The Treacherous Wolves (Part 5)

The wolves circled the saber-tooth’s but they seemed unfazed by the impending danger. In fact, the creatures seemed to carry a non-chalant attitude to the whole affair. Damon watched the sabers and felt something regal about them, a haughtiness, a certain holier-than-thou-ness about their presence. Damon looked to Saber and saw that his facial expression had adopted the same air. The wolves closed in on the sabers and crouched low, ready to pounce. The saber crouched slightly and spread their legs to secure some ground. The tension on the battleground was suffocating. The air became still, and the woods were dead silent, each creature waiting in anticipation. The atmosphere was so intense it felt like being crushed under a mountain. The tension rose to a peak and one of the wolves moved too early.

The sabers struck first. The wolves lunged at them. Claws ascended and bore down on unsuspecting fur, ripping through skin. The sounds of growling, snarling, and yelping filled the air. The sabers took down three wolves and the other six piled on them. The sabers sunk their long, sharp teeth into the wolves’ backs and flung them across the ground. Three wolves were down, another three wounded. Only three healthy ones remained. The sabers stared down the wolves with menacing and merciless eyes, the wolves stared back with gazes just as unforgiving. The animals lunged each other, and the sabers came out on top. Damon watched all this with a stoicism only a sociopath could match and called his wolves to regroup. The sabers stood in the middle of the battleground, waiting expectantly.

            “I told you my sabers were improved since you saw them last,” Saber chuckled, “care to try again?”

            Damon took a deep breath and called forth The Treacherous Wolves and they came back with a vengeance. This time, only three wolves lunged at the sabers. They were taken down almost instantly but retreated before incurring further damage. The wolves took turns, picking their spots and attacking when they saw an opening. The sabers were methodical and quick, taking the wolves down and trying to go in for the kill. The fight seemed to go on forever, the sabers proved difficult to take down. Every time the wolves saw a potential opening, it was either closed by another saber having its partner’s back or the saber’s quickness in taking down one wolf and pivoting toward the other. Damon analyzed the sabers movements and realizes they’ve been trained. The sabers movements were too coordinated, too organized, and too flawless for them to be wild. So that’s where he’s been all this time, Damon thought. Training. He compared the sabers movements to that of his wolves and saw why they were having trouble . . . his wolves were too weak. Period. It hit him like a critical blow to the gut and tasted like burned meat. Saber had put in time and dedication training his animals while Damon had been walking around as if he owned the world, relying on numbers and viciousness to get the job done. It was then Damon got an idea, a cheap one but an idea, nonetheless. He ordered one of his wolves to attack Saber directly and one snuck from the pile and lunged. The wolf was just within striking distance, Saber had a blank expression and seemed unfazed. Just when the wolf was about to maim him, a fourth saber emerged and took the wolf down, its long, sharp teeth sinking into the wolf’s spine. A sickening snap filled the air followed by the wolf yelp as the saber flung the wolf back into the battleground and vanished as quickly as it came.

            Saber looked at Damon with an arrogant smirk that said, ‘try again’ and Damon turned his attention to the battle. The wolves were losing miserably, and the sabers never seemed to tire. The wolves’ attacks were getting sloppy and careless, the sabers remained in top form, taking them down as if they were swatting at flies rather than full grown wolves. Damon sighed and recalled his wolves. The sabers stood in the middle of the battleground with an expression that seemed to say, ‘we can do this all day if you like, the result will be the same’.

            “You’re oddly quiet, Blitz.” Saber chuckled, “Saber got your tongue?”

            “Seems you’ve been training all this time,” Damon says in his most casual tone, “I must say, I commend your efforts. You’ve actually made this a challenge.”

            “Don’t talk like you have this under control,” Saber smiled deviously, “we both know who the better man is.”

            “I don’t think we do,” Damon said, “because you seem to think you’ve won this battle.”

            “You’re either blind or deluded, Blitz.” The smile went away, “we were both witnessing the same battle.”

            “Were we?” Damon asked as one of his wolves appeared from thin air and bit into one of the sabers’ hind quarters. The saber roared in pain and the as soon as the other turned their backs, the rest of the pack came with a bloodthirsty vengeance only evil could fuel. The wolves ripped and tore into the sabers with a relentlessness the devil would be proud of, growls and roars of pain filled the air with a terrible harmony as the orchestra of death reached its crescendo. When the wolves were done, the sabers were lacerated beyond recognition and the color drained from Saber’s face. Damon stood proud, trying to suppress laughter at the priceless look Saber had at the fac he thought he’d beaten him, him? Damon Blitz? Tamer of The Treacherous Wolves? Ha! Never in a billion years.

            “You, treacherous bastard,” Saber breathed.

            “Well, they are The Treacherous Wolves, after all.” Damon chuckled, “it’s kind of their thing.”

            Saber recalled his sabers and they turned to mist and regrouped within him. Damon’s wolves gathered in the middle of the battleground, waiting expectantly.

            “Well?” Damon said, “They’re waiting.”

            “Shut up!” Saber said simply.

            Damon feigned surrender with a smile on his face, trying to suppress the urge to laugh. Saber racked his brain for a plan, but nothing came to him, his confidence wavered and his conviction in his abilities faltered. He snapped to his senses quickly and thrashed the thoughts of self-doubt aside and unleashed his sabers again, this time with fury. This time four instead of three.

            “So, you had four this whole time.” Damon said, “I see you’ve been holding out on me.”

            “The master never shows all his tricks,” Saber replied.

            “I’m surprised you had tricks in the first place,”

            The sabers spread out and the wolves did the same, the animals circled each other with malevolence. Murderous intent filled their eyes as they looked upon each other like helpless prey. The wolves’ eyes shone pale blue in the night. The sabers’ eyes shone a furious gold. The sounds of uneven footsteps and rustling branches filled the night as the stars danced in the skies, the tension between the animals built to a climax too high to sustain. The animals crouched low, their shoulders alternating with each stride, ready to lunge. Damon and Saber stared each other down, looking past the flesh and addressing the demons that lie beneath. The air seemed to hold its breath in anticipation, eyes emerged from the shadows to watch how the battle would play out. Saber had an expression of utmost serious. Damon had a laid-back and serene look on his face as if musing about something unrelated to the battle at hand. The Treacherous Wolves shifted their gaze to Damon, and he sensed it, snapping back to reality and tightening his grip on their will. The wolves fell back in line. The incident happened in less than a second, imperceptible to the human eye but not Saber, he caught it. ‘Well, they are The Treacherous Wolves, after all,’ was what Blitz said, Saber remembered. That’s when it came to him.

            “It must be difficult,” Saber said, “handling wolves such as those.”

            “You’re full of it, Saber.” Damon said, “I know you saw it, and think you can turn my wolves against me.”

            Saber kept his expression even, “I’m not as treacherous as that,” he said, “I prefer to kill my opponent with my own might.”

            “Sure, you do,” Damon said, “which was why you had that devious smile a moment ago. You can’t fool me, Saber. I’m always ten steps ahead.”

            “Are you?”

            Damon flashed a devious smile of his own, “but of course, they don’t call me the best hunter in the world for nothing, you know.”

            “We’ll just have to see about that, won’t we?”

            “So, we shall,”

            The wolves lunged and drew first blood. The sabers were disoriented but soon found their footing and reestablished dominance. The battle went the same as it did in the first round, the sabers sinking their long, sharp, ivory teeth into the wolves’ spines and crushing them, a sickening snap filling the air each time it happened. The wolves were in complete chaos, attacking with reckless abandon without regard for their safety or numbers. Each time a saber took down a wolf, Damon recalled it and brought it back with force. The sabers’ coordinated attacks lasted a good while before they eventually faltered. Damon analyzed the sabers’ movements and started seeing cracks in the formation. Seizing the opportunity, he snuck wolves between those cracks one by one, slowly breaking down the saber’s coordination. Saber saw this development and ran through his brain, searching for a plan, any plan. Anything to stop the madness occurring on the battlefield. His sabers were in disarray, being flanked on all sides with no room to breathe. Damon’s Treacherous Wolves living up to their name, using any sneaky and underhanded means to gain the slight advantage, swiping at the sabers’ hindlegs, biting on their tails, kicking up dust with theirs so the sabers couldn’t see. Saber looked to Damon with a fury that could draw blood, a malice that could cut through steel. Damon’s icy blue eyes were colder than the arctic in the dead of winter, his gaze shifting imperceptibly, analyzing the animal movements on the field. There was a distant look in his eyes, like he didn’t know Saber was there, like everything fell out of existence and there was only the fight. Saber knew this look and he knew it well, he also knew that whoever saw that look in Damon’s eyes often didn’t live to tell the tale.

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