6 | An old friend

Chapter 6

Did I really say that? Brighteyes blacked out for a few hours after telling the prophecy. When he woke up, Alphice told him what happened. In the meantime, they were traveling back toward the port. Luckily, The Ancient One deemed their departure so important, that he was bringing them himself with the Mobice. But what does it mean? Brighteyes asked Alphice. It means that our enemy has arrived. An enemy that has the power to annihilate our entire existence. Brighteyes was too shocked to react. There is a myth that came with the Jade Kings’ disappearance. With him, all Jade and Jade foxes left our realm. But he knew about our greed and need for power. The myth is about a curse that would fall upon us when Jade entered our world again. An army of dead foxes accompanied by a toxic white fog, slowly devouring all living things, and turning them into one of their own. Brighteyes blacked out once more.

When opening his eyes again, he remembered his surroundings. Oh no! This is the same hut again. They had already boarded the ship , and from what he could feel, they were already sailing. Where are we going? Was going through his mind. At that time Alphice opened to door and entered the hut. You are awake again, good. Sorry for startling you with my story. As for where we are going, we are sailing northeast. You are going to meet an old friend of mine. Darkeyes was happily surprised by those words, as they did not include death things or toxic fog. My friend is a troubled soul. You must be careful when he’s around. He’s had a lot of traumatic experiences. You shall never talk about our late princess, nor about squids. Brighteyes got extremely excited. Is your old friend really the legendary roaming spirit, Soulstice? Alphice didn’t share his excitement. He is Soulstice, yes, but you should not believe those fairytales that are told from when you were still a little fox. I shall tell you the story about my old friend so that you will learn to respect him, and not make mistakes when you meet.

The story of Soulstice

A long time ago, before the civil war and when the Jade foxes still roamed our lands, the tribe that we now know as the Bionics, was nothing more than a huge fleet of tech-savvy outcasts from the Winter tribe. They roamed the seas, experimenting with metals and magnetic fields. But they did not test their discoveries on themselves first, no they did not. They foxnapped little winter foxes before their 5th birthday and brought them to their mothership. Soulstice was only 2 when he got taken by the pirates, who slaughtered his mom and dad before his own eyes. It’s one of the reasons why foxes hate the water, and most tribes don’t dare to tame the waves.

After being captured, the little foxes are subjected to many tests and experiments. Many died in the process, their lifeless bodies thrown back into the sea. But Soulstice managed to survive. When the survivors live long enough to reach the age nearing adulthood, they have to play the Bionic Games. On victory, a fox would get a bionic arm, and become a part of the Bionic crew. But there was always only one winner among the many contestants. It was a game of life and death. Only the smartest and strongest fox could win. Soulstice won that year's Bionic Games. But he left the mothership at the first chance he got. Roaming the lands in solitude for many years, he got the nickname the roaming spirit.

On one of his travels, he happened to stumble upon the princess of VFoxia. He saved her from a group of bandits, who had captured her to get some ransom. On the road back to the castle, to get back to her King father, the two of them fell in love. When asking the King for her hand, the King refused. Not because of who Soulstice was, but because of his arm, his Bionic arm. The princess, however, had a great idea. She talked Soulstice into traveling back to the mothership and committing a coup. I was amongst a few chosen ones, who traveled together with Soulstice and the princess to take over control of the Bionic Pirates. We succeeded, without any losses. My friend got named Commodore of the Bionic tribe, and they vouched to never kidnap and kill again. Instead of kidnapping children, it would be their own children who participated in the Games. But instead of the Bionic Games, Soulstice changed into the Laser Games, where no one died, and more than one winner could arise.

We stayed together on the island for a few years to make sure there was no mutiny. In these years, the Bionics became recognized as an official tribe because they started sharing their advanced technology with the entirety of VFoxia, for free, to pay back for their countless years of sin. It was a raven from the King, who shared this great news with us. In the letter, he wrote that the Bionics was recognized as an official tribe, and he thanked Soulstice and his people for their contribution towards the realm. He also wrote he finally agreed to their marriage, and he was awaiting them in his castle for the ceremony.

I’m not sure if I have ever seen a happier couple. They were so in love, and they were a great match. We immediately started our preparations to sail back. The next day, we set sail with 57 foxes, but... only 6 of us survived. On the open sea, we were attacked by a creature named Squideamon. A fox that had the power to control sea creatures. He had been in love with the princess, and word of the marriage had reached his ears. Apparently, his creatures were spying on us. We killed him, but it was too late. One of his monstrous squids tried to get to Soulstice, and the princess jumped in front of him and was dragged to the bottom of the ocean. We could only watch the bubbles of air popping out of the water... until they stopped coming.

Brighteyes needed some fresh air after learning about Soulstice’s history. He walked to the back of the ship, one of the few places he felt comfortable from the waves. When he got closer to his destination, he could overhear a conversation. He stopped just before the corner and listed. “Yes, we are going off at the northernmost point of the mainland. Ubi and I have learned from the elders that Magmahorn is looking for specific types of weapons. We want to sell this beauty we stole from a stupid Gold Fox. It surely will bring in a decent amount of money – ha!” Weapon? Gold Fox? Is that brat talking about me? Brighteyes sprinted around the corner to confront the brat, but to his surprise, there were more foxes than he expected. To be exact, three sailors of the ship’s crew, one young swamp fox, and... “Hey you!!!” Shouted Brighteyes, as he recognized the Ice teenager from the inn. “Give me back my sword!” The teenage swamp and ice fox shared a brief look and tried to get away. “Seize them!” Ordered Brighteyes to the sailors who immediately jumped to their feet. The teenagers were no match for the strong and trained crew. Two of the sailors tied down the foxes, and Brighteyes asked the other to summon Lord Alphice. Then he looked to the swamp fox. “So… you called me a stupid Gold Fox, did you?” The swamp teenager looked shocked. “No no! It wasn’t me! It was my brother Ky.” And while he was saying that, he nodded toward the other captured fox. Brighteyes was confused, as he looked at the fox he recognized from the inn. The swamp’s voice was indeed not the voice that he had overheard a few moments before. But that would mean … “Yes, I can talk.” Said Ky annoyed.

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