Chappie 4!!! ^_^; This is actually the longest one, I think. Lots of action in this chapter, I hope it's good. ^^; And sorry for the extremely long description of Rizumu, I'm not very good at making description, as you can probably already tell. ^______^;;; Well, enjoy, I 'spose!!! XP

Chapter 4: The Legend Begins

Moetatsu was shocked; he had forgotten that there was also a queen. But how could this be? How could he have forgotten? He turned and ran for his life, out of the Yeekola's hunting grounds. 'This is not the end.' He thought.

He felt that something was chasing him, so he looked back and saw a giant, blue, winged Stryoka flying after him. Throjé! "Throjé! Why are you following me? I am leaving you!" Moetatsu yelled, panting, and screeching to a halt.

"No, I know that you are not finished with us. You never gave up that easily before. What makes you think that I would believe that you would just give up that easily? Come on, I'm not that stupid." Throjé said, furry plainly stated in his eyes. He landed in front of Moetatsu, and neither of them moved for a long pause. Finally Moetatsu lowered his head.

"You are right, Throjé. Now that you know my secret, I should just leave," Throjé nodded in approval, but was still tense, and unsheathed his claws, "But I'll never give up!" Moetatsu roared and slashed Throjé on his face, which left a scar that went from one cheek to the other, and the battle was on.

Moetatsu was on top of Throjé in an instant; clawing and biting at him with rage. Throjé roared and kicked Moetatsu off of him, leaving eight deep gashes in his stomach area. Throjé leapt up to his feet and bit Moetatsu on his back leg. Moetatsu roared in pain and flew around, clawing Throjé on his right cheek, leaving three deep scars. Then as Throjé winced in pain swung back around the other way and bit hard on Throjé's right shoulder.

The blood seeped through Moetatsu's binding teeth, as rage filled Throjé. Throwing Moetatsu off, after furiously writhing, Throjé lifted his head and left two long, great scars on Moetatsu's side with his horns. In that same moment Moetatsu gripped Throjé's upper left leg with his claws as pain surged through his body. Both Stryokas were frozen in a moment of pain; Moetatsu gripping Throjé's leg due to the pain left from Throjé's horns, and Throjé roaring due to the pain of thorn-like claws digging into his flesh.

Then Throjé ripped himself out of Moetatsu's grip and reared up, giving Moetatsu the chance he had been waiting for. Moetatsu quickly took charge if this advantage and clawed a huge and deep gash right below Throjé's rib cage. Throjé's eyes went wide and he fell, clutching the wound. He roared and screamed, rolling in the dust. Moetatsu ran up to him, cut him twice in the upper leg on his right side, and gave him two long gashes along his left side.

Throjé gathered all of his remaining strength, thrust his head up, and felt his horns collide with Moetatsu's soft mane, then flesh.

Moonflicker had been chasing after them and saw the horrid sight; Moetatsu writhing in pain; his neck pierced by both of Throjé's horns. Then Moetatsu fell still and silent, and Throjé quietly laid him on the ground, pulling his horns out. Throjé was standing over Moetatsu's dead body, panting; his eyes shocked with horror at what he had just done.

The sun was rising and Sugaku stood outside the den in the cool morning air, waiting for the return of Moonflicker, Throjé, and possibly, Moetatsu. Then he saw something coming over the horizon; it was Moonflicker, carrying Throjé. He ran to help and when Moonflicker saw that Sugaku was coming, fainted under the weight of her heavy load.

Without question Sugaku took both of them on his strong back and bounded back toward the den entrance. Once he got there he took them both straight to Lrenaké's wing.

"What has happened? Why is Throjé so scarred up?" Lrenaké asked, stepping forward to the two forms lying on his floor.

"I don't know, but I think it has something to do with Moetatsu. But he did not return with them, in fact, he has not returned at all. I will assemble a group of my Shreebas to search for him." Sugaku replied, and with a reassuring nod from Lrenaké he took off.

"When they wake, they can tell us what happened!" Lrenaké called after him.

Sugaku dashed down the hall of the den towards his tribe's room. He found most of them napping, some awake watching their little ones while they played with each other. Sugaku called out to the next strongest Shreeba in his tribe.

"Sundew," he said, "I need you to take ten others out and search the Yeekola tribe's hunting grounds for Moetatsu. If you find him alive, bring him back that way, but if you find him dead, leave one behind to guard his body. If he is dead, the rest of you come back and lead me to his body."

Sundew nodded, selected a few other Shreebas, and set off.

"Sugaku-Tan, we have found Moetatsu's body, I have left Nightshadow with it. We found it just outside of Yeekola's hunting grounds," Sundew reported, bringing back the patrol at sunset.

"Alright, Throjé and Moonflicker have awakened and told us the story about what happened and how and why he died. Lead the way," Sugaku replied, standing with Throjé and Moonflicker.

Sundew nodded, turned, and lead the party out into the fading sunlight, Moonflicker and Throjé telling Sundew and her search party the story of Moetatsu.

It was completely dark, with only the moon and stars lighting the way, when they finally came to Moetatsu's body. Nightshadow was hard to spot in the dark, but the bright golden markings that came down from his ears to his cheeks gave him away.

"Now, we are going to have to take him into your hunting grounds," Sugaku said to Moonflicker and Throjé, who nodded, and continued, "But his spirit will be free there. He may choose to come out and posses one of our bodies to try and finish his job. But Sundew, Nightshadow, and I here have the gift of the roar. Meaning that if we each take turns roaring until we bring him out of Yeekola hunting grounds, he will not be able to come out, otherwise he will come out then posses one of us and try to kill the rest of us, then all of the Yeekola tribe, and the Fizzfler tribe.

"Sundew, you will start roaring first, just before we hit the hunting grounds, then, when you have to take a break, I will roar, and when I have to take a break, Nightshadow, you will roar, then on with Sundew and around again." Sugaku finished.

"But, what are we going to do with his body? Why do we have to take him back into our hunting grounds? Why can't we just do whatever you are planning to do right here?" Throjé said to Sugaku.
Nightshadow quickly interrupted Sugaku as he began to talk, "Sugaku- Tan, why don't we see what Moetatsu is planning to do first? Just growl, then he spirit will be able to come out, but it will not have any power to do anything, except talk." Sugaku stared at Nightshadow for a moment, then nodded.

"Yes, that is a good idea, we shall do that then," Sugaku said, and they began to walk.

Sugaku flicked his tail as a sign for Sundew to begin growling, and she did so, in a deep, sort of muffled growl, as they crossed the border. Moetatsu's body lit up in a blinding white light, causing everyone to squint, almost causing their eyes to close. The blinding light turned a bright red, then went dark gold, then silent. There was no movement, no talking, everyone just staring at Moetatsu's body: nothing happening, only the muffled growl of Sugaku sounding. Then a white, transparent ghost-like form emerged from Moetatsu's mouth. At first it was just a glob, having no specific shape or form, then it slowing turned into Moetatsu's head. He was scowling.

"What do you want? Quit growling, you useless Shreeba and let me be free. What, are you just going to keep me bound forever? Trust me, I have my own people in the Yeekola tribe that will help me get you. All of you," the head said, turning as it spoke to look at each being there. The growling was now back to Sundew, and there was fire in her eyes as Moetatsu's head glared at her, mocking her hatefully.

"Grrrrrrr, look at me, I'm a big fat old ugly Shreeba an' I'm here to save you all from the all-powerful and mighty Moetatsu," he mocked, "Put a trap on it, you mangy fleabag, I'm not goin' anywhere."

Sugaku broke in on him. "You're not going anywhere, eh? Yeah, I'll bet!" Sugaku said, lowering his head, flattening his ears, eyes fixed on the head, and grinning slyly. "Come on," he continued, "Do you really think we're going to trust you for what you just did?"

Moetatsu's head came in front of Sugaku in flash, baring its teeth and growling fiercely he roared into Sugaku's face. "What?! You mean killing my own family?! I don't care about them, they always hated me! You would never understand my situation, even if I gave you five lifetimes to try and figure it out! They always teased me about how my underside color doesn't match the rest of my body! They were never fair to me, you would never underst-" the transparent head stopped, noticing that something in the air wasn't right. Then it dawned on him: there was no sound!

No one else had noticed that Sundew had stopped growling, except for Moetatsu. The head quickly turned to Moonflicker, rushed towards her, and slammed into her before she even knew what happened. Moonflicker fell back, Moetatsu's spirit nowhere to be seen. Then Nightshadow shouted a warning. "He's inside Moonflicker, she's possessed! Don't attack her, you'll be attacking Moonflicker's body, and if she dies, he'll just leave her body for a new one!" he shouted.

Sugaku, Sundew, and Nightshadow all had the same thought in their head, and broke out into a loud, ear-piercing roar. Moonflicker was laughing, her normal voice mixed with the high-pitched ghostly voice of Moetatsu's spirit.

"That's no use! Once I'm in a body, those things don't work against me," he said, then turned and ran, heading towards the Yeekola den, laughing wickedly.

Jublee sat with two of her many friends, Coalaj and Riju, chattering away and laughing. They heard paw steps and yelling coming from outside, so they went to see what was happening.

"That's not Moonflicker! It's Moetatsu! Don't attack, he has her body! Run, everyone, run!" Sugaku was yelling to the surrounding Shreebas and Stryokas.

Jublee was confused. 'But, how, she's right there. How can Moetatsu have Moonflicker's body if she's right there running....laughing....in a really strange voice. What's wrong with her?' thought Jublee. All of the sudden Moonflicker came up to Jublee, and snatched her by the paw. She dragged Jublee into the cover of some bushes and spoke to her.

"Jublee, honey, it's me, Moetatsu. Throjé attacked and killed me, so I possessed your sister's body, long story. I just wanted to let you know that I will stop at nothing to make this tribe ours, and to raise our children," he patted Jublee's stomach, "in loyalty. I must go now, Moonflicker's weak body can't take much more of this, good-bye, darling," Moetatsu kissed Jublee's cheek, and Moonflicker's body went limp and fell to the ground, unconscious.

Sugaku saw a bright light come flying out of some bushes and dart towards Jublee's friend Coalaj, then, knowing what Moetatsu was about to do, roared. Moetatsu yelled in dismay, screaming curses to the surrounding Stryokas and Shreebas as he was dragged toward his limp body at the edge of the Yeekola hunting grounds.

Sundew knew that Sugaku couldn't hold his roar much longer, so she took over, and the three gifted Shreebas tore off after the yelling and roaring spirit. The Yeekola campgrounds were totally silent, every creature staring at the faint light of Moetatsu's spirit in the distance in shock.

The long, heavy silence was broken by a soft moaning sound coming from the bushes as Jublee pulled Moonflicker out of them. Throjé was immediately by Moonflicker's side, nudging her head with his muzzle.

Lrenaké came up and examined Moonflicker's body, wile she moaned quietly. Finally he spoke quietly to Throjé, "She will need to rest. Why don't you take her into the den and sleep close to her tonight, she doesn't need to be alone." Throjé nodded, picked Moonflicker's body up on his back, and carried her into the underground den wile Lrenaké instructed everyone else to quietly go to bed.

Moonflicker's room wasn't far from the entrance, lucky for Throjé. He was tired, and still quite shocked at what had all happened since the morning of the competition. Especially at what had just happened the day before.

He laid Moonflicker down on the floor, and snuggled up close beside her. 'I told you I would be there for you, and I was. I love you, and I'm so sorry about what has all happened to you.' Throjé thought as he slipped quietly off into a deep sleep.

Moonflicker awakened to the sound of children playing outside happily together. Then she noticed that something was close to her, and opened her eyes. She saw Throjé's face, it scared her for a minute, but then she just liked his cheek and said, "You're a good friend, Throjé," as he was waking up.

Moonflicker got up, as did Throjé, and he yawned and stretched, showing off his muscles to Moonflicker. Moonflicker smirked and said, "Oh, come on, you fur ball, now tell me, what happened last night? All I remember is standing by Moetatsu's spirit, which was hovering by his head, then I woke up with you by my side. What happened to me?"

"Come on, we can take a walk around the grounds, and I'll tell you the whole story," Throjé said as he and Moonflicker walked out of the den.

As Throjé and Moonflicker returned, Throjé spotted something flying towards them at amazing speed. "What's that?" Throjé wondered out loud.

Moonflicker answered, "It's a Chibou! Probably Rizumu," "How do you know?" Throjé asked.

"We're great buddies. I met her when we went to Echo Springs. That's a pretty good way from here, I wonder what she wants?" replied Moonflicker. Throjé nodded his head in understanding as he watching the Chibou land in front of them, panting. She was orange with blue green stripes all over her body, with an aqua green underside. She wore four tail rings, on bracelet on her back right leg, three belly rings, one wing ring on front left wing with two green feathers and one blue feather in the middle, one gold ball piercing on each ear, one gold ring piercing on each ear, one gold ball on a big flexible metal loop on each ear, and her tribal bracelet which is a Chibou head on a snake body with ruby eyes on her front left leg. She had dragon wings, the inside of them being an aqua green, her bottom eye color is gold and the top color is ocean blue, and her horn were thin and went back to her ears.

"H-hi," was all she managed to say before she fell to the ground, "Just.....let me.....rest a minute....." Moonflicker smiled a friendly smile and sat down, thinking of Apello. A few moments pasted by, but seemed like endless years to Moonflicker, as she stared up into the sky remembering all of the good times she had with Apello and Kilijambaro. "Hey, are you okay?" asked Rizumu. Moonflicker quickly realized that a tear was making its way down her cheek and wiped it away.

"Y-yeah, I-I'm fine. Now, what brings you here? Is something wrong?" Moonflicker asked. Throjé came up by them and sat down.

"Well, not really with me. You see, I heard about all of the deaths and stuff that's been goin' on around here. I know what Moetatsu's plannin' on doing to you guys. He's going to take over the Yeekola tribe and make all of the royal family, including you, Moonflicker, his slaves. But he'll need a new body, an' I think that this new body will be stronger and bigger than his previous one. Right now he's probably trapped inside his old body plannin' this whole thing out.

"But I know of something that can help you. It's called the Sapphire Skies. It's a sapphire colored orb, hanging from a thick, black cord made of ancient twine, impossible to break. Legend has it that it was forged in holy fires, in a holy place. Once you have it, Moetatsu and any other forces of evil, will never be able to harm you or your tribe again.

"But this orb is not completely solid, it is also some sort of liquid. It stays in that shape, but if you touch it, it'll act like water. Also, if you're searching for something, or if something is comin' for you, it'll form the shape of that thing," explained Rizumu. Moonflicker looked thoughtful.

"Now, where would we find this 'Sapphire Skies' at?" questioned Moonflicker.

"We must go through the depths of darkness, over the swelling fall, across the cracked beach, and into the place of ageless," Throjé said, staring hard into nothing. Moonflicker and Rizumu stared at him.
"H-how do you know?" Moonflicker asked.

"In our daycare, when I was young. The elders who watched over us used to say the poem, and told us that it was a real place, that held magical wonders," Throjé explained, motionless and expressionless.

"Yes! That is it! I remember now! We learned that too!" Rizumu exclaimed. Moonflicker suddenly remembered it too and agreed. "I must go back now, I'm very sorry I couldn't help," said Rizumu as she departed in the air for her home.

"No, Rizumu! You did help! We would never have known this without you! Thank you!!!" shouted Moonflicker, almost jumping in the air with the last sentence, "Come on, Throjé! We've got to tell our tribe!"