Zai was sitting in a tall tree, his legs hung over the ledge that was more than twenty five feet off the ground. He had one arm raised near his face and was scanning a digital version of his previous map.
"Hey Blair." Blair was leaning on another tree nearby when Zai called her over.
"Need something?" She jumped from her branch to the one Zai was sitting on. Her helmet shining in a patch of moonlight.
"I want some food." Zai's stomach let out a gurgling noise as if to agree with what he said. Blair knocked his helmet with her knuckles.
"Go get your own food! Do I look like your personal maid?!"
"Really? I can leave to get food? Don't mind if I do~" Zai got up and was about to jump down when Blair grabbed his arm, her helmet hiding her frustration to the oblivious Zai.
"No you dolt! Why would the commander leave for food?! You need to be here to command the soldiers and to-" Zai put his hand over Blair's helmet once again, her fury burning even more. She would've socked him right then and there if she didn't hear him answer a call. Zai pressed the communicator on the right side of his helmet and a familiar voice echoed into Blair's ears.
"Heeey~! Why aren't you done yet? Old people need their sleep. My back hurts from standing too much. Ah, also I'm hungry. Helloo~?" Valeri's voice sounded tired and impatient. She let out a yawn and continued complaining to Zai. Blair was shocked speechless. Even her captain was wondering about food when an army of about one hundred Blood Wolves was heading towards their base camp! But then she remembered her other missions with the captain.
Once Valeri had left food out and attracted a couple of class three Horned Bears that shocked everyone when they woke up the next morning. Valeri had even laughed it off and ordered a full retreat from the bears while being chased, causing them to lose a valuable position. On another occasion Valeri accidentally found a small kitten nearby their new camp and brought it to her tent. Next thing they know a class four Fanged Twintail had followed it's child's scent right to the camp. The camp was forced to retreat in full as the most of the fighters were out scouting. Once again they lost a valuable position due to Valeri. On another occasion during an important meeting that would decided where they would be stationed for the next four years Valeri had fallen asleep, openly, and landed them scouting where they are now. The remains, and dangerous, fallen country of Gestva. It had to be one of the worst locations as the surrounding areas had fallen too and were overrun with monsters, bandits, and deserters of other armies. Blair sighed loudly, interrupting Zai's and Valeri's heated conversation about whether pork or beef was tastier.
"Something wrong Blair?" Blair shook her head.
"No, just feeling a bit more hopeless from remembering a few things…" Once again Blair sighed. Zai looked at her awkwardly and turned away from her. He cupped his hand over the speaker and whispered into it as quietly as he could.
"Captain, I think there's something wrong with Blair." On the other end Valeri was a bit surprised. Blair would always love a good fight so the battle with the Blood Wolves should be making her excited.
"She has this dopey air around her and she keeps sighing really, really loudly. It's kinda bugging me." Zai turned his head inside his helmet. "I think she's hungry too but doesn't want to admit it…" On the other end Valeri was laughing like a maniac.
"Despite being so old you're still very childish!" Valeri's uncontrolled laughter caused the speaker to whine loudly. Zai squeezed his eyes in pain and turned the speaker down a bit with his other hand, using a little screen next to his arm.
"Captain please don't do that again, you'll crush my ear drums, and don't talk to me about being old! I'll have you know I'm a perfectly able, good looking, forty three year old man!" Valeri's laughter was quieter now but still there. On the other side Valeri had actually needed to lean on the side of a nearby tree, clutching her sides with her helmet covering her expression. The screen was beginning to fog a bit as Valeri was breathing hard. Hearing the stifled laughter Zai was feeling a bit embarrassed as he replayed what he just said in his mind.
*breaths deeply* "Oh, Zai. Just, I don't think it's that. Anyways, how's the situation."
"I have them right where I want them." On Zai's side a new blue screen had just popped from his arm, replacing the volume adjuster for the speakers. "Speaking of which it seems the scouts have seen something. See you later Captain."
"Yes, hurry up. I'm hungry."
"Will do!" Zai released the communicator on his right and clicked the blue screen on his arm, the map displaying the terrain and a red dot as a marker for the Blood Wolves. Zai touched his right communicator and the scouting leader reported in.
"This is S-1, the pack seems to be moving."
"Seems like around sixty. There are about thirty females and nine other males besides the pack leader who have stayed behind at their previous spot."
"Sixty this time? Is this definite?"
"Yes, one of my own got wounded when they overran his position before he could escape. He's fine now but currently won't be able to do anything until he heals."
"That's fine. He managed to escape and live, let's keep it that way."
"Yes sir. "
"Sir, uh… I'm not how correct this information is but one of my scouts who were doing a wide perimeter search for other hidden wolves saw a Blood Wolf variant."
"It was a Black Blood Wolf but in terrible condition. One of it's hind paws was gone and it's whole right front arm had been severed."
"Do we know the reason why?"
"It's undetermined but the Black Blood Wolf was running away from this area as fast as it could, there could possibly be a stronger monster hiding within the forest so I suggest you finish your plan with caution."
"Duly noted. Anything else? No matter how small." There was a silent pause before the comms clicked again.
"Then keep up the work. I want any kind of suspicious activities reported immediately." More silence. Zai was about to speak again when the comms clicked and the scouting leader's voice rang through.
"Lieutenant! The Blood Wolf wave is moving incredibly fast! They'll arrive within five minuets or less. I apologize with the late report but I just got notified as well!"
"Good! I was getting bored waiting here. Don't worry scout leader, they won't make it past here alive." Zai closed the comms and clicked the communicator on the left side.
"All units, prepare to engage the enemy! Remember to wait for my signals!"
""Yes sir!"" Zai lowered his hand and shook Blair a little.
"You ready for some exercise?" Blair woke up from her daze and upon realizing Zai's true meaning she nodded profusely.
"Good. On my call we move with the plan."
Inside the forest Lydis sensed a huge group of monsters coming near her. Due to being downwind the wolves hadn't noticed her yet. She stopped and climbed up the nearest tree, her eyes squinting to see in the darkness. A mass of glinting red fur passed under the trees further to her right. Lydis traced their path and found that if she turned her head a bit to the left the wind brought the smell of the pack leader to her. Seems like the Blood Wolves she was seeing now was not where the pack leader was. After judging the direction where the pack leader was Lydis slid down the tree and began making her way towards the pack leader.
Weaving in and out of the trees Lydis felt truly alive. She could feel the cold air brush her hair behind her, the damp soil beneath her, the fresh smell of decaying trees and blood. The sweet iron smell grew stronger as Lydis headed neared the pack leader's location, her heart pumping. Soon she arrived at a small cliff overlooking the clearing the pack leader was resting in. At first she couldn't see anything but when the clouds shifted away from the moon, it's light lit up the floor slightly and she could see the splotches and pools of furless carcasses along with the glistening puddles of blood that pooled in various places. Lydis made her way down the side of the cliff slowly, making sure to keep herself downwind from the wolves.
As she neared the pack she could see clearly that the pack leader's size had changed from her first encounter. It was bigger than the black Blood Wolf and its fur seemed to flow endlessly like fire. The pack leader was resting alone on a small mound. He licked his paws lazily. The females surrounding him were either sleeping or nuzzling their pups. The other males formed groups of two in four directions with one lone wolf at the rear around the perimeter. This formation was highly unusual for Blood Wolves. It looked too sophisticated and thought out to be normal. A small ding went off in Lydis's head and the same unknown voice repeated information on the pack leader.
Blood Wolf variant, Wolf Lord. Said to happen to one in every one-hundred thousand wolves. A rare evolution that doesn't occur often. Said wolf will have superior abilities and intelligence. As their strength increases so will the number of wolves in their pack. Highly dangerous, would recommend a platoon size force to deal with it, excluding other wolves. Seems to be fairly new and still in it's growing stage.
Lydis looked at the pack leader, her eyes gleaming with greed.
"How can I hold myself back when a delicious meal is sitting right there?" Though not sure who she was talking to Lydis continued to move stealthily inside the forest, careful to not alert the wolves of her presence. She could feel her heart thumping against her chest in excitement and it took everything she had to calm her breath. When she reached a opening in the forest's trees Lydis found a torn body of a furless wolf. She poked at it curiously. The deep claw marks that cut right to the bone and sections of torn flesh suggested it died due to blood loss.
Lydis was just about to pass it when it's eyes opened and just as it was about to bit her leg Lydis had already flipped open her pocket knife and stabbed it right through the head. The wolf's eyes closed once again and it let out a gurgled whimper. Lydis slid the blade free and as she was cleaning it against the grass an idea hit her. Working quickly she used her blade to carve the skin from the furless wolf. Strip by strip until all she had were some long pieces of skin covered in blood. Lydis rolled the pieces of skin over her own body, covering her arm and legs as well as her chest.
Lastly, she severed the head and began to carve out it's skull. Pulling out it's spine, vocal cords, and tongue she made a space inside of it. Lastly she used her blade to cut open the bottom of the skull and gouged out the brain as well as making some new holes for eyes. Although sloppy it looked decent enough and was just a bit too big. She slid the head over her own and laughed a bit. If Valeri or anyone else saw her they would think she was a new kind of monster. The skin was dripping blood onto her clothes as well as making her stink like a corpse. Lydis cupped her hands, scooped a handful of blood and splashed it on herself. She kept repeating this until there wasn't a clear spot on her.
Feeling satisfied she crouched low brought her blade behind her, ready to pounce at a moment's notice. She slowly crawled over other corpses and stayed low. When she neared the first sleeping female wolf it furrowed it's brows before settling down once more. The smell from Lydis was discomforting but not alarming. The scent of a human was hidden underneath the smell of death. Slowly, Lydis got to the wolf's face, it's huge teeth slightly barred. In one moment she wrapped her arm around its muzzle, holding it closed, and with her blade in her mouth, stabbed through its left ear and straight into its brain. It struggled for a second and stopped moving. Lydis released her arm and counted down. One down, thirty nine to go.
She moved on from the female Blood Wolf's corpse and encountered a small bundle of red, hurling towards her. It was carrying a chunk of flesh as it passed by Lydis. She swung her blade and sliced the wolf pup's whole muzzle off, it whimpered silently before Lydis brought the blade back and used the hilt to smash it's underdeveloped skull. She shoved the corpse into a pool of blood and continued to move slowly. Now wary of the pups. Should they be alarmed they could give her position away.
Lydis continued moving between the female wolves. Killing those that were sleeping and avoiding the ones who were still awake. After her fifth kill a nearby male moved. He raised his head and sniffed the air. Lydis dived into the fur of the female she had just killed. The lone male continued to sniff and came closer, it's muzzle barely off the ground. He went left, then right, then he came closer to Lydis's position. The male wolf nuzzled the dead female and in that second Lydis jumped at his face, jabbing her blade straight into it's throat. She paused for another moment before pushing off on her right foot and sliced the right side of its throat off. A gaping hole poured new blood onto Lydis. The wolf stumbled a bit before slumping over. It's breathing hard as it tried to get air into it's lungs. The frantic scrambling of its legs scrapped the ground and would've alerted the other wolves had Lydis not brought her blade back through it's neck, severing the head. Lydis added a new coat of blood to her camouflage feeling that her sweat was giving her away. She moved on from the scene and continued her killing spree.
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