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For the longest time, Weed, Mel, and Nobutora were having trouble finding the herd again. After a few days they managed to catch up. The herd wasn't used to them anymore since the attack from the lightning hound, but not to the point of running away so they stuck around anyway for a while. Sadly, a pair of hunters called velociprey attacked the herd and killed their youngest, Koinu. After that they wouldn't accept any of the dogs and one even drove them off, something they didn't usually do.
"Well that's that. The herd doesn't want us around anymore," Nobutora said grimly. Mel and Weed weren't feeling any better from that, like getting shunned from your own pack. The only true protection and they lost it thanks to some raptors and a lightning wolf. It took two days for the trio to feel better and they had traveled a good... ten miles? Twenty miles? Well, either way it was still a long way from the aptonoth herd to a drier location. Not desert dry but more like a savannah in dry season. The grass turned amber as the trees started to thin out... couldn't say the same for the danger though.
Now questions were racing through the dogs minds - Nobutora especially. Where were they? What happened to their friends? How were they gonna get home? And most importantly... were their friends okay? All these questions were on hold at a point when he felt his stomach growl.
"Hey guys? I'm hungry, how's about we find some food huh?" Nobutora asked.
"Well find food as we go, don't worry. I'm sure they'll be something," Weed assured. Nobutora simply groaned as they continued walking. As they did, his ears suddenly started to pick up something.
"What's that?" he asked, spinning around to a rustle in the grass. Weed and Mel turned to him as his eyes tried to catch something. He couldn't see what was there or anything but he could have sworn something was there...was there.
"Calm down, Nobu. Let's just keep walking, I'm sure we-"
"Sure of what, Weed?! WHAT?!" Nobutora snapped, "IT'S BAD ENOUGH WE WERE TOSSED INTO THIS CRAZY WORLD IN THE FIRST PLACE! NOW WE'RE COMPLETELY LOST!"
Weed and Mel jumped back after that and Nobutora slowly calmed down and apologized for his actions.
"It's okay Nobutora. We're all getting a bit tired it seems from this. How's about we find a spot to rest up eh?" Mel suggested. Weed and Nobutora looked at each-other and they agreed. But where were they going to go was the question.
They walked onward for another few hours, getting more tired from the trip. The sun was leaning towards afternoon and they were still trying to find somewhere to stop at. Right now they were walking along the side of a canyon, hot and dry with blinding sun. They still needed somewhere to stop, and Nobutora still felt like they were being trailed by something. But now Mel was feeling that same vibe that Nobu was getting...someone was watching them.
"Mel? Nobu? You okay?" Weed asked at a point, after seeing the two lagging a little.
"I think Nobutora's right. What if there is someone else around?" Mel asked, looking up the cliff.
"Don't be ridiculous guys. There's no one else around except us. And even if there was, what do they want with us anyway?"
"That I don't want to find out Weed."
"Alright you guys. It's not much farther, look. You see that opening in the path?" Weed asked, pointing ahead. Nobutora and Mel looked and saw a larger area of ground along the path. Flat and a good resting spot but it was far away, just visible.
"Now as soon as we get there we can rest up," Weed finished.
"But it's so far!" Nobutora said.
"Not if we run! Come on!" Weed beamed. Easier said than done; Weed was the only one with energy to run at all.
Up the canyon however, the two were correct on one thing...something was there. Grazers called uragaan - thousands of uragaan - and two hunters, one white, one black, both canine. They were about to change everything for not only the herd but for the ginga pack as well.
The trio continued on running to their stop. Nobutora caught up but Mel was still behind.
"Wait up you two!" Mel called. He stopped for a second to catch his breath. That was all it took. Suddenly he looked out and saw Weed slip! Nobutora grabbed him but he fell too, all the way to the bottom to the canyon floor!
"WEED! NOBUTORA!" Mel gasped, finally catching up but still on the path. Nobutora managed to get up but Weed broke his leg in the fall! That was just the start. Mel then looked up the path and saw something coming down the wall. The entire uragaan herd! Nobutora started running, holding Weed as Mel ran along the path in panic. Mel thought time and time again to rush down but couldn't bring himself to do it as the herd caught up with the dogs! Nobutora tried his best to avoid the passing herd but it was getting harder with more uragaan coming at the time...then it happened. While passing a slope, one of the uragaan rammed Nobutora out of panic, causing him to accidentally toss Weed down the slope! He tired to get him but the herd knocked him out of the way, near the middle of the herd! That was the last Mel saw of him and Weed for the rest of the day.
Later on after the herd was long gone, Mel went down to the floor and started looking for his friends. He couldn't see Weed anywhere but he did find Nobutora... or rather what was left. All that remained was a patch of hair on a dent in the dirt where Nobutora fell.
"Nobutora... I'm so sorry... Nobutora..." Mel started to sob sadly for a few minutes. Now he wasn't only lost, but alone. He didn't know where Weed was and Nobutora was gone...dead. Heartbroken, Mel scooped up what remained of his striped friend and walked sadly away. Never to meet Nobutora again.
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