That Beauty is The Beast
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Belle is a rare and odd beauty among her pack. Unlike the lycans in her pack who can combine themselves with their wolves when they shift, she can only become a full wolf or a full human. She is different, but that does not mean that she is weak. With her being the newly appointed beta of the pack, the alpha assigned her a mission to infiltrate the hunters and learn their secrets. Their lands are dying, and if they cannot find another way to defeat the hunters, their pack will starve. She was able to enrol as a hunter in the human academy thanks to her unique ability to conceal her lycan features. But the more she learns at the academy, the more she realizes she is siding with the wrong people. More mysteries emerge as she learns that she is not the only lycan who can shift between human and wolf forms. But the more she tries to learn about these werewolves, the more she is hampered by Ajax Finnegan, another hunter in training at the academy who is just as strong as she is. Will Belle continue to side with the lycans, or will she continue her search for answers from these so called werewolves?
Lycans are a race of half human and half werewolf. When they shift, they become rabid and powerful beasts that could easily tear you limb from limb. They stand on their two legs like a human, but their overall appearance is that of a wolf. They are beautiful and magnificent creatures - well, unless you are the recipient of their attack. Their human forms are even more magnificent because it is their human side that prevails.
“Belle,” Ingrid, my father, gently pats my shoulder to snap me out of my daydream. My father, unlike me, has auburn hair with a series of white streaks from old age. His right eye is blind, which makes others view him as a weak link in the Lycan pack. He isn’t, at least from before he lost one of his eyes.
He was one of the strongest warriors in the Lycan pack, attacking the hunters head on to save the Alpha’s son a long time ago. “Are you nervous?”
“Kind of.” I answer him. The leather dress that I’m wearing suddenly felt a little cold underneath the ceremonial fur coat that I am wearing. “Not everyone will respect me. Do I even deserve this?” Doubt is starting to cloud my mind. I turn to my father, probably the only man in the pack that I trust the most aside from our alpha.
“Of course, you do. After saving our pack from the hunters, you have proven your worth as the most powerful warrior in the pack. And if they ever try to challenge you, you show them what you can do.” He places his hands on my shoulders and smiles. Wrinkles appear on the side of his cheeks from the brewing emotions in his grin. “For what it is worth, I am already proud of you.”
A horn blew outside of the tent that we are in, signaling that it is time for me to enter. My father parted the curtains made of snake bones so I could exit. I smile at my father before heading outside.
The soft beating of the ceremonial drums echoes in the secret cave where our pack resides. I walk barefoot on the gravel sand to head to where Alpha Lupert Gastoven stands waiting for me in the circular arena where most of the duels and ceremonies are held. His son, Maximus, stands beside his father, wearing a fur vest and leather pants that were as fancy as the alpha. His tanned skin only made his silver hair stand out more, and the way that he cut his hair short only made his pointed ear more visible.
One thing about Lycan wolves is that even if they become humans, their race's distinctive characteristics are still visible, from their pointed ears to their brightly glowing predator eyes. Like I said before, they are beautiful, whereas I, who don’t have the features of a lycan, look so plain.
“Belle Lycansten.” When the alpha called for my name, I immediately headed over to kneel before him. “Do you solemnly swear your loyalty to the pack and its people?”
“Yes.” I answer without raising my head.
“Do you swear that you would use your position not for personal benefits but for your Alpha and your people?”
“Rise.” I got to my feet as he commanded and lifted my head towards my Alpha. He beckoned me to face the crowd, which I did without hesitation. I see all the faces of the other lycans painted in blue and red just for this celebration. “If anyone is opposed to the idea, speak up now. As tradition, anyone is welcome to challenge her for the position.”
I already expected that there would be someone who would not be happy with having a round eared girl like me to become their protector and their second in command.
“Me! I would like to challenge her.” Alex, Max’s best friend, raises his hand. I am not that surprise to see him opposing. He never really liked me and would constantly bully me when I was a kid. I bet seeing the girl that he once picked on to become his Beta probably struck a nerve with him.
When our eyes met, Alex smirked, as if I should be bothered or intimidated by him. I can only give him a blank look. I don’t want him to think that I’m scared or bothered by his challenge.
I am not the same weak little girl that he once thought I was. Besides, I think that this might be a pretty good opportunity for me to display my skills.
Alpha Lupert nods in acknowledgement of his challenge and gestures for him to enter the ring.
“A challenger wishes to take over Belle’s position as my beta. Belle, do you accept this challenge?”
“Yes, I accept.” It’s not like I have a choice. If I don’t, I automatically forfeit the match. It doesn’t matter; this match is just going to be quick. “I’ll be putting my position on the line.”
“Step on the ring, both of you.” The alpha commands.
The drums started to thunder while Alex and I stepped inside the circle drawn on the stage. I remain as calm as I can while Alex is already smiling like he knows that he is going to win.
“The first one to push the other off of the ring or whoever shall forfeit first will be the winner. Understood?” We nod our heads, letting them know that we acknowledge the rules. “Good. You may begin when the horn blows.” He says this before exiting the stage.
Alex and I look at each other while waiting for the signal. He takes off his fur vest and throws it to the side before he begins to morph. He starts to grow taller and his chest gets wider. Fur starts to grow all over his body, covering the bare skin that he once has when he is at his human dominant form. His nose elongates into a snout while his teeth and nails turn sharp that would allow him to cut me in half if I am not careful. Soon, a six foot tall lycan werewolf stands before me, howling aggressively in the air, which was soon followed by the others as they cheered for him.
I bet they all can’t wait until I am lying lifelessly on the ground at the hands of the werewolf before me.
When the horn started to blow, Alex wasted no time charging for me.
One negative thing about a shifted lycan is their speed. With their added size, it only slows them down, which made it easier for me to jump up and dodge his advances. I avoided his attack by jumping on his shoulder, then going into a sammersault to get behind him. As soon as I landed on the ground, I covered my entire body with my hood before I start to shift.
Unlike Alex’s morphed form, I did not stay on my two feet. I began to hunch until my hands and feet were on the ground. White fur emerged from my body and I let out a howl when I developed a snout and claws. I shook off my clothes just as Alex swiped at me. Compared to Alex, my shifted form is smaller, but it is not lacking when it comes to strength and speed—especially when it comes to speed.
I run to the side, my claws extending to stop myself from skidding out of the ring while I plan my next move. Adrenaline is coursing through my entire body while I hunch on the ground to ready myself to strike.
My wolf is not as strong as a lycan, but it is strong enough to take him down.
I did jump on his back and bit his shoulder, yanking hard to pull his muscles and bone. Not only did I make him bleed, but I also managed to dislocate his shoulder.
I heard him howl in pain and moved away immediately before his other hand could reach me. He’s already out of balance, so I take that opportunity to bite his achilles tendon, making him fall head first to the ground with a scream of pain.
I know that I was doing it overboard by attacking the tendon, but it is the only way for me to show to everyone that my wolf is not as weak as they thought it would be. Besides, he is a lycan. He should heal in about a month and a half.
He tried to get up and attempted to bite my neck, but I pulled his other leg, making him fall over again with a loud cry. I jump on his back, growling menacingly in his ear as my mouth opens to linger on his head. He begins to whimper and appear to be in a lot of pain, especially when my sharps claws are digging themselves into his skin. I can already smell his blood starting to taint my wolf’s white fur.
If I was really planning on killing Alex, I could have done it on the first blow of the horn. But I figured that I should give him that choice. He tried to fight me off and roll, but I stopped him by further digging my claws into his back and putting pressure on his neck with my teeth without breaking the skin.
This guy is making it mark for me to show him mercy!
He knows that it is a warning and that I am giving him a choice. Whatever he does now could either save his life or make me end it. I am just waiting for him to give me a signal.
Alex begins to whimper, I feel him growing smaller as he returns to his human form.
“I-I surrender.” He gasped. He could barely make out the words from the pain I inflicted on him. I could even smell a little bit of piss coming from him while the weight of my wolf was crushing him.
When the horn blew once more, signaling the end of the challenge, that’s when I got off of his back. Conflicted applause erupted from the crowd while the alpha entered the ring once again to announce the victor of this match.
Despite the bloody ring and the whimpering lycan behind him, the alpha appears to be smiling while he faces the crowd. He gestured for me to stand by his side, and I did, leaving Alex to be carried away by the medics in our pack. As I got to our Alpha’s side, I stood tall and proud in my wolf form, letting everyone see my blood coated fur to prove that I am the victor of this challenge.
“The winner of the tournament is... Belle Lycansten! Our pack’s new beta!” The alpha was announced and the applause only got stronger. From the crowd, I can see my father cheering and smiling. It appears that he was the only one who is genuinely happy about the news.
This is it. My life is finally going to change. Everyone has seen that I am strong and that the alpha has recognized my strength.
No longer will they laugh behind my back for being small and different. No longer will they think of me as the weak link for being an abnormal wolf - an abnormal beauty, as they used to call me.
I am strong and I am cruel, like a true lycan.
My name is Belle, and starting today, I am the Lycan’s new beta.
“That was a good match. It’s a little brutal for a girl, but hey, it is your debut as a beta. You just have to show the crowd who’s boss.” I have just finished arranging my clothes back on when I heard Max approaching. I fight the urge to roll my eyes when Max comes over to make a comment about my match with Alex. The ceremony for my debut as the pack’s beta finally ended with me emerging as the victor. I know that there will always be lycans who would be opposed to having me as their new beta, but they will just have to get used to it.
Max knows this as well, which I guess is probably the reason why he’s here in the first place—to once again give me his offer of ‘assistance’.
“Thanks, young lord Max.” I uttered my respect and lowered my gaze so as not to meet his.
“What’s with the strict formality?” He sounds amused when he asks me this. “You used to call me Max.”
“I am now the beta of this pack.” I tell him strictly, raising my head to see his expression. H
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