Welcome, everyone! The seven hunters are back and they are relating their adventures to their children. But we have only heard one story thus far, so what happened after their epic defeat of Redclaw? What crises befell the pack after they left the Great Valley? How did they take back their territory? What happened to their friends and allies? And, most importantly, how did these numerous children come about? Well gather around and listen along as the seven hunters answer these questions and more by singing to you tales of perseverance, love, and courage.
Please note that this is a sequel of sorts to my first fanfiction, The Seven Hunters. If you have not read that yet, then it is highly recommended that you do so in order to understand what is going on. That story is rated M for depictions of graphic violence (which you would expect from a story focusing on sharpteeth) so you may need to modify your content filter in order to see it. I plan to keep this story in compliance with a 'T' rating, however.
The night circle shined brightly on the lush vegetation of the massive forest. Its luminous reflection caused the world below the canopy to descend into a chaotic mosaic of profound darkness interposed with brilliant light. The magnificent green of the foliage shined through the darkness that permeated every corner of the verdant wilderness. For a leaf-eater such darkness would have caused great anxiety as each shadow could have hidden the instruments of their doom.
But for the predators who called this land their own, there was no such trepidation.
An adult fastbiter quietly stood in one of these beam's of moonlight as he growled to his mate and daughter who were resting at the base of a tree. As their nocturnal conversation continued, each paid little attention to the darkness that surrounded them. In this place they were undoubtedly safe. No one would dare attack them.
How very wrong they were.
In the darkness a pair of red eyes gleamed in the light of the night circle. As they were fixed directly behind the adult sharptooth, no one else in the family saw the coming danger. Slowly but surely, the predator approached his target under the cover of darkness. As it shifted from a stalking position to a pouncing pose, the hapless fastbiter only had moments left. Then, with a powerful thrust of his legs, the predator leaped into the air. The adult stood no chance.
"Ow! What the..."
"Ha! Got you, daddy!"
The fastbiter looked upon the retreating brown form of the youngling with barely concealed amusement. They had only begun to teach the young ones about using stealth in hunting the night prior and it seemed that the little one had decided to use his newly learned skill on a very inviting target.
His father's tail.
"That is very good, Biter, but your target isn't very good." Ruby called out in her sing song way. "We do not bite daddy. We bite food." Her voice was slightly reproachful, but her amusement was obvious.
"But, mommy..." Ruby's gaze turned towards the nearby form of a reddish youngling. Their daughter almost approached Biter in terms of her mischievousness. "...we have seen you bite daddy before. Why did you bite him if he wasn't food? If he wasn't food then why did you bite him?"
The stone gave me teeth and claws, but it couldn't fix a speech impediment. Ruby noted with amusement at her daughter's tell-tale vocal pattern. She was about to answer when another voice called out.
"Yeah... why do you get to bite the leader and we don't?"
As if on cue, the orange form of Taunt came into view of the small family. To his sides, his mate and their three children could be seen advancing in a rowdy mess. One child clung to their mother's back, while the other two did their best to try to catch the other's tail. The female's eyes were rolled in a way that only someone who was long since resigned to such chaos could manage.
"Well, dear..." Cera answered for the cheeky male. "She is mated to him and someone has to keep him in line." Ruby gave a thankful nod to Cera's comment as Littlefoot rolled his eyes at the dig that the females had at his expense.
Ruby nodded as she gave an answer to her curious daughter. "Mommy and daddy are bigger than you and it isn't wise to bite something that is bigger than you can chew." Ruby gave a smirk in Littlefoot's direction. "I can handle your daddy in a fight, but you wouldn't be able to."
"Then why can't I bite sis..."
As if guessing correctly her brother's actions, the youngling female rolled to her side and swiped the male's legs out from under him with her tail. In a triumphant strut she kicked dirt onto the stunned male's face.
The assembled sharpteeth laughed at the male's expense as he pouted on his haunches. After a few moments, Ruby and Littlefoot both helped dust their son off and made sure that he wasn't injured. The only thing that was injured on this night was someone's ego.
"Alright, everyone. That is enough fighting for today." Littlefoot spoke with a calm, fatherly voice. It had all of the imperiousness of his voice when he gave orders, but with the softness that only came from deep, undying love. The two little biters began to calm immediately.
"We have practiced your fighting over the last few days, but now I think that it is time that you learned more about your past..."
"Oh! Can we hear the one about Calin being killed?! I want to hear about how he was ripped apart again!"
Littlefoot sighed at the comment from Taunt's daughter.
"No, Ambush." The female's face fell at Littlefoot's response. "That is a story that your father should have left for when you were a bit older..." He gave the other male a glare, to which Taunt simply gave him an apologetic smile.
"Are you going to tell about the time when you all were food?!"
Littlefoot closed his eyes as Ruby could be heard behind him chuckling at how the night was progressing. The adult members of the pack gave Littlefoot a lot of deference, but the children on the other hand...
"No, Sniffer." The brown fastbiter chuckled. "We are not going to talk about our time as food." Littlefoot could tell that youngling's voice from anywhere. Spike and Breeze's children all had a healthy interest in food that they undoubtedly received from their father's tendencies. If they had arrive on the scene then that only left two more families. As the sound of running feet and flapping wings could be heard, he knew that he didn't have to wait long to hear from them.
"Are we going to hear about the rainbowfaces?"
"The Stone of Cold Fire?"
Littlefoot looked over at the fastbiter who had made the interjection. The green fastbiter's exclamation would have been very surprising back in their leaf-eater days, but was par the course now. As Ducky often affirmed 'it takes a loud momma to be heard by loud babies.' She would know, she had five of them to deal with.
Littlefoot waited for the families to gather around him as they eventually settled into a circle. Cera and Taunt's family settled to Littlefoot's left, while Spike and Breeze settled to his right. Ducky's family settled in front of the leader's field of view and Petrie and his mate were of course listening on the tree behind them. Ducky's mate was currently helping Chomper inspect the territory otherwise he would be here as well. With those two exceptions, the entire pack was present.
Littlefoot gave a warm smile to the children. "No... today, I want to tell you a new song. One that you haven't heard yet." He thought for a moment as he took on a contemplative expression. "I think that we should sing to you about what happened to all of us after the valley was saved."
"But Seeker..." Petrie's voice called out from the tree. "That take all night. Too many songs."
Ducky nodded in agreement. "My babies are already tired from their swimming lessons." Littlefoot smiled at that. Even though she hadn't been a swimmer in seven years, she still taught her children that part of their heritage. After all, what better way to catch a swimmer than to swim? "I do not think that they can stay awake too long. Oh, no, no, no!"
Littlefoot nodded. "No, it will take us a while to teach you these songs, but we can get started tonight. Even the longest song begins with a single word. We will start with a short song tonight."
Ruby took on a ponderous expression at her mate's choice of words. "What song do you have in mind, dear?"
Littlefoot smiled. "Well, Spotter told us about Ignis's new litter last night. So let's start there."
He laid down as the children leaned in closer to listen to the elder's words. The adults also gathered around in order to join in their leader's rousing chorus at the proper time.
"This song is about our good allies, the hidden runners. I call this song the 'Tale of the Tail'."
So there you have it, just a little lead-in to the main story. This one will be more episodic than the Seven Hunters and I hope to have a chapter posted at minimum once every two weeks, though I will try to post every week.
And, as always, I welcome any reviews or constructive criticism that you may have.