[AW] putting myself in the place of the oracle
#1
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[WC: 306]

They were, perhaps predictably, forbidden from traveling to Cour des Miracles.

Bennett hadn't understood at first. He had raised arguments, cited a desire to explore and see and that he was technically old enough to do what he wanted, and as the argument spiraled and spiraled until finally, when Linden had realized his stubborn son might just go ahead and travel without allowance, he explained why.

The Queen of Cour des Miracles executed your mother, Linden had explained. He looked strange when he talked about her. It made Bennett increasingly uncomfortable, but he was caught in the need to know. Neither of you should go near that place. Not now, not yet. We have sanctuary here, but beyond Misftell Vale's borders our protection wanes. There are certainly people who would do harm to you, or to me, if they were able.

But...but why were they allowed to kill her? That's not right!

Linden hadn't really been able to give them an answer. The talk had gone on late into the night, and Bennett slept poorly when he finally gave into exhaustion. He had wanted to talk to his brother about it, but he didn't know what to say. His father and brother were gone by the time Bennett woke.

After eating the cold remnants of a breakfast he had missed, the boy slipped away from his home. The revelation as to his mother's untimely passing and their reason for being kept away from the world had put things into a very sharp perspective. He wanted to run, and so he remained on all four – a small, bright streak cutting its way through the damp snowy forest. He thought to look for his family, but made no effort to find them. Instead, he tore through the forest, racing along the river's edge westward towards the bridge.


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#2
I'm assuming this is set just before the others set off for the Court? poke me if not and I'll fix it <3 256

She didn't want to go, she'd decided, as the days running up to their departure fell from the calendar like leaves fell from a tree in the depths of autumn. Unfortunately, it was too late for that now. The Starkhelm wouldn't see her reputation take a potential hit from something so banal as not showing up to a party. She didn't like parties so part of her wondered why she'd bothered to agree to attend in the first place. Reluctantly she'd begun, and later finished, packing her things for the journey. Like usual, she'd packed light, but upon further contemplation, Saga had decided that perhaps this time she'd packed a little too lightly. Frowning, she had swiftly begun shifting as she made for the door of her small abode and out into the outside world.

While she didn't feel entirely up for a hunt either, her pantry was almost bare and there would be no way she could stomach a long journey without something more substantial than water and bread. Through the trees, however, she spotted a flurry of auburn and wondered momentarily if Linden was out on a hunt too. Verdant eyes remained trained on the figure, that now seemed to be moving closer, and soon decided that first, that the sooty ears did not belong to Linden, and secondly, the figure was smaller than the ranger. She soon realised that it was likely one of his boys, and she let out a bark in greeting.
#3
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[WC: 320]

Though he was quick, Bennett was small and his stride not very big at all compared to the larger wolves among his peers. His babysitter, old Posey, she was big – her daughter was big too. Most people were bigger than him, a sad fact that made Bennett more conscious of the danger that now seemed so prevalent in the world. Out there were people who hated him and wanted to hurt him and kill him because of who he was.

It made him angry.

The ground was ripped by his claws as he tore along the path, kicking up dead leaves and dirt as he went. Stealth was none of his concern. Mistfell Vale was safe, his father had promised, and Bennett badly wanted to believe him. This was difficult. He no longer knew if the people here could be trusted, or if they too might seek to harm him one day.

A target had been put on Bennett by giving him his mother's name. He might have been colored like Linden (Bennett made many a fierce expression like Mistral, however) but anyone who had known her as an enemy would certainly connect the two. Had she succeeded and come to rule, perhaps he would have been the king after her.

He was angry about this perceived loss too. Fate had stolen so much from him. It had nearly stolen his life, according to his father. Linden had not told them how much he had truly lost in coming here, though Bennett now wondered at the implication.

Ahead of him, a voice called out. Forced to recognize this as a superior, the young man slowed his pace and approached the dappled wolf at a slower speed. He seemed wary about getting too close, but made cautiously friendly signals in greeting.

Yeah? He asked, sniffing at the two-toned woman curiously. She looked weird, but not in a bad way.


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#4
269

She knew of Linden's plight and, by extension, the situation his two boys saw themselves in. As Starkhelm, Saga was privy to more or less everything that had been discovered or confided in by the Ravenking and the Nightstag and what she didn't know she had pieced together and made cautious guesstimations about what had and had not happened. She'd asked Linden once when she'd been young and he had first arrived, naturally, he'd been reluctant to answer her question and the young D'Angelo had allowed the matter to pass. She now knew why and, despite the shocking events that had apparently transpired, she had developed a much stronger respect for the former Courtier. Considering this, Saga was not surprised to see the flurry of decaying flora that swirled up around his halfbreed body. He made quite the convincing tempest.

As the boy ceased his frustrated meanderings and approached the Starkhelm with caution, she saw the reluctance in her eyes and felt the familiarity of it warm her. It felt like years ago, but in truth, it had been few months that the boy himself had walked the earth, that Saga herself had been rueful youth who had been reluctant to supplicate to those bigger and bolder than she. Where she would not tolerate it in others, she tolerated it here. Scolding him would only serve to sink him deeper into his dour mood and Saga felt far too young to be within a chance of succeeding in forcing respect out of him. Instead, she mirrored his casual greeting, 'Out for some exercise?'
#5
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[WC: 302]

She didn't snap at him about his tone or berate him for his presence, but Bennett remained stiff and closed-off.

He was still processing the newly-revealed truth of his origin. Others knew, surely – Linden had said as much – but they still required secrecy. How was he supposed to talk through his feelings when he wasn't supposed to talk about it at all? This was more than the adolescent wanted to deal with. His life had been much simpler when he had just been Bennett, and not a man in exile. What a strange thing to think of, being forbidden to walk freely in the land of his birth. To fear that saying his name to certain strangers who were otherwise meant to be allies would be dangerous made him anxious and fearful.

If he was to survive, he would need to become stronger and smarter. He would need to find teachers, and make allies, and learn who he could trust. Everyone he had met in his young life had seemed older, wiser, and somehow stranger in ways he was just beginning to recognize. Isolation made it difficult to see what passed for normal. Everything was beginning to seem just a little off-kilter.

I guess, he offered without enthusiasm. Most of his exercise was regimented by training. Running just for the sake of running was pointless, but exercise made it sound like he was doing something of importance, and he didn't want her to think of him as lazy. Now that he was an adult, he was expected to contribute.

Sometimes he tried. Mostly he got frustrated.

What are you doing? Bennett asked the Starkhelm, slowly growing emboldened by her patience. Undoubtedly she would be among those to travel south for the festivities, given her position and role as a diplomat.


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#6
286

The boy didn't seem enthusiastic and Saga didn't blame him for it. While her childhood had been similar, it had been nowhere near as distressing she imagined, and even when it had been, more often than not it was through her own choices and such things could be anticipated. There were similarities, neither of them had a mother, though Grace had been absent through her own designs rather than by the designs of someone else, they had been raised by their father's, but again, had Ankh truly raised her or had he allowed his children to raise themselves? She supposed that what little of their lives they'd live were like mirrors, but mirrors that were foggy and only half reflected what it saw. Bennett had, by far, suffered worse in life and given the actions of his parents, would likely suffer further.

Eventually, he spoke up for himself, turning the question on her. A slight smile crept onto the corner of her mouth and with all the nonchalant aura she could summon she replied, 'Hunting. We need provisions for the journey so...' Saga had decided before he even asked that she would not mask her activities from him. After all, it had been an action in adults she'd hated beyond belief as a youth and she was reluctant to subject Bennett to the same. Moreso, she hoped it would prove just enough to coax the young man into speaking his mind a little more freely. Frustration only grew when it was kept confined, as much as she'd hated turning out her issues as a child (she still struggled with such things now), she knew it was always for the best.
#7
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[WC: 308]

In a small, dark corner of his heart, the hurt rooted in black, senseless anger and began to settle.

He didn't look touched by it yet, but he wore his face with that vague hostility clear. It was the look of a stray dog uncertain of a stranger – but still wanting and hoping for acceptance and attention. Not everyone he had been kind to him, but most people were.

Saga didn't seem bothered by him, at least. She let him sniff her, and made friendly signs that he responded to little by little. He was still a young canine and still eager to play, though the she-wolf's answer drew a frown to his face. It sounded like everyone was going except them. At first Linden had made up excuses about “watching things”, but as long as Bennett had been in Mistfell Vale he could not remember a time when any threat existed at the pack's borders.

The real danger, it turned out, was out there. Exactly where everyone else would be traveling, socializing, and enjoying themselves.

Oh, he said with plain disappointment. Well, I'm not going.

Walking into a place like that would be certain death. Beyond that, it was forbidden – even if he left, Linden would find out. Then his father would never let him out of his sight again! That would be the absolute wortst. It was already bad enough thinking that all the pack's leaders and his old babysitters probably reported his whereabouts anytime they saw him. Linden always seemed to know what his sons were doing.

Realizing he sounded very much like a petulant child, Bennett's ears fanned backwards and the up once again. He tried to hide his embarrassment, flushing beneath his fur.

I mean I can help you still, anyway, if you want. I've been hunting before. I could help.


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#8
402

The tension surrounding the two small canines dissipated where it did not dissipate from the boy's russet and white face. His brow remained heavy and his lips were sewn tight in pent up frustration. She allowed it still, where she would not allow it from others. Her tender age, which many deemed to be a barrier to success in the roles she had been bestowed, had turned out to be one of the strongest selling points of her career as a councilwoman and diplomat. This situation solidified her (admittedly biased) resolution that Felix and Calia had not been wrong when they had named her Starkhelm those few short months ago.

Disappointment rife in his reply, he replied simply that he himself wouldn't be attending. She knew this before he even willed himself to speak it and she responded with a sage nod. Saga agreed wholeheartedly with Linden and naturally she was not about to confess this to the boy. It would frustrate him further no doubt to learn that other adults agreed with a judgement he didn't see eye to eye with, it would only serve to anger him further. She decided only to confess gently that, 'It's probably for the best...' with the most sympathetic tone of voice and smile she could muster. Hopefully, neither of them verged on patronising, for he'd likely not take that well either. She certainly hadn't as a child.

Seemingly catching himself acting in a way he didn't want himself to be known for, the boy quickly lifted his ears back upright from where they fell flat and Saga pretended not to notice. The Starkhelm fought back a smirk, amused by the familiarity between how the young Crowstooh acted and how she had acted many moons previous. 'Bennett, right?' she queried, realising that she wasn't entirely sure which of Linden's boys stood before her. Smiling, she accepted his offer of help, 'That'd be nice, thank you.' Not only was it a great help to her, but it would also mean that she could report back that to Felix and Calia that the boy was making an effort in the Vale. Hopefully, too it would tire the frustration out of him and give his mind something more useful to focus on that being angry with his father, who only wanted to keep him out of harms reach.
#9
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[WC: 267]

Later, even Bennett would agree that the decision was proper. There was a real danger in any of them going, and he and his brother were too young to properly defend themselves in the event of a crisis.

It was a very long road south. Anything could happen.

Yeah, he confirmed. She did know who he was. It bothered him he could not remember her name. They were strangers, though, kinda. He would be able to remember the woman's face, with it's bright eyes and snowspots. Thinking of how best to deflect this, he tried to recall manners and struggled to do so. What d'you want me to call you? Bennett asked instead, shifting his paws on the cold ground.

What are you looking for? He pressed on, turning his nose to the wind. She was bigger than him, but he wasn't sure how large her prey of choice was. As far as he could tell, the day was likely to be fair. It was cool, but the sun was coming up behind clouds and a sheet of gray covered the sky. He would be less vibrant under the indirect light, and her pelt seemed a natural camouflage. In any case it would be good to see how she went about things.

Smaller prey, like rabbits, would be easy to find. For how many people were going it might have made more sense to find something larger, but as far as he could tell, she was alone – and hunting bigger prey without assistance seemed foolish. Of course, he was here now. That gave her more options.


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#10
276

She had been correct in her assumption, which she was glad of considering that despite her lofty rank she wasn't automatically familiar with each and every face within Mistfell Vale. She didn't run in the same circles as the young boy after all and only really saw his and his brother's faces at the sporadically held sorting ceremonies and such. Bennett himself seemed to deliberate for a while on how best to continue the conversation, she let him struggle but not out of lack of care. Eventually, he would, and did, figure out how to navigate situations like this. Handing him the answers felt like a counteractive thing to do and such lessons needed to be learnt by Saga in an increasingly urgent manner. The Starkhelm was glad to see he'd found a way to pose the question sensibly, for a moment Saga had to consider whether he was outright asking for her name or wondering whether he should really be using her proper title to address her.

'Saga is fine.' The D'Angelo answered simply.

She shrugged. In all honesty, she had no idea what was in the vicinity today. Her original plan had been to simply go for whatever she came across as she journeyed through the Vale. Now she had some company, of course, she had to make a quick decision. Neither Mistwalker was of average size as it stood and Saga was reluctant to hunt anything that could do serious damage to either of them and with a hum of consideration, she made her suggestion. 'Something midsized?' Verdant eyes caught yellow ones, she was always open to suggestion.
#11
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[WC: 205]

Her answer was sufficient enough, and Bennett smiled, pleased with his own cleverness. He had a sharp look to his face, something which hinted at wickedness. The way his markings accented his eyes and mouth seemed to enhance this, like a painted face.

Okay, he agreed quickly, wagging his bushy tail. This was his first winter and though his pelt had grown in it, and his size, betrayed his youth. He was still fluffy in some places and sleeker in others. Adolescence had been slow-going with his development, perhaps stalled by what he had endured as a young puppy. Though he could not remember those times, or how much his father had done to ensure he and his brother lived, Bennett endured the aftermath of these events.

Now he felt like he was trying to be an adult and relearn who he was all at once.

Ragna said she saw pigs the other day, Bennett informed Saga. He had been very proud of befriending (more or less) the stoic soldier and liked to brag about it. I'm not sure exactly where, but we could look for those. I know where some groundhogs live, he added with a flash of his pearly teeth. They're pretty fat!


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#12
210

A foxlike expression lit the boy's face, a self-satisfied smirk, and the Starkhelm was pleased to see some light in Bennett now. The nagging voice in the back of Saga's mind rose its voice again and she considered that perhaps if she managed to keep her children alive long enough to see them stand in front of her as Bennett was now, she could have some success with parenting. Naively she figured that it couldn't be that difficult, at least not for the first few months.

Dragging herself back into the present, verdant eyes refocused on Linden's son and his hawklike eyes. 'Pigs?' she echoed, curious at the suggestion. Saga couldn't place a location where she knew pigs could, or would, be, but between the two of them, she figured they could make a decent attempt at finding them. Groundhogs, his other suggestion, was even more plausible given that he knew the exact location. Choosing his own personal suggestion felt, again, like a wise decision, especially given the validity of it. Proudly his white teeth split his pale snout and Saga nodded in agreement, 'A groundhog hunt sounds promising.' Behind her, her tail wagged with pleasure. She was becoming fairly fond of the boy.
#13
[html]

[WC: 237]

That's what Ragna said, Bennett repeated. A twinge of annoyance bled into his voice. He was terribly impatient, all things considered. Luckily, Saga was quick enough to decide and get them back in motion once more.

Cool, follow me! he barked, turning on his heels. Running was the best way to get anywhere, and he was eager to show how fast he was. Owing to his size, he was more nimble than he looked, and sprung over uneven ground and obstacles with quick-footed leaps that landed with surprising daintiness when they fell.

Though he followed along the same path he had been running on previously, Bennett soon diverted away from the river. He turned right and carried on over a narrow trail that might have been carved by deer or traveling horses. In some places the grass grew to such a height that he was practically swallowed by it, though his tail would flag up like a plume as he raced along.

As they neared the clearing, Bennett slowed. He was panting to cool himself and had bits of brush and grass stuck to his shaggy fur. Ahead of them a rolling field dotted with overgrown bushes spread. The grass here was equally tall, mostly flattened by snow, and the obvious signs of tracks had been left by the critters that lived in the area.

Breath steaming, Bennett turned to Saga. This is the place, he announced.


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<center><div style="font-family: 'Oswald', sans-serif; font-size:20px; text-transform: uppercase; letter-spacing: 4px; font-stretch: expanded; padding: 4px; ">« ∙ when the wind blows, the grass bends ∙ »</div>
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#14
204

She was momentarily taken aback by how sudden Bennett's departure was, verdant eyes blinking wildly after his foxish form as it darted away from her. Quickly enough she set to follow him, more or less keeping up with the young boy. While she herself was fast and agile, more than most others, the eagerness of youth was its own special brand of speed. The duo quickly carried themselves towards the direction the de l'Or boy had originally been taking, meandering away from the open expanse and into a grass flooded meadow where the pair all but disappeared. If it hadn't been for Bennett's bright coat, Saga swore she would have run the risk of losing sight of his as he led her to the place he knew groundhogs to be.

Foggy exhales danced in the cold air as the pair came to a stop, surrounded by tall grasses that before had swallowed them whole. and now laid flat. Here and there, little tracks betrayed their prey's presence to them. Entirely happy to allow Bennett to cease control of this hunt, emerald eyes searched for golden ones with a query of, 'How do you suggest we go about this then?'
#15
[html]

[WC: 376]

It was new, and kind of neat, to have someone who wasn't part of his family listening to him and really taking him seriously. Inspired by this development, Bennett was determined to kill at least one groundhog. He would be devastated if he went back empty-handed after hyping the place up.

Groundhogs, though, he knew he could catch. He had done it before, all by himself. It had been the most exciting thing he had ever killed, at least until he had gotten better with the bow. The arrows were more dangerous than his sharp little teeth, and he would never be as big as some of the wolves and even other dogs out there. His physical strength would want.

That was all right. Bennett could improvise.

He wagged his tail again as she joined him. It made him feel fast, beating people in these informal races from one place to another, even if he had a slight advantage (knowing where he was going). That didn't really factor into his perception of things. As far as he saw it, he was simply the fastest.

So usually I wait, Bennett explained, looking back to the field. And they pop out of the ground. They'll hang out by their holes for a little bit, so you gotta wait for them to get further away. If you go too soon, they just run back in. I tried digging into one but they go back pretty far. Oh, and they have big teeth! Like a big squirrel or, whatchya call it, those things that live in the water. Anyhow, he went on, fluffing his neck out importantly in an attempt to hide his slip up. We can do that, it'll work.

Then, feeling a little uncertain in his presumptions, Bennett spared the speckled she-wolf a glance.

Unless you wanna do something else, I guess, he added. His father usually provided other plans that replaced Bennett's (admittedly, sometimes ludicrous) suggestions. Linden was boring though, he never wanted to do anything cool or extreme even if was starting to let them practice with real weapons. That wasn't too bad. Not that waiting was terribly exciting, but it was the only way Bennett had managed to catch their target prey on his own.


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#16
314

She'd only treated the boy how she would've wanted adults to treat her as a child. And they had done that to an extent, at least once she'd made herself at home in Mistfell Vale. It was how she figured children should be treated, at least the ones that were smart enough to act in a way that signalled they were deserving of such an honour. She'd never heard much, if any complaint, about Bennett that didn't seem understandable given he was a young boy. If anything he was prone to being sulky, but Saga could hardly fault him for that. He had many reasons to sulk and if today was anything to go by, his mood improved easily when given an activity to focus on and someone to talk to.

The Starkhelm saw, too, the pride in his face and his happily wagging tail as he arrived in the grassy meadow before her. She smiled back, her own tail waving behind her. Bennett was quick to explain his hunting methods when prompted, puffing up like a proud pigeon. To Saga, though unused to hunting groundhogs, it seemed like a more or less solid plan of attack. Even if it hadn't been, Saga would have been happy to try it out. Nodding in agreement, Saga sounded out with, 'You're the groundhog expert here.' and settled in for the wait. As an adult, although scarcely so, she had no qualms with waiting. Unlike the young boy, patience had been instilled in her by time and with luck, so would it transpire for the young de l'Or boy. Sitting down, she shook her head as linden's son voiced his concerns, 'No, no. It's fine. We can try it this way.' Even if it didn't work, at least Bennett would have the chance to prove himself.
#17
[html]

[WC: 363] Bennett: Big Grin Big Grin

Expert made him sound important. He liked that. It would be a silly thing to be an expert of, groundhogs, but food was food. Mastering something useful would make him more useful, and that would benefit the pack as a whole.

Even if he was forbidden from doing certain things.

Even if he wasn't supposed to let people get close.

Okay, he said, and peered out over his hunting grounds with a narrowed gaze. He seemed to be looking for their prey, or some other secret sign to guide him. Waiting was less a matter of skill and more one of patience, of which Bennett had (surprisingly) a decent amount when it came to something important like the task at hand.

He scooted forward a little, hunkering down in the frosty grass. Though much of his pelt was rust-colored, the sandy golden brown and darker saddle helped him blend in a little better. Stealth would never be his calling.

Ahead of them, finally, a brown head poked out of the earth. Slowly at first, then in a rolling burst of speed, the groundhog skittered off to feed. Bennett's pupils widened. He held his breath. Now was the time for him to impress Saga!

He coiled his muscles and sprung, rushing forward with the same speed he had earlier displayed. Where a true dog would have barked, Bennett had been raised by a wolf and a cat (if Walter had anything to say about it, which he did) and had learned silence was the best weapon one could have.

By the time the groundhog noticed him, it was too late. The wolfdog launched himself after it, overtaking a desperate scurry and snapping down with the intent of breaking the fat little thing's back. His first bite did not land a solid grip, but it forced the groundhog to face him. To its credit, the rodent tried to fight off Bennett valiantly, squeaking, clawing and biting, but the eager boy was relentless.

A final dying squeak and great shake saw the end of the groundhog. Bits of blood stained Bennett's face. He looked excitedly towards Saga, hoping she had seen how awesome that had been.


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#18
282

Following Bennett's lead, Saga too hunkered down in the tall grass. She was not so easily camouflaged as he with his rusty pelt, but the white spotting against her dark coat broke up her shape and served well despite the abstract colouring. She fell into silence easily, verdant eyes trained first upon the burrow entrances for signs of their inhabitants and then the auburn form of her hunting companion. Her gaze had been trained on the hole when a little earthen face pop out, she could hear Bennett's body twitching slightly as he waited a moment longer, just long enough for the groundhog to emerge fully and make haste to find a dinner he would never get a chance to eat. In a flash, her eyes moved towards Bennett, just in time to see his young, lean body charge forward in pursuit of his prey. He moved with impressive speed and acceleration, a worthy match for her own if not more.

The battle was short and, as if there had been any doubt in it, the boy had come out victorious. The groundhog dangling limply from his bloodstained maw and hawkish eyes looked back at her, proud and excitable. The Starkhelm smiled broadly, rising from her lying position and making the short journey forward to address him closer, easily avoiding the open entrances to the burrows as she did. 'Impressive.' she praised, but verdant eyes soon turned to the ground. 'Do you think that's scared them off for a while or what?' She was eager to try her hand at the hunt, but she would understand if there would be a further wait while the groundhogs regained their courage.
#19
[html]

[WC: 270] We could wrap with your post or another round? :o I'm otherwise down for a future thread~

Yeah, it was impressive he thought – he did it fast and without fuss, the way it ought to be done. Luck had as much to do with his success as his timing, though Bennett was too proud to admit as much. He was basking in the praise and attention. Someone else, someone who wasn't his family or someone close to him, she had seen his worth and his value.

It was all the more important that she was someone of importance. Now the people who mattered could talk about him for more than all the times he was out where he should have been or accidentally biting someone too hard. He didn't mean to do that, but when he got frustrated or too excited it was just...ahh, he liked biting things! Especially things like the groundhog, which was hard and soft and squishy and felt so good in his mouth.

He was getting excited about it all over again.

I mean maybe for a little, but we can wait. If we go where they can't smell us and wait they'll come back again. They're really dumb, he showed his bloody teeth in a grin. And they can't see too good! We can look nearby too, there's probably more around. I think I'm gonna eat this, I'm kinda hungry, so I'll move, he bent his neck to pick up the fat rodent, and paraded as well as he could away from the open field. He couldn't carry it very far this way, and dropped it unceremoniously a few times on his haphazard route towards cover.
His earlier grace seemed spent.


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#20
303

There was rarely a bad reason to praise youngsters, Saga had decided. Even if such reasons for praise were relatively small and insignificant, the Starkhelm always figured such things were in the eye of the beholder. Where children saw great victories, parents saw only small change. Saga was at that position in life that gave her insight into both sides of the coin and gladly used her aged to manoeuver through situations such as these. It gave her joy to see the thrill of praise sparkle in Bennett's golden eyes, for she knew he was feeling a feeling that meant more than it's weight in gold to young souls just beginning to make their first independent steps in the world. She stifled a smirk and a laugh as she recounted the whispers she'd heard of Linden's boys, especially from Posey. Though, since they'd largely come from the joyful Denmother, Saga had heard little in the way of rumours that could be construed in an ill manner.

Verdant eyes watched as the boy snuck off to eat his catch. Growing boys needed constant feeding, she knew this from the amount of food her brother's had managed to get into their mouths as children. It had been in equal parts disgusting and fascinating and the Starkhelm was glad to see that Bennett had the sense and manners to sneaky away to fill his stomach voraciously. She returned his bloodstained grin before letting him scamper off. Once he was clear, Saga herself settled down into the grass, silently lying in wait, her ears twitching in case she caught the sound of Bennett's snacking. She didn't blame him and his appetite. They would need to keep their strength up if they were going to catch more groundhogs after all.


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