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A Soul of Flames

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A wolf, with shining golden eyes, he hides away his true nature, for the sake of the era. His blood boils still, at the chance to unsheath himself, but few are the prey that might hold his interest, in this age.

With one fang, he was unstoppable, a force to splinter, to break apart all that might stand in his way.

In the days of his youth, discord surrounded him, the era of his upbringing fading, threatened, until the chaos erupted. The streets were ablaze with blood, the threats of great fire swallowing whole factions, ignorance in the face of reason.

Expel, revere, the cries came from the west, the masterless domains. A plotting of fire, the old city’s greatest enemy, but he was not the only wolf, designated as they were, protectors of the capital. Famous, the wolves became, stopping the insidious plot of consuming flames, but their work had only begun.

The years continued on, the wolves growing in strength and number, but the streets of the thousand-year city bled still. The golden-eyed wolf was amongst the most voracious of their ranks, feared even to those that he might call friend.

With one fang, he was unstoppable, a force to splinter, to break apart all that might stand in his way.

Change was swift, a new emperor crowned. Displaced, the wolves would not surrender their views, their code. Vicious as they were, their skills honed over the years, their ways, the traditions they fought to uphold, could not compete with the Western world. Revolution erupted, a spark igniting the country, dividing the lands that had known peace for so long.

At the end of their era, the wolves howled in defeat, they were few, their numbers scattered and spread to ash. Cornered, the wolves fled to the great white north, nourished only in beliefs, the golden-eyed wolf fought until he alone remained, captured.

His Lord granted him a new name. After the golden-eyed wolf had worn so many, this one, he would keep unto death, a gift at new life. The past could only remain as such, bygone days, to be put to rest, but not forgotten. The souls of his pack he would keep with him, treasured; the new age could not take his memories from him, nor his sorrow of a mate lost, a fellow wolf, devoured in illness.

For ten long years, he wandered, his claws painfully long, his gait restricted but he keeps to his traditions, his strictness of character, in every way he can. Integrity buried deep within his thick fur, keeping him warm and content, he found new paths in life, a mate to share his days with, a pup to carry his legacy.

Though the revolution may not have been his to claim victory over, new vigor entered his life, a new path in which he could continue his purpose, to better the whole of the land of the rising sun, formed from water rushing off of a blade, as he saw fit. To protect his country to its core, as it grew into the wider world. Granted special permission, the wolf was allowed his weapon of tradition, his single fang.

An ache, however, persisted in his breast, the loss of the age in which he had grown, a wound that would never quite heal. The era he had fought and fought to keep alive, an era he lost his dearest friends to, in their pursuit to keep ways as they had been. In the battle for their beliefs and traditions, so many of his pack had fallen, but the one with golden eyes had to carry on.

The wolves, though most lay to rest, had done their share in ushering forth the new age. An era that allowed the prosperity of many, the freedom to grow in the absence of the feudal system. An era that lacked rigid integrity.

With one fang, he was unstoppable, a force to splinter, to break apart all that might stand in his way.

A cock, flapping and crowing, strutting, he thinks himself big. By every right, he should have been swallowed, swept away, at a young age, by the era that lacked integrity. A persistent thing, a surviving thing he was, and the wolf felt a kinship.

But few were the prey that might draw his full potential, that would draw amusement from him once more. A challenge, a gamble, and the wolf took it; a chance to unsheath himself, to let his blood sing, even as the land of the rising sun was on the brink of peril.

A rare selfishness the wolf allowed himself, stalking the cock who had grown to be friends with the wolf’s fondest enemy. The demon, soaked through in so much blood his hair remained stained red, had grown himself weary, wandering in search of his own purpose.

An opportunity, portent of a new revolution whispered. The wolf knew the stakes, and still, he toyed with the red-haired demon, curious to see if his fondest prey still held skill, or if he had grown dull.

The cock was a present and the wolf treated himself, taking delight in the mild challenge the youngling had brought him. But this era did not produce the warriors he was so accustomed to clashing with, and this cock was quite the boastful thing indeed, defeated, but still rising to the challenge, too foolish to lie down and sleep off his wounds.

Where the wolf had grown old, the cock had his youth. Stubborn as the young thing was, impudent as the cock remained, the wolf found a fondness for him, but the threat of chaos was upon him, once more.

Straying fingers, loose hair. Panic and peril looming, but the wolf wouldn’t deny himself intimacy to a willing swain.

Time was short, the days he and the cock spent together in quarreling ended in writhing. The old wolf knew his mate would only ever chide him for chasing youth, her maw twisting in fondness at his indulgence. Her claws would undoubtedly click as he recounted to her his folly, making the old wolf writhe beneath herself as she took her fill of him.

To tumble the wolf, and be tumbled by him. The cock laid with the wolf, accepting his snarls and cruelty just to feel his resting maw on the back of his neck, the exhausted weight of his body a comfort as they drift, nestled away for only one more day.

Flesh clawed, covered in bite marks as the cock was by the wolf, and he felt no safer than with the denigrating wolf, his feathers ruffling with apprehension of the battles to come. The enemy a devil of fire, a trickster that only sought destruction and death, posed to ignite the fields of a delicate, growing era. Though in the wolf’s mind, the era lacked integrity, he would defend the whole of the land of the rising sun, so that she might thrive in the wider world, built on the backbone of his traditions and beliefs.

Dawn would rise and with the great sun, a great mass of fire in the sky, they would part, the battles beginning. A dash to keep the thousand-year capital alive, to stifle the flames, a wound for the old wolf that he could not allow to reopen.

To prevent the chaos he survived through, to honour the souls of his fallen pack. The golden-eyed wolf was all that remained of a great force, his ranks reduced to relying on his oldest enemy and the cock he had grown fond of.

With one fang, he was unstoppable, a force to splinter, to break apart all that might stand in his way.

A gambit the devil of fire played, but his hubris was met with purgatory, his great ship sunk by the flapping, gawking cock. Impressed, the golden-eyed wolf in the company of the cock and his fondest enemy, returned to the thousand-year capital. Preparations were to be laid, but time was short. The day of challenge was upon them, atop a sacred mountain.

Summoned to a duel, the three arrived at the maze upon the mountain. Itching, the wolf awaited his turn, watching the cock in his fight. Thrumming worry, he waited and waited and waited for the cock to claim victory, at last.

The wolf’s turn to duel came, a secret tugging at his heart. Toying with his prey, he sent the cock and his oldest enemy forward, so that he might enjoy himself, craving blood. Long lost were the days he had faced someone that might cause him injury, a reminder of his mortality he could do without.

With one fang, he was unstoppable, a force to splinter, to break apart all that might stand in his way.

Shadows had long played friend to the wolf and he prowled through the great maze, setting his mind to his own machinations. There were secrets to be gathered, information to be had, and knowledge was his greatest weapon in this new era.

The wolf came upon the warrior who searched for impossible flowers, a fourth to join the battle that would decide the fate of the land of the rising sun. Limping, both carried wounds that would hinder them in the fight to come. A map given to the warrior with wistful words and the wolf skulked back to his dark corners, awaiting his chance.

The duel for his country’s future had been a mere game to the devil of fire. Powerful men all three had been, a fourth joining their cause, but weakened as they were, they tasted their mortality with grave injuries.

The weak existed only as food for the strong, the devil of fire spouted, over and over again. A simple philosophy, but not one the wolf could ever sanction, not as one who once lived as protectorate of the thousand-year city, not as one who now used his skills to allow peace to continue.

Bested once each by the fire craving devil, they waited, regaining themselves, pooling their strength, any of them knew they may fall against the raving monster who cried for death, death, death.

The wolf’s greatest, fondest enemy rose once more and the wolf with golden eyes was forced to retreat and watch the great duel play out. His claws ached to claim flesh, his teeth gnashing to taste blood once more, but he waited and watched in awe.

The devil fell, consumed by his own flames of arrogance. Pointless injury brought to countless, death wrought in the name of revolution, but at last, the devil was brought down, reduced to ashes.

Weary they four were, but rest was just outside of their reach. The devil of fire’s most powerful attribute had been his ability to call the greatest of loyalty to him. With one last trick up the devil of fire’s sleeve, they were barred from leaving. The mountain groaned and growled at them, wailing, quaking in fiery anger.

Trapped, cornered, threatened, confused. The wolf stepped back, gathering the last of his strength.

With one fang, he was unstoppable, a force to splinter, to break apart all that might stand in his way.

Splintered, the way to freedom opened before the cock. Behind him, the path crumbled, the wolf far away, spending his energy in one last movement of sacrifice.

The perils of his life flashed before him, the battles faced were an accumulation of his life, living through so much more than the others, who waited in stunned silence for him to act.

Birthed in chaos, the wolf smirked smoke from his lips, a shake of his head and his golden eyes closed, a chasm of fire devouring all that he was.

The cock crowed, kicking at stones, alone he stared into the chasm, burnt to ashes.