"So- this is where you grew up, huh?" Woodland said, trying her best to climb a near vertical cliff face up in the mountains of Rekes. She had seen a small plant growing up against it, and was determined to make her way up to grab it.
 
Blikk had a small smile on his face as he watched her small struggle. "Yea. I've lived here pretty much my entire life. Of course, lately I've been exploring the world but-" he shrugged. "If you'd like, you can use me as a stepping stool?"
 
She looked back at him in surprise "Use you as a stepping stool?" she chuckled a bit "No way! That feels rude, really. I can reach it myself, I just need to get a good grip."
 
"It's okay, really. It makes it way easier to grab it, plus otherwise you'll just end up wasting all of your energy on that one plant. There's still quite a way to go, of course."
 
Woodland frowned "Well, if you're sure."
 
She supposed he was right- getting further up made it way easier to climb the last bit herself, and then grab the small plant from where it was growing. "Got it!" she called out triumphantly.
 
Blikk smiled as she climbed down "Told you it'd be quicker!"
 
---
 
As they kept walking throughout the region, Blikk would occasionally see a familiar face, and have a short chat with them while Woodland kept gathering stuff around the area. Woodland didn't mind much- she knew already that she'd be doing the heavy lifting regarding the actual foraging, and Blikk was pretty good at catching on to when she was done in the area, and would wrap the conversation up, and carry on along with Woodland.
 
This did add to her surprise when Blikk was approached by a whelp, and looked at Woodland with confusion for once, seemingly hoping she recognized the kid.
 
The whelp was dark grey, with a nearly black stripe over their spine, and a darker grey collar around their neck. They didn't really look like anyone Woodland knew.
 
The kid puffed up their chest, and raised their head as tall as they could before speaking up "Who are you guys??? I've never seen you around here before!" By the tone of the kid's voice, this was clearly a great offense, and unacceptable in their eyes.
 
"Ah- we're just here to forage some herbs for our colony." Woodland said, awkwardly.
 
The whelp huffed, dropping one of the fruits they had been carrying in their arms in the process "Mama always said that colonists are good for nothings, and that we shouldn't let them take our stuff!"
 
Woodland looked at Blikk for help, taken aback by the entire situation. "Well ah- we're just passing trough, kid." Blikk tried to move past the whelp, but the whelp jumped in front of him, blocking his path and making him take a surprised step back.
 
"Nuh-uh! I'm not letting you pass!"
 
Blikk sighed, annoyed now "Well, kid, we're not going back down the mountains. Didn't your mama also tell you to be nice to strangers? I'd like to have a word with her if this is how you're acting to folks passing trough."
 
That seemed to be the wrong thing to say, as the whelp seemed to shrink smaller, ears pinned down, as he said it. The kid looked at him with big, now tear-filled eyes, and sniffled out a quick "You're mean!" before running off into the distance.
 
"Uh-oh" Blikk said, awkwardly. "Should we-"
 
Woodland frowned. The whelp didn't seem to want much to do with them, but having the kid run off, clearly upset didn't sit right with her either. Who knows what would happen if the kid had just ran into a random direction?
 
"We should check up on them," Woodland sighed. "Let's hope they just ran back to their caretaker."
 
Blikk sighed, neither of them were happy with the sudden change of plans, but followed the small tracks the whelp left in the fresh snow.
 
---
 
The whelp clearly had quite the journey in mind, leading the two older Xunari trough thick layers of snow, completely off the path they were following before, untill eventually the adults caught up with the young one.
 
The whelp seemed to have stopped at a small alcove, sitting under it surrounded by three other whelps and piles of fruit. Woodland made a mental note of the lack of adults, or adult tracks nearby, and shot a concerned glance at Blikk.
 
She didn't have much of a chance to voice her concerns, as one of the other whelps had noticed the two already- and didn't seem pleased at all. This whelp was black and white, and looked rather pissed off.
 
"Are you those colonists who upset Encounter?!" the whelp huffed "We want nothing to do with you!"
 
One of the blue whelps huffed in agreement, "Yea! You tell em Believe!"
 
Blikk sighed "We just wanted to make sure you're well taken care of..." he was cut off by the blue whelp hissing at him "We are fine on our own! Now scram!"
 
Woodland frowned "Hold on now- We're not just gonna leave you guys along when there's no adults around. We will at least walk you back home?"
 
The whelps instantly started screaming at them, save for the bioluminescent blue whelp, who quietly sat back confusedly watching the entire exchange. This whelp eventually sighed, nudging his siblings out of the way to walk past Woodland and Blikk "Fine, you can bring us home."
 
The others seemed confused, but quieted down nonetheless, running after the first whelp. They seemed to chat for a bit amongst themselves, occasionally glance back to Woodland and Blikk, but they did seem to be leading the two somewhere, so they followed behind.
 
---
 
They eventually ended up all the way back at Sanguine cove. "There we are." the bioluminescent whelp said "Back home! No need to worry now, and you can head back to your colony."
 
Woodland frowned, glancing at Blikk who was squinting at the change of demeaner, too. "I suppose." she nodded curtly and the whelps ran off into the streets. As she took a map out of her bag, Blikk looked at her, astonished. "Do you really thing-"
 
Woodland Snorted "No. I think they just tried to trick us. It's not really our business but..." she shrugged. "If they don't have anyone to look after them, maybe we can convince Bloo to take them in."
 
Blikk nodded "So we just keep an eye out on the exit, right?"
 
Woodland nodded.
 
---
 
It didn't take long for the whelps to try and sneak past them. Woodland smiled smugly to Blikk "Told you so." and then stepped in front of the whelps, blocking their paths. They all seemed pretty surprised that Woodland had stuck around at all, and were too taken aback to really say anything.
 
"Listen, kids, if you don't want help or someone here is already helping you our, than that's fine. But if you guys are all alone..." Woodland sighed, the situation feeling all too familiar to her, "You could come home with us. There is no shame in asking for help."
 
The whelps seemed to mull it over for a bit, until the whelp they initially met spoke up "No way! Mama always said not to trust colonists."
 
The blue whelp looked sadly at the ground, quietly speaking up "Mama isn't here anymore, Encounter..." The black whelp nodded, "We've all been so tired trying to take care of eachother... what if Seize get's sick again? We were lucky someone was passing by last time..."
 
Woodland nodded, satisfied, not giving them a chance to back out. "Right, we can just take you guys back with us on the boat, we'll tell Bloo when we're on our way."
 
The whelps seemed shocked as the name was mentioned- but came along anyways nonetheless. If the name was significant to them, Woodland was sure she'd find out eventually.
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Foraging IX

In Foraging ・ By LostInProgres ・ 0 Favourites ・ 0 Comments
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Submitted By LostInProgres for ForagingLocation: Rekes (B'Av)
Submitted 1 week ago Last Updated 1 week ago
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