"If you want to truly win, set your own rules. Don't get swept away by what they say, your life is about you and not about them."
He was going to die!
The mist dispersed. The growls from the wolves became winces and whines. Wolfram didn't understand. One moment he was about to become minced meat in their jaws. The next, they were suddenly backing away. Like they were wary of something. One of the bigger wolves with white streaks over its black fur shook his head and tried to stand his ground. He could see the growl building up in its body.
A deadly presence slammed against him. He froze in terror. He couldn't stop the chills that ran over his body in an instant. He couldn't care less how the frost wolves fled. This wasn't any ordinary killing intent. This was blood lust. Pure, unadulterated blood lust. Not from a beast. But from something more dangerous. Something deadlier than an Alpha. It couldn't be anything but else.
An apex predator. They were very rare, and only a handful of them were written in their history books. Apex predators were very dangerous, not because of the inherent strengths and abilities. Every inch of their being screamed wild and feral. Their very instincts were primal. Their senses were highly sensitive.
Every predator had the ability to shift into their beast form, and it was an event worth celebrating. But for apex predators, it was a nightmare. Once they shift into their beast forms, most of them were unable to shift back into their human form. They slowly lose their humanity and they prefer to roam the wilds in their beast forms. And they were noted to detest human contact.
He couldn't move. He didn't want to move. He couldn't breathe. The air in his lungs got trapped. He forgot how to even exhale. He knew he was chilled to the bone. But he could feel the drops of sweat that poured down from his temples. If he only knew, he should have cut his misery and let the wolves eat him. At least he would be frozen dead first. But now, he was going to be ripped apart. Like a bloody ripped meat and blood.
And then, it disappeared.
He expelled his breath in a rush. Then, he gulped in precious air. He was safe? It must have been bored. Maybe he was not yet meant to die. It could have left him and didn't want to bother with dead meat. Right. Right. He was safe. For now. He just had to scram out of this forsaken forest. It even looked like it was alive with the reddish hue that was cast by the setting sun. The shadows were like twisting in sinister glee as they become darker and darker.
"You shouldn't be here."
Wolfram's head whipped towards the low raspy voice. His heart in his throat. He didn't know what he was expecting to see. But he was sure that it wasn't a kid, that was a head shorter than him, staring at him like a bored spectator.
"Y-y-you," he stuttered. He tried to force out the words. Nothing came out as he stuttered.
"You shouldn't be here." There was just something wrong with the kid's voice. It was raspy, as if it wasn't used in a very long while. It was low toned without any inflection. For some reason, he could picture out a young death reaper. And he didn't know why. "Get out. Before you get devoured."
The kid came out from nowhere. Right after that bloodlust. Wolfram gulped. He didn't know why that kid was in the forest. He didn't even want to think about it. As soon as he saw the kid walking away, he tried to scramble to his feet. Only to fall back on his knees with a wince. He looked back at the kid getting farther away with each step.
"W-wait!" He blurted out in a rush. "I'm from Avalon."
Wolfram thought it would get him to stop and listen. Flabbergasted, the kid didn't even seem to hear him.
"H-hey! I said I'm from Avalon! I'm a student there," he explained hastily. His voice cracking with a wince as he forced himself to his shaky feet. Wolfram squinted at the kid. Not even a meager pause. In a panic, he screamed, "I said, I’m from-"
"Shut up!" the kid growled at Wolfram.
Wolfram shivered and clamped his lips. He watched as the kid pause by the riverside as if looking for something. Suddenly he crouched down and fished out a slim branch out of the clustered branches. The branch was a bit taller than him. Wolfram could hear the wind as the kid swung the branch a few times. Wolfram gulped. It sounded painful. With wary eyes, he carefully watched every movement.
He hastily threw himself sideways. The kid threw the branch like it was nothing but a knife. Thwack!
"Did you just try to kill me!?" Wolfram blustered in disbelief. He could see the branch quivering in pressure, about a quarter of its length must have been buried.
"Maybe later," the kid deadpanned. "Hobble away if you want. Just get out of here. I've had enough of Avalon weaklings."