Wolf's Rain Fan Fiction ❯ Lullaby for a Stormy Night ❯ Chapter 9 The Dead Forest ( Chapter 9 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

A/N- I feel stupid now. You know Akira's older Bro “Joey”? I already used that name in another fic b4 this one and it's just too similar for my taste given that both have the same name and both are older bros, so the Joey in this fic is now “Jazz” short for Jasper. That's why I went back and changed all the chapters and added this one just for kicks. My bad!
 
still own nothing besides Akira's family and a few others.
Don't forget to review plz!
 
Chapter 9- The Forest of Death
 
Hours have past as the small pack drew further and further into the forest of Death. Hige looked around him in uncertainty with his nose twitching.
 
“What is it?” Toboe asked him.
 
“You guys said there'd be wolves here?” Hige called up to Tsume and Kiba.
 
“Yeah, that's why we're trying to take the lower grounds so our scent doesn't follow easily with the wind.” Kiba said back with out turning around from where he walked in front. Tsume was off to his side while Akira and Cheza were not far behind Kiba. Heart lagged in the back in solitude this time to make sure Hige and Toboe didn't fall behind.
 
“Then why don't I smell anything? This is a forest right? You'd think we would see some kind of animals if Wolves really lived here, right?”
 
“Don't tell me you're already hungry?” Toboe sighed, “Heart and Akira just brought us food this morning!”
 
“Well, I'm always hungry, but I just think it's wired that wolves supposedly inhabit this thick forest waste land, yet we haven't even come across a skunk.” Hige huffed.
 
“Maybe they do inhabit this area, just not this side of the mountain?” Akira suggested.
 
“Maybe…,” Heart agreed, “But just maybe they were ran off because of how this place turned out. All I can smell is dirt and dead plants.”
 
Toboe gasped and Akira faltered in her step while Hige's ear twitched. That sounded too likely to joke around about.
 
“Come' on,” Tsume rolled his eyes at the 3 younger pack members, “She's just trying to scare ya into shutting the hell up already. There's nothing like that going on around here.” he snorted.
 
“Funny that the one trying to reassure them is the one always putting one of them down.” Heart jibbed.
 
“Heart…. Please,” Cheza looked back to the black wolf with pleading ruby eyes.
 
Heart stiffened, then shrugged it off, “Yeah, what ever. I'll lay off I guess.” She muttered, but none the less, stayed true to her word and fell into silence.
 
Akira started to let her eyes wander around their surroundings curiously and tested the air for any kind of scent, “Is it normal for it to be so dark and …..” she shivered when the feeling of unease crept up her spine, “silent?”
 
“No,” Kiba answered.
 
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“They are headed through the forest of Death,” Darcia observed from the tracking program on the screen of his equipment, “Jasper is having to lag further behind,” he gripped his shoulder as a light twang of pain surged through it for the wolf's careless behavior. When he had gotten the bullet wound, Darcia had been inflicted with the identical flesh wound immediately.
 
“You have an agent following them?” Cher was, in loose terms, under house arrest in Darcia's home since he felt she knew too much and was getting too close to the flower and the red wolf. He wanted to keep an eye on the brilliant woman incase she decided to use her brilliance for something she shouldn't.
 
“That would not be the correct term for him, since he does not follow orders by his own will.” Darcia eluded.
 
Cher's eyes hardened on him, “So he is your slave….”
 
Darcia didn't say anything while he regarded the woman with his blue eye aloof, “Jasper is part of my ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Paradise. His blood now courses through my veins and mine in his as well. In alchemy of the moon practice, it's known as a blood bond between a human whom wishes to return to the long lost form humans have forgotten and a wolf. My curse will consume my body eventually, but having wolf blood inside me will secure what fate the curse shall bestow unto me.”
 
“And what will it bestow?” Cher took a step back when he turned to her. Something deep inside of her warned her to flee this man, but with his blue eye on her and his other, Wolf eye, hidden behind a patch, she felt suffocated of any free will to flee him. Like a caught rabbit in the face of a wolfs fangs.
 
“The power to regain the form our ancestors have denied. The form of a wolf to cross the path to paradise and reform it to my own that which has fallen into chaos and stolen the soul of my beloved. I intend to open and wield paradise under my control as its master.” He smirked, “It is my destiny since it is I, the human cursed with the wolfs eye. I will tear human kind from under the wolfs power and set our own world into motion.”
 
“Paradise…. The wolves are to open paradise?” Cher breathed in shock, “But how?”
 
“Cheza. She is the key that drives the wolves to their precious paradise. She will open the gates, but the proverbial scale is weighed by a different tail.” He said cryptically, “You read the book of the moon, didn't you? Do you believe what it said about the red moons choice?”
 
Cher steeled herself, “I believe.”
 
“Do you know the 3 moons true forms? The full moon, the new moon, and the red moon itself?”
 
“What are they? The book only said that when the world ends, the silver moon will bleed red as the fate of the world and paradise are decided. With the red moons decision to turn new or full, that is what shall happen to the world. So says the book of the moon.” Cher almost quoted.
 
Darcia studied her while she rehearsed the verse in the book his grate grandfather wrote and had his answer. He smiled to himself as he let his head tip confidently, “You do not.” He took another step toward her and Cher tripped backward to get away, landing in a chair. She gasped and struggled in surprise when the chairs arms extracted metal restraints on her arms. Similar restraints clasped over her ankles and a helmet like bar held her head put.
 
“Darcia!” she snapped.
 
“Think of this as a way of keeping out of trouble while your stay here commences. It will not be long before I return to you and set you free of your bindings while you're with in my sight.” Darcia said as he left.
 
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Akira's stomach grumbled at her for something to eat. She rubbed it to try and soothe the ache, but heard another rumble, `that wasn't me…' she thought as she heard it again. She looked to her left to Hige where he held his hands clasped behind his head while they walked. `That one was HIM'
 
Hige noticed her curious stare and smirked back while he wiggled his eye brows suggestively, “See something of interest?”
 
Akira gave him a flustered look and pointedly snapped her head and gaze away from him with a huff, “Hardly,” she muttered. Another growl came from another stomach, “I can't even tell if it's my stomach growling anymore since I hear everyone else's.” she sighed.
 
“Well, I guess we should have guessed this was going to happen, I mean it's been about a few days.” Heart groaned as her own stomach kicked at her ribs for food.
 
“Do you know how weak you sound with your pitiful growling?” Tsume scoffed, but faltered his point when his own stomach growled soon as the words left his mouth. His sour expression deepened when the others gave him a dry look.
 
“I feel like my stomach's trying to eat it's self.” Toboe whimpered.
 
Kiba looked back at the others and noticed Cheza and Akira leaning on each other while they walked tiredly, “Let's take a rest then.”
 
“Finally!” Hige plopped down on the dry forest floor, “Now about something to eat….”
 
“We've been trudging up this mountain for a day and there's nothing alive in it. What are we goanna eat?” Heart whined.
 
“You never know until you actually go looking for it.” Hige snorted.
 
“I did go looking for it last time we rested 5 hours ago.” Heart growled irritated. Hige growled back.
 
“Stop it; are you going to let your hunger get to you like this? We'll be fine just as soon as we get to the next town or over this mountain!” Kiba reassured firmly.
 
Akira looked down at Cheza and noticed the maiden was still breathing irregularly, “Cheza…?”
 
Cheza startled for some reason and quickly put a hand on Akira's shoulder, “This one is …. Fine. This one is just a bit winded,” she excused.
 
“GAAAH!” Toboe screamed when he misplaced his foot and stepped on a large beetle like thing. The insect fluttered its wings angrily and shot up in the air, narrowly missing running into Heart's head. The she wolf ducked and scowled at the offensive bug.
 
“Does that answer your question about this forest being completely dead?!” she snapped.
 
The beetle did a U-turn in the air and took another dive at the group.
 
“IN COMING!” Hige called out.
 
“STUPID BUG!!! NOT AGAIN!!!” Toboe yelped loudly and shielded his face for impact as the bug aimed for him, but at the last second the bug was swiped into a strong, crushing grip of Tsume's hand. The gray wolf cocked an eye brow as he looked the bug over while the large insect tried to escape his grasp, but to no avail, “Oh,” Toboe sighed, “Thank you Tsume!”
 
“Tch, I've never seen this kind of bug.” Tsume held the insect away from him like it was possessed.
 
“Let me see,” Heart approached and took a closer look with out touching it. She curled her upper lip in disgust, “I've never seen anything like it either, but it smells just like the rest of this wooden graveyard does. Dirt and dry deathy stuff.”
 
“Deathy?” Tsume quoted dryly.
 
Heart was not in the mood. She waved him off, “Never mind, is that thing edible or not?”
 
“How should I know?” Tsume grumbled. He glanced over to Kiba to see his reaction.
 
“You think I would?” Kiba blandly shot back at the simi-annoyed glare.
 
“Well then, that means there's only one way to find out.” Tsume stuck the bug under Hige's unsuspecting nose, causing the heavier built wolf to stumble back startled.
 
“WHY YOU SHOVING THAT THING AT ME FOR?!” Hige snapped.
 
“You said you were hungry, right?” Hige snorted.
 
“Yeah, so?”
 
“And you also have the toughest stomach out of all of us.” Toboe chimed in with a smile.
 
“I DON'T eat bugs.” Hige refused.
 
“Come on Hige, just tell us if it's bearable or not.” Akira pleaded.
 
“Look, I'M NOT YOUR PERSONAL TASTER, ALRIGHT?!” Hige haughtily defended his honor.
 
“Do it anyways.” Tsume said nonchalantly.
 
“Who DIED and made you leader?” Hige shot back. He turned to Kiba, “Hey, a little help here?”
 
“No one is the leader in this pack. We just don't run that way.” Kiba said.
 
Hige huffed, then got a bright idea, “I know!” he snatched the bug away from Tsume and danced giddily up to Cheza, “Cheza must be starved!” he held it up to her eagerly; “Here ya go! Eat up!”
 
Cheza backed into Akira fearful of the insect as it squirmed in Hige's hands. Kiba slashed through the bug to get it away from her, “CHEZA does NOT eat bugs.” He growled.
 
“I was just trying to help SOMEONE get something to eat here. And if she doesn't eat meat and doesn't eat bugs, then….. What does she eat??”
 
“Come to think of it…” Heart thought aloud, “I've never seen Cheza eat before.”
 
“I wouldn't know if she ate solid foods. She was always in a tank when I was with her so she was just provided with food liquidly.” Akira admitted.
 
“Something like that, I suppose.” Tsume agreed.
 
“This one does not require such food. This one will be fine with water and…,” she looked up and frowned, “oh, but there is none here.”
 
“OF COURSE!” Hige caught on, “Sunlight!”
 
“It really does make sense, since she is a flower and all.” Toboe agreed.
 
“So all we need to do is get out of this forest or find some water….” Akira looked around to see darkness and thick trees above them.
 
“Easier said then done. We've been at it for the day and still have yet to breach the mountain top.” Tsume said.
 
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Jasper sniffed around further a head of the small pack he had been tagging after. He let his wolf tongue hang out while he panted from running so much in his quick search, “It has to be some where in here! That insect doesn't just live here alone, there has to be some source of life!”
 
 
He continued on and was stopped by an owl that cut off his path.
 
“WHO, who, who, great young one, you with the humans eye, you with the wolfs body, what do you seek? You seek?” it chanted at him.
 
Jazz stood tall, but laid his ears lax to the side; he hated owls, “This is the forest of death, but I know there's a wolf pack here and there was evidence of some sort of life a while back. I know there's a life source like water around here and that's where the pack is. Where is the wolf pack?” he demanded.
 
“Yes, where. Here, there, you wish to know where. The pack that hunts these mountainous roads. Widening they are, further they go, they go, they goooo,” the owl hooted back at him.
 
The white, green eyed wolf snarled in frustration, “And what's that suppose to imply! I don't have time for your riddles, chicken cousin! I need to know where I can find some water at the very least!”
 
The owl hooted at him and spread his wings to take off.
 
“Don't you DARE leave me when I'm talking to you!” Jazz barked as he sprinted after the owl, “COME BACK HERE!”
 
“To leave, is to be lonely, to seek is to be accompanied, a wolf shall always seek out that of his own kind that he has yet to find, to find, to finnnnnnnd” the owl hooted back at him.
 
“CRAZY OLD BIRD!” Jazz doubled his efforts to catch up with the fowl to hunt it down this time. At least he'd cure his empty stomach.
 
A pure scent wafted to his sensitive nose and had the white wolf pulling his hind legs under him to stop quickly enough so he didn't let it go. He stood firm and tall as he waited for his nose to help him identify the new scent. His green and blue eyes snapped open in recognition; water and wolves…..
 
 
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“So…. Which way, Hige?” Akira and the others looked back and forth between the forked path way and then to Hige. Hige stuck out his nose and sniffed delicately.
 
“I'd say to the right.”
 
“Do you smell something?” Kiba asked.
 
“No, but it's a hell a lot better than just sitting around doing nothing right here.” Hige sighed back.
 
Akira slumped her shoulders, “This is depressing.”
 
“Tell me about it.” Toboe copied her.
 
“Stop moping around. It won't do anything to help.” Heart reprimanded the two. She then turned to look at the two directions, “Well, Hige has a point. If we don't find water to the right, then we'll just go from there.”
 
“We don't have that kind of time!” Kiba snapped at her.
 
“Look, Kiba, this is the only thing we CAN DO for Cheza right now, it doesn't really matter if we have time for mistakes or not, because sitting here ain't doing nothing!”
 
“Cheza may very well be dieing on us because we can't find some fucking water hole for her!! We have to find it as fast as possible!” Kiba once again struck out.
 
“Kiba! Stop taking it out on Heart!” Akira defended, “She's just trying to calm you down!” Kiba just glared at here and continued to carry Cheza on his back while he strode to the right. Akira stared after him confused, “What's gotten into him?” she whispered.
 
“The scent of the flower's probably getting him high and mad.” Tsume grumbled.
 
“He does seem a little…. Exhausted, and he's carrying Cheza.” Akira sympathized, “Maybe if we let someone else carry Cheza a while, he wont have to strain so much! It's just STRESS!” Akira hurried to catch up with Kiba to help him.
 
“Kiba?”
 
“What” he still didn't sound like mister sunshine……
 
“Um… You seem.....tired. Do you want me to carry Cheza for a while? Or maybe-,”
 
“Do you think you can carry her?!” he snapped, making Akira flinch startled.
 
“I… I… What?” Akira was still startled.
 
“Do you think you can carry her?!” he repeated just as harsh.
 
“Hey, hey! Easy there!” Akira held up her hands in defense, “All I was trying to do was to-,”
 
“Then DON'T offer unless you know for sure that you can do what you're offering, Akira!” He snapped and continued on leaving Akira to gape after him hurt.
 
“I… I just wanted to….,” Akira looked down crest fallen.
 
“Akira?” Toboe approached her.
 
“How could you snap at her like that?!” Heart snarled with her temper firing up in full throttle.
 
“Yeah! It wasn't her fault Cheza can't eat! She was just trying to help, you ungrateful bastard!” Hige snapped.
 
“No, no, it's…..” Akira stopped suddenly when she sobbed. She expected to smell what she'd been smelling for the past day and a half or so, but now….
 
She jerked her head up, letting any tears she was about to shed unwillingly fall off her cheeks in the force. Her orange eyes wide with recognition.
 
With out bothering to say anything, the red wolf sprinted down the path, right pass Cheza and Kiba and down another path way through the thick trees. Cheza's ruby eyes snapped up startled when she felt the red wolf leaving.
 
“Akira?” she called.
 
“Now look what you did!” Heart smacked Kiba upside the head, careful to avoid Cheza, “You made her run off on her own AGAIN! Wasn't it you who said that we don't need anything to detour us from finding some water for Cheza?!”
 
Kiba didn't say anything; he just stared wide eyed after where Akira had fled in disbelief. She had left him AGAIN!
 
“No sense in just gawking after her.” Tsume started to follow after where Akira had taken off, “Come' on, let's get her back….”
 
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Akira pushed herself faster and faster as she followed the faint scent of her brother through the forest. It was his wounded scent that had alerted her of his presence near by, but right now it seemed he was still miles away. No matter how much she ran, the scent wasn't getting stronger as fast as she thought it would if she followed it.
 
“JOEEEEEEEEEEEEEYY!!” she called out in to him.
 
“Another soul, lost in the bowl. Another sorrow to add, what will become of it tomorrow?” a voice hooted to her from her side. While she ran, an owl flew over head as he followed her.
 
“What do you want?! I don't have time for your mind games you birds like to play!” Akira shouted back.
 
“You seek he who has spoken before. You seek that and so much more. A white furred beast with a humans eye, he asked a question I was tempted to deny, deny, deny!” the owl cooed.
 
“You spoke with him? What did he ask you? Please tell me!” she called back up to the owl while she ran.
 
“The spirit may be willing, yet the body is so weak, he asked of one of those he sought to greet. The body needs food and housing while its inhabitants go on browsing” the owl riddled with her again.
 
“CANT YOU GIVE ME A STRAIGHT ANSWER!” Akira snapped at the bird, not even thinking about the scent now, “I need you to tell me what……” her question died off as she approached a clearing. Unlike the dirt that marred the forest floor every where else, this place was filled with strange brown and green flowers. They were not eye catching like so many other flowers such as the Lunar flower, and they didn't seem to have a scent…. But there standing on other side of the clearing was a white wolf she recognized.
 
“Jazz….?” She whispered.
 
The green eyed wolf was turned sideways to her while he watched something through the trees, not allowing her to see his human eye Darcia forced upon him.
 
“Jazz, it's me, Akira!” Akira approached him. She noticed that his scent still seemed far off, “Why don't you have a scent??”
 
“The flowers have no scent, but their fumes cover any scent they align near. That's why your back couldn't find the water or the wolves.” He nodded the way he was looking, “Follow this path and you should find the water hole this forest uses as a center source of any life. There should be food for every one there too.” He still didn't look at her.
 
“That's…. that's good, but…” Akira moved to where his line of sight was, only for him to move as well so she couldn't see his human eye, “Hey, why wont you look at me when I'm talking to you?!”
 
Yes, dear brother wolf, why won't you look at her with both eyes? A voice purred inside of him.
 
Jazz clenched his eyes shut and snarled at her when she tried again, “Stay where you are and leave me alone!” he growled out menacingly. He didn't mean her…
 
“Jazz….? What's wrong?” she whimpered.
 
“AKIRA!” Toboe howled in the distance.
 
Akira and Jazz turned to the direction the others were coming. While Akira's back was turned, Jasper slipped away, rubbing the scentless flower over his wound so she couldn't find his scent.
 
“That's them! They're co-,” Akira turned back to an empty space her brother once was with out a trace.
 
“J-Jazz?...” she looked around.
 
“AKIRA!” With out warning, Akira was tackled to the ground by Heart at a full run and knocked to the ground with the rest of the wolves crowding around, “Why'd you run off like that?! You had us all worried! I know Kiba was a bastard and all, but that doesn't mean you should go off on your own!” the older she wolf growled in her face, clearly worried.
 
“Yeah!” Toboe's head poked in Akira's line of sight beside Heart, “What if we were in a city instead of a deserted forest! That old man could have shot you!”
 
Akira just stared up at the 2 faces shoved close to her own while she was knocked down on her back shocked.
 
“…Uh.. What now??” she sweat dropped.
 
“AKIRA!” Heart growled in frustration, “Listen for once will you!”
 
“We just wasted time and effort looking for you when we should have been looking for water!” Tsume grumbled.
 
“You were just as worried as the rest of us.” Heart shot back at him.
 
“Wh-Water….? OH! WATER!” Akira shoved Heart off her and stood up, “I know where there's some water near by and I know where the other wolves are!”
 
“What do you mean? How do you know?” Hige took a sniff, “I don't smell nothing!”
 
“Jasper told me just to follow this path and we'd find the forests main watering hole for anything that lives here!” Akira explained.
 
“Jasper?” Toboe repeated.
 
“You mean that wolf that took the bullet for us back at the grave yard?” Kiba specified.
 
“Yeah! That's him! He was just here a minute ago!”
 
“That can't be right.” Hige sighed as if she were just a pup with an overenthusiastic imagination, “I don't even smell anything but you here. Just forest. Matter of fact, if there was water near by, I'd smell that too.”
 
“Grr!” Akira felt like pulling her hair out in frustration, “look! These flowers around you are scentless and have adopted the scent of the forest! There fore, they cover up any scent basically! That's how travelers other than human get lost in these woods!”
 
Kiba picked up a flower and crushed it between his fingers, “It's similar to a flower I'd seen before. It'd make sense for a pack raining over a land with scarce food to live near a grove of them to ward off intruders of any game.”
 
“Now come on!” Akira urged them to follow her as she led the way to the water hole by Jazz's directions.
 
Just like that, the forest went from thick and dark, to an open patch of sky over a clear cold mountain spring cratered into the ground with glimmering water as clean and clear as anything.
 
“WATER!” Toboe shouted for joy as he took off for the cool spring to jump in, only to promptly emerge and shiver, then hastily come back to the shallow bank, “Brrrrrr, It's f-f-fr-freezzzzing!” he shivered and got out.
 
“Now this one can finally eat…” Cheza smiled as Kiba let her down so she could soak up what was left of the setting sun and step into the water while Tsume and Hige jumped in after Toboe, dragging the pup back in playfully.
 
“Still thirsty, runt?!” Hige laughed as he dunked Toboe into the cool water again.
 
“Hey! Cut it out!” Toboe laughed back.
 
“You still look thirsty too, Chubby!” Tsume splashed both of them with a powerful strike into the water, soaking both boys to the chilly bone, “HA!”
 
Heart ran at the water and did a cannon ball right by Tsume, soaking him as well. The gray wolf stood very still, trying to stave off the cold chills going up and down his spine as the cold water dripped down from his sopping wet hair now. He looked like a splashed cat in the rain the way he stiffened. Toboe and Hige stifled a giggle at the scene while Heart emerged her head out of the water with her cheeks puffed out with a mischievous look in her red eyes.
 
“I suppose you thought that funny?” Tsume grumped at her and closed his eyes as she squirted water from her mouth at his face.
 
She laughed at his grouchy expression, “Now I do! Ah hahahaha!” she back stroked away from him as the gray wolf made to grab at her to dunk her.
 
“NOW THAT WAS FUNNY!” Hige laughed loudly and the others started to join in. Cheza giggled off to the side, safely away from where the water fight was going on between the wolves as the moon started to rise. Akira, not liking cold too much, let her legs dangle in the cool water to cool off her feet and laughed lightly with the rest. She looked up when she noticed Kiba was standing beside her, for once, a light smile on his face as he watched his friends go from a trying situation to a carefree one.
 
At least Cheza could eat now.
 
Kiba caught something darting though the trees suddenly and the smile was gone as soon as it came. Akira noticed he tensed up and looked up cautiously, wandering if he was still angry at her for before. Her orange eyes looked up to see his blue ones shifting around as if searching for something.
 
Cheza also sensed it.
 
“Kiba?” Akira whispered.
 
 
“Who are you?” a gruff voice demanded from the shadows. The group stilled as a large black/brown wolf with piecing light hazel eyes glared at them. The hair on the back of his neck stood up threateningly, “Who said you could indulge in my spring!”
 
“YOUR Spring!?” Heart snapped back, “There was no scent marking around here!”
 
“Stupid bitch.” The wolf snorted, “The flowers around here don't let any kind of scent marking stay longer than a day.”
 
More wolves similarly colored to the dark wolf started to appear, all male and all fairly large with a crazed look in their eye. There were about 20 wolves surrounding the clearing. Tsume and Hige were already starting to get out of the water, urging Toboe to follow. Heart glared daggers at the largest wolf whom spoke to them and called her bitch.
 
“Heart,” Akira hissed in a plea for her to get back while she lead Cheza closer to the others where Cheza fearfully looked around sensing the wolves anger.
 
“You smell fresh enough that the flowers haven't been able to cover your scent yet.” The dark wolf commented, “Not much are ya? Just a bunch of strays with a few breeding bitches to keep your mortality of the pack going. Nice to have two of them, huh? Considering that bitches tend to fetch a hard price now days.” The large wolf licked his white fangs.
 
“Not only that…. But you have a flower. A different kind of flower with you,” the wolf noticed as his nose twitched, “Ah, the scent of the lunar flower, the key to paradise. We've waited for its passage to our lands to paradise.”
 
“Don't even think about it!” Akira stood in front of Cheza in her red wolf form. Her orange eyes glaring across the water at the much larger wolf.
 
“You goanna talk like that when it's your alpha that should do the talking, girly?” the wolf taunted.
 
“We don't have one.” Hige proudly stated now, “She's entitled to her own opinion.”
 
“Unclaimed and no alpha to say anything about it….” The wolf snared, “You're not leaving here”
 
The wolves started closing in, sensing their leaders' decision. Their fangs bared, “Leave the scent of the flower and your females and you may pass.”
 
“Not happening.” Kiba snarled back.
 
“So be it!” the wolves tensed up again.
 
Cheza sniffled as she cried behind Akira's back. Her face buried into the red fur of the she wolf brought Akira to act quickly to avoid this fight.
 
“W-wait a minute,” she said loud enough to grasp attention and effectively stopped the wolves from pouncing just yet. Tsume, Hige, Kiba and Heart were tensed and ready, even Toboe's fur stood on end with his fangs bared threateningly.
 
Kiba didn't take his eyes off the wolves across the spring until he noticed Akira started walking around the spring to the other side.
 
“AKIRA!” he snapped.
 
“Let her come. As you said, you're not her alpha, and there for, have no hold over her.” The dark wolf snorted as he watched the young red wolf approach him with her head lowered, but her eyes were not submissive.
 
“You said just the scent of the lunar flower and females, right? Well what if we left on female that smells of the lunar flower?” Akira bravely asked, keeping her distance from him and the other wolves that stared at her like fresh meat. Her tail ached to tuck between her legs protectively, but she made sure it stayed out. She wouldn't back down now.
 
“Am I to believe that female would be you, young one?” he lazily leered over her, “You're a nice tart to look at.” He approached her.
 
“Akira…” Toboe started to try and get her back, but Tsume slid a paw in his way. The gray wolf shook his head no.
 
“They'll easily kill her if he doesn't like this. If he accepts, we'll get out of this hell hole.” He whispered,
 
“Yeah, at her expense.” Hige muttered under his breath worriedly.
 
 
Akira stood completely still as the large wolf started to sniff at her. Her ears followed him as he circled around her in a tight circle looking her up and down and inhaling deeply.
 
“Well, well, you do smell much like the scent of the flower, and you're not a barren bitch. You're heat I can already tell is coming soon.” If she were in her human form, she doubted she could stop from blushing. Her ears tilted downward a bit.
 
The dark wolf looked down at her then at the other wolves around him, “Let them pass.” He nodded, “The way out of this forest should be due north. If you get lost, say to the owl if you see him that you wish for the treasure north has hidden and he'll fly towards the right direction. Keep hunting to bare minimum.” The dark furred wolves towards the north parted to show them the way.
 
Tsume wryly looked at the escape way then nudged Toboe and Hige to go on. Heart took Cheza's hand and tried to calm down the flower maiden's sobs as she led her after the others. Kiba stood there and snarled at the other Alpha wolf no bigger than himself as he possessively stood practically over Akira while he watched them go with a light wolfish grin on place. It burned his blood to think that this bastard was so close to her and being so possessive of her already!
 
He looked away from those mocking hazel eyes down to orange eyes that wouldn't look him in his golden eyes. Kiba gritted his teeth and wished he could bloody himself up for snapping at her before when he was so eager to help Cheza from starving. Of course she'd think he hates her now!
 
“Leaving Snowflake?” the dark wolf taunted. As he hung his head over Akira's back and rested his neck over her. Her tail was slightly shaking in strain as she fought not to curl it under her in fear.
 
Kiba growled deeper.
 
“Kiba,” Tsume called sternly. The look he gave the white wolf meant `Get your ass moving now'.
 
Giving one last look at Akira he looked back at the dark wolf over her, “One scratch, and it's your pelt going on a humans floor,” he reluctantly followed after the others, snarling at any wolves near him not in his pack.
 
“We're not really leaving her…. Are we?” Toboe whimpered as he looked back at the other wolves while they started to retreat to where ever.
 
“I've been restless and bored with beating up humans lately. A good dog fight'll bring back fond memories.” Tsume smirked.
 
“So what's the plan?” Heart asked.
 
“We find a place to keep Cheza safe for now. Then, we go back and wipe that arrogant smirk right off that fucking bastards face.” Kiba's voice was on a dangerous edge of anger, “She doesn't know what she's getting into…”
 
 

Chapter 8
Chapter 10
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