The Alpha King’s Claim chapter 17 by desirenovel
A bright flash of light welcomed me at the end of the portal. I winced and in reflex, used my hand to cover my eyes. When the bright light faded, I adjusted myself to the surroundings and saw where I was.
I was in a cave and the biggest I had been in my entire life. The stalagmites and stalactites were colossal. There was a narrow river a few paces behind me and the water was running into a darkened path. In front of me was an altar of some sort with lots of incense burning that my nostrils didn’t particularly like.
“Look what we have here,” someone said nearby. It was from a man’s, and I wouldn’t have known him to be short and stout if he didn’t step into the light with me.
I furrowed my brows, confused with what was happening. The environment itself made me nervous, but I tried to calm myself. It was the only way since I basically entered the portal without thinking of the consequences.
“Where am I? Who are you?” I asked the basic questions, hugging my shoulder bag as if it was my weapon ready for me to use should the man plan to hurt me.
I sensed an air of arrogance around him. Plus, he didn’t look friendly at all. He was grinning like a bobcat. It gave me the chills.
“Ah, yes, the usual questions I get from a human,” he stated, looking at me like I was food.
My brow lifted.
“Let me explain your situation missy.” He adjusted his jumper into position and then snorted. “I own you now. You took the bait, you fell into my trap. You’ll fetch me a good sum if one of my customers like you.”
I didn’t exactly understand what the man said, but with him mentioning something about ‘customers’, I reckoned he was a shady businessman.
“What makes you think I’ll stand by and let you own me? I have free will, mister. You can’t just announce something that sensitive.”
“Oh you don’t exactly know what you just walked right in,” he countered, giving me a proud grin.
Just then, I felt my body go numb. My knees went weak and my hands turned clammy. Seconds later, my sense of balance disappeared. My head contacted the ground in a matter of seconds. A lightning pain shot through my head and then followed by my surroundings turning black.
When I came to consciousness, I was in some sort of room, lying in a makeshift bed that had seen better days. I heard the sounds of women chatting and whimpering in front of me and muffled sounds of people past the wall behind me.
I sat up, groaning when I felt the shooting pain in my head again.
“You should lie back down,” a woman said near me, “you’ll need it later when it’s your turn.”
I glanced at her and studied her appearance. She was wearing a revealing dress that was cut all the way up to the knees. Her boobs were pushed up and her long, blonde hair was tied into a ponytail. She looked like a prostitute honestly with all the heavy make-up she wore, but I didn’t want to be rude so I erased that thought inside my head.
“What do you mean ‘when it’s my turn?’ I asked instead.
She looked at me in a sad face. “Since you were Mr. Manross’s latest addition, you have no idea at all. That’s understandable. Look around you and you’ll see.”
I frowned, but just as she suggested, I examined the area a lot closer. As I already established earlier, yes there were a lot of women inside the room with me, but I just noticed now, they were actually wearing the same revealing dress like the blonde woman talking to me. Some of the women were hooked in a conversation while some were actually crying.
Crying? No woman would actually cry in public unless her safety was threatened.
“I don’t know if you noticed, but you’re also wearing the same clothes as we do,” the blonde told me. Immediately, my eyes rounded and I looked down. A surprised breath left my mouth when I realized she was right.
“We are slaves now. Mr. Manross, the short man you met earlier, is our owner. All women here await their fate beyond these walls.”
“What is happening outside of this room?” I asked. I could still hear the sound of people outside the room and a man audibly talking and…counting? It appeared that he was actually counting, but to what?
“When it’s your turn, you’ll be taken on the platform and be displayed for inspection of his customers,” the blonde told me. “It’s like you’re being auctioned off. The highest bidder will get to take you home…or more specifically, their home, wherever that is.”
“This is not happening…” I murmured, slowly panicking deep inside. “I can’t be here! I can’t become a slave! I have a life!”
“We all do, dear,” a second woman much older than blondie stated, “But unfortunately, we are trapped here until someone gets us out or auctions us off for that matter.”
“How did this happen? How did it come to this?” I asked. I had a feeling how but I wanted to hear their own take of the story.
“Well, I’m pretty sure we all stepped into a portal in an abandoned building near Henswell Street,” blondie mock laughed. “Mrs. Therese over there had been here for three months. No customer has ever purchased her and because of it, she was able to observe the routine in this place.”
“What routine?” I parroted after glancing at the aforementioned woman.
“She said Mr. Manross’s has powers. Using it, he establishes a connection between our world to this world and lures would-be victims to step into the portal and be trapped. He uses a potential victim’s innermost desire to capture her. It could be in the form of a past love, a husband, or a dead daughter or son. They then act as a luring agent where it guides you to the abandoned building where the portal is waiting.”
“This can’t be true.” I wanted to deny it, but all her words were spot on. In my case, the luring agent was the wolf which I stupidly thought as Aero. But really now? Blondie said this Manross guy uses the victim’s innermost desire. How could Aero become my innermost desire?
This is absurd.
“In addition, once a victim is hooked, she won’t be able to question the presence of the portal. She will be compelled to jump right into it without a second thought. This happened to all of us. I work as a professor at a nearby university in Fort Saint. Seeing a portal in an abandoned building would have been already a red flag for me, but I stepped inside anyway, strongly compelled by his power.”
“I can’t believe this is actually happening,” I replied, feeling a little bit guilty. I knew already the existence of other realms. I knew already that the portal could take me to one of these realms. I admit, maybe I was that naive to think it would put me back in Phanteon.
“Any idea what customers we are dealing with when we stand on top of the platform?” I continued.
Blondie tipped her head up, gesturing to a group of women secretly conversing,
“They are deliberating as of now which is the lesser evil: be purchased by one of his customers or be trapped in this routine like Mrs. Theresa.”
“Why? What’s wrong with this guy’s customers?” I actually expected heads of gangsters or mafia bosses with trust issues and a heavy hand, but nothing prepared me to hear what’s next.
“Oh dear, you don’t know do you?” the second woman said, giving me sharp eyes. “They are vampires.”