Here's the second chapter! I went over this one more carefully to try and catch mistakes so hopefully I've gotten better at that! Well, hope you enjoy reading!
The Path of Destiny
Chapter 2-New Allies
(Old picture, sorreh... >.< )
By nightfall, Darkclaw had returned. Blazefang had been waiting by a big jagged stone that was only flecked with snow. Wildflame and his other companion, a young houndour named Boneclaw, were also crouched beside the large boulder.
The murkrow swooped down low toward the ground, landing on the topmost point of the rock. Folding his wings, Darkclaw looked down as the three houndour gathered below. He began speaking, “I managed to hear two growlithe talking. They say the one with the crystal shard has gone to find Articuno, so he can restore the land they’ve lost. Of course,” he added, noticing the houndour’s angry expressions, “She has little chance of actually finding that pokémon.”
Blazefang sighed. He knew the trials the houndour had faced in the past years. Food was becoming scarcer, and they needed every bit of territory they could get. For reasons unknown, the wasteland surrounding the lands of houndour and growlithe had always remained barren, devoid of any sign of life. Very little plants existed there, and no prey pokémon. The only way the houndour could gain more territory was by claiming the parts of growlithe land that no longer suited the needs of the white dog pokémon.
“But she’s still got a chance,” Blazefang muttered, uprooting a clump of grass with his claws, “And what if Articuno does return? He was always fair to us, but…well, we need more territory!”
“I wouldn’t worry,” Darkclaw smirked, ruffling his black feathers, “It is a fool’s journey this growlithe is undertaking. She will probably end up dead.”
“I still think our leader should hear about this…,” Blazefang muttered.
“Well then tell her!” smiled Darkclaw, “But of course, if it bothers you so much, then why don’t you just follow the growlithe and kill her?”
“I need to talk to Firedash about all this,” Blazefang growled, “Maybe you’re right…maybe there’s nothing to worry about…but I still don’t like it!”
Firedash was the proud leader of the houndour clan. She was unevolved, like most of the houndour and all of the growlithe, but she was tough and vicious, respected by all those of her clan-evolved or not. The leader made her home in a rocky cave, much different from the caves on the icy mountain.
It was this cave that the trio of houndour, led by Blazefang, approached hesitantly. Their leader’s moods were unpredictable. The three stopped warily at the entrance, and it was Blazefang who at last entered the cave and called his leader’s name. He was almost at once greeted by the sight of the small but dangerous houndour approaching him from the darkness.
“Firedash,” Blazefang murmured respectfully, dipping his head, “Darkclaw has brought us more news of the growlithe clan.”
Blazefang had caught Firedash in a good mood. The houndour smiled. “Well…what has our murkrow friend found out this time?” she asked calmly.
Blazefang quickly explained what he’d learned, and Firedash listened intently. After he was through, the leader replied, “If the growlithe believe that Articuno will help them, then why wouldn’t he help us? What if you were to find the arctic bird first?”
Blazefang exchanged confused glances with Boneclaw and Wildflame. “Me?” Blazefang repeated, “Find Articuno?”
Firedash chuckled. “Not just you. The growlithe were foolish to send but one traveler. I shall send many. The growlithe that left may have some idea of where Articuno is. I want you to follow her, Blazefang. Articuno always looked out for both growlithe and houndour in the past. If you can convince him that we are the ones who need the territory more, then he shall help us. Now Blazefang, I will select other houndour to follow you. I’m appointing you leader of the traveling group.”
Blazefang, despite his confusion and fear, managed a smile. Leader…he liked the sound of that. “Yes, yes of course, Firedash,” the houndour replied, smiling, “We’ll follow the growlithe!”
“Good,” Firedash nodded, “Now go. Wait by the berry grove. I will select the others to accompany you soon.” Blazefang nodded as he, Boneclaw, and Wildflame left, leaving the houndour leader alone. Firedash smiled. If Blazefang could convince Articuno to come back and help them, then all their problems would be solved. And if Blazefang failed…well, the snow in the growlithe’s territory was still melting…
Night had fallen over the dusky brown wasteland, leaving Snowcrystal exhausted. Her normally pure white fur was now filthy from the dust that was constantly being blown through the air all across the rocky landscape. It was warmer here, but Snowcrystal knew she didn’t have to worry much about the heat. Her kind survived in the snowy habitats because of the internal flame that kept them warm. When it got warmer, that flame died down a bit, to prevent the growlithe from being overheated. However, white fur was easy to spot where there was no snow, and Snowcrystal did not know how she would be able to hunt even if she managed to find any prey. As she trudged on, she could make out the hazy outline of a forest in the distance. She decided that when she reached the forest that seemed to lie so far away from where she was, she would look for some berries if there was nothing else.
While she wasn’t worried about traveling through warmer climates, she knew that it was no place for pokémon who were adapted to living in lands of snow. Her kind were used to hunting in their own terrain; it would be quite a challenge to learn how to hunt anywhere else. Their bright white fur would make it incredibly difficult for even a skilled hunter to stalk prey through a forest. Not to mention that, although the heat wasn’t an immediate danger, it was very uncomfortable. Also, it didn’t seem as if there would be a place for the entire clan of growlithe in a strange forest probably filled with strange pokémon.
Looking around, Snowcrystal could see a large group of rocks the color of mud a little ways away, and beyond that still lay the forest far off in the distance. Snowcrystal had been traveling from the snowy plains all day, and still the forest seemed to appear no closer. Feeling a need to find shelter for the night, Snowcrystal headed for the mud-colored rocks.
The moment she reached them, the growlithe lay down against one, feeling exhausted. She had caught no prey in the wasteland, and was beginning to wonder if she’d ever make it as far as the forest. The only water she’d had that day was from a small half-frozen stream in her own territory.
“This is going to take longer than I thought,” Snowcrystal whispered to herself, “I sure hope I can-”
A sudden noise from the rocks above her startled the growlithe out of her thoughts. Leaping up, Snowcrystal glanced up at the large jagged boulder, seeing a few pebbles roll down its side. She suddenly felt afraid. Anything could be lurking behind these large rocks at night; just because the place was said to be uninhabited didn’t mean it was true.
Creeping slowly around the base of the nearest rock, Snowcrystal peered around, soon finding herself staring through a labyrinth of huge boulders. Carefully she crept further along, looking for what had made the noise from before. Common sense should have warned her to stay away from the rocks where an enemy could be lurking in the shadows, but Snowcrystal was too nervous to think clearly.
As she passed one rock after another, she began to get a strange feeling. The place seemed…eerie… All the rocks now looked black in the darkness, and since the tallest ones loomed overhead, they blocked out most of the sky. Just as she was about to turn back, Snowcrystal heard a loud screech, and then something cannoned into her with such force that she was knocked into the side of one of the rocks.
The creature was bigger than she was, though not by much, and its fur had a spiky, rough texture to it. Kicking out with both paws, Snowcrystal sent her opponent rolling away from her. The pokémon jumped up, then darted at her again, using what she recognized as quick attack. As the stranger collided into her again, Snowcrystal blew a small ember in its direction, but it twisted out of the way, its fur barely singed.
Snowcrystal stood up, trying to summon up a more powerful fire attack, when the strange pokémon stopped a few feet away from her. Electricity crackled over its spiny fur, lighting up its face and allowing the young growlithe to see its bared fangs. Sparks flew from the pokémon, illuminating a small bit of the area around it and casting strange shadows against the tall rocks.
Now that she could see it clearly, Snowcrystal recognized the pokémon from some of the stories told by the members of the growlithe clan. It was an evolution of eevee, though she couldn’t remember the name. Was it sparkeon? Jolteon? Shockeon? Though she was confused as to why this pokémon was in a wasteland, she didn’t have much time to think. With a growl, it ran towards her, firing off a blast of electricity that left the rock behind Snowcrystal singed as she leaped out of the way. Turning to face the pokémon, which she was now sure was called ‘jolteon’, Snowcrystal crouched down as she prepared for its next attack.
Then another voice behind her made her jump in surprise and fright. “Spark, what are you doing? Can’t you see it’s just a growlithe?” Snowcrystal whipped around, as another pokémon approached, also a strange pokémon to be found in a wasteland. The second stranger was bigger than her and the jolteon, and looked much more threatening. It was a green bug type, with large claws on its feet, and a long, slightly curved fang sticking out of each side of its mouth. Four large wings fanned out from the pokémon’s back, but it was the pokémon’s arms that Snowcrystal couldn’t stop from staring at-for part of the creature’s arms were made up of a long, lethal-looking silvery-white blade, wickedly curved and deadly sharp. It stood much taller than Snowcrystal, and despite not wanting to seem afraid, the growlithe backed away.
Like jolteon, scyther was a pokémon Snowcrystal had heard about, though the stories she had heard about scythers hadn’t been good, usually depicting them as killers and murderers. It took a moment for Snowcrystal to realize that, unlike the jolteon, this scyther was making no move to attack her, and was simply looking at her with a calm expression. Apart from its physical appearance, there seemed to be nothing threatening about this pokémon. Snowcrystal relaxed slightly. After all, he had seemed to disapprove of the jolteon’s attack.
The electric pokémon also relaxed, if only slightly, and muttered, “One can never tell who’s an enemy in this place…”
“Well I think it’s easy to tell that this pokémon isn’t,” the scyther told the jolteon sharply, “She obviously doesn’t live here. She must be a traveler, like we are.”
Snowcrystal noticed the scyther looking at her with a slightly confused expression, as if he wasn’t sure why she seemed so afraid of him still. She turned to the jolteon. “Who are you?” she asked quietly, “What are you doing in the middle of this wasteland?”
“I could ask you the same question,” the jolteon muttered, but after receiving a disapproving glare from the scyther, he quickly muttered, “We’re just travelers…don’t really have much of an idea where we’re going actually. My name is Spark. Trainer named me…” he added in a whisper, and then motioned with his head toward the scyther, “And that’s Stormblade.”
“Wait…” Snowcrystal whispered, “You had a trainer?”
“Yes, we both did,” the jolteon answered, “We ran away. Oh, no, he wasn’t a bad trainer. Never abused us. We just…wanted to be wild again.” Stormblade nodded slowly in agreement. Snowcrystal began to think that there was a bit more to it than that, but she didn’t question them further. “We’ve been wandering around for about three weeks now,” Spark continued, “We even found a forest, but Stormblade just wanted to move on. Said it was bad or something.” Spark rolled his eyes and cast an annoyed glance at Stormblade, then continued, “It even had plenty of fruit trees, and all sorts of berries. I’ve never seen a forest that plentiful in food before. It made me wonder why there weren’t any pokémon there, at least not any that we saw.”
“That’s what I didn’t like about it!” Stormblade muttered, “And didn’t you see that human town? There were pokémon traps and poisoned food all over the place! We were lucky we didn’t run into any in the forest itself.”
Snowcrystal began to feel a little doubtful about entering the forest, but if there was food there, it really was her best choice. “Well I’m going there anyway,” the growlithe said stubbornly, “And if I were you, I wouldn’t be heading toward the plains by that mountain. You won’t get a warm welcome.”
The jolteon and scyther glanced at each other, then back at Snowcrystal. “Well you didn’t tell us why you’re
here,” Spark growled, obviously still suspicious.
“I have something important to do,” Snowcrystal told the two pokémon, “I’m looking for a legendary pokémon, Articuno. You haven’t seen him have you? Or even heard of where he might be?”
Stormblade looked surprised and Spark only scoffed, “Seen
the legendary Articuno? Who do you think we are? We’re just a couple of ordinary pokémon!”
“Look, I just need to find him, and I can do it too! Someone must have seen him or knows where he went,” Snowcrystal argued, “He used to live atop that mountain, but he disappeared. I’ve gone to look for him…my clan will be in… grave danger if I don’t find him and convince him to come back to the mountain.” She finished her sentence a little uncertainly, not really wanting to go into much detail.
“You’re going to look for Articuno all on your own?” Spark replied, sounding a little less arrogant than before, “I hate to break it to you, but there’s very little chance you’ll actually find him, let alone get the chance to speak to him…” He peered closely at the growlithe, and the crystal she wore around her neck. “It’s strange…” he mused, “I’ve never seen a white growlithe before…I thought all growlithe were orange!”
Snowcrystal couldn’t help but laugh. “All of us orange? Of course not! Sure there a lot of orange growlithe that live in forests and plains far away, but there are many white ones too.” She sighed, “I guess not a lot of pokémon know about us. It’s for the better I suppose.” Snowcrystal was beginning to feel safer among these other two pokémon, even if they were strangers. By now she was certain she had nothing to fear from them, even if Spark didn’t seem to want to trust her so quickly or easily.
“You know,” Stormblade began, “Maybe we can help you look for a while. After all, we’re looking for a new home, and you’re looking for something too. Maybe we can look together. After all, we’ll have a much better chance of survival if there’s more of us.”
“Look, I don’t know…” Spark mumbled, “We don’t even know her…”
“That sounds like a great idea,” Snowcrystal interrupted, “We’ll help each other. It’ll be much easier that way.”
Spark scowled, clearly angry at being voted out, and Snowcrystal sighed. “I understand if you don’t trust me, but there’s not much I can do to hurt you, so you’re pretty much safe,” she added with a shrug.
Spark glared back at her. “I’m not afraid if that’s what you’re thinking!” he growled.
“Sure seems like it,” Snowcrystal replied with a smirk. “Now,” she added, addressing Stormblade this time, “I assume you came here to rest? Well I did, too. We should stay here for the night then continue on in the morning.”
Stormblade agreed and the three settled down beside the rocks, though Snowcrystal noticed that Spark was still glaring at her, though he now seemed more annoyed than wary. Snowcrystal shook her head softly as she curled up against the base of a rock, thinking over the past events. The scyther seemed nice, and the jolteon didn’t seem that bad either, even though he didn’t seem to want her to come along.
After a while of lying down and trying to sleep, Snowcrystal began to get the same strange feeling she had had upon first reaching the rocks. She stood up and peered around, though the only source of light in the area was from the small but bright red glow of her crystal. The area had started to seem creepy again, and she had first thought that the feeling must have come from Spark watching her from the rocks before. She glanced over to her right, and a few yards away, the jolteon was sleeping peacefully.
Still a bit unsettled, Snowcrystal stood up, deciding to act as a lookout for the group for a little while. Carefully climbing one of the massive brown rocks, Snowcrystal was glad that she was used to that kind of thing. Back at the mountain, there had been many times when she’d had to climb over rocks, and this one wasn’t too difficult to scale despite her small size. Once she reached the top, she could see over most of the jagged stones, but somehow, it made the whole place seem creepier.
For a while, she sat on top of the rock, watching the area or peering up at the stars and moon every once in a while. Despite her fear, she was beginning to get drowsy, and found it harder and harder to keep awake. Just as she was debating whether to climb down and go to sleep, a small flicker of movement caught her eye. Instantly alert, she gazed around, but saw nothing. Thinking she should warn the others, Snowcrystal started to climb down.
Suddenly something knocked her completely off her feet and over the edge of the rock. Snowcrystal’s startled scream woke Stormblade and Spark, and the scyther was the first to take action. Quickly darting underneath Snowcrystal so to soften her fall, he glanced upward at the rock, seeing a strange pokémon floating in midair.
Snowcrystal rolled onto the ground, not seriously hurt, thanks to Stormblade. She and Spark looked up as well. The pokémon who’d fired the attack was not one Snowcrystal had heard of, but Stormblade seemed to recognize it. It was a small grayish purple ghost type pokémon with eerie yellow eyes. Snowcrystal heard Stormblade mutter the name ‘shuppet’. Beside her, Spark started to tremble slightly. “This place must be haunted,” the jolteon whispered.
Stormblade was just about to make a reply, when several other ghost pokémon of various shapes and sizes materialized around them all at once. Snowcrystal could hear Stormblade whispering some of their names as he glanced around, “Misdreavus, ghastly, duskull…”
Spark seemed to have overcome some of his fear. “Ghosts can be hit with electricity,” he whispered, “A thunderbolt ought to do the trick!”
“Wait, shouldn’t we-” Snowcrystal began, but she didn’t have time to finish. Crackling electricity surged from the jolteon’s fur and into the air, hitting several of the ghost pokémon. For a moment they seemed ready to back off, but then even more ghosts appeared, surrounding the three pokémon.
“Heh heh…oops…” Spark muttered sheepishly.
“‘Oops’ is right…” Stormblade growled quietly.
The ghosts moved closer, every one of them glaring at the three travelers. Snowcrystal backed up against a rock, staring from one enemy pokémon to another.
To be continued...
Well that's not too good for Snowcrystal is it? Barely started her journey and already she's got herself into trouble. Tsk, tsk...