3.

-HER-

“Hello, Arles.” I utter, looking up at him. His statue stares down at me as usual and I expected my greeting to be unanswered as usual too but this time, I hear a growl before feeling a presence behind me. This time I am not drunk and I know that this happened for real.

Suddenly, I want to be drunk.

I feel a burning gaze digging holes at my back as I stand here frozen and scared.

Am I caught?

I know that the ruins are forbidden hence its name ‘the forbidden Ruins’ but I come here for years and nothing has ever happened before. I haven’t been caught.

Mom and dad did warn me countless times to not to come here because it’s a dangerous place but when do I listen? Besides this, I feel more peaceful when I come here. For me, it has been a place for me where I can be myself. To me, it’s like... home.

I hear another growl which brings me back to reality. I can sense the presence still behind me. Slowly, I turn on my heels and come face to face with a large Black wolf. There is a dangerous amount of energy leaking off its figure. Its smell tells me that the wolf is neither a rogue and neither does it belong to my pack. I feel a chill run down my spine and for a moment my heart stops beating. Its silver eyes are trained on me and they look as if they could look right into my soul.

As I look more into those Silver eyes, they seem oddly familiar. I’ve seen them before. The black wolf lets out a guttural growl as it nears me slowly, its eyes trained on me. A feral look takes over them as the wolf takes menacing steps towards me and that’s when I realize what I did wrong.

I crossed the line.

I looked the wolf straight into the eye and it took it as a challenge. I gulp as I step back, trying to increase the distance between the wolf and me. It bares its sharp canines at me and its fur puffs out, making it look bigger than it actually is.

I’ve never seen such a big and dangerous wolf in my life. The way it walks, the way it is looking at me seems to be out-worldly. The wolf has power oozing off its presence making me feel intimidated.

My mouth is dry and my palms are sweaty. I can feel my heart throbbing against my ribcage, begging me to run for my life. As it continues to stalk towards me, I continue to step back in an attempt to put as much distance between me and the creature.

I gulp when my back touches the statue whilst the Black Wolf continues to eat the distance between us. If it attacks me and I try to put up a fight then all the odds will be against my favour. I will definitely loose and by the way the wolf is looking at me, I can tell that he has no intention of making friends with me.

I take a deep breath and brake off into a run. I know that running away from the wolf could be really dangerous because they love chasing their prey. I just made the situation more dangerous for me.

I run in the opposite direction, deeper into the ruins. As I run for my life, I hear angry footsteps following me close behind.

Adrenaline is rushing into my veins like blood and I feel Oculus Reaper, my whip which is wrapped around my arm like a snake, tightens around it. I increase my speed and continue to run deeper inside the ruins.

Fallen pillars, boulders and stones momentarily slow me down and for a moment I could bet that I felt that Black Wolf breathing down my neck but I didn’t look back as I pump my legs and run like I’ve never before. My legs are screaming at me to stop but I know better than to listen to them.

As I move deeper into the ruins, I come across the part of the castle which is still intact and the ceiling hasn’t collapsed to the ground yet. I run deeper; running through a big room which I assume was previously a big ballroom. A thick carpet of dust covers the floors and walls and the grand chandelier that hangs above my head is now broken and could fall any moment.

Large tinted windows are also covered with dust blankets allowing minimum light to enter the room. As I run in this isolated and ghostly silent place, only my footsteps echo. I turn around to find the wolf gone.

I stop running, gasping for breath. My lungs feel as if they are going to explode in my chest if I don’t provide them with oxygen soon. I rest my hands on my knees and lean forward as my chest heaves with the lack of air. My legs are screaming with pain and the whole world is spinning in front of my eyes.

After a few moments when I manage to get my lungs filled with enough air, I look around. I’ve never been this deep into the ruins because it’s dangerous. The walls are so old that they could collapse anytime but still, it looks beautiful.

I haven’t been in such a big room in my life. As I cross the ballroom, I notice humongous pictures decorating the now dust-covered walls. The pictures also have thick blankets of dust engulfing them. On the other side of the room sits a big door and my curiosity is reaching the moon.

In the next moment, I find myself pushing open the heavy door which roars when it moves due to its rusted hinges. The door reveals a long corridor behind it and at the end of the corridor sits another door which is tempting me to open it as well.

I slowly cross the corridor which is dimmer than the ballroom and is in the same condition as the previous one. My footsteps echo as I walk to the other door while surveying the room. I can’t help but imagine how it would have looked when Arles ruled this place.

As I reach the door and push it open, it roars louder in the silence of this castle. The sound bouncing off the walls, making some bats fly away that have been hanging from the ceiling. The door opens into a dark room. The dim light that escapes from the corridor cast silhouettes in the room.

As I step in the darkroom, my eyes adjust in the dark and I find chairs, huge chairs lining either side of the room. I continue to walk inside, not bothering the darkness because my werewolf sight is helping me to look.

My footsteps echo and for a moment I swear I could hear my heartbeats echo too.

Suddenly, I hear a low growl making my heart stop. A loud thump makes me jump back and suddenly, the torches that hung on the walls start to light up one by one. I watch in surprise as the light washes the room. This room is bigger than the first one and a huge, beautiful chandelier hangs on the ceiling. Larger tinted windows cover the walls. As the light hits those windows, their colours bounc out of them, giving a beautiful lighting to the room as well as the chandelier. My mouth hangs open in awe. This place is so beautiful. I should’ve come here before!

This must be the place where Arles held meetings with his ministers and I assume that the chairs that are on either side of the room must belong to his ministers. He must sit in the center. Finally, when the last torch lits up at the end of the room, I notice the huge throne. A wolf head is carved on the head of the throne which looks quite similar to the Black wolf that chased me here.

My blood runs cold when I see a figure sitting on the throne...

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