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Slayers- Wolves and Their Prey

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By Skiyomi
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Theme #22.

Wolves and Their Prey.

Really, there is no such sustainable unit as a lone wolf. Oh, lone wolves exist; pushed out by the higher ups in their packs for various crimes against the pack. But a lone wolf is only one step away from death. A wolf by itself will not howl to the lonely moon unless it wants to risk being torn to pieces by either its old pack or a neighboring pack. Wolves have a complicated hierarchy that extends far beyond the alpha pair. Wolves hunt in groups. A wolf by itself cannot scrape by for long in this cold, cruel world. A lone wolf is not romantic.

The wolf with the keen eyes and the sleek coat creeping through the underbrush was not a lone wolf. He was from a proud pack that dominated the western edge of the forest. It was one of the biggest packs in the area, though this didn't say much because many packs in the area had been reduced to as little as four adults, which wasn't even much of a pack anymore. It was those damn farms that had cropped up on the town on the edge of the forest. More specifically, it was those damn farmers and their damn guns.

Still, the wolf had to admit that farms had their benefits.

This one was scouting. As indicated, he wasn't a lone wolf, but at the moment he was technically by himself.

And he was hungry. This didn't trouble him very much. When you live on the margins, you're always hungry, and to be a wolf is to live on the margins. He was used to the ache in his stomach, sharpening and dulling as time went past.

He knew, though, that even if he came across a meal his hunger would not be assuaged for long. The Alpha pair had bred, and a litter had been born. It was the responsibility of the entire pack to feed them, not just their parents'. Yes, it was the place of the hunters to give up even food that was already in their stomachs for the soft-toothed pups.

He grinned his predator grin. No one expects wolves to be so… altruistic. But there's a certain selfishness even in that act of sacrifice. It's all for the good of the pack. It's always for the good of the pack.

It was up to him to find food and signal to the pack when he had done so. Right now he was easing his way over to the red-washed farmhouse beyond the wood. He sidled along the edge of the forest, staying in the shadows away from any lurking human, and watched.

Wolves don't generally take down large prey unless it's already wounded or sick. But a hole in the back of the hen-house… a break in the wire fence… or just an especially stupid goose sticking its long neck through its pen. That would be just right.
He ceased his silent padding through the shrubbery, tried to slow his panting to below the volume of the noises of the forest, and zeroed in on a shape bending over a puddle outside the safety of the white painted fences.

*****

Three hundred miles away, in the kitchen of Miss Filia Ul Copt – dragon, single-mother, and successful small business owner – Xellos ruminated. Filia shoved a cup of tea in front of him bad-naturedly and wished he'd go ruminate somewhere else.

He'd often thought back on how it all started, because it had been a moment full of… strangeness. It certainly didn't go the way it should've gone at all. No…

It wasn't hard to grasp that he'd earned the hatred of the dragon race. That was the proper way of things. But he'd also earned their fear. And in a rather negative sense, that meant respect.

But Filia certainly hadn't been at all respectful when they first met. In fact, he distinctly remembered her calling him a creep and building a barbed wire fence around him in a matter of minutes. This had never happened to him before in all his dealings with dragons; even the ones that had been very efficient fence-builders.

There was supposed to have been a, well, a forced politeness. There'd be pride struggling like a maddened snake under the skin, but fear would keep it from escaping. More than fear… it was a terrible certainty of what would happen if they took one false step.

But Filia was all false steps. She wasn't polite in the least. She was insulting! She accused, harangued, and scolded. Him of all people.

And it wasn't like she had any sort of excuse. She knew his history. In fact, his history was mostly what she shouted angrily at him. It wasn't as though she had ignorance to excuse her. She knew. Could her tiny, dragon brain simply not make the jump from: "Xellos has already killed thousands of my race" to: "I shouldn't call Xellos raw garbage in case he decides to slay me for my insolence"?

But Filia didn't seem to consider that, or if she did she decided to ignore it. Maybe she was too prideful to consider her own mortality. Maybe she'd been so sheltered from living in the temple her whole life that she'd never had to be careful. Maybe, and Xellos tended to think this toward the end of a long day, she's just naturally obnoxious.

She hadn't acted the way she should. And it had been… perplexing. Xellos wasn't often perplexed. His mind was sharp, his knowledge was broad, and his intuition was keen. It wasn't something he had to deal with on a frequent basis.

And, as is so often the case with confusion, it had made him very irritated.

*****

It was a lamb. The wolf lowered his head below the foliage so that only his eyes peaked beyond the leaves. It had somehow gotten beyond its pen and was nonchalantly drinking from a puddle in the low grass as though it wasn't made of protein.

As the wolf looked closer he realized that this wasn't an ordinary lamb. It wasn't a standard animal for sheering. It was well fed, its coat had been cleaned recently, and it had a shiny bow tied around its neck. Somebody loved this lamb.

The wolf's legs tensed to leap. A pet. A pet on its own was very good luck. A pet did not have the same experience of its wiser, working brethren. A pet would not be able to outrun him. A pet, especially one that seemed to have escaped its pampered life, would not be smart enough to take shelter in the farm.

As he readied to make his leap, he trod on a dry leaf. He cursed his luck as the little lamb looked up. He had precious little time before even a brain as useless as a sheep's got the clue that it might be a good idea to run.

But it didn't run. In fact, it crossed its little streamlet on light, little hooves and looked curiously into the darkness until it spotted the predator. That froze the wolf. This was moron behavior even among sheep.

The lamb watched as the wolf tried to shift his sharp predator mind back into gear in this unprecedented situation. Then it appeared to make up its mind. It lowered its head.

And rammed it straight into the wolf's nose.

*****

I mean, Xellos demanded of no one in particular, what kind of name is 'raw garbage' to call anyone?

It wasn't the first time he'd asked that. Not by a long shot.

*****

The wolf pawed at his sore nose, more out of surprise than pain as the lamb trotted off in an apparently self-satisfied way.

It— She— The lamb had just— Where did she get the kind of—

The wolf was just glad that no one else was around to see that little misstep.

But honestly, what kind of sheep does that? Sheep may be stupid, but not that stupid. And just because she was a pet was no real excuse. Surely she'd been born with some instincts in that white, curl covered skull?

She should've at least known, and this is a completely random example, that you do not head-butt a hungry wolf if you are a delicious lamb. Did someone honestly need to write that down? Did there need to be lessons for something so obvious?

It's not a complicated system. Predators attack; prey run. Come to think of it, predators run too. But predators run to, prey runs away from.

If prey starts attacking predators then the whole system falls down. It's anarchy, is what it is.

He got up and tried to suppress a whine as his tender nose sniffed the air. He watched as the lamb walked off into the forest with her head held high and entirely too much flounce for an ungulate.

She wasn't going to get away with this.

He leaned low and tracked her through the trees.

*****

Xellos had to admit that he'd been a bit impressed by Filia's gall. That is… it had left an impression on him at least.

Pushing buttons to see when someone would snap was a… hobby, you could say. Filia was clearly all buttons and snapped on such a regular basis that to still be together she must have possessed some truly elastic qualities.

And perhaps at a certain point she became… a little refreshing.

*****

It wasn't a matter of when the wolf could attack the lamb. The lamb walked through the forest in the open, with such little care for her safety that a half a dozen hawks might have been able to band together and lift her away. He had plenty of time to take care of the lamb. Which was perhaps why he didn't.

He started to wonder about her. Clearly this wasn't an ordinary lamb if she would go so far as to attack a wolf. Hadn't she ever seen a wolf before? Hadn't she heard the barking in the night and come out to the pens only to find one of her siblings missing? Could she at least sense, somewhere deep in her ancestral memory, that things with claws and sharp teeth should be feared?

And he wondered even more where she was going. This was new territory for him. The minutiae of life in non-wolves hadn't frequently entered his arrow-like mind. Why should he care, beyond a surveillance perspective, what others would do? Knowing that the rabbits always burrow here is important to know for the next meal. But if you concern yourself in Mister Rabbit's secret blueberry addiction and Mrs. Rabbits worry that the kits weren't coming along very well in the hopping and scampering department, then you're just losing it as a predator.

But nevertheless he wondered. What could a pampered pet like this be doing out in the woods? Why would she want to leave the comfort of the farm for? She looked like she was well treated. She probably belonged to the farmer's daughter. Girls tended to tie bows around things for some reasons.

He couldn't think of anything in the forest that could be worth leaving shelter and daily meals for. Nothing at all.

She knew he was following him, and that irritated him especially. It didn't say much for his credibility as a stealth hunter if even she could pick him out. But she'd looked back at him, directly in the eye with those strange rectangular pupils her kind had. Then she'd turned her glance away pointedly as if she had better things to do than spend her time looking at him.

That had served to only make him angrier. He growled softly, but she ignored him.

Just you wait. He crept through the underbrush after her. You'll learn your folly…

…but later.

*****

Xellos had long ago decided that it would be worthwhile to keep an eye on Filia.

Because she wasn't stupid. He'd had to admit that very grudgingly. Oh, she could be flighty and rely on her emotions which made her do stupid things. But she wasn't stupid. Filia had a battering-ram of an intellect. It couldn't deal in complications, but for the most part it didn't need to, it just smashed to the core of the problem and overwhelmed until it got results.

It is said that such people bear watching: from a distance.

But Xellos knew that only by close observation could he ever really understand.

*****

The lamb stopped and sat by the bank of the stream, staring up at the rocks as the trickling of water overwhelmed the singing of the insects and the howl of the wind.

The wolf stopped and watched the lamb. Was this it? Was this all she'd escaped captivity to see?

Hesitantly, he approached her. She bleated disapprovingly at him several times, but did nothing more. She turned her gaze back to the…

…waterfall. He was looking at it too now. He'd come to this place on many occasions for a quick drink of water before the hunt could recommence.  He'd never thought of it as particularly impressive.

But suddenly, as he looked at her, it seemed to change before his eyes. The rocks went up high, and the water flowed out from between them in glassy sheets. It was an icy taste from where the forest turned into highlands, and the highlands turned into mountains. The circle of trees around it let the sun in, and cast multicolored refractions in the misty air.

He'd never tried looking at things from another's perspective before. Oh, sure, he'd thought of the pack. But the pack was simply a larger organism that he was a part of. The lamb was something… other. And seeing through her eyes was strange… and beautiful.

She got up, seemingly satisfied with what she'd seen, and walked back along the path she'd come along and back toward the farm house.

She stepped on his tail along the way.

*****

And yes, Xellos had to admit, on some level he'd gotten… used to Filia. She had a way of filling the days. Life would've been significantly duller without her around.

His thoughts were interrupted by a feather duster plunged into his face. He looked beyond it to see Filia glaring at him, with one 'I mean business!' hand on her hip.

"If you're going to loiter here all the time than you could at least do something useful," she said sharply as he took the duster in a numb sort of way. "I'm going to clean in the storeroom and you might try to help!" She stormed off down the hall.

Xellos followed her. The thing about Filia was that she was different. He was sure that the dragon elders at the temple had tried to stifle the audacity out of her. But what could you do? Filia was just bold. In many ways it wasn't a good thing, but it wasn't a bad thing either.

"And don't you dare break anything!" she warned, as they reached the storeroom lined with vases. "It's art, okay? And I don't want you making a mess."

"Art?" Xellos said, taking in the distance the vases were spaced from each other. "Silly me. I thought they were just overpriced tourist fodder. Tell me, Filia, which one is more artistic? The one that says 'Have Vases, Not Vices!' or 'To the World's Best Mom'?"

"Oh, just be quiet and get dusting!" Filia shouted, taking up a polish and gently applying it to her work with a rag.

Xellos shrugged and moved to a likely shelf.

It was true that everything could get complicated. Filia was a dragon. Monsters aren't supposed to spend all their spare time with dragons under the normal rules. But then again, the normal rules had no understanding.

Filia was the last of the Fire Dragon King's servants. She was also the caretaker of the only remaining Ancient Dragon in the world. If war broke out, she was in for a world of hurt, and likely he'd be the one expected to inflict it.

But it didn't have to be complicated. She wasn't interfering or anything. She practically lived like a human. Instead of concentrating her talents on where they could do harm, she spent them buying and selling antiques and raising her son. She was trying to be normal.

There was no need to do anything about her. She was no harm, and Xellos had his suspicions that if she were so inclined she could actually be quite useful.

It would all be fine. He could keep this; whatever it was that this was. He was minding all the spinning plates that could lead to catastrophe. He had everything completely under his control. And if it all must end someday, he could deal with that too. After all, he was a monster.

There was a horrible shatter of pottery as one tall vase that Xellos had been cleaning fell into the one next to it, causing a domino effect across the entire shelf.

"XELLOS!" he heard Filia shriek as the clatter subsided.

He smiled to himself. It was alright. This was alright. It wasn't as though he'd ever have to pay a price for it or anything.

*****

The wolf tracked the lamb on the path back to the farm. He'd tried walking beside her for part of the time, but she had a mean kick. Best to watch her from the sidelines.

He'd intended to make his kill as soon as he'd satisfied his curiosity enough by finding out where she was going. But he'd decided just lately not to kill her. She'd at least shown him an interesting day.

And anyway, it was hard to think of her like the other sheep who did nothing but chew grass all day with constipated expressions. She was an individual, set apart from the mindless throng. There were plenty of sheep in the world. He didn't need to kill her.

After all, he'd experienced so many things that day that evolution had denied him the luxury of: curiosity, empathy, wonder, confusion, and…

…something that he couldn't quite put a name to that had kept him tracking her even after he'd seen the waterfall and decided not to kill her.

The day would bring no food, but that was alright. Many days didn't. True, if the pack found out he'd let this one go there'd probably be a fight and he'd be pushed out. But they didn't have to find out. Many scouters had come back without meat or news of likely prey. There would be nothing suspicious about it.

And she could go back to the safety of her farm and away from the dangerous woods. But maybe he could watch her from time to time. That would be fine. Only when he was on his way on another hunt. He wouldn't go out of his way or anything.

He froze as a familiar smell hit his nose. He barely suppressed a growl as he focused his motion-sensitive eyesight on the path ahead while he concealed himself behind a bush. He found what he was looking for, but hoped wouldn't be there.

A few feet away from the oncoming path of the lamb was another wolf. It wasn't just any wolf. It was a member of the wolf's own pack. It had spotted the unsuspecting lamb from the other direction, and was poised to leap.

The wolf's hair stood on end as his shoulder-blades rose together in barely suppressed rage. For another wolf to take the prey he'd been stalking all day was intolerable. It was not for the other wolf to decide what happened to her!

Moreover, the portion of his brain that went into action when a shotgun blast was heard, or a large, mad elk lowered its head to charge, seemed strangely to be activated. And he thought of the hunt.

Humans tend to think of wolves as the spirit of the hunt, and thus believe them to be terribly efficient killers. They're not. They're far worse than that. They're terribly inefficient killers.

Now a wild cat, that's an efficient killer. They've got the jaws for killing. A clamp from their jaws is enough to silence its struggling prey in mere moments. Wolves just don't have that kind of jaw.

When wolves kill it can take hours; blood-soaked hours as the hapless animal is battered back and forth in the grip of the wolf's teeth. It's not a pleasant way to die: waiting for your neck to be broken.

The lamb didn't see it. She didn't see the other wolf.

He ground his meat-tearing teeth together and leapt.

The lamb stepped backward in surprise. All the fear that she probably owed that day came into her eyes as she saw the wolf that had been following her all day leap upon another surprised wolf that she hadn't seen, and the clearing erupted into a fit of growling, screaming, and flying fur and blood.

The wolf watched her panic stricken eyes as it tried to get his jaws around the interloper's neck.

There will be a price to pay for this, no matter what happens.
A response to theme #22 of Beloved Enemy's 100 Nights of Summer challenge. Join the fun: [link]

Rating: T
Fandom: Slayers
Pairing: Xellos/Filia
Genre: General/Romance

Themes Done So Far:
-Exorcism: [link]
-Tea Leaves: [link]
-First Kiss: [link]
-Guilty: [link]
-Dwelling on It: [link]
-Unoriginal Sin: [link]
-Game: [link]
-Terms & Conditions: [link]
-How to Impress a Woman: [link]
-Wolves and Their Prey
-Good Deeds: [link]
-Amusement Park: [link]
-Flower Garden: [link]
-Gemstones: [link]
-Childish: [link]
-You are Answerable for you Fantasies: [link]
-Clipped Wings: [link]
-Totally Smashed: [link]
-Just Because You Can Do It, Doesn't Mean You Should: [link]
Published:
© 2010 - 2020 Skiyomi
Comments18
anonymous's avatar
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CMY187's avatar
...I promised, didn't I? I completely forgot, and now only just remembered.

Lone Wolf. The title of an out-of-print game book series I've been collecting for years.

Very surreal definition of the lone wolf. Like a ronin samurai.
I also like how you shut down the idea of the LW as romantic. Reality is never as pleasant as fantasy.

Damn guns...hehehehehe...

Geez, that was a rather accurate and uncomfortable description of the wolf's hunger.

For the good of the pack...how fitting for this wolf to reflect a certain Cone considering the name of the residence of said certain Cone's Lord.

Dragon, single-mother, successful small business owner.
Sounds disturbingly like a dossier from a file kept by the Mazoku race.

Ruminate somewhere else...

Oh? And how exactly did Xellos expect it should have gone?
Filia's right about him. Delusions are his shield, including self-delusion.

Filia building that fence around him, plus the anti-cannon ball helmet, made me wonder just where she got all her equipment from.
Then again, Lina DID create a pyramid and coffin within seconds...

I find the idea of an anti-Mazoku fence interesting, actually.

Filia CHARMED him. Without even trying or intending to. You're right, Skiyomi.
He's been so used for so long to a diplomatic reception from Dragons that her insulting, belittling behaviour towards him just completely threw him off. When she called him a piece of garbage for the first time, he did not glare menacingly and threatened to atomize her, he just stood there in silent, furious astonishment, like "WHAT did she just call me!?"
While it might be well-earned, I think that Xellos is rather self-important, and it'll be evilly great to see Filia put him down and say that he isn't of THAT high standing among his own people, even though she knows full well that it isn't true.

Naturally obnoxious?
Hmm...I suppose she's a LITTLE obnoxious sometimes. But then again, she WAS travelling with the Slayers. The third episode really showed her frustration at their behavior, particularly Zelgadis, who out of all the four she seems to get along with the most (I will never forget the furious verbal exchange between Filia and Lina in the Alto dungeons).

Ah, the pampered, sheltered lamb. So this is an image of Filia you've created for us. Nice one.

I take it that you agree with Pratchett on the mental capacity of sheep. Well, that's the term we give to people who blindly follow and passively allow themselves to be deceived.

Go, lamb!! Headbutt on da SNOUT!!!

From 'It' to 'She'. Hehehe. That lamb's already gotten his attention, all in a few seconds.

Curl covered skull...someone's noticing someone else...

To and from. Rincewind could give a hour-long series of lectures on the definitions.

Oh, Xellos, just shut up with all the euphemistic talk and say you have feelings for her. Oh, wait, let me guess, that too is a secret.
Nobody manipulates Xellos except for Xellos. However, Filia, who has no past experience in piloting the plane that is known as Xellos's Mind, has managed to successfully fly it nonetheless.
And she didn't even want to fly the damn thing...

It really is a fascinating thing. WHY does Filia refuse to treat Xellos with masked fear and grudging respect rather than a nuisance and a pest whom she'll keep on demanding to get out of her house, sight, and store-room?
Filia's parents must have been a special couple to have raised someone like her. Not everyday you meet a priestess who likes pottery, bludgeoning weapons and seamstressing (no, not THAT kind of seamstressing...)

Arrow-like mind...I'd say that arrow is more conical in shape than a standard one.
His interest in the lamb/Filia is far, far more than mere surveillance.

Secret blueberry addiction...

I think you know my next question.
Girls and Bow-Tying. Why?

Much, MUCH later. Any day now. Perhaps tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow.
Alright, next week then. Or maybe a month. Just to let you know that the end is coming.
...a year then. Or a decade. Or...

Smashing and overwhelming to solve problems...Filia certainly proved that by sending Gourry on a sea trip in a giant bell and turning Zelgadis into a stony pinball.

Bleated disapprovingly...

Wow. You did a fantastic job with the story section regarding the waterfall.

A wondrous, meaningful moment between them...ruined when she stepped on his tail. Excellent (Mortgomery Burns style).

If it had been ANYONE ELSE who demanded that he, the Mighty Xellos, provide assistance in spring-cleaning...

OUCH. And the worst thing about his merchandise jab was that he was right.

If the Mazoku decided that Filia has to go, there will be not a shred of doubt in any Slayers fan who would be the most-likely selected person for the task...

Trying to be normal...wish Filia could meet Susan Sto Helit. If the ex-priestess thinks she's got problems...at least she's not a KINDERGARDEN TEACHER.

Filia will NEVER be inclined to be useful to the Mazoku.

Domino effect...one of my favourites.

A mean kick...hahahahaha...thank you so much, Skiyomi. Short, simple words, yet so freakin' hilarious.

Constipated expressions...again...

...he's gonna go out of his way.
All the time.
Every chance he gets.

I LOVE your description of wolves and their methods of killing (or not killing...) their prey.
Alan Grant, on Velociraptors: You are ALIVE when they start to eat you.

Why do I get the feeling that the manner in which cats kill their prey is one of the reasons that Death likes them?

Thanks so much for writing this, and again I am sorry that I failed to deliver on my promise for so goddamn long.

I am currently re-watching TRY, and am now at EP 21. I'm also analyzing the character that is Jillas, noting down everything he said and did.

George Carlin had this to say about wolves:
Ranchers raise pathetic, worthless cattle and sheep, animals who cannot live off the land without human supervision, and the same ranchers kill wolves, magnificent, individualistic animals fully capable of caring for themselves without assistance. Individualism gives way to sheep behavior. Sound familiar?
I root for a wolf to someday take a rancher's kid. Yes I do. And you know something? The wolf would probably take the kid home and raise him, in the manner of Romulus and Remus; and probably do a better job than the rancher.
Remember, wolves mate for life, and they care for their sick and infirm; they don't run them off, or kill them, or abandon them. Give me a wolf over some fuckin' jackoff rancher any day of the week.

Wolves And Their Prey, a wonderful story to give Slayers fans so much insight into the unique (mis)relationship between Filia Ul Copt and that Namagomi Xellos.
Skiyomi's avatar
I had just recently read a book about wild canines, so that really helped in writing this.

(Dragon, single-mother, successful small business owner.
Sounds disturbingly like a dossier from a file kept by the Mazoku race.)

And don’t think Xellos doesn’t have one of those. He’s got a rather orderly mind for an agent of chaos.

(Ruminate somewhere else...)

Ruminate is one of my (many) favorite words.

(Filia CHARMED him. Without even trying or intending to. You're right, Skiyomi.)

There’s a trope for this, but I can’t remember the name.

(Oh, Xellos, just shut up with all the euphemistic talk and say you have feelings for her. Oh, wait, let me guess, that too is a secret.
Nobody manipulates Xellos except for Xellos. However, Filia, who has no past experience in piloting the plane that is known as Xellos's Mind, has managed to successfully fly it nonetheless.
And she didn't even want to fly the damn thing...)

And Xellos is damned if he can figure out how he let all this happen :P

(It really is a fascinating thing. WHY does Filia refuse to treat Xellos with masked fear and grudging respect rather than a nuisance and a pest whom she'll keep on demanding to get out of her house, sight, and store-room?
Filia's parents must have been a special couple to have raised someone like her. Not everyday you meet a priestess who likes pottery, bludgeoning weapons and seamstressing (no, not THAT kind of seamstressing...))

I tend to think that Filia’s aware that he could kill her easily, but that she’d rather die than kowtow to him. She’s very prideful where he’s concerned.

(I think you know my next question.
Girls and Bow-Tying. Why?)

Bows are pretty. Not everything is mysterious.

(Wow. You did a fantastic job with the story section regarding the waterfall.)

Thanks! My one regret is that I didn’t add some sort of hint at the farm itself that the lamb could hear the distant waterfall—so the trip would seem a little less random.

(Why do I get the feeling that the manner in which cats kill their prey is one of the reasons that Death likes them?)

Could be. Surely he’d value efficiency.

Thanks so much for your comments! I appreciate it!
CMY187's avatar
I'm very busy right now, so ye might haveta wait for a review of this chapter from me on FF.net.

Just gotta say, probably your very best story, EVER, that involves those two.

You wanna know something scary? You're starting to convert me. A tiny little portion of me brain is now actually...accepting...the idea of them being together.
Thanks to you. Dammit! God-freakin'-Dammit! This is all your fault!! First with that 2-Chapter story, now this one...get thee behind me, Minamino. For it is said in the Holy Scripture: Never show support for a pairing involving a high-level Mazoku with a lousy haircut.
Well, thanks a lot. I've broken the commandment. Ah, well.

My favourite moments were when the lil lamb headbutted his nose and trodded on his tail.

When I have the time, I'll leave a detailed review on Fanfiction.net.

P.S. Won't be getting home til after 10pm tomorrow, so my review of your upcoming chapter of ALO might be delayed. I friggin' hate rehearsals for annual events. Especially after knowing that the particular one I'm being forced to assist preparing for is going to be a failure anyway...
Skiyomi's avatar
MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! IT BEGINS!

...Sorry ^^;

Thanks very much! XD Yeah. The little lamb had a lot of moxie.
littlecloudflower's avatar
"If prey starts attacking predators then the whole system falls down. It's anarchy, is what it is."

Oh my gosh! This was hilarious! I almost choked on my dumplings! :D

I really like the wolf and lamb allegory! That was genius! At first I thought it was slightly random, but surprisingly, it contained a LOT of insight into their relationship!

This is such a great example why I admire your writing so much! When I tried doing the Xellos-reflecting on their history sort of thing, it turned out sort of boring for me...But when you do that, not only is it not boring, it adds a whole new level into the story! Hopefully with more practice, one day I can do that too! :D

Though the ending kind of hinted "impending doom..." But the wolf still stayed loyal to the lamb. Haha, personally, I half expected the wolf to just kill the lamb than to let another wolf kill it. But I guess that's just me and my dark mind at work! ^^; You tend to be more optimistic about the pairing in general...Which is really refreshing after all my sad stories! :)
Skiyomi's avatar
:D Thanks a lot!

I think it helps my reflection thing that I've been slowly (very slowly) picking over TRY with a fine-toothed comb.

It was a lot of fun to do the wolf stuff. I read a book on wild dogs and a lot of the ideas came from that. I tried to stay accurate wherever possible.

Yeah, the ending is kinda darker than my usual because it's meant to hint at the future Xellos might have to face if another monster attacks Filia - no matter how much he'd like to believe he can spin things so that future doesn't happen. The wolf attacked the other wolf. If he doesn't get killed by the other wolf, he'll still likely be made an outcast by his pack. Either way, there's a price.

It's not your dark mind at work. I specifically wanted there to be some doubt as to whether the wolf would jealously kill the lamb rather than let another wolf have it. So I'm glad to know that landed!
littlecloudflower's avatar
You're welcome!

Well, that's true! Writing comes naturally when you reflect on it a lot! :)

Yeah, I noticed your accuracy. I have a friend obsessed with wolves, so I picked up quite a bit from her. :D

And I noticed your darker than usual ending, too. Usually, in your fics, Filia pwns Xellos at the end, or vice versa. This one was kind of foreshadowing...Like ooh, what's going to happen...? I really liked the way you made Xellos break those dishes and say there's no price, and then made the wolf pay a price. Demonstrates exactly how Xellos doesn't know everything, especially concerning his situation. His fatal flaw is his overestimation of himself, and underestimation of his enemies.

Really? Thank goodness! I guess I'm savable, after all!

...But really, did you really have to manipulate my thought process that completely? In this, as well as in Diplomacy? I've fallen for every single trap you've laid out!!!
Skiyomi's avatar
I'm glad I was accurate! I didn't have the book in hand, so I was going off of memory.

Yep, yep. Xellos and that big ego of his. And he thinks he can get everything he wants without making the tough decisions and the sacrifices. *shakes head*

XD Mwahaha! I'm a writer! I'm supposed to be manipulative!

...Or is that just my excuse? :P
littlecloudflower's avatar
Good writer are like Xellos in the tricky and manipulative department! :D
AmberPalette's avatar
TnT D'AH. Delicious interval-situation writing!

TnT!!!! I MISS WRITING THIS PAIRING ARGH. Must...somehow...find time...from PhD studies....!!!!!

Have I ever mentioned the wolf is my totem and I love writing about wolves? Yeah. So this had some personal gratification to read tooooo.

may I make one suggestion? It's actually not a critique, because your writing as it stands is superb. This may be my bias toward using description actions, and mannerisms to tell stories and develop character, rather than using dialogue and internal monologue--but I wonder if you might want to try experimenting with writing a Xellia vignette that COMPLETELY lacks dialogue or even monologue, and is wholly a series of descriptions: of settings, actions, and events. I'd die to see you using an alternative prose strategy like that. But you don't HAVE to: again, how you write is already perfect.
Skiyomi's avatar
:D Thanks!

Wolves are awesome. I ended up bumping this idea up to the top of my writing list because I read an article last night about an increase in measures states are taking to kill grey wolves. WHAT ABOUT 'ENDANGERED SPECIES' DO PEOPLE NOT UNDERSTAND?! It was actually talking about gassing wolf pups in their dens! That's just barbaric.

I should probably stretch myself and do that... but I honestly don't really think about dialogue vs. description when I'm writing. I just do whatever I think is best to tell the story. I definitely tend to like dialogue and internal monologue over description, but I like to keep both in my tool box.

I've got a lot of stuff on my to-do list right now... but if things calm down it might be a good exercise for me to try that...
AmberPalette's avatar
I understand! It may be a matter of style, not technique, since it is not one of quality.

Yeah, wrt endangered wolfies, you just stumbled on one of the top ten (or so) reasons why I cannot stand Sarah Palin, lol.
Skiyomi's avatar
I think part of it is that I have a lot of *really weird* hang ups about words which tends to make me favor less extensive description.

Oooh. I am with you 110% on the Sarah Palin thing.
AmberPalette's avatar
lol :hug:

Yeah, word hang-ups. The ruthless faculty advisory committee doesn't allow me to hesitate to just plow through and obliterate my own prose and keep rewriting. So I suppose it's like your word hang-ups except with a bulldozer as a clearing tool LOL.
LilyBotanica's avatar
I hate to say this, but you've actually got me shipping lamb/wolf. I hope they get married and have adorable interspecieal babies. Or, to be allegorically correct, adopt a goat.

:D
Skiyomi's avatar
XD I was afraid of that. I'm like... first Serpent/Eve... now this?

But they're so cute together!

Oooh. They should adopt a goat. Goats are awesome.
LilyBotanica's avatar
You know that Xellia fascination has hit a new high when you start shipping allegorical references....:P

Goats are AMAZING! I love them so much.
Skiyomi's avatar
Too true!

I love them and their evil little devil faces and their creepy rectangular pupils and that intelligent look they give you as they try to eat everything that comes close to them. I couldn't go to the County Fair this year so I missed them ;_;
anonymous's avatar
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