Jongin swallowed hard, shifting back as Lucas threateningly approached him with a lash in hand. The omega maids responsible for his whereabouts were already flogged and branded on the forehead with death sentences once back to their realm. In Lucas's eyes, their carelessness towards his omega was felonious.
Jongin shivered, unable to help the trickle of fear and pure hatred for the sick creature who had tortured innocent omegas and was now heading for him.
He winced when he saw him raising whip in his hand. It was a wicked-looking whip with several knots in it. It was different from what Raven's king had asked his guards to use on the poor omega maids.
The whip in Lucas's hand was sinister and could easily strip the skin from the body.
The looks on the guards' faces made Jongin realised the trouble he was in.
He knew something terrible was about to happen.
"You dared to spread your legs for someone who wasn't me," Lucas mocked, lips turned down in disapproval. He circled Jongin's trembling body slowly as if quivering omega was his prey.
"If not for me you would have been serving several gruff, horny alphas and betas in the brothel you were born." He brought the whip down with such force that it whistled through the air but didn't let it touch Jongin's beautifully tanned skin. He wanted to savour the fear that was emanating from Jongin.
On realising Lucas's scheme Jongin gulped, sweat already forming on his forehead and entire body heating up at the fear of being lashed.
He wasn't ready for the game Lucas aimed to play. He wished it was all over by now.
If the death was his end then he wished it to come sooner.
"You are birthed by some whore I don't even remember and yet you have the nerve to go against me!" Lucas yelled and this time he used all his strength to bring the whip down on Jongin's back. The whip cut through Jongin's tunic and his skin. The crack of the whip as it struck his skin made everyone cringe. Jongin's eyes burned as pain ripped through his body and he cried out in pain. The painful cry and never-ending hits made everyone shut their eyes in horror.
Drops of blood flicked into the air as Lucas brought the whip back again and again.
Jongin uncontrollably sobbed and whimpered in torturing pain begging him to stop but as much as Jongin hoped the cold-blooded alpha to stop, he knew he wouldn't.
Another heart-wrenching cry left Jongin's mouth as the omega felt the pain that he hadn't felt before.
It was agonising and he knew it was just the beginning.
“Is it true?!” Yixing screeched, bursting into the room. Chanyeol sighed, straightening the cuffs of his tunic.
“Be more specific, Yixing,” He spoke, turning around to face his brother, who was bathed in sweat as if he had run thousands of miles to reach up to him.
“Regina's prince bedded father's new possession?” He asked, eyes full of disbelief.
Jongdae stiffened, eyes widen in shock. He looked at Yixing then at Chanyeol for more information.
“Yes,” Chanyeol answered blatantly.
Yixing lips parted as he gaped at his brother.
“WHAT? But how?" Jongdae added, joining the conversation.
"That's none of your concern," Chanyeol spoke with a tinge of abhorrence, holding grudges against Jongdae for walking on him last night.
"Chanyeol can we not bring last night conversation in this matter. Let bygones be bygones." Yixing spoke on behalf of Jongdae who pretended to have a bigger ego than Chanyeol.
Giving a nonchalant shrug, Chanyeol sat at the foot of the bed and looked at them with an unreadable expression.
"Brother, we all know why Jongdae reacted that way. We are short in time and your little escapade with licentious Nia got us nowhere." Yixing mumbled. He glanced at Jongdae, wordlessly telling him to man up and speak up for himself.
Jongdae taking up the hint very well walked up to Chanyeol and sat next to him.
"Brother, I apologise for my temperament. It wasn't appropriate." He admitted his mistake and genuinely asked for the apology.
Chanyeol nodded his head, accepting his step brother's apology. However, the more ominous side of him is revealed through his jealousy and lack of forgiveness.
"Chanyeol," Yixing spoke catching the said man's attention.
"By any chance, this mess was caused by you?" He almost whispered, stepping closer to the edge of the bed.
"He made a good scapegoat for everything that had been going wrong lately." Chanyeol snickered softly remembering how he planted Lucas's most valued omega in Prince Jules's bed-chamber.
And to make it easy, the valued omega was in heat making a perfect prey for a predator like Jules.
On listening Chanyeol's offensive comment where Jongdae blinked blankly Yixing clenched his jaw.
"Chanyeol! This is insane! You… why would you do something like that?" Yixing asked, eyes full of disbelief.
The said man shrugged, rising on his feet, walking towards the window.
"Do you even realise how many lives you have put in danger with your scheme?" He added voice coated with absolute disappointment.
Chanyeol turned back and faced Yixing. "As you said we were short in time and this incident would compensate for all the time lost!" He answered with a levelled voice.
"You will make up to the lost time by putting innocent omega in danger?" He questioned, looking straight into Chanyeol's beady and harsh eyes.
"He was just another whore meant for warming king's bed," Chanyeol argued, stepping into Yixing's space threateningly.
"He's our brother, we share the same blood!" Yixing yelled and the next thing he knew he was harshly thrust against the wall with Chanyeol's strong hand around his neck.
"Don't call King's bedwarmer our brother. He's the son of a whore who managed to catch our sickening father's eyes." Chanyeol enunciated each word dangerously tightening his hold around Yixing's neck.
Jongdae quickly got hold of Chanyeol and pulled him away from Yixing making the latter drop on the ground coughing.
"Brother, calm down please." Jongdae pleaded, holding him at a place.
"He... poor omega... he doesn't deserve this..." Yixing coughed, shaking his head in complete resentment.
"And what about us?! Do we deserve this? Despite being born with royal blood in our veins we are nothing but just a pawn to our sorry excuse of a father." Chanyeol shrugged Jongdae's hands away and shouted at the panting alpha.
"He might be our brother, just like hundreds of others whose mothers were bedded by our debauched father but it doesn't mean we go on a spree to rescue every one of them," Chanyeol mocked, snorting slightly. He paced into bedroom relentlessly trying his best to appease the rage building in him.
"We can't save every one of them. At least he could be of some use as he will make our way towards our purpose apparent." Chanyeol let out frowning.
"We could have saved him at least." Yixing echoed.
"Why should we? What difference it would have made?" Chanyeol asked, eyebrows raised.
"It would have made us a better person than our father is. What you did today was nothing different from what our father has been doing." The hint of failure in Yixing's voice made Chanyeol see red. Despite Jongdae's strong grasp over him, he managed to get to Yiixng and pulled him up on his feet once again shoving him to the wall with a loud plop.
"Don't start something you can't finish!" he warned eyes blazing crimson red.
"Brother... please," Jongdae called, pacifying fuming alpha.
Chanyeol snapped furiously however released Yixing pushing away and strode out of the room his anger rippling through him.
Jongdae quickly helped Yixing on his feet and made him sit on the chair next to the wall. He flashed Yixing a sad smile before taking a seat next to him.
"Yixing, let us just trust Chanyeol with this. We are in this together. We need to put our trust in him." He spoke, hoping that Yixing would not hear the tremble in his voice.
They both were scared to bones. With Chanyeol in the scene, there will always be a tendency for emotional flare-ups, especially anger or short-tempered spurts, but just as quickly as they experience an outburst, the emotion recedes.
Chanyeol might be on their side but he was a reflection of their father- Lucas. He was Lucas's firstborn and rightful heir of Raven's throne. The only thing that differentiated them from each other was the path they chose to walk on. Where Lucas was a worshipper of Demon, Chanyeol believed to be a descendant of Zeus , who had cursed Lucas and their ancestors to be shape-shifters.
Unline Reginas and other packs in realms, Ravens were cursed to be shapeshifters. Their blood was purest of all as they were first to step on the earth as werewolves.
Other packs like Reginas were given a chance to be one, they were brought on earth to eliminate the packs like Ravens who had long forgotten about their curse and turned this bane into the power of the beast.
"How long are we going to be like this? I'm afraid we are becoming just like our father." Yixing muttered, sitting on the bed, blood pounding in his head.
"We are not. We don't worship devil like him. Chanyeol is right we can't be compared with him." Jongdae argued, sucking in a few breaths.
"Don't forget we are his offspring and that also makes us great, great-grandson of King Lyacon." Yixing let out with tears threatening his tired eyes.
"We are bound to make a mistake. We are cursed! Each of us is." Jongdae bit his lip, trying hard to stop tears trickling at the corner of his eyes. The saddest part of it all is that the silly future what they have been dreaming ever since they turned eighteen was nothing but a mere desire. To fulfil it they had to go against all odd but above all their sire- who had long back taken the path of sin.
Their father whose ancestors were punished by the deity for their mistake; instead of begging for their forgiveness had shaken the hand with the devil.
Raven's founder- King Lycaon was punished by Zeus, the sky and thunder god for killing their own son Nycitmus and serving his flesh to test Zeus's omniscience.
Lyacon performed it to impress the demon and asked the immortality in return of it.
Zeus on knowing Lyacon's scheme punished and anathematised his realm for the wickedness he committed.
The sky and thunder god refused to give its blessing to their realm, hence Raven's land had been ostracised from the grace of rainfall for several decades.
The shapeshifters in Raven were deserted. Tired of long, waterless summer they requested their kings to ask forgiveness and lift the curse from their realm but none of the ancestors paid heed rather they chose to be ignorant and made deal with the demon who indeed offered them with a stream but at the cost of their people lives.
By now Raven's ruler became the worshipper of the demon. The devil they worshipped demanded sacrifices. From countless animals to fertile omega; every year they were killed in the name of demon they chanted.
In return, they were rendered with the power everybody envied. None of the packs indulged themselves in any kind of rivalry with them because they knew the result would always end in Raven's favour with fatal consequences for them to bear.
Among all the packs on the earth, Ravens were the only one who had the exaltation of taming flying beasts- Griffin .
Griffin, the Lion-eagles were gifted to Ravens for their loyalty towards demons.
Just like many other things; Demon's valuable possession Griffin too came with a price. A price which every ruling King of Raven had to fulfil.
The ruling King of Raven will have to provide his 5th son's flesh for Griffin to feed on.
Griffin accepted King's 5th son's heart to be their pet for another century until the next ruler comes in continuation.
The aforementioned ritual was practised by every single King of Raven and would have been repeated by future King Chanyeol too only if 5th son of Lucas has not happened to be his loving brother Sehun .
As planned, On Sehun's fifteenth winter; Lucas, the leader of Raven will offer his heart to Griffin to continue the custom started by his forefathers.
Despite of the growing radicalism of his sons, Lucas's loyalty to the hellhounds remained surprisingly strong.
He left no room for arguments which led Chanyeol to commence his combat.
Ever since he came to know that Sehun was the one who had to be sacrificed in the name of ritual, he had been scheming secretly against their king.
Moreover joining hands with various packs and winning their support was part of it.
For others, it might appear that Ravens are brutally capturing different packs against their will but in reality, Ravens are at war with each other.
Jongdae drew in a deep breath. "We are no different from Chanyeol," He let out grabbing Yixing's attention.
The latter gave him a sceptic look which he ignored entirely.
"Don't act as if you don't know." He added.
Yixing narrowed his eyes at him, clenching his trembling hand. They aren't supposed to even think about it and here his brother has dared to speak it aloud.
"Don't even think about it!" Yixing's voice boomed with a firmness.
"Yeah, right. I won't but before blaming him for cheating or being wrong, think about what we did." Jongdae murmured at length, sounding nearly drowning.
Yixing clenched his eyes shut before telling his brother to shut his mouth.
"Chanyeol is our scapegoat. Isn't it brother?" Jongdae breathed out with a pathetic chuckle.
Yixing fell silent again. His unconscious mind didn't want to make a liar of him but he knew better than anyone that a deceiver lived within him.
Where Chanyeol was conspiring against the King, Jongdae and Yixing contrived against their half brother- Crown Prince Chanyeol.
Just like Chanyeol, they too had their reason.
The war among the Ravens had to end though under the cloud of war, it is humanity hanging itself on a cross of iron.
The battle over virtue was about to get even more brutal.