Mist had been slowly healing with Snowberry’s healing skills and the magic that flowed through Sunstone. She was able to hop around without any pain and the wounds on her body had disappeared. Her fur had changed to silver and her eyes had lightened to a pale blue. The rabbits of Sunstone took this in stride as they realized they too were slowly changing.
Prince Rainbow appeared one day as she was eating with a friend she had made named Star. “I see you are well.”
“Yes Prince Rainbow. Thank you for bringing me here.”
“It is Lightstone you should thank Mist. He agreed to my orders that you be brought here for healing.”
“Star will you thank Lightstone for me?” Mist asked her friend.
“No need Mist. I was happy to have you,” Lightstone said as he came up behind her.
Mist turned and nodded to Lightstone. “I’m glad that you have changed from the days of Efrafa Lightstone-rah.”
“I was a fool then. Still everything worked out wonderfully.”
“It’s time to go home Mist. Blackavar and your family are waiting for you.” Prince Rainbow set Mist on his back and flew to Watership Down where he gently landed so Mist could scramble off his back. But she was knocked over by her kittens that had been waiting for their marli to return for days.
“Marli!” The kittens shouted crowding around Mist.
“Welcome back Mist. I see you have changed just as Blackavar,” Hazel said hopping over to greet her.
“Thank you Hazel-rah. I’m glad to be home. Where is Blackavar?”
“Out on patrol with Captain Holly, Pipkin, Dandelion and Fiver.”
“Have you all been?” Mist asked looking at her kittens with tears in her eyes. She was grateful to Watership Down for not allowing any more of her kittens to be killed or taken from her though she knew in her heart that it wasn’t their fault that Thorn had been kidnapped by Blizzard.
“Good marli,” the kittens said. They fell into step behind their mother as she went down to their burrow. She lay down and went to sleep as her kittens curled up behind her, their little bodies pressed against each other.
Blackavar arrived back from patrol and reported to Hazel that they hadn’t seen any signs of Blizzard or his rabbits. They had seen a Vleflain wide patrol and had stopped to converse with them who also reported that neither Vleflain or Efrafa had seen any signs of strange activity. Hazel nodded and thanked Blackavar for his report, smiling as he watched Blackavar go down the run that led to his burrow.
“Mist! You’re home!” Blackavar shouted waking up his family. Mist was annoyed at being woken from her nap and at Blackavar for waking their kittens up. “Any news of Thorn?”
“No Mist. He hasn’t been seen by Watership Down, Vleflain or Efrafa.”
“It’s been a month. Where could he possibly be?” Mist said crying as she buried her head against Blackavar’s chest.
“I don’t know Mist. We can only hope that he is alive and okay.”
“With a mad rabbit like that I highly doubt Thorn is okay Blackavar.”
“Well let’s just hope he’s alive and will return soon.”
“Thanatos!” Blizzard called looking for his son. He turned to one of the Owsla. Blizzard had decided that Brimstone needed an Owlsa and had infected more rabbits. His warren was growing with the does and bucks he had been changing. “Where’s Thanatos?”
“Above ground master with Sunspot.”
“The story teller eh? Bring him down here.”
“Yes master.” The rabbit quickly ran through the warren and went above ground and over to Sunspot. “Thanatos your father wants you.”
“Ah do I have to go down Frostbane?”
“Master’s orders Thanatos.”
Thanatos rolled his eyes and pushed Frostbane to the ground as he went to the burrow he shared with his father. “Parli I was listening to Sunspot saying a story about the Black Rabbit.”
Blizzard smiled at his son. “You can listen to Sunspot later. Right now I need to tell you about our enemies.”
“Not elil though elil are the enemies of all rabbits. Lord Frith created them to kill all rabbits as a way to punish El-ahrairah. I’m talking about four warrens. These warrens are Watership Down, Efrafa, Vleflain and Sunstone. They need to be destroyed.”
Thanatos nodded. He had heard briefly about these four warrens before. His father’s old warren had been destroyed by man at the hands of two rabbits named Hazel and Fiver. He had barely escaped with his life and been left for dead by an Owsla Captain named Holly. Then they had taken his marli from his father. Thanatos had been the only kitten his parli had managed to rescue.
“Don’t worry Parli I won’t let you down. But how do the other three warrens tie into these Watership rabbits?”
“They are in alliance with Watership Down. Due to their alliance they will also be destroyed. They’re kidnappers and murders Thanatos. They killed your marli and pretended to be your marli and parli instead. It took me months to find you. Sadly I was too late to save your marli.”
“Don’t worry Parli. I won’t let you or marli down. I’ll kill all those warrens myself if need be.”
“Good. Together we can destroy these rabbits and avenge your marli and my mate. It’s time we began your training.”