The Yalu River
The Fuzzwolf studied the werewolves that arrived to attack him. Quickly, Fuzz stooped down, picked up Dogg and ran off into the woods. As he ran, he placed Dogg on his shoulders.
"Hang on" Fuzz snarled
As Dogg's claws clung onto the fur of the werewolf, she watched as Fuzz suddenly transformed into a large wolf, running on all fours.
"I didn't know you could do that." she exclaimed
"Never asked." Fuzz replied
Dogg looked behind them to see the other werewolves, some distance behind them, but still running on two legs.
"They can't do that, I guess." Dogg noted
"They're still young," Fuzz explained, running as fast as he can, "they haven't reached that stage in their lives."
Fuzz stopped as they reached a clearing. It wasn't an ordinary clearing, trees had been uprooted by machines. The forest had been destroyed to make way for Lieng's so called "progress". Over head, the two saw a flying kite type aircraft circling overhead. One hundred yards away, the forest began again. Fuzz and Dogg heard the howls of the werewolves. Fuzz then ran across the clearing and into the forest on the other side. He turned to see the lycans had reached the edge of the clearing on the other side, and then continued on into the forest. He stopped, reverted back to werewolf form and put Dogg on the ground.
"I needed to make sure that the Fusang army wasn't close by." Fuzz explained
He then quickly sniffed the air, and looked towards a tree close by.
"Koen?" he asked
The Bloodtail jumped out of the tree and looked at the Lycan. Seeing the Steelhead Sheriff's badge on the ribbon, he ran up and embraced Fuzz. The werewolf raised an eybrow, then put a paw on Koen's head. He then pulled Koen away, then looked into his eyes, noticing the sadness.
"Koen," Fuzz asked, "where's Purdie?"
"Shot." Koen replied, "Disappeared in his ETC. Didn't come back."
Fuzz looked around to see the werewolves coming closer. He motioned for Koen and Dogg to move aside, then took a fighting pose. The pose wasn't one of a lycan ready to fight, but rather one of a Kung Fu fighter. The werewolves snarled at Fuzz. The Fuzzwolf extended his left hand, then turned it, palm up. He then motioned for the werewolves to come get him. They did. They used the werewolves attack, he countered with Kung Fu.
Dogg and Koen were both familiar with the martial arts and recognized each of the moves and fighting styles that Fuzz used on each werewolf. He shifted between the fighting styles of The Tiger, The Monkey, The Crane, The Mantis, and The Viper. One werewolf got a foot to the groin, it would be later that the two would learn that it was called The Angelica. At any rate, the Celestial Kingdom was getting a taste of "Don't Mess With Steelhead".
With his index and middle fingers extended, Fuzz poked one werewolf several times in the chest area. The Lycan fell to the ground in pain. He grabbed another's tail and held it forward as another tried a biting attack, biting the other's tail. Fuzz then brought his fist down on the biting Lycan's head and back handed the other. The remaining two Lycans, Fuzz grabbed by the scruff of their necks and merely bashed their heads together.
As the defeated werewolves laid on the ground in pain, Fuzz looked at them in disgust.
"You have brought shame to your tribe." Fuzz said, "You have insulted what it means to be a Lycan." he motioned back towards the clearing they had crossed, "And you have allowed that to happen, damaging the balance of nature and breaking the pact."
Koen and Dogg looked around as a pack of wolves started coming in from all around them.
Fuzz motioned at the wolves, "You have to deal with them now."
Fuzz walked over to Koen and Dogg and motioned for them to follow.
"You're going to leave them?" Dogg asked
"It's out of my hands." Fuzz replied
As the three made it to the clearing, they saw the kite aircraft had landed. Standing a few feet away was a tall gentleman. Koen recognized the scent as the one who paralyzed him with but a touch when they were in the dungeon.
"Interesting." The Tall One said, "You are to leave them at the mercy of the wolves?"
"Generations ago," Fuzz explained "a pact was made between all Lycans and the beasts they share a bond with. To protect the balance of nature." he motioned to the clearing "This was something against that pact, they assisted Lieng in this."
"But it's progress," The Tall One argued, "it's in man's nature."
"The progress of man, and the balance of nature, can be achieved together. As long as the ignorant are not in power."
From within the forest, the sound of the Lycans screaming in pain as they were attacked by the wolves sent shivers down Koen's and Dogg's spines.
"And you allow that to happen?" The Tall One said, "Quite uncivilized."
Fuzz shrugged, "An ancient law. I'm bound by heredity to uphold it. Besides, it's not of my concern."
"Then why are you here?"
Fuzz held up his badge, "I have a duty, to serve and protect the people of Steelhead City. Right now, one of them is here and needs my help. Bound by duty to uphold the oath."
The Tall One glanced at Koen, "Where is Two Hearts?"
Fuzz looked at Koen, then back at the stranger.
"Ah," the Tall One continued, "I can see by the hurt in your eyes the answer I seek. But, do not worry, I have heard legends of those like him. They have a habit of cheating death. But, at a cost." He then looked at Fuzz, "And I can see in your eyes a bit of family with Two Hearts. I am sure he will return. When he does, please tell him that Fu Manchu hopes to cross paths with him, again."
The Tall One then turned and return to his aircraft. As it headed down the clearing and took off, Koen looked up at Fuzz.
"You didn't attack him. He's one of the bad guys."
Fuzz looked at Koen, "I would much rather deal with Jobias Barthelmess, Malegatto Alter, and Doctor Obolensky at the same time, all three armed with silver tipped weapons, than to deal with him unarmed." Fuzz looked at Dogg, "Nayland Smith was right, there was a mastermind behind all this."
Dogg nodded, "I really hope he doesn't come to Steelhead."
"Let's head back to the river."
As the three started back, Koen suddenly stopped and sniffed the air. Fuzz looked at Koen.
"Sheriff. Magic." Koen replied
Fuzz shrugged, not seeing significance in Koen's statement.
Koen looked at Fuzz and smiled, "Caledonian magic."
"Where?" Fuzz asked
Koen closed his eyes and summoned his magic senses. He then opened them with a look of disappointment.
"Fusang Castle." the Neko replied, "I just left from there."
Fuzz looked towards the north. "Someone's in trouble. Caledon loves to vacation in Steelhead City."
Dogg shook her head, "It's that duty thing, again."
"I don't know about you." Fuzz said, "But I'm having too much fun to head back home. Koen, can you teleport Dogg to the castle with you?"
Koen nodded, "Could take you as well."
Fuzz shook his head, "Taking the scenic route. Also, going to round up some help along the way."
Fuzz then let out a howl, and jumped to the ground, transformed into the large wolf and ran off.
"I didn't know a werewolf could do that." Koen said
"Oh please," Dogg replied, "EVERYONE knows that a werewolf can do that once he reaches a certain age in their lives."
Koen picked up Dogg and watched as several wolves ran out of the woods and followed Fuzz.
"Oh, this is going to be fun." Koen said as he and Dogg disappeared into a puff of smoke.
To Be Continued