Chapter 9

Snowpup followed Nixheart and Moonshadow as they led her and Stormpup through RumblePack territory. She felt a rush of guilt as she recalled sneaking out when she was a kit still in the nursery, spoiling what the world outside of camp looked like.

Not like it matters anymore. There's still so much of the territory that I haven't seen yet.

"Where are we going first?" Stormpup inquired as he bounced eagerly in-betweens the bigger white foxes.

"We're going to show you the borders of the other Packs," Moonshadow explained, trying to hold back her amusement.

"Aren't there a lot of borders?" Snowpup wondered aloud. "I thought we shared borders with the other fox Packs, as well as wolves and dogs?"

"We do," Nixheart answered, glancing back at his trainee. "That means we have a lot of ground to cover. Less talking and more walking."

The white she-fox frowned at her mentor's sudden rude tone. She pushed it aside as she bounced forward, determined not to let his sour mood get her down. She was going to enjoy her first day as a trainee, learning all she could about the land she called home.

As the four foxes made their way through RumblePack territory, Snowpup kept her sense high alert. She didn't forget her first outing when she and her friends ran into the East City Faction and were nearly killed by the city foxes. She had a sinking feeling that she hadn't seen the last of them if Leafwhisker and Blossomsong's story was anything to go by.

"Snowpup, Stormpup, tell me, what do you smell?"

Snowpup paused as she tasted the air. She picked up many scents. The small of mouse and vole weren't far off from where they were. Along with them, there was a foul smell that made the young she-fox gag.

"What's that horrible smell?"

"That would be MoonPack," Moonshadow explained, her blue eyes glinting as she tried to contain her laughter. "They live across the RumblePath and prefer the darker parts of the forest. As you can see, their part of the woods is covered in shadows."

How do MoonPack foxes stand it? Snowpup wondered as she looked across to the spooky looking woods. She thought she saw a flash of eyes and jumped. What was that?

"Is something wrong?" Stormpup asked looking out towards where he saw his little sister looking towards. "Did you see something?"

"I thought I did."

"Don't worry about it!" the gray-and-white vulpine grinned as he nudged his sibling playfully. "Nothing to be worried about! If those MoonPack flea-bags think they can mess with us, they got another thing coming! No fox will be able to defeat the two of us!"

Snowpup felt herself relax at Stormpup's words. He was right. So long as the two of them worked together, they'd have the other Packs shaking in their flea-bitten pelts!

"You two are getting ahead of yourselves," Nixheart grumbled as he turned to lead the group away from the RumblePack. They had much to see still and couldn't spend the day gossiping like a bunch of elders. "You don't even know how to fight yet. You'd be beaten in heartbeats."

The she-fox frowned at his words. Couldn't he see that she and her brother were only trying to have some fun? Besides, one day it would be true. They'd be the best soldiers RumblePack had ever seen! Maybe even one day they'd be leader and deputy together.

"Don't let him get you down," Stormpup murmured, amber eyes trailing after the larger white vulpine. "Nixheart's just a grumpy old fox."

"I guess..." Why couldn't she have ended up with a mentor like Moonshadow? Any fox in RumblePack would have been better than Nixheart.

"Come along you two! We have much to see and little daylight."

"Coming!"

The siblings hurried after Moonshadow, who had glanced back to see if the trainees were following her. Nixheart had stopped as well and was watching the pair with disapproval in his eyes. Snowpup lashed her tail behind her. She was determined to make her mentor proud of her.

Snowpup flopped down onto her newly made nest in the trainees' den. Her paws ached and her legs felt like they were about to fall off. The sun was nearly down by the time she had turned to camp and she couldn't have been happier to see it.

"I could sleep for a moon!" Stormpup voiced her thoughts as he collapsed into his own nest made by Firepup and Quailpup. "What about you?"

"I could too," she breathed out, curling up into a fluffy white ball of fur. "Today was a lot of fun though, wasn't it?"

"It was," her brother answered. "I can't wait to see what tomorrow's going to bring."

"Will you two shut your traps?" Bluepup snapped as she glared at the siblings. "Some of us are actually trying to sleep!"

Stormpup shot the blue-gray she-fox a look right back and opened his mouth to retort back, but Snowpup placed a paw on his shoulder, shaking her head at the white-and-gray vulpine. She had half a mind to tell her off too, but she knew that wasn't do any of them good. It would only cause them problems and get them into trouble. It wasn't worth it.

"Let it go," she told him once he turned to look at her. "Let's not getting to a fight on our first day as trainees."

"Fine." Stormpup huffed as he backed down and the smirk on Bluepup's face widened, making him growl. "Next time I won't stand down so easily."

"Just go to sleep. Everything will be better in the morning."

He sighed as he rested his head on his paws, tail curling around him. "Goodnight, Snowpup."

She copied her brother as she closed her eyes to let sleep take her. "Goodnight."