A/N: I decided to finish up this story because it seems to have gotten a bit popular. Although it was just a side story to a minor character from another story, I really liked how it turned out. You will definitely see Arashi in more stories. Thanks for reading and please review! Oh, yeah. Sorry about the very similar names. I had already named the second character in the main story.
"I am Hiroshi. I understand you have a half-breed problem," a dark-haired man addresses the tavern owner.
"Yes," the owner replies with a nervous nod. He is slightly surprised at the appearance of the Society warrior who responded to the summons. He wouldn't think of Hiroshi as a warrior at first glance because of his regal appearance. He seems to be middle-aged, with a long, black goatee and long, black hair kept loosely tied at the nape of his neck. The tavern owner can definitely feel an air of authority from the warrior, however. Maybe he's an alpha and his pack is nearby.
"Does the half-breed know that he's not welcomed?" Hiroshi continues to question the owner with a piercing stare from his icy-blues eyes, a physical trait of all water-types. There is a tone of detest in the warrior's words. As a member of the Society, he is obligated to obey and uphold the laws of any human or inukonjou village he's serving, even the unjust ones such as this. With an organized group of half-breed warriors, it's imperative that they maintain the trust of both races. How else could they keep the peace?
"No," the tavern owner lowers his head. "He's very large and intimidating. He also showed signs of aggression. I thought it was better to just contact the Society."
"That was a good idea," the water-type warrior says. "It's better to play it safe than to do something that may further antagonize him." Hiroshi makes his way to the staircase leading to the sleeping quarters. The tavern owner calls to him.
"Wait. I have other guests. Don't you need me to show you which rooms he's in?"
"That won't be necessary. Those with inukonjou blood have a special aura called yōkai. I know exactly where to find him. I'll also make sure the other guests are not disturbed."
The tavern owner nods his head in understanding and relief. The sooner he gets rid of that half-breed and those mongrels he brought with him, the better.
Hiroshi follows the yōkai trail upstairs and quickly locates his target's room. He carefully opens the door and finds the sleeping quarters in disarray. The table and chairs are badly damaged and tipped over with torn, dirty clothing scattered about. The water-type warrior chuckles at what he finds in the bed.
Arashi sleeps soundly, likely exhausted from tending for the four newborn pups. The pups are cuddled beneath the fire-type warrior, but the sound of Hiroshi's snicker has awakened the male pup. The baby half-breed immediately barks at the intruder, alerting his sisters. The rest of the pups awaken and follow their brother's lead. The four pups bark and growl at Hiroshi as they keep themselves between him and their caregiver. Hiroshi lets out a sigh, so much for not disturbing the other guests.
"Get up, you lazy mutt," Hiroshi cannot believe Arashi is sleeping through the ear-piercing barks. "And call off your pups."
"About time," Arashi groans as he slowly sits up. The fire-type warrior rubs his tired eyes and gives Hiroshi a disappointed glance. "Why did they send you?"
Unbeknownst to the tavern owner, Hiroshi is actually not a Society warrior; he's a full-blood in human form. Hiroshi attempts to reply, but the pups' deafening barks make it impossible. Arashi grabs the male pup.
"Enough, Mamoru," Arashi commands sternly. The pup immediately quiets his barks, causing his sisters to follow suite. The litter begins to lick Arashi's face for approval.
"Mamoru? You named them?" Hiroshi asks, a bit surprised.
"I was stuck with them for a week," Arashi retorts. "What else could I do?" The young warrior grabs a nearby piece of cloth and, to Hiroshi's astonishment, spits up food in it. He carefully places it on the foot of the bed. The pups hurry to their meal and begin to eat. The fire-type warrior points at the female pup with the longest hair.
"This one is Yuri," he begins.
Hiroshi simply stares at Arashi. He sounds like a new father proudly introducing his litter.
"This is Kaede," Arashi continues, pointing at the spikey-haired, female pup. "And the runt is Tamiko. I did her pigtails myself." The young warrior notices Hiroshi's odd stare. "What?"
"N... nothing," Hiroshi stammers, not wanting to discourage the warrior's fatherly side. "The tavern owner made a summons to get rid of you, but the Society's investigation showed that you had orphaned pups. They asked for me to find them homes and apply any necessary healing."
Hiroshi has the ability to redirect yōkai to hasten healing. It's a skill that's extremely rare and exclusive to water-types. He is also one of the few full-bloods that support the Society's cause. Hiroshi made himself an outcast when he married a human, so he sympathizes with half-breeds. He remained married to his wife until she died of old age; for inukonjous can live for centuries. During that time, he founded a city where humans and half-breeds can live together in peace. The city, Yasuishi, is an alternative for half-breeds who do not desire the life of a warrior at the Society.
"Yasuishi doesn't have an orphanage, if I remember correctly," Arashi says with concern for the pups.
"I've found families that are willing to raise the pups as their own," the full-blood replies. He purposely avoided developing an orphanage in his city. He prefers to place parentless half-breeds with adoptive families.
"Families?" Arashi questions, emphasizing the plural. "So they won't be together?"
"Don't be naïve, Arashi. There's no way I can find a single family that can take on four earth-type pups. A litter this big coming from a human mother is unheard of."
"Then they're staying with me."
"You heard me, Hiroshi. They will stay with me at the Society."
"Not all half-breeds get the mark of the beast. How would they become elemental warriors without a spiritual weapon?"
"Each of them has the heart of a warrior, even the runt. I can feel it."
"So, I'm just here to escort you to the Society?"
"You got it. We can ride on your back in your beast form."
Hiroshi shakes his head, surprised and not at the same time. It's true that fire-types prefer to be loners, but they are also notorious for their stubbornness. The man before him as already made his decision; there's nothing more he can do but support him.
"Fine," the water-types says concededly. "Just leave enough money to pay for the damages your pups made."
This ends the story of how an unlikely, young warrior starts one of the most powerful and feared packs of the Elemental Warrior's Society, later known as Pack 15. What adventures are in store for them?
A/N: To those who had read Puppy Love and Uncharted Waters. Yes. That is the same Mamoru!
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