Home > God of Wrath (Legacy of Gods #3)

God of Wrath (Legacy of Gods #3)
Author: Rina Kent

 


1

 

 

CECILY

 

 

This is a mistake.

The worst of all.

The most disastrous of all.

Maybe even the deadliest.

I shift in place, sweating behind my mask. My T-shirt and jeans stick to my heated skin until it’s almost too unbearable.

I inhale sharp breaths into my starved lungs, but I might as well be consuming smoke. My fingers itch to touch the mask or readjust the wig that digs into my skull.

After careful consideration, I don’t.

This place must be filled with surveillance cameras, and the last thing I want is to catch these people’s attention.

Not when I’m not supposed to be here. Behind enemy lines.

My gaze flits sideways discreetly as I methodically alternate between breathing through my nose and mouth.

The sledgehammer of dusk starts to tilt on the horizon, splashing a hint of orange behind the gray clouds.

An eerie sensation coats the thick air and trickles into my bones. No one aside from me seems focused on the sun’s ceremonial descent or the bold silhouette of danger this place is coated with.

On either side of me stand people wearing similar white masks with black numbers written on their foreheads.

I was one of the first to be allowed inside the Chamber of Decadence and my number is twenty-three. I stand in the second row that, like the first, has twenty people.

No, students.

There are four rows, and the fifth is steadily being filled by the other participants who’ve been directed inside the gothic-like mansion by burly men in black suits and grotesque bunny masks.

Slashes of red crack their masks at the mouth and surround the holes where their blank eyes show. But the part that made me stiffen, aside from their sharp, dirty teeth, was how the one at the entrance double-checked the invitation QR code on my phone.

I was so sure he’d figure out that I stole someone else’s invitation and was trespassing where I shouldn’t be.

Despite the brown wig I wore to cover my attention-grabbing silver hair, the gray contacts, and thick-framed glasses, I wasn’t confident I’d go unnoticed.

Still, I didn’t speak to avoid giving away my British accent.

After all, The King’s U is an all-American school, and we from Royal Elite University are easily picked out from a crowd.

Especially one we’re not supposed to be part of.

Like this initiation.

The bunny gave me a hard stare, definitely longer than the one he directed at the other participants, but he eventually strapped a numbered mask on my face and a tag on my wrist with the same number.

I had to leave my phone, keys, and glasses with his bunny friend before I was allowed inside.

And now, I wait, with about eighty-five others. Make that eighty-seven.

I know because I counted.

That’s what I do when my nerves are about to slice open my veins and spill my blood onto the ground. I count.

I also study my surroundings—watching, observing, and searching for a way out.

That’s the part that made me think I’d made a mistake.

This place isn’t designed with an escape route in mind. Once you’re in, you’re doomed. Physically. Mentally.

Emotionally.

After all, this mansion belongs to the Heathens. One of two notorious clubs at The King’s U that simmers with corrupted power, infinite wealth, and mafia ties.

In fact, the majority of its members either belong to the Russian mafia or have ties to it.

All the students who showed up today are from TKU—except for me—and are thirsting after a smidgeon of that power. A glimmer of the monstrosity.

It’s a privilege to receive an invitation to the Heathens’ initiation that takes place twice a year, at the beginning of every semester.

The chances of actually being accepted into the club are about one percent. Not only do these types of initiations get brutal, but the founding members are also highly selective.

Safe to say, I’m not here for any medal or a real chance to get into the club. They’ll kick me out the moment they find out who I am anyway.

My sole purpose is to get information about their inner workings, their security, and to gather as much intel about their members and the property as I possibly can.

Now, the likelihood of my doing that without drawing attention to myself is probably about five percent, which is admittedly low.

But I have a superpower.

Invisibility.

If I choose to, I can slip unnoticed into any situation. All I have to do is remain silent, blend into the background, and move seamlessly.

The creaking of the gate wrenches me from my busy thoughts, announcing the end of the admittance process.

A hundred students line up in five neat rows. Some are completely silent like me, others murmur and chat among themselves. Many are even joking, elbowing, and nudging their friends.

Words like ‘excited,’ ‘can’t wait,’ and ‘finally’ float in the gloomy air with the energy of a distorted lullaby.

Everything about this place reeks of distortion. Some of that sensation has to do with the fact that the mansion the Heathens use as their compound is vast, old, has cathedral vibes, and could be used to perform satanic rituals.

It stands tall with three stories, separate wings, and two eastern towers that I suppose are used for surveillance.

A haunting quality flows within and around its walls in correspondence with the notorious reputation the club has.

Considering the fact that the mansion is situated off-campus, and therefore has more land than dormitories, it’s huge and, most importantly, secluded.

A large forest surrounds the property, but from what I’ve heard, it’s all wired, surveilled, and no other soul aside from the Heathens, or whomever they invite, is allowed access.

The double doors with demon-like knobs barge open and countless men in bunny masks rush outside in a sea of terror.

Not a word is spoken, but the combination of quickening footsteps, deformed sights, and the number of people involved is enough to make me freeze.

They circle us in systematic order, their Halloween-esque masks serving as the only features they project onto the world. Thirty-five. That’s how many there are.

And they’re all huge, burly, and definitely guards.

Because, of course, the members of the Heathens have their own security. They’re mafia princes after all, with empires of blood to go back to.

Their parents wouldn’t allow them to go to university without security shadowing their every move.

The casual chatter comes to a halt when the double doors on the top floor swing open and five people dressed in black stroll out to the balcony.

All eyes focus on them.

Every face, every breath, and every bit of human attention is on the Heathens’ main members, who look down on us like we’re peasants.

Neon purge-style masks cover their features, each a different color. Red, white, green, yellow, and orange.

And since it’s near dusk and cloudy as usual in England, the colors pop against everything black.

A bad pop.

A spine-chilling pop.

A pop that would make anyone remember those colors and masks should they meet them in the dark.

Static fills the air before a distorted voice speaks.

“Congratulations for making it to the Heathens’ highly competitive initiation. You are the selected elite the leaders of the club think are worthy of joining their world of power and connections. The price to pay for such privileges is higher than money, status, or name. The reason everyone wears a mask is because you are all the same in the eyes of the club’s founders. The price of becoming a Heathen is handing over your life. In a literal sense of the word. If you aren’t willing to pay that, please exit through the small door to your left. Once you leave, you’ll lose any chance to join us again.”

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