Sacrifice

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Carnage

The Horn of Strife bellows around the pack like a roar, nothing can be heard but the horn. The horn blows during our patrol to signal everyone of an incoming threat. I, like many others have only heard the horn when we were young in school when the elder wolves of the pack taught us the procedure of what to do when it sounds out.

My body becomes completely motionless upon hearing it. Listening it like this without a drill taking place, this is something that has never happened in my lifetime. Although in saying that, I have spent my whole life training for this. For this moment, being taught again and again what to do in this instance.

But nothing can ever fully prepare you for what to do when doomsday comes knocking at your door. For when something like this has the power to change your life forever…

“We are now under attack.” My father’s voice sounds oddly calm as he states this fact with his voice echoing around through the packs speakers that are scattered throughout the pack. Alerting everyone to the danger we now face.

With this confirmation from my father, the alpha of the pack, that this is indeed not a drill with chaos erupting. Women and children flee to find safety in the packs bunker that has tunnels leading to an exit in the mountain ranges behind the pack in case we fall to the enemy.

It is like everyone in the pack has hit panic mode in their minds. Trepidation makes every single one of us forget what we have learnt, all reason and logic fly straight out of the window leaving their minds open for fear to take total control of their actions.

Ever so slowly movement begins to come back to my body, first the flex of a tense muscle then it was a finger twitching as reasoning began to slither its way back into control. My first thought was that of my family, I have to find Jasper, I need to make sure that he and Helena are safe.

They need to be safe, for they are the future of our pack.

“Jasper!” I call out through our mind link trying to keep the fear out of my mind’s voice.

Nothing but pure tortuous silence answered me.

He is safe, he is safe, he is safe. I keep repeating in my head as I follow Maaze and Davis out of the packed house. “Jasper!” I call out once again, hysteria threatening to take control of me.

I need him to be safe, he needs to be alive, if not just for me, our family and pack but for Helena, she won’t make it without him. “Answer me goddammit! I swear to the Moon Goddess above I will make your life a liv-”

Thankfully I didn’t get the chance to finish my threat as Jaspers frustrated and slightly angry voice popped into my head cutting me off.

“Will you just shut up for one bloody second so I can talk!” Ah, sibling love, but I can feel the order in his voice, The voice of a future alpha who I will one day bow down to.

But I can also sense his fear, the slight shake in his voice.

He was scared about what is happening right now. “I need you to get your ass to the Northern Border right now.” He sounded almost unsure as he said this, but I did not have time to think about that right now.

“Is she..?” I didn’t have to say anything else for Jasper to know that I was talking about Helena.

“Yes, she is safe. She is helping mum get everyone who can’t fight into our bunker and control the chaos down there. We are sending everyone who can fight out here to aid us.” It seemed like he let out a tense sigh of relief knowing that his mate and love of his life is safe, that nothing would happen to her right now.

“Now, HURRY THE HELL UP!” I could sense the worry from him, even through our mind link, this must be bad. He never worries, not unless our father is worrying as well.

I began to sprint my way to the Northern Border with Davis and Maaze hot on my tail asking me questions that didn’t even register through the link. I know that they were speaking words to me but I didn’t hear a single thing.

Davis had already gotten into full on warrior mode. He was yelling out orders to the wolves we passed while linking with the other lead warriors. Trying to figure out what in the hell is happening right now. Taking a running jump into the air, I shifted from the cocoon of flesh that rips apart to unleash the beast within, clothing lay shredded on the ground behind me as I landed on four paws. With Maaze and Davis following my lead.

As much as I hate being the alpha’s daughter, at this moment I can’t fight the pull in me to protect this pack. It runs stronger in my veins then it does for regular pack wolves. I feel this need deep down to protect my home even though it will never be mine to lead. My wolf that has a tinted dust colour to it when reflected by Helios sun shock out her short fur before taking off with a fury, with the need to protect her home from intruders.

I fly through the pack with a reddish brown wolf flanking one side of me and a jet black wolf on the other. Two wolves running next to me that makes my wolf feel dwarfed. I am the smallest wolf in the pack. I am just as small, if not smaller than the newly shifted wolves. Except for my ears, I have large massive ears double the size of my head.

No one knows why I am quite this small, it makes absolutely zero sense in regards to my family. All of the wolves in my family including the females are generally large and a dark chocolate brown colour.

I am just the odd one out I guess…

Maaze is two my left, Davis on my right, both of their savage beasts running towards the fight on either sides of me. Defending the pack together as is in our nature. Nothing will ever stop us from protecting what is ours.

Ever.

“Liana!” Maaze worriedly shouted through the link that the three of us share. It did her no good to call out to me as I was ignoring everyone on my quest to reach my family and help them defend our home.

My paws pounded the ground, kicking up grass and soil as I ran. My wolf let out terrifying growls and snarls that I never never heard her make before. It stunned me, giving me a moment to slow and question her. The sounds shooking to Maaze and Davis who both backed away from me ever so slightly. The wolf wants blood, as do I we share a bloodlust that nothing will be able to sate except the lifeless bodies of our enemies with their blood dripping from our snout.

Davis and Maaze were falling behind as I ran with a newfound speed that I didn’t even know I was capable of. I was unintentionally leaving them behind in the dust. “Liana!” Maaze shouted out to me once again. “Please, Li, wait for us! Think this through and do not run into this recklessly.” Her words were laced with panic as they made there way into my mind. And she was right… I do tend to act and think later and that will only hurt me and everyone else in a situation like this.

I generally always act on instinct and right now mine was telling me to protect this pack. But I have to go about it in a smart and thought out way if I want to survive and help our pack win.

Li! You need to slow down.” Davis called out to me. “Stop and think all of this through.” He and Maaze were trying to make me see sense and listen to reason.

And it started to work, that was until I heard Jasper pop into my head once more and I forgot everything Davis and Maaze were trying to accomplish. “Are you almost here?” He was scared, I could hear it. Although he was trying to hide it from me, which only caused me to speed up.

I didn’t get a chance to respond as another voice came into my mind “Liana?” The stern voice of my father called to me “Liana are you on your way here?” The words were rushed out. He sounded scared.

I have never once in my life heard him sound afraid of anything.

I came to a screeching halt momentarily, this was a man who only showed one side to the pack. Mean and tough, he showed kindness to me, his daughter but never fear. Davis and Maaze flew past me before stumbling to stop, turning and coming back to me. “Yes.” I replied to him. “I am almost there.” I continued breathlessly as I sprung back into a gallop to where I am needed most.

“Liana, I need you to listen to me. You need to go back, go back and help both your Mother and Helena start evacuating all remaining pack members into the mountain passes.” There was a slight pause before he continued. “I need you safe.”

“But-” I began to argue with him.

“No Liana.” He growled through the link making my wolf whimper slightly, she hates when he is mad at us. “There are too many of them here. I am.” A pause, he doesn’t know what to say, how to continue his sentence. “I’m uncertain of what our outcome will be.” He has never once asked me to hide before, whatever or whoever has come for us must be bad.

As a pup he raised me to stand my ground, never back down or show weakness. All my life he has been training me to be a strong warrior, strong enough to always protect this pack and myself. I looked back and forth between my home and the mountain ranges and over to where the destruction and doom of my pack was coming from. Do I listen to my father? Or do I follow what my gut is telling me and go and help?

Whichever decision I make will change the course of my life forever.

All it took was a split second for me to make up my mind. A split second in which I heard a howl that I would know anywhere. Jaspers’ he sounded as if he was in pain and that was all it took for me to go after him.

I know that deep down even without hearing him that I would go and help, it is who I am. But today I will stay in the background watching and waiting. Making sure that no enemy gets through our defences.

I am too stubborn to just sit back and do nothing while my home, family and friends are in danger of complete annihilation. Davis and Maaze kept sharing glances with each other as we reached to where the commotion grew louder. I feel as though my father spoke to them know that we would be together.

I slowed and stalked up to the scene that was beginning to unfold before my eyes. It was chaos, I have no other words for it.

Chaos.

Growls, snarls, yelp and whines were all I could hear echoing around the forest from both sides as blood coats the ground. I can’t even begin to tell who is winning at the moment.

I don’t even know whom it is we are fighting.

These wolves don’t look familiar to me.

The only thing I can see of these wolves is that they appear feral, sick. They smell like rotting, burning flesh with odd glowing orange eyes that are not normal. All I can think as I watch the horror is why are they attacking us? What have we done to them? I am racking my brain, but then I try to stay out of pack affairs so I wouldn’t have a clue if we did do something to another pack.

All I know is that we treat our neighbours well, we protect them and trade with them.

“Li, what are you doing?” Maaze asks me as she as runs to where I am laying low on my stomach.

Looking directing in her eyes i let her know exactly what my plan is. “I’m hiding, staying out of all of the fighting for now.” A brief breath out. “My father doesn’t want me here.”

“I know.” She gives me a hard glare. “That’s why I’m asking what the hell you are doing.”

“I just feel as though I need to be here.” I admit to her, casting my eyes towards paws that want to tear open flesh, the my wolf agrees with me. There is something that is calling the both of us here right now.

“Okay…” She looks at me cautiously, unsure of why I would go out and disobey an order from my father. She gave me one last look before she ran off to help some of the other female warriors. While Davis didn’t even stop, he has a one track mind at the moment, just protect the pack.

As I sat back I watched the battle like a hawk. I shifted back from fur to skin as it is easier to keep myself hidden this way. Glancing around I looked for the best spot to survey the battle. The shrubbery can only conceal me for so long.

I spotted a fir tree just across from me in full bloom the needles so green and dense no one would spot me unless they were really looking. Having a quick glimpse around me I jumped up and bolted over to the tree, praying that no one was able to notice me amongst all of the chaos.

Now I just had to hope the the branch could hold my weight.

I climbed as high as the tree could allow, peeking out between the needles. All I can see is a mess of fighting with my eyes darting back and forth between Jasper and my father. A part of me was watching them in complete awe, there is a beauty to the way they fight. It is magical, breathtaking even. A bigger part of me however is terrified, terrified of how dangerous they can be and also petrified of what might happen to them out here.

I can’t explain it, there is just a churning in my stomach that something terrible is about to befall one of them. I just don’t know which.

I’ve become so consumed with watching the two of them that I ventured too far over on the branch, causing it to snap. The fall was swift and the landing hard, it would have hurt more if I didn’t fall on top of another wolf. I spring to my feet quickly just in time for the wolf to launch themself at me in human form pinning me back down to the ground.

Sharp stabs of pain shoot through my shoulder as I use my legs to kick the wolf in the stomach with all of my strength. Knocking him off me as I jump up ready to defend myself once again, even if I am a tad disoriented from the fall. I hit my head hard when the wolf knocked me to the ground, pounding noises ring through my head.

The wolf grabs a knife that he must have found on the ground and throws it towards me, aiming for my chest luckily I am able to dodge it for doing serious damage. It does however nick my arm, slicing through skin as if it is slicing through butter.

A snarl escapes me as I realise what has happened as I examine my arm that is currently dripping with blood. Blood from a cut that isn’t beginning to heal which can only mean one thing.

Silver.

This pathetic excuse for a wolf used silver on me, as I bet the rest of these wolves are using on my fellow pack members. Silver is a cowards choice of weapon, only the weak minded use something as terrible as it.

Thankfully the silver barely got me, I can live through the pain it is causing me as sliver can end someone’s life if the wound is severe enough.

I feel my claws as the elongate and break through the barrier of skin as this sad excuse of a wolf and I begin our dance, a dance of death. Because one of us will not be moving on from here alive. We size each other as we circle around each other. Looking at this wolf, he is small and pudgy with scars littering his body along with a few missing fangs. He is seasoned in war from the looks of it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a good warrior.

Just a lucky one.

In this fight I have better odds, I have youth on my side along with better blood. I am after all the offspring of an alpha and it is very clear to me that this wolf isn’t. In saying this, this fight will not be easy I cannot underestimate this wolf.

I can’t run into a fight cocky. If I believe myself to win this easily I can make stupid mistakes that will lead to my downfall. We both leap forward, lunging for each other sending blow after blow, fist after fist towards the other. He is indeed proving a challenge for me to defeat.

I sent an elbow up towards his nose as I stamped my left foot down aiming for his shin in an attempt to knock him slightly off balance so that I am able to get a clear strike towards his ribs.

He was thankfully winded by the strike I landed to his ribs, but only momentarily before he let out a menacing snarl and lunged with his claws aim for my throat. However he is sloppy in his movements along with slow. My hits have hurt him more than he would like to admit. But this gave me an opportunity, it gave me the chance to push my fist through his chest and grab onto his heart.

To squeeze it and pull it clean out of his chest.

Feeling satisfied as I let my blood covered hand drop his heart to the ground a smile graces my face. I was able to help, I was able to take out one of our enemies. Giving me one less wolf to worry about who had the power to kill my family and take them away from me.

Unfortunately for me during my little spar Jasper noticed my presence here and moved his fighting closer to me. I think that he believes that by being closer to me he is protecting me.

Not that I need it, I can hold my own against these idiots . That and he will only draw more attention to me, unwanted attention for most of them are trying to kill him and our father.

The two of them are the main targets.

“Liana.” I heard him growl into my mind. “Why on earth are you here? I know father told you to go and help mother.” Jasper is mad at me, I can hear it in his tone of voice over our link. He is furious that I’m here.

And I can’t blame him from being mad, I would be mad at him too if he didn’t listen to a command from our father. I am not meant to be here and now knowing Jasper, he feels as though he has to protect me. It is just who he is.

“I’ll be fine.” I attempted to reassure him. “Just watch your own ass, I’ll just hiding and keeping an eye on you.”

“Yeah... sure...” He replied back to me with just a hint of sarcasm in his voice, if I could see his face right now it would be wearing his signature smirk. “Just hide yourself well and stay well away from any form of trouble.”

“When do I ever get myself into trouble.” I chuckled back to him as I found my new hiding place behind the thick trunk of an oak tree. My brother, he is the only one who could ever get a laugh out of me during something as serious as a fight for our lives.

And I absolutely love him for that.

Glancing around, I decided it was better with I once again climb the tree so that I will be able to survey the entire area. This way I can see if someone is in danger and rush over to help them.

I will not and sit back and do nothing.

That is not the kind of wolf that I am.

This battle feels as though it is lasting years. Seconds turn into minutes and minutes turn to hours. That was until my eyes once again land on Jasper, he was fighting four wolves at once. All of which were armed with silver. I watched as Jasper was going back and forth between his skin and fur form, trying to decide which was easier to defend himself.

I know that being in skin form will be easier for him, he is more skilled than all four of them put together. It may not be a fair fight for him, but it is one he can most definitely win. Of that I was certain, until I saw a fifth wolf running his way. Jasper had his back turned to this wolf who was speeding towards him with armed with a large silver blade. A blade that was designed to do serious damage.

Damage that no one will be able to heal from. I placed a hand over my mouth to stiffen the scream that wanted to be let out as I began to understand what is about to happen to my brother.

Glancing at the blade in the wolfs hands, it had bits and pieces cut out of it, designed that way so that it makes a clean cut into you, but it will be making a mess of you when it comes out. Hooking onto your insides and making them your outsides.

This is a blade of death.

I winced as I put pressure on the arm that received the cut, leaning forward on the tree branch. I watched as the wolf moved closer and closer to Jasper, cutting down anyone who was in his way. In this moment everything fades away, all thoughts and logic. My vision becomes singular and the only thing I see is my big brother in life threatening danger.

I don’t think, I just do. I jump down from my hiding spot and protect my brothers back. Protecting him from the wolf that literally is trying to stab him in the back.

All I can think of in the spilt second that I go to protect him from death is that he can’t die, he has far too much to live for. He has a mate praying for him to come home safely, a pack that he is training to take over and lead that will one day rely on him.

He has everything tying his life here, while I have nothing.

I take the silver blade into my stomach, the blade that was meant to go through his back and into his chest. I can feel myself slipping away from this world but I refuse to go down without taking this pitiful excuse and waste of oxygen down with me.

I reached my claws out and pulled myself along the blade closer to him causing unbearable amounts of pain to stream through my body letting tears stream down my face. The wolf is staring at me in shock as I reach my hands up to his throat and cling all ten of my claws on his skin I open my mouth wide sinking my teeth into his flesh. Ripping his throat of life, leaving him with a painful death to bleed out.

We fall to the ground together in a heap as blood starts to fill my mouth, I start to feel cold as I cough and blood sputters out of my mouth.

One last smile graces my face as I realise I did it, I saved someone whose life was worth far more mine. As I close to my eyes to the chaos that continues to rain down around me as I welcome the coming darkness.

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