"Oooh, you're making a flower-crown! Where'd you find all those flowers? I thought the storm would have killed them all," Taka said, her indigo eyes going wide in delight.
~Nine years earlier~
The battle had been brutal, especially as the Cats had acquired new weapons of a destructive magnitude unseen since the Tail-less ones. The grassland along the western coast of Canis looked as though it would be forever blighted and scarred by scorch-marks, its streams forever red with the blood of the slain.
But the Cats, despite their advances in technology, had not made any new advances today; the Wolves had won this small battle, at least. The Cats had been forced off this land to regroup for another day.
A relatively young Wolf in his mid twenties, Nedakh observed the carnage with a face as white as fresh snow. His arm had a deep laceration which was bleeding profusely, but that was the least of his worries; there were others in far worse condition than he.
He directed those who were still well along with Healers to find those among the wounded who could be saved; it mattered not what species they were to him, so long as lives coud be saved. He marched along gamely after tying a very crude sort of tourniquet about his right bicep to staunch the flow of blood.
It was about this time he spotted a flash of red that, for once, wasn't spilled blood. He spun to his left to get a better look; hair. It was hair
. He'd never seen such a vibrant shade of red before; it wasn't a dusty orange, it wasn't auburn, it was a true, heart-stopping red, the likes of which shouldn't have existed in nature, but did.
He approached and found a very, very tall man lying in a patch of scorched grass, badly wounded, unconscious, fighting for his life. He had to be over six feet tall, with long limbs possessing lean muscle and skin so pale it reminded the young Alpha of his daughter, Takaia. The red hair hung in wild curls, half obscuring the man's face, but not his ears and tail.
He was a cat, but- wait, the ears, the tail, they were golden brown, and the tail had a reddish tuft along the end. I thought only the royals were Lions,
Nedakh thought to himself. But the royals refuse to fight their battles, so what is he doing here?
He called for a healer and a stretcher helped load the giant man onto it, then continued to help find more wounded to heal. But all the while as he moved on, his mind strayed back to that red hair, and he pondered over the fact that they had a Lion in their midst.
Unknown to the wolves, there was another species on the field that day; three Avians stood silent watch over the proceedings for a bit, observing the Wolves picking up those with hope for survival and gently ending the suffering of those who could never make it. The man and his two apprentices were supposed to watch only and not interfere; it was to be a lesson in death and in mindless destruction, for they were both of an age to be shown the ways of other peoples.
The Master in the middle wasn't very tall, but he was fierce, with uncompromising gray eyes and short-cropped dirty-blonde hair with a few flecks of gray in it. His feathered arms were crossed in front of his chest, the feathers hidden beneath his soft, linen robes.
To his left, a boy of about ten bounced in place, his golden ringlets springing just as much as he was. He looked saddened by the death and destruction around him, and the rule on non-interference was bothering him greatly. His guileless, cerulean blue eyes sparkled with unshed tears over the suffering of those on the field.
The boy to the right was older and far, far less moved; he was an apprentice to the Avian god of Chaos, and, to him, this was merely life. Or, well, he mostly thought that, but the occasional wound he saw made him gag; he'd never seen so much blood. This boy had shoulder-length hair that was somewhere between wavy and frizzy, black in color. Unlike the other two, he did not sport a golden tan, and instead was ghostly pale with black eyes. But, unlike his looks, when he wasn't being sickened by carnage and trying to hide it with a brave face, his eyes held an inner fire full of life and mischief that defied his ghostly looks.
At the moment, the three Birds were on the edge of the battlefield. When the wolves were nearing the end of their attempt to save lives, the boy with the darker hair suddenly turned and saw a boy his own age on the battlefield. Wait, a thirteen-year-old soldier? That wasn't supposed to be allowed; he thought the minimum age to be sixteen.
He turned and gave his Master a defiant look, then set out to where the young boy lay, unconscious. The wounded boy's hair was vibrant red and curly, and he was some sort of Cat; it didn't matter to the Chaos Apprentice what sort, just that a boy his age was dying when he shouldn't be.
"Lucius," called the Master. "We mustn't-"
"Master, he's thirteen or so. He shouldn't have been here in the first place; minimum age is supposed
to be sixteen," little Lucius retorted hotly. "I'm taking him with us; I feel like this boy is important," he then turned back and struggled to lift the other boy who was already taller than he was. His Master sighed, then came over to help.
"Very well, but when we return home, he shall become your responsibility to watch over; I do not normally concede to things like this, understand? We will do what must be done to help him survive, but after that, it is all up to you," his master said through narrowed eyes.
Lucius chewed his lower lip, then stubbornly nodded his head once. And, with that, the Avians finally left. They left just as the last fo the dead were confirmed and just as the Wolves took the rest fo those with a chance along with them.
Now, the blighted fields were empty of life, and the wind whipped on through the grass, moaning like the cries of the d@mned.