——‘Now what?’ He thought as he examined the wolf. Its fur was thick but ragged and patchy. He thought he could see the ribs through the smoke colored fur and a taut belly. Alone then? He hoped, figuring if it had been a pack he would be dead long before now. He shook his head and began the process of retrieving what he needed from the saddlebags. Too cold to be walking around out here, he chided himself for not preparing for a longer trek. It was nearly second sun’s set, and he had to get food and a fire going before the chill was too much to handle even for him. He was used to the cold, so it didn’t bother him as much as others, but even his body would fail him if there weren’t something to warm the flesh. He studied the horse knowing he had saved him from a more painful fate letting the wolf bite into him, and then he studied the giant wolf. Well, no use making any of it go to waste, Dival thought.
—–It was only a few hours past before Dival was cleaning the last scraps of blood and fat off the hide. The smoky gray fur drying out next to the fire as he chewed on a piece of overcooked horse meat. All things considered besides the walking part he was feeling pretty fortunate at the moment. Being alone never bothered him, in fact, he relished it more than most other things in his life. There were only a select few he could be bothered sticking around with for more than the passing hour or two. He spent most his nights and days researching, exploring and finding clues to an elusive history. Devuh was a fine city, one that he spent all his younger years in, but eventually, the walls began to feel constricting about the same time he was old enough to start asking questions. The more he found out, the more he wanted to know. Dival found himself thinking of his parents and their intense frustrations the further he dug into his story. You are not an archaeologist! Quit all this digging! The past is gone, leave it dead where it belongs. That is all he would hear when he tried to find out about his grandparents. Those kinds of judgments only sparked his fire to know more, the more he learned, the more curious he became. There was a story here, and he had to find answers to where, and more importantly why the concealment in the first place.
—–His thoughts flashed back to the present as the crunch of snow signaled footfalls were coming near, they sounded far away. No, not far away, he thought, …small. A feminine face came slowly out of the shadows the opposite side of the fire. Dival already had his rapier’s hilt wrapped neatly in his palm, blade down behind him ready to lash out. Her eyes held a wild look he could tell even from across the fire, but her demeanor and features were calm and non-threatening. He furrowed his brow to her as she continued forward. Her skin was pink, and she was young from the looks of her features. She wore a plain cotton top and leather breeches with boots to match. “That is plenty close,” Dival warned her. She nodded to him and sat continuing to look at him through the flames and smoke of the fire.