The Hunt

"So how did the dealing go?" Ringo asked as she served lunch.

"Not so good, Liszt wants me to befriend the residence while his men are on the look out for the beast," I explained before wolfing down on the sandwich Ringo had prepared.

"Well it's still good, it means that he'll do the deed for you he just needs some time to do this seriously, the beast is very tricky. In the mean time could you go to the market and fetch me some red apples, I seem to be running low," Ringo said handing me a leather pouch of coins.

I nodded and finished my glass of ale before taking my leave again. Snow was beginning to fall upon the village in a powdery white brilliance as I looked around for the market. Soon enough I was able to find the market with the help of a standby pedestrian. The market was very vivid and bursting with energy despite the cold. Marketers sold everything there from cloves to silk in less than a second. After I had found a marketer selling apples I had purchased seven, given that Ringo did not give me an exact amount needed. I loaded the apples into the empty basket I had taken with me and decided to head back, when I heard something. The sound came past my right and sounded like an unnatural snarl.

Is it the beast?

Thinking it was I hastily made my way towards the sound that became more amplified as I got closer. Then there it was. A giant wolf like creature with white fur like snow and taller than a three story building. In front of it was a villager, I was about to run and go save their life when the beast suddenly striked out and snatched up the villager and ran off towards the woods. Too stunned to be shocked I dropped the basket and ran after the beast.

Past the frozen river and into the woods.

It was getting darker by the minute and harder to track the beast. Even the beast's white fur began to blend in with the shadows and next thing I knew, I couldn't see where I was going, just tripping in the snow by now. But everything was not completely dark. The moon was out.

No this can't be happening right now! Not so close to the village at least! I need to get as far away from Otogi as I can before the Okami side of me takes over. Full moons for Okamis' are bad news. Our ears and tail come out along with our well hidden canines and claws, then we rampage all over the place and mainly end up with a dead carcass and blood all over you when you wake up the next day. Or you wake up surrounded by a burning village. Usually what I do before this happens is get far away from the village I'm staying in and tie myself to a tree. It usually works, depending on how tight I tied the rope.

I kicked up the juice and ran faster... Until I slammed right into a tree with so much force that I knocked myself out.

It was day time when I awoke. I seemed to not be cover in blood, there was not mutilated carcass by me and there wasn't the smell of smoke in the air, in fact... That tree looks familiar. Wait did nothing really happen to me on the night of the full moon? I looked down, there was a basket full of the apples I had gotten from the market. Wait, didn't I drop that basket back in the village? I suddenly felt warmer than I did and I noticed a thick black cloak was wrapped around me. I don't remembering any of this? What happened last night?

Did I even go into my Okami form?

It sort of felt like it, yet, why isn't there blood spilled around me. Instead all I could smell was the selvage coming off this cloak, wherever it came from. It was a nice scent... I liked it... Not that I would admit so out loud! Last time someone knew what I liked they used it to their advantage. But I don't want to go back to that. I shook my head, causing snow to cascade from my hair. I got up, grabbing the basket, and analyzed the ground for foot prints of the beast or whoever put this cloak on me and returned my basket. But sadly there was no hint on the snow.

Maybe it's because it snowed last night.

Oh that can only explain it.

As I walked back towards the village my senses perked at another presence near by. My ears pricked upwards near the trees. The presence was in the trees, I could hear them move up there, but because the wind was seeming to blow down by the mountains in the other direction, I could not catch their scent.

Smart choice.

This presence that's following me is really good. I barley detected their movement with sound, because their movements blended into the sound of crackling tree branches perfectly. But it was too perfectly that I noticed right away. They were also able to keep in the pine trees instead of the oak or leafless trees for cover. And they kept their scent from my nose by keeping downwind and trailing me. It was almost too perfect. Which why I know their up a pine tree to my left and if I pin point this correctly there in the middle branch.

Stopped and listened for a minute to do a quick search to make sure I was right. Then with a jerk of my head I turned and face the tree, glaring at the middle branch where I caught a glimpse of something moving. I glared more intensely. I was about to say something, but there was a shriek and something fell out of the tree.

What the hell?

Taking interest in what fell I went over to the area of what fell. All dazed out in a pile of snow was a black hair with a greenish tint to it, wearing a round pair of round goggles and carrying a set of bow and arrows along with some sort of wrist mounted sling shot on his left arm.

This must be the culprit who was following me.

I grabbed him by the shirt, yanked him up and slammed him into the trunk of the tree.

"Who are you and why were you following me?" I demanded.


What the? There something weird with this kid, who's name is Ry? He may be dressed like a huntsman, but the goggles wasn't really necessary and he wasn't wearing a cloak or a coat. That's when I breathed in his scent.

It matched the cloak I was wearing.

"Ryōshi," he said a bit more confidently.

I blinked in recognition of that name.

"W-what did you say?" I spoke bewildered.

"I'm Ryōshi Morino, it's nice to meet you.