0.71% The Tiger Within / Chapter 5: Hunter Traps Part 1

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Chapter 5: Hunter Traps Part 1

Kyera frowned lifting her nose into the air trying to dissect the scents she found there. Unfortunately, this part of the jungle was alive with creatures and flowers in full bloom leaving their tantalizing aromas the perfect mask for any softer scents.

She took a deep breath willing the winds to change, to push the overpowering smell of the flower grove away. Humans tended to stay away from the grove, so she was fairly sure he wouldn't be that way. Not with Basheen and her clan of vipers slithering around their den. Turning away from it, and walking toward the river edge, the smokey dark musk was sharp against the cleaner air. The smell of fire and unique oder blended with animal fats intended to hide the smell of human flesh. It was faint, but it was noticeable.

She followed the scent, seeing the man in the undergrowth. He was fairly tall and well dressed. The leathers and hides of his clothing worn and bloody from the hunt. Dark hair fell in jagged peaks from a rough ponytail at the back of his head. Everything about this man was average just like any hunters she had encountered. Well almost everyithing. Something in this man's aura... the emotion of it sent a chill down Kyera's spine.

He seemed to be enjoying the site of his pray struggling against the trap. It was intended to kill wich she almost respected but it wasn't a warrior's death. It was torture. Murder. The young man was caught in it now but…a child could have stumbled into this cruel beast's trap. Young Kaylee could easily be the one in the trap with her arm mangled or worse, and they call us heartless animals? Kyera's mind was becoming fuzzy with the lust for his blood so no more of her kind could suffer such a fate at such a cruel hand.

Looking over, Kyera realized the Tiger was trying to gnaw the chain of the trap, knowing if he was pushed long enough, he would remove his paw. The flash of silver caught her eyes and her ears laid back a soft growl caught in her throat. As if pouring salt in the wound, she noticed the bow and arrow on the hunter's back. He could end his pain with a few moments effort and yet he did not. It was a mistake he would never have a chance to regret.

she pressed back on her haunches prepared to launch herself and destroy him. Several seconds passed, but she didn't leap. Something held her back. She refocused herself, and tried once more to engage the muscles of her thigh, but was met with a tearing pain. A growl ripped free as the muscle warned of its breaking point. Then a force she could not see and could not feel till it was too late made itself known. This black, liquidy magic was seeping into her paws holding her in place. Her heart sped up, she tried to cry out for Veron but there was no noise to accompany her open jaw.

Slowly the man turned his head to look at her. A wide toothy grin from ear to ear looked back at her. One black eye and one white dead and slashed looked back at her. "well well well aren't we a pretty catch. Julian will be most pleased pretty tiger." his words a evil purr. The way he moved, turning slowly step by step was almost inhuman. His sing song voice twisting her stomach as he looked her over from muzzle to tail. That sickening black eye glittering like the skin of a freshly molted snake.

Why is he so creepy? Kyera wondered looking the man over, the white eye unmoving even as his black searched her body. No wonder, she realized this man was a mage. He had no use for traps. He had use for fear and suffering to increase the power of his magic. To break his spell was to make the caster feel fear. Or at least… it was the least complicated option for the moment.

Kyera gathered herself and tried once more to roar, strike fear in this man, but to no avail. A realization slowly dawned on her that…. Perhaps now was the time to panic. The hunter pulled a hunting knife from his belt, wiping the blade on his pant leg.

Valinteena Valinteena

Thank you to those who are still reading. I hope your enjoying it.


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