Forged In The Flames By Karima Sa’ad Usman
Chapter 27 Lets Talk About The Past (Aliana POV)
The day was very long. I did not know if I should remain in the palace or spend the night in my father’s house.
Nikolas had told me he wouldn’t be spending more than two days in Hill, so there was a possibility he would return the next day and not tonight. He wasn’t in danger of anything on the road, so he might return tonight, but I doubted he would want to rush.
I decided I would spend the night in my father’s house.
I knew I couldn’t do that again once Nikolas returned. I also doubted I would want to spend the night away from Nikolas once he returned.
I closed for the night and linked Beta Qusack to inform him I would stay in my father’s house.
He was silent for a bit but then responded that it was okay. I thanked him and headed to my father’s house.
I had a lot of things bottled up inside me that I wanted to ask my father before Nikolas returned. I hoped my father would be honest and tell me exactly what happened with King Mathias.
All I had heard so far was that my father and his friends were the villains in the story, but my father was a peace-loving man. I could not see him actively moving against the King. Or maybe I was wrong because I wasn’t born when it happened.
My father hadn’t even mated with my mother then. Could his values have changed over the years? Could he have realised his mistakes and has been living in regrets? I could never tell until I spoke to him, and he has divulged his truth.
I was uncomfortable with my mission because I did not know how it would end. His health has been better since I started going to care for him. Nikolas had kept his promise on food, and there was a lot to eat. They were also allowed to buy and sell in the market. Anyone that refused to allow the werewolves was dealt with.
The only down part was we could not leave Forest, we could not choose our jobs, and we weren’t paid as well as the Lycans. What the werewolves were given was more of an allowance than wages. Still, the werewolves were getting by with free groceries on Saturdays and rights to buy and sell in the market. My father had stated clearly that we had it better than others.
As much as I hated to think about it, I, too, was getting a taste of what my life would be without Nikolas if he decided to end it.
The werewolves did not like me because I reeked of him. He had marked me with his scent, so there was no way I could wash him off.
I doubted I would be able to meet anyone and settle down after this, as much as I tried to be happy and take Nikolas’s words for it. Gezel’s words rang in my head. If he casts me aside, I will be alone. It was a bleak future if things go in that route, but a tiny part of me prayed it would be otherwise. I prayed it would work out and Nikolas would keep his promises to me.
I knocked on my father’s door, and he answered immediately.
“Princess, I thought you would sleep in the palace tonight,” he said when he opened the door. He looked tired, and I could smell food.
“Having dinner?” I asked him, stepping in, and he moved aside for me to enter and left me at the door to close it.
There was a plate of food on the table, and it had no protein in it. It was plain rice.
“Rice?” I asked him, and he nodded and said down to eat it.
“Too tired to cut up vegetables and prepare a steak. This would do,” he said, and I took the bowl from him.
“It won’t take time; I will make us some stir-fried vegetables and steak to have with the rice,” I said, and he smiled and relaxed on the couch.
“When is your boyfriend returning?” he asked me, inquiring of Nikolas, and I blushed.
My father suspected I had feelings for him. After telling me to be careful many times, he dropped the matter and accepted things.
“I hope you know it would be short-lived?” He asked me with concern, and I nodded and smiled. There was no point telling him what Nikolas had promised me. That was between Nikolas and me.
“I do not see him as King with you by his side. Even Mathias did not marry his fated. She was pregnant before she died, you know. He remained single and would have raised their baby together.
Unfortunately, she died the same night she gave birth. It was mysterious because her baby was stillborn. Mathais never saw the baby and her corpse, his half-brother Leon helped him with the funeral. The two were close,” My father said, and I saw he was going down memory lane. He had just given me information that he had never discussed with me.
“Why would an evil King have a werewolf mate?” I asked him: he sighed and bowed his head. His eyes were misty.
“He wasn’t always that way, Princess. I try not to tell you the story because it was the past, but with all the talk of werewolves being traitors now flying around, I think it is best I tell you the whole story because I know you can’t be having it easy in the palace too.
I doubt Nikolas would trust you. He might even be playing with your emotions to hurt you and hurt me since I am the one they all believed betrayed the King. I fought King Mathias, Princess. Don’t get it wrong, but it isn’t how they make it sound,” he said and got off the chair to help me in the kitchen.
The living room was in the same space as the kitchen, so it was easy for us to communicate. My father picked up the aubergine and helped me prepare it.
“King Mathias was my friend. I was his beta,” he said, and I was shocked.
“Yes, he was kind and did not see the divide between us. When King Fedrick ascended the throne, he wanted to enforce a slavery law, called the Lycan Unity law, on the werewolves, but
Mathias kicked against it. Aleksander was a coward, so he was the neutral party.
He did not have the might to go for battles, and his land was poor, so he had to keep his head down and answer to Mathias and Fredrick.
Mathais was the richest King because Forest had the richest lands in our world. We had ample natural resources, so everyone traded with us. Our vast army consisted mostly of werewolves, so we couldn’t be intimidated. It was a vast empire.
Before Mathias became King, there was a subtle divide between the Lycans and werewolves; see it more like racism.
The Lycans believed they were superior to us. Their evolution differentiated us. They had special abilities and could stand on their hind legs, while we depended on fate and nature to survive.
Mathias had the largest werewolf army, making him a very powerful king. Werewolves were best in the army because they were strong, easy to coordinate, and moved in unison.
Lycans tend to want to act solo, which is why there are a lot of rogues among them. They aren’t entirely loyal unless they know you can beat them. They cannot be coordinated like the werewolves, which made us very valuable.
However, we were still regarded as lesser wolves.
When the Unity law was presented, Mathias refused to sign it because of us. He had a werewolf beta and gamma. How could he sign such a law?
We were his friends. We weren’t that close, but we were close enough. When he started seeing Olive, we hoped he would marry her and she would be the first werewolf Queen, but the committee kicked against it. They said he either gave up his kingship to marry her or remain King and keep her as his mistress because they did not want a halfbreed heir.
Mathias would have given it up, but Leon, his half-brother, convinced Olive to plead with him and remain as his mistress.
Mathias agreed but claimed her, making it impossible for either to have other spouses.
Some believed they might have been fated, but we would never know,” He said and finished dicing the aubergine, then picked up the Cauliflower while I prepared the steak.
“Anyway, when she and their baby died, Mathias was devastated for months. To console him, Leon introduced him to Isabelle, the sister of King Fedrick.
It took a while for them to click, but her kind and loving nature made him like her, and he decided to marry her.
The wedding was quiet because Mathias felt he was betraying Olive. Sometimes he would divulge his inner feeling to me, and I would console him.
As kind as Isabelle was, she hated werewolves, which was understandable because she was Fedrick’s sister.
I noticed her effort to like us.
She put in a lot of effort, but sometimes her hatred would sip through. One thing I respected her for was that she never acted on it. She tried for Mathias’s sake, and I could almost believe her hatred dissipated.” He said and stopped what he was doing, and sighed. I guess he was getting to the hard part.