A fox’s conundrum

Amidst a sea of trees, a majestic mountain range spreads drawing a line in this sea, while its peaks piercing the skies.
In the northern forests, close to the mountains, there is a village.
The village was hidden underneath a layer of mist, magic and mystery.
This protective layer will be unravelled as a young inhabitant of the village is faced with a difficult decision: stay or leave?
Inside the village, the atmosphere was lively and festive.
It was the coming of age ceremony of the youngest child of the village’s chief.
This village wasn’t a normal one.
The houses were all simple looking, but once one entered them, the space was thousands of time bigger inside than outside.
The villagers were constantly casting spells to create fire, water and even food, while creatures that are feared as country destroyers in the outside world, were used as cattle and mounts here.
The village was boisterous as everyone was working hard to make everything perfect for the ceremony.
The ceremony was rather simple, the child will fight a captured living being, and upon victory they will decide if they leave or stay in the village.
If they lose, they will be saved, but will need to remain inside the village for millennia before getting another chance to decide whether to leave or stay.
The youngest child was a fiery little girl…well, now she was almost a woman.
She was tall with long silky silvery hair, and loved to wear purple clothing.
Her wits were spectacular, even compared to the elders, and that’s something incredible, considering what she and everyone else was.
This village was a 9-tailed fox sanctuary.
It has been built to protect the 9-tailed foxes from persecution and abuse.
Of course, they are a strong race, actually one of the strongest, but they aren’t many true top tier experts.
They do have talents in high positions in different organizations, but they usually are advisors, right-hand men/women, business owners, but rarely top-tier experts.
And due to their talents, and looks, men and women alike are targeted by everyone else.
Thus long ago, in ages where even the collapse of the world would be considered but a minor inconvenience, a dozen or so of the strongest experts of the 9-tailed fox race gathered together, and created this village.
It has formations over formations protecting it, and without the approval of the chief and the elders, no young fox can sneak out.
That’s how this ceremony came into being, and this is the fox’s biggest conundrum.
Should they stay or should they go?
They are valued anywhere they go, but the way they are valued is starkly different from place to place.
If they are lucky…they can be treated as a treasure, if they are unlucky they could be treasures for others…
Now, it’s time for the youngest child of the chieftain, to experience the struggle of free choice.
The whole village got extremely quiet.
Gathered around a makeshift arena, they waited for the birthday girl to arrive, and to face whatever it is hidden inside the cage that was placed on the arena.
Soon, the star of today’s even arrived.
Her hair was tied in a pony-tail, while she wore a beautiful purple dress, with a blood-red nine-tailed fox engraved on it.
As accessories, she had a silver bracelet, and a beautiful pair of amethyst earrings.
With her silvery hair, pale skin, and blood red lips, she looked like a descended goddess.
Going up the arena, she bowed to her father and towards the elders, before bowing to the crowd.
The crowd burst out in cheers, shouting her name.
“Amara! Amara! You can do it!”
They chanted.
Amara just smiled, and faced the cage.
The crowd quieted down, and the cage opened with an eerie creaking sound.
Out came a strange looking dragon.
It had the horns of a deer, emerald green scales, six legs, two pairs of wings and a spiked tail.
The wings were one pair of blue and one pair of red ones, while the spikes were purplish in colour.
As the dragon stepped out of the cage, the chieftain clapped his hands and the shackles that sealed the dragon’s powers were removed.
The dragon smiled, and chuckled.
“Are you the lamb I need to scare?”
It asked Amara.
Amara just smiled, before saying.
“Let’s dance.”
Her sweet voice enchanted the dragon, causing it to be almost stabbed right in its left eye.
Thanks to the dragon’s luck or Amara’s unluckiness, the dragon blinked, and the hard scale of the dragon deflected the piercing attack of Amara’s sword.
Amara just sighed and jumped back.
“Hahahaha! Little lamb, your sword is unable to pierce my scales! Now, let me show what a real attack is!”
The dragon roared, as it launched a lighting breath towards Amara.
Amara parried it easily, and started a beautiful sword dance around the arena.
Sparks flew when the sword collided with the scales, and soon, the arena was filled with fireworks.
The dragon used lightning, wind and water to try and incapacitate Amara, but to no avail, as she was free as the wind, being unable to be caught.
But sadly, no matter how many times she attacked, the dragon’s defences were unbreakable.
The dragon flooded the entire arena with his magic, drenching Amara and slowing her down.
“Haha! Little lamb, just give up, I can’t hurt you and you can’t hurt me. But for you, this isn’t a draw but a defeat! Hahaha!”
The dragon laughed boisterously.
Amara sighed, and slowly, 9 beautiful, silvery-purple tails unfurled from behind her.
The dragon tensed up, and rained hell upon her.
Fire balls, water waves, ice bolts, lightning bolts, wind waves, earth spikes, wooden pikes flew towards Amara, but also slowly dissipated.
The 9 tails elemental resonance was stronger than the dragon’s, thus gaining control over the elements, and dispersing the attacks.
“You little lamb…”
The dragon said, looking at Amara, but as Amara’s eyes flashed with a purple light, the dragon slowly quieted down, and fell into a deep slumber.
The crowd burst into cheers, while the chieftain leaped onto the arena.
He casually threw the dragon into the cage, where it was locked once more, before the cage slowly disappearing.
He took his daughter’s hand, and raised it high up.
“From today henceforth, Amara is an adult of our race! Cheers!”
He shouted, and the crowd started going crazy.
Alcohol started being conjured from everyone, and the atmosphere got heated.
Amara was then taken by her father in front of the elders, and her family members.
An elderly woman, asked with a concerned voice.
“So, little Ra, what is your choice?”
Everyone looked at Amara, who smiled brightly.
“I will stay in the village for one more millennia. I need to hone my swordsmanship, as I can’t rely solely on my bloodline!”
She said with a strong confidence.
Everyone in the room smiled, and nodded.
“Good! Wise as your father! Hahaha!”
The chieftain laughed, before being hit in the ribs by his wife.
“Wise as her mother, I think you wanted to say, right honey?”
His wife asked, with a smile that was not a smile.
“Yes..”
The chieftain answered weakly, smiling wryly.
Everyone laughed, and soon left to join the festivities.
It was hard for a fox to leave this sanctuary.
They are all talented, and are all prideful, so it’s rather hard for them to swallow the truth: the world outside is big, and they might not be strong enough to protect themselves.
But sadly, they are also smart, so they know that if they never leave, they won’t ever be able to grow truly stronger.
Thus, the conundrum never ends, when is the good time to stay and when is the time to leave?
This question always haunts the foxes, no matter how strong, wise, cunning or confident they are.

Published by omnithenerva

Wannabe fiction writer. In love with mythology, and fantasy themes.

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