“It’s here…” the cat like pokémon called. “That huge group of pokémon-the army! It’s coming this way…”
“Get inside, everyone!” Moonlight cried, leaping down from his perch on the boulder and entering the cave, followed by the other onlookers.
As they rushed past, Nightshade lost his balance and fell sprawled on the ground. As Snowcrystal leaned down toward him, she saw a shadow flicker over the ground. Looking up, she saw a huge bird fly by-possibly a pidgeot or staraptor. Alarm gripped her as she remembered the threat of Cyclone’s flying pokémon. Luckily, though, it hadn’t seemed to have seen the pokémon through the foliage above. Looking back at Nightshade again, Snowcrystal tried to nudge the weakening pokémon to his feet.
“Snowcrystal!” a voice shouted, and the growlithe quickly recognized it as Spark’s. The jolteon reached her side before she could even look up, helping Nightshade to his feet. Redclaw and Wildflame stood by the cave entrance, looking startled by the blood and Nightshade’s condition, but as they walked inside, Wildflame led them carefully back to Streamrose’s small cavern.
Within the cave, there was silence. Nearly every pokémon was straining to listen for sounds of the approaching army, too scared to leave the cave. The silence was almost frightening. Snowcrystal and some of the others sat near Nightshade in the healer’s cavern, and although the heracross insisted that he would be fine after a while of rest, she had sensed worry in his voice. And by the way he had worded it, she believed that he expected to ignore the wounds and travel as soon as he got some of his strength back. She wasn’t sure that was a good idea.
Snowcrystal was near the entrance to the small cavern, and as she glanced at the other tunnels, she wished she could see where Stormblade was. According to the healer, he was not doing well. It worried her, because at the moment she was busy treating Scytheclaw’s injuries in the leader’s room. She had told Snowcrystal and her friends once again to leave Stormblade alone.
After a while of waiting, Snowcrystal heard a commotion from the big cavern. Nightshade sat up, staring in the direction of the healer cavern’s exit. “Go and see what’s happening,” he asked Snowcrystal.
Snowcrystal padded out of the small cavern and into the large one, where several pokémon had also gathered. It looked much more crowded now that no one was outside, and even though Snowcrystal was used to being in a large clan, this amount of pokémon in this cave made her uncomfortable.
It was Moonlight who had entered the cavern in a rush from outside, and he looked wide-eyed and scared, his black fur sticking up all over his body. “I saw them a little ways down the canyon,” he was saying. “There were at least twice as many pokémon as there are living here. They were coming fast, and I blocked up the entrance to use to get inside, but they could still find our scent.”
“Why not put strong-smelling herbs near the entrances?” a houndoom suggested. “That would disguise the scent.”
Everyone quickly rushed to get herbs from the battlefield outside, taking great care not to cause too much movement that could be seen from above. Snowcrystal helped them and placed her herbs by the main entranceway. Just as she was turning to leave, she heard the sound of pawsteps outside. Quietly, taking great care, she backed away, the others watching her quickly falling into silence. Once out of the tunnel and into the main cavern, she, Moonlight, and several others watched the hidden entrance with bated breath. The pawsteps quickly faded away, but there was no time to be relieved. That was only the first pokémon.
The army had arrived.
To be continued...