Of Wolf and Man (First Draft)

An ancient clan of shape shifting wolfs, are threatened by a special government division, who wish to wipe them out; causing humans to be the only dominant species. With tension running high within the clan, and humans growing closer on the wolves's trail; Shiro, the snow-colored, red-eyed, wolf, must keep peace and protect the ones he loves.

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12. The Grand Forest. Vol. 2

 

 

"Thanks, Naomi, for helping with dinner.", Layla said as she started preparing everyone's plates.

Naomi, cheerfully nodded, "No problem, I wanted to help out more around camp."

The sweet smell of food, attracted the nearby wolves to eat. Shiro and Silus, both regained their fortitude, knowing that Naomi was cooking. The newly found party, all made a circle around campfire, and enjoyed their first dinner together. 

Everyone, excluding Naomi, really ate like they were animals. Only the sounds of food being scarfed down and fire flickering, could be heard. Layla looked around, and decided to be the first one to ask, "So...", Layla breathed in, "...what are we doing?"

The question no one wanted to hear. The fact was, nobody knew what they had to do. Valor, gave a faint quest, with no direction. Were they suppose to aimlessly wander around the forest, in hopes that they find the Therian 13? This whole, 'adventure', seemed more like a sick gag. 

"I have no clue...", Silus, went ahead and gave everybody's same thought.

"Could the other Therian items help us find the rest?", Todd suggested.

"That could be a possibility, but noway to know for sure. We don't even know the power of the items we have now.", Shiro replied, as he looked at his golden brace, "I mean, Silus, you haven't even tried out your sword yet."

Silus looked over to his sword, harboring some pain from it. That was his fathers last goodbye, but he knew not using it, would be disgracing that goodbye, "I know, I need to try it out, but i'm partly afraid of its powers."

"We won't know, until you try, Silus.", Layla exclaimed in a calming demeanor. She was sitting next to Silus, and gave him a pat and his shoulder. "What about you, Shiro? What does your claw thing, exactly do?"

"I, uh, have no clue really.", Shiro gave a fake smile, but he knew some of its power. There are times, he feels like it speaks to him; but how is he suppose to explain that, without sounding insane. 

"Maybe tomorrow morning, we can spar, and test these things out.", A spur of excitement, ignited in Silus's eyes, as he let out the idea of sparring.

"Maybe...", Shiro was scared, scared of what might happen. Normally, he would be all for sparring, but lately, his dreams have been more intense; and it all started when he obtain this gauntlet.  

"I think that would be interesting.", finally speaking, after finishing her food, Naomi gave her two cents.

Shiro looked to his right, and gave an odd look at Naomi, "You really think, it would be interesting?"

"Yeah, I mean, of course as no one gets hurt, hehe."

That sounded more like the Naomi, Shiro knew. He could already see the forest changing her, Shiro just hoped, it was for the better.

"Let me get this down, we have four Therian items, but no clue what any of them do?", Todde pondered.

"I sorta know mine.", Naomi inputted, "At least, I think i do. It seems, whenever I need help, my bracelet gives a new incantation. I don't even know what the words mean, nor do I know what the writing is, but I can read it perfectly." Everyone gazed at Naomi, while she stared at the unique symbols on her bracelet.

Finding the Therian 13 was one task, but figuring their power, was a whole new ensemble of its own. Everyone, was lost, but oddly enough, happy. Ignorance is bliss. 

A little over a hour passed, and Todde was first to go to bed. After mindless babel of past adventures, Silus, eventually called it quits, and went to sleep. Layla, quickly followed, and went into her own tent. This left just, Shiro and Naomi, awkwardly sitting slightly spaced apart. The fire was sensual, but the two still felt unsettled around each other. 

It was almost like a game too; they both thought, if they left, that person would be trying to get away from the other. Sitting around though, gave the same feeling, that neither, Naomi or Shiro, wanted to be around each other. It was like a catch 22.

The fire proved its warmth, but between the snow and the cold atmosphere, Naomi was starting to freeze up. Shiro noticed Naomi was shivering, and knew what that was a sign for, but he couldn't move. Shiro had overcome many battles, but not one quite like this.

"Hey, Shiro...", Naomi mumbled.

Shiro tensed up, but breathed out slowly, "Yeah...?"

"About last night..."

"The tree thing, or?"

"The 'or'...I have to know, what are we?"

"Well, you're a human, while i'm a Therian-"

"Shiro...", Naomi giggled at him.

"Okay, okay...", Shiro gave a cheerful nudge, but quickly shifted into a more serious mood, "I don't know."

"Not really the answer I wanted, haha, you're already telling me what I know."

Shiro, stared blatantly at the fire, while his face was expressionless, "I'm scared.", Silence entered on queue, as he finished his syllable.

That answer shocked Naomi a bit, and she quickly shuffled for her words, "What do you mean?"

"What if...what if you get hurt? Or even worse! How could I live with myself? How?!", Without even noticing, Shiro's voice was raised, and his breath was pounding heavily.

"...Shiro...", Naomi was stunned, and was unsure of herself. Her next words are crucial, "Shiro, I-"

"I'm going to bed." Before Naomi had time to finish, Shiro interrupted her, and walked away. Naomi noticed, that Shiro wasn't walking to his tent. 

 

 

"Why!!!" Shiro slammed his fist into the side of a boulder, "Why!".

"Mmm, it's because you're scared Shiro."

"Why am I though!", he slammed both his fists on the ground. Shiro, looked like a toddler, acting up and giving a tantrum. 

"...Your mother"

"Shut up...don't you dare, bring her up!", any words of his mother, made his eyes pulsate with rage. 

"You're also too scared to use the necklace; don't forget what Max said."

"I haven't..."

"Then, why haven't you used it yet?"

"Cause i'm scared", Shiro started to breath in a panicked way, "Why am I so weak? I'm so weak..."

 

 

The next morning came, and everybody started their morning chores. Nobody had seen Shiro this morning, but when Naomi gave concern for him, Layla and Silus waved it off; and told her to not worry. 

Silus wandered off alone; along with him, he brought the Therian sword. For the second time, Silus unraveled his blade, and extended the sword out with pride. The blade was perfectly forged, without a single impurity to it. The hilt was brown, while the cross guard was gold plated.  No sign of previous use, nor was there even a scratch on it. This normally meant it was a new blade, but seeing how this one is so old, therian items must not wear or tear. 

Silus began with basic defending stances with the sword, then led into first strikes. As he became more use to his new companion, he started to perform more advance moves. Using a nearby tree for practice, he continually, sliced at it. There was no traction when the sword hit the tree, almost like Silus was still swiping in the air. 

Besides being a perfectly made sword, there was nothing to special about it; at least for having the title: Therian Item. Maybe sparring would prove better, so Silus decided to find Shiro.

 

Shiro was actually very close to camp, but settled himself to be unseen. Nearby, there was a cliff that dropped straight down; It was massive, and the view overlooked the whole forest. Shiro perched himself right on the edge, watching the sun making its rounds for the day. He was playing with the pendent part of his necklace, and wondered how to even use it. Part of Shiro, told him not to find out, but he ignored that feeling. He was tired of having all these conflicting feelings and anger problems.

"There you are, Shiro! Can't hide from me; not with that stench of yours.", Silus's trademark smile, brightened Shiro up a bit.

"Eh, I wasn't hiding."

"Of course not, but to someone who can't smell you out, you are.", Silus patted, Shiro, roughly on his head.

"...Maybe...", Shiro knew he couldn't hide his thoughts from, Silus.

"What's bothering you, man?", Silus squatted right next to Shiro, sharing the beautiful view. 

"Honestly, I have no clue."

"I think everyone is having a little bit of that same feeling."

"What happened to all of us?"

"Max...", Silus dropped his head and shoulders, "Max, ruined everything."

Shiro crossed his arms behind his head, and laid on his back, "What a pain."

Silus waited a moment and decided to change the tempo, "Enough of this shitty atmosphere, lets spar like we said.", he flew to his feet, and pulled his sword out of his, newly made sheath and sling.

"Hey, did you use our last bit of leather for that?", Shiro arched his brow.

"Um, maybe, haha.", that same dopey smile, "Like it?" The sheath was nestled on his back, and the sling wore around his right shoulder and across his chest. 

"I've seen better."

"How dare you put-down my work, have at you!", Silus held the sword with on hand, and pointed it at Shiro.

"I don't have a sword though."

"I do!", Todde came running up, seemingly from nowhere, and handed Shiro a normal broadsword.

 "I, uh, wait, what?", Shiro confusingly took the blade. 

"Sorry for not reveling myself earlier, Shiro, but when I saw Silus walking towards you, I got excited to see you guys spar!", Todde was literally jumping in place, "Not every day you get to see the two best warriors from the ,Wolf Clan, fight!" 

"Whatever, let us get this over with.", Shiro dragged himself up, and formed a basic stance.

Todde, quickly ran over to a fallen over tree, and sat down like an audience. Silus took a couple of flashy twirls with his sword, and took a very aggressive stance.

"Shiro!", Silus yelled out.

"Yeah?"

"What is it, 87 to 15?", Silus boasted his score, with a devilish smile.

"Shut up.", Shiro's words, left Silus laughing.

Neither one of them moved yet, and seconds turned into minuets. Shiro's expression was serious, while Silus, sported a very cocky grin. Todde was mesmerized, and hadn't moved either. At times, he forgot to breath, and you could hear him gasping for air, randomly. 

"Fine.", Shiro said under his breath, accommodated by a short sigh. He took the first lunge, but it was quickly parried by Silus; Shiro managed to dodge the counter attack, and took back his stance. That set off the fight.

Back and fourth, Shiro and Silus, made lunges, blocks, and strikes; neither one of them, actually getting close to getting a hit in. Todde was astounded by their swordplay, and was clinched to his chair. The forest was even dead silent, in respect to these two brothers fighting. The only music that could be heard was, the clattering sounds of steel on steel.

The sounds of metal banging, caught the attention of Naomi, and she made her way over to them, "Oh, I see they're already starting." She exclaimed to Todde.

Todde simply gave a weak nod. Naomi, sat next to him, and enjoyed the show as well. Layla, being left alone, decided to join in.

"Layla?"

"What is it, Naomi?"

"I've never seen ,Shiro, use a sword before, is he good with it?"

"Compared to the average swordsman, yeah, but compared to, Silus, no."

"Huh?", Naomi was confused, "But Shiro is still in this completely."

"You ,obviously, don't understand sparring.", Layla looked at, Naomi, with a prissy attitude, "If Silus, wanted to beat, Shiro, it would have been over already, but if he did; Silus wouldn't be able to practice his sword on anybody."

"Hmph." Naomi looked a bit pouty, "I'm sure, Shiro, could win."

"Doubt it. He's only won, lets see, 13, 15 times, out of Silus's 87 wins."

"Maybe Shiro was letting him win.", another battle began, but on the sidelines. Layla and Naomi's bickering, actually broke Todde from his trance. He stared at them with a dumb witted expression.

One loud crack, snapped everyone's concentration to, Shiro.

"My bad, I guess my sword is too good.", Silus, apologized to Shiro, as Shiro stood there with a half broken sword.

"Keep going.", Shiro spoke very monotone.

"But-"

"Just go."

"Alright.", Silus ran up with full force, and lunged down bearing all his strength.

Naomi gasped with fear, "Shiro!", but, Shiro, stood his ground. He stood there, palm up, holding tightly onto, Silus's sword. He gauntlet appeared again, and even Silus, could feel the powerful aroma from it.

While Shiro held, Silus's sword, he went for a jab with his right hand, hitting Silus in his face. It knocked Silus back, and sparked a little anger within him, "Lets see whose ,Therian Item, is better."

The back and fourth continued, but when Shiro would parry, he would aim a punch for Silus's head; and he usually landed them around his upper torso. With each punch, it poked at Silus, more and more. He knew they were sparring, but it was still pissing him off.

As Silus got angrier, his swordplay became sloppier. Every lunge he made was either grabbed by Shiro, or blocked by his brace. Shiro still made no attempt to make a strike with his gauntlet.

"You getting sloppy, there is noway you'll be able to hit me.", Shiro mocked.

"Shut up, Shiro.", Silus took a breather, and calmed himself. He spread his legs apart, digging into the dirt and snow. Silus's expression changed from angry to serious, leaving any emotion. His right leg was behind him, while his other leg was in the front. His stance was unmovable, and his composure was perfect. Silus, actually didn't know what he was going for, but when he held that sword, he felt guided. Silus moved the bottom of the sword up to his eye-height, with his knuckles facing up. His hands remained behind his head,  without any motion. 

Shiro could read his movements, and could tell this was a finishing strike; he too made his stance. His legs spread out as well, but to his sides. His right hand, lowered down, with his left hand out front and higher. Both hands, hand their fingers spread apart in a aggressive manner. He arched his body forward, and prepared himself.

The audience, remained stunned and silent. It was close to five minutes, with no sounds or movements, until, Silus, made the first move. The two boys, were about four yards from each other, so, Shiro, had a small window of opportunity to make a move.

As Silus gained speed, it looked like his sword was illuminating harshly. The ones sitting and watching were awed from how it looked. Silus never felt stronger, as he kept his stance while running. Right before he made his final strike at Shiro, Shiro pulled his left hand back, and made his own attack.

Like with Silus, Shiro's claw glowed, but with a dark aura. As Shiro let out the power he felt, he could hear the voice, badgering him, "Kill him Shiro! Kill him!".

"No!!", Shiro let out a blood-cry, so loud, so intense, that it even made, Silus, loose composure. Silus hesitated his strike, but the force and momentum was there, so the attack when through. Shiro pulling back his actions, and fighting his thoughts, allowed, Silus's lunge, to go right through his upper rib cage, and straight out the back.  

"Ahhhh!", Shiro let out a painful cry, that would even make you feel the pain, but it didn't stop there. The bright light, shining powerfully from Silus's sword, formed an almost beam like blast; exploding out with great fury, from the hole that the blade had already punctured through; expanding the wound further, and spraying blood out, painting the snow-white forest, red.

Shiro couldn't even express the pain, by yelling out, due to choking on his own blood.

Everyone yelled in near unison, "Shiro!", all but Silus, who was mortified at what was happening six inches from him. The blast propelled Shiro back, flinging him over the cliff. Naomi ran faster than she has ever had in her life. She flung her hand out over the cliff, in hopes to be able to reach Shiro's, but it was more like a desperate attempt.

Shiro reached his hand out for hers, but their hands felt miles apart. He dropped down, plummeting, crying out tears and blood. Naomi looked down, and it was like time had entered slow motion. They both looked deep within ones eyes, feeling like this was the end. Shiro mouthed something, but Naomi, couldn't make out what he said. She wanted to drop down after him, but only her tears followed Shiro.

As he fell down farther and farther, this very bright morning, felt like the darkest night.                  

 

   

          

    

          

 

         

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