Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:28 pm
By Snakeeater420. Edited and Polished by A.C.
The Legend of One Fang
Beaming down on the lush green forest the sun was full and bright. The giant pine and oak trees shaded the Iapapa and Wiki bushes from the light while mosses and creepers thrived in the rich soil as they covered any stray boulders and stumps. Such a place should have been flourishing with the natural scents and sounds of a thousand different animals: feeding, breeding, moving, and living life as they were instinctively taught. But this particular day was no ordinary day. Their innate order of life was suddenly interrupted by a thunderous boom from atop the rocky mountain. A ghostly smoke was seen rolling gently down the slope like a cascading wave. All that dwelled in the forest sensed the impending danger from the ominous warning and retreated from their homes in panic frenzy…All but one.
One Fang barreled down the slopes as fast as he could while weaving in and out of the trees and leaping over obstacles that stood in his escape. His muscles, as hard as iron, strained under his singed black and grey fur with every step. He could feel his blood flow freely against his matted fur from half a dozen fresh wounds as well as an angry red burn welting. His heart raced wildly in his burning chest, making him wish the same speed would carry his weary legs for he knew what was chasing him and to slow down his pace would be his death.
The deafening burst of a Wiki bush exploding to his right jolted his nostalgic thoughts back to the violent present. He endured the shocking shower of embers as he shot through the flaming brush, aiming for the protective cover of an ancient river bed he had mentally noted on his way up the treacherous mountain. In just another hundred meters he could follow it all the back to the open meadows. With the rocks and banks of the river, he wouldn't have to worry about the constant fire blasts. And once he reached the safety of the plains, he could run freely without the troubles of dodging the infuriating foliage. The open range of the vast plains dashing at full speed, even this particular evil beast could never catch him there. Another hundred meters....
One Fang didn't even make it another ten. The earth rumbled unexpectedly and shot up in front of him like a wall, sending the wolf hurling to the ground. He tried to regain his stance, but the laws of nature defied him once more as the ground shifted and broke beneath him. In fear, One Fang watched as the ground fractured into a spider-web design. As the soil settled and the shaking subsided it was soon replaced by a rhythmic pounding, coming closer with each threatening beat. Courageously, One Fang jumped up from the ground and faced the increasing sound, well aware of what was coming despite the thick smoke that hid the unseen force like a cloak.
Earlier, when One Fang had first begun following the mole's scent he had no idea the tunnel floor would collapse beneath his feet and send him cascading into a large lava-filled cavern. Fortunately, he managed to land on one of many small islands of rock in the molten stone sea that surrounded the hellish area. After carefully getting up to find everything in working order, he moved from stone to stone wondering how he would scale the shear wall to his exit about twenty meters above. Engrossed in his search, he failed to notice the rising mass bubbling from the center of the magma ocean until the monster was fully emerged.
Enormous was the first word to cross One Fang’s mind. At least four times his own height, the giant beast towered over One Fang like a fully grown pine tree. Overcoming the shock of the beast’s height, One Fang’s eyes scanned the beast’s body covered with thick red plates separated by thick black lines. It stood boldly on its hind legs exposing its white under belly that ran from his chin to his massive tail. Gleaming rows of spikes protruded down both sides of its body like armor. Large, paddle-like arms hung by its sides as it showed off the razor talons still dripping liquid magma that hung at the end of each digit. As if the beast’s body was not intimidating enough, One Fang dreadfully made contact to his foe’s face only to find something more terrible. Resting above a stout neck was a salivating mouth as wide as wolf’s body filled with two rows of sharp teeth stained with blood from past adversaries. The hair on the back of One Fang’s neck stood like needles. Gathering as much courage as he could, he scuffed his feet and snarled; escape plans forgotten. Hunters never surrender. In the next few moments, the two opponents faced off in a tense stance, observing their foe while waiting for the opportune moment to attack. Unable to control his inbuilt rage any longer, the Red beast roared and pounced.
The first battle had not gone well. To anyone watching the event would undoubtedly place their bets on the raging beast that obviously had the upper hand in size and defenses. One might even wonder why the wolf even chose to attempt victory; the outcome seemed inevitable. Desperate to survive, One Fang jumped from rock to rock, slashing and biting his foe to little effect. He dodged lava and rock, barely able to maintain his balance on land. Several minutes in, the unfortunate reality sunk in as One Fang sensed that victory was just false hope. His normally strong stamina was rapidly deteriorating with every blow, bite, and leap away from the unrelenting beast. Accepting his drawing death, One Fang braced himself for the final launch attack, determined to hurt his killer before dying. Staring deep into his killer’s eyes, One Fang leapt into the air. Without warning, a back-handed swipe caught him mid-air which sent him crashing through the roof and back into the tunnel. Caught in a whirlwind of fear and despair, One Fang had done something he had never done in battle before. After regaining composure, he fled without a second thought and ran as fast as he could.
And even now, as the behemoth approached, One Fang wondered what he, a lone ranger, could possibly do against a foe that ten packs of wolves couldn't bring down themselves. He couldn't run any more, not with the cramp that had formed a burning sensation in his side or the air that has been long exhausted from his lungs. Running hadn't done any good for him anyway and he knew why…Every battle he fought in, he learned as the Hunter and not as the Hunted. Prey ran away and he had never been prey before. He knew nothing about being prey. Running had definitely been a mistake. As the beast got closer, One Fang realized that he had allowed his fear of this giant get the better of him. There was only one thing left for One Fang to do in order to increase the already small possibility of surviving. One Fang must hunt this huge, red prey as he would hunt any other prey.
The red beast emerged from the curtain of smoke, caught his prey in sight and raised his head in a roar as light began gathering in his mouth for an attack. Uneager to wait and see what new attack was coming his way, One Fang threw himself up against a tree, rebounding off it toward his foe. A beam of light past beneath him and shattered the tree he just bounced off from. For a few seconds, the shocked wolf smelled the green growth of the forest instead of the stifling haze of smoke. The laser-like light attack was a strong offense. He pushed the thought from his mind, landed, and charged his foe.
Fortunately, the white belly did not have the red, rock hard plates of armor like the rest of the beast’s body. To One Fang’s rising hope, he could not believe he had not noticed the weakness before. Not only was it unguarded, it was also the biggest target area available to One Fang. For obvious reasons, prey never allowed their soft parts to be attacked and that was why the beast could never let the wolf reach it. The idea of One Fang reaching Red's underside would be critical and possibly fatal. For once, the odds could be in One Fang’s favor.
The wolf's lungs burned and his blood boiled as he ran full steam toward the white target. His panting tried to cool his over-heated body but to no avail. By the Ancestors! It was hot! Where had this scorched weather come from? It had been overcast with the hint of rain when he had first entered the tunnels. Nighttime was also seeking its reign while day began its rest. Now the sun shone like a midday summer drought! One Fang could only ignore the rising heat as he charged his opponent. He could not let some measly degrees damper his combat.
Red saw the attack coming and roared ferociously. How dare something so insolent in comparison challenge him? Ignoring the bellowing sound of the beast, One Fang kept on coming at full speed. At ten meters, the beast realized that the impending assault was not just an empty threat so he raised his razor-sharp claws to defend. Even though One Fang charged at incredible speed, he knew that the possibility of reaching the beast’s belly for a final fatal blow before four sharp claws ripped through his own body would be short of a miracle. But the dreadful thought did not dissuade One Fang as he continued racing on to get within range of that deathly arm.
The distance was closing and the attack was inevitable. Slightly taken aback by the daring charge, the Red behemoth could not allow his prey to succeed. The mighty arm began its downward strike with the intent to counteract the attack. Four gleaming scythes aimed for the courageous assailant, ready to strike with no mercy.
One Fang dug his claws into the dirt to slow himself down. In the blink of an eye, he pounced upwards and leapt up onto the arm. His feet perched momentarily on the moving platform and then launched through the air again bringing him to the heights of Red's shoulders. His feet paused for a split second before launching the wolf once more to the head of the beast. The blood-thirsty teeth of the wolf finally found a place to strike and sank itself into the behemoth's eye.
The red beast roared but it was different from all the other sounds it had made before. This was agony. This was pain. This one had a hint of defeat. As Red stepped back in his cry, the wolf's claws gripped between the armor-like plates and launched One Fang into the air one final time. The renewed Hunter's body twisted until he found himself sailing over the beast whose mouth was open wide. It was there One Fang delivered his own dark energy blast straight down the beast's throat.
As One Fang contorted his body so his feet fell first, the smoke and debris overwhelmed his senses. He slammed hard on the ground which came moments before he thought it would. This pain was nothing. He had won. In a twist of fate, the hunted was slain and the heroic but wounded hunter had prevailed. Finally, One Fang was able to rest allowing the wind to cool his over-exhausted body so he could take pride in his victory over his greatest challenge.
The gratification was short-lived. While lost in his consumption of victory, Red came bellowing out of the smoke and took him in his teeth. A vicious shaking later, a confused One Fang was tossed to the ground. He barely managed to roll to one side as a stream of fire hit the ground where he had been tossed. A second shock of earth threw him into the air. Before he landed, a cruel swipe slammed him into a tree. Shear instinct is what kept him from dying right there. Although in excruciating pain, the wolf rolled to safety as a follow up blow destroyed the tree. Like an acrobat, he leapt and danced between fire and earth during the never-ending assault. Every step and dodge from the next blow became crucial in timing. The single red eye of his foe glared in hatred. Forgetting his bravery, One Fang began running again because it seemed he could do nothing to regain the offensive. A rock suddenly lifted him from the ground and an explosive fire ball struck him. He flew through the air and slammed against a moss covered rock far from the forest's edge.
Force of will brought the haggard wolf to his feet. He would not die on his back in shame. He immediately noticed he was placed on a crevice over-looking the sea. He could jump to escape but favored to die fighting. Although battered and beaten, he still might be able hurt his foe once more.
Never again be prey. The Hunter must now be the hunted.
The Red beast broke through the trees and prepared itself for the final blow. One Fang’s only hope was that Red would try the sweet smelling attack again. It was the only attack the wolf had a chance to hurt him before he died.
The beast spewed fire assault after fire assault. The wolf danced around them. He was through with running. This time he waited. A few ill-guarded moments found Red's belly slashed, his eyes blinded, and his head assaulted but none of these attacks would have won the battle for One Fang. Finally, one faulty strike blasted the wolf into the side of a rock. He feigned defeat and waited. Sensing closing victory, the behemoth raised his head and evoked his weapon of light. As the head began to lower, One Fang shot up and plowed his whole body into Red's lower jaw causing it to lock shut it as the beam began to form.
Annihilate his foe, it did not, but because the incredible pain caused the beast to thrash about in such a rage, the cliff face crumbled, sending both warriors to fall in the ocean below.
How long after, One Fang didn't know. But when he awoke, he found himself on the beach, far below where he could only assume the cliff face had once been. There was no sign of the red beast, only a fat, flopping fish shared his solitude. One Fang knew how terrible this type of fish tasted but he picked it up anyway in his jaws and limped towards the inland. Clouds had gathered above and as rain started to fall, somehow he felt better.