Where once the southern border of Blossom Forest was made by Leisure Lake, the magical rearrangement of the lands has laid there instead a vast, uncrossable ocean. The shore differs as you travel along it. Tall mountainous cliffs arise on the western part and at one point, the large river that runs through Blossom Forest opens up at its tributary into a well sheltered cove. As you come more eastward, the towering peaks shorten into rocky foothills. A large section of the shore is inaccessible to most, as Uyaraut has claimed it as their own. But if you skirt around their territory, the hills disappear, swallowed up into the land until it is as flat as the eye can see. The vibrant greens dull into short and dry browns and tans, and the land dries and cracks apart until it melds into The Waste - the desert that forms Blossom Forest’s easternmost border.

For those looking to hunt here, there are of course the fish within the ocean, along with crabs, seals and urchins. For on the shore, there are seagulls, herons, and ospreys.




The lanky fox woman rested her head on Kershov’s back as if he were a harmless pillow rather than over a hundred pounds of muscle and raw predator instinct, earth-toned eyes glimmering mysteriously at his bottomless obsidians. When she spoke, he could feel the curve of her jawbone pressing into his vertebrae. Something no one knows? The Ice King freed her tail from his grasp so that her could turn his neck and gaze at her fully, riveting the full foreboding pressure of his fathomless shadow mirrors upon her soul, not speaking . . . only staring, as if he were peering through her whiskey-glass windows to the mind that hid behind them. My submissive?” he murmured coolly, a ghost of ice lifting off his words. “Does this mean you’ve fully accepted my ownership of your freedom? My position above you?” Kershov pretended that he wanted to sound professional, facial expression carefully blank as if holding himself utterly in control—but he allowed a glitter of lust to flicker in his irises, emphasizing the word “above” so that it might conjure images of him literally on top of her, using her as the submissive she had labeled herself.

The arctic outlaw savored her for a few moments this way, maintaining tension just long enough to let Frekari think this was the extent of their game—a silly push and pull of sensual energy, choreography that precluded a more intimate dance—and then he sliced his attention back out over the lake. As if he hadn’t just been deeply considering having his way with the kalak right there on the pebbled bank. Perhaps, if truth be told, Kershov had seriously considered it . . . something told him they were doomed to act on baser impulses anyway. The notion didn’t repulse him. Far from it, it fact . . . as bizarre as maned wolves were in their vulpine, aerodynamic shape, Kari at least held an exotic appeal Ker wouldn’t mind tasting. Yet the russet lass was still leaning heavily on her sarcasm. How might the white warrior tip the balance?

“However . . . I hardly think a close-kept secret is equal recompense for the sharing of your full title, Madame Frekari.” The prickle of ice in his voice crackled without humor. Let her think she had annoyed him. Let her worry she had somehow pushed too far, been too greedy, relied too much on that pretty face not to throw her into trouble. Resolutely, emotionlessly, the frigid Pharaoh walked forward so that the wolfess would either have to lift her head or risk it flopping gracelessly forward without its perch, his tail scooping upward at the last minute to brush harshly across her elegant mask in a gesture that was as much a caress as it was a slap. He did not stop until his paws were submerged in the lake to the wrists, talons hidden by chains of ripples and the clear reflection of the sky above. “At least, I assume you’re asking for a secret—since I doubt any other information would whet your appetite. Is that it, Frekari? Were you hoping for a moment of vulnerability?”

A smirk crossed the unravaged half of his face, transforming it into a cruel replicate of the side ruined by scars. “. . . why don’t you beg for me, dear?”


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


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