Petpet Adventures: Runaway - Part Eight
Folfeux winced. Her voice had sounded nothing like the Kougra’s but Scelaris was obviously desperate, because he raced into the room, swerving through the doorway and almost hitting a wall. He looked around and his triumphant face turned to one of worry when he spotted that there were no windows in the room.
Folfeux began advancing towards him, and he at last spotted her. His eyes became wild with fury and he grabbed the dagger in his paw.
“You,” he spat. “You can speak pet?”
Folfeux paused, and then decided it wouldn’t do any harm if he knew. “Yes,” she said, trying to sound fierce. “I never talked to you because there was nothing to talk about with someone like you.”
She had been trying to make him angry, and she succeeded. With an angry snarl, he launched himself towards her, waving Thyra’s Dagger angrily. Folfeux danced nimbly out of the way and ran between the Gelert’s legs, clawing his belly on the way through. Then she popped out behind him.
“If you had used the dagger to check who was in the room first, you wouldn’t be here,” she taunted.
Just then Archilles and Kiya rushed into the room. They were breathing hard, but they knew he was cornered. Archilles growled dangerously, while Kiya just stood straight and looked menacing.
Scelaris backed away from the three petpets. He looked scared, but Folfeux didn’t feel sorry for him. He had tried to kill someone. The three petpets advanced and Kiya spoke to her.
“Tell him to put the dagger on the ground, will you, Folfeux. I can’t speak pet.”
Folfeux nodded. She looked up at the green Gelert. “Put the dagger on the ground, please,” she said, baring her teeth.
Her former pet looked scared for a millisecond, then he smirked.
“What good will that do me?” he asked. “It’ll just leave me weaponless and you’ll catch me. You are going to catch me anyway. But I’m taking you down with me.” He leapt for Folfeux.
Folfeux hadn’t expected the sudden attack and she didn’t move as he loomed closer. But Kiya did. With a loud cry, she launched herself through the air and tackled the big Gelert in the side. It wasn’t enough to topple him over, but it knocked him off course and gave Folfeux a chance to step away.
Then Archilles joined the Quilin on top of Scelaris and together the two petpets pushed him to the floor. Folfeux watched and was debating whether or not to help them when she saw Malei appear from the mouth of the tunnel. He saw her watching him and paused, daring her to come closer. Folfeux hesitated, and in that moment of indecision he raced towards the door.
Folfeux started after him and then stopped, realising that stopping Scelaris from escaping with the dagger was more important that catching Malei. She heard Kiya give a loud call similar to the one in the kitchen and waited for the arrival of the pets. Seeing as Kiya and Archilles seemed to be able to handle Scelaris, she decided to go after Malei after all.
She raced out into the corridor and looked around. She couldn’t see him anywhere, but she could see a stampede of pet guards and she quickly realised that she had to get out of their way. She guessed that Malei was heading for the tunnel that led to the outside under the east wing and pelted towards it, trying to remember the way.
She nearly crashed into her so-called brother when she turned a corner too sharply for comfort. There he was, running leisurely through the room that contained the tunnel. He stopped in surprise when he sensed her presence and whirled around to face her.
Folfeux stopped as well and crouched down, ready for anything. She watched the other Juma open his mouth in a silent snarl, and got ready to jump. But she didn’t get a chance to because Malei made the leap before her and landed squarely on her back, sending her sprawling to the ground.
Malei snapped at her tail, but she pulled it away and rolled over. Malei was crushed beneath her and he pulled himself away and into the tunnel. In the split second it took her to regain her footing, he had already disappeared, and she did not fancy chasing him.
She was just turning towards the door when another petpet rammed into her. It was the Biyako. For some reason she had a much better sense of satisfaction cuffing him around the head than she had clawing Malei. The Biyako retaliated with a blow that sent her to the ground.
But before the Biyako could attack her again there was the sound of paw steps coming towards them and he fled, just as Asmaral entered the room.
The Kazeriu didn’t even start after the fleeing petpet. She made straight for Folfeux, who could feel a lump rising on her head and unconsciousness closing in. She shut her eyes against the too bright light and soon fell into a deep sleep.
* * *
Folfeux woke up. At first she had no idea where she was, then what had happened came crashing down on her and she struggled to her feet and opened her eyes. The movement was not very smart, because she was blinded by the sudden light.
She slammed her eyes shut tightly and shook her head to clear away the shock. Then she slowly eased them open. It took her several blinks to get used to the light. When she could finally open them without trouble she realised that she was in Dio’s room, lying in a small bed.
She reached up and gingerly touched her head. A ripple of pain told her that it was in a very sensitive state, but she could feel a bandage wrapped around it. Wincing, she looked around for any sign of life, petpet or pet.
The room was empty and she felt a bit annoyed at being left alone. But no sooner did she think that than Archilles walked into the room and saw her. He smiled and began padding towards her.
“Folfeux,” he exclaimed. “You’re awake. We were worried when you didn’t wake up and I sent for Jalla. He fixed you up. You’ve been sleeping a day and a night.” The Sandan settled himself beside the bed.
“Jalla?” Folfeux spluttered. “Where?”
Archilles laid a paw comfortingly on her shoulder. “He left. He didn’t want to be missing for too long.”
Folfeux relaxed. “What happened?” she queried.
Archilles grinned and seemed happy to recount all the details. “After the pets came they took Scelaris away. They also arrested the pets from the kitchen. We went looking for you and found Asmaral standing over you. You were bleeding pretty bad.” He stopped and eyed her forehead.
“Did you catch Malei?” Folfeux asked urgently.
“No,” came the weak voice of Dio, draped in his armchair. “He alone escaped. Kiya found the Biyako, but no one knows where Malei went.”
“No doubt he went to find some new pets,” Archilles muttered darkly.
“I don’t think so.” Kiya stalked into the room, looking tall and lean.
She came over to Folfeux and gazed over her injuries, nodding that they were satisfactory.
“There have been no sightings of a stray Juma with a scar down his side.” She turned to Folfeux. “Thanks to you, we can now distinguish him from most other Jumas.”
“So he escaped,” Folfeux said.
She felt a bit of relief, mixed with guild and anger. Guilty that she had let him escape and angry with him for making so many complications. The relief was only because he was her brother, or so he said. But somehow she guessed that he was telling the truth, just as she knew that she was right about them being stolen. She didn’t think he would be stealing anymore.
“I doubt he will be stealing here again,” Kiya said, echoing a part of her thoughts.
Folfeux looked around and noticed the one pet who wasn’t with them.
“Where’s Asmaral?” she asked.
Archilles looked at her. “She left to find her pet. She said that now she knew you were okay, and all the excitement was over, she had better find her pet again.”
“Oh,” murmured Folfeux, disappointed. She had wanted to say goodbye, but now that wasn’t possible.
Kiya cleared her throat and Folfeux started. The Quilin obviously wanted to say something important.
“Dio and I have been talking, and we have agreed to ask you to stay with us and help defend the palace,” she said.
Archilles looked shocked for a single second, and then shook his head.
“Sorry,” he said. “But I prefer living like I used to. There was always a surprise waiting for me. This was a surprise, but surprises don’t last for ever.”
Dio looked at Folfeux. She thought about it. She had never liked her old life because her pet was always bossing her about. But she couldn’t help feeling that here might not be much different. She looked up at the expectant faces and decided.
“I’d like to stay with Archilles,” she said. “There’s so much of Shenkuu that I haven’t seen yet.”
She glanced at the Sandan, who smiled at her and she smiled back.
Kiya nodded. “Very well. You may stay as long as you like and then you can go.”
* * *
A week later Folfeux exited the palace. The tunnel rustled behind her and Archilles stepped out. Her paw was completely healed and her head was swiftly following. She stared out from the top of the hill at the rest of Shenkuu.
Author’s note: Thanks to all those people who read this. If you want to make any comments, neomail me. I hoped you liked it. :D