The Tails Epic:
A/N: This is the Tails Epic, which will be my greatest story to date. There will be four volumes, each consisting of a different period of time in the epic. (Before Sonic X, After, etc.) The parts of the story focusing on the games or shows are subject to modification due to originality that needs to be inputted to make it "original work".
Volume I: Origins
Part 1: Goodbye, Homeland
I remember little about the day I was born. It is not until now, old with age, my great-grandchildren eager to hear my fascinating tales of how everything started, that I have thought about it. It was odd, to have two tails, to have cousins with only one, and to have a father with nine. I was the youngest of all the Prower family, and in our kingdom, it is the youngest child, not the oldest, who inherits the throne. My father was glad that I would inherit the throne when he died, though I held little interesting in ruling at the time. I was young and wanted to enjoy life as an aimless noble, and be a child forever. For this was the happiest time in my life. Even now, I don't think there was a happier time in my life but the day I got married.
Fate however, can destroy the plans of even the strongest and most determined…And my own plans were soon to be lost as destiny carved out a different path for us all…
~Miles Tails Prower
Chapter 1: The Nine Tailed Fox
Lightning cracked in the dark twilight, flashing brightly like fireworks, displaying their beauty and fearsome power. The moon's reddish glow flashed onto the muddy dirt path in the thick forest, highlighting the black hooded priests proceeding in the night, their heads down, and their arms crossed together on their chest, silently walking in formation. In between the cloaked priests, on the sides of the path was the king and queen of the kingdom, the great kingdom of the Kitsune foxes.
There was a worried smile on the queen fox's face, a tear sliding down her orange face onto the fox baby that she carried in her arms, distinguished by his two small orange tails. The king fox looked at her with concern, putting his mighty hand gently upon her shoulder, looking upon his child with a look of fear. He shifted his tail with a nervous twitch, reaching out to gently clutch the queen's hand with his own.
Lightning flashed loudly in the sky again, and the baby began to cry, its shrieks echoing through the dark forest. The queen fox made a hushing sound, whispering gently to her son.
One of the hooded foxes looked up, his eyes on the king. "My lord, surely we should wait till morning? To have your son crying before he is to be presented to the cursed wise woman is not…"
"No, I have waited long enough, Lorenzo!" The queen sharply replied. Her sky-blue eyes glared upon the yellow eyes of the fox, her face a snarl against the black fox's sinister grin.
"My brother, I will not turn back this night." The king told him flatly. "We will let the cursed wise-woman examine our son." The king's voice was gentle, but commanding. He knew his wife and his brother had great distaste for one another, but he had no time for their venom on this important night.
"But two tails, my lord…" Lorenzo warned him. "You know the vixen herself had three, and look what happened to her!"
"Lorenzo!" The king warned him sharply with a growl. Lorenzo tightened his lips, and nodded respectfully.
"As you wish… my king." Lorenzo replied, before his gaze returned forward once more with the other priests.
They had no torches for light, as for the King knew that the cursed wise-woman could only be approached in the dark of night, as was traditional for the divining of every fox. Each step further into the forest made the king even more nervous, his hand squeezing the queen's almost too tightly, and his eyes desperately searching for a sign of the cursed wise-woman's straw hut house with its clothed curtain door, but only seeing trees, trees, and more trees.
Finally, the group spotted a simple hut, and the queen had a small smile on her face, looking down at her son expectantly. Yet the king was dreadfully worried. This was an important part of the Kitsune tradition. Every baby fox born would immediately be carried to the woman for divining into that fox's future. Rarely was the cursed wise-woman wrong, and when she was, her guess was always close.
The procession of priests stopped at the curtain door, shifting to the side, making room for the king. The king motioned to his brother, examining him for a moment. He then gave him a warm smile, placing his strong hand on his shoulder. "As I oversaw the divination of your son and daughter, I wish you to oversee the divination of my own child."
"Dear, no!" The queen argued, giving Lorenzo a fierce glare. "I do not want that man watching this!"
"Please, my wife." The king politely asked her. "Bite your lip of this grudge you have against my brother for this night. For me."
The queen looked at Lorenzo with a searching glare, but Lorenzo's face was an expressionless mask, and she could not decipher anything. Dissatisfied, she nevertheless sighed, and said "Alright."
Lorenzo nodded as the king looked back on him. "You humble me, brother." He said politely, as he followed the king into the straw hut of the cursed-wise woman.
The room was filled with a low red-light, and was completely empty but for a hammock tied to a pole to their left, and the cursed-wise woman, her silver eyes scanning the three of them. Her dark, grey face was wrinkled, immeasurable in years as she leaned in to examine them, her three tails spinning, one grey, one black, and one white.
"So… you bring me a son?" The wise-vixen questioned them, her thoughts entering their head. She already knew the answer. "You have named him Miles? Ah, but he has two tails! A rarity, which could mark something terrible, something great, or both…"
"Are you… Are you going to perform the divine ritual?" The king asked nervously. She turned to them, and the king looked away. The vixen rarely spoke, her voice able to sadden and melt the coldest of hearts, calm the fieriest, and bring tears to the strongest. Her eyes were much worse, fierce and yet filled with suffering.
The cursed-wise vixen moaned, a sad note that filled the foxes with an anguish. "I have no choice." The king's heart beat with pain for a moment at the nostalgic, hauntingly beautiful voice, but it quickly passed, as the sound left his mind. He shook his head. No, he had no time to pity this fox.
As the queen carried her son to give to the fox, the cursed vixen suddenly exclaimed "There is something very dark in the air… All of your lives are going to take a turn for the worse."
The queen pulled back for a moment, but the wise-vixen waved her hand, telling her to come forward. "You already have come all this way. Do you not want to see?"
"I… I think we should go back, my king." The queen said anxiously, walking a few steps back from the vixen.
"No, my king, my brother, finish what you started." Lorenzo pushed him, with an encouraging grin. "This is after all tradition, and the other foxes will be disappointed if the king wasn't… strong enough to divine into his own son's future."
The queen's pleading look was not enough to dissuade him. His stern cold face said the reply as strongly as his words. "Let her do this to our son." He ordered her. The queen hesitated, wanting to plead for her sake, but then a resigned look appeared on her face, and she walked back toward the wise-vixen, slowly handing the woman the child. The cursed wise-vixen's eager hands grabbed the child, pulling it close to her as she gazed steadily into the child's eyes. The king, queen, and Lorenzo closed their eyes, as a grey smoke filled the room, enveloping them.
When they opened them, the three saw they were standing in a grey mist, and the wise woman was looking upon them with a frightening, ancient gaze. "Look upon these images," The wise woman's voice bellowed through the mist. "And see your son's fate!"
An image of a lightning bolt flashed in the mist, and their ears were filled with the noise of thunder exploding, and then they heard a terrible shriek. It only lasted for a few seconds, the three covering their ears in agony, the queen practically burying herself into the king's chest for reassurance.
Then the image dissipated, and then appeared an image of something they've never seen before, a strange object with weird angles and what appeared to be wings. It had a sharp spinning thing in the front of it. The king scratched his head. "What is this—?"
"Silence until the divining is over!" The wise-vixen cried. The king heeded her words as the next image came up. This, they recognized as an animal… some blue animal with spikes… the king thought it looked like a hedgehog. He could not remember the last time he had seen such beings. How peculiar.
As the image dissipated, a creature completely alien to all three of them appeared, skipping in what appeared to be a meadow. Her green, plant-like skin baffled the king as he examined it with a sharp eye. The image dissipated, leaving the three foxes even more perplexed.
The next image was oddly familiar to them… it showed a grey fox, with two swords on his belt. His yellow eyes were very much like Lorenzo's. "Could it be… your son, Lorenzo?"
"I… I don't—"
"Silence!" The wise-vixen's voice boomed through the mist. The image disappeared, and the terrible shriek of thunder and lightning filled their ears. The king nearly yelled in agony, the sound so great and terrible, yet as soon as he blinked, he saw the mist clear, the wise-woman's eyes finally leaving his child, a look of grave fatigue on her face. The queen, having recovered from the initial transition, approached the wise-vixen steadily, and the fox obligingly handed over her child. "Your son, Miles… he has a most interesting future ahead."
"I saw… I did not even understand anything that I saw. What was that… thing? What was that creature? What…?"
"I know very few answers, great king." The cursed wise-vixen honestly replied, something she rarely would say, or at least, admit."But I do know that your child is undeniably afraid of lightning."
As another roar of thunder boomed outside the hut, the child began to cry once more, and the queen rocked the baby gently, soothing him with a gentle voice. "Do… do you have anything more you can tell me?" The king inquired. "I… this is not enough. I understand nothing!"
The wise-vixen's eyes stared deep into the king, and the king could not help but look away, pained by the look of her eyes. "You have an odd child, great king. The two tails is one unexplainable oddity… but the fact that I could not divine very far is another. I saw no death ahead … but your own."
The queen did not miss the sudden grin on Lorenzo's face, but as quickly as it formed, Lorenzo masked it. There was no use warning her husband.
"Mine…" The king mumbled to himself, a weariness settling on his shoulders.
"I do know this, great king." The wise-vixen told him. "Your son will be separated from you one day. I am sorry… but I know not why or how." The king grimaced, despair crossing his voice, as he held the queen for a moment, before letting go and turning towards the queen, his expression cold and stern once more. The two tails… it was a bad sign, he knew it.
He berated himself inside his head. No, he would not let that defect get the better of him. He would grow up a fine, fox, fit to be king after him.
The king turned to the cursed-wise vixen and bowed respectfully, and the queen and Lorenzo followed suit. "Thank you for your service, wise-vixen." The king thanked her.
"I had no choice." The wise-vixen simply replied. She then disappeared in a puff of mist. Then the lights were blown out.
The hut was completely dark, and the king turned fearfully around. The wise-vixen never turned off her lights like this before. Something had to be amiss. She had known something!
He then heard a scream, and he then realized someone had taken his wife. With a wild cry, he turned around, his elbow out just in time to knock someone back. They growled ferociously, getting ready to charge for another strike.
Yet the king's eyes had adjusted now, and he had a terrible weapon his aggressor did not: 20 years of hard combat experience. He used his tail to grab his antagonist as he tried to reach for his scabbard, and sent him flying behind him, into the walls of the straw hut… which was no longer there…
The king's mind quickly rescanned its place. Likely the cursed wise-vixen had made the hut disappear, not wanting to see the event. Now there was no hiding the face of his opponents. He gasped as he saw two of his hooded escorts grabbing his wife, with another pointing a sword at her neck. Facing him was his own brother Lorenzo, who smiled sinisterly at the shocked king. In Lorenzo's arms was his son. "Brother… what are you doing?" The king asked him, bewildered. "I trusted you!"
"You are in my way for the throne, brother." Lorenzo glared at him. "You should not trust me so."
"But I'm your own blood, brother!" The king begged him. "Please…. do not hurt my family…"
"Then make me king." Lorenzo demanded. "I have planned this for months. I had to kill my own wife to make this work."
The king kitsune hesitated, looking upon the hooded man. Lorenzo's hand gently stroked his son's bangs, sending a chill down the king's spine. He had very few options to make here.
The king then removed his golden crown, but as Lorenzo looked at it greedily, reaching out, he tossed it up in the air, and drew his blade, charging at the hooded men. Startled, they recoiled, hands reaching to grab their blades, but it was too late for both parties. The third hooded man, knowing his death was near, slit the queen's throat as he saw his inevitable end. In a fury, the king thrust the sword into the fox's heart, and then spun around, his tail grabbing the ankles of the others as they dropped their scabbards. He then flung them both into Lorenzo, who dropped his child. An outstretched arm conveniently saved his son from falling to the ground, then lowering him gently.
He then ran toward his wife, but she was already dead, drawing neither pulse nor breath. He would have sobbed right then, holding her in his arms, but anger had more power in him. He turned furiously at Lorenzo, who drew a step back. The enraged king then moved with amazing speed to strike at his brother, tail and hands out to grab him.
Lorenzo parried his brother's blade, but he could do nothing against the powerful tail of the king, which he used like a third blade. The king's tail made Lorenzo fumble on the ground, only to be grabbed by the neck above the ground. The king's eyes stared intently into Lorenzo, with no hint of love that there was before.
"We… are… the same… brother!" Lorenzo desperately tried to remind him. "I…. I did not mean for him to kill your wife!"
The king breathed heavily, raising his blade higher as Lorenzo gasped, preparing himself for the end. The king hesitated, then with one angry growl he brought the sword down…
Slamming it into the earth, right next to Lorenzo's head. Lorenzo turned to it with a fearful experience, highly aware that he was just spared.
The king dropped his brother on the ground, heartbroken, angry, and unsure what justice to administer on him. He tried to recover his breath, while staring at his brother with a terrible loathing."You care more for power… than me?"
"I… I did not want to kill anyone! I… I just wanted a taste of power!" Lorenzo cried. "I thought this would go perfectly—"
"For you?" The king sneered. "Leave, brother! Thank Mother Nature that I'm not finishing you right here! From this point, you are exiled from the kingdom! You may not go to any village of my domain, and you must leave my soil immediately. As a further consequence, for your traitorous actions" His eyes bored down into him deeply as Lorenzo took in a sharp breath of air. "… you shall never see your children again!"
Lorenzo laughed as his brother let him go at last, glaring down upon him. "Bah! You are not worthy of king! You were always too kind!" Lorenzo then backed away, beaten, but not in heart. "I will return, brother! You have not seen the last! I will become stronger! And then, I will kill you and your son!"
Lorenzo ran into the shadows, and as another flash of lightning appeared in the sky, the king heard his son start to shriek and wail with tears. He walked toward his son, holding him in his arm. Then he looked down upon his wife… and he began to sob. The rain drops that fell were just as cold as her skin, but it did not bother him.
He looked at his son. How could he ever tell him this? How could he explain how he watched his mother die, while he was so young? As he looked at him with despair, trying to say something, the night seemed to grow only murkier, the ground soggy, with the blood of the hooded figures seeping into the ground.
No, the king vowed to himself. He would never tell Miles about this night.
Next time: Four years later in Miles' life…
A/N: This story is updated every Tuesday and Saturday! (For other readers, don't worry A Tale of Tails and Plants Series will receive updates on Friday, while what remains of Balthazar Storm II will be updated this Thursday, and the next three for its final four chapters!)