4 Chapter 4

The snowy forests were vast and intricate. Hundreds of men could be silently swallowed up in the endless falling snow.

As a beast I had little trouble finding my way around, but an ordinary human would easily find themselves wandering lost amidst the ice and leaves.

The inheritance of the wolf had a few pieces of knowledge regarding human beings.

Sometimes the strange creatures that walked on two feet would hurl burning balls of light that could consume a wolf whole if not dealt with. They also held long shiny objects in their hairless claws, slashing out with them when they felt threatened. The long and shiny objects were as sharp as a wolf's claws.

Alone, the ugly creatures could pose little threat to a wolf. Like wolves however the creatures rarely hunted alone, relying on the strength of their own pack the two-footed creatures could contend with the strength of the wolf pack.

While they tasted delicious the ugly creatures had little meat on their bones. It was not wise to endanger the pack for such a small meal.

Unfortunately for humans, wolves did not rely just on their sharp claws. Cunning and trickery allowed wolves to hunt their prey in a variety of ways.

Humans were at odds with the freezing environment of the forest. They did not belong in a world filled with ice and snow.

From the moment they entered the forest, the strength of humans' begun to dwindle. Hunger, cold and fear gradually sapped even the bravest men of their strength.

Hiding in the darkness the wolves would stalk their prey, preventing them from getting any more than a few hours rest. Over the coming days the humans' voices would become louder and more vicious, sometimes without a single scratch from a wolf's claw they would turn on each other with their silvery weapons.

The excited howls of the pack would echo in the forest as they toyed with the last few survivors.

Standing on all fours I was a little over 7 feet in length. The king of the forest deserved his title and was a huge mass of fur and muscle nearly 10 feet long.

His huge body and tonnage meant a glancing blow could deal a fatal blow to an ordinary wolf. The alpha with his larger size would be barely able to escape with it's life.

Due to his sheer size the king of the forest was difficult to kill. Dealing any real damage would require cutting through the thick layer of fat and muscle that protected his vital organs.

I had the clear advantage in speed and agility, the huge bear would struggle to land a blow so long as I acted cautiously.

Wolves were born hunters, towards the huge brown bear I felt only eagerness. There was no fear or nervousness in my heart.

Several wolves from other nearby packs had contributed themselves to the red flame. All I needed now was the soul of the huge bear to undergo a second fusion.

The creatures of the forest could no longer keep up with my rapid growth speed. The red flame occasionally transmitted a feeling of hunger; it wanted more.

After fusing the bloodline of the king of the forest it would be time to explore beyond the snowy trees. Otherwise I could only rely on the gradual accumulation of ordinary souls to achieve the next fusion.

The red flame whispered of dragons lurking in towering mountains and foul monsters sleeping in swamps and bogs. These supernatural creatures would become the fuel to drive my continued growth.

'After I take care of that lumbering bear I can think about those things. For now I must remain focused.' I chided myself.

The bear's den loomed in front of me. Deep and slow snores echoed from the mouth of the cave.

I felt the faint vibrations in the ground as the king of the forest started to stir. All animals in the forest understood that the huge bear was not to be provoked. Only another bear competing for his territory would disturb the sleep of the forest king.

The mixture of scents that emanated from my body were no doubt confusing the bear's simple mind.

Fighting in the bear's den would negate my advantages as a more nimble creature. Our battle would begin once it left its cave.

After roaring several times to scare off the unwanted visitor the bear finally lost its temper.

Thundering footsteps shook the earth and huge amounts of snow were dislodged from the treetops.

The bear's hot breath wound upwards like twin plumes of smoke. It's eyes contained undisguised hatred at having been forcefully woken from its peaceful sleep.


For a moment my heart stopped at the bear's deafening cry.

Anger surged within me.

'Do you think I'm prey delivering myself to your doorstep! Your blood will taste delicious!'

I howled ferociously, fully unleashing the savagery within me. I would not tolerate disrespect to my pride. Not even from the king of the forest.

I leapt towards the bear and watched as his slow-witted brain seemed to break when he saw his prey taking the initiate to attack.

My claws raked down the left side of his face, gouging deep wounds. Immediately I had robbed him of half his sight.

Adrenaline and rage flooded the bear's body and one of his paw's ripped through the air and towards my skull.

Pain gave the king of the forest unmatched strength and though I jumped back at the first moment his claws found purchase in my side.

I howled with fury. The wounds were not fatal but his claws had pierced deep. Every movement I made sent sharp waves of pain coursing through me.

The huge bear dug his claws into the earth and roared, charging forwards with his teeth bared.

I lowered myself to my haunches and snarled as he came closer. The bear's great bounding strides meant I could feel his putrid breath on my face just seconds later.

At the last moment I hurled my body to the side, dodging his enraged charge.

The advantage of intelligence was vividly displayed as the bear found himself trapped by his own momentum.


The trunk of a broad and old oak splintered into pieces as the bear's shoulder crashed into it.

I watched as the tall tree fell to the forest floor.

Dazed and shaken by the impact the bear furiously tossed it's head from side to side while roaring constantly, trying to dispell the foggy feeling that interfered with it's thoughts.

The bear took several unbalanced steps as it tried to regain its bearings. Despite the pain and confusion the bear instinctively knew to protect its remaining eye.

I could only chose another target.

I raced forwards with zig-zagging steps, the changing movements strained the bear's one eye and as I came closer it struggled to keep me in its vision.

Suddenly the bear roared, shedding it's wounded disguise and raising itself onto it's hind legs. In the next moment it would slam it's front paws down to the earth and hear the cracking of my skull.

That was exactly what I wanted.

As if released from some invisible shackles I exploded with speed and threw myself at the bear's exposed belly.

I tore and ripped at the more vulnerable soft skin, straining myself to inflict as much damage as possible.

The bear realised it's mistake but it was too late.

Warm blood sloshed from its wounded belly and stained the forest floor. Fear shone in its round eyes.

It's fate was sealed.

The huge bear roared and swung it's paws endlessly, seeming to not know fatigue or pain. In its dying throes an animal was often at its most dangerous, I chose to keep my distance, only occasionally leaving a few minor wounds on its body while the king of the forest took it's last breaths.

Finally, after struggling fiercely for nearly an hour the great beast could take it no longer.

It's final roar was one of helplessness and sorrow.

'I'm sorry it had to be like this.'

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