The Moonweaver Chronicles 2-3
“Well you see…” Angus started. “Its sorta like this… I found myself suddenly in this weird world. This lady, some kind of fire bird creature, told me that she could help me get out of it if I got her this strange metal. She told me that this group of people had the metal and how to steal it from them, I didn’t really trust her but it was kind of my only way out…”
I had been wondering why he betrayed his ally, this made a lot more sense than what I had previously assumed about him. My anger at him began to dissipate, I realized that none of us had been mortally wounded, he should have easily been able to kill, but all he did was distract us so he could steal the metal. Not just that, he had ultimately helped us defeat the phoenix.
The female looked at him uncertainly, the story seemed to be a bit much. She looked at me right after, I guess my reaction confirmed that, at the very least, I believed what he was saying. She must have decided to go with it, because she asked with an incredulous sigh, “And then..?”
“I realized that the metal had special properties that I theorized could hurt her.” He said simply, “Look, for all I know, she was the one who brought me to that world. At the very least, she tried to extort me to get what she wanted. There was no way she intended on doing anything good once she got her hands on it. I made a judgment call and shot her with the stuff.”
I looked at Vincent, realizing I hadn't heard anything from him. It was quickly evident why, he was shaking with barely contained fury at the person who had hurt and threatened his siblings. He got up calmly and told me that it was time to go, that we had the wolves and should return home with them.
“What do you think you’re doing? These are some of the last remaining red wolves, we aren’t just going to let you take them to god knows where.” The girl said defiantly.
“We are here to liberate these creatures from their cage and help them repopulate. Its their second chance at life, they won't thrive if we leave them here. Angus, I am letting you live and not fighting you despite what you’ve done to my siblings. Don't interfere, my patience is at its limit with you, I will exercise no further restraint against you.” I had never heard Vincent sound that dark, it dawned on me that he must really care about his siblings.
Angus turned to the female, his tail was between his legs, he clearly understood the nature of the situation and what he had done. I just wished Vincent wasn’t so lost in his feelings of hatred and spite to see this. Angus was clearly deferring to her judgment as to what should be done.
"Don't even think about it, whoever you are." the woman replies in an even tone, "'Liberate' them to where? You misunderstand why they're here - to keep them safe from poachers. If you dare threaten Angus again, then it'll be you that isn't leaving. Extend the same courtesy he has - explain yourself and be civil about it."
“I’m leaving, bring them back with you Alkain, they'll trust you. I can't stay here for any longer without the risk of doing something extreme.” Vincent said, touching a tree that appeared identical to the one we had touched to get here. He disappeared.
“Vincent is a bit… frustrated… We want to take the wolves to a place where they'll be able to thrive and grow in numbers. We might even bring some of them back to live here.” I attempted to explain poorly, Vincent understood it better than me but he had left. “There won't be any need to fear poachers where we intend to take them.” I half-lied, while there were no poachers, there seemed to be far more dangerous things. Still though, I doubt the Wardens were inexperienced at this enough that they would let any harm come to these creatures. “They can live a life without being confined in a cage or an area too.” I added needlessly, I wasn't that great at lying and felt the need to cover it with something I felt was true.
“I’m sorry, this seems a bit too extraordinary for me, You’ll need to present me with proof for me to even consider that you might not be lying.” She claimed, giving an expectant stare.
Angus leaned towards her ear and whispered something I couldn’t quite make out. She took a moment to think it over, looking away and considering something before she turned her gaze to me, relenting with a sigh.
“All right, fine. If you insist, it might be all right to go. I still don’t trust you - if you’re going to take the wolves, then you’ll have to take us with you as well.”
Angus seemed a bit relieved and asked, finally seeming to have found his voice, “So how do we follow you back? You aren't going to force these creatures to come with you by the way, right?” He seemed to have just questioned exactly how we intended on getting them to come with us.
I whistled to the wolves and they seemed to understand, coming to me. It appears Vincent was right, they trusted us. Angus and the girl seemed to be ok with this and I gestured towards the tree. They seemed to catch on touched it, vanishing almost instantly. I suppose the portal must remain open until everybody who came through, left through it as well. I directed the wolves as well to it, somehow they seemed to understand and they followed, I was right behind them.
Now I was a bit more used to the sensation of traveling through this particular type of portal. Once I was in the Forest again, I recalled something Rin had done when we all came here. I didn’t know why but she had used one of her claws to carve our names into a nearby tree as soon as we arrived. My mind clicked suddenly and I realized that her writing our names on the tree must have had some significance to it. I couldn't ask Vincent, since he was long gone. I decided to err on the side of caution and carved the name ‘Angus’ into a tree.
I tried to recall the females name, but couldn't. I realized that we had never been introduced. I was about to ask when I realized that she seemed somewhat in shock as she stared at the world around her. She took in the trees and birds with the rapt attention of someone accustomed to studying nature. Angus had looked at what I was doing and whispered that her name was Selena. I carved it into the tree right below his name.
By the time I remembered the wolves, they had scattered to explore this new place. I got the feeling that we wouldn't need to worry too much about them.
“I had actually been wondering, how did you open a portal to get home?” I asked Angus.
“To be honest, I didn’t. I just felt a strong longing to go home. I suddenly feared that I had lost my chance to ever be with her again. It scared me and it made me want to be with her even more and suddenly a portal opened and I took it, hoping that she would be on the other side. It was rather odd” he told me. Once more I realized that there was almost a sentience to this place, as if it granted wishes or something. I couldn't help but feel this was a contradiction though, that there must be something else to it.
Either way, we followed her as she took in the sights, she was so enraptured with some of it (I believe there must have been quite a few creatures she either had never seen before or maybe had only ever heard of) that she didn’t realize how tired she was. Angus caught her just before she collapsed from exhaustion and I told him of a tree that I had been taught radiates warmth at night. He curled up with her and I sort of just stayed awake, I wasn't really that tired. I didn’t know if it was safe to leave them alone, so I decided that I’d take them to Rin in the morning and get further instruction from her.
Angus explains the reasons behind his temporary alliance with and betrayal of the phoenix.