Meeting old friends
Oliver wandered out of Redwall, during noontime, remembering some of the good times and adventures he had. Something he long yearned to experience again. He remembered some of his old friends, letting out a sigh. "Dang, what a dull day.. I wonder what some of my old mateys are up to?" He continued to walk down the path, putting his paws into his pockets after feeling a cold chill.
"I'm not too fond of this autumn weather either. Its borin' and too cold fer me.." The large squirrel, who had actually grown slightly taller and gained some weight in muscle, was also upset that he wouldn't be able to train as often. The cold, snowy winters usually made for him to train from everyday to twice a week, and taking long breaks in between. "I just need spring weather again.."
Oliver looked about, just in case anyone was around. Ears began to twitch from every sound they heard, which was normal for the burly warrior. It didn't stop him from venturing a little further into the woods; wonderful quietness the woods had. It made him slightly more light of heart from his earlier thoughts. "'Opefully I might bump into some beast.."
Kiara was sat up in a tree, relaxing. It wasn’t really natural for a mouse to be in a tree, but she liked it. To relax and no one disturbed you, because they can not see you. Not many beasts tented to look up, except for the actual tree climbing squirrels.
And so there she stayed, leaning against the mighty trunk, on one of the main branches that was thick enough to take her weight. She wasn’t very high in the tree, just high enough to be out of sight and reach of most beasts.
Hearing a voice, not far off, The mouse-maid opened an eye and leaned forward to see who it was. To her surprise it was her old friend. It’s been a while, perhaps too long since she has seen him and had to take a second glance to make sure that it was indeed him.
She giggled to herself as she carefully got her bow and one of her signature arrows that she personally makes for herself. Shooting the arrow at the ground, just a few feet in front of the squirrel, she wondered if he would remember or not. She watched from her perch in the tree.
Oliver stopped for a second, sniffing at the air, he couldn't get that feeling that someone was watching him off his chest. "Hmm.. I feel uneasy.." He felt himself freeze as ears started to twitch from a whirring sound. "Ah!" Oliver stepped back as an arrow buried itself into the ground in front of him.
The large squirrel walked to the arrow, blinking. "Hmm.." He pulled it from the ground and inspected it thoroughly. A small smile creased from his features after he realized something. It was someone he knew after-all!
Oliver looked up, eying plenty of branches and trees trying to spot any sign of the culprit. "Heehee, I know yer up there.. Kiara!" Oliver remembered what his friend looked like, but its been so long that she could have changed in looks. She was a pretty mouse maid, and Oliver was usually shy around the pretty ones.
"'ellooo?" He called out walking towards the tree she was sitting on.
“Bravo!” Kiara called back to him, as she put her bow away again. “I didn’t think you would have remember something so small, such as my arrow.” She said with a laugh as she jumped down in front of him as he walked over.
It was true that they haven’t seen each other in so long, but she looked like she did back then. The only difference would be is that she has grown into her body more. Her body having finished developing from child, young adult, and finally adult.
“It’s nice to see you again.” She said with a smile, walking over to him and giving him a warming hug. “How have you been?” She asked.
Oliver chuckled as his friend appeared before him. "I'm surprised you recognized me!" His body changed as well, into a young male adults body, his voice was much deeper from when he was nineteen. He wrapped his thick arms around her smaller body, lifting her up slightly in the embrace. "Causin' trouble and snoopin' 'round like always, hehe. An' look at 'ow pretty you are! I'm glad I get to see you again too."
He set her back down onto the ground, blushing slightly from his remark. "Oh, I've been great! Trainin' like always, but I 'ave to slow it down these next couple of months from this cold weather coming our way." He looked at her in the eyes and smiled brightly. "What about you? 'Ow are things goin'?"
“How could I forget you!?” Kiara laughed as he lifted her up in the hug. “Me? Causing trouble and snooping!? Never!” She said innocently with a blush as he compliments her. “If you grow any bigger, I won’t be able to wrap my arms all the way around you.”
“Well good then, you deserve a break. It’ll do ya some good.” She said, her feet now back on the ground, where they should be. “I’ve been good. Not much has happened. Just wondering around, living my life.” She said with a smile. “At least while it’s still peaceful here. So what brings you here on a day like today? I’m actually surprised you’re not training right now.”
Oliver chuckled happily as she spoke, adding onto the c0nversation after she finished. "Yeah, Snoopin'" He said sticking his tongue out at her playfully. He scratched his head at the thought of getting any bigger. "I don't think I could get any larger than I am now." But it made him smile.
"Yeah, I guess I need a break from it all, its almost that time of relaxation anyway." A large grin came across his face when she said how she was doing. "Oh, thats great! Enjoy the most of it, you never know when things could get ugly."
Oliver looked around the woods, then back down to Kiara. "Well I thought I would take the day off, enjoy the cool weather. No need to train today, I can take care of that tomorrow." The warrior put a paw on her shoulder and smiled. "Come, lets walk."
The woods were her haven. They protected her from the weather. They provided shelter for her when she settled down for the night, large leafy bushes and trees with wide branches hiding her from view. They provided her with the nourishment she required to live. The River Moss was an eternal source of water, small streams and creeks branching off of it, some forming majestic water meadows, others providing many lush trees and other foliage to further intesify the beauty of Mossflower Woods. Fish were a never ending supply of food for her; the trees provided her with fruit; generous birds provided a plethera of vegetables for her to pick and eat. Occaisonally the woods offered her companions for the night. Travellers, weary after their long trek for the day, welcomed her warm campfire and hot food, in exchange for stories of their travels, an exchange of food for somebeast to talk to.
The woods was her friend, her ally. They were her home.
They were also, her playground.
Neha Sonakshi was a wolf of about twenty-one. She'd lived in Mossflower Woods for as long as she can remember, her parents long since gone. One night their home had been raided by a band of cutthroats; her parents got her out of the house, and perished in the process. She did not have any other family that she knew of, so she decided to stick with what she was familiar with. Despite the tragedy, and her age at the time, she survived, using the skills that both her mother and father had taught her. She had tried living in one spot once, but it was too small for her, it made her feel too vulnerable. So she decided to make all of Mossflower her home.
Neha, was an odd sight to behold. Her base coat is a light gray, her stomach is mostly white. She has one black ear with a white tip, and the other is entirely a creamy colored orange. The patches around her eyes are black, her muzzle is mostly the creamy orange with splashes of white, black, and gray in it, and she has a creamy orange mask. Along her body and tail, she has spots an splashes of white, creamy orange, and black. The very tip of her tail is creamy orange. Her belly is white. Her right arm is gray, but her fingers are creamy orange; her left arm is creamy orange and her fingers are white. Her right leg is black and her toes are white; her left leg is also black and her toes are creamy orange. All in all, she looks like an Australian Shepherd Blue Merle. On her left hip is the mark of her clan; a simple wolf's paw in black.
Right now she was walking through her woods, sometimes leaping up in the trees to hop from branch to branch, behaving much like a squirrel does. She would eventually return to the forest floor, humming quietly to herself, the sunlight that managed to filter through the canopy playing fantastic patterns on her form. She took in a deep breath and let out a happy sigh, just glad to be alive. Her golden eyes fell on something in front of her and she stopped, her tail twitching back and forth, like a cats. She dropped down on all fours and stalked forward slowly, loose strands of her dark brown hair falling in her eyes.
She made absolutely no sound as she stalked her prey slowly, her olive green cloak and tan pants blending in with the foliage on the forest floor perfectly. She let out a light giggle as she stopped stalking and POUNCED.
The butterfly took flight from it's perch and fluttered lazily about, as if taunting the young wolf. Neha got to her feet and made a swipe at the butterfly, the beautiful thing dodging from her flailing paws. Neha laughed again in joy and chased the butterfly through the woods, not realizing the path was looming up. She made another swipe and tripped over a protruding rock, tumbling out of the trees and straight into Oliver with a loud "OOF!" and squeak of dismay.
“…A lady never snoops. Not my fault I’m smarter than you.” She said sticking her own tongue out at him. “And good, don’t get any bigger, because then I won’t be able to hug you right.”
“Everyone needs some time off. Besides, now we can catch up on the time we’ve missed.” She said with a smile as she looked up at him with his hand on her shoulder. “…Yes, lets. That sou–-” She was cut off as someone ran into Oliver.
“…Oh, are you OK?” She asked the female wolf. “Must have been like hitting a brick wall.” She said with a grin, looking at Oliver then back at the wolf.
Oliver chuckled at Kiara's final statements before getting smacked into. "Augh!" The large squirrel felt the wolf smack into his stomach, knocking the wind out of him. He caught her with his thick arms by her her pits. "Cough.. cough.. gah.. Are you alright?" Oliver spoke, catching his breath quickly. The large squirrel looked down to her, then lifted her up with ease.
Neha stared up at him in awe, never coming across a beast of his stature before. She shook out of her stupor and smiled, nodding her head happily.
"Oh yes, I'm just fine, sorry about that! Dang rock jumped out of the ground and got me on the footpaw though." she giggled lightly and brushed herself off before turning to the mouse maid. "Aye missy, it was like running into a brick wall! But we're both ok and that's the main thing. I'm Neha of Mossflower Woods!" She held both of her paws out to each one, excited that she was getting to meet new faces.
"It's nice to meet you, Neha. I'm Kiara." She said taking the other female's paw with her own. "…And this here is Oliver." She said glancing at Oliver again, then back at Neha.
"What were you doing that the rock, jumped ya?" She asked tilting her head.
Oliver let the newcomer stand on her own and smiled. "I'm glad to 'ear it, miss." Oliver chuckled slightly at the brick wall comment Kiara made then shook Neha's paw with his own. "Aye, I'm Oliver Swiftstream, trainer an' warrior of Redwall Abbey. Though, I am originally born in Mossflower such as yerself, this is the start of my fourth season [year] in Redwall." He spoke out using a deep and joyous tone.
"Well Neha, we were about to go fer a walk; join an' tell us about what 'appened." He smiled to both of them and walked ahead of them. "Musn't waste time standin' around ladies! We shall enjoy the rest of this day."
"Well I was chasing a butterfly through my home and didn't see the rock. Rocks are sneaky like that, they jump out and grab you when you're least expecting it. Oh yes, and it's a pleasure to meet you both too!" Though she was usually a happy-go-lucky sort, she was a little shy and reserved around others. She had people skills, yes, but growing up in Mossflower all alone hindered her social skills some. True, she never missed an opportunity to talk to a traveller going through her woods, she generally kept to herself.
She walked along in silence for a moment, watching the clouds flutter in the sky. "I've heard about Redwall from lots of travellers passing through, but I've never actually been there. What's it like?"
Kiara smiled and started to walk along with her old and new friend. "Yes, those evil rocks!" Kiara shouted and shook her fist at the first rock she seen while walking along the path.
"…Redwall? I have only been there a few times. Oliver can probably answer any question you have." She said with a laugh. "It's good. Everyone is so nice and welcoming"
Oliver put his paws behind his head while walking with the two, listening to both before voicing his own words. "Well, from my four seasons of bein' there, I'd say Redwall is a wonderful place. It 'as a lovely orchard where I go to sleep under one of the trees. There's a big pond, lots of dibbuns that like to jump on you." Oliver chuckled from the many times he was ambushed by the little ones.
"Oh, they also 'ave a great 'all where they eat. Down the 'allway next to the Great 'all there's a large tapestry with their beloved Martin the Warrior on it. I've read many stories about 'im." Oliver looked to the side to where Neha was. "You should come an' visit sometime!"
The sound of the place sounded absolutely wonderful to Neha. But since she'd lived most of her life out in the open, the thought of being in a confined space unnerved her. Visiting, maybe; but the idea of her ever living there was out of the question.
She shrugged her shoulders slightly and looked over at the trees they were passing, her haven following them all down the path. "Hmm I don't know. Visit, maybe. The woods have been my home for so long…. Confined spaces, do not go over well with me." she finally finished, unsure if she really wanted to discuss the details with her new found friends just yet.
"It's quite fun, but I wouldn't want to live there either." Kiara admitted.
It's not that didn't like the great building, she did, but it was a bit too crowded for her. She liked having alone time in the woods more that in the orchard. Besides, vermin usually hate the old Abbey, and someone would have better luck not being affiliated with the Abbey. But she did have friends who live there and love it, and a few times she had visited them, Oliver being one of them. She was happy where she was.
"Perhaps we can go there for a small tour, later on today." She suggested as she walked along side Neha and Oliver.
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Mingan was hungry. Mercenary jobs were few and far between in lands populated by good beasts. The fruits and berries were fine, but they had not yet reached their peak. Besides, Mingan didn't have the patients for collecting them. He would have to turn back to meat. There was nothing he enjoyed more than flesh, as much as he had tried to resist it. It had just started with birds but now everything was on the list. Including the foolish trio of beasts he had now set his sights on.
Mingan suddenly burst from the underbrush and stood in the path of the innocent travelers. He shouldered his jagged blade and faced them. "I am going to kill at least one of you and eat you," Mingan said coldly, "consider yourself lucky. I usually don't tell my prey before I strike." He then jumped straight Oliver whom he judged to be the greatest threat. He took three speedy slashes at the squirrel in a "Z" shape. Then the grey fox jumped back to ready himself for retaliation.
Oliver was about to speak and agree with the two in their conversation, but the sudden attack ruined that moment. Oliver brought his forearm up out of instinct to block, feeling the blade slice the edge of his skin.
Oliver was a very technical fighter, specialized in hand to hand combat, staff fighting, well trained in wrestling and body throwing. He ducked the second slash and did a backspring in a split second attempt, dodging the third of the z shaped slashes.
He landed on all fours; the muscular beast looked up at his opponent. "'EY, WHATS THE BIG DEAL?!" He felt blood trickle down from the small cut on his forearm, his vision became slightly clouded.
The bloodwrath slowly started to sink into his very soul.