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’.



Be careful of what you touch lest the grave be what you lust

His reflexes were as swift as she had hoped they would be. Though she had a decent headstart on him, within an instant she heard his own pads pounding the earth behind her. She laughed aloud and pushed herself to her top speeds, ignoring the staring, the screaming of her muscles for a reprieve. She had no fear of injury - she knew her body too well to be in danger of overexertion. Besides, she would not make the chase easy for him... and how closely this resembled the days she had spent with Pierce. It was wondrous really, and she realized now how dearly she missed it and missed him. He had not been her everything - no one would ever claim that role as she relied on herself and prided herself in her own strength and skill. But he had fulfilled her - he had pushed her to be the best version of herself and had never begged of her any sort of compromise. With Pierce, she had once again been praised for being exactly who she had been brought up to be. That is... until she had chosen to destroy the life growing within her womb that they had created together. Her skills and strengths, he had accepted and loved. But her morals and ideals? Those he had balked at without any attempt of understanding.

It was refreshing, really, to have something to work at, to take her mind off of him. And Kershov was providing exactly that. Like Pierce, he was a warrior. Like Pierce, he was her Alpha. But the difference was that he did not hold her heart. None would again, at least for a good long while. She would return fully to what she was taught - any pups she was to whelp should be fathered by a brute with strong characteristics that would benefit the pups. Love only complicated everything - men not of her pack could be weak, could be soft minded and potentially come to care for the pups. If there was no love, no promise of a life together, there would be no need to acquiesce to their wants an desires. They would have no say in what she did with or what she taught the pups. And they would have no choice but to accept that any of Athene's pups would have to be put through the Trial. She wanted pups - Sabelle had taught her that. But whether it was from a maternal instinct or because she missed her time as a teacher, she did not know.

And though she would use the hessians as nothing more than sperm donors... there was nothing saying that she could not still enjoy the act.

Slowly but steadily, Kershov gained on her, his long limbs allowing him to nearly float over the land with lengthened strides until his muzzle had caught up with her flank, his heaving breath warming the skin over her hip and pushing aside the hairs that lay over. She sought to weave through the ancient trees that towered above them casting shadows on the land even as they raced toward the horizon, but found him shifting her aim as his torn muzzle made contact. Athene could feel the ripped skin buffeting with the movement of air in and out of his lungs, but just for a moment because suddenly it was no longer his flesh against hers, but his teeth. It was a graze, really, the daggers grasping nothing more than fur and she knew that he had not intended to do her harm - if he had her pelt would have already been stained by the pouring of bright crimson fluid from broken flesh. She turned obligingly but kicked out her hind limb as a deer might, but Lera did not have sharpened daggers at the end of their reach. Her intent was not to maim his already scarred flesh, but rather to just lightly carress his canvas with her paintbrushes, dry of paint, with not picture in mind other than to simply feel it out.

'Shall we make this interesting? First one to that oak over yonder is the drill sergeant. He may challenge his underling to any task he sees fit, until the next checkpoint. Agreed?' Once again Kershov's jaws opened and he snapped at her tail, but this time Athene would not allow his teeth near even her pelt. Swiftly her plume few up over her dorsum, pulling it to safety... in addition to allowing him the most delectable of views. Her goal was to distract him, for she then stopped abruptly and threw out her left shoulder, putting most of her weight against it in hopes of setting him off a step as he would have passed her quickly. Such motion was meant for racing, not diversions, and she aimed to send him tumbling to the side. Whether or not she succeeded, the next step she had pushed off the earth against, tilting her paws forward so that her claws would be able to dig into the earth with better purchase. Athene's form lunged forward and though she had likely lost her lead on Kershov, she would at least matched him now nose to nose, their forms in complete tandem as limbs galloped over the land. Their forms were similar in size and musculature - she was no dainty short femme, but instead a warrioress, born from blood that had not been tainted by weaker bodices in many generations. If Kershov had evaded her attack or had recovered quickly enough, this race would indeed be close.

Over uneven terra they charged ahead without abandon. Athene's pools swept quickly, evaluating the land as quickly as she could. It was uneven and littered with large obstructing rocks. Some could be swerved around but others had to be scrambled or leapt over, and without seeing the other side it was impossible to know what lay upon the side unseen. It was a risk, but she took it and merely kept her muscles relaxed in the air, tensing them again only once she landed so as to continue at her swift pace. Closer and closer would the oak seem as they neared it. Wide sweeping branches swept over their heads, darkening the land they ran upon, and in the last few strides, she knew she was going to lose. Though she had kept up with him thus far, she had relied much on adrenaline to fuel her. Her muscles were tired, her glycogen stores depleted. The burn of it all rose and increased as lactic acid formed in her muscles as they ran out of oxygen and relied on instead anaerobic metabolism. She growled and pushed herself harder but he was passing her inch by inch and she pulled up sharply, stopping just short of the oak itself. Her form trembled as she gulped down air in swift succession. Her pads were sweating and darkened the earth beneath them, and though she had lost she grinned at him and stared intently, waiting to see what her punishment would be. She hated to lose, but accepted it gracefully - he had been a worthy competitor and she admired any who could beat her, no matter in what.

|| BELONGS TO HERSELF || NO KIN || Bright Moon ||


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