✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Crown's Obsession Chapter 431 - 440 ✍️✍️✍️✍️


People at the doorstep- Part 1

The sound of the gunshot was loud enough to wake up Madeline who had been fast asleep. She quickly ran into the room, "What happened?!"

"The Salvete Mortem was here with the axe in its hand," answered Calhoun, staring at Beth before he turned around to look at Madeline with a bright smile on his face. "It disappeared after hearing the gunshot." 

Madeline looked around the room, then looked at Beth who was awake, "Are you alright? Did it harm you?" 

Beth didn't know what to say because she didn't know what was going on again. Before she could say something, Calhoun said,

"Don't worry, my sweet. Until I am here, I will make sure your sister will be safe."

Beth had a look of shock on her face because of the bullet that hit next to her. Calhoun had aimed the gun straight at her before he had pulled the trigger, and she had flinched back in fear, not realizing that Calhoun had moved his hand one second before pulling the trigger, missing the aim at her to shoot right behind the headboard of the bed. She was sure she would die, but now that she was still alive, she stared at Calhoun in disbelief, who stared back at her. 

"Do you think it will come back?" questioned Madeline. Beth, who had no idea of who this Salvete Mortem was, looked at them with a puzzled look on her face. 

 "Not for a while at least. You can stay here with her," suggested Calhoun and Madeline nodded her head. 

 Beth looked more than disoriented. Calhoun had not killed her and had let her live. Then why did he pull the trigger? She couldn't believe when Calhoun suggested Madeline to stay in here with her?

Calhoun's gaze had not left Beth, and he continued to stare at her. "With the second greeter of death who showed up here, you can keep an eye on it if it appears again because I doubt your sister can see it."

Madeline sighed, "Beth, don't worry. I won't let anything bad happen to you, okay?" She walked to her sister and sat down on the bed. "I will be right here with you." Right now, Beth needed Madeline around her more than anyone else. She didn't know if the King had let her off the hook for now, but if there was someone who wanted her alive, it was Madeline. 

"I will be back soon," informed Calhoun, and Madeline gave him a nod. 

Sparing one more look at his sister-in-law, Calhoun stepped out of the room. He found Raphael sitting in the same place where he had been sitting earlier. The card reader stared at the King, and a faint smile appeared on his face. 

"Did you get the answers which you were looking for?" asked Raphael. He had heard the entire conversation that took place in the room while making sure not to interrupt Calhoun.

"She is a human," replied Calhoun, making his way away from the room, and Raphael stood up to follow him closely. "Their grandmother must have messed with her memories many times, because of which she must have turned immune to the woman's spells after a point. Or it must be a possible blockage." 

Raphael, who kept his feet with Calhoun, raised his eyebrows in question, "Blockage?" 

Torches on the walls lit up as they walked in the empty and dark corridor every time when Calhoun's feet stepped near the torches on the walls, and they exhausted themselves when he walked past them. 

"Apart from losing memories and having a reset where you start from where the intruder last visited the memory, there are times where memories changes. Every time a spell is put on the person, it builds a wall to hide the memory, and the wall builds so much that there is no more space left to hide the memories. But I believe there is a slight modification when it comes to Miss Elizabeth's case," explained Calhoun, "As much as her actions were driven through emotions that were filled in by her grandparents, the old memories have stayed intact. After seeing what happened to Madeline, she must have created a block that caused the spell to not have any effect on her. She has probably turned immune to it."

"So it's not because she is an angel?" inquired Raphael and Calhoun shook his head. 

"According to the lady in the graveyard, Paschar had only one child, which is Madeline. Being the firstborn to Mr. and Mrs. Harris, Madeline must have taken up all the genes that left Beth as human as one can find the person to be," stated Calhoun. "It seems like she's trying to fix things and I will give her a chance. But if she lapses back to her previous behaviour, you know what happens after that."

Raphael didn't say anything. When he had heard things breaking inside the room, the card reader came to believe it was Elizabeth who was breaking it, but all the while, it was the King who had tried to intimidate her. 

The reason Calhoun had shot near Beth was to see if she held the same ability as Madeline. Dark angel's abilities played differently in each person. Beth was driven by harmful desires in the past, while Madeline was driven through kinder thoughts. And fortunately, the roles that each of the sisters held was not destructive. 

Another reason why Calhoun had not shot at Beth even though he remembered Madeline's tear-streaked face was that his wife had stayed next to Beth for years, and until now she had never turned dark angelic to give Beth's judgment. This only meant subconsciously, Madeline had a sense of hope for her sister, and she saw the goodness which some of them failed to see. 

"So what now?" questioned Raphael. 

With what Calhoun noticed, it only looked like it was the start of something big, and it had him on alert.

"There are other things in this castle. Apart from the guests who are already here in the castle," said Calhoun. His footsteps stopped when he caught sight of the boney stag-like face creature walking past the corridor. Raphael looked in the direction of where Calhoun was looking, but he saw nothing but emptiness in there. "Something big is going to happen," and Calhoun's eyes narrowed when the first Salvete Mortem disappeared behind the wall of the corridor. 

Calhoun's eyes caught sight of something, and he stepped towards the large window that started from the ground to stretch until the ceiling. 

He saw four more creatures that stood like the stone-like statues in the castle's grounds. They didn't enter the castle, but they continued to stand there as if waiting for something to happen. 

"It would be quite unfortunate if the girl dies because of the werewolf's bite," commented Calhoun. "Get the guards positioned. Change the old ones to the new ones whom I appointed recently so that it safeguards the boundaries of the castle and also the ones who are inside." 

Raphael looked slightly taken aback at Calhoun's serious tone. To the pure demon, he didn't see anything on the castle grounds through the window. 

"I will go see what Monique has found out," said Calhoun, leaving the card reader standing in front of the window. 
People at the doorstep- Part 2

Back in the room, Madeline sat next to Beth, holding her sister's hand as Beth cried for something she had no clue of. Her sister hadn't seen the creature of death, which was why it made Madeline wonder if Beth was scared to die right now. 

"Raphael said until the third one doesn't appear, you are still safe. The creature cannot take you away with it, Beth," Madeline consoled her sister. 

Beth sniffed. After Calhoun had left the room, she felt the heavyweight she had been carrying on her shoulders had finally started to break down along with her, leaving her in tears by thinking of her past actions. She was too ashamed to speak about it, and she didn't know if her sister would ever forgive her for the other things, which Calhoun had not brought up with her. 

Madeline patted her sister's back, "Nothing will happen to you. You heard what Calhoun said. He will not let any harm befall on you."

Taking a deep trembling breath of air inside through her mouth, Beth asked, "Did you see that creature next to my bed?" Beth knew the King had lied about it being in the room.


Madeline saw Beth close her eyes and more tears spilt on her face. "It must be because you are an angel that you can see it."

"I guess," answered Madeline. Even Calhoun could see it, but he was not an angel, but a demon. It was a mystery on how things worked in this world, which they were previously unaware about. "Do you want me to get you something to eat or drink? I can ask the maid for it." 

Beth shook her head. She had lost the appetite to eat, and she doubted she would be able to sleep peacefully, knowing the clock of death had started to tick for her. "Where are you going?" she asked alarmed when Madeline stood up from the bed. 

Madeline offered Beth a smile, "Right here in the room." She walked towards the broken vases. Bringing her hand forward, she brought the glass pieces up in the air, and her eyes stared at them. They started to mend one after another before the vase turned into its original shape. She fixed the other vase and then got back to stay next to Beth. 

When morning arrived where the sun had finally come out of the clouds for a few minutes. After finishing breakfast, Lady Lucy arrived at Beth's door. 

"Good morning to the Queen and Lady Elizabeth," greeted the vampiress, who was accompanied by her far relative, Ethan Morryet. The vampire offered his polite bow at them. "How are you doing now, Lady Elizabeth?" asked Lucy. 

"I am doing fine, Lady Lucy," answered Beth for the courtesy's sake being polite, when in truth, she was having the worst time of her life, not knowing when she would die. 

"That's good. I heard from brother Calhoun that Aunt Monique's men have entered the mountains now, and are searching for the antidote. Let's hope that they will get it soon here, and you will be better in no time," stated Lucy. As silence fell in the room, Lucy turned to her relative who looked like he snapped out of his thoughts and looked at Madeline.

"My Queen," the man bowed his head deep again, "I am Ethan Morryet. I didn't get to introduce myself properly." 

"Madeline Hawthrone," greeted Madeline with a small bow. 

"Tomorrow morning Ethan will be travelling with me to the mansion that I spoke to you about a few days ago. He has been kind enough to provide me with help there," informed Lucy and Madeline looked slightly surprised. 

"Are you travelling tomorrow?" asked Madeline. "I thought that you would be staying here longer." 

"My apologies, Lady Madeline. Both Ethan and I were discussing about the mansion, and I realized it needs some alterations so that I can start living there for the time being." Lucy had a smile on her face, and Madeline couldn't help but return it, while at the same time, she wondered how genuine the smile was on the vampiress' lips. "Ethan lives not too far away from there, and I can settle in there at the earliest without bothering brother Calhoun." 

Madeline didn't know much about this far relative of Lady Lucy, but since she had got married, Lucy seemed like she was spending more time with Ethan in the castle, and she looked happy. 

"Let me know if you need anything," said Madeline to Lucy. Before she was the Queen of Devon and Lucy a princess, they were both people who were friends and almost like sisters. 

Lucy nodded her head, "I will, milady." 

And while they spent time talking to each other in the room, keeping Beth company, Beth felt some sort of uneasiness in her leg. She tried to switch her leg's position, but not too much as she didn't want the wound to be poked at. She felt a sudden pain and the next moment, it was gone. 

"Beth?" asked Madeline, being attentive to her sister's reactions. 

"Something felt strange, but I am okay now. I don't feel the pain anymore." Beth moved her leg underneath the blanket and she wondered if the wound healed itself?

Madeline's eyes fell on Beth's legs that were beneath the blanket, and she felt something to be visually odd about it. 

Taking a step closer to the bed, Madeline placed her hand on Beth's leg, and Beth smiled, "I think I am all healed," said her sister. 

Ethan Morryet being the gentleman, he turned his head to the other side, walking towards the window, stood there with his back against them. Madeline pulled one side of the blanket before slowly removing the bandages. Beth's leg revealed the wound that had now disappeared. 

"This is a miracle," whispered Lucy. "I have never heard about people healing without turning to a werewolf. Usually, when they heal, the person shows aggression, but everything here looks normal."

Beth had a hopeful look on her face, "Does this mean I won't turn to a werewolf?" 

Madeline didn't know what to say. The werewolf's bite seemed to have not affected Beth the way everyone had thought it would. Maybe Beth had acquired some of her abilities from their grandparents? She thought in her mind. 

Beth's lips trembled in a smile of relief, and she was about to get out of the bed, ready to walk when her eyebrows furrowed, and in doubt, she moved the entire blanket that had been draped on her. Her eyes widened, and her jaw fell slack. 

"W-what is that?" asked Beth with a gasp.

The vampire who had turned his back turned out at the surprised gasp in the room and his eyes widened. 

Madeline felt her heart drop seeing Beth's leg that had increased not only in size but also in its appearance as it had turned furry. Beth's leg looked just like werewolves would. On seeing the wound vanish, they had believed Beth had gotten better, but no one would have guessed that her other leg had changed. It was just a matter of time before her body would slowly transform to a wild beast. 

"I will call brother Calhoun," said Lucy to Madeline, leaving the room with Ethan. 

"This is why the creature was here. Because I am going to die once I turn to a werewolf," whispered Beth. She couldn't stop staring at her beast-like leg, and it was nothing less to a nightmare. She was going to turn into a hideous beast. 
People at the doorstep- Part 3

Music Recommendation: Paschal Candle by Amie Doherty


Calhoun took a look at Beth's leg from afar, and he took Madeline to the side to speak to her. "So far there's no response from Monique's men. Most people never get past the forest and often die or return scared, after breaking their limbs." 

This meant getting hold of the antidote was not going to be easy. "Do you think we should go and find it?" asked Madeline. She turned her head, glancing at Beth who was staring into space with a blank expression on her face. At first, her sister had panicked, but then Beth had stopped reacting like she had undergone shock and was preparing herself mentally for the worse. 

Madeline wanted to find it herself, but she was worried where Beth would completely transform in her absence. "Will you go to find it?" she asked, her brown eyes staring into his red ones. She knew Calhoun wasn't fond of Beth, and it would take time for him to accept her sister as a good person, but everyone had their faults, that's what made that person who they were. The only person she could rely on was Calhoun. 

Calhoun would have considered in helping search the antidote, but not in the current situation. "There is not just one, but many Salvete Mortem who are in the castle. There were a lot of greeters earlier, but the count of them is decreasing only to be replaced by the second Salvete Mortem."

Madeline furrowed her eyebrows, and she felt a chill pass through her body, hearing this. What does that mean?" 

"I don't know when, but a lot of people are going to die soon. Might be this very hour, or tomorrow, or this week. There is no specific time," he answered her question. "There are at least more than twenty of them." 

Madeline's face turned pale. Were people going to die? Her eyes slowly moved to look at her sister. Was Beth going to be the one, to kill the people once she would transform into a werewolf? Or was there something worse approaching the castle?

Gulping down the nervousness, she felt Calhoun catching hold of her wrist, and he tugged her out of the room in the care of Raphael.

Once they were in the corridor, she asked worried, "What are we going to do?" 

Calhoun's jaw clenched, "I don't want to leave you here by yourself. The thought of leaving you here without me. I don't feel it right." He shook his head. "You might be powerful, but you are still the woman I love, and I cannot bear to see even a scratch on you." Especially after what he saw in the sister's memories, he swore to protect her. 

Madeline stepped closer to him with her toes raised and she kissed his lips. She felt the urgency in his kiss, wanting to keep her safe as he wrapped her with his arms. She didn't want to lose him. With the creature of the death settling in the castle, waiting for people's death, she felt anxious. 

Pulling away from his lips, their forehead touched each other. "Nothing will happen to me, Cal," she promised him. "Not you, not anyone," she prayed. 

She felt cornered. On one side Beth needed the antidote, and there was no news from Monique's men so far, and on the other side, the Salvete Mortem had come for Calhoun, pointing its finger at him. What if Calhoun died like the rest of the people who went to the mountains?

It was like both Calhoun and Madeline didn't want to leave each other's side, but at the same time, Beth's life depended on the antidote. Madeline would have had faith in Calhoun being alright because she believed in him, but things were now different. 

Her toes slowly went back to place flat on the ground, and she leaned in a way to have her head pressed against his chest. "If you want me to, I will go, but you will have to promise me to stay in and not go to anyone's aid. If something happens like your sister turning into a werewolf and going rampant, will you stay away from it and first save yourself before anyone else?" 

Hearing this, Madeline pulled back to look up at him. She shook her head, "Stay. Stay here with me." 

Calhoun looked at her with a hint of surprise in his eyes. He knew that even though Madeline wanted to save her sister, she was worried for his life. And as much goodness this dark angel had in her, she wanted to be selfish this time. 

"Monique sent another letter at dawn and if the men don't respond to the letter, let's see what to do then," said Calhoun and Madeline agreed to it. 

When Madeline left his side to go back to Beth, Theodore arrived in the corridor, making his way to where Calhoun stood. With a small bow, Theodore said, 

"The count has not decreased." He was speaking about the creatures that even he could see. Though the Salvete Mortem wasn't entirely visible to him like how Calhoun and Madeline could see it, he could see the creatures appear and disappear as if they were trying to apparate. 

"So it seems. The full moon is tonight, and her transformation is only going to speed up with the moon's help," said Calhoun with a subtle frown on his forehead. He raised his hand, running it through the thick locks of his hair. 

"We went searching for the antidote once ourselves, but we found nothing there," said Theodore, remembering the past he and Calhoun had spent together. "If I may speak?" 

Calhoun's eyes shifted to look at Theodore.

"It would be less painful to look at, if the trigger was pulled than watching the lady turn to a werewolf and go rampant," said Theodore, while looking at the King through his crystal clean glasses. 

A chuckle escaped Calhoun's lips. He said,

"It would have been easier if it was just me, but Madeline hopes and believes that things will get better. I don't want to break that innocence and the basic trait of who she is," pausing for a second he then said, "If things get worse, I will need to go and get the antidote. I will leave Madeline in your care." 
Can the moon disappear? - Part 1

Music Recommendation: Leaks and Lawsuits by Tim Wyn


The entire time Madeline looked after Beth, but instead of her condition getting better, it only got worse. At first, it was only Beth's right leg that had turned to look like a werewolf's leg, but after a while both her legs had turned like the feet of the werewolf's leaving her sister's body from above her thighs to be human. 

Beth had stopped speaking as she was in shock. 

"Beth?" Madeline called her sister and Beth shifted her eyes from the walls to look at her, "Do you want to leave this place?" she offered, and even Raphael who was in the room looked startled at this suggestion. 

Beth shook her head, "It won't stop my body from changing into a beast. I will be like those animals who kill the villagers in the woods. I had never expected or imagined for something like this to happen...to turn to a hideous creature." Her eyes moved to look at her legs that were not covered with the blanket anymore. 

Lucy took her relative out of the room while ensuring he would not utter a word to anybody on what was happening to Elizabeth. Beth's room was away from the rest of the guest rooms which made it easier to keep the guests away from walking in the corridor where Beth's room was located. Even if one word went out of the castle and fell into the wrong ears, not only Beth would fall into trouble, but also Calhoun. 

When Helena had inquired about Beth's health, during the time when the ambush had taken place in the village of Cossington, Calhoun had told her that it was a mere scratch and nothing more than that. Because giving more details would only have Beth being put in the local cage before she would be shot, when the High House would find out that Beth was turning to a werewolf. 

Madeline, who sat next to Beth, squeezed her hand. "We are waiting for Calhoun's aunt's men to come back with the antidote. The message was sent yesterday, and we should get the answer soon."

"What about mama and papa? Don't tell them anything," pleaded Beth. It was currently only a few people who knew about her condition, but the truth couldn't be hidden for long.

Madeline nodded her head, "I received a letter from them saying they reached the place." 

Madeline didn't want her parents to be caught in the possible crossfire, by inviting them back to the castle. Situation in the castle was already turning tense, and no one knew what this day or night that was approaching was going to bring them. She then moved closer to Beth's furry legs and placed her hand on it. 

"Can you try changing back, Beth?" questioned Madeline. It wasn't unheard of people returning to their human self after turning to werewolves. She had seen James turn back. Beth should be able to do it too, thought Madeline to herself. 

"I don't know how to do it," replied Beth. It wasn't that she hadn't tried by praying for her legs to return to normal, but she couldn't do it. 

"Miladies," came Raphael's voice who was in the same room as them, "If you allow me, I would like to help." Beth, who had been avoiding the man all this time in the castle now looked at him, desperate for help. It didn't matter to Beth how he looked and what he wore. 

"Do you know how to turn a werewolf's body to a human again, Mr. Sparrow?" asked Madeline. 

Raphael who was standing near the wall started to walk towards the bed. "I have met a handful of werewolves in the past, milady. I have seen them transform back and forth, and have heard how it is done." He then looked at Beth, bowing his head, "Let me see if I can help you." 

Beth stared at the man before giving him a nod, "Okay." 

Raphael nodded his head, and then he turned to Madeline, "Milady, I might need some time alone with Lady Elizabaeth. Please," he persuaded, and Madeline couldn't help but wonder what he was going to do. 

"I will be right outside," Madeline assured Beth, and she stepped out of the room. 

Several minutes passed by, and Madeline paced back and forth in the corridor when she heard a loud growl coming from the room. Her eyes widened, and she quickly reached for the door, stepping inside to see Beth didn't look like herself anymore. 

"What did you do?!" questioned Madeline on seeing Beth, who now stood on the bed with her werewolf feet and her face that had morphed similar to how James' face was. 

"I think right now she's too emotional," shouted Raphael who was on the other side of the room. 

Beth had transformed into a werewolf, but her body had not turned big like the other werewolves as her body was still changing. Her hands were still human-like. She growled at them, snarling in anger, and it was strange to see a werewolf wearing a dress. 

"You were supposed to bring her feet back to normal," said Madeline worried, and something she told upset Beth as her sister turned to look at her before jumping down on the ground from the bed. To Madeline, this was indeed a nightmare. Since Beth was her sister, Calhoun had not locked Beth in the dungeon, but Madeline wasn't sure if it was safe anymore to keep her sister in here. Because if Beth was going to turn to a werewolf with no return, it was only wise to lock her up to avoid any deaths. 

Raphael, who had raised both his hands earlier trying to calm the werewolf down, now dropped his hands. "It is how it works. She needs to transform into the beast so that she can return. I don't think anything I am telling right now is reaching her."

Madeline didn't know if instead of helping her sister things had turned worse. More growls erupted from Beth's throat and the fear of what was happening finally dawned on her. 

"Beth, can you hear me?" Madeline spoke only to receive a snarl, and the werewolf opened its mouth to show its large teeth. 

"What did you speak to her about?!" she questioned Raphael. There must have been some conversation that triggered Beth to turn to a werewolf. It was not even ten minutes since she had left both of them alone in the room. 

"I was speaking to her about some of the things she committed in the past. I thought confrontation would be a good way to start with, but before I could pull out everything, she had already started to transform," answered Raphael. "Lady Elizabeth?" he called her, but Beth seemed to have her eyes on Madeline. Her feet made a loud thumping sound on the ground, cornering Madeline. 

"What did you say?" asked Madeline, her eyebrows knitting together in worry. She wanted to calm Beth down before anyone would come to notice what she had turned to. When her eyes shifted to look at Raphael who stood behind, the demon held a reluctant look on his face. "Please."
Can the moon disappear? - Part 2

Raphael didn't want to bring up the matter in front of Madeline on what Beth had done in the past. All he wanted was for Beth to confront her past issues so that there wouldn't be any guilt left in her heart. Though Calhoun had earlier threatened Beth to tell the truth of what she had done in the past to Madeline, Raphael knew the King would not tell it to his wife because he didn't want her heartbreaking by knowing it. 

"It was two summers ago. There had been a misunderstanding in the village, where Beth could have cleared your name but she didn't. It was about the-"

"About Mr. Parsons," interrupted Madeline and Raphael's eyebrows raised. Without wasting a second and diving into the matter, she turned to look at Beth, who now threw the desk out of her way, that hit the wall to break into many pieces. "You don't have to feel angry at yourself anymore, Beth," said Madeline to her sister. She didn't want her Beth to be disappointed with her. 

Beth growled even more. Her eyes were no more green but had turned to yellowish gold in color while her face had turned to the beast that she was scared of. As the werewolf started cornering her, Raphael tried to distract Beth by throwing a pillow on the back of the werewolf's head. The werewolf looked annoyed by this action, and for a moment, it was distracted. Turning around, it went to attack Raphael, and the man said to Madeline, "You should step out of the room, milady. Now!" 

But Madeline didn't leave her sister here. She raised her hand trying to control Beth's actions, but that wasn't enough. In no time, Beth's human hands turned to the point where Beth transformed into a full werewolf. 

"She's going to kill you!" shouted Madeline when Beth's hand went straight to hold the demon's neck. What was Raphael thinking?!? It was because he made no attempt to attack her back and was waiting for her to turn back to herself, but this was Beth's first time, and she didn't know what she was doing. 

Looking around, Madeline's eyes fell on the wooden piece that was on the ground. Picking it up, she threw it straight at Beth's head. The werewolf didn't drop Raphael and instead threw him across the room, and he fell on the ground.

"She's strong," murmured Raphael under his breath.

"I know what happened before and what you did, Beth," Madeline spoke in a loud voice to catch the werewolf's attention. The werewolf snarled in anger. "I know everything. It wasn't just you but also me. The spells that grandmother used on us, it stopped affecting me too, and I know what happened." The growls lowered down, and the werewolf stared at Madeline. 

Madeline knew it was a risky thing to do, nevertheless, she took a step towards Beth. "I know what happened. When you are living in a village were so many gossips and rumours circulate, sometimes the truth slips out." Her feet were firm on the ground, and she tried not to flinch away from the sight of what her sister. "I know a lot of things, Beth, but I never once took your actions in the wrong way because I know somewhere deep down you were hurt."

That night it wasn't just Beth who had turned immune to their grandmother's magic, but partly even Madeline. When Madeline had pulled Beth to the bed, on hearing her grandmother's footsteps, she had not let go of her sister's hand. 

The sisters had slept in the same bed, sharing the blanket where Madeline had continued to hold Beth's hand. Her grandmother that night had been able to hide only the things what her grandmother and grandfather had spoken about Madeline and not what happened in the hut. Though Beth had tried to bring up the conversation when they were in the carriage, Madeline knew how heavy those incidents weighed on each of their minds, and she wanted to forget the awful evening. 

"No matter what, you will always be my sister, Bethie," and Madeline took another step closer to Beth. "I know you are a good person. You don't have to doubt it in your heart."

"I know you don't want to harm me," Madeline continued to speak, "You don't want to hurt anyone, and I know it because you are my sister. I have known you for so long. I couldn't go wrong with it. You have always been there when I needed you. When people themselves have spoken badly about it, you have protected me. Come back, Bethie. I know you can do it."

The werewolf that was staring at Madeline, its hands dropped down to its sides, and she wasn't sure, but she saw its eyes glisten before the eyes started to return to green colour. In less than two seconds, the werewolf transformed back to its human self, and Madeline quickly went to support her sister to be followed by Raphael. 

Beth fell unconscious and she was put back in the bed, and her feet with the rest of her body turned normal. 

"This is only the beginning, milady," said Raphael, and Madeline pursed her lips. She wanted the antidote, but it was equal to exchanging one life with another. 

"Is there no way to stop it?" she asked, and he shook his head. 

"You could try to disappear the moon," but it was an impossible thing to do, thought Raphael to himself. 

"Will it keep her safe then? If I disappear the moon?" questioned Madeline, ready to find an alternate solution to keep Beth safe. 

Raphael was still surprised by Madeline's words and actions. Speechless, he nodded his head. 

Before Madeline could step out of the room, she heard Raphael say, "People are fortunate to have you, my Queen." She turned around to see him offer his deepest bow. "I don't know if you notice it, but you both are growing. I mean you and the King. I will stay here with her in the room." 

Far away from the castle, behind the forests where the Belmont mountains stood wide and tall, the men entered the empty and hollow caves in the search of the antidote, holding crossbows and spears in their hands as they continued to walk.

"Look! There's another path in there!" whispered one of the men by tapping on another one's shoulder. 

"It looks like someone lives here," came another hushed tone of another man. Nearly ten men had been sent in search of the antidote, but out of the lot, one of them had died in the forest by the quicksand that swallowed him to never surface back again. "Everybody keep yourselves ready." 

The men carefully started to tread the lonely path in the cave, which had torches burning on the walls. While they moved to the next passage, the men caught sight of a young man carrying logs of woods in his arms. Seeing how normal the person looked with servant clothes, one of the men jerked their head to catch hold of him.

They had no knowledge of people living in these caves. 

Odin was making his way with the pile of logs which his Master would need, when he felt something cold touching the back of his neck. 

"Stop right there!" came one of the men's voices who had pointed the sharp edge of the spear at Odin. 
Can the moon disappear? - Part 3

Music Recommendation: Loverless Freedom by Tim Wynn

Odin's eyes widened at the voice of a man behind him, and he wondered how these people had got in here. 

"W-who are you people?" asked the servant in a worried tone. 

"Who are you?" asked one of the men. People were strange, thought Odin to himself. 

"I am Odin, but I don't know who you are and what you gentlemen are doing here," Odin slowly turned towards them with his hands still carrying the log of woods. He looked at the men who were all vampires. People usually got stuck in the forest near this cave, and it had been way too long since this place had any visitors. 

"Who lives here?" demanded another man who had worn an eyepatch over his left eye. The man held the crossbow on standby, ready to release the arrow into Odin's body. 

"Y-you know it is rude to enter a place and questioning wh-oooo-" the spear that was on his neck before was now placed right in front of his throat. 

"Speak else I will have slit your throat right this instant," threatened the man. 

Odin gulped hard, looking at the men carrying weapons with them. "My Master Vladimir Lazarus is the one who resides here. I would request you to leave unless you want to face his wrath."

One of the men scoffed, "Do you know where to find the antidote for the werewolf's bite?" demanded the person. 

"The antidote?" Odin blinked. "Don't think it is here." 

"He's lying! We should go inside and get the antidote," said another man, starting to walk past the servant when Odin stretched his hand to the side to stop the person from intruding further while holding the rest of the logs in another arm. "Get the fuck out of my way." 

"Gentlemen," Odin bowed his head, "My final request, that you leave unless you don't want to see the next day." 

"Keep him here, Gorik. We'll be going inside to see what is in there," said one of the men and another placed his hand on the servant. They started to walk when the man who caught hold of Odin's shoulder fell dead on the ground, and the logs of the wood clattered.

The men looked startled and shocked, looking at where the servant vampire was standing who had blood on his mouth. "Please step out of here," Odin repeated his words, but the men were angry that this person killed one of their men. 

Two men went straight at Odin, but the servant quickly dodged and used their weapons to pierce their hearts before pulling it out. When more men came to attack him, Odin caught one of the person's head to smash it straight against the cave's wall that splattered with blood before the man's body fell. Staying under his Master's care, Odin had picked a thing or two when it came to getting rid of people, even though he lacked the abilities like his Master. 

In less than five minutes, the remaining men fell dead on the ground. How many times did he request people to go back, but they never listened. Picking up the two men's legs, he dragged them out of the passage and the cave before throwing the bodies in the forest, and Odin continued to do the same with the rest of them. 

Wiping his face clean, Odin placed his hand on his back as if he was too tired and getting old. He then went to pick up the log of woods. As he entered the castle connected through the caves, his Master appeared at the top of the staircase. 

"What was that noise?" demanded Vladimir, his eyes narrowed as he looked at Odin, who blinked again. 

"I was cleaning some insects in the cave, Master. I have put them back in the forest," answered Odin.

"Make sure to clean the blood out there. I can smell the filthy stench coming from there," Vladimir looked in the direction where Odin had come from. "Do you have everything prepared for tonight?"

"Yes, Master!" Odin nodded his head enthusiastically. The vampire servant knew where exactly the Queen's parents were staying right now as he had got hold of their information, and one word from his Master and he would bring them here. But his Master showed no interest in the measly villagers.

 "Are we going to leave from here when the moon appears in the sky?" Odin asked for confirmation. 

"Yes," saying this Vladimir pulled out the pocket watch from his pocket, "There are a good few hours remaining before we leave. Bring some blood tea to my room," and the older vampire turned around to walk back to his room. 

Meanwhile, in the Hawthrone's castle, Monique looked at her pocket watch before flipping it close and putting it in her dress pocket.

"They are late, aren't they?" questioned Calhoun standing next to Monique, watching the sky through the open window. The breeze ruffled his hair.

Monique responded, "If they had found the antidote, they would have sent it by now. I had ordered them to keep sending me the letters so that I know they are alive, but I haven't received any letter since the last one hour."

"They must be all dead," stated Calhoun. He had heard many stories related to Belmont mountain, and it usually spoke about death. Two hours ago, he had heard from Madeline that Beth had turned to a werewolf. As much as they were trying to keep things under control, the news would soon come to light. His face held no expression as he continued to stare at the sky. 

When he started to leave the place where he and Monique stood, his aunt asked, "What do you have on your mind?" 

"Right now?" asked Calhoun, turning his head over his shoulder, "To see my wife." And he walked away from there. 

Madeline was in their room, sitting on the ground with the black book kept open, along with three candles placed in the left, right and another in front of her. The book had something written regarding the lunar cycle and about the energy that was used for certain spells. 

"What are you doing?" came the sudden voice. Madeline looked up startled, seeing it was Calhoun who had entered the room and closed the doors behind him. His eyes fell on the book and Madeline. 

"Requesting the moon to not appear in the sky tonight," was Madeline's innocent answer. Calhoun walked to where she was, sitting down on his heels next to her.

Picking the black book from the ground, Calhoun read through the page which Madeline had opened. "Will it work?" By the look in her eyes, he could tell that she was scared of losing her sister, which was why she had locked herself in the room with the book. 

"I thought it was worth a try," replied Madeline, and he gave her a nod. 

"Go on. We wouldn't want to waste time," stated Calhoun, while watching over her so that she wouldn't have another strike of pain and bleed herself to death. When she was done memorizing what was written in the pages, Madeline closed her eyes, and Calhoun stood up, giving her the space she needed while she whispered those words. He saw the candles flicker, letting him know that her spells were working. 

As minutes passed by, Calhoun caught sight of something in the room, and his eyes fell on the creature that held an axe in its hand.
Awaited night- Part 1

Music Recommendation: Ton Oil by Tim Wyn


Calhoun stared at the Salvette Mortem that had stepped inside the room without noise while holding an axe in its hand. It didn't move but stood in its place, looking at him with its hollow eyes as its face was only made of bones with no actual flesh. 

His eyes shifted to look at Madeline who continued muttering the spells, and the candle's light flickered further as if a window had been opened for the air to pass by. He stepped closer to her while hoping she wouldn't open her eyes and find the creature of the death in the room. Calhoun knew it would only make her worry more, but he had faith in their future, knowing nothing would ever come to harm him or her. 

Madeline had reached the point where she wouldn't need to be supervised or kept an eye on as she was capable of defending herself. She was learning, and Calhoun took pride in it. The beautiful bud of rose had slowly grown and bloomed along with the thorns to protect itself.

In a blink of an eye, the creature disappeared from its place, but Calhoun, who had a keen sense of things around him, could feel the creature had not vanished from the room. Instead, it stood right behind him as if gauging him and getting itself ready to relay the message to the next Salvete Mortem on whom to pick. 

The candlelight flickered again before they suddenly blew out, leaving the room moderately dark with a low amount of light that passed through the windows that had the curtains draped over them. 

When Madeline opened her eyes, the Salvete Mortem had left the room that had turned dark, and she had finished uttering the spells that would possibly either delay or keep the moon away from appearing in the sky tonight. 

"Is that all?" she heard Calhoun, and the next moment light appeared back in one of the candles where Calhoun had used his fingertips to touch the end of the candle where the flame was moments ago. 

"I think so," answered Madeline. "The book speaks about using the clouds as a shield to stop the moonlight falling on the lands and affecting the creatures that reside here. I used two spells, one from the lunar page, and another that speaks about barring the evil," she paused before adding, "I think I used the right words with slight interchanges. This way, we can keep the moon from appearing in the sky."

"Let us hope it works," stated Calhoun, placing his other hand on the top of her head before he petted her. He ran his hand over her silky blonde hair. "You are doing your best, Maddie. Making use of everything available to fight the odds when it comes to your sister turning to a werewolf."

Madeline didn't forget the way Beth had snarled and growled before changing back to her human self. She was scared of losing people whom she cared for. Her eyes wandered around the room, looking at the furniture and the empty place where the creature of the death had been standing before the candle lights had been blown out. 

"I think I understand how you felt. Maybe not a lot, but I can feel the pain of what you felt, Calhoun," said Madeline to him. In her case, Beth was still conscious, and they knew the reason. But in Calhoun's situation, he didn't know back then why his mother had fallen sick. She being the only person in his life, it must have been really hard for him to lose her and put her in the coffin. 

Her hand reached out for his, and she squeezed his hand at the top. "I wish to be there for you, the way you have been with me." 

"I know, darling," Calhoun responded to her. What happened in his past was something he couldn't fix as he didn't have control on the time, but he did have control over his present and his future. "You do know that even if the moon doesn't appear today, it will come and at that time, you will need the antidote."

Madeline was aware of it. As it was still the time of post noon where the sky was bright, and the moon was yet to show up, they didn't know if the spells worked or if it had only blown the candle out. Only at the time of night would they know if it worked. 

"Elizabeth is rapidly turning to a werewolf rapidly without waiting for the moon to appear. This might be a new case where she might completely transform before we even know it," said Calhoun and Madeline turned worried. He didn't want to raise her hopes, for it to only shatter into million pieces later. 

Madeline bit into her lip. It wasn't that she hadn't thought about it. According to what Raphael said, Beth still had time, but instead of having time, she had already turned to a werewolf once.

"I was thinking of moving her to another room," offered Calhoun. 

Madeline looked up at him, "You mean the dungeons?" It was only logical to have a werewolf locked in the dungeon, instead of causing harm to the ones who live in the castle. At the same time, she felt uncomfortable to think that Beth would need to spend her time in the cell. 

"It is the safest. But if it makes you feel better, I arranged another room that has shackles and chains to keep her safe. Let me show you," said Calhoun, getting up to stand and then offering her his hand to take. Madeline placed her small hand in his before getting up and following him out of the room. 

They made their way up the stairs of the northern tower, where in the past, Madeline had broken the glass and fallen out of there. It felt like it was only yesterday that it was still raining where Calhoun had caught her before she would have turned to a squashed pumpkin on the ground. The rain was replaced with snow, and the hand that was once cold had turned warm. Madeline's hand gripped on to Calhoun's hand as they continued to make their way up the tower before coming to stand in front of a locked room. 

"This was once used to keep members of the royal family locked up here, relatives and guests who opposed or would cause possible treason against the crown," said Calhoun. He placed his hand on the door, and the lock automatically opened with a click. "I spent two days here." There was a faint smile on Calhoun's lips as his eyes swept across the room. 

Madeline caught sight of the empty room where one corner of the room was filled with hay. There were shackles and chains connecting the walls and a large window placed on the opposite end. 

"Why did you end up in here?" inquired Madeline, her eyebrows drawing together as she stepped at the centre of the room. 

"I was accused of stealing a valuable item that belonged to one of the guests as it went missing, and the blame fell on me."
Awaited night- Part 2

Calhoun walked towards the walls, pulling the chains to ensure they were still intact in good condition. "A woman named Lora, she wasn't happy about something I did and thought I should be taught a lesson. Of course, I didn't steal any valuable jewels." 

"What did she want?" asked Madeline, walking towards him and looking at the old rusty chains. This place was much better than the dungeons, thought Madeline to herself. 

"She wanted sexual favours from me." 

Madeline's eyes snapped at Calhoun, "What?" she asked as if she had caught it wrong the first time he said it. 

Calhoun chuckled at Madeline's response, and he stood up to face her while dropping the chain he held in his hand. 

"You don't think it was just my mother who earned bread for us, did you?" Hearing this, her eyebrows drew close to each other. "It was the time when my father was still the King, and I had not stepped into the castle and knew nothing about this side of life. The villages and towns were left in nothing less than in tattered condition. It was called the Era of dire poverty. If people think the taxes right now are heavy, they should have lived in the time when my father and grandfather were Kings," said Calhoun. 

Madeline, who hadn't heard about this before, continued to listen to Calhoun speak, "The time and place of when I lived with my mother was the worst, and getting food or work with a decent pay of money was tough. Especially a person who belongs to the village, no matter how much the person works, all the money goes to make ends meet. Times now are much better. Back then only some places in Devon were decent enough to live in, but people were not allowed to cross over to live in another place that easily. The little coins my mother earned went back to the royal family, and it is ironic to think that the woman who they kicked out of the castle, they took her money as their own."

Calhoun took her hand, leading her to the better side of the room, and sat down on the ground. Madeline followed him quietly, listening to him speak. He interlinked his fingers with hers, meshing it before he held them in his hand. 

"It was around the same time when I met Theodore. I learned his trade, and started to earn money by being one of the most sought out men by women." 

Madeline felt her heart stop for a moment, and she looked straight into his red eyes that looked hollow before the light appeared back in his eyes. Though Calhoun didn't tell it out in actual words, she understood what he said.

"I-I don't know what to say," Madeline was speechless. "Did your mother know about it?" 

"I wonder about it. Maybe somewhere in the back of her mind, she did, or maybe she didn't. The matter never came up between us," said Calhoun, breaking his gaze from her and letting his head lean back against the cold wall of the room. He stared at the grills of the window that were built in the room. "It would have been rude to let only your mother to work and bring money while you bring meagre wager that is not enough even for one proper meal."

"I am sorry about that," whispered Madeline, bringing his hand on to her lap and placing her other hand on his. 

"You don't have to be. They say what we do and experience is what we become. I do not regret my actions," stated Calhoun. He did what he had to do.

This was something that made him different from others, thought Madeline to herself. He owned the person who he was, something a lot of people struggled to accept. She believed it was the hardest thing to do. To put oneself out there in front of people by baring the flaws and scars one had, something which people often hid because they were ashamed of it. Many people often wore a mask that didn't belong to them—hiding their true intentions behind their facade. 

What Calhoun just said to her, it was something he didn't share with others. She wished she could have helped him and his mother in some way. But she didn't exist at that time. 

"You did what you had to do at that time," said Madeline, turning her head to look at Calhoun's sculpted features. "What happened to that woman? Lora," she asked, knowing Calhoun wouldn't have let the woman off the hook without any payback. 

"She died of course," came the reply from Calhoun and if it was in the past, she would have looked at him in shock, but now instead, she gave him a nod. 

"Of course." It was Calhoun's way of clean revenge. She didn't go to ask in detail of how the woman died. 

With silence filling the room around them, where no one was there to disturb them, Madeline leaned on Calhoun's shoulder, breathing softly as they shared this moment. She wondered what more he had gone through before he had turned into King. With the guests who were yet to leave and were in the castle and with her sister's condition, coming here felt like a little escapade where the worries stood at the entrance and not hovering around them. 

They sat there for an hour in each other's company. With Calhoun's hand around her shoulder, keeping her close, Madeline wondered how such a simple gesture was enough to provide her a comfort and sense of assurance without any words. A few more minutes passed before she felt Calhoun shift his body, and she lifted her head. 

"What is it?" she asked.

Calhoun's eyebrows furrowed, looking into her eyes he said, "It's your sister. She's changing again." 

They both quickly left the tower, making their way to Beth's room and found her growling, but she hadn't morphed into a werewolf yet. 

"She's going to turn to a werewolf again," whispered Madeline. The moonlight was not even here, and Beth was changing quickly. As the growls continued, Calhoun ordered the servants to carry Beth to the tower so that she could be chained there. 

"The werewolves are evolving similar to how the vampires have. Their bodies are adapting quicker than before," replied Calhoun. While Beth's legs were being chained in shackles, Madeline saw a bed had been placed in here. "We at least know she's not going to die, and she will continue to exist." 

The sky had started to change its colour, and Madeline wondered if the time of evening had already appeared. At the same time, Beth transformed into a werewolf, and this time she seemed bigger than the last time. 

"This is not good," whispered Madeline. 

"If this continues, she will no longer be human anymore and will slowly switch to a werewolf's nature," informed Raphael with a glum expression on his face. "Some of the guests have been curious to know about the growling sound that has been coming."

Calhoun gave it some thought, and then said, "If I fly to Belmont quickly, it shouldn't take much time."
Awaited night- Part 3

Madeline shook her head. "It's not safe."

"What other option do we have?" asked Calhoun to Madeline gently. He placed his hand on her cheek, "You don't want to see your sister die, and without the antidote, we have no other way, do we?" 

"Not at the cost of your life or anyone else," replied Madeline. She stared into the depth of his eyes, "What is the point of you sacrificing your life. It wouldn't be right." She placed her hand on his hand, "The Salvete Mortems, they-" 

"Nothing will happen to me, have faith, my sweet rose. I wouldn't leave you alone in this world," and he pressed his lips on her forehead, leaving a tender kiss before he pulled back to look at her. He looked at her features and the anxious expression on her face. "Raphael, the card of the fool, please." 

It was the very first time, Calhoun had willingly asked to draw his card from Raphael. Madeline stared at the card that the card reader pulled and then at Calhoun. Calhoun took hold of the card, turning it around to show a single flower of lily on it. 

Though Calhoun had never touched the cards willingly from Raphael or any other card reader carried with oneself, it didn't mean he hadn't been intrigued to read about them. He knew exactly what the flower on the card represented, and his eyes met Raphael, who was quick to look at him with a passive expression on his face. The flower had many meanings, like love, hope, and death.

"A perfectly healthy card. As I said, there's nothing to worry about," Calhoun smiled brightly at Madeline. 

"What does it mean?" Madeline asked, not knowing the interpretation of the flower. 

Raphael's eyes had not moved away from Calhoun. The King raised his eyebrow, and Raphael took a second before answering, "The Lily represents good hope, milady. It speaks about beginnings."

Madeline hoped it was a good thing and she relaxed upon hearing this, but that didn't remove the issue where the creatures of the death were lurking in the castle. "Come back soon," she whispered to him. Raphael stepped away from the couple to give them the space, while going to where Beth was. 

Calhoun's hand reached out for Madeline's hand, bringing it up to his lips and he kissed the back of her hand. "I will know if something happens here with you. And if it does, I will return right away. Don't forget what I told you, first is you and then comes rest," he said to her. The heavy clouds in the sky had started to scatter away, giving way for the sunlight to touch the land one last time for the day before the sun would sink below the horizon. 

The rays of the light passed through the grills of the window to fall inside the place where they stood. Madeline nodded her head. She saw the black wings appear from behind Calhoun's back, spreading and he took a step back where the ceiling had an opening. 

"I will be waiting for you," she whispered, and with one flap of the wings, Calhoun disappeared from the room into the sky. 

She prayed to God, for him to stay safe. Beth, who had turned into a werewolf, growled louder than before. Her movements turned aggressive, and with her being tied this time, Madeline noticed the werewolf didn't look pleased. 

Madeline spent the next hour watching over her sister, and she walked towards the window to see the clouds hiding the sky. The sky was turning dark, and so far, there was no hint of the moon. 

"Looks like the moon isn't out yet, milady," said Raphael with his hands crossed and leaning against the wall. 

"We cannot be too sure about it," replied Madeline. Now and then, her eyes moved to look at the window, hoping she would catch sight of Calhoun even though he wouldn't return this soon. 

Looking down at the castle's grounds, she noticed the Salvete Mortems had not left their places. They were no more greeters, and she caught sight of them holding axes in their hands. It looked like there was going to be a war, and she gulped. 

"Where do these creatures come from? Salvete Mortems," she asked Raphael. To Madeline, it seemed like guarding Beth was necessary as there were chances of her turning into a rabid werewolf before she would go on a killing spree. She didn't know that it wasn't her sister who was going to bring trouble, but people from outside the castle. 

"Some say they come from the place between heaven and hell. Some say that they come from hell because of the appearance that they carry with them," answered Raphael. "I would place my bets on Hell."

She took a deep breath before trying to ease the tension out of her body. While Madeline was still taking a look at the creatures of death, her eyes took in one of the Salvete Mortems that made its way towards the castle. Noticing how it didn't hold an axe in its hand, she believed it to be the first creature of the greeting until she caught sight of blood on its bones and unusually long fingers. 

Her eyebrows furrowed, and her lips were set in a thin line. She said to Raphael, "I will be going down for a while and will be back soon." 

With Beth meticulously chained, and unable to harm anyone, Madeline couldn't help but question for whom the Salvete Mortem was coming for. Walking down the stairs of the tower, she retook a look outside the window, in the direction of the creature that continued to make its way to get into the castle.

In one of the castle rooms, Lucy went to the cupboard to pick out the remaining clothes, to place it in the trunk which she was packing right now. She would be leaving early tomorrow after breakfast, and she wanted to make sure she wouldn't be leaving anything behind. When her room's door was knocked, she asked, 

"Who is it?" Receiving no reply, she frowned. Walking to the door, she opened the door to see the person standing in front of her. 

She whispered, "You…"
Dark corridors- Part 1

Music Recommendation: Existence by Tim Wynn



Lucy felt her heart flip like every time when this person had appeared in front of her room because it was rare to have him here, "What are you doing here?" 

It was Theodore who had made his way here, wearing casual clothes, and his expression looked more relaxed than when he stood next to her brother Calhoun.

Theodore bowed his head at Lucy. It was something she didn't like him doing as she felt the already existing gap between them widen. "I wanted to check if you need any help for tomorrow." Hearing this, she bit the inside of her cheek, but not letting her emotions surface upon her face. 

"No, I got everything packed. Ethan was here earlier, he helped me with it," replied Lucy. He took a step forward, and the vampiress took two steps backwards to allow him to come inside. 

"Everything?" asked Theodore, his eyes fell on the open trunk that was on the bed. 

Lucy turned around to see the trunk that she had kept open, seeing some of the intimate garments of hers at the top, she quickly went to it and closed the trunk while her cheeks turned slightly red. After two decades, she would have thought that things would have changed and passed, but it seemed like they were back to where they started. 

Without holding back, she asked, "What are you doing here, Theodore?"

"To help you, milady." He looked at her through the clean glasses that he wore.

"I think you have already offered enough help of yours. I need to stop relying on people," Lucy's words were bitter. "You never turn up unless there's something important to say."

A faint smile appeared on Theodore's lips, "You know me so well, milady." Lucy realized how painful it was to see someone you loved for years, to see them smile, but not for you and with you, thought Lucy to herself, it made her heart squeeze. "I came here to tell you something."

Lucy turned to look at him. Her eyebrows were furrowed, and her red eyes waited for him to speak. Somewhere deep in her heart there was a spark of hope, hoping it was something she wanted to hear. 

Theodore said, "I think you shouldn't leave tomorrow." 

Gulping down the slight nervousness, Lucy parted her lips, "Why not?" Was this his way of asking her to stay?

"I think it would be more suitable if you leave right now, instead of waiting until tomorrow," and her heart sank. Lucy stared at Theodore, her teeth gritting against each other in anger. 

"Do you always have to do this?" she whispered, her eyes glaring at him while it started to shine under the candlelit room. Not wanting to show her face to him, she turned her back to Theodore. 

Theodore looked taken aback. "I think you misunderstood my intentions-" Lucy picked up a vase that was nearby to throw it at Theodore, who dodged it. He raised his eyebrows at her, "-Lady Lucy, I only want you to be safe-"

"I don't want you to watch over me!" exclaimed Lucy as she lost her cool. The vase's broken pieces laid on the ground. She looked at Theodore to meet his eyes. "The last time you went to watch out for me, you put me in a place where I have been unhappy for so many years. Don't you understand that it doesn't make me happy? You willingly sent me away...every single time." 

Theodore's expression composed back, "It is you who decided to leave the castle with Mr. Morryet, milady."

"We have already had this discussion, and you know the reason," responded Lucy looking at him. She had been waiting, waiting for him but nothing happened. "I must be the most delusional person in history, not to know when to stop. Or is it because I am married. Someone who is not fresh anymore." 

"We can discuss about this later, but I need you to leave the castle right now," said Theodore. Since the time Calhoun had mentioned about the new guests appear in the castle, he had a bad feeling, and he wanted Lucy to leave the castle at the earliest and return only after some of the things in the castle would settle down. "I am telling it for your own good."

Lucy stared at him, "Is that why you came here? To chase me away. I will be leaving with Ethan tomorrow morning, and after that, you don't have to concern yourself with me."

A sliver of spark appeared in Theodore's eyes, but he didn't go to comment on Lucy's words. Compared to the vampiress, he was way older and wiser, knowing this was not the time to rebuke an argument. Turning her face to not look at him, she waited for him to leave, but he didn't.

Theodore went to speak something when he heard a screech outside and a few corridors away from where they stood now. 

"What was that?" asked Lucy with a frown appearing on her face. 

"Do me a favour and stay here in the room. Please don't open it until I return. Can you do it?" asked Theodore, waiting for her to reply. 

Lucy didn't know what was going on as she had been busy packing her things while somewhere in the back of her mind hoping she would be able to start fresh and at the same time waiting for Theodore. She gave him a nod, "Okay." 

Theodore closed the doors behind him, leaving Lucy safe in her room. 

Back up in the tower, Raphael who continued to watch over to see her regain her consciousness. It had been only two minutes since Madeline had left the tower to look around the castle. Beth suddenly panicked when she saw the chains around her furry ankles, and she started to tug on it. 

"It is only for tonight," she heard Raphael's voice come from her left. "You have been turning to a werewolf back and forth without the moon's presence. It is only for the precautionary purpose that you have been bound in chains and are in here."

"Where is my sister?" asked Beth.

"She left a moment ago. She will be back up here soon," answered Raphael, his eyes catching on to her movements, "You should stop doing that unless you want to get hurt."

Beth looked at the place where she was in. It was an empty place and its roof was shaped like a dome at the top with an opening in the middle. The last time she was conscious, the sky was still bright, and now it had turned dark. She didn't remember a thing that had happened, and she looked at the dress that she wore that looked tattered. Her heart sank at the thought of the inevitable. 

"Why are you here?" Beth asked Raphael who was playing with a stalk of the hay. 

"I am on werewolf duties. Watching over you," Raphael replied with a polite smile on his face. 

"Why?" questioned Beth, her eyebrows furrowing deeply. 

"Why?" prompted Raphael.

"I have been turning to a werewolf, and you have seen the hideous creature I am turning into. Why are you still being nice to me?" Beth, who was aware of Raphael's abilities when it came to extracting memories from a person's past, she knew he had taken a peek at her memories. 

"Would you rather have me not stay here? Every person needs someone around. Haven't you felt that when you fell ill? That you wanted your sister or mother next to you?" asked Raphael as if it was the most obvious thing. He saw Beth continuing to stare at him with questions in her eyes. There was a doubt in her eyes, and the doubt was not about him. 

Beth had grown up being praised for the way she looked and right now the confidence in her was breaking. Though she had come back to her conscious her feet which once used to be dainty, it looked repulsive in her eyes. She wondered if it was better to die than live like this. If people found out about what she had become, she would be banished, not to go back to the life she once had. 

"I will never be me anymore…" whispered Beth. 

As much as Beth had tried to chase behind wealth and status, she had always craved to be loved, and she realized how distant that thought turned right now. 

"You don't have to feel that way, Miss Elizabeth," commented Raphael, taking a seat not too far away from where she was chained. 

Elizabeth shook her head, a tear slipped past her eye when her eyes went back to look at her furry legs. "You don't understand. My entire life, I have craved to fall madly in love with the man I want, and then have a marriage on top of it. To be treasured and treated well. I cannot have any of those. No one will want me, and instead, I will be hunted." 

"Once the cure is here, you won't have to worry about such things," said Raphael. 

That is if the cure existed. But the cure didn't exist. She wondered if this was nature's way to give her back everything that she had done to people around her and was now being punished. 

"I think you look much better than how you looked two days ago," commented Raphael, gaining Beth's attention. 

"Did you not look at me," asked Beth, a slight amount of frustration laced in her voice. As if it wasn't enough, her hands slowly started to morph into the werewolf's hands, and her hands turned to fists. 

"I have. For a while now, I have been looking, " Raphael's answer surprised her. Beth's emerald eyes stared at Raphael. "I think you are a beautiful person, Miss Elizabeth. No matter what you did in the past, it wasn't entirely your fault." 

"But partly they were my fault." 

"Shut up," said Raphael and her eyes widened. Before she could say anything, he said, "Stop wallowing in self-pity. I don't think you are that kind of person to do that. I know you have a lot of pride and even when a pebble touches that glass-like heart of yours, you prevent it from cracking. Haven't you heard that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, milady? As I said, you look better than how you used to look in the past." 

Beth's eyes welled up, and she blinked back quickly. 

Breaking her gaze away from him, she looked everywhere before going back to look back at him. "Are you not worried? That I might kill you?" asked Beth, her green eyes focussed on him. 

Raphael offered her a smile, "I guess not."