“Darkwolves?” I asked, feeling sick. I already knew what he meant, though I needed to ask. “The wolf-like creatures that stand as a man does, yet larger?”
Justice nodded. “It is them. Foul creatures brought forth by the Devil himself! I traveled here to slay them, just so you know.” He patted the shield that covered his spear on the ground. They looked to be well made. “My men are still in Homerson, helping as much as they can.”
I nodded, feeling a little better. Maybe Justin would live, then. The farmer was unnerving at times, but he was a good honest man who had helped me in times of need not once. There were several others I hoped would live as well, but I did not let myself hope too much.
“How did you even make it here?” I asked the man.
“I am Justice!” he said proudly, yet quietly to avoid waking the girls, “I simply walked here and the beasts kept their distance. Perhaps they have knowledge of my fights with them.”
“How many have you killed?” I asked. I was hoping this man would say most of them. If they were gone, I knew Shayleen would rest easier.
Instead, I received a chuckle. “You can’t kill darkwolves, my friend. They are deathless.”
“Shayleen killed one,” I said silently. Justice heard me. He perked up and looked at me with a ferocity I thought could match a boar.
Melody stirred in her makeshift bed, but didn’t wake. “OK,” I said slowly. I began to tell him the story as I remembered it. I surprised myself by not feeling the urge to weep for Shayleen. I still felt the terrible urge to leap into despair, but it was somewhat lessened. Now, I felt more proud of my wife. From the look of Justice’s face, I could tell killing a beast was a feat.
When I finished, Justice just sat there in silence for a while.
“It makes no sense, friend,” he said, shaking his head. “I have no doubt of the truth in your words, but I cannot fathom one of those darkwolves going to their grave. How I wish it were only so easy a thing to believe.”
It was my turn to as a question again. “Has no one in Homerson killed a… darkwolf?”
Justice shook his head. “We could only drive them away. We had the pits for a while, of course, but that’s different. Plus, they don’t work anymore.”
“We would trap them and starve them.”
I nodded, feeling foolish for not thinking of doing the same thing. “Why don’t they work anymore?”
“The beasts are of the Devil himself, so they are cunning.” Justice eyed Melody as she sat up. “They learned to avoid them. Now, let us speak of your return if we may?”
I nodded and smiled to Melody. We were going to be just fine. I was sure of that now.