StarFox Fan Fiction ❯ The End of Cerinia ❯ Chapter 3 ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

The End of Cerinia
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Fox, never have never will. All publicly recognizable characters belong to Nintendo. The character known as Halath is of my own creation.
Author Notes:
-- This will be used for scene breaks and for when the story switches to another character, but it does not mean that a new section of the story has started.
xXx This will identify where each paragraph breaks.
`Character Thought'
Beta Reader: Catsithx
Chapter 3:
As the day passed on, the tribes all rejoiced with a strong sense of luck and safety for the upcoming year. As a whole, the four jungle tribes all took time to honor their fallen. The young ones all enjoyed each other's company splitting into a number of groups to enjoy various activities. They played their games of tag, and hide and seek while others had decided to listen to some stories told by one of the elders watching over them.
As the young ones were playing, the teens had gathered into their own groups with their selection of activities. Some of the females were sparring with each other trying to learn a new trick or something developed by another tribe while yet others talked about who they were possibly going to seek as a mate and comparing the males. Still others found it fun to just watch the males. As for the males, they enjoyed their own sort of duels using magic to try and get the other to submit. Others were talking over who they liked. As usual, Krystal, Luna, and few others were the usual topics of conversation here.
The adults of the tribes all gathered as well to talk about current events and new ways of doing things. A few them copied the teens and starting dueling each other to keep in shape.
As for the elders, they had gathered around with each other to talk about old times. They shared their views on various subjects with each other and debated a few things as well.
As for Krystal, Luna, and Halath, they were both competing in a tournament. Out of the group of sixteen, Halath, Luna, and Krystal all made it to the second round with out losing a fight having not fought each other yet. Halath was easily able to impress the females of the other tribes with his hand-to-hand combat.
Starting a new round, everyone was randomly paired off with another winner if they had won the first round. The losers of the first round would then face with others to failed to claim a first round victory. As the second round finished up, all three of them had once again managed to claim another victory.
With their third round starting, the three of them knew that a pair of them would have to face off this round since there were only four winners in the last round. As the names were picked for the next round, Halath was to face Krystal. Both of them knew that it was a pretty even match having sparred with each other for so long, they almost knew every move the other would make. As for Luna, she was to face a female of the Jungle Valley tribe just a bit younger then herself.
As the round started, Halath moved in quickly. Krystal raised her arms up knowing that she was a bit slow to make the first move herself. Her mind however was as active as ever and she was able to get a general idea how Halath was going to strike. Halath ducked down on his side sliding a bit hoping to grab Krystal's feet with his own and force her to the ground quickly. Krystal foresaw this and jumped as Halath made his move. With Halath still on the ground, Krystal attempted to pin him down before he had a chance to get up.
Halath was quick to recover as Krystal went to jump on him. With Krystal now on the ground and Halath on his feet, he had the advantage. Krystal of course was able to get back before Halath had made it to her, but a slight slip on a bit of mud put her down on one knee giving the duel to Halath. With her down like that Halath simply grabbed one arm from behind while giving her a fair push on the back of her neck almost landing her face on the ground. Knowing that she had lost she submitted the round.
Luna was just as quickly able to finish her opponent leaving the two of them to duel for first place this time. Halath knew he was in trouble. Of all the females of the Jungle Rise tribe, she had taught him more then anyone else. Kind and helpful, when she sparred with people, she would point out their weak points and then show them how to cover that point as well. It was her ability to pick up on almost all new forms of martial arts like those of the Marsh Tribes far south of the Jungle Tribes that gave her such an edge. Of course her natural abilities with her mind didn't hurt matters either. Between the two of them, she was a very skilled fighter even though she preferred peace over anything else.
Everyone gathered around to watch this match. `Oh great.'  Halath thought to himself. `Everyone just has to watch me get my butt kicked.'
“Come on Halath.” Krystal encouraged her friend.
Halath sighed. “Let's get this over with.” He whispered to himself taking his stance. As the match started Luna was the first to move. She ducked down a bit as she moved in with her arms hanging sort of loose. She quickly planted one of her hands on the ground as she swung her lower body forward for a very low kick. Halath was forced to back flip over the attack or risk getting hit by Luna's other leg. Halath landed a bit unsteady almost falling back. This played partially to his advantage though as Luna had already corrected herself and threw another kick his way. As her foot passed his face Halath leaned back further. As Luna continued to turn on her ankle, her tail moved into perfect range for Halath to grab it. With one jerk, he threw himself down dragging a surprised Luna with him. Now on his stomach with Luna on her back beside him, he threw his free elbow back while turning himself over hoping to pin Luna there. Luna was two fast for him however and rolled free of the attack causing Halath to hit his elbow hard on a flat rock that was lying in the ground. This caused a fair deal of pain, but he wasn't out yet.
With both of them once again on their feet, Luna made another dash at Halath. This time having wrapped her tail around her waste to avoid a repeat incident, she performed the same rounded high kick that Halath was unable to counter. She doubled her attack seeing that he had nearly lost his balance the first time. The second one caused him to fall flat on his ass. Taking the opportunity, Luna moved in and pushed him onto his back before taking a quick and sudden seat on his stomach with her back toward him. He went to shove her off, but found his arms tied by her tail. “Problems?” She asked so innocently while smiling.
“I give.” Halath finally stated realizing that he had once again been pinned. With his elbow still in some pain, one of the other females wrapped up his arm after applying a numbing agent to the arm.
As the sun began to set, the visiting tribes all began to gather up to make their way back to their villages. With the last rays of the sun, the celebration had ended. Now that everyone was heading back to their villages, things were calming down quickly. As the sun finished setting, there was no proof that the events had even taken place. The grounds were cleared and cleaned, all of the food had been stored as best as it possibly could, and the drinks had all been bottled for later use. Everyone enjoyed a well earned rest after everything was done.
With the rising sun, the tribe was preparing for the day they had ahead of them. With nothing too big planned for the next week, it was hopefully going to be an easy week. Aside from the basics of keeping the village running like hunting and gathering, maybe a little bit of repairing old tools, the wouldn't be much that needed done.
As Krystal exited her father's tent wearing her usual top and shorts, she decided to just explore around for a little while. She wouldn't be need until that evening any way. After alerting her father to her plans, Krystal took her staff and began on her way. While almost everyone had a staff, very few had ones like Krystal's. Originally belonging to her mother, and her mother's mother before that, this staff had been passed to the first born female for generations. The staff was made of a very unique metal that the tribes had never been able to mimic. It was a light gold in color and light weighed very little, but it was impervious to all forms of damage that it had come across. The rounded gemstone tip had obviously been built right into the weapon as the metal encased all but the front and back of the gems forming a widened tip. It never needed to be polished no matter how often it was used.
As Krystal headed towards the path that led down to waterfall, she noticed that Halath was already a fair ways down the trail before her. She could also see that he was still wearing the bandages from yesterday. It didn't surprise here after all, Halath did hit that rock a little hard. As usual, Halath had his hunting knife strapped around his the side of his waist for easy access. Deciding to see if Halath was up to walking with her, she sped up to catch up with him.
“Hey Halath.” Krystal shouted as she came closer to him. He had nearly made it to the waterfall by the time Krystal had called out to him. Turning, he saw Krystal coming his way. Deciding to wait up for her, he took a seat on a tree stump.
“What's up Krystal?” Halath replied as she caught up to him.
“I'm going to do some exploring for a bit. I won't be needed until this evening anyway. Want to come?” Krystal asked.
“Well, I've got nothing better to do today. As far as I know, I won't really be needed for anything until tomorrow.” Halath replied. “So, which direction are we heading?”
“How about we had towards the valley.” Krystal motioned towards the river, which flowed from the waterfall making its way to the valley below. “We can walk along the river.”
“Ok then, lead the way.” Halath looked over at the river.
The two blue foxes had been walking for about a half hour talking with each about a few subjects. Finally, the sound of rustling leaves got their attention causing both to stop. With his good arm, Halath gently gripped his knife while Krystal held on to her staff with both hands.
A large adult fox stepped out of the brush, his grayish green fur had shown some signs of wear, but it clearly showed that he was the marsh tribes far to the south. It was obvious that he was in his late adult years almost considered an elder. Also quite obvious was the large white fur patch on his head in the shape of an X marking him as an Exile. Although few, the Exiles in general, are considered troublemakers and everyone from the four regional tribal groups were taught this since birth. To be marked as an Exile was the biggest punishment one could receive no matter what tribe one originated from.
Halath quickly relaxed upon seeing the Exile. Krystal however did not. The Exile himself held his own staff, although his was of wood with a very small gemstone tip at both ends. “Andrew.” Halath bowed his head.
“Halath?” Krystal was surprised by Halath's action. “He's an Exile.”
“Not all Exiles are like the others. Unlike my father, I will seek alternative methods of truth and wisdom.” Halath replied. “Just calm down. Andrew is one of my few other friends, just not part of any tribe.”
“I'm not sure about this.” Krystal stated.
“Halath. And you must be… Krystal I think. You've certainly grown since I left.” Andrew stated.
“How have you been?” Halath asked.
“Life on my own can be a bit hard as normal, but I'm in fine health.” Andrew informed Halath. Krystal was still a bit confused. She had always been told that the Exiles could never coexist with the tribes. “What happened to you?”
Halath looked at his bandaged arm. “I joined a small dueling ring in celebration of the day of memory and peace.”
“Who did you lose to?” Andrew asked. Krystal just watched.
“Luna, who else?” Halath stated.
A sudden roar on the other side of the river caught the group's attention. There on the riverbank was a massive Emerald Tiger. It was named such because of its emerald green fur coat. Considered the most dangerous of all predators in the jungle, this was a very rare cat.
Taking a firm hold on his wooden staff, Andrew stepped back just a bit. “We'll need to work together to repel this cat.”
“I won't argue that.” Halath stated clenching the fist of his good arm. Slight sparks traveled up and down his arm. He knew that now would be a grand time to use his unique martial arts. Krystal also took a firm hold of her own staff.
“I'll lead.” Andrew charged forward with his staff off to the side. Dipping one end into the water as he ran across the river that only came up to his knees at this point, he cast his spell. The water wrapped around the end of the staff as Andrew brought it back up. As the staff rose out of the water, the water rose with it. Jerking the end of the staff towards his target the water crashed towards the cat.
Halath was quick to follow up as the water continued on. The cat jumped to the side as Halath jumped in far higher then normal, his feet both giving off sparks of their own. Going for raw power, Halath flipped forward in the air to bring his legs down extra hard. The cat was unable to avoid the attack and Halath planted both of his feet hard onto the cat's head. A small shower of sparks traveled along the cat's body from Halath's attack.
Krystal was already charging in knowing that she had to help. The cat still stood however and jerked its head off to the side throwing Halath off of it. Halath was thrown right into Krystal. Still able to keep herself up, Krystal had successfully managed to catch Halath.
Andrew had now made it to the edge opposite edge of the river now had began casting his next spell. Once again dipping one end of the staff into the water, the water gathered again. Flinging the same end of the staff up provided him with a water-based whip. With his new weapon, Andrew flung whip towards the cat attempting to tie it up. “Halath, now.”
Halath now back on his feet, charged towards Andrew. With sparks flying from his good arm, Halath planted his electrically charged fist into the base of the water whip attached to the staff. As his fist connected, a wave of electricity surged down the watery whip that was still wrapped around the cat. Although Halath's attack had caused Andrew to lose his spell, the attack still worked.
Krystal charged in quickly as the cat was stunned and firmly planted the head of the staff on the cat's own head. The cat fell to the ground as Krystal ran back over to join Andrew and Halath. It slowly rose, roared again, then took off back into the dense jungle.
“Well, that was luck.” Andrew stated. “I assume that it was still a young one. An adult was surely have continued to fight.”
“The ritual at the shrine was far brighter then any other my father's claims to have seen. I was even partially blinded by the glow.” Halath admitted.
“Well, I must be on my way. Come to my hut the next time you get a chance. I've moved it into the trees as of late, but I think I have something that may interest you Halath.” Andrew said as he started to walk off.
“Halath, do you really trust him?” Krystal asked once he was out of ear shot.
“I've been talking with him for years. Yes, I trust him.” Halath replied. “But the question right now is, do we head back or continue on?”
“Let's continue on for a while.” Krystal stated. “Just not so close to the river this time.”
“Fair enough.” Halath replied.
As the two continued on, Halath told Krystal a few of the things he had learned from the Exiles. Like how he had become partially familiar with the ways of the marsh and how they had found a few ways to fight off illnesses that the Jungle tribes had very little experience with. Now on their way back, Halath gave Krystal a strict warning. “While I may not be so easily banished, spreading a few of the things I told can get you banished. Until the day when I have to take charge, there are certain things better left untold.” Halath stated. Krystal could feel the fact that Halath did not like the idea of becoming chief in his warning to her.
“Halath?” Krystal asked deciding to ask confront the subject before they got back to the village.
“Yea Krystal.” Halath replied.
“Whenever you talk about taking charge and becoming chief, I always feel a bit of dislike for it. Why is that?” She asked quietly and calmly.
“Unlike my father, I don't exactly have a real respect among the tribes. If I was to become the chief of one of the other three Jungle tribes, things might be different. As the chief of the Jungle Rise Tribe however, I'll have to keep the peace the between all four of our tribes and the neighboring ones.” Halath explained.
“The other chiefs respect you.” Krystal countered. “Isn't that what really matters?”
“There is a difference between respect and having an understanding with each other. It's the same deal with my father. We may not get along, but we both know that I will take his place one day. As a result, he works harder to see to it that I am ready whether I want the role or not.” Halath stated. “Leading a small pack is one thing, arguments can be kept small and fights avoided. I can have eyes and ears on all sides. I don't question my ability to lead a small tribe either, but to lead four tribes and keep the peace among then and the other Tribal leaders of the neighboring tribes.”
“Halath, you'll do fine.” Krystal stated.
“If I had the respect of the other Jungle Tribes, things may be different. At least in the Jungle Rise village, I have the respect of the females and the males must acknowledge my abilities even without magic.” Halath explained. “I have say and people will listen. However, I am not so well know for my abilities within the other Jungle Tribes. You remember very well how many people I surprised with the fact that I trained my body because I had no magic at the celebration”
“They will come to respect you.” Krystal replied. “You've earned you place in our village more then once even without magic.”
“Unfortunately, our way of life places a lot of value on a male's magic.” Halath sighed. “There are some days I just wish I could go visit the stars and meet other people like in the stories the Exiles tell.”
At last the jungle gave way to reveal the terrace where the Jungle Rise villages rested. The sun was just beginning to fall from the sky.
“Come on, we can talk about this later. I'm going to be needed soon and I'd rather not be late.” Krystal stated as she sped up walking just a bit.
“We have been gone a while.” Halath agreed.