Chapter 1

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Chapter 1:

The air is cold, the wind harbouring a frosty bite. The breeze is riled up, and harsh across the skin. Dim, grey clouds clump together, blanketing the daylight and painting everything a dull grey. Colour seems to be stripped away from nature. The leaves seem limp, and flaccid. The trees are dying, with trunks that are crumbling and deteriorating. The soil is lifeless and no longer provide life, now instead trapped by a thin layer of white frost. The sun is at its highest point for the day, yet it offers no light, no warmth and no hope.

Pack members pool out of the warmth of their homes, leaving their fires and their hearth in big groups. Thick furs and jackets are worn, bodies huddling close together for warmth. The sounds of leaves crackling, and of ice breaking under hard boots, is the only thing heard, as groups walk silently towards the focus point. The Alpha had beckoned all members to attend. No questions were asked, everyone knew what was coming, and how soon it was coming. The night approached quickly.

It doesn't take long for everyone to accumulate at the focus point. The pack was relatively small, with only around 100 members. It certainly wasn't as affluent in size as other neighbouring packs, but they were a tight-knitted community that kept to themselves, with a kind Alpha family that overlooked them.

In a sea of nameless faces, Adah stands alone in the crowd, with no familiar faces among her. She had only very recently moved packs, from a higher ranked pack to down here, and hadn't quite settled in enough to make a name for herself. She was used to once having a thousand members in her old pack, now her new one has a mere tenth of it.

The Alpha stands in the middle, perched upon a podium, with his Luna by his side. They both look solemn, which was expected. The Alpha and his family were kind - Adah remembered they were the only people who took her in, after she became estranged from her prior pack.

He doesn't have to shout for silence among the crowd - in this moment, it is all that exists.

"My dear wolves," he begins, tone firm and warm.

"We have known this day was to arrive for the cycle of a moon now. At the end of the last cycle, the royal kingdom sent out a letter to all the residing Alphas in this country," he pauses. Grim silence responds to him.

"The wolf kingdom has suffered a great loss recently. Our Queen has passed away, and now her reign falls upon to her son, who has since taken the position. However, we know that wolf law states he can only truly be a king with a mate by his side," a pause taken. The Alpha clears his throat before continuing.

"It has been prophesised centuries ago, that this particular son has no true, fated mate. We know that this male was born more wolf than man, an individual that the moon goddess has no love for, and thus he has no true soul, and no true heart," there is no surprise from the pack members.

This tale was told to everyone as pups.

"However, he is the only one eligible to take the position of the crown, as tradition demands. In order to combat this, the elder council has come up with a solution," the Alpha steps back, letting his Luna step forward. She gives a warm, encouraging smile to her pack members. The atmosphere is sullen.

"The letter that was sent, demanded that on this very night we send all our rejected female mates to the palace, to attend a ball thrown for the King, in order for him to choose a suitable female to reign at his side," again, there is no surprise of this. The rumours had begun and had been talked by everyone, since the Queen died.

"Here, in my hand, I have a list of all rejected female mates from this pack. You are required on behalf of the King to attend the palace tonight. If you are chosen, you are delegated to be at his side. If you are not, you may return and continue life normally," the Luna explains.

"Over the entire country, there are 47 girls attending. From this pack there are two," an unspoken relief is over the pack, for only having two females.

Then again, mate rejections were extremely rare. Fated mates was a relationship that was precious, yearned and many young wolves aspire to have one. Many true relationships lasted to and after death.

"The females are, Leila Ravenwood and Adah Erin," the Luna reads out.

Adah doesn't feel anything, her arms crossed before her. She knew this was to come. She knew it for a while. She knew it the moment she severed her bond with her old mate, those mere few weeks ago.

The pack silently mourns. No one wished either one of the girls - regardless that they didn't know Adah that well- a life with the Alpha King. The ideology that the wolf society imposed onto him, was not well. If he wasn't royal blood, he would've been murdered by the law, a long time ago, because of what he was.

"Leila and Adah will travel to the palace tonight, alongside with myself and the Alpha. Tonight, will be the night our future Alpha Queen is announced," a hollow silence falls again, with the idea of a new reign coming to a beginning, with a beast as a ruler.

"Thank you. Meeting adjourned," the Alpha speaks the last sentence, and the group declutters, shielding away from winter's bite, and back to their homes and hearths.

Adah walks back to her cottage alone, not particularly feeling anything.

She hadn't felt anything for a long time now, from the moment she had met her true mate, to the very present, where she now lived a life without him.

A/N - yeah, i have no idea what this is, or where it's going. lockdown is killing me, so the qaulity may be eh.

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