Rain winced as the huge rat drove his claw deep in his fur, tearing it out to reveal scarred skin. The challenger drew back his thin, peeling lips and snarled viciously; his yellow teeth were foamy with spittle.
"That's all ya got, KIT?" Ice spat in his face. "If you're to escape here, you need to learn to fight! Now, get up!" he seized Rain by the scruff and tossed him clumsily across the lush grass. "What do ya do?" he roared as Rain felt his body soar over the highest cliff on Ferran.
Fly! Fly! Rain shouted internally, but he could not find the strength to work his azure wings. As he plummeted down the cliff, he pulled his wings towards him so he was streamline. Then, praying he wouldn't shatter into millions of pieces, he let himself fall, eyes closed.
He expected to die.
He expected to hit the ground.
But he didn't do either. Suddenly, he wasn't falling anymore, and there was water all those tail-lengths below him. Glancing wildly around, he noticed the young, grey Siren, her paws radiating a tidal wave of water to support his body. Ice was beside her.
"Did you think we'd let you fall, PUNK?" Ice shouted grumpily.
"Actually," said Rain, ticked off as Siren plopped him gently on the ground, "I thought you'd let me ride on a rainbow. You wait until I tell Fever this."
"Oh, yes," sneered Ice, "Run to mummy now. Cry to her, get us in trouble. You stupid git."
Siren splashed a load of water in Ice's face. "Be nice. The kit is still learning."
"Next he will be mastering all seven arts of Oati, will he? What's so great about him? His brother Web is better at flying then he is." Ice retorted heatedly, but then he let the subject hang and offered to take Rain back to the top of the cliff.
Siren watched him wearily.
At the top, Rain darted across the moor back to his mother's den. I'll show them. I may not be an expert at flying or magic, but at least I can run! Of course, "that's a weakness" because then I'll flee, not fight.
"Hi, Rain," Fever greeted him kindly.
"Hey. Mum. Where is Web and Cedar?" Rain said, shoving through the lichen covering the den entrance. He had seen a flicker of disappointment in his mother's gaze at the sight of her youngest son.
"Out by the lake, learning. I see you're not."
"Ice called me a punk and a git," Rain shot back. "He flung me over the edge of the highest cliff and let me fall. I couldn't fly- Mum, I tried- but I couldn't."
Fever shook her head sadly.
Rain turned around. "Mum, just because I'm apart of that old RatKind prophecy you shared before you came here, it doesn't mean I'll ever live up to it."
"You have to, son," she pleaded, "or we are all in danger."
Rain bristled his back fur. Then, sighing, he walked out into the pouring storm outside. The other rats of Ferran were already inside the main den- which was where Fever was- but he didn't feel much like being compared to his siblings.
He walked so far into the storm that he couldn't hear his mother call for him before turning in for the night.