Chapter Thirty-Five: Fenrir
Wolfric shifted. “Akira,” he said as he fell to his knees beside her.
“I killed A-roo-sh,” Akira said with a cry.
“No, Fenrir did,” Malique said as he kneeled at her other side.
“But it’s my fault….”
“Don’t,” Darius said as he knelt behind her, “don’t do this to yourself.”
Akira hiccupped. “If I hadn’t stopped Wolfric, A-roo-sh would still be alive,” she said with a pout.
Wolfric sighed, “if you hadn’t stopped me, we’d be dealing with the Gods right now.”
“Yeah. It’s a good thing you’re smart and remembered what you read when you were thirteen,” Malique said with a chuckle.
“Nine,” Akira corrected him with a smile.
“Now, let’s help our new friends capture Fenrir so we can get the fuck out of this God damn forest!” Darius said as he pulled himself to his feet.
The others laughed as they too stood.
“Ready, little one?” Wolfric asked with a twinkle in his eyes.
Akira looked up at her Wolfie and nodded. “Ready,” she said.
“Then let’s do this,” Malique said as he stretched out the magic rope.
“I love you guys,” Akira said as she wiped the tears from her cheeks.
She had no idea why she was so emotional. She is usually not like this. Not since Brynhildr raised her to be tough but sensitive. But not this sensitive. It is official—she is losing it.
“Take this end,” Malique said, handing Akira the other end of the rope. “While Wolfric and Darius help the Fairies distract the wolf, Akira and I will trap him.”
They all nodded, then ran toward the giant wolf.
Akira watched her Warriors jump into the chaos with the Fairies. Levi had sent his mount into the sky to keep him safe, while he and an annoyed Julianne distracted the wolf until their friends could find a way to trap him.
Jules watched the white wolf jump onto the head of the snake and press it down until it was pressed to the wolf’s body of roots.
“Nice,” she said with a chuckle.
“Duck!” Akira shouted as they passed.
Jules and Levi ducked and looked up to watch Akira and her Vampire Warrior run past them, a long piece of rope between them. When it shimmered, Jules chuckled.
‘Magic rope,’ Jules thought as she continued to watch her new friends.
“They have imagination,” Levi said with a chuckle.
Jules nodded. She was not arguing with him there. She turned to where her beloved Phoenix had been tossed and sighed with relief when she saw the pile of ash.
“Take him down!” Akira shouted.
Jules and Levi moved simultaneously and joined Wolfric and Darius on top of the giant wolf. They pinned the beast down and dodged his massive head as Akira and Malique stretched the rope even further and tried to wrap it around the wolf. But Fenrir would not have any of it.
Akira screamed as she was tossed across the forest and into a tree.
“Fuck!” Malique bellowed as he watched his Psychi hit the tree.
“Keep wrapping it around him!” Darius shouted.
He looked at Jules and Levi and pointed to them. “Help him.”
The Fairies nodded and jumped into action, helping Malique tie down the giant root-covered wolf.
Darius ran over to Akira and skidded to a stop. Her body was glowing amber as if it was healing itself while she lay on the ground unconscious.
“Akira,” Darius whispered as he ran to their Havent. “Wake up, i psychí mou (my soul).”
Akira moaned and opened her eyes. She smiled when she saw her Warrior squatting over her.
“Darius,” she whispered.
“Can you get up?” he asked, touching her arm.
Akira smiled and moved to get up, but her body would not move. She realized she could not feel her legs and started to panic. She reached out to Darius’s arm with a cry.
“I—I can’t feel my legs.”
Darius blinked. “But I saw your body glowing.”
She cried harder, and he pulled her into his arms.
“Can you heal yourself?” he whispered against her hair.
Akira closed her eyes and concentrated on her backbone. Her body glowed a bright amber, and soon Akira could feel her legs again. She sighed with relief, then passed out.
Darius looked over his Havent’s body. She looked okay, but had she succeeded in fixing everything?
“Akira!” Wolfric shouted as he ran to Darius and their Psychi.
“She healed herself,” Darius said when he saw Wolfric staring at Akira’s unconscious body.
Wolfric lifted Akira out of Darius’s arms and held her close.
“How bad were her injuries?” Wolfric asked without taking his eyes off Akira’s face.
“Her spine had snapped. She could not feel her legs. But I swear, when I found her, her body was glowing. Like when she had had the fever. I thought she was healing herself while unconscious,” Darius said, a worried look on his face.
“Is she okay?” Malique asked out of breath as he skidded to a stop beside Wolfric.
“She will be,” Wolfric assured himself and his fellow Warriors.
Wolfric looked over at the Fairies who were standing between them and Fenrir.
“Is she okay?” Jules asked.
“Thank the Gods,” Levi breathed.
“She’d be paralyzed if not for her healing ability,” Darius said.
“Oh no,” Jules said, a sad look on her face.
“Feed her an herb leaf.”
They all turned to the Troll.
“Stella, where have you been?” Wolfric asked of the female Troll.
“We had to look into something,” Fin said, standing beside his sister.
Wolfric pointed to his bag. “The ball of herbs is in there.”
Malique walked to the bags, pulled a piece of the herb off the ball, and then returned to Wolfric and their Havent.
“Just feed it to her,” Stella said when Malique paused.
Malique looked up at Wolfric, and the wolf nodded.
Akira groaned when the herb touched her lips. She chewed on it and made a face, then coughed.
“I guess it doesn’t taste good,” Darius said with a chuckle.
Akira opened her eyes and looked around at her Warriors.
Wolfric smiled. “Hello, my love.”
Akira looked at Wolfric and smiled. Her heart skipped a beat as she looked at her Warriors. Thank the Gods they were alive.
“You’re all okay,” she whispered.
“Yes,” her Warriors said at the same time.
“The beast is lying comfortably—well, he’s lying there,” Darius said, pointing to the giant wolf who was struggling with the rope.
Akira looked at Fenrir and sighed with relief. He is alive, and her Warriors are safe. She looked at the Fairies and smiled. So are they… Akira frowned when she remembered what had happened to Jules’s Phoenix.
“Akira, come,” Jules said when she saw the look on her new friend’s face.
Wolfric set Akira on her feet and let her go. But he and his fellow Warriors followed their Psychi. They were not letting her out of their sight.
Jules walked to the pile of ash and smiled when she saw the small beak poking out.
“I am so sorry I got your Phoenix killed,” Akira said with a sniffle.
Jules smiled. “Don’t worry, Akira. Phoenixes are special.”
She squatted down and dusted the ash from the head of the regenerated Phoenix.
“He has died many times in battle.”
“Oh my Gods,” Akira said as she placed her hand over her mouth.
They watched the little head shake the rest of the ash off its body.
“He’s so adorable,” Akira whispered.
Jules chuckled, “he is.”
“What happens now?” Akira asked.
Jules smiled and pulled a piece of paper and a small pen from her pocket.
Akira watched her write on the paper and frowned. “What’s that?”
Jules paused and looked up at Akira. “I’m naming him. If he does not accept his name, that means he blames me for his death, and he will no longer be mine.”
Akira frowned. “I….”
“It wasn’t your fault either, Akira,” Jules said.
She turned to her Phoenix and held the paper out to the bird. “Did you re-name him?” Akira whispered, then held her breath.
The Phoenix reached out and took the piece of paper into his mouth.
“No,” Jules said with a smile, “he will always be A-roo-sh.”
Akira frowned. “But I saw a different name….”
Jules chuckled, “it is spelled nothing like it sounds.”
Jules laughed when the Phoenix gobbled down the piece of paper with his name on it.
Akira watched the baby Phoenix swallow the paper.
“I bet that stops him up,” Malique said as he watched the Phoenix swallow the paper.
The others chuckled and watched the Phoenix jump out of the pile of ashes.
Jules picked up her beloved Phoenix and rubbed her cheek against his feathered head.
Akira sighed with relief. She could not live with herself if she was the reason her new friend lost her beloved Phoenix.
A-roo-sh. Which is actually spelled, A A R U S H.
Great, now she has to re-think everything that has to do with the bird.
Yes. Her dumbass had forgotten that they were reborn from their ashes. And yes. She was stupid enough to think Aarush was spelled as it sounded. A - R O O - S H.
She really needs to see a doctor.
A noise where Fenrir was tied up had them all turning to the giant wolf. He was struggling with the magic rope and would be free soon. They need to get out of here, and like yesterday.
“Come on, Jules, I’ll give you a lift,” Levi said with a grin, then whistled for his mount.
The large Dragonfly zoomed down to them and landed on the ground.
Akira’s curiosity got the better of her, and she walked over to the Dragonfly. She had read that many Fairies ride Dragonflies. But she had not envisioned them being this big.
“He won’t hurt you,” Levi said when he saw her pause.
Akira looked up at him and smiled, then touched the wing of the Dragonfly and giggled when it twitched.
Levi and Jules stared at the human girl. Dragonflies do not react to humans like that. But of course, she is a Havent with three Mythical Warriors.
“What’s his name?” Akira asked as she stepped away.
“Pentairious. But I call him Pen,” Levi said with a smile.
“Hello, Pen,” Akira said as she laid her hand on his head. “You are one of the coolest things I have seen on this adventure.”
Aarush squeaked, and Akira looked up at him. “Yep, you’re one too,” she said with a smile.
Everyone chuckled, then turned to the giant wolf again, who was still struggling with the rope.
“Time to go,” Wolfric said, placing his arm over Akira’s shoulders.
“We will meet you all at the nearest dock,” Levi said.
He popped into his Fairy form and jumped onto the back of the Dragonfly.
“Can’t Fairies fly?” Akira asked.
Jules smiled at her. “Yes, we can. But our mounts are much faster,” she said, then kissed Aarush on the head and popped into her Fairy form.
The Phoenix was too big for her to hold, so she set him in front of Levi on the Dragonfly and settled herself behind him.
“See you all there!” Julianne hollered, then they were gone.
“I am loving our adventure,” Akira said with a wide smile.
“Just try not to break your back again,” Wolfric said with a growl.
Akira nodded. “I didn’t enjoy that part.”
“Let us get going. I think I know which way to go now,” Malique said, lifting two of the bags.
“Wait a minute,” Akira said, then ditched them.
The three Warriors watched with their mouths hanging open as their little Havent ran to Fenrir. The giant wolf was too busy trying to get out of the ropes to notice the small girl.
Until she touched him.
“Akira!” the Warriors shouted at the same time as they ran toward Akira and Fenrir.
“I know what they did to you,” Akira whispered.
Fenrir stopped struggling and looked at her.
“To be tricked like that. It is so cruel. And by someone you trusted.”
The giant wolf’s hollow eyes stared at her.
“When I was young, I was treated like I was gutter sludge. But I had my Wolfie to keep me from turning inside-out. You did not have that. Did you?”
The wolf continued to stare at her.
“I hope you find someone who can pull you the right-side-out again. And I hope they love you the way any creature deserves to be loved, no matter how angry they are,” she said, then leaned over and kissed his nose.
The three Warriors and two Trolls stared at the small girl and giant wolf.
“Sorry we had to tie you down, but I didn’t want to hurt you, and I knew you wouldn’t let us pass. It should not take you long to get out of it. I hope to see you again, on a much better ground,” Akira said, then turned and walked back to her Warriors. “Let’s go.”
All three men stared at her with their mouths open. Had she seriously just kissed a giant wolf made of roots?
“Grab her,” Darius said, breaking the silence.
Wolfric ran up to their Psychi and lifted her into his arms.
Akira laughed and held onto her Wolfie.
“You’re crazy,” Wolfric said with a laugh.
Akira smirked. “You do know he’s the son of a God, don’t you?”
Wolfric blinked. “The wolf?”
She nodded. “Yeah. Do not remember which one or if it said who. But he is the son of a God, and he is smart. He is just full of rage. I would be too if someone I trusted betrayed me like that.”
Wolfric nodded. “I think we all would.”
They traveled for hours before they finally found the dock. Jules and Levi teased them on how long it took them to get there.
Akira told Jules what she had said to Fenrir, and they both hoped he would find peace one day.