Hello~ I'm back. Sorry I have been a bit inactive but it's been a bit awkward coming up with some new ideas. Still, this one seems like so awesome it needs it's own story on . I'm still working on Shen Rising, so that will be updated soon. In the meanwhile, have this little thing I wrote up to tempt my muse back. Notes at the bottom, like always.
Summary: The Wolf Boss has to ease some fears among the lower ranks, as some wonder whether Shen is really all there.
"Laoban?" asked the young wolves, and the Wolf Boss turned to them. Some of them were quite mature, one almost reaching his age. The others were barely cubs, but they were all brothers to him. "What is it, brothers?" asked the Wolf Boss, sitting on his chair in the room specially designed for him. "You are our pack leader, and never have we been steered wrong by your leadership... but we feel... testy about Lord Shen" explained the oldest: they had decided to let him speak.
The Wolf Boss raised an eyebrow curiously, but said nothing. "When we went to search for the female panda, Shen beat two of our brothers. One of them was even limping, and we thought... how would you be OK with this, Laoban?"
"So the Lord punishes a few failures, and you think he's not worthy to lead? I love each and every one of you, my brothers, but do not forget what we are first and foremost" exclaimed The Wolf Boss, drumming his claws on the side of his seat. "We prey on the weak, and gather with the strong. When a little brother or son does something, you punish him so he does not do it again. Did you expect Shen to forgive you?" The Wolf Boss stared at each of them in turn, challenging them to say they did.
They all shuffled their feet, and the youngest one spoke. "No, of course we didn't, Laoban, but we're united. We're a pack." The others nodded in agreement, and he continued. "I fear our Lord, and what he will do" admitted the oldest, to more agreements.
"Good. Lord Shen's thoughts are beyond our comprehension. He is a separate and almost heavenly being. You would do right to fear and respect him. I am afraid of his wrath, because he is strong and ruthless. But... what is the alternative" chastised the Wolf Boss, and stood up now, walking up to them.
"Did you like it back at the Palace? Standing around, doing nothing, performing errands while being treated like dirt? Oh sure, we were never abused, but neither were we revered!"
The Wolf Boss clawed the air violently, clenching his hand in a fist of strength. He recounted the worst memory they had underneath the peacocks. It was an annual fete, and the citizens of Gongmen City were laughing as they munched on sweets and talked in the warm sunshine. The wolves had been roped into help, and were busy serving food to pigs and birds.
When someone made a joke about the wolves ferocity, the Wolf Boss had begun to move forwards. However, Flying Rhino had been watching the wolves, and glowered at him. Giving in to the superior creature, the wolf continued serving food, to be followed by giving out prizes, awarding races and letting everyone have fun.
The Wolf Boss shuddered at the memory, as did his brothers who were reminded as well. The older one remembered a child spilling food onto his fur, and having to bare the indignity of leaving it there. His boss was right, it wasn't for them.
"Who feared us, truly, because we were no more than the peacocks' curs? Talking, talking, talking and doing nothing BUT talking. Where was action? But..." added the pack leader, whispering. "...behind our Lord, we are feared again. They see our wolves, and they plead and beg amongst their crying. When we killed all those pandas, and I snapped that child's neck, I felt like a wolf again. As I crushed the skull of a pleading woman, I let out a howl" asked the Wolf, a glee entering his voice.
"To feel the blood run through your hands, and to hear their screams of pain. We preyed on the weak, and my brothers? I have never felt so alive. So, are you wolves, or are your pups?" demanded the older Wolf now with finality.
Gripped by his speech, the wolves all felt their doubts vanish, except for the older one. He knew, and understand, what his pack leader said, but was not as sure as the others. "Yes, Laoban. I see now that Lord Shen has a strength that we could not understand. It's terrifying... but yes it was exhilarating to feel the death we caused" exclaimed the youngest, and his friend nodded. "You may go then" gestured the Wolf Boss, and they nodded, running off excitedly.
They wanted more blood, and this pleased the Wolf Boss. Still, the older one had remained, with a strange look on his face. "Lang, if the Lord was ready to kill us, would you let him?" asked the wiser wolf, and his Laoban paused. "Depends what you mean. Am I prepared to let my brothers die for his causes? I'd rather they do not, but who wants to be old anyway? To grow old, and weak, to end up as easy pickings?"
"More like if the Lord was ready to kill us himself" explained the wolf, agreeing with his boss once more but still with questions. "The Lord would not kill us on a whim. He is not a psychopath, he is a Warlord. I would not allow him to kill even one of my brothers, but to punish? Failure will not be tolerated." The Wolf Boss put his paw on his comrade's shoulder.
"If I thought Lord Shen could kill us himself, I would not follow him. As long as we stay behind him, he will not kill us. He'd have to go through me first, and that's even more unlikely" laughed the Wolf, and looked out a window to gauge the time. "Perhaps we retire now, and join the others for lunch? The Lord has blessed with pig meat and goose" finished the Wolf Boss, putting an arm around his brother and they walked out. "Well,... I am hungry" replied the wolf, and they shared a joke.
"Fire! Fuh... fuh-FIRE AT THEM!" yelled Shen, pointing at the rampaging martial artists. Yelps, growls and snarls rent the air, wolves and gorillas tossed off the boats to fall into the river, and Shen felt a cold panic nestle in his breast. "But sir, we'll kill our own!" protested the Wolf Boss, unsure of what to do now, torn between loyalties.
Looking back he saw his Lord, terrifying against the dark sky. Always strong and a force of loyalty, the Wolf Boss had never questioned his orders. Now he looked scared and wild, and it was up to him to protect Lord Shen. However, in front of him were his countless brothers, suffering. Caught between indecision, he heard his comrades cry out in pain, being dispatched routinely. "I said FIRE at them... FIRE!" shouted his Lord again, but the Wolf turned to his master.
"No" he said quietly, putting his foot down for the first time since he had met Lord Shen, and threw his torch away to show his certainty. No wolves would die by his hand, and he knew his Lord would understand. After all, he was not a psychopath, but a Warlord. A figure of power, a bastion of strength. A perfect wolf, worthy to be the God of-
Knives flew out, emitting a loud thunk as they dug deep into his furred stomach. The Wolf died instantly, his last moments in life being the expression on his Lord's face.
Authors Note: I really put the symbolism here heavily. I intend for Shen to become almost like a God or 'other being' to the Wolves. Their messiah, as it were. I really think that's how Shen would have liked it (If not always, at least after his exile) hence the Wolf Boss being a fanatic. And yes, I gave him a name, but it's 'Lang' which is 'wolf' in Chinese. Laoban means 'Boss' so he is Lang Laoban. Wolf Boss. Clever eh?
Vote in my poll for Shen's sake :p