Perhaps changed most of all out of all of the packs is this place. It was stripped out of its forested home and now instead lays at the edge of an ocean. The vast sparkling eternity of the water lays to the south of the land, while the rest of the land is made of rocky outjuttings. Gone are the trees, and all that remains for greenery are the short shrubs that dot the paths in the rock, and the moss that grows thanks to the spray of the waves. Further toward the shore, barnacles are a plenty, and look to cut the pads of those who slip on the wet surface. These extend out into the water itself, and the tough land has multiple caverns scraped into it, providing ample dens for the wolves that live there. Depending on the tide, however, the lower caverns may flood, and the vicious swirling water may prove to be dangerous as there is a strong undertide ready to pull unsuspecting swimmers to their doom. Even the tide itself is powerful enough to push intruders against one cliff or another. The ocean does provide, however, plenty of food for those who brave the waters - there are many breeds of seals and sea lions, though the males that protect each of these are vicious and territorial. There are also turtles that come ashore to breed and to lay their eggs - both the adults and the eggs themselves can provide sustenance to the wolves. But they must take care - the water is deep enough to allow sharks to come to shore from the depths below. Those unwilling to venture the waves or wet their paws with the moist sand of the shore can find snakes and hares in the rocky outcroppings, but they must beware the Komodo dragon and other monitor lizards that perch upon the shore - they are swift and move in groups, not to mention they carry venom in their bite that causes immense pain, paralysis, and prevents blood clotting. This is not the land for the weak of heart or the weak at all really. This is Uyaraut - ‘The Diamond in the Rough’.




Twenty-four hours had passed since the arctic Pharaoh had stalked into the abandoned hallways of Bright Moon, carefully mapping its secrets the way one would creep about a decrepit building poised to collapse. The territory felt fragile, gossamer, as if a deep enough breath would erase its already faded borders and erase the entire kingdom completely. Tamlin had ruled here . . . and Satowra, and many others that had never stayed, either too weak or broken or bored to maintain their transient monarchies. Kershov felt certain he could rule here—provided there were even enough lupines still living in Blossom Forest to rule. Though haunted and heavy with the invisible dust of failed packs, Bright Moon’s trees whispered with a desperate emptiness that demanded to be filled. Vines and unruly bushes clustered in runs once worn down to dirt by busy paws; Ker uncovered a series of dens near a stream that had been choked with fallen leaves, the scents of their inhabitants stale as grave dirt. He mentally categorized each new discovery with emotionless obsidian eyes, noting which places provided the best cover, which ones could shelter a pack in a storm. He searched for signs of prey, though he felt too restless to eat. “Not Abendrot . . . but not a dump, either.” The words fell thoughtfully from tattered lips as Kershov traveled back toward the southern border. With the sun shining high and bright above the canopy, the white warrior planned on strengthening his marker to alert others to his presence—

Hmm. Can one trespass into a territory if it isn’t technically a territory? Kershov mused coldly over the logistics. He had captured the perfume of an unknown woman trekking into Bright Moon—and her scent hung fresh in the air. He did not fail to smirk at the misplaced spike of aggression in his chest, since he had done just the same thing only yesterday . . . but the ivory gladiator had gotten here first. This interloper may want nothing more than a shortcut, yet Kershov had already instinctively claimed Bright Moon as “his.” If she wanted to saunter through his new kingdom unhindered, well . . .

He'd gladly introduce her to the consequences.

A certain spice clung to the lady’s scent—something exotic that Kershov had come to associate with wolves of the kalak variety. He wrinkled his scarred snout, ears thrown forward, and made a conscious effort to force his snowy hackles flat. Unlike some testosterone-fueled bulls, the frost-breathing dragon maintained an air of glacial poise and iron control at all times. Unless this stranger threatened or egregiously disrespected him, Ker saw no point in wasting energy immediately attacking. After all, the vixen might prove to hold potential. He’d be an idiot to destroy a useful pawn before he’d played with it.

Tracking the maned fae wasn’t child’s play. She was alert, intelligent, and Ker had to exercise the extent of his patience in order to dip outside her radar. Only when she’d finally reposed, basking in a pool of sunlight that set her coat aflame, did the massive dragga decide to suggest she wasn’t alone. A well-placed paw snapped a dry twig—and the lass immediately snarled, chocolate portals locking in the direction Ker had already slipped away from. Her reaction pleased him: this wasn’t a wilting violet, flinching at every unexpected noise or movement. She grasped an inner fire to match the russet of her canvas. Once she’d lapsed back into serenity . . . giant ears swiveling to catch disturbances, cranium tilted slightly back, Kershov opened his jaws to speak.

“Did you travel all this way just to nap?” His voice fell like snowflakes, chilled and deceptively light as he strode from cover. Sunshine dappled his fur as it did hers, only where she was a burning blaze he shone like polished marble. Beautiful, almost, if not for the hideous spider webs of scar tissue peeling back from his exposed teeth. “Sorry to disappoint you, Madame, but I’m afraid you’ll have to take your relaxation elsewhere . . .” And here his banner sailed high over his spine, a little too much fang in his apologetic smile. “This is my home, you see. And if you’re interested in staying here for more time that it would take for you to leave, I suggest you flip onto your spine and show me your throat.”


【Free – tied to none – father to Kirastasia and Kavik – LSVK】


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