Divine Destiny - Chapter 6

quadraptor's picture
Chapter 6 - Soft Words

Jaclyn's grip released on the doe's throat, the lioness stumbling back and turning her head to see a deep wound on her shoulder. Zephyr quickly sat up and gasped for air, shaking her head and trying to clear her vision. She saw Jaclyn lose her strength, collapsing to the ground and breathing heavily.

BANG! Another shot startled Zephyr, the bullet striking a tree nearby her head. She darted away, her eyes on the fallen lioness for the moment, and clearing the open area she leapt into a thick underbrush. The doe's peacock-like feathers provided camouflage as she turned and watched a human approach the lioness.

"Lost the deer...", he said to himself, "It's too bad. I don't know why the rangers are protecting the lions around here..." The man knelt and took another look at the lioness before standing and walking off.

Zephyr waited a few moments, making sure the man had left before she escaped. She started to walk off when she looked back at the lioness. She just tried to kill you., Zephyr thought, Just leave her. She deserves it. The doe took a few more steps before stopping and looking back again. "I must be out of my mind...", she said to herself, and quickly ran to the lioness' side.

The predator was still breathing, but she was out cold. Zephyr lifted Jaclyn's body onto her back. The lioness was much heavier than she expected, but she was able to manage her.

Walking uphill with her on Zephyr's back proved to be a difficult task. The snow sank under her feet faster, and she could feel her legs become sore. Still, she was determined to save her attacker, though the walk seemed to last for an eternity.

Finally she found a small cavern, and it was perfect timing as a blizzard began to pick up. The doe entered and dropped the lioness a little ways in before sitting and catching her breath. She looked around at the shelter. The central room was lit a little from a few light beams that penetrated through a small hole on the ceiling. A few shrubs grew on the walls, and next to her was a small pool. She stood and began to drink from it when she saw her own reflection.

The doe's eyes were fixed on her own. The water was calm and the reflection was perfect. Zephyr had never seen herself so clearly. Then her eyes became a little fuzzy. She wiped them with one arm, returning to the reflection to see something completely different.

Her father was looking up at her. His great red antlers replaced her leafy green ones, but their faces...their eyes were very similar.

"Fa...ther...", Zephyr said under her breath. She cleared her throat, and looking back, he was still there, staring at her with his gentle smile and soft eyes. Zephyr felt her eyes began to tear, and then she began, "I'm so sorry...I've lost Axie...and...", she couldn't continue. Her heart felt painful, and she cried. The tears collected into one drop that dripped from her mask into the pool. She watched the reflection vanish...her father abandoning her.

Zephyr looked back at the sleeping lion nearby. Her wound was still bleeding, and Zephyr knew she wouldn't last without some kind of treatment. The doe stood and began to mend the wound, washing it with the water and then keeping pressure on it. She lay there next to the creature for an hour before the wound finally stopped bleeding.

Exhausted, Zephyr walked back to the little pool and rested there. She slowly closed her eyes. The cavern was silent, with a slight howl of wind from time to time.

"Zephyr...", the doe heard. She opened her eyes and looked around before resting her head and closing them again. "Zephyr...", she heard again. The doe sat up, expecting to see Axie there, or her father, but neither were present.

Instead, she saw that the lioness had sat up, and was looking toward her curiously. "You saved me...", she said to the doe, "after I tried to kill you. Why?" Zephyr shook her head, "I couldn't just leave you there." Jaclyn slowly stood and approached the doe. Zephyr was too tired to move, and she suddenly realized that she made a mistake. The lion was coming to kill her.

Slowly closing her eyes, she shielded herself and expected to feel teeth sink into her. Instead, she heard a light lapping sound, and opening her eyes she saw Jaclyn drinking from the pool. "You're not...going to kill me?", the doe asked. Gulping a mouthful of water, the lion looked at her, "Do you want me to?" "Of course not, but...after all you went through to get us...", Zephyr replied.

The lion shook her head, "Nah...not after what you did. I'm in your debt.", she said. Zephyr stared at her for a second before nodding her head. "Did...you see my brother?", she asked. Jaclyn shook her head, "I only saw you. I assumed you left him behind. It was coming close to...", she began to say when Zephyr stood. "No, never. I never would have abandoned him, even if he died.", the doe replied. The lioness reflected on this for a moment, before saying, "You two must have been close, then." She continued with, "I wonder where he has gone, then."

They sat there for the moment, silently contemplating. "You know...", Jaclyn said, "we do what we do to survive." "Hmm?", Zephyr questioned. "Lions have no taste for things you deer eat. It isn't our choice that we hunt your kind.", the lioness said. Zephyr sighed, "So in other words, you don't want us to hate you for what you do?", she asked, but then continued, "It makes sense...still, I'd want to get everything I'd needed done before I'd let something kill me." The lioness looked at the doe curiously, "You're much smarter than I expected. Maybe I was wrong about...", but then she shook her head and chuckled.

The sunlight grew brighter in the cavern. The two saw this, and Zephyr said, "It's calm now. We need to go. I need to find him." "Yes, we've rested enough.", Jaclyn agreed, and the two left the cavern.

Jaclyn lifted her nose in the air, and taking a few sniffs, said, "There's a trace amount of his scent in the wind, heading west." Zephyr nodded, and the two moved on.


Mazey shivered. The Forest had become much colder than she had ever remembered. She felt so alone...so cold. Her mate was dead, and she worried about her children every moment. The doe kept moving, not responding to the few fawns and stags that tried to speak to her.

She soon rested on a hill near the ruins, leaning on the tree within the mushroom circle. She closed her eyes for the moment, then caught a whiff of another deer there.

Quad!, her mind raced, and opening her eyes, she saw someone standing there next to her. She looked up excitedly, only to be surprised to see Auriea there. "Hello, Mazey.", the god said to her. "Oh!", the doe stood and bowed, "I did not know you were here." Auriea looked at the tree she stood next to, "That was Quad's favorite place to relax.", she said. Mazey looked at the tree, "I thought I smelled him here.", she sighed.

"What's wrong, Mazey? You seem so troubled lately.", Auriea asked her. The doe lowered her head, "It's nothing." Auriea shook her head, "You are worried about your children, aren't you?" Mazey sighed, "Yes..."

The god looked out to the Forest, "Listen. Everything has fallen in place so far. When this is all over, you will be happy." Before Mazey could reply, a sudden loud sound erupted through the Forest. "What was that...?", Mazey questioned. Auriea took a few steps toward the Twin Gods' hill, looking that way before she darted off. Mazey could hear the god saying, "Oh no! Oh no!", as she left.


The doe and lioness walked on for hours. The blizzard picked up once again, and the two had no chance for cover and could only blindly move forward. "We're getting close!", Jaclyn called out to her companion. "Where? Where is he?", Zephyr called back, but the lioness didn't reply. The doe was slowly losing her strength, but she kept going, before finally her head bumped into something solid. She looked to find a human-made structure there.

"Here! Here!", Jaclyn called, standing by the door of the place. Zephyr moved there and began to bump the door. It didn't budge, so she kept knocking at the door with her head. Jaclyn weakly scratched at the door, "Come on, come on...", she kept saying before the cold got to her. The lioness collapsed, curling and shivering. Zephyr kept ramming at the door, before she fell as well. She rested her head on Jaclyn's body, and slowly closed her eyes.

We were so close..., Zephyr thought.


Something bright was before the doe. She opened her eyes to find a fire before her. She lifted her head, finding her body had been wrapped in a thick blanket, and her head had been laying on a pillow. Nearby, she saw Jaclyn sprawled on a couch, sleeping soundly. There were other animals there as well, all laying on similar furniture. A fox slept on a sofa chair. A stag lay on a cot. Two hares were curled together near the fire. A magpie and a sparrow slumbered together in a basket.

Then Zephyr saw a human approach, who knelt and stroked her back. "You and your lioness friend were lucky. The storm has gotten much worse since we got you in.", the woman said to her, and placed a bowl of milk by her. The doe didn't reply, but weakly lowered her head and drank from the bowl.

The woman smiled, "You look just like...", she began, looking at the stag on the cot. Zephyr looked up at the deer. She didn't recognize him, but he sat up and looked back at her, and with a smile he said, "You made it, sis!"

As the woman left, the stag climbed off the cot and walked to the doe. She looked to him strangely before realizing, "Axie?" The stag smiled and nodded, "You missed my stag day." Zephyr felt an overwhelming sense of joy and excitement, resting her head on his chest. "I thought I lost you, Axie! I thought I...", she cried. The stag nuzzled her, saying, "I'm here, don't you cry."

Nearby, Jaclyn watched the two embrace. The lioness smiled, she was happy for them.


After a much needed rest, Zephyr was on her feet and walking again. Axie's leg had already been mended, and Jaclyn's wound would take some time to heal.

The two deer left the main room and walked down a short, dimly lit hallway. Axie stopped in front of a door and turned to Zephyr, "She's waiting in there for you." Zephyr tilted her head, "The oracle is here?" Axie nodded, "She's been asking for you by name.", and with his snout he pushed the door open. The light within the room flooded the hallway, and Zephyr took a few steps in, and nudged the door closed. Axie stayed in the hallway, listening through the door.

Zephyr approached the bed, and saw a small creature wrapped within the blankets lift her head. The young white fawn smiled, "Zephyr, I've waited so long for you.", she said in a soft voice.


Three deer made it to the Twin Gods' hill first, all three gasping in disbelief. There stood the fawn, Pent, looking at them in shock and confusion. "Oh my twin gods!", Tuna cried.

"Pent, what have you done?", Redkora asked him. "I...I didn't...", the fawn tried to say, but Tamerlane interrupted him, "You killed them! You killed the gods!"

The two statues lay in shattered ruins on the hillside. Several deer saw Pent standing next to the gods' monument when they fell. They couldn't explain how he managed to push them over, but within moments many others had come to find out what the sound was they heard...

The fawn had done an unspeakable act.

To Be Continued...