CHAPTER TWO:

The sound of metal on stone filled my chambers as I sharpen my sword. A gleaming piece of ebony metalwork. The blade four feet long, and sharper than any metal in the natural world. The cross guard was embedded with three rubies on both sides, and the ends of it is the snarling face of a wolf. The hilt was adorned with red leather, and the pommel was a large, sharp ruby.

The sword is very dear to me, as it was made by my brother, Jason.

"John, an urgent message for you. The council has requested your immediate presence." Emma stood in the doorway, her red robes trailing behind her.

I stood and bowed, "Thank you, Emma. You may return to your duties."

She bowed respectfully and left.

I turned and dressed in black silk pants, and a sleeveless red satin shirt. I combed my short brown hair, and pulled the back of it into a small ponytail. Enough hair remained to cover my forehead, and the side of my face.

I slipped on a pair of leather boots, and strapped my sword to my back.

The path to the council chamber is etched into my brain. Twisting tunnels of gleaming black rock, which eventually lead to a set of large, gold doors.

Usually, the council only requests my presence when an execution is in order. As far as I know, no prisoners have arrived as of late, and there's not that many out of coven executions anymore. So what could they want?

Two armed guards opened the doors, and announced my arrival. "Ser John Conner Scott, First Execution of the Empire Coven."

I went to one knee before the council, a group of nine elders, including my father, all grey-haired, long flowing beards, and solid black satin robes.

"Arise, Ser John." One of them said, Elder Cairn, I think.

I stood at attention.

"An urgent message has been sent from our sister coven in Brooklyn. They request help, as reports of a monstrous werewolf savage the area. They have sent their best executioners, but all been killed, or are missing."

I nodded.

"You are to track, and kill, the werewolf, and present the council of that coven with it's head." My father spoke loud and clear.

"Understood, father. I shall depart immediately."

"You will be gone by dawn."

I bowed, and took my leave.

A monstrous werewolf? New York is vampire territory. What could a werewolf be doing on this side of the Line? I suppose I will know soon enough…

I returned to my chambers, and packed a bag with human clothes (jeans, t-shirts, and such), food, and supplies.

I changed into a pair of dark grey jeans, a brown jacket, and a black short-sleeve t-shirt. I strapped a belt around my waist, and thrust two curved daggers through the back of it. The daggers are exact copies of my sword, and were also made by my brother.

I turned to the solid black ebony chest that was placed upon a table made of solid stone. It glowed with a dark aura. This is one of my most prized possessions. An item of great power, that allows you to pull any item out of it from anywhere. It is dark magic, and there are only ten in the world. It has no official name, but this has been handed down from executioner to executioner for generations, and is thus called The Executioner's Chest.

I placed my sword inside it, along with an ebony bow, as well as three different quivers filled with ebony arrows.

"John?" Jason must have been told, "Are you going somewhere?"

"Our sister coven in Brooklyn has requested assistance. I'll be gone a week, at most. You won't even notice that I've been gone."

Jason looked at the floor, his hands behind his back. "I made you something." He handed me a necklace. An ebony stone carved in the shape of a wolf's paw, with rubies for claws. It was on a string made of black mole-skin velvet.

I smiled as I placed it around my neck. It dangled between my pectoral muscles. "I love it."

I gave him a loving hug, and kissed the top of his head.

He smiled, his fangs barely showing. "When did your fangs start growing in? I'll have to take you on your first hunt when I get back."

He laughed at that. "I'm going to hold you to that, John."

I gave him another hug, and bowed. "I'll come see you as soon as I return, Jason."

I left him standing there, smiling like a fool.

I made my way out of the hidden cave, and exited out of small rock-covered hole a few miles from the Empire State Building.

The moon was out in full, and night was just starting. I cracked my neck, got on all fours.

Pain wracked my body as my clothes melted into my flesh, as my bones grew longer, as my face elongated, and black fur sprouted from my skin.

After a horrendous few minutes, the transformation was complete, and I went on towards my destination. As a wolf.