Chapter One: Living the Moment

He tore through the skies, the wind tugging on his mane. He dove and twisted and climbed up again, his huge wings supporting him and carrying him higher and higher.

He loved flight. More so than the others in his pack. It was one of the qualities that made him leader. It's also what made him the best aerial combatant they had. Which is probably the real reason he was made leader.

His excuse for leaving the mountain's caves was that he was out hunting. But he had been out here for hours, and had yet to catch anything, which was all right with him. He was here. And he was happy.

Once he had reached as high as could go, he froze. He just stopped flapping his wings, and hung there in the air for a second. And then came the fall. He just hung there, limp, as he began picking up speed. He didn't care, he was just living for the moment. The air rushing past his ears as he came closer and closer the ground, that was what he lived for. The moment.

Most would have opened their wings and stopped there decent by now, but he didn't. He knew the skies better than anyone, and he knew exactly what he could take. Or so he thought.

Just a few more seconds. Just a bit closer.

He waited a split second longer than he usually did. And that was all it needed. He realized, to late, that the damage had been done.

He was going to crash.

Panicked, he opened his wings in an attempt to stop his fall. It did some good, but not enough to come out of this unscathed. He extended his four legs to land, knowing he went too far this time. He collided with the ground, and he heard something snap, multiple things snap. He pitched forward and roled, his momentum carrying him farther than he expected -- another miscalculation. Suddenly, he collided with a boulder, his head snapping forward and back, making harsh contact with the surface of the rock.

And then he blacked out, no longer conscious of anything at all.

By the time he woke up, it was broad daylight. Having been flying late into the the night, he could only hope that this was the next day, and not the next four.

Cursing under his breath, he struggled to lift his head off the cold ground, but allowed it crash unceremoniously back to the ground, the sensation of thousands of needles driving their way into his skull sapping the last of his strength.

After laying there for what seemed like hours, but may only have been minutes, he tried again, and this time managed to keep it up, and even open his eyes into barely visible slits. The light stung at first, but he kept them open anyway. Craning his long neck back around, he tried to see the condition his body was left in.

Sending up a silent thank you to the Ancestors, he realized that his wings looked relatively undamaged. His legs on the other hand, were murdered. His two back legs both hung at awkward angles, and he could see bone protruding from his front right leg. He cursed under his breath and lay his head back down. He tried to take in deep breaths, but found it hard and painful.

I can probably add a few ribs to the list, which will make flying long, and painful.

He thought about howling for his pack, knowing that they couldn't be far, but quickly suppressed the thought. I can do this on my own. Ancestors know how Orilyn will try to use this as leverage against my place as leader.

He growled slightly at the thought of Orilyn, the young pack member who had been trying to undermine his authority since he first began hunting. Whelp's been a thorn in my side for years. He himself hadn't been alive that long, maybe nineteen years. Exact ages didn't really concern his pack, all that mattered was whether or not they could fly. Once they could fly well enough, they were considered an adult. Orilyn was one of the youngest adults in the pack, and definitely the most hot headed.

Finding new conviction born of anger, he managed to rotate his torso under him, and then, using his good leg, get to a crawling position. Leaning heavily on the cursed boulder who brought him to this predicament, he managed to stand on all four, his large bat wings splayed out for balance. He hugged his broken right leg close to his chest, and tried to keep his back legs working as his wings began flapping up and down for a stationary take off.

Stationary take offs were always more difficult, even with all for legs working properly.

After a few more flaps, he summoned all his strength and pushed off the ground, releasing a pained yelp as he put pressure on his abused legs. He almost passed out in mid-flight, but managed to keep going.

As he figured, the upward motion of his wings made breathing practically impossible, and he almost stopped breathing entirely twice.

He was in flight for a little under twenty minutes before he saw the mountain caves breaching the horizon. With a bit more energy, he some how managed to close the gap. He hovered over the mountain for a bit, trying to figure out the best way to land, and in the time, some of his pack members managed to spot him. He couldn't hear what was being said, just that they were pointing and readying for flight.

The intelligent thing to do would be to wait for assistance, but he was not about to let that happen. Realizing there was no best way to land, he simply floated down and hovered over the surface of the ground as close as he could get, and fell, turning on his shoulder to try to keep as much weight as possible off his legs.

There were shouts of surprise and fear as he hit the ground. And soon, he was completely surrounded by his pack, some voicing their concerns, and others quietly mocking his arrogance.

He didn't hear any of it though, just the white noise that threatened to consume him. And soon, it did, and he passed out yet again.


“Sellamin, you fool. Wake up.”

He growled at the harsh treatment, but opened his eyes anyway. What met him was the face of one of the pack. He looked around and noticed he was in a cave, not his cave. He was alone, save this one, and the entrance was covered by a blanket made from furs of some of the many kills.

The other one stood up, and pulled back the furs covering the entrance with the side of his head, revealing some of the more worried faces of the pack.

His pack was larger than most, and consisted of thirty plus members. He was a yitashu, a race of creatures who lived in the grass land regions of the east. They stood a bit taller than a man at the top of their heads, but looked more liked Ko hounds from the north than anything. They were covered in grey scales, save a small mane of varying colour, his own being dark brown, that covered the back and sides of their head and upper neck, and thinned out and ran along the back in between their monstrous wings and down the tail. They also had large patches of fur covering their shoulders and hips. Their faces looked like that of Ko hounds, except scaled, and he had two lavender horns on either side of his forehead that reached back. His scales a very slight purple hue as well. And like all his kind, he had a long neck, and two enormous bat wings that lifted him up and into the air.

Grudgingly, he tried to stand up, but fell back down the moment he put weight on his right leg. “Don't come any closer, Chronik!” Sellamin growled at the older yitashu, as he made a reflexive move to assist him.

“It was just a reflex. I wouldn't even bother trying to help you.” Chronik turned and stalked out of the cave, allowing enough space for some of the others outside to peek their faces in.

Sellamin growled to himself and lay back down. Wondering who had the audacity to clean, place, and bandage his wounds. He quickly answered his own question as he realized he was in Chronik's cave.

Sellamin lay his head back down on the furs and closed his eyes, sleep coming as a sweet relief. He never had been one to think too far into the future, he only ever lived in the moment. A habit that would only begin to change once he took on the name... Daiyori.

Chapter Two: Midnight Flight

After being grounded in the mountain caves for what seemed like an eternity, but was actually only a few weeks, Sellamin found that he couldn't take it anymore. Against his better judgment, and that of Chronik's, he abandoned the safety of the caves for his love of the sky.

His back legs were almost completely healed, but his right fore-leg was still far from complete recovery. Chronik said that it may never heal completely. But that was a none-issue. Right now, he was flying, and that was all that he needed.

While he had already thrown logic to the wind by coming out here in the first place, he didn't push himself nearly as far as he had on his previous flight. He kept low to the ground, flying over hills and skimming over the Nanue Lake.

He stole away during the night, when most of the males were sleeping, and the females were out hunting.

After flying well into the night, Sellamin began his flight back home, knowing full well that his tribe would probably disapprove of his outing. The only one he had to worry about though was Chronik. While he didn't show it, Chronik was the only person whose opinion he cared about. He was much older then him, and his previous role as a protective nuisance had slowly developed into friendship.

Chronik's first mate died early in their relationship, far to early for them to have had a child. Most parents had little to do with their children, especially the fathers. The entire tribe as a whole usually raised the pups, leaving very little up to the parents. This was what made Chronik strange though. It was obvious in the way that looked out for the pups that he wanted one for his own. Sellamin had once questioned him about why he simply hadn't found a new mate, but Chronik responded that there was no one else he would have wanted to raise a child with except Skiirauwa. It was an answer that had confused him.

Pushing the thoughts from his mind, he increased his speed and crested the top of the grassy hill. The dew was swept off the grass by his wake; the smell bringing peace and clarity to him. But just as he seemed to reach the euphoria that was given to him by flight, he noticed a small group of yitashu near the Kilatta Kurii River, or the Ancestor's Finger. It was a narrow river, but it seemed to divide the entire country in half. Or at least the part of the country that his tribe and race chose to explore.

These yitashu were different from his his though.


Sellamin landed in the tall grass without so much as a whisper. He stood in silence, waiting for the small band to make a move. They didn't appear to do anything, just stood there consulting amongst themselves.

Sellamin's blood was already beginning to boil, growing more and more angry at the sight of enemy yitashu in his territory.

He knew for a fact that they hadn't detected him, but was still weary by their lack of action. From what he could see, there were three of them. Two males and one female. All of them ordained by gold, glittering jewelry, hung around their horns and neck, and weaved into their mains. Sellamin found the practice ridiculous and impractical in battle, but it was a mark all of the Shwannee Tribe.

Sellamin gave an involuntary huff at the thought of the Shwannee Tribe. They had formidable warriors, and because of it, was a constant thorn in his side. They often had border disputes with them, mostly over the Kilatta Kurii River. The Shwannee Tribe were unmatched swimmers, as opposed to Sellamin's, who chose to take to the skies. After many hard debates and skirmishes thought, Sellamin's gained control of the southern half of the river, while the Shwannee got the smaller, and less fruitful, northern half. The Shwannee had never been fond of the agreement, but Juuzko, their leader, was very old and not willing to go to battle over the matter.


Sellamin crept closer, still waiting for the three to do something. Their being here had already violated the treaty and Sellamin was perfectly willing to go to war over it, taking it as a personal insult. If they didn't fear him enough to listen to the laws, then he felt every need to educate them on the matter.

Not being able to take it any longer, Sellamin slowly stood up from his hiding spot, revealing himself to three young Shwannees. “Your being here is a direct violation of the treaty.” The small group of yitashu spun around to face him, looking up to where he towered over them on the nearby hill. “I have every right to kill you where you stand.”

Sellamin was a good distance away, but might still have been able to swoop down and take out one of them before the others could flee. Sellamin was calculating the most effective strategy while the three yitashu gained their composure.

The middle, and largest, one took a step forward, showing himself to be the leader of the small band. “We've come to request admittance into your clan. Our leader is--”

“Denied.” Sellamin didn't even wait for the yitashu to finish his explanation before condemning him.

“What!? You haven't even heard us out yet!”

The female stepped closer to the male speaking and hissed into his ear, “Dunnabao, stop this now. This was a bad idea.”

Sellamin scoffed at the three yitashu. “A yitashu's place is with his clan. You three look barely able to hunt. I suggest you turn back now.”

Sellamin bared his teeth to enunciate his point. The female and the youngest male looked ready to comply, but the one called Dunnabao didn't seem to take no for an answer.

“Please, just listen to me.” Dunnabao took Sellamin's lack of response as permission to continue. “Our leader is old and no longer capable to lead us. He was a great warrior before, but, as of late, he's been forgetting things. Crucial things, and even the name of his daughter, seem to slip his mind. We have come--”

“Stop!” Sellamin leapt down from where he was standing, taking his injured leg into consideration, and shoved his face mere inches from Dunnabao's muzzle. While he himself despised Juuzko for his feeble mindedness, it felt wrong for these whelps to speak down on him. Yitashu had always had a strong, established system of authority, and seeing it ground into the dirt like this --to the extent of going so far as to betray the very pack that raised you-- made his blood boil.

Without warning, Sellamin rocked back onto his hind legs and raised his left hand, bringing it down hard on the Shwannee's face. He felt his claws rake across his muzzle and rip the skin surrounding it. Before Sellamin even finished the follow-through on the strike, Dunnabao was on the ground, his wings flailing and his arm clutched over his face.

Sellamin stepped back as the female rushed to his side, calling his name and trying to help him. Dunnabao didn't seem to hear it. Sellamin spat on the ground as a pained howl escaped the wounded yitashu's lips.


Sellamin spread his wings to take off, not wanting to spend anymore time surrounded by these traitors. “Leave now. Next time I will not be so kind.”

He didn't have to look back to know the expressions on the three young yitashu's faces. He just took off into the sky and headed north, to the mountain caves, his urge for flying quelled by the night's encounter.