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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

“It's one of the town guards,” she remarked upon a quick inspection. Aiden could see
the body now too, and grimaced at the site of the muddy and torn form of what was once
a man. The suit of chain mail he had been wearing was mostly intact, but his tabard was
torn into shreds. He hadn't noticed the corpse at first, having been completely focused on
the savage that looked ready to pounce on him. Colt suddenly felt the urge to curse
“What's your problem?” Aiden asked, in control of his faculties once more. The big
ranger glared into the distance, in the direction they last saw her.
“I was so busy looking for tracks I didn't see that bloody girl until we were right next
to her,” he grumbled. “If she'd have been a bandit or something, we'd be in real trouble
by now.”
“Did you see her eyes?” Aiden whispered, shuddering at the memory. “I'm not so
sure we've avoided trouble.”
“No kidding, she killed a bloody guardsman,” Pacian exclaimed, almost as angry as
Colt. “If we weren't here in a group, she probably would have slit your throat Aiden. Can
you track her, Colt?”
“Of course I can track her, she was right here a minute ago!” the ranger roared.
Before Pacian could respond to that, Nellise's clear voice interceded.
“Wait a moment. Colt, come here and look at this,” she asked, gesturing at the body
before her. Still fuming at himself, the big ranger swaggered over to see what she was
pointing at and in an instant, his anger was replaced by dread. K neeling down for a closer
look, Colt carefully examined the body.
“Are you seeing this?” Nellise asked quietly, drawing a slow nod from the ranger.
He abruptly stood up and set about intently searching the ground for something that
Aiden assumed to be tracks of some sort.
“I don't know who that woman was, but she didn't kill this man,” he grated
ominously. Nellise nodded sagely, as if anticipating this answer. Aiden looked at her for
further explanation.
“Unless that woman is sporting a set of massive canine teeth, this man was killed by
wolves,” she reiterated. Aiden's eyes involuntarily widened, and Pacian immediately
began glance around nervously, as if a pack of wild animals was about to descend upon
them. Wolves had an almost mystical reputation, and they had all heard enough stories
about the beasts to be genuinely afraid at the prospect of facing t hem.
“Maybe she's a werewolf?” Pacian wondered. “That'd explain a lot, and she sure
looked wild enough to me.”
“Preposterous, they're just a legend, “Nellise scoffed. “And if Colt doesn‟t find any
human tracks, we can dismiss that simply based on the evidence.”
“Yep, right here. Wolf tracks,” Colt confirmed. “Could barely make them out with
all this water, but it was definitely wolves. Maybe two or three of them, it's hard to tell.
What I can't understand is why they attacked him.” Aiden gritted his teeth and looked
closer at the badly decomposed body. Little flesh remained inside the chain armour, as if
they had eaten around the metal, taking what meat they could safely reach without risking
damage to their teeth.
“This body is clearly days old, and the water isn't exactly helping to preserve it,”
Nellise added. “Could wolves have been responsible for all the missing people that have
come south from the town?”