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The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2015, 10:14:01 pm »
Chapter 6: A Long Night

Sura awoke in the morning feeling awfully tired but as she opened her eyes she became fully awake as everything in sight was covered with a thick layer of snow. Sura looked around the nest in alarm. "What's going on? It's not the cold time" she thought in confusion.
Sura turned to check her children but everyone including Spike was buried under a layer of snow. Sura raised herself but as she did, she uncovered a small hollow beneath her belly and it was filled with...
"Eggs? I haven't laid any eggs" said Sura in surprise. "Well not yet anyway" thought Sura who had hidden the fact that she was pregnant.  
Sura stared around in search of her mate but she could not see him. This made her feel very uneasy.
SNAP
Sura turned her head to the sound of the cracking stick and saw Merri emerge from the underbrush.
Merri was panting, apparently out of breath. "Sura..." she exclaimed in exhaustion.
Sura was beginning to feel very nervous, there was definitely something wrong. "What is it Merri?" she asked.
"It's...Ducky......Sculra's forced her".
Sura opened her mouth in horror "She's taking the trial?" cried Sura.
Merri nodded.
Sura leapt up from her sleeping spot and set off at a sprint toward Crescent Caves, the place were the Trial of Destiny took place. The Crescent Caves got their name because when the featureless rock in the middle of the fast water was viewed from above it looked like a crescent moon. But underneath was a series of underwater caves that were only accessible to a youngling.
Sura was running as fast as her legs could carry her, but she feared she would be to late to stop the Trial.
Finally after what felt like a lifetime of running she arrived at the Crescent Caves, panting with exhaustion just like Merri had when she arrived at the nest.
Sura looked around and saw that the surface of the water was covered by a thick layer of ice and on the bank stood Sculra but their was no sign of Ducky.  
"Where's Ducky!" she yelled at Sculra.
Sculra turned around and her face split into a malicious grin. "Where do you think Sura?" she said rhetorically.
Sura glared at Sculra "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY DAUGHTER, YOU HEARTLESS MONSTER!" she yelled furiously at the top of her lungs.
Sculra looked like she was really enjoying herself. "Whoa calm down girl I have not done anything to your filthy little piece of excrement".
Sura gasped, her fury building beyond comparison, the sheer nerve of that creature.
Sura advanced on Sculra, she felt ready to kill this foul mouthed beast, such was her anger.
TAP...TAP...TAP
Sura stopped and turned her head to look at the ice where the strange sound originated and gasped.
There was Ducky trapped beneath the ice, trying desperately to escape the icy prison that she found herself in.
"Hold on Ducky, I'm coming!" yelled Sura jumping on the ice and slowly advanced to the place where Ducky was trying to break the ice.
When Sura arrived she pounded fiercely on the ice with her feet but the ice would not even crack.
Sura pounded harder, becoming more and more desperate, how long would Ducky survive in that freezing water? But no matter what Sura did the ice just would not break. She tried to dive through it, just as she had done when Spike fell through the ice at the hot springs but only succeeded in getting a painful headache as she fell onto the ice headfirst and lay there felling very dizzy. When finally Sura regained a sense of control she saw Ducky beneath her. The expression upon her daughter's face was one of fear, she pounded on the ice with her fists but to little avail.
"HELP ME!" cried Sura desperately to Sculra but she just stood on the bank grinning.
Sura turned to the ice again but Ducky had disappeared.
"DUCKY!" screamed Sura in despair, her mind was immediately assuming the worst.
CRACK!
Sura looked up and saw the ice break a short distance and to her relief she saw Ducky clinging to the side of the ice shivering, unable to pull herself out of the freezing water.
Sura tried to get up, when she felt a large weight smack into her, pinning her to the ice then she heard Sculra's voice in her ear.
"You will watch this" she hissed in a deadly quite voice.
"Mama!"
"Ducky!" cried Sura reaching out her hand just as Ducky reached out for hers.
They were almost touching when...
SPLASH!
Ducky disappeared beneath the water.
Sura gasped in horror when her daughter disappeared beneath the water. Sura then looked down through the ice and immediately wished she hadn't. The scene before Sura filled her heart with dread and despair.
Blood, the river was turning red with blood.
"DUCKY!" screamed Sura.
SPLASH!
Sura turned her head to the hole in the ice and froze, her mouth hung open in horror. The head of a large eel like Swimming Sharptooth was sticking it's head out of the water and in it's mouth it held Ducky. She was bleeding pretty badly from the places that the Sharptooth's teeth had punctured her skin but she was still alive.
Sura felt tears fill her eyes as her worst fear was coming to pass.
"Ducky NO!" she cried in despair.
"Mama Help" yelled Ducky in pain. She desperately reached out her hand to her mother.
Sura then heard Sculra's voice whisper in her ear. "Take a look at the consequences of defying me".
Sura's face lost all it's colour.
"NOOOOOOOO!" she yelled, as she tried to get free of Sculra, but without success. Sura looked back at Ducky and grabbed her hand in hers.
CRUNCH!
Ducky gasped as the Sharptooth bit down on her chest with unbelievable force, blood spurted from her body and dripped into the water. "mama" she managed to say before her body fell limply in the Sharptooths mouth and became still, her hand that was holding onto Sura's dropped to the ice.
Sura froze. It felt like that moment would never end, she just stared at her daughter who now lay dead in the Sharptooth's mouth.
Sura screamed into the air in pain, at the loss of her beloved Ducky, tears streamed down her eyes and her head fell onto the ice in utter despair.
The Sharptooth opened it's mouth wide and Sura watched as the Sharptooth slowly chewed it's meal, the sound of breaking bones could be heard each time the beast chewed then the Sharptooth opened it's mouth and once again Sura could only watch as the bloodied remains of her daughter were swallowed by the foul creature. Sura closed her eyes tightly in despair, it was the most horrifying sight she had ever witnessed and she could not bear to watch it anymore. When she opened them again, she could no longer see the Sharptooth and Sculra was standing in front of her, with a large rock in her hands.
"Now it's your turn" she said before the rock descended. Sura screamed right before her vision blacked out.

*

Sura let out a startled scream as she awoke, breathing heavily she raised her head and found that it was still night and there was no snow or eggs. Sura turned to look at her children. She found Ducky sleeping soundly next to Spike and still alive. Sura sighed in relieve that was one of the most scariest dreams she had ever had. She gently stoked Ducky with her hand, she knew she would not wake up due to the fact that she had slipped some sleeping plants in with Ducky's dinner. She nuzzled her little one. "Why did it have did it have to be her" thought Sura "She doesn't deserve this". Sura watched Ducky a little longer, to her Ducky was just as happy and innocent as she was on the day she had hatched.  
"Darling are you okay" said a quite voice.
Sura turned her head and saw Ruphus laying next to her, there was a concerned look on his face.
Sura shook her head.
"I had a dream that Ducky was......"
Sura broke down in tears.
Ruphus didn't say anything but held Sura's hand in support and nuzzled her gently with his beak until she had calmed down.
"I know I have had bad dreams too" he said.
Sura looked up at her mate, "Why?" she asked "Why our little Ducky?".
"I don't know dear, but I know that we'll be there for her, we'll help her get through this together" said Ruphus.
"I'm so scared" sobbed Sura.
Ruphus nuzzled her gently "I know dear, I am just as scared as you".
The couple remained in their embrace, providing each over comfort from the harsh realities of life. Finally Sura stood up and walked over to Ducky and picked her up gently and held her safely in her arms.
"Sura?" questioned Ruphus.
I'm heading off to the Hidden Clearing now, it'll be much easier to get their without Sculra snooping around" said Sura.
Ruphus nodded and took up his mate's place beside their sleeping children.
"Good luck you two" he said as Sura left with Ducky.

Sura found the journey to the Hidden Clearing very easy with no one around. She knew that Ducky would be safe there as only her mate and sister knew of the Hidden Clearing due to the fact that they had found it when the first arrived in the Valley. Sura climbed the steep path near the Thundering Falls. The path was concealed behind some bushes. Sura followed the path until she reached a small cave a little way up the cliff face. Sura walked in through the cave entrance. It was pitch black but Sura had taken this trip enough times to know where she was going, Sura climbed along the steep path until she saw the dark starlit sky through an opening at the back of the cave, she walked through the opening and found herself in a beautiful little clearing surrounded by bushes and trees that were packed so tightly together that nothing could move through them. A large stream ran through the middle of the clearing and the distant sound of Thundering Falls could be heard over the trees.
Sura approached the tree line and gently laid herself down into an old nest, which she had made when she first came to the clearing.
Sura carefully placed the still sleeping Ducky down beside her and proceeded to wrap her tail around herself and Ducky.
Ducky yawned tiredly and cuddled up to her mothers warm body.
Sura smiled, she knew that this would probably be the last peaceful night that Ducky would have for a while. Sura curled herself around Ducky in a protective posture before she finally went to sleep in that peaceful little clearing.


There's the next chapter for you. Please don't go to hard on me for that scary dream at the start of the chapter.
What's the point in being mad if you don't do mad things now and again?


LittlefootAndAliTogether

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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2015, 09:03:36 am »
If Scurulua is capable of doing that to Ducky, I suggest Saru introduce her to Chomper one dark night......     :lol  :lol  :lol  :lol  

(Chomper would do it, I think, if he knew it could save Ducky's life.)


Cancerian Tiger

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« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2015, 09:34:05 am »
That sure was one screwed up dream.  I hate it those kinds of dreams, which are rare for me thank goodness.

LittlefootAndAliTogether

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« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2015, 09:38:32 am »
I had dreams of being attacked by demons before.  I'd had worse, trust me, than Saru.

Seriously, Chomper needs to eat Scurula Deville and all of her wicked allies.  


The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2015, 04:25:09 pm »
I know you to mean. Sculra in a vile villain but she has many allies and if Sura went up against her she would not stand a chance even if Chomper was on her side.

LittlefootAndAliTogether

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« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2015, 04:34:48 pm »
I meant, assassination in the dead of night.  Besides, there are other Sharpteeth that Chomper could bring in, even agreeing to help get Screech and Thud "some food" if they were to leave him alone or something.  

Anyway, I hope Scurula Deville ends up dying and not poor Ducky.

As for the morality of that, I think it might be moral for a parent to save her daughter's life by resorting to such means, especially as Scurula has done this to try and get rid of Ducky and she seems as capable of murder as Sierra and Ozzy.

How many allies does Scurula have?  I think the safer thing would to be hide Ducky with the Longnecks and get Grandpa and Grandma Longneck, and Topps and Tria to help deal with Scurula.  Seriously, that Scurula sounds like someone who shouldn't be allowed in the Great Valley.  


The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2015, 05:51:49 pm »
If only it were that simple because Scrula is actually the one with Sharptooth allies that are more then capable of stealth assassinations as you will see later. The only thing that keeps her in the Valley is her position in the Swimmer herd.
And in terms of hiding Ducky, they can only hide her for so long and at the moment the safest place for Her is the hidden clearing.
And as for Sculra, she has a bad reputation but her most darkest side is only known to the Swimmer's. Thankfully she'll get what she deserves soon enough.

LittlefootAndAliTogether

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« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2015, 11:57:03 pm »
Quote from: "The Lone Dragon" on  
Thankfully she'll get what she deserves soon enough.

Hopefully it will involve her Sharptooth minions turning on her, a very well fed Chomper, or her ending up drowning in the rapids instead of Ducky.  

Anyone who wants to kill Ducky, other than because they are hungry or if she is trying to kill them, must really be cold-hearted indeed as she's so sweet!   :anger  :anger

As for her stealth assassination, I hope she doesn't kill anyone in the Gang of Seven or anyone in Ducky's family.  :blink:  :blink:

The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2015, 10:32:44 pm »
Chapter 7: Many Meetings

Ruphus walked swiftly away from the watering hole at the lunch break. He had to find Sculra and knock some sense into her, he didn't care how he would do it but he was determined to do all he could to protect his sweet young daughter, who had probably begun her training with Sura by now.
Ruphus remembered what had happened in the morning when he woke the children up. The tide of questions about the whereabouts of their mother and Ducky was enormous. Ruphus had to be clever here in order to keep his cover from being blown. "Well children Ducky has gone with your mother to do some training for the Individual Trials, the training is taken in private so they left early and sometimes it can take a few days, so don't be surprised if they are gone a few days" said Ruphus.
This response seemed to satisfy everyone except Spike who was always very close to Ducky and didn't like the fact that Ducky had disappeared over night without saying goodbye. But he was thankfully okay with it.
Ruphus continued on his trek until he found Sculra by the great tree star tree.
He advanced cautiously forward.
"Well hello Ruphus" said Sculra in an unusually kind voice "and what brings you here?"
Ruphus glared at her, he knew that she fancied him, but he already had his lovely mate Sura. Ruphus reflected "This must be another reason why she doesn't like Sura. Sura has taken the mate that Sculra always wanted. Giving Ducky the Trial might just be a way to get back at Sura". The thought disgusted him, that Sculra would try to get back at Sura for silly reasons and the way she would do it was to sent Ducky to her death.
"You know why I'm here Sculra, so you can drop the act.
"Sculra rolled her eyes "Such a pity, this had to happen but it's not that bad a loss, I mean we could have had many wonderful children, that were ten times better then Sura's" she said in a sweet girly voice.
Ruphus felt his fist clench, he glared furiously at Sculra then he spoke in a very serious and firm voice.
"I would not trade any of my children for you even if you were the last female in the world" he said in a angry, low voice. "How can you take pleasure from this? How could you take away Ducky from me and Sura? she does not deserve this".
"I assure you Ruphus" said Sculra in an irritated voice. "I take no pleasure from this, but is she not the fastest Swimmer in your family and didn't she save that young Spiketail when he fell into the river?".
"Ducky was also saved by Sura on that occasion you seem to have forgotten Sculra. Look why don't you just let her go and stop the Trial? It is a tradition that we should have forsaken long ago. Look Sura and I will do anything for you to stop the Trial" replied Ruphus.
Sculra eyed him closely, then a wide smile spread across her face.
"You'll do anything to save your daughter?" she asked curiously.
"I would".
Sculra smiled and said in a sly voice "My terms are this: you shall forsake Sura and be my mate, Sura will then resign her position as herd leader then she and the rest of her children will then leave the Valley and never return,  then I might consider stopping the Trial".
Ruphus stared at her his anger was at boiling point "So after Sura resigns and leaves with her children and I become you mate YOU WILL ONLY CONSIDER STOPPING THE TRIALS!". Ruphus yelled, he finally lost control and charged Sculra knocking her to the ground and pinning her with his foot. "HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOU HAD TO SENT YOUR CHILDREN TO THEIR DEATHS!" shouted Ruphus at the top of his lungs. He didn't notice that he had attracted a few adult Swimmers who watched the scene with numb shock.
Ruphus pushed his foot over Sculra's neck and pushed down firmly, he had taken to much from this vile fiend and now he would end her life.
Sculra choked and struggled but she was helpless to save herself.
This gave Ruphus immense satisfaction but before he could complete the job, he was grabbed from behind by at least three Swimmers and pulled away from Sculra.
Sculra got back to her feet and glared at Ruphus. "I will enjoy watching your dear mate's reaction when her daughter's blood fills the river and all that remains of her is a bloodied bit of flesh!" she hissed fiercely. "I don't know why you bother saving her when you've got more children coming".
"What?" said Ruphus suddenly taken aback.
"Didn't you know?" said Sculra suddenly curious "Sura is pregnant".
Ruphus gasped in astonishment "Sura's......pregnant?" he thought, how could he fail notice, he knew perfectly why Sura hadn't told him, she had done it before: made it a surprise but in this case with the Trials coming up she also did it to stop Sculra finding out in order to keep the eggs safe. "Looks like she failed at that" thought Ruphus, he looked at Sculra.
"Yes, I knew from the first moment Ruphus with all the pregnancies I've seen, I would be surprised if I hadn't noticed" she replied to Ruphus questioned look. Sura will lay eggs soon so I suggest that you watch your step in the future or those eggs will never hatch".
"You wouldn't dare!" said Ruphus.
"You just make sure that Ducky takes the Trial and no one will get hurt" said Sculra in her sweetest voice.
"Except Ducky, you want Ducky to......". Ruphus was breathing hard and fast he could not bring himself to say it. "Just to hurt Sura. YOUR A MONSTER!" he yelled, he knew their would be no compromise now, this talk was a waste of time, so he played his last card.
"If you harm any of my children, smash any of Sura's eggs or kill my daughter then I will not rest until you share her fate" he said in a deadly voice before he turned and left without another word or backward glance. "If only those other Swimmers had not intervened then Sculra would be dead and Ducky would be safe" he thought "and all this trouble would not be". Ruphus was right, but there was a lot more trouble to come before the big day.

By noon the news among the Swimmers that Ducky was taking the Trial had circulated around the Valley and it hit many very hard, the possibility of losing a such a young innocent and happy child was just unthinkable and this news quickly spread to the other herds and Grandma Longneck.
As the bright circle began it's decent Grandma Longneck met up with Grandpa Longneck.
"Hello dear" he said as she approached "I'm going to get Littlefoot, it's late and-" Grandpa stopped when he saw the expression on his mates face, she had tears in her eyes.
"What's wrong dear?".
Grandma took a breath "You should not get Littlefoot just yet, we need to talk".
"What is it?"
"Do you remember The Swimmer Trials?" she asked
Grandpa seemed to understand what she was getting at "The Trial of Destiny?" he asked. Grandma nodded and began to sob quietly, her mate nuzzled until she calmed enough to talk.
"Sura's......daughter......Ducky has been......chosen" she said between sobs.
Grandpa's face took on a grim look.
"Oh dear, she's such a lovely little Swimmer, why did it have to be her?" he said sadly, he sounded like he had aged several years after he heard the news.
"Why don't they...just throw...that cursed Swimmer leader...out? stuttered Grandma through her tears, the news had hit her hard, she always liked Ducky, she was so selfless and kind, to hear that she would probably be dead soon was a very hard prospect to accept.
"Sculra has all the power and only Sura stands against her dear. Does Littlefoot know about this?" asked Grandpa
Grandma shook her head. She did not want to think about how Littlefoot would react after being told that he would be helpless to save Ducky from death, just as he had been when he lost his mother. "It's not fair on him" said Grandma mournfully "he has already lost his mother and now he is faced with losing one of his best friends".
Grandpa nuzzled her again.
"No it isn't" he said "but we can help out Sura, anything we could do to help could make a difference".
"What about Littlefoot?" asked Grandma "we'll have to tell him soon".
"We will tell him when it is the last few days before the Trials, or if he asks, I don't want him to bear this burden longer then he must" replied Grampa.
The two longnecks nuzzled each other, they knew what they would do. Finally Grandma asked the crucial question:
"Do you think Ducky can successfully complete the Trial and survive?".
"I hope so dear, I hope so" replied Grandpa.

In the evening, after sundown Ruphus and Merri lay next to each other, the rest of the children were fast asleep. Merri told Ruphus how Littlefoot and his friends had enquired about Ducky's absence, when they came to watch the family train.
"I told them exactly what you told our children and they brought it, I feel so sorry for them, Ducky is in danger and they don't even know about it" said Merri.
Ruphus then told her about his talk with Sculra, she was just as shocked and angry as he had been when Ruphus told her what her demands were.
"That dirty foul mouthed son of a......" she said furiously continuing with her curses. "How could she be so heartless and selfish?" she asked.
"I don't know" replied Ruphus "She just is".
He took a long breath and finally voiced his concerns to Merri.
"I think we should consider fleeing to the mysterious beyond" he said.
Merri stared at Ruphus, her mouth hung agape.
"Why?".
"Because" said Ruphus "I don't think Ducky can master the Swimmer Wisdoms, you know there is a reason that only elders are allowed to learn then, they are considered way beyond the abilities of a youngling and Ducky's ability to master those skills is the only thing that will save her".
Merri considered what Ruphus said.
"Sura is a good parent and a good teacher, I'm sure she can teach Ducky the wisdoms, and by the way, running is out of the question. Sculra will just sent out word to the other herds that we've been banished and what will we do then? It is a bad idea, we won't survive long and we have too many children to look after" said Merri with reasoning.
"We are about to have a whole lot more"
Merri looked at Ruphus.
"Sura's pregnant".
The announcement shocked Merri just as it had done with Ruphus.
"That's great news, but why didn't she tell us?"
Ruphus sighed. "She didn't want Sculra to find out, it would mean more danger after she lays her eggs, which won't be long I'm sure, but Sculra already knows, she told me and she already started threatening the loss of the eggs before they are even laid".
Merri pondered this for a while, it seemed that their troubles were only growing bigger and bigger each day, and they could not resist or Sculra would hurt the children and they couldn't stop her, she had many allies while they had none.
Merri looked at Ruphus. "I wonder how Sura and Ducky are going in the Hidden Clearing?" she said quietly.
"I hope those two are okay" thought Ruphus. He wanted to be there to help Ducky but he had to look after the rest of the children. "and I hope Ducky will be okay" he thought before turning in for sleep.

Hope you like the chapter.

LittlefootAndAliTogether

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« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2015, 10:47:00 pm »
Why did they stop him?  The world is better off without Surula.

The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2015, 04:01:01 am »
Sculra has a lot of allies among the other Swimmers and none of the others would have liked Ruphus to become a killer on account of her.

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« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2015, 11:09:54 pm »
Chapter 8: The Terrible Truth

Ducky awoke in the afternoon after a very good night sleep, she had a strange dream that she and her mother were moving through a dark cave, then through an opening she could see a night time sky which was literally dotted with innumerable stars, all that she remembered was going through that opening and just seeing the starlit sky above and the pleasant smell of water.
Ducky stretched her arms and yawned. That was when she opened her eyes to find nothing in front of her but brown "Huh?, where am I?" thought Ducky in alarm, their was no sign of Spike or any other of her siblings.
Ducky was becoming increasingly worried, all she could see was brown. Curiously she touched the brown barrier ahead of her. It felt smooth and warm and was moving up and down slowly. "Like someone breathing" thought Ducky. finally she knew where she was, in the warm embrace of her mother.
"Mama?" asked Ducky.
There was a slow movement from her mother's body which was closely followed by a long, tired yawn. Then her mother turned her head to look at her, she smiled. "Good morning Ducky, sleep well?" she said quietly.
Ducky nodded. "Yep yep yep".
Sura lifted her tail and revealed the clearing to Ducky.
Ducky gasped at the beauty of the little clearing.
"Where are we? why aren't we at home?" asked Ducky
"We are in the Hidden Clearing dear, only me, your father and your aunt know of this place" replied her mother.
"Why are we here?" asked Ducky looking up at her mother to notice that for some reason she looked way more grim and serious then Ducky had ever seen.
"We are here to train-"
"Why are we the only ones here?, where are our family".
"Ducky!" said Sura loudly in order to get her attention, Ducky looked up at her mother curiously.
"Your brothers and sisters are safe, back at the nest and we are here because we have to do some special training" she said.
Ducky looked very excited now, she was up on her feet with a wide smile on her face, her tail was wagging very quickly.
Sura put a hand on her daughter and said in a bitter trembling voice "Ducky......there is......something I need......to tell you". she said, as the tears began to fall from her eyes.
Ducky noticed, her happy expression turned to one of concern.
"What's wrong mama? why are you crying?"
Sura lowered her head and gently nuzzled her daughter, she found it very difficult to break the news to Ducky. She broke off from her daughter, but she kept her head at Ducky's level, so their eyes locked. Ducky's eyes showed worry and concern for her mother, while Sura's eyes showed unimaginable sadness.
Sura took a deep breath and dried her tears.
"Ducky" she said quietly, placing her hand gently around her daughter. "There is one Trial that I have not told you about......and it is called The Leaders Trial of Destiny".
Ducky looked curiously at her mother "What is that Mama?" she asked.
"The Trial of Destiny is the highest test that a youngling can face, only the best Swimmer is chosen to take it. The Trial tests everyone of the Swimmers ability to the extreme. Those that complete the Trial will become the next herd leader when they grow up, as they are considered worthy of the title if they complete the Trial, for it is the hardest of all to complete". Sura's voice started to tremble "and......you have been chosen to take the Trial".
Ducky looked excited, it was unlike any of the other reactions that Sura had seen, everyone who had heard about it despaired at the thought, but Ducky did not know what she was facing.
"Ducky" Sura said "the Trial takes place at the Crescent Caves, but...no youngling who has ever taken the Trial.......has ever survived it.
The words hit Ducky like ton of boulders, she gasped as the realisation suddenly hit her.
Sura continued, what she had to say would not be pleasant but Ducky had to know what she was up against "I have seen the whole river turned red with blood each time a youngling takes the Trial".
Ducky looked horrified, she had her hands over her mouth was now breathing very fast, fear was taking her. Ducky backed away a few paces, before she tripped over a stick and fell on her belly, she was now breathing very fast and her eyes were wet with tears.
She spoke in a very small, fearful voice to her mother "I have...to do that?". she asked. Sura nodded her head once, it broke her heart to watch her daughter struggle like this.
"What about Spike and......" it was all to much for Ducky, something within her gave in and she broke down into tears. She was expected to perform a Trial thet will more then likely be the death of her and upon thinking of her friends and family, Ducky could no longer contain herself "I do not want to do this oh no no no, do I have to do this." she asked.
Sura nodded. "I'm afraid so dear, I've tried to stop it from happening but Sculra threatened to hurt you and if I refused" she said bitterly.
Ducky ran to her mother and embraced her beak. "I'm scared I am I am".
Sura nuzzled her frightened daughter. She put a hand around her and held her to her chest, she then wrapped her tail around her and hummed softly in an vain attempt to calm her daughter. "What am I going to do?, I'm so scared I-"
"shhhh" said Sura, giving Ducky another comforting nuzzle "I'm here dear, your safe here" she said softly.
Ducky remained inconsolable for a while, she held on tightly to the only stable thing she had: her mother and sobbed loudly.
After a while Ducky began to calm down and Sura would be able to tell her the plan.
"Ducky just because no one has survived the Trial does not mean you will not survive too, I will help you prepare for the Trial dear". said Sura in a reassuring voice. Ducky looked up at her mother, her face was drenched in tears.
"I have a plan". said her mother " I will teach you the Swimmer's Wisdoms".
"I already know the Wisdoms mama I do I do." said Ducky.
"Ahhhhhh. but not the Wisdoms unique to your kind dear, I will teach you the skills that will allow you survive the Trial" said Sura.
Ducky's face brightened considerably.
"We will train here in the Hidden Clearing where it is safe" continued Sura "But I need you to promise me Ducky that you will not tell anyone what I have just told you, not your friends or any of your brothers and sisters, not even Spike".
Ducky looked taken aback.
"Why?" she asked in dismay.
"Because" said her mother " this news will be very hard on them and also to keep you safe from the other grown up's especially Sculra, you see dear I'm not supposed to be allowed to teach you the secrets, only other grown-up's can learn them and if Sculra found out she would try to hurt you."
Ducky looked shocked "Who is Sculra?" she asked.
"She is the High Elder Swimmer Ducky" replied Sura "But you must keep away from her, she was the one who chose you to do the Trial so I don't want you to go anywhere near her lest she hurt you".
Ducky nodded.
"Now promise me dear that you will not tell anybody what we are doing" said Sura.
Ducky looked down for a moment, then she raised her head and said in a small quite voice "I promise mama".
Sura smiled and nuzzled her little one.
"Now Ducky" she said more seriously " the skills I will teach you will not be easy to master, they will be very hard, but they will keep you alive so you must try your best to master them and remember dear, no matter how hard it may seem never give up hope".
"Yep yep yep I will do my best and I will not give up hope mama no no no" said Ducky in a determined voice.
Sura smiled again, there would be a time for training but that was not today, right now she was just going to be there for her beautiful daughter.
"I know you'll make me proud Ducky, I know you will" she said as she nuzzled her daughter one last time. "You'll do it Ducky, I know you will" thought Sura, she would make sure of it.


Well, Sura has told Ducky of the Trial and of the Swimmer Wisdoms and has made her promise not to tell anyone about the training. Stay tuned for the next chapters.

LittlefootAndAliTogether

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« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2015, 11:42:41 pm »
Poor Ducky!     Ok, all I can say is poor Ducky!   Poor, poor, Ducky!  

I hope she can win that Trial.  Though, honestly, if she does, won't Scula be able to guess what happened and try and kill poor Ducky anyway?  Or will she just give up and get killed by her minions on her way back home?

rhombus

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« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2015, 11:44:48 pm »
This is a very nice chapter.  :) Ducky has finally be told of her horrifying fate and must now begin to deal with the duties that have been heaped upon her, as well as the specter of her own possible demise.  It will be interesting to see how she deals with the coming challenges... and more importantly how the conspiratorial elder swimmer further complicates things...  I look forward to seeing how this develops. :yes

I just had one correction to note:

Quote
The Trial of Destiny was the highest test that a youngling can face, only the best Swimmer is chosen to take it. The Trial tests everyone of the Swimmers ability to the extreme. Those that complete the Trial will become the next herd leader when they grow up, as they are considered worthy of the title if the complete the Trial, for it is the hardest of all to complete"

You forgot the first quotation mark.


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale
Mender's Tale.

The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2015, 07:44:43 pm »
Thanks for the correction, I've edited and corrected the faults in the chapter.

Ducky123

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« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2015, 05:43:54 pm »
Review of Chapter 3:

Sorry for being late with my reviews :angel The dream Ducky is having is really good. I suspect that "hope" will be an important theme later on in the story, as it seems to be the central message of her dream (dreams often have a message lol :p)
Something I forgot in my last review: I really like how you made Ducky's family. Her dad has an appearance here (wonder if he'll be important later on) and Ducky also seems to have a LOT of siblings :lol
The training is based on playful competition between Ducky and her siblings so far. It'll be interesting to see how it develops, if there will be trouble due to competition etc.
Your story is really interesting :yes
The only advise I have is to proofread again. I've caught some typos while reading ("the" should be  "then" ; "your" should be "you're" & "to" should be "too" most prominently). :)
Note to self: finally create that signature lazy bum! :P

The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2015, 08:34:55 pm »
Thanks for the reviews, Ducky. You totally right about proof reading the chapter's.
And yes, Hope is a very important theme later on in the story.

The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2015, 11:53:44 pm »
Chapter 9: The Return Of An Old Friend

Four days after the events of chapter 8.

The Bright Circle rose over the Great Valley in the early morning and Petrie was flying high over the Valley, he always thought that there was nothing like a morning flight it was simply beautiful. The lush Valley below and the cool air around him, this was were Petrie felt truly free. At the moment he was flying towards the Secret Caverns where he would meet his friends, but he altered his course to fly over Ducky's nesting place just as he had done for the past few days. He was trying to see whether Ducky had returned from her training, but just like the last few times neither Ducky or her mother were anywhere to be seen. Seeing this Petrie turned and headed back to the Secret Caverns, but something caught his eye.

Petrie turned in the direction of the north pass and saw a lone female longneck walking through the pass accompanied by a young female longneck which Petrie recognised immediately and with delight he swooped down to greet Ali and her mother.

Ali was walking beside her mother as she entered the Great Valley, she felt a pang of excitement when she entered, she was looking forward to seeing her old friends again, especially Littlefoot, he, whom she had missed ever since she had left the Valley the last time. How great it would be to see him and Cera, the Threehorn. She remembered the how they both got off to a shaky start but they were now firm friends. Ali could hardly wait to see them, she wagged her tail in anticipation.
"Hi Ali" called a voice which made her jump in surprise, she looked up to find Petrie hovering above them looking positively delighted.
"Hi Petrie" she replied in a sweet voice "it's so good to see you again".
Petrie blushed deeply "It good to see you too" he said "the others at Secret Caverns wanna come?".
Ali almost jumped in joy at the news "Well sure I'll just ask mom. Mom can I go with Petrie to the Secret Caverns? My friends are there".
Her mother chuckled "After you've had some breakfast, you can go and play".
Ali ran quickly into the valley and began munching on the nearest tree stars she could find, she was just so excited as she would soon be united with her friends.

While Ali ate, her mother Brace was greeted by Grandpa and Grandma Longneck. "Hello Brace, it's so good to see you again" said Grandma.
"Same to you cousin" replied Brace.
"What brings you back to the Great Valley?" asked Grandpa
"Well our herd was passing by and Ali practically begged me to go to the Great Valley, I also felt like coming here, so we informed the Old One and now, here we are. I know where the herd is going so theirs no problem in finding them again when we leave. But enough about me, How's everyone here?".
"We are all fine Brace though The Swimmer Trials are going to be held soon and the Swimmer family have already begun training their young, but apart from that everything has been very pleasant here" replied Grandpa, though he didn't mention that Ducky had been chosen for the Trial of Destiny as he knew that Ali was a close friend to her and it would not be pleasant for her to find out that she might lose one of her best friends.
"Swimmer Trials eh?" said Brace "Well then I should say that their are a few Swimmers I met along the way who are going to head for the Great Valley at the time of the Trials".
"We are perfectly okay with that Brace and thanks for the news" said Grandma. "and where is Ali?"
"She's gone to play with Littlefoot and the others, how are they doing?
"Just fine dear" said Grandpa.
"I have to admit that there has been a lot of talk among the Swimmers about a so called Trial of Destiny, I wonder what that is all about?"
Grandpa and Grandma exchanged a dark glance and began to explain to Brace the current situation that they found themselves in.

Petrie led Ali to the Secret Caverns at a fast pace as Ali was eager to see her friends again. When they finally reached the Secret Caverns, Petrie gazed out of the underbrush and saw his friends waiting for him. "Ali wait here, we surprise them" whispered Petrie in Ali's ear. Ali nodded and Petrie took flight.

"Where is that Petrie" hissed Cera in an annoyed tongue, she was impatient to start the day as the gang would not start until Petrie arrived.
"I'm sure he is coming here, here he is coming to" said Ruby in her usual manner.
"Me here" called Petrie suddenly and from the underbrush flew Petrie looking very excited.
"Hi Petrie" said Chomper "what took you so long?".
"You see. Now look behind you" said Petrie.
The five friends turned around as Petrie said and...
"Ali!" they all yelled as one and ran over to her.
Ali was almost overwhelmed as she was smothered by her friends.
"Hi guys, hi Littlefoot" said Ali in a sweet voice, she was wearing a sweet smile on her face. Littlefoot blushed deeply and his friends laughed at seeing him like this.
"Hi Ali it's so good to see you again" he said coming up to her and giving her a friendly nuzzle, which Ali returned vigorously.
"Well, when you two are done with your business" said Cera in a playful voice. Littlefoot and Ali disengaged, both looking very embarrassed.
Ali looked at her friends it felt great to be among them again after so long but then she noticed that not all her friends were present.
"Where's Ducky?" she asked
"Oh" said Littlefoot "Ducky's doing some training with her mother in preparation for the Swimmer Trials".
Ali nodded in understanding.
"Do you know when she'll be back? I would love to see her, it's been so long" asked Ali.
"We don't know, know we do not" said Ruby.
"Her father told us that she should be back in a few days" said Cera.
"A few day's ago" added Petrie. "Me wonder what take so long, but me think Ducky come back by tomorrow".
"Well, we will talk to her father and ask where she is tomorrow if she doesn't show up" said Littlefoot apprehensively.
"So do you wanna play Ali?"
"Oh Yes!" cried Ali in excitement and went to join her friends, though she did wonder where Ducky was.

Evening in The Secret Clearing

Ducky lay snuggled up next to her mother, she was fast asleep as the day had been long and exhausting for her and she just needed the rest, so after dinner she lay down beside her mother's body and fell asleep almost immediately. This did not surprise Sura in the slightest, she had put Ducky through a lot of work in the past few days. Her first priority was to get Ducky's fitness levels up, even though she was already fit and healthy, Sura knew that her daughter would have a better chance at the Trial if she was a lot more stronger, so everyday she would tell Ducky to go on a long run around the clearing, which was followed by a high intensity swim. The first day of this Ducky collapsed with exhaustion when she completed the task, but as the days went by she was able to perform the task quicker and be less tired when she was done.

Sura also gave Ducky tests designed to better her reflexes, manoeuvrability and speed over the last two days. So far Ducky had performed just as Sura expected her to perform: her best. She thought that Ducky was now ready to really be taught the Wisdoms now, for these exercise would also help her to master the Wisdoms and while Ducky thought that she was already learning the Wisdoms, she was really only preparing for them and Sura maintained this so Ducky would not lose heart when she actually began learning the Wisdoms.

Sura had eaten way more green food then she usually did and a lot more varieties of it at dinner and was now considering sleep, the Bright Circle had gone down and she was also very tired, but she was expecting her mate to join her tonight for a short time. After a short while she heard the sound of footsteps approaching and turned her head to see Ruphus enter the clearing. He walked into the nest and lay down beside Sura. The two nuzzled each other for a few moments before they spoke.
"How's Ducky"? asked Ruphus in a worried whisper.
"She's...okay......I guess" replied Sura in a whisper "It hit her hard when I told her about the Trial, she was in tears for a while, but she's faring a lot better since then and she's doing very well in the exercise's so far but I have yet to start teaching her the Wisdoms, I will start tomorrow though.
Ruphus gave a sigh "Our little one is being asked to much I worry that she will not master the Wisdoms" he said.
"She has to dear" replied Sura "It's her only chance".
Ruphus nodded, a grim expression was on his face.
"So what's going on in the Valley" asked Sura.
Ruphus then told Sura of how well the rest of the children were going with there training and the excuse he told them and Ducky's friends. He then told her about the arrival of Ali and her mother. Then he told her about his idea of fleeing for the Mysterious Beyond.
"I do not agree with you Ruphus, but I do hope it does not come to that" said Sura.
And finally Ruphus told her of his conversation with Sculra. Sura looked furious when he finished. "I wish those other Swimmers had not pulled you off her, I would give a lot to get rid of Sculra" said Sura with a savageness that surprised and worried her mate. He put a hand on Ducky's back and gently stroked his beautiful daughter then he turned back to Sura and looked at her tail and found that Sculra's words were true, he could see the large lump in her abdomen where he knew Sura was producing eggs.
"Your pregnant aren't you dear" he said
Sura looked at her mate in astonishment
"How did you know?" she asked
"Sculra told me, she knew from the beginning" replied Ruphus "and she has already begun threatening the loss of the eggs".
Sura sighed "I was hoping she would not find out, this makes things much more difficult now". She looked at Ducky and sighed again " our daughter is in danger and I will soon be laying eggs". Sura looked at Ruphus and said "I will lay them at our nest and get back to teaching Ducky, you and Merri will have to look after them".
"Sura" said Ruphus in shock "that would be way to difficult for us, you know that".
"It is the only choice we have" sighed Sura.
"No, we can ask the Longnecks, I'm sure they will help us" said Ruphus
Sura considered this for a while until she finally agreed to Ruphus idea.
"I'll ask them to look after our second clutch younglings tomorrow" said Ruphus.
The two nuzzled each other again, when they disengaged Ruphus bent his head down and gently nuzzled Ducky.
"Good night little one, I'll see you soon dear" he whispered.
Ducky gave a soft laugh as her father's muzzle tickled her, but when he disengaged she fell back into a peaceful slumber. Sura and Ruphus both smiled and Ruphus raised himself up.
"Goodnight and Good luck you two" he said and left.
"Goodnight Ruphus" said Sura quietly then she turned to Ducky "and goodnight to you too Ducky". Sura then gave a long yawn and settled her head down and almost immediately fell asleep into the world of dreams.



And that's the next chapter done.

LittlefootAndAliTogether

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« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2015, 12:16:09 am »
Excellent!  Love it!   :yes  :yes  :yes  :yes  :yes

The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #39 on: February 18, 2015, 05:41:04 am »
Thanks very much. :)