"The pack… They can't get to the pack…" The words came from the wounded maw of a female gray wolf. Her markings were darkened with blood and the rest of the fur soaked until it was red. "I have to lead them away." Her voice was soft, weak, dying almost.
"Quiet. Save your energy," barked a harsh, gruff voice. It was strict and demanding, but the words showed concern.
The gray wolf yipped as she felt sharp pain in her side. "They've bitten me."
"I'm just cleaning up your wounds."
"They've bitten me! They're going to kill me, and then they'll definitely find the pack."
"SILENCE! There's no one chasing you!" The voice growled threateningly.
"But they—" She felt two thuds. First a paw hit her head, and then her head fell to the ground. After that, she blacked out.
* * *
The female jumped awake again. She had to run; she had to get out of here! They would find the pack! "Zemrona! Nuit!" She shouted before howling in the pain that jolted her body.
"Quiet, pack wolf. Some of us actually sleep."
Surprised, the gray wolf gasped and looked in the direction of the speaker. Curled up not too far away was a pure brown wolf with its back turned to her. She couldn't see its face, but by the voice she figured it was a male. "W-wha…" she tried to figure out what she wanted to ask. "W-who are you? Where am I? What in the name of Terra Shanraidi happened?"
The stranger sighed and shifted so that his body was straight and his right side was shone to the female, eyes closed. For several minutes he was quiet, and the gray wolf wondered if she'd ever get an answer. "It's been a long time since I've heard Terra Shanraidi's name, sachra," he said, using the ancient word of wolves for their own, female kind.
"And it's been a long time since I was alone with a stranger, sachran," she snapped, retorting with the male counterpart of sachra. "Now answer me!"
The brown wolf finally turned his face to her. His eyes were open and shone with his own hatred of the world. The gray wolf gasped. "My name was Dysarts."
"Was? What do you mean by was?" Stretching over the side of his left eye was a wide, gruesome scar.
He growled and she was quiet. "As to where you are; you are in my granite valley; population, me." He was silent for another few moments. It appeared he had nothing else to say.
"And… as to what happened to me?"
"I know nothing. You fell off that cliff right there, kept mumbling that 'they' would find the pack. Only reason you're alive is because I stopped the bleeding in time. I could only do it by knocking you out first, though."
She hadn't even thought about looking at herself. Why else would she have felt such pain unless she was wounded? She stared in shock at the sight that found her.
Her fur was covered in spider webs, but she knew there were wounds underneath each one. It looked a bit spiky and matted with the dried blood that still covered her fur. One leg was wrapped completely with a thick layer of cobwebs and Lamb's Ear leaves, and her beautiful tail had a very large section of fur simply gone, ripped out. Little dried blood bumps were left, showing that the hairs had been fiercely removed.
"…made you swallow some Horsetail and Boswellia. It should help with the healing of your bones. Pain, well, obviously not. Sometimes it helps that, sometimes it doesn't."
She hadn't even noticed that he'd kept talking. "Dysarts—it is okay that I call you that, right?—how, well, why did you save me?"
He looked at her calmly, a perfect poker face leaving him expressionless. "Why, you don't need to know. I heard you howl as you fell, and I came to investigate."
"So… what do I call you?"
"Dysarts. I have no other name."
"Alright then, Dysarts, I'm Wea."
"Wea? Where did they come up with that name?"
"Where did you come up with Dysarts?"
They sat there, not very sure of what to do. "Where's your pack?" The silence was broken.
"I don't know where mine is. They could be dead, still scattered, or rejoined without any wounded. The real question is where's yours?" Wea said.
"I'm a loner, I have no pack," he said dismissively.
"Everyone has a pack at one point," she persisted.
Dysarts stared at her through narrowed eyes. "You just don't give up, do you?" Wea shook her head. He sighed. "I haven't seen my pack for three years, and I don't plan to ever again."
Dysarts gave her a cold, warning stare and a dark, low growl. "That is none of your concern."
Wea took the hint and backed off. "So… what now? I have to find my pack."
Dysarts shook his head. "No, not yet. But one day, I promise. But that day won't come until after you're healed. A broken leg and numerous wounds are bound to get infected if you go off on some adventure."
Wea had to give a little smile. He seemed like a good sachran, deep down at heart. "When do we start?"
The poker face was interrupted by the slightest trace of a half-smile.