FOLKLORE


[ P ] let's disappoint each other
#1
not a perfect soldier,
Dusk.

It was the time of day where the forest could breathe a sigh of relief, for the suns hot rays had fallen behind the mountain peaks. Like a cool cloth pressed gently upon a feverish forehead, the temperature dropped - though only slightly - enough to be tolerable again, at least for the evening.

Critters of all sorts emerged from their dens and holes, preparing to gather enough for a meal before they became meals themselves. Owls roosted high above, though their feathers were still puffed, their minds still dreaming. It was not night yet.

One beast roamed through the trees, however the critters need not be fearful of him. Each leg plodded forth, although somehow the colossal titan was able to avoid stepping on smaller creatures; sidestepping any burrows he saw. While twigs and small branches alike snapped under his weight, the man was almost graceful in his own elephantine way.

He would be offended to be called clumsy. Any who would shout such insults, he would invite to walk in his paws for a time. Carrying around nearly two-hundred pounds of muscle and - let's be honest - fat, was no easy task.

And unfortunately for Sargon, behemoth of lightning and thunder, today was another day where his patience with himself would be tested yet again.

For years afterwards, the man would never be able to reason exactly why the events that transpired on this day happened. Maybe it was the will of the starry gods, maybe fate, or just bad luck. He would not jump to conclusions.

Soft vocalizations of a song from his childhood rumbled from his throat as his orange eyes remained fixated on his hind ankle. He sat haphazardly; back legs kicked out from underneath him and to the side so he could study the puzzle that was presented to him. Wrapped around in confusing twists and knots was multiple vines; he had been caught in one of mother natures traps. Due to his inflexibility and stiff joints, Sargon was unable to free himself of this plight.

Normally, the giant would not worry. He would be able to pull himself free and carry on his lazy days as usual. But this was different - large, angry thorns sprouted from the vines around his leg, and they dug in painfully so. Pulling against this would only increase the pain, and possibly give the foundations for infection if he struggled too much.

He would simply have to wait until another crossed his path.


“I am speaking.”
but a good man
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@Kylar
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#2
clockwork knight...

"Goodness," Kylar breathed to herself as she peered around a tree.

When she had witnessed the hulking figure's silhouette, she had thought the sun had been blotted out. An eclipse had seemed more likely than the frame of the massive man that moved. Her eyes had widened then, her ears falling back against her crown in an inexplicable sense of fear. Frozen, the little knight had been unable to move or flee. Curiosity and fear had waged a war until, at last, the beast had plodded onward. Unnoticed—if only for the moment—Kylar had steadily hobbled after.

Her breath had been baited as she crept behind trees and kept to bushes. While she had not seen the man in his entirety yet, the knight had not been keen on getting too terribly close. If anything, she had set out on a reconnaissance mission for the Sanctuary and nothing more. As the promise of her pack had grown, so too had she taken to inspecting the Pine Forest for unsavory characters and aggressive vagrants. Thankfully, she had found none—until today.

But, here she was, spying on a man that had plopped onto moss and thistle. His heel had been tangled in brambles and a sad, dopey look had sloped upon his face.

...

I should go, whispered a thought from the more selfish part of her being. Before it had finished, however, Kylar had already hobbled into view. Instantly, she regretted it.

Still, she opened her mouth: "Do you need help?"

"..."
...cloaked in rust
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#3
not a perfect soldier,
Patience always paid off, and the case was again proven true as, eventually, another had spotted his plight. Sargon heard the uneven gait of the girl before she came fully into view, but he did not stoop so low as to stare at her crippled leg. Instead, citrine eyes fixed onto her face. The red within her eyes was an angry colour, but somehow she wore them with a beautiful serenity, like the Gods had placed only the most exquisite of rose petals within her irises. He could sense she was not there maliciously, and the thought was affirmed when she offered her hand.

The man was silent for a brief moment. Then, with a dip of his muzzle in respect, he spoke. “Yes," deep baritones reverberated from his throat; his voice made of smoke and thunder. He glanced back down at his hind leg with disdain.

“I... cannot reach.” his statement was troubled - embarrassed, even, as he admitted to the stranger that he was vulnerable. “Do you think you could loosen these bastardly vines?” the stormbringer returned his attention to the woman, studying her in quiet contemplation. She was not scrawny, or underfed, and appeared groomed. Was there a pack around these parts nowadays?

He hardly paid attention to such politics, but maybe it would be wise to do so now. If there was a pack and she a part of it, he was lucky they were not ... difficult.


“I am speaking.”
but a good man
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@Kylar
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#4
clockwork knight...

Silence did not suite a man of massive size. It held an air of malice, and—whether or not it was intended—Kylar felt the weight of his stare upon her. Frequent swimming had bolstered her shoulders and made more muscular her frame, but training could not make up for god-given strength. Or, at least in her case, there was not enough ocean in the world for her to swim such that she would grow to this beast's size. As such, she felt her stomach tighten and her mouth go dry.

It had been easy to talk big about clearing the pine forest of its unsavory denizens, but in practice, she was hardly the wolf fit for the job.

“Yes," the man said at last. His voice was like the roll of thunder before a storm. So deep was the sound that it rolled through her, reverberating through her chest and ears.

No storm, however, had ever been so bashful. With almost a sheepish glance, the man admitted that he could not reach the tangle of brambles about his ankle. Irritation burned in his voice but only when he spoke of the vines that held him hostage. So docile and domestic was the man's plight that Kylar could not help but feel a small, hopeless smile touch her lips.

"If you promise not to eat me," the she-wolf said in good natured humor (though she did want him to promise).

Assuming that the man had promised, she picked her way toward him. Her paws were careful upon the earth as she hobbled forward upon three legs. Her rightmost forepaw was used only as a pivot: occasionally touching the earth but never bearing weight. When at last she was closed enough to look, her ears drooped slightly.

"This will take some time."

"..."
...cloaked in rust
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#5
not a perfect soldier,
The little knight seemed uneasy with his presence, the look upon her face one that he had seen many times before. He could see the tense anxiety that gripped her muscles - if only for the fact that she had an attractive figure that was slim and sound. As the goliath awaited the girls reply, he found himself holding his breath, hoping...

"If you promise not to eat me," she spoke, amusement warming her voice. A smile broke out naturally across his muzzle, though he made a conscious effort to keep his lips over his teeth. He feared perhaps it would be too much and cause the stranger to run away.

Twisting his body so she could get better, less awkward access to his hind leg, Sargon chuckled richly, nodding his giant head once.

“My promise is my bond; not I nor anyone else in these hellish lands will dare to try and eat you, bunny.” his eyes glanced curiously as she hobbled over to him; sentence ending just before she spoke again. The way she moved on three legs... the nickname was suitable, at least to him. Part of him wanted to ask-- but he didn't want to appear rude or inconsiderate. Instead, he averted his gaze and cleared his throat. Perhaps some day he will gather the courage to ask.

"This will take some time." a gentle voice; a disheartened tone. Blinking, the storm leaned forward to hover a little over her head, his chin brushing the tips of her ears. Orange irises flickered between his ankle and her crestfallen face.

“Well,” Sargon began, trying to keep his voice soft and delicate, “I do not have anything more important than getting unstuck, but your time is valuable,” the man paused, needing to organize his thoughts. “A debt will be created, if you will agree.” A favour that she could call upon anytime, for anything - excluding death. To him, anything else was game, for if she hadn't found him, there was the possibility of him perishing.


“I am speaking.”
but a good man
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@Kylar
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#6
clockwork knight...

Bunny? Charcoal-tipped ears flicked once, ruby eyes settling upon the man's face. His laughter was disarming but to use prey for a nickname did inspire a hint of concern. Perhaps the man had a more macabre flavor of humor, albeit one that Kylar did not wholly share. Nonetheless, she had faced worse beasts in her lifetime. Some, even, had boasted friendlier faces than his. "I did not know my ears to be that long," she mumbled softly, allowing her statement to be the last of their "joke".

Careful not to drag her paws, the she-wolf picked her way toward the large man. In truth, he was not that much larger than others she had met. He had perhaps five more inches on her and an equal width. One the shock began to melt away, so too did she feel the novelty slip.

Quietly, she inspected the tangle of brambles that bore into the man's ankle. It was a mess and she said as much. The man, for his part, played the role of the humble gentleman. He lamented the loss of her time and, in payment, he'd grant her a debt.

"A simple thanks will do," Kylar said with a small smile. She had no desire to accrue interest off of the unfortunate. She'd suffered enough to know when wolves needed a break.

- short time skip -


She sucked on her tongue pensively, the taste of iron a constant flavor in her mouth. She'd pricked herself a couple times while trying to chew the bramble stems. Her muzzle had a few beads of blood within the tan fur but, otherwise, she was unscathed. The same could not be said for the man's ankle which, by the looks of it, bore the most damage.

At least he was free.

Easing onto her haunches, she allowed her quivering foreleg to rest. After easing most of her weight on it during the fine "surgery", she needed a break.

"..."
...cloaked in rust
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#7
not a perfect soldier,

"A simple thanks will do," the lady knight replied, and he could see a smile upon her lips. He simply nodded quietly, having no intentions of disrupting her surgery for fear.. Sargon cleared his throat roughly, shifting once again.

-- time skip --

No words were uttered through the procedure, nor afterwards as his doctor took a shaky step back and sat down. His ankle - previously numb to the pricks of the vine - now throbbed terribly, but the resistance of pesky nature was finally gone. With a deep sigh of gratitude, the giant turned to study her face, noticing movement in her jaw muscles and deducing she was working the taste of blood from her mouth.

Of course, he couldn't know for sure, but he'd been in her position before - helping strangers who were harmed, stuck, or... worse. Again, he cleared his throat - a dismissive coping mechanism for those intrusive thoughts. Another time, another time...

He glanced down at his wound, grimacing at the amount of blood. What he thought was just going to be a superficial wound, now looked like the startings of a scar. Oh well.

The man returned his gaze to his saviour, offering a gentle smile.

“Thank you.” his voice, weighed down by genuine gratitude, rumbled just above a growl. Then, he arduously rose to his full height, balancing his weight on his three healthy paws. The fourth was lifted, elevating just above the ground. “It's a shame there are not more brave wolves like you, miss, for Cyrileth would be far better off,” the soft smile returned to his lips, silently wondering where she had come from, now that his plight was over... “I hope I have not hindered your plans too drastically.” he left the conversation open, pulling his hind leg forward and lowering his head to lick at the wound - slowly sitting down once again.


“I am speaking.”
but a good man
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@Kylar
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