He dashed through the tree branches as his companions, or more like competitors, were sprinting behind him, trying to pass the beta. Akira was always the fastest out of all of his pack members and always will be. He was also the smartest. Akira knew when and where to dash to when in battle, when being chased, and when in a small little competition.
"Hey, Narukami, Hanamura, you getting tired back there?" Akira called with a smirk plastered onto his face.
"Oh, just wait till I get up there, Kurusu!" Yosuke called as he laughed under his breath. Akira laughed as he began sprinting faster.
"Hah! Tell me when you get near my dust trail!" Akira chuckled to himself as he turned a sharp corner, dirt and leaves flying around when his feet kicked off the ground. He inhaled the sweet nature aroma as his raven hair flew in different directions with the harsh, yet, soft wind.
His bangs were removed from his dull eyes and his lips formed a large toothy smile as he let his mind get lost in whatever came to him. He didn't care about the small competition anymore. All he cared about was the nature that surrounded him; Akira found himself laughing aloud as he began running even faster, which he, and others, didn't even know was possible. Akira saw the large oak tree and made a mad dash for it. That was where he and his two other pack members were supposed to meet up and whoever got there first, would obviously be the winner. Which was always Akira. The ravenette skidded to a harsh stop and exhaled slowly, watching for his two friends. He leaned against the bark as the two were in view, Yu was just a little ways ahead of Yosuke and they both seemed to be keeping their exhaustion under control, or just good at hiding it.
Akira beamed as he removed his back from the rough bark. "I thought I was gonna have to go and search for you two! Glad to see you're here," he said as the two teenagers slowed to a walk, and eventually a stop. Yosuke shook his head slowly with a smile on his face while Yu chuckled under his harsh breaths.
"Can't believe you beat us, again!" Yosuke commented in one simple breath. The brunette raised his arms up in the air dramatically. "Teach us your ways, O' Lord Akira!"
Yu laughed as he then bowed with his arms stuck out as well. "Yes, teach us!"
Akira felt his face heat up as he laughed from the two dorks' actions. "You two are so weird!"
The two boys stood up with bright smiles on their faces. "Seriously though, still can't believe how many times you beat us! We should get Sakamoto to join us next time, see how he is."
Akira gave a small giggle. "Yeah, we should, still think I'll beat you three though," Yu nodded in defeat.
"Sadly, you will...!"
Akira smiled and looked at the sky. It was probably about five o' clock in the afternoon. "We should probably head back, it's getting late."
The two other teenagers looked up at the sky. "Yeah, we should. Don't want the alpha to rip our heads off," Yosuke said as he and Yu walked beside Akira. Akira stared at the sky as he walked in between the two wolves who were having a conversation amongst themselves.
The sky was a mixture of colors; orange was blended in with a pastel purple while at the very end of the pastel color was a medium tone of blue that rarely appeared during the day. The sun was close to setting and its rays of light nearly blinded Akira, but he continued to stare. Akira loves gazing at the sky at any time of day.
No one knows how far up it goes nor if it stops; the sun always shines in the broad daylight with pure white fluffy clouds accompanying it, while the moon glimmers in the cover of night with a blanket of stars to twinkle beside it. It's so perfect, that, it makes the world seem like a land with endless happiness and with no ounce of evil roaming in a person's minds or soul.
Akira envies the sky.
Yusuke stared at the scene in front of him with his sketchbook laying in his lap. Two children were playing in the autumn leaves that fell from the trees. It was so pure, so innocent, but Yusuke couldn't bring himself to capture it and place it onto the blank page in his sketchbook or on a canvas for that matter. He didn't know why. Maybe he was in an art slump? Did he have artist's block or was he just feeling lazy today? Yusuke sighed through his nose and averted his eyes from the young foxes and stared at his closed book and the unused pen that lay on top. Yusuke shuffled his feet against the dried leaves that acted as a cushion for his body, and then began staring at the sky, which was telling him to return to his father. The young artist slowly stood from the hard ground, gathered his art supplies, and began walking back to where he and his father lived.
The wind picked up and lifted Yusuke's long bangs along with its warm, but, cold breeze, showing his shimmering gray eyes. He stopped walking and watched the leaves fly to the sky, and then to ground, and then up again. He sighed. He sometimes envied those inanimate objects, he wished he could just fly away as well. Fly away from the stress, from the drama that occured with his caretaker, and fly from the war that would usually begin and then end before anyone got hurt.
Yusuke shook his head lightly and continued his walk.
It didn't take long before he arrived at his home, but it did feel like an eternity since Yusuke often stopped to eye the nature that stood in front of him. He walked in and saw the usual empty home. Madarame was usually in his study or out somewhere doing who knows what. Yusuke sighed deeply as he walked farther inside, setting his art supplies temporarily on whatever sturdy surface that was near him. He absentmindedly began rummaging through the cabinets and grabbed a loaf of bread and began eating. Once he realized what he was doing, he immediately stopped and closed the loaf with his heart pounding in fear as to what his father would do. He quickly shoved the food into the cabinet and shut it rather harsh, harsher than he intended for that matter, causing a loud noise to fill the eerie silence.
Yusuke shook his head in disappointment of his own actions. What was he thinking? The young kitsune sighed deeply and then grabbed his art supplies from the surface of the small round table that sat near the door, and quickly walked to his "room." It was more like a small storage room with a matress to sleep on, a small round table as well as a box with clothes for Yusuke. He set his sketchbook and pen onto the small round table that was near the entrance and took a seat on his uncomfortable matress.
Yusuke's elbows rested on his weak knees and stared at the rough wooden floorboards that had a thin blanket of dust covering them. There was much dust in the small room that is made Yusuke reluctant to breathe, let alone open his eyes in the morning or whenever he spends time in this place.
Yusuke began staring at the blank canvas that was in the far corner and the paints that sat near it. There was simply nothing to paint. Or at least, nothing that caught Yusuke's eye.
It was around six o' clock when Yusuke decided to go out again. Not with his sketchbook this time, but he was going to bring his samurai sword -- that was easy to disguise -- just in case. This was hopefully just going to be a calm stroll in the wilderness that Yusuke has yet to explore.
Just a calm stroll.
Akira walked into his home with his two friends. The ravenette shut the door behind them and saw that his other pack members were in the mansion as well. Ryuji was sitting at the dining table with a bowl of ramen in front of him, Makoto was sitting in one of the large comfy chairs reading a leather bounded book, and Haru was brewing some coffee and tea for the pack. The others must've been somewhere with his father, or in different parts of the large household, because he saw that one of the older pack members was walking down one of the many halls with some type of map in hand.
Akira turned to his two friends with a confused look in his eyes. Yu stared at the other members with narrowed eyes, that led Akira to believe that he was confused too, and Yosuke raised an eyebrow once he had a moment to actually study the scene that lay before the trio.
"Do you know anything about this...?" Akira whispered. The other males shook their heads. The beta turned back to face the other betas and alpha that were in front of them. He swallowed hard and walked farther in. "What's going on?"
Ryuji jumped slightly at the sound of Akira's voice and stood from his seat, while swallowing a mouthful of noodles. Makoto looked up from her book with her usual calm demeanor and closed the leather bounded book, dust particles flying. Haru looked away from the three cups of liquid with innocent eyes.
"What?" Yu chimed in, not liking how alarmed and unpredictable the three other wolves look therefore readying himself to defend his close friend. "Is something the matter?"
Makoto was the first to speak. "We were about to ask you..."
Akira tilted his head to the side in confusion as his mind began creating the worst scenarios. "What do you mean? Did my father do something? What happened?"
"Calm down, Akira-kun," Haru said in her best reassuring voice. "Your father hadn't done anything-"
"-are you sure?" Akira cut the female off with a firm voice. His heart was picking up speed. "Have you seen him?"
Ryuji gestured for the male to stop and calm down. "Dude, calm down. We didn't get to see the guy, but we figured somethin' happened 'cause Iwai's here. An' we weren't allowed upstairs."
"Where my father's study is..." Akira whispered to himself. He turned his head to look at the corridor which was empty and quiet. "Anything else I should know about, besides that Ryuji had found the ramen?"
Ryuji rubbed his neck sheepishly while the other two girls shook their heads. Akira turned and was facing the two other males. "I'm going to go see what's going on. If you two want, you could go and try to find your families,"
Without another word, the young wolf pivoted and began walking to his father's study.
It didn't take long for the fast wolf to reach the door, which was closed, and his heart was hammering against his chest. He closed his eyes and breathed slowly. In and out, in and out. The male opened his charcoal eyes and knocked on the large wooden door with his pale hand. The knock echoed through the once silent halls causing chills to run up Akira's spine.
No response came. Possibly because Akira might not have knocked loud enough for the alphas on the other side to hear. He tried again, this time, with more force. Akira waited for not even eight seconds and the door was opening. The door opened and it revealed one of the older alphas, Sojiro Sakura. Akira just stared at the man long enough to notice the malice in his eyes, he then stared at the other two alphas, his father, Kazuko Kurusu, and the other, Munehisa Iwai.
His father had a look of murder written on his face as well as Iwai -- except his was more contained. There was the map Akira saw earlier and it was laid out on top of a glass surfaced table, pins marking and holding down red string. Akira's father changed his demeanor into a calm and collected rather than a murderous one, which, according to Akira, was obviously hiding his true emotions.
"Ah, Akira, you're back rather early," Kazuko said in one simple sigh as he motioned for the boy to enter. Akira narrowed his dark eyes as he stepped inside the spacious room with his eyebrow raised, giving a sassy glare saying: stop playing coy and talk.
"You told me to be back before six," the ebony haired boy said with more sass than originally intended. "Father, why's everyone here? Did something happen?"
Kazuko sighed and straightened his spine. "What makes you think something's wrong, son?"
Akira accidentally let his scoff escape from his lips as he gave a dead cold glare at his father. "Because every pack member is here -- I could smell their scent from a mile away, including their never ending heartbeats -- plus Iwai and Sakura are here...! You only ring them up when something bad happened or if you're planning some sort of scheme that is over due for preparations,"
Kazuko looked rather shocked at how informative his son was. That murderous glare was back and it aimed at a far corner of the map. Iwai looked at the kid and motioned for him and Sojiro to come over to the two of them. Sojiro was the first to gather around the table as for Akira, he was reluctant to get near the trio, mainly because he couldn't shake the sound of their heartbeats which were so loud that he thought his ears might explode.
The male finally found the strength to walk towards the table. There was a large red pin that marked on particular spot on the map and red string was tied to it and was connected to the smaller pins. His father pointed to the pin with his gloved finger.
"That is where the hunters are," his voice boomed, "we are almost one hundred percent certain that is their home base."
"And you're certain?" Sojiro asked, staring at the section of the map. Kazuko looked up at the alpha and then back to the map. "Have you sent your betas to scout or did you pick up a trail of some sort?"
"We did follow one hunter, but we retreated once he figured out that we were," the raven haired man said. "Luckily, he was a rookie."
Akira opened his mouth to question why they were discussing this, but was cut off by Iwai. "If we're gonna get back to business, then I'm going to say that we should make sure that we limit our outing time and maybe up our security game," Kazuko slowly nodded, "and maybe set a curfew just in case this starts getting serious."
This time, it was Akira's turn to speak. "W-wait, hold up," he said, grabbing everyone's attention. "why are we doing this and why are you so filled with malice, father? Did something happen while Hanamura, Narukami, and I were out?"
Kazuko sighed as he shook his head. "It's probably best that you don't know-"
"-no, I think it's best that I do," the boy snapped back, causing the other alphas to widen their eyes. "Father, if something happened I deserve to know what happened. Especially if you three are planning to do what Iwai suggested."
Kazuko stare at his only son with a hard glare. He was the first to break eye contact, leading Akira to believe he had won. Kazuko stood up straight. "You know, Kanji Tatsumi?"
"Tatsumi? Yeah, of course." Akira replied with his heart hammering harder and faster. He didn't like the way his father said. His tone was filled with rage, fury, and vengeance.
His father opened a drawer and pulled out a silver-tipped arrowhead, stained with crimson blood and Kanji's scent was smothered all over it. Akira's eyes went wide and his eyebrows knitted together, fire seeming to engulf his gray eyes.
Akira stomped down the corridors with his hands clenched, blood oozing from his palm. His claws had formed and they were stabbing his skin, but he paid no mind to it. All he could feel was vengeance.
Kanji was dead. But how? Kanji was one of the strongest and was potentially capable of taking down eight hunters at once. So how? How did they kill him?!
Akira's eyes were turning golden, but the irises were a ruby red color. He pushed open the door, which held Ryuji, Makoto, Haru, Yu, Yosuke, Dojima, and Nanako. Nanako was about to stand up and hug the ravenette, but Yu quickly held her down giving her a look that warned her not to go near him.
The bluenette walked through the large trees that scattered around the land. He looked up and saw two birds flying in circles around each tree's very tip. He smiled as the two flew away.
The wind picked up again. Dried autumn leaves flew all around, seeming to swirl around Yusuke the most. The leaves took their last swirl around the young kitsune and took off towards the sky. The artist looked back to the direction he was traveling to. He had never really taken a stroll in the woods before so he was forced to "wing it", some might say.
Yusuke walked along a barely visible path that lead farther into the woods. He calmly walked on the dirt path with his heart speeding up, excitement seeming to clench it. He had never been here before.
A child-like smile formed on Yusuke's lips as he walked farther into the woods. One thing he will definitely have take note on these woods: once you have entered them, there's no turning back.