Saturday, June 18, 2016

Spice and Wolf Volume 05

It was a quiet journey.

There was no conversation—only the clattering of the wagon.

They woke, they rattled  around  in  the wagon, they  ate—only that.

Kraft Lawrence sat in the driver's seat, gripping the reins. It was his seventh year as a traveling merchant  since setting out at the age of eighteen.

Loneliness  was the constant companion of the traveling  merchant, and he'd often  found himself talking to his cart horse. There had been a time when these episodes were frequent. These last few
days his quiet  travels had  continued,  and  he'd spoken  no  words worthy of the term.

Yet if asked if he was lonely, Lawrence s reply would have been negative, which was unmistakably  thanks  to his companion,  who sat next to him in the driver's box.

Though she now had a blanket wrapped around herself so thoroughly that it was hard to tell if she was a boy or a girl, the beauty of her features would turn any head, and her long, chestnut-brown
hair, fine enough to be the pride of any nobleman's daughter, easily holding the attention of male passersby.

If she stayed quiet and polite, surely she could have entered the grandest  of functions  without so much  as a hint  of shame—yet there was a reason things were not so simple for Lawrence's com-
panion.

After  all, she had the beast ears and tail that marked her as an evildoer.
His companion's name was Holo.

Her true form was that of a giant wolf so great it could swallow a  human in  one bite.  She was the wolf-god of the  harvest,  who dwelled within the wheat.
"..."

For  a moment,  Lawrence wondered  if Holo  had  said  something, but perhaps she had  simply opened her eyes. Her reasons for doing so were generally obvious.

She had  shifted  her tail a moment ago, so next it would be her ears. With a deerskin-gloved  hand,  Lawrence took hold of Hole's hood, pulling it slightly up off her head.

Through his gloved hand, he could feel her  shift  her wolf ears beneath  the  hood  to  a  new,  more  comfortable  position.  The twitching  motion  continued  for  a  moment,  then  stopped.  After
a period  of minute adjustments, she seemed to be  satisfied. This called  to  mind  for Lawrence a fastidious noblewoman  carefully arranging  a  flower  in  a  vase  until  it  was  just  so.  Holo  sighed
softly,  then  nuzzled  her  hooded,  blanketed  head  lightly  against Lawrence.


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