Keenan unbuckled the straps and reached inside the cool, dark pouch. It only took a few seconds to locate the item in the bag. He had wanted it to be an envelope or a trinket. Instead it was round and cold. His breathing slowed as it closed around a small orb. The stone pulsed like a heartbeat beat in his hand. After a slight hesitation he pulled it out.
"It's a moment orb, Father." Keenan said with a deep sigh of relief. The three brothers relaxed as well, seeing it wasn't… wait why was there a silver shimmer of smoke around it like a spirit orb. The Master reached out taking it.
"It's a Spirit Orb, but it includes a case for judgement. In other words the soul requires punishment… or revenge." The middle brother explained, having paid the most attention to their father's work. The soul orbs had always gained his curiosity. There were several types and each with their own meanings and requirements to send the soul within to its proper place.
"Kane is correct." he reached for it, taking the orb from his hand. Carefully, he activated it, levitating it several inches above his hand. Each time it spun it grew a bit larger and picked up momentum until it became a window into the jungle. His heart broke.
The Soul the orb was peering out from was obviously in pain, its vision slightly blurry with tears. A weak puppy like whimpering as it awoke. There were large, warm fluffy things on either side of the young wolf. She was fairly large, but not quite full grown. The sound caused motion above it and they saw a familiar pair of golden eyes looking down at the spirit of the orb.
Kyera's face was worried and her fur was dirty as though she had been in quite a scuffle. There was a tiredness to her eyes and deep set worry in her expression. Kyera's warm paws were cradling the creature against her chest as she nuzzled it. "I'm sorry little one. I should have helped you sooner." She whispers nuzzling the small one's back. A little blood was on her fur when she lifted back up. The creature was obviously wounded and Kyera was trying to sooth it, despite her own pain.
"Its okay… I… I'm not scared." The small female voice replied seeming weak. Kyera shifted and winced as she moved. Her body quite pained. There was a stiffness to her usual grace and the brother's knew whatever she had been calling for help from, they didn't want to see the other guy if she was this injured.
"Good, rest. I'll be here." Kyera whispered nuzzling the little one again. Her voice was soothing and sweet to a worrying degree. The little one closed her eyes and the orb turned dark. As it did a small spirit slowly drifted down from the orb. The dark shadow took the shape of a wolf pup laying on the desk, curled into a ball. She was maybe a 8 years old when she had passed.
The Master frowned, reaching out to pet the wolf lightly. The young one looked up at them her sad green eyes large and sad. She seemed to relax when she realized the hand on her back was his, and her instincts told her where she was.
"Hello little…?" The Master trailed off, waiting for her to fill in the sentence.
"Mae." The wolf pup replied, sitting up on the desk and licking her tiny paws. Keenan smiled kindly at her. The Master nodded at her and scratched behind the pup's ear. Her head tilted into the touch enjoying the attention.
"Welcome, little Mae. We have much to discuss." The Master replied, but as he did no one noticed as Ping slipped away.
Dashing through the halls, Ping searched high and low throughout the Palace. Once insuring his mark was nowhere to be found, he went outside, searching the gardens. Alas he found him, Keric was laying beneath a tree hidden in the back of the garden, in the valley of the Young Ones. A sense of sadness floated in the air around him, making flowers and leaves turn brighter in effort to raise the spirits of their visitor.
"Keric, Keric!" Ping cried running closer to him. The wolf looked up, glancing over at him. A soft smile formed on his lips. It wasn't his normal teasing grin, it was sweet and almost sad.
"Ping, why aren't you with the Master?" Keric asked slightly surprised. Ping walked forward and sat down by him.
"I wanted to check on you." Ping replied without thinking. Keric's eyes brightened just a bit as the fox joined him on the grass. He turned a teasing gaze on the little fox by his side, a hint of his normal mischief in his eyes.
"Were you worried about me, Ping?" He asked with a grin. Ping was suddenly very glad he was in fox form, the warmth of his cheeks was easily hidden.
"Why shouldn't I be? We are partners, aren't we?" Ping asked laying his head down on his paws.
"So you aren't going to ask then?" Keric asked after several long moments passed between them. As relaxing and sweet as this time was and as much as he just wanted to sit back and enjoy it, he was waiting on the question. He dreaded it, but knew it was necessary. To his surprise Ping shook his head.
"I already know. Master liked Mae." Ping whispered and warmth filled Keric's chest. This fox was smarter and more considerate than he had ever expected.
So this is our last chapter in the shadow Realm for a while. The next couple will focus back in on our living world families again.
I hope you are enjoying this as readers.
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