Chapter three

The Grenhil Pack
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Chapter three: The bells of Grenhil

The bells sounded harshly through the silent night. The moon had disappeared behind a vast blanket of dark clouds. His cold hands pulled on the rope one last time and once more the loud sound of the bells cut through the dark. Satisfied he bobbed his head as the sound echoed through the empty streets. Task one of the day was successful. Jihoon blinked his tired eyes as he supressed yet another yawn. It wasn’t time for sleep just yet. He ducked down and grabbed hold of his torch that he had carefully placed in the holder before. The slight warmth from the fire reaching his freezing fingers as he sighed tiredly. With his other hand he pulled his warm woollen coat tighter around his frame, the slim wooden walls of the bell tower didn’t keep the cold nor the wind outside.

With the torch in his hand he started descending down the stairway. Instinctively he walked towards the altar and mumbled his thanks before checking on the candle for the time. The vague line carved out in the wax was still visible, meaning he could relax a little before he had to light up the next candle.

Behind him he heard feet shuffle across the floor accompanied by squeaking wooden benches. “You can still sleep a bit longer, I’ll wake you up in time.” Jihoon called out softly.

More noise followed as the person sat up. Even in the dimly lit room the slight shake of his head was visible. “I’ve been sleeping long enough. Shouldn’t you lie down yourself? You’ve been awake the whole night to ring the bells on time.”

“I can wait a little longer.” Jihoon answered as he walked through the hall. Lighting the torches on the pillars as he passed, engulfing the room with light slowly but surely. The soft orange hue of the flames managed to easy his fatigue and calm his nerves. He sighed at his own unease, this wasn’t his first Yule. Why was he feeling this jittery? The wind was still howling outside the building but the dark clouds had started to drift further away from the white city roads. It looked like the weather would finally clear up.

“Jihoon…” A hand was placed on his shoulder, “You know that you don’t have to do everything alone right?”

Jihoon brushed the hand of his shoulder with his own as he turned around to face his younger brother. “And that is were you are wrong. Which you know just as well as I do.” Seokmin’s bright smile faded as his hand fell down towards his own side again. Jihoons expression softened a little as he watched his brother, “I promise you that I’ll sleep once I’m allowed to go.” He tried giving his best comforting smile while awkwardly patting his taller younger brother on the shoulder. “I’ll manage.” He gave Seokmin one more wink before he went back to the altar, kneeling down in front of it. The ceremonial robes had been laid out on the floor next to him.

“I can at least help you get dressed.” Seokmin had reached him and knelt down next to him. “Let me at least do something for you,” Jihoon shifted to see Seokmins eyes lighting up green towards him. “As your best friend.”

Jihoon smiled back at him, his own eyes flashing ice blue, “As my brother and my only family.” A hint of sadness rose on his soft features, “I still miss them…”

“Me too.” Seokmin gave Jihoon his best smile as the first tears appeared in the corners of his eyes. “But they’ll always be watching us right? I’m sure they are proud of you Jihoon…” His voice broke a little as he felt Jihoons arm pull him in for a rare hug.

“The memories we’ve made will last us a life time. We’ll have to treasure the wisdom they left us and use it for the best.” Jihoon whispered, “The Moon will continue to watch us as we grow in their stead.”

Seokmin merely nodded at his side, silent sobs filling the empty temple as the two brothers sat in together remembering their lost ones. The candles and torches sputtered as the flames engulfed the stone pillars in a flickering ocean of light.

After a little time passed Jihoon slowly let go of Seokmin and got up. With a sigh he took the new candle from the altar and used the old one to light it up. Yule had finally started. Beside him Seokmin had also gotten up. “Let’s get you ready.” He said while pointing at the pile of clothing on the floor.


The vague sound off bells echoed through the valley as they continued their battle of wills. Dark eyes reflected silver ones in the silent war that raged through the room. None of them willing to yield first. The bells kept ringing, the sound seemingly louder with every hit.

The dark eyed man sighed before getting up. “I don’t have time for this.” He exclaimed, “Since you still don’t understand, here’s my advice to you.” His hand moved to grab the lantern that provided the only light in the room. “Look around Grenhil today. Yule is the most important celebration of the year. Learn about our traditions, our lifestyle, our ideas and our people. Perhaps after that you’ll help us protect what is dear to us. Just like you would do for your own pack.”

“I won’t betray Exodus.” The silver eyed man spoke up, “I will not be responsible for the death of my packmates.” The silent man in the corner nodded his agreement.

“With this decision,” The dark eyed man whispered as he opened the door, “You’

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