Chapter 19: Chapter Nineteen
The scent of fresh sap from the fallen tree had a calming effect on Cole along with the calm atmosphere in the air. The normally crushing tense moods that hang about when a wolf was failing the evaluation did not exist here. The evaluation existed to save the lives of those who still had a chance at redemption and as a result, each and every rogue that surrendered to either the hunters or the royals was immediately taken through the evaluation which would decide whether they were worth saving. Rumours that Prometheus would look into someones future for any chances of betrayal to the werewolves were among the speculations of the guidelines that he used to judge who was worth letting to live or not.
Regardless of how rare it was for rogues to come out of the ordeal alive, there were still some that were known to have come out of it and sometimes they asked to meet with the rogues before they were thrown into such a feat. Over the past century, it had come to be known that when a former rogue got a chance to talk to another that was about to take the Prometheus evaluation, the chances of survival drastically went high which usually raised numerous questions on what exactly they would talk about and if at all there was any cheating involved. As a result, former rogues were banned from meeting those who were about to go through the evaluation.
They waited for ten more minutes before the Lycaon pack symbol vanished from the head of the rogue. The rogues dirty grey fur began to shimmer and glow changing into a silky smooth sandy brown coat that looked far more beautiful and dignified compared to what it had before. Katie stood up from her position at the fallen tree, suspicion written all over her face along with curiosity. She came over and watched the wolf stagger onto its feet too weak to hold itself up. “Shift,” Cole commanded, his eyes glowing with intensity as he said it as though to emphasize that it was a command rather than a request.
The discomforting sound of bones breaking filled the air as the wolf reverted to its human form. Katie watched, her eyes not leaving the body of the wolf, her feet unconsciously getting him around so that she could have a look at the face of the person that emerged. Something in her dark blue eyes caught Coles attention, a glint of recognition perhaps. He looked back to see the fur finally disappear from the wolfs face, still looking at the ground. From the looks of it, the rogue before them was a boy. The boy rose up to his full height. His black hair clung to his face... something was familiar about his face though Cole could not quite figure out why that was so. At first, seeming like sweat before Cole realized it was gel and the hairstyle was intentional. The boy rose to his full height that was barely Coles height, he was young.
The boy along with Katie vanished for an instant... reappearing a distance away, specifically the nearest tree that was standing, with Katies hand around the boys throat pinned to a tree. “Katie, let him go...” Cole yelled at her trying to get her to let go of the boy, but the hunters murderous look spoke multitudes in just one expression, her grip on the boys neck was firm. The boy struggled against her hold, trying to breathe.
“How many are you” Katies voice was calm, but yet she spoke with so much anger that it stopped Cole from making any more attempts at calming her down. He then noticed the hint of recognition in her eye, Katie knew the boy. “Tell me, Ash.” The boy was suffocating from Katies hold.
“How is he supposed to tell you when you are choking him to death” Cole asked, doing his best to keep his cool. Katie stayed in that position for a bit before letting the boy fall to the ground.
“I cant stand to look at you and hold myself back from killing you at the same time. Cole, make sure Sandra gets home safe for me,” she said walking away.
“Where are you going”
“Im going for a run,” she replied before vanishing, her Prometheus gift making her imperceptible to the human eye or rather more like a blur.
“Who knew Katie had anger issues”
“She doesnt,” Sandra stopped him there, her fist clenched. Unlike Katie, Sandra was more composed, but she shared the same look of anger and recognition.
“Who is this boy”
“On the day before you came, we stopped Dexter from beating up a human boy in the halls of the main school building. I dont understand... we saved a human boy. Whats he doing shifting into a filthy rogue right before our eyes” she seethed.
The boy stayed on the ground and bowed his head low to the ground, “I beg for your forgiveness, Sandra. I had no choice.”
“No choice to what... explain everything starting from your name...” Sandra yelled at him.
“Fine, my name is Ash Bradford. Up until a few minutes ago, I was a rogue, just like I have been my entire life,” he said.
“Why didnt you come across us as a werewolf when we met” Sandra asked him.
“Before a werewolf turns eighteen, there is a portion or rather some medicine that can be used to conceal their werewolf side,” he said, a gasp came from Sandra at the mention of the concealment. “But werewolves that young arent so useful in battle and so the Rogue King uses them for infiltration missions such as the one I was sent on to this school,” he explained. Sandra was frozen, unable to continue questioning the boy.
“What was your mission” Cole asked, taking over for her.
“At first, my mission was simple... to find out why this school was on top for the school with the least violence. Suspicions were going around that for that to happen, there had to be someone that was strong there,” Ash explained, “but when we got there, we heard of the famous Katie Chase, but she never once fought so there was no way that we could actually tell that she was as strong as everyone claimed.”
“So you fed Shaemus with ideas in an attempt to make Katie fight and see her strength,” Sandra spoke up.
The source of this content is nov/el/b/in[./]net'
“I dont know the details about that. Everyone had a separate mission and mine did not involve that. I was merely summoned to help them with this ambush when the time came...” he explained before continuing his story. Later on, I was given orders to confirm the arrival of the Royal that was coming to the safest school on the planet. The Rogue king does not allow everyone to find out every part of what he wants to know. That way, if one of us is caught, he doesnt lose all the information and he does it in a way that each rogues piece of information does not make sense to anyone other than him without the rest of the information that he is gathering all together,” Ash explained, looking up with his eyes full of tears. He was crying and none of the people present was aware of when it was that he began to cry.
“How many were you”
“Seven, just like you saw us today. Six of which you have killed... I can be sure that the other one is to die as well. It would be best if you got the information he was supposed to gather as well if you are to make more sense of what the Rogue king has in mind,” he said, his tears starting to fall to the ground slowly.
“You can stop crying now. No one is going to hurt you now that you arent a rogue anymore,” Cole tried soothing the crying boy. Regardless of what he had been put through, he only looked fifteen at most. The idea of using kids to do his dirty work made Cole sick to the stomach even though his instincts told him to focus on the crying boy.
“Why are you still crying” Sandra asked him softly noticing Coles words had no effect.
“I know I wont be harmed now that I am not a rogue. Katie made sure I knew that besides... shes the reason I passed the Prometheus evaluation in the first place...” a heavy silence filled the air after this was revealed. None of what the boy was saying now was making sense and yet, he said it with a smile on his face while he let his tears continue flowing.
“How is Katie related to you passing the Prometheus evaluation”
“Katie is powerful... so powerful that if the Rogue king ever knew what I found out, he would shiver in his boots,” the boy said, shivering even as he said it, “but even with all that strength, she treated me with kindness and equality as though I was her comrade when we met. She bore me no hostility, even when she took care of Dexter after hed bullied me. She made sure nothing happened while at the same time, she made her point clear... Rogues are raised to hate Royals, hunters and ordinary werewolves alike, feeding lies into our heads that make it impossible to believe anything that the Royals stand for... Katie was able to show me something else with a few kind gestures. I could go on, but after seeing this, I was able to get the confidence to take the Prometheus evaluation.”