“Ready” said Lan,
“Set!” exclaimed Byakko.
“Woof!” Barked Ignis.
The three of them shot forward and dove into the river in front of them. After leaving Dust Hole; Lan, Byakko, Ignis, and George had returned to Tiger Valley for a brief respite. There George had temporarily left the party to begin learning combat from his father Kong. Byakko had told Lan to take a week long break (they still trained here and there of course), and the boy had spent his time building more weapons and tools, during which he learned some basic blacksmithing from Byakko, making useful commodities which included beeswax soap (scented with local wildflowers) and sandpaper (which was what the Byakko household used as toilet paper), and playing with the Valley wildlife in addition to diving into the stockpile of video games he bought in Dust Hole. He had also begun reading a few old books on Dust and aura that he had found in the giant library in Byakko’s palace (which was hardly ever used by the old man).
With a splash, the three of them landed in the water and began to slowly be carried away by the current.
“Ahhhh, nice and cool” said Byakko, his head coming out of the water.
“I think so too” said Lan.
“Woof!” barked Ignis, who splashed out of the water and onto Lan’s head, pushing the boy’s mouth and nose into the water again.
“Blrrbl, Pfffft!” spluttered Lan, as he pulled Ignis of his head.
“Easy boy!” said Lan, “You’re starting to get too heavy to stay on my head.”
Ignis barked happily while wagging his tail, and then swam over to Lan and started licking his face. Lan laughed and hugged the little wolf back.
“Get ready boy” said Byakko
“We’re nearing the waterfall already?” said Lan turning to look towards the sheer drop that was now facing the group.
Indeed, the river that three had dived into was the one at the top of the cliffs surrounding tiger valley, and were currently heading towards the waterfall.
“Here we go!” shouted Byakko, the trio was only 3 meters away from the waterfall.
“Hold on tight Ignis!” shouted Lan
“Ahh! Sharp claws!” said Lan, as Ignis’s front claws dug into the front of his shoulders.
“Whooohooooo!” shouted Byakko as he fell of the cliff.
“Geronimo!” shouted Lan as he fell off. Ignis let out a loud howl.
The three of them happily screamed and laughed as the fell downwards, attracting the attention of many animals in the area. Who looked up from whatever they were doing and watched the specs slowly fall down.
“I believe we have reached terminal velocity!” shouted Lan, who was now completely dry and quite cold.
“Then I’ll see you at the tree house!” shouted Byakko, who reoriented himself in midair and kicked at the waterfall, sending himself flying into the forest. “Naked Freedom!”
Oh, I forgot to mention that both Lan and Byakko were currently wearing what they had on, on the day they were born.
“Throw the thing!” shouted Lan, and a monkey in the cave on the inner side of the waterfall threw Lan a homemade grappling launcher. Lan grabbed it and fired it at Byakko, and the grappling hook quickly became tangled in Byakko’s lower body hair (in this case, I mean his ass).
“Ready little buddy?” said Lan
“Ah, sharp claws!” exclaimed Lan, as Ignis’s back paws dug into his rear end.
Lan then felt a sharp tug in his arm and he was pulled in Byakko’s direction.
Byakko had already reached the forest, grabbed a vine and began swinging from tree to tree. The moment Lan entered the trees, he released the grappling device and grabbed a vine of his own. Lan and Byakko then swung through the forest towards the valley’s giant central tree.
With a giant swing Byakko flew through the air and grabbed onto the side of the tree with his claws. A few seconds later he felt Lan fall onto his back. Laughing, the family climbed up the tree, and when they reached the branches, Byakko began running through them on all fours until they finally burst through the foliage and landed on the hardwood terrace at the top of the tree. Once there Lan detached from Byakko, and Ignis detached from Lan.
George was sitting on the table in the middle of the terrace. Strapped to his back was a small wooden staff and tied to his head was a black headband. Next to the little monkey was a huge pitcher of ice cold lemonade and a pitcher of cold water. George used his tail to lift the pitcher lemonade and poured it into a small cup and a huge mug and then poured some of the cold water into a doggy bowl.
““Thanks”” said Lan and Byakko, picking up their cups and downing their drinks as Ignis leapt onto the table and began to lap water from his bowl.
“Ah this is great” said Byakko, reclining in a hammock with his mug in hand “4 naked guys enjoying the warm sunshine in a tree.”
“Mmmm” said Lan as he lit a fire and placed two pots on it, one filled with an oily beeswax mixture and the other with lye.
“Making more soap?” said Byakko “Don’t you think we have enough?”
“Just getting more practice” said Lan, “Who knows when I’ll have to make other things? Besides, there’s a bit of a demand for it among the animals, so there won’t be a surplus with just me making it.”
“Well, alright” said Byakko “Anyways, have you learned how to use your semblance better yet?”
“A little” said Lan “but for some reason the best I was able to do was make a crystal bigger than a pinky finger if I’m able to get it to work at all.”
“Seems to be some kind of creation type semblance” said Byakko, picking his left nostril. “Well, anyways, you think I can have a few bars of that soap?”
“Why?” said Lan, who was currently mixing the oily mixture and lye together.
“I needs to take a bath.”
Lan almost spilled the bubbling mixture he was working on, as George and Ignis both choked on their drinks. The three of them then turned to look it Byakko’s direction.
“You? BATHE?!” said Lan, doubting what he had just heard.
“Yeah, well I gots to” said Byakko with a wolfish grin, “After all I’m gonna be seeing one of my old ladies when we leave tomorrow.”
“We’re leaving tomorrow?!” shouted Lan, standing up “But what about…wait a minute. Old Lady?! We’re going to meet my grandma?! Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I forgot and—“ Byakko began to explain, but stopped and perked his ears up.
“Scratch that boy, we’re leaving today.”
“What?!” said Lan.
Byakko walked over, grabbed Lan and hoisted him onto his shoulder. He carried Lan over to the edge of the terrace and stared up into the sky. Lan squinted his eyes in the direction his grandpa was looking at. He didn’t see anything at first, but then slowly began to notice a small dot appear along with a low humming sound. He heard the sound of pots being knocked and a yipping sound. He looked behind and saw that Ignis had knocked over the pot of oil and lye and spilt it on himself, the hot liquid had hurt him initially, but his aura protected him and he was now happily licking up the mixture. Lan reprimanded the little wolf, sighed, then then turned his attention towards the sky.
At first he couldn’t see anything, but then he noticed a few dark specs appear in the distant sky. They slowly grew bigger and bigger.
An earsplitting roar came from below and Lan noticed the animals gathering in the valley readying for battle, from the tiniest of mice to the tallest dinosaurs. As a few of them were beginning to glow with aura, Byakko let out an earth-shattering roar of his own.
As the spiritual shockwave from the roar spread across the whole valley, all living beings had the same idea transmitted to them: “they’re friends, don’t attack.”
After receiving this message, the animals down below dispersed and returned to their previous business.
At this time the shapes had come into view. There were 3 large airships in the sky. They were all large oval-shaped cruisers with sharp bows and thrusters behind, at the sides, and below the ships. Each of them also had a picture painted on the side. There was a green tiger, a white rabbit, and a pink pig.
They waited as the airships slowly drew closer. The air was filled with the loud rumble of the engines as they approached until they stopped right in front of the tree.
Byakko rushed out and raised his hands above his head as he shouted “Greetings!”
The ships responded with a multitude of voices crying out ““Put some clothes on you old pervert!””
Lan stepped forward and looked up at his grandpa.
“Who are they?”
Byakko let out a loud burst of laughter and turned his head towards the ships.
“Lift the Flag!” he shouted.
At that moment, 3 black flags came up in unison, each of them had the picture of a tiger’s skull with an eyepatch.
Lan stared at them for a moment and then was struck with clarity.
“Oh no” said Lan, a smile plastered on his face. “Oh no no no.”
“That’s right boy!” shouted Byakko.
Lan turned to Byakko and discovered the man had already donned a pair of poofy pants, a pirate shirt, and an eyepatch.
“Prepare to live with the Beast Skypirate Alliance!”
Lan was sitting in a large room aboard the airship with George and Ignis at his side. He was completely surrounded by rough looking men and woman who were all smiling at him.
After the ships arrived Byakko had leapt onto the lead ship and began conversing with the ones who looked like the captains of the ships. Lan couldn’t see their faces clearly, but could tell from the boisterous laughter that they were well acquainted. Afterwards the three ships launched magnetic grappling hooks which latched onto Byakko’s home, and after they had gathered the things they needed, Lan, Ignis, and George went into the house and were hoisted into the air along with it. They had then come onto the ship with the green tiger and been ushered into the room where they now sat.
Lan looked back and forth between the men and woman feeling slightly perturbed. He didn’t know why, but he felt some strange familiarity with some of the men and women that surrounded him. His hands were in his pockets, clutched around smoke bombs in case he needed them and Ignis and George were ready to spring whenever cued.
“So, you’re the latest huh?” Said a large muscular man with spiky black hair
“Latest?” said Lan, confused “What do you mean?”
“The latest to be picked up by the old man” said a woman with long green hair.
Lan looked down for a moment, thinking, then a look of understanding dawned on his face.
“He picked me up 30 years ago” said a middle aged man with a crooked smile,
“20 years ago for me” said a short haired woman
“13!” said a vibrant youth with brown hair tied up in a bandana.
Many other voices also came up, speaking how many years ago they were picked up.
“In other words” said Lan, Lan paused for a moment, then a huge smile split across his face “Big brothers and sisters!”
Lan shot up and dove towards the group who received the boy with a group hug.
“HaHaHaHa” said a muscular man with spiky black hair, “I like this kid!”
“…So cute” said a woman with a long black hair who was standing in the corner.
Ignis and George had also dove into the fray as soon as Lan did and were currently hugging and licking some of the other pirates.
“That’s why some of you made me think of Grandpa when I looked at you!” said Lan as his cheek was pinched by a woman with green hair and a bandanna “you all were raised by Grandpa too!”
Suddenly the room became quiet and an awkward smile appeared on everyone’s faces.
“Well, actually there’s a different reason for that” said the muscular black haired man “You see –“
“Comin’ in!~~” shouted a boisterous voice, and a moments later the door was kicked down.
Byakko stood there with a bottle of alcohol in his hand. Behind him was a large muscular man with wild white hair similar Byakko’s, only without the facial hair, and gray eyes, a Faunus woman with long white hair, a pair of long rabbit ears, and red eyes, and a Large portly man with short pink hair.
“Getting friendly with the guys huh?” said Byakko with a smile. “Good for you.”
“Well, a lot of them were raised by you.” Said the white haired muscular man “So they would love to be with people who understand them, right Dad?”
“Oh, so you call him dad.” Said Lan with a smile “Does that mean he looked like a dad when he picked you up?”
“Oh-no no no” said Byakko waiving his hand, he then turned to look at the group of people near Lan “You guys haven’t told him yet?”
“We were just about too when you kicked down the door” said the black haired muscular man “Lan, some of us here were picked up by the old man, some of us just joined up on the way, and as for the rest of us~~”
“”“We’re his “kids””grandkids””descendants”””” Shouted many people at once.
“I for example” said the spiky white-haired muscular man “Am this old man’s son, the name’s Tora Muteki, captain of the Jade Tiger Pirates of the Beast Pirate alliance!”
“Daughter” said slender white-haired woman with feline traits.
“Grandson” said a wild-looking black haired youth who also possessed feline traits.
A host of other voices came up, saying their relation to Byakko.
“Wow.” Said Lan, finally noticing all the people who had Byakko’s features. “Grandma must have had it rough changing all those diapers.”
At this, silence filled the room. Many of the people there exchanged awkward glances with each other as a mischievous grin appeared on Byakko’s face.
“Uh, wow…How do I put this” said Tora, scratching the back of his head “You see, grandpa’s been around a really long time you know.”
“Uh huh” said Lan, slightly confused
“And he rarely ever stayed in one place for a long time” said Tora
“Uh huh” said Lan
“Which means that he’s met a lot of woman during the course of his life” said Tora
“Uh hu—…Oh.” Said Lan, finally realizing the truth.
“Yeah.” Said Tora Awkwardly “Dad’s has probably had more ‘relationships’ with woman than any other man on the planet.”
“Bahahahahaha!” laughed Byakko.
“Aiyah” said Lan, placing his hand on his face “this is giving me a headache.”
“Headache?!” came a raspy old voice.
A few moments later an extremely old man dressed with messy white hair and a goatee came into the room. From the white garments he was wearing, Lan identified him as the ship’s doctor.
“Whose got a headache?” said the doctor, pulling out a strange instrument that looked like metal spider “I can help”
“I’m fine” said Lan, who was already hiding behind the muscular black haired man who had first talked to him.”
“Whatcha doin hiding behind Shiga?” said the old man “Come out here so I can—“
It was then that he noticed Byakko.
“Ah, Great Grandpa, so this is where you were!”
“Good to see you again Frank.” Said Byakko
“…Great Grandpa?” said Lan, who looked at Byakko, at the old man who appeared to be in his 90’s, then back at Byakko again.
“Grandpa, just how old are you?” asked Lan.
“Older than the dirt clinging to your shoe” said Byakko wiggling the fingers of his free hand at Lan, “and twice as smelly!”
As soon as these words came out, every person who appeared to be a descendent of Byakko leapt to the windows, flung them open, and then covered their mouths rags. A moment later an ear-splitting crack was heard and the room was filled with a thick gas. Everyone who hadn’t had their mouths covered fell to the ground screaming and gasping for breath (with the exception of Lan, Ignis, and George who were used [as much as anyone could be] to Byakko’s butt bursts). A minute later the fumes were expelled out of the windows and the room returned to normal.
“Why do you always have to do that Dad?” said the white haired woman in disgust.
“Because I am wild, unpredictable, and crude!” said Byakko, as he bent his knees, leaned forward, half-closed one of his eyes, and pointed the index finger of his free hand towards the ceiling. He then brought the booze to his lips, chugged it and then threw the empty bottle out the window, where it hit and killed an unfortunate Ursa many miles away.
At that Lan and many people let out a simultaneous sigh.
Tora, however, let out loud laugh and clapped Byakko on the shoulder while the other two captains, who had exited the room at amazing the speed, reentered.
“That’s my dad!” said Tora “Well, I think it’s time we head home. The ship ready to fly?”
“All three ships have been ready to fly for a while.” Said the white haired rabbit eared captain in a soft and empty voice.
“We was just a’waitin for you guys to finish” said the rotund captain with pink hair.
“Alright alright” said Tora, waiving his hand a smiling, “Let’s shove off!”
The ships’ engines hummed to life as the three vessels made 180 degree turns. Lan and everyone else in the room walked out to the deck and felt the wind whip through their hair. The white haired woman who Lan learned was named Anne Lapin, captain of the Moonstone rabbit pirates, and the pink haired rotund man who was named Henry Shoat, captain of the Pearl Pig Pirates, leapt into the air and landed on the bow of their respective ships.
Tora then turned toward the bridge of the ship which was above the door they all exited from.
“Blast off Little sis!” shouted Tora.
“Aye aye captain!” said the slender white haired Faunus woman who had criticized Byakko earlier.
With a shake, the three ships came to life and blasted forward as they headed towards the distant horizon.
Ignis and George had their mouths opened as the air blew into their faces, enjoying the heavy breeze. Lan stood at the helm, his body trembling with excitement and nirvana as he anticipated the events to come.
“Well then” said Byakko “It’s gonna take a while to get there, so it’s time for my bath!”
A cheer louder than any Lan had ever heard before erupted from the surrounding group.
The start of a new ark, hope it’ll be okay. And just like the last ark, there will be a brief glimpse of one of those special girls.
Anyway, this will also show a bit more about the tale’s main enemies, as well as the blossoming of some of Lan’s abilities (the full blossom of his abilities is after his training at a certain place.) Anyway, hope it’s still interesting.
Also, do you guys know a better way for me to get this to a wider audience? Those who have read so far know my ultimate goal for this story.