I didn't know.. I really didn't!
I'm a princess, I'm supposed to be girly girly! I'm supposed to be all high and mighty!
But... Why do I always feel so caged in in this castle?
Why am I so good at hunting, and always like being alone in the outdoors?
Is my spirit and mind even human?!
Someone.. I need an answer!
I need an answer.. For inside..
I'm not human.
Hear our call!
The inner spirits call for you
To change them
And teach their selves how to survive.
That's the old song anyways.
Sorry.. I didn't introduce myself!
I'm Julian! I'm the prophet of the village of Skrealand (Skray-land), and what I do is see things that others cannot!
But you must be wondering why I called you hear hmm? Well, everyone knows the story of a princess.. Becoming her inner spirit?
No? Well.. I can tell you, but be warned! This story ain't for the faint of heart. This story is about friendship and loyalty.. And not always the good part of these two powerful things.
Princess Lillian is no longer Princess Lillian, but we'll get to that part later!
For now.. Sit back.. Relax, have some herbal tea if you must, it's right there on the shelf, all fresh and ready.
And listen to this story, for it has lessons.. That us mere humans, will never comprehend.
And listen! And listen well, you may think this a myth.
But I can tell you that it is not.. That these things happened, for they are legend.
Now let us start shall we?
Hear my call!
For it is a wolfs call!
That is calling you to where you truly belong.
Lillian sighed, reading her book, Dire Wolves and How to Deal with Them. When she heard a knock on her door.
She sighed, putting down her book on the page that said, "Dire Wolves! What not to do when you run into one!" and looked around her perfect room.
Her bed was made from the finest silk from Skrealand, so it was comfortable to sleep in. it was a soft golden, like the wheat that grew in the nearby village.
She then looked across to her window, where two red pillows and a soft looking red blanket were perched, so she could practice her writing to the birds singing in the trees.
Then she looked at her bookcases, no one but her knew that there was a secret room behind there, with a passageway leading out to the village if Lillian was feeling rebellious.
Lillian sighed, Being a princess isn't as it's all as it's cracked up to be.
She answered the knocking door, to see the steward of the king, her father. He bowed, and said very formally, "Your father wishes to see you my lady Lillian."
Lillian had to stifle her eye-roll, and said, "Thank you, Kory, I'll go see him." she pushed past him, quite annoyed that everyone treated her like that.
She entered the throne room, the red carpet leading up to the thrones of the queen and king, where her father was currently sitting.
The King, King Midus the second, sat with his golden, jewel encrusted crown, and his sceptor, were currently sitting.
He looked up so see Lillian, and called, "Come here, Lillian, we have much to discuss."
That king language means 'You better come up here and listen.' Lillian rolled her eyes, and walked up to her father.
"Do you know old you are?" he asked, very formally.
What kind of question is that? Lillian thought, but answered anyways, "15."
The king nodded, "Yes, you know what that means? You are almost old enough to marry." he said in a very serious voice.
(NOTE: back in these days.. 15 to 16 year olds were eligible to marry.. Sometimes it was even younger.. It was kind of weird x3...)
Oh No! Not this! Lillian thought horrified.
Lillian growled, "Excuse me.. My lord.. But can we discuss this later, I was supposed to meet my friends out in the gardens.. We were going to plant some flowers."
King Midus narrowed his eyes, and growled in the same way, "Well.. If that's all you're doing..."
"It's all I'm doing, my lord." Lillian hissed quietly, staring down her father.
He narrowed his eyes, then sighed, "Fine, be off you, but be sure to come back soon."
"Okay!" she laughed, Not going to happen.. I'm tired of this! I don't want to marry someone I don't know or care about!
She ran back to her room, pulling the book that would open the secret passageway, and she thought bitterly as she entered, closing the bookcase, Friends, what friends!? All I ever do is stay in the castle and read books! I'm tired of being holed up in here!
She grapped her cloak, some clothes, her bag of food and other items, and her bow, which was made for her by her friend, Matthew... But he died in the battle of Orskola, or so her father said, Lillian thought it was too weird, and maybe that he disappeared.
She ran down the passageway, not looking back, she was going to hunt, and no one could stop her.
She opened the door leading to the forest, she closed the door behind her, and hurried away, into the dark of the night.
As she stepped over logs, she kept her eyes forward, she didn't want to get caught by some other predator.
She finally saw a rabbit, very plump, good thing she was taught how to cook the animals, in a respectful way, or, as respectful as it was going to get.
As she readied her bow, quiver pulled back and ready, her ear twitched when she heard another noise.
She hesitated, before letting the arrow fly, when she finally let go, a huge animal jumped out of the bushes, it's teeth in a snarl as Lillian took their kill.
"Oh.. Great. I have to run into a Great cat in these woods, someone hit me now!" she hissed under her breath, staring down the cat.
The cat paced forward, but hesitated, before a boy about her age jumped out of the bushes, swinging his sword like a maniac.
"Away fat beast!" he growled in a Skrealand accent, which sounded as smooth as a river stone.
She called to him, "I'd hardly call it fat, mister!" almost laughing at the boys antics.
He turned, and Lillian gasped, his eyes were as blue as the river that runs through the castle courtyard, and his hair was the soft golden of wheat.
"Trust me, it's fat, I've seen how they are, they're supposed to be lean," he said with a laugh, and jabbed his sword at the cat, but not hitting it, "Away fat beast, go hunt somewhere else!"
The cat growled before giving up, and backed away, eyeing the rabbit as it went.
"Stupid things, they really are pea-brained." he sniffed, turning to her, "Now, what's a girl like you doing out in the dangerous woods?"
She raised an eye-brow, "I've been hunting here since I was little." she said.
"Oh, well, I should introduce myself, I'm Markus, I'm from Skrealand, the nearby village, I was here with my three other friends... But I guess they decided to ditch me." he pouted.
Lillian laughed, "Well, I'll help you find them, they can't be far off!" she stood up.
Markus's eyes lit up, "Really! Thanks..." he faltered, staring at Lillian.
"Um.. What?" she asked.
He tipped his head, "Have I seen you somewhere before?" he asked.
She thought quickly, she has been on many trips to Skrealand, but, she needed to act quickly, she didn't want anyone to know who she is.
"I don't think so... I'm from Jouris you see, the village on the west side of the castle." she smiled nervously.
He narrowed his eyes, but shrugged, "Okay, what's your name?" he asked.
Oh geez.. Lillian decided to risk it, and said, "I'm Lillian, but you can just call me Lily!" she laughed.
Markus said, "Okay, Jouris eh? Hmm, you have the accent, very flowing." he muttered in spectalation.
Lillian sighed in relief as Markus turned, and she followed him through the wood. After many minutes of walking, they heard a what sounded like a scream, but it must have been a howling bird, dangerous things.
Two boys ran through the bushes at them, one was small, around 13, blonde hair, brown eyes, and his face had a look of horror on him as he hid behind Lillian, whimpering in fear.
The other one had silvery hair, and violet looking eyes, though that could just be the light, not that he was old, he looked around Lillians age, if not a little bit younger, but instead of hiding behind Lillian, he stood beside Markus and growled, "Stupid howling bird!"
Another boy soon followed, he was very tall, 16-17 maybe, Lillian guesstimated, he turned, looking at the bushes with a searching look.
Markus asked loudly, "Hey?! What's going on!?"
Lillian didn't move, because the boy behind her was obviously using her as a hiding spot, she was used to it, the people using her as a hiding sheild, Heather did it all the time.
The boy beside Markus glared at him and asked, "Were you not listening!? Howling. Bird!"
"Oh..." Markus drawled out.
Lillian covered her ears as the howling bird came bursting through the bushes, the howling birds call were known to deafen someone, for a short time.
Everyone had the same idea also, and Markus yelled, "Duck!"
Everyone ducked, and the bird flew by, and disappeared into the night.
Markus was the first to stand up. "Okay! What did you guys do to anger a howling bird?" he asked the boy next to him.
"We didn't, it just started chasing after us!" he snapped.
Markus looked at Lillian, then said, "Guys, this is Lillian! The guy standing beside me is Lucan." he pointed to Lucan, who was rolling his eyes showily.
Markus pointed to the kid still hiding behind Lillian, "That's Erik." he said with a laugh.
Lillian said, "Hello."
"Hello!" he muttered in an accent that wasn't Skrealand, he sounded like he was from the kingdom of Hostrish.
Markus finally pointed to the oldest, "And that's Aris, he's not from here, he's from.. How do you say it..." he faltered.
Lucan answered, "Ishari, he's from Ishari."
Markus laughed, "Oh, that's it, he doesn't talk much!"
Lillian noticed the glare Aris was giving Markus.
Markus ignored it though, and nodded to Lillian, "That's everyone, so.. Can I ask why you were hunting?" he asked curiously.
Lillian shivered, "Well, I was hungry." she said.
Markus said, "Good reason, do you want to see Skrealand?" he asked.
Wow, Skrealand, I've been there, but to actually be outside on the ground, chatting with others? she nodded in a hyper way, "Yes!"
Markus laughed, "Well, I hope you know how to canoe."
"Wait, Canoe?" she asked as Markas led her to a river, where canoes and a kayak were tied up, she looked at Markus, "Who came in the kayak?" she asked.
"Lucan, he doesn't trust me with canoing." he eyed Lucan with a betrayed look.
Lucan hissed, "For good reason!" and pointed to the water, "I remember quite well when you thought it was funny to go down rapids."
Markus waved him off, "Aww.. It was fun though, it was worth it." he said with a smile.
Lucan hissed under his breath, "Dummy.."
Lillian didn't know wether Markus heard or not, but if he did, he was really good at acting oblivious. He climbed into the canoe, and asked Lillian, "Want to get in or what."
Lillian was about to climb in, but she noticed Lucan staring at her weirdly.. Like he knew who she was.
She shook her head quickly, he hesitated, then nodded, getting ready to push down the river.
She grabbed the paddle, not really sure what to do, since she's never actually been in a canoe before. But she just copied what Markus was doing.
"You know what you're doing?" Markus asked.
Lillian hissed, "Yes, just go.."
Markus nodded, and started to paddle, much to Lillian\s horror, who didn't know what she was doing, horrified that Markus might lead her into rapids.
Lucan called, "Don't run into any rapids!" as he fought to catch up, with Erik and Aris behind.
Markus laughed, "I won't!" Lillian thought she saw his eyes roll, but missed it.
Lillian just did whatever Markus told her to do, but she started getting a sinking feeling in her stomach, and she asked to Markus, "Ever been down this river before?"
Markus stopped, and looked back at her, "Yeah, loads of times, why?" he asked.
Lililan looked around, eyeing the under-growth around them, and Markus asked, "What's wrong? you scared?" he narrowed his eyes.
"No!" Lillian snapped, looking around some more, but she shivered, looking into the water.
Markus looked into the water too, and asked, "I don't see anything."
Lilian nodded, and was about to say something, when something bumped into their boat, she whipped around, narrowly missing Markus's head with a paddle, and he gasped, "Watch it!"
Lucan finally caught up to them, and asked, "What's going on?"
Markus looked up, "Well, that's weird," he looked at Lucan and asked, "Is there any River lizards around these parts?"
River... Lizards? Lillian thought, looking at Lucan questioningly, who shook his head.
Lillian looked over the boat again, but another lurch almost sent her over, but she felt someone grab at her cloak, and pull her back.
Markus laughed, "Be careful, Lily! Don't want to get wet in this river!" as he let her go.
Lillian muttered, "Thank you." looking at Markus.
Markus looked in the water, "There isn't any River Lizards in here.. Where's this lurching coming from?" he asked.
Lilian wracked her brain, as the boat continued to lurch, I've read this somewhere before... Dire wolves have the ability of telepathy..
She gasped, jumping out of the boat, and wading to shore, and whipped around to face the other 4, Erik and Aris were silent during the whole thing.
Markus looked around to face her, "What's the matter?" he asked.
"It's-It's a Dire wolf!" She called.
Erik gasped, jumping out of his boat too, to join Lillian. With Aris following with a glare at the other two.
"Dire wolves? Really?" Markus asked sarcastically. Almost rolling his eyes.
Lillian knew it was a dire wolf, she could see it across the river, staring at Markus's boat, it's red eyes flashing in anger, it's teeth bared.
Markus turned to face the dire wolf, and he seemed to growl something before his boat was flipped over by the telepathy of the dire wolf.
Lillian gasped, "Markus!" ready to go help him.
Markus got out from under his boat, and shook, "Stupid wolf." he growled, hurrying to join Lillian.
Lucan was stuck though, he was in a kayak, either get out and tip yourself over, or stay strapped in and get tipped over by the dire wolf.
Lucan decided the former, but his strap must have been stuck, and he was fighting to get out, but while he did that his boat was starting to lurch too.
Lillian didn't know what made her do it, but she grabbed her bow and arrows, and shot at Lucan, knowing the risk.
Lucan gasped, as the strap broke, and just as his boat started to tip, he jumped out, and hurried over to where they were.
Lillian asked, "Are you hurt?" looking at him up and down, making sure.
Lucan shook his head, "Barely got me." he said.
Then the dire wolf started to growl, padding forward, it's eyes set on Lillian.
It bounded forward, running on the water, not even sinking into the river.
"What the-?" Markus muttered as the Dire wolf leaped at them.
Lillian reached for Markus's sword, and pulled out the sword just as the Dire wolf was about to hit it's mark.
There was a howl of pain... And all was still.
Will make you..
In the olden days.
The spirits made the daily changes of the seasons...
But the oldest and never understood changes...
Was that of an inner spirit
Lillian groaned, trying to move, but couldn't, Am I dead? she wondered.
"Lily!" a voice called.
She muttered, "Stop it..."
"Lily!" the voice said again, a bit more louder.
She whipped open her eyes, sitting up, and snapping, "What?!" but she gasped at what she was staring at.
A wolf had it's head tipped at her, it's eyes blue chips of ice, and it look concerned, and it asked, "Are you okay?"
Lilian jumped away, "Wolf!" she gasped, staring at it. But she realised that it felt different, she could hear the whistle in the wind, the low hum of the flowing river, and a couple birds in a tree, and some other stuff that seemed distant.
The wolf padded towards her, "Don't you recognize me?" he asked, looking hurt.
"How should I? How can I even understand you?!" she asked, but was poked by a silver wolf, with flat, expressionless eyes the colour of blooming lavender, and he growled, "Why don't you check the river?"
She eyed the wolves, and she noticed a big wolf, and a smaller wolf sitting near-by, she walked toward the river, and gasped at what she saw.
She was a wolf.
She whipped around, "No! How did this happen?!" she yelled in shock.
She saw a tail, and she gasped at it, "Ack!" as she tried to look it, but ended up chasing it.
The wolf that woke her up yelled, "Calm yourself Lily!"
Lillian turned and stared at the wolf, and tipped her head, padding forward slowly, sniffing the air as she went. "Markus?" she asked quietly, sad that she snapped at him.
"Who do you think it was?" Markus asked, kind of hurt.
Then she heard another voice, "I know why this happened."
Aris had stood up and walked towards her, he looked like a dire wolf, he was bigger then all of them, but he pointed her to her left, and what she saw shocked her.
The dead direwolf was lying on it's side, Markus's sword stuck in it, and Lillian got a feeling of dread, "Wh-How did that turn me into... Well, into a wolf?"
Aris padded up to the direwolf, and said, "Well... I don't know that..."
Lillian looked at Markus and Lucan, who were both looking at their paws, in shock.
"I killed it! Why are you all wolves?" she asked.
She then widened her eyes, the only reason Markus was a wolf was because she used his sword against the wolf, and that the death was half his fault, and the other three... Lillian didn't understand.
She sniffed the air. And something made her fur bristle, she heard the whoops and hollers of nearby hunters, on a hunting trip.
She growled, "We have to get out of here, across the river!"
Markus nodded, and lead the way, as Lillian followed, the hollers were getting louder. She had abandoned her bow, and before she could go retrieve it, the bushes parted to show the hunters.
"We don't have time for this!" Markus growled at her.
"Hey look!" one of the hunters pointed to Aris, "That's a dire wolf."
Lillian barked at them, but they laughed, and she felt something tug at her tail, "Come on Lily!" a voice said behind her.
She nodded, following the others away.
But when she looked back, she saw her father step between them, and she gasped, "Father!"
But she gasped in horror when he picked up her bow in shock, then he looked up staring at her with anger and hatred.
He pulled out his own bow, and readied the quiver, aiming straight for her.
"What are you doing?!" she called to him, almost forgetting that he could not understand her.
Markus pulled her back just as the king let the arrow fly, narrowly missing both of them.
Lillian asked, "What's gotten into him?!"
Markus thrust his muzzle in her face, "Run! It's pretty suspicious that he finds your bow, and that you're not there! Oh, and blood, don't forget that!" he growled, pushing her.
Lillian finally got the point, and ran off, with Markus following behind, Aris was at the head of the pack, looking around for a entrence of escape as he went.
She looked back to see the hunters and the king chasing after them.
Lucan and Erik had already disappeared into the bushes, with Aris waiting for the other two.
Aris called, "Running through the village is our only hope! Now hurry up!"
Lillian snarled, "Then we'll get pelted with arrows by the guards! We won't have a chance!"
The hunters were catching up, and Markus pushed past her, "We have no choice!" he called.
He bounded through the bushes, and Lillian chased after him, with Aris following behind him.
As they ran into the village, people started to scream and run around.
Markus stopped when he heard his name called, a women was looking around, calling in horror, "Markus!? Markus?!"
Markus headed towards the women, she caught the gaze of Markus, backing away, sheilding a little girl.
Markus put his ears back, the guards were being alerted by the screams, and they were starting to lose their shock.
The girl came out of her mothers shadow, heading towards Markus.
The women could only watch as her daughter walked towards her brother.
Markus stood up, staying low to the ground as to not scare his little sister.
She reached out her hand, showing no fear, only curiousity, "Brother...?" she asked quietly.
The women looked confused, hearing her daughter speak to the big wolf. Lillian got nervous, as she scented the guards coming nearer.
Markus's eyes brightened, and he looked at his sister. She hugged him, "It is you!" she cried in happiness.
But the guards started yelling, and Lillian could hear the arrows getting ready to fire.
"Markus!" Lillian called, or barked, either way, Markus got the point.
Just as Markus backed away, an arrow narrowly missed his sister, and both of them gasped in shock.
The girl started to cry out of fear. Stuffing her face in her hands, and shaking all over.
Markus wasn't going to have it, he stood in front of his sister, blocking the guards, and he growled, ears back, and eyes narrowed, and ready to pounce.
"Markus! Snap out of it!" Lillian yelled.
Markus looked at Lillian, and started to back away, but still sheilded his sister, pushing her toward their mother, who finally seemed to get it, and dragged the little girl away from the guards.
Markus then ran toward Lillian, just as the arrows started to fly.
Lillian asked while they ran, "What were you thinking?!"
"I wasn't about to let them shoot my sister because of me!" Makus snapped, an arrow grazing his shoulder, "Ack! I'm never hunting again!"
Lillian realized he was limping too, but they kept running.
They stopped by another river, meeting up with Lucan, Erik, and Aris, who were all panting.
Lillian gasped as Aris pushed her into the river, they were on the move again, they all jumped in, swimming across the river.
Thy took a breath on the other side, and Lillian thought in horror, The hunter has become the hunted...
She looked at Markus, and asked, "Are you alright?" who was staring at the way to the village with sad eyes.
Markus stretched, and nodded, "I'll be okay." and followed Aris, who was walking now, Lillian saw that the castle was farther away, and she sighed, following her group.
As they walked, Markus was having more trouble with his shoulder, and had to sit down a couple times before he was ready to move again.
Lillian said, "I know who we can go to for that."
Markus looked at her with brightened eyes, but Aris asked, "Is it a human?"
"Of course, but she won't attack us.. She has more sense." Lillian reassured him, and led they way.
They stopped in front of a wooden house, the scent of the house almost enough to knock someone out, but Lillian walked up to the door, and started scratching it.
A lady's voice called, "I'll be there in a minute."
The door opened to reveal a girl with wavy raven black hair, and eyes as blue as the ocean, and she looked at Lillian, "Fancy seeing you again, but not in wolf form, Lily."
Her friends behind her seemed to tense, but she waved them in, "Come in, it's alright."
As they stepped in, the girl said, "I'm Julian, the prophet, now, may I ask how you got turned into wolves?" she asked curiously.
Lillian made a weird face, and Julian laughed, "Sorry, I wouldn't be able to understand you anyways..." she looked at Markus, who was shaking in pain.
"Ah, but you come to me because your friend is hurt yes?" she asked.
As she went to work on Markus she said, "I never knew the fates could make your inner spirit burst forth.. It's quite interesting and unnerving at the same time."
Markus let out a whimper of pain, and almost bit Julian, but Julian just held his muzzle closed with her hand, and said, "It's not much different from treating a dog, don't worry." she added to Lillian, who looked like she was going to lay one on Markus.
Markus looked hurt, and his ears flopped, and he growled.
"Shut it, it'll help." she said softly.
When she was done, she let go of Markus, who stood up, and walked around.
"Now, let me guess... Your father thinks you're dead, and is hunting you, his daughter, for revenge?" she asked.
Lillian nodded, sad.
"I'm sorry, I can't help.. But... Maybe if you go the the mountain of fates.. The fates can change you back, since they are the ones that have to deal with the inner spirit." Julian said mythically.
Lillian nodded, and led her friends out of the house, Markus was no longer limping, and Lucan looked a bit more relaxed.
Aris took the lead again, and asked, "So, should we go to the mountain of fates? It's a long jouney, and is smack dab in the middle of the kingdoms, and the king of this kingdom probably has everyone hunting wolves now."
Markus nodded, and Lucan asked, "And the danger of walking in the middle of large kingdoms is....?"
"Chances of getting injured is 99 chance. If the fates are in a funny mood, maybe 50." Aris replied.
Lillian sniffed, "These fates sound like they'd be in a funny mood most of the time."
Aris had the tiniest of amusement in his eyes, "Never underestimate the fates, this is their game after all." he said, and started to lead them away from the hut.
After what seemed like hours of walking, she sat down, and sighed, "I'm hungry... I haven't had anything to eat for hours..."
Markus sat beside her, and sniffed the air, "I smell a farm near by." he said.
Lillian was about to say that they shouldn't take food, but she was so hungry, she nodded.
Lucan growled, "You two have fun with that, I'd rather hunt in a forest, like I've been doing since I was little."
Erik sat by Aris, hiding under his shadow.
Lillian followed Markus, the farm had a mill, and had a lot of animals, and chickens were nearest.
"Want to go for the chickens? The farmer is in the cabbage field, and I want to avoid lettuce." Markus said quietly, crouched beside Lillian.
"Chickens." Lillian said bluntly, and padded forward, ears down.
Markus followed, and Lillian heard the chickens pecking the ground.
Lillian finally went after one. Grabbing it quickly, and it squaked in horror, and she heard a call, "Jesse! The chickens, they need feeding!"
The farmer looked up, staring at the chicken pen.
Lillian gasped, "Time to go, Markus!"
Markus had no luck, but he followed Lillian, and away from the farmer, who was grabbing something.
But Markus tripped, and he flinched in pain, landing on his face, "Go, Lily!" he muttered, having trouble getting up.
"Hurry up and I will." Lillian grunted, helping him up, while still firmly holding the chicken, and they both ran. Just as the farmer caught up to them.
They finally escaped, and stopped where Aris was, sitting calmly, staring up at the sky, Lucan was no where to be found.
Aris eyed the chicken, "It might taste better if we had fire.. But we can't, because we don't have a fire." he said, "Lucan went hunting."
Markus was trying to fix his pulled paw, and grunted when there was a snap, which meant he fixed it.
After sitting, Lucan came back with Erik, who was heling him with a rabbit.
"A chicken? Really?" he asked.
"It was the only thing." Markus pouted, stretching his paw.
Erik put the rabbit he was holding in front of Lillian, and he asked, "Do-Do you want to share?"
Lillian was glad for Erik's quiet demeanour and friendship, and she nodded.
As they ate, Aris and Markus finished first, Markus yawned, finding a comfortable place to sleep, and drifted off immediately.
Lillian had the last bite of the rabbit, and Erik also went to find a comfortable place to sleep. Aris was taking the first watch, because he was sitting up, looking around.
Lucan was sheltering under some bushes, he had also drifted off.
Lillian yawned, and soon... Drifted off into sleep herself.
She yawned, waking up in a dream world, she woke up in a dark clearing, surrounded by wolves, who were whispering, and eyeing her.
"It's unnatural.." one of the whispered.
"Why do they want our help?" another one whispered.
The vision disappeared, and soon, she was standing in front of Markus, but he wasn't facing her, he was facing a huge wolf, bigger then Aris.
It was the dire wolf that she had killed, and it was guarding pups, and she looked straight at Lillian, and said to her, "Ah.. Princess Lillian.. It's an honour to meet you.. Without all the fighting of course." she laughed.
She padded past Markus, who didn't turn, "I do not blame you, sometimes wolves can lose control of their sense of mind, I just thought you were a threat to my land and pups," she barked, "But I turned you into what I am, to make you understand.. And it'll be a while before you truly do."
Lillian gasped, "If-If I had known you had pups..."
"There is no way you could have, now, you should wake up, or one of your friends is going to suffer..." she said softly, whirling the dream, and waking up Lillian.
She looked around, first to Lucan, who was still safe under his bush, Aris, who had nodded off, Erik, who was sleeping near a tree, and Markus, who was breathing softly.
Which one could possibly be in danger of suffering? she thought, And of course, it depends what she meant by suffer...
In danger? The tree Erik was sleeping under seemed pretty strong, and didn't look like it was going to fall, so it couldn't be a danger suffering, but a different suffering, an inside suffering.
She looked at Markus, he was pretty upset at leaving his sister, but if he was hurt, he didn't show it.
She turned her head to Lucan, she didn't know everything about him, but he didn't act like someone who has suffered.
She then turned to Aris, who finally shook off his nodding off, and was staring silently at the bushes, thinking about something.
Lillian stood up, padding past Markus to sit beside Aris, "Is something bothering you?"
"Not bother.. Bugging is a better word." Aris said flatly, staring at the sky.
Lillian tipped his head, there was something about him she just couldn't place, it was a familiar feeling.
"Well, what's bugging you?" she asked nicely.
"My home, how is my home doing without me there? I mean, I know my mother can handle herself, but she's old... She can't control an entire kingdom..." Aris said quietly.
Lillian was about to say something, but she felt a pang, and suddenly knew who Aris was.
"You-You're not the..." she stammered, backing away.
Aris looked at her, "Am not what?" he asked, standing up.
"You-You're the king of Ishari!" she gasped, "You're the demon wolf of the north! They tell stories about you!"
"Demon wolf?" he asked curiously, a bit confused, "What's a demon wolf?"
Lillian stayed bristling, suddenly feeling small under Aris's gaze, and she stammered, "Demon wolf, they call you that because you use wolves for hunting, and that you pillaged the land of Ishari, making it almost unlivable using wolves!" her head was bowed.
The king of Ishari was a legend, but she never knew that she would meet the king in person. And he was young too, that's what confused her most.
"Un...Livable?" he asked, and shrugged, "I use dogs for hunting, sure, they're big dogs, but they're not wolves, and... If we ever have to take a path through Ishari, well, you'll see for yourself."
Lillian gaped, and Aris pointed out, "You're the princess of Grealach, what's the difference?"
"Huge difference! You control an entire kingdom and it's claimed lands! I just do what I'm told, and I was destined to marry a prince! You-You...." Lillian trailed off.
Aris looked at Erik, "Hostrich.. Ruled by King Harry and his queen Yewfer." he muttered.
Lillian nodded, then looked at Lucan, and tipped her head, "Do you know where he is from? He doesn't look like he's from Skrealand." she said.
Aris barked, "Lucan Varlias, prince of the Northern Kingdom of Nixsan, you can tell he's from the royal family from the colour of his eyes."
Lillian asked, "And.. Should I ask what two of the most royal people are doing in Grealach?"
"The same reason you ran away." Aris just said.
Lillian had nothing to say to that, because she knew Aris had a point.
Beware your home...
Lillian flicked her ear when she heard a noise, she turned around, and eyed the bushes.
"You hear that, Aris?" she asked, narrowing her eyes.
Aris had his ears perked too, and growled, "Wake up the others, we need to move.. Now!" he stood up, heading to wake up Erik.
Lillian headed for Lucan first, and poked him hard, "Wake up!" she growled.
Lucan stirred, and opened his eyes, and asked, "What-?" but he didn't get the chance to finish, because Lillian was already heading to wake up Markus.
As she tried to wake him up, the noise was getting nearer, and she growled as she shook him, "Wake up..."
Lillian thought, He must be exhausted from all the running... But he has to wake up.. But how? as she failed waking him up.
She then got an idea, it was a stupid idea, but it was the only way.
She bit down on his ear hard, and he let out a yelp of surprise, jumping up and looking around, almost biting her back.
"It's just me! But we've got to go!" she snapped.
Markus shook his head, trying to wake himself up, and looked around, "What's the matter?" he asked.
"I don't know.. I think hunters are near." she murmured, getting up to follow Aris, who was waiting, as Markus and Lillian.
Markus stretched, before they all started to walk, and he asked, "So.. Again.. What's happening? I don't sense anything."
Aris said nothing as he lead the way, with Erik close behind, Lucan taking the back of the pack.
Lillian stopped, sniffing the air suddenly, she didn't know why, but something was off about the air, about the nature around them.
Lucan had padded past her, then stopped, looking at her curiously.
"Don't you smell that?" she asked, and continued sniffing the air.
Lucan sniffed the air too, and shrugged, and Aris commented, "My teacher always told me female wolves were always more attuned to the enviroment then male wolves." as he walked, flicking his tail.
Lillian tipped his head, and Markus padded up to her, and looked around, "I don't see anything weird..." he muttered.
Lillian couldn't shake off the feeling off though... Something was wrong, like something bad has happened.
"Er..?" Erik looked back, eyes shining in curiousity.
"Um.. Uh..." Lillian looked around, a horrible feeling rising up inside of her, she could smell something.. It smelled a bit like rust, but she couldn't tell.
She shivered from head to tail, then she heard a howl of terror, not far off.
They all jumped, it sounded like a cry, and Lillian hurried, being closely followed by Aris and Markus, but not Lucan and Erik, who decided not to follow.
Lillian fell into a clearing, she looked up, and realised that there was a storm coming, and it was starting to rain, but she was confused where the crying was coming from.
Markus almost tripped over Lillian, but stopped himself just in time, and he looked around too.
Lillian stood up, and looked at Aris, "What was that?" she asked.
He shrugged, and Markus was twitching his ears, his eyes narrowed.
Lillian realised that there was an ominous creaking coming from the trees, like they were getting ready to fall.
"You hear that too?" Markus asked, the crying had stopped, but there was whimpering near-by. But it wasn't any of them.
It even stopped raining, but the wind had picked up, even though it was almost silent.
Aris was shivering, his eyes were narrowed.
Then there was another cry, and the creaking got louder, and Lillian and Markus continued forth, leaving Aris to shiver, and looking around with a hint of fear in his eyes.
As they continued, they looked around there was a cry, "Help!" it sounded like it was a young one, and Lillian and Markus hurried into the next clearing.
What they saw horrified, a little pup was stuck on a vine, she was trying to pull it out, but it seemed to hurt her, and she cried.
Lillian realised that the vine was from a tree trunk, she flicked her ear, the big tree didn't look like it was going to fall.
Markus hurried forward, but Lillian didn't dare follow, she was getting another sinking feeling, she looked at the mountain in the distant, and she thought, This is a dangerous game you're playing...
As Markus tried to pull the little pup out, she finally heard the wind, it was whistling dangerously, she did see the tree start to creak, moving with the wind, and she called, "Markus! Hurry up!"
Markus looked up, and when he saw the tree, he resorted to pulling the vine, to no avail, while the pup whimpered in fear.
"Markus!" Lillian called, as the tree started to creak dangerously.
Markus looked like he was thinking quickly, he finally grabbed the vine, and pushed the pup out with his paw, just as he let go, the tree finally broke with it's stump, and started to fall.
Markus had no where to run, he couldn't just leave the pup there, he finally grabbed her, and started to run.
Lillian flinched as the tree landed, sending up dust into the air.
"Markus?" she finally called, running to the tree, and looking around.
"I'm okay!" she heard him call, she saw him climb over the fallen tree, carrying the pup.
He put the pup down, and she shook all over, before looking up at the two big wolves, and she bowed, "Th-Thank you!"
Markus laughed, "It was no problem really."
The pup looked around, the whistling had finally died down, and she asked, "H-Have you seen a white wolf around here? Goes by the name of Greavar?"
Markus looked at the pup, "Sorry... No.." he tipped his head.
The pup barked, "Oh, that's okay, she said she was going to go hunt before the storm hit, but she hasn't come back yet..." she finally tipped her head, and held out her paw, "I'm Kyrai, I'm from a pack that's travelling from the snow kingdom, those humans up there can be cold-hearted, and there's not enough prey to go around, so we had to move." she barked.
Lillian finally answered, "I'm Lillian, this is Markus."
"Weird names, but okay, can you help me find my pack... I can't scent them or anything..." she whimpered in sadness.
Markus said, "I'll help."
She looked up at him, "Wow? Really?! Thanks!" she asked, jumping around him.
Lillian glared at Markus, now they have to help this young pup find her pack, because she had a bad feeling about her mother.
As the pup walked ahead, she growled uner her breath, "Why did you do that?" she asked, she just wanted to turn back into a human again. She didn't want to get caught up in a wolf pack's problems.
"She's just a puppy, we can't leave her out her to die, she looks too young to hunt either way, she'd starve to death." he growled back.
As they bickered, the pup let out a terrified whimper. There was blood everywhere, and a too familiar silver wolf was flinching from the pain, and she gasped, "Lucan!"
Markus was shocked, and he looked at the scene with horrified eyes.
As Lillian helped Lucan, he growled, "It.. Was crazy... They came out of no where... I've never seen wolves so vicious, not since I left my home..." he stammered.
"Where's Erik and Aris?" Lillian asked, horrified that wolves had done this.
Lucan sighed, then looked at torn up bushes. "They went that way... Be careful, they're nasty." he muttered, and laid back down.
Lillian ran towards the bushes, with Markus following closely. And they jumped through the bushes, to soon crash into Aris and Erik, who was shivering in fear behind Aris. They were soon surrounded by wolves.
"Hey, look what we got here, more of a nomadic pack, what do you think of this now, Kitash?" a white wolf asked another white wolf, with a laughing tone.
The female who was circling growled, "Hmph, if they have Kyrai, they won't be a nomadic pack no more..."
Lillian stopped dead, Kyrai? That's the pup!
But Aris gave her a glare that told her not to do anything, that would only comfirm the she-wolfs suspicions.
Kitash then looked at Aris, and she growled, "Deamon wolf, leader of this pack, what are you doing, intruding on Ice pack territory?"
Aris replied calmly, "I thought your pack liked the northlands, from what I heard from a friend, who you met earlier."
"Yes, the lavender eyes, he seems to know much about the white kingdom, was he born there?" she asked carefully.
"Well, you should ask him that, not me." Aris growled dangerously, putting his tail straight, and narrowing his eyes.
The wolves behind Kitash laughed an ice cold laugh, but she silenced them with her tail, but as she bowed, and was about to back away, she looked at Lillian and Markus, and padded up to them.
She sniffed them both, "You two smell of rain and Ice pack, were you caught in that great wind with one of our own?" she asked icily.
Lillian growled in her face, "I guess you could say that."
"A spirited one you have in your pack deamon wolf." Kitash dismissed Lillians protective tone.
She looked at Markus, "What about you?" she asked, even more dangerously, whatever Markus said, she would not dismiss as easily.
Lillian couldn't help but rolling her eyes, and she tried to signal Markus not to say anything, at which he had already decided, to not say anything. At all.
"Well?" she was crouched now, teeth bared. Lillian braced herself.
"No." Markus said.
She seemed taken-aback, "What?"
"No, we weren't caught in the great wind.. You should really be more careful with your pups." He stepped aside to reveal Kyrai, who was hiding behind him from her own pack.
Some of the wolves gasped, but they got an angry look in their eyes, and Lillian edged closer to Markus, because Kitash looked ready to leap.
"So you did take the pup?" Kitash asked, edging nearer.
"No, we didn't, she was caught under a falling tree, so unless you want your pup squished, I kind of had no choice." Markus said, unfazed by the nearing wolf.
Lillian gasped when the wolf behind Kitash leaped over her, and landed on Markus, pinning him.
"Then what did you do with Greavar?" he growled, digging his claws dangerously in Markus's fur.
Lillian pushed him off, snapping at him. Then growled, "We only saw the pup! No others!" she stood in front of Markus.
The wolf growled dangerously, and Markus stood beside Lillian, bleeding a bit.
Kitash snapped, "Enough, why don't we ask Kyrai?" she looked at Kyrai, and growled, "What happened?"
Kyrai seemed shocked, but suddenly hid under Markus, then told her story.
"They saved me! Don't hurt them!" she yelled out who was obviously her father, and she said, "See, mother went hunting, she said she'd be back, but she never did come back! So I went to find her, and then the great wind started, I tried sheltering under a tree, but I got stuck in a vine, I couldn't get out! I thought I was going to get crushed by the falling tree!"
She took a breath, then continued, "Markus saved me, I'd be dead if it wasn't for him..." she looked up at Markus in awe, "I've never seen a wolf brave enough to do that, or even save a pup in another pack before, usually wolves just leave abandoned pups."
The wolf seemed taken-aback, while Kitash sighed, "Well, where is Greavar anyways?" she asked, stepping back from Markus a little, giving him some space.
Kyrai finally padded out, and barked, "I don't know.. She never came back..."
Kitash looked at Lillian, and asked, in an almost soft tone, "Your friend, the lavender eyes, how hurt is he?"
"A lot, you did a number on him." Aris answered still sheilding Erik.
Kitash turned to a black she-wolf, and she barked, "Holly..."
Holly stood up, and barked, "Yes Kitash." and she went to where Lucan was injured.
Kitash looked at Aris, "We're sorry about that spat, from what Kyrai said, she'd be dead if it wasn't for your pack-mate." she growled, bowing in truce.
Aris growled, "It's no problem."
Kitash stood up, and growled, "The storm is only going to get worse.. Where are you heading deamon wolf?"
"The mountain of fate." he growled, and some of the wolves gasped, and some whispered.
"Why!?" a wolf called.
"It's personal.." Lillian snapped back.
"No one has traveled to the mountain and survived to tell the tale! No one!" a younger wolf called back.
Kitash silenced them, "What they do is their business, if they are indeed travelling there, we can only wish them luck," she then turned to Aris, "But... And I hate to ask this, we need a favour from you daemon wolf, since you're heading to the mountain anyways."
Aris relaxed, and asked, "What.. Type of favour?"
"A.. Well.. We were chased out of the north, by a huge pack of daemon wolves.. And, we really need help.. After seeing the way you fight, if you help us, we could get our old home back." Kitash muttered.
Aris looked at Lillian, and Lillian shrugged. And Aris asked, "Who's your leader?"
Kitash answered, "He's back in our temporary camp... But we should wait for lavender eyes."
As soon as she said that though, Lucan was being led by Holly, who had obviously healed him enough for him to walk, but he still looked shaky.
Kitash answered, "We will take you to our camp."
As they followed, the storm had finally calmed down, Kitash was in the lead, and they finally entered a small clearing with some trees, where wolves were talking in whispers.
Kitash lead Aris to the leaders den, and Aris told them he would be right back, and disappeared with Kitash.
Lillian, Erik, Markus, and Lucan sat in a group, watchful of the other wolves, who were curious, often sniffing the air as the passed them, or talking in hushed whispers.
Some young pups eyed them carefully, often snipping at them, and being told to stop by a beta, who padded away soon after.
Soon, Kitash and Aris came back, with a snowy white wolf, who was glaring down at them with curious eyes. And he asked, "I am Meteor... You are?"
Aris introduced them, and nodded his head, bowing a little bit.
Aris glared at his friends direction, who finally got the point, and they bowed also.
Meteor sniffed the air, "You smell of human? Run into some?" he asked in a curious tone.
Markus muttered, "You could say that..." but quickly shut his mouth when Lillian stepped on his tail.
"No, no it's okay young one, I do not need to know your trials, for a packs trials is it own, but.. Since Kitash has asked the request, if you accept, our trials will become yours, we do not belong in this land of green, we belong in the land of ice." Meteor barked.
He then looked at Lucan, and was about to say something before hesitating, and he narrowed his eyes, "Lavender eyes.. Where do you come from?"
Lucan didn't answer immediatly, but finally said, "The white kingdom."
Some of the wolves gasped, and Meteor looked shocked, "But.. Wolves born in The White Kingdom.. Are controlled by humans..." he muttered, but then looked at Lucan more closely.
"But.. I've never seen a wolf with lavender eyes.. A human I did see once, when I was young and weak..." Meteor growled.
Lucan didn't say anything, but he also got a familiar look in his eyes.
Meteor shook his head, and then howled to his pack, who were listening intently, "These are our guests.. I will not have any disrespect shown toward them." he eyed the pups who snipped at them earlier, and they crouched low.
Aris bowed to Meteor, and growled swiftly, "Thank you."
Meteor bowed back, and Lillian knew that Meteor was fooled by them, he could smell the human scent on them, but he disregarded it as them being near a farm or a village.
Soon, the wolves went about their business, and Markus asked Aris, "So... We're helping them?"
Aris looked at Markus, gaze flat, "Yeah, it's not like we have another choice, Nixsan is a couple days away from the mountain.. We might as well." he replied.
Lucan was silent, and Lillian asked, "Do you know Meteor?"
Lucan looked at her, "I feel like I should.. But I don't." he answered flatly, standing up, and shaking out his fur, and walked away.
Lillian only watched, there was something about Lucan that she just couldn't place.
Aris looked at the rest of them, and growled, "Do what you want, but don't get too close, we're humans, and we don't want any friendships broken."
Lillian agreed silently, impatient to get to the mountain, she was tempted to go alone, but she can't, the others wouldn't agree with her, or follow her anyways.
No.. My best bet is too sneak away. Lillian thought to herself, while Markus was surrounded by Kyrai and her friends.
"How big was the tree?!" one of the smaller ones asaked in excitement.
"Really big!" Markus laughed, sharing a tale.
Kyrai nodded, "Yeah! It was huge. We could fit a whole wolf pack and more in that tree!"
There were gasps of amazement. And the pups bombarded more questions. While Lillian sat by. Watching the moon rise tensely.
Tonight.. I can't put my friends in any more danger, and I have a feeling that we're going to walk right into a war...Lillian thought.
Erik just watched the pups also, looking more relaxed.
Lillian looked at the bushes, quickly planning her midnight escape.
Night rose quickly, and the wolves were all settling down and falling asleep. Lillian picked a spot, and waited until everyone had fallen asleep.
She nodded off once or twice, but when she saw the moon high in the sky, she knew this was her only chance to run.
She stood up, shook her fur, and padded quickly out of the camp, and rushed away from the forest.
She stopped, running into a river, she stopped, looked around, and started drinking the pure water.
She soon lost concentration on the forest, she yawned, finding a good place to sleep, under a bush. And soon, she fell asleep.
But she got a pang in her stomach before falling asleep.
The feeling of lonliness.
They run the same path.
Lillian woke up, the dawn shedding light into the forest in patches, she crawled out of the bush, needing to move before her friends realised she ran off.
She took a drink of the water again, and sighed. Soon crossing it, looking back in sadness, then continued on in the still dark part of the forest.
As she walked, she looked at the trees nervously, getting a sinking feeling in her stomach, and she wished one of her friends was with her, so she wasn't so alone in the dark forest.
She continued walking, and looked at a tree.
What? It has a face!? she blinked, seeing the tree's scary face, and she blinked again, and it was gone.
Soon, she heard an owl, but it made the dark forest seem even more menacing, she flinched when there was a growl far off into the distance.
She froze, staring into sharp blue eyes, which were clearly visable from the bushes.
She gasped, and started backing away quickly, but bumped into a tree, but she turned tail, and started to run.
She didn't dare look back, but she knew the beast was on her tail, from all the pawsteps following her.
But she slipped, and got caught in a muddy mountain, and almost fell over the edge, but she dug her claws into the earth, and clung her back paws to the rocks, trying to get up.
As she scrabbled to get up, the huge shape walked out of the bushes, engulfed in shadows, the eyes were like blue chips of eyes.
She flicked her tail nervously, her paws were slowly but surely slipping from the mud, and she whimpered. Looking at the wolf with scared eyes.
The wolf padded forward, crouching low to the ground, and carefully making it's way to Lillian, who had her eyes closed in terror.
She felt teeth grab her scruff, and she strangly felt herself get dragged up, away from the edge.
She heard a voice, "Are you okay?"
She opened her eyes, to see the wolf crouched in front of her, she wanted to back away, but couldn't, "M-Markus?"
Markus stood up, and shook his fur, "Yeah, it's me? What were you thinking?" he asked carefully.
Lillian shook her fur too, and shivered, "I wanted to go to the mountain of fates alone, you guys were going to get caught up in a war..."
Markus said, "But it's the only safer way to get to the mountain... War or not, Nixsan is quite mountainus, but there's a perfectly straight path to the mountain of fates."
Lillian stood up, and looked back at the muddy mountain, and sighed, "I guess..."
"Come on." Markus's eyes brightened, leading back into the dark forest, which was getting more light now.
As they walked, Lillian sniffed the air, the smell of wolves over-lapped here and there.. But no one.. Human or wolf, could mistake the smell of rust.
"Markus! Something's wrong!" she gasped, holding her nose under her paws.
"So.. So much..." she gasped in horror.
Soon, she was on her feet again, and they both hurried.
As they crashed into the camp, they gasped at what they saw, stopping dead in their tracks.
Blood was all over the grassy clearing, wolves were fighting against their wounds, and some were crouched, hidden in the shadows, looking horrified.
Lillian looked around, trying to find her friends.
She saw Lucan's silver fur first, and she hurried over to him, hoping he wasn't dead.
"Lucan?" she asked.
He grunted, although weak, he was alive. But barely.
"What happened?" Lillian asked, trying to rouse him more, not wanting him to succumb to his wounds.
Lucan rasped, "Dire... Wolves..."
Lillian nodded, looking around the clearing. Some wolves were eyeing the bushes carefully, and some were laying down, tired.
Lillian asked Lucan, "Can you get up? Or move someplace else?"
Lucan seemed to think, and grunted, "You're going to have to give me some time..."
Lillian reassured him "Take your time.." she then looked at Markus, "Find Aris and Erik?"
Markus nodded, "I found Aris.. But Erik..." he faltered.
Lillian followed him to Aris, who was lying on his side, eyes angry slits, and his flank was bleeding heavily.
Lillian asked softly, "Where did Erik go?"
Aris answered after hesitating, "I have no idea... One moment he was behind me.. And the next... He just disappeared...."
Lillian nodded, and turned to Markus, "Erik might have been wolf napped by the dire wolves."
Aris then stood up, "That's a possibilty..." he muttered.
Lillian saw Kitash in a corner near Aris, and she growled, "Dire wolves... They did this... They need to pay..." her tail was flicking, and her eyes were narrowed in anger.
Markus asked, "Are the pups alright?"
Kitash glowered at him, "I do not know."
Markus nodded, backing away, to find the pups.
Lillian looked around for the wolf named Holly, and she was sheltering in a corner, seeming to list herbs out loud.
"Holly? Will you be able to heal everyone?" Lillian asked.
"I can try... But you can't always save them all..." she whispered.
Lillian understood, Holly would try her best, but in the end, fate was in charge.
Lillian glowered at the mountain, which landed them into this mess in the first place.
Meteor had finally padded out of his den, bleeding somewhat, but looked a bit okay, and he growled, "You now see what Daemon wolves can do?"
Lillian nodded, looking at the mountain with thoughtful eyes.
Markus, who had found the pups, as they were hiding a bush, asked, "What are you thinking, Lillian?"
Lillian didn't answer, but thought, Fine.. Want to play that way.. We'll play that way.
"Ever thought of fighting fate?" she asked, in an almost playful way.
Lillian and a group of ready to fight wolves were clumped in a bush, and one of them growled, "This is a great idea.. Let's all hide in a bush..."
"Shh.." another one snapped back.
Lillian growled, "Shut it, I need to think."
The wolves went quiet, she had followed the dire wolves scent, but she could not scent Erik, which worried her.
Soon, she gave the signal to follow, concious of every wolf behind her copying her every move, and soon, they caught a stronger scent of the dire wolves, mixed with a scent of rust.
Soon, they stumbled into a clearing, but there was not a dire wolf in sight.
But there was Erik
He turned, eyes curious, "Oh? Everyone's alright then? That's good." he asked, his eyes were full of amusement, and he wagged his tail, "The dire wolves aren't going to come back any time soon.
Lillians jaw had dropped. Erik.. Beat all of them... Single handedly...? she thought in amazement.
Erik padded towards them, "Really, dire wolves are just like normal wolves, just bigger, no problem really..." he muttered as he padded towards the camp.
"No...?" Lillian stammered, staring at Erik in amazement.
Erik seemed unfazed by the rustic smell in the air, and he just trotted away, looking happy.
Lillian just watched him leave, amazed, he seemed to be so quiet and fearful, always hiding behind Aris's shadow.
Lillian just flopped an ear, and looked confused, and Markus pushed past her, laughing, "Really.. He's really scary when he's mad.. You didn't see that before?" as he padded after Erik.
Lillian rolled her eyes. Following Markus closely.
As they walked past the river, Lillian took the lead, then she suddenly stopped, forcing Markus to stop, "What?" he asked.
Erik was waiting for them, but his eyes brightened when he saw Lillians face, and she growled to the patrol, "Why don't you go on ahead.. Maybe help Holly."
The wolves nodded, and padded forward, leaving them alone.
Markus asked, "What? What's going on?"
Lillian sat down, and flicked her tail back and forth, planning.
She then stood up, and faced Markus, who had a confused look on his face.
Lillian rolled her eyes, then smashed her paw into Markus's side, pushing him into the river, and Lillian heard Erik laugh.
Markus gasped, shaking his fur, standing up in the water, "What was that for?" he asked.
Lillian shrugged, "I don't know, just felt like doing it I suppose.. You looked like you needed cold-" but she soon felt something grapple her, and soon she felt water soak her fur.
"Ah! I wasn't finished!" She stood up, staring at Markus, who was already on the bank, and was shaking his fur.
She soon climbed out, shivering, and Markus laughed, "That's what you get!"
She shook out her fur, while Erik was laughing at their antics.
Lillian padded past Markus, who looked like he was planning to push her in again, but she hurried away from the river, so he wouldn't be able too.
As they entered the camp again, they saw most of the wolves in stronger spirits, even talking jokingly about the attack, and the pups were exaggerating the story to the younger ones.
Markus said, "Wow, it's cheerful now."
Lillian was about to agree, but Markus let out a gasp of shock, and Lillian saw him turn his head around.
Kyrai was tugging on his tail, very hard, with a playful look in her eyes.
"Hey! Le-Let go!" he gasped, shaking his tail away from her, and turning to face her.
But soon, one of Kyrais friends tugged his tail, and soon ran away, laughing.
Markus turned to look for his other attacked, but Kyrai saw her chance again to bite down on his tail.
"Ow! That hurts!" he turned to face her, tugging his tail away, and holding it high in the air.
"It's supposed too!" she laughed, ducking under him.
Markus jumped, backing away from the puppies. "Hey, I like playing rough and all.. But... Ow! Not the tail!" he turned around to his attacker, eyes narrowed, his tail being tugged at again.
Kyrai and her friends laughed, and lauched a new attack.
Kyrai lauched herself at Markus's face, while two of the puppies pulled on his tail.
"H-Hey! Unfair advantage! It's 5 against one!" Markus laughed.
Kyrai commented, "But you're bigger then us."
Markus shook them off, and rolled his eyes, and just when they were about to lauch another tail attack, he backed up, causing them to bump into each-other, and look at Markus with shocked eyes.
"Hey! Now that was unfair!" Kyrai yelled playfully.
Markus said innocently, "All I did was back up...."
Lillian sat down, and pointed out, "But it's unfair to dodge a puppy, they want to win after all."
Markus glared at her, and made a 'You're not helping' look, and faced the puppies again. Who were making puppy eyes at him, widening their eyes, and staring at him with sad eyes.
He rolled his eyes, and laid down, and the puppies got excited looks on their faces.
Kyrai lauched her attack first, going for his ear, and tugging it.
"Ow, I need that you know!" Markus growled playfully, putting his ears back.
Lillian let the puppies fight Markus, and went to see Aris, who was sitting up, watching with amusement.
"He actually gave up?" Aris asked.
"It's not like he was going to win against them either way." Lillian laughed, rolling her eyes.
She turned to see Erik telling a story to some younger pups, who were listening intently. She sniffed, and turned back to Aris.
Lillian turned to Markus again, who was padding away, with Kyrai and her friends following him.
Markus saw her, and padded towards her, still being followed by the pups, and he muttered, "Can you help me.. Please?"
He had sat down, and the puppies sat down too, watching him with wide eyes.
Lillian suddenly got an idea, "How about we go fishing?" she asked the puppies.
They all nodded in excitement. And Markus asked, "What are you thinking?"
"You'll see.." she murmured, then said, "Okay! Let's go.. And follow closely..."
As they padded towards the river, she scented the air, making sure that there wasn't anymore dire wolves, then stopped at the river, and turned to them.
"Now, puppies, I understand you like playing?" Lillian asked.
Markus was more interested in something across the river, so he wasn't paying attention, so she whispered, "I'm going to teach you the proper way to annoy a full-grown wolf."
She padded behind Markus, the puppies watching closely with amusement.
She then smashed into him, and he gasped, landing in the cold water.
But he didn't even look back at Lillian, he was still concentrated on the other side of the river.
Some of the puppies sniffed the air, some of them whimpering in horror.
"What-?" Lillian looked at Markus, but everything stopped, when a ragged hunter came out of the bushes, bow at the ready.
"F-Father...?" she murmured in shock, surprised that he was like this.
He readied his bow, and before Markus could do anything, he let an arrow fly, narrowly missing Kyrai.
Kyrai cried in horror, running away with her friends toward the camp, howling in terror.
Markus had already leaped out of the river, but not on Lillians side, he jumped on Lillian's father, pinning him down, growling in his face.
"Markus! No!" she called.
Markus kept him down, "I know he's after you, and you only, Lily! Go, I'll be fine!" he growled.
Lillian could only watch in horror, as her father kicked Markus off, causing Markus to whimper in pain.
She finally took the chance to run, running to the camp, and howling, "Hunter! Hunter!"
the wolves looked up, and Kyrai asked, "Where's Markus?"
"It doesn't matter! He's going to be fine! Run!" she yowled, Meteor looked horrified, but he growled, "No one can fight.. We have to move now!"
Lillian faced Meteor, "Get the pack to the entrance to the white kingdom! I need to do something."
She ran back into the forest, no longer afraid of her father, the hunter wanting to kill her.
She ran into him, growling into his face, eyes livid, staring into the eyes that were the same as hers.
They glared at each-other, her father had thrown his bow in shock, he was no longer at an advantage.
"Kill me wolf! Just like you killed my daughter!" he spat.
She huffed, then howled, leaping off him, running back to the river where Markus was.
She could tell he was going to follow her, but didn't, his moments hesitation had given her time.
She saw Markus lying on his side, bleeding slightly, his paw looked twisted, she crossed the river, going to him, "Markus! Are you alright?" she asked, putting a paw on his flank.
"Ow... Watch.. Where you put your paw.." he muttered.
Markus stood up, and tried to walk, but couldn't, he gasped, "Go on Lillian, I can't walk!"
"You..." she murmured, but shook her head, walking towards the river again, waiting for her father.
Markus asked, "What are you doing?!"
She soon saw her father crash through the bushes, eyes livid.
He grabbed the bow, but before he could even ready an arrow, she jumped across, seeming to run across the water, and grabbed the bow, and ran across again, but turned back at a moments notice.
But as he was readying a dagger, she jumped into the air, and growled, and she felt something.. Change.
She felt hands grip her bow, where paws should have been, and a voice whispered, One time, Lillian.. One shot...
She aimed, and fired, eyes livid.
And she hit the tree behind the king, and when she landed on the other end of the bank, she dropped the bow from her hands, which turned into paws.
She gasped, staring up at her father, who seemed horrified.
Markus looked amazed too, and her father called, "Lillian.. What has happened to you?"
Lillian couldn't answer, she just went to Markus, helping him up.
The king was on his knees, eyes wide.
Lillian huffed at him, and helped Markus walk away from the king, and she knew.. That she could never face her father again.
As they walked, Markus murmured, "How... How did you change back?"
"I.. I don't know... I didn't think about it." she admitted as they walked.
Markus sighed, "Thanks..."
"It's no problem, you're my friend, I-" but she finally realised.
I had a chance to shoot.. I was human.. And that happened.... 'I will make you understand'.... I turned back that moment because I protected someone I cared about... Could.. That be the answer? Could the fates make the change permanent? she thought in realisation.
Markus commented, "You look like you just figured out something big." looking at her curiously.
"You could say that." she repled, flicking her tail back and forth in excitement.
"Well, leave it as a surprise for later, I don't really feel like I'd be able to jump for joy or anything like that if it's important." he flicked his tail, amused.
Lillian rolled her eyes, and they kept walking, and Lillian scented Aris, who was still waiting for them in the camp.
"What happened? The rest of the wolves are at the border of Nixsan." he asked.
Markus commented, "Well we better catch up, although that might take a day or two with this." he held out his twisted paw.
Aris rolled his eyes, grabbed his paw, and pulled.
"Eh?" he gasped, and slammed it down on the ground.
"Better?" Aris asked, walking away.
Markus shook his paw, and his ears perked, "Yeah!" and padded after Aris, while Lillian followed closely.
Soon, they caught up to the pack, Lillian kept sniffing the air, worried, because it was the season where hunters were most active.
She called too Kitash, "Dont you smell them?"
Kitash smelled the air, "Yeah... I smell them, a few hours away by the strength of the scent, if we get to the mountains before nightfall, we'll have a free run, they wouldn't dare enter the White kingdom.
Lillian sniffed, not sure about that. But followed the alpha anyways, doubts or no.
Markus pointed out, "If you're worried about the hunters.. They're not allowed to hunt over the border, she's right." and padded forward.
As the pack had to climb a rocky path one at a time, it took an hour or so to make the pups go up, only careful convincing from Markus made them go up.
Lillian started to get nervous, the human scent getting closer.
Lillian perked her ears, half the pack was already over the rocks, but she wanted to make sure everyone was over before she went.
Aris soon went, and she was ready to go, but the hunters had finally caught up.
She looked at them, carefully narrowing her eyes, some of the pack was watching.
"Wow, a whole pack..." One of the younger hunters whispered.
The older one leaned over and whispered something, and the younger one nodded.
"Think the Demon wolf of the west needs new hunting dogs?" One of them whispered.
Lillian looked at Aris, and asked in a growl, "What do I do?"
Aris seemed too in shock to answer, he was staring at the hunters angrily, but held back.
Lillian rolled her eyes, "You guys go, I'll catch up, I need to buy the pack some time." she growled.
Aris nodded, but Markus asked, "What about you? They're not here to kill, they're here to take you to Ishari."
But before Lillian could reply, one of the hunters walked foward with a rope and muzzle.
Really? Lillian though, padding forward, crouched dangerously low.
"Don't..." Markus faltered, but was too late as the hunter jumped towards her. But she threw him off easily, she was not going to hurt any of them.
Two more came up, and flanked her, managed to get her tied up, but didn't have much leverage as she pulled.
She looked at Markus who looked horrified, but she called, "Aris, make sure him and Lucan don't do anything stupid, I will catch up with you!"
Aris nodded, telling Markus to go, and they both ran, Markus hesitated though, before finally turning, and following Aris.
Soon, all the hunters had her tied up, and muzzled, and were dragging her away.
What was I thinking?!
This.. Was the worst idea ever..
Lillian pulled at her rope, she was tied onto a stake at a hunters camp, and they often commented on her.
"Spirited one isn't she?" One commented, as she snapped at him, they took the muzzle off, so she could eat, but they kept her tied up, it was like living at the castle again!
The younger one seemed hesitant, "I don't know guys.. those two male wolves that were watching might come back for her, you know how wolves work, and one was a dire wolf.." he muttered.
"Ah, don't worry about it, you saw how they turned and walked away, she must have been an omega." one dismissed the younger hunter, and walked out.
She pulled at her rope again, barking and growling at the hunters.
"Shut up, you, or would you rather die?" One of the older ones growled, sharpening his knife on a rock.
The younger one still argued, "But what if one of the wolves was this one's partner? Wolves are partners for life, or haven't you read any books on them?"
W-What?! she shivered, neither Markus and Aris were like that too her, they were friends, that's all.
"I don't care, we need this hunting dog, the king of Ishari will be pleased." the older one muttered, walking into the tent.
Lillian finally gave up, sitting down, and watched the sky. She fell asleep, wishing that she had climbed that rok while she had the chance.
Although she didn't dream, she woke up to footsteps, and growled when it was the younger hunter, blue eyes narrowed in annoyance.
"Shh, I'm letting you go." he growled.
Lillian allowed the hunter to pull the rope off her, and when she was free, she ran, not looking back.
Soon she was at the rocky path again, she climbed up, not hesitating this time.
She ran the path, even though it was treachourous.
The pack must have been farther ahead then she thought, because soon it was the afternoon, and she panted, and she didn't know what to do.
She finally looked at the mountains, and got a crazy idea.
She took a deep breath, and let out a long howl, the howl seemed to echo around the mountains.
She kept her ears perked, listening for the howl of another wolf.
But none came, and she got a worried feeling deep inside her, Why aren't they answering? What's wrong? All wolves answer a howl. she thought.
She continued walking, knowing that she could never catch up with them.
But she stopped when she heard a howl, but it sounded young, and it was crying for help.
She then started to hurry, following the howl, even howling a couple times herself.
Soon, she felt herself slip, and land on soft grass, but she stood up, and followed the howl once again.
"Help!" the howl became a cry, and she called, "Kyrai! Is that you!?"
Kyrai came running towards her, and hid under her, shaking.
"It... They... Attack..." she stammered, flicking her tail in fear.
"Who? What?!" Lillian asked her.
"The... The dire wolves! They're bigger and meaner! Everyone... They...." she started to whimper.
"Shh, it's okay, lead me to everyone." Lillian said softly, and followed her when she ran out from under her.
She soon smelled the rusty scent again, and braced herself for what she was about to see.
They entered a clearing, blood was spattered all over, but no sign of any wolves, but she could tell there was a fight here.
Kyrai then led her to the edge of the cliff, and looked down, "Some of the dire wolves chased some of our pack down here using that narrow path." she barked.
"Where's my pack?" she asked.
Kyrai looked at her, "I do not know of your Alpha and the young one, but I do know of the lavender eyes and Markus." she seemed sadder and even more scared now.
"What's wrong?" she asked, "They're not..." she couldn't bring herself to say it.
"I-I... No.. But they're injured enough to be close." Kyrai muttered, having Lillian follow her again.
They soon entered another clearing, this time with two wolves, both crouched under bushes, and bleeding heavily.
"Nice of you to catch up, Lillian!" Markus called cheerily.
Lillian hurried to them, and asked, "Are you guys alright?"
"Oh, fine, just hanging out under here." Markus laughed, and shook out his fur, still shaking from the shock, and indicated the bush him and Lucan were hiding in.
Lucan looked like he was about to claw Markus, but thought better of it.
Lillian barked, "Okay, stay here then, Kyrai, watch these two and make sure they don't do anything stupid." she flicked her tail, and ran of, while Kyrai just sat in front of the bush.
Lillian ran down the narrow path, she could hear the whimpers and barks of battle, she was running into a batltle without knowing how to fight.
She jumped down from the ledge, and leaped into battle, slamming into a wolf that had Meteor in a grapple, and he barked, "Thank you, Lily." and leaped into battle.
Lillian looked around, avoiding wolfs paws and snapping teeth.
She snapped at a wolf who leaped at her, bowling her over, she kicked up, claws outstretched. And the wolf got launched away.
She leapt up, and jumped over a wolf who aimed for her.
She then ducked as another wolf had it's paws outstretched, and she grabbed it's paws, causing it to howl in pain, and land awkwardly.
She let go, and jumped on a wolf, and leaped off, and she grabbed it's ears, and pulled. He howled in pain, and ran.
She realised that the number of dire wolves were thinning, as most of them were too hurt to continue fighting.
Meteor howled, "They're retreating!"
She realised that he was right, as most of the dire wolves were already gone, and the rest were limping away, tails between their legs.
Lillian heard Markus, "Where did you learn to fight like that?"
He was limping towards her, ears back, and eyes narrowed in concentration, with Kyrai behind him, ears back also.
Lucan was behind him, limping also.
Holly, who had some scratches on her, looked at all the wolves, "You will have to wait, I need to look for herbs around here..." she disappeared into some bushes.
Markus sat down, and asked, "When will they give up?"
Aris, who had padded around Meteor, had some scratches, but not as bad as most of the wolves, with Erik behind him, not as wounded as others.
"Until they know they're beaten." Aris muttered.
"Yeah, who knows when that will happen.." Lucan muttered pushing past Lillian.
Lillian wanted to snap at Lucan, but got held back by Aris, who muttered, "Just leave it."
Lillian made a face, and flicked her tail, wondering what has gotten into Lucan, he wasn't usually that snappy. Lillian looked at Markus, who was just confused as she was.
"Maybe he's in shock?" Markus asked.
Aris replied, "That's probable.. He's used to the safety of the snow and the mountains. And a castle."
Lillian silently agreed. Even she was starting to miss the safety of the stone walls that was her home, protecting her from the dangers across the wall, except her father was not the war type, he tried to keep peace, but ironically enough, she was thrown right into a middle of a war.
But how was she going to settle a long age fight between them? Peace was no longer an option, maybe when this war started it would have been, but no longer.
Lillian realised Meteor had padded up to her, "What are you thinking?" he asked carefully.
She thought, There's something... I don't know what it is, but I get the feeling of the fight, peace doesn't even cross my mind anymore when coming across a wolf.. Only fighting, and an instinctive nature to survive. No, wolves were born to fight to survive, not make peace.
"Meteor.. Ever thought of trying to make peace with the daemon wolves?" Lillian asked.
Meteor got a weirded out look on his face, and growled at Lillian, making himself bigger, "Peace? Wolves, especially Daemon wolves, are not here for peace, we learn to fight, and that's how we settle our battles."
"But they couldn't have just went there just to take your territory, they must have reasons!" Lillian barked at him, backing up.
"Daemon wolves have no reason, they just take." he growled in her face, as if the mention of peace was against his instinct, but what about his better judgement?
Lillian flinched, but Markus padded up, and growled, "Hey? What's going on? We already had a fight."
Meteor growled, and Lillian knew if thetwo wolves fought, Markus would lose because of his injuries.
"Lily is thinking that peace will work." Meteor growled.
"Maybe it will? Ever thought of trying it?" Markus asked, tipping his head.
Meteor looked like he was about to say something, but the alpha female, Kitash, howled, "Meteor! Come take a look!"
Metoer backed away from Markus, and headed to Kitash, while Markus turned to Lillian, "'Peace?"
Lillian nodded, "They must have a reason to be there... They're not heartless you know, they're wolves, just bigger." she barked.
Kitash growled, "Lily, you should see this too..."
She looked up, and padded to where Kitash was, and Kitash moved to let her.
Some dire wolves were hiding under the trees, sheilding they're young from the mountains wind, and Lillian muttered, "I was right..."
Meteor growled, "They shouldn't be in this land."
Lillian argued, "But they're in the same situation we're all in!"
Kitash muttered, "Fates guide us..." she as staring down at a pup, looking around for it's mother, but Lillian knew that the pup would probably never find her, but a wolf came out and took the pup away from the cold, and into a small den.
She looked at Lucan, and asked, "Are we in The White Kingdom?"
Lucan looked around, sniffed the air, and he growled, "We're on it's border, you can tell by the cold, it's a lot warmer inside the border."
Lillian looked at Meteor, "We have to try peace." she growled.
Meteor looked like he was about to say something, but was interuppted by Kitash, "We have nothing left to lose Meteor, all our wolves are hurt, it's time to make peace with this part of the daemon wolf pack, and who knows, maybe the fates will gift us because of it."
The fates... It's always the fates.. We have no control what happens, they do, even now, they create this cold storn, making the mood greatly lessened... Lillian thought darkly.
Meteor was silent, and he finally growled, "Fine, I will try, but if peace does not work, then we fight."
Kitash bowed, backing away, and Meteor growled, "Lily, since you know a bit about peace, I want you to take Holly, and try and make peace with the... Wolves."
Lillian nodded, backing away also, and looked around for Holly.
She finally saw her, she finished fixing a wolf, and asked, "Yes, Lily?"
"Meteor has asked me to find you.. We're going to make peace with the daemon wolves." Lillian bowed.
"You mean dire wolf." Holly muttered.
"Wh-What?" Lily stared at her.
Holly looked at her, "Don't think I can see your true form, Lily, I know what you are, and don't the hunters call them dire wolves, so it sounds better to you?" she barked.
"Well, fine, I was human, but I'm not, I was changed, and it's going to stay this way until I can get to the mountain." She growled.
Holly growled back, "The fates work in funny ways, you might get what you want, but at a price. And that price might be something you're not willing to pay," she stood up, and barked, "Lead the way, Lillian."
As Lillian and Holly climbed down to the dire wolves, Lillian watched as they glared at her, bristling out their fur in a threatning way.
Holly whispered, "Even if they did fight, we're not that injured.. They know they wouldn't win."
As they jumped down, the dire wolves kept their posture, but moved out of their way, and watched them carefully.
Lillian padded up to one, and asked, "We wish to talk, where is your alpha?"
The wolf growled, and indicated to a bush, where two orbs of glowing eyes were watching them.
As they padded up to the bush, he growled, "Don't come any closer wolves."
Lillian stopped, and Holly stood beside her, and Lillian barked, "We only wish to talk, not to fight."
"And how can I trust you?" he growled, peeking his head out, while the other woves were circling him.
Lillian looked around, and growled, "You're just going to have to take our word for it, besides, we are injured, and we are the ones intruding this time."
He finally padded out, and stood up to his ful height, and stared down at them.
Lillian barked, "We want peace. Ice pack wishes too return to their home, in the mountains."
"This is our home too, we were born here, just like Ice pack was, or what they would not wish you to believe." the leader growled.
Lillian thought, I had a feeling about this.. This is their home just as it is Ice packs...
"What about sharing the territory? Becoming one pack, and making yourselves stronger?" Lillian asked.
"That's against a wolf packs nature to merge with another one." he growled.
Lillian asked, "But in a sense.. Aren't you Ice pack anyways if you were born in this cold land?"
"I guess you have a point, but we chose a different way of life. Meteor, the current leader, is ambitious, and wants to own all of The White Kingdom and all it's smaller packs, we just want to live alone in this cold land without any distruptions about our way of life." he barked, a bit more calmly.
"What if I can convince Meteor to leave you alone, and stay within Ice packs borders and territories?" Lillian asked.
His ears perked up, and his eyes narrowed, "I'll congratulate you if you're able too, but don't be surprised if it doesn't go your way," and he muttered under his breath, while bowing his head a little, "Princess Lillian."
She gasped, "M-Matthew...."
She could tell that it was Matthew, the pure green eyes brightened, and he nodded, but he growled, "Too bad I'm not Matthew anymore.. I didn't die in that battle. But my human self did, I'm Rinshaw now."
Lillian nodded, backing away.
She nodded to Holly, and they climbed the hill again, to where the pack was resting.
Meteor bounded down, and asked, "Well?"
"The leader just wants to be left alone, he seems to think that you're pack wants to own the whole of the white kingdom." Lillian replied.
Meteor smirked, "It already does, Ice pack is the main pack.. But if that all he wants..." He jumped on the rock, and howled, "Peace it is."
Some of the wolves whispered, but some of them looked relieved, even Kitash seemed glad that it had worked, but Meteor was not much so.
Lillian padded up to Kitash, and barked, "Meteor doesn't seem happy that peace had worked."
Kitash looked at her, and barked, "It's strange, he's been acting different since we were chased out..." she flicked her tail, and turned, addressing the wolves, "We move out now, while the dire wolves have accepted the peace!" she watched as some of them stood up, and started climbing down the mountain toward where Rinshaw and his small pack was.
Kitash followed them, nodding to Lillian, and Lillian watched as they started moving, and she asked Aris, "So? This is peace then? We can continue?"
Aris seemed hesitatant, and growled, "This was only one pack, they want us to help them chase dire wolves out of their land."
"And what happens if we don't?" Lillian asked.
Aris looked at her, his gaze flat, and replied, "The fates aren't in a funny mood anymore, then..."
Lillian shivered, if the fates made it harder for peace to be restored between the white kingdom, then yes... The fates were no longer in a funny mood.
Markus padded up to them, "Well, no use worrying about now, if it doesn't, it doesn't, we really have no choice." he barked.
Aris nodded in silent agreement.
Lillian barked, "I guess that's true. So we keep going with them?"
Aris nodded, standing up, and flicked his tail, and indicated they follow him, and they did, Lucan and Erik in the back.
As they walked past the tired dire wolves, she caught the eye of Rinshaw, who looked disbelieving, but just nodded, and waved his tail in good-bye.
As they followed Meteor, they stayed behind the rest of the pack.
A couple days later, after treking through snow, the finally stopped at a straight path entrance into the mountains, and Liillian saw a sign, and padded up to it, looking up at it, Lucan followed her
It said, The Kingdom of Nixsan.
Lucan sighed, and padded away, and Lillian followed him, eyes darkened as Lucan was forced to go back to the home that he left for a reason.
Everything happens at once.
They walked the path, snow falling steadily, and Lillian looked at the mountains, towering over them, and she asked Lucan, "What do you call this path?"
Lucan just replied, "The path of echoes."
Lillian asked, "Why?" flicking her tail curiously.
Kyrai bounded up to them, tail high in the air, "Isn't it obvious? Because it echoes!" she howled, "Echo!"
Her howl rang around the mountains, and got softer until the echo finally stopped, she looked at Lillian, "And that's why it's called the path of echoes!"
Lucan padded past her, and muttered, "Be careful, it's avalanche season."
Kyrai barked, "I will lavender eyes!" she continued to howl out 'echo', and soon her friends joined in, howling repeatedly.
Lillian flicked her ears in amusement, and continued to pad forward, but realised Markus was trying to get them to stop.
"That's not the best idea right now! Lucan just said it's avalanche season!" he growled, crouching.
"Oh.. Come on Markus, the snow is steady! No problem!" one of the pups growled back playfully, and howled, "Right?!"
But this time, it didn't echo, but there was a big rumbling, but it stopped as soon as it started, the pups stopped, and they looked up at the mountains.
Lucan padded up, and whispered, "It's also called the path of falling snow.. Because people do that..."
Some of the pack had stopped, looking around the mountains with fearful eyes, while Meteor growled, "Let's get moving, no echoing..."
The pups nodded, and continued forth, with Markus behind them, but while they walked, Lillian felt the ground start to shake, she stopped, perking her ears, and looking up at the mountains, which were eerily silent.
"Lucan..." she whispered.
"Shh, just be careful, we should be fine." Lucan whispered back, and continued on, she followed him.
Lillian looked back at the pups, who were curious at the caves around them, Kyrai tipped her head, and looked into one.
Lillian gasped as the ground started shaking again, and Lucan sighed, "I guess we better hurry then.. Looks like the snow is weak..."
Kyrai and her friends were already exploring the cave though, LIllian looked up, she could tell the snow was slowly falling, and as they looked at the mountains, and it was getting quicker.
Markus must have realised that too, because he called to the pups, "Hey get out of there!"
Kyrai popped her head out, and asked, "Why?" but she looked up and gasped.
Lillian was about to run toward them, but Markus got there first, he pushed them into the cave, looked at Lillian, and nodded.
Lillian nodded too, knowing the pups would hopefully be safe in the cave, Lillian turned, and saw the the pack was starting to panic, and they started to run around.
Lucan called, "Please! Calm down!"
Lillian heard a smash behind her, and realised the snow had blocked the path, and the cave that the pups and Markus were in.
The wolves looked at Lucan, who called, "Some of the caves lead out of the path, and into the deeper territories."
The wolves nodded, but didn't give Lucan chance to finish, they all ran into caves, dispersing from the rest of the pack.
Lillian asked Lucan, "Great! now we're all seperated! What do we do?"
Aris and Erik hurried up to them, and Erik barked, "We don't have time Lily, just pick a cave and go into it!"
She nodded, running into a cave, with the other three following behind.
She gasped when the cave suddenly became dark, she froze, and called, "Lucan? Aris? Erik?"
Lucan called, "I'm here, wait until your eyes adjust to the light."
Aris called back, "So is there anything we should know about these caves?" Lillian squinted her eyes, and saw Aris and Erik standing in front of them.
"Yeah, don't trust anything you see." Lucan replied.
"What do you mean 'Don't trust anything you see'?" Lillian asked.
"These caves hold spirits of the dead, and they will take form of anything you're thinking of, or what you are close too." Lucan barked.
Lillian padded towards Lucan, and nodded, "Okay, so, what's the reason of the spirits?" she asked.
Aris and Erik padded closer to them, and Lucan barked, "It's a legend, but okay, if you think it will help..."
"I think it will, might even help find the caves." Lillian muttered.
"Alright, so, before Nixsan was created, this land was desolate, and uninhabited, but it was the only thing seperating two warring kingdoms, they called this the barrier of the north and south, and these caves weren't known to the armies, but they were known to two people."
"Wait, this is a love story isn't it?" Erik asked.
"You could say that..." Lucan muttered, and continued, "Anyways, the two people would meet in these caves, and.. Yes, they were lovers, but they were both part of the royal families, they would stay in there as the battles continued, but... The caves soon became cursed..."
"Why?" Lillian muttered.
"Well, Nixsi, the girl, knew that if she was found out, her and her love will eternally pay the price.. So she did a very bad thing..." Lucan muttered back.
Lillian stayed silent, getting nervous as he continued, "She had to kill her best friend, for the fates to eternally curse the cave, but the bad side was, her lover didn't know, so whoever entered the cave, died alone, or disappeared, taken by the cave."
Lillian gasped, and Lucan continued, "Her price was eternal, she lived alone, sad by the fact that not only had she lost her best friend, but she had also lost the one she loved because of this curse, so she fought with the fates, asking them to bring him back, but instead of that, they... Changed her, you could say."
Lucan hesitated, then continued, "She cursed this cave with her own soul, forever leading unwary travelers, to a fate worse then death, to forever wander alone, as a spirit in this cave."
"But... The fates didn't like that, so one of them decided that if there was to be a way out, it would have to be led out by the travelers best friend or love." Lucan barked.
Lillian stared at him, and Lucan sighed, "That's the story anyways."
"So assuming this legend is true.. We need to act likes the best of friends or... Lovey dovey?" Lillian asked.
"I guess so." Lucan muttered.
"Well, the love isn't going to work, I'm the only female in this group, and it's not like I don't like you guys, but It'd be pretty awkward for me." she stood up, almost growling.
"Then best friends it is!" Erik barked, bounding up to Lillian, "So.. How are you doing?"
"Well?" Lillian muttered curiously, then shook her head, "Get serious guys, we have to get out of here!"
Lucan sniffed the air, and muttered, "Come on, let's try this way first."
They stuck close together, with Lucan in the lead, but the path was twisting, turning, sometimes even a dead end.
"Ack! This isn't going to work!" Lillian pouted.
Lucan growled, "Shh...."
Lillian stayed silent, and perked her ears. She asked, "What am I listening for?"
She caught a light pelted shape run around the corner, away from them, followed by small shapes.
"Markus?" she asked, walking away from the group, who were arguing about what path to take. Lucan was the first to realise Lillian was wandering off.
"Hey! Where you going?" he called, but it was too late, she was chasing after the shapes, but she started to realise that she was being led furthur into the caves, she stopped, but gasped when she heard a crash, she looked behind her, rocks had barricaded where she came from, she was about to go forward, but realised she was lead to a dead end.
"Then.. The legend must be true..." Lillian looked around, feeling a bit claustrophobic.
"So it wasn't Markus... It was the soul of the girl.. Or someone... I'd be glad to see Markus though..." Lillian sighed.
She padded forward, but stopped when she heard scratching at the top of the cave, she didn't have much time, before a shape fell through the weakened cieling, and landed on her.
"Ah!" she gasped.
"Hey!" the wolf gasped in surprise.
She blinked, pushing the wolf off her, and asked, "What are you-?" but stopped.
Markus was standing up, shaking out his fur, and looked up where he had fallen, "Kyrai, are you still up there?" he asked.
"Yep!" Kyrai called.
Lillian asked, "Are you okay Markus?"
Markus looked at her, "Oh, I was wondering what I landed on, yes I'm fine." he muttered.
"Have you seen any... Spirits?" she asked.
"No? Why? Have you?" he asked, looking at her curiously.
"Well... No." she lied, and Markus was looking around, then jumped up back into the top layer, and asked, "Well? You coming or not?"
She nodded, jumping up after him, and followed him.
She followed the pups and Markus, and got a... Secure feeling within her, it must have been because she wasn't alone anymore, but the more they walked, the more the feeling grew stronger.
But she stopped, seeing Rinshaw, and knowing it was a spirit, but she remembered what Lucan said about being lead out by her best friend, but the shape just waved it's tail, and disappeared.
She continued to follow Markus, who stopped at a fork.
"Ack... Now what?" he asked.
She padded up beside him, looking at the fork, "Well..."
They looked around, and Lillian asked, "What do you think?"
Markus stayed silent, and asked, "I don't know..."
Lillian got an idea, and she whispered, "Have you ever.... Hugged someone?"
"Er? No?" he whispered back.
"Oh... Because hugging always seems to make things better..." she whispered back.
"Okay? But how is that going to help us?" he asked, "Remember, we're wolves.. We can't technically hug anything anymore..."
"True... But, it's still a good question to ask..." Lillian whispered.
"Hey! Look! The walls are glowing!" Kyrai yelled.
Lillian looked up, and her eyes flashed in victory, the plants on the walls started to glow, showing them the way out.
Lillian went straight, calling, "Come on."
Markus followed, while the pups ran past them, laughing and talking.
Lillian saw that the tunnel was ending, the pups ran out, jumping in the snow and laughing, and pushing snow towards each-other.
Lillian and Markus finally walked out, and looked around the mountains, pine trees were covered in snow, making it look like a thing out of a fairy tale.
The snow sparkled in the light of the sun, but never melted, the wind was a soft breeze, calming Lillian's frayed nerves.
Markus sighed, "I'm glad we got out."
"What about the others?" Lillian asked.
"Well, maybe some of the pack had gotton out already, and are ahead waiting for us, but maybe we should wait..." Markus muttered.
Kyrai and the others were having too much fun in the snow, so Lillian shrugged, "I guess we should wait, I'm sure the pack would wait."
Markus nodded, staring at the cave entrance.
She then saw a shape running down the cave, towards them, Erik burst forth from the shadows, and jumped over Lillian, and hid behind her.
Aris jumped out also, followed by Lucan.
"What's going on?!" Markus asked.
Lillian gasped when the entrance caved in, the pups yelped in terror, hiding behind Markus.
Lucan was panting, and he barked, "Something came out of no where and attacked us! It was huge! Bigger then the dire wolves!"
Aris looked at the cave entrance, and sniffed, "Well, he can't get us with rocks blocking the way..."
Lillian asked, "What about the packs?" she looked up at the mountain, where the pack was probably lost in it's depths.
She heard a howl, "Hey! Are you guys down there?" she looked up, and Meteor was on an alcove, looking down at them, with Kitash and the rest of the pack behind him.
They skidded down the snowy slope with no problem, and met up with them, and Meteor grunted, "That cave was a maze..."
Lucan muttered, "It was supposed to be like that, it's more of a legend..."
Meteor ignored Lucan, and padded forward, with his pack following him closely.
Lillian pulled Kitash away from the head, and asked, "Why did Meteor ignore Lucan?"
Kitash hesitated, then barked, "It's because Meteor refuses to believe that the legend exists at all, he's scared of the power this land has, believing that the land shouldn't have this much myth and magic within it."
Lillian asked, "Why is he scared?"
"Because he thinks that wolves rule this land, not the land rules the wolves, as it always has been, he wants to change the way fate works, and he'll do anything to have the land in the White Kingdom, even if it means fighting the fates." Kitash barked, flicking her tail.
"But how can he? The fates are safe on top of their mountain, they do not usually intrude..." Lillian murmured, knowing that even though they didn't usually intrude, they have their powers that they can use at will.
"He thinks by re-taking his home from the dire wolves, the fates will see this as an act of disrespect, and come to him, since you knew that the dire wolves needed this land more then we did, and they only took it to stop Meteor from making Ice pack the only pack in the White Kingdom, you ruined Meteors chance." Kitash barked.
"How can you fight fate? Aren't they immortal in a way?" Lillian asked.
"You could say they are immortal, but they can be killed, but if they are, it would bring total chaos to the world, and the way of things would change, and it would bring forth the day of darkness." Kitash barked.
"The.. Day of darkness?" Lillian looked at her, confused.
"It's an old legend, but every pack knows it well, from the White Kingdom to the Plains of Karai, no wolf fears the fates, they only fear the day of everlasting darkness that the fates can bring upon them." Kitash growled darkly.
Lillian froze, "Then why does Meteor want to.. Fight them? Knowing that if he wins.. He would bring forth the day of darkness?" she asked.
"He doesn't believe that legend, even though it was passed down so many generations, you start to believe that it's real." Kitash mutttered.
Lillian had nothing to say to that, Meteor refued to believe the legend because he wants to expand his home, Rinshaw was right, not only was Meteor ambitious, he never listened to people easily, Lillian was lucky that he let her try peace.
Markus padded up to them, and muttered, "But Meteor was in those caves, he should know that some legends are real."
Kitash looked at him, and barked, "It's because his ignorance clouds his judgement, he believes that whatever might happen to the fates, the day of darkness is a myth, and will never happen."
Too bad he's wrong... A voice muttered, Lillian silently agreed with the voice.
She jumped when she heard a howl, "The White Kingdom!"
She looked over the hill, and gasped when she saw ahuge castle in the distance, surrounded by villages, and outside the castle limits, were snowy forests.
Lucan muttered to her, "Welcome.. To the snow kingdom of Nixsan."
Lillian could only stare in awe, as the land seemed to sparkle in the light of the sun.