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’.




“You’ll find that I have a very specific sense of humor, Milo.” Kershov’s voice dripped frost in response to the arctic girl’s apology. This ice thawed somewhat when she spoke of an alliance, and he could not prevent a note of genuine, though careful, interest to show through. “An agreement Wudubearo, eh?” Munashii Gekko. The old name whispered into his skull at precisely the same moment she spoke its new title. For the same bizarre reason Kershov had accepted Uyaraut as the new Bright Moon, he accepted Wudubearo. Blossom was no longer the same . . . of course all the packs had transformed. With a flippant wave of his tail, the glacial gladiator began trudging further inland. “As far as a friendship . . . don’t presume too much. I am not a wolf who owes anyone favors, nor am I about to spend unnecessary energy on a relationship that might benefit you more than it benefits me. Do I make myself clear, Madame Milo?”

They had only been walking a short while when a blob of shadow snagged Ker’s attention. Mabbit plodded in soaking wet and reeking of salty brine and damp sand, ocean water still streaming off his drenched black coat and making him look like a walking dirt-speckled inkwell. His face wore a slightly harried expression mixed with relief—as if he’d been swimming for his life earlier, and only now allowed himself to let go of raging adrenalin. Had the dark warrior already encountered danger within these lands so soon?! The Ice King found himself stepping slightly in front of Milo’s line of sight, subconsciously wanting to protect his ward from the judging eyes of an outsider. After a beat, though Kershov’s bottomless obsidian windows took the younger soldier in with clear astonishment, his voice escaped in a professional, measured tone. “Er . . . yes. Some weather indeed. I don’t believe I’ve ever experienced an earth quake that completely rearranged the landscape. Mabbit clearly felt comfortable enough to take a seat before his Alpha, apparently happy enough to be reunited with the head of Uyaraut. Kershov couldn’t blame the young man; he’d feel better himself once he could be absolutely certain that the rest of his wolves were alive and unharmed. “Were you in the ocean, soldier? Or were you unfortunate to get caught on a wave-smashed cliff? I have a feeling these won’t be the ‘relaxing beaches’ I’ve heard some wolves dream about.”

Once he determined Mabbit wasn’t in any sort of dangerous shock, the tundra warlord swept his cold glare out toward the opposite horizon—as his sensitive ears had captured the sound of claws scraping into the pebbled earth and his senses had tasted the perfume of another wolf. A flash of red erupted from the long grass waving in the distance: Frekari. Anxiety spiced her scent the way cayenne adds heat to a dish. She only appeared to relax once she’d scraped to a standstill a mere tail length away from Kershov, her chest still heaving with the effort of sprinting such a distance. A wry grin completed the permanent ghoulish half-smile ripped into one side of the Pharaoh’s façade as he peered between Milo and Kari, not missing the suspicious gleam that passed across the kalak’s coffee-hued irises. “Not quite a stray, Kari. Think of her as our guest, for now. If she behaves herself.”

That half-smirk vanished like sunlight behind a mountain when Ker speared his gaze toward the tiny grey-dusted behind him, his countenance utterly cold and foreboding. Don’t say anything stupid, little one. We’ve gotten along so nicely . . . I’d hate to have to show you what I do to rude wolves within my own territory. Once more the Alpha was systematically throwing down brick after brick to thicken the wall between himself and this entirely too-trusting stranger. Uyaraut was still delicate and vulnerable after its violent birth; he needed to show his wolves that he still held control firmly in his fangs. Milo acting too familiar with him would prompt uncomfortable questions; Milo daring to disrespect him in some way—even with her previous innocent questions and remarks—would force the Emperor to punish her. He stood within his own kingdom. His rules reigned supreme while her paws stepped here. Despite the fact he had carried her to Uyaraut in the first place. Kershov broke eye contact with Milo at last to nod quietly at Frekari, a fleeting grin only for her eyes crossing his tattered kissers.

“I am a rather sturdy fighter, Kari. No need to worry—Athene?” The black-striped beauty marched into the meeting as if ready to plan for war. No panic or fear hovered over her serious warrior veneer; bright honey pools took in Milo, Mabbit, and finally Frekari, a scoff instantly leaving that poetry-filled muzzle. Her acid attitude had Kershov wanting to laugh aloud in appreciation—he did so adore her wit—but again he felt the desire to prevent Milo from seeing too much of his pack too soon. “While I appreciate you defending my right to choose my ‘toys,’ there is no need to be so hostile my dear Athene. Milo is no toy nor stray. She hails from what once was Munashii . . . and has offered to extend her good will in the form of an alliance with us. Isn’t that right, Miss Milo?”

The next to arrive were Macaria and Grey Wind—the pair Kershov had once condemned, but now openly welcomed into his care and protection. Grew Wind remained one of the wolves Kershov would trust implicitly to guard Uyaraut should anything happen to him; Macaria, who used to be a quivering thing saturated with terror, now walked with the effortless grace of a spider. The sable lass actually arrived ahead of her mate, smoothly taking a seat near Athene before tossing her head back to call Grey. Kershov dipped his crown at the bow his iron soldier gifted him with. “Do not worry, Grey. If anything, I did not expect you all to get here so quickly. I only saw the transformation by Blossom Field—er, Cluain Flur. It was . . . not pleasant. There’s no telling how violently the rest of this land has shifted. Milo here has not even seen her pack yet.” The massive white dragon backed up to take a seat next to their “guest,” his posture mirroring that of his wolves so that they all rested in a perfect circle. “For all we know, the other territories are in chaos. I know their new names when I think of them somehow . . . yet I cannot guess what they might be going through. How vulnerable they are . . . How vulnerable we could be.” A light growl textured his words, claws digging into the sand under his paws. “I think our first order of business shall be to seek shelter—nothing permanent, simply a base from which to work from as we explore our own kingdom.” Onyx gemstones sliced toward Milo, narrowing. “You are welcome to join us in this task. Until it is completed, no one will be available to accompany you back to Wudubearo; however, if you wait, I’m sure I could gather a party to see you safely back home.”


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


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