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The climb took most of three days. With sore paws, Emiru continued onward until she crested the mountain. The petite she-Varg stopped once she made it to Fenrir's Incisor, determined to not quite yet slump into a heap of exhausted fluff. Ignoring the subtle buckling of her knees and ankles was easy - there was nothing but glee in her mind at her newest - and first - conquest.
She closed her eyes for a moment, enjoying the kiss of warm sunlight on her nose that paired with the coolness of the breeze at the peak. The youth spooked herself with the giggle that fell on the wind much like a coin hitting a stone floor. Imagining herself properly mussed by the wind and carrying the scent of fresh blooms back home with her in her fur, she laughed out loud.
Silly. She thought to herself, tearing in a small circle and skidding to a stop, where she would finally sit down and take in the view. The mountain itself was breathtaking, despite the walk actually taking one's breath away. Emiru gave a shake of her head and looked on, past the cliff's edge. Young buds were threatening to bloom early - peeps of vibrant color were stark against the mostly barren branches. She looked from the puds to her own hide and snickered again.What would I do if I had pink marks on my hide?
Taking a deep breath, she savored the air. Crisp - clean - and untouched. There was something wild about the air at the top of the peak and she understood now why the plant life churned soil by digging in their roots and daring to flash their colors so early. Even if it meant being bare and having sparse flowers and fruit later in the year, Emiru would want to show off in this part of the season too. It was the perfect opportunity to show the most beautiful buds - unblemished by the summer sun, bugs, and harsher winds of a bitter winter.
The brashness of the fresh flowers tickled her fancy and made her want to do something incredibly stupid.
Emiru tipped her head back and howled. She howled as long and loud as she could, and then howled again for good measure, raising her voice in tone ensure that the ruckus would carry on the wind. She hoped at least one of her friends or family would hear it and ponder if it was truly her or not!
With the excess of joyous energy spent, Emiru laid down and breathed heavily - a sigh of utter relaxation and nothing more. The ground was cool under her feet and belly, and she reveled in the comfort of having claimed this spot - even if it was only for a few hours.
Her eyes moved past the flowers, wary, in the case they got her riled up again. The villages beyond looked quite small. Stark against the landscape but barely a speck in the grander picture. It all made her feel small - more small, that is, than she truly was. Or perhaps not. The peak was so very high that she could barely make out the other Felvarg folk going about their business, chasing their pets and companions and preparing for the evening to come.
The Varg's eyes, on a breadth of loneliness, looked away from the bustling (and non!) villages and down towards her own front feet. Mud and grass in her claws were a reminder of the effort it took to get there. Alone.
There was no one with Emiru to share the journey, and none to revel in the joy of making it to the peak. She doubted, too, that anyone would hear her cry on the wind for she was still quite small in size. Afraid to breathe, she held her breath as if that would stop the flooding of emotions clouding her better judgment.
Toes tingling with the brief lack of oxygen, she rubbed her forepaws into the gravel, grass, and stone, and stood up again. Maybe... Maybe if she left a mark here? Wrote her name in the gravel or clawed it into the stone? Maybe if she found something on the mountain to share with others when she returned? Perhaps she would -- Her rapid-fire thoughts came to a grinding halt.
Overwhelmed with the excess of beauty and underwhelmed with the flickering threat of sorrow in her heart, Emiru tore down the path once more. She ran more swiftly than she knew she could, making use of gravity and higher altitude to kick off and land safely where applicable. She tore through the bush and trees who flashed their prideful buds of springtime from her previous perch, her coat ripping them from the life granted by branch and root and leaving them asunder on the ground.
The peak itself was sorrow and pain; the pain that threatened to well up and into Emiru's throat to make her cry out once more. She swallowed it back, stifling the howl of a soul that hardly knew if it could withstand its own heart-song. The buds she tried desperately to ignore on the way down, half running, half falling, were stark reminders of the ever-lasting love of Freyja. Freyja.
The name itself cut through the muddied thoughts and rage of emotion that blinded her mind and senses. Stark, white, and pure, with the colors she imagined might reflect Freyja's pure and loving nature. Purple-edged in white; green leaves, and the same buds Emiru tore down as she broke through bush and bramble. Emiru misstepped with hesitation, the yearning for companionship gave way to a longing to make Freyja and Fenrir proud.
The young Felvarg stumbled, head over foot, and came skidding to the ground. The ache in her shoulder, left paw, and jaw was each sharp enough to knock the wind from her lungs.
Once she could breathe again, she found herself sobbing, crying uncontrollably.
Crying for those who had come before her, and lost their lives.
Crying for herself, her brash expectations and her longing.
She cried harder for the sacrifice of Freyja, and Fenrir's sorrow.
She cried because she had forgotten, so very swiftly, to be proud.
Emiru cried quietly with only the wind and scent of flowers to comfort her where she lay, not bothering to wipe her tears or brush the dirt from her muzzle. She lay there for a while until all her woes emptied itself onto the ground, leaving puddles that would swiftly dry into tiny salted holes.
Eyes cast upward again, back towards the peak that she rushed to leave. She hadn't gotten very far before gravity and her surge of emotions brought her down. Fenrir.
Emiru owed him, and her kind, more than what she had thus given. Foolhardy adventures with no one to share it with meant nothing. There was no pride in an accomplishment that could not be shared, and her scaling the mountain would be rendered worthless without her revelation.
There was so much more she could do with herself.
Rising on shaking legs, she tested her paws, moving forward with care instead of her previously brash break-neck down the path.
You can't help your people if you, yourself, are broken.
Three days to climb. It might well only take her a day and a half to get home again. With determination in her heart, she carried on. It was too dangerous to treck and go see Freyja. She would need to, without a doubt, go home first and tend her aching muscles.
Despite all, Emiru vowed first and foremost make it her priority to grow strong. Strong of heart and compassion, consideration and temperance, keeping in mind that her size was of no matter.
Even she could make a difference in her community.I will make Fenrir proud.