Inherent Excerpt- Hunter

Hunter crouched on the rocky outcropping and surveyed his surroundings. Somewhere behind him, hounds baying in eager anticipation of catching up to him, men would be whetting their weapons. His head turned on a motionless body and he bared his teeth in a snarl at his pursuers. For hundreds of miles they had hunted him, and he admitted that, for mortals, they were skilled enough. His pace had been easy, coaxing them on farther and farther away from home. Their enchantments, weak enough against him anyways, would not work here.

So they found him when they burst onto the mountain path not long after dawn, waiting for them. A beautiful, contemptuous beast, gilded shining ivory in the morning sun. Bright green eyes sparkled as he observed them, casual and unworried by the cruel nets and weapons they carried, by the hounds with their venomed teeth or the hooked arrows. He waited. The hounds surged forward, caught his scent in full, and careened back, cowering against their masters and screaming. One man tried to restrain his hound, urge it forward, but the dog turned on the master and savaged him. The pack followed him into the valley, tails between their legs.

The rest of the men cast the still screaming handler over the side of the mountain, and Hunter’s mouth curled in contempt and admiration. Loyalty was important to him, but it always amused him to see mortals come to the same casual cruelty as the worst of his race. Humans had more limited tools than he did however.

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