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The Frozen Empire


Nightfire
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Reunion

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"Hey! Look over there!"

After walking for what seemed like eternities, Koi pointed towards bright yellow and blue figures in the distance. Ghost was immediately hit with happy nostalgia as he looked on and saw his mother, Rowan, and brother, Soil. He scanned the group for his father, Carrion.

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Ghost and Soil went right up to each other.

"Brother! You've returned, like you said you would." Soil's smile was happy, but also weirdly sad.

Ghost smiled. "This is Koi, and that one with a shoulder scar back there is Arctic. We've been sent to see how you're all doing."

"Is living in an Empire good?" Soil asked. "Since the day I led you towards where the Empire would be, I was hoping it would be."

"Yes, so far. Although it seems it's only up from here." Ghost couldn't grin wider if he tried. "Where's father?"

Soil's smile faltered and his gaze darkened. "He died a few days ago.. You're lucky you didn't have to see it."

Ghost was hit with emptying sadness. "I'm.. sorry I wasn't here for him."

"Not your fault at all." Soil's smile was back, but had clearly taken a toll. "That one over there is Dirt. And mother is expecting her last child. We've merged with Bronze and Fire Diamond's family to get better protection from enemies."

Ghost nodded. "Good to see you're well protected against the elements."

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As Fire Diamond had her child, Arctic looked down at the teens and children of the group with a seemingly torn expression, different from their usual serious nothingness.

"Arctic, what's wrong?" Koi asked.

Arctic shook themselves, expression once again being hidden. "We should start heading back soon. I can smell fresh meat.. there might be a balance bear nearby."

"What?" Ghost turned to Arctic, worried.

"It doesn't seem to be close enough to smell us, though. And if it did, it would catch Fire Diamond and her children's scents and be warded off by the poison. They'll be fine. But we have no protection against balance bears, other than our claws." Arctic explained calmly.

Ghost seemed a bit on edge, but a bit calmer. "Alright, if you say so.."

"..Wise elder." Koi finished, looking at Arctic smugly.

Arctic snorted, turning away from Koi. "You seriously have no clue about when it's time to be serious, do you?"

Koi shrugged. "At least I'm not a pessimistic blob of gray grrr I am murderous and I also know a lot."

Ghost began laughing, and even Arctic let out a small chuckle. "Whatever..."

Koi grinned, glad she could get even a nicheling like Arctic to crack a bit.

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11 hours ago, Nightfire said:

Reunion

20210813002145_1.thumb.jpg.fcdc91a220f80704b5cfb08d748b6bd8.jpg

"Hey! Look over there!"

After walking for what seemed like eternities, Koi pointed towards bright yellow and blue figures in the distance. Ghost was immediately hit with happy nostalgia as he looked on and saw his mother, Rowan, and brother, Soil. He scanned the group for his father, Carrion.

20210813002456_1.thumb.jpg.bf6801dc2e45c380620392cfba9f472c.jpg

Ghost and Soil went right up to each other.

"Brother! You've returned, like you said you would." Soil's smile was happy, but also weirdly sad.

Ghost smiled. "This is Koi, and that one with a shoulder scar back there is Arctic. We've been sent to see how you're all doing."

"Is living in an Empire good?" Soil asked. "Since the day I led you towards where the Empire would be, I was hoping it would be."

"Yes, so far. Although it seems it's only up from here." Ghost couldn't grin wider if he tried. "Where's father?"

Soil's smile faltered and his gaze darkened. "He died a few days ago.. You're lucky you didn't have to see it."

Ghost was hit with emptying sadness. "I'm.. sorry I wasn't here for him."

"Not your fault at all." Soil's smile was back, but had clearly taken a toll. "That one over there is Dirt. And mother is expecting her last child. We've merged with Bronze and Fire Diamond's family to get better protection from enemies."

Ghost nodded. "Good to see you're well protected against the elements."

20210813002729_1.thumb.jpg.722bc9acba6b057228c8d74aae76caff.jpg

As Fire Diamond had her child, Arctic looked down at the teens and children of the group with a seemingly torn expression, different from their usual serious nothingness.

"Arctic, what's wrong?" Koi asked.

Arctic shook themselves, expression once again being hidden. "We should start heading back soon. I can smell fresh meat.. there might be a balance bear nearby."

"What?" Ghost turned to Arctic, worried.

"It doesn't seem to be close enough to smell us, though. And if it did, it would catch Fire Diamond and her children's scents and be warded off by the poison. They'll be fine. But we have no protection against balance bears, other than our claws." Arctic explained calmly.

Ghost seemed a bit on edge, but a bit calmer. "Alright, if you say so.."

"..Wise elder." Koi finished, looking at Arctic smugly.

Arctic snorted, turning away from Koi. "You seriously have no clue about when it's time to be serious, do you?"

Koi shrugged. "At least I'm not a pessimistic blob of gray grrr I am murderous and I also know a lot."

Ghost began laughing, and even Arctic let out a small chuckle. "Whatever..."

Koi grinned, glad she could get even a nicheling like Arctic to crack a bit.

(I have a feeling they're soon going to be in danger...but this scene is wholesome

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Hidden in the Snow

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Evergreen pulled Horizon aside to talk.

"Sister, I have some worries for the party that went out to find the Outsiders. What do you really what with them?"

"Why are you doubting what I want?"

"Last time you wanted to track down a group, you slaughtered them all."

"To be fair, they deserved it."

Evergreen looked at Horizon, concerned. "The children we captured deserved to have their families killed?"

Horizon shrugged. "Their parents were criminals. It was fine."

Evergreen sighed. Horizon continued. "And plus. the Outsiders could attack the Empire at any time, with strength in numbers and element of surprise. I need to make sure we're safe."

"And how would tracking them down ensure our safety?"

Horizon didn't respond, looking out towards where the group left. After a moment, she spoke again. "We'll know where they are at all times."

Evergreen looked across the mountain in the same direction of her sister. "I hope you're correct."

But I fear you're not.

 

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A ramfox charged down the edge of the mountain, prepared to attack the group.

"So that's why you could smell food." Koi turned to Arctic. "Should we hunt it?"

"We can defeat it's pack if we work together." Ghost remarked. "It wouldn't hurt anyone, and we'd get some fresh food."

Arctic nodded. "Let's be quick before Horizon worries."

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As the group began attacking the ramfoxes, Ghost noticed someone in the distance. Well, actually, someones.

"What are you all doing here?" Ghost asked. The group looked startled when he mentioned them. "Were you also all sent?"

"Go go go!" Fox Heart scampered ahead, towards the Outsiders group. The rest of the group hesitantly followed.

"What are you-" Ghost started.

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Then, he was hit with haunting realization of what was happening.

They're going to kill my family. And I don't think I can stop them.

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4 hours ago, orinz said:

uh- why is this the first thing we see anything going on with finch? (lol) u literally named this chapter after him

haven't been able to get to do anything with him while making other developments. Same thing with Alecto and Quartz, I really wanted to do stuff with them while they were younger.

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An Unknown Vengeance

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Koi and Ghost instantly rushed down to defend the Outsiders. Finch, King and Alecto hesitated, but Fox Heart's face morphed into rage. She shoved Ghost out of her way. Ghost, having less battle training and weaker defense, fell backwards against the rock.

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Arctic jumped forwards. "Fox Heart, stop. These nichelings have families and children. Even you should know to not hurt children-"

Fox Heart snarled, claw curling around Arctic's arm. "If I can't have my firstborn child, nobody can."

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She shoved Arctic out of the way, racing forwards. Finch ran up to try and get her to stop, but it was no use.

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She jumped forwards, grabbing Rowan by the scruff and flung her into the icy waters; she was dead before she hit the ground.

"NOO-" Soil leaped forwards, slicing Fox Heart's shoulder and attempting to lock his teeth around her eye. Fox Heart backed up, letting him fall with her into the icy waters, before cutting into his stomach with her hind legs and launching him into the sea. He struggled to get breath for a second, blood leaking out of his stomach quickly, before he fell under the water.

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Fox Heart limped out of the waters. Dirt jumped forwards, slashing her face and forehead. Fox Heart grabbed his paw, slamming him down out a rabbit hill, before slicing his neck open, watching him bleed out against the rock.

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The rest of the Frozens were stood in fear. The younger nichelings of the group stared at Fox Heart in horror. To keep him from dying, Alecto had to hold a vengeful Ghost back, exactly as she had done for Fearless, who had died after breaking free.

 

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Fox Heart raced over to the group, claw raised high. The younger nichelings tried to run, but without a runner's paw like the one Fox Heart had, she easily caught up. Ghost watched in horror at the massacre about to happen, when suddenly-

"Mother! Stop!"

Koi jumped forwards, shoving Fox Heart back, who instinctively sliced downwards- attacking her own daughter in the name of revenge.

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The Secrets in the Aftermath

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Fox Heart stopped herself as soon as Koi folded backwards into the crowd of younger nichelings. She backed up, staring at Koi in horror at what she had done. It was like watching fire get poured in water.

Koi picked herself back up, a new darkness in her eyes but wiping off her wounds. After a moment, she asked; "Are you done now?"

The rest of the Frozens raced forwards and pulled Fox Heart away, of whom was staring at what she had done just a moment before. "Yes.. I believe so."

"Good." Koi brushed herself off, voice lighter but still overcast with sorrow. She wrapped a patch of flowers and clover around her wound.

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By now, the rest of the Frozens had arrived. Evergreen watched the clearing with shock, and Horizon with a lesser dissatisfaction. "Let's head back now. I don't like rogue missions." She commented, with a strange half-heartedness in her tone.

Ghost could barely process all that had happened. But he knew something; Horizon was hiding the truth behind this meaningless attack. And he needed to figure it out, before anyone else could be hurt.

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7 hours ago, Nightfire said:

The Secrets in the Aftermath

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Fox Heart stopped herself as soon as Koi folded backwards into the crowd of younger nichelings. She backed up, staring at Koi in horror at what she had done. It was like watching fire get poured in water.

Koi picked herself back up, a new darkness in her eyes but wiping off her wounds. After a moment, she asked; "Are you done now?"

The rest of the Frozens raced forwards and pulled Fox Heart away, of whom was staring at what she had done just a moment before. "Yes.. I believe so."

"Good." Koi brushed herself off, voice lighter but still overcast with sorrow. She wrapped a patch of flowers and clover around her wound.

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By now, the rest of the Frozens had arrived. Evergreen watched the clearing with shock, and Horizon with a lesser dissatisfaction. "Let's head back now. I don't like rogue missions." She commented, with a strange half-heartedness in her tone.

Ghost could barely process all that had happened. But he knew something; Horizon was hiding the truth behind this meaningless attack. And he needed to figure it out, before anyone else could be hurt.

OOOOO go Private Investigator Ghost! I'm glad Koi didn't die.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Parting Ways

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Koi said her goodbyes to the Outsiders. They thanked her for protecting them, promising to repay her, despite her insistence that she didn't need repaying. Fox Heart still looked guilty for what she did to Koi, and kept her distance.

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(Ignore the bones)

And with that, the two groups left each other, wondering when they would reunite.

 

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Meanwhile, Ghost was confronting the group of attackers.

"Why would you attack the Outsiders? They've done nothing!"

"Well.." Finch glanced towards Horizon.

"Well!? That's all you have to say!?" 

"Ghost, let it go." Horizon called out to him. "We've got to return to the camp."

Ghost glared at the attackers. "Fine.."

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Once Ghost had walked out of earshot, Horizon walked towards the attackers. She didn't look pleased with them, but Ghost still felt uneasy about Horizon's involvement. Mind racing, he shivered, scared of the truth, and raced after Evergreen and Koi.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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