Carissa raised her sword and sprinted towards the sound of the scream. If she could get there in time, perhaps she could save the woman. Or perhaps it was too late already.
She wove around trees, the dry underbrush snatching her pants and scratching her ankles. She slowed when she spotted the gleam of yellow eyes in the distance.
The surrounded a tree—which the woman had been smart enough to climb. As Carissa approached, the woman glanced up, revealing wide, fearful brown eyes and a smooth face that attested to her young age.
The wolves had tried to attack Mera.
For a half second, Carissa considered leaving her where she was. But she and Elon had agreed to protect her.
Mera waved her arm in the air. “Do something useful, and help me!”
Carissa suppressed the urge to leave her once more and instead approached the yare wolves. None of them even glanced her way.
Mera’s eyebrows bounced upwards. “Why aren’t they attacking you?”
“Because I’m not afraid.”
Carissa’s gaze skimmed the pack of wolves, like a writhing sea of black. If she thought about it, she could arouse her fear, but then she’d have difficulty turning it off. She’d be running from the wolves, leaving the caravan unguarded.
Perhaps she should kill as many wolves as she could while their attention was fixed on Mera.
Carissa raised her sword and sliced through the backs of two wolves. They collapsed to the ground without a whimper. The other wolves whipped around towards her, their noses scrunching as they snarled.
One launched itself on her, and Carissa lifted her sword just in time to impale it. Another lunged forward, and Carissa slashed through it. More wolves joined the fray, and she lost count as she cut them down, their blood running down her blade until the hilt and her fingers were sticky.
Just when she feared they’d overwhelm her, they stopped. One raised its nose, its nostrils flaring as it sniffed. They all erupted into howls, the sound so loud that Carissa feared her ears would bleed.
Then they darted off into the forest, towards the direction of the caravan.