A long time ago, it was written that the Spirit of Life would be reborn when needed the most by the people of the human and spirit realm. The coming of this great entity would be foretold by three signs. The first, an uncrowned King would go missing from his matrimonial alter. The second, the greatest sorceress in the spirit realm would be partially blinded by beauty and feather. The last, the most terrifying of all the signs, the return of the Spirit Wolf.
The Spirit Wolf was a great monster, part spirit and part Fear Wolf, with no conscience and a thirst for blood. His duty, similar to that of a Fear Wolf, is to maintain the balance of the spirit realm between good and evil; or so it was believed by all who lived within this realm.
No man, spirit, or creature does not quake with fear at the mention of this mythical beast that none have ever seen or found proof of. The Spirit of Life is the only one capable of helping this tormented soul, torn between man and beast so much that it cannot choose one form, with the use of the Svensi Sword.
The Svensi Sword, a powerful weapon that when wielded gives the handler enough power to be called the Spirit of Life. Throughout time, many have sought after the mystical treasure but none have ever found it. The only one knowing of it's carefully guarded whereabouts, the past Spirit of Life, passed from the world and never revealed the whereabouts.
Now the creatures grow restless as news of a man, chosen to marry a kind and beautiful princess, disappears without a trace; a prince, an uncrowned King. Fear Wolves fight at the barriers of the spirit realm and pass through the gates into the human world to escape what is blowing in the wind. None quake at the coming of the Spirit of Life, for it's return is a blessing and balm to a chaotic world, it is the Spirit Wolf. For the coming of the Spirit Wolf, as legend foretells, means death.
--- --- --- --- ---
Koatah Remington, adopted at the age of ten, had grown into a beautiful woman. She'd outgrown the awkward stage of her teens, her eyes now looked like they belonged in her face, and had matured with grace and dignity. Being small for her age before, she'd received the blessing of a growth spurt at seventeen and now, at nineteen, was a beautiful woman with the body to match.
Her light brown hair was now to the middle of her back and silky smooth in it's length. Her willowy frame was tall for a girl but not awkwardly tall and her eyes greener than ever; sparkling emeralds set in flawless skin.
Her parents, Christopher and Liska, had spoiled her rotten but still taught her to work hard. Moving through high school eagerly, she started college as soon as she finished and was studying to become a psychologist. Her gift, that began on her journey with Syren and Suhi, had grown incredibly and news of it spread to the city.
Bram, now her cousin, often came out to bring her evidence from cases and enlisted her help to punish dangerous criminals and murderers. At seventeen, she became an honorary member of the police department. And still, through all the things going on in her life, she managed to practise archery and become proficient on the back of a horse. Her father, had even taken it one step further and enlisted the help of a European tutor to teach her to wield a sword properly, making her dangerous with almost any kind of blade.
To the neighbouring families, it must have appeared strange to see father and daughter duelling when they drove by but nobody said a word. She supposed that his decision to hire this tutor had come after she told them of her journey and the things that she had seen. They accepted what she said for truth, and listened eagerly to her tales of Syren and Suhi.
Nine years had passed and she hadn't seen them again. She'd seen others, moving silently through the people of the world, but never Syren or Suhi. It made her heart ache, the thought of seeing them again; they were her only friends for that part of her life. She vowed that one time, she would return and look for them but only when she was ready to face whatever lie ahead alone, and that would take more practice.
Koatah sighed and rolled onto her back, taking the journal with her. Pyjamas still on, while the sun began to lift on the horizon, she tucked the little book and pen into her nightstand. Green eyes falling on her bow, she smirked slightly; after all this time, it was never out of reach just like Brinks had told her. She never really knew what had happened after she got sick. Suhi had told her that Syren remembered and left it at that, but she had to admit that she was still curious.
Sitting up and stretching, she screamed as the door burst open and Bram came rushing in. Throwing himself on the bed, he bounced her into the air and off it. Landing gracefully on her feet, she gave him a dark look as he grinned boyishly from her messed covers, cinnamon bun smeared on his lips as he tore off a steaming chunk and devoured it.
"It's time to get up." he said, chewing loudly.
She rolled her eyes.
"Shouldn't you be working? And honestly, you're a grown man and a little too old to be jumping on my bed like you did when I was a kid."
He mimicked her eye rolling.
"You've never been a kid, since the day I met you. Besides, acting young keeps you young at heart." he paused to gain his feet, bouncing slightly as he did so. "Plus, I've got two weeks vacation and my family is out of country, so you're stuck with me."
"You need a girlfriend." she muttered, earning a scowl from him.
"What did you say?"
She paled and backed towards the door, ready to bolt.
He stalked her, face dark with a frown.
"I could have sworn that I heard something about a girlfriend. A shot perhaps? An insult?"
Smiling sheepishly, she took two quick steps and turned to run.
"I did no such thing."
He was thundering after her, almost knocking Christopher down as he came out of the study with a handful of papers. He whirled and some scattered to the floor as the two went racing by, Koatah screaming loudly for someone to save her.
"Bram." sighed the older man tiredly. His hair had been replaced with more grey, but his face was still handsome despite it. "Can't you do that outside?"
He didn't get an answer but then he didn't expect one as they hit the end of the stairs and turned abruptly to the right, heading to the kitchen.
"Liska! Incoming!" he called the warning, then bent to pick his scattered papers.
--- --- --- --- ---
Koatah skidded into the kitchen and ducked behind Liska, who spun with her wooden spoon and bopped Bram on the forehead, frowning at him.
"How old are you? Twelve?"
He smiled sheepishly and rubbed at the food stuck to his forehead.
"I never would have believed that." snorted the woman, turning to face Koatah. "And you, I'll be lucky if my cake isn't flat as a pancake, all that thundering of footsteps."
She had the decency to blush darkly.
"I feared for my life."
Liska snorted and moved past them to the counter to set her spoon aside. The two had grown closer, like a brother and sister because of their identical circumstances. Bram had also been adopted by Christopher's brother when he was around Koatah's age and they'd had identical upbringing before that; with the exception of her little journey to the unknown. Now they were terrorists when together, causing chaos wherever they went despite the large age gap, Bram had never acted his age except when at work.
"Sit down and eat something and for the love of God, lets try to be civilized for a moment." ordered Liska, moving to the breakfast pan.
Christopher came in, scowling darkly behind his stylish glasses.
"Two more dead this morning."
Koatah's eyes widened in shock and Bram frowned darkly as he grew serious.
Christopher nodded and sat slowly, removing his glasses to set them aside.
"I'm going to have to hire someone to catch them." he mumbled tiredly. "That's four cows in three days, I've never had anything like this happen before and it shows no sign of stopping. It just keeps getting worse and I'll have no herd left if I don't do something now."
Liska set out some plates.
"Do whatever you have to, honey." she said simply, agreeing that something needed to be done.
He smiled warmly at her and Koatah didn't miss the loving look they shot each other. It warmed her heart that after so many years, the two were still very much in love. The fact made her wishing for something like that for her, if she was lucky.
"I'm going out to practice with my bow after we eat." she declared in the silence, bringing eyes to her as she filled her plate to heaping.
"Sure thing, Robin Chick."
She scowled at him around a mouthful of food.
"Just so you know, it's Robin Woman. Woman. Not chick, what do I look like? Some bobble-headed twit?"
He shrugged and smirked.
"You said it, not me."
Christopher cleared his throat loudly to distract them from destroying the kitchen for a moment.
"What are you going to do, Bram?"
The young man sighed heavily and scratched his chest in a lazy fashion, he wasn't eating because he'd already wolfed down so many of his Aunt's cinnamon buns that he was full.
"I'll take the rifle out and see if I can help you with this wolf thing." he decided. "I'm still one hell of a shot, even though I'm used to shooting my pistol."
Christopher chuckled and nodded.
"It would be much appreciated. I might as well use your skills why you're here."
--- --- --- --- ---
Suhi watched as the beautiful horse moved down the archery lane. She'd watched Koatah do this before, and always marvelled at how much she'd grown. Dropping the reins and lifting her bow, her aim was always deadly as she rode past the targets, so comfortable on horseback that she didn't need the security of the reins in her hands.
Brinks would have been proud of her too.
The thought of the one-eyed man made her blush. He was getting more persistent with his chasing her and she didn't care. She longed to just give in but the laws forbid it, and she wouldn't risk the wrath of the Phantom.
The Phantom was a lone being that enforced the laws written for the spirit realm. He chased down rogue spirits and troublesome creatures that made life difficult, but he had no conscience and wouldn't spare her for the sake of love. If the Spirit of Life were around, Suhi could plead her case and probably win but it wasn't.
The missing prince.
A shiver coursed through her at the thought. It was surely one of the signs and now the trouble with Fear Wolves crossing over, it only meant one thing; the Spirit Wolf was indeed returning. Dark times lay in wait, unless they do something about it. But the only people who seemed to really care were her, Syren, and Brinks. They took turns patrolling the gates but manpower was thin; the reason she'd come to speak with Koatah.
She knew it was a lot to ask, but she had to enlist the girl's help. Syren would kill her, of course, but Fear Wolves could not be allowed to come into contact with humans. The consequences were too evil to think about.
--- --- --- --- ---
Koatah ignored the sweat on her brow and focused on the new target her father had set up, thinking she wouldn't see it. The ache in her arms was lovely, and something that she relished in after not having practised for a while. Drawing an arrow, she steered her horse with her legs, bringing him around on the target as she released. Realizing a little too late that it was Suhi standing there.
She gasped as her arrow whistled and panic engulfed her at the thought of her dear friend being run through. But the beautiful spirit was too quick and brought her Semamoon from nowhere, deflecting the arrow into the tree trunk level with her head. Koatah pulled the billowing gelding to a halt and slid from the saddle.
"Are you nuts?" she asked flatly. "I could've killed you! You shouldn't be hiding in the shadows like a villain."
Suhi chuckled as her weapon folded into thin air and reached for the arrow, pulling it from the tree easily.
"It was a nice shot, but I suspected as much when I saw the horse turn. You've gotten very good, Brinks would be proud."
Koatah blushed and couldn't contain herself any more, she squealed with joy and hugged her tightly.
"I missed you so much!" she cried, overjoyed. "How have you been? Is everything okay?"
She chuckled and hugged the girl back lovingly before stepping away.
"Everything is fine with me and I see that they are for you too."
Koatah nodded quickly, brushing a loose strand of hair behind her ear.
"I've never been so happy." she admitted. "Liska and Christopher are wonderful."
"You look beautiful."
She blushed darkly.
"So I've been told, I don't see what the big deal is about." at Suhi's chuckle, she smirked mischievously. "How's Brinks? Have you two gotten together yet or what?"
It was the spirit's turn to blush darkly.
"Uh, he's good. I came to talk to you about something important." she replied quickly, changing the topic. "The Fear Wolves, something has them spooked and they're breaking through the barrier that keeps them contained to the spirit realm. Normally I wouldn't ask you to do this, but nobody seems to notice the strange behaviour except for Syren, myself, and Brinks. We're running low on manpower and I was wondering if you'd watch over this gateway." she frowned slightly. "I hate to ask you, but it's important."
Koatah nodded immediately.
"That's no problem but why is it so important? Are you going to tell me?"
"If spirit blood and human blood mix, then the fanciful creatures that you call werewolves aren't so fanciful anymore. There's already been one because Syren was between gates and he had to chase it down before it could make others. It's imperative that you be very careful, Koatah. I'd hate to see Syren have to chase you down because of this."
The girl nodded slowly, her heart racing at the mention of Syren's name but her face remaining nonchalant.
"How is Syren? Have you seen him around lately?"
Suhi smiled becomingly, wise to her ploy.
"Syren, is Syren." she admitted. "At first there was a great change in him, now he's the same as always. Just a little more tolerant and a little less angry but that's better than nothing."
Koatah nodded, but her feelings were hurt. She missed Syren, a lot since they parted ways and even more that she knew he was floating around and hadn't bothered to come visit. It was a little more proof that she was nothing but a passing moment in his life, whereas he had changed hers forever.
"That's good to know. If you see him, tell him that he should come by and visit sometime and not be a stranger." she paused to smirk mischievously again. "Or I'll have to try and find him again."
Suhi rolled her eyes.
"I wouldn't do that. When I said he'd changed, I meant a little not a miracle."
Koatah laughed gaily and moved to the horse, swinging herself into the saddle.
"I'll watch the gate for you, don't worry about a thing."
"Please be careful, Koatah." said the spirit seriously, stroking the horse's nose subconsciously. "It's important that you don't get hurt. Syren would never forgive me for asking."
She snorted and turned the horse away to leave.
"He'd just be mad that he never got the chance to inflict some pain on me himself."
--- --- --- --- ---
Koatah headed up to her room after riding past the gate and treating her horse to a good rub down in the stable. She hadn't seen Bram or anyone else on her way up, they must've went into town for a movie or something. Tired and stinking, she shut her bedroom door and headed to her bathroom to run a hot bubble bath; something to soothe her aching muscles after the vigorous workout.
Running the water, she stripped from her riding clothes and wrinkled her nose at how much they smelt like horse. Tossing them away, into the hamper, she let her hair down and moved into her room to grab her pyjama's. Something in the corner of the room caught her eye and she froze, wearing nothing but her underwear.
Syren inhaled sharply as he stared with wide eyes from the depths of his cloak. He'd been stupid to sneak up on her like that but he hadn't thought she'd be naked when he got there. Despite knowing that it was wrong and inappropriate, now that he saw her, he couldn't look away.
She obviously didn't recognize him because she reached for the bow she'd brought up with her and loaded an arrow, taking aim at him despite her state of undress.
"Who are you?" she demanded softly, looking like a warrior goddess as she stood there with her hair falling around her shoulders, almost to her waist.
He broke his gaze from her and turned around slowly, before she decided to shoot.
"It's me, girl, put that thing down before you hurt yourself."