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’.




The phoenix’s reaction did not disappoint. She might have jumped like a startled rabbit, or growled pitifully, or dipped into a submissive yet coquettish pose to appeal to his masculine nature—but instead the kalak peered at him with a trace of saucy humor, that previously impressive fire smoldering under her words. This stranger did not fear him. She should, Kershov thought distantly and without malice. On physical stature alone the dragga could masticate this firebird between his teeth into a fine paste; he held himself like a calculating scientist inspecting a stinger-armed insect he could effortlessly crush should she hurt him first. He wouldn’t underestimate the hidden dangers this lady possessed . . . but he also understood his own strengths very well. Though flirtation and sensual fencing must have benefitted the russet damsel in the past, it would not rescue her if the unfeeling Pharaoh standing before her ultimately decided she’d serve a better purpose fertilizing the woods with her corpse.

He smiled tolerantly back at her, the gentle expression clashing horribly with the permanent violence ripped into the other side of his face. “It gives me no pleasure to treat such a lovely lady so . . .” No sarcasm when he tossed her own words lightly back into court—because the maned wolfess was a work of living art. He remained still when she rose gracefully to her paws on mile-long stilts; her gait was liquid, the scarlet brush of her tail hanging relaxed by her swaying thighs. After clearing his throat, Ker continued. “Of course, I wouldn’t have to rush you out if you were my pack.”

Oh, but this Madame enjoyed a good game. The exaggerated flash of her ivories was not lost on Kershov. By contrast, except for his disfigurement, he concealed his own fangs under their velvet curtain. A low purr textured his lyrics and he lowered his voice to a murmur, leaning slightly forward to close the distance between himself and the flame-maiden. “Are you prepared for what you’d have to do to make this your home, darling? If you wanted this territory to be yours . . . well, it would be a shame to tear up our pretty coats over an argument with only one possible outcome. That shade of red you’re currently wearing surely suits you best. But if you would prefer to cohabitate, as I would . . .” He leaned closer. Shuffled a paw forward, until he lingered near enough to drink her perfume and stir the fine hairs of her ruff. The frost-born phantom was coiling, imperceptibly, to strike—

His senses alerted him to the presence of a second newcomer—another female, but of a breed more familiar to the arctic king. Inclining his cranium slightly he observed the magnificent brindled warrioress march confidently into the clearing, her honey optics exuding the sharp wisdom of a soldier with more than enough fights under her belt. Her voice shocked him—a rich tone spoken entirely in rhyme, as if she’d been bred to communicate exclusively in poetry. How . . . how had he not met this femme? For Kershov felt certain he’d remember this unique creature, unless his madness had poisoned him more deeply than he cared to admit. Her elegant and dignified submission was noted with a professional nod—instantly accepted. Athene’s carriage, her obvious experience as a female gladiator, and her acknowledgment of his claim checked off everything necessary for the Alpha. “I go by Kershov, Lady Athene. I am honored that you would employ your services in a newly kinged pack, and will do my best to be a ruler worthy or your skills and energy. Now, as for you, little phoenix . . .”

The kalak could make an addition as excellent as Athene if utilized correctly. He liked her spunk, her attitude—just not directed at him. And she would learn that now, crystal-clear. Lowering his tone again to that dark thrum, the white warrior pushed into her space, crowding her with his monstrous bulk, an ice burg encroaching on a campfire. His muzzle reached over to brush against one of her overlarge auds; with some amusement he realized that the woman was practically as tall as he was on those lithe limbs. “You have one more chance to show me that beautiful stomach of yours before Athene and I force you onto your back—and rip your guts from their package.” Slowly, soothingly, his snout brushed over her ear, the back of her skull, down her neck . . . until Ker was in proximity with her scruff, which he would snap between deft fangs unless the kalak had already bounded away from him. If she hadn’t, he’d seize her in his teeth and wrestle her beneath him; if she had, he’d simply clack his cutlery together in the air where she’d been—a warning not to test him a second time.


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


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