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It was a creepy sort of quite out here, the winds slightly hushed as they worked their way through the surrounding plant life. Paws sinking into sticky mud, wriggling his toes rather absently as his electric orange eyes surveyed the terrain. So far not another breathing soul, a strange emptiness caught him all over again in a sick way he'd grown accustomed to. Like a flesh wound that never fully healed, lamenting all the ways it seemed to open back up again. An internal pull, so soft upon his foul heart. Breathing in clean air, and returning it just as tainted. A flicker in the dark, intent on consuming every inch around it.

He slowed down a bit, taking time to navigate the muck best not to slip up so early. Despite it being night, the place was still rather humid causing him to pant as he searched out some water. Where he might go from here he knew not, things best left unsaid to rot in the dirt. As he should also be doing. Up ahead was a small alcove of aqua, a tilted smile upon inky lips as he approached his target. Without bothering to wait he flung his filthy hide into it, a satisfying splash rang out as he merged with it. Now, this was more like it. He pranced about as if he might only be a pup, despite the grey that betrayed him upon his muzzle.

Something was wriggling just under the surface, a fish perhaps. Curiosity came back around to kill him, and without further ado he proceeded to jump through the water, sending it everywhere while creating an awful racket. Snapping at the things as they moved, he drifted off again into his own corner of reality, where he didn't have to think so much. This spell was bound to run thin soon, oblivious to the fact that he might not be so alone after all. Because perhaps this was exactly where he needed to be, doing nothing whatsoever as the world continued to decay around him.
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When one escaped, it was typically because they no longer liked the situation in which they were in or because they needed to return to someone or somewhere for some reason or another. It happened to be the latter for Malus. He didn't have anyone waiting for some in some distant land or some treasured place that he longed to return to because it held a very important significance to him. As far as he was concerned, he was alone in the world and that suited him just fine. The years he'd spent in the pits had showed him that he was better off not having anyone because with his luck, if he did have someone waiting for him, they could be just like the bastards that he'd known since he was a pup. He already had enough with the wolves in the pits; he didn't need someone who was actually related to him trying to use him like some kind of prized weapon. </p>

His escape had been a year in the making. He probably could've escaped a very long time ago, but it probably wouldn't have gone as smoothly as it did when he did it. His reputation hadn't been quite solidified a year ago, since he was still making his way to the top of the pits, but with how rapidly he trained and learned, he knew it wouldn't take it him very long to establish himself as the most dangerous of them all. Everyone but his <i>master</i> had more sense to be terrified of him and avoid him at all costs. The man who fought him was probably the craziest and the ballsiest of the pack and for some time it paid off for him, but his luck had run out once Malus had gotten himself in top fighting condition with a solid reputation to back him. His escape was effortless and no one batted an eyelash at his murder of the man who had controlled his life for so long; they were all too worried about conserving their own lives than trying to interfere with the death of someone that no one particularly liked. They didn't even try to keep him from escaping. No one said it out loud, but he knew they were more than happy to have him leave. They didn't want a ticking time bomb in their midst with no one brave enough to try and defuse it. And so he had won his freedom; or so he thought. </p>

He had no inkling of where he was going or where he wanted to go, he just wanted to get as far away from the pits as possible and he did. He was sure of it. Two weeks of traveling had to have gotten him far away enough that they would never find him, even if they really wanted to. During his travels he had avoided all contact with any wolf, regardless of age or sex. He trusted no one and he was not willing to take the risk of being taken in again to be used for whatever purpose they saw fit for him. Though he really doubted it would be possible this time around, since he wasn't some innocent naive pup who would be swayed with false promises. He saw the world for what it was and he wanted no part in it. He had had enough of it to last him a life time. </p>

Eventually his travels led him to a land that seemed desolate enough that he could enjoy a quiet solitude without the threat of running into anyone; or so he thought. The cover of night made his intrusion of this new land that much more comfortable, his swamp like coat helping him blend into the landscape. Salmon eyes would rove the darkness around him, taking in his new surroundings as he padded through, careful to avoid particularly tricky areas so as to avoid being sucked into the muck he knew was eagerly awaiting its next victim. Jowls would hang slightly open, his muggy breath collecting on the silver ring that hung from his ivory nose, little water droplets collecting on inner circle. His thick coat probably wasn't ideal for this kind of atmosphere, but his time in the pits had allowed him to become acclimated to the mugginess of swamps and marshes, so it hardly bothered him. Still, he felt it best to find somewhere to cool off, perhaps rest for the night since he had been traveling so far. It seemed he wasn't the only one with that idea tonight. </p>

The sound of water splashing up ahead had the hackles on his nape bristling, making already behemoth of a boy look that much larger and more intimidating. Russet ears would fall back against his massive skull, lips pulling back slightly against his pearly canines as his body lowered itself into a crouch as he stalked forward, preparing himself for a battle as the scent of wolf hit his nostrils. He would keep his movements very precise and calculated, mindful of where he put his paws to avoid making a ruckus, not the other wolf would notice with his splashing around in the water. He would keep himself as low to the ground as possible, sticking to the darker shadows and thicker brush as he came around the body of water where the other wolf was, salmon gaze locking in on the figure of an ivory brute, drenched in the dirty water of the swamp yet looking as content as could be. An almost inaudible growl would rumble in his swamp-green chest, the call for blood pulsing in his veins as he watched the stranger. </p>

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Something was watching him.
Instinct kicked in, a painful lurch in his heart beat as he peered slowly around to see just what might come next. Alas, he had just managed to catch a fish and it dangled comically from his mouth as he stood rather juxtaposed. This problem might lay in him after all, a soft flutter of curiosity coming back around to kill him all over again. All these little misshapes had to amount to something, or he really was just destined to free fall into the void. A shallow inhale, electric eyes ripping apart the space between them.
The stain of fear no longer tainted him, years of self sabotage made it rather difficult for much else to work it's way in. The stench of the beast over powered the surroundings, he made no effort to move as he found at last what he was looking for. He couldn't tell the other male's s size, a flicker of defiance in the face of such free radical's. So he rolled his eyes, and decided to take this shit way down south. Cocking back that dirty head,he flung the fish upwards, jaws vast and black as they consumed the muddy prize. It went down easy, a satisfied grin unfurling over inky lips as he offered forth a rather loud burp.
He focused in once more on this foul apparition, tail curved rather menacing over his sickly spine. A cold sort of stand off despite the humidity, he refused to depart from his post. He tilted his head and continued to grin, almost daring the man to emerge. Part of him was already getting rather bored, prickling his fur up and deciding on a hostile take over.
" Don't you know it's rude to stare?" a snappiness to his vocals, oh hell no he was not about to be that guy again. Not breaking a sweat, he waited to see if prayers might be answered or if he was just as fucked as yesterday.

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For Satchel: As you shift and turn the one solid ground you stood on begins to bubble and pop, though inaudible to the ear in the first stages after a time the ground seems to move as if standing atop a thin layer of flesh above water. All of a sudden that one thin layer keeping you atop the swamp breaks, falling away and dropping you into the muck, the dirt and filth reaching up as if in an attempt to drag you under. But that is life in the swamp, nothing is ever certain...