Chapter 7 - Fated Meeting
Xaro looked towards the forest. Is Naulo going to be all right? Why did he go into the forest anyway?
“Alright let’s head out!” Cario said aloud. Xaro was about to follow along but was stopped by Lein. Xaro looked questionably at Lein and he just shook his head.
“Why can’t we go?! Naulo is our friend!” Xaro asked aloud as his worry changed to anger.
“You are still not ready for battle. You have only finished basic training, if you go you will probably be in the way more than help out.” Lein said strictly. Lein then caught the Elder’s eyes and the Elder shook his head. Lein then stepped aside to let the three pass through.
“Elder, we can come along?” Mili asked a little surprised. What Lein said was correct; they would be in the way because they were still weak.
“It is a good chance for you three to see how a real situation is. The original intent of this trip was to clear the forest of the powerful beasts that came closer but now the main goal is to find Naulo. You three will learn much by observing at the very least.” The Elder said.
Naulo was walking through the dense forest. This was his first time in the forest but he did not feel out of place. The evergreen trees and bushes were comfortable to be around. Where he is going? He doesn’t know. His feet are taking him somewhere deeper into the forest. As Naulo was making his way through the forest he stopped at one of the trees because he noticed a blood stain.
Hmm...There seems to be a battle. The light is much brighter over there.
After these four years Naulo noticed that the light that he sees on people usually surrounds them and when they use magic it condensed to a point before magic is formed. Only few people continue to have the surrounding layer of light as they cast a spell. The light Naulo was able to see was the mana within people and all living things.
Xaro, Mila, and Mili were following the group into the forest, which were ominously quiet. No animals or beasts were seen; even birds and insects were not heard. The group was making way slowly into the forest on guard due to the quiet atmosphere. Lino was leading because he was able to perceive through nature nearby using a reasonable amount of magical power. He raised his raised his hand and everyone stopped.
“It seems that the majority of the magical beasts in the area had disperse farther away and a group of powerful beasts are gathered deeper in the forest.” Lino said to the group.
“Does that mean that Naulo would be there?” Auo asked Lino.
Lino shook his head, “Even with the help of nature’s vision finding Naulo would be difficult due to his lack of mana. But if I would guess I believe that Naulo would somehow be drawn there. Since the forest is acting weirdly at the same time Naulo disappeared I am assuming that it is due to the powerful beasts gathering, most likely the wolves.”
“Why would wolves be gathering near the village? Usually they would prefer to stay much deeper into the forest.” Cario questioned.
“Let us go and we shall find out.” Auo stated and they all started to move forward.
Urrgh...I don’t have much stamina. Just this little hill and I’m already tired? This body is so weak.
Naulo was heading towards the area with the most magic. This might not be a very smart idea but Naulo felt as if something was pulling him towards that area.
Just a bit more…
As Naulo reached the top of the small hill what he saw was blood. A lot of blood in the battlefield below covering the white snow creating a crimson floor in the small clearing. The sight of the large amount of blood did not faze him but it brought about fear in him, but it was not the fear of blood.
Why am I afraid?
Then Naulo saw a figure of a large black wolf fighting against a group of about 20 white wolves. The fighting was brutal as the black wolf moved agilely to avoid the white wolves’ blows while landing blows of its own. There were flashes of darkness where the black wolf would disappear and reappear near a white wolf to tear out their windpipe. However, as the battle continued it can be seen that the black wolf was at a disadvantage due to the white wolves high numbers, which was still increasing as reinforcement came. One of the white wolves was able to grab on to the black wolf’s tail as another came to bite its neck. Intense pain ran through Naulo’s soul as he fell to his knees.
Naulo’s vision became blurry.
I...need...to….help...Sarin. I am to weak! I can’t do anything!! I am so useless!!! I need to help!!
The black wolf escaped the clutches of the white wolves by its shadow shift appearing in a nearby tree shadow. During the struggle the black wolf noticed Naulo through a similar pull that Naulo felt. It was worried. It ran around to the side of the hill and quickly grabbed Naulo by his coat collar and ran away. The white wolves did not give chase just yet. They were waiting for more reinforcement.
‘What’s the situation?’ a large 8 meter tall white wolf asked the 6-7 meter wolves.
‘Leader, we have lost about 15 wolves from our side pack and 6 wolves from the main pack.’ a grayish white wolf answered, ‘We have 8 wolves remaining from the main pack and 2 from the side pack. It is expected that from the other side packs about 40 more wolves will come as reinforcement.’
‘Hmmph, promote the 2 surviving wolves to the main pack and recover your stamina. We shall continue the chase when reinforcement arrive.’ the leader ordered. The white wolves retreated into the forest. Those who can continue to fight followed the leader while those who can’t are left there to fend for themselves. Only the strongest will survive.
Meanwhile, the black wolf was carrying Naulo towards a nearby cave hidden by the dense vegetation. Inside of the cave was really dark but it proved no difficulty for the black wolf or Naulo because there were many bats living there as well as large rats which gives of light to Naulo. Usually, the bats and rats would attack the weak Naulo immediately but due to the presence of the black wolf they stood still and observed hoping to be able to get remnants.
Naulo was currently unconscious from the sudden pain he experience and surge of emotions that were barely there throughout his life.
The black wolf placed Naulo down gently in the cave in the most comfortable place it believed to be.
Naulo. Why are you here?