Legs trembling, Lucky widened his stance, struggling not to collapse. Clash was still cowering behind him and the smell of scorched hair and blood surrounded them both. Around them, all of the skitterings had fallen, though a few still twitched restlessly. Four sharp-toothed, hunch backed creatures and their twelve riders were all that remained and Lucky was absolutely certain that they were the much larger threat. Despite the constant barrage of gunfire, none of the beasts had fallen and their riders still sat in the trifold saddles along their backs.
A golden-red shape came up next to Lucky and he turned his head to see Sugar’s fluffy shape. Her gentle eyes, as red-gold as her fur, took in his wounds and she let loose a whine of sympathy. “Easy does it, Lucky.” She said as she leaned into him, offering support. He gladly leaned against her, his eyes slitting closed for only a breath.
He knew that there was more to do, but for just a moment Lucky gave into the need to lean against someone else. Sugar stepped a little forward and glanced down at the wound on Lucky’s broad chest. “[Healing Touch].” She said, gently before she softly nosed the wound.
A warm feeling swelled within his chest, flowing across his wounds and sweeping through his body. He stood straighter, his pain vanishing.
Sugar’s weight leaned against his side as she loosed a shivering exhale. It was Lucky’s turn to bear her weight as she sagged against his flank. “Are you alright?”
“Well enough.” Sugar replied. “Takes a bit out of me. Try not to need it again.”
“I’ll do my best.” He promised as she found her feet and stood strong again. He could feel the muscles of his chest knitting themselves together. “Thank you.”
“Glad I could help.” Sugar’s voice was bright now, no trace of strain. “Now what?”
“Now we protect the Flock.” Lucky’s voice was filled with steely determination. Lucky drew in a deep breath, reached deep for his skill and felt his shoulders sag a little as [Intimidating Howl] failed to catch. A deep growl rumbled through him as he leapt into a run. Sugar stayed back a bit, checking on Clash as the little coyote gathered herself together. Two thunderous steps pounded the ground before Intrepid fell into step with him. The lanky gray dog stretched out to his full length and though his tail was curled around one hind leg and his ears lay flat against his skull, he raced toward the intimidatingly large beasts.
As the pair closed the distance, Intrepid surged ahead. Lucky was a sturdy dog with dexterity, but what he lacked in speed he made up for in endurance. Intrepid, on the other hand, was fast and light on his feet. He broke right as they swept to either side of the line of beasts. A trio of those purple-white blasts slammed into the ground just behind Lucky as he slid under the high belly of one of the beasts. A well placed [Hamstring] snapped the muscle in the back of its leg. The limb collapsed out from under it and tumbled all three of the riders off onto the ground. Intrepid was already heading for the second beast down the line. Other dogs and coyotes were rushing in from various directions. People were closing in as well, clutching tightly to guns and various other weapons.
The sharp-toothed beasts were vicious up close and even closing with them was dangerous. The trio of riders on each back were quick with the bright flashes of powerful light. Calypso ducked low, sliding under a flashing bolt. Two strides later the patchwork border collie leapt up, kicking off the bloated skin of the beast and slamming into one of the riders. Her tail barely escaped the snap of teeth from one of the other beasts. The rider thudded to the ground under her feet with a strange ball-like bounce. Calypso yowled as one of the bright blasts skidded along her right flank. Her teeth glanced off the face shield as she went for the throat.
Her black and tan form a blur, Val rammed into Lucky from the side, knocking him completely off his feet and sending him skidding across the rough gravel. Val bounced to her feet, her keen eyes glancing back toward the crater where the big dog had been before. “Too many to dodge.” She panted before racing away and back into the fray.
Lucky was on his feet in a moment, his thick fur had protected him from the worst of the fall. He shook himself and lunged back at the creature he had toppled. It was struggling to rise. As Lucky darted in toward its throat he noticed the short, sleek shape of Clash lunging into the fray. The other coyotes were there, working in groups to unseat riders and bring down beasts. Clash grabbed one of the thrashing forelegs of the beast and pulled back with all her might. Lucky ducked under the snapping teeth and, sliding [Bite] into place, sunk his teeth into the weirdly bloated flesh beneath its jaws. For a moment, boiling liquid filled his mouth as the taut skin burst between his teeth. Just as quickly as it boiled, it froze.
**DA-DING!! Your party has slain a Malgamar!! You have gained 90 experience!!
A headache immediately sunk its claws into Lucky’s brain and he backed away from the fallen beast. Malgamar? His eyes squinted closed for a long moment as the pain washed through him. It fled almost as quickly as it had flooded into him.
Clash’s yellow eyes were looking right at him when he opened his eyes. “Alright, Lucky?” She was panting heavily.
More than slightly winded himself Lucky bobbed his head in a nod. “You?” He panted.
“Yes.” She was still bleeding where the violet bolt had grazed her earlier in the battle, but she seemed to shake off the injury easily. There was a dancing gleam in the coyote’s eye as she looked toward the rest of the beasts. “There’s more.” She was gone in a flash.
Lucky took a deep breath and pulled [Healing Howl] into place as he looked around at the others in his Pack. There were a number of injuries, but none of them seemed terribly serious yet. He unleashed the howl and threw himself toward the next target.
**DA-DING!! Your party has slain a Malgamar!! You have gained 90 experience!!
The voice echoed in his head as he reached one of the riders. The bloated suits that the riders wore kept them from getting to their feet easily, but the three that Lucky had knocked down were almost there. Each was carrying a pair of metal tubes about twice the length of a hotdog, but the same size around. The big dog couldn’t help his mouth watering at the thought of hot dogs.
Lucky seized one of the metal tubes and bit down as hard as he could. He felt the thin skinned metal collapse under his teeth. Those tubes seemed to be the source of the dangerous violet blasts. The big dog wrenched the tube out of one of the rider’s hands and threw it aside.
The rider smacked him over the head with the other tube, grabbing the fur at his collar with two other hands. Lucky tried to back away, but those hands held the ruff of fur around his neck were like iron. Those thick, blunt fingers burrowed deep into his fur, seeking skin. Lucky’s lips peeled back from his long white teeth and a fearsome snarl rumbled up from the depths of his chest. It grabbed at his muzzle with one hand and Lucky snapped at the blunt fingers. The fingers withdrew quickly and the metal tube pointed toward his head.
A scream split the air and Lucky’s ears fell back against his skull. He tried to yank his head free of the rider’s grasp, but all it served to do was seat the rider’s hands more thoroughly against his skin. [Intimidating Bark] slid into place and the thunderous sound cracked through the dooryard. He heard a faint whine of sound from the metal pressed against his head.
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Hi! My name is Skwrepb (pronounced Jen, I swear). I'm a stay at home mother of three with not enough time on my hands. I've been writing since I could hold a pen and I have so many stories to tell!
I'm an avid reader and The Wandering Inn is what brought me to Royal Road. I have been devouring stories here ever since.