Rudderway Streamgale, chieftain of holt Streamgale in Mossflower woods, looked down at his newborn daughter. The otterbabe was a regular brown otter with amber eyes...except she had silver fur patterns all over her body and face. It made her look very...odd... His wife, Elena took the babe from him and put a clan tail ring on her rudder. "What should we name her?"
"Amber...Amber because of her amber eyes. This one's gonna be a warrior someday, i can feel it."
"Windgale! Come here. Look at your new baby sister."
A dibbun otter came in. He took one look at the babe and ran around, screaming. "Aaaaaaahh!!! It's a monsta!"
Rudderway grabbed him and held him still. "It's not a monster, It's your sister."
"W-what's wrong wi' her face...a-an' body?!"
"It's her fur."
Elena put her in Windgale's paws. Windgale was trembling. Amber opened her eyes and yawned, displaying her teeth...well, fangs according to Windgale. The dibbun almost dropped the babe. "Eeeeeeeek! lookit her big sharp fangs!! An' yellow eyes!"
"Big sharp fangs? It's her teeth! your teeth are bigger than her's. You better stop all this screaming right now."
Windgale gave the babe back to his mother and ran away. "I'm gonna go play. At least that's not dangerous! Hmph!"
Rudderway shook his head. How will the rest of the clan react? Elena walked outside with Rudderway. They went to a bigger cave next to their smaller one. As they walked in, the other otters gasped at the little babe. Elena looked at her husband. Rudderway awkwardly said, "This is Amber Streamgale. Er, she's still an otter. She's just...just...irregularly colored. I guess..."
Little Windgale raced inside. "It's a monsta! Run!"
All dibbuns followed the young otter outside, screaming. The adult otters crowded around Amber Streamgale, admiring her unique patterns on her fur. Some went out after the dibbuns to make sure they don't get into any trouble. And that was what they did: get into trouble. There were about fifteen dibbuns, and only five to look after them. Some hurled themselves into the stream. One of the big males, Luntra, dived in after them. He saw a long dark shadow inside the water. Pike! He grabbed two of the dibbuns and threw them ashore, then swam strongly after the others, yelling, "Get the others! There's pike!"
One of the females, Derina, dived into the stream, while the two others shepherded the dibbuns onshore back to the cave. Manid, the other male, stood facing river with his dagger drawn. There was something wrong. Somebeast was watching. There was a movement in the bushes. An arrow flew out of nowhere and narrowly missed a dibbun. Manid threw his dagger at the moving bush yelling, "Hurry, get the dibbuns! There's vermin!"
A score of vermin came out of the bushes. The three otters picked up two bewildered young ones each and ran to the cave. They stumbled inside, exhausted. "Vermin...comin'...hurry...hide young ones..."
Rudderway helped them up. "you three, tell all able-bodied otters to arm themseves. Then, take all old ones, and dibbuns to my cave. Elena will show you a secret passage there."
The otter chieftain produced a beautiful sword from under a chest in the corner of the cave. The sword was very fancy at the hilt with two blue gemstones and spikes all over. It was the sword of his grandfather. An arrow shot into the dwelling and hit Elena. Amber fell from her mother's paws and landed on top of Windgale. The young otter screamed. Rudderway grabbed his son and shook him. "You, take Amber. Now!"
From the intensity of his father's voice, he was forced to obey. He took his sister with trembling paws. Rudderway growled at his son. "Good. Now take all those who can't fight to our cave. Show them where you hid from your mother when you stole the pudding last week. You remember that place?"
Windgale nodded silently, afraid to say anything.
"Good. Take them there. Tell them to go inside, and hide there. Understand?"
Windgale nodded again.
"Alright, now go. Protect your sister. Make me proud of you, Windgale."
Windgale took off, his sister in his arms, and the otters that can't fight at his back. He frantically moved a big wooden chest and picked up a large wooden board, revealing a hole in the ground. "Hurry, get inside!"
The others quickly went inside. Manid, Lunta, and Derina urged them in, and went in after them, not seeing Windgale and Amber. A big female fox came in, carrying a sling. "Haharr! Wot d'we have here, eh?"
All the old ones and babies had gotten into the hidden cave, except for Windgale and Amber. Windgale kicked the wooden chest over the hole. "Don't touch me or me sissa, or you be sorry, ye stinkin' stoopid dumb fosker!!"
"Oh, now, impolite, eh? I just want to see your adorable sister. Can't I just take a peek?"
The fox, drawing a dagger from behind her cloak, slowly cornered him. Then, a fully grown male otter charged in with a fancy sword in his paws. "Windgale! Run!"
Like lightning, the fox threw a dagger and slew the otter.
Windgale quickly, silently put his sister down on the ground behind him and charged the fox. "Aaaaaaaaahh! Go 'way vermint! You killed daddy I not gonna let you kill Amber too!"
He was so quick that the fox didn't have time to swing the sling. She got her leg bitten deep. She screamed and brought her sling down upon the young otter's head, knocking him out. She pried his jaws open and tossed him to the ground. She limped over to the baby otter. Interesting, the otter had patterns all over her. This young otter would make a great warrior. And this sword was perfect for her. She picked up the sword of Amber's dead father and looked at the otterbabe."I'll call you Silverfang."
She picked her up and left.
100pxSilverfang, the ottermaid stood on a rock. She was now fifteen seasons old, and part of a vermin band of about three score. She felt she didn't fit in though. Silverfang was troubled. For several nights now, she had dreams of a male otter. Everytime he was about to say something, she would wake up. Who was that otter? There was a breeze. Amber Streamgale. Silverfang shook her head. She must just be hearing things.
"Silverfang! Silverfang! It's time for dinner."
The young ottermaid raced down the hill and into the vermin camp. A female fox, Vulpini, tossed her her bows and arrows. "Before dinner, go do something for me."
Windgale and his best friend, Enhydra, ran the holt now that both their parents were dead. Windgale faced the setting sun. He remembered even though he was only a dibbun at the time, he faintly what happened to his parents. The vermin raided his holt, most of the warriors. those who weren't dead were badly wounded or unconscious. They were left for dead. So was he. The last thing he remembered was attacking a fox to keep her from taking his little sister.
When he woke up, he had not eaten, spoken, or moved from that spot for days. Everytime he was reminded, he went to that same spot. It's been fifteen seasons, and he has mostly gotten over it. But when he thought about it, it still hurt him alot inside. Enhydra crept up behind him.
Windgale didn't move.
"Oh, come on! You aren't thinkin' about your family again, are ye?"
He didn't reply; he only kept staring at the setting sun.
Enhydra felt that same pain too, but he acted like he didn't. "Well, as I can see, ye won't reply."
Windgale closed his eyes and sniffed the air. Enhydra looked at him strangely. "What are ye doin' now?"
He opened his eyes and looked around. His friend could tell something was wrong. "What is it?"
Windgale looked in his direction. "Duck, now!"
Enhydra ducked. An arrow came zipping through the air. Windgale caught it. He tossed it away and threw his dagger the direction the arrow came from. There was a piercing cry. Windgale got up and rushed to the distant bush. Enhydra followed him. He parted the leaves and saw-
Silverfang sat with her back to the tree. The dagger had almost hit her head and buried itself next to her head. Silverfang stared at the two otters. "Who are you?"
Enhydra glared at the silver patterned otter. "Who are you? Who gave you permission to shoot an arrow at us?"
Windgale pushed his friend away. "Amber! you're alive!"
"Amber? Who's Amber? I'm Silverfang."
"Well, silverfang, where are you from, and where did you get father's-er, i mean that sword?" He pointed to her decorative sword.
"I'm from Vulpini's band. Vulpini is the fox that raised me. This is my sword. I've had it since before I can remember."
"What? Windgale what are you talking about? Who's that otter? An' what's with her fur?"
Enhydra stared at Windgale. Silverfang slowly got up. "er, can I go now?"
"Go back home."
"No, Amber, that is your home." Windgale pointed at a faraway cave. Silverfang shook her head, puzzled. "But...I don't understand...Who's amber?"
Windgale beckoned her. "Come have dinner with us. I'll tell you everything."
"Enhydra, I'll tell you everything later."
Silverfang looked at Windgale questioningly. "Why would you invite a stranger to dinner?"
"You're my sister. That's why."
"I don't even know you!"
The ottermaid saw something in Windgale's eyes and that told her to trust him. "Er, so where's your home?"
A few moments later, Silverfang shyly entered the cave. Every otter inside gasped. Windgale held up his paws. "Ok, before ye jump to conclusions, she's an otter. In fact, she's Amber Streamgale, me sister!"
Silverfang smiled at everyone. "I don't know anythin' 'bout this."
Windgale pushed her forward to a place that looked like a small stage. "Tell us 'bour yer life first. Nothin' in detail, just the main stuff."
Silverfang shuffled awkwardly, never spoken in front of so many beasts before.
"Well, er, I was raised in these woods by a fox named Vulpini. I've been in that camp for me whole life. I'm free as wind. I get to do whatever I want, an' go wherever I want. Sometimes, a weasel with some other beasts attacks us, an' I help defend. I'm the fastest of all the band an' I use me skills to do some stuff fer them. An' that's about it."
Windgale cleared his throat. "Well, It seem's they're using you."
"I'll tell ye about yer life here....well, about the holt raidin' actually."
"Yeah, that fox came here with the rest of her vermin. They slaughtered most of the warriors of our clan. That's includin' our parents."
"That's where that sword came from. It's Father's." Windgale pointed to the sword by her side."
"Father's? But...I don't understand..."
"Just listen to the story. Windglae get on with it already!"
"Ok, ok. Well, er...where do i start?"
"Forget it! I'll tell her."
Luntra stood up. "Well, once apon a time, there was a holt called Streamgale. The chieftain, Rudderway, and his wife, Elena, had two otter kits, Windgale-"
Windgale stood up proudly. "That would be me."
"Ahem, as I was sayin' before I was so rudely interrupted by some chieftain of ours," He glared at Windgale, "Windgale and Amber Streamgale. When his parents showed his baby sister to him, Windgale was running around screaming because he thought Amber was a monster."
Everyone stared at Windgale, who was looking around whistling innocently.
"Well, he led the all the dibbuns outside screaming, Me, Derina, Manid, an' some others had to go watch them. Some, includin' Windgale, hurled themselves into the pike infested stream. I had to go with Derina to rescue them. Manid found some vermin tryin' t'attack us. We took the dibbuns back to the cave an' sounded the alarm. An arrow slew Elena. Amber dropped into Windgale's paws. Rudderway ordered Windgale to take his sister and all those who can't fight to some secret door in their cave. Windgale never entered the door. All the rest of us were inside and a fox came in. Windgale saw her kill Rudderway. Then, he put his sister on the ground. He charged the fox, biting her leg. The fox clubbed his head with her sling and took Amber. And they didn't live happily ever after. The end. Everybeast happy?"
Silverfang looked at surprised. "But...but...they didn't seem like vermin."
100px Enhydra pounded his fist on the table. "Think, Silverfang, did they ever show you love of a family? Why d'ye think they kidnapped you in the first place?"
"Well, at that place, they always got into fights. But they never argued with me for some reason. They never showed me any kind of family love. The only time I was ever treated kindly by them was when they wanted me to do something for them. So..." Silverfang gasped. "They're using me!"
Windgale nodded. "Aye, usin' ye. We'll talk more about this later, Amber. For now, it's time fer dinner!"
After dinner, Silverfang stayed overnight at the cave. She wanted to know more of her family. Or, were these other otters trying to use her too? Would they do that? Are they just pretending to be her clan? Finally, sleep overcame her. She tossed and turned restlessly. Then, in her dreams, the otter, the one she had seen many times before, appeared. He word a simple tunic and had a cloak pulled over his head. Suddenly, he tossed off his cloak and had a sword...it was just like her's! She looked at his face. Windgale? No, this otter was older, but he shared remarkable resemblence as him. Who was he? Silverfang saw the otter open his mouth to speak. "Amber Streamgale!"
Silverfang stared at him. "Who are ye?"
The otter seemed angry. "Can ye not recognize yer own father, Amber?"
"You? My father? But-"
The otter pointed at her with his blade.
"Amber Streamgale, heed my words
Look out for the one with the twin daggers long like swords
He will show you the way of light
For your brother's revenge, you must fight
Follow the one with the sling
Seek the stone red building
The Windgales will be victorious
Face the enemy and be vicious
Solve the puzzle of the unwanted one
And remember: face the blazing sun."
And with that, the mysterious otter faded into the darkness. Silverfang woke up. It was almost dawn. She was leaving this place. Now.
At the vermin camp, Vulpini the fox paced around the fire. Where was that Silverfang? All she had to do was shoot one otter. just one, and she's taking the the whole evening and night to do it. Then Silverfang strided in, twirling her lance.
"What took you so long? An' where's the dead otter?"
"Dead otter? Oh! That. Well, how can I kill me own kind and me own family?"
"Your own family? What are you talkin' about?"
"Those two otters. One of them is me brother, the other, his best friend."
"Your brother?! You don't have a brothers. I found you by the river seasons ago. You were abandoned."
"No. You killed me parents. Then, you took me."
"Who told you that?"
"Windgale and Enhydra."
"Who are they?"
"My brother and his friend."
"You talked to them?!"
"Can't I talk to me own species?"
"Those are your enemies!"
"No, you are."
Vulpini saw her draw her sword. "Lissen, you. Why do you believe the words of a stranger?"
"I don't know."
"Trust me, Silverfang, those were the ones who abandoned you. They left you by the river!"
"But...did they really?"
"Yes. They just put you down. I went there and pick you up."
Silverfang walked into her tent, not knowing who to believe. Her own clan, or the one who raised her? Where did she belong?
Enhydra came rushing into the cave. "Windgale! Windgale!!! your sister's gone!"
"What?! gone? what d'ye mean gone?"
"She's not there anymore. I found this."
Enhydra held up an arrow. Carved on the shaft was small letters. "Gone to old home."
Windgale grabbed the arrow and snapped in half. "I'm goin' after her."
"But, they'll kill you!"
"So what? I gotta convince her that she belongs here at the holt, not some vermin camp! Plus, i'm gonna go get revenge on me parents."
"Then, I'll come with you!"
"No, you gotta stay here."
"Can't stop me. I'm gonna get me daggers."
Windgale sighed. Why? Why didn't Amber trust him?
Windgale and Enhydra stepped boldly into the vermin camp. Windgale twirled his two light otter javelins and Enhydra held his twin long daggers.
three score vermin stared at them, not knowing what to do. Vulpini stepped out of nowhere. "Who are ye t'come an' demand our warrior?"
"Who are ye to come to me holt an' kill me family, an' steal me sister?!"
"So, you're the one that's Silverfang's brother, eh?"
Silverfang came out of her tent, sword in paw. "Don't harm them, Vulpini."
The vixen faced the ottermaid. "Don't tell me what to do, Silverfang!"
Windgale yelled at his sister. "Amber! Come back with us! Ye don't belong with vermin."
"Silverfang, don't listen to him. They left you by the river an' I raised you."
"Amber, don't listen to lies! She killed our parents, an' kidnapped you."
"Listen to yer brother, Amber, you belong with us otters."
"You were raised here, Silverfang, you belong here."
"They're only tryin' t'use you, Amber!"
Silverfang...Amber....who was she? Where did she belong? Where should she go? She was an otter...but she was raised among vermin. Suddenly, she heard a voice in her head. Go with your kind, my daughter. She knew where she belonged. She looked at all the shouting. The ottermaid had enough. "Stop! Stop now!"
Everybeast was suddenly quiet.
"What is wrong with you? Vulpini, can't you see I'm an otter? I belong with my kind!"
Windgale smiled. "Yeah, Amber! You're an otter! Tell that vermin!"
Vulpini's eyes narrowed and she drew her dagger. "Silverfang! How dare you say that to me?!"
"My name is Amber, I don't care who you are. You just don't raid me holt, kidnap me, an' kill me family."
The vixen, outraged, aimed her dagger at Windgale, and threw it. "This is fer stealin' Silverfang."
Everybeast watched, unable to do anything, as the dagger cut through the air and landed in Windgale's chest. Amber drew her sword. "You, Vulpini, are goin' to die for that!!!"
Both Enhydra and the vermin band watched as something amazing happened. The silver makings on Amber's face and body slowly turned...red! Her eyes turned blood red too. Vulpini suddenly panicked.
"She's a berserker! Run! She'll kill you!"
Amber screamed and charged, after the three score of vermin band. Enhydra called after her. "Amber! Wait! Stop! We need to help Windgale!"
Amber turned, and staggered to where Enhydra was supporting Windgale's head. Her fur was back to normal and she seemed dazed. "What happened? Where are the vermin?"
"You scared them away, they saw your silver fur turn red and they fled."
"My fur? Red? How?"
"You're a berserker. An uncontrollable, indestructable, unstoppable-"
"Ok, ok, i get it, stop!" She pointed at her brother, "Is Windgale dead?"
The otter moved slighly. "Amber....Enhydra..."
They both moved closer to him. "Amber...."
Teardrops splattered on his face as his sister and his best friend bent over him. Windgale opened his eyes slightly. "Amber....do me a favor..."
The otter smiled slightly and painfully indicated the dagger in his chest. "Return it...to the owner...for me...."
"Yeah matey? Wot's yer orders?"
"Look after her...for me....make sure she....doesn't kill...herself..."
"I...want both of ye...t'be chieftains...when i'm gone...."
"No, you won't! Ye'll still be with us. I'm gonna go get a healer. She'll heal you."
"No...you know my fate....take care of each other...and the holt....Amber...Enhydra..."
Windgale's head lolled to one side as he died. Amber stood up and took her sword. She pointed the blade into the air and screamed, "Vulpini!!! You will die for this!!! You killed my parents and now, you slay my brother! I swear, I will kill you personally! Streamgaaaaaalllleeeeee!!!!!!" She collapsed to the ground, sobbing.
Vulpini returned with her vermin to the camp. It was empty. The berserker wasn't there anymore. She would have to be careful now. Silvefang would want revenge.
Amber sat outside the cave, facing the stream. Since Windgale was buried, she had been there for a long time, neither speaking, nor eating, nor even moving from that spot. Whenever anybeast brought her food or water, she shook her head and turned her head away. Other times, she simply pretended they weren't there. She had the blood stained dagger that killed her brother in her paw.
Felina, younger sister of Enhydra, watched her. Her brother came and sat beside her.
"Enhydra, can't you do something about her? She hasn't eaten in three days."
"If you can't do anything, what makes you think I can?"
"Windgale did tell you to look after her."
"But...oh, fine. I won't promise anythin'."
Enhydra sat down next to Amber and offered her a tray of food. She merely shook her head and turned away.
"Oh, come on. You gotta eat somethin'. You haven't eaten anythin' in three days."
She shook her head again. Enhydra shoved the tray infront of her. "Eat."
"No. I don't want to."
"Then I'll force you."
Amber ignored him.
Amber ignored him again. Enhydra sighed. "Why won't you eat?"
"I'm not hungry."
"Yes you are. You haven't eaten in three days."
"So? I said I'm not hungry. Go 'way."
"Yes you are. Now eat."
"I said I don't want to."
"Windgale gave me a mission. That's to look after you. He gave you a mission too. And that's to avenge him and your family. How can you avenge them if you die of starvation?"
Amber sighed and sat silent. Enhydra looked at her. He knew he had won. Amber started to cry. "It's my fault he died. If I had stayed, he would still be here."
Enhydra patted her gently. "No, actually, he also wanted to get revenge. But now that he's not here, you have to get revenge for him."
"No more. Now eat."
Amber ate. After, Enhydra assembled the whole clan outside. He stood ontop a small hill with Amber.
"Clan of Streamgale, I'm sure all of you know that our friend, Windgale, is dead-"
A young otter of about twelve seasons interrupted. "huh, an' all because of that vermin!" He pointed to Amber.
Enhydra glared at the otter, silencing him. "That is not true. he went because he wanted to avenge his parents. Now, Windgale put this clan in charge of me and Amber."
"Her?! Why her? She'll get us all killed."
The young otter's mother slapped his face, hard. "That's quite enough, Windrider."
"But it's true. She was raised among vermin, right? Then she is a vermin."
Enhydra looked to Windrider's mother. She nodded. He looked back to the young otter. "One more word from you, Windrider, just one more."
Enhydra continued. "So now, you must obey both me, and Amber."
"Hah! I'll never listen to that vermin!"
That was enough for Enhydra. He grabbed the young otter by the neck of his tunic and lifted him off the ground until he could feel the otter breath. He glared at Windrider. "I told you to shut up. Git this int'yer head. She will be in charge of ye. If you disobey her, ye will be kicked out from the clan, ye hear me?!"
Windrider, terrified, nodded. Enhydra threw him to the ground, roughly. "An' that goes for all of ye! Am I clear?"
The clan choursed. "Yes."
"Good. Now Amber...Amber? Amber, where are ye?"
The ottermaid was gone. Where did she go?
A young creature crashed though the bushes. She looked behind her at the vermin pursuing her. Suddenly, a figure appeared out of nowhere and picked her up. She screamed. Amber swung her up into the foliage above. "Be silent! I'll take care of them."
Amber disappeared into he bushes again. A few minutes later, the vermin arrived. Vulpini! Amber came charging out of the bushes, with her sword drawn. "Streamgaaaaaaaaallleeeee!!!!"
"The berserker! Run!"
Everyone ran away. The young squirrel that Amber rescued hopped onto her back. She had a small sling. "I was gonna help you fight them, but oh well. Heeheehee. Thanks fer rescuin' me. I'm Fenda. Who are you?"
"Amber Streamgale. Where are you from?"
Some words popped into Amber's mind. Follow the one with the sling, Seek the stone red building.
"Stone red building..."
"Amber? Are you ok?"
"Huh? What? Oh, yeah, I was just thinking about somethin' random."
"Oh...so where do you live?"
"Er, maybe I should just show you."
"Ok! If I go home, Mother Teresa's gonna kill me."
"Alright, hang on tight, we're gonna go for a ride."
Amber took off, with the dibbun squirrel squealing on her back.
Teresa, the badger mother of redwall trotted over to Skipper. "Skip, did you see Fenda anywhere?"
"No, why? Has the young rascal gone missin' agin?"
"I can't find her anywhere."
"Did you see if all the gates are locked?"
"No...you think she may be in mossflower woods somewhere?!"
"Maybe. If she is, we'll have to send search parties. I here there are vermin out there."
Abbess Julia trotted over to them. She was a squirrelmaid with emerald green eyes and chesnut brown fur. The abbess was young and agile as can be. "Hey guys, I found the south wicker gate unlocked. I'm sure Fenda escaped there."
"Skipper, gather your crew, will you? Go and search for the babe."
"Yes ma'am! Right away."
"I just hope Fenda is alright."
"Don't worry, Teresa. From what I heard, she has a small sling with her. I think she knows how to use it too." The abbess indicated a bruise on her paw.
Amber and Fenda entered the cave. Everybeast looked up. Enhydra glared at her. "Where were you?! We almost sent out search parties."
"Well, I was rescuing the squirrel, wasn't I Fenda?"
"Ya! She save me life!"
"Well, we're goin' to redwall. That's Fenda's home."
"Because my Father told me to."
"It was a dream. He said, 'Amber Streamgale, heed my words
Look out for the one with the twin daggers long like swords
He will show you the way of light
For your brother's revenge, you must fight
Follow the one with the sling
Seek the stone red building
The Windgales will be victorious
Face the enemy and be vicious
Solve the puzzle of the unwanted one
And remember: face the blazing sun.'"
Enhydra looked puzzled. "Waaa?"
"I dunno! It obviously says to follow Fenda, she's the one with the sling."
"Fenda, do you know where Redwall is?"
"Ya 'course I do! I come from there!"
"Well, when do we leave, Enhydra?"
"Tomorrow. We'll bring the whole clan."
"Well, I'm gonna get Fenda some food."
Vulpini and her vermin ran...again. They crashed through the bushes and found themselves...in another camp? A big ugly fox stood up and smiled. "Haharr, Vulpini me little sis! What're ye doin' here?!"
"Mustilade! Er, we were...runnin' from the berserker."
"No! The berserker was Silverfang."
"Sure. We're gonna take over the abbey of redwall. Wanna join us?"
"I guess so. Nothin' else to do anyway."
"Good, tomorrow, we take over the abbey."
Vulpini smiled and thought, and tomorrow will be your death day, brother!
Fenda ran. She had a loaded sling in her paw.
"Heeheehee! You can't catch me!"
Windrider ran after her, holding his nose. "you little creep! get back here!"
Fenda ran up a tree. "Hahaha! nenenenenene!"
Windrider, afraid of heights, yelled up at her. "You come down here right now!"
Fenda saw Amber walk by and jumped on her back. "Hahaha!"
Amber looked at the squirrelbabe. "What?"
Fenda looked at her with big innocent eyes. "He's tryin' to kill me."
"What?! She hit me with a loaded sling first!"
Enhydra walked up to them. "We're all ready t'go! C'mon."
"Ok, Fenda, you remember how to get to Redwall, right?"
"Then lead the way."
They followed the young squirrel for the whole day. Now, they were tired. Amber rested against a tree. They had passed that place for at least seven times already.
"Fenda are you sure you know where you're goin'?
"Ya! I gonna go help Enhydra scout ahead."
With that, she disappeared up a tall oak. Amber pressed her head against the tree. Not again! "Fenda, come back!"
Suddenly, they heard screaming. "Aaaaaaaaaahhh!!! Get your paws offa me you big stripydog!"
"Fenda, you're in big trouble!"
Amber took her sword and raced to the direction of the noise. She ran right into another otter. He looked a bit like the otter in her dreams. "Vermin!"
"Hey! Leave me 'lone!"
Enhydra crashed through the bushes. "Get your paws offa her!"
Fenda escaped Teresa and leapt on skipper's head. She brought her sling down. "You leave Amber alone!"
"Fenda! Come back here right now!"
"Amber! Save me! Ma Teresa's gonna baff me!"
"Waa? What in the name o' season's goin' on here?"
"Enhydra, It's safe. Fenda knows these beasts."
"Er, well, why don't you come back to the abbey with us. And Fenda's gonna have some explainin' to do."
"Well, thanks. Lemme get the rest of the clan first."
"Streamgales! Over here! We're goin' to redwall!"
Skipper held his head which had a big lump from Fenda's sling. "Streamgales? Hey, you. What was your dad's name?"
"He's me cousin. Where is he?"
"Er...dead fifteen seasons ago."
Amber caught Fenda as she was about to leap into another tree. "Ya, I'll tell you later. Now, we gotta get to the abbey."
Reynard Mistblade the twirled his traveling staff. He had been kicked out of Salamandastron for a season because of his behavior. He was a young hare with normal brown fur and a bright red tunic. On his forehead was an unusual marking. Because he had that marking, everybeast treated him different. Lord Melogale had given him a scroll. He told him to solve the puzzle, then come back to Salamandastron. He read it aloud to himself.
"'to Go to Bee Wall Raby,
Find the one that fights madly
Follow her to the river
Look to the best diver
Find the backwards lraep.
at the three topped oak, take three forward leaps
Go to the sun at day
toss the lreap to be weighed
At the cave of the slave,
return it so he won't be grave.' Huh, what's that supposed to bally mean wot? Well, can't think on a flippin' empty stomach, wot. Gonna get a light snack." He tossed his traveling staff to the ground and tossed a piece of pie into his mouth.
"Mmmmm. That's good!"
Then, he found himself surrounded by about a hundred beasts. Blades were at his throat. "Haharr, Vulpini, we got a rabbit! An' he got food!"
Abbess Julia, Badger Mother Teresa, Skipper, the abbey warrior, Oaktail, Enhydra and Amber surrounded the squirrelbabe, Fenda.
"You, young Fenda, must scrub all of Friar Noodle's pots clean. Then, you must go upstairs to the infirmary and help Sister Antica clean up the dirty clothes. then you must go-"
"Er, you think that's a bit much, Teresa?"
"No, miz amber."
"No buts! Fenda, you go now."
"Yes Ma Teresa."
"Now, you said your father gave you a poem?"
"Yes. He said..."
Vulpini crouched down in front of the hare. "Well, where'd'ye come from?"
"What's yer name?"
"Me name? Why do you need to jolly know me name fer, eh, stinkface?"
"I asked you what you name was."
"Fine, I'll call you rabbit."
"I'm a flippin' hare!"
"You won't tell me yer name."
"So? I'm gettin' outa here, wot!"
Vulpini toppled backwards as Reynard kicked her. He broke free from his ropes. Then, he found his staff and dagger and ran. "Hahaha! Too bad, flippin' cad!"
A score of vermin ran after him, but nobeast could catch up to the fastest runner in Salamandastron.
Amber, Enydra, Skipper, and fifteen of their able-bodied otters walked out the south wicker gate. They were going to track down the vermin and count their numbers.
"Ok, if anybeast sees anythin' just give a low whistle. Clear?"
"Yep. If not, we'll meet here at lunch time."
"Ok, let's go."
Amber ducked into a bush as a rat ran past. The rat looked around. Amber aimed her arrow and let it go. The rat fell. Amber looked the direction the rat came from. She saw a dust cloud. And...a hare? He was being pursued by vermin! She gave a whistle and ran towards the hare. "Go! I'll hold them off!"
Reynard looked at the silver patterned otter. "Never! The long patrol never abandons a friend."
"Go! Hurry! I'm serious!"
Skipper and Enhydra came with fifteen more otters. Amber charged with them at the vermin. "Streamgaaaaaaaalllleeeeee!"
"Eulaliiiaaaa!! Redwaaaaaaalll!" Reynard charged with them also. He saw Amber fight like mad. Her silver fur was turning colors. One of the vermin saw that it was the Berserker."
"Oh no! It's the Berserker. She's gonna kill us all!"
Amber didn't let them though. She was there before they could even walk another step. "Streamgaaaaaaaallleee!!!"
Soon all the vermin was dead. None of the otters were dead, but some had deep wounds. Reynard skipped around Amber while Enhydra put a polituce on her cut arm. "You're the one that fights like flippin' mad, wot wot! you're supposed to help me."
"Yeah, Do y'know where Bee Wall Raby is?"
"Bee wall raby? I never heard of it."
Enhydra finished binding up her injury. "Let's figure it out at lunch."
"Lunch? Did I hear you jolly well say lunch?"
"Yeah, wanna come?"
"Sure! Vermin took me food. Almost stole the bally dagger father gave me before I was kicked out of Salamandastron."
"You're the unwanted one! I'm supposed to solve your puzzle."
"Ok, let's jolly well figure it out at lunch, I'm hungry!"
Amber never saw somebeast eat that much before. Everybeast was staring at Reynard.
"What are you jolly well starin' at, wot?"
"Well, then eat up."
Skipper's daughter, Lutris was looking at the hare's scroll for a long time. "I think I found out what Bee Wall Raby is."
Skipper peered over her shoulder at the scroll. "What is it, me gel?"
"It's an anagram for Redwall Abbey."
"Whoohoo! Good job, wot wot! How 'bout the blinkin' rest?"
"I never got that far yet."
"Well, Reynard, you're supposed to go to Redwall abbey, right?"
"That's wot it says."
"Ok, let's go now. Everybeast done with lunch yet?"
"Let's go then."
A pair of eyes watched them walk down the path. It flew the opposite direction.
One rat staggered back into camp. "Uhhh..."
"Bilrev, what happened?! Where are the others?"
"Dead. Berserker...slew most...had other riverdogs with her."
Vulpini ran him through. "Arrrggh!!"
"Come on, sis. Time to go to the abbey."
"Y'think the berserker's at Redwall Mustilade?"
"Maybe. now let's move!"
The pair of eyes watched them too. Then the wings carried it off.
Fenda had, again, escaped. She ran giggling onto the abbey lawns. A shadow flew overhead and suddenly, a huge, golden eagle flew down next to her. Fenda screamed. The eagle just stared at her with fierce golden eyes.
"Aaaaaaahhhh! Big birdie gonna eat me! Help! Help!"
"Kreeeaaaahh! I'm not a big bird! I'm a golden eagle."
Fenda stopped screaming and looked at the eagle. "Are you gonna eat me?"
"Ah, I've given up eatin' small creatures like you. I only eat fish now. I'm Chrysaetos. Who are you?"
"Me Fenda. Uh-oh. Ma Teresa's commin'! She gonna kill me. I ran 'way from chores."
"Well, what a bad squirrelmaid. Come behind me, I'll hide you."
The badger mother came striding to the direction of the scream with Amber, Skipper, Abbess Julia, and Enhydra.
"Fenda, where are you?"
"Fenda, stop tryin' ter run agin."
"Goodness! That dibbun can really hide."
"Great seasons! Lookit that!"
"An eagle! Ye think it's gonna eat us?"
"Dunno, I'm gonna talk t'him."
"Amber! Be careful."
Amber hopped over to the big eagle. "Hey! What are ye doin' here?"
"Kreeeeh! I came here to warn you."
"There are about a hundred vermin in Mossflower tryin' to take over this place."
"Vermin, eh? Well, thank you for warnin' us. Ye haven't by any chance seen a squirrelmaid, have ye, sir?"
Fenda sneezed from behind the big bird. Teresa had sneaked up behind Fenda and grabbed her. "hah! Fenda! More chores for you!"
Amber held out her paw. "I'm Amber Streamgale. Who are ye?"
The eagle held out a talon. "Chrysaetos. Nice to meet you. I'll be back now and agian to tell of any trouble."
He flew off. Enhydra, Abbess Julia, and Skipper came over. "You were brave, Amber."
"Ye never knew if'n that bird was gonna eat you."
"That's right. He would just swallow ye whole."
"Nah, that's impossible. She's a berserker, remember?"
Abbess Julia's mouth dropped open. "You're a berserker?!"
"You bet she is! Her silver fur turned red when she was angry at the vermin."
"Vermin! Vermin! Vermin at the gates!" Oaktail came running with Martin the warrior's sword and a pair of bow and arrows. "Hurry, get the defenders ready."
"Abbess, can you-"
"No! I'm gonna fight too!" She pulled a sling from her habit sleeves and loaded it. "I'm not gonna let Redwall fall!"
Skipper looked at her awkwardly. "Er, ok...then get to the west walltop. I'll go get all the elders and dibbuns inside."
Julia ran to the walltop and slung her stone. There was a screech from the other side. Skipper shook his head. "Some abbess she is."
Amber aimed her arrow at Vulpini's brother. "What do ye want?!"
"Give us this abbey!"
"Yah, go an' boil yer fat head, fox!"
She let the arrow go and Mustiladae ducked. It hit a stoat behind him. The war had started!
After the vermin had retreated for the day, Amber and Reynard sat with Enhydra, Skipper, Julia, and Skipper's daughter, Lutris under a tree in the orchard.
"Er, anybeast jolly well know wot a backwards lreap is?"
"Does it look like we know?"
"Yeah. Lutris does."
Everyone stared at Lutris, who was smiling. "What?!"
"Tell us what a backwards lreap is."
"Wot makes ye think i know?"
Skipper glared at her. "Tell us right now, gel."
"But I don't know! Heeheehee."
"Lutris! Tell us!"
the young ottermaid smiled and took a twig and started to write on the ground.
"Ok, backwards lreap means lreap backwards. Which is..." Lutris wrote some more letters. "Pearl!"
"oooooohhh! I get it now! so we gotta get the lreap from the river?"
"I guess so. We'll go tomorrow at dawn."
Vulpini and Mustiladae and several of their captains sat around a fire. They were hatching a perfect plan and were drawing it out on a piece of bark.
"So, you lead your group and attack from there. I'll use slingers and archers to create a diversion over here while you use gappling hooks to get in here. Once you get in, open the main gate. Got it?"
"We attack an hour after dawn."
"Good, we rest now."
But, at dawn, Amber, Enhydra, Lutris, and two other otters set out with Reynard. They hoped to come back before the next vermin attack. There was a movement in the tree above them. They got ready for an attack. Then, something jumped out and landed on Lutris's head. she screamed.
Amber swiped at the figure with her sword. Fenda dodged it skillfully and fell on the ground, laughing. "Heeheehee! Me scare you!"
"Aren't you supposed to still be doin' chores?"
"Me escaped again! heeheehee!"
"Well shame on ye!"
"Go back to the blinkin' abbey now, wot! It's jolly well dangerous here."
"Danger? No danger here. Danger at Redwall. Me saw Ma Teresa frow big rocks at baddies. Heeheehee. Before i came, I cut ropes from south wall wi' me dagger! Me heard baddies scream!"
Fenda was waving a small dagger. "Cummon! We gotta go save Redwall!"
Amber picked the squirrel up and ran with the others back towards the abbey. Fenda suddenly jumped out of Amber's paws and twirled her loaded sling. She let it go and it hit a weasel head that just appeared from behind a bush.
"Yeeheehee! Shoopid vermint!"
A score of vermin appeared from the trees and bushes. They surrounded the small party.
"Enhydra! Take Fenda. Put her into the haversack."
"What?! I ain't gonna go in no havveysack! I'm gonna kill vermint."
Fenda took out another vermin. Enhydra grabbed her but missed. The vermin closed in on the pack. Fenda scooted up into the trees and slung stones from there. The others formed a circle. Amber and the others started to fight. Chrysaetos suddenly swept out of nowhere. "Kreeeeeeeeh!"
The eagle took out half of the vermin. The otters, and Reynard. took the rest as they got their attention distracted by the eagle. One of them tried to run. Fenda jumped from the tree and landed on the vermin. Nobeast ever seen any dibbun jump that far. the squirrelbabe hit the vermin like a rock. Amber screamed at her. "Fenda! Run! He'll kill ye!"
The weasel vermin tried to cut the babe, but Fenda took it all like a game. "Nah nah! Can't catch me!"
"Die! Hey were'd'ye go? Die! Hey! Come back here! Die! Noooo!!"
Fenda was getting tired. She slowed a bit. The weasel thrust at her with his dirk. "Die!"
Fenda's footpaw was cut. That's it! She was angry now. "Owowowow! wahahaha! that hurts. Shooopid vermint! You die! I not gonna die. wahahaa!"
The squirrelbabe's dagger flew through the air and killed the vermin. Everybeast had watched in awe. Did that squirrelbabe just kill a fully grown weasel? Fenda was on the ground crying, holding her footpaw. "Wahahahaha! Shoopid vermint. he cut me paw."
Enhydra walked over to her. He scooped her up. "C'mon! Back to the abbey! They're fightin' remember? An' we gotta get Fenda some medical attention, fast."
Chrysaetos gently took the squirrelbabe with his talons. "Bind her wounds for now. I'll fly her to the abbey."
Fenda squealed with pain as amber tore a strip from her tunic and put it around her wound. "There."
The eagle took off.
Vulpini screamed at the top of her lungs. "Die! die redwallers! What are ye doin' ye bungly bunch? I said batter the gates, not drop it on yer footpaws! Pick it up!"
One rat held his footpaw. "But they poured oil on it. 'Tis too slippery!"
"Sharrup! I didn't ask fer yer opinion! where's Gutblade gone with the gappling hooks? He's supposed to let us in an hour ago!"
"I just went t'look at the south wall, an' I saw Gutblade's group on the floor, dead. Well, most o' them dead, but some are still alive. Somethin' cut the ropes and they fell to the ground."
Vulpini turned amd stared at her brother. "What?! You don't look concerned for some reason..."
"No, that's because I found something..."
"What is it?"
"Follow me. hahaha."
Fenda sat on the infirmary bed pouting. Since the golden eagle flew her back, Sister Antica, the mouse infirmary keeper, was telling her off.
"Ha! Everybeast warned you to obey your elders! And did you listen? No. Instead, you went out right in the middle of the battle with only your puny sling. Then, you got your paw injured and-"
"I got a dagger too. But it still in the vermint."
"Great Seasons! You killed a vermin?! You were playing with a dagger too? Oh, you are in trouble, ya hear me? Big trouble! You-"
"Kreeeh, excuse me, sister. Fenda just happened to save Amber's lives, as well as the others who were with her. She also saved the abbey by cutting vermin the ropes on the walls."
"Tha's right, sissa."
Antica put her paws on her hips. "Well, I don't care what you did, you're going to be punished! You're going to scrub pots all seasons, you're goi-"
She was interrupted when Abbess Julia ran into the infirmary. "Vermin! Vermin in the abbey gates!"
Amber and the rest cautiously stepped toward the west wall. It wasn't being attacked. They knew by the sound coming from the other side, that the redwallers were fighting hard. Enhydra checked the small gate. Thank seasons Fenda left it unlocked. they entered and saw...Vulpini!
Amber drew her sword. "You will pay, fox!"
The vermin surrounded them....again. but this time, there were more vermin. They fought like mad, but were overwhelmed. They were all unconscious. Vulpini smiled. "Prisoners. Wait 'till I show Mustilade."
Amber awakened slowly. She took a look at her surroundings. She was inside the abbey walls...inside a cage? The cage was made of some strong wood from the orchards and kept her, and the others inside. She was bleeding everywhere. She sat up to tend to her wounds. The ottermaid was no healer, but she tried her best to stop the bleeding. Then, Lutris woke up. She groaned. She wasn't badly injured, with only a cut or two and a couple of big bruises. "Uhh...what's goin' on? where am I?"
"In a cage. Can you move? We have to tend to the others."
"Me? Oh, yeah, i can move. But I don't have any herbs. Wait, I think Gulley does. I told him to take some just in case."
She crawled over to a small bag next to an otter. She picked it up and rummaged around with her paw. She took out a bunch of herbs and started to get to work on the injured creatures. Amber helped her. Reynard, who was laying in the corner, sat bolt upright. "Attack! Attack! Hurry up an' get the Long Patrol! Vermin!"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, what's goin' on?"
Enhydra was awakened from the hare's call. He tried to stand, but couldn't, due to a big gash in his leg. "Uhh...where's the vermin? Where are we?"
A rat came around. "Ey, wot's youse talkin' 'bout, eh?"
"shaddup stinkface, wot wot."
"Yah, you shuttup rabbet!"
"I'm a blinkin' hare!"
"I don't care, rabbet."
"Come here, ye blinkin' cad, wot. i got a flippin' secret for you."
The rat put his ear through the bars of the wooden cage. "Wot's the secret?"
Reynard yanked his ear hard. "that's the bloomin' secret, wot!"
"Yaaaaahhh! yeeeeeeeee! Owowowowow! Leggo a me ear! Eeeeeeekkk!"
"Grrr... wot's goin' on 'ere?"
"Eeeeeek, he's pullin' me lug! Help, chief!"
Mustilade pulled his other ear to help him out of his predicament, but it just made it worse. Reynard hung on, then bit it.
"Yeeeeeeeaaaaaahhh!!! Stop pullin' me ear!"
Vulpini came over. "Sharrup! Wot the heck's goin' on?"
"The hare's biting Melbo's ear."
Vulpini punched Reynard on the jaw and he let go. The Melbo ran. Vulpini still had her paw in the cage. By now, everybeast in the cage was wide awake, tending their injuries and watching with amusement. Reynard was going to bite Vulpini's paw too, but Amber got in his way and bit the fox. Being an otter, Amber had much sharper teeth than the hare. Vulpini screeched.
"Yeah! bite harder, Amber! heeheehee."
"Wahoo! that's the stuff t'give her!"
Vulpini shook her paw from side to side, trying to get Amber off. But it only made it worse. Mustilade stuck his paw inside and punched Amber on the jaw, making her let go too. They both withdrew their paws. They ran off to the other side of the orchard.
Enhydra, Lutris, Reynard, and the two other otters, Clofe and Juva laughed until tears came out. Amber rubbed her jaw. "Man, that fox can punch hard."
Enhydra tossed some extra herbs to her. "'ere, put this on it. Hahaha! Good job biting her!"
"Yeah, i allus wanted to do that."
"Hey, you still got Vulpini's dagger?"
"Yeah, an' i'm gonna kill her with it." Amber took a bloodstained dagger hidden in her belt.
"Then get us out with it first."
Amber began to stab at on of the branches with the dagger. "Hey, anybeast else have daggers or somethin'?"
Three others had some sort of blade. Soon, they cut through two of the branches. It was big enough for them to get out. They looked around. Nobeast was around. they crept out and went towards the abbey.
Abbess Julia, Skipper, and Oaktail paced around. The sentries had been slain when the vermin came into the gates. They were lucky they had lunch indoors today. What were those screams comming from the orchard?
There was a knock on the door. Skipper ran to the door. "Who goes there? Are ye friend or foe?"
"It's Amber an' some others. quick, open the doors, the vermin are after us!"
Skipper, Julia, Teresa, and Oaktail tried to open the door. But it was stuck! There were sounds of vermin outside. There were warcries of the otters and Reynard.
"We can't! It's stuck!"
"Streamgaaaaalllleeeee!!! Eulaliiiaaaaa!!! Redwaaaaaaalll!!!"
The five friends, again, fought vermin. They were being overwhelmed...again. A dark shadow flew overhead. Amber looked up. "Our bad luck today, isn't it?"
"Kreeeeeeehhh!!!! Die vermin! Chrysaetos will kill today!"
The golden eagle swooped down from nowhere. All the vermin fled back into the orchards, shouting and screaming.
"Wahoo! ye saved us, Chrysaetos! Thanks, matey."
"Kreeeeh! More rabbit commin' soon. They like him. All rabbits!"
The eagle pointed at Reyndard who look indignant. "Excuse me, sah, but i'm a hare."
"Hare an' rabbit are the same."
"No they're not! Rabbit's are stupider than flippin' hares, wot wot!"
"The door's stuck"
"Or is it."
Chrysaetos moved a big rock from infront of the door. "Now open it."
The vermin retreated back to the orchard.
"where did that big eagle come from?"
"Grimai, go an cook some dinner fer us. i'm hungry."
"Do ye ever think about somethin' besides yer tummy?"
"Yea, i think about other stuff too."
"Aaaaaaaahhhh! It's the eagle agin! Run!"
"Kreeeeeeeeek! die vermin!"
Chyrsaetos flew in. The vermin ran outside the abbey walls. Success!
Now the vermin were outside again! Amber, Enhydra, Skipper, and Julia quickly locked all the gates. Abbess Julia strode towards them. "We got a big dinner! To celebrate the victory."
"No, not really. Just a big dinner."
"Oh. ok. Let's go! I'm hungry."
One vermin, a weasel, was still inside the redwall's gates; he was in a tree in the orchard. He watched the otters go. Chyrsaetos was preening his feathers below him. The weasel smiled evilly. He notched a shaft to his bowstring and fired. Chyrsatos squawked loudly. There was a thud as it hit something...
Vulpini paced around. Malaic, her highest captain was missing. Where was he? He wasn't a fox like herself, but he was loyal. Where was he?
Amber was eating lunch when,
"What was that?!"
"It sounded like that eagle, Chyrsatos."
Enhydra peered out the window. "He's hit with an arrow!"
"Wait, no he's not! There's an arrow in his beak. He's biting it...and he's flying? Into a tree. And...he's got a...a...somethin'..."
Enhydra poked his head out of the window. Amber shoved him aside roughly. "Outta my way!"
She peered at the eagle. "It's a screaming weasel!!!"
"Huh, all I see is a screaming otter."
Amber glared at Enhydra, "You, my friend, need to get glasses."
They watched Chrysaetos pick the vermin up in his talons. The eagle flapped his wings and flew him over the walltop, then flying up high. He dropped the weasel from very high. The vermin, Malaic, dropped from a hundred feet of the ground, into Vulpini's camp...actually, into Vulpini's fire.
Malaic fell into the fire dead as rock.
Amber, Enhydra, Skipper, and Lutris were outside, running to where Chrysaetos perched.
"Huh! that vermin is a horrible shooter. I was right under him and he missed!"
"You're not injured, are you, mate?"
"Are ye ok?"
"Where'd that vermin come from?"
"He-" Bongboombongboombongboom! The bell rang and Abbess Julia came from the abbey. "Long Patrol hares."
Captains Pieblade Scuttbattle and Alnus Roseblade marched into the abbey grounds with two score of hares, each with a bright red tunic and heavily armed. "Thank you for letting us taking refuge here, wot!"
"Aye, and as i saw five blinkin' minutes ago, you're under a flippin' attack, wot!"
"Good! We'll be here fighting, wot wot!"
"Er, is Reynard Mistblade here by any chance?"
"Yes, he's...he's...somewhere in here."
"Well, Lord Melogale wants to know where he's been for the whole bloomin' season. he's been suspended from the long patrol for behavior, wot. He's supposed to solve the blinkin' puzzle, then return to Salamandastron with a flippin' dirk."
"Well, Long Patrol! Stand to attention!"
All the hares stood to attention, waiting for Captain Alnus Roseblade talk. She drew her sabre.
"As you probably know, this place is jolly well under attack. Who's ready to bally defend this blinkin' place wot? it's called war!"
The score of hares screamed at the top of their lungs. "Eulaliiiiaaaaa!!!"
Alnus looked at her brother, Captain Pieblade Scuttbattle. "Hey! I'm gettin' pretty good at this orderin' stuff, wot!"
"ahem, sis, please, set an example. You just became a bloomin' captain last week, wot."
"fine, you order then."
"Now, we're gonna go accordin' to the spiffin' plans, wot! After supper, we go!"
"Er, excuse me, sir, but go where?"
Captain Pieblade turned to Abbess Julia. "You'll see. Patrol, Dismiss! If you find Reynard, send him to me."
"Yessah!" The hares departed.
Pieblade turned his attention to the otters. His eyes rested on Amber.
"Yahh! what's with all the silver markings, wot? It's...its...creepy."
Amber looked hurt. Enhydra defended her. "So? Just because she has silver markings doesn't mean she's not an otter. It doesn't mean she's some kind of vermin, does it?"
"Uh...no...it just surprised me, that's all, wot. Sorry."
Amber and Enhydra were in the great hall, walking to gather the Streamgale clan.
"Psst! Over here!"
Enhydra looked at amber, "Was that you?"
"No, i thought it was you."
"It's me! Over here! under the flippin' table!"
They peered under the table in the great hall. "Reynard! what are ye doin' 'ere? Captain Pieblade's lookin' fer you."
"Shh! Help me escape! i'm gonna die when he find me, wot."
Enhydra winked at Amber. She winked back. They looked at him, smiling. "C'mon mate, we're bustin' ye outta here."
"Ya! Just make sure the flippin' cap'n doesn't spot us."
they dragged him from the great hall and into Cavern Hole where the two captains, abbess julia, badger mother teresa, and oaktail was conversing.
"yah! flippin' bounders! y'were supposed to help me escape!"
"Reynard Mistblade! Where were you?"
Vulpini and mustilade had torches in their paws. They sneaked up to the main gate and threw the torches. Chrysaetos flew down and tried to stop the fire. he screeched as the fire licked at him. That sounded the alarm.
"Fire! The eagle's down there! Fire!"
Amber and all the abled bodied creatures, along with the Long Patrol was putting out the fire from the main gate. Chrysaetos's body was in front of the gatehouse. Sister Antica, the infirmary sister, looked up from tending the big eagle. "He wont survive. I did the best i could."
Skipper patted on the back. "Yah, its alright. You did your best."
Sister Antica ran off to tend some beast else.
About at noon, they had finally finished putting out the fire. they blocked the gates with rocks so the vermin couldn't enter. Amber, Enhydra, Skipper, Lutris, Abbess Julia, and the two captains of the long patrol sat, having a council of war. Captain Pieblade and Captain Alnus took the floor.
"Tonight, we're gonna take the our bloomin' Long Patrol to ambush the vermin camp, wot."
"Good. We're commin' too."
Amber looked at Enhydra, "Yes. But we won't be following the hares. I've got a better idea..."
Amber sneaked through the bushes, heavily armed with her father's sword, her lance, and her bows and arrows. She entered the vermin camp and sat next to one of the weasels. "Ugh. when we were attacking, did you see the way Vulpini was hanging back with mustilade? She's such a coward."
"Yeah, she was....aaaahhh! you're the berserker!!"
"I know. and today, Vulpini will pay!"
Vulpini came over, wondering what everybeast was shouting about. Someone tapped her on the back from behind. She whirled around. "what do you want?"
The fox came face to face with Amber. Her eyes were blood red; all her silver stripes were red too. She was the berserker. The beast that couldn’t be stopped by anything except death itself. "I want you to die!"
Suddenly, the whole camp was chaos. Hares charged in. Otters popped up from everywhere.
“Eulaliiiiiaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! Redwaaaaaaaalll!!! Streamgaaaaaallleee!!!”
Mustilade and about ten of the vermin tried to escape. But Enhydra and some of his mates stopped them. “Die Fox! Streamgaaaallleee!”
In an hour, all the vermin were dead. Amber and Vulpini were locked in combat. An arrow flew through the air and landed on Amber’s back. She didn't even wince. She wrenched it from her back and threw it aside.
Amber rained blows on Vulpini. The vixen was losing, but she kept fighting, hoping for a chance to live. Amber was a terrible sight. Her eyes, the fur, her screaming... it was all a nightmare. Enhydra and the other Streamgale otters stayed to watch. The others had gone back to Redwall to tell everybeast. The otters had tried to help Amber, but Enhydra forbade it. They watched as Amber, seeing nothing but red mist and her hated foe, battled on.
The ottermaid parried and thrust like lightning. Vulpini was falling. She clashed blades with Amber, creating sparks. Amber screamed madly. "Streamgaaaaaaaaaaaallleeeee!!! You! Stupid! piece! of garbage!!! This is for Windgale, and my parents, and my clan members, who you slew." Amber stopped for a minute. She threw her blade aside. Vulpini saw her chance to kill the mad berserker. She charged Amber, her blade raised high. Amber drew the blood stained dagger that killed Windgale. Vulpini brought her blade down. Amber moved to one side as it came crashing down.
"WINDGAAAAALLLEEEEEE!!!!" The ottermaid grabbed the blade of Vulpini's sword with her paws. She wrenched it out of the fox's paws. Though her paws were bleeding, Amber plunged the dagger into Vulpini's heart, pushing it deep, then twisting it. The fox died instantly.
"There, Windgale. I did what you told me to do. I returned the dagger back to the owner."
She fainted with loss of blood. She had a large gash on her arm, and leg. She had a hole on her back where the arrow hit her. And her paws were cut to the bone where she grabbed the sword.
Enhydra picked her up gently. "Come on. She might make it if we hurry."
They trekked through Mossflower to Redwall.
Three days later, the Streamgale clan waited next to the infirmary door. Nobeast except Sister Antica had seen her since the battle. They were anxious to know how their leader was faring. It's been three days already, and she still hasn't awaken. Sister Antica came out. "She'll live."
There was loud cheering from the otters. "Shh! You'll wake her."
There was a groan from behind the door. Antica glared at them. "See? I told you."
Enhydra looked eager. "You think we kin go in an' see her?"
"Hmm...maybe. But one at a time. Enhydra, you first since you're the leader."
He slammed the door open, took one look at the ottermaid on the infirmary bed, and ran out, giving a shout. Amber groaned again. "Uhh...where am i? What happened?"
Enhydra peeked in again. "Oh, er, haha...yer in the infirmary...and your silver patterns turned bright red."
Amber looked at her patterns and tried to sit up, but collapsed. "Urgh. not again..." She winced as she felt pains reverberating through her body. Antica had shooed all the others out. Enhyda entered agian and helped her sit up. "Are you ok?"
"Yeah...why is it always me that's different? Why do i always have to be an outsider. I don't wanna be different."
Enhyda felt sorry for her. He put his paws around her shoulders. "You're not an outsider. You're unique."
"But I don't want to be unique. I want to be the same as everybeast else."
"You're still an otter."
"What kind of otter has silve-red markings on the fur?"
Amber looked at him with tears in her eyes. "but-"
Enhydra took her paw. "I don't care what or who you are, but I love you."
Amber cried into his shoulder. She wept for her slain family, for being with vermin most of her life, and for no reason at all. There was a knock on the door. Antica came in.
"Enhydra, what did you do to her? Why is she crying?"
"I said out!"
He walked out.
Deep in Mossflower woods, the beast twitched slightly. She wasn't dead yet The otter thought she had killed her, but she didn't. Oh, no, Vulpini the fox couldn't be killed that easily. She made as if to get up, but fell back down. She needed to recover first. Lucky for her, she was a healer.
The next day, Amber was able to get out of bed and walk around with a crutch. Everywhere she went, there was people staring at her new fur color. She hated it. She was depressed and went up to the west walltop to be alone for a while.
At lunch, Enhydra looked around. "Anybeast seen Amber?"
Fenda jumped onto his lap. "She in tha rain on the wes walltop." Enhydra walked up the west walltop. He covered Amber with a cloak. “What’cha doin’ here in the rain?”
“Are you okay? Your wounds bothering you?”
“Then why aren’t you eating lunch?”
“Oh come on! What’s wrong?”
Amber was silent. Enhydra looked at her. “Is it your red patterns?”
“They’re all starin’ at me!”
“They’re….just not used to it yet.”
“No! they think I’m some sorta creep.”
“I don’t. I think you’re a regular otter.”
Amber looked at him. “you do?”
Enhydra took her paw. “’course.”
“But, what about the others?”
“They still consider you an otter.”
“I’m not normal. I don’t belong anywhere.”
“Or ‘’do’’ you.”
She looked at him puzzled. “What?”
“You belong with the Streamgale clan. and you belong with me.” He hugged her tight.
Three days later, they set out. The long patrol had left Reynard to solve the puzzle with the otters. They walked through Mossflower. Enhydra was repeating the poem over and over agian.
"to Go to Bee Wall Raby,
Find the one that fights madly
Follow her to the river
Look to the best diver
Find the backwards lraep.
at the three topped oak, take three forward leaps
Go to the sun at day
toss the lreap to be weighed
At the cave of the slave,
return it so he won't be grave."
"Please, enhydra, stop. it's annoying."
"Ok. so, we go to the river."
"I think we'll get there at about noon."
At the river, we have to find a three topped oak."
Lutris started to skip. "I know where that is! Follow me."
They arrived at the river at noon, as Amber guessed. Lutris looked around and pointed to an oak tree. "There! right there! the three topped oak tree."
"Ok, so, we take three forward leaps, wot wot."
Suddenly, about a score of vermin surrounded them. Like lightning, they captured them and dragged them off. They were the juskaclaw!
They were tied to trees; three to each. Amber and enhydra were tied to the same tree as Lutris. A ferret came over to them. "Haharr. Here's the Taggerung!"
Amber tried to get at him, but he ropes restrained her. "Grr! Let us go now!"
The ferret had Amber's sword. "Nice blade you got, Taggerung."
"I ain't no taggerung! My name is Amber Streamgale. Now let me go!"
Lutris whispered something to Amber. She nodded and winked at Enhydra. He winked back.
Lutris had untied the rope with her paws. They charged the ferret, knocking him unconscious. Amber took her sword back and severed the ropes of the others. The whole camp was an uproar. Amber went berserk again. The otters escaped. the vermin just stared, dumbly at the trees where their captives were tied.
Another ferret, a female, screamed at them. "Go get them you blithering idiots!!!
The otters ran as the vermin pursued them. At the three topped oak, Everybeast jumped into the river. Reynard climbed up a tree, being afraid of the water. The juskaclaw soon caught up.
“where are they?”
“Aurgh! We lost them.”
“Let’s get back to Fereb and Netale”
“they’ll kill us!”
“Let’s make somethin’ up.”
After about ten minutes, the otters surfaced. They had been breathing with the reeds growing around. Everybeast except Amber and Enhydra got out. Amber called to Reynard, who was climbing down the tree. "We're gonna go find that pearl."
"Good show, wot! We'll wait right here, away from the bloomin' stream."
They disappeared under water. Lutris looked in. There was a dark shadow in the river. Pike!
Amber swam alongside Enhydra. They had reached the bottom of the riverbed. They looked around and saw nothing but underwater plants and fish. A shadow passed over them. Amber looked up and saw…a huge pike swimming directly towards them at full speed! She knocked Enhdyra out of the way and put herself infront of it as the pike’s jaws clamped down.
The pike was quick. But Amber was quicker. She dodged the mouth and set about thumping it's head hard with her rudder.
Enhydra had his breath knocked from him when he was pushed out of the way by Amber. Dazed, he sank to the bottom of the streambed.
Amber was almost playing with the huge pike. She dodged this way and that, weaving in and out, ducking at the same time. The big fish seemed to have endless energy. The ottermaid was getting tired. She swam off to the surface, taking a breath. That was all the pike needed. It hurled itself at her. It rammed into amber, sending her flying through the air. That was it! Amber was angry now. Very angry. No more miss nice otter!
Amber was berserk again. Her patterns were turning from bright red to darker, and darker. Her amber eyes turned very dark red. She attacked ferociously at the pike, who was taken aback at the fierce otter. Bits of fur, flesh, and scales flew everywhere. Though she was fighting madly, Amber was taking terrible hammering. Suddenly, Enhydra came from nowhere and helped her. He rammed his javelin point into the pike's heart, killing it. He let the big fish sink into the depths.
Enhydra went after Amber, who was still underwater, sinking slowly, being exhausted from the pike's vicious attack. He grabbed her paw and pulled her to the surface. They both lay, draped over a rock, panting. Everybeast was cheering like crazy.
"Great Seasons! Skip won't believe this!"
"How did you two kill that big o' a fish?"
"That was amazing!"
"Bravo! Bravo! Whoohoo! Awesome!"
"Hey, d'ya think we could have that flippin' fish fer dinner, wot?"
Enhydra glanced at Amber, who was out cold. "Help...amber...injured...badly..."
He dived back into the river without another word. After Amber was treated, Enhydra came back up with a shell in his paws. He opened the shell. In it, a rose colored pearl was placed in the center. Reynard looked in awe at it. "Wow..."
Amber, who had been sleeping, suddenly got up. She struggled for a moment until Enhydra passed the shell to Reynard and helped her stand. “You alright?”
“Wha? Oh, yeah. I’m fine. Just dazed. How ‘bout you?”
“Jus’ fine. Only tired that’s all.”
“Okay. We gotta move. Juska commin’ this way, fast.”
“How d’ye know?”
“Martin the warrior appeared while I was out cold. He said we were to go southwest till we meet a hollow log shaped like a mouse. Then, we were to take shelter in it.”
“Alright. Let’s go.”
Suddenly, the air was filled with warcries of the Juska.
A male ferret, Zaros, raced at the head of the thirty juska warriors. His sister, Zanna was beside him. "They left in a hurry, see all those stomped down grass? They're headin' south west."
"I know that! Shut up and keep runnin'!"
A smaller ferret came up to them. "Hey! I found them, sis!"
"Grrr...don't call me sis, Skiz."
Zaros pushed her aside. "you found the taggerung? where?"
"Southwest from here. They're restin' on the hollow log shaped like a mouse."
Amber knocked on the log and found it was hollow. Suddenly, a door opened and the head of a mouse appeared. "Who be's you?"
"I'm amber. These are my friends. Could you help us please? We're bein' chased by the juska. Can you please help?”
“Juska? Silifer no like juska. I help.”
They entered the dwelling.
The Jusksblade arrived at the hollow log. Fortunately for them, Skiz knew about the secret door. He opened it. "Hey! In here!"
They entered the log.
Amber and the others followed the old mouse into the ground. The log shaped like a mouse was placed over a hole in the ground. They continued to go down, through tunnels and corridors. After about five minutes, they heard voices coming from behind them. Amber drew her sword. "Go! escape! I'll hold 'em off."
"Don't argue, just go!"
Everybeast was gone; the Juskablade had shown themselves. Suddenly, Enhydra's head popped out of nowhere. "How ya doin'?"
Amber stared dumbly at him. "What-you-how-"
He winked at her, "Ye didn't think i'd leave ye alone here, did ye?"
"Too late to turn back. looks like we're stuck here."
Enhydra began to twirl his twin daggers. "Let's party!"
They were back to back, weapons windmilling, death to all vermin. Amber, again was berserk. This, the Juska saw. Zaros was standing in the back with Zanna began to run. “The taggerung’s a Berserker! She’ll kill you! Run!”
An arrow embedded itself in Enhydra’s leg. The vermin ran. Amber, who was angry now, ran after them. Enhydra tried to run after her but his leg didn’t allow him. He collapsed. Afraid that the Juska might have more numbers and destroy her, he called her name. “Amber! Amber Streamgale! Wait!”
His voice echoed down the passageway. A few moments later, Amber came back around the corner. “They’re all gone. Disappeared into thin air.”
Enhydra looked up from trying to treat his leg. “Hm…must’ve been pretty scared o’ you.”
“Yeah. Your leg okay?”
“It’s Just an arrow wound. I’ll be able to get around in a crutch.”
“Alright. Good. Let’s follow the others.”
Enhydra tried to get up. “Aye. Let’s go. Uhh…” He collapsed again. Amber put a paw on the injured spot. It came away sticky with blood. In the darkness, she could barely see Enhydra wincing. She lit a torch with a piece of flint and tinder. Amber set a bunch of dried roots, twigs and moss on fire. She had a good fire burning now. Enhydra grimaced as she applied a dressing on his leg. When she finished he smiled at her. “Wow, much better. Thanks.”
Amber helped him get up. “You’re welcome. Now let’s go.”
Then, the old mouse, Silifer, appeared again. “Where ya been y’two? Silifer been waitin’. So has Echila tribe.”
“Sorry, we’ve been fighting. What’s Echila?”
“Echila is Silifer’s tribe. Come, follow Silifer. He show you way.”
They followed the old mouse.
“So…what’cha doin’ runnin’ from the Juska, eh? Got in trouble?”
“No, we were searchin’ fer a pearl so we could give it to the slave…so he wouldn’t be grave.”
“an’ suddenly, the juska came chasing us fer no reason. An’ they were sayin’ that Amber was the Taggerung or somethin’.”
“Ye know anythin’ ‘bout the taggerung, Silifer?”
“Taggerung great warrior. Silifer’s ancestor Nimbalo know taggerung once.”
“Oh, cool. An’ do ye know anythin’ about the slave who’s grave?”
“Cilor slave once. Silifer help him escape from baddies. He always sad. He say he lost great seal of family.”
Amber and Enhydra looked at each other. “Take us to Cilor please.”
“Ok, come. Follow Silifer.” They followed as quickly as they could.
They went through a door and saw that they were in an underground cave filled with mice. There were about twenty-five in all. Silifer led them to where the others were. Lutris looked up. “where’ve ye been?”
“Fightin’ t’save yer hide.”
“Oh, right. Anyway, what’cha gonna do with the pearl that ye found?”
“Silifer says he knows a slave. Mebbe that’s the slave we’re lookin’ fer.”
“Well? Go an’ give the pearl to him then!”
“I don’t have it! That’s the problem.”
“Well, of course you don’t bloomin’ have the blinkin’ pearl, wot! I have it!”
“Oh….well, come with me then. Lets ask Silifer who the slave is.”
They sat down at a table with another mouse. Silifer crackled and introduced them to the mouse. “This be Cilor. He be slave before.”
“Ok…er…hello, sir. I’m Amber. This is Enhydra, Lutris and Reynard.”
“Ok, so have ye ever seen this pearl? Do ye recognize it?” Enhydra held out the pearl in the clam shell. The mouse cocked his head and took the pearl in his paw. He tossed it up and down as if seeing if it was heavy. He then turned the pearl round and round till he saw some markings on it. He studied them for a moment. “Ey! It’s the pearl of Sarconsa!”
“Er…would you jolly well explain, sah?”
“I was a slave under somebeast named Mazic. He was very evil. He destroyed my home, Sarconsa. It was in the high mountains up north. I was the only one remaining. The pearl, this pearl was our home’s treasure. Well, Mazic was destroyed and I just left and ended up here.”
“Well, you can have the bloomin’ pearl, wot. ‘Tis no blinkin’ good to us.”
“Wow…thankee. An’ for payment, you can have this.” He produced a decorated dagger from his tunic belt. He gave it to Reynard. Amber winked at him. “There’s your ticket back home.”
Reynard took it and handed it to enhydra. “You should have the bloomin’ thing. You were the flippin’ one who found the pearl, wot.”
“I don’t want it. I got my own already. Give it t’ yore badger lord.”
“Hm…ok. I’ll jolly well do that, wot.”
Vulpini was now almost sufficiantly recovered. She was able to travel, but if she walked too far, she would get tired and would have pains in her chest where Amber had stabbed her. And in a couple of days, she would kill Amber...aka silverfang
After two days, they left. Amber and the others set off for Salamandastron, where Reynard would present his proof of his success to the badger lord, lord Melogale. On the way, they planned to destroy the Juskablade clan. At the moment, Reynard was singing a "beautiful" marching song.
"Leff Right Leff right!
march with all your might!
Leff Right Leff Right!
lemme see you march to fight!
Leff Right Leff right!
Let's see you kill tonight!
Leff right leff right!
Er..wot rhymes with right?"
Enhydra put his paws on his ears. "Reynard, we all know ye have a great voice, but why don't ye save it fer another time?"
Reynard crossed his arms over his chest, pouting. "Hmph! Don't jolly well appreciate some bloomin' beast singing a jolly well great song fer them, wot!"
Lutris, who had been scouting ahead, came back, with her javelin in her paw. She was dragging a small, unconscious rat.
"Somebeast was spyin' on us."
"How did ye manage to get him out cold?"
"My dad, skip, taught me. You leave a trail for him to follow, then lead him to a cornered place. Then you leap out from behind a bush or somethin' and knock him out."
Amber looked at the setting sun. "Let's make camp. When he comes around, we can question him."
"Yeah. He looks like Juska to me. He has all those tattoos."
Amber smiled at Enhydra. "Good observation. Now let's make camp. Look, there's a good place. You're cookin' today."
"I said you're cookin'."
"Who said i could cook?"
"Pfft. I can't cook."
Amber shoved him down next to the fire. "Too bad."
Enhydra sat for a moment. Then he looked up at Amber who was getting him the supplies. "Hey, I've got an idea. Why don't you cook instead?"
"I cooked last night."
Enhydra grabbed her paw and pulled her down. "Cook again!" He gave her the ladle and the cooking pot. She smiled and gave it back to him. "I don't want to. Besides, it's your turn!"
Enhydra put them back into her paws. "Haha. Well, you wanna taste my horrible cookin'?"
Lutris took the cooking utensils. "Stop fighting, you lovebirds. i'll cook."
"Did she just call us-"
"Let's get her!"
Lutris shook the ladle threateningly. "If you chase me, I'm not gonna let you eat!"
They both sat down. "Awww."
"Hehe. Food always works."
Reynard, surprisingly, wasn't even paying attention to food. He held a dagger to the vermin's throat. "The blighter's awake, wot!"
At the abbey, Fenda was missing again. Teresa, Julia, Skipper, Oakblade, and the rest of the inhabitants went around, calling her name, threatening her, and even bribing her. She was nowhere to be found. Teresa found the east wicker gate opened again.
“Guys! I think she went out again! The gate was open.”
“Again? Oh, come ‘’on’’!!!”
"I'm gonna go find her."
"Take a crew of otters with you."
The rat was bound with a dagger point to his throat. Enhydra tickled his throat with his blade. "So...vermin. Tell us, what's goin' on? Why are ye chasin' us?"
The rat showed no fear, and he replied readily. "We're lookin' fer the taggerung. That one." He pointed to amber. She glared at the vermin. "I ain't no Taggerung! I'm an ordinary otter!"
“But Sai said that she was the taggerung ‘cause she has all those markings.”
Amber’s now dark red patterned fur was changing colors again. “So what? I’m still an otter. I’ll never be yer taggerung, wotever that is! Who’s Sai anyway?”
“Sai’s our vixen seer.”
Enhydra put a paw on Amber’s shoulders, trying to get her from going berserk. “Too bad, you won’t get your ‘taggerung’. You’ll only-yowch!“
A stone came from the treetops and hit his back. A voice came from the tree. “Oops. Bad Aim. Sowy, Mista Enhydrie.”
Enhydra rubbed his back and glanced at where the direction of the voice came from. Another stone whizzed out and hit the rat, knocking him senseless. “Yahoo! Finally got him!”
Amber, who had calmed down by now, called out. “Fenda! Come here right now!”
Reynard got hit on the head as the squirrelbabe landed on him with a loaded sling. “Yowch! Whatch it, you confounded treejumper, wot!”
Fenda got offended. “I no treejumper! I a squirrel!” She gave him another whack on the paw.
“Yeeehooowwwww!!! Owowowowow! Flippin’ cad! Confounded tree-squirrel…er haha…I mean squirrel…aaaaaahh!!! Lemme alone, you monster!”
Lutris swept Fenda up as she chased Reynard around. “That’s quite enough, Fenda.”
“I’m takin’ you back to the abbey.”
Amber interrupted. “Er, let’s just keep her. We might need her.”
Suddenly, there was a yell. “Juskaaaaaa!!!”
The juska had come! Amber grabbed the unconscious rat and ran…right into a cave with a fox inside. Vulpini!
“The vixen’s not dead!”
Vulpini got up. “So, Silverfang, I see you’ve come to give me a visit. Well, today, it’ll be your dying day.”
The Juska entered the cave. Amber handed Fenda to Enhydra who handed her to Lutris. Reynard drew his two daggers. “Eulaliiiiaaaa!!!”
“Death to vermin! Streamgaaaaaallleee!!!”
Lutris somehow brought Fenda outside and came back in to the action. Amber was going berserk again. She was hammering Vulpini like crazy with her sword and lance. “Streamgaaaalleee!!! Vulpini, you will pay for Windgale’s death!”
Vulpini was sufficiently recovered now and ready for Amber’s attacks. She knew that this ottermaid was going to fight recklessly no matter what. All the fox needed was to be one step ahead of Amber. She parried and thrust over and over again, but Amber was stronger than she thought. “Streamgaaaaaaaallleeee!!!”
Vulpini suddenly threw a clay jar at her. It broke, showering Amber with a thin, clear liquid.
Lutris, Enhydra, and Reynard had managed to kill all the Juska who didn’t run. Unfortunately, Ennydra was fatally injured. He was stabbed in too many places and was bleeding to death. He could sit up a little. They watched Amber and Vulpini battle. The liquid was actually poision…Amber was in deep trouble. Vulpini had the dagger out. The one that nearly killed her; the one that killed Windgale. Amber was getting weaker. The poison was taking effect. Vulpini drove the dagger into Amber’s chest. Amber fell to her knees. Vulpini stood over her. “Silverfang, I’ve won. What are you gonna do now, eh?”
Enhydra some how stood up and stabbed Vulpini on the shoulder. While that was happening, Amber pulled the dagger from her chest and stabbed Vulpini in the heart so fast, that she didn't have time to do anything. Now, finally, the vixen was dead.
Amber fell back down. She was close to death. Lutris and Reynard dragged them to where Enhydra was. He was too, barely alive. Lutris and Reynard left to get some herbs and find Fenda. Enhydra struggled to put his paw over Amber's. "Your fur...it's normal...."
Indeed, Amber's changing of color in the fur had turned the patterns so dark brown, that it was exactly the same as her normal fur. "Enhydra..."
"Sh...let's not waste our breath."
"I'm goin'...t'go now..."
"I cant stay either...but i...want you to know...I love you..."
"I love you too..."
Amber died...he paw still in enhydra's. Moments later, he went limp too. Reynard and Lutris came back in shocked. Fenda stared dumbly at them.
They were at the gates of the Forest of Darkness. A mouse in armor stood at the huge doors. He looked down at them. "Why are ye here? 'Tis not your time yet." Amber saw him fading away. She felt herself going backwards, back, back, the gates were farther and farther away. The mouse called, "Go back! They need you!" She felt some other beast beside her. She turned. It was Enhydra. "you-" "I'm goin' back too."
Fenda sat all alone next to the bodies of Amber and Enhydra. Since they died, she wasn't a dibbun anymore. She was silent, haunted. Lutris had gone back to Redwall to get help. Reynard had gone back to Salamandastron alone. Suddenly, Enhydra groaned and tried to sit up. Fenda screamed. "aaaaaaaaaaahhh!!! Ghost!!! Enhydra's ghost!!! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!! HELP!!!"
Enhydra glanced at her direction. "Fenda? what-"
"Aaaaaahh! Da ghost knows me name!"
"I'm not dead!"
"B-b-but...you're...dead...an' Amber too...Aaaaahh!"
"Amber!" Enhydra looked at the ottermaid next to him. He took her pulse. Still there! She was alive! He managed to sit up. Fenda stopped screaming and ventured slowly closer to him. She touched his rudder lightly and withdrew her paw right away. “You’re notta ghost?”
He smiled then winced. “Do I look like a ghost?”
“No…but lutris say you deaded. And Amber too…”
“Amber’s not dead. Where’s Reynard and Lutris?”
“Bunny Rabbit went to mountain and Lutris went back to Redwall to get help.”
“Hehehe…if Reynard heard ye, he’d have a fit.”
Amber stirred and grunted. “Uh…where am I?”
Enhydra supported her as she sat up. “How ya feelin’?”
“I dunno…I’ve got a headache, my chest hurts, and so does my paw…I thought I was poisoned?”
Fenda jumped up and down. “Lutris say da dagger was poisoned an’ the stuff the fosker frew at you was a different poison. So she say you not poisoned!”
Amber reached over to where her blade was. Painfully, she stood and staggered back into the cave, which was behind where they camped. Enhydra watched with Fenda as she slowly, painstakingly, dragged the body of the slain vixen out. She looked up at Enhydra. “Help me get this to the river, would ye?”
He helped her carry it to the fast flowing stream. They tied rocks around the rotting carcass and watched it sink. Amber threw a pebble at where it disappeared. “My brother windgale’s been avenged.”
Enhydra put his arm around her shoulders and kissed her cheek. “Yep. I knew you could do it.”
She smiled at him and kissed him back. She was about to say something when Fenda jumped on her back and she fell. “Whoops sowy, Amber. I’m hungry. I wanna go back to Redwall.”
“okay, let’s go. But I don’t know the way.”
“But I do! An’ me daddy, Skip does too!”
Lutris and Skipper came out of the bushes with a crew of otters carrying stretchers. Lutris looked very surprised. Skipper looked a bit angry. “Lutris, Is this some kinda trick? You tell me they were dead, now, they’re standing.”
“We’ll tell you everything later. But now, Fenda’s hungry and so am I.”
"Okay, then let's go back to Redwall!"
Cassie and Bendov Streamgale, twins of Amber and Enhydra Streamgale, raced through the Great Hall. They were both about ten seasons old and were warrior born. Being born at Redwall because their parents had decided to stay, these otters were warrior born. Both were expert slingers, archers, and javelin users. Right now, they were heading out to Mossflower Woods with Skipper and the otter crew. The otters crashed into Abbess Julia. they steadied themselves and helped the fallen abbess up.
"Whoops! Sorry Mother Abbess. We didn't see ye."
"Yeah. Sorry. Ye get hurt?"
The squirrel Abbess smiled at them. "No, no not at all. Where are you two going in such a hurry anyway?"
"We're goin' with skip and ma an' dad out to Mossflower fer the first time."
"Yeah an' we're gonna kill some Vermin!!!"
Julia put one paw on each shoulder. "Bendov, Cassie, Killing vermin isn't everything you know. You must be careful out there. Be ready to defend yourself, but don't kill unnecessarily."
"Yes Mother abbess. We'll be sure to use yore advise."
"Yeah. Thank you."
"Alright, you're welcome. now go. Skipper doesn't like anybeast that's late."
"Yes mother abbess. Bye."
"Yeah. Good Bye."
"Run along now. bye."
The abbess watched them go. Warriors, just like their parents...
Special thanks to everyone that even read this dumb story. XP