A small grey cat entered the library of Shamrock Shoals.
“Good morning Lara, welcome back. Who are your friends?” The librarian asked. Lara had been accompanied by two other cats, a black one with sparkling fur, green sparkling eyes and a mischievous smile and an orange stripped tabby, white underbelly, sky blue eyes and a knack for medicine.
“These are my sisters KiKi Esmerelda,” She pointed to the black one who waved,” And Stripes, both younger than me.” The orange cat smiled.
“Do you have any medical textbooks available to read?” Stripes queried, and when she was affirmed she went off to read. KiKi began wandering aimless as Lara spoke to the librarian she knew so well. KiKi began walking around the library, glancing over many titles; Reign of Blood, Legend of the Vale, Goose songs. Nothing interesting, so she kept wandering. For a small building, the library was filled with books. She walked past the romance section into the mystery section when she kicked something.
“Ow!” She looked down at the radiator, seeing a large black book tucked beneath it,” Now that’s an interesting book,” She picked it up and sat down beside the radiator. She noticed that despite the extreme heat this book was under, it wasn’t burned,” The War of Powers, a History book,”She opened it and didn’t see a tag that said the library owned it. She began reading aloud,” Once, there was an Angel named Light and a Demon named Dark. They were brother and sister who lived in Harmony, a great palace. One day the brother wanted more and his sister stopped him. They began to fight and brought destruction upon Harmony. The children of Light and Dark continued the fight and it became known as the War of Powers. To this day, none have won or lost the Angelic/Demonic Wars.”
“What’s that you’re going on about?” Lara had snuck up on her.
“Oh...uh, just reading aloud.” KiKi chuckled a little, and Lara smiled.
“Well it’s time to go, and leave that book here, Dad won’t like you bringing it home. Besides, it will be here tomorrow.” She said.
“Ok, Lara, let’s go.” KiKi replied reluctantly before returning the book to a shelf. They collected Stripes and headed out..
“Bye, May.” Lara waved, May waved back before returning to her work.
The three cats exited out onto Main street and began walking back towards their farm.
The battalion birds were getting close to Shamrock Shoals, the puritan cat, Catholic community. Puritans were just the worst, they were adamant that they were the superior race. They only bred with others of their breed and refused to even look at another without disdain. For the catholic cats, the only being higher than them were the lions. Something about their God being the Lion of Judah? It didn’t matter, they listed to the side to line up perfectly with the main street. They set their sights on the cats milling about. They were sent with two purposes, the first was to destroy the town of angel worshipers. The second, covert and kept to three battalion members, was to find the black cat and get her to the church. It would be there that she would be forced to reveal the demon inside. They knew the risk, they always did, but they needed to awaken her Dark magic in the name of the King of Hell. They banked to the right to catch the perfect view of the cat they needed.
“Target acquired; begin assault. Formation Alpha,” The commander cried out. The battalion spread out into formation as a female cat looked up. She screamed and started pointing, more cats looked up to see what was going on. The first birds flew down and dropped their bombs. They smashed into the ground and exploded. Pieces of stone flew everywhere as the next bombers readied themselves. Three birds were tasked with chasing the black cat,” Spread your wings! Assault formation Delta forty-two!” The commander called out. This was the cue for the three birds. Three owls decorated in demonic armour flew down to chase the grey, orange and black cats. A battalion bird dropped a bomb in front of them, the cats skidded to a stop. The black one, their mark, kept going and jumped through it. The grey one told her to go home before racing off with the orange cat. Mortals were not that smart. She took of running while the three owls followed her. More shrapnel flew, the bombs deafening. The mark kicked a soldier from the air as he dove at her. She ran down an alleyway to escape, bad choice.
“Come home, KiKi, the throne calls you back!” A owl screeched past her head. She ducked behind a pillar as the owl swooped back at her. The owl watched as she raced towards a kitten in the street. A bomb was falling towards her head. He shot forward, and just before he hit her, he pulled back. His wings thrust wind forward and propelled her and the kitten out of harm’s way. The owl was thrown to the ground by the shock wave. The owls were tasked with scaring her, not killing her. Their order was not to let her die, she was needed for something big. Luckily, she kept running, while the owl got back into the air. She dropped the kitten beside an older white cat. She exchanges a quick word with the other cat, then they take off running in opposite directions. Suddenly, KiKi tripped and fell on her face,” The Black Throne is in need, she needs you!” Angels began flying in to the town, fighting Demons and confronting the three owls chasing the black cat. They stood guard in front of KiKi.
“This land is blessed by the hallowed Lord of Heaven, begone from this pure land Demons!” They began fighting,” Run to the house of God, KiKi Esmerelda!” KiKi ran towards the church, more Demons flew down to trade places. The three owls flew off to find KiKi.
“Don’t run from your destiny, KiKi! She needs you!” An Angel attacked one of the owls. KiKi kept running to the church. She passed by an injured cat and helped her up, they got to the steps of the church as the priest came out. He helped the injured cat inside as KiKi helped others get inside. The three owls smashed into the ground, they surrounded the church door. It was time to finish their mission. They watched her eyes slit and glow with magic, the priest came out again.
“This land is holy and sanctified, begone foul Demons!” The priest called out, believing the lie they had spread. The only reason they avoided churches was to save it for the best raids.
“Come home, Princess KiKi, come home to the unholy lands of your birth. Seize your birthright, come with us.” He offered as he had been instructed.
“Leave me and my home ALONE!” From KiKi shot a green magical blast. The Demons were thrown back and the priest was knocked away. They had succeeded, so they flew away, coincidentally their commander called a retreat from the Angels. One owl looked back, the black cat had fainted and the priest dragged her inside the church. The Angels chased them away before returning to their cloud filled home.
KiKi awoke inside the church, laying on a pew. The pastor looked worried. KiKi looked up at him like a kit lost in the forest.
“Miss KiKi Esmerelda, are you quite alright?” The pastor asked, the church always use their proper name. Hence they always called her Stripeikai instead of Stripes, and KiKi had both names.
“I’m not sure, pastor, what happened?” KiKi asked unsure as the pastor soaked a cloth in holy water. He applied it to her forehead.
“You cast a demon spell, and then fainted.” KiKi felt a burning pain in her head.
“Agh! It hurts pastor, no more! I beg the Lord, make it stop!” She cried out in pain, other cats who’d sought shelter in the church turned to look. The pastor pulled away the cloth, disturbed that he may have been the one to hurt a child of God. Then he realized something important; only Demons were hurt by holy water.
“Miss KiKi Esmerelda, are you a... a Demon?” He asked shocked, some others listened in.
“No! No, I’m not a Demon, I’m a devout catholic... what did I even do?” She tried to convince them of who she was certain to be. KiKi and her sisters were raised on a catholic farm, they attended school and church in Shamrock Shoals, they entertained magic as wild fantasies. Magic was not real, at least for them.
“You cast a spell, it threw the Priest away, and the Demons. You were yelling at them, tell me why.” The pastor explained, asking his terrifying question. KiKi sat up to remember what they said.
“One of the Demons was chasing me, or maybe it was three? They told me of a throne in a realm of shadows. They claimed it was my birthright, they were calling me... home...” She trailed of, confused, only now really understanding what they were saying. The pastor interrupted her thoughts.
“How does that make you feel?” KiKi sighed and stood. She walked to the altar, stares from the other felines following her. Glares slicing through the church from those who listened to her. She bowed before the altar and prayed aloud.
“Our father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven,” More cats joined her to pray,” Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who tresspass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For this is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen,” KiKi continued alone,” Holy Lord, forgive me for my sins, the sins of the black magic your angel gave to us. Forgive me my harm of your Earthly voice, your priest. I thank the for putting me before your children on this unholy day, to repent and cleanse my soul. I pray that you will watch over us as we rebuild from ruins, that you take your children, gone from this world and open your arms to them. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy spirit, Amen.” She stayed in prayer for a short silence before standing and turning to face the cats inside. One called out to her, daggers in his eyes.
“You cannot pray like that to the Lord, you are a Demon!” His words were filled with silent rage. Another gathered the arms of the church.
“We must cast her from this holy church!” They began edging forward.
“Leave this holy sanctuary, Devil spawn!” A third called out. They grabbed a hold of KiKi and thrust her between each of them towards the doors. The first hissed at her.
“Never come back here, Demon!” She was tossed to the second cat who had spoken. She was thrown out the doors and down the steps. She fell to the ground as the third cat yelled out.
“You have been excommunicated from this church KiKi Esmerelda. From today hence, you are no longer welcome here.” They turned around as she called out, pleading with them.
“Excommunicated? No! I’m not a Demon! What happened to ’treat others as you wish to be treated? Or forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?” It was all in vain, for when they closed the doors, it felt like they had been slammed and locked. She was no longer a member of Shamrock Shoals church. She was no longer seen as catholic. KiKi stood and began walking sullenly through the wreckage of the streets. She kept going, retracing her steps to where she was separated from her sisters. She stared into the crater that she leaped over at the beginning of the attack. She walked slowly around the edge staring into it. She continued sullenly down the streets. Then she saw it.
“Oh no! The library! Miss May! Miss May, where are you?!” She heard a muffled cry, so KiKi began crawling over the wreck,” Miss May, I’m coming for you!” She continued towards Miss May’s cries for help. Once she found where Miss Mary was buried, KiKi began moving rubble and books. She uncovered Miss May and helped pull her out.
“Thank you KiKi, God bless your heart. Oh, look at this, my library has been destroyed. I guess the Devil doesn’t like knowledge,” She chuckled sadly. KiKi took a look around and noticed the large black book under some wood. She picked it up, it was undamaged,” What’s that? That’s not one of my books. Keep it KiKi. Now go home, KiKi, your family will be worried sick.” She had come up behind KiKi. She walked KiKi to the edge of the rubble and watched her pad off.
“Thank you, Miss May.” KiKi replied politely.
Seraphina was worried sick, Lara had taken Stripes and KiKi into town that morning and still hadn’t returned. Her grey husband was freaking out, despite his generally serious demeanor. Her pink and white fur was smoked by ash from the burning stables. She had run inside when it was hit by the Demons. She had to let out the animals and got ash in her fur and a few burns to let those trapped out. Charcoal had been getting all the kids into the cellar, he’d gotten Domino, the twins and Molly into the cellar as Doggy ran in from the fields. They all hid in the cellar while the animals ran off. They came up to the surface after few minutes when the chaos resounding above had stopped. Domino went to fetch the animals immediately with Molly and the twins. Seraphina was putting the fire out with Charcoal and Doggy was pulling the wreckage away into another pile. Charcoal was muttering to himself, they still didn’t know where three of their girls were. Lara and Stripes came onto the farm, Stripes was holding her paw to her chest as Lara supported her. Seraphina raced over to help Stripes, Charcoal followed quickly as Doggy finished and came over.
“There you are, we were so worried.” Charcoal exclaimed, he didn’t usually admit to his feelings, but this was an exception.
“Where is KiKi?” Seraphina asked as she examined Stripes paw. The paw was broken and there was shrapnel in the cuts. Stripes answered her in a wince.
“We got separated, but we told her to come home.”
Lara looked bravely at her mom, “I’ll go find her, she probably went to the church.”Charcoal and Seraphina tried to protest, but Lara had already headed off.” Doggy gave Seraphina a hug and ran after her. Seraphina watched them recede down the road. She began picking out the shrapnel from Stripes’ paw. KiKi ran up through the field carrying a large black book.
“Mum, Dad! Where’s Lara? And the others?” KiKi exclaimed looking around.
“KiKi, darling! Are you alright? What happened?” Seraphina came to her and looked her over for injuries. KiKi replied.
“My paws carried me over a strike and I got separated. Then I went to the church.” Seraphina had questions for her, but Charcoal beat her to it.
“Why didn’t you stay there?” He asked, worried. KiKi replied sullenly
“The Demons were chasing me and telling me things that made me mad. So... I-I cast a spell, I don’t even know if that’s possible for me. But the spell I cast was a Demon spell, so... um... I was excommunicated. I went to the library to see if Miss May was alright. She let me take this book,” She looked around,” Where is Lara?” Domino, the twins and Molly had come back with the animals leaving Stripes to answer her.
“She and Doggy went to go find you. They ran off a few minutes ago.” KiKi looked scared.
“It’s not safe yet! The Angels left!” With that, she dropped the book, turned tail and ran down the road.
Charcoal called after her.
“KiKi! Come back!” She didn’t seem to hear him as she raced off to find Lara and Doggy. KiKi’s main problem was how she thought about others safety and well being before her own.
Lara had come to a stop at the top of the hill that looked onto Shamrock Shoals. Doggy padded up beside her as she spoke,
“Oh no! It’s gone, Shamrock’s been desecrated.” She almost cried.
“All we can do now is find KiKi.” Doggy answered her in his thick accent. He sounded like a farmer, through and through. He would be completely normal living in Shamrock County, if he wasn’t a dog.
“I hope KiKi’s not hurt, or worse...” She began tearing up, all Doggy wanted to do was comfort his sister.
“Nah, I’m not hurt.” KiKi suddenly said. She had snuck up on them as they stood beneath the tree on the hilltop where the road wound its way to the town.
“KiKi! You’re safe!” Lara cried out. She quickly dragged KiKi into a hug.
“What did you expect?” KiKi asked sarcastically. Doggy entered into the conversation.
“Come on, let’s go home.” Lara looked up at him cynically.
“Home? This is no home. A home is a safe place, a place where we are all family, no fighting; only love,” Her next words came as a huge shock to Doggy,” I’m going to find home.” With that, she tore off down the hill towards the mountains. Doggy called after her.
“Lara, come back! KiKi, tell pa that I’ve gone to protect Lara, that we are goin’ to the mountains.” He gave KiKi a hug before going after Lara. Doggy heard KiKi on last time before he left.
“I hope you know what you’re doing, Lara.”
“They’re going where?” Charcoal demanded KiKi when she told him the news. Her mother was appalled.
“The mountains.” KiKi said again.
“Why?!” He demanded, he had lost his temper and KiKi couldn’t explain. At the same time as KiKi was being drilled, Lara and Doggy were holding a conversation in the plains.
“I read once that beyond the mountains, a beautiful forest sprawls, none have been there for decades. We should make it there by nightfall.” Lara explained to him.
“We’ll get there faster if I carry you.” Doggy responded, so Lara nodded and let him crouch down. She climbed onto his back, something they were both used to and he began a slow run. Seraphina joined the conversation on the farm.
“We’ll have to help rebuild before we can leave. The city council would be very angry if we all left . KiKi, since the church’s decision you can calm the animals and rebuild the pens. The rest of us will go help the town.” KiKi’s dad nodded and called to the others. Together, Charcoal and Seraphina left with Domino, Stripes and the twins. Molly stayed behind to keep KiKi company.
“So, this was the final straw?” Doggy asked Lara as the mountains grew larger.
“Yes, I don’t want to live in danger of bombings or in fear of Demons. And in the forest, everyone will be equal. Dogs, cats, birds, maybe even Angels and Demons.” Lara smiled softly, tasting her dream.
“Sounds absolutely perfect, Lara, remind me to congratulate you.” Doggy praised her as he trodded along through the grass.
“I will, Doggy... thanks for coming with me. I’d be very lonely without my best friend and brother.” Lara blushed.
“Of course, and you know pa’d flay me if I didn’t follow.” Doggy replied.
“He’d probably just ground you and make you do twice as many chores. He really loves you, you know.” Lara tried to reassure him.
“I’m not so sure of that, Lara.” Doggy sighed.
“Don’t doubt the truth, Doggy.” Lara hugged him from her perch on his back..
KiKi smiled softly, seeing her sister asleep on the hay. They had done so much, calming the animals and fixing their pens. They fixed up the house and the barn as best as they could.
“Come on, Molsters, we finished. Let’s go to bed now.” KiKi helped her up as Molly replied sleepily. She helped take her to bed before going to work on rolls for meals. With all the work they were doing, they’d need bread and other foods. She began boiling water to make eggs. When they were ready, she peeled them and cleaned them before putting them in the fridge. It was late and the moon had risen to its peak before she went to her room. She hadn’t seem the rest of her family yet, so she pulled out her book to wait for them.
Lara and Doggy had made it to the base of the mountain late in the afternoon.
“Wow1” Lara breathed,” It’s even better up close.” Even Doggy had his breath taken.
“It truly is...but Lara, how will we get into the forest?” He asked, Lara paused a moment.
“I hadn’t thought that far ahead. Maybe there is a way up the mountain. Come on!” Lara replied. She began looking around for a way up, they had come up on a sheer side. It rose at a very small angle to the peak at this point. As she was searching, some rocks fell onto her grey head.
“Ow!” She cried out in pain and shock. Looking up, she saw a deer staring at her. This deer was beautiful, her chestnut fur covered her legs and back, her belly coated in snow. She looked soft, her almond eyes filled with magic and mischief. Her eyes glimmered, did this mean she had magic? Lara had read that those who could wield magic had eyes that sparkled. But the Deer had the same effect that KiKi had, a faint glimmer rather than a complete sparkle. Besides KiKi possessed no magic blood, if she did the church would treat her like a witch. The deer peered down, and Lara noticed a neck piece affixed to her long neck. It was purple ivy, with a gorgeous butterfly in many shades of purple. She tilted her head, Lara looked to her hooves. Her ebony hooves were immaculate, sitting on the cliff, to Lara’s surprise, she was level. Her gaze fixed onto what could be described as a stair case leading up the cliff. The deer turned and began walking up the cliff.
“Doggy! Over here! Hey, wait!” Lara leaped up onto the path and began following the deer, below, Doggy ran to join her. The deer looked back but continued her way up the cliff, just out of reach.
“Wait!... Excuse me!... Do you know how to get into the forest?...Please, I just want to help everyone!” Lara called out, the deer looking back every so often, but not saying a word. She disappeared over the top of the mountain after a long while of chasing. Lara crested and was soon followed by Doggy.
“Whoa! It’s more beautiful than I imagined!” Lara smiled, she was so happy.
“I agree. Doesn’t it look more like a valley than a forest?” Doggy asked.
“Yeah, look at that, Doggy,” She pointed to a huge tree, it was much bigger than the other trees around. The flowers, a vibrant purple, contrasting he darkened green of he leaves. The bark was lined in fuchsia, as it spiraled and swirled about. The center of the valley was a huge clearing, easily about 40 kilometres squared, maybe more. The valley itself was huge, they couldn’t see the far end, or even the sides. The forest was alive, teeming with wild animals, untouched by Pets. Lara vowed that she would do as little as possible to change the land, it wasn’t theirs to take, but she knew it would be the blessings of the Deities that would let her make a home for everyone, ”Now, where did that deer go?” She asked aloud to Doggy.
“What deer?” He asked her, confused.
“The deer I was chasing, that’s how I knew how to get up the mountain.” She looked at him.
“Oh, I didn’t see any deer.” He replied bluntly.
“Well, let’s head down check it out, maybe that meadow will be the perfect place for us.” Lara looked down eh mountain.
“Alright, Lara.” Doggy agreed, as they began their trek down the mountain. This side was easier, sloping at a gentler angle than before. Lara was enthralled with her surroundings, skipping around taking a close look at the flora. She noticed some fauna, but left them alone, she didn’t want o disturb the balance much. Doggy smiled peacefully as he followed. Lara’s eyes lit up as they heard water. She followed the sound and found the stream. She dipped her muzzle and began drinking, then she looked up at Doggy, wonder in her gaze. He tasted the stream and seemed to enjoy it, the coolness, and the sweet taste was mesmerizing. The sun sparkled through the canopy, dappling the soft grass and reflecting in their eyes. Lara turned and saw the mysterious deer watching them. She blinked once, then turned and flicked her tail. She began trotting off into the forest. Lara began to follow her and Doggy joined her. The Deer bounded through the majesty of the regal forest, leading them through thickets. Suddenly, Lara and Doggy leaped out into the large meadow they had seen before. It was much larger than they had thought, sprawling grass and flowers sprouting everywhere. The deer stood at the edge of the forest one hundred paces away. Lara sprang after her with Doggy following. The cloven Pet disappeared into the forest again, looking back to make sure they were coming. She slowed and turned to face them. Her pendant began to glow and she tapped a tree with her nose. She turned and continue down the bent grass. Birds swooped down from the trees and flew over her head, flitting in front of Doggy. She hardly noticed as she continued chase. Doggy was trapped by many birds flying around him. Lara continued until she burst into a glade, she saw the deer, laying in the center. The Pet was calm, didn’t even pant although she’d run up and down a mountain and through a forest. Lara however was out of breath. When she caught her breath, she approached the deer, stopping when she was ten paces away.
“You’re quite fast, who are you? And why did you lead us here?” Lara asked, she dipped her head respectfully, there was something about this deer. She was very regal and well reserved, was she royalty? The deer smiled and answered.
“I led you here because the Moss Stone called you. But you can not hear the Moss Stone, so I was requested to bring you,” She looked to the side and Lara followed her gaze. The deer looked back at Lara as she stared at a large stone covered in moss. The moss was shaved close to the rock in some places, creating a rune of some kind,” I was tasked to help you with your vision.” She looked deep into Lara’s eyes.
“Who asked you to do that?” Lara asked, confused, who knew about her ideas?
“The Great Honeysuckle.” The deer said with great conviction.
“A God?” Lara was still confused, the deer clarified.
“If it helps to understand, yes. I am Dawn, Keeper of this valley. My home is among the animals, not the Pets. I was told that a cat from the Holy Shoals would come with her brother. She would wish to make a new home and I was to help her.” She smiled kindly.
“How do you know all that?” Lara asked.
“She is a powerful Deity. But I’m not to give you this valley, not until you can prove that my valley will remain unharmed. Come, you must meet her,” Dawn smiled as she spoke, a smile of true peace, this deer could calm the storm of questions with that smile. Dawn stood, she was very graceful, and turned to exit the glade. She walked down a path of bent shrub as Lara followed closely. They twisted and turned through the undergrowth as they picked their way towards the Goddess. Dawn’s chestnut fur twisted into different patterns under the light and dark let in through the canopy. She had white speckles on her rump that softened the fur around it. Lara had never met a cloven Pet, or any Pet that wasn’t a cat. Doggy was the only exception to this, but Lara loved meeting new Pets. Dawn practically danced through the forest, knowing where to put her hooves so that she floated across the ground, she left no trace of her presence. She left no broken branches, bent grass, and surprisingly, no scent. She was almost a ghost living alone in an untouched valley. They came into a small clearing, beneath the large tree they had seen from above, ”Meet the Great Honeysuckle.” She motioned elegantly towards the honeysuckle tree. Dawn bowed on her long legs to the tree.
“A tree?” Lara asked skeptically,” A tree told you to help me?”
“Of course not, this is her conduit into my valley. Deer are the Keepers of many sacred valleys, each with a plan. Deer all come from the same place, you know, we are all born in the Vale. We learn what we need and then are sent by Her to our domain. We do her glorious bidding. She called me on my third moon of training and sent me here. She told me her plan to use you as her instrument to create the perfect home. She knows that you can do it, but not by yourself. You will begin with the first task. Spare this valley from the harm of your magic warfare.” Dawn explained.
“How am I to do that, Dawn?” Lara asked, taken off guard by her request.
“Ask her and she will reveal to you her plan.” Dawn smiled softly as she looked towards the tree. She ushered Lara to the tree and beckoned her to lay down. The she beckoned her to touch her nose to the tree. The tree lit up and flower petals began to fall around her covering her in lilac petals. She closed her eyes as a petal landed on one. She opened her eyes, to her shock, the tree was gone. In its place a small throne, adorned by leaves and flowers. Sitting in the throne was a majestic deer, cinnamon fur was speckled with ice white. She had antlers, thought only to be a male deer’s trait, which she held high like a crown. Her auburn antlers were decorated in nature and even had birds roosting. Her eyes sparkled, leaving a hint of peace in her acorn coloured irises. She spoke, a voice full of majesty and magic. Soft yet firm, a voice of reason.
“Welcome miss Lara Claw, welcome to the Vale. The home of the peaceful deer, guardians of Life’s sanctuaries, Keepers of the Valleys, Accolades of mine. I am Lady Honeysuckle, Queen of Nature. I trust Dawn has instructed you on how to proceed?” She welcomed Lara.
“Kinda, she told me to ask you.” Lara admitted.
“Then ask me child of Light.” Honeysuckle dipped her head for a moment.
“How do I keep the valley from harm?” She asked the Goddess.
“I will bestow upon you a spell, a charm. One you will repeat ritually. This will keep the valley from young and lesser magic. God’s and highly ranked magic will pass through. Every week when you refresh the spell, I will commune with you. Now return home, Lara and tell Dawn ‘You walk the light.’” Lady Honeysuckle dipped her head, her antlers glowed and Lara could feel the magic in her as well.
Dawn waited as she had been instructed by her Lady. She lay beside the tree as Lara, the grey kitten, lay communing with the Lady. Lara stirred and pulled her nose from the bark to look at her, Dawn felt a pang of sadness. Lara never would have come if her town wasn’t in ruins. She spoke to Lara.
“So you’ve met my Lady? What has she bestowed you?” She asked as Lara stretched her legs.
“A spell, to keep this land from lesser magic’s destruction. She also told me to tell you, ’You walk the light,” Dawn felt her face light up, she needed to hear that,” What does it mean?”
“It’s the greatest blessing and congratulations for staying true to the Vale’s purpose. Cast your spell and we will proceed.” Dawn stood, she was almost twice her height and had to look down to look into her eyes. Lara seemed nervous, unsure of herself. It was to be expected when she was raised with magic being noting but a fairy tale. Lara turned to the tree and touched it with a paw and her nose. She opened her eyes and they exuded purple light, which filled the tree and raced up to the leaves. As the magic shot up and covered the valley, the voice of Lady Honeysuckle spoke to Lara allowing Dawn to hear.
“Speak with Queen Tianshi and King Diablo. Have them exempt the valley from the war.” The light dissipated. Dawn decided to see if Lara understood.
“It is done. What has the Queen asked you to do?”
“She wants me to speak to Queen Tianshi and King Diablo and have the war removed from your land.” Lara replied, she did in fact understand, this was good.
“Our land, Lara,” Dawn corrected, ”This is our home. Before you go to Heaven and Hell, you must begin your home. Come, your brother is waiting in the meadow.” Dawn walked with Lara back to the large meadow to meet with Doggy.
KiKi was still awake when she looked out of the window to the moon. She sighed and began speaking to the moon goddess, something she did when her mind was racing, when she was anxious.
“What have I done? I’ve shamed my family and myself. Black magic? How? I’ve dishonored my God. I have nothing left... nothing but this black book” She pulled the book to her and opened it. Maybe there were some answers in this mysterious book, Miss May had said it wasn’t the library’s,” The Queen of Darkness, a nightmarish panther who stalks the Realm of Darkness, a realm with no sunlight. All inhabitants can see in the dark, yet there are magical plants that glow. The Queen can have as many children as she likes, but only one will posses the magic, fear, sensibility and sass required to be Queen. Most Queens take their throne at forty years old, and retire at 8,000 years old. ( Really?) The true Princess’s siblings would each receive a personality trait of the mother that would be where their magical talents stemmed from.(Strange.) The True Princess will always take the throne from her mother, be it by force or abdication. There is no record of the crown skipping a generation,” KiKi looked away from the book, ”Oh, this makes no sense, is this a storybook? Oh Lara, if you were here you could help me understand everything that’s happened. Am I a demon like the church says I am? I don’t know who I am anymore.” She began to cry a little, a tear fell onto the page. She didn’t notice, but it seemed to highlight a word in a sentence.
Before she takes the throne, she will face many trials and tribulations.
Doggy woke in the field the next morning, Lara and the deer named Dawn were already awake.
“What a lovely farmhouse. Sizable for a dog and his large family.” Dawn spoke.
“It’s perfect, isn’t it?” Lara asked.
“It sure is.” Doggy confirmed.
“What will you do next, my friends?” Dawn questioned.
“First, we will make a garden, we don’t want to starve here. One day, it will grow to be a large farm to support everyone. Then we will go get my family.” Lara told them of her plan. They began working on the garden.
The whole town was working to rebuild itself, the wounded had been helped, the dead buried and the wreckage moved aside. They worked all through the night and took turns resting in the church and a few of the other safer buildings. They wouldn’t stop until the town was rebuilt, then they would all help out at the farm houses. KiKi and Molly were seen by Domino first as they entered the town with baskets.
“KiKi! What are you doing here?” She hissed after she run over. Domino had heard the news, she didn’t want her sister to be trialed as a witch.
“We came to help rebuild, and we brought eggs, cheese and bread rolls for the town. We noticed that you didn’t come home last night.” KiKi explained, she always thought about everyone but herself. Did she forget that she’d been excommunicated?
“You need to go home right now, before they see you.” Domino scolded her, she was likely to inherit the farm. Lara never wanted it, and Doggy wasn’t a cat. So Domino was next in line, and for that she had always been the leader of her sisters. She was their pa’s first choice to learn a new skill, and likely his favorite based on her sisters votes. Domino didn’t believe that, but took her place as their commander. She did care though, she would say it was to not lose a farm paw, but she didn’t want KiKi here because she knew how cruel the cats could be.
“They’ve already seen us.” Molly jumped into the conversation, interrupting Domino’s thought’s on how to get KiKi out safely.
“Holy Lord! Go! Before they try something.” Domino was exasperated, freaking out.
“If they tried something, it wouldn’t be very catholic.” KiKi sassed her, Domino hated it when KiKi let out the sass.
“Don’t get sassy, just listen to me, please?” Domino pleaded, it was up to her to keep her sisters safe, especially now that Lara had run off. She had heard what the Pets were saying about KiKi, and their family, and what they would do to her. KiKi and Molly were shocked.
“Did you just-” She began but was interrupted.
“Hey, its the Demon!”
“Let’s chase it out!”
“You’re not welcome here!” The cats called out one after another, drawing the attention of more cats. They began to back her into a corner, Molly and Domino were blocked out of the ring.
“Come on guys, I was just trying to help. I’ve even repented.” KiKi tried to tell them she was innocent, but all they read was blasphemy and lies.
“Demons can’t repent, they’re filled with sin and evil!” The crowd cheered in agreement. KiKi began looking around for an escape. They had cheered and stomped making a disturbance in the wall beside them. The tremor reached the top and became the tipping point for some loose rubble. KiKi’s eyes flashed in shock and concern, she made a split second decision. She lunged forward and crashed into the cat who it was falling towards, Domino knew it was aimed at his head and would have killed him if KiKi hadn’t done something. KiKi tried to pull back, but it smashed across her paw.
“Owww!” She shrieked,” How’s that for saving?” She demanded the crowd, drawing her paw to her chest. The crowd was shocked, then one called out.
“She attacked him! She tried to kill him with her black magic!” The others took this as the truth.
“Let’s burn her!”
“Kill the witch!” Domino raced through the group, bowling some aside. KiKi knew what was expected of her and began running on three paws. She raced through more cats and past the family one by one, Domino bowed her head to pray. Molly ran off after KiKi, trying to keep the cats at bay. Cats hurled insults, some tried to attack her, but they didn’t let her leave the town without chasing her.
Black Ice had made it across the ocean and all the way across a country. He had crossed Crabada on a mission to find a safe place to live. He hailed from Goossia, where he lived with his two sisters and their dad. He had walked so far, but he still had to go further. It wasn’t safe in Goossia, what with the gangs and weapons. It wasn’t safe for girls to walk alone, and it wasn’t much better for boys. Black Ice knew that if he didn’t leave then, he wouldn’t see them again. His sister, Crystal Ice, had begged him not to go. Black Ice had told her that it was to keep her safe that he had to go. He had met up with a small group of travelling cats. He had approached them and they had started a conversation. Although he was Goossian, he spoke Egglish perfectly and with no accent. He could sometimes adopt the accent of those he was speaking with. They had been talking for a while before one asked him a question.
“What can you do?”
“What talents do you have?” another asked
“I can do this.” Black Ice responded, in Goossia his talents were known. Anyone with magic had magic and those who didn’t have magic, didn’t have magic. It was just normal in Goossia, so why not here? He waved his paws and blue magic bedazzled his audience.
“Witchcraft?” The first was shocked.
“Stained blood!” The other accused him. So magic was illegal here? They snapped at him, he would have fought back, but it was six to one. He turned tail and ran, racing across the plains. He was looking back towards the six cats chasing him, calling him terrible names. Suddenly, he crashed into a cat as another raced up to them. His pack tumbled from his shoulder as he looked up from where he was laying on the ground to see a black and white cat looking at him curiously. She extended her paw to him, which he took after a moment. She pulled him up and he noticed that her pads were calloused and hard, was she a farmer? He watched as she extended her paw to the cat he’d run into. She was a beautiful night sky of fur, eyes sparkling emeralds set in pearl. He saw a mob of cats behind these girls, and looking back he saw the six chasing him. He grabbed his pack and slung it over his shoulder. Then he grabbed the paw of one of the girls and began running, the other followed suit. He knew of a small rock formation back the way he came, so he started running there. The six cats that were chasing him spread out. The three of them dodged most of them, crashing into a few as they came towards the last, standing his ground. He tightened his grip on the one girl and with his strength, threw her over the cat’s head. He grabbed the other girl and threw her over as well. He pivoted and slid under the cat’s paws, knocking him to the ground. He got up and ran forward to catch the girls. As soon as he put the second girl down they kept running. He turned into a rock formation jutting out of the mountain, the girls slipping in behind him. He stuffed them behind him in the small cave and a blue shimmer appeared before them. The cats saw them go in, they’d look, so he used an invisibility spell. The cats, as he’d predicted, looked in, and when they didn’t find them, they left. He sighed a breath of relief and lowered the shield. He turned to face the girls, their complexions paled, something was wrong. He spoke.
“Ummm, you’re welcome.” He relished their expressions of shock. Although, now he needed to figure out who they were, and why they were running.
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