Ned got unsteadily to his feet. The snarling of wolves drifted away as the noise of flowing water took over once more. It was dream-like, but the boy was not afraid. He walked toward the wolves and past the dead soldier. They sniffed Ned as he moved away. He saw a short sword and sheath on the stoney ground. Picking them up, he strapped the sheath to his back and looked at the soldier. Flies swarmed over his open wounds. The wolves trotted back to the forest and the younger one stared back before following its pack. Howls came from the nearby trees.
Ned was unsure about what had just happened, but he was still alive. He drew in a deep breath and felt light-headed. The boy was not entirely sure of his surroundings, but he walked along with a roaring river to the left and forest on his right. On automatic, he continued toward the Foijen. Showing no emotion, he kept on going. Most of the world was shut out and he felt nothing. The sun was high and he could just make out the sound of birds. He brought his hands up and stopped as he felt the wolf teeth of his headgear. Ned moved his head to the left and his neck cracked. He shuddered. Moving toward the river, he knelt down and splashed handfuls of water onto his face. He raised up and took a long look at the dead soldier. Ned walked away. It was now fourteen against one.