“Shh! Be quiet!” Yokoka warned her friend before making her way out, tiptoeing to make sure to make as little sound as possible, even though they had already left the village. They could still see it though, mostly because she was using such a slow pace, concentrated as she was on every step she took. Yfa simply hovered next to her, matching her pace, doing next to no sound and being patient. If anything, he thought, they’d be spotted simply because she was in the middle of the way and, uh, her pelt was awfully pale. So she kind of stood out. But he said nothing of that. Just as he had said nothing about his trip to seek permission. He tried to push his uneasy feelings away.
After a moment she looked behind them with a suspicious glance, sniffed the air and, convinced that no one was following them, dropped everything about her concentrated stealth and started walking normally, nearly speeding off with a yowl of victory, but seemed to remember that this whole thing was a secret.
On and on they walked and the scenery didn’t change. Trees, trees and more trees; was there anything at all on the outside after all? It felt like they had been walking for so long! For a moment she wondered if they hadn’t gotten lost, or turned into circles, but looking back she couldn’t see, hear or smell the village at all. And she couldn’t smell her own stale scent, which meant she hadn’t gone somewhere twice. The place was just eerie silent and looked all the same. It didn’t feel like there even was any prey here. Had it been like that since they left?…
With every new step she took, she felt her self confidence sapped away by the ground. It was cold. Dark, too; she couldn’t see much of anything any more despite her excellent night vision. She tried to glance at her friend to get some comfort, but he looked even more on edge than she did. They walked slower and slower until before she knew it they had both stopped.
Should they give up and go back? The air felt heavy. She didn’t like it here. Her paws were shaking against her will. Would they even be able to find their way back? They hadn’t marked anything to show they had come here, since it was supposed to be such a huge secret. Now she sort of regretted not thinking ahead. She felt silly. She wished she had. The air smelled funny. But she couldn’t exactly say what it reminded her of.
They stayed there for a moment, in the cold damp forest, silently, unmoving. She heard shifting and thought the sound came from Yfa, but realized it hadn’t; instantly she jumped and made herself look as big and menacing as she could. “Who’s there?” she winced, realizing how shaky her voice sounded. The shuffling stopped as she talked and suddenly became louder, obviously coming their way. She pictured a big, mean monster coming their way, about to swallow them whole and she wondered if they shouldn’t be running away instead of waiting, paralysed on the spot.
“There you are! Finally, I found you.”
She stopped her train of thought. Wait, she knew that voice. The small figure made its way towards them and she could barely figure out who it was. Then she recognized him; that was the golden two tailed boy she had seen that day when she had had the strange dream, the one guy usually giving out the mail to the people in the village. She had often seen him walk around, but he was way too boring for her so they hadn’t talked that much before. But Yfa seemed to relax, as if maybe they talked more often than she knew. She felt a little jealousy over that thought. He did have a pretty cool scarf, though.
He stopped once he reached their spot; he was just a little smaller than Yokoka, barely, but enough so that their eyes aren’t on an even level. He nodded to her and then looked over at the blue fox, who landed softly on his feet and looked down at him.
“I heard your conversation with Ma’ earlier, I’m sorry.” He had a look of worry on his face, and Yfa looked embarrassed. What conversation? What were they talking about? She felt frustrated to be left out of this little conversation and her paws itched, but something kept her from making a fuss. “Are you really leaving?”
The golden cat made a little nervous laugh and took back his comment; “of course you are, or else why would you be all the way out here.”
“Did you need something…?” Yfa looked about ready to get right to business if their guest didn’t have anything else to comment about. Yes, this pleased her. Could they be out of here already? She was growing impatient and possessive by the minute.
“Oh, right! I, um, like I said I heard your conversation. You sounded quite serious, so I was a little worried. Um… here.” He ran to his previous spot and back, two pieces of fabric in his maw; one looked kind of orange and the other green, but she couldn’t make out the colours properly in the dark. Yfa looked just as puzzled as she was.
“You saw Ma’, right?” he pointed his neck with his paw. He went on; “surely you’ve seen that blue scarf she’s wearing?”
“Oh, hm.. not really. It was pretty dark.” Yfa looked uneasy. What! had he been doing over there. Gosh, it was killing her! She’d have to ask every detail later, she thought she had been super clear about this being a top secret thing! Ugh!!
“Okay, well. See, Ma’ has this.. uh.” he looked around to make sure no one else could here, but they were alone in the world; still, that didn’t stop him from whispering; “weakness to her neck.” He took back a normal posture and went on; “so she covers it up with a scarf made from this fabric! I don’t know what it is, but it’s super resistant.” He looked really excited, but she had yet to see where he wanted to go with all that.
“Well, I don’t know, I thought it could be useful to you, outside.” He suddenly seemed embarrassed and licked his rear paw a little. “I hear they have weird special powers too. But um, don’t tell Ma’ okay? I’m not supposed to give those out. Nobody’s supposed to know about that stuff!”
“Weird powers like what?” now Yokoka’s curiosity was prompted.
“I vaguely remember her saying it could be turned into a weapon but that she lost the ability to do it or something! She didn’t really go into detail.” he blinked at her, as if remembering that she was still there. That irked her even more but she wasn’t going to get angry, nope, because he had actually said something interesting. She grabbed the green one.
“Dibs on that one.”
Their guest nodded at them and, seeing as the reason for him to be here was now over, decided he should now make his leave (about time, too!!) and so he bowed to them. “I wish you the best of luck on your travels. May the blessings of Kitsune keep you safe in your journey.” And then he did some weird sign with his paw and a weird feeling took over her and she didn’t like that and then finally he left, phew!
She grumbled and tried to tie the stupid kerchief on her paw around her left shoulder area, but seeing as she was a cat and one paw and a maw aren’t nearly enough to do that kind of thing, her blue friend giggled after a moment and helped her out. He then picked his and tied it around his neck so that only the bow could be seen on the front side, on his left. He seemed satisfied.
“Shall we go?” They both nodded and, grabbing all their courage, walked on towards the unknown once again, hoping that this time their heart wouldn’t falter and they’d make it all the way there; to them, there was no going back.