In the dark forest, Zamfira woke up with her skull pulsating with pain. She couldn’t manage to move her arms and quickly realized she was securely tied. Suddenly, she remembered what had happened, especially that up on the hill, the travelers who had spent the night at the inn were in great danger. Luckily, she thought to herself, the bandits hadn’t tied her legs. She crawled with difficulty to the trunk of a tree, and then frantically began to rub the rope bindings around her hands against a root. Since breaking them was not an easy task, the exhausted and desperate girl started to look around, searching for something more suitable to cut the rope.

Despite the descending night and the dense forest, her eyes had adjusted to the darkness, so not far from her, she spotted an unusually white patch stretched out on the carpet of dry leaves. Holding her breath and paying close attention, she finally realized it was a white-furred wolf.

“No,” she whispered, getting closer, inch by inch. “It’s a wolf cub!” As she approached, she also noticed the bloodstain that reddened the fur on one of its hind legs. The animal was breathing heavily, looking at her with fear. Almost magically, the wolf stood up, and the wound on its leg disappeared. It limped at first but gained confidence and moved away with increasing speed. Looking towards the hill, she saw it engulfed in flames. Exhausted and in pain, she fainted.

In her dream, she found herself still in the forest, and among the trees, the gigantic silhouette of a white wolf was approaching her. Its deep voice resounded in her head, leaving long echoes:

“The help given with fangs returns, good human, with multiplied strength! This is how the word spreads among my wolves…”

The wolf circled Zamfira without taking its eyes off her. The voice thundered again:

“You have saved my offspring, blood of my blood…”

The girl remained speechless, in her dream, gazing at the white beast, unsure of how to respond.

“Blood for blood, good human?”

Suddenly, Zamfira remembered in her dream what had happened, and the flames that had engulfed the hill darkened the color of her eyes—deep blue. She bowed her head, and from her chest, a long, mournful wail emerged. The wolf understood her pain and despair, so it spoke again:

“Nothing is forever lost, good human.”

The wolf let out a long howl, and Zamfira continued to sleep, deeply and soundly. What she didn’t know was that when she would wake up, she would be far away, in a different place and among other people.