Legend of The Chezamon
Chapter 16- Faash: Déjà vu
The Danian walked through the endless corridors of the Underground Den, looking around at the chambers, and watching as Hunters gave him nervous stares before turning back to mind their own business. He knew they were not yet accustomed to his presence, not to mention they found him quite… intimidating. Who could blame them? After all, he looked rather intimidating to them. However, there were a few daring pups who had the nerves to walk up to him, softly press their paws at one of his legs, and then ran back to their littermates crying out 'I touched the Danian!'. He rolled his eyes at these pups.
They were not very big; they were the size of a cat, more or less, and their eyes were big. Their pupils were dilated most of the time. Their fur varied in color, but all of them were opaque tones of various shades; there were green, blue, lilac, but most of the pups had light brown of grayish colors.
He had seen a few pups who were already starting to grow their adult fur and were much larger in size (the size of a German shepherd, according to Sarah) these were probably in their teens. The adults called them Yearlings. They had patches of varying colors, depending on the color of their baby fur, growing out in their baby fluff in different parts of their body. Sometimes he would just ignore the pups', but other times they attempted to play with his antennae when he was not looking. It was annoying, but what could he do? He did not wish to make the pups' parents angry.
He was brought from his thoughts by a yelp. Looking down, he met the emerald eyes of a Yearling, who was glaring up at him in a fighting position. His baby fluff was an opaque red with a few black spots, and his growing adult fur was rust red, with bright purple paws and blue markings around his eyes. His eyes had slit pupils, and in turn he had greenish dark blue rings around his eyes.
"Hello there," the Danian greeted the pup politely, and was rather surprised when the pup attempted to tackle him, but due to his still-small size, only knocked himself in the head with Faash's massive leg. Still, as he rubbed his head, the pup glared at him with all the courage in the world.
"Stay away from my mama!" he growled, failing to look scary.
"Your… mama?" the Danian was confused, "Excuse me, little guy, but I don't even know who your mama is."
"Liar!" the yearling swiped at the Danian's arm, but missed.
Faash couldn't help but chuckle inwardly, watching as the pup struggled to get free of his grasp. However, he soon put him down, not wanting to cause problems with an older Chezamon.
Faash was surprised when Syena trotted towards them, giving the pup a stern look, "Socket, what did I tell you about being rude to guests?" she said with in a scolding tone.
"Mama!" the pup whined in reply, "I was telling him to stay away!"
The Danian was surprised when the pup referred to her as 'Mama'. Did this mean she had a mate? He could already hear Wamma making a comment about this, if he knew.
"I'll talk to you later about this, young pup," Syena replied, "Go back to the den."
Sockett gave Faash one more glare before heading out for his and his mothers' den, his ears flattened against his head, muttering something about him he couldn't understand. When she was sure the pup would not hear them, Syena approached the Danian.
"Sorry for that," she apologized, "My pup doesn't want me to hang around other males," she looked down in embarrassment, "He's a bit jealous."
"Why don't you ask your mate to look after him?" Faash inquired, trying to dissimulate his feeling of awkwardness.
Syena looked down, "It would be a good idea… if I had a mate."
Faash was caught off guard.
"Wait, you don't have a mate?" he inquired, "I assumed since you had a pup, you would had a mate."
"Well…" the Huntress blushed, "You're going to say I'm nuts, but I don't recall ever having a mate in my life."
"Seriously?" Faash asked, "I imagined a lovely female such as yourself would had a handful of suitors." He grew nervous when she gave him a questioning look; "I mean, you're a beautiful female, who wouldn't give anything to go out on a date with you?"
Syena's hard stare softened. "Are you asking me out?"
"M-Me…?" Faash blushed deeply and looked around to see if there was no one else around to see this. Damn it, why did he have to get in these kind of situations? And this time he didn't even need Wamma to do so! Now he had to find a way out of this without offending Syena.
The Huntress decided to toy a bit with him. "Well?" she smiled teasingly. "Are you asking me out, or is it true what they say that there are no female Danians?"
"The second option. Our Queen is the only female in the Hive." Faash replied quickly. Why was it so hard for him to talk to this female in particular?
"Lieutenant Syena!" suddenly a voice echoed in the set of tunnels.
When a Sorka came running through the tunnels, Faash looked upwards. "Thank you!" he thought to himself.
"What is it?" Syena inquired in worry after noticing the tone on Sorka's voice.
"The Alphas want to see you."
"M-Me?" she blinked. "Have I done something wrong?"
"No. It's about the M'arrillian that was brought, that's all I know. I think they've called for other packleaders to see who will interrogate him."
Knowing at once it was a serious matter, Syena nodded, but she still gave Faash a playful look. "I guess it'll be another time." With this, Syena sped down the tunnel Sorka came from gracefully. Sorka, however, didn't fail to see the deep blush on the Danian's face.
"Looks like you're smitten with the lieutenant, aren't you?"
"NO!" Faash snapped out of sudden, now that the object of his nervousness was gone. "I've only known her for a few days!"
"No offense, pal, but to anyone it looks like you two have known each other for a while. Don't worry, it happens to everyone eventually."
"Besides, even if I actually had a crush on her, which I don't, I'm a Danian and she's a Chezamon! It would never work out!"
Before Sorka could say something, steps behind them caught their attention. They turned around to see Kaya, Shaoran, Jerome and Toba quickly making their way somewhere. Before they could inquires as to where they were going, Hikari's fragile-looking figure trotted after them in alarm. "Guys, knock it off! You'll get us in trouble!
"Come on, Hikari!" Kaya retorted with a grin. "We're not doing anything illegal!"
"Actually, peeking our noses in a reunion of packleaders can be counted as illegal." Jerome replied with a gulp.
"Don't look at me, I only came because you technically blackmailed me." Shaoran sighed with a roll of his eyes, his ears drooping.
Faash followed the Hunters from afar, while Sorka left and probably went to look for someone of high rank to accuse Kaya and the others for what they were going to do. Maybe they were going to the same reunion as Syena. In his rush, he forgot that Chezamon had keen senses. Shaoran's ears twitched when he caught the sound of footsteps behind them, about two caves away. He turned around and turned his pupils to slits; he caught sight of the corporal heat of another Creature. Judging by the size, it could be one of the Danians, but he couldn't tell who it was.
"Come out, Danian. I know you're there." Shaoran spoke softly, earning the attention of his packmates.
Knowing he had been discovered, Faash reluctantly stepped out of his hiding place and walked towards the group. "My apologies, I just thought I could ask you if Syena would be at that reunion."
"That's very likely." Kaya shrugged. "She is one of the Top Hunters and Huntresses in the Den, or lieutenants, as you've heard."
"They're going to decide what to do with the M'arrillian?"
"Looks like it." Hikari retorted, before glaring at her male packmates. "I've tried to tell them that if we get caught we'll get into trouble!"
"Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble!" Toba sung cheerfully, causing the other Chezamon to let out groans of frustrations, Shaoran in particular.
"Toba, I swear, if you sing that forsaken song one more time, I'll grapple my ears!" the rust red Hunter whined, covering his ears.
"Come on, guys!" Kaya brought their attention back to business. "Let's go before the meeting ends or we won't know what happens with eel head!" he looked at Faash. "You may come with us if you'd like, jus try not to call attention to yourself."
"That's quite impossible…" Jerome muttered shyly under his breath. "Especially with all those legs."
Faash pretended to not have heard that last comment as he followed the Hunters through tunnels and passages, feeling the nervous glances of pups, Hunters, Healers and many others. He came across a member of another Tribe every now and then, but he passed by without even looking at them.
Finally, they came across a large stone door, with carved paw prints, feathers and claw marks. IT seemed to be a very important door, judging by the Clawders standing guard outside. The group went past them until they were certain they were out of earshot, but Faash's attention never left the door.
"Isn't that the door we're supposed to sneak in?" Faash inquired in low voice.
"Yeah, but not with those Clawders guarding it." Jerome replied. "We're peeking through the Hole."
"It's a small tunnel with a narrow entrance that goes beneath the Meeting Chamber. You can hear anything that is going on above, and it's very convenient since the higher-ups don't know about it, only Hunters and the low-class like us." Kaya snickered.
"And you're the first non-Tribe member to know about it, so you better not tell anyone." Shaoran frowned at the Danian.
"Your secret is safe." Faash replied.
Finally, they came to a large rock. Next to the wall; making sure there was no one around, Shaoran and Toba pushed it out of the way, revealing a narrow opening, big enough for a Chezamon-and a Danian-to fit in.
"Well, I think I'll stay here and keep watch." Shaoran stated. "I'm not going in there."
"Party-pooper!" Toba cried out with a pout, before sliding into the crevice, followed by Jerome and Kaya. Shaoran simply rolled his eyes refusing to even look at the crevice. Hikari sighed and took a paw to her head.
"What am going to do with them?" she muttered in low voice, before sliding in as well, her ears low.
Faash managed to fit into the crevice with some effort, and followed Hikari through the narrow tunnel, so narrow he had to walk low on his four legs to move in. It wasn't that dark, there were tiny holes that allowed them to see where they were going. Faash stopped when the Chezamon stopped and pricked their ears; he could hear faint voices coming form above, even though he couldn't see the Creatures above.
"So what shall we do with this stranger?" he recognized Baojia's voice.
"Tangath Toborn suggested that we interrogate him to make sure there are no more of its kind around." Torimaku spoke next.
"That's a waste of time, if I may have an opinion." An unfamiliar male voice growled. "My lord and lady, I insist we execute the outsider immediately."
"I agree with Tangath, we should interrogate the outsider." Syena's voice talked next in a hard tone, making Faash shiver a bit. "Executing him without any information on where he came from may provoke an attack from this Creature's Tribe."
"Please! If there were others like him in Mist Forest, they'd have attacked already!"
"Taravokk, I know you do not like outsiders; none of us do, actually, but this is serious." Another random male voice said.
"Remember what the humans said about these M'arrillians?" Hukaro reminded the unknown number of present Chezamon in the room. "Those Creatures are supposed to control minds, they must be very dangerous if the other Tribes are so wary."
"Mind control?" Kaya growled in low voice form the group's hideout. "Come on! When that rotten eel shot that white arrow that struck me I didn't feel like I was being mind-controlled!"
Faash's eyes widened when he heard the remark. "What do you mean? You're immune to their mind-control?"
Rocket groaned in frustration. "You too? Tangath Toborn and Bodhal also made a whole scandal because of that attack and it didn't even do anything to Kaya!"
"Is something wrong with that particular white arrow?" Hikari asked the Danian with worry. "Was it poisonous or something?"
"Those arrows are a special attack that allows a M'arrillian to brainwash other Creatures." Faash explained. "Once you're struck with that attack, the M'arrillians control your mind and can force you to do anything they wish. The only way to release someone from the M'arrillians' control is by using special battlegear."
"Then why am I not under that eel head's control?" Kaya insisted. "Was that attack at its lowest? Or the eel head was simply incompetent?"
"I think the course of action we should take is speak with some of the delegates form the other Tribes and ask them about the M'arrillians so we can have an idea of how dangerous they truly are." Torimaku said.
There were murmurs or a few growls among the crowd of packleaders. That's when the hidden Hunters realized they'd heard enough, besides Toba's humming of his silly song would surely get them caught.
"Hey, Danian, try to make some space." Rocket whispered. "We're going out."
With some difficulty, Faash turned around and walked back the way they came, the Chezamon behind him; however, as he was approaching the entrance to the secret tunnel, he started to hear voices coming from outside.
"Are you hiding something behind that rock, Shaoran?" he recognized Ryuu's voice, and quickly motioned for the other Chezamon to stop and be quiet. Faash took a peek outside, and found Ryuu trying to get past Shaoran, who tried desperately to keep him away.
"Hide something? Come on, what could I possibly hide behind a rock?"
"In that case, let me see what's behind."
"Why?" Shaoran blocked the way with his body frame. "Aren't you busy? I mean, Princess Fen is confined to her chambers for the moment, the Alphas asked you to keep an eye on her, didn't they?"
Ryuu frowned at the Hunter's insistence. "If you don't step aside in the next five seconds, I shall push you aside and take whatever you are hiding to the Alphas!"
"What's going on!"
Suddenly, Ryuu's whole demeanor changed when a feminine voice snapped through the air. His eyes widened, his pupils dilated and his ears flattened against his head; Faash managed to see a speck of creamy fur, and Ryuu turning around towards it, looking unusually nervous and trembling.
"K-Kendra, sweetie!" Ryuu stuttered, a goofy smile on his face. "W-What are you d-doing here?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing." Kendra replied curtly. "I thought you were supposed to guard Princess Fen."
"I am!" Ryuu snapped.
"Then why are you wasting your time bothering Hunters when you should be doing your job?"
"You're right, I'm going, I'm going!" Ryuu was about to leave, but he leaned his head closer to the female named Kendra with wide pupils. "But how about a little kiss?"
Kendra narrowed her eyes and simply gave him a pat on the cheek. "Don't even think about it."
Ryuu sighed in disappointment as he trotted down the tunnel, his head and tail lowered. When Shaoran was certain Ryuu was out of earshot, he motioned Faash to slid out of the secret passage. When the Danian did as told, he took a better look at the female who just made Ryuu drool. She had a beige coat, with olive drab camouflage forehead, back, front paws and at the tip of the tail; her ears were a darker olive shade than her back's. Her maw, underbelly and back legs were a pastel citrine color. She examined the Danian with criticizing bluish purple eyes.
"You are one of the delegates from the Danian Tribe, right?" she inquired, raising an eyebrow.
Her lips curved upward playfully. "You don't need to be formal with me. You may call me Kendra." She bowed her head. "And how may I call you?"
"That was a close one!" Kaya let out a sigh of relief as he slid out of the crevice.
"Close one?!" Shaoran snapped with bristled fur. "He nearly caught me! And you know how he punishes Hunters meddling in private matters!"
"Cool it down, Shaoran!" Jerome retorted. "What matters is that we didn't get caught, neither by Ryuu or anyone inside those chambers-" Jerome yelped when Kaya quickly shut his maw with his paws.
"Aahh, so that's what you were doing." Kendra frowned and crossed her paws. "You know that's against the laws, don't you?"
"We do, but Kaya said he wanted to know what happened to eel-head, so we tagged along; we were going to bring Rocket, but Hukaro had him work with the digger Hunters as punishment-" Toba was interrupted when his maw was shut, this time by Shaoran.
"Aja." Kendra narrowed her eyes at the group. "I see."
"Don't look at me, I said it was a bad idea from the beginning!" Hikari lifted her paws defensively.
"So, Miss Kendra, do you know Ryuu in some way?" Faash blurted out to changed the subject and avoid a conflict.
Kendra sighed and nodded her head. "I know him very well." Her tone was somewhat mysterious.
"Faash…" Shaoran read the confused expression on the Danian's face, and whispered into her ear. "She's Ryuu's mate."
"Ex-mate." Jerome corrected him.
"Too bad, they were a cute couple!" Toba pouted sadly, before Hikari elbowed his ribs hardly. "Hey! That hurts!"
Faash turned to face Kendra. "I'm sorry for that-"
"Don't be sorry." Kendra retorted curtly. "It just didn't worked out the way we hoped, let's leave it like that. If you'll excuse me, there are things I need to do right now." With those last words, the female trotted down the tunnel, her creamy fur gleaming under the torch light, until her figure disappeared around the corner.
"I… Suppose it's a very delicate matter to her, isn't it?" Faash asked, his eyes still set on the direction she had just gone to.
"You have no idea." Kaya sighed in dismay. "If you mention if to Ryuu, he'll instantly take it against you."
"Is it that bad? What happened between them?"
"You sure are curious when you want to!" Shaoran snapped his fangs.
"They became mates when they were young, much younger than the usual age. Ryuu was just a Clawder at that time." Hikari explained. "Things went well for some time, but when Ryuu became Captain, he started focusing more on his military career and less on his mating. Eventually, Kendra couldn't take it anymore and she left him."
Faash blinked in surprise. "How do you know so much about it?"
"Are you kidding? All the Tribe knows about those two's love life, or rather, former love life." Kaya snickered. "But as you just saw, Ryuu's still madly in love for her, and he wants to reconcile with her, but judging by the reason they separated, I don't think it's happening soon."
Toba started to laugh. "You should see Ryuu's face every time he sees Kendra with another male. All like this!" He pouted and frowned, trying to imitate Ryuu's expression, earning snickers from his other packmates.
"Well, Kendra has the right to start over with whoever she wants, doesn't she?" Faash inquired.
"You know nothing about our customs, Danian." Shaoran frowned. "Once you've found a mate, you cannot be with another, even if you're separated. It's until death do them apart."
"Don't be so hard on him, Shaoran." Jerome commented. "He's an outsider, remember? You can't blame any of the delegates for not knowing our customs, considering they didn't even know we existed until a few days ago."
"Well, I think I'll be on my way." Faash spoke quickly. "My Tribemates must be looking for me."
Waving goodbye to the Hunters, Faash sped down the tunnel they had come from, but as soon as he turned around the corner he ran into someone. Both rolled unto the floor, until he landed on his back, and felt weight over his chest. He immediately looked up at the stranger.
"Why don't look where you are-?!"
He froze when he realized he was looking into Syena's equally shocked eyes; she was laying on top of his chest, with ears bent down and pupils turned to slits. Both blushed deeply upon realizing what had just happened.
"Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry!" Syena immediately rolled of Faash's chest and stepped back as she watched him stand up. "I didn't mean to-!"
"No, no, don't apologize!" Faash retorted, his face looking redder than usual. "I'm the one who ran into you, I should be the one who apologizes!"
They grew silent for a few seconds, before the Danian gathered his courage and broke it. "So, about your proposal from a while ago…" he felt like a complete idiot.
"Yeah?" Syena inquired with raised ears and curious eyes.
"I wanted to ask you… if you wouldn't mind hanging out with me sometime?" Faash could swear he was sweating and his heart was throbbing inside his chest.
"Well, I…" the Huntress looked down, with a faint smile. "I wouldn't actually mind. We could hang out sometime, when I'm not busy."
"I could accompany you home, if you'd like."
"Thanks for the offer, but I don't think it's a good idea. Socket doesn't like when I bring males to our den." She thought for a moment. "But if you want, I can show you around the Den , in case you're not yet familiarized with the passages yet."
"I…" Faash managed to calm himself down. His lips curved upward into a smile. "I'd be honored."