Yeah, sorry, everyone. Homework overload last night. So many essays!
Anyway, here’s the belated Day 10. I hope you still enjoy it. 😀
Caddie sprinted up to the tree, pawing at the thick entangling roots that poked up from the ground. The tree was a large one, towering far beyond Caddie’s extraordinary power of vision, even in the faint predawn light.
It had taken her all night to reach the sacred tree, and now she was exhausted, but she had to try again. “Lycaon!”
There came a grumble from in a gap among the tree roots; it was just big enough for Caddie to squeeze inside if she wanted to. “Who is it?” the voice growled.
“Lycaon. It’s me, Caddie. I want to speak to you,” she pleaded.
Lycaon sighed. “May I point out that it isn’t even dawn yet?”
“May I point out that you weren’t at the meeting last night?” Caddie replied just as acidly. “Don’t complain.”
“Fine. Come in.”
Caddie ducked under the roots and nosed her way into the spacious hole. It was a quaint place with red dirt walls and various leaves, sticks, and stones acting as mats, seats, and barbecue sticks. In the far corner was a soft mossy nest, seeming as if it had been used lately, which Caddie figured must have been because she just woke up Lycaon.
The hybrid wolf sat in the center on a leaf-mat, his yellow eyes watching her as she sat down. “You have paws,” he noted. “And you’re glowing.”
Caddie shoved her paws in her pockets again. “I don’t know how to control it. Please, you have to help. I can’t hide it much longer.”
Lycaon examined her for a moment. “Do you know what’s happening?”
He frowned as much as he could with his wolvish face. “It looks like you’re becoming a shifter.”
A horrified look came over Caddie’s face. “A shapeshifter?”
“That’s what I said.” Lycaon shrugged. “You’d be better off talking to Obsidian about it.”
“But everyone will be scared of me!” Caddie squeaked. “And Artemis expects me to lead the rebellion. How could I possibly do that?”
Lycaon glared at her. “You already know the answer to that, Caddie. You need to win their trust.”
“But shifters are so mysterious,” Caddie moaned. “And besides, if I go to Obsidian, he’ll tell Artemis.”
“Then ask him not to. He wouldn’t be mad, if what I heard is true and he encouraged your leadership. They say advanced shifters are able to sense each other and blossoming shifters, so no doubt he would’ve understood when you’re in such a budding stage.”
“Are you sure?” Caddie asked uncertainly as Lycaon pawed her a cup of hot tea.
Lycaon took a sip from his own tea. “Of course. The only bad thing about it is that Nephthys will sense you, and everyone will know that hybrids can be shifters too. You’ll just have to take that risk, or not go, and we can’t have that.”
“But don’t I have to train with Obsidian?” Caddie took a tentative sip of her tea.
“Only enough to be able to shift upon will,” Lycaon reminded her, finishing the rest of his tea in one gulp. He set the porcelain cup down.
Caddie finished hers too; it sent a warm feeling down her spine, and she felt a little better. “Thanks, Lycaon. You’re a big help.”
“Anytime.” The wolf hybrid chuckled. “That’s what friends are for.”
Caddie slipped out of the hole and into the wet night air. The rain had finally stopped, but droplets still fell from above. “How do I hide it?” she asked Lycaon. “At least, until I talk to Obsidian.”
“Stick to the shadows,” Lycaon advised. “That’s the best I can give you. Wear a cloak if you have to.”
Caddie sighed and drew her thin red covering closer around her. It did nothing to stop the cold, but she didn’t care as she darted away, her mind spinning and brewing just like the dark storm passing overhead.