Did I mention it was cold? Yes, three-month-old me was there, butt-naked in the cold of winter. Which should've ended by now but you know, fantasy? The temperature was still above freezing but that was hardly a good thing. After the gods vanished, my rage disappeared along with them. All that was left was the charred footprint of a wrecked village, a Rosalinda-shaped statue, and butt-naked baby-me.
I looked at the life-like stone, caressed its cheeks, and despaired. Life was too cruel to Rosalinda. Widowed, pregnant, dependant on the rose-thorned charity of the crones. Struggled to punch through winter with a newborn daughter, only to become a victim of a divine tantrum.
Kneeling on the miraculously unburnt floorboards. Her hands extended as if she was making her tormentors an offering. My tiny sinister hand grabbed her neck. My forehead met a stone shoulder. I ignored the cold and wept.
My skin could very well be the bark of a silk floss tree, with goosebumps all over it. Maybe I should activate my Cyst Skill. Sleep until better conditions. Before I could make that decision, I heard the growls.
A pack of huge timber wolves approached. Their matted gray, black, and white fur blended perfectly with a temperate forest's shadowed environment. I turned around and bared my teeth. Gums. I had no idea if my vorpal bite would work without the pearly whites, but I wouldn't go down with a fight.
They circled me. I screamed at them. A larger wolf with a big scar running down its left shoulder took a step forward. We locked our gaze on each other.
It approached. My Wild Sense told me it wasn't aggressive. I noticed the signs. No heckles raised, no fangs bared. A thought crossed my mind. I already got a Class, levels, Skills, and Perks. This life wouldn't go to waste even if it ends now.
I walked forward. Wobbled. Baby, hello! I had no fear. Only determination and cold-induced goosebumps showed in my face. The wolf had no fear. I can't read canine facial expressions. We got this close. Who would take the first blow?
Nobody, it seemed. The wolf smelled me and then licked me. She walked over me and deftly laid on the ashes, pressing her sweet, warm belly against my soft, cold baby skin. The other wolves came, smelled me, and soon I was buried in the warmest and deliciously-est comfortable pelt fortress. I fell asleep.
Yes, those were the reed-dressed goddess' children. I became Mowgli. That's how I became the one-armed wolf-girl. The End. Fin. Thanks for reading.
I woke up in the dark. The musky scent of wet dog overpowered me. I felt itchy fabric against my skin. A cursory examination told me I was hale and wrapped in a dirty moldy old quilt of some kind. And I'd soiled myself in my sleep. So I did what every baby do in such situations. I cried.
A growl warned me to stay quiet. My fear made me shut myself up and after some time and effort concentrating, I could rein myself in. Let me tell you. Even if your adult reincarnated mind is there, your neurons aren't trained yet. Reincarnation sucks just like that. You need time to work your body back in shape. Muscles, nerves, brain, and other bodily functions. I was potty trained back on Earth - for no less than three decades - and I still soiled myself in this life. The sphincters and the nerves that controlled them weren't. It did make the process easier, but not by that much.
Maybe, just like the bitten sin-fruit company advertised, there's a Skill for that. I very much wanted to test with my next free Skill points.
So, I was mired in my own offal. And I was hungry. My throat was parched and sore from crying. I did what any baby would in my situation if they had amoeba powers. I sent my pseudopods to gather food, water, and whatever else they found interesting. Anything that wasn't useful would come out during my next evacuation.
Fast forward a few hours.
Fun fact, amoebas can digest cellulose. Not so fun fact, pseudopods ate my blanket. And my poo, mold, and a bit of wolf. I woke up from my unicellular digestive reverie with a pained yelp from a wolf sleeping near me. It was bleeding from multiple tiny spots where the pseudopods ate and dug into its skin to literally drink its blood. I withdrew my microscopic tendrils. Next time, I'll use my earthworm powers and eat some dirt. That's how I lived my life until some bald guy in a wheelchair came to hire me. Spoiler alert, he didn't.
My mind wandered back to my biological mother. Oh, Rosalinda. I can only imagine what slander will be laid upon you when people get to that village and finds a stone statue kneeling on floorboards supplicating to the gods amidst flattened charred spots. Of the other villagers, not even bones remained.
The big wolf came and brought me back to the present. It sniffed me, licked me, and nudged me with its nose to turn me around. Satisfied, he laid next to me and offered me teats. Yeah, Rome wasn't built in a day but it started with wolf teats. And now I knew the alpha wolf was a she. I had little to lose so I accepted her offer of wolf milk.
You can scream that wolf milk is not good for human babies, but that's back in the old world. Or to not cheating normie babies in this world. The mutant me, with immunity to disease and poison, plus Metabolic Efficiency, could get along pretty nice on wolf milk and whatever else I scrounged with my pseudopods and dirt.
I was sure that these wolves were reed-lady's children she promised me. I mean, human babies are a tasty snack, and wolves in winter can't be choosers. Neither could I, to be honest. I embraced my wild-child life. Without a soundtrack by Mr. Collins. This wasn't a mouse-company movie.
It was boring, but I survived. The wolves made it clear I stood at the bottom of the chain, their notion of hospitality was terrible. They only offered me the dregs of the carcasses they hunted. Even the pups - yes there were pups - ate before me. Not that I minded too much. So long it didn't touch my tongue, I only knew what I was getting through phagocytosis because of Chemical Awareness. Want not, waste not was my motto as I grew up with the wolves.
I couldn't avoid thinking that I was in the same situation as my rabbit life but in reverse. Now I was the person amidst animals. Communication was still a bother. I maxed out the Skills I bought that could apply to the current situation and I wasn't gaining any level-ups. The wolves didn't take me with them to hunt, and I had a hunch that I couldn't kill shit.
Five years passed and the only change was that the wolves grew older, and I only grew. They died and I survived. The old alpha bitch was challenged and killed, but the next alpha inherited the divine mandate to keep me around until I came of age.
I wasn't a freeloader. My Nurse skills were invaluable for the wolves. I could tend to wounds and care for their health. With my bought Herbalism Skill, I gathered herbs in the proximity of the wolf den and tried my luck at making medicine for the wolves.
You gained the Compounding (rare) Skill.
You unlocked the Apothecary (rare) profession.
I swapped Forester for Apothecary. It had a slightly better Skill point progression, and its Skills were of a higher rarity. Forester Skills could be trained without the profession. I also became a housecleaner of sorts. During my stay, I picked a miscellaneous skill or two.
You gained the Leatherworking (uncommon) Skill.
You gained the Tanning (uncommon) Skill.
You gained the Cleaning (common) Skill.
You gained the Butchering (common) Skill.
You gained the Fire Building (common) Skill.
You gained the Sewing (common) Skill.
The wolves brought me discarded objects they found in the forest. Sometimes the adventurers and travelers left ragged bedrolls, broken utensils, and even one time a whole backpack was forgotten or left behind in a hurry. The metal tools told me we were indeed in the early Bronze Age. Most objects were made of copper with a few bronze tools. My most valuable treasure was a bronze dagger whose tip was broken. It was short but better than nothing. I used my time to train.
You gained the Dagger (common) Skill.
You gained the Baton (common) Skill.
You gained the Short Spear (common) Skill.
These were the three weapons I trained. The Baton was just a carved tree limb. The short spear a sharpened stick.
I wore a crude dress made of woven patches of cloth, leather, and furs. It was the exact opposite of haute couture. I didn't let my hair grow and used the bronze dagger to cut off patches that stuck out. Despite that, my hair was lustrous and soft. The pseudopods did a good job of cleaning up my short crop.
The seasons were longer where I lived. Winter, for example, lasted for five months. Spring and Fall, four. Summer only three. A year was sixteen months of thirty days long. I counted making scratches on the den's wall. I was either five years old in this world's calendar, or between six and seven years in Earth years. Since the System tracked my age and it said 5 years, I went with that.
It was a summer day like any other I saw in the wolf den. I was out, tending to my herbs when I heard the growls and barks of the wolves fighting nearby. Moments later, I heard grunts, shouts, and the sound of metal weapons being swung around and smacking flesh. It didn't take a genius to figure out people were around killing wolves. Fucking assholes. It wasn't a fight, it was a massacre. I didn't hear one scream of pain. The wolves weren't that high leveled, most of them were in the twenties with the current alpha thirty-something as he usually got all the kills.
I had to decide what to do. I could hide but I was pretty sure they would find me. I could join the fight but I was pretty sure they would slaughter me. So I swallowed my inexistent pride and went for the honeytrap. I kept picking herbs and clearing weeds that would compete for resources with my herbs.
Less than an hour later, the brave adventurers were upon the den. I feigned surprise when I saw them in their bloodied armors wielding bloodied weapons. They were the staple fantasy party. Three humans, a dwarf, and an elf. The elf had longe ears that poked up slightly above his head, dark brown skin, and was the tallest. His lanky limbs reminded me of the Grays from that FBI supernatural detective show. The dwarf wasn't short. He was half a head shorter than the humans, but almost a half-human wider. Only the beard and the stocky figure painted him as a dwarf. I might even be mistaken and he was something else, so keep in mind that the dwarf designation was provisional. The three humans were one man and two women. The guy in front was obviously the leader. He approached.
"Thus ablowd we endow morthd. Bira, aoti firehorse, brawards jaman! Fly, unworts forthd arms a kalamity. Piquiets fard segral shock gonad lardely?" The human warrior asked me. Yeah. I'm going to "shock gonad" you.
I tilted my head. The dwarf brandished his warhammer, shouted and stomped forward, as if he was going to attack me. I fell back on my butt and didn't even need to pretend I was scared. The bearded hulk just chortled at my reaction. He grumbled something to the others and they also laughed. One of the ladies came and offered me a hand. My wish was to bite it off but something inside me said, "not yet".
I took the hand and she picked me up as if I weighed nothing. She held me on her arm and I wrapped my arms around her neck. Wyxnos was right, I should've bought a language skill. Asshole. She stood back while the other adventurers entered the den and dispatched the wolves. She did take my broken bronze dagger away, though. I let her. My true weapon was hidden by my lips.
Then they made camp in the clearing and started to carve and dress the wolves. I was absorbed playing with my herbs. The elf and the rogue lady paid attention and talked about the herbs. I showed the herbs to the elf and he answered with their names, which I committed to memory.
Meanwhile, the others started a conversation that was clearly about me. Dwarf was suspicious, but warrior scoffed. He said something that I understood as "She doesn't have a Status". It made sense. People only access the System - it might be the other way around, the System only accessed people - when they hit puberty. To avoid appearing as if I was paying undue attention, I left and wandered into the forest to pick berries. Humming and acting like a little girl. Which I was. On the outside.
One boon of living in a wolf den was that critters avoided the area like the plague, so there was plenty of plant food nearby. The elf followed but he didn't interfere. I offered him some berries but he refused. I knew why. They were poisonous. Probably the kind of poisonous that made people very dead very fast by the look of abject terror in his face. I popped them in my mouth as if they were candy and even did a show of gushing as their sweet taste hit my tongue. I smiled at the elf and offered again. He refused, raw horror  stamped in his face but I just giggled, shrugged, and ate more of them.
They made camp and roasted wolf steak. I ate the berries and nibbled the herbs, remembering the tastes from my rabbit life. Rogue came next to me and I offered her the berries. Just when she was about to accept, Elf shouted in desperation and alerted everyone. He frantically spoke and pointed at the berries. I looked at him, pouted, and shoved a handful in my mouth. I chewed and let the juices seep down the corners of my mouth, smiling as if I was shooting a cereal ad.
I reached out with my hands drenched in berry juices. Happy, I clapped and Rogue jumped back, somersaulting and landing some three or four meters away. She had daggers in her hand. Yes. Daggers in one hand. Probably to throw in rapid succession. Who knew? I ignored her and licked my hands clean. I fell back spread-eagle on the ground, giggling and rubbing my belly.
Night came and the adventurers pointed me to the inside of the wolf den. I realized that I pushed the berry act too far. They were scared of me and I missed the opportunity to murder them in their sleep because the sentry was watching both the forest and the den's entrance.
I had no confidence they had my best interests in mind. During the night, I decided that I had to break away from them. Yes, who knew. They could be slavers, pedophiles, cannibals, bandits, or even reincarnated otaku lolicons. They inspired no confidence and they stole my dagger. I liked that dagger.
So I made my escape.
 From Wikipedia: Terror is usually described as the feeling of dread and anticipation that precedes the horrifying experience. By contrast, horror is the feeling of revulsion that usually follows a frightening sight, sound, or otherwise experience.
I decided that the elf's reactions should be first terror and later horror because of that.
Bio: The author would like to reinforce for the umpteenth time that the characters' opinions are their own, may be intentionally wrong, do not reflect my (MDW's) personal viewpoints neither are included in this work to further any political agenda (I don't even live in the same hemisphere or country as you, whichever those are. I'm writing from the Earth-Sun L3 point for all I care). My works serve no purpose other than to tell stories with conflicting viewpoints. Use of the reader's critical sense is highly advised.
5 minutes after the wolves departed, some guys came into the village and wondered where the lass is they are supposed to protect haha
I like the singular perspective but I'm really curious if this scene from the elf's eyes. 😅