“This way,” she told them, heading back into the dark tunnel.
All the way back through the narrow passage to the large cavern, Snowcrystal kept glancing at Nightshade, who still looked to be at unease. She could tell something was bothering him, but she didn’t know what.
“What’s the matter?” she asked him.
Nightshade looked at her in sudden surprise as if he had just been jolted out of deep thought. “What? Oh…I don’t know…I’m just wondering how Stormblade’s going to get into the canyon. It would be very difficult for him to climb down the rocks. I’m going to go back for him soon and help him the rest of the way.”
“That’s a good idea,” Snowcrystal replied. “I’m sure he’s had enough of doing things himself by now. He’ll probably welcome the help.”
Nightshade smiled at her. “He probably will,” he replied.
The group met up with Rosie and Spark in the medium sized cavern Scytheclaw had told them they could sleep in. It wasn’t the best cavern, as there was little light and the floor wasn’t very smooth, but after gathering some moss and leaves and coating the floor with them, it was much more comfortable.
Spark was in a good mood. “See guys?” the jolteon told them excitedly. “I can walk without limping now. It barely even hurts at all too! I wish you would have known about those herbs, Nightshade.”
Nightshade didn’t reply, and was starting to look deep in thought again.
“Oh sure, ignore me!” Spark muttered. “You’re still not much of a healer.”
“Nightshade,” Snowcrystal asked. “Are you going to look for Stormblade soon?”
“Yes,” Nightshade replied. “I will do so at night, when the army is less likely to see me if I run across some of them. I doubt they’d make much of an effort to stop me if they did while they are so busy searching for Blazefang, but I’d rather be safe.”
“Okay,” Snowcrystal replied. “Let’s just hope Stormblade’s all right…”
By sunset, Snowcrystal and the members of the group able to hunt had brought back prey. During this time, Nightshade decided to venture out of the cave and search for Stormblade. While the others were eating, he stepped out into the cool evening air of the canyon before spreading his wings and flying back toward the hills and the large cave.
As he flew on in silence, he could soon see the wall of rock at the end of the canyon, underneath which was the secret tunnel leading into the cave. However, at the top of this rock, there were pokémon moving. Curious, Nightshade flew closer while making sure to still keep enough distance between himself and these pokémon. It didn’t take him long to realize that there were more than just a few-a lot more. With a jolt of shock he realized that this was the army. He quickly veered away from the large group, heading back toward the cave and trying to keep panicked thoughts from his mind. After all, the army wasn’t traveling now-first he had to find Stormblade, then he could warn the others.
It was getting darker as Nightshade flew in the direction of the cave, looking for any sign of Stormblade. After a while of searching fruitlessly through the ever-growing darkness, Nightshade was contemplating heading back. He thought he might have a better chance of finding Stormblade when it was daylight, and the scyther had probably taken shelter somewhere-it would be near impossible to find him now. He also knew it would probably be best to warn the others of the army now and not waste any more time. Reluctantly, he headed back.
As he was flying back over the grassy hills, something caught his eye. Near a small group of thin trees, was a pokémon. Uncertain of whether or not it was Stormblade or some stranger, Nightshade flew closer.
It didn’t take him long to realize that the pokémon was, indeed, a scyther.
Alarm took hold of Nightshade. Stormblade seemed to be lying down unmoving-and it didn’t look like he was asleep. He was lying in the open, not even beneath the trees, on ground that was rocky and hardly suitable for resting on. Nightshade landed at Stormblade’s side quickly, looking over his friend in concern.
To say that Stormblade was worse off than before would be an understatement. He was coated from head to claw in mud and in many places, drying blood. Due to this, Nightshade could not see exactly how severe his injuries had become, but it was obvious that he had gained several new ones, and the heracross had a strong feeling that this was no accident. “Stormblade…” Nightshade whispered urgently, nudging his friend’s shoulder. As he waited for a response, Nightshade realized that Stormblade was lying down in such a way that his shoulder was being pressed against the sharp edge of one of his blades. He obviously hadn’t lay down this way-he must have fallen. Quickly Nightshade moved the blade away from Stormblade’s shoulder, walking closer to him. “Stormblade, wake up!” he whispered, nudging him again.
This time, Stormblade started to stir. All of a sudden he opened his eyes, staring straight in Nightshade’s direction. However, it seemed as if he was looking through the heracross as if he didn’t exist. Nightshade didn’t think that Stormblade was aware that he was standing there.
Stormblade moved his head so that he was no longer staring past Nightshade. He made odd movements like he was trying to lift his arms in an attempt to stand, but after a moment he lay still. Nightshade tried speaking to him again.
“Stormblade, can you hear me?” the heracross asked quietly, nudging Stormblade’s shoulder again.
Stormblade gave no indication that he had heard or felt Nightshade nudging his shoulder. He lifted his head slightly, staring straight ahead as if gazing at something Nightshade couldn’t see. Nightshade quickly moved in front of him so that he was in Stormblade’s line of sight.
“Stormblade…it’s me, Nightshade.” the heracross whispered, looking more alarmed.
Stormblade gazed blankly through him, leaving Nightshade unsure as to whether he was fully conscious or not, before the scyther opened his mouth slowly to talk. “I…I an…I ne…to t…” He got no further than that, for a moment later he began coughing up blood. Nightshade froze in shock.
“Don’t try to talk…I’m going to bring you back to the others,” he told Stormblade, carefully lifting him, knowing that now was not the time to worry about touching his wounds. As soon as he picked him up, Stormblade went limp in his arms. The heracross quickly made sure that he was only unconscious, before turning and flying back in the direction he had come, hoping no one from Cyclone’s army would see him.
(To be continued...)
I know it stops kind of abruptly, but this chapter was originally 18 pages long on word, so I split it into two chapters and the second half is chapter 38. I know there wasn't a lot of action, but don't worry-there is action coming up soon.
I bet it seems weird that me of all people would have a scizor character. The reason is that "Scytheclaw" is based off a villain in one of my really, really old stories, and I wanted to make a tribute to him in this one. His original name was Scytheblade, but that sounded too close to Stormblade, so I changed it. And yes, he had the sharp blade-pincers in the old story too. If I have a scizor character, it's gonna be as scyther-like as possible! =3