Thomas slowly made his way back in the direction he'd come from. He'd already searched the whole village and he'd only found the hidden tunnel through luck. He maintained a slow speed, he didn't want to move fast and risk awakening Snowlily by jostling her. He wasn't really sure exactly how far from Ulvstad he was. He'd been moving at a decent speed for a couple of hours so he figured he was at least somewhere between fifty to a hundred kilometers from the city.
As he walked he heard snorting followed by a squeal. A large boar with thick tusks stepped out onto the path in front of Thomas. The boar gazed at Thomas while pawing the ground in preparation for a charge. Thomas didn't even feel the slightest bit of tension from the situation. He'd already had his fair share of fun slaughter boars in the past and he was significantly stronger now than he was back then.
When the boar charged, Thomas didn't bother taking out a weapon or taking any kind of defensive stance. The boar posed no threat at all even while charging him at full speed. The boar gave a feral squeal as it came close. Thomas simply cocked his right leg back and gave the boar a 'gentle' kick to the head. The 'gentle' kick still contained a large amount of Thomas's Power behind it. The force of the kick cracked the boar's skull and compressed its spine with enough force to shatter several vertebrae. The boar's body seemed to compress a little before 'springing' back into shape and flying away from his foot. The boar flew for a short distance until it slammed into a tree with the sickening sound of flesh hitting something solid.
The body of the now very dead boar collapsed to the ground and didn't move anymore. Throughout the whole process, the soft little ball of fur in his arms hadn't moved. Thomas looked down at Snowlily and smiled. Even though he had yet to see what she really looked like he had already determined that she was the most adorable little floof ever. He looked at the dead boar before making his way over to it.
He summoned up his metal magic and created a razor sharp knife floating in the air. He quickly slit the throat of the boar with it. He changed the knife into a metal wire and looped it around the rear legs of the boar. He lifted the boar up and hung it from a tree letting gravity draw out the thick red blood to pool in a puddle beneath the animal. He maintained the spell until the blood stopped flowing from the animal. He lowered it to the ground and changed the wire back into a knife. With a flick of the blade, he slit the boars stomach open to reveal its internal organs. Once again the shape of the knife changed and became a hand-like shape. He quickly scooped out the boar's organs. It wasn't perfect, but it was a good enough field dressing of the boar.
With the boar cleaned he stored it inside of his inventory. It would make a good source of food for Snowlily when she woke up. He wasn't sure exactly what a Garou would eat, but boar seemed like a good enough guess.
Thomas spent the next hour just following the road back the way he came. He met no more boars along the way and found it a little odd. The first time he entered the forest there had been plenty of boars, now they seemed to have vanished. The only conclusion he could come up with was that they had either been hunted down heavily by players or learned that the area was dangerous and moved elsewhere. Whatever the case was, there was nothing in the area for him to hunt.
As he continued to walk the ball of fur in his arms began to stir. Thomas came to a stop and looked down at Snowlily. She squirmed and struggled a bit in his arms. He was tempted to put her down but couldn't bring himself to set her down on the dirt and let it mar her fur. Eventually, her little head popped up and looked directly at him. Like the Denmother, Snowlilly had crystalline blue eyes that seemed to glitter in the light. Thomas was instantly smitten. He was no expert on wolves of dogs but Snowlily seemed to be a perfect specimen.
Her entire face was covered in white fur with only her black nose and blue eyes being the exceptions. The two of them stared into each other's eyes. Blue eyes looked into blue eyes. Thomas could see the light of intelligence in Snowlily's eyes as she stared back at him. They looked at each other in silence for a few minutes before Thomas finally spoke, "I'm Thomas Darkrose. Your mother has entrusted you to me Snowlily. From now on we'll be together. I'll do everything I can to protect you."
Snowlily tilted her head as she listened to Thomas as he spoke. When he stopped she continued to look at him until a soft rumbling sound echoed from her. She immediately looked away from him, almost as if she was embarrassed by her stomach growling. Thomas just smiled and looked around a bit. He spotted dead tree branches and smiled. As his hands were currently occupied by a ball of soft fur he couldn't use them. Nothing said he needed to though. He summoned his mana and converted it to the earth element. Using his magic he started collecting twigs and branches. He piled them up into a small stack. He used two thick branches planted in the ground as braces for a third branch. It was time for a little outdoor barbeque.
After he gathered enough wood, Thomas let out a sigh. He looked at Snowlily and said, "Sorry, but I'll need to put you down for this part."
He looked through his inventory and pulled out a clean shirt to set down on the ground as a makeshift blanket. Yes, she was a wolf and walking around on the ground was something she would do a lot. He simply couldn't bring himself to get her fur dirty yet. After setting the shirt down he carefully placed Snowlily on it. She seemed to give him an odd look but didn't seem to be complaining at her treatment. Snowlily just sat on his shirt and looked up at him. For now, she was tiny, no bigger than a normal puppy only a few weeks old.
She sat prim and proper as Thomas pulled the boar he'd killed out of his inventory and set it on the ground. Seeing the decently sized boar Snowlily's eyes widened and her stomach growled even louder than before. Thomas glanced at her and smiled before he summoned up his metal magic and made a proper skinning knife for his use. He looked over the somewhat mangled corpse of the boar then began to skin it.
He worked quickly and efficiently. Using a proper skinning knife worked a lot better than using a kukri. Within minutes he had the boar skinned and began cutting out a section of it to grill. Once he skewered it and placed it over the firewood he used a quick burst of fire magic to ignite the dried wood he'd collected. He dug inside his storage ring and pulled out a small bag of salt. He'd purchased this bag of salt nearly a month ago, along with other small supplies, and simply never had the chance to use it before now.
He seasoned the meat with the salt and allowed it to cook over the flames. Snowlily silently watched everything that Thomas did like she was curious to know what the strange human was up to. With the boar meat cooking, Thomas stored the excess back inside of his inventory and took a seat on the ground near Snowlily. Snowlily looked over at him curiously. He'd sat a little distant from her, just at the edge of his shirt.
He didn't want to spook her. After all, the whole situation was probably a little scary for her. She'd just woken up after god knew how long and was now stuck with a complete stranger. Thomas knew that Snowlily was an intelligent being and wanted to try and make a good impression. They would likely be together for a very long time and he didn't want her to have a bad first impression of him.
Snowlily watched Thomas as he sat down near her. She showed no signs of fear toward him. She actually moved a little closer to him and sniffed around a bit. Thomas remained silent and just watched her. She looked at him for a bit before moving over and sitting down next to him. Silently they both watched the boar meat cooking. Every now and then Thomas would use a bit of magic to rotate the spit to evenly cook the meat.
It took a bit of time to cook the large piece of meat completely. He could have cooked smaller pieces faster, but the male in him demanded that he cook a big piece of meat. With the meat done he removed the spit from the fire and summoned a knife to cut off small pieces for Snowlily. He made sure each piece was very small for the small wolf. He looked over at her as he set down a few pieces, "I hope you like it but be careful, it's going to be hot."
Snowlily glanced at him for a moment before leaning her head down to take one of the steaming pieces of meat into her mouth and chewing on it. Thomas smiled warmly at the sight of the little wolf eating the boar meat. He cut off a small piece for himself and ate it. Though the salt helped add some flavor to the meat, it was still rather bland. It needed a good sauce and some side dishes for it to become passable, in his opinion.
They ate in silence for a while until they were both full. Snowlily licked her muzzle to clean off the juices from the boar meat until her fur was once again pristine. Thomas cleaned up the fireplace and made sure that every last ember was out, even going so far as to bury the ashes. Once the site was cleaned up he looked down at Snowlily, "Ready to go?"
Snowlily just looked up at him silently. Taking it as tacit agreement, Thomas kneeled down and gently picked her up into his arms. She showed no sign of complaining. He recovered his now dirty shirt and stored it away. Once everything was set he resumed his journey toward the city. He wanted to get back before it got too dark but he was also wondering what the policy for animal companions was at The Swans Nest. He looked at the sky and figured he only had a couple of hours until nightfall. He looked down at Snowlily and smiled, "I'm going to go a bit faster. Don't worry I won't let anything happen to you."
Snowlilly looked up at him and gave a little huff. Thomas just grinned and started to move a little faster. He started slow and slowly increased his speed. He felt it would be too dangerous to accelerate too fast. Snowlily was still a young puppy and he feared that sudden acceleration, or deceleration, could hurt her. She seemed to be excited by how quickly Thomas was moving. Thomas only moved at about a quarter of his maximum speed, but that still had him moving at around a hundred kilometers per hour.
Thanks to his increased speed he left the forest after just a bit longer and could see the walls of Ulvstad not too far away. He looked down at Snowlily, "We're almost to the city."
Snowlily looked up at him and whined while her body began to shiver. He looked down at her and tried to give her a comforting smile, "Don't worry. I'll protect you from any harm Snowlily. We're going to be together for a long time."
She whined again and burrowed deeper into his arms. He smiled warmly and gave her a bit of a hug, "I'll keep you safe Snowlily."
As he approached the city he slowed his speed gradually until he was once again walking. He approached the city with her snuggled tightly in his embrace. As he walked he finally took the time to take a look at her status screen. He could have done it sooner, and probably should have, but there really was no rush.
|Experience Gained: 15||Experience Spent: 0||Experience Remaining: 15|
|Power: 4||50 Exp|
|Endurance: 5||60 Exp|
|Agility: 9||100 Exp|
|Magic: 12||130 Exp|