2 PROLOGUE - EDITED VERSION

I am sure everyone could agree with me that there was a time in each of our lives that we were innocent, completely living in the bliss that comes with the oblivion of the evil that moves across the earth through the beings which live on it.

You know everything always feels easier and lighter as a child, you have no worries, whether your guardian can provide food on your dining table or not, it wasn't your concern.

However, the older we get, the more things become complicated. Sometimes, it may be the loss of protection or the loss of free meals from our guardian, it may also be the said guardian leaving you to fend for yourself, whether it be death that took them or they left you willingly, all the same. They left you in this cruel world.

Some of us die in the process, others survive and may end up living miserably or a life of satisfaction.

Occasionally, the responsibility to raise the child of the deceased guardian is given to another living family member that the council or court decides is most capable to handle the troubles that come with it.

His Royal Highness King Erik of the Northern Wolfmen in the land of Pohjola was what everyone called a strong peaceful able leader of our country which had been named Louhi by the great Boreas himself the god of the northwind and winter and his daughter Khione the goddess of snow.

Legend foretells that when the earth was still new and life on it had just begun after the Creator of life had finished his work of creation and assigned a god to each creation, the gods went separate ways in twos, threes, fours and fives. They were given divine authority by the Creator to search and claim lands not claimed by the other to rule over with their abilities. They were restricted to the continent of Mu and weren't supposed to interact with other continents since that is where you humans live.

Boreas and his first daughter Khione found our country and took dominion over it, they gave us spring, summer, autumn and winter. It's with these seasons we use to count the years.

The spring ushers in the new years, summer follows and lasts for a few moons which amount to weeks and then it gets colder bringing in autumn that always births the long winter days which by the way is my favourite time of the year.

The spring always carried the rain with it, dark grey clouds rumble to alert us the beginning of a new time and season, of new life because it is during this time our crops grow and we hold what we like to call The Plantation Festival where we celebrate and plant just about anything that could grow on our soil.

The animals come out from their hiding place they made refuge in during the winter to mate with the opposite gender of their kind. My people consist more of farmers than hunters, and we store our food in large houses made with kai which we also call everlasting ice even if it is not as cold as ice.

Our ancestors found it in a cave a couple of thousand years ago, and ever since then we could only use it to break another because other metals just couldn't crack it or bend it, it also couldn't melt in fire, it might as well be the hardest substance known to our kind.

However, we could use them like bricks that could then be joined together with clay to make our buildings. It was mostly used to build our castle, and we decorate it with the green grasses and flowers nature provides us during spring, but they all wither when autumn and winter comes around. While commoners just used stones and rocks to build theirs and decorate with wildflowers or none at all.

Summer always came with a blazing sun, and we're not used to the heat, we prefer the winter's cold or it could just be me. It had never been my favourite time of the year because it always felt too hot to go outside and play.

The summer gave me another reason to hate it.

It was an unfortunate day one midsummer afternoon when I was six years of age, my uncle walked into the royal garden where I, my grandmother, my two-year-old sister and our maidens were. My grandmother, sister and I were having tea while my sister wore the tea every chance she got. Well, thank goodness it was only pretend.

In our garden, we let nature decide how, where and which plants grow. It is nature's finest art, allowing things to grow according to their essence. Wild, just like my heart. I love my freedom, and I and my people love an easy way of life.

We plant different kinds of crops for food, we dig out more kai for building, the children get to play in the green forests of our kingdom, our elders teach us young ones the ways of our people and how to live. At the age of fifteen, we pick a job that we connect with the most and stick with it till we die.

We royals are separated from the rest because our lessons are different, we are taught to rule instead of growing crops, we are taught how to locate a cave that has kai, we are taught about other beings and their lands, our friends and foes. It's boring for me because I just want to play and have tea parties with my grandmother.

Her name is Amy, she says she's no longer queen so no one should call her with her title and it's a sign of great disrespect to call our elders by their name, so everyone just calls her grandmother. I never knew my grandfather and I forget his name much too many times so I just stopped trying to know it.

Grandmother likes to play the role of our mother since ours claim to be busy beyond our imaginations. Her words, not mine.

Grandmother's empty teacup falls as her second son delivers the news of the death of her first child and his wife, they had been killed on their voyage to see a witch for some sort of potion for things I don't understand till today. All I knew was that I'd never see my father and mother again.

I had only seen them in the flesh four times every season of the year since the day I could make sense of my surroundings. The only thing that reminds me of their existence is the statues made in their likeness with kai. They are placed amongst the statues of our ancestors dating back to the first royal household.

Because I didn't truly know them, I can't say their death touched me. I didn't shed a tear while I watched the entire kingdom mourn their loss. My little sister and I seem to be the only wolfwomen who didn't know the king and queen enough to mourn them.

While grandmother wailed at the ceremony we hold for the dead which we call "the passing". We burn their bodies into ash then everyone dips a finger into the ash and place it on their tongue. It is very important to us because it signifies that even if they are dead they still live on in us.

Only the passing held for the royals does everyone in our kingdom gather to place the ash of the dead on their tongue so that their rulers live on in them. For the rest of our people, it is only the family members who place the ash of the dead on their tongues, so their loved ones live on in them.

I was told to blow the remaining ashes into the wind to which everyone followed but instead of ash, they used dust. They told me it's a sign that their soul can run wild and free, whereas the spirit remains in us.

According to the scroll the council read from, I am in line to the throne but because I was too young to rule, my uncle took the responsibility. He vowed with his blood to hand over the crown to me when I turn twenty-five years of age.

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His coronation was a bit over the top for my taste. It was held outdoors in a large clearing capable of holding over three hundred thousand wolfmen and wolfwomen as well as children. It was in the afternoon during the time Khione blessed us with snow that fell from the sky onto our lands covering everything in a blanket of shimmering white ice.

I believe he requested for the ice to be moulded into pillars and placed at the four corners of the open field. I think he should have just used kai instead because ice from snow comes from our goddess and if not used properly it is rumoured to end your life by freezing you to death.

Golden linens were woven into a twist and wrapped around each pillar, this, however, looked pretty to me. The ice looked pure and the golden linen on it gave it a regal look fit for a royal. I was told it represents purity and wealth, this means his wealth for our country Louhi will come from a place of purity.

What I felt was really over the top is creating a new crown for himself out of pure gold, they travelled to the land of El Dorado in the City of the Caesars where the Southern Bloodsukers otherwise known as vampires reside, they bought gold with the blood given by some of our people, meanwhile the generational crown made from kai that all our ancestors wore thousands of years ago sat in a crest in the shelf of the Royal book room.

Besides that everything seemed alright to me. What did I know? I was only 6 years of age after all.

My people and I are peaceful beings by nature and meddling in the affairs of other countries had never been something to consider because we were content with who we are and what we have.

All Wolfmen turn into wolves only on a full moon and remain that way till sunrise. The things that differentiate us from other countries' wolfmen are the colour of our fur and the conditions we are most comfortable in. Like I said I and my people are most comfortable in the north where it's cold most of the year. 

From the ripe age of two, we are placed in the middle of the forest within our land and once the moon is bright and round our body begins to shift into wolves. We were told it didn't appear like we were in pain only asleep, and we would stay that way till the sun rises.

Every full moon after that we shift into white wolves and roam the forest. It is said that Boreas comes out to play with us when we are in this form, and he wipes out memories of our meetings with him, that's why we don't remember anything the next day.

We're not necessarily strong or super fast like the bloodsukers of the City of the Caesars.

Generally, Wolfmen shift into large wolves with their four limbs on the ground, we royals stand on our two back limbs which makes us look larger and intimidating to the other Wolfmen, and we are naturally a bit stronger than the others. I guess that's nature's way of saying who the leaders are.

Every Northern Wolfman has white fur coating their entire wolf form regardless of the family they are from. It is only the royals that have golden coloured fur occupying a straight line that goes around the crown of their head to form a circle and the rest of our body is covered in white fur.

It truly has been a peaceful time amongst our kind, I say so because we mind our business.

After my uncle took the throne, he became His Royal Highness King Adonis of the country of Louhi, everyone went on with their way of life like nothing changed, the only difference was the absence of my parents was replaced with kai statues of their lookalike and my cousins with their mother moved into the castle.

We always thought things would never change for us from then on but unknown to us things were about to completely change, and we were not prepared for it.

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