Academia of the Beast: A Dark Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Academia of the Beast: A Dark Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

K.N. Lee

There were dark times in the era of the Baran clan. From the highlands of the old days when magic was deemed a myth, they rose to power after the global war that left most of the world desolate and eternally ruined by weapons of science and dark magic.

The first Baran to assert himself as king made it so that no one would ever challenge them. Those with magic were exiled to the other kingdoms, or executed.

Elastria would be a human land, free of the taint of supernatural beings.

Rulers by birthright, they stood unchallenged for centuries, their people too afraid to stand against the tyranny that nearly pitted Elastria in another world war with the remaining nine tribes. For a group of humans to rule so ruthlessly, and actually, stand against the supernatural beings of the other tribes, it was rumored that there was more to the Barans, that they were descendent from an ancient evil.

That all changed.

With a witch.

And a curse.



ALLYN RACED THROUGH the dark woods, her red hair flying wildly behind her as she kicked off her heels. Her heart pounded and her skin crawled with dread. This was it. The moment she’d feared since she left the convent.

“Leave me alone!” Her voice carried through the tall trees, yet she knew they would never heed her plea.

The men that chased her knew what she was—and so did the Wolf that accompanied their band of hunters.

It could smell it on her, practically sniffed her out of a crowd of townsfolk at the holiday parade.

With a deep breath, Allyn leaped into the night sky, her green eyes scanning the woods for any trace of her boyfriend. They would not catch her.

Not again.

This time, she would fight.

“Capture her!” the sheriff shouted, his bow and arrow pointed at her. She expected an arrow to pierce her flesh at any moment. Then, they’d drag her to the capitol, where she’d surely be executed.

Cold wind assaulted her, making her cheeks numb. Cold didn’t matter. Only the speed of her legs.

Where was Bryon? He was supposed to be waiting for her on the side road. He couldn’t have abandoned her. Not after his promise to protect her.

As she began to descend back to the floor of the woods, she caught a glimpse of Byron’s car on the road. She picked up speed, heat filling her limbs as she summoned power from her belly. She resisted the urge to release the energy that built within and focused on reaching her destination. The men would never catch up to her.

But, the Wolf. She could hear it racing behind her, its breaths seeming to come from right beside her.

Instead of taking a chance, Allyn closed her eyes and turned to face the hunters. A blast of power shot from the palms of her hands. Like a black web, it grew from the center of the air and outstretched to the trees. She gritted her teeth and pulled more energy from within. As she blew cool air from between her pursed lips, the black web became white like ice and blocked the path between Allyn and the hunters.

She couldn’t risk them getting through, so she twisted her fist and immobilized them all. Ice shot up their legs and fused them to the ground.

The Wolf—fangs bared—growled. Its silver glare chilling her to her core.

She spun around and ran. The Wolf, white as snow and larger than any normal wolf she’d ever seen in all of her years living in the woods was more terrifying than she’d imagined. While she still had the chance she raced for her life to Bryon’s car.

He stood there in the fog that hovered over the black asphalt in dark jeans, a white T-shirt, and a leather jacket. His eyes widened as she ran past him and got into the car.

He followed suit and got inside. “What happened?”

Her life would be forever changed. That’s what happened.

Swallowing, Allyn glanced out the back window, hoping that she had a chance to escape.

“Just drive,” she said in between labored breaths.



IT ALL STARTED with a rumor.

“I heard there is a witch in this village. You know that the Wolves are still hunting and executing them, right?”

Allyn didn’t want to believe the truth her boyfriend spoke. Such danger had threatened her since the night of her birth. But, if she hid her ability...she would survive.

That’s what she’d thought.

Byron had grabbed Allyn by the arm and made her face him. “Tell me. Are you the witch?”

“No,” Allyn said, hoping her green eyes didn’t reveal the truth. She wasn’t lying to him. Allyn wasn’t a witch. She was something else. But try to tell that to the hunters searching for anyone with magical powers.

She’d kept her secret this long. Why reveal it now? Her people were a dying breed, and she was not ready to offer herself up as the next tabloid villain—the next public disgrace to be executed for all of Elastria to see.

“Don’t lie to me. I know everything. You can trust me to protect you.”

“Quiet,” she’d said, glancing back at the wooden cottage where she’d been born and raised as a swift wind blew her black skirt up around her slender, white thighs. “My father is home and he will hear you.”

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