New chapter! TPoD now has thirty chapters...that seems like a lot. xD
The Path of Destiny
Chapter 30- Blazefang’s Departure
Snowcrystal yawned, before resting her head on her paws. She hadn’t been keeping watch for long, and she was already getting tired. She stood up and walked around, hoping that would help her keep awake. She did not want to be attacked by any potential enemies if she fell asleep. Sitting down, the growlithe drowsily glanced over the rocky plain, wondering if she should wake one of the others up.
Movement from nearby caught the growlithe’s eye and she sat upright, instantly alert. Cautiously moving toward Wildflame, she prodded the houndoom with one forepaw.
“Wildflame, wake up. Something’s moving out there.”
Wildflame sat up, looking much less weary than Snowcrystal was. After all, she was a normally nocturnal pokémon. Quickly spotting the source of movement, she whispered, “There’s only one of them. I don’t think it’s a threat, but let’s check it out.”
“All right,” Snowcrystal whispered, padding forward carefully while Wildflame boldly approached the pokémon moving about in the dark. It didn’t seem to notice as Wildflame crept around a boulder, giving it a closer look.
“It’s nothing but a heracross,” Wildflame whispered. “No problem for us. Let’s go back.”
Snowcrystal nodded tiredly in reply and the two turned around. Yet their whispers had attracted the heracross’s attention, and he turned towards the boulder. Snowcrystal paused to glance back at him, noticing hostility in his yellow eyes.
“Who’s there?” the heracross cried warningly, pausing to drop something that he was carrying on the ground as he neared the boulder where the two fire types hid.
Still not feeling threatened in the least, Wildflame boldly stepped around the large slab of stone, Snowcrystal following more timidly. “We’re just resting over there,” Wildflame told him, inclining with her head toward the place where Spark and Rosie slept. “We saw you from a distance and thought you might be one of those hostile fire or grass types.” Wildflame didn’t feel that it mattered if the heracross knew where they resting; heracross weren’t predators, and thus wouldn’t be territorial, but they were not prey either. Being far too tough to take down without risking serious injury, heracross were left alone by predators, and in turn left them alone. From what little Wildflame knew about them, they seemed to normally have little to do with species other than their own and butterfree.
The heracross didn’t bother to ask about what Wildflame meant by the hostile grass and fire types, and instead leaned down to pick up the items he had dropped. Wildflame noticed pecha berries, among various types of plant leaves. Now that he knew Wildflame and Snowcrystal weren’t a threat, he didn’t seem to want to bother with them anymore.
“What’s all that stuff?” Snowcrystal asked, glancing at the leaves and berries, obviously not realizing that the heracross seemed to want to be alone, as he had begun walking around, as if searching for something.
“Berries and herbs to help a sick pokémon,” the heracross replied, not looking up as he paused to search through a group of bushes.
“Great!” Wildflame muttered, “That’s all we need-local pokémon spreading disease around here!”
“It’s not a disease,” the heracross replied, beginning to search more frantically, “a scyther got poisoned and I’m the only one around here who knows anything about healing.”
“A scyther!” Snowcrystal exclaimed. “Poisoned? What did the scyther look like?”
Snowcrystal suddenly noticed Wildflame going slightly pale, with what looked like fear. A moment later, however, and she had shaken it off, giving the heracross an indifferent stare.
“Just like any scyther,” the heracross replied, “only this one must have been injured or something. He had bandages and had obviously been to a pokémon center. He also looked like his leg had gotten crushed or some-”
“That’s Stormblade!” Snowcrystal yelled. “Where is he? Can you take us to him? Is Thunder there?”
Wildflame didn’t say a word, but she had suspected Stormblade was the scyther this heracross had found. She didn’t understand what he had said about the ‘pokémon center’ much, but what he said was obviously true. This pokémon had found Stormblade, and if he told anyone anything, the others could very well figure out that she had been lying about him being taking by poachers.
“I don’t know anyone named Thunder,” the heracross replied, interrupting Wildflame’s thoughts, “so I don’t know what you mean. But if you know this scyther, I can take you to him…” His voice trailed off as he seemed to find what he was looking for, finding a few unripe oran berries nearby. Knowing that those would have to do, he turned to Snowcrystal and Wildflame again. “Follow me,” he told them urgently, beginning to look worried, “we have to get back there fast.”
“Wait,” Snowcrystal told him, “let me get the others.” Without waiting for an answer, she raced back to where Rosie and Spark lay, quickly rousing them and explaining to them as she led the way back to the heracross and Wildflame.
“You sure this guy knows where Stormblade is?” Spark asked as he darted beside Snowcrystal, his paws sending up puffs of ash as they raced over the burned soil near the destroyed forest.
“Yeah!” Snowcrystal replied. “He said Stormblade’s poisoned. But he knows about healing! He can help him!”
“Hope so…” Spark replied uneasily. In the many battles he’d fought for Justin, he had only been poisoned once or twice, and Justin had immediately treated him. Never had the poison been anything serious enough to kill him or cause him excruciating pain, but that was because the poison types were not allowed to attack with extremely powerful poison in trainer battles. But out in the wild, it could be different. He shook away the thought.
Rosie followed behind the others more slowly, with Wildflame at her side. The ninetales was limping fast, despite her injury, and her nine tails streamed out behind her as she fought to keep up with the others, hopeful at the thought of their group being reunited again.
Wildflame, however, felt differently. If she couldn’t somehow find a way to make what she had told them before not seem like it was a lie, she knew they would never trust her again.
Redclaw waited for what seemed like a long time, crouching beside Stormblade as he watched the city anxiously. Stormblade still showed no signs of stirring, though Redclaw had tried his best to wake him. Thunder was now lying down on the grass, not seeming concerned at all.
Redclaw could still hear Stormblade breathing, but it seemed to be growing shallower and weaker. He didn’t understand-Stormblade should have woken up by now. Placing his paw lightly on Stormblade’s shoulder, he shook him slightly, but got no response. Suddenly the sound of quick wing-beats overhead caused him to glance up, and the heracross he had met in the city landed quickly beside him.
“Did you find what you need to help him?” Redclaw asked anxiously.
“Yes,” the bug type replied, “but he needs to eat it. Have you tried waking him up?” Redclaw nodded, and watched as the heracross set down the berries and leaves and tried to wake Stormblade.
Redclaw looked up in surprise as four other pokémon appeared, dashing toward him. One was the white growlithe he had seen when Master had ordered him to attack the intruders back near the dark forest, and he recognized the jolteon from that same battle too. With a leap of hope he realized that these must be Stormblade’s friends.
Thunder looked up as the others approached, suddenly seeming hostile and wary. Quickly she backed away from the others, not wanting any of them to try and talk to her.
Snowcrystal stopped in front of Redclaw, Stormblade, and the heracross, looking horrified as she glanced over Stormblade. “Is he going to be ok?” she asked glancing to the heracross in alarm. Rushing closer, she tried to push the heracross aside, but Wildflame pulled her back by gripping her scruff.
“Leave them alone,” she told her. “They’re the ones that know what to do.” Before Snowcrystal could protest, Wildflame carried her away, knowing that the small growlithe would probably just get in the way.
Wildflame and Rosie approached Stormblade, neither of them saying a word at first. Rosie looked shocked that Stormblade now had several new injuries, including a jagged cut across his head and new burns on his arms, legs, and neck. Spark looked completely horrified at the fact that the big and powerful scyther who had protected him in the wild and showed him how to hunt could look so pitifully weak now.
“You need him to wake up right?” Spark said quietly, stepping forward a bit more. “I think I can-”
“Spark, DON’T!” Rosie growled, knowing what he was about to do, but Spark ignored her, sending a tiny jolt of electricity into Stormblade’s body.
At first Stormblade didn’t move, and Spark cringed as Rosie shot him a furious glare, but then after a moment, he slowly began to stir. Spark carefully nudged him and Stormblade opened one eye before closing it again, lying still once more.
Redclaw realized that either he had realized that he needed to hold still, or he was simply too weak to move anymore. Redclaw knew that it was probably the latter, as Stormblade hadn’t even made a sound. He probably just didn’t have the strength.
Redclaw and the others watched as the heracross picked up one of the pecha berries, knowing that it was probably the most important of everything he had brought back. “Here, eat this,” Redclaw said before taking the berry from the heracross and setting it beside Stormblade’s mouth. However, Stormblade made no move to try and eat it, and continued to lay there motionless.
“I don’t think he’s going to be able to eat it,” Thunder stated, walking over to the others and ignoring the surprised glances from Spark and Rosie. Redclaw slowly nodded; he wasn’t sure if Stormblade was even able to move.
Picking up the pecha berry, the heracross carefully opened Stormblade’s mouth, and crushed the berry in his claws, letting the sweet pecha juice drip into the scyther’s mouth. “I think this is the best I can do,” he said slowly, reaching for another berry to do the same. “At least until he starts to recover. I just hope it will be enough for now…I’m not really an experienced healer; I only know a few things, so I’m not entirely sure pecha berries are going to be enough. I think we can only hope for the best.”
“But if he eats the berry juice, won’t he get better?” Spark asked.
“This isn’t like a small pokémon’s tale,” Rosie replied, turning to Spark. “Pecha berries don’t cure poison instantly like they do in stories. And don’t tell me you think an oran berry will suddenly make his wounds vanish.”
“I know all that!” Spark replied, “It’s just…pecha berries usually cured poison when I was a trainer pokémon, though they weren’t as fast or effective as the medicine Justin would buy. But…I do know that that poison was never as bad…”
Only half listening to the others, Redclaw lay down as he watched Stormblade, who seemed to have slipped into unconsciousness again. The heracross left his pile of herbs nearby, having already used up the berries. A sudden thought struck him-this heracross had been such a big help to him and Stormblade, when they were complete strangers to him, and he hadn’t even thanked him. Standing up again, Redclaw turned to the heracross and smiled slightly. “Thank you,” he told him, “for helping us. If it weren’t for you, Stormblade would never have had any chance at all.” The heracross gave him a small smile back and Redclaw thought of something else.
“Why were you near that city if it was dangerous?” the arcanine asked. “And did you say your home was in that forest? The one that got burned down? Did you…wait…” he quickly mumbled, realizing that he had forgotten something. “What is your name?”
“Nightshade,” the heracross replied. “I lived in that forest before it burned down. I know that the pokémon in that human place you left harmed forest pokémon who ventured too close, usually. Everyone there knew to avoid it. I assume you are travelers?”
Redclaw nodded. “Yes,” he replied, “we’re looking for a new home…well, some of us are.”
“I’m looking for a new home too,” Nightshade told Redclaw. “For a few days I tried to live in the rocky plains outside of the forest, but there’s little food there. I decided to leave tonight, and while flying over that city, I spotted you.”
“Well,” Redclaw told him, “if we’re all looking for something, we might as well look together, right? And we’ve been through a lot of dangers around these places. I’m sure you know some places better than we do too. We can help each other.”
“I don’t know,” Nightshade whispered quietly, but to Redclaw’s dismay, he didn’t say anything more.
“We’ll have to wait until Stormblade’s a little better,” Redclaw continued, giving the scyther another glance. It might have just been his imagination, but Stormblade’s breathing seemed calmer now.
Nightshade nodded. “Like I said, I’m not a full healer,” he replied, “but I was taught a few things from a heracross who was. I can show you what plants will help stop infection and ease pain, once it gets lighter.”
Redclaw nodded and lay his head down on his paws, watching over Stormblade once again.
Snowcrystal watched Redclaw and Nightshade from a short distance, listening to their conversation. Looking up at Wildflame, she asked, “Shouldn’t I go over there and see if Stormblade’s all right?”
“He’ll be fine,” Wildflame replied, though she really didn’t have much of an idea of how badly poisoned he could be, “just stay here. The others will take care of everything.”
Snowcrystal sighed and sat down, watching Rosie and Spark lying a short distance away, both glad for a chance to rest after having to travel so far while injured, as they waited to hear whether Stormblade would be all right. Thunder had distanced herself from everyone else, lying underneath one of the few trees that grew in the area. Blood from a small but very deep cut on her arm was staining the dry grass beneath her, but she seemed too distracted by her thoughts to care. Snowcrystal wondered what had happened. Had Thunder started yet another fight? If she had, it had gotten the big arcanine in trouble too, from the look of him. She shuddered. The last thing they needed now was another fight. They were weak now, and would have a hard time finding food and water the next few days while they waited for Stormblade to recover from the poison.
If he did recover…
Pushing away that last thought, Snowcrystal scraped some scraps of dry grass into a small nest and curled up inside it, deciding to try and sleep. She would need to save her energy for tomorrow, if she was going to be of any help to her friends.
When Snowcrystal woke the next morning, she was surprised to find that she had slept long enough for it to be past sunrise. She stood up, stretched, and quickly walked over to where Wildflame now lay beside Stormblade, her tail tip resting on his shoulder. To her surprise, Stormblade was awake, though he didn’t seem to be in any condition to answer any of her questions for her, and he didn’t look much better than he had the night before. He was shaking all over and looked as if he was in pain and too exhausted to move, but Snowcrystal could see the remains of the herbs Nightshade had brought, and knew that Stormblade had to start getting better soon; at least he wasn’t going to die.
Deciding it was best to let him rest, Snowcrystal walked up to Thunder instead. She wasn’t sure that the scyther would be willing to talk to her, but she was too relieved to have found Thunder alive to care. “Thunder!” she cried, jumping playfully up to Thunder’s side and resting her paws on her uninjured leg. “How did you escape from the poachers? Did you help that arcanine too?”
Wildflame lifted her head, the hairs on her pelt rising as she heard Snowcrystal’s first question. ‘Think of a lie…’
she thought to herself. ‘If she says they weren’t captured by poachers, make something up…’
The houndoom tensed as she listened for Thunder’s answer, her tail curling up stiffly as she watched the growlithe and the female scyther. Feeling Wildflame’s tail move away from his shoulder, Stormblade opened his eyes wider and weakly glanced at her before closing them again.
Thunder glared at Snowcrystal, pushing the growlithe away with her leg. “I don’t think they were poachers in the sense that you’re thinking of,” she replied, “but all humans are the same to me. We got away from them…that’s all that matters.”
Wildflame felt like breathing a sigh of relief. It seemed as if Thunder and Stormblade had
been taken away by some group of humans, and the others would understand if she told them that she had mistaken them for poachers if they really weren’t; all humans looked the same to her. Hopefully though, no one would even bother to ask. Stormblade was far too weak to explain anything and they certainly wouldn’t get much information out of Thunder. That, and the arcanine probably didn’t know much either.
Wildflame looked up as Snowcrystal walked back toward her, after Thunder had told her to go away. The growlithe stopped to glance at Rosie and Spark, who were still asleep, and back at Wildflame. “Where are Redclaw and Nightshade?” she asked.
“Redclaw went hunting,” Wildflame replied. “Nightshade should be back soon. He decided to stay with us for a while. He doesn’t know if he wants to travel with us just yet.”
“Wildflame…” Snowcrystal began, changing the subject, “I haven’t seen any sign of Blazefang’s pack in a while…it’s worrying me. Do you think they might be planning something?”
“I don’t know…” Wildflame replied, looking uncomfortable about answering the question. “Maybe they’ve just forgotten about us and moved on.”
(Continued in next post...)