"Red dear, do you mind doing some chores for me?" an elderly voice rang out, a voice Red knew all to well.
"Sure Grandma, what is it?" Red answered, calling out to her grandma from the living room where she was knitting a sparkling red shawl.
"Could you please pick out some herbs and fruits from the woods? We're running a bit low and I don't think I might be able to finish my soup." Red's grandmother replied in her elderly worn out voice.
"Alright, no problem." Red got up and dashed to her grandmother, gave her a kiss on the cheek and was off. On her way out she took her ever trusty woven basket and her new shawl which seemed to glimmer even in the daylight.
It was fall, Red's favorite time of the year, when everything seemed to be getting ready for a new start. She loved the smell and the feel of the woods, when the golden leaves would fall from the trees that they so desperately cling on to and fall ever so gracefully on the maiden's skin. These woods weren't a problem to Red, she was born in these woods, some eighteen years ago and she knew it like the back of her hand.
Red's chore was already done, but she still didn't want to go home, the afternoon was just bliss and it would be a long time before fall would come again, before she would see this beautiful scenery again.
The sun had started to fall from its highest peak and Red knew that it was time to go home, she had finished her chore and had her share of fun for this day. So the young maiden went through the woods, her shining shawl of red gleaming through the canopy of trees and the veil of falling leaves.
On the way back to her house, one of the apples she placed ever so carelessly on top of the basket fell out and rolled to a patch of leaves behind a big rock on the edge of the path. Red followed the apple gracefully and just when she was about to pick it up, she gave a short scream. Beside the big rock, covered by the pile of leaves, was a boy around twenty in age, with purple spots all over his arms and pale in the face. He was barely breathing. Red knew what was wrong right away, the purple spots were poison marks which came from the devil's fool fruit, which would easily be mistaken as a pear to the unwary person.
There was only one solution, one cure. Red had to find firewater flowers immediately. The race against time was on. Red was dashing through the woods as fast as she could, firewater lake was just on the eastern side of the woods and there was no time to waste - at how things looked, the boy had about an hour before it would all be too late. Red had only one thing in mind, she wanted to save the boy, in fact to her it was as if she needed to save the boy.
The sound of still water and splashing was just up ahead, Red could hear it, she was close and then. . . there she was, Firewater Lake. She didn't have time to enjoy the scene and went straight to the firewater flowers. She took a bundle, held them tightly and was off again, back to the boy who she desperately wanted to save, that was the only thing she could think of, the only thing was the boy. Red ignored the scrapes and the bumps the woods threw at her and from time to time tripped on a branch or an elevated root, but that didn't matter, nothing could stop her, she was determined.
Yet on one occasion, when she tripped, she could hear the cracking of branches and a rustle of leaves not far from her. She knew she was not alone. Red gave short gasp and ran off again, hoping against hope that she would be able to outrun what was definitely some hungry creature with damsel in distress on it's menu.
Finally, she was back. The purple spots have gone to his neck. Red didn't waste time and got to it. She took off the boys clothing, some light armor and a leather vest with a pure white silk shirt inside. He was probably a soldier Red thought to herself. As she rubbed the juices of the firewater flower on the boy's body and as the purple spots slowly started to fade, she got a better look at him. He had unkempt brown hair, deep set eyes with long, dark eyelashes, a seemingly perfect nose and lips that could make any maiden long for a kiss, the sort of guy who rescues the damsel, or marries the princess, a true fairytale prince charming.
Red wanted to look more, to adore more, to maybe steal a kiss, indeed she would have if only the boy hadn't weakly cough out "water." So Red took the boy's empty container and strolled off to a nearby pond where the water sparkled in the sunlight. She bent down and started filling it up when suddenly out of the bushes came out a jackelope, it's horns barely sticking out of it's little head.
"So you were the one who was following me?" Red gave out a childish little giggle. The jackelope came closer and stumbled on Red's feet. Red took the little creature in her arms and gave it a big hug. She danced with it as what little girls did to their dolls, only Red was imagining that she was dancing with her prince charming.
All was perfect it seemed, what else could go wrong? A pretty lady, a handsome young man and a cute critter to tie the two. The only thing is that, just when Red was finished with her imaginary waltz with her prince charming, another rustle broke out and this time it wasn't a jackelope that came out. A Netherbear came out, eyes mad fury and teeth gritting with hunger. Red screamed at the top of her lungs as she tripped over backwards, the bear was rearing up, it's claws raised, it was about to strike. Red closed her eyes and waited for the end to come, she could feel the claws coming, breaking the wind around it as it came it was going to hit her any moment and then "Rawwwrr." the bear sent out a growl of pain. Red opened her eyes, in front of her was the boy, a sword, red with blood in hand.
"Sorry I'm pretty late, poison, you know." The boy said to Red. Red was still in shock, she couldn't say a word as she was lying there on the ground, her eyes wide open and her mouth ajar.
"Just stay put my lady, I won't let anything happen to you." the boy repeated, this time with a grin on his face. The bear was charging towards him, once again it leaned up, getting ready to strike. Next thing Red saw was a splat of red through the air, the bear was cut right on the belly, a wide wound on his stomach. The bear lunged again forward. Every time, Red thought that it was going to be the end for her prince charming, but he proved her wrong. The bear was fast, but he was faster, dodging every swipe and every bite until the bear was worn out.
"Leave now." yelled the boy to the bear, but even in this fantasy, a bear didn't understand what it was people were saying. The bear gave a loud growl and got ready for its final strike. The bear ran forward, this time leaping into the air, it was going to pounce on him. The boy gave a sigh as he held the handle of his dagger at his back pocket. "Eviscerada." the boy murmured and just as he said it, he was gone and the next thing Red knew was that the bear had stopped dead in mid air and had fallen down on the ground dead, the boy was standing beside it, wiping his dagger which was red with blood. Red mustered up the strength to stand and slowly walked towards the boy. The boy could tell from her face that Red was still in shock.
"It's alright now, everything's fine," said the boy as he too walked a bit closer to Red and stopped when they were a foot apart. "I'm Wolf, and what is the name of the fair maiden to whom I owe my life to?" continued the boy.
"My name's Red." Red said softly.
"Red?, what a beautiful name for a beautiful girl." replied Wolf. "Are you hurt?" Asked Wolf, a wide expression of concern on his face.
"No, thanks to you," replied Red.
"Good, I couldn't forgive myself if anything had happened to you." Wolf said, forcing a smile on his face.
"Why is that?" Red asked.
"Because I owe you my life, and I need to repay you, so please tell me how I can do that," replied Wolf.
"I don't know, I'm already happy whenever you're around and you're safe." She answered blushing, her eyes on her feet while answering,
"Do you want to?" Again said Red blushing.
"Of course I do, you are my life now." Wolf also said as he grabbed her hand.
"Alright, let's go home now" answered Red as she held his hand tightly all the way back to her house. And that is the story of how Red found her Wolf.
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