The Legend of Archibal

Chapter 5 Face to Face with a Crocotta

 

“Oh, my,” said a familiar voice, jumping off a tree stump. “You shouldn’t be here.”

Walter turned to look at Jacobi approaching him from the left side. When Walter looked back in the brush the creature was gone.

“The Black Forest is no place for a boy your age,” Jacobi said. “It is very dangerous.”

“There was something in there,” Walter pointed to where the creature had stood. “It was big, a wolf.”

“A wolf?” Jacobi said. “That can’t be wolves do not travel alone, they are always in packs.”

“It was by itself,” Walter said. “It just stared at me.”

“Hmm,” Jacobi thought for a moment. “It was probably the crocotta. Many have spotted it lurking around.” A fox walked up beside Jacobi. “Cadi, the crocotta was here.”

Walter thought it was strange that he spoke to the fox.

“Cadi, that crocotta is nothing but a bad omen,” Jacobi said. “There must be a purpose why it’s been seen so many times. I wonder if you could trace its steps, maybe find out where it went.”

The fox with the unspoken understanding walked into the forest, vanishing into the somber district. Before Walter could ask him about the fox he wanted to know what exactly a crocotta was.

“What is a Crocotta?” Walter said turning to Jacobi.

“It is only one of the deadliest creatures to ever exist”, he said with a deadpan face. “They are as dangerous as encountering a dragon but more ferocious. They can mesmerize you and mimic any human voice to call its victims. The last time I saw one was up north. This one has travelled very far which they never do. Did it say anything to you?”

“N–no. I think it just growled at me,” Walter said.

“Whatever you do not ever look into their eyes,” warned Jacobi. “Once you do, it will tear you to pieces. Crocottas’ are vicious and it is not safe for you to be here. I will take you back home.”

“If the crocotta is not a wolf. What is it?” Walter said. “I’ve never heard of a crocotta before.”

“They are strangers to this part of the region. Nobody can really say what they are,” Jacobi replied. “Some say it is a cross between a wolf and a dog. Others say it’s a hyena and a lion. I have only seen it call its prey from afar. They like to stay hidden from people. They never come out in the open, which is why the Black Forest is a perfect place to stow away.”