Ok, I'm posting a new chapter but I have to explain something first. When I wrote chapters 7-9 back in October or November, I had really bad writer's block, so these next ones might not be so good (though I've tried to fix the mistakes) but I promise
it will get more exciting later on, and will have more of a plot by chapters 11-12, so please bear with me. ^^;
The Path of Destiny
Chapter 7- Another "Little" Adventure
A light breeze drifted over the grassy plains toward the group as they emerged from the last of the forest’s fringes of trees and onto the sweet-smelling grass of a large field in the early morning. Flowers were everywhere, and there were tall cliffs, though not as tall as the ones Snowcrystal was used to, close by near the forest they had just traveled through. Flowers dotted the sides of these cliffs, giving them a tranquil and calming look. The place seemed so peaceful, Snowcrystal could almost believe they were safe. But they had plenty to worry about. Out of their group of five, four were injured. None of them had had adequate food in the past few days. Spark and Snowcrystal had eaten some berries, but that was all, and Rosie and Stormblade had only had a few rawst berries. That, and who knew if there could be danger lurking hidden in this seemingly peaceful place?
Despite all this, Snowcrystal felt like she could relax here, and so she and the others decided to rest. Snowcrystal lay down among a small bed of wildflowers, while Spark did likewise, his paw still causing him pain. Rosie, however, obviously wasn’t all that weary, as she was constantly running around, tearing up flowers and plant stems as she bolted through the tall grass, happy to be away from the forest. Knowing that the vulpix was having fun, Snowcrystal didn’t bother her. It would probably take her mind off the fire stone incident anyway.
Thunder wasn’t very concerned with taking a rest either. She was busy exploring the area around them, not paying any heed to the others. Stormblade had practically collapsed the moment Snowcrystal and Spark had announced that they’d be stopping.
After a while, Rosie became bored with running through the grass and flowers, and urged the rest of the group to move on.
Snowcrystal decided that it would be better to travel by the high cliffs that towered overhead, which would provide shade once it got hotter. They had just reached the foot of the cliffs, when Snowcrystal spotted a group of strange pokémon ahead. They were odd-shaped yellow bee-like pokémon that looked somewhat like honeycomb. “What are they?” Snowcrystal asked, watching a large group flying towards a large field of wildflowers some ways ahead.
“Oh, those are combee,” Spark replied, not sounding very interested. Obviously he had seen them before on his travels.
“Did you and Stormblade pass this way when you came to the forest?” Snowcrystal asked.
Spark shook his head. “No, we entered the forest by a different way. We’ve never been here before. But I’ve seen combee in other places…when I still had a trainer.”
Rosie suddenly gave a loud shriek as one of the combee flew by, interrupting Spark and Snowcrystal’s conversation. “A BUG!” the vulpix cried, running over to Stormblade and clinging to his leg. Stormblade gave her a weird look. “What?” she growled, glaring back at him, “I don’t like bugs…they’re scary…” She looked at the combee again and shuddered.
Stormblade just stared.
“Bugs aren’t scary, Rosie,” Snowcrystal said cheerfully, “Look, the combee aren’t even bothering us. Just leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone.” As Snowcrystal was talking, Stormblade looked past her to see Thunder charging toward a combee who had apparently got too close to her, swiping at it with both her scythes. The combee managed to get away as Thunder’s chain snagged on a bush, causing her to fall over.
“Leave the combee alone…” Stormblade called to her, “They won’t bother you and they aren’t good for prey either.”
Rosie stepped away from Stormblade, sticking her tongue out at another combee as it passed. “I’m…I’m not afraid of you anymore!” she called after it, trying to sound brave.
“Wow…” mused Spark, “These things are everywhere…hey look!” He leaped up and pointed with his paw to a large crevice in the side of a nearby cliff. A few combee were coming in and out of the opening. “Those combee must have a hive up there,” Spark told Snowcrystal, “And hive means honey. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
Snowcrystal looked blank. “Uh…what?”
Spark sighed impatiently. “Don’t tell me you don’t know what honey is…well, you won’t know how good it is until you taste it!”
“You mean there’s food in that cave up there?” Snowcrystal whispered, “Do you think they’d give us some?” She glanced toward the large groups of combee flying over the fields.
“No, they won’t,” Spark told her simply, “But they have plenty of food and I’m starving, let’s go!” He started to run toward the rocky side of the cliff, leaving Snowcrystal still looking confused.
Stormblade suddenly stamped down on the jolteon’s spiky tail, preventing him from running any further. “Stop! Don’t you think the combee will be angry if you steal from their hive?” he growled.
Spark turned his head toward the scyther and smirked. Suddenly the hairs of his pelt stuck up straight with a twanging noise, turning into sharp needle-like spines. Stormblade jumped back with a cry of pain, allowing Spark to stand up. Roaring with laughter, the electric pokémon raced off in the direction of the hive.
Snowcrystal sighed. “I guess we better follow him,” she told the others, “And maybe…maybe if we just get a little of this…honey and leave it’ll be all right. I’m sure those combee won’t mind. Besides, we’re all hungry, right?”
Stormblade looked up from where he was sitting against a small tree. Having no paws or claws on his forearms, he was forced to try and pull the spines out of his leg with his teeth. He spat a few out, muttering, “Fine! You go in there…as for me, I’m staying out here…”
“Okay, then you can starve!” Spark called back from where he was still running up ahead.
Snowcrystal sighed. “All right then, stay here Stormblade. The rest of us will go…” Rosie nodded and Thunder merely shrugged, and the two of them followed Snowcrystal as she ran after the jolteon. “Hey, wait up Spark!”
The others caught up with Spark as he reached the foot of the cliff, directly below the cave. Snowcrystal glanced upward, still slightly feeling as if this was a bad idea. However, seeing how peaceful the combee were, there didn’t seem to be much danger, and she was beginning to think this would be for the best. After all, they would need their strength for the journey, and this seemed to be the only place to find food in the area, as they probably wouldn’t have the strength to hunt for a while. Snowcrystal sighed, not knowing if she’d ever be able to hunt in these kinds of places when her white coat was so easy to spot.
Spark was grinning as he outlined his plan to the others. “Ok, we need to someone to distract the combee flying toward the entrance. Then the rest of us will climb up those rocks on the less steep side and reach the cave. We meet up, go through the cave and find the hive, get some honey and then leave…simple!”
“Isn’t that stealing?” Rosie asked with a glance at Spark.
“It’s not stealing, Rosie, it’s survival!” Spark muttered, “We have to find food somewhere.”
“Oh…” Rosie replied, “Yep, it’s stealing. Sounds fun!” She gave Spark a mischievous grin.
“Okay,” Spark whispered, leaning closer to the others, “Let’s get started. Thunder, you’ll create the distraction…”
Blazefang was having a strange feeling again. As the pack trekked through the dark forest, the houndour leader somehow felt that something was amiss. But as to what that was, he had no clue. His pack was constantly on the alert, following the trail of the growlithe and her companions. They had not run into danger since Wildflame had fought the stantler.
But Blazefang felt tired. His stone amulet almost seemed to weigh him down. He could not shake off the feeling that something was somehow…wrong.
Blazefang nearly jumped out of his fur when Wildflame suddenly appeared beside him. “What’s up?” the houndoom questioned, “You look like you’re worried about something. Is anyone following us?
“No…” Blazefang replied hastily, “I jus’…I jus’ don’t like this place…that’s all. Let’s keep moving so we can get out of here. The growlithe was here recently…”
After a while of trekking through the woods, Blazefang had become so paranoid that he told the pack to take a short break. Walking away from them, Blazefang sought a place where he could be alone with his thoughts. Finally finding a nice area away from the other houndour, Blazefang sat down and tried to think. Not knowing why, he found his mind drifting back to the incident in the wasteland near the forest, when the ghost pokémon attacked. It had been strange…the way they had chased them after Blazefang had retrieved the stone. Had there been a reason that they’d been guarding it?
Almost without realizing it, Blazefang lifted a single claw to the center of the stone. Suddenly a blinding jolt of what felt like electricity surged through the houndour’s body. He tried to scream, but found to his horror that he couldn’t make a sound. Just before he lost consciousness, he heard what sounded like a voice inside his own head echo around his mind…
Spark, being careful of his injured paw, slowly hoisted himself up on the ledge in front of the cave’s entrance. He then helped Snowcrystal and Rosie in turn as they too clambered up on the rock ledge. Thunder was already waiting for them, having scared off quite a few of the combee. The scyther watched the others slowly enter the cave before turning and following them. “I can hardly see anything…” whispered Snowcrystal, “Wait…” Using ember, she blew a small flame into the air, illuminating the area around them. Struggling to keep the flame lit up, she led the way through the rocky tunnel.
Luckily, she didn’t have to keep it up for long, as they soon emerged into a large cavern, with massive glowing crystals embedded in the walls, giving off plenty of light. Snowcrystal was reminded fondly of her own home, only these crystals were a pale blue, not red, and some of them were far larger than any she had ever seen.
Rosie and Spark were also glancing around in silent awe, but Thunder only seemed mildly curious, giving the cavern a brief glance all around before starting to walk through it toward the other side. Snowcrystal followed her, gazing at the immense columns of stone that reached from the ceiling to the stone floor, and all the strange and unusual formations of rock that surrounded her in every direction.
“Wow…” Spark whispered, awed, as he walked up to a group of thin stalactites that reached almost down to the floor, “These spiky things are everywhere! Look at those big ones way up there…I bet they could fall and cut you in half!”
“That’s lovely, Spark,” Snowcrystal muttered, “Let’s find the hive before the combee know we’re in here.”
“Aw…it could be in any one of these tunnels,” Rosie whispered, glancing around, “How are we gonna find it?”
“Why did these combee have to build their hive in a cave?” Spark muttered irritably.
“So it would be protected, hard to locate, so other pokémon won’t steal their honey…
” Snowcrystal added with a glance at Spark and Rosie.
“Well, let’s just look around…” Spark suggested, “If we can’t find it, we’ll go back…” He padded up to the base of an immense limestone column. The water that had been trickling down the rock pillar for thousands of years had created smooth and intricate patterns in the natural stone. “You have to admit though, this is a pretty cool cave…much prettier than those ones my trainer and I had to travel through. I always hated those caves. Full of geodudes…zubats…If I ever have to fight one again…”
“Spark, look!” Snowcrystal whispered, looking ahead. Spark stopped talking and followed Snowcrystal’s gaze. Through a tunnel slightly to their right and above a few odd-looking stalagmites on a rock ledge, the growlithe was sure she had seen the flicker of wings. “I think I saw one of the combee in there,” she whispered.
The four pokémon crept toward the tunnel, climbing carefully onto the ledge. The chain around Thunder’s arm caught on a small stalagmite, causing her to stumble. Turning around angrily, Thunder swiped her blade at the stalagmite, breaking the tiny stone formation easily. Turning away from it with a growl, Thunder caught up with the rest of the group.
Snowcrystal edged her way around some thick stone stalagmites before climbing onto the ledge and peering into the tunnel. Rosie found that she couldn’t make the climb and had to be lifted up by Spark.
As they walked through the tunnel that got darker and darker as they progressed, Snowcrystal’s sharp hearing picked up the sound of many pokémon, combee. Excited, she and the others raced forward to find themselves standing on a ledge looking over a cavern even bigger than the one they had just left.
Like the other cavern, this one was lit by luminous crystals, though these looked golden. Down below and up above, combee flew everywhere, some in large groups and others by themselves, all headed to and away from what looked like a massive golden cave formation. To Snowcrystal’s shock, there seemed to be what looked like pools of golden liquid on rock ledges all around the combee’s massive structure. The goldish stuff looked to be flowing into the pools from ledges higher up. “What is that?” Snowcrystal asked Spark as she covered her stone amulet with her paws, trying to keep to the shadows where the crystals’ glow wouldn’t reach. She did not want to be noticed by the combee flying through the cavern.
“That must be part of the combees’ honey storage,” Spark answered her. Several combee were fluttering to the pools, but Snowcrystal noticed a small honey pool in a different tunnel that seemed to be ignored, and out of sight of most of the combee. She nodded toward it and the four pokémon carefully crept down the ledge toward it, careful to stay hidden against the wall where it was darkest, away from the crystals. Snowcrystal knew one thing for sure-she didn’t want to be caught in that large cavern, however peaceful and harmless the combee seemed…
Blazefang slowly felt his senses returning. He opened his eyes slowly, looking around. How long had he been unconscious? He thought for a moment. If it had been a long time, the pack would have come looking for him and found him. No, he’d probably only passed out for a few minutes. He stood up, surprised to find that not only did he no longer feel weak, but he felt stronger…the sort of strong he felt when he won a friendly battle with one of his fellow houndour, or when he learned a new attack.
Then he remembered…the jolting pain he had felt when he had touched the center of the purple stone. Carefully he reached out a paw and touched it again. Nothing happened, and he felt no different. Suddenly he recalled the word he’d heard just before he’d passed out…Shadowflare
. “Shadowflare…” Blazefang mused aloud, “What the heck is a Shadowflare?” Then a thought struck him-what if this stone had given him a new power or attack? He’d heard of human-made devices that could teach pokémon attacks, and he began to wonder if this stone, whatever it really was, might be the same sort of thing.
He felt stronger now, very much as if he had
learned a new attack or ability. That, and he could practically sense that some strange power now lie within him, a power that hadn’t been there before. Oddly enough, he didn’t feel afraid. He felt…pleased. Smirking, he stood up and headed back to the others. Whatever this ‘Shadowflare’ was, he’d find out soon enough, but for now he’d keep this a secret from the rest of the pack.
“This is what a combee hive looks like?” Rosie asked as Snowcrystal led the way through a tunnel.
“Yeah,” Spark told her, “These combee decided to live in this cave, and it looks like they store most of their honey in that cavern back there. Luckily for us there weren’t that many around.”
“Yeah…” Snowcrystal agreed, “I don’t like the thought of them attacking us…I’ll just be glad when we get out of here.”
“Well most of them are outside,” Rosie whispered, “But you’re right…I don’t want to be too close to those combee…they’re creepy…”
“Beedrill are worse,” Spark whispered back, “Just be glad these are combee. Hey look!” He ran forward, to the pool of honey Snowcrystal had spotted before.
“This is honey?” Snowcrystal asked Spark uncertainly, not liking the look of the golden liquid.
“Yep!” Spark answered, walking over to the honey pool and softly licking at its shiny surface.
Snowcrystal glanced at Rosie, unsure if she really wanted to taste the honey. She had to admit, it didn’t look very appetizing, but once Rosie started to lick some from the pool as well, Snowcrystal gave in. To her surprise, the honey was sweet-tasting, and she found that she liked it. Spark seemed to like it a lot, as he was happily licking away at the honey, his muzzle covered in the sticky substance. At seeing how much Spark seemed to enjoy it, Rosie made a snide comment about him being part heracross.
Thunder seemed to be thinking the same thing as Snowcrystal had been before. The scyther carefully smelled the honey but did not try any. “Come on,” Rosie cried, noticing Thunder’s reluctance, “It tastes good
!” Thunder decided to try some after that, but although she didn’t dislike it, she didn’t seem to really like it all that much either.
Snowcrystal looked up when she heard the flutter of wings. “I think some of the combee are coming this way…” she whispered, “Let’s go.” Spark nodded and he and the others dashed around the stored honey and into a smaller tunnel…
…Unaware of the combee workers who had just seen Rosie’s fluffy tails vanish into the gloom of the passage…
To be continued...
Also, I want to make a banner for this story, but I don't know what kind I want to make or what I want it to look like. Does anyone have any ideas for what a good banner could look like? (Since I really want to make one.)