Meanwhile.... back at the garden...
Axil collapsed unto the ground with a groan. His body aching as if something heavy was pressed down on him, which technically it was since he was buried under stone for such a long time. His limbs were throbbing, weak and defenceless. He laid his paws out in front of him and cuddled with the ground, panting in exhaustion.
He was free.
He inhaled the forest air for the first time in forever, relishing the sweet scent of nature as it tickled his nose. He sighed as the faint scent of something delectable lingered in the air.
Was it that witch who freed him?
Why’d she run off like that?
Why was she afraid?
There were so many questions circulating in his mind, the most prominent one being why he was the only one among his people that managed to escape his imprisonment.
He raised his head and gazed at his people that were scattered around him, frozen in time and suffering alone beneath the stone.
He failed them.
He brought this upon himself.
He forced his aching limbs to sit up as he licked his wounds clean. He couldn’t linger here for long. He didn’t know how long he’d been trapped under that spell, but his enemies could still be lurking. He needed to find that witch and ask for answers. There had to be a reason as to why she freed him. she must be really powerful if she didn’t need to chant a spell to break his imprisonment.
It’s been so long since he’d moved that his muscles felt stiff and weary.
Maybe laying around for a bit wouldn’t hurt....
He quickly shook away the thought. He had a pack to protect. His people, his family.
Speaking of family.... his ears perked up as he suddenly remembered the brother who was standing behind him.
He stretched his paws before him and lowered his body, stretching. He then stood with much effort and shook out the dust and debris from his fur.
Must find Abel.
He quickly scanned his eyes over his people and tried to identify that one specific face. He walked slowly between each statue, his legs feeling too heavy for him to go any faster. He hated feeling this weak.
His heart ached as he took in the emotions behind the eyes of his people. Their fear, their anxiety, their hatred was all trapped with them behind those stones, suffering for eternity.
Until now that is.
Someone had freed him. Surely, they could help him free the others as well.
He searched and searched for his brother, his heart in his throat as he found himself growing anxious.
Where could he possibly be? I was sure he didn’t leave my sight while we were fighting!
Axil’s heart rate began to spike as his thoughts scrambled for his brother’s location.
“Brother!” He called out through their mental link, hoping... no begging for a response. Hoping his brother managed to escape the disaster that he was trapped in.
He tried to shake off the pain of his stiff muscles and picked up pace, jogging around the battlefield and inspecting all the faces of his pack.
His brother was nowhere to be found.
Axil took a deep breath and paused in his search, trying to keep himself calm and collected. He couldn’t allow himself to lose his temper like this. The lives of his pack were now in his care, he couldn’t possibly act impulsively like he did back then.
He thought back to that day, when everything went downhill for everyone.
Axil quickly turned to the sea of warriors before him, his eyes glowing a bright amber as he growled in anger, “our pack have been betrayed. Our Luna and Alpha are now dead by the hands of the one we trusted the most! It’s time for us to seek our revenge! Let’s show that bastard that the Delai pack does not bow to cowards!”
Growls and snarls of agreement was heard as paws hit the ground in anxiety, excitement and rage. His people were more than ready for this fight.
“Protect the women and children! Kill the enemies! We will not bring shame to our ancestors!”
Axil raised his head to the bright red moon that hung above their heads and howled, signalling the start of a battle. Many howls were heard after him, acknowledging his new role as Alpha, as their leader.
Axil felt a sense of pride wash over him as he accepted all the support from his family and friends. He was confident that they could win.
He glanced at his brother who stood proudly at his side, his light grey fur bristling with anticipation.
He spoke firmly, “stay behind me brother. Watch my back as I watch yours. We’ll fight together.”
A snort of agreement sounded out beside him as his brother’s gruff voice sounded in his mind, “I’ll always fight beside you Ax but for the sake of our people, if we find ourselves loosing this fight, I’ll head to the village to protect the youth.”
Axil nodded his head in understanding, “just be careful, I don’t want to lose any more family.”
“I promise. We’ll defeat the bastards and bring peace to our pack once more.” with that said Abel affectionately nudged his side before running off to finish preparations.
Axil shook his head to rid himself of the memory and instinctively turned in the direction he knew his village to be.
His paws kicked up dirt as he abandoned all thought and ran as fast as he could, leaping over branches and dodging trees and shrubs. His limbs ached tiredly but the adrenaline overpowered his pain and made him push himself even harder. Soon, the entrance to a cave appeared and he found himself confused as to how it got there. There weren’t any caves here before he was frozen.
Ignoring the fact that things weren’t as they seemed anymore, he quickly ran through the cave, his fur bristling in alarm as he carefully took in his surroundings and watched out for any enemy who may be lurking nearby.
It didn’t take long before the exit to the cave appeared.
However, he forced himself to a stop just before he left the cave. He growled in annoyance.
That fucking witch!
She built a forcefield to keep him in!
He tentatively placed a paw against the air, snorting in annoyance as his hand made contact with a solid wall.
He closed his eyes and tried to sense any weak areas that might be in the barrier, pouring his energy into the barrier, causing it to pulse a faint golden light.
His eyes snapped open as his ears twitched in excitement.
There was a way out!
Was it that witch who freed him? Did she create this hole for him to squeeze through? He had to find her as soon as possible.
But first.... Abel.
He quickly crawled on his belly through the right corner of the cave and managed to slip through unscathed, although his exhaustion was starting to flow to his mind. His eyes were getting heavy as if he would faint at any moment.
His determination to find his brother strengthened. He had no time to waste.
Axil quickly took off in the direction of his village, finally hearing the sounds of nature flowing around him. It was like everyone else beyond that cave was distanced from the world. It was deadly silent.
But now... he could hear perfectly.
It took him an hour to reach the edge of the forest as he frequently paused to rest his aching limbs and scent the area for danger. Once he managed to make it to the edge he was stunned into awareness.
Everything had changed....
He stared with wide eyes as strange metal things swished pass him on the stone floor, humans residing within them.
His eyes glistened with wonder as he took in his predicament.
How much time had passed since he was imprisoned?
How could he find his brother in such an unfamiliar area such as this?
The faint scent of the witch that touched his ears and freed him drifted into his nose as his eyes deepened in deep thought.
If he could track her down and ask for her help again... maybe she could help him find Abel. It’s better than risking his life to figure out such complex things on his own. His time had passed and he had no idea what this era was about.
Besides... that witch’s eyes were so vibrant and pure. She clearly held no malice against him.... but then again should he trust a witch when it was a witch that caused him to suffer in the first place?
He hesitated for a whole five minutes as he silently contemplated.
After weighing the pros and cons he deduced that he had nothing else to lose. He might as well track down the witch and ask her what the hell was going on.
With that decision in mind, he quickly changed directions and followed the scent of the witch.