After Redbeard explained everything the situation calmed down leaving the two cousins to stare at each other and hopefully get along.
Everyone that was not an elder or grand elder was forced to wait in one of the many large hidden caves while the elders discussed what to do with the current crisis.
When a half-hour past with nothing to do but stare at the stone ceiling someone entered their cave and gained their attention.
“The elders have given an order that everyone has to help clear out any of the caves that have collapsed or have unwanted guests in them. We also need to reinforce the defense structures in front of the caves and around the mountain. Since there might be a need to use them sooner than later,” said the messenger before leaving to relay the same message to another group of people in the next cave.
Akira stood up and looked around at the cave they were staying in. It looked good enough and did not need any fixing up, maybe a bit of dusting but that was it.
“I guess we should go and join the others and look at the rest of the caves to see what needs to be done,” said Akira as he led Varbu and the shaman out of the cave.
“Grand elder Wulfric is it true that the Beorin kingdom is harassing small villages?” asked an elder sitting across from Wulfric on one of the many large stone benches carved into the large oval caves wall.
“That is putting it mildly. They are not just harassing them, they have killed nearly a hundred of the nomad werewolves form the small villages already. That number is rising every day. I personally talked to many of the people that managed to escape. In order to verify their claims, I had a subordinate of Hegir inspect the places that they said they came from. As you heard from his testimony earlier they were able to see the ruined villages and were even able to see Beorin’s royal seal on the main tent. Before you ask I doubt it was anyone from the royal family. It is most likely someone that the king trust enough to handle whatever it is they are trying to achieve.”
“Why are they attacking? Has one of you smaller clans done something to anger them?” asked Grand elder Tormoid of the Bloody-claw clan one of the three large clans.
“Why would we do something like that? We’re not as dumb as you might think we are. Everyone knows the Earth tribe has not had any conflict with them since our ancestors fought in the great war,” said Seoc Grand elder of the Longtail clan one of the small clans.
“There is no need to bicker between ourselves. I think we already know the reason why. You have all heard about Grand elder Dùghall’s premonition of the hard times coming. I think this may be the start of just that,” said Wulfric.
Everyone turned their heads to look at Grand elder Dùghall who had been silent for the whole meeting so far.
With everyone staring at him waiting for a comment on the subject he only gave a short reply, “It is true I have seen hard times ahead, it is also true that Beorin could possibly be the cause of it.”
“Beorin the cause of all this worry? HA! Our ancestors were able to beat them bloody and they didn’t even have the clan tattoo back then. If it weren’t for those damn demigods we could have made sure they never messed with us again. Are you telling me we are going to get our tails handed to us by those wimps?” asked Grand elder Griogair of the Ironhide clan the third largest clan.
“It has been a long time since then. We may have grown stronger but that does not mean we can be satisfied and expect that our enemies that we have beaten long ago will be defeated as easily as they were in the past.
It is foolish to think they have not improved as well. Everyone knows that the human armies when gathered together are far larger than our own. We may be stronger but they have the advantage of numbers that can be replaced easily. We do not have such luxury, ” said Grand elder Carl.
“Let us get back to the main reason we are here. To decide whether we should do nothing, retaliate, or leave this land,” said Grand elder Aaron of the small clan Madmane.
“If we don’t do something to stop the situation from getting out of control this may end up in another large war. I propose we send a letter to the kingdom demanding they stop their aggression, as well as send out forces to gather all the distant clans and villages so they will have no one to attack while we wait for Beorin’s reply,” said Wulfric.
“I second the proposal,” said Carl.
Several other clans grand elders agreed, creating a majority that wanted to follow Wulfrics suggestion.
“What is this? Are you medium and small clans afraid to fight them? Even if they have grown stronger we can still tear them apart,” asked Tormoid.
“No, I will never cower before the human armies. You know our courage is no less than yours since we have all fought together in the last two great wars. I recently learned of something that was even more shocking than Grand elder Dùghall’s premonition,” said Wulfric.
Dùghall sat up straight and his eyes turned to Wulfric now interested in the conversation for the first time today, “You’re saying you know something that overshadows my own predictions?”
“I wouldn’t say it overshadows the prediction it is more like they got together and both confirm what the other might suggest,” said Wulfric.
“Stop being obtuse and tell us already,” said Griogair.
“Some of you may have heard that just recently, my grandson that was thought to have died along with his parents after the second great war, has returned to our clan. While I and the other elders were testing his abilities we found he possessed a trait that was held by an ancestor of the moon clan allowing him to have special skills,” said Wulfric.
“A trait from our ancestor?” asked Carl.
“So what! Every once in a while there is always someone who gets odd skills,” said Tormoid.
“I thought it was nothing unusual as well but hear me out. The trait is not some random skill from a nobody. Like the ancestor he was named after he has received the traits from the great unifier and honorable warrior…Akira,” said Wulfric.
Some of the smaller clans had never heard of him, while most of the medium clans and all of the large clans knew of him.
“Although he was a great warrior of his time and had a few unusual skills what does that have to do with my predictions?” asked Dùghall.
“Everything! Through looking at the past records we have discovered that the trait only manifested when the great calamity of extinction was near. I do not believe this is a coincidence. With your visions warning of a grim future and now the trait that has only ever appeared when the Earth tribe has faced extinction has shown up again. This is no joke. We must act now to stop whatever conflict is brewing. Hopefully, we can prepare and lessen the danger we face,” said Wulfric.
“Is this true?” “So this is not a simple matter of the humans being overly aggressive?” “What should we do?” “If such a treat is hanging over our heads can we really do nothing?”
“The Coldfang clan has been working on plans to leave this land and we are making preparations to be gone by the end of the year. This revelation only proves our decision was right. We will continue to help defend the clans and fight against the humans while we are still here but we will be leaving whether the rest of you want to stay or come with us,” said Dùghall.
The thought of leaving the land was looking more and more enticing with the danger they may have to face in the unknown future.
“How do we know that your grandson has such a trait?” asked Griogair.
“I personally brought him here so that you can see for yourself,” said Wulfric for now stopping all suspicions that he was trying to cause more trouble for the tribe.
“Then bring him here so we can make a decision,” ordered Dùghall.
While the elders talked with each other Akira and Varbu were busy clearing out the caves of any monsters that had decided to stay in the more remote caves. They had also been forced to remove the rubble from the caves that had collapsed and help add new wooden supports to the cave so that another collapse would not happen.
The rubble from the caves was put into good use by using it to strengthen the outer defensive wall that was well hidden by the landscape and many large rocks all over the place.
The caves had been used in all the great wars to house those that could not fight as well as the werewolves army. It had not been used since the last great war so there was a lot of work that still needed to be done to get them all back to a decent standard for people to live in for a short period of time.
“Akira? Are you there?” asked Hegir.
Akira poked his head out of the cave he was currently resting in and found Hegir looking everywhere for him.
“Over here Hegir. Is there something you need?” asked Akira.
“The Grand elders would like to talk with you. You need to be on your best behavior, do whatever they ask of you, and do not make anyone angry,” said Hegir.
“Alright, I’ll keep that in mind.”
Akira felt bad for leaving Varbu and the rest of the shaman behind to do all the work while he got to take it easy and talk to the Grand elders.
After a few minutes of walking through the connecting tunnels that led them to the center of mountain high above the ground. They had reached one of the largest caves in the mountain that Akira had seen so far.
The cave was an odd oval shape and curved downwards creating an oddly shaped bowl with the many benches carved into the walls all around the room. The seats were filled with Grand elders and elders of the various werewolf clans and villages.
Hegir led Akira to Wulfric who was standing on a small stage in the middle of the bowl with all the benches surrounding it.
“Akira, the other Grand elders would like to ask you a few questions to verify what I have told them. Please do as they ask,” said Wulfric.
“You are the one named Akira?” asked Dùghall.
“Yes, my name is Akira.”
“Is it true that you have the same special trait as the great warrior ancestor you are named after?”
“I have been told that, and it makes sense to me,” said Akira.
“Hmph, you have been told. Do you know? Or is it a guess?” asked Tormoid.
“Calm yourself Tormoid,” said Dùghall, “Since you claim to have the trait you must be able to prove it. Please show us your transformation.”
By now Akira was used to being ogled by hundreds if not thousands of people so transforming for the elders was nothing big. Now that he had received the clan tattoo he had no trouble transforming whenever he needed to.
The black misty light covered his body as he transformed into his tall muscular black-furred werewolf form.
The aura emanating from Akira was an exciting feeling for the old-timers as it made them feel invigorated and ready to fight a full-blown battle even though it had been several years since some of them had even picked up a weapon.
The dark light disappeared as fast as it had appeared, leaving the elders with much to think about.
“It is as the records described!”
“So what, it could be that this is his only skill to try and trick us, show us a ‘real’ special skill that only the ancestor would have had and not another trick trying to mess with our brains,” said Tormoid.
Akira complied and summoned Nox. He did not think anyone else was able to do something like this.
Nox jumped out of the shadows near Akira’s furry feet ready to fight. It had been quite a while since he had been summoned and he had been bored while he waited. He really did enjoy his time while summoned but would not let Akira know that.
‘What’s up with all these old geezers? Are we supposed to be fighting them?’ asked Nox letting everyone hear his question not only Akira.
“Ah! A voice in my head! Am I going crazy?” “No, I heard it also!”
“So it is true. Now that I think back on the past events I remember reading about the great warrior Akira having companions that he could summon. I will let everyone know with this the Coldfang clan will not change our decision. We will be leaving by the end of the year. If you want to come with us fine if not you will have to face the dangers that are hiding in the future,” said Dùghall.
“You are dismissed.”
“Ah! Wait I have something important to give you,” said Akira as he dug into his bag looking for the item.
“What is it?” asked Dùghall.
“This!” said Akira holding up the letter he had received from the mermaid queen.
“I was given this letter by the Queen of the mermaids and was told to hand it over to the leaders of the Earth tribe,” said Akira as he handed the letter to Wulfric.
“Also, I have a friend from the Orc tribes in the east mountains. He would like to talk to you about creating an alliance. I believe with a new and strong alliance we can withstand any of the dangers that may be coming for us,” said Akira.
“Is that all?” asked Dùghall.
“Then you are excused. Please send your Orc friend here so we can discuss the terms and get it out of the way. We have too much to talk about and very little time.”
“I will do that. Thank you for listening to my request,” said Akira as he respectfully bowed and exited the large cave.