The warrior ran forward, but the wolf stood its ground. Within seconds, it leapt and they met near the top of the short incline. The warrior stayed low while the wolf jumped upwards. A flash of steel brought a searing howl from the wolf. It backed away, limping. The man walked in an arc as the wolf tried to make it to the crest of the hill. It looked to the right and struggled back. Blood oozed from a leg wound. The wolf staggered to a single tree on the cliff edge.
Staring at the injured animal, the soldier moved in for the kill. But he did not notice the slight movement of fern further down the hill. Ned ran in a crouch upwards, closing his enemy down. He heard growls and saw the man standing over the wolf. Ned slowed and crawled forward in the fern. Anything against the Malaxian was on his side, he figured. The soldier prodded the wolf with his sword. The injured animal whimpered, only moments from death.
Without warning, a silent shadow struck upwards. The wolf saw it first. Ned ran fast, head down. Wearing his wolf helmet, he stared intently through its teeth, scrambling over the steep slope on all fours. He snarled as the soldier spun around, unbalanced. As Ned was on him, all the soldier saw was another wolf. Ned drew a blade and slashed at the back of the soldier’s leg. Blood gushed from the wound. He yelled and came crashing down. His head landed near the wolf and he looked up as sharp teeth descended. A frenzied gnashing from the wolf savaged the soldier. He roared with pain, attempting to shield his face with gloved hands. Blood spurted and his shoulders slumped.