Chapter 1 — The boundary line, the marriage between a girl and a wolf. Part 5
The glow in his eyes was familiar, and it signified hostility.
“What do you think, Father? I followed your wish and got married. But I won’t carry it out the way you wanted it to be. I hereby declare that I will not marry and form a family for a worthless reason like increasing our kind, stopping our decay and restoring us to our former glory!”
His beautiful face contorted as he started laughing.
A loud, strong and hearty laugh.
Laughter as loud as a victory song, a triumphant howl.
His eyes were brimming with joy, yet even more so with ill intent and hostility.
“What do you think?!”
He sneered at them.
All I could feel now was despair, dejection… and anger.
If…if he told me to be his wife only so that he could pull this off…I’ll slit his throat open, I swore deep in my heart while not showing any sign of it on my face, gaze, attitude or posture.
Then, the wolf with the sharp eyes that was standing beside the old one screamed:
“Cease your nonsense, Moon Eater! And you still dare to call yourself our father’s son? My brother? You look like nothing but a spoiled child now! Not only are us wolves being decimated, other species are also in danger! The forest grows thinner and is disappearing, the humans do nothing but dance happily in the violence they bring forth, and yet you don’t seem to sense any kind of danger. And actually, you don’t even feel the need for that, do you have no love for your own kind?!”
“I don’t. I would never care about something like that,” he answered without delay.
The wolf with the sharp eyes–––seemingly Shiro’s older brother——was lost for words.
Without warning, he lunged at us in attack.
All I saw was something like a shadow crossing through my field of vision.
In an instant, Shiro’s brother appeared right in front of us without making so much as a mute noise, and swung his sharp fangs.
In an attempt to parry him, Shiro flung his claws at him. The stiff sound of fangs clashing against claws resounded.
Then, Shiro’s brother jumped back.
Both of them stood still, glaring at each other.
His brother growled, baring his fangs, yet somehow Shiro received his killing intent calmly.
“Did something happen to you, brother?”
He spent no effort to hide the sarcasm in his voice, clearly belittling his brother.
“If you suddenly jump at me and attack so seriously, it would almost feel like you are trying to kill me. I’m not trying to imply anything, but brothers shouldn’t go against each other so violently. You shouldn’t try to pass time by killing our own kind, after all, there aren’t that many of us left. Father is going to be mad at you.”
Shiro’s brother didn’t seem to pay much attention to him as he spoke:
“Silent Steps calls out to you, spirits of the forest.” The air around us seemed to freeze, bracing itself against his voice. “The wind of my birthplace is my breath, the thunderous wind, my body. My claws, my fangs and my voice, all are the wind—and I myself shall go back to the wind–––”
A slight sound accompanied his rhythmic voice, sounding almost like a chant–––No, it was a chant.
In reply to his words, the wind blew louder.
Shiro appeared to be enjoying it all as a maniacal smile formed on his lips.
“How thoughtful of you, brother. Are you planning on killing me here? By now, there isn’t a single second I’m not grateful to be your brother.”
His shadow swayed slightly.
As if circling around him, it swayed.
Its movement, that appeared almost life-like, was so creepy in comparison to his silver body that I instinctively clutched a hand at my chest.
“After all, I should have killed you the moment you were born,” Silent Steps murmured coldly.
“Just what are you? We are wolves. We were born in the forest, and in the forest, we shall die. No abnormalities or albinos are born among us. We will continue our bloodline without tainting it, and never shall we step away from our predestined path. We will always live according to nature’s laws. And though we maintain our equilibrium and our settlement, the humans continue to hunt down our kind.”
He took a deep breath before continuing.
“Tell us now, just what are you?”
“I wonder? I am myself, I guess.”
“What a worthless answer!”
He leaped forward as he shouted.
There was no sound, just like his name suggested. Only the ensuing wind that trailed behind him resounded as the blades of grass curled upwards, trees swayed and leaves rustled.
Instinctively, I planted my feet on the ground and shielded my face with my hands, my hair fluttering behind me like a flag.
He was fast, moving right at us.
I was barely able to see them exchanging blows.
Shiro stepped sideways and brandished his forelegs.
The shadow grazed the edge of the wind, which carved into the shadow’s flesh, tearing it.
The two brothers coiled together as they brawled. When they ceased for a second, blood gushed forth from Shiro’s right foreleg and Silent Steps’ shoulder.
“That’s enough!” shouted the old wolf, who had been silent until now.