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The Raven & The Wolf

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Natasha has always believed she was born cursed due to her raven birthmark. All her life, she was believed she would be the death of her race. After finding out it's quite the opposite when her Master has died, the survival of the Sheika depends on not letting the raven she bares be taken by the wolf that is borne by the man who murdered her family.

Fantasy / Adventure
5.0 10 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter One

The Raven & The Wolf

Chapter One

Fire is in the air. Even its choking black smoke is seeking relief from the blistering heat. Screams are echoing in the exploding air; while outside voices shout instructions to put the flames out. I’m lost. Nothing seems real in this maddened darkness. All I remember is hearing a pop before my mother ran in to tell me to hide under the bed, ordering me to stay under there no matter what.

Briefly her face flashes into my mind. Soft ivory skin with ocean blue eyes paired with fire red hair. A little plump, but it suits her. Where is she? What could have possibly happened here? Should I get out and find her? No. She’ll be mad at me if I left here, and I’d have to face the whipping stick.

It isn’t long before smoke fills my room as my mother’s pleading screams echo from downstairs. A second later a beam falls from the ceiling and traps me under here. Now I’d rather face the whipping stick than be under here. I scream as my bed starts groaning. A tearing feeling comes from my heart as I panic. A protective bubble appears around me, and it immediately cools around me. I keep thinking I want out. I want out. The bubble glows a bright green and pops. I blink and I’m out in the barn.

Screaming is still tearing through the air. I can hear my mother crying as she repeatedly yells; “My baby!” Immediately, I race out of the barn to show her I’m okay, and am met by a dark haired man with copper skin. He grins at me and snaps his fingers. The fire vanishes, as does my mother’s screams. I scream when I see the blade in his other hand. The mysterious protective bubble appears around me again as his eyes widen. I vanish again while I beg for safety.

I appear next to a tree and small stream, completely exhausted and laying on my stomach. I’m so tired I can’t fully remember what just happened. The sound of horse hooves break me from my weary trance, and my body automatically stands to try to get out of the way. My legs buckle in protest against the sudden movement, causing me to fall against a tree. There is a gray horse running with a hooded rider. As the rider is about to pass me, he grabs the collar of my shirt and pulls me onto the horse, holding me against his chest. When I look behind me, I see the man from before. The one that scares me. In the far corner, there is a boy who is hunting. White covers my vision as the scene fades away.

“Natasha, wake up!” A pillow meets with my head, forcing me up right as I groan. Stanya-my best friend-is pulling on her boots. Her hair is disheveled, so she just woke too. I rub my face as I try to think coherently. The forest is quiet. Too quiet. That’s probably what woke her. The trees are a fantastic emerald green, illuminated by sunlight giving some much needed nutrients. My blanket is slightly crisp from the fading spring frost. Our horses are pawing at the dirt, completely uneasy. We definitely should get moving.

“What time is it?” I ask while removing my night shirt. Once it’s off, I stuff it in my pack and start digging through it for a change of clothes. I sigh when I notice my finger sticking through a hole in the bottom. Macy has gotten into her treats again. That’s it. Next time she’s getting a nasty surprise.

Shooting my horse a dirty look, I hold my pack up. “Are we going into town by chance?” Stanya covers her small lips with her tiny tan hand so she can laugh. She hates her teeth, so she keeps them covered whenever possible. I hate it when she does that. Her face is very pretty with a beautiful smile, and her hand only covers it. Her face is shaped like a heart and her cheekbones are absolutely phenomenal. Right shape and height. The most endearing part about her is her amber eyes with flecks of gold. They’re memorizing.

“Sure,” she answers while pulling her black hair back, then finishing it off in a bun. “I’m going to scout. Something isn’t right. Get dressed.” She stands and looks behind her shoulder. Her small ears have excellent hearing. It’s nearly impossible to sneak up on her. “Someone’s coming.”

“Good or bad?” I whisper; quickly pulling on a tight shirt and pants. I wrap my face in a black cloth, while she cocks her head; listening harder. When I’m fully dressed, the only thing you can see are my eyes and fingertips. To further prove this truth, I slide on my gloves that I have cut the fingers off. My extreme concealment is on purpose; I’m not supposed to be easily recognized. I’m not supposed to be known.

Her eyes narrow, and answers in a sharp hiss, “Tribesman.”

I flinch. They’re an alienated group of people. Their isolation is of their own doing. They hunt and eat everything that moves. A favorite delicacy of theirs consists of human flesh. They believe they get their power through blood.

Silently, I reach down and lightly touch the ground. I visualize the space of our campground. All forty feet of it. An ice breath flows out of my mouth as a clear blanket covers us. A stick cracks then silence follows. A dark presence fills my senses as it announces he has crossed into my barrier. Stanya moves to the left, towards the horses. My breath turns blue, and all our noise is canceled out. Carefully, I shift into a crouch pose. If this goes wrong, we’re going to need to run.

A bushy man with wildfire hair enters into the camp. He’s covered in dirt and is completely naked. He’s definitely hunting. Tribesman don’t believe in clothing. Ever. They claim it just slows them down. They’re completely right when compared to some cultures clothing styles.

His black eyes dart back and forth. His beard twitches with his nose as he sniffs the air. A little foam is on the corner of his lips. His jaw opens to reveal filed sharp, jagged, yellow teeth. These guys prefer to eat things raw; they want to be able to tear into flesh easily. Soot covers his feet as he steps into our cold fireplace. Soon dark raw dirt covers his feet as he still keeps going. It’s all I can do to stop my relief from exhaling.

“Come on dude, I can’t hold this forever,” I silently beg after holding this pose for ten minutes. I keep my eyes on him as I feel Stanya watching me. What the hell is he looking for? My legs are screaming in protest from holding this position for so long. I should have just sat down. What does he see that is keeping him here?

His teeth pulls back and hisses. Stanya goes stiff. My eyes follow theirs and I nearly fall over on my ass. Standing in the signature dark purple cloak is a Magicnite. Oh come on! I study the face. A sharp face with a slight scruff shows weariness. Dark circles give a backup testimony to that. A tight white shirt and black canvas pants are all that covers his muscles, though they are clearly visible; despite the cloth.

He holds up his hand and turns his palm up. A blue flame appears on his palm, matching the mischievous thought flickering in his mind. Quickly, I draw power from my own source to mask the power I am borrowing from the earth. My eyes see a translucent green coating over my original spell. Everyone else just sees an empty clearing. The blue flame trickles down his arm and attaches to the ground. It moves forward. A little blue spark enters my field of vision, telling me it has reached my magic.

The flame spreads as it reaches its intended target. It goes right through me and the others. As it passes me I can taste his power. It’s strong, but it’s an ant compared to mine; so I don’t have to add an extra coating to conceal my camouflage spell. The blue flame keeps going and eventually extinguishes itself.

The Magicnite frowns and looks at the Tribesman with confused eyes. Annoyed, he flicks his finger out and snakes surround the Tribesman. The Tribesman screams and starts dancing around as they bite at his ankles. He howls in pain, thinking he’s really been bitten. Now it’s my turn to frown. That really was a low blow. I was about to intercede when I notice the Magicnite looking around. My eyes narrow. He knows someone with magic is here.

I grin as a plan sparks in my mind. I move my free hand to my mouth and blow into it. A green ball forms in the middle of my palm. I throw it and have it soar past the Magicnite. It soars past him unnoticed. I curl my fingers in slightly, calling the ball back to me. It comes right back as the man takes a step to the right as the Tribesman gets closer. My ball explodes like broken glass and releases a high pitched giggle; striking the man in the back of his head, drawing a little blood from his neck. He pulls out a green shard and his eyes widen as it fades in his hand.

“A Sheik!” he cries in surprise outrage. He then grins, “This should be fun.” With a finger snap the snakes disappear. He whistles two low pitched notes and then a high one that ends in a sweet vibrato. As if from appearing from thin air, a midnight black horse shrieks as it comes into view. The Magicnite hops onto the horse’s saddle and spins it around; completely ignoring the Tribesman. With another snap a bright light hides him from the Tribesman; but since he only covered the Tribesman in his spell, Stanya and I can see him heading towards the direction the green ball had supposedly come from. The terrified Tribesman takes the rare opportunity, and starts running back to his camp. I’m just glad this Magicnite is a scout.

Quickly, I twitch my hand to cease my concealment illusion. My power flows back into my body, embracing my chest like a cold wet hug. Breathing is a little hard while I catch my breath, but other than that I’m fine. Immediately, my horse trots up to me when I stand. I saddle her quickly and stroke her white muzzle to calm her down. Stanya’s gray mare comes up next to me, with Stanya already in the saddle. Stanya is dressed identical to me; to give us both cover when we split up. We have to split up incase the Magicnite returns. She won’t be far from me, and we’ll be close enough to help in case of an ambush.

I look her over and laugh. “It’s a good thing this is common traveling attire. We might end up drawing attention if it wasn’t. Meet you at Gershwin Villa.” I nudge Macy slightly, urging her into a quick trot, heading east.

As Macy races through the trees, small bare tree branches slash at my protected skin. Macy is really booking it. I guess she can smell the Tribesman’s old trail and it’s spooking her. At least that is what I thought at first. After the second village we run through, we hit trouble.

A few minutes after passing the village, I pull Macy into a slow trot so I can riffle through my bag. Carefully, I pull out a waterproof bag and hold it open. After checking to make sure no one is watching, I close my eyes as I decide my desire. I blow into the bag, and it soon fills with water. Without much difficulty, I attach the water bag to her nose band so she can drink. After she has finished her drink, I put it back into my pack and let her take the lead.

A quick jerk is my only warning that she’s breaking into a run. My hands automatically pull on the reins, but she keeps going; ignoring my command. I loosen my grip to make it easier for her. When Macy acts like this, it’s best to wait until she’s calmed down, or tired out.

Still alarmed, I look around and find nothing wrong with the scene. Birds are chirping. Deer are grazing. I even see a sunbathing salamander.

My concern about her getting hurt increases after forty minutes of this. I try again to stop her. “Veira!” I call as I pull back hard on her reins, trying to get her to stop. “Veira Macy!” I pull and nothing. I yank and nothing happens. I can’t stop her. I decide to risk it and lightly touch her neck, letting my power work its way into her mind.

Fear and the word Hunters are the only things that I can make out in her scattered thoughts. My pulling on her ropes are only slightly annoying, compared to her memory of the last Hunters we ran into. Calmly, I try to reason with her. Hunters do not eat horsemeat this far north. They’re too valuable. That doesn’t stop her. The distinct memory of us walking into a field, while a group of Hunters cleaning the meat off a dead horse, keeps rebelling against my words.

Without a second notice, I go flying off her as she trips over something seconds later. I slam into the ground and roll. Dirt is in my mouth, alerting me that my scarf has been ripped off. Hitting a thick tree, with my shoulders, is what stops me in my tracks. As gravity catches up to me, my head just knocks against the wood. Slowly, my brain starts to catch up as my ears ring. Macy’s screams breaks through my battered head, fixing some of my confusion.

Within seconds of searching, I find her where she had tripped. A wide hole, designed to trap running game, has found Macy’s foot. Wincing, I help coach her through her pain and calm her down. My efforts pay off when eventually she gets up. Hurriedly, I run my hand along her leg; searching for a break. She screams when I get to her cannon.

“Shh,” I whisper to her as I use my other hand to stroke her neck, calming her when I see quite a bit of blood. Pushing aside my panic, I think about what my Master has taught me. Horse bones do not heal, at least not easily. Their scabs will also continue to grow. So I need to heal bone and skin. I don’t think her bone is broken, just severely bruised. I close my eyes and visually see what I want it to do to her. Knitting needles appear in my mind, imagining them repairing broken seams of skin, nerves, bone, tendons, and muscle. Once that is completed, I desire them to be smooth, with a perfect finish.

While opening my eyes, I blow on her wound. Red patches take over my eyesight, pointing out her injuries. The bone fractured, barely, so it is easily repaired. Green seeps into the cracks and fills the small lines. The skin just pulls together, as if you were knitting. Lock one. Lock two. I open my eyes and examine myself to see if I did it correctly. My leg is covered in sweat, with a little blood visible in the black surface of my clothing, but it appears to be okay. Macy licks me with her rough tongue and helps me to stand. My leg flares up in pain, forcing me to kneel. She does the same, just to make sure I’m alright. I stupidly transferred the injury to me. Perfect.

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