The Path of Destiny
Chapter 4-Blazefang’s Discovery
(Another old picture...I'll try to draw some new ones soon!)
The trapped vulpix hadn’t noticed Snowcrystal and the others yet, and was sitting in the middle of the small cage, facing away from them. Snowcrystal could tell it was crying. Approaching the small pokémon, the growlithe tried to sound as friendly as possible. “Don’t cry,” she whispered, “We’re going to try and get you out of there.”
To her surprise, the vulpix whipped around, her eyes glaring. “Do you think I’m crying because I’m stuck in a cage?” she snapped, “No! I’m crying ‘cause the humans took my fire stone! Do you have any idea how long I’ve been waiting to evolve? I finally found a fire stone, right in the middle of this forest! I finally got my chance and they took it away!”
Snowcrystal stared back in confusion, and Spark cried out, “What do you mean you just found a fire stone and they took it? If you’d touched it you would have evolved!”
“I didn’t get the chance to touch it!” the vulpix spat, “I found it lying by those rocks over there, and as I was running toward it this human suddenly appeared and picked it up! I bit his hand to try and make him put it down but another human came and put me in this cage!” She paced angrily around her cage, then lay down again, growling, “I hate humans…”
“Not all humans are bad,” Stormblade told the strange vulpix, “Though if these ones put you in a cage, then-”
“I didn’t ask your opinion, scyther!” the vulpix shouted, baring her teeth.
“Look, do you want our help or not?” Stormblade replied, tipping the cage slightly with the dull end of his scythe. The vulpix leaped forward and sank her teeth into Stormblade’s arm, above the blade. Stormblade shook her off, and let the cage fall back in place. “Do you want me to find out how to open it or do you want me to try and cut through it with you in it?” he growled impatiently, “Stay still!”
“I don’t think she wants our help,” Spark muttered, watching the vulpix, who was now growling at the scyther, “Maybe we should just leave her alone.”
“We can’t just leave her here!” Stormblade argued.
“Stormblade’s right,” Snowcrystal agreed, “We’ll help her whether she wants it or not. Now, let’s see about this cage…”
“I can get out of here any time I like!” the young vulpix snarled, “If you want to help me, go get my fire stone back!”
“Why should we?” Spark questioned, walking toward the cage until he was face to face with the vulpix, his fur stiffening into sharp spines, “You should be grateful we’re offering to help you get out of that cage! We’re not going to follow those humans to try and find a fire stone for you.”
“Then leave me alone!” the vulpix retorted.
“If we leave you here, those humans could come back, or you’d just be stuck in here until you died of hunger,” Spark muttered flatly, “There’s no way you can get out of there by yourself. See that latch on the cage door?” Spark pointed with his paw, “You couldn’t open that with your teeth, and you can’t even reach it from the inside. One of us can break it for you, though.”
The little vulpix fell silent, and Spark moved the latch on the cage’s door as much as he could, then allowed Stormblade to cut through it. The door swung open and the young vulpix rushed out in a blur of orangish-red fur. She rushed by the others without stopping, and Snowcrystal called after her, “Hey, where are you going?”
The vulpix turned around and cried, “I’m going to follow the humans’ tracks and get my fire stone back!”
“You’re going to that town?” Stormblade replied, shocked, “You can’t go there! I’ve seen what it’s like-”
“Just try and stop me!” the vulpix spat back, “I’m not afraid! Unlike you!” As she turned to continue on her way, Stormblade flew in front of her, blocking her path with his scythes.
“I’m trying to give you a warning,” he said coldly, “Don’t go near the town. It’s a bad place for pokémon.” The vulpix casually pushed the blades aside and walked straight by him. Stormblade turned around and saw the vulpix heading straight through some bushes. Snowcrystal noticed as well.
“Wait!” the growlithe cried, running to the other side of the bushes. The vulpix emerged from the leaves to find herself face to face with Snowcrystal. “We can’t let you go out there all alone-it’s dangerous!”
“I can go where I want to,” the vulpix said simply, “And if I have to go to the human’s town to get my fire stone back, I will!”
Snowcrystal sighed, seeing there was no convincing her. “Well, at least let us help you. What’s your name?”
“Rosie,” the vulpix muttered, not turning to look at her.
“Well Rosie,” Snowcrystal began, “Maybe we can help you look for this fire stone, as long as you make sure to stay away from the town afterward. Stormblade says it’s-”
“What? We can’t go to the town just to look for a fire stone!” Stormblade cried, as he and Spark caught up with the other two.
“See my point?” Snowcrystal whispered, and then said louder, “Listen, if we all go to the town and just look around for the fire stone quickly, will you promise to leave the town afterward, and to just forget about the stone if we don’t manage to find it? I can’t promise you anything…” She gazed calmly back at the vulpix, who looked back at her as if she was considering it.
“Fine…” she mumbled irritably, turning her head away.
“Look,” Snowcrystal stated, glancing at Spark and Stormblade, “If we’re careful of traps, it can’t hurt to look around, and if we don’t find it, you’ll be sure to stay away from the human place for good, right?” She glanced at Rosie, who merely nodded reluctantly.
“We’d just better find it…” the vulpix muttered.
“Well, let’s go,” Snowcrystal announced, “We won’t stay there long,” she assured the others. “After all,” she added jokingly, “I do have Articuno to find…”
“What?” exclaimed Rosie, but Snowcrystal ignored her and turned to Stormblade, who flew off to find the exact direction of the town.
Blazefang and his group were on the move. The houndour pack had rested during some of the night and most of the morning, and were now nearing the jumble of jagged brown boulders that Snowcrystal had rested at the previous evening. Now that it was light, Blazefang was less wary of the area, and decided that the rocks may have provided some shelter for desert plants. The thought of finding prey appealed to the group, and Blazefang led the twenty-two other houndour to the large rocks.
Wildflame, the female houndour who’d been a lookout the night before, didn’t like the place. There was something odd about it, and she could feel it. Blazefang and the rest were busy searching the place for prey, but Wildflame stayed put at the edge of the rocky area. The way the rocks cast strange, eerie shadows across the ground, even during the day, made her somehow nervous.
Boneclaw was frustrated. “There’s nothing here!” he growled to Blazefang, scraping dirt from the ground, “Just a buncha stupid rocks and dust!” He started coughing as some of the dust he’d scooped up with his paw filled the air around him. Blazefang was loosing patience.
“If there’s prey anywhere, it’s here,” he growled dangerously, “We haven’t searched the whole place yet, so keep looking!”
“What if we run into something dangerous, like you said?” Boneclaw questioned uncertainly, and as if in answer to the fire dog’s statement, a houndour screamed.
Blazefang leaped toward the sound, Boneclaw stumbling behind him as he tried to keep up. The two of them arrived in a small area surrounded by more of the tall rocks. A houndour was lying at the base of one of the boulders. He grinned sheepishly at Blazefang. “Heheh…I fell…”
“Oh for the love of mew…” Blazefang growled angrily, “Quit acting like an idiot and keep looking for signs of prey!”
“Blazefang!” a houndour cried, and the pack’s leader whipped around. “Uh…Blazefang…” the houndour repeated, “We found something strange…we think you should come and look!”
Blazefang sighed and followed him, Boneclaw in his wake. “This better be good…” he mumbled. The houndour led his leader to a clear area of ground surrounded by thin pointed rocks which all seemed to curve inward slightly at the tops, and seemed to be in a strangely shaped circle around the small patch of earth. Two houndour looked up from where they were crouching beside some odd-shaped markings in the dust. Blazefang peered at them curiously, before brushing them away easily with his paw. “What was all this about? Some stupid marks in the dirt? I can’t believe you actually…hey, wait a minute…”
Blazefang stepped closer to the patch of ground where his claws had scored through the markings. Barely visible beneath one of the claw marks, was the glint of something smooth and shiny…
Snowcrystal and Rosie headed after Spark and Stormblade as they trekked through the forest in the direction of the human’s town. Snowcrystal could hear Stormblade’s angry muttering from up ahead.
“I don’t see why the little brat has to evolve…” the scyther was saying, “I never evolved, and I’m never going to! I don’t get what the big deal about evolution is…And now we have to go through all this for a stupid fire stone…What’s so great about it anyway? Can’t she just be satisfied with what she is?”
Spark was getting very tired of Stormblade’s rants. “Hey! I’m
evolved! So maybe you don’t want to. Well, others might. Ever thought of that? Has it ever occurred to you that it might be important for some pokémon? Or are you just still paranoid about the humans? I thought you believed that trainers were there to help pokémon!”
“Not these humans!” Stormblade retorted, “Humans who put poison outside their buildings aren’t there to help, they’re…”
Snowcrystal rolled her eyes, wishing the two would stop arguing. Rosie had turned suddenly cheerful as they neared the town, prancing about happily next to Snowcrystal as the growlithe followed the jolteon and scyther. “I can’t wait to be a ninetales!” she cried cheerfully to Snowcrystal, “I’ll have white fur like you, only mine will be more creamy-colored, like a meowth’s fur. So, uh…when are we gonna get to the town and get my fire stone back?”
“Hopefully soon,” Snowcrystal sighed, glancing at Spark and Stormblade up ahead. Spark had turned his fur spiny again, as he seemed to do when he was angry. “Look you two, stop arguing!” she called over to them, “We’ll be fine if we’re careful. And this won’t take long…we’re just going to see if the fire stone’s there.”
“You’ve never been to a city or town, have you?” Stormblade called back, “We can’t look through an entire town for something that small!”
“We’re just going to try…” Snowcrystal replied impatiently, “Just really quickly. It’s not far, is it?”
“Shouldn’t be…” Stormblade replied unhappily.
“Oh look, what do you know…There it is!” Spark called from further up ahead, where he was peering through some bushes. He added in a sarcastic tone, “Ooh…looks soo scary!”
Rosie darted up beside Spark and confirmed his statement. “He’s right! I see the buildings! Let’s go!” Stormblade and Snowcrystal made their way through the bushes to see a large group of buildings up ahead. Snowcrystal stared wide-eyed, having never seen anything remotely like them before.
“What are they?” the white growlithe asked.
“Those big things are called buildings,” Spark explained simply, “Humans live in them, work in them, or battle pokémon in them. Those rectangle things are called doors. They move, and let you enter a building. Okay, let’s go.”
Snowcrystal looked puzzled, and quite confused about what Spark had said. She looked around at the buildings, not seeing any humans around. Rosie started to run toward the town, but once again, Stormblade tried to stop her. “Wait!” he warned her, “You need to at least look out for danger before you go running in there!”
Spark walked right up to him, stopping when he was a foot from Stormblade and the vulpix. “Stormblade,” he stated flatly, “Three words…Par-a-noid!” He then turned and darted toward the nearest buildings.
“That’s one word!” Stormblade yelled, heading after him.
Snowcrystal quickly caught up with Rosie. “Well, we better go look for that fire stone, and look out for humans,” she whispered, as she and the vulpix followed the other two.
Blazefang’s claws scraped the dust around the shiny object, revealing it to be a flat, almost oval-shaped stone. It was clear, and a dark purple in color, with slightly darker flecks all across it. Blazefang thought it must be a gem or a crystal of some sort, and set about trying to free it from the earth.
It was harder than he expected. The ground was hard and packed tightly around the object, and his claws made little progress as he sought to free the stone by digging. Blazefang then tried to grip with his claws around the edge of the small rock, finally managing to prize it loose. Looking down at the dusty object on the ground, Blazefang rolled it over with his paw. “Well, what do you think it was here for?” he asked.
“I dunno…looks like just an old rock,” Boneclaw replied, “But it’s a kinda pretty one!”
Blazefang peered closely at the stone, noticing a few small imperfections in its shiny surface. Most of them were just minor nicks and scratches, but one was a narrow hole near the top of the stone. However, he still thought it looked pretty nice. “Heh, maybe I’ll keep it. I could make a sort of medallion out of it or somethin’.”
Boneclaw was about to reply when a harsh cry rang out through the rocky area, and several ghostly forms suddenly materialized around the group, all looking very angry. Blazefang held back a cry of surprise and gritted his teeth. He’d been ambushed…but already, he was thinking up a plan. “Everyone! Over here!” he yelled, and several panicked houndour arrived at Blazefang’s side, gazing terrified at the ghost pokémon. Blazefang glanced around, noticing that some were missing. Quickly realizing that the ghosts were all over the place, Blazefang figured the other houndour had probably fled the rocky area, since there had been no sight or sound of an attack from the ghost pokémon yet.
Blazefang was quick to give orders. He kicked the purple stone toward one of his fellow houndour. “Boneclaw, hold this, everyone, get in a circle and face the pokémon!” Boneclaw picked up the rock in his mouth, while the other houndour did as Blazefang said.
The ghost pokémon seemed to be glaring at Boneclaw in particular, and the houndour in questioned flattened his ears against his skull, growling. Many of the enemy ghosts were soon charging up some attacks, and at that moment, Blazefang cried, “Flamethrower, now!”
All at once the houndour fired blasts of red-hot flame at the ghost pokémon, while Blazefang signaled a retreat. The houndour backed off, taking turns at launching their attacks at the oncoming horde of ghost pokémon, striking quite a few while at the same time making it very difficult for the ghosts to attack them back.
Blazefang was glad of his pack’s numbers. He had them firing their attacks in turn; one small group using their attacks after another had just fired theirs, creating an almost constant stream of flame that caused great panic and chaos among the ghost pokémon. Blazefang chuckled to himself as a shadow ball plowed into the ground to the side of him. These pokémon weren’t great fighters; they seemed to want to rely more on scaring them off, but that advantage was long lost.
It wasn’t long before Blazefang and the houndour had cleared the rocks, meeting up with Wildflame and the few houndour who’d fled. They then took to a run, soon leaving behind the angry ghosts who’d briefly attempted to follow them across the plains. Blazefang snickered to himself as he glanced back at the pokémon, who obviously weren’t suited to the intense heat and the bright daylight. One by one the ghosts vanished, looking defeated and at a loss for what to do. Feeling pleased with himself, Blazefang called to the others in the group, “You see? If we had stopped there during the night, we might not have been so lucky. But then again, those ghosts only seemed to be good at trying to scare us off. Haha! Well, that’s a lousy defense that ain’t gonna work against us!” Still chuckling to himself about how well he’d handled the situation, Blazefang led his group toward the forest, not bothering to check on those who’d received minor injuries during the retreat from the rocks.
To be continued...
Fourth chapter! (Sorry it's a bit shorter than the last one.) Once again if you see any typos please tell me where they are so I can fix them! (Some of the characters are meant to speak with kinda bad grammar, but if something seems like it's a mistake or really doesn't make sense, or Stormblade has bad grammar (which would be a mistake xD) then tell me so I can fix it!)