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’.




Kershov could just barely catch Milo’s thin, keening voice over the roar of the river—and what she said made a savage snarl shred from his throat. “Don’t you dare think like that.” The words vibrated up his vocal chords and through his teeth and into Milo’s flesh. Fangs pinched tighter into the small she-wolf’s ruff, a tiny punishment, while his pillars continued to churn relentlessly in the current. Despite his frantically swishing paws, the colossal gladiator still hadn’t scraped the river’s bottom, and the foamy splashes churning up ahead made it infuriatingly difficult to discern just how much longer their exhausting “trip” would take. His mind had briefly contemplated what might happen to them if their strength depleted itself before they were able to crawl back to dry land. He had thought into the future—contemplating how he would deal with another boulder should he smash into it, how he could keep himself from drowning if a dislodged tree rocketed into them from behind, what he’d do if Milo were wrenched from his grasp—and then he’d immediately shut those thoughts down. Worrying about the inevitable never helped anyone. There was no possible way to prepare for sudden disaster. All they could do was struggle to keep their muzzles above the rapids and pretend they would live.

“If we don’t make it, then we die.” Less of an enraged snarl and more of a dark, cold rumble, not unlike chunks of ice grinding together. A huge branch, undoubtedly shorn off a tree as the river ripped through a forest, swung by the pair. It’s reaching claws tugged along Kershov’s side, tearing at his fur, but his nerves were so numb from the frigid water he couldn’t be sure any actual damage was done. “I will let you drown if you’re only going to be useless weight, little one,” the brutal Alpha continued. “You keep kicking until you cannot kick anymore. Because at that point, I’ll let you go.

The white warrior need not have been so harsh. The river flung them around a wide curve—a U-shape so drastic it almost turned them toward the way they’d come—and then swung the opposite direction, abruptly fracturing into several smaller tributaries. Kershov steered the instinctively to one rivulet in particular, lungs screaming and muscles scorching, but something in his chest commanding him to go THERE. All at once the energy seeping from his body ignited anew. He surged forward like a great pale shark, the rapids quieting into a smooth and easily navigated pace, and there on the horizon . . .

An ocean?!

The unfathomably vast expanse of salt water astonished Kershov more than anything he’d ever seen—except THIS was his land, this was Uyaraut. Once he was able to feel the riverbed scuffing by his claws, the Czar maneuvered toward the bank, not pausing his kicks until he was pushing himself out of the water and onto the sandy, pebbled surface. He stood for but a moment, Milo still swinging from his jaws, before taking a trembling step forward . . . and collapsing in a heap, his sides heaving with the effort of pulling in oxygen.


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


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