I'm sure it's great though^^ I love seeing other people's drawings. And that's all right! Also, since I'll probably have to go soon, here's chapter 10!
The Path of Destiny
Chapter 10- A Traitor in Their Midst
The members of the houndour pack were taking a much needed rest. Blazefang had recently sent a group of houndour to hunt, and to his satisfaction, their hunt had been successful. Sitting on a patch of grass beneath a tree, Blazefang no longer felt rushed to find Articuno. With any luck, the growlithe would let the secret slip, and Wildflame could report back to him.
Idly pawing at the violet stone around his neck, Blazefang lay back on the grass, looking up at the clear sky. Everything felt peaceful and his future as a member of the houndour clan looked bright. Of course, there was still the planned attack, but Blazefang had a feeling that it would go very, very smoothly.
Snowcrystal and the others were gathered around Thunder, who was still lying unconscious on the ground. “Is she all right?” Spark asked, glancing at Snowcrystal, who stood beside a large leaf with various berries on it.
“I’m not sure,” the growlithe replied, peering at the gashes across the scyther’s face, “I think she just needs-oh, she’s waking up!”
Thunder stirred slightly, and opened her eyes. Instantly she leaped up; anger and alarm showing clearly on her face. “Arrgh! Get away from me!” she shouted at the others, baring her fangs.
“Calm down,” Spark muttered, “We were only-”
“Shut it!” Thunder snapped, “I don’t want your help!”
“But you’ve been injured,” Stormblade told her, “I think it’s best if we stop for a while so you can rest…and look, these berries will help-”
Thunder glanced at the leaf beside Snowcrystal and stamped her foot down on the berries, grinding them into the dust. She then turned and stepped closer to Stormblade, an angry look in her eyes as she raised her scythe an inch from his forehead. “I don’t see why we have to stop…I’m not pathetically weak like you
are.” Turning away from him, Thunder limped past the others and on up ahead as she continued, “Rest? I don’t need to rest! Let’s keep going!” Snowcrystal knew better than to argue, and she and the others followed slowly, knowing it was best not to get Thunder any more aggravated than she already was.
They hadn’t gone far when suddenly Snowcrystal’s ears pricked up. A strange scent met her on the breeze, and she could tell someone was nearby. Just as she was about to mention it, a sleek black shape darted over a low hill at a startling speed and came to a halt in front of the group.
It was a houndoom, and she looked as if she’d been running for a long time, and in a panic too. She was breathing heavily, and was so exhausted, she nearly collapsed at Snowcrystal’s feet. Snowcrystal stepped back, confused, and Stormblade looked fairly shocked. “Wait a minute…” the scyther muttered, “The houndour…I scented them back near the…”
No one was listening to him at the moment, as they were too focused on the houndoom who staggered forward a bit, coming to another halt in front of Snowcrystal. “Listen…” she gasped, “I’ve come a long way…My name is Wildflame, and I know that you are in terrible danger…as am I…Houndour from our old land by your mountain are tracking you!” She quieted a bit, still gasping for breath, and Spark glanced at Snowcrystal, who was still looking at the strange houndoom and didn’t reply.
“Houndour…” Stormblade mused, “Yes, I saw some of them by the cliffs. Well, I couldn’t see them all, but it seemed like a big pack. I overheard them saying something about tracking someone... You must have been one of them…” His eyes narrowed.
Wildflame waited a moment before replying, “Yes, I was one of them. Our leader, Firedash, sent us in a group led by a houndour called Blazefang out to follow the white growlithe who was seeking Articuno…and for a while, I helped them. But you see…our clan looks down on those who evolve. Firedash is still a houndour, as is her trusted servant Blazefang. I evolved…without fully realizing this…I was being attacked by an enemy pokémon and not thinking clearly at the time, and they drove me away after they saw I had evolved…” She pawed at a few deep scratches on the side of her muzzle. Snowcrystal could see that her flank had been clawed as well.
“But why?” Stormblade asked, still sounding suspicious, “Why did they drive you away just for evolving?”
“Our clan has a strong belief that our kind are powerful enough without having to evolve,” Wildflame continued, “Those who evolve are looked down upon, as ones who weren’t strong enough already, and had to resort to evolution to survive. We are considered the weak-it makes little sense to me, but that is the way it is. I just never knew they would react so…strongly…to my evolution. I ran from them, then decided I needed to warn you.” She lifted her gaze toward Snowcrystal, and her gaze was hardened with anger, “I want to help you find Articuno…so I can stop Blazefang and Firedash’s evil, and have my revenge against what I once called my “clan”. I care not about what will happen to Houndour territories anymore; I have no place there, and will seek a home elsewhere. This experience has opened my eyes to who Blazefang and Firedash are. They are not the leaders I once thought they were. Please, I only wish to help you, if you help me in return…for I have nowhere else to go…”
Her voice trailed off, and Snowcrystal gently touched her paw to the houndoom’s shoulder. “Of course we’ll help you,” she replied, “I can understand. If this…Blazefang…did this to you, he couldn’t have been a good leader.” She paused a moment as the troubling thought of being pursued by a pack of houndour occurred to her. And that had been confirmed too, by what Stormblade had said about scenting houndour by the cliffs. The houndoom was speaking the truth, and she was far too distraught and panicked to be lying about being driven away either, and the claw marks further proved that.
“Thank you,” Wildflame replied, lowering her head. “I must rest for a bit…but I will come with you…to help you in any way I can. In return, all I ask is that you help me…I do not know how to survive without a pack.”
Snowcrystal and the others soon lay down for a short rest, despite Thunder’s protests, as the scyther was getting further annoyed by everyone’s worrying. Stormblade however, wasn’t convinced. There was something not quite right about the houndoom, and he didn’t trust her one bit.
As Wildflame rested beneath a shady tree, Stormblade watched her carefully. Sure, he had trusted Snowcrystal when he had first met her, but this houndoom was different, and Stormblade wasn’t ready to trust her at all. Was she really a runaway from the houndoom pack, or was she their spy? He hadn’t voiced his beliefs to anyone yet, but he planned to, soon.
Snowcrystal, meanwhile, was lying half-asleep next to a small tree, listening to the peaceful sound of the breeze rustling over the grass. The news that they were being followed had alarmed her, but at the moment, she felt strangely calm. Calm, but exhausted. In a matter of minutes, she had unintentionally drifted off to sleep…
She was having a strange dream. She was in a forest, running and running, though whether someone or something was chasing her, she wasn’t sure. The forest faded away, and she could see clearly an underwater scene, as if she herself was underwater as well. Playful ocean pokémon swam past, and a vaporeon happily preformed a few flips in the water. Then the ocean scene faded as well, and she was in a gray, misty area, a lone figure standing in the distance.
After that, the dream made a little more sense. Snowcrystal was back at her mountain, near where her cave home was. However, instead of caves, there were cages containing pokémon resting in the snow. The forms of the pokémon were hazy and shadowed out, and Snowcrystal couldn’t tell what their species were. She crept closer, and noticed that a few of the cages were empty. Wishing to free the others, she ran toward the cages, when a voice hissed in her ear, stopping her. “If you release them, they will kill you…”
“What?” Snowcrystal shouted back, and received no answer nor saw anyone. She walked toward one of the cages, but to her frustration, it seemed so unnaturally dark within them that she still couldn’t tell the pokémon’s species. But no matter what the odd voice had said, she wasn’t going to leave these pokémon to die in the cages. Carefully she lifted a claw to the latch. A sharp jolt coursed through her body like a very small bolt of electricity, making her draw back. A forlorn voice came from the cage.
“You cannot free me…”
“But…who are you?” Snowcrystal asked, “How did you get in the cage? Why can’t I free you? Can I free the others?”
“No…” the sad voice responded, “You can’t…You can’t free them and you can’t free me. You’re time to help is past…”
“Wait!” cried Snowcrystal, “What do you mean?”
For a moment the pokémon’s eyes gleamed through the darkness. “It’s-”
Snowcrystal jolted awake as Spark’s shout rang through the area. “What is it?” she asked, alarmed.
“Oh, hi Snowcrystal,” Spark replied cheerfully, “Didn’t know you were taking a nap! Well, I have good news and bad news! The good news is, I found out that my thunderbolt attack can double as a bug zapper! The bad news is…” Spark glanced nervously behind him, and finished, “Thunder has no sense of humor. Good bye!” He ran off as Thunder appeared. Snowcrystal backed against the tree as Thunder tore past after him, shouting threats and insults.
Snowcrystal sighed and stood up, ignoring the two. The dream had been so real…yet so strange, though the more she thought about, the more stupid and absurd it seemed. “Probably just some silly dream,” she muttered, “It didn’t even make any sense.” She shook scraps of leaves off her coat. “It was just so weird…”
It wasn’t long before the group headed out again, now wary of their pursuers. Snowcrystal, her dream momentarily forgotten, led the group through the grassy plains and into a more rocky area. Wildflame seemed to be having a bit of trouble keeping up, but she managed not to fall behind. Spark, a large clump of fur torn off his back, was completely silent the whole time, keeping well away from Thunder. Snowcrystal heard Stormblade approaching, and stopped to allow him to catch up with her, as the scyther looked as if he had something important to say.
“Stormblade?” Snowcrystal asked, “What is it?”
“It’s…Wildflame,” Stormblade began hesitantly, “I don’t think we should trust her. I know that what she’s saying about the houndour pack following us is true…but I’m not sure she’s really on our side.”
Snowcrystal sounded annoyed. “Stormblade,” she whispered, “They drove her out! What do you want us to do? Just send her away after she offered to help us?”
“But I think she’s working as a spy for the other houndour or something…” Stormblade whispered.
“And just what would we know that the houndour would want to know?” Snowcrystal replied, “Spark was right, you’re too paranoid about everything!” She brushed past him, shaking her head.
Stormblade looked after her, confused. “Ok,” he replied, “Maybe she’s not a spy…but she’s up to no good; that much I can tell.”
“I don’t see what you’re talking about,” Snowcrystal replied, “She came to us for help and to help us in return. If it’s just because you saw those houndour tracking us before…you shouldn’t judge her just because of her species-you of all pokémon should know how that feels!”
“I wasn’t-” Stormblade began, but Snowcrystal had already left.
Wildflame hung back at the rear of the group, pausing to idly lick the scratches in her side. Well, it hadn’t been her best idea, but it sure was convincing, and she’d made sure to wash any traces of blood from her claws before she’d approached the group. All that running back and forth across the fields had really tired her out, but her excitement at her plan’s success seemed to have restored some of her energy. She was beginning to like this acting game; she felt she was rather good at it, and despite the fact that one of the scyther didn’t seem to accept her, the others had seemed willing enough to let her join up with them for a while.
“Heh, what a bunch of idiots…” she smirked to herself as she pretended to limp after the group, “At least with them I won’t be treated like some second-rate servant.” At the thought of Blazefang, Wildflame rolled her eyes. Sure, he was smart, but he was bossy and his temporary leadership seemed to have gone to his head. She was glad to be rid of him for a while.
After a while Wildflame figured she could stop limping, for the sky was darkening and the others wouldn’t notice, or they’d assume that her “injuries” were a bit better. As the group entered a grove of trees, Wildflame noticed the scyther called Stormblade giving her an odd look.
“I know you’re up to something,” he muttered coldly.
“I don’t understand…” Wildflame’s expression was one of confused innocence.
“Quit it…I know it’s just an act…” Stormblade growled.
Wildflame’s lips curled in the beginnings of a snarl. However, having overheard some of Snowcrystal’s conversation with this scyther, she felt quite confident. “The growlithe was right…you should stop jumping to conclusions about every possible danger.” She pushed past him, flicking her tail sharply across his burned shoulder. Turning around, she smirked, “Oh, and besides…no one will believe you anyway.”
“Ow!” Rosie cried out sharply, “I stepped on a rock!”
“Oh yeah, well I stepped on about five already…with one foot!” Spark exclaimed loudly.
“Careful,” Snowcrystal called from up ahead, “There’s a lot of sharp rocks around here. I know it’s dark, but we need to cover a lot more ground before we stop to rest.”
Wildflame noticed Stormblade giving her another angry look. Making sure no one was looking, she carefully blew a small bit of fire at the scyther’s foot, watching with satisfaction as Stormblade stumbled with a cry of pain. Running over to him, she leaned against his side as if to try and steady him, making sure she raked her horns across the cuts in his side slightly as she did so. Stormblade angrily leaped away, and Wildflame turned to Snowcrystal, whispering, “He tripped over a rock…I was only trying to help.”
“Stormblade, quit it…” Snowcrystal whispered tiredly, walking on ahead. Stormblade gave her a look of disbelief before following, feeling infuriated at the unfairness of it all. He hadn’t thought that Snowcrystal would act this way. It reminded him of when Spark used to get into trouble and blame it on him whenever the other pokémon or his trainer asked. Of course, they had always believed the “sweet little jolteon” rather than the scyther.
As he walked, he noticed a low-hanging tree branch and pushed past it. Noticing Wildflame following close behind him, he held the branch against the side of the tree with one blade while pretending to be stopping to catch his breath. As Wildflame approached, he moved his scythe, causing the branch to whip back in the houndoom’s face. “Sorry about that!” he called as he hurried after the others. Wildflame angrily tore the branch out of her way and followed.
Stormblade gave a cry of shock as the houndoom suddenly rammed her horns into his side, knocking him to the ground. “Oh sorry…sorry…” Wildflame stuttered, “Here, let me help you. You know, you should really watch where you step.”
“Get away from me!” Stormblade snarled, ignoring the odd looks the others were giving him. From the way they said nothing in his defense, he assumed they hadn’t seen what Wildflame had just done.
As they continued walking, Stormblade made sure to stay as far away from Wildflame as possible, not willing to try and get any of the others to believe him at the moment. He kept shooting angry glances at the houndoom, who gave him either a confused look or a smirk, depending on if anyone else was looking at her at the time.
Stormblade was just about to suggest they stop for a while, when an earsplitting howl rang over the rocky plains. Everyone froze in their tracks and glanced around in the darkness. “It’s Blazefang…” Wildflame growled, sinking her claws into the earth.
“What does he want?” Rosie asked in a slightly scared-sounding voice.
“I don’t know…” Wildflame replied, “He never told me he would actually-”
Wildflame quieted just as nearly two dozen black shapes appeared over a small rise, their pelts almost silver-looking in the moonlight. The one at the very front, obviously the leader Blazefang, had a glowing purple stone that illuminated the small area around him. Snowcrystal backed up as the leader gave a loud, frightening cry.
To be continued...