Blood & Carrots - Silverpaw Ep. 15
Welcome back, my lovely reader~
If this is your first visit to Silverpaw, I strongly recommend starting from episode one to get the best experience.
If you are new to Blood & Carrots as a series, you need to start with the first serial if you want to fully enjoy it, no 'silverpaw' in the title.
Take your time, I'll wait for you to catch up. :3
And with that out of the way...
My lovely reader, I hope you've been enjoying things up to this point. Sarnai has embraced her new life and is happy for the first time in centuries. However, nothing lasts forever, and now the time for tribulations are at hand once more.
It's going to get a little heavy, but I hope you'll enjoy the ride all the same. Well, let's dive right into it!
A Desperate Stand
Winter finally gave way to spring and with it, I had been with my new family for nearly a year. I and Elias settled into our roles of Marquis and Marquess without missing a beat, the old ways easy to resume, especially with one another's support.
It was a good and peaceful time for me. I had so much love and affection from everyone, even those I didn't sleep with. However, like all things, it didn't last, and though I tried to cling to each precious moment, the tranquility ended far sooner than I'd have liked.
"This isn't like her!" Alice spoke the words in frustration and fear, putting her cellphone away after trying to make the call for the tenth time in half an hour.
"We should drive into the city and look for her, we can follow her cell phone signal," Alex growled the words, his large brown ears risen to peaks, his tail fluffed and thrashing.
"Cute idea but it's only about an hour until the sun rises," Katrina grumbled the words, folding her arms and frowning.
"Master is away with Toroah on business, and... and... I don't know what do!" Alice spat the words out, panic clearly in her voice now.
I parted from the three of them, pacing away as I listened to my phone ring in my ear. The call connected as my mother answered, "Hello my pup, I can sense this is not a social call, what troubles you?"
"Mom, Gloria hasn't returned from her nightly patrol of the city. The others are getting worried and in truth, I'm also concerned for her," I growled the words, cutting my eyes over as I saw the trio focused on me.
"Hmm... Since she is fallen, we have no means of tracking her, but give me a moment, I can still focus upon her life force since I know her personally," Rachel spoke the words and I stood there for several uneasy seconds waiting.
"She is still alive, but her vitals are all peaking with adrenaline as if she were in combat or flight, and no I don't mean actual flying."
"You mean fleeing, I get it," I snarled and stomped out of the foyer and outside of the mansion. Alice and the others quickly followed after me.
"My pup, what do you plan to do?" My mother asked from the other side of the line.
"Elias and I would be the only ones that could get to the city in any decent amount of time. I will go find her, once I'm within a few miles I'll be able to pick up her energy," I barked the words as I kicked my house shoes off, leaving me barefoot in the grass in my evening dress.
"Do be safe my pup, call upon me if it is needed." My mother's voice spoke out with concern and pride before she gave me her love.
"Honey, you can't just go-"
I threw a hand out towards Alice to silence her. "None of you are at a level to get there as fast as me. Elias would be the only other choice and he isn't here."
Alex growled but said nothing and Katrina gave me a nod as she spoke, "You're right, it would easily take me ten minutes at full burn of my power to get there."
"Good, burn some of that energy and bring me a few bottles." I gave my cat a grin and she blurred out of existence. She was back in less than a minute and tossed me a few sports bottles.
"I'm going with you!" Alice stomped her foot and snarled, her eyes furiously red as I forced down the cold blood with a shuddered.
"You're not piggybacking on me, love. I'm not as big as Val and you will just slow me down." I threw the empty bottle down and started on the other, gorging myself, knowing I would use most of it up in transit.
"B-but!" The rabbit clenched her fists then jerked her gaze to Katrina who moved beside her and gripped her shoulder.
"Let Sarnai take care of it, she's the only one," The cat spoke the words gently to Alice before reaching to her side and unfastening my saber she retrieved, tossing it to me.
I caught the blade and gave my cat a nod. "Thanks, love." I gave her a playful grin then, frowned and set my eyes upon Alice. "We squander time, just trust me."
"I'll be right behind you, I'm the next fastest one on foot." Alex snarled the words, already shifting as his shirt tore apart, the pants he wore stretching to fit as he grew nearly ten feet in height. I gave a roll of my eyes as the wolf bounded away without another word in a gallop, his pace quickening to that of a car within seconds, tearing through the hills towards the city.
Alice gave me a frown as she looked to Alex, then me, but nodded her head several times, the tears obviously showing in her eyes. I growled at seeing her so distraught and turned from them before blurring out of sight. I leaped over the galloping wolf a few moments later and was out of his view as well in another few heartbeats.
I felt like I would throw up from all the blood in me, but sprinting, leaping and dodging past things at this level of speed was massively taxing, even on beings of my age. I could have thrown my clothes off and shifted to a flying form, but I would have been slower and buck naked to boot. That's the problem with shifting forms, your personal effects don't change with you and it's even more taxing than this would be.
Springing off the asphalt I launched up to the top of an office building, scanning the area for energy. I had made it into the city in about three minutes and my eyes were still trying to adjust to normal vision again, most of the blood I had drank was now burned away. I certainly wouldn't be making that kind of run back.
I narrowed my focus to just celestial energy and found her within seconds. I began leaping onto rooftops, bounding through the metropolis until I perched on the edge of an office building. I could hardly believe what I saw.
Gloria stood there, her longsword in hand, the blade a deep maroon and veritably crackling with divine energy. She was standing off against what looked humanoid but easily towered thirty feet high and had the mass of a large moving truck. The creature was covered in thick brown fur, tusks jutting from its lower jaw and half of a broken powerline pole slung over its shoulder as a makeshift club.
"By the nine hells, what the fuck is going on?!" I snarled the words, seeing the retriever slowly backing up, her body battered and covered in wounds. As if the creature wasn't enough, this was happening in the middle of the street, there were turned over cars and small fires all over the street side.
My ears lifted as I saw the behemoth swing at the retriever with the power pole. Gloria deftly evaded the hulking swing of the makeshift weapon and quickly darted forward. Her sword flashed and the beast roared and began to retreat. The small dog seemed to blur as she crisscrossed all over the large creature in just a few heartbeats, leveling slashes and stabs all over the beast.
The creature toppled over in a mighty thud of impact before simply erupting into flames of green fire and vanishing. I shook my head trying to comprehend what I was seeing but then six figures all appeared around the angel, swords drawn and surrounding her.
One lunged in first as I was already making my dive. Gloria barked out and sidestepped the mundane looking figure before running them through. The other five were moving in more unison but they weren't expecting me.
Let me tell you, I'm not a heavy female and actually a little small for my species, but even something half my size would do serious damage coming down from a dozen stories or more. I landed on one of the figures, hearing bones crush as I drove my knee into what I assumed was its spine. Two of the four remaining turned just a split second too late, my blade flashed and I ran the figure through that looked like a fox. My free hand raked out and I simply grabbed the other by the throat before wrenching my grip downward and tearing their throat out, this one looking like some sort of elk.
Having only two attackers on her, Gloria handily parried one strike while dodging another. The angel swept her blade and cleaved the head clean off one of the swordsmen, the other setting to square off with her. I simply dove on them and grabbed their head before giving a twist and breaking their neck. The creature looked like just a regular mundane cat and I was ravenous after the sprint, so I plunged my teeth in and pulled deeply for a little pick me up.
The blood hit my mouth and my eyes widened before I spat the crimson out and felt I would vomit. "What in the-" I coughed out, feeling like I had swilled down poison, my whole mouth burning.
Gloria was to me in an instant and shoved her wrist in my face. "Quickly, dilute it with my blood, only enough to wash it away." I lifted my ears at her offer but the taste was too vile to reject her. I quickly sunk my fangs into her wrist, hearing the angel hiss out before shuddering. I took a few pulls before huffing out and lapping at her flesh to close the wounds.
Gloria panted, looking all the more winded now from my quick feeding. "S-Sarnai... what are you-"
"What the fuck is going on!" I snarled out looking at the carnage and bodies strewn about. All the figures were dressed in what looked like white cloaks with olive tunics out of the middle ages.
"It's glamor, all of it." Gloria snapped out the words and set her sword as a large rolling torrent of green fire spiraled before us and another hulking monstrosity appeared, this one holding, I kid you not, one of those feudal stone statues you would see at an old shrine.
"What in the nine hells is glamor?!" I snarled as I darted to the side, Gloria moving the other way as the massive stone statue came down onto the pavement where we had stood.
"Fae magic, they've sealed this whole area off and have been pulling in troops for over an hour now!" She panted the words, staggering back before clenching her teeth and diving on the creature that I could only describe as an ogre. Her maroon blade sunk into its throat as the giant gave out an unearthly howl of pain. I joined her and with a few precision strikes the monster fell and erupted into green flames.
"So the mundane can't see all this?" I snarled as more foot soldiers materialized around us, me and the angel moving back to back with our swords drawn. I processed the words 'fae magic', a chill running down my spine at the prospect of it. It was happening, and much sooner than I'd have liked. It had only been about a year that I had been in my right mind, perhaps this was all the time I'd have for peace.
"The glamor is keeping the area shielded, the destruction is real though!" Gloria quickly barked out the words while parrying and side-stepping blows, striking down the soldiers before her.
"Noted!" I barked out as I brought my maroon saber up to parry a short sword strike, kicking another fae soldier away before I swept the blade, cleaving through both of their throats in one strike. The figures crumpled around us, again erupting into flames as me and Gloria pushed our backs together again.
"This is endless, they just keep coming!" She barked the words and I felt her tense, setting herself as more soldiers appeared in gouts of green flame, these at a distance with longbows at the ready.
More foot soldiers formed in our path as we darted to the side, arrows whizzing by as we cut down the swordsmen before us. I growled furiously as I blurred across the field of battle, slashing through the archers before we met together once more.
Both our ears lifted as massive torrents of flames spewed forth before each of us while our backs were together. Two hulking ogres appeared, each with massive stone pillars slung over their shoulders.
"Gloria! We can't keep this up, we need to withdraw!" I yelled the words out as I blurred to the side as she simply took flight, stone pillars slamming into the asphalt we had been standing on.
"I can't just abandon my flock to be slaughtered!" She cried the words out as she dove on the same one I had moved against. In a flurry of blows, we brought the giant down and scattered as the second moved on us, slamming its makeshift club down into the ground.
I pulled back and set my stance, the angel doing the same in mid-flight as we sprang upon the other giant, similar results coming from our assault as the beast toppled over in an eruption of green fire.
"Flock or not, if we stay at this too long, the sun will rise on us. I don't think I need to tell you what that means!" I hissed the words as I felt her back push to mine after she landed.
"I- I know sister... I just don't know what to do!" She called back to me, the resolve in her voice wavering. I could hear her labored pants, she had been at this for much longer than I had after all.
"The two of you have won my praise, my underlings appear to be no match, no matter how many I send to the slaughter, you persevere." The haughty words filled the air as we both lifted our ears, shifting our gazes to see a quick burst of green light before another stood before us.
She appeared to be a fox like myself, but 'appeared' was subjective, to say the least. She was closer to Katrina's height; about a head length under my own stature. She had long flowing hair the color of vibrant green foliage. Flowers and brambles were interwoven through it, as if growing from her. Her ears were larger than my own, the fur pattern sharing the same vibrant colors of her hair.
The most shocking feature was her tails; she had nine of them. All were that bright green color, the myriad of them fanned out behind her in constant motion. Another surprising feature was her body; it was covered in a thin coat of fur. Her bared feet looked more like paws, and her hands sporting pads, the shape still similar to my own.
The ninetails wore a simple silk-looking gown of white that clung to her small body, the cloth almost translucent and making no attempt to hide her figure beneath. She had a lithe, petit form, with small but shapely breasts. There was a slight curve to her hips and face, the fur along her belly and chest turning to an offwhite green that moved up to below her throat where she sported a small muzzle.
I felt my ears lower as I looked upon her, she reclined back looking bored as if leaning on her mass of fluffy tails, but I could see her foot-paws weren't even touching the pavement, actually a few inches off the ground. Her sheer presence was overwhelming, I had faced down archangels unflinching, but this power wasn't even in the same realm of comparison.
Her yellow eyes looked between the two of us, seeing the effect she had made upon us, I could feel Gloria trembling behind me, her knees starting to buckle before she reinforced her stance, pushing against my back as if to support herself and stand.
"You two should count yourselves blessed, I've not appeared before any creature of the mundane realms in over a thousand renewal seasons," She spoke the words in a melodic tone as she pushed off her own tails it seemed, her padded-footpaws gingerly touching the ground, small sprouts of grass blades bursting through the asphalt beneath her paws. Her tails swayed as she took a few paces towards us, leaving a trail of grass in her wake.
I swallowed the lump in my throat, finding it difficult to speak in her presence. Snarling at myself I summoned my fires, pushing them straight to blood-red so I could compose myself. Pushing from Gloria's back, I faced the other fox full-on, saber set as I growled, "What are you playing at with all this?"
The ninetails stopped in her tracks and put a hand-paw to her muzzle, giving a wide grin at my display, her rows of teeth looking sharp as she seemed to savor the chance to interact with me. "Oh my... so it's you. I had my suspicions but to see it in the... flesh as it were."
A shocked bark escaped my throat as she was just there in my face, no blur, no sign of movement, just nose to nose, her footpaws suspended off the ground, her eyes upon mine. I saw her muzzle spread into a wide grin, even as Gloria readied her own blade and took a step towards us in my defense.
The small green fox gave an exasperated huff in my face and flicked her left handpaw towards the celestial, a wave of force slamming into Gloria as she flew back in the air several yards before finally spreading her wings to catch herself.
"Sister!" I barked out towards Gloria, then turned to snarl upon the fox before me, starting to set my stance. She gave me a bored frown and I didn't even see what she did, I simply flew away from her in a similar motion, tumbling and bouncing against the concrete of the sidewalk before finally catching myself.
The nine-tailed fox gingerly dropped to her footpaws once more, sighing as she lazily drifted her gaze between me and Gloria, both of us in a stance with our swords drawn. "I suppose it would do no harm to tell the soon to be final-dead that this was all a ploy to draw forth the messiah."
"Messiah?" Gloria frowned as she tilted her head.
"The savior of their damnable race." The fox huffed the words as she lazily thrust a finger towards me.
I gave a bark of a laugh as my flames roared to life and poured off me, rolling down my saber as it crackled with divine power. Of course, I knew who she was talking about. "Ha... too bad you got me instead, bitch! I'm much more dangerous!" I screamed the words as I blurred from sight right as Gloria sprang to the air.
"Oh?" The green fox lifted her ears as I and Gloria both struck at her with our blades. She seemed to simply cease to be there, then a microsecond later I felt a wave of force slam into my back, forcing me to topple straight down into the ground, displacing the asphalt and feeling my left arm break from the impact.
A similar wave of force slammed into Gloria as she swooped down, sending her sprawling in the air before she righted herself in mid-flight and called out to me, "Sarnai!" Her eyes narrowed as she growled furiously at the bored-looking fox, diving on her once again.
I snarled and jerked my shoulder hard, setting my arm as I climbed to my feet, feeling the bones already starting to stitch themselves back together. I refocused just in time to see Gloria swoop down on the ninetails who unceremoniously extended her left arm and caught the angel at the throat in mid-strike.
"Pitiful creature, do you not see you wade straight into the jaws of death?" The green fox huffed the words as she slowly tightened her grip, Gloria's eyes widening as her air was being cut off.
My teeth clenched as I set my saber in my right hand, my left arm still mostly useless. I prepared to strike when I saw a massive blur of brown fur and claws lunge forward. The ninetails wasn't expecting reinforcements, her eyes going wide as the werewolf pounced upon her.
Alex roared in fury as his massive hooked paws simply tore the arm the fox had raised in defense off her body along with most of her shoulder, blood spraying over his brown coat. The fox looked more surprised than in pain, her left paw still holding Gloria by the throat.
The wolf snarled and lunged in to finish the job, going for the foxes' throat. Her yellow eyes widened a wild grin spreading over her muzzle as green flames rolled over where her arm had been, then a new one was in its place. There was a flash of claws and Alex yowled out, blood spraying from his chest, an afterimage of green flaming streaks following the wave of her paw.