From the Ashes (Acceptance)
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#1

'I was a boat driftin' out into the sea
I had nothing but pieces
Of thoughts of the hope
That you would see me'
"speech" | thoughts
 
Hikaru stood at the edge of a forest, trees marked with a familiar sign; one he had seen his father use on their walks around the border of their old home. The young male's paw laid on the deep claw marks, the sap of the tree still sticky. Pretty fresh. He didn't know if this was the same Stoneclaw that had been forced out by humans, but he had to try. Perhaps he might find his twin.

Of course he knew his father wouldn't be there. Nexys had grown old and the fall of the pride had crumbled what was left of his confidence. The old king, fallen from power, had decided it was best that he travel alone. Keep to himself as he had before he found Stoneclaw way back when... when the pride lived in endless plains. Hikaru barely remembered those days. The memories were little more than bright golden images, flashes of swaying grass far above his head.

It was the smell of the ocean that drew him now. That scent... yes, that was familiar. Their home after the fires had been close to rocky cliffs and as a cub Hikaru had been raised with the scent of the salty sea air. It was faint where he stood on the other side of the forest, dulled by odors of dead leaves, soft soil, and rotting trees. Nature. Earth.

Hikaru dropped his paw, remembering what his father had told him about waiting for acceptance. He just never thought he'd be on the other side of it. As he waited he wondered if there was anyone left that would remember him. Deep down, he hoped not. 




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Tala She/Her
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#2

How quickly her life had changed in a single season. Believing to be the sole remaining member of her pride, Tala was now surrounded by felines of all shapes and sizes, one of which had saved her life from a pursuer determined to seek an end to her. With Roderik down, and the possibility of a swarm of angry terror birds descending upon the new pride, Tala wasted very little of her time. Every minute was preciously spent preparing for the worse, gathering tools and crafting whatever item she thought would help in the event of a battle: from healing poultices to sturdy pieces of armor crafted with driftwood and shells.

This day, she was heading to the forest in search of a particular kind of fern, which she knew would help against pain. She wanted both to make provisions for worse case scenarios, but she also wanted to gift some for the injured king to which she owed her very life. It was the least she could do.

Her basket weaved from softened bark of the very trees of the forest which she had traveled to, would allow her to harvest and bring back a considerable amount of the plant. She had been quietly working among the ferns for a good part of morning, and her overflowed basket told her it was time to head back to the cliffs. It was only when she made her way to the forests edge to leave that she saw she wasn't alone. At first, Tala froze... From the back, the youth looked just like Calia's son. But that was impossible, she had seen his body with her own two eyes. Her heart hammered in her chest as she harbored the feeble hope that he might have just been injured and later escaped. Could it really be him? Dropping her basket, she ran to him, calling his name.

"TENNO!! Tenno, is that y-..."

He turned his head to look at her and she saw that it was not him. Tala bit her lip, feeling a fool.

"I'm... I'm sorry, I thought you were... Someone else."

She returned to pick up her basket, replacing inside with delicate motions of her claws, the precious cargo that had fallen to the ground when she had dropped it. She would return to the youth and smile to him, though a bit sadly before placing her basket on the ground again and addressing him.

"You're new to here.... Aren't you? I've not seen you with the others. You looked so much like my dear Calia's son, that I'd thought... Well nevermind that."

She would grieve for Calia and Tenno when the time was right. For now, there was too much that needed to be done.

"They call me Tala; Granma Tala. What is your name, young one?"


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#3

'I was a boat driftin' out into the sea
I had nothing but pieces
Of thoughts of the hope
That you would see me'
"speech" | thoughts

 The sound of the basket dropping called Hikaru's attention from the gashes in the tree to the lady rushing toward him. She wasn't familiar to him, but she called a name out into the trees.

"TENNO!! Tenno, is that y-..."

Tenno? Hikaru turned to face her, an apologetic smile on his face. He didn't know who she thought he was, but a small part of him wished he could have been who she was looking for. Her expression dropped and she slowed her pace.

"I'm... I'm sorry, I thought you were... Someone else."

"It's alright," he assured her, trotting closer to help her replace the items in her basket. "I'm sorry I'm not who you're looking for. Beautiful basket. I started an apprenticeship for crafting awhile ago but I never got this far." A path he'd chosen for himself when he was young, raised in the trees of a man-village where a little exploration could bring him plenty of beautiful things to craft with. This place... might not be the same.

"You're new to here.... Aren't you? I've not seen you with the others. You looked so much like my dear Calia's son, that I'd thought... Well nevermind that. They call me Tala; Granma Tala. What is your name, young one?"

"Hikaru. Actually, I'm looking for someone. My twin. We were part of a pride called Stoneclaw that was forced out of the forest by humans. Do you have any knowledge of this? I'd actually hoped that some of them might have come here when I saw these marks on the trees."




[Image: oKDUjEQ.png?1]

Code:
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[align=center][size=x-small][b][i]'I was a boat driftin' out into the sea
I had nothing but pieces
Of thoughts of the hope
That you would see me'[/i][/b][/size][/align]
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[customsoftbox300=#000000 solid; margin-right:1px; margin-top:75px; background: rgba(224, 201, 127, 100); color:#000000; height:350px; overflow:auto]
[align=center][color=#996633][b]"speech"[/b][/color] | [color=#cc9933][i]thoughts[/i][/color][/align]
 

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