Eight walked casually, slowly, his every muscle sore and bruised, his face throbbed from the kicked up debris he encountered during the chase. Even his wound burned, despite it being quite healed for some time. His eyes were heavy and each time a paw hit the ground it hit with the weight of a stone, his body being kept from the ground sa pamamagitan ng sheer force of will alone.
He was exhausted. He woke to see two full sunrises since he had last rested, and finished off the segundo araw with a brisk run with the lead Alphas. A trying task, especially for the likes of him.
As the araw passed into the noon hours and the sun stretched to its highest point in the sky, he trudged on, the ground thankfully cool beneath his sore, bruised paws.
He kept his green eyes affixed to the ground, mere feet in front of him, only to see where he was walking and nothing more, He wasn't interested in the sights, though it was a beautiful morning.
He replayed thoughts in his mind as he went along, most of the evening was a blur. He could scarcely recall when the araw began, let alone piece together an entire araw and then night's worth of details in chronological order.
But still he thought, he couldn't keep himself from it. The last thing the old Cougar had sinabi to him was her name, Marigold. He'd keep that with him til his dying day, her uneasy acquaintanceship and willingness to deal with him not once, but twice despite her apparent distaste for mga lobo or anyone in general... Why did she do that? It didn't matter now, what he remembered was that look on her face when they parted ways. Despite her being a gruff, curt old Cougar, there was no mistaking what he saw, Kindness, Compassion - a friend.
Eight was broken from his thoughts abruptly sa pamamagitan ng noise; howling and shouting. He stopped and it took him a moment of scanning around with his senses before he saw the Morning's Hunt Pack. They rested about 30 yards away from him with a fresh kill - mola Deer. They had stopped when they caught his scent and waited for him to approach, what they were shouting was his name along with encouraging cheers.
"ATTA BOY, EIGHT!"
They were apparently pleased with what he had done for the pack. News traveled fast here, no doubt the Alphas had informed them on their way past just moments earlier.
Eight wondered first if he had been walking in his sleep, he hadn't noticed them before - not sound, nor scent nor sight and yet, here they were. He couldn't remember any part of his journey up until now, in fact. He smiled a sheepish grin at them for a moment, through tired eyes before perking up for the crowd and putting a cocky, sly smile on his mug,
"All in a day's work, Boys!!" He shouted back, receiving laughter and further calls at his mock moment of superiority.
He walked on now, a wide smile on his face both at his joke and the trailing hooting and hollering from the hunt party as they faded.
He could see the yungib rock now, getting closer sa pamamagitan ng the minute. He decided he'd sleep there today. The play-fighting and scuffling from the pups and yearlings would normally bother him during the daylight hours, but today he was sure to fall right to sleep. Not to mention, he'd need the noise from the others being around if he intended to wake up in time for his nightly patrol with Stern and his crew.
As Eight approached the first trail up the mesa, he was approached sa pamamagitan ng the Omega, Felan. Likely he had already slept his hours for the day.
"Heya, Felan." Eight said, as cheerfully as he could.
"Good day, Sir." Felan replied officially, standing straight and tall.
"Woah, woah, hey..." Eight smiled and waved off with a paw, "Easy up with that, yeah? I'm hardly a 'Sir'. Maybe I outrank you, but you don't have to pour that on with me." he grinned with a sleepy look on his face.
Felan, caught off guard somehow replied,
"Uhm. Yes sir, Uh... Okay. Eight."
"You'll get the hang of it." Eight patted the small-framed Omega on his shoulder. He wasn't very stout, it seemed like a gentle breeze would blow him over. He stood like an Omega too, loose and limp, his muscles hadn't been worked as much as an upper class would be. That was all bound to change, though, if they continued his training.
"Uh, Deogee wanted to see you before you turned in for the day." Felan informed Eight. He was soft spoken too, the quiet sort, used to filing in and doing what he was told. Eight remembered thinking that he'd make a great Delta for sure in that regard.
"I'll head right up, then." Eight ensured the Omega. "How's you're training going?" He inquired genuinely, seeming once again to catch the young Felan off guard, being treated equally,
"Oh, uh, they sinabi that I did well, Even Stern was a little less harsh on me... Ayame let me give the report."
"Well now! Thats sure somethin'!"
Felan smiled at Eight's compliment and continued,
"Yeah, they sinabi they're going to have me flying solo tonight to see how I do but Shade told me that he'd be assigned to watch after me and make sure I was alright and not to worry if I didn't know he was there. He uh... He also told me not to say anything about him telling me that."
"Don't worry, kiddo. You're secret's ligtas with me. Well, I guess I'd better head up now, hmm?"
"Around, actually, sir. Deogee is at the front cliff facing right now."
Eight smiled and pointed, his paw wagging at him as though to say "You're one of the good ones." and with that, the two parted ways.
Eight approached Deogee who sat there in the grass, his eyes closed enjoying the breeze as it whipped across the cliff facing and through his fur. As Eight walked toward him, his ears picked up the sound of soft paw steps and he opened an eye to look, smiling at Eight.
"Eight! I see you're still alive!" He joked, "Come have a seat, son."
Eight found a comfortable position and sat, he and Deogee looked out toward the field before them as far as their eyes could see it. The sun beat down today, warming their balahibo in spite of the breeze. It was quiet here, the pups and matrons must have been elsewhere at the moment, normally it would be hard not to be tackled sa pamamagitan ng a pack of tiny paws, ears and tails.
"Eight," Deogee spoke, breaking the silence, "The boys and I were talking." This was the first time he had referred to his fellow Alphas as "The Boys", A younger lobo must be growing inside of him now as an effect of the day's task. He continued, "I have to ask, what is it that you plan to do when you leave here, son?" He turned his head toward the younger wolf, who now shrugged and scrambled what was left of his brain functions for an answer.
"I'm not sure, sir. I have to be honest, really, I've been so caught up in kamakailan dealings that I've not made further plans." Eight admitted, casting a nervous, half-glance to the Alpha. Surely he had been there too long, if it were necessary to be asking if or when he'd be moving on. "I'd be lying if I sinabi that I don't have a good feel for this place now. The other wolves, the lay of the land... Hell, I've learned madami here in the last buwan than the rest of my time back home."
Deogee nodded, facing back out to the field.
"We were all just pondering it earlier and I realized that we hadn't spoken on the matter since you'd arrived."
A gentle breeze blew over them, stalling Deogee, who closed his eyes and inhaled deeply and calmly until it passed.
"I also wanted to personally tell you that you've done a fine job. Not only here, today, although your improvisations could have turned up disastrous, but every day, really. We trained you and taught you and you've ibingiay the Clan your all each araw without fail, just as we had asked you to."
"Well, I mean... Its the least I could do, really. Heck, I'm obligated at the very minimum. And I'm happy to do it too." Eight shrugged, feeling humbled sa pamamagitan ng Deogee's compliment.
"All the same," The old lobo continued, "You've done very well here."
There was another pause as the breeze picked up, Deogee really enjoyed it today. He was taking things far easier than normal. Eight knew why too, he felt alive again after his run earlier. Before he was just keeping the peace but now he remembers what it was like once, and he was happy for it.
"You'll let us know if your plans change, won't you, Son?"
"Yes sir." Eight replied to him.
"Okay then." Deogee smiled and patted Eight on the shoulder, causing him to wince and exasperate at the working of his sore muscles. Deogee stopped and blinked, wide eyed for a moment, "That doesn't sound good, son. Maybe you should go get some rest." He chuckled at Eight's state of being.
"I'll do that." Eight said, getting up. "Thanks, Deogee, for everything."
With that, he made his way up to the yungib and found a cool, dark spot in the back away from any who would wander up during the day.
And no sooner than his head touched stone, just as he predicted, the night inside his mind took him - and he slept.