Chaotic: Legend of the Chezamon
Chapter 6- Mist Forest Tour Part 2
Kaya peeked out his head form the bushes, making sure there were no Hunters around. He and Rocket had been looking for the least-guarded shore of the lake so that the humans could scan it without worrying about getting caught. When he was sure the coast was clear, Kaya wagged his tail; Rocket and the humans were hiding behind some bushes, and saw his signal tail wagging.
"It's clear. Let's go," Rocket walked out of the bushes, Kaya following.
Luna and the other humans followed soon after, and what they saw amazed them. In front of them was the shore of a crystal-clear blue lake, surrounded by hundreds of trees that seemed to touch the sky, and the sky itself could be seen, unlike the previous regions where you could only see the branches of the trees. As for the lake, there was a slight mist on the edges of the water, which apparently gave it its name. Strange-looking birds were flying around, but some of them were drinking on the shallow water. These particular birds were tall with long necks and legs, but their plumage was purple, and their heads were almost reptilian-like, with two pairs of eyes and cat ears. Their tails were long and ended in a spike.
"One of the most popular hobbies here is chasing storkrans," Kaya grinned while wagging his tail
Tom took a look to the birds drinking water, "stor-what? You mean those mutant birds over there?"
"Storkrans! Besides, they're not mutant!"
"Not for YOU, at least,"
Luna took out her scanner, soon followed by her brother, Tom, Peyton and Sarah, and the humans scanned the lake. Suddenly, a gigantic crocodile-like head came out of the water and caught one of the storkrans, scaring off the birds. The creature then dived back into the water.
"What… was… that?" Sarah kept staring agape at the spot where the storkran once stood.
"That was a Tsunergal," Rocket explained, "Those guys love to catch storkrans to eat… or to play around. Those guys don't know the line between curiosity and predatory behavior; sometimes they 'play' with Storkrans they don't intend to eat. You'd better not get into the lake to swim where Storkrans gather to rest…"
Kaya peered up his ears, "speaking of which, what do you think Shaoran, Jerome and the others are doing?"
"Whatever they're doing, I hope it doesn't have anything to do with patrolling the lake, or we'll be in trouble,"
"You know, Shaoran doesn't seem to like us in the least, so I feel more comfortable when he's not around," Kaz commented in low voice
"Don't worry, he has that attitude with strangers, but once you get to know him, you see that he is actually a nice guy,"
Suddenly, there was a howl in the distance. Both Chezamon peered up their ears, their pupils gone to slits. What could the Healers possibly need now? As if there weren't enough Hunters back at the Den.
"Great, what now?" Kaya muttered under his breath.
Rocket frowned, "I don't know you, but you OWE me one!"
"Would you forget about it, Rocket?"
"Besides, remember that soon your shift will be over, and you'll be scurrying off to take a nap somewhere, anyway,"
Kaya looked up for a minute and a smile drew on his furry face.
"Well, thinking again, I guess the Healers will need someone to pick out herbs or something,"
Peyton tilted his head to one side, "so, Kaya's going back to the Den? What about our tour?"
Kaya sighed, "don't worry, I'll send Shaoran to catch up with you; it's his shift now, anyway,"
"Err… can't you send someone less… serious? Like Jerome or something?" Kaz scratched his head nervously, remembering their last encounter with Shaoran had not been very pleasant in the least.
"Sorry, can't do that. Jerome has a shift in the Inner Chamber,"
"Well, you should go! You know how Razor gets when you take too long," Rocket ushered his teammate away, not wanting another episode with Razor.
Kaya nodded and ran off into the bushes, eventually the sound of his footsteps diminished until the forest was completely silent except for the sound of the water of the lake crashing against the rocks. When the red-furred Chezamon was gone, Rocket turned to see the humans,
"Well, we should go now. The lake patrol should be making their rounds around here soon,"
Sarah inquired, "Hey, what happened in the Den that you're so upset with Kaya?"
Rocket sighed in frustration, "He was supposed to look after the pups, but he fell asleep- for about the tenth time- and they scurried out of the Inner Chamber. He dragged me to find the pups before Hukaro found out… unfortunately, the pups had sneaked into Hukaro's chamber, and he was REALLY mad about it. In fact, he seemed to know Kaya was responsible for it, so he assigned him to patrol the Forest borders as punishment. To enworse things, he thought I was to blame as well and assigned to patrol along with Kaya,"
Tom could see Rocket was, indeed, upset about the whole thing. However, a distant sound alerted Rocket, and he turned towards the direction of the sound.
"The sentries are coming! We have to go!"
"But where are we going?" Tom asked in shock as he and his friends struggled to follow the Chezamon through the vegetation of the forest.
"I think the Silver Cliffs should be free of patrols right now! Follow me!"
The blue-furred Chezamon made a sharp turn to the left, which the humans had trouble to imitate. In fact, Peyton could not stop and ran into Kaz, throwing them both to the ground. Rocket stopped abruptly and ran back to the humans as Tom and Luna helped them stand up.
"Rockie, could you slow down a bit? Humans don't have the elastic legs you guys have!" Peyton muttered while shaking dirt off his pants.
"Sorry, but I could not risk being caught hanging out with humans –no offense-," Rocket blushed, which in contrast to his blue fur, gave his cheeks a purplish tone.
"No offended," Tom grinned
"Anyway, where are the Silver Cliffs you mentioned?" Sarah inquired
"The Silver Cliffs are a chain of small mountains reaching high over Mist Forest; actually, I think you could see all of the Overworld if you climbed the highest peak," Rocket explained, "if you're lucky, perhaps you might see the Sky Guard flying around the peak-"
Luna gave him a confused look, "the Sky Guard? What's that?"
"It's hard to explain; you'll have to see for yourselves."
The five humans followed Rocket into the bushes and through the trees… this time at a slow pace.
"I'm telling you, Maxxor! There are Creatures living in the Forest!"
Maxxor closed his eyes and rubbed his temples once again as Bodal tried to find words to describe what he had been through in the Forest of Life; the Keeper of the Arsenal had gone there to try and find a Roth shards, stones which could increase the sharpness of weapons and their range of attack, but he claimed to have been attacked by someone- or rather, something- when he tried to go deeper into the forest. Luckily, he managed to get away, but he insisted that perhaps they should sent an exploration team to explore the deepest parts of the Forest of Life; Bodal thought that perhaps there could be more undiscovered reserves of Roth Shards in those parts, and the best would be to discover them before any of the other Tribes did. However, Bodal's attempts to persuade Maxxor had been unsuccessful.
Maxxor let out a frustrated sigh, "Bodal, we've sent hundreds of exploration teams into the heart of the forest, but none of them have returned. I don't see the case in wasting any more soldiers in exploring that cursed region,"
"I insist, Maxxor! Those lands could be the richest source of Roth shards we could get our hands on!" Bodal persisted, starting to get annoyed
"Besides, Lomma, Intress and other warriors claim to have seen strange Creatures lurking in the depths of the Forest; I already have enough trouble with the Underworlders than having to deal with another angry Creature,"
Despite his words, Maxxor wasn't quite sure of what they said. He still remembered his father telling him stories of a sixth Tribe living in the depths of the Forest of Life, but he had never actually believed them. But Bodal's speech and the disappeared exploration teams was starting to change his point of view on those stories. However, those legends were not worth of sending team after team to their dooms, less with the M'arrillians lurking in the farthest corners of Perim, waiting for the moment to recover their strength. And with the rest of the Tribes still trying to invade the Overworld, he didn't need a lack of soldiers again.
"Please, leave." The Overworld leader finally spoke up, "I have many things to think about,"
Bodal nodded, with a defeated look on his face, and quietly left the room, not wanting to annoy his king any further. When he left, Maxxor headed for one of his man bookcases and searched for a book in particular; after some time he took out a small black book with golden linings from the bookcase, which he recognized as his father's journal when the latter used to go exploring the Forest of Life. All this thing of "gray-colored Creatures" had pricked his curiosity, and what a better thing to read than Kiru's journal. Maxxor opened the book and searched through the pages until he found what he was looking for: a page which had a drawing of the Forest of Life. Unlike other maps he had seen, however, this map had a great dark green spot in the center of the Forest and it expanded to the areas which had not yet been discovered. On one corner of the page, there was writing.
Forest of Life, Lost Creek.
"Three days have passed. Three days since I tried to go further into the unexplored regions of the Forest. No matter from where I try to go, I am always attacked by these mysterious Creatures with fur as dark as the sky when a storm approaches, and with eyes of the color of the sun. Most of my men were not able to escape from these beasts, and their fate is unknown. The surviving warriors insist on returning to the city, for they did not want to have another encounter with those Creatures. I must admit, even I can feel fear growing in the depths of my being; fear for the fates of my comrades, fear for the mysterious beasts that haunt the Forest of Life. But overall… fear for the fate of my Tribe. Our sources of Roth Shards are running out, and I believe the unexplored depths of the Forest of Life may contain the rickets reserves of that precious shard. But it seems that it will be impossible to explore the forest unless an entire army is brought to the forest. I fear I will have to postpone the exploration of the forest until things between the Overworld and the rest of the Tribes have cooled down.
Kiru, Leader of the Overworld."
Maxxor sighed as he closed the book and sat back in his chair, thinking about the writing. Kiru claimed an army would be needed to explore all of Mist Forest, but with things running foul between the Tribes, he needed every warrior available should Chaor attempt an attack on Kiru City
… But he knew someone who could go into Mist Forest with no problem at all…
"Rocket, how high is this forsaken mountain?"
Kaz inhaled and exhaled deeply in exhaustion while attempting to climb the rocky path that led to the lowest peak of the mountain. Luna and Sarah were having no problem at all, but he, Peyton and Tom were already having difficulty breathing due to the pressure of air. It seemed as if all the Forest of Life was below them, which sent shivers down their spine; if anyone fell from where they were, it surely would not be pleasant. Shaoran had caught up to them when they had arrived at the base of the mountain, but he was clearly annoyed when the humans started complaining about the height of the mountain and claimed that their feet ached.
"You humans have no stamina at all!" he commented in annoyance, "what do you do in your free time? Lie in the bed and look at the ceiling?"
"Yes and no," Tom panted heavily, "we watch T.V or play the computer,"
But the Chezamon obviously had no idea what a T.V or a computer were, so Tom decided to drop the subject.
An idea was forming in Peyton's mind, "hey, Shaory, how about we climb on your backs and you take us all the way to the peak?"
Shaoran was incensed, not only by the nickname Peyton was calling him, but what he had proposed, "what do you think I am? A Skeletal Steed?"
"Actually, that might be a nice idea," Rocket added, "with their lack of stamina, it'll take us forever to reach the Silver Cliffs. Perhaps we should let them climb on our back and we'll do the rock climbing,"
"That would… *pant*… be nice… *pant*… if you don't mind…" Sarah panted heavily, her tiredness already getting the better of her
"I doubt they could keep their grip on us if they can't even climb a small mountain," Shaoran growled
"SMALL?" Tom groaned, "you dare calling this mountain small?"
"Hey, compared to the highest peak of Silver Cliffs, this is just a hill,"
Rocket rolled his eyes and rested on the solid rocks, "Luna, you, Sarah and Tom climb on my back,"
"Wait a minute; you're going to leave us with…?" Kaz set his eyes on the red/purple Chezamon, and then looked back at Rocket, "please tell me you're kidding!"
"Oh, come on, Kazzy! I doubt Rocket can carry all of us in his back, unless he can grow bigger!"
"Come on, Kazdan," Shaoran let a smirk draw on his lips, "I don't bite… much…"
Kaz, however, gulped when Shaoran rested and Peyton climbed on his back; the Chezamon looked expectantly at him.
"So, are you coming or would you rather climb about 6 meters?" he teased
Kaz thought for a moment, and decided that riding a giant wolf could not be worse than climbing 6 meters of narrow rocks. He resigned himself and fearfully yet decidedly climbed onto the Chezamon's back and immediately took a hold of Peyton's shirt when Shaoran stood up. Rocket looked at the humans on his back.
"Hold on tight, it's going to be a wild ride,"
Without warning, the two Chezamon gave a jump and landed on a higher rock, almost giving the humans a heart attack. As Rocket and Shaoran jumped from rock to rock, Luna and the others dug their nails on their flesh, fearing to fall in any of those "hellish" jumps. Kaz was terrified; this felt worse than the rodeo he and Luna watched every weekend in TV, and to enworse things he was always terrified of heights. Shaoran could smell fear emanating from the red-furred human on his back, but didn't say anything; he could almost see the Silver Cliffs. After about 15 more minutes, the Chezamon landed on a solid cliff, high above Mist Forest: the cliff itself was very large, about the size of a soccer field, overlooking all over Mist Forest. Even Mist Lake looked like a small lagoon from there. On the rocky wall on one of the sides there were large holes, they looked like dens or nests; the wall itself was part of the rest of the mountain, but clouds blocked the view of the highest peak of chain of mountains, which clearly was even higher than the cliff they were actually standing on. Shaoran and Rocket rested so that the humans could get off their backs; Kaz literally threw himself from Shaoran's back to the cold stone, his face tinted a bit green.
"Hey, I didn't know humans could change color," Rocket commented while taking a closer look to the human
"We don't, at all," Luna explained, "Kaz is just dizzy, that's all,"
"Well, sorry for not being used to riding a 3 meter tall wolf!" Kaz snapped while standing up.
"Take a look at this!" Sarah was overlooking at Mist Forest, amazed at how high they were. The only other time she had ever been this high was when she had climbed to Mount Pillar's peak to scan Oipoint's Lookout, but even the cliff seemed to be higher than the peak of Mount Pillar.
Tom and Peyton were taking a look at the 'holes' on the wall of the mountain, those caves were about the size of a rhinoceros. They took a peek inside one of the caves, and noticed there was what looked like a bed made of hay and straw.
"Dude, who lives here?" Peyton inquired while trying to resist the temptation to enter the cave and rest on the hay
"Those are the Sky Guard's beds," Rocket explained
Tom groaned, "Again with the Sky Guard? What's a Sky Guard anyway?"
A high-pitched howl alerted the humans. They looked around frenetically for the source.
"What was that?" Kaz yelped in shock.
"Sounds like Kazehana is back from his rounds," Shaoran commented while looking up at the sky.
Sarah turned to look at him, "Kazehana? Who's that?"
"That's Kazehana," Rocket replied while pointing at the sky with his paw.
The five humans looked towards the clouds to see a large Creature flying around in circles, descending. It seemed as if he had noticed their presence and was coming down to investigate. Tom, Kaz, Peyton and Sarah stepped back in fear, having to drag Luna since she wanted to stay where she was and meet the newcomer. After a while, the giant Creature landed on the cliff and let out another of its high-pitched howls.
Kazehana, Shaoran and Rocket called him. However, he looked nothing like the Chezamon Hunters. He was much taller, about 25 ft in height, and he was as long as two cars parked behind one another. His slender neck was very long, as well as his pointy black ears, and his tail which ended in black feathers. His legs were quite thicker and more elegant-looking. The most notable characteristic of this Chezamon was its pair of bird-like silver and black wings, which he folded on his back. Kazehana had silver fur with white underbelly, and legs, with a black snout, ears and paws.
In short, Kazehana was like a crossbreed of a griffin and a dragon.
Kazehana set his piercing green eyes on the humans; both hostility and curiosity could be seen in his slit pupils. Humans? How had they climbed all the way there? Actually, how had they gotten there in the first place? However, his answer came when he noticed Rocket and Shaoran were there as well. The winged-Chezamon turned towards Rocket and Shaoran with a questioning look.
"…Shaoran, Rocket, how did these humans get here?"
Rocket gulped; Kazehana's serious tone sounded like he was not in the mood for visitors, "well, Kazehana, these are…"
"Hey there, Kaze!" Peyton cheered, trying to break the tension, "my name is Peyton, and those are my friends, Tom, Kaz, Sarah and Luna!"
The Mipedian player flinched when Kazehana set his eyes on him; however, this time, rather than hostility, he could see there was confusion in his stare.
"Just to warn you, that humans tends to call everyone with nicknames," Shaoran growled softly, "he calls me Shaory,"
Kazehana raised an eyebrow, "Shaory?"
"Wait until you hear the nickname he calls me with," Rocket muttered under his breath.
"Anyway, we came here to get a few scans," Sarah explained while taking her scanner out, "speaking of which, do you guys mind if we scan this place?"
"That does not explain how you convinced these two to bring you all the way up here," Kazehana growled softly
"Well, Kaya told Rocket and Shaoran to bring us here-" Luna was cut-off by a growl from the winged Chezamon
"Kaya? I should have guessed it…" he sighed in frustration.
"You… know Kaya?" Tom inquired
"He's got quite a reputation around these parts. His easygoing attitude is always getting him into trouble with his superiors,"
"Guys, the scans!" Kaz reminded his friends as he took out his scanner.
Shaoran decided to explain it to Kazehana before he took conclusions without asking, like always, "hey, Kazehana, these humans will use those devices they call Scanners to take a scan of the cliff- and probably a scan of you as well- but don't worry, it's completely harmless,"
The winged Chezamon seemed to accept the explanation and sat down, watching as a strange beam shot out of the humans' devices towards the edge of the cliff. However, he felt a chill run down his spine when they pointed their Scanners at him. When those beams shot out, he half-expected to feel a excruciating pain in his entire body, but he calmed down when he realized nothing happened. Luna examined her new Kazehana scan, and saw he could use both Air and Earth attacks.
"Wow, you sure are pretty tough," Sarah smirked as she checked Kazehana's stats.
"I can't wait to use this scan!" Kaz smirked, dying to challenge Herculeon to a rematch.
Kazehana couldn't help but smile quite a bit; these humans were not so bad at all. Actually, he had not seen any humans. He had only heard descriptions of them from the Hunters that were sent to Silver Cliffs to report an assignment from Hukaro or any of the Nobles. These described humans as being annoying, furless and two-legged, but these particular humans seemed to be nice people. He thought that perhaps they would like a little ride… but this time, not on Shaoran or Rocket.
"Hey, humans," he spoke, "do you like flying?"