"I am Walla," Walla said, still smiling. She liked the way this Viserion held her gaze. Not all other lions would remain so undistracted. It was a little unnerving though. Not knowing quite what to say next, she added, "Would... would you like something to eat? I've set up a home of sorts, amongst that crop of trees over there." She pointed across the plain, where a small forest, ringed by grasslands, sprouted besides the waters of the local river. "I have more than enough food. More even than I can eat. You and your friends and siblings are welcome to share it with me if you wish." She bit her lip, anxiously awaiting the lion's response.
(Sorry if that was unclear, Viserion was being sarcastic. I'll edit it )
"Just the two of us and a shadow." Rhaegar answered, looking behind him. He didn't see Viserion, but then again hardly anyone ever saw him coming. He had never particularly enjoyed the company of his brother, he was always so serious and had such a pessimistic view that he called 'realistic' that always opposed Rhaegar's plans. He continued walking forwards, Viserion had always said that lions tend to overlook the importance of knowledge, but that was only because he possessed no strength whatsoever. Viserion was jealous of him, Rhaegar knew so.
"Well, Walla. It's awfully kind of you to offer, but I'm afraid I must decline. Unfortunately there isn't much for me to fill, I never had the chance to inherit any muscle." He commented truthfully, Viserion didn't eat very much as oppose to other lions, which suited him fine, seeing as he couldn't hunt and was usually left with the scraps. Thankfully though, his siblings had recently gone hunting together and he had polished off what little they had left which was more than enough for him.
"Perhaps some other time?" He suggested, he sat down himself comfortably. "So tell me about yourself, a young lioness such as yourself must have an interesting story to have reached so far all by yourself." He said, his piercing eyes searching hers and a faint smile played at his lips, though there was no ill intent on his curiosity. It was purely his nature.
"Don't worry," he said in a reassuring voice "shadows can't hurt a great hunter such as yourself?" Rhaegar said raising an eyebrow. Surely this lioness who had so boldly stood up to both him and his sister, challenged him even wouldn't be afraid of someone as weak and pathetic as Viserion? The lion had trouble killing a bug, he was anything but a threat to any lion and lioness who possessed more strength than a stick insect. Why if Viserion ever tried to hunt, he might end up being hunted by prey.
It was least to say that the family had never been proud of their youngest member. He had never done honourable deeds, never fought for what is right, never stood up for himself. The lion couldn't even hunt to save his life. He was lucky that he had two caring elder siblings who cared for him enough to leave some game and defend him.
Walla's disappointment showed clearly on her face when Viserion rejected her offer, but her eyes lit up when he asked her about herself. "Well... I LIKE to think that I reached so far because I'm exceptionally smart," she said, grinning, but she was only half-joking. She was exceptionally smart. How else would a lioness like her survive? She settled down onto her massive stomach, peering at Viserion with her blue eyes, all of a sudden serious. "I was... kicked out of my pride a season ago. I made some poor choices. Or GRANDfather made some poor choices..." She looked into the distance for a moment. "Anyway, I thought I might live on my own for a while, but I've been so bored. You came along at just the right time." She raised her head, the automatic grin back on her face. "So, Viserion: that's an interesting name. Where are you from? And where are you going?"
"My story isn't a very interesting one I'm afraid" Viserion said, which did have an element of truth within it. He had only been a cub when he was forced to leave, so much of his previous life as a Prince was merely a blur. And he couldn't say that a lifetime roaming was particularly interesting. "My father, much like your grandfather, made some very poor choices. It reflected badly on all of us and so we left. I come from the Eastern plains, hence the name" Viserion shrugged, he had never found the east a particularly nice place anyway. For a long while he had dreamed of seeing the Pridelands, but Rhaegar had complained and said that reclaiming their pride was the most important thing at the current moment. Kijani had been on Rhaegar's side as well, leaving Viserion with no choice but to follow suit. Though Viserion had serious doubts as to whether the pride would welcome the return of the children of the Mad King.
"As for where we're heading, I can only presume that such an intelligent lioness such as yourself would be able to guess" Viserion smirked. He didn't doubt her remark, when a lion didn't have the body to survive in the wild, wit was you're new best friend. Perhaps the two lions had more in common than he would've liked to think, despite their contrasting appearances.
"Viserion is my brother, no harm will come from him. All he does is listen, that's all what he learns, and he keeps to himself." Rhaegar laughed lightly. He stretched his back as he walked onwards, he scanned the horizon, looking for a sign of life. A sign of this wonderful pride that they had been promised to be taken to. He saw nought but the dull landscape that had surrounded them for the past hours. His paws had begun to feel numb but he mindlessly carried on gliding through the plains.
"Putting matters of my brother aside, do you know how much further until we arrive?" Rhaegar asked, surely she ought to know. Rhaegar hoped she would answer and prayed that the answer would be soon.
Walla mulled all this over in her mind. She'd heard about the eastern plains. "I've always wanted to go where you're from," she said. "We hear a lot of stories in my homeland. I wonder how many are true? "As to where you're going: you're heading west, so I GUESS you're going to the Sunset Mountains. Or you could be going to any of the half a dozen prides between here and there. Or any of the hundreds after the mountains. But your companions have the look of mountain people. So if I'm going to guess anywhere, I'd say there." She smiled to herself and closed her eyes, proud of her own sense of deduction. "But I'd like to know WHY you're going there, of all places. Don't you know there's fighting in the mountains? Some stupid war over some stupid grudge I don't even remember. What are you looking for? You left the East for some very specific reasons, but you're very far from the east now. Why go any further?" You could stay here with me, she almost said, but didn't. She didn't want to scare him away.
"I've never been to the mountains before but I wouldn't have thought there would be much farther to go" He chuckled lightly. His paws were starting to ache and he was tired of the continuous walking that brought about no fruitful rewards. Patience, he reminded himself, that was all he needed to reach the top. He had waited most of his life to reclaim his homeland, he could endure a boring walk to Zeb's pride. From there on, plans could begin to be realised and put in motion.
"Tell me Clary, have you ever had any dreams?" Rhaegar asked, putting his fatigue aside.
"Well as for our destination, you've guessed right, or at least I derived to the same conclusion as you. Why, is another matter entirely. The west wasn't our original destination, in fact we had no particular destination until my siblings found their companions. We've been travelling for a long time now, 6 years and 4 days precisely now." Viserion said, he remembered little of his life as a cub, but the screams, the confusion, the mad scramble as the usurper had slaughtered his family. His cousins, only newborns were killed mercilessly, the lionesses and lions who remained loyal to his father had also been removed from the face of the planet. All their faces flashed before his eyes, yet he coldly made no move from the terrible memories that had been brought to surface. "You said you had heard stories, well one of the most famous tales is of a line of Mad rulers from the East. Have you ever heard the tale?" He started, he knew Rhaegar and Kijani would have his tongue if they overheard what he said, but Viserion had more sense than both of them and he had a strong feeling that he could trust this lioness. And Viserion wasn't often wrong.
"A pride of your own? And how do you propose on getting rogues to join you? I've heard many leaders use fear to unite their subjects and prove their loyalty, is that what you would do?" Rhaegar asked, that was what his father had done and how he planned on taking back his throne, with his enemies pleading for a swift death by the end of it all. The usurper and all his subjects could rot in hell for all he cared, but they would pay. It may have sounded cruel, but he had been raised in fear of his father and had lived during a regime where fear was what kept everyone in order."I always had plans for a pride myself." Rhaegar added.
"I'd get them to join me through trust, protection and loyalty. If I ever had a pride we'd see each other like family." Clary replied, thinking back to when she was a cub and the good King ruled the pride, "We stand together always." Clary said, repeating the pride's motto.
"That's not one tale. That's hundreds," Walla said. "Let's see... there was the one where one king burned one of his subjects alive and made his son watch. There was another where the king drank poison because he thought it would make him breathe fire. There was another that was killed by his most loyal and trusted advisors. There's another where a king leapt off a cliff because he thought he could fly, and a variation of the same one, who threw his children off the cliff to make them fly - though my aunt Axiia thinks he did that to keep them from the merciless enemy who had overthrown them. There are lots and LOTS of stories about mad kings," she said, tilting her head to one side. "But mad kings don't make such interesting stories. Why, we had one here, only a generation ago. Scar, of the pridelands. And who is more mad than the leaders of the mountain clans, fighting tooth-and-claw over what? Territory? Mutual hatred? No: I prefer the more fanciful tales." She smiled again, and stared up into the sky. "Of male defenders with shining manes who lead valiant charges at the lines of their enemies. Of warrior-lyonesses, who become defenders of their prides. Of the plights of orphans and children, hiding as nobles amongst the commoners. And occasionally, stories of dead lions walking, and flying lizards which breathe fire. But those are probably just stories." She looked him in the eye, and winked. "Some time I should tell you some of our stories. Of a lion who ursurped his own brother to protect a kingdom from evil invaders. Of wize crocodiles and mysterious panthers. But at the moment, I'm really, REALLY hungry," she said. "So: I'm going to go and eat. Plus it's getting late... how long have we been talking?" She looked at the sun. "One last chance if you want to come eat with me. Your friends are welcome too, of course, but you need only invite them if you want to." She smiled again, broad and toothily, hoping he could take the hint.
Viserion looked on, a slight chuckle escaping his lips though the sound seemed unnatural and forced. Possibly due to the fact that he had never found anything amusing, apart from Rhaegar's failiures at taking back his own land.
"Few get to live to see those sorts of heroes, though many see times of despair and fear. I am no hero Walla, but I presume you already know who I am anyway." Viserion got up and began picking at a few stalks of grass with a long, dark claw.
"I quite fancy dinner though, and maybe you could share some stories. I've always had more of a taste in what people have to say than the more crude hobbies that most lions enjoy." Viserion seemed to ponder for a while, leaving the stalk of grass alone. Would his siblings be grateful for the offer? They were being led to where there was potentially an army waiting for them, though Viserion doubted Rhaegar's plan to follow so smoothly as his brother expected. And Viserion wanted to ask them to join a lioness who would bring them no army but words of wisdom. He doubted Rhaegar would be pleased.
"My siblings, may be less moved by the power of words though, I'm afraid it might take more than stories to invite them around and where they go, I follow." Viserion said to Walla.
"Every family has a bad apple. Children rebel against their parents, siblings fight for recognition, is a family what you really want? For I know of a King in the Pridelands who paid dearly for making the same mistake. Perhaps you would do wise to remember it." Rhaegar commented, having no desire to build his own pride on trust. They couldn't expect him too. After all, his old pride had risen against him and his family and they were meant to be his loyal subjects! No, trust was definitely out of the picture.
"Do you have a mate in mind to help you rule?" Rhaegar asked the lioness.
"Some King's struggle, you need patience, pride, strength and to be extremely wise and be able to lead a pride, not buckle under stress." Clary replied thoughtfully. "I don't have a mate in mind, there's complications. I'd much rather rule alone until I know I can trust someone and I know they would care for me and be a strong, protective, loyal and loving mate." Clary continued, her expression softening as she described her perfect mate. "It's difficult to find a mate like that though." Clary sighed sadly.
Walls listened carefully, a puzzled expression knotting her brow when Viserion mentioned that she knew who he was. But she let it go, for now, when he mentioned that his friends may not be interested in chatting. "Not the type for words? Mother said the only time I ever stopped talking was when I was sick. Or hungry." She grinned. "Anyway: I know a faster way into the mountains. But I'll only show you if you come eat with me." She cocked her head, making her eyes dance mischievously in the light of the setting sun. "So you have two options: either we can go alone tonight and enjoy each ofher's stories over a meal of female gazelle, and tomorrow I can catch you up to your friends and take you all the rest of the way to the mountains. Or: you can go get your friends now, and convince them to come on the promise that I know a faster way. Either way you get my company for longer, and get to the mountains faster too! "So which will it be? I know which way I prefer."
"A gentle lion with a soft heart is a sight for sore eyes. Though they rarely last long. Trust is something that shouldn't be given freely but earned and even within a pride, trust has to be earned. So be careful in choosing those who you would choose to counsel you." Rhaegar warned. Despite it all, he had no wish to see Clary hurt. And especially not making the same mistake as his father; investing in the wrong lions to keep about you.
"A mate should be there to support you and bring out the best in another. Lead them in glory and guide them through loss. A mate may be nothing like you imagined they would be like, but sometimes you just have ti take that risk and go for it." Rhaegar quoted his father there. Mad, he may have been, but cruel was not a word Rhaegar liked to remember him as. And it was true when it came to family, there was none as protective as his father.
Viserion pondered over the matter. Scratching at the earth. There was no harm in asking , he supposed though he wasn't sure how much a rogue's promise would be worth in Rhaegar's mind.
"It's worth ago. Stay here. I'll be right back." He reassured her and started skillfully descending the face of the drop. Silent and shady as the shadows he carried out his work.
"I know." Clary replied smiling at Rhaegar, "I am very careful about trusting others, the only males I trust even slightly at the moment are you and Zeb." She looked up at him, "It's nice to know your concerned for me and for others." She finished reaching up and nuzzling his cheek gently.
Walla sighed, and rolled her eyes. "Wrong choice, Viserion," she said, once he was out of earshot. Still, watching him move so quietly down the hill stirred something inside of her. "It looks like we'll just have to TEACH him how to be a gentle lion... And how to take a hint!"
She sat, watching as the sun turned red, and waited.
Viserion ran along the rocky landscape, staying away from the clearings. Even now, when there was hard;y anyone there and he had gathered that Rhaegar had told Clarissa about him. The idiot never kept his mouth shut, he glanced back and could make out Walla's distinctively rounded shape alone on the hill. He didn't slow in his scampering across the land, quickly catching up with the others.
Rhaegar stood slightly scared by the sudden contact for a second there. The only female he had been with for most of his life was Kijani and she was his sister so there was nothing remotely close between the two of them. He supposed in a way, he did feel as if he could trust Clary but he didn't know how far his feelings stretched beyond that and it was all a very new experience for him.
"Well- um You're welcome." Rhaegar said feeling the blood rush to his cheeks. "And thank you, the feeling of trust is mutual. Perhaps we could help one another?" He suggested , a small smile tugging at his lips.
He was interupted by his sister who had been silent for quite some time during there journey. She was the first to spot the flash of the liquid silver mane, the pale sandy coat and the thin frame of Viserion.
"Rhaegar, in front of you." Kijani called as Viserion stepped out in front of the group. His violet eyes staring straight at Clarissa's, looking deep into them as he would usually do so with anyone he had never properly met up close before.
"Brother. What do you want?" Rhaegar said almost in a bored tone.
Clary smiled when she was told Rhaegar trusted her, and the smiled widened with amusement when he blushed and for some reason the blush made her feel a weird sensation in the pit of her stomach. She raised her gaze to peer at him, a smile forming on her lips once more. She spun around when Kijani spoke and stepped back at the male before her, he was looking at her in a way that made her shiver in fear, without a second thought she cowered back against Rhaegar.
The brush of fur against his own sent a flush of warmth and had Clary been any closer, she'd have heard his heart flutter lightly. He had never feared nor cared much for Viserion but an instinctive drive took over and he stepped forwards, his head raised high and a showing off the difference in strength between Viserion and Rhaegar. It wasn't an aggressive gesture but a protective one and he wanted to make sure that Clary didn't feel uncomfortable or threatened in Viserion's company.
Viserion in turn rolled his eyes, it would be typical for his elder brother to fall for the first lioness that he met properly. Unfortunately, he lacked that charisma and judging from Clarissa's reaction, his first impressions weren't going so well. At least it was good to know shadowy and weedy could be more frightening than butch and brainless.
"My apologies for disturbing you all" Viserion said, giving a polite nod. "I have only come to help, a lioness not far has offered food and a faster way through the mountains. What do you say?" He asked.
"Do you trust this lioness?" Rhaegar asked, to which Viserion nodded. Rhaegar thought the matter over for a moment. He then turned to face Clary. "What do you think?" Rhaegar asked
This Land: Jenna - I'm currently in an online lesson, ill reply in about an hour ^^
Jan 19, 2021 19:48:37 GMT
Jenna: No rush! I have just had this open at work for when I have down time xD
Jan 19, 2021 20:10:41 GMT
This Land: haha, like your thinking xD
Jan 19, 2021 21:17:06 GMT
mrcrazypants: @tl that Doctor Who soundtrack you shared is great!
Jan 20, 2021 9:09:15 GMT
This Land: I know right? Im very tempted to get my keyboard out and learn how to play it too xD
Jan 20, 2021 9:16:04 GMT
mrcrazypants: Oh that would be so cool!!!
Jan 20, 2021 14:26:11 GMT
mrcrazypants: I have a guitarr back home (stuck at parents house atm due to apartment being renovated). Imagine if I learned it on the guitar too, then we'd have a doctor who band haha
Jan 20, 2021 14:27:58 GMT
This Land: You on Guitar, girlfriend on bass, and me on the keyboard, Anyone know drums ? xD
Jan 20, 2021 14:31:06 GMT
mrcrazypants: 👏😂 hahaha! Oh and we'd need a singer too for future lyrics based songs
Jan 20, 2021 14:32:29 GMT