Well folks, here it is. The concluding chapter of "For the Blood of the South. I just want to take a moment to thank you all for making this the most reviewed story on the A and O archive, for all you have taught me and all the Ideas you inspired, I thank you. Now... to write the sequel.
Chapter 60: Repercussions
Shade screamed in agony.
His world flashed, fire washed through his body with lethal swiftness.
"Make it stop!" He screamed into the Darkness...
Shade convulsed, never had he felt pain as intense as this.
One second he had been walking through the feeding grounds, the next, pain urched him from every direction.
The pain only grew stronger, until Shade felt as if his body was being burnt away.
Suddenly...the pain stopped.
Shade whimperd in pain, staring into the dark.
"Whe...where am I..." he asked weakly.
The voice that responded made his blood freeze and his heart stop. The sound of screams, of death, of pain and suffering infused into one horrid voice.
"You...have...been chosen child..." It whisperd, it's voice faint, as if coming from far away.
"I've been chosen for what!" Shade screamed, fear gripping him.
The voice laughed, a sound that mimicked the sound of bones snapping and blood surging to the ground in wet slaps.
"The...Reaper...is dead child..."
Shade stopped breathing "My uncle...is dead? How, no it can't be true, he was the Reaper! The Reaper can't be killed,"
The voice sighed, the sound of dead leaves. "It is...possible child...and it...has happened..."
Emotional pain flooded out his throbbing body, and Shade began to cry,"
"Stop that...child...you are...so young...do not worry...I will teach...you...everything...I know...You will...grow strong...and become...powerful,"
Sudden realization hit Shade... "I-I'm the n-new r-eaper?..."
"Yeesss child..." the voice responded, sounding slightly happier.
"But... my uncle..."
"Diablo...served...us well...he has...forever...earned...a seat...within...our...council. Fear...not...for your uncle,"
Shade stared into the dark..."Where are you, I can't see you,"
The voice laughed again "Ah...sweet...youthful...ignorance...you can child...I am all around you, I...am with you,"
Shade nodded, "So I am the new reaper...why do I feel no different?"
"First...you...must learn...and kill..."
Shade stood firm, accepting his new responsibility "I understand...teach me..."
"That...I shall do...child...as...you may...know...each Reaper...is gifted...with their own talent...Your uncle's...was the...ability to...open door ways...that peered...into...the soul,"
Shade nodded his head, remembering his Uncles ability to change his appearence, and voice.
"As...the new...Reaper...you...will be...assigned your...own...talent,"
Shade smiled, excitement rising through him in a storm. Maybe he would be able to breathe fire, like the legendary Rahoul, or maybe kill with a look, like the famous Gursalus.
"So what's my power!" Blurted Shade excitedly. All thoughts of pain swept aside.
"All...in...good time...child," The voice responded.
Shade frowned, an uneasy thought sprouting in his mind... "Will I go mad? ...Like my uncle did?"
"Your...uncle... was not...mad...he was...power hungry...our...power...can be...overwhelming...if called...upon...to often..."
"I understand," Shade said, making a mental note not to overuse his power once he had it.
"So...what happens now...?" Shade asked, feeling uncertain.
"Now...you must...pay...allow us...into your life...so you...may serve...us..."
Shade nodded "I allow you into my life, so I may serve the darkness for all of eternity,"
"And so you will...child. Forget...your previous...life," The voice said, growing louder, and stronger, no longer sounding tired, but energized.
"Forget all in wich you...have loved, kill those...who oppose you...and send us their souls,"
"Rise from the darkness, reborn, and reap upon the world," The voice stated, much louder and mush stronger.
"Forget who you were and accept you are, a soilder and servent of the darkness," The darkness commanded, before rushing out to meet Shade.
Blood red eyes flashed in front of Shade's face before the darkness crashed down upon him.
Shade remembered the pain, and screamed.
Humphrey struggled to move as a black and silver wolf approached him slowley. The rain had subsided, leaving a grey haze over the world.
His body roared in pain, ever since Diablo had stabbed him, his body refused to move, and he was constantly plagued by racks of horrible pain.
His vision was blurry, but he could see the wolf was a girl, she was crying.
"P-lease, don't...kill me..." Humphrey pleaded, the pain racking up his chest.
The she wolf wiped a tear away from her left cheek and shocked Humphrey with a sad smile before shocking him further by hugging him.
"Thank you," she whispered "I'm not going to hurt you...I'm going to help you Humphrey."
"Ho-how do you know my name," he asked, as she pulled away from him.
"Don't talk Humphrey, or the poison will reach your heart faster,"
"...po-poison..." Humphrey asked, fear growing in his stomach.
"Yes," she smiled sadly "The rosery pea, if it is left untreated, you will be dead within the week,"
Humphrey frowned, What about Kate...
"Is there a cure?" he asked in a sad voice.
The she wolf frowned "Yes my dear...but it's very far away, I don't know if you would survive the journey,"
"But I thought you said you would help me...please...there's someone I need to get back to..."
"I had planned on helping you the same way you helped my friend...Diablo..."
"I didn't help him, I killed him," Humphrey said without a shred of regret.
"Oh but Humphrey you did, you freed him by putting him out of his misery," The beautiful she wolf help up one razor sharp claw. "I can try to get you the cure Humphrey, but you would go through pain in wich you have never felt before, ontop of that, I'm not sure you would survive. Or," She laid the tip of her nail against the side of Humphrey's head, "I could put you out of your misery,"
Humphrey knew the answer before he spoke "Please, try to get me to the cure,"
The she wolf frowned, "I understand, but first..." The wolf put her right paw gently against Humphrey's chest and took a deep breath.
Humphrey watched in horror as his gashes began to evaporate from his body...and appear on the she wolfs.
The deep slashes Diablo has recked across his chest were gone, along with their pain, as three red scratches spread across the she wolfs chest.
The stab wound stictched together, as the healing wolf let out a small breath of pain.
Soon, all of Humphrey's outer wounds were gone, now covering the beautiful wolfs black and silver fur. But not the poison, he could still feel it, coursing through his veins.
Blood ran out of her open wounds as she removed her paw from Humphrey's chest.
"Ho-how did you do that?" Humphrey asked in wonder.
"I learned it many years ago little one, now, we must be on our way if you are to have any hope of surviving this journey."
Humphrey nodded "What's your name," he asked quietly.
The bloodied she wolf took a lick at her wounds and Humphrey's blood ran cold as the skin began to stich itself back together.
"My name is Daren,"
"You-your just like him," Humphey said with horror.
"No Humphrey, I'm not. If I were, you would be dead, I promise you. I'm going to help you, and pay the debt I am in to you for helping my friend,"
Humphrey was about to say something when he heard voices coming from the woods that encircled the clearing.
"I have his scent!" someone screamed, a second before a number of wolves emerged from the woods, followed by some very familiar faces.
Kate was bloody and battle worn, he leg drenched in blood, but able to hold her wait.
Faith wasn't any better, covered in multiple cuts, a especially nasty would coverd the left side of he face.
Garth wasn't as bad, only a few cuts here and there.
Lily was almost unhurt, despite the minor cut across her cheek which bled weakly.
Humphrey noticed others, such as Winston, soaked in blood and gore. Snow followed, surprising Humphrey with her presence. Her pure white fur covered in blood that was not her own.
Kate reacted first, charging at Daren with lethal speed and a horrible snarl.
Before Humphrey could say a word of warning, Daren had Kate by the throat.
"Silence your rage girl, I am here to help him!" Daren shouted in Kate's face with a snarl before releasing her.
Kate fell with a gasp of air before running to Humphrey and embracing him roughly.
"I-I th-tho-thought y-you we-were d-dead," She cried.
Humphrey hugged, her back, also crying, some tears from the pain, some from the emotion.
Winston stepped forward "Who are you little girl,"
Daren growled "I'm older then you child, do not pester me with your worthless questions, my name does not matter. What does matter is that Kate's mate is going to die unless I can bring him to the Valley of light to get the cure for the posion he has been inflicted on!"
Kate blinked... How does she know my name? Did Humphrey tell her?
"Wow, what a freak," muttered Faith.
"Do not let the greif from your miscarriage turn you spiteful, child," Snapped Daren.
Faith looked shocked "Ho-how do you..."
"Her name is Daren, and she's going to help me," Humphrey said weakly.
Winston gazed at Daren "Who were you alligned with in the recent battle."
"I take no allignments, I do as I please," she responded with a passive tone.
"You said Humphrey was...poisoned?" Asked Kate quietly.
"Yes, by the wolf you see dead over there," Daren pointed at Diablo's lifeless body.
Flare ran through the clearing, his body beaten and bloodied.
Flare stopped and stared at Daren in shock...
"You're the one who killed Fang..."
"I am," was all she said.
Kate stared quietly at Diablo. Humphrey had done it, and was most likely the reason they were able to force the enemy wolves back into the woods.
Kate remembered how badly the Eastern and Western wolves were losing. She remembered a silk black wolf pin her down while Snow fought three others. She remembered the wolf lunge for her throat when suddenly, he started screaming.
Soon the enitre host of Diablo's force was screaming in pain, before running into the woods in a fury.
After that, the tables turned drastically. And soon, the Southern wolves were either dead, or gone.
Humphrey coughed in her arms, snapping her attention back to the current situation.
"Please! You need to help him, take him wherever you have to, and I will come with you,"
Winston stomped his foot "Kate, this is madness, we don't know this wolf, and you are in no condition to travel,"
Kate was about to object when Flare and Faith stepped forward "We will go as well,"
"This is insanity!" Shouted Winston "The packs are in chaos, wolves are dying all around, Tony is dead, and you decide to go scampering off into the woods with a wolf you don't know!"
The words hit Humphrey like a brick Tony was dead... Humphrey stared at Garth, his face hidden behind a wall of greif. Snow also looked distressed.
"Dad...I have to go,"
Winston shook his head, a tear sliding down his cheek.
"Where will you take them..." He asked Daren in a voice full of sadness.
"I will take them to the Valley of Light, a place far from here," She replied.
"You bring them back here girl, or I promise I will hunt you down and kill you,"
Daren smiled, her white teeth gleaming "You will be to busy to hunt me, child. A member of your pack has killed the Reaper. You can expect a week or two of reprive before you are savageley attacked,"
"What's a reaper?" Faith asked in a small voice.
"Not something that needs to be discussed now," Daren said, moving toward Kate.
"Calm down, child. You were right about one thing, she is in no condition to travel, none of you are, I plan to fix that." Daren said, placing her right paw on Kate's shoulder. Taking a deep breath, Daren began to absorb Kate's wounds.
The group gasped, all but Humphrey, who gazed at Daren as her body began to wear down.
"You're going to kill yourself," Humphrey said, breaking the stunned silence when Daren had finished with Kate.
"I told you not to worry about me little one," Daren replied with a smile, giving her blood covered body multiple licks.
Lily screamed as Daren's skin crawled together.
Despite the ability to heal her own wounds with her tongue, Darens blood lie in a deep pool by her feet by the time she was done with them all.
Daren turned and walked over to Humphrey and effortlessly slung him over her shoulder.
"Who is coming," She asked quietly.
"I am," Kate said, taking a stand next to Daren.
"Us too," Faith and Flare said,"
"I need to stay," Garth said, full of pain.
"I'm staying with Garth," Lily said, lying her head against his bloody chest.
"Very well," Daren said, taking a deep breath before running at a alarmingly fast speed into the woods, Faith, Flare and Kate at her heels after saying short goodbyes.
Humphrey hugged Daren's slender body close as she ran.
Humphrey let out a rack of coughing. His body was growing weaker.
So much had happened, so many had died, the world full of log sledding and spending time with his friends and mate were gone. The new world was cruel and violent.
A slight drizzle began to fall, chilling the air.
Humphrey thought of all the pain and death this conflict had caused, Nitro and Tony's death, and multiple others.
Was it worth it? Was the all the suffering worth the meager thing we fought for.
Humphrey shook his head as he heard an olds friends words, "In everything we do, there is reason,"
Humphrey smiled weakly, remembering Nitro's old saying. They had a reason for the pain and death, to defend the ones they loved.
Yes, he thought. It was worth it, and he would fight for it all over again if it meant defending Kate. He would bleed, suffer, and kill for it all again...for the blood of the South.
...The sore wolf opened his eye's slowley, the sky a shallow grey above.
Standing up, he was startled to see the enitre population of the Shadow lands bowed before him.
The wolf gazed away from the crowd and stared at his new body. His body rippled with muscle and his color was a deep black, with red marks glazing over the fur.
The middle nail of both his front feet now resembled a long sythe, making it slightly complicated to walk. The long blade of a nail stood ten inches longer then the others, and throbbed a deep ivory color.
The wolf felt invinsible, as if he could run for miles without rest, not eat yet remain alive.
The wolf remembered the last words the darkness had spoken to him.
Emerge from the darkness, and seize your new life by the throat, forget who you were and embrace who you now are...you are the reaper... you are Shadow,"
Well...It's done. For the Blood of the South is finished. I thank all my friends and fans for helping me write my story. I am honored to have gained your friendship through a simple story. Now, was writing this story worth all the hard work and long nights. Yes, yes it was. This is Bravobravo wishing you a good night for the last time from this story. Good night.