New World New Life Chapter 34
34 Shadows Lurk In The Cover Of Nigh
The Green Forest had been the ancestral home of many creatures across time.
It was once the home of flower faeries, unicorns and many other fantastical creatures. However, over time and the establishment of infrastructure, the mythical creatures moved out of the forest and into dwellings of their own.
The magic of life was strong in the Green Forest, that led to the growth of other creatures, such as the Trykeens. But in the recent two years, the Trykeens were dropping in numbers. Their population was dwindling but no one knew.
Yet in the dead of the night, roaming hounds with foul miasma were spotted. They hunt down the living and devour them entirely. A few unlucky merchants have become their meals and hounds seemed to be moving under the command of another.
The creature commanding them had a human-like form, but it was easy to tell him apart from a human. Firstly, he was taller than most of them, and his face was well hidden under the hood of his dark cloak.
On one hand, he held a black staff with a huge purple glowing crystal at the top. All plant life would disintegrate around him and the hounds trailed behind him. In the bushes, a small deer scurried past the creature.
The deer instantly dropped dead.
The hounds rushed forward to devour it. They fought over the deer's carcass until the creature tapped his staff on the forest ground. The hounds immediately stopped fighting and hid behind the creature.
"Your hounds need more discipline," a deep voice spoke.
From within the darkness, a figure walked out into the moonlight. He had hoofed feet and dark brown fur covering his entire body. His eyes were glowing red, and he had a pair of curled horns on his head.
In his right hand, was a huge battle axe, worn but murderous. The aura that deadly emanated from the axe alone was enough to send chills down your spine!
The hooded creature bowed, "Lord Minos, the hounds still need more training, more time"
"We do not have time," Lord Minos roared.
The hounds whimpered and whined behind the creature, fearful of Minos.
The hooded creature respectfully replied, "I will speed up my efforts. Please tell her highness that I will be ready when her grand plan takes flight."
Minos nodded. As he was about to retreat back into the darkness, a wild deer galloped past. When the deer caught sight of him, it stopped dead in its tracks and whimpered in fear.
Annoyed, Minos raised his battle axe. In one swift move, he sliced the deer in half and walked over its corpse. As he was about to leave in a portal, he turned around.
Much to his surprise, there was a lone creature, feasting upon the carcass of the deer. It was a wild cat, known for its spotted coat and beautiful fur. But the wild cat had seen better days, it's rib cage was showing through its skin. Its fur coat was dirty and messy.
The wild cat paid no attention to Minos, it continued to chew off chunks of meat.
Minos walked over to the creature, now barely a few inches apart. When the wild cat noticed the looming shadow, it looked up and met Minos's eyes. It did not whimper and cower in fear, a burning flame burned in its eyes.
The wild cat barred its teeth to Minos and growled.
Minos was amused for in all his years, this had never happened before. All animals were fearful of him, some more than others but never had any of them attempted to threaten him. Minos put down his battle axe and knelt down.
He began an ancient incantation ritual. The blood of the deer circled the wildcat. The wildcat struggled to break free. Slowly the pool of blood drowned the wild cat, coating it entirely in red.
For a brief moment, the blood crystallized before shattering.
The wild cat was transformed. It grew to be larger in size, five times its original size. Its coat was no longer a shade of light gold, but darker. Its claws were sharpened, and so were its teeth. The wild cat also now had two tails instead of one, with sharp pointed ends.
"Your name is Katuk and I am your master," Minos announced to the wildcat.
As soon as Minos ended his sentence, a red flame burned the wild cat's fur on its back, stamping a symbol onto its back. The mark of Lord Minos, the fearsome face of a Minotaur.
The wild cat shook its entire body and snarled in pain from the mark. It shot up a look at Minos, with rage and anger. It leapt forward, ready to put up a fight but Minos grabbed it by its neck and slammed it into the ground.
"I am your master! And you will obey me," Lord Minos bellowed.
Katuk was not ready to back down but he would not cower in fear either. He acknowledged Lord Minos's prowess and oppressive dominance. But he did not like being controlled.
The hooded creature, who was still surrounded by his hounds stood to watch the entire scene. After Lord Minos and his new servant fnally left, the creature removed its hood. It looked vaguely human with sunken ribs and the skull of a deer for a head.
Its eyes glowed emerald green. It did not have antlers, at least it had no recollection of what had happened to them. The creature had a name, its name was Dygo.
He looked down at the hounds at his feet. After Minos's departure, they were no longer fearful and have resumed their usual behaviour. They circled him while looking for food.
Katuk, the wild cat, had already finished eating the corpse of the deer and there was none left for the hounds. Dygo tapped his staff onto the ground twice and a ring of red light spread out throughout the forest floor.
As soon as the light pulse detected the presence of an animal, the hounds swarmed in that direction.
Within seconds, the prey was caught and devoured. Dygo repeated the steps a couple of times until all the hounds were well fed. They came running back to him.
In the corner, he beards the whispers of help from a hoarse voice. Dygo looked in that direction and noticed the remnants of a half-eaten man. The man was calling out for help, one of his eyes had already been eaten. Dygo had no skin on his face, so he displayed no emotions.
With an order and a wave of his staff, the hounds went forward and finished off the meal.
"Rest in peace," Dygo whispered.