Greystorm left Ochiba in his burrow and walked into Ether. Taiyo and Inazuma looked at Greystorm as he approached them. “Hello Greystorm,” Inazuma said looking at him. Taiyo just looked at the intruding buck in silence. For an instant Greystorm thought he saw a flash of sadness in Taiyo’s eyes but then shook his head.
“I didn’t come here for pleasure,” Greystorm said activating the elemental twist that swirled around his body.
“You come to kill us don’t you?” Taiyo asked with sadness in his voice. “Of course it is the only way after what we have done.”
“Be quiet Taiyo!’
“Inazuma the child needs to know the truth even though he seems determined to kill us anyway.”
“Greystorm you know that from us all rabbits are created and that Frith changed our children after the idiot El-ahrairah nearly got them all killed so they would better be protected against elil,” Taiyo began looking at Greystorm. “Though I suppose that was our fault for our children breeding so quickly but El-ahrairah should have kept his mates in check. If that had been done then elil wouldn’t have been created but then the earth would be barren with the voracious appetites of rabbits.”
“Taiyo be quiet!” Inazuma hissed. With a quick lash of his own power Taiyo sent Inazuma into the wall and the chains shot up from the ground wrapping themselves around Inazuma. “Let me out!” Inazuma shouted. Suddenly the shadow rabbits from Farthen Moor appeared and rushed to their mistress’s aid but were blocked by a line of fire rabbits.
“Our respective servants,” Taiyo explained to Greystorm noticing the look on his face. “I know why you are here. To get back Coldstar and to kill us. Ember,” he called and one of the rabbits turned and bowed. “Please release Coldstar and bring her back here. Release the others as well.”
“If you agree not to outright kill me though you can kill Inazuma for all I care I’ll explain why you were awakened. As you know you come from Bright Star which was a warren of warrior seers. In fact your entire family from your father and before him were warriors and your mother’s line were seers. You inherited the warrior from your father naturally for the rabbits of Bright Star were warriors. Well he fell in love with your mother who was a seer and they had you and three other kittens. Your sister and yourself were the only ones to survive whereas your brothers did not.
“Inazuma there insisted on taking your mate and bringing her to Ether knowing it would drive you to go kill yourself. I’ve tried to be the voice of reason all these centuries but when you’re the only two rabbits in a land with no children and nothing to do as the centuries fly by you begin to go a bit insane. Somehow Inazuma left Ether and the Shadow Land fifty years ago, that’s how long we have waited for you to be reborn you see, and met Frith. Frith told her that she could have any rabbit of any line that displeased her so she sent her shadow rabbits to destroy Bright Star and Farthen Moor. We were already planning on punishing Farthen Moor anyway because like her servants said that warren had been created with the knowledge that they would worship us and they didn’t.”
“Why would you want rabbits to worship you?”
“Protection. They worship us and we protect them from elil. However over the years they forgot how their warren was made and forgot the pact they struck with us so they had to be punished. Frith you see didn’t like your warren. Do you know why?”
“No father,” Greystorm said surprising himself and Taiyo smiled a sad smile.
“Though I am the father of our race I don’t deserve to be called that after what I have been forced to do. It was my intention to never wake you but Frith… well I’m sure you know how Frith is when he is angry.”
“Why did you restrain my master?”
“He pissed me off to be honest. Shingetsu doesn’t understand why you were awakened even though we tried explaining it to him. You were awakened to kill us and rescue your mate from here. In fact I suggest you kill Inazuma before she tries something else to harm you.”
Your powers Greystorm. If you combine them all into one which you have the power to do as Shingetsu’s most powerful servant you can easily kill her and the shadow rabbits at the same time. But it will be exhausting and if you intend to kill me you’ll need to rest.
Greystorm concentrated all his energy and power into the center of his paws and it erupted from his body straight towards the chained mother and the shadow rabbits. The shadow rabbits screamed in pain as the ball hit them and Inazuma looked on in fear as it hit her causing her body to burst into flames leaving nothing but ashes on the ground. Greystorm then collapsed on the ground as his energy left his body.
A week later he woke. Taiyo was watching him and the fire rabbits were carefully tending to Greystorm. “You’re awake. Good. Ember has brought your mate to you. She’s sleeping right now though under the holly tree.”
Greystorm looked up and he could see other rabbits, live rabbits running around. They appeared happy now that Inazuma was dead. “Ember and Blaze escort Greystorm to his mate,” Taiyo said. The two flame rabbits who had been called nodded and helped Greystorm to his feet. Greystorm flinched as they pressed their bodies against him.
“We won’t harm you,” Ember said. “You haven’t killed our master yet.”
“How did you get like this?”
“We were created just as Inazuma’s shadow rabbits were created. Taiyo created us and the shadow rabbits were forged in some dark ritual by Inazuma. We suspect that is why they were so willing to follow their master,” Ember said.
“The fire servants have never been on friendly terms with the shadow servants since Inazuma tried killing Taiyo three hundred years ago,” Blaze said.
“You’re three hundred years old?”
“Yes. You see our lives are tied to our master. If he dies we die. We have been protecting our master from Inazuma ever since we were created. It was not Taiyo’s intention for Shingetsu to be hurt. Unfortunately he could do nothing to stop Inazuma as his powers were bound.”
“Bound by who?”
“Frith,” the two fire servants answered.
“What of the rabbits I saw? The living ones?”
“Inazuma’s work. Frith’s orders.”
“Take the star from the warrior. Take the living from the dead. Throw them in darkness and bind their souls. The one of light and born of stars shall set them free when he comes to the land of dreams,” Blaze said.
“Why was Taiyo bound?”
“Taiyo is loyal to Lady Kuu. He has always loved the night. Whereas Inazuma was a manipulative rabbit who was loyal to Frith.”
“We follow our master and thus are loyal to Lady Kuu. She doesn’t try to control us like Frith and takes pity on us being here.”
“Then why don’t you escape?”
“We can’t. Our master is stuck here and we won’t leave our master even if we could escape.”
“Taiyo may seem cruel but if you stay here you’ll see he’s kind to his friends and servants.”
“I have a warren I want to go back to. Is there any way I can… get you all out of here?”
“We don’t know and I don’t think Taiyo knows either.”
“Perhaps if you return to the living world you can ask Lady Kuu.”
“Perhaps you can free our master and us from this eternal bond.”
They fell silent as they reached the single holly tree. “Your mate lies in front of you Greystorm. We’ll wait here while you have your little reunion,” Ember said smiling sadly.
“Thank you both. And tell Taiyo thank you as well and that I will do everything in my power to help him and his servants escape here.”
The two fire servants looked shocked but bowed respectfully to Greystorm as he went over to his mate. Their ears drooped at the sight and they watched as their bodies slowly began to weaken. The warrior seer had spared their master and themselves from death but would he be able to save them from Ether before they vanished forever?