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Chapter 6 : The Slaughter.



Have seen this guy? Make ya sick! Gonna peel away all the impurities.
Cuz all you wanna do is curin'me, but, I don't give fuck I kill everyone!
You'll be mopping up blood and guts and all that shit when I'm done!
Isn't this fun? Gimme a gun and I'll tell you all the secrets I hide...
Before I run!
*Stonesour, Get Inside*

*Edited by Raychu*

Ray-ray scratched his chin, he swore the pidgeys had reported a tauros herd headed towards the valley. He stood on a rock formation eyeing the terrain. Nothing! Maybe they had been mistaken? Or maybe the herd moved off into another direction.

"I don't see anything yo!" Duff hopped up the stone towards the scout leader.

"Neither do I. Well the valley is well hidden they might have just turned towards another direction."

"Or something could have gotten to them." Tekon a hoot-hoot landed near them. "It must be taken into consideration."

"She's right." Ray scratched his chin. "I suppose we could scout those northern trails tomorrow at day break. Take a few defenders if Bujordan doesn't object."

"Sounds good boss yo!" Duff nodded.

Ray-ray stood before Loki, before Bujordan and scouts and defenders gathered in the Grand Hall.

"Charivari. I wished to explore the reason why the tauros herd never reached our valley."

"Tauros herd?" Loki was confused.

"I received reports that a cattle herd was on it's way to our valley. They never arrived. I'm just curious as to what happened to them. It hasn't been very long ago we had that pred attack." Ray-ray knew what team he would be taking. "I have reasons to believe there was another attack."

"If it was the herd then so let it be. It is of no concern of ours." Bujordan huffed.

"It is our concern! As close as the herd was last reported to be spotted at that puts the attack very close to our northern lands." Ray-ray growled at the ivysuar.

"I agree! There is no way around this. I will not ignore this and let others die." Loki didn't like it but, it was necessary. "You have all the permission you need Ray-ray. Take the scouts and defenders you need."

Nossy stood by she softly ruffled Norrie's wool. She felt Chari was doing the right thing. After what she heard happened to her flock sister anything that would keep the valley safe should be done. She wiped another tear from her cheek.

"What's going on Auntie Nossy?" Norrie whispered.

"The grown ups are going to try to find some more friends to live in the valley." Nossy whispered back.

Kanga thought it was a bad idea. She stood with Amphion and Tawnie in her pouch. Cronk was playing around her feet. Dori stood next to Loki. They all fought over this and she felt sending them out there was wrong.

"Fine! I will go with them myself!" Bujordan grunted. "I want to be there when this all turns out to be a simple case of the cows heading off in another path!"

*****

Lupaul settled down to sleep. Tomorrow he would meet Azura. He would just have fun again. Morning came. He sat ready to begin the new day. He leapt on top of Husk's head and then was springing out the cave.

"You ass! Come back here smeargle!" Husk shouted as the smeargle ran off to find some breakfast.

"Payback's fun ain't it!" Lupaul made a face as he dashed off.

In the storage room he could see all the grain sacks the sneasals had brought in last night. He found himself before the piled fruits and berries. He grinned, he began to fill himself on blueberries. This was the life!

Azura wandered around the caves and bumped into Devlin.

"Hello, err, Azura was it?" Devlin smiled.

"Yes that’s me." She nodded.

"Where are you off to today?" Devlin asked politely walking beside her.

"Well, first I'm going to get some breakfast then I’m going to spend time with Lupaul."

"Oooooh riiight!" He grinned Azura blushed. .

"Well I'll see you later." Devlin took a turn off leaving Azura by herself. She decided to get a little food then find Lupaul.

*****

Tawnie mooed happily. She liked these pokémon. They were nice. She was still waiting for Mama but these pokémon were nice until she came back. Cronk heard Tawnie moo. He looked up to see a new baby? Kanga had another baby? He looked up a bit confused but then he was happy! It didn't matter it was a new friend to play with!

"Croooonk!" He giggled and did a little dance.

Devlin walked into the main hall unaware of what was happening. He looked around. Bujordan was angry, that was really all that mattered, if the ivysaur got angry, he'd usually take it out on his “worst'“ defender... Devlin gulped and hoped he hadn't been noticed.

Ray-ray glared at Bujordan. The old coot was really trying his patience today. He just stood there with his barrel chest puffed out, he had proven his point, had proven himself time and time again so Ray-ray stood proud.

"I have selected my team. Lupaul, Lino, Tekon, Duff, Kinti and myself will go to see what happened to the herd. I hope Bujordan, you received my proposed list of defenders."

"I have been given the names and agree except on one." The old ivysuar's eyes locked on Devlin. "I would not trust this one out in the field. He is not even defender material yet I have to put up with him."

"So, you're refusing before the council to grant my request?" Ray-ray coldly stared at Bujordan. "He was there when we found Juna, he knows the scent of the pred we are after, so do I and Lupaul I need everyone who was there to confirm if we have the right creature."

"We don't even know what has happened to this herd." Bujordan barked.

"That's not what I asked!" Ray-ray growled.

"Fine! You take the best of your ranks and I'll take five of my best and my worse with us." Bujordan snorted.

"Then it is settled." Ray-ray would get his team ready. He had to call on them such last minute but, this was important. For the safety of the valley he would drag each one away from anything at the moment.

Lupaul held an apple in one hand berries in the other, he had yet another apple in his jaws. He hummed a song to himself. he was having such a great day! He needed something to drink, he made his way to the moon hall. He would just sneak some of the festival supplies out of their store room.

He put his food down on a rock. He sniffed about, it was quiet and empty. The sun shown through the hole in the roof. He wandered about. He found the store room entrance. He sniffed at the sealed apricorns till he found his favorite nectars. He smirked as he left the room and was walking back to his piled breakfast.

Azura marched around the corner to the Moon hall. she had heard from a younger smeargle that “someone” had been stealing festival supplies.

"The nerve!" She muttered to herself.

If they were taking supplies than all those wheatcakes she had made would be wasted and she'd have to spend the day remaking them, or other smeargles would have to spend their time doing their work over. She marched around the corner and bumped straight into Lupaul.

"Lupaul!" she cried in surprise. What was he doing here?

"Azura! What's up?" He smiled nervously.

Man his luck! He slipped the apricorns behind his back.

"I had heard that someone was taking stuff from the supplies! I'm hear to catch them!" she said.

"Really?" He thought about his pile of food, that stuff wasn't for the festival, he had to think fast.

"I haven't seen anything. You know I came down here to bring you breakfast." He motioned his empty hand over to the rock with the food. Smooth! He thought to himself.

He couldn’t just toss those apricorns she would hear them clatter on the floor. He had to get them out of his hand for sure though.

"Really?" She half believed him. He wouldn't lie right?

"How did you know I’d be here?" She asked as she walked to the rock.

"I didn't know you would be here, I was on my way to go get you." He felt bad about lying but, he wasn't up to getting lectured by Ray or Loki for a eating a few things out of the festival supplies.

“Hmmm, well it was a nice thought, thank you Lupaul." She took a bite from an apple. "So where are we going today? Anywhere exciting?"

"Well where he is going will be very exciting." Lino stepped into the hall.

"Lino? What do you mean by that?" Lupaul turned to his younger friend.

"Haven't you've been told?" Lino stared.

"Told what?" Lupaul began to wonder.

"We got a big mission! You me, Tekon, Duff and even Ray-ray! Bujordan is going to go and alot of defenders! And..."

"Slow down Lino! What the hell are you talking about?" Lupaul was off! He had no patrol planned.

"It was decided early this morning that we'll go scouting to see what happened to this tauros and miltank herd that was headed towards the valley.”

"They can't just do that! I was off! I made plans!" He forgot the apricorns he was hiding as they hit the floor.

"What was that sound?" Lino tried to look around Lupaul.

"Uhh...nothing. I'm going to let them know they can't just throw me into some mission on my day off!" He was mad, how could they do this to him?

"You're being dragged away on a mission! Guess this means we can't spend time together today." Azura said sadly. She looked at Lino.

"Are you sure they made the order? You didn't mistake his name or something?" She asked hopefully.

"If I can I'll get out of this." Lupaul was sure he could talk his way out of a mission. Lupaul smiled. "Yeah Lino? Maybe it was Kupaul or Paulie they are looking for."

"No mistake, I'm real sorry Azura and Lupaul but, it came from Ray-ray himself. You are on this mission." Lino felt bad about it but, it had to be done.

"I'm sorry Azura. I'll have to go speak to ray-ray about this." Lupaul apologized.

Azura watched him leave with Lino. She sighed looked down at the ground to see the apricorn shells gently spilling their contents onto the stony floor.

Loki watched as the scouts and defenders gathered. They stood. Eleven stood awaiting the last two Lino and Lupaul. Six scouts, seven defenders. He felt that he should call this off. That he should not send them. He felt bad omens in the air. He needed answers though. He felt he had to send them. Why couldn't things be simple for him. Just why was it him who had to be leader? He felt he should be better, that he didn't deserved to be their leader.

Devlin stood ready beside the other defenders awaiting his orders. He saw Lupaul and the other smeargle, what was his name, Tino, Guno, something like that come into the hall. Lupaul looked like he was almost on the war path. Devlin remembered that Azura had talked about spending the day with him.

"I'm gonna make this brief and short. We have received several reports that a herd of Miltank and Tauros were headed here to the valley. They should have arrived late yesterday afternoon. The herd has disappeared. This is were yose come in. Those selected here are to follow me and Bujordan out to find out what happened to the herd." Ray-ray stood ready to lead them out.

A herd? Lupaul thought about little Tawnie. That could be her herd. He stood with the other scouts. He was still enraged he was pulled from a day with Azura. He still felt he would talk with Ray-ray first chance he got. This truly wasn't fair but, if there was something he could do for the little calf he would do it. Tawnie mooed happily. There were lots of pokémon around. She looked at each one. None was mama though.

Devlin looked around. He was surprised he had been picked, but then again, he had a feeling Ray-Ray had something to do with it. He stood waiting for Ray-ray to lead them out.

Lupaul watched as Ray-ray signaled for them to stand at attention. The scouts immediately assumed the position. He stood like the rest, a proud scout. Bujordan made the same signal and the defenders began to line up in the ranks. This was it, he knew he had a bad feeling about it all. Loki wanted to call it all off now but, they all had to know to keep the valley safe. Ray-ray stood before them all.

"All right let's move out! Scouts keep your eyes open and take these!" Ray-ray began to hand out bamboo staffs to each one as they passed.

Duff looked at it.

"Hey boss that ain't no use to me yo!" He stood on all fours to emphasize his point.

"Smartass!" Ray-ray whacked across his backside with the cane.

He laughed. It would sting for a little while more of a irritation then anything else.

"Defenders who can carry a staff take one as well." Ray-ray grinned, he was leading a mission, his favorite thing.

Devlin couldn't take a staff but he didn't really need it. He lit his flame in preparation though he knew he'd put it out in a second not to waste his energy.

"Hey Dev! You got called to duty too!" Duff walked next to him as they left the caves.

Ray-ray stood in the field. He held the staff as he looked over the northern ridge. Out there they would find out the reasons why the herd never arrived.

Lupaul held his staff, he spun it around a few times. They had always fought with sticks back in his tribe. This was nothing new to the smeargle.

Lino tried to copy his friend. Lino dropped the staff several times.

"Hey! Duff! Devlin!" Lupaul held the staff against his shoulder. "You on this mission too?"

"Yeah, can't believe Bujordan let me come." Devlin smiled, "Even if he still thinks of me as his worst at least I'm getting some action for once!"

"Ray-ray is the only reason why you are here! If it were up to me I wouldn't take along any of you worthless preds or scouts!" Bujordan snapped at them.

"Shove it up your ass." Lupaul growled under his breath.

"What did you say?" The elder eyes locked on him.

"I said we belong here." Lupaul snorted.

"I could snap you in half!" The ivysuar grunted.

Devlin decided that was enough annoying Bujordan for one day. He walked in silence listening to the mumbled conversation of the other scouts and defenders.

*****

She mooed again down to Cronk. Cronk smiled, he danced about totodile style. Kanga smiled down at her foster child. She was so playful and cheery. Amphion gave out a little baa. He watched Cronk dance and he laughed. He nuzzled Tawnie as they sat in Kanga's pouch.

Tawnie mooed and hugged Amphion. She laughed and Cronk and looked up at Kanga. Was this a new mama? But she liked her old mama. Cronk giggled he tried crawl up to them but he wasn't the best climber.

"Miiillll!" She called.

Kanga giggled, the little calf was getting along so well with the other babies. She looked over at Loki. She sighed, he was so troubled these days.

"Shori-suh, why don't yose round up the healers. They might be needed after dem get back-suh." Kanga smiled at her smaller friend.

"Yes ma'am." Shori went to go retrieve them.

"Don't forget Harmony. She isen me-suh best student-suh." Kanga cuddled the her babies as she spoke.

Tawnie reached up and giggled as Kanga hugged them. "Milllll!" She said with approval, she liked this mama.

Harmony was surprised when Shori came into her cave, she rarely got sick, and if she did she would go to the doe healer Kanga.

"What brings you here Shori?" Harmony smiled, she shook her tail sending out a soft chiming sound, she had been blessed with a harmony bell in her tail, hence her name.

"Kanga sent me to gather the healers. Ray-ray has taken some defenders and scouts to see why the Miltank herd never made it to the valley.”

"There was a miltank herd on the way?" Harmony asked.

Shori nodded, "They never came in though."

"Where is Kanga?"

"In the Grand hall." Harmony headed straight out of her cave.

"Thank you Shori." She called back with a chiming of her bell.

*****

Lupaul followed in silence. They spent most of the time climbing the northern ridge. He kept his eyes open for anything. Lupaul watched out for the others as they made way down the other side of the ridge. The forest awaited them. He wished he could just lay it on heavy and really smoke Bujordan with the thousands of insults flying in his head.

"Sir!" Lino shouted. Lupaul looked over as his friend signaled to Ray-ray. "Blood sir!"

Lupaul stood realizing what he had been staring at.

"Sir! A skull!" Lupaul stared at the gory cattle skull. There had been an attack here.

Devlin stared around. He may have been a pred by nature but he really didn't like death, and this was death. More and more scouts were finding things, just little things.

"Blood”

”A skull"

Devlin gulped keeping an eye out for anything that could be dangerous.

"Sir! a claw or something." Duff stared at the blade like thing in the skull of a tauros. He sniffed it. "Sneasal sir."

Ray-ray stared at it. He knew what it was the second he saw it.

"Shit! Sneasals are fucking vicious bastards!" The raichu growled. He didn't think a sneasal could do all of this alone. Sneasal packs were unheard of though Chari insisted he had once seen them gang up for attacks.

Angelino growled low, he let his siblings know something was up. He hissed orders softly. The other sneasal kits nodded. They leapt in the trees silently. Angelino stared at the valley pokémon below them. He grinned. They would have some fun with them.

Lupaul stood still, he listened to the world around him. He held his staff ready to attack. He didn't like sneasals at all. He learned a long time ago they were extremely vicious, sneaky and repulsive.

Just hearing Ray-ray say it was sneasals made Lupaul tense. He sniffed but, the scent of blood had filled the air around them. It was hard to smell anything with it still lingering.

Devlin lit his fire. He was sure he'd need it soon. Sneasals were bad news as far as he was concerned. A bloodbath like this just showed their urge to kill more than ever. The blue flames jumped around on his back. He tried desperately to pick up any scents he could but blood coated everything with its metallic, fishy smell.

Angelino motioned with his hands what he wanted his brothers and sisters to do. They nodded in agreement. They swiftly leapt to take positions. Angelino out of all the kits had the most brilliant mind. He was more like his father than the rest. He only wished his father could see him. Bossa told him several times he was the smartest, he was the one to take after Vinny the most.

Ray-ray felt it in his gut they should get out of here. He looked at Bujordan.

"Took another path huh? Yose was very wrong Bujordan." He was ready to move on, ready to get back.

Ray-ray was about to give the order when he thought he heard something.

Duff perked his ears, he thought he had heard something as well.

Something was wrong. Devlin's flame perked even more. It was too quiet. No pidegys were singing or anything. He sniffed the air again keeping close watch of the trees around them.

There! Ray-ray heard it again. It sounded like a hurt animal of some sort. He turned about trying to detect where it was coming from. He couldn't make out if it was a young or old voice, it made him nervous. He stood unsure if they should see what it was or stay where they were.

Devlin jumped when he heard the noise, breaking the silence everyone was holding.

"What-what was that?" He whispered, fire still blazing, slowly stealing his energy for no use but he didn't want to put it out for a second.

Geno crawled about the trees. He waited as Caludora below uttered out more of those distress calls. He could not smell the big Ty over the blood scent. He knew if he couldn't the valley pokémon wouldn't either. He unhinged his claws ready to attack.

Lupaul listened to the voice.

"It's sounds hurt." He heard Lino remark.

"What the hell is it though?" Lupaul stood ready for anything.

Lupaul felt it was all to coincidental that they arrived and that hurt animal was out there. Sure it could be one hurt from the initial attack but, it sure didn't sound like a miltank or tauros.

Angelino watched his brother move about to take his position. Everything was ready. His trap was there now he just waited for the "mice" to take the bait.

"Okay whatever is out there sounds like it needs our help so I say we go check it out." Ray-ray signaled for his scouts to follow.

"We follow." He simple barked as he began to plod after them. Bujordan looked at his defenders.

Devlin stuck close to Lupaul and Duff. He looked around. If only there wasn't so much blood they could smell what it was instead of guessing from the noises it was making. Lupaul held his staff, he felt a few beads of sweat roll down his forehead. He didn't like this one second. He tried to shove the sight of those skulls out of his head.

Her grin widened as they got closer. Caludora whimpered again, she made other distress calls. Above the sneasals waited. they grinned at one another.

Bujordan grumbled, he hated being wrong. He hated the fact that the scouts were leading this mission. It should be his mission. He snorted and grunted. Ray-ray stood, the calls for help were coming somewhere from the bushes in front of them. He held his paw up for everyone to stop. He stared, his ears twitching.

"It's here somewhere."

Angelino smiled, it was time!

"Now!" He leaped throwing claws at the scouts and defenders alike.

"Awwww fuck!" Ray-ray swung his staff catching the claws before they could strike.

"Shit!" Duff ran and leapt as the blade like claws flew. "Sneasals!"

Caludora began to laugh, she rolled on her back letting deep laughs explode from her gut. She eyed the old ivysuar. He would make a rather nice sized meal. She licked her chops.

Lupaul was lost in the confusion as the attack came. Lino was right by him and the two swung their staffs tagging the sneasals across shoulders and backs. They rolled about and got their feet tossing more claws.

"Shit!" Lupaul felt a blade slice across his shoulder. He held the bleeding wound and tried to swing his staff one handed.

Bujordan flogged his vines about, he grasped the sneasals and tossed them aside each time they tried to slash into his ancient hide. Kinto one of the mankies tried to lash out at the sneasals but the creatures just leapt so fluidly about them.

Devlin attacked with flame thrower, careful not to hit a defender or scout in the confusion. There were so many pokémon, and the sneasals just dodged most attacks. He saw Lupaul get hit and rushed over, flaming a sneasal away from the hurt Smeargle.

"You ok?" He panted.

"Yeah! We need to get out of here Ray!" He shouted. "Well Devlin I guess we know it was sneasals for sure now."

"We're getting out of here!" He grabbed Lino by the shoulder.

"But, Ray-ray didn't call retreat!" Lino was confused.

"I'm not going to get cut apart in here!" Lupaul looked at the little grove of trees and snarling bramble about, it was a set up by those preds! Cauldora crept unseen through the brush, moving towards that ivysuar.

The defenders stood attacking with what they had. Then Kinto fell, he was full of claws and his blood splashed about. The scent excited the sneasals. Geno laughed as his four other siblings tore at the valley pokees.

He heard the screams, the shrieks from the sneasals. He swung the bamboo staff striking down the kits as the attacked. Ray-ray knew it was all his fault! He had brought them here and now the predators had them cornered. He saw part of his staff hacked away by a sneasal it snarled and launched at him.

"Go to hell!" He used the cut end of his staff to pierce it into the throat of the kit. It flailed about grasping at it's ruined throat.

"Fuck you!" Ray-ray struck another behind it's head. The solid hit shook the staff in his paws.

Duff stood with Lupaul and the others that had gotten out of the trap. He watched Ray-ray fight on. And old Bujordan lashing the enemy. The two were far too stubborn to just back down from this.

"We have to help them!" Devlin cried. He didn't like Bujordan but he wasn't too happy about seeing him killed. and he definitely liked Ray-ray.

He sparked up his flames again and aimed a flame thrower at an angry Sneasal. The blue flames shot over and caught the sneasal but only slightly, it was far away and Devlin was already wakened. Freezing it slightly the flames wrapped the sneasals arm.

Tekon fought, she tried to keep out of the way of the flying claws. She saw only three sneasals were left that could cause real harm. She tried to draw them away from Ray-ray with her illusion attacks.

"Not so fast! Mordra have fun now! Vig fun!" The murkrow sank her bill in the hoot-hoot's shoulder.

Tekon cried out and bounced about.

"Haa! Vig fun for Mordra now!" The dark hen cackled and dived at Ray-ray.

"Damn bird!" The raichu ducked.

"Now this is what I miss! The thrill of battle!" Bujordan was laughing? Ray-ray heard the damn fool shouting and laughing about battle.

"Devlin's right! Ray-ray would help anyone of us if we were in danger!" The eevee raced out to grasp at the sneasals.

Angelino leapt dodging the eevee he laughed as he sent blades whirling at it. The sneasal kit bounded about the trees and spun about just in time to see his sister lunging for the raichu's throat.

Lupaul struck as he leapt, the bamboo shaft cracking loudly across the sneasal's back. Lupaul stumbled as he landed but, kept his footing. He spun about to catch the kit in the jaw with his staff.

"This is enough Ray-ray! If we don't get out we'll lose everyone!" Lupaul shouted. He tried to hold off another kit.

Tekon screeched and she pecked at the murkrow as it came around for another attack. Mordra cackled wildy as the owl's beak caught hold of her wing.

Lupaul had lost his concentration as he glanced over, he didn't want anyone else hurt and Tekon should be here! She wasn't old enough to be out in "field combat". The sneasal saw his chance he threw Lupaul back as he tried tear his throat. Lupaul screamed and held the staff between him and those teeth.

He kept bringing his staff up to meet the strike of the sneasal's claws. He kept thinking of Azura, he had to get back for her. He wanted so badly to see her again. He had to make it back!

*****

Caludora saw the fat ivysuar, the old wrinkled lizard was right in attacking range. She licked her maw and began to crouch for her attack. She would pounce him and haul him off to eat in leisure.

Devlin charged in, butting the sneasal aside. It screeched angrily as Devlin hit it hard in its side.

"Lupaul, you ok? Not bleeding?" Devlin had seen a pokémon bleed to death, before he reached the valley, he hated it.

"yeah, I'm okay." He watched as the sneasals bounded up the trees, it got quiet. "What the hell are they up to now?"

*****

Caludora had her eyes on that damn old ivysaur. She inched forward, ready to spring her bulk on him.

Devlin looked around.

"Does anyone else smell fire pokémon?" Devlin asked, "Something like, like, me? Only, evolved?"

"Tekon!" Ray-ray shouted. He saw the bird roll, the blood streak the ground. He couldn't believe it.

He saw the scouts badly injured, there were casualties among the defenders and scouts. He let his guard down, he just watched in horror as the very friends he trained and lead died about him. He gripped the bamboo tight in his paws. he let out a horrid battle cry.

Angelino barked orders and he saw one of his sisters run for the raichu.

He grinned as Caludora broke from the forest. Her bulk was terrifying alone but, so were her teeth. She launched her maws at Bujordan.

the old ivysaur screamed his vines lashing about throwing the ty off balance. the ivysur backed up whipping tendrils about. He growled and launched razor leaf.

"Stupid old lizard!" She spat a fireball burning away his attack.

Devlin rushed to Bujordans rescue, maybe to get into the good books.

"Get away from him!" He shouted angrily. Spewing flames up at the Ty he tried to step in front of Bujordan. "I'll freeze you!" He threatened.

"A runt!" Dora laughed.

"These old eyes have yet to see such a great challenge!" Bujordan smiled, his eyes narrowed, he began to laugh. "To the greatest of battles Ty! And the victor walks away full of pride!"

"You old lizard! You think you could win? Don't make me laugh!" Caludora smiled with her nest of teeth. "The victor will go with full pride and....a full belly lizard!"

"To war! Defenders! To war!" Bujordan laughed as he ran at the Ty.

"Old fool!"

The ivysuar was lashing at the typhlosion and screaming at the top of his lungs.

"Long have I seen without a worthy foe!" Bujordan whipped the ty in the face.

Caludora backed up as the stinging in her face was joined by more, the vines kept snapping at her. She spat a stream of fire towards his voice.

Devlin joined in the barrage, using ember and flamethrower to freeze the Ty. He had never gone up against a Ty before, the largest of his evolutions, this would be hard, but with the others with him it wouldn't be impossible.

Caludora roared at the top of her lungs, her fire collar flaring wildly. She felt the power surge through her collar and spin, and cartwheel.

"Fire wheel!" Lupaul leapt back, he didn't know the ty was that strong.

Devlin got knocked aside by the twisting flames. It burned so much more, him being ice-type instead of Fire. He panted and pulled himself up, his flames had been put out when he landed on his back. He tried desperately to rekindle them.

Lupaul watched in horror. That fool Bujordan sat there laughing, he was laughing his fucking head off! The damn ivysuar must of cracked!

"Nice try pred! Now Die!" At the top of his lungs Bujordan cried and ran leaping into the air.

His old eyes locked on the ty, his vines flogging, he laughed defiantly at the preds. Caludora barked, her head lowering and coming up to strike. Lupaul knew what was coming.

His screams filled the air, Caludora's jaws eviscerated him as they caught hold of his belly. She clamped her jaws tight finishing it, blood drizzled out the sides of her mouth. She narrowed her eyes at the survivors. Two of Bossa's kits lay dead.

Dora knew if the last three died it would be her hide for not ending it.

"Retreat!" She barked as she transferred the dead body to her paws. "Pull out!"

Bujordan back in her maw she began to run off with the kits and Mordra right behind.

*****

Lupaul stood shocked. He looked about him. Ray-ray was holding a wounded shoulder, Lino just cringed with a staff held tightly in his grasp, Devlin was trying to restart his flames. Duff was checking for survivors. It had been a slaughter and Lupaul just stood there. Thirteen left, five were coming back.

Devlin gave up trying to start the fire on his back, he was too worn out. He stared in disbelief at where Bujordan had been standing last. He was really gone? He had lost it completely!

"Is...is everyone ok?" He asked, his voice filled an empty silence, a death silence. He knew he didn't want to know the answer. He had come out quite fine considering, he was only burnt, the others...

"It's all my fucking fault! I should have called retreat!" Ray-ray dropped his staff, he looked at the dead around him.

"Are....are they...really gone?" Duff looked at the path the preds took. Bujordan's blood splashed about marking it clearly.

"It's....my fault...." Ray-ray felt like curling up to die. He lead them all to their deaths.

Lupaul felt the anger well up. He stared at Ray-ray as he spoke. He felt that anger grow. It was the raichu's fault! He should have called everyone back. Tekon, Kinto, the youngest of the team that came and it was all his fault they perished.

"It is your fault damn it!" Lupaul balled a fist. "I told you to call retreat! It's your fault!" Devlin stepped forward and held Lupaul's arm.

"Don't blame. Ray-ray could have called retreat but he didn't. Don't fight now, we have lost ones to think of, what would they think?" He said. He didn't know what he was saying. He was so numb, everyone had gone? Really, that many pokémon?

"He's right! It is my fault....I let them all down..." Ray-ray looked at his feet, felt the weight of the world on his shoulders. "I screwed up and they all died for it!"

Lupaul felt the night creeping in on them. How long had they sat blaming one another, blaming themselves? Lino was just curled up with the staff tightly in his grasp. He muttered something that Lupaul couldn't make out.

He looked over at Duff, then Devlin and his eyes set on Ray-ray. He just felt it was all the raichu's fault! He wanted to bloody that stupid face! To just punch him, to just get this feelings of failure out by taking it out on that raichu! Lupaul told him to call retreat and that damned rat didn't! Now seven lay dead and one carried away in the ty's jaws.

"We need to get out of here....just need to....just need....to go home!" Lino shouted. He was crying and Lupaul just sat there hating his once friend.

"Let's...go home." Lupaul stood. He helped the younger smeargle to his feet. "Come on Lino...we're going home."

Lupaul was right, it was all his fault he failed them all. He walked sluggishly as he trailed after Lupaul, Devlin, Duff and Lino. He let them all down. He knew now everyone had been right, he was all wrong for his job. He knew nothing, he, Ray-ray was a failure.

Devlin looked around. Such depressed faces. He couldn't blame them though, they had been so very lucky to survive such an attack. At least they had survived to warn the rest of the flock though, the others sacrifice hadn't been in vain. He sighed.

What would Chari do now? lots of defenders and scouts lost, and Devlin was sure there were more preds. If sneasals traveled in packs then there'd be more

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