When the group rushed in to assist their fallen comrade the wolf ran into the darkness to join its howling brothers.
“I told you not to help me,” Jarik said through clenched teeth. Blood dripped from his arm. “That damn dog was in just the position I wanted him to be in. Just a few more moments and he would’ve been dog meat.”
“Right,” Arlin sighed as his divine powers washed over the half-elf. “I’m sure you could have taken him.”
A shiver raced down Jarik’s spine as the wounds healed. “Why do your spells have to be so cold? When Miirik heals me I don’t have to reach for a blanket afterwards.”
Arlin frowned. “I’ve been told it feels like a cool refreshing mint. I can stop healing you if you would like.”
Jarik shook his head. “That’s OK. Cold healing is better than no healing.”
“How did the great hunter make out?” Gaston asked when he joined the group.
Arlin turned to face Gaston. “Jarik has proved well enough that he is able to do what it takes to win a fight and not endanger allies. Give him his sword back.”
Gaston held the rapier out. “Here you go little buddy. I’m sure you can slay a great many wolves with this thing.”
“Keep it,” Jarik growled. “The deal was for me to only use this dagger until I took down a foe with it. These dogs are nothing worse than a litter of newborn pups. That one got the drop on me. Next time he won’t be so lucky. Once he is dead you can give me my sword back. Not any sooner than that.”
“If you say so,” Gaston shook his head. “Do you have any idea where we should go next? Where can we find these damn wolves?”
Jarik pointed into the darkness. “Their howls are coming from over the next hill. I wouldn’t be surprised if we found a den or something over there.”
A bone chilling wolf howl pierced the night in the direction Jarik was pointing. A second howl joined in, followed by a third. The wolves were close.