Evening fell yet again as it always did near the same time each day, the Sun hinting that soon it would submerge beyond the horizon as it shone its last rays. Zhol and I were still trekking up a hill that seemed to go on for a while—a sign that the mountains were drawing nearer. The trees were thinning out and becoming less abundant and the temperature – although at a leisurely rate – was increasingly dropping. She told me that once we were at the top of the hill we would stop and rest, and depending on how tired we were by the end we would either sleep or keep moving.
It seemed like another fifteen or so minutes before we would reach the hill’s peak, and that seemed to pass painfully slowly. My legs ached by the end, but at least there was relief to aid me as I slumped against the ground and let my eyelids slide down and meet. “Zhol,” I panted, listening as she must have leaned against a tree. “We are not
going on.” I waited about five seconds for a reply, but I decided I wouldn’t get one. “Come on—let’s go to sleep.”
I could only imagine her frown. “It’s too early for that,” she muttered. “And, Dusty—there’s no shelter here.”
I growled with annoyance, dragging on a frustrated noise while opening my eyes to look at her. “Whyyyyyy?” But I knew why. In fact, she had already said why. “Well...can we at least rest for a while?”
“...Yes,” she agreed, sitting against the tree. “With the progress we’re making, we should be there by tomorrow afternoon.”
I blinked with surprise, a frown of my own weaving across my face. “Umm...what?” I questioned with disbelief. Was she crazy? I moved my head to the tall mountains situated still a fair while away. I became disappointed as I realised how close I thought they were compared to the reality. They hadn’t been within my view for the whole day because of trees and that enormous slope, so I had pictured them not to be far. “How do we get to the mountains – let alone climb to the other side of them – in less than one day?” I asked cynically.
Zhol looked surprised. She glanced to the same formations I had been referring to and then back to me. “You...plan on passing the mountains?”
I nodded slowly. “Yeah...” I waited for her to give me an answer to my question, but when I gave her the time to, she didn’t. I then thought of something. “Wait... Your colony... is
on the other side of those mountains, right?”
“No... Was that what you assumed?”
I let my thoughts figure it out, pulling myself up so I was sitting. “Hah,” I chuckled, clearing my face of negative expression. “I never actually asked where it was! For some odd reason the impression I had was that it was...” I sank into a laying position, facing the direction we would head off in. “...So, does that mean the clan lives close to them?”
“Relatively. It’s a few days from the foot of the closest mountain,” the sneasel told me. She rose to her feet and shifted her eyes to mine. “...When is it you want to continue?” she wondered.
I met her soft stare. “Oh, soon...” I answered. “...Come on,” I offered shortly after, brushing the grass beside me with my fluffy tail, smiling with a friendly tone, “take a seat.” I nodded as if gesturing to the spot and telling her to sit. “We’ll wait for the Sun to go down and then we’ll head off. ‘Kay?” I increased my smile and closed my eyes gleefully, and after she hesitated but complied, I began to sway the puff ball on my rear end. She gave somewhat of a smile of her own and bent her knees so her feet were touching and laid her arms so her paws were in the gap between them. “Great view, huh?”
“Mm,” the dark and ice type nodded, and soon after, she stretched out her legs and leant on her arms before extending them behind her. “It’s...pretty.”
“...So, is it possible? Can you help us?”
I stared at the pokémon before me with the same confused and sceptical face as before, trying to understand why these creatures were so boneheaded! And I was still upset with them for their apprehension method. My head hurt. “Wh— Look, I’m sorry, but we have problems of our own right now, and to sto—”
“Please! We’re begging you! We need your help!” pleaded one—the leader, it seemed.
“But you don’t even know if I’m your ally or your foe at this stage! You can’t just gra—” I explained in a what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you manner, but I was interrupted yet again.
“But please! We can see you’re a good pokémon!” the head of his colony tried to convince, his speech impediment getting on my nerves.
“But that doesn’t even—!”
“We’ll give you a reward...” an accomplice – the pre-evolution of the pokémon in charge – cut in hopefully.
I sighed, glancing behind me. My two abductors stood on guard—well, sat on guard at the entrance. They were, too, looking worriedly towards me, their heads lowered to make them look almost as if they had done something wrong, but I knew they were concerned about my answer. “...How long will it take?” I asked after sighing and looking at my toes. I kept my eyes on him with a non-impressed expression, agitated and impatient. My tail flicked with irritation.
“N...not long,” said the supposed superior, looking to his side to the smaller pokémon, and I assumed he began to wonder if I was, in fact, going to agree. By the look on his face, I assumed he was more convinced I would help out.
“No, I want a figure. Minutes? Hours? If you ca—”
“A figure? Oh, no, no. It could be a while before they come back, or it could be in seconds! And the dams usually take most of the night to build,” interjected who must have been second in charge.
I gave her a forced, very light smile as I twitched with annoyance, my hostile eyes getting in the way of my appearance of a calm flareon. But I stopped, going over her words in my mind. “Dam?” I glanced between the two pokémon, a tad eager for more answers. “What dam...?”
Fifteen minutes earlier:
Like I had promised, we rested for around ten minutes before getting up, stretching and clearing the other side of the hill. It had been a while since I had gone downhill, and I was forced to lope down it awkwardly, unable to own control over my ability to stop. Zhol looked as if she had similar problems, but she wasn’t the one who ended up tripping and landing face-first into a tree trunk...
I redeemed myself by picking up my body as if nothing had happened and shaking off. I had become distracted and pounced on a cricket hoping to hop from harm’s way, making sure I didn’t crush it. Zhol watched, looking as if her plan was to press on, but I leapt after the small insect, swiping with my paws and keeping my back end raised.
We stopped moving, and Zhol explained that she was going to go ahead while I remained behind. When I asked why, she said it was to survey the coming area after claiming to have heard chatter. She aimed to keep my mind one-tracked by telling me to keep on my guard before she raced away, swerving behind a mass of bushes.
Every time I spotted a cicada or a beetle to distract myself with, I automatically switched back on task and recited the sneasel’s words to remind myself of my purpose. There were only few as opposed to the many I found earlier, but the answer stumped my toe as I screwed up my face. “Ow,” I whispered quickly, vengeful of the root that had disturbed me and eying it with my slit-like glare. I hadn’t noticed it because of the sly darkness, and it only then occurred to me how dark it had grown. ‘Oh. Well that explains the vanishing bugs.’
“Pick a fight with that root,” someone – or something
– began, “and it’ll become obvious who’ll win.”
I jumped and froze on the spot, the hairs on my body standing on end as if guarding something themselves. I found it rather ironic that Zhol had kept me here to protect me in case whatever was up ahead was harmful when back where I remained was where someone else lurked. And I had no idea what their intentions were! After all that had happened, it could have been anything. I chanced a breath, keeping immobile so I could rake the suspect out of the bushes that had been appearing much more frequently. My front and right side were bushed off, giving plenty of room for a predator of any sort to slip into and conceal themselves. I swallowed, unable to spot even the slightest sign of movement.
“Seriously,” they said again, and I recognised the voice to be male, “you really don’t stand a chance against it.”
I whirled around, the voice reaching my ear from diagonally to my right and back, where the bushes continued to stretch. There was no face...not even a claw I could see. And if I took it upon myself to release fire, it could cause a problem for the forest – as would using toxic – and attacking by using my body wasn’t smart because—
?” I questioned, all fear ridding itself of my body before I acquired an insulted feeling. “Hey! I might look like a regular flareon, but I spurt a mean
flamethrower,” I huffed, throwing my head back and to the side whilst fluffing my mane even more. “...That root wouldn’t last five seconds.”
“Neither would I if you burned down me and my home,” he chuckled, having moved a few paces ahead but still to the right. I frowned, drawing my head back.
‘How could he...move? When I was listening for movement the whole time...?’
“I wouldn’t attack a root,” I confirmed, not so sure about the accuracy of the comment when I spoke it.
“You positive? You’re pretty feisty!”
“Ye-ah. Comes with my attitude. Now how about showing yourself?”
“I’d argue that it comes with your hot temper, you fiery flareon, you,” he teased.
“Wh-what?” I blurted in disbelief, waiting a moment before shaking my head and stuttering in a frustrated attempt to find words and express my angry confusion. “H-h—how can you even say that?!” I exclaimed, my emotions rising.
“Well, quite easily. And I’d say, since you have a flair
for flaring up so quickly...your ideal nickname would be Flair.”
“But you don’t even know me!” I boiled, offended he thought he could be so quick to judge me—even if I was hot-headed! “And I don’t even know you, so how about you just step out—” I squeezed through the shrubs difficultly, barely noticing as thin branches prodded my skin, and came into view of a river. It flowed down a hill to my left, in the same direction Zhol had followed, but disappeared as bushes covered the view further down.
I glanced around, puzzled about the fact that my stalker was not present, and scowled. But at the same time I noticed that the forest had changed. What I was staring out into was a large plain with only few trees. Bordering the plain was the normal forest, but I found it rather odd that there should be such a vast glade when we had seen none till this moment.
The trees and smaller plantation held their posts like troops along my right and turned to stand as a wall far in front of me and continued down the left for a while whilst bordering the exposed area. I knew I was standing in a corner, but something told me that after the part of the forest I had just been before appearing here was more of this open grassland, and since Zhol headed straight forward, she was probably there. I could hear faint noises in the distance and I wondered if perhaps there was any pokémon living further down, but at the moment, I could only see that the river turned into the area further down in a large expanse...
All too fast I was dragged back into the bushes and slammed on my side, and I immediately fired a stream of fire, but it was cut horribly short as I blacked out before I could even feel the adrenaline rush.
A silhouette observed as the flareon was knocked out and restrained, nodding as he imagined he had done a satisfiable job. A section of his lips parted so many fangs glinted as he grunted in a humoured fashion. “Wonder how this’ll end...” With another chuckle, the creature rose and flicked a slim tail. “May fate draw us together again in the near future.” He grinned, looking back another time. “...Now that would be interesting...Flair.”
OH, AND I HAVE AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT TO MAKE! From the next chapter onwards, I won't be capitalising the first letter of 'pokemon' and and other pokemon species name.
Thanks for reading another chapter of Through the Eyes of a Flareon! You know I love you guys. ^^