• Kakaru lifted his front left paw and plopped it back down again with a loud thump. His two blue-tipped tails swayed softly in the wind. Nothing. Not a whiff of any sort of prey. Kakaru expected this. Nowadays, a wolf like himself would be lucky even to find one small doe, and with Kakaru’s pack, not everybody could be fed with such little meat. A few years ago, prey was plentiful. Wolves and other predators were able to find large prey in less than an hour. Kakaru made up his mind. He would have to return to his pack empty-handed. Prey was coming back very slowly though.

    The moon shone brightly, making Kakaru’s journey more comfortable somehow. Kakaru approached his pack’s den. In the moonlight, the caves and wild cherry trees were silver. The river beside the largest cave gurgled. Kakaru howled loudly. Several two-tailed wolves came out of each cave. Some black, some white, some gray.. Kakaru wasn’t like these wolves. He had a silver body and a blue tail, since he was a water element wolf. Kakaru counted and made sure everyone was there. Nobody was missing.

    Kakaru walked into the largest cave where all the elderly wolves lived. He was there to visit the newest resident of the Elder’s Cave, a red-tipped fire wolf named Nishiki.
    “Nishiki? Are you there?” Kakaru called.
    “Nope!” a familiar voice said.
    He always does that. I guess I should be used to it by now… Kakaru thought to himself.
    “How’s the pack doing?’ Kakaru asked.
    “You leave for two days and think that the entire pack is in ruins. Do you really have that little faith in your elders?” Nishiki questioned.
    “Well, actually, I just wanted to know if there is any recent news I haven’t heard.” Kakaru responded.
    “A new element-wolf was born just after you left.” Nishiki informed Kakaru.
    “Oh...I forgot entirely about Sugi. What element is he?” Kakaru asked.
    “Sugi has a yellow-tipped tail, so my best guess would be lightning. Haven’t seen a lightning wolf in about 16 years.”
    “A lightning wolf could come in handy, don’t you think Kakaru?” Nishiki asked.
    “I think it could be very useful. Mountain lions are afraid of lightning, aren’t they?” Kakaru questioned.
    “Yes. Mountain lions despise lightning. Sugi could help keep them away, and if they are away, they won’t be able to attack us. That would save a lot of lives, not only in our species.” Kakaru nodded.

    A loud yelp sounded across the wolves’ lair. Kakaru ran out of the cave, with Nishiki following close behind. Kakaru came closer to the whimpering noise. What he saw horrified him. A young cub was underneath a large boulder.
    He’s lucky it didn’t fall on his head…Kakaru thought. Nishiki and Kakaru managed to move the rock off of the cub. To Kakaru and Nishiki’s surprise, the young wolf had a yellow-tipped tail.
    “Sugi?” Kakaru asked. “Yes?” the cub grunted. Nishiki picked up Sugi with his teeth and gently placed him on Kakaru’s back.
    “So you’re the cub that was born when I was away, correct?” “Yes.” Sugi muttered.
    “I won’t make you respond, but I must tell you this: a normal wolf cub, especially as young as you, wouldn’t have been able to survive a boulder that size. Lucky you’re an element wolf.” Kakaru told Sugi.

    Kakaru continued carrying Sugi on his back until they reached the wolves' den. Kakaru placed Sugi in the center of a small cave. Nishiki walked in the cave with a large bundle of fresh grass in his mouth. Nishiki dropped the f*****t of grass and started spreading it to make a soft place for Sugi to lie down. Kakaru placed Sugi down on the pile of grass and thanked Nishiki. Nishiki went out of the cave, leaving Kakaru and Sugi behind.

    Two years had passed after Kakaru had met Sugi, and Kakaru thought it was about time to start Sugi’s training, since Sugi was three now.
    “I understand you are a lightning wolf, right?’ Kakaru said.
    “That’s right.” Sugi told Kakaru.
    “Wouldn’t you like to learn to use that power?” Kakaru asked. “What?” Sugi asked.
    “Every few years, mountain lions will come down and attack us. They haven’t attacked us in a while, so we’re getting the idea that they are going to attack pretty soon. I understand that mountain lions are deathly afraid of lightning, so I was wondering if you could protect the pack by scaring the lions off with your lightning.” Kakaru explained.
    “I guess I’ll try to learn.” Sugi said.

    Sugi’s training began the next day, and he was doing very well. He was able to cause small amounts of lightning to reach speeds of 15 miles per hour. He could send bolts to the left, the right, the north and the south. He did have trouble shooting bolts more than 3 or 4 yards into the air, but it was getting higher and higher every time, and the bolts would at least act as a warning sign against enemies. Every day, Sugi improved on his training, until one day, he was able to use his lightning to its full extent. Sugi’s eyes flashed yellow as lightning circled around him.
    “I think you’re ready.” Kakaru told Sugi after they finished training.
    “You mean I can try scaring off the mountain lions?” Sugi asked, excitedly.
    “Probably. Let’s go on top of the caves and try it out, see if the lions can tell we have lightning.”

    Kakaru and Sugi were about to jump up on the cave when the heard several shrill roars. Kakaru and Sugi looked behind them and saw about 5 mountain lions in the wolves’ den. Sugi leaped off of the cave. The lions circled in on him.
    This is my chance… Sugi thought to himself. Sugi let out a great bolt of lightning. The mountain lions backed off. They tried to attack Sugi a second time. This time, Sugi let out his full lightning power. Once again, his eyes were completely yellow. Lightning was all around him. Through the bolts, Sugi could see the mountain lions starting to run away. Right before the lions escaped, Nishiki sent fire in front of them, forcing them to stop. Kakaru let out a sudden wave of water. In a sudden mix of fear and pain, the lions ran off with their tails between their legs.

    Sugi stopped his fury of lightning when he saw Nishiki and Kakaru approach him.
    “ It’s been several years sine I’ve done that!” Nishiki said, excitedly.
    “For me, it was another thing that I do weekly.” Kakaru said.
    “Do you think they’ll come back?” Sugi asked.
    “I highly doubt it. Mountain lions hate lightning, and after an attack like that, I don’t think they’ll be coming any time soon.” Kakaru told Sugi.
    “Hey.” a voice came from the top of a hill.
    “hm?” Sugi, Kakaru and Nishiki all looked at the hill. At the top, a wolf with two green tails stood menacingly.
    Another element wolf? Sugi thought.
    “My name is Korosu. I couldn’t help but notice a quite large amount of lightning. It came from you, didn’t it?’ Korosu was looking at Sugi.
    “Yes, the lightning was my element.” Sugi told Korosu.
    “What were you using it for? No vampires were involved, right?” Korosu asked.
    “I don’t recall any vampires; all I can remember is a bunch of mountain lions.” Sugi said, obviously utterly confused.
    “Have you seen a certain vampire named Harashi?” Korosu asked. “No. Sorry, but I haven’t met any vampires lately.” Sugi admitted.
    “And I don’t plan to any time soon!” Kakaru snarled.
    “Why are you here, anyway?” Kakaru asked Korosu.
    “I would think that would be obvious by now. Oh, well, I’ll tell you anyway. I’m looking for a vampire by the name of Harashi. We were walking together, and then we got separated. That was a month ago. I haven’t seen Harashi since.” Korosu explained. He looked like he was extremely tired.

    “You look exhausted, would you like to stay here for a while?” Sugi offered Korosu.
    “If I won’t be of any trouble, I think I’ll take you up on that offer.” Sugi led Korosu into his cave.
    “I noticed you had green tails, so that means you’re an earth wolf?” Sugi asked.
    “Yup. Harashi helped me master my element. Even though he wasn’t a wolf himself, he still figured out a way to help me.” Korosu continued, and Sugi listened eagerly, for some reason, he wanted to hear more.
    “Harashi and I first met after I was orphaned. My father went out to see if he could find any prey, then he was stabbed by a boar’s horns. My mother had already passed away several months before that. I was only one year old when I lost them.” Sugi’s eyes filled with tears.

    “Then Harashi walked by. He saw I was covered with bruises and gashes. Harashi picked me up and took me to his house. Several weeks had passed, and I was healed. In return for Harashi’s hospitality, I helped him with almost everything he did. Sometimes he even rode me.” Korosu’s eyes were glistening, and tears were streaming down Sugi’s face.

    “I’m sorry that happened. My situation was kind of the same. My parents died, but I hardly knew them. Kakaru is to me as Harashi is to you.” A lump formed in Sugi’s throat.
    “Do you think I can help you find Harashi?’ Sugi asked.
    “I’m glad you asked. I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to.” Korosu said.
    “Could Nishiki and Kakaru come along?” Sugi asked.
    “I’m sorry, but I have to protect the pack. I might not be able to go.” Kakaru was standing in the entrance of Sugi’s cave.
    “Nonsense!” Nishiki scolded.
    “I can stay with the pack.”
    “I don’t know…” Kakaru sounded uneasy.
    “I think I can take it over.” A mysterious and soft voice said. A pure white wolf walked out of the shadows of Sugi’s cave. “Kuroi!” Kakaru exclaimed.
    “It’s good to be home.” The white wolf said.
    “Where were you, Kuroi?” Kakaru asked.
    “I couldn’t find the right timing to sneak over here. Just go on and help the newbie!” Kuroi demanded.
    “In that case, let’s get going.” Sugi exclaimed. Kakaru couldn’t take his eyes off Kuroi. He thought she had died.I should have expected it. She always goes away from me. Kakaru said to himself. Before he left, Kakaru ran up to Kuroi and put his right paw over her back. “When I come back, you’d better be here.” He told her.