Chapter 1 || Echo
The snow feels soft and warm under my paws as I sprint through the woods, gaining speed, feeling the wind through my snowy white fur. I have to get home. Now. Bits of the bracken scratch and claw at me, but I’m in such a rush that I don’t particularly care. I hear a distant howl, and I know that I must hurry home. Mother’s calling me. As I rush through the bushes that mark the entrance to our territory, I crash into a wolf, with fur as dark as the midnight sky. His amber eyes burn into my own blue ones and he growls instantly.
“What were you doing on our territory?” He hisses. My fur stands up on end defensively and he starts to circle around me like a vulture, ready to pounce.
“You are on ours.” I hiss back and he backs away.
“I do not care for your Clan rules.” He growls back and I laugh sarcastically.
“Yet you expect us to respect yours.”
“We have an alliance.” He responds, almost immediately.
“And you are breaking it.” I growl back. My mother’s howl sounds again, and the other wolf turns his head towards the sound.
“Your mother’s calling.” He growls to me.
“Go.” I growl back and he frowns menacingly.
“Don’t expect me to come back.” He says promptly before scurrying back to his own territory, so I resume running home. The very second the Camp comes into view, my mother’s jaws clench my neck.
“Where have you been Echo?” She growls.
“Have you been on Fire territory again?” She interrogates, after a quick sniff.
“You were late home for tea. Again.” She continues, not allowing me to get more than a word in.
“I know that Mum...”
“You left Flint and Asher by themselves.”
“They could’ve run off, followed you into the Fire Wolves territory. They’re only cubs Echo. You have to be careful.”
“I know but-”
“The Four Clans have a very fragile alliance Echo. Do you want to be the wolf who ruins that?”
“I don’t want you in the Fire territory again, do you understand me?” I open my mouth to protest, but I seethe glare in my mother’s ice blue eyes and I nod obediently.
“Yes Mum.” I whisper.
“Now then, since you went on an unorganized patrol, is there anything important we must know?” Mum asks me and I immediately think back to the Fire wolf on our territory.
“No.” I say quickly before realizing what I’ve said. I just protected the enemy?
“Okay then. If that’s all, then you are just in time for Knight’s tale of the Wolves.” Knight is the Alpha of Ice Wolves, and every full moon, we gather by the Alpha’s Cave and listen to his tales of the Wolves. A rough bark sounds from the entrance to the Alpha’s Cave as the elderly Alpha emerges, his knees shaking and his fur twisted and grey. He sits carefully, in a poised position. Flint and Asher, my brothers, tumble in, sitting down excitedly. They’ve finally become of age to hear the tales. It’s the first time they’ve heard this, but for me, I’ve heard this tale six times. And it never gets old. With a steady voice, Knight begins.
“Many centuries ago, the Wolves of Islade emerged. The Alpha of the Islade Clan led the Wolves through the victories they needed for survival and the Islade Clan’s empire grew. But one fateful evening, it was discovered the Alpha’s mate was very ill, and spent most of her days in the Cave, where the Alpha nurtured her. A few weeks later, the cubs were born. The Alpha Princes. Each Alpha cub was born with an odd gift. One of Fire, one of Ice, one of Shadows and one of Earth. The Cubs were raised to rule, but they knew only one would be the true Alpha. So when the Alpha died, a war broke out, separating the Islade Clan into four. Fire, Ice, Shadow and Earth. The pack split, and each wolf possessed the powers of their pack. A fragile alliance was proposed, and has stood for centuries, just waiting for a wolf to overstep.” The silence of Asher and Flint overwhelms me. They’ve never sat still for this long.
“The qualities of a wolf is uncertain until used. But only one thing tells us for certain what Clan they belong to. Their eye colour.” Ice is blue. Obviously. Amber is Fire, brown is for Earth and the darkest of all, black representing Shadow. I studied the Islade Clan fora very long time after the first time I ever heard Knight’s tale. But the best part comes now.
“Still, the souls of the remaining Elders of the Islade Clan await their true Alpha. He and his mate will reunite the Wolves of Islade, and the glory that must be restored to their names.” Knight has finished. But I know a little more. The true Alpha is the only remaining descendant of the last Alpha of the Islade Clan. That’s why he is the only one who can restore the Wolves of Islade...