.. “But no one has had chance to show me how to feed safely yet?”

“All the more reason to feed on someone who can stop you if you’re taking too much.” She shifted her other hand to a claw and sliced open her wrist before holding it out to him. “Go on.”

“Are you sure?” David stared at her bleeding wrist hesitantly even though the scent of it was screaming at him to drink. “I’m so hungry right now I don’t know if I’ll keep control.”

“You have a lot of self-control from what I hear,” Michael said from where he was placing Laurel on a couch and covering her with a blanket. “You’ll be fine.”

“I wouldn’t offer if I weren’t,” Lucy said.

David eyed her wrist a moment longer then nodded. “Thank you,” he said. “Please make sure I don’t take too much.”

“Of course,” she said. “Dan, take care of his ribs while I feed him.”

David lowered his head to Lucy’s wrist, uncertain how to even go about this. He lapped at the blood cautiously and next thing he knew he was batterned on to the cut and drinking feverishly. It was heady and sweet and each sip seemed to make him hurt less. Eventually the pain and hunger faded to nothing and he lifted his head to find her smiling at him.

“See,” she said. “I didn’t even have to tell you to stop. You did it yourself.” She pressed two fingers over the cut and healed it. “You need to have more faith in yourself, David.” She held out a tissue to him. “But you should wipe your mouth you have blood all over.”

“Huh, thank you,” David said. He looked around and saw that most of the others had returned while he was feeding and being healed. “What happened after gran evacuated me?”

“My mother escaped unfortunately,” Maelin said. “Though Maddan did a number on her first. I really didn’t expect him to do that whole ghost thing even temporarily.”

“Has he passed on now?” Lillian asked. “Not that he has to, but I also did not expect him to linger.”

“Not yet,” he sighed. “He said he wanted to talk to Sabren first, but I think he will soon. Unless he wants to deal with mother first. He was seriously trying to kill her.”

“And who can blame him,” Lillian agreed. “We’re waiting to hear from the Day Queen. Hopefully she has taken the Summer Palace while Gwen was distracted.”

“But what are we going to do now?” David asked. “I don’t care how much ordainary humans don’t notice things they can’t ignore this. People are going to notice and know it’s not natural.”

“We’ll have to see what the response is before we decide,” Morna replied. “But for today let us celebrate our victory and mourn the Winter King.”

Start | LoTW Chapter Twenty-Nine | Index | LoTW Epilogue

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