Sequoia Coast This is some weird lookin' dirt...
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"crunch" "crunch" "crunch"

These were the faint sounds of paw steps made as Lunaria tread through the ground beneath her, leaving a long trail that matched the padding of her feet. This flooring; it was strange and grainy looking, like loose sun-kissed dirt. The she-wolf had never seen such peculiar terrain before in her life. May it be because Lunaria had been living in the mountains her entire existence, that still didn't make it any less difficult to get used to and her akwardly shifting movements were proof of that.

The muscles in the damsel's haunches ached from the distance she had walked today. Was it 30 miles? Perhaps 40? Lunaria didn't know anymore at this point, considering she had already lost count of exactly how many steps taken ever since that run in with the pissed elk bull yesterday. It was admittedly weird not being up in the mountains despite how much Lunaria longed for something new and for a moment, she actually considered turning back and returning to the place that was once called home. Well...for a moment...

Moonstone-hued eyes widened and mouth set agape, the damsel's vision was filled with something she found truly breathtaking. It was the largest body of water she had ever seen in her life. Beautiful shades of sapphire and sky blues that seemed like a painting come to life---this was all too grand to even be called a pond. Lunaria closed her eyes and allowed air to inflate her lungs, the strong yet intoxicating arouma of seasalt filling her nostrils and sending a small shiver down her spine. The lobes that sat atop her cranium flickered rhythmically to the sound of waves dancing to and fro the shoreline. The she-wolf could feel her lips unconsciously curling into a thin smile while the sounds, sights, and smells put her into a minor trance. She had no clue in Fenrir's name where she was, but this strange sensation in her chest prevented her from complaining.

Lunaria sat down infront of the shore, tassel curled neatly around her front paws. Her eyes remained closed to continue taking in the hypnotic ambience. They always say that curiosity killed the cat, but Luna never understood why there were so many that weren't willing to take the risk and explore what lied beyond the mountains. And here she was; being rewarded for her disobedience.
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sorry for the wait! thanks for starting <3 love your writing

Huā stalked down the shore, black paws settling themselves comfortably in sand with each gentle step. Her mind was heavy... the children were growing quickly, and yet not quickly enough- they needed to be protected, and now there were even more troubles lurking beyond Yuèlóng. Ursus- and a new pack close to home- the leader in her was confident that they could take down the enemy, but the mother in her was hysterical. Worried what could happen to her own children. God forbid those devils come across her kids as they came across Hydra's son; she would never find her heart again, would live for vengeance. And not wishing to meet such an event... she hoped they would snuff themselves out just as the women by the bay had. 

As she lingered in the line between sand and sea, her seaglass eyes caught a dark figure in the distance. Pretty- dark fur blowing the wind, eyes that widened at the sight of the sea like a precious gem. The woman settled herself into a seat, eyes closed as her ears flickered. Huā wanted to watch her from a distance, shyly afraid to approach... but shook the thought away, gathering her confidence. A recruit or a pretty lover could never be gained with silence, and so she strode nearby, though lingered a couple yards off. H-hello, She called hesitantly, accent falling quietly on the wind.
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He followed, an obedient guardian as always to his Empress. A consistent face within the many who had come and gone in Yuelong. The fiery wolf would follow his little leader, sometimes at her side in nonchalant conversation and sometimes falling behind as he picked up a scent that had him investigating deeper along the rocks and crevices of the beachside. 

Soon it would be however that another would be spotted along the coast, a dark woman standing out on the pale sands. Her bright sea green eyes (which matched quite well with Hua's own) were wide, a look of awe washing over her. Was she new to the beauty of Sea? 

Hua was hesitant and silently Aiolos would press his muzzle to the creamy colored lower portion of her nape, urging her on. As Hua crept forward, mumbling out her greeting, Aiolos too stepped up, aligning at Hua's side and silently dipped his muzzle in greeting.
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No worries, I don't mind at all. Also thank you, I'm flattered since I can be a tad bit insecure about my writing sometimes XD

Lunaria was trapped in the depths of her own mind for a moment, allowing the sounds of foaming tides and the feeling of the ocean breeze through her dark pelt pull her from reality. Although in the middle of it all, the faint sound of a gentle feminine voice slowly snapped the dame back to life. Luna's turquoise visionaries fluttered open slowly as if being woken up from a deep slumber, turning the direction of the stranger in question. Or should she say strangers instead?

A pair of wolves Luna did not recognize appeared before her. How long had they been standing there exactly? If it had not been for the silly she-wolf's blissful daydreaming she probably would've noticed someone approaching earlier; Luna really needed to stop spacing out so often...

My my, what are the chances of me being seen drifting off like this...

Lunaria said with a seemingly lighthearted chuckle, turning her face away to hide just how flustered she actually was. A few seconds after recollecting herself, she'd then turn her attention back towards the two whilst shuffling back to her feet.

A damsel possessing a bi-colored pelt that seemed to match the scenery surrounding them was the first Luna layed eyes on. A pair of alluringly celestial eyes, a mixture of blue and green hues, complimented her delicate features and seemed to stare into Lunaria's soul; the she-wolf was an unique looking beauty indeed. Beside her, a large male stood by and greeted her silently; his fur mixtures of earthen browns and eyes similar to a piercing, molten gold.

Lunaria lowered the fortal part of her body, one paw tucked closer to her body than the other, and lowered her cranium into a bow towards the two; similarly to how the sire dipped his head. It was a respectful way to greet another back in Luna's home tribe, and seeing the male make a similar motion made her more comfortable doing it.
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Aiolos followed her loyally, and she felt strengthened by his presence, though the stranger's beauty still stunted her usual confidence. The girl mentioned herself as drifting off- and Huā could not blame her. There was beauty to be found all around in nature; the sea, the stars, the sky. At times Huā was a dreamer too, entranced by the never-ending song of the waves and gentle kisses of the wind. To the comment, she simply laughed kindly, tail wagging slightly in the breeze. 

The stranger found her feet then, and impressively dipped into a bow. It was a simple motion, but she had become used to a lack of standard manner in this land... and so, seeing a woman using the same body language used back in her homeland was a great comfort. Huā was the empress here- but it did not mean she could not be humble too, and so she smiled as she returned the bow to their new companion. 

Her body rose again, gaze flickering to Aiolos before moving back to the dark beauty. Introductions were always simple enough of a start... and a little sniff of the wind told her that this was no pack wolf. I am Huā... empress of Yuèlóng. The details of their pack and its location on the island could be explained if Lunaria showed interest... but Huā did not wish to ramble, despite her love of the little paradise. A motion of her muzzle to the red warrior, This my head scout, Aiolos. U-um... you not from here? She inquired, for she could never truly tell.
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Feel free to skip around Olo if opportunity allows.
 

Shyly the other woman would turn her head away as she is caught off guard gazing out over the seemingly endless ocean waters. How far they stretched, he did not know, though had heard of wolves trying to cross it and see, all which who never had returned. To respond to Aiolos' tilting his crown and dipping his muzzle downward, she would take full bow respectfully, one leg to chest. It was a manner Aiolos had done time and time before, though not often returned to him. It had happened to him before in this land, far more of equality then what he was used too. Even his Empress returned the greeting as smoothly as though she often had. 

Nice to meet you, miss. He speaks after being formally introduced by his Lead, eyes never wavering from the dark woman before them.
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I'm so sorry for replying this late!

"Huā, Aiolos. A pleasure to meet you both. You can call me Lunaria. And yes, I guess you can say I'm quite alien to these lands..." Luna said with a sheepish yet giddy grin on her face, tassel faintly waving behind her as she straightened her posture and closed the distance between them a bit. The fae also took notice of the returned gestures and for a moment, the welcoming atmosphere of the wolven pair didn't make Luna feel like that much of an outsider anymore. Although, it did take Lunaria a while to process the she-wolf's other words before the gears finally switched in her head.

'Empress' Huā said; the pretty femora standing before her was an empress. Beside them? Aiolos, a he-wolf with the title of her head scout. Not only was she talking to pack wolves, but the dark dame was in the presence of a female prized as their leader. Once again, Lunaria felt a little out of place and idiotic considering the realization that she'd just wandered willy-nilly into someone else's homeland without a care in the world — 'foolish girl, have you no manners?'

A few seconds of blank, akaward silence and self-ridicule were soon followed by Lunaria finally speaking up "O-oh!" The falter in Luna's words were embarrassingly noticeable as her audits flickered forward. "My apologies, I wasn't aware that I was treading on your territory, let alone the fact that I was addressing an empress..." She put emphasis on that last word. Lunaria had memories of hearing about this foreign title whenever her tribal leaders had come back from travel. The name she had referred to her leaders as was "chief", but the concept of foreign titles being brought up again reminded Lunaria once more that she was far from home...
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absolutely no worries!! <3

The pretty stranger introduces herself as Lunaria, a name that earned a little smile from Huā. She was unsure of the word alien- still adjusting to the common language- but her tone added the proper context, and Huā nodded understandingly, recalling last fall when she had been new as well. Lunaria seemed friendly enough, graced by wagging tail and sheepish grin, even pulling forward. Huā did not believe her a threat and stood her ground, her own sandy tail wagging in reflection. 

The girl was quiet, and then- a stumbling apology. Huā's ears flattened bashfully against her head as she realized the girl thought she was trespassing, to which the empress was already shaking her black head. No, ah- do not apologize! Our territory is not here- but on an island in the sea, that way, Huā explained, gesturing her muzzle in the direction of their home. Gaze fell back to the girl. A-and, I am empress, does not make big difference outside our territory. Do not worry, Huā comforted, sporting an awkward grin of her own- embarrassed that she'd accidentally led the other girl to feeling ashamed.
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Aiolos would quietly listen as the two women exchanged words. Lunaria stating she was a foreigner to these lands. It was obvious she was new to the beachside, so likely the same for all of Teekon? Then she misjudged that this part of the coast belonged to them which of course Hua dismissed and a grin touched Aiolos creamy lips. Aiolos, of course, did not quite agree that being an Empress meant 'nothing' outside of the territory. She was still an Empress, still a woman which deserved respect and acknowledgement. Though Lunaria showed no signs of ill will towards his Leader. 

We've only just came to the mainland for a bit of scouting, is all. Hua liked to stretch her legs when she could of course, perhaps learn of the local packs, catch up with allies, hunt or recruit. Aiolos himself was here to do the same as well as guard the prime member of their ranks. Have you not seen the ocean before? He asks, curious of how far she had come.
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While Lunaria didn't know exactly what she was expecting to happen, one thing she was anticipating were Huā and Aiolos asking her to leave. So when the opposite happened, the fae simply blinked in surprise. 'Doesn't make a big difference' she says. Maybe its because Luna had her run-ins with snobby individuals in the past that felt entitled to respect simply because of rank, but Huā seemed humble despite that; Humble, kind, and awfully beautiful might she add. The empress was one that another would either aspire to be or dream to be with. Of course, Lunaria wouldn't dare start daydreaming such frivilous ideas about a woman who was clearly out of her league, the thought still made her giggle to herself with an unbeknownst flusteration — as if she was some kind of giddy yearling.

Lunaria then turned her attention toward Aiolos, who'd informed the she-wolf that him and Huā were simply scouting the area. Although, the mention of 'ocean' was met with a look of confusion from the dark damesel. "Oc....ean? Is that what you'd call this strip of land? I'm afraid I'm not familiar with it..." she said with her cranium tilted to the side in puzzlement. The sire seemed to know well what it was since he lived here, so Luna assumed she'd just been living under a rock her whole life not — or, in this case, living in the mountains her whole life.
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If Huā knew Lunaria found her beautiful in the same way- well, she would have been positively bashful. Unfortunately, she was no mind reader, and believed this girl likely didn't swing that way anyway. Ah well. Aiolos went on to explain their intentions outside of their territory, turning a question to Lunaria- whose answer was honestly shocking to Huāzhēn. She couldn't imagine a life without the ocean... Ocean. It is this great big lake, with no end. Huā explained somewhat dramatically with a sweep of her muzzle towards the sea. You never see this before? Huā confirmed again with some surprise, though she was fairly sure of the answer considering the girl seemed to know nothing of it. Perhaps this was why the sea captivated her.
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She was staring, giggling, and Aiolos furrowed brow lifted, though said nothing. Finding a smirk of his own touch his features as he passed his gaze between them, he wondered two what thoughts were swirling in their minds despite the chitchat. 

Ocean, or sea. It's different then inland water. Salty, not good for drinking. He explained to the woman, who had her head tilted in wonder. Though Aiolos had been near the ocean all his life, he could still understand how she had missed out if she lived far inland. Aiolos, why understanding, couldnt image how life would be without Mother Sea. This sand around it, it's called a beach. He informed with a just of his muzzle towards inland. How far have you traveled to get here?
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"I'm afraid I haven't, actually..." she answered the bi-colored female's question, noting their suprised expression at Lunaria's lack of knowledge and flattening her ears with another sheepish grin. Luna also listened intently to the explanation Aiolos provided her about the peculiar ecosystem they were currently in. "Ocean", "Sand, "Beach"; these are all things Luna had neither seen nor heard of back home. The femora had been living up in her secluded birth pack for so long, the sight of ocean waves and sand made her heart jump with child-like wonder. When the question of where she'd come from arose, her attention went to Aiolos — right, suppose Luna hadn't exactly brought up her heritage yet, had she?

"I've been traveling quite long from home I guess. I am from a tribe called Eagle Peak, we are from the mountains far away and I was once huntress there. See?" Lunaria placed a paw below her neck to draw attention towards the X-marked scar on her chest that identified her tribe's hunters. She didn't know if either Huā or Aiolos recognized the scar or had similar traditions with their own hunters, though it wouldn't hurt to try, right?
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So she had never seen it? How strange! Huā wished to whisk her away to the island and help her get acquainted with the sea herself, but sadly, a simple description of it would have to work... at least for now. Perhaps some other time they might find themselves swimming together; experiencing it up close. She listened with slight amusement as Aiolos explained things Huā had always known. 

How far had she traveled? She spoke of some place the empress did not know, a tribe, even bearing a scar as some sort of... mark of allegiance, the mermaid supposed. What an intriguing culture. Huā's eyes flickered upon the scar with interest, and back up the the girl's dark face and gemstone gaze. I do not know this place. They mark you? Does it hurt? She inquired dumbly, and well- of course it must have, if there was a scar- but really Huā was seeking the story of this place, this tradition.
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She admitted she had never seen the ocean before and after a sheepish grin, went onto explain where she had lived- Up in the mountains far from here, but within the reaches of Moonspear or Sunspear. A place called Eagle Peak and Olo finds himself nodding his head, more or less to himself, in understanding. If she had grown up in the mountains, it was easy to see why she had not ever seen an ocean before. Heck, even the trek from the Vale here in the Teekon Wilds was quite a trek to get to the coast that some even in these lands had yet to see the ocean to the north of them. 

Still, even Aiolos had heard of places he had not yet seen before - vast fields of nothing but sand without any water at all and scorching hot, places where the rock and earth were painted in red, places where there was snow all year round....

Aiolos had taken notice to the large 'X' marking on the woman's chest but had paid it no mind until she addressed it, showing it off as she mentioned her former placement as huntress. A mark of the hunter then? Aiolos was quiet, though he would hold the same curiosity as Hua as his ginger ears perked and then settling onto the sands in a sit, ready to listen further if she willed it so to share.
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"Well, it did if I remember correctly. Those claw marks certainly weren't fun to recive I guess." Lunaria couldn't help but offer a grin of amusement at the silly question while tracing the scars along her chest. A few not-so-pleasent memories were bought up however, ecspecially being sent to the tribe's healer numerous times for an infection — which was partly Lunaria's fault for not following directions and licking the chest mark clean after receiving it. But too much pride would go into actually admitting that.

Luna had already given them their answer, but Huā's question seemed to spark something in the she-wolf that caused her to ramble on about more than what she'd been asked. "Although, us hunters aren't the only ones who received marks like these. Our Warriors, the brawn and muscle of our tribe, had slashes across their sides. Kinda like my brother..." The mention of her brother, Solarus, came into play and with a strange twist of events (and momentary dissacosiation with reality), Luna found herself continuing on about her tribe, even motioning a paw in the air to describe what the scars looked like. "The pain you'd feel from receiving them was a way to....bind us all together as the working class; the wolves that both protected and fed our tribe. And even if we were to leave our home or get lost, these marks were the reminder that our hearts will forever be drawn to the mountains in which we came from...." And there it was: The undeniable leaking sense of pride that would always be found in the dame's voice while speaking about her clan & family. A paw was softly placed back towards her scarred chest and a smile of undeniable warmth spread across her maw — like holding something precious close to heart.

When Lunaria had finally decided to stop talking, she looked up and cleared her throat with a blanken expression to mask what had just happened. Too much talking. Time to switch gears. Her eyes darted around to fumble for the words that would change the subject quickly.  "I-I'm judging by the question though, we don't particularly share the same...traditions?" The question was hesitant yet genuine. Lunaria didn't really know anything much about packs outside of her own and was just as curious to know more about the sandy beaches Huā and Aiolos called home...
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man, I'm so sorry for making yall wait so long!! can we wrap this soonish? I would love for them to meet again someday too <3
 

If Lunaria rambled, Huā didn't notice. Far too intrigued by the stories the empress was, drinking in the fresh knowledge of a culture different than her own. The girl told her that indeed that had hurt- and just the thought, the imaginary moment of recieving such a thing was enough to make Huā wince slightly.

Luna identified herself as a hunter, and not the only marked either- no, rather each of the labor-wolves from her land had something alike this. A sentimental thing, a bond between them that went beyond the mental and into the physical. She could see how Lunaria valued it, in the way she clutched it, the expression upon her face. Some little part of the Jiang girl was jealous- 海龙泻糊 had no markings. The only sign of their homeland was their language and culture- and while those encompassed so much, the siren did almost wish she had some outward sign of her homeland as well. 

Lunaria fell quiet then, a touch awkward- and Huā, who had only been absorbed in her words the whole time, wondered really what had made her suddenly so stiff. But she was asking after their traditions now- and Huā shook her head, speaking for both herself and Aiolos there. As for the red man, only he could tell the proper story of his homeland's ways- but Huā would gladly share a few of her own. 

My home has its own tradition, but not like this at all. She explained with a slight motion to the planned scar. But... some of our own tradition... the really big one is, girl getting married. Usually, when girl is just a little older than one year- her parent, or maybe sometimes the match-maker, will find her perfect man. This make a really perfect marriage- something that will make good warrior, or good intellect, or resolve tension. A shrug of her shoulders. Marriage had always been an exciting and dreamy thing to think of, but even despite this, it was not a uniting of two individuals in love. Most often it was a contract, a treaty, a business negotiation- girls given away to the boy that could gift her family the most lovely things. Youth from factions with political differences bound together in a living, breathing peace treaty. Traveling had taught her that in these places, most wolves chose their own spouses- and those could even be based off of flimsy things that would benefit no one and nothing except their own emotions. She was raised to be biased against such individualism- but Mal was making her reconsider all that. 

And here was Huā, still unmarried at two and a half. She realized her words made her an obvious outlier, but she did not wish to explain all the personal trauma that had prevented her own arrangements- and so lowered her chin slightly, Back then, something prevent me from marriage. She did not want to dwell there, and let her faze float back to her companion- lest Aiolos wished to share some tradition from his own home too.
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Fine on my end.

The woman went on, mentioning the different marks which were given to the warriors, that they had slashes across their sides. The scars bound them to eachother, reminded them of their pasts and their culture. It was a pain which they welcomed and wore the scars like a prize upon their pelts. Aiolos completely understood and smiled as he listened onto her story of her family. He too wore many scars and although they were not specifically marked on him as a gesture of his skill, they did so remind him of his accomplishments and the harsh trails which he had endured in order to make it where he was now. His scars, the majority of them, were scars of a basterd, a gladiator, a slave...

 Now he was free. 

Hua then offered up some information on one of her families customs. That the women were to be married off at around a year old. Be it for an alliance, protection, or the ther manners that the male in question could offer. Aiolos knew, had he been a wolf in her and Ruo's homeland, he would have nothing of wealth and power to offer them. Just like he didnt have anything to offer Lunaria on behalf of himself now. 

I've never been honored a mark to accounce my skills, though I can see why you would pride them, Huntress. He spoke, speaking the title she, as it seemed, well deserved and dipped his head down in a small manner of respect. 

After which he is silent once more, his fiery haze shifting over the two woman as he guarded his leader contently.