This is the last one…
Thank you those of you that have read this far.
It means a lot to me even if you don't like the story.
Just remember, I'm not easily offended.
Whatever feelings you have about this story,
so long as it's honest, I will accept whatever is said.
Please do not hold back.
"How did you get in here,"was Conlet's reaction to seeing me there.
I opened my mouth, before I remembered what Conleth told me.
"Why wont you speak?"
I did what I always did when I was scared and had no where to run to. I curled up in a ball.
"What is she doing," Gôu cocked his head.
"Careful it could be a trap," Tú prepared herself to pounce.
"I never let my guard down,"Hǔ growled, "not even for a-"
Niú's sentence was interrupted by an elderly chuckle.
"What is so funny, Lóng?"
Lóng's chuckling quickly grew into a defined laughter.
Then as suddenly as it started, it stopped.
I heard a few gasps, before I felt something nudge my side.
"We can still see you," Lóng growled, I looked up at him, "We wont harm you."
"Have you gone insane, Lóng," Shû stated.
"Just what I was going to ask the rest of you," Long asked them before he picked me up by the scruff, "How can you call yourselves Ninetales and be afraid of a cute kit like this? Does this look like a monster to you?"
Lóng showed me to the other Ninetales in the den. I don't recall how I looked to their eyes, but to mine I was nothing, but a scared little kit. I couldn't tell were I was taking breaths out as I could only hear my breaths in. I remember crying, but not making a sound. The only sound I could hear myself make was that of my heart beat firing like a Bullet Seed in overtime.
"Then why does she not defend herself," Shé asked, "if she is so innocent."
"Because, despite how much you frighten her, she's keeping her promise to me," Conleth received me from Lóng, "I made her and her brother promise me not to speak."
Conleth rewarded me with a lick in the ear.
I bared my teeth at him, but didn't say a word.
"See, she is a good kit," he said again, "despite the fate that you all think that she has."
The council remained silent, and only gave looks to one another. They were somehow speaking to each other without words, similar to how brother and I did, except with only their eyes. Everyone finished 'talking' and simply looked at Lóng who was apparently their secret leader.
"Why are you all looking at me," Lóng sighed, "I believe that Jī has the final word about the kits for this year."
"Of course dear," said the most silent of the Ninetales Council, she sounded as old as Lóng, "here's what I say. We let them both live."
Three of the Ninetales reacted negatively to her comment. Jī waited for silence before she spoke up again.
"The legend clearly states who can kill them. We can only let nature take it's course."
"Thank you, Jī," Conleth bowed to the elder.
"But I warn you, Conleth," Jī's eyes couldn't get any narrower, "their fates are very much real. I can see great tragedies in the future, despite what decisions we make today. They are as unavoidable as the seasons. All that we can do is prepare for the harsh winter to come."
Looking back now, I can see that Jī was referring to more than she let on.
"Do you understand me?"
"You may both go now," Yáng motioned us to leave.
Back in the tunnels, we found Ignatius standing guard behind an invisible wall.
I've never seen anything like it. It was almost like it was made of green water.
I looked up at Conleth. I didn't have to say anything. He knew what I wanted to ask.
"It's called Safeguard. The council uses it to prevent others from over hearing them," he said, "I'm actually surprised that you could get past it."
I cocked my head at him, but he didn't see me do it.
Past the barrier, Ignatius spoke to us, but we didn't hear anything until we crossed.
"I'm sorry we didn't catch that, Ignatius."
"What happened in there?"
"Nothing too bad," Conleth nudged me to keep walking, "it wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be."
"I wish I could say the same thing for out here."
I yipped and stopped moving when I remembered what had driven me into the burrow.
Conleth nudged me to keep going, but I wouldn't move.
"Hm, perhaps you should tell me what occurred."
I shook my head, no.
"It's perfectly alright for you to speak now."
Didn't mean that I had to.
"If you don't tell me what happened I'm going to embarrass you in front of all the other kits."
I was already humiliated enough.
I ran to hide behind Ignatius.
"I know that you're not familiar on how to raise a kit," Ignatius shook his head, "but you're being pathetic."
"Then can you tell me what happened?"
"Xipil showed up and-"
"Say no more," Conleth growled, "if he wasn't my sister's mate. I'd show that arrogant Vulpix what I do to annoying rodents."
"Don't let Vesta hear you say that," Ignatius grinned, "after all, it's her job to keep Xipil in line."
The two of them started laughing at the things that they were saying. I peaked from my hiding place.
"Come on little one," Conleth bowed, "Let's get you back to Topaz and your brother."
"Can't I stay in here, Ignatius?"
"Why is she asking me?"
"Ask her yourself," Conleth chuckled at the little joke, "I haven't figured it out yet."
Ignatius looked at me, but refused to ask.
"Don't tell me that you believe in that legend too, Ignatius?"
"No, I'm just wondering if I should or not," Ignatius tilted his head, "if I can figure out the riddle before you can, would that make me greater than the great Conleth?"
"You might become better than me if you actually get her to speak more than nine words to me," Conleth grinned at me. I stuck my nose up at him.
"Well, she can't stay in here."
"But I like it in here," I curled up in a ball, "no on can find me in the dark."
"So you think that you're safer in here," Ignatius asked, "what about food?"
"I'm used to not eating," I curled up tighter.
"Trust me Ignatius, only one thing will get her out of this cave willingly," I could feel Conleth's breath on my back, "she's never slept without her brother before."
Now, the dark wasn't so comforting. I had to get out of there. I ran for the exit, but I had to wait for those two to catch up before I would go back into the sunlight.
"How did you know that would convince her?"
"I can't tell you," Conlenth laughed, "Vesta would kill me if I did."
When I saw Brother again, he was being held by Mother. Don't get the wrong idea.
She was wanting him to play with the other Vulpix, but he refused.
"Sis," Brother escaped from Mother's grasp.
He tackled me. We greeted each other as if we hadn't seen each other for years.
Mother would have stopped us if Conleth hadn't been there.
"What happened," Mother asked Conleth.
"I should be asking you the same thing," Conleth glared at her, "if Ignatius hadn't already told me what he witnessed."
"I can explain," Mother panicked, "I thought that-"
"You panicked, that's what happened," Conleth snapped, "you don't know the kind of gate* you've opened."
"The gate I opened! You're the one that-"
"Don't try to pin your mistakes on me," Conleth glared at her, she backed up. Seeing this, his face softened, "Topaz, I chose you out of all the Pokémon in the world to be my mate, but we don't chose the type of children that we have," he licked her ear, "we can only choose how we raise them and hope for the best."
"Raise them," Mother looked at the two of us, "what did the council say?"
"To let nature take it's course," Conleth looked away from her, "and prepare for the cold winter ahead."
"But that means-"
"I know," Conleth groaned, "but it doesn't mean we have to tell them."
"Tell us what," Brother asked me.
"I'll tell you later," I said even though I didn't understand what happened, "so did you meet any of the other Vulpix yet?"
"No, I didn't want to see them without you. Now that you're here, we can go together."
"No, you can't," Conleth growled, "not looking like that, at least."
"I feel stupid," I shouted and rightfully so.
Not only did Conleth lick me so clean that I was sore, but then he turned around and messed up my fur again with berry juice.
AND THEN he made me put a flower in my head fur.
"You smell good, Sis," Brother commented, "I didn't even know you had a scent."
"I don't," I growled, "he put berry juice in my fur."
"You too," a female voice squeaked.
"Who said that," Brother and I looked around.
"I don't know yet," her head popped out of a bush, "but my mama's thinking of calling me something really embarrassing."
"It can't be that bad," we said together.
"How do you two do that?"
"Do what," we asked, then looked at each other, "oh…"
"Says the Vulpix who hides in bushes."
"So what does you mother want to call you?"
"Some other worldly name she overheard," she turned redder from her pink shade, "…Daisy."
"What's so bad about that," I let my brother ask the question.
"It's the name of a flower."
"Is it the one in your head fur?"
"Maybe… I didn't think to ask," she tilted her head, "what about you two?"
"Mother called us something once," Brother admitted.
"But Conleth didn't like it," I interrupted Brother, "he told us to never mention it again."
"Sorry, Sis," he licked me in the ear.
"Ew, mate love."
"Don't only mates do that?"
"We've been doing that since as far as I can remember," Brother sat down next to me.
"Your feet aching again?"
"No, Mother said it's rude to stand and talk to other females."
"Conleth said something similar to me," I looked behind me, "and to not turn my back on any males."
"My mother said the same thing."
"Especially the red ones," we said together and laughed.
"Wow," Brother shivered, "that is freaky."
"So is that why are you are hiding from everyone?"
"A little, but it's also because of this," she stepped out from the bush, and didn't look any different to me or Brother. She looked normal to both of us.
"Because of what?"
"I'm pink," she whined.
"So what," we spoke in unison again.
"I look like a Hoppip!"
"We don't know what that is."
"Aren't I supposed to be white?"
"Says who," we glared at her.
"I don't know, nature?"
"We also used to have only one tail," I assured her, "but now look at us we each have four."
"Actually, I have five," she showed the tail that was hidden under the others.
"See you're developing faster than us," shoved her a little.
"I guess you're right," she sighed.
"Of course, she's right," Brother laughed.
"But…," she sniffed me, "what kind of berries did your parents use to give you your fur color?"
"None, my fur has always been this dark."
"Really," she started backing up, "you aren't Topaz's daughter, are you?"
"What's wrong with you," Brother asked.
"Mama warned me to stay away from her," she looked at me with the same look that mother always gave me, "she said you have bad karma."
"What's karma," we asked again.
"I'm not sure, but Mama will whip me," she bowed low, then turned tail, "I'm sorry."
She ran away, leaving Brother and I staring at each other.
Now we were both afraid of meeting anymore Vulpix.
I didn't know where to go now.
Brother looked back at where we came from, then back at me.
He patted his feet and frowned.
He didn't want to go back to the new den.
Frankly, I wasn't thrilled about doing that myself.
"So, what are we going to do," I asked.
"I don't know," he looked at where she ran, "I don't think that we'll get a warm welcome over there."
"Brother," I looked into his eyes, "it's not you that they don't want to see."
"What are you talking about, Sis?"
"Didn't you see how she looked at me?"
"Yeah, it was the same look that mother always…," realization slowly dawned on my Brother, "oh… you mean she was…? and mother too…?"
I laid down away from brother as his thoughts continued.
"But why you? Why not me?"
"Maybe…," I looked at my forepaw, "it's my fur. You saw how she reacted to her pink fur."
"You have to be joking," Brother knew better, "just because 'Daisy' was paranoid about her fur, doesn't mean that you have to be too."
"Stop acting as if it's not it, Brother," I snapped at him, "You saw all the other Ninetales and Vulpix. I really am different from them."
"Just go without me."
"Oh…okay," Brother backed up only for a second before standing tall in front of me, "but so am I!"
"I'm different too."
"I'm not fireproof," Brother smiled, "That makes me different too. Right?"
"That's right," I sat straight up again, "I forgot about that."
"I'm sure that each Vulpix has something unique about them," Brother smiled with me.
"So, if they have a problem with my fur then we'll just say that it's what makes me unique."
"Exactly," Brother practically flipped in happiness, "so will you go with me now?"
"Don't get your hopes up," I grinned at the face he made at me, "I'm joking."
Looking back now, I wish I wasn't joking.
*Gate- I used this term to mean the same as "opening a can of worms". Those of you who also read Phoenix Feathers may know why.
That's it… Sorry, everyone who read this far.
But as the saying goes, "that's all she wrote."
Except I'm not a she…
Although… Kubbi is…
Don't forget to review.
And I hope everyone has had Happy Hollidays.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!