Autumn froze, silently berating herself for being so careless. In a split second, she had dragged the hooded figure into a deserted alley. Autumn had long since stored her purchased items into the blue heart pendant around her neck, leaving her hands free.

With narrowed eyes, Autumn stepped forwards. ”What do you want? ” Autumn hissed.

The figure laughed lightly, ”My name is Ember. If Im not mistaken, you should be a Spirit Animal. Correct me if I am mistaken. ”

Autumn shivered slightly. Autumn had a feeling that if she really wasn a Spirit Animal, she wouldn be standing there.

Taking a moment to examine Ember, Autumn paused. I can tell she is stronger than me, but she hasn hurt me yet…

”Autumn. My name is Autumn. ”

Autumn hesitated before slowly pulling down the hood of her cloak. Her fluffy wolf ears twitched slightly, the loud sounds of the marketplace unmuffled by the fabric of her cloak.

Ember reached out a hand and lowered her hood as well. A pair of sharp triangular ears stood on her head, identical to her hair and eyes, a golden yellow color.

A wolf, Autumn thought.

Ember smiled cheerfully and asked, ”Did you kill those adventurers in the forest? ”

Autumns emerald-green eyes were filled with caution as she carefully replied, ”Yes… ”

Laughing, Ember stretched out a hand, ”In that case, lets be friends. ”

Autumn blinked, shocked. Looking at Embers outstretched hand, Autumn grimaced, about to refuse.

With a glint in her eyes, Ember blinked, her eyes emotionless. ”You wouldn reject my kind offer, would you? ”

Shivering, Autumn nodded rapidly, reaching out and shaking Embers hand.

”Great! ” Ember grinned, her face a stark contrast to the extremely threatening expression she had previously shown. As if noticing the doubt plastered on Autumns face, she said, ”Don think too much about it. Ive been living on my own for years, Ive become a little lonely. ”

Autumn nodded obediently, but her head was a turmoil of thoughts. I don think thats the only reason why she wants to know me, but I don sense any ill intent…Can I trust her? Eclipses memories don mention anything about Spirit Animals being hostile to their own kind…

Embers eyes brightened, ”Great! Now lets get out of this rotten city. Im going to be sick if I have to tolerate the scent any longer. ”

Nodding, Autumn agreed, ”Where do you come from? ”

Reaching for the hood of her cloak, Ember replied, ”I usually don stay in one place for long, but right now Im from the Dark Forest. I assume you come from there too? ”

”Yeah, ” Autumn nodded, similarly pulling up her hood to cover her ears.

Autumn and Ember leisurely walked out from the alley, chatting happily as they familiarized themselves.

As the looming gate of the city drew close, Autumn questioned worriedly, ”Will we be able to leave? I barely managed to get into the city… ”

Ember grinned before replying, ”Just leave it to me. ”

Despite Embers reassurance, Autumn couldn help but be slightly nervous as they approached the gate. Forcing her stiff muscles to relax, Autumn tugged the hood of her cloak lower.

The guards, upon seeing two suspiciously hooded figures, narrowed their eyes. ”ID please, ” one guard stated.

Ember yawned, fumbling around in an exaggerated act of finding something. The guards expression darkened, angrily stating, ”If you don have an ID, well have to bring you to the holding cells until your identity is confirmed. ”

”Tch, ” Ember said, ”Of course we have an ID. Here. ” With a flick of her fingers, a golden light flew towards each guard.

Adeptly catching it, the expressions brightened. ”We saw nothing, ” They replied happily.

Confused, Autumn walked out of the city, asking, ”What did you do? ”

With a smirk, Ember tossed a few gold coins towards her. Baffled, Autumn looked towards Ember with shining eyes.

”How did you get these? ” Autumn questioned excitedly.

”Pffff! ” Ember laughed, ”Don be too excited. They
e fake. I made them out of mud and clay. ”

Autumn glanced back at the guards who each firmly believed that they were rich. Autumn burst into laughter, wiping tears from her eyes.

”Lets run, lest they find out, ” Autumn finally stated.

Ember nodded, breaking into a run with Autumn close on her heels.

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