• “Taya, is that you?” A gray wolf asked. She had a feminine voice.
    “Oh, hello, Kyokai, this is my friend, Shen, and her little brother, Kioshi,” Taya explained.
    “Oh, the nice wolf you’ve been talking about? Well, hello!” Kyokai closed her eyes in greeting. “Oh my, you need help, young one!” Kyokai exclaimed, gesturing to Kioshi. She took some leaves and gently pressed them to his wounded leg, wrapping them securely around his leg. “There you go! All better now!”
    Kyokai was Taya’s foster mother. When she had heard about what happened to the Chikyu clan, she was astonished. So she saw her, and decided to take her in. If it wasn’t for her, Taya could be dead right now.
    “Now it’s time for you.” Kyokai said. She happily looked Shen over, seeing as no damage had been done. “So, what happened?” She asked, her tone turning serious. “Explain.”
    “Well, I was out hunting for my clan, the Kage, and when I came back…” Shen stopped mid-sentence and looked from Taya to Kioshi, and then back to Kyokai. “They were dead. And some bodies of the Yakedo were there as well,” Shen finished quietly, and took a deep breath.
    “Oh, you poor thing, you can stay, if you’d like,” A look of worry was written on Kyokai’s face, and her ears were back in worry.
    “No, I wouldn’t want to cause you any trouble,” Shen said, looking over to see if Kioshi was doing okay.
    “Oh, you wouldn’t cause any trouble! No trouble atall!” Kyokai said, her serious, worried tone disappeared, replaced by a happy one.
    “Well, I guess if I wouldn’t cause any trouble, but after my brother has healed, we’re leaving. I’m sorry, but I don’t belong here,” Shen stated, going to stand next to Kioshi. Kyokai only seemed to notice her first sentence.
    “Oh joy! I’ll tell Suki and Sumi to get you a bed ready!” With that, Kyokai ran off into the mob of other wolfs. Shen only gave Taya a quizzical look.
    “My sisters,” She stated simply. Shen gave a nod in response.
    “You’re mom is kinda… iffy,” Shen stated. This time it was Taya who gave the quizzical look. “She’s just too… happy.” Shen said.
    “Yeah, I know what you mean. She never leaves me alone!” Taya gave an annoyed look. Just then, Kyokai ran back.
    “Okay, Sumi got a bed ready for you, and Suki got you some dinner,” Kyokai panted. Shen gave a nod in thanks, and then ran off to where Kyokai had been previously.
    “Taya, thanks for giving me and my sister a place to stay,” Kioshi’s shy, quiet voice interrupted.
    “You’re welcome. Now go to where Kyokai and Shen went, okay? That’s where you’ll be staying.”
    “Thanks. For everything,” Kioshi walked off slowly, stumbling every now and then and trying not to put too much weight on his injured leg.
    Taya walked over to the Food Pile and grabbed a small rabbit off of the top. She quietly ate the rodent under a shady tree, shifting every once and a while to get out of the sun. “Taya, come here for a second!” A wolf howl rang through the clearing of the small clan.
    “I’m coming!” Taya yelled as she bounded across the middle of the camp. She ran over to a black wolf with ice blue eyes.
    “You called, Yoru?” Taya asked obediently, looking up at her step-father.
    “I need you to help me get these leaves up in this tight space, so I can block out the sun,” He said, looking up at the spot where the blinding sun peeked in.
    “Sure, okay,” Taya reached up, taking the leaves in her mouth, and stuffed them tightly in the small space. “Is that okay?”
    “Perfect,” Yoru nodded in approval.
    Taya saw Shen and ran over to her, yelling a, “Hi!” in greeting.
    “Hey, Taya, thanks for letting me stay. I’m probably going to leave in a day or two though. I need to find the Yakedo, so I can get revenge on my family!” Shen spoke with such fierceness that Taya had never seen in her before.
    “Well, make sure you don’t get hurt. I couldn’t lose my best friend,” Taya said sadly.
    “Don’t worry. I won’t die, I’m sure of it,” Shen said confidently.