It took them three days to reach the abounded western swamp and it was a miserable place to set foot upon. The ground was harsh, wet and it would try and swallow you whole if you lingered too long on what could appear as solid ground, the trees could hardly feast upon this still standing water and most had died out while few specimens survived the conditions. The grass has overgrown and brown, it was hard to see where you placed yourself and what was hiding under the long grass, the water gave a distinct unpleasant scent from it as non-moving water does. It’s not fresh or cool to drink, but muddy and with a certain taste to it the ground underneath the water is what makes it a swamp rather than a lake. What was distinct about this specific swamp was its formation. Loath and Loathe had both been here before as children, running from the past. Loath did not linger or think of the past and barely noticed that they passed by the tree that they had hid under, curled up together to hide from the anger of their father, who would find them anyway and punish them for hiding. That was until he had been defeated of course. Thinking back on the time was what now would create a new era for them, for as children they had hid here and one time specifically they heard the demon coming and they ran from their hiding spot, into the swamp they were driven and they swam and they fought for long, having no idea where it ended or began, unable to see much from the water level they had to put all faith in that they would reach land at one point, and reach land they did. Cold, wet and exhausted from the hours of fighting in the water they reached land, crawled up to it and lay there, at first not seeing much at all but soon gathering strength enough to see that they had reached green land. It had been heaven, a paradise from their usual home and they explored it. They found that it was a very large island in the midst of the swamp, it was extremely big and they knew the swamp was larger than they first had thought possible. Here there was a real lake, rivers, forests and hills and even prey and found its way here and was thriving or maybe it had always been here, but at some point though the tired children returned home. Not because they wanted to or because they liked it, but because they had some place they called home and the very security in the word was what called them back. They knew of no other place or how to be alone, but they knew of home and mother and it called them back from hiding.
They were here again now, standing on the very edge of what you could call “land” of the swamp before you would have to swim across. Loathe lifted her head to the sky and her eyes were closed as she stood so, Loath looked at her, not rushing her or urging her to come with him but staying in tune with his twin he kindly waited for her to feel ready. He knew that this place had more meaning to her than it did to him, Loath was superior to the past of their life for he had killed their demon and Loathe had joined him in the kill, but that day they also had their roles set. Loath was never superior to Loathe, he could never be for he was her and she him. But Loath was the one to take initiative for their actions, lives and missions of life. Loathe followed him, carried out his thoughts, ideals and his judgment. She could influence him and she was his biggest influence, just as he would never ask her to do something she would not want or agree to. But how was that even possible when they were one and same? If Loath wanted it so did Loathe. If Loathe wanted something so did Loath. Yet this bank was a reminder of their role, how Loath was god and Loathe was no mortal but an immortal soul, an angel guiding and following her god, but making her no less immortal and strong. Their love, affection and connection was more than simple and they did not expect anyone to understand this, they did not think anyone would ever come to understand the complicity of what they felt for one another for they saw each other as one.
“Neno.” Loathe spoke softly to her brother her face now turned toward him. When he had come here, said they would conquer and gather the innocent she did not ask for explanations, she understood what he had seen and what he now wanted, she did not question what they were doing was good or bad, it was Loath, so none could be good or bad it simply was.
“We will face many demons here.” Loath looked out at the swamp and Loathe nodded to agree. She understood that what he said was that nothing was going to be easy from here on out. Nothing had ever been easy for them, but lately Loath’s name, their names, the two white wolves, the white twins, the gods, the angels it had all spread like a wildfire for they had left much behind them in their path. They had not found their purpose until now when Loath finally understood what they would do, not until now had they known where they were going and why. They had not lacked confidence though, but they had wandered far and wide not knowing what they were walking for or to. Now they knew and now they were here, the road would not be easy and while they had helped many, saved many and made alliances on their path they had also made enemies, defeated demons which other demons heard of and soon they would come to their aid to defeat what was truly good. But the good would prevail. And now time had come to conquer.
Silently Loath stepped into the water and Loathe followed him, they swam across going by memory alone and soon Loath found the path. Hidden under the water and long grass there was a narrow and twisted path to the island, you had to know it was there to find it and you had to know it well to not trip and fall back into the water. He climbed the path and began to walk it with Loathe behind him, they slowly made it across to their new life slowly coming to the land they had once known as paradise and now they were reaching it again. First they could scent the prey, the fresh grass, the water and the trees of summer, then slowly see it in the horizon and finally they would set foot upon it. They were not tired, wet or little children anymore now they were strong and powerful immortals that had come here to conquer and save the rest that had been lost. The land passed them by as they walked toward the midst of the ground, knowing that it was likely that others had already settled here before them, calling this their home. They could even smell the scent of other wolves and it was like poison to the twins, knowing others had claimed their paradise before them, knowing others had settled here on their land. They would rid the scum and keep the innocent. The center of the island was a clearing and it took them the rest of the day to reach it, the sun was setting in the horizon, creating an orange glow across their white furs and here they stopped but did not settle. Loath turned to Loathe who simply nodded to him. Loath lifted his head and howled. He only howled once and it was a very clear message to comprehend. Dominance. He was claiming this island that loners for years had possessed as home, scattered all over the place, trying to stay alive, he would now gather it under his command and he dared those on the land to tell him no and he knew they would. He knew there always were fools amongst the innocents.
Lone wolves had gathered from all over the island, anger boiling from them, snarling and growling at these two white twins. Some had heard of them others had not but it wasn’t the essence of the conflict, they were not welcomed here and there were many that wanted to see them gone and they snarled and spoke amongst themselves, loud and angry voices reaching the sky as they all thought the same but dared not act on it. They wanted to overthrow them but those who did know of the two had quickly spread the word amongst the rest. The undefeated white wolf who claimed to be a god had now reached their island. Some did not understand others were silent in confusion. They had heard he lived in the Far East from here how and why had he come here now? He had not been a problem or situation they had to deal with until now and while some were ready to jump in and attack him right away others hushed them back, saying it was safer to see what he would want. The loners were too scattered and too primal to form one attack or riot against him at once, they were not organized enough and they would break into a fight amongst themselves about who should lead the attack before the battle even had begun several would die while the white went unharmed. Some were smart enough to know this and most of the loners had enemies amongst each other that they would want nothing to do with, and so they kept silent to watch before attacking. Expect one wolf. It was a brown male with grey markings down over his back and yellow eyes, he was the most feared of the loners, not because he had killed the most, but he had mauled the most, leaving them scarred and crippled for life and the other loners would want nothing to do with him. He was the one yelling the loudest and standing closest and near him was a very young black yearling that covered in fear by him but didn’t move either. Loath had seen this and recognized the picture all too well and knew he had come in time. The brown male’s name was Brago and he was getting impatient, fast.
“Why have you gathered us? You’re some smartass outsider who thinks he can come here and have things however it fucking pleases you, huh?” Loath’s left ear moved slightly back but then moved back to position and he completely ignored him. This didn’t fall in well with Brago at all and he snarled loudly and changed to an offensive position.
“I’ll teach you a lesson punk!” The other loners yielded him to stop, to wait, but Brago would not listen to anyone and he attacked with all he had, without the slightest hint of mercy. Loath knew he was going to attack as everything about his voice, his posture and behavior screamed toward it, so Loath was prepared. Brago ran toward him head on open jaws ready to snap around Loath’s neck. Loath ran toward Brago and before they reached each other Loath went right running past the confused Brago but Loath had a specific target in mind. He turned his head left toward Brago and his jaws set around his hind leg, still running forward this pulled Brago in the opposite direction he was running, and it sent him flying to the ground. Meanwhile Loath was turning to his left, turning Brago’s leg in a position it couldn’t withstand and with such force that he howled in pain. The leg broke but Loath didn’t let go and crunched his teeth deep into his angle and the bone snapped completely making Brago’s paw dangle from the rest of the leg, flesh and skin being the only thing holding it together. Loath ripped backward as the leathery skin came apart, stretched and wore thin like you tried to rip clothing apart and it ripped. The flesh tore with it as Loath in a last pull ripped it off. It was not a clean rip, it was messy and the blood was everywhere, Brago was screaming and crumbling on the ground and the audience stood frozen in fear of what had just happened and Loath spit out the paw and looked to his sister.
“Silence him.” He couldn’t hear himself think in that noise. Loathe leaped elegantly to Brago and pressed her paw to his jaw that automatically opened, she got her own jaws around the under jaw of Brago and she twisted it and crushed against it, broke it, crushed it and mangled it. He whimpered in fear and pain and Loathe grabbed around his tongue at the end and chewed the meat off and spit it out. Impure blood of the weak would now be swallowed. She stepped down from Brago who was not yet dead, but not really alive anymore as pain was the only thing he could feel and think of in his last minutes alive. Loath had watched Loathe’s actions and as she stepped away from Brago Loath would turn around to look at the frozen crowd.
“Now that I have silence to speak in, you will listen to what I have to say.”
The crowd was not sure whatever or not to thank the stranger or fear him. He had rid them of a tyrant on this island, but did he simply replace him as tyrant? Would he overthrow them with fear and make them obey him simply because he could and wanted the power? They did not know what to think or expect and therefore they listened.
“I didn’t come here to kill, but it seems that no matter where I go, demons, tyrants and evil force me to do wrong and make it right.” Some loners looked at each other, some did not understand what he meant at all, and another group understood perfectly well, even agreed.
“I have seen this – Kind, too many times. Everywhere I travel they are present. Those with power they cannot control, overtaking others, forcing their power amongst the weaker, you may call it tyranny, but I call it evil.” He paused and looked at the crowd who stayed in complete silence.
“We have all seen it before but what have you done? Nothing. I do not blame you, for you do not have the strength alone to fight it.” He had caught the attention of every listener now.
“Maybe you never thought about fighting it, maybe you told yourself it was not your place, none of your business to fight evil or maybe it didn’t concern you. But you are wrong it does concern you, every evil in this world concerns you, maybe it doesn’t face you today but it will tomorrow. Evil will find you, try and break you and annihilate you and you, you stand all alone. Unable to fight it, unable to defeat evil alone. I offer you the strength to fight evil, not tomorrow but today, so that our children can live tomorrow in a world without evil.” The crowd began to whisper and the one word that came to Loath’s ears everywhere was “how”
“We unite. We stay together, we fight together. I will guide you, lead you and you fight this battle with me. Yes, I will lead you, but I am fair and just. You shall never go hungry or I will feed you myself, you shall never live without shelter or I will cover you in the rain, you shall never be poorly treated as long as you swear your loyalty to me, for you have my loyalty and my strength. You can leave today, leave this ground and never return go back to being ignorant and think evil won’t reach you or you can stay and fight the evil for a better future.” The crowed went silent.
Loath’s eyes looked amongst all pairs of eyes and he saw they were in doubt. They had been loners for so long they had forgotten the security of a pack and others had never lived in a pack, they did not trust others and especially not a stranger. Loath finally found a pair of eyes he recognized. They were bright orange and belonged to a small black male. It was the yearling that had stood near Brago but covered from him anyway. Loath walked toward him and those in front of the black child quickly moved. The black boy ducked his head and looked down as Loath reached him and Loath leaned forward, slowly.
“Ease, I will not harm you. You were with him.” He nodded toward the now dead Brago and looked at the child intensely who quickly nodded.
“Was he your father?” He gave the boy a look that said he would not like to be lied to.
“N-No, sir. H- He took me in when I was much smaller.” Loath’s eyebrows folded in a worried sense.
“Was he good to you boy?” the boy looked startled and confused at Loath.
“I- I suppose? I mean he fed me, b-but.”
“Did he harm you?” The boy went quiet and looked down. The crowd stood still and most tried to look past those in front of them to follow the scene, curious. Slowly the boy nodded his head.
“What is your name?”
“Charon, sir.” Loath’s eyes turned soft and he licked the boy’s ears in sign of affection and empathy.
“Come with me and Loathe, Charon and I promise you I shall crush anyone lay a finger upon you ever again.” Charon looked up at Loath, both surprised he was licked on in affection and also in disbelief. He had not gained much in his short life and love was one of the things he had never gotten, now here stood a complete stranger, offering him protection and love without even knowing him he looked around in the crowd who watched him and what he would do and it did not take long for Charon to get up and follow Loath back to the center of the crowd where Loathe silently stood. He looked shyly at her, not sure what to think or what to do but she pulled him toward her warm body and he felt warmth that he had never earned before flow through his body. She licked his head as if he was her own and he pushed his black head into her brilliant white coat. It prevented him from seeing what Loath did see though, the crowd. Slowly one stood and then another, walking toward Loath and Loathe, joining them. A few went up and shook their head and left but the majority joined Loath and Loathe, carefully standing near, yet fearful but Loath thanked each one of them, touched their shoulder with his nose in sign of friendship and they returned the gesture, so the greetings went from wolf to wolf and old enemies greeted one another to try and put past events behind them now. Loath looked toward Loathe through the crowd and she looked back with admiration. They had done it. They had conquered in the name of good, to start the fight of evil.
The land of Raj now belonged to them