A bright light pierced the dark surface of the lake. It glittered all the way around, lighting up the hollow around it. Two lithe shapes slunk out into the light, their glowing paws taking them closer to the stretch of water.
‘A Moonshine Message,’ the first one muttered
‘Yes, Mystic,’ the other, a golden dog, replied. The silver vixen, Mystic, waved her gold-streaked tail.
‘Is it about the skulk?’ she whispered
‘No,’ the golden fox murmured. Mystic relaxed a little.
‘Phoenix,’ Mystic looked up at her father. ‘It’s about Falcon, isn’t it?’
Phoenix nodded. ‘Falcon and Phantom I think...’ he trailed off, his silver eyes staring puzzled at the ground. Mystic shook her head and looked closely at the orb of light.
‘Mystic? Phoenix?’ a voice sounded from the bushes on the edge of the hollow. ‘Is it a Message?’
‘Yes, Rain, a message,’ Phoenix called. His voice was cold as he turned to her. ‘Phantom and Falcon are coming.’
‘Are you sure?’ Rain asked calmly. ‘Are you positive?’
‘Yes, Rain,’ Phoenix replied, his voice straining.
The white vixen placed her blue flecked paws on the edge of the water. Instead of slipping into its’ depths, they seemed to stay afloat, making the water swirl around like a whirlpool. A blue light erupted from her claws and raced toward the orb in the middle of the lake. It swirled around the Moonshine, turning to a soft green, then to a deep black before falling back into the water and speeding back to Rain.
‘What is the message?’ Mystic whispered, her golden eyes round with fright. Rain was frowning at the water, which she had stepped off.
‘Well? What danger awaits us now?’ Phoenix demanded. Rain flashed a glare at him before turning back to the smooth liquid. Finally she turned to them, her eyes troubled.
Her voice sounded strained and panicky as she recited what she had heard:
The Phantom Falcon is near.
You are doomed unless they’re here
Must forever serve the Tear.
For the Foxes of Destiny will soon become clear
Mystic stared in horror at her mother. Faintly, she remembered her brother being carried off by a massive black Falcon, Rain crying despairingly for her son, Thunder.
Mystic shuddered and crouched by the bushes on the edge of the hollow.
‘Mystic? What’s wrong?’ the voice of a white Vixen sounded by her ear.
‘Moonshine Message,’ Mystic replied grimly. ‘Falcon is nearing.’
The golden flecked fox’s eyes grew wide. ‘No, he can’t be!’
Falcon was a great black dog, who killed for pleasure. He was an exile of the skulk, and he was out to get them.
‘Don’t worry, Magic. The prophecy said that Foxes of Destiny would destroy the beast,’ Mystic was trying to reassure herself just as much as she was her sister.
‘There was a Prophecy?’ Magic bolted upright. ‘You mean you answered a message without me?’ Mystic rubbed her tail across her sister’s flank.
‘It doesn’t matter, we don’t quite get it yet,’ she soothed. Magic sighed and brushed past her as she went to talk to Rain. Mystic sighed and watched her mother recite the Prophecy again, and just like she had, Magic’s eyes grew wide and she stared disbelievingly at the now-grey Moonstone.
Mystic stood up and stretched her legs out. She padded over to Phoenix, a worried look planted upon her face.
‘Rosy Coal... Snowy Dragon... Dripping Flame...’ Phoenix was saying, staring blankly at the now dimming Moonshine. ‘Who are they?’
Mystic shrugged, and padded over to the lake’s edge. Her pointed muzzle touched the silver surface, and four faces appeared among the reeds. A voice whispered somewhere in the clouds:
Frost, Dragon, Rose, Coal
‘Of course!’ she exclaimed. ‘The four foxes, which live in the east!’
Phoenix looked up, his eyes shining, yet confused. Magic turned from the Moonstone to stare at her.
Rain’s face slowly brightened. ‘Yes, yes. Rosy Coal is Rose and Coal and Snowy Dragon must be Frost and Dragon! Well done Mystic.’ Rain praised her daughter, nudging her daughter with her golden muzzle.
Mystic felt the skin under her fur growing hot. She leaned down to scratch behind her ear to hide her embarrassment.
‘But who is Dripping Flame?’ Phoenix murmured worriedly.
‘Perhaps it means the Tear?’ Rain suggested, puzzled
‘But if Dripping Flame is a Fox of Destiny, why would the others “serve” him?’ Magic questioned
Mystic looked on blankly. All these questions were tiring her out.
Perhaps, she thought hopefully, no, never...
‘Maybe it’s fire and water together? So someone like Earth?’ Rain suggested. Earth was a skinny brown vixen. Mystic just couldn’t imagine her being a Fox of Destiny.
‘Well, mother...’ Mystic began carefully. ‘You are rain – that symbolises water. Father’s fur is like fire – that could be flame.’
Rain looked stunned. ‘But...’ she began, bewildered.
Phoenix was equally surprised. ‘We, can’t be in another Moonshine Message,’ he murmured to Rain
‘It’s possible, Phoenix,’ Rain’s voice was calm as she looked up at him. Mystic thought she saw a spark of excitement in his eyes.
‘Who shall tell the four? Shall I? Or maybe we could both go?’ Rain prompted him
Magic trotted over to the leader of the skulk. ‘Can I tell them?’ she asked hopefully. Her eyes were pleading for an adventure, but Phoenix shook his head
‘I will bring them the news,’ Phoenix muttered grimly. ‘They will soon know of their destiny.’
Magic dropped her gaze to the floor and walked up to Mystic, her brush trailing along the dusty ground, adding brown flecks of dirt to the gold.
Rain sighed and rubbed up against Phoenix’s flank. ‘Just be careful,’ she sighed. ‘Now that we now Falcon is on the prowl.’
‘Don’t worry Rain,’ Phoenix smiled softly. ‘Not even Falcon can harm a Phoenix.’
Mystic saw her mother nod in understanding. Rain always was very calm in these sorts of situations
The golden fox barked shrilly to the sky, before he trembled and morphed into a golden bird. Stretching his rainbow wings, he flew to the east, toward the four Foxes of Destiny.
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