Angelina looked extremely thoughtful as she sat untop of the big table in the lair she used to store all of her Fox items.
Her brow were creased and her mouth throwing, it really looked like she was in deep thought and Bernadette looked like she was concerned if Angelina was going to break.
Angelina was wearing one of her usual white dresses but was sitting rather casually with crossed legs, and on her lap. Was a piece of red clothe with two eyeholes in it, a red mask.
Angelina frowned as she looked at the mask and Bernadette blinked as Angelina bit together.
"Bernadette." Angelina then spoke up and the mute lifted her head. "Do you think we're doing any good by doing this?" she then asked. "Am I doing anyone any favors? Or am I just being selfish?" she asked.
Bernadette looked at her with questioning eyes and Angelina exhaled as she spread out her legs then jumped down the table with the mask in her hand. "My family don't deserve this." she then commented. "Father, Lolita. They've been through so much. And Lolita is right, the Fox seems to create just as much trouble as she fixes." she stated then she turned her head and walked over to Firestorm, she lifted her hand and petted the proud horse on the mule. "Bernadette…. Would it be better if I just stopped all of this? Right here and now?" she asked. "Set firestorm free, leave this cave, seal it up." she commented. "Or… at least tell Father and Lolita." she commented then she turned back to Bernadette. "What are we going to do from here Bernadette?" she asked.
Bernadette exhaled deeply then glanced at Angelina and it was pretty clear, it was up to Angelina. What-ever Angelina chose Bernadette would follow and support her in her decision, Bernadette was still loyal to the last.
Angelina bit her lip. "I need to think some more, to figure this out." she admitted. "Maybe it would be better to just stop this, and help Lolita some more. She's doing things the prober way, the way that will bring more permanent change." she said. "Is the Fox really needed? I guess that's the real question here." she commented and Bernadette looked at her with understanding eyes.
As Angelina walked back through the tunnel towards the estate a lot of thoughts went through her mind.
If she told about her secret life to Lolita and Francesco, what would they even think? How would they react? Would they be angry? Understanding? Would they feel hurt? Betrayed?
Angelina bit her lip as she held her arm. All Francesco had even done, was trying to protect her to the best of his abilities and she had gone against his wishes, without even telling him about it.
And Lolita, Lolita could perhaps be rather harsh at times but she was always fair, and ones again all she had ever done was trying to protect her only family. She had done everything in her power to do so. And that was the real reason Lolita had become harsh, because she had fought with nail and teethe to protect the things she held dear.
Angelina had the most loving and devoted family in the world and yet she was deceiving them every single day. Thinking of it did made Angelinas heart sink.
Finally she was back at her room and she started to move through the estate as she remembered all the warm memories she had of her family.
She remembered when they had been out at her mothers tribe and had played around with each other, then slept in tent at night.
A few times they had slept like true Akapaki! The entire family together. Esperanza on one side. Francesco at the other and Lolita and Angelina in the middle laying between their parents on animal skins.
It was the happiest and safest Angelina had ever felt! Thinking back at it felt her heart with such warmth, but also longing and sadness.
She remembered christmas they had spend at the estate where they had been taught about the Blakeney values, gotten special food and even presents in the morning! And not just that kind of prober noble ladies items a strict parent would give.
No, Angelina also got things she actually genuinely wanted! Like that slingshot Francesco had made for her.
And a pair of leather boots from her mother. perfect for running outside in any kind of water, sun or rain… It had just been what Angelinas seven year old self had needed back then.
Of course there also had been those practical gifts, those items meant to inspire her to be more calm and lady like, like cute dresses, books and brodery items. But there were also always things that Angelina wanted. Because more than anything in the world, her parents had just wanted her to be happy.
Angelina stepped out in the garden to let the warm sunshine hit her face and she closed her eyes as she took in a deep breath, taking a moment to relish the fresh hair and the scent of all these beautiful flowers around her.
The red roses had been her mothers favorite flowers, they did not grow naturally at this land, only because they had been brought here and been tended to with much love and care had they allowed to bloom and become strong.
Angelina looked up to see her sister basically coming running over the hill, lifting up in her skirts as she was grinning and waving. Then Angelina realized that Lolita was waving a white letter.
"Lolita?" Angelina asked.
"You wont believe this!" Lolita beamed as she finally caught up. "This just came, from Blakeney! The Fabrinos are going to have a fair trial!" she beamed. "Finally our work paid off!" she cried referring to the TON of letters both her and Angelina had written and send to the Blakeney court.
Angelina gaped. "Seriously?" she asked. "That's wonderful!" she smiled.
"Look, see for yourself!" Lolita beamed offering Angelina the letter and Angelina accepted, then she pulled out the parchment and read herself, a very official looking letter that basically promised a safe fare back to Blakeney for the Fabrinos and a fair trial. If now evidence were found they would be handed their estate back.
"This is the best we could have hoped for!" Angelina gaped. "This is amazing!" she looked up.
"Isn't it?" Lolita asked. "Sometimes you just need to give them that push and keep pushing!" she grinned holding up an arm as making a power pose and Angelina smiled amused.
Then she couldn't hold it back anymore as she grinned and grabbed Lolitas hands, then they both jumped up and down as they screamed and cheered like a couple of small girls who had just been asked out by their big crush.
Not even noticing the older man approaching them looking rather amused.
"What's all this then?" Francesco asked.
"FATHER!" Both women shouted as they turned and both embraced his neck.
"We did it! We did it!" Angelina beamed. "The Fabrinos are getting a fair trial!"
"Now the rest is up to them, but I sure feel good!" Lolita beamed.
"Really?" Francesco asked. "Girls that's amazing!" he grinned as they stood back. "And here I thought I would have the great news of today." she shook his head.
"What news father?" Angelina asked curiously.
"You know, it's the darndest thing." Francesco blinked. "I was just riding over to the new settler. You know, Fernando Castillo. Just to introduce myself and see how it's going with his land, and wouldn't you know it. The Red eagles were there and were helping him with the land!" he gaped. "Are you hearing me? The red eagles of all tribes! They usually never want anything to do with Blakeneys at all! If anyone keeps to themselves and get easilly offended it's time! I'm always kind of scared they are going to do something rash, they would be the first ones to do it! But now, they seem pretty happy working with Blakeneys! And then there is sir Castillo himself, he was ready to defend them." he blinked. "Now that's what I call a young man with good morals, usually when new people arrive here it takes a year for them to even accept that we all have to live together with the Akapaki now. He's there already, isn't that something?"
The two women blinked as they looked at him then Lolita blushed as she stood back. "Hehehe, that sure is nice."
Angelina as well looked away. Clearly Lolita hadn't told their father about her little adventure, probably because Francesco would get a minor heart attack if he knew his beloved daughter had been caught in the middle of such a feud.
"It sure gives an old man hope." Francesco grinned. "There's hope for the young ones yet." he blinked and Angelina shook her head.
Then she halted, she reached down in her pocket and let her fingers slide over the edges of a red mask then she swallowed. "Urhm Father. Lolita." she breathed making them both turn to her and Angelina grabbed the mask in her pocket. "Look, I feel like there's something I really ought to tell you." she then said glancing up. "I'm not really sure how to go about it, but I feel like I…" then she halted and her eyes widened as she looked behind the two "EIFREEN!" she shouted and both twirled around to true enough see the older Akapaki man coming walking towards them.
Lolita and Francesco gaped as well. "Eifreen!" Lolita exclaimed. "What, what are you doing here?! The Captain he."
The old Akapaki smiled amused as he reached them. "I think the Captain has bigger fish to fry than a old story teller like me don't you?" he asked amused. "They stopped the search quite a while ago, and well for the Captain all the Akapaki looks the same. I laid low for a while with my tribe, I don't think there's any need anymore. So I came to see some of my favorite people who's always happy to listen to a story!" he smiled.
Then Angelina embraced Eifreen. "It's so good to see you!" she stated and then let go. "How's everyone else? Grandfather? Is he?" she asked.
"Everyone are just fine." Eifreen assured. "We moved camp closer to the city, at the southern territory and we would be happy to get a visit one of these days."
"Then we better oblige." Lolita smiled. "It has been a long time since I last saw grandfather."
"Ugata is of course always welcome at dinner." Francesco then said. "Please send my regards." he asked.
"Of course." Eifreen nodded. "I doubt the chief will come though, he still hates Blakeney food and he's still not happy about who his son in law turned out to be. But then again, his grandaughters is a big draw." he reflected making them all smile amused.
"Will you join us for dinner at least then?" Lolita asked.
"It would be my deep honor Lolita." Eifreen smiled. "Though first, Angelina." he turned to her. "Walk with me." he asked.
"Huh? Oh, sure." Angelina blinked.
"It's okay Angelina." Lolita assured. "I should go ask Lisa if she can make something special, it looks like we have a lot to celebrate!"
"Indeed." Francesco nodded. "The Fabrinos will get their trial, the red eagles seems to have finally softened up, the blackfeathers are safe again." he counted his fingers. "What a day."
"It never rains but it pours." Lolita smiled. "I'll go at ones, see you at dinner if not before!" she beamed as she ran off and Francesco chuckled amused as he shook his head.
"I hope i'll be able to share a glass of something good with you later Eifreen." he commented to the old Akapaki.
"It would be my honour." Eifreen smiled and Francesco offered him a nod then went on his way as well leaving Angelina and Eifreen alone.
Questioning Angelina turned to Eifreen whom glanced down at her.
"Rumors has it that the scarlet fox passed the trials of the spirit warrior." Eifreen commented.
"Oh, yes." Angelina nodded. "That's true."
"She you climbed the cliff, went on a spirit journey and won a battle against the strongest warrior they had to offer?" Eifreen asked and Angelina nodded again. "They must have given you a totem, do you have it?" he asked.
Angelina blinked, but then reached into her pocket and found the necklace which she took out and then offered to Eifreen. Eifreen frowned as he looked at the red totem.
"The red fox." Eifreen frowned.
"Pretty obvious isn't it?" Angelina asked.
Eifreen weighed the totem in his hand then glanced up. "Why do you think you got this totem?" he asked.
"Well." Angelina asked. "Because I told them I was the red fox, I basically took the trials just to proof that what I said was true."
Eifreen didn't look entirely satiesfied, he turned around and started to walk, inviting for Angelina to walk with him as he looked at the totem.
"A totem a spirit warrior is given is a way to reflect the way he or she completed the trial." Eifreen commented. "It reflects what kind of warrior this person is. The fox is illusive, a trickster."
"Yeah I think that pretty much covers it." Angelina commented.
"Does it?" Eifreen asked. "You took a spirit journey didn't you Angelina?" he asked. "Tell me, what did you see as you spend that night out in the forest?"
Angelina blinked, then she swallowed and finally she told what she had seen. The images of her family, Garzia and the Captain. And finally the voices informing her that she was not ready.
"What do you get from all of that?" Eifreen asked.
"I don't know." Angelina admitted. "I mean, I have been wondering. Is what i'm doing even right? Wouldn't it be better if I just stopped? Most of the problems I solve are also problem I created in the first place, I start wondering if the Fox isn't just doing more harm then good." she admitted. "If it wasn't for me those Akapaki women wouldn't nearly have been hanged in the first place, Sergeant Garzia wouldn't nearly have died falling off a cliff. My sister and my friends wouldn't have been poisoned." she swallowed. "It's pure luck that no one is dead yet, but how long will it last?" she sighed deeply. "Things sure are a lot more complicated than I thought they would be when I first arrived." she muttered. "The Fox is only capable of creating havoc where-ever she goes, what good does it make? The Captain is still doing what he wants, people are still hungry, Akapakis still have to live in fear for being shot on sight. Nothing has changed."
"Hasn't it?" Eifreen asked. "I just know that if it wasn't for the Fox I wouldn't be here talking to you, I would be very dead." he commented and Angelina glanced up. "And I heard other tales, tales of a fox whom saved a beautiful horse whom could be considered the king of horses. I heard of a Fox who aided the visiting nobles the Fabrino's in their escape, a Fox whom settled a big dispute among Blakeney and Akapakis before it turned truly ugly. And so many other stories, both Blakeney and Akapaki talk about how they have been rescued. Rumors has spread, people start to view the Scarlet Fox as a hero. I've seen people become inspired, last time I saw Francesco he was but a shadow of himself, I was quite stunned to see him so filled with life right now. The Fox is indeed making a difference."
"But is it for the better?" Angelina asked.
"That I don't know." Eifreen admitted turning to her. "What do you think?"
Angelina bit her lip looking down. "I don't know." she admitted. "I don't know if all of this will be for better or worse by the end."
"Mother died because I weren't there." Angelina swallowed. "Because I didn't do anything, I guess for a while I thought that if I did something now. Things would be al right, as if I could just erase it. But that's not how it works I was wrong." she sighed deeply. "I think what I realised now is that... I don't really know as much as I thougth I knew. I'm not actually that smart or wise, i'm not even that brave. I'm actually quite scared from time to time." she admitted in a wry smile. "And I... I wonder if there's anything I can do. I know it's impossible to bring mother back but I just... I wish I had been able to help when it mattered!" she swallowed. "And I didn't, I let them down."
Eifreen exhaled. "Angelina, even if you had been here. I don't think you could have saved her, your presence here would have made little or nor difference. Of course I can't be sure, I don't know, no one knows. The past though is what it is, it cannot be changed. The question you have to ask yourself is this. What do you wish to do now?"
Angelina frowned deeply as she looked down.
"You're playing a gamble Angelina, a huge gamble. Either you'll win it all or loose it all, what you need to ask yourself is this. Is this gamble worth it?" Eifreen asked. "What do you wish to do as you step forward?" he questioned. "You passed the spirit trials, so I must address you as a true spirit warrior. What-ever you choose, I and other Akapaki will respect."
Angelina exhaled deeply as she closed her eyes, then she looked up. "Eifreen, I can't just stand back and let this happen." she admitted. "I love my father and my sister, I love them so much! Even if I tried to stop now I wouldn't be able to keep that promise, I have to do something. It'll tear me apart if I don't!"
Eifreen smiled a gentle smile then he nodded. "Your mother gave you a totem for your travel, the Red eagles gave you a totem to represent the image you showcase the world. Let me give you a final one, the one to bring it all together." he asked as he reached forward a hand and put something in Angelinas hand.
Angelina blinked as she looked down, opened her hand and was faced with a brown weasel. "Do you remember the story?" Eifreen asked.
"Yes." Angelina nodded. "The weasel, everybody thought of her as being sleek and vicious. They never thought she cared for anyone but herself. Little did they know she had a nest, with three small children in it. The big snake realised this nest exsisted, he thought it would be easy pray. Small little children and a mother whom didn't care. How foolish he was, the weasel cared more than anyone. When he came, the snake who's head was twice as large as the weasels entire body. She didn't back off but attacked him, not even his venomous fangs helped him as she bit his neck and broke it. Killing the snake whom dared to threaten her babies. A weasel may appear to be uncaring, but really she cares more than anyone. She's harmless if you leave her alone, put threaten her family and you're lucky if you get out alive." she breathed then she smiled as she looked up.
"Yes." Eifreen nodded. "It's always so easy to assume. Everyone has their own idea about our dear weasel, that's she's a thief, a pest. That she's weak, meek. But really she's none of that. Her heart is made of gold and she loves her family more than anything else in the entire world. She can be both meek and sly, but beneath it all she is couragous and strong and will not hesitate to defend what she holds dear. As the story teller of your own tribe, the Blackfeathers. This is the Totem I give to you based on your trials. Wear it with pride."
And Angelina swallowed as she tightened her hand around it. "Thank you Eifreen." she said "I'll keep this close to my heart." and then she stepped forward and embraced Eifreen tightly.
And Eifreen smiled warmly as he nodded his head and padded Angelina on the head. "You earned it little one." he assured.
Eventually they re-joined with Francesco and Lolita, they ate and have a good time though suddenly Lolita seemed to remember.
"Angelina." Lolita blinked. "Didn't you say there was something you wanted to tell us?"
"Oh, yes." Angelina nodded. "It's not much really. I just wanted to tell you both that well, I love you both so much. I didn't even realise how much before recently. I know I can be quite unreasonable from time to time, but I really appreciate everything you've both done for me. That's all."
Lolita smiled amused. "That's al right." she said. "You're my sister, I love you to."
And Francesco nodded. "Indeed dear daughter, how can I not love such a caring daughter?" he asked and Angelina smiled warmly, leaving the mask and the necklace in her pocket for another day.
And then that evening, Angelina went down to her cave, she pulled off her dress and threw it on the table making Bernadette roll her eyes. Then Angelina reached for her red shirt, the trousers, the belt. Cape, hat and boots. A long red wig and a mask. Then lastly a totem necklace with the red fox. She stepped towards her trusty horse and petted him lightly before mounting him, then she was off.
Riding over the hills and the land with the sinking sun as her backdrop, and suddenly she remembered. Her own words, from the very first time the Scarlet Fox had ever appeared at the Military head quarter, she had hold the Captain down and spoken her warning.
"You all came to this land as guests, and you would have been welcomed if you had just treated the land and its people with respect. But what you do is to mistreat this beautiful land and making it suffer. Try to remember this, your mistreatment of this land will no longer go unpunished! For every child of this land you abuse I will be there, for every piece of land you mistreat and let die I will be there, for every person you force to go hungry I will be there and I will fight you every step of the way. I'm the Scarlet Fox spirit Rowani. But you simple minds probably just want to stick with Scarlet Fox."
Those had been her words and now they were true! She really was the Scarlet Fox and she would be there! For how-ever long she was needed she would protect this land and the people who lived there.
She was Angelina Pulido! The Scarlet Fox! She was here now and here she would stay!
End of Vol 1.
AN; I feel like this is a natural place to kind of cut off and go on a break. If this was a tely show you could call this end of season one, so yeah i'm going to go on a break for a while now.
Thank you to everyone whom read this far! It really means a lot!