Yukimura would have frowned, if he were able.
He could not understand the incessant chattering of the wingless, but there was no mistaking the waves of panic that washed over him from his empathic link with Kaede: trouble. A moment later, he heard the distant howls himself. With resignation, Yukimura quickly snapped up one last berry, and fluttered up from the table to perch upon his master’s shoulder.
As Kaede raced through the starlit village, Yukimura crouched low, to keep from being shaken away. A cluster of poorly-armed figures came into view, and the notes of panic from Kaede dulled, to be replaced by a knot of rage, smoldering like the embers of a lightning-struck tree. Yukimura sighed inwardly. Wolves approached, but rather than flee to the safety of their strange nests, the humans huddled together in the open, like foolish fledglings.
He heard Kaede bark orders at them in the strange language of men. As she hastily tried to scale the side of the nearest nest, Yukimura was nearly flung to the ground when she lost her grip on the (amateurishly laid, in his opinion) thatch on top of it.
Annoyed, the yellow thrush spoke in their shared tongue: “Fool girl, slow down. Anger is weakness. Calm your mind, find your center, try again”. Kaede glared at him over her shoulder, but paused, took a breath, and vaulted herself up the side of the structure with one hand, perching gracefully at the top. Yukimura allowed himself a tiny nod of satisfaction.
Suddenly, Kaede began chanting, and after a moment Yukimura saw his body glowing like a torch; a Light spell.
“Yukimura. Help Walorin. Go!”
Of course. In this light, the barbarian won’t be able to see. Yukimura took a short hop and went airborne, taking quick stock of the situation. It seemed that there were battles going on in three different places. After a moment, he found his mark: Walorin was barreling through the center of the village at full speed, tripping over shadowed rocks and stray planks of wood, but managing to catch himself at the last moment with acrobatic dives and rolls. Yukimura dipped his right wing, and swooped in above the barbarian, keeping pace and lighting his way.
Circling high above the melee, Yukimura watched helplessly as another pair of humans were knocked to the ground. This was going poorly. Just then, he felt a surge of triumph pulse through his bond, and saw Kaede leaping from rooftop to rooftop towards him, disappearing from sight once, but popping back into view a moment later. As she reached the peak of the nearest nest, she shouted to him, “Yukimura! Find Teret and lead him over here!”, before dropping gracefully over the edge and pulling a double-chained kama free from her belt.
Without a moment’s hesitation, he banked, and dove to the east. In the distance, he saw Teret, atop a laboring (but alive) Silverwind, and loudly chirped to get the man’s attention.
In the end, three of the men were killed by wolves, the company’s plain-looking new recruit was still unconscious, and several people were badly wounded. In Yukimura’s estimation, fortune smiled upon them; had the pack truly attacked in force, this strange village likely would have been reclaimed by the forest.
Once again perched upon Kaede’s shoulder, Yukimura twittered to get her attention. Lifting a still-glowing wing, and gesturing with it:
“Would you mind, girl? Your master is happy to be of help, but this is embarrassing.”