Chapter Three: Yuukanda
The air became tinged with moisture. At first it was nothing but a minor change, but it twisted and shifted until it was near
suffocating in nature. Windy breathes picked up in pitch, carrying a whirrling rythmatic whistle as it blew past the trees.
Darkened clouds stretched like a wing being flared, crossing and cutting across the once purple-hued sky. Like a clash of
swords they met in the middle, sparking a downpour of rain that splashed down on the world with an accompanying bang of
The strike was quick, and random in nature, as it plucked a tree from the ground and cast fire to it's roots. The wind ruffled
the flames, giving life to a crazed beast that soon sought to cling to the surrounding forest. Water plummeted to the ground,
coating everything in a slippery lining that only prevented the fire from spreading.
It mourned it's denial of life, and clung to it desperately for as long as it could. Like a dying animal it began to simmer down,
and it's energy wanned. As the flames died, smoke attempted to free it's essence - only to be denied as the water forced it
Such a natural event, so numerous in the amount of time it had happened, it was nothing special. Nor more unusual than
that of a flower blossoming in the sunlight. Thunder and rain continued to mix together, but no other lightening strikes too
place in the area.
Wind shackled itself to the forest floor, demanding to remove one or two more trees from their chosen location. It roared,
scratched, and even tore away at many of the branches. Moss shrivelled up under the torrent of rain and wind, like soggy
newspaper someone crushed in their hand.
A higher pitched whistling caught the air, and the wind itself seemed annoyed by the interferring noise. It fought back by
whirrling past the forest floor several more times, but no matter it's ferocity it could not deter the challenging noise. It
increased in volume, and even the wind was forced to shudder under it's intensity.
A shadow overtook the trees, and they cringed in anticpation as a new windforce knocked them back. A lone cry, not loud
enough to be counted as a roar or scream, rippled through the bleeding throat of the Dragon as it tumbled to the forest
floor. Trees cracked and bent beneath it's weight, easily succumbing to the large creature.
It skidded forward, it's body catching only more wounds as the trees and earth dug in to it's scaled body. Tattered wings,
one so badly ripped it was actually bent backwards, were uselessly tossed about. For a few hundred feet the Dragon slid
across the ground, only to come to a sudden stop near the center of it's chosen landing field.
Blood mingled with rain as it pooled around the gaping neck and chest wounds of the beast. It's chest rose and fell, quaking
with the effort. Eyes the colour of tainted moons stared blearily forward, unable to focus on the world anymore.
One form, just as bloody in nature as it's ride, fell from the shoulders of the creature. It landed with a splash of red water, as
it's body lay near lifeless in a growing puddle. Green eyes, the colour of a vibrant spring day, were rimmed red from tears.
Broken horns rose from the back of the Raveeness' head, blood seeping from the base of them where they had been
nearly torn off. She gasped for a feverish breath, her eyes focused solely on the creature whose eyes refused to see the
world. "Kan...yuu..." She struggled to speak, but blood bubbled in her lungs, and she coughed away what little energy she
Red eyes fought to focus, fought to cling to that fading voice it knew so well. Pain so deep that no mortal weapon could ever
be the cause ran through the creature's heart, gripping it's soul and laughing like a maniac when he could do nothing for it.
He could not speak, he could not save them.
Colour faded from the irises, as red turned to a ghostly grey, and the Dragon's chest fell still. Blood continued to run from
the wounds for only a few minutes more, before it too stilled and was only moved by the droplets of rain that dared to
mingled with it.
Green filled with more tears, as the coughing fit finally subsided. She stared in to the lifeless eyes before her, and shakily
moved a paw forward as if to touch the dead creature. She winced, and cringed, as pain ran along her injured limb. It had
been crushed, sometime between their flight and landing.
She cried only more still, and as she felt the movement of her cub, from where it laid clutching it's Mother's wing, she
couldn't even manage to speak reassurances. She felt his trembling, could literally feel the confusion and fear rippling off
his body, but could do nothing for it.
Her eyes shut tightly, and she prayed that someone - anyone - could save her child from this fate. That he be granted a
chance, that he not turn out like the others. For once in her life, she prayed to the Wing Gods for favour.
Do not let him die.. Please... Let him live beyond this.
The reality that her prayers would be useless did not enter her mind. Nor did the knowledge that the Gods had long since
abandoned the mortal plane. She was too far gone to care for such beliefs anymore. She was willing to hope, for her Son.
As the world turned dark, she attempted to speak, to say something, anything, to her only cub. "....Yuu....." The energy
drained from her, and she could not muster the will power to complete her words. Green began to fade to grey, and as a
smaller set of green watched them, tears fell in both fear and grief.
The cub wailed, and clung only more tightly to it's Mother's wings. It closed it's eyes harshly, mumbling incoherrently as it
begged for it's Mother to wake.
It was the scene the Wulvfskin Hounds bared witness to, as they let their own howls join that of the solo survivor. For a cub
to lose both it's Mother and Father in a single night, they would mourn. And for the death of a cub, they would mourn still.
Ebony eyes took in the scene with guarded emotions, as the red-marked Raveen came to a stop near the damaged trees.
The fallen Dragon was viewed first, the gaping wounds and dead eyes telling many tales of what might have happened.
Rain continued to fall, dampening the blood that was unable to dry.
The Raveen's gaze then fell to the Raveeness, to where she lay dead sprawled before the Dragon's snout. She was in a
similiar state to her companion, a damaged body that was beyond cure now. The grey of her eyes told of that.
White ears roamed forward, as ebony eyes came to rest on the sobbing bundle clinging to one of the broken wings of the
Raveeness. They hardened, not allowing the sorrow to show at such a sight, and the Raveen moved silently forward. He
glided soundlessly across the muddied soil, and came to a stop in the blood-tainted rain.
Sniffling, and heart-breaking sobbing continue for a couple more minutes, before the presence of another registered.
Green eyes peeled open, and the cubling looked first at the blood-marked paws, before taking in the sight of the Raveen.
Soon green met ebony, and the two just stared in to the eyes of the other.
"I am Natuuhara," the white Raveen stated after several long beats of silence. "And it is not safe to remain here."
Green eyes did not understand, and they returned to take in the sight of the unmoving form of their Mother. The cubling
began to cry once more, and with a quiverring lip he spoke in a shaky voice. "My M-mother.."
"She is no longer here." The elder Raveen said simply.
The cubling looked up, meeting Natuuhara's gaze once more. "Why won't she wake?"
Natuuhara frowned, and his ebony eyes closed for a moment before reopening. "What is your name?"
"Yuu-Yuukanda." The cub said, sniffling, and attempting once more to wake it's wake. He shook the now cold body, willing it
to come back to life.
"Yuukanda," Natuuhara began, his ebony eyes moving to take in the Wulvfskins as they started to gather their packs. They
would soon make to feast on these fallen creatures. "You must come with me now, it is what your Mother would have wished
you to do. You can do nothing for her."
The cub fiercly shook it's head, which only served to reveal the bloodied gash lingering beneath the cub's throat. It was not
life-threatening, but was of an obvious origin that the trees could not have provided. It was curved, obviously caused by
someone and not something.
Natuuhara had no time, nor patience, to remain in this area for much longer. He moved to leave, his paws treading lightly
through the mud. He turned to glance back at the cubling, the rune-marks around his left eye glittering mysteriously. "I will
take my leave now, and you can decide whether or not to come. Whether or not your Mother's dying wish for you to live was
worth her death."
The white Raveen turned to leave once more.
The cub was shaken by the words, enough to let go of it's Mother's wings, and stumbled forward. He hit the mud, his shaky
limbs unable to hold up his weight. His vision was blurred by both blood and water.
Natuuhara picked the cub up, careful not to jar any injuries as he did so. With his mouth occupied with the cub he could not
speak, but he was thankful for it's decision to come along. Tonight, the Wulvfskins would not feast on this young soul.
And for that, they howled.