"Wow! I can see me!"
Hitori was staring at her reflection in a lake in awe. Her eyes wide, she
gently touched the water. Her muscles tensed as a ring rippled her body and
made it disappear for a moment. She let out a sigh of relief when she was back.
Blowhole chuckled slightly. "It'd not actually you, ya' know."
Hitori shrugged. "It must be something living though, right? I assume
everything has something to it."
"Well, 당신 assume incorrectly," Blowhole muttered. Then, 더 많이 clearly, he
said, "Come on. We need to get going. Find a place to set up camp."
Hitori nodded and followed Blowhole. He had been with Hitori for about a
week now. He was starting to get used to having someone with him, as somewhat
of an equal, but it still felt kind of strange to him. Blowhole sighed. He
looked at Hitori. She was smiling; of course. She always did. It made him feel
uncomfortable. For some reason it worried him. Like she didn't understand how
harsh the real world was. Still he couldn't help but wonder where she came from.
Blowhole and Hitori had picked a place to spend the night. Blowhole stared
at Hitori, wondering if she was awake 또는 not.
"Hitori?" He whispered.
It took a while for her to reply, as though she wasn't sure if him calling
her name was her imagination 또는 not, and was afraid to reply, in case she'd
wake him up. "Yes?" She said finally.
"I want to know where 당신 come from."
Hitori took a deep breath. "Promise to tell nobody."
Blowhole blinked. This was one strange girl. He nodded anyway, a bit
reluctantly. She hesitated, and then began what would probably be a long story.
"I'm the last phoenix," she murmured. "My mother, when she was alive, had
to keep me away from the rest of the world. She warned me that others would use
what I have for wrong reasons."
"What exactly do 당신 posses?"
Hitori stared at him like he was an idiot. Blowhole blushed. Was this
something he was supposed to know?
"A phoenix's blood can give any creature immortality." Suddenly Hitori
winced. "I shouldn't have said that." She quietly remarked to herself. Her eyes
grew wide with fear. She instantly stood up, and started to leave. But Blowhole
pulled her back.
"Do 당신 think I want that?"
Hitori gazed at him for a long while. Then she looked down, and shook her
head. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have judged 당신 instantly." She looked up at him,
and a slight twinkle of admiration seemed to flash in her eyes. But after an
instant, it was gone. "You're different."
Blowhole tried to not show his fear. What would Hitori think if she
knew I've tried to destroy the world countless times? He thought. She would
probably leave him. Normally, if somebody was tagging along with him, he would
be glad to get them out of his moisturized skin. But he felt a bit differently
about Hitori. He wouldn't exactly mind that much, but he might be a bit
Hitori lay down again. She grinned at him, then closed her eyes. "Good
Though Blowhole knew she couldn't see it, he nodded. Then he stared up at
the sky, dappled with tiny white lights. Hitori gasped in surprise, her eyes
bursting open in alarm.
"What's wrong?" He asked, unable to hide his concern.
"They're just so beautiful!"
"The gasses in the yonder?" He couldn't believe she had awoken him from
being half-asleep just because she saw pretty things.
Hitori laughed. "No, silly. I mean the bright parts in the darkness
Blowhole was puzzled. "Um, they're called stars, and the "beyond" is the
Blowhole was flabbergasted. How could a bird not know what those were?
As if she had read his mind, Hitori explained, "All my life, my mom had me
hide in a cave in faraway mountains. Whenever I looked up, all I saw was brown."
That must have been a boring life, Blowhole couldn't help but
think. He then sniffled out a yawn, and realized his eyes were drooping, and
that he was getting tired.
"Okay, have a nice rest," then, he added, a bit grudgingly, "for real this
The sun making him hot and shining in his face woke Blowhole up. Standing
and stretching his stiff legs, he prodded Hitori to awaken as well.
Groggily, she got off her 침대 of leaves. Instinctively, she looked around,
for food, Blowhole assumed.
"Are there any apples around here, 당신 think?" She wondered.
Ever since Blowhole had given Hitori one of the bright red fruits, she had
become obsessed with them, to the point it was the only thing she would eat.
Then again, he had never really offered her anything else.
"I don't know, but I can find 당신 something else."
Hitori looked unsure, as though he might give her some of her most
despised food, fish.
"Wait here," he said. "And I mean it. I'll be right back, so don't go
As he was off, Hitori nodded. He hoped she wouldn't leave. Last time he
had left her alone he came back to find her gone. After hours of trying to find
her, she found her in some kind of animal trap, covered in blood. It reminded
him coldly of when he had been captured 의해 humans. Seeing them try to take her,
too, 또는 maybe just injure her, perhaps even worse, made his hate for them grow.
Why were they so cruel?
Then again, he was spiteful, too. He himself had done some awful things.
But they were for good reasons. He was sure of it. Nobody else understood. If
동물 let people constantly step on them like bugs, eventually one 일 they
might get rid of 또는 enslave them all.
Shaking his head to clear his mind of his worst nightmare, Blowhole
spotted a piece of 빵 something had left behind. He tore off the part that
had been bitten into, picked it up, and went back to Hitori. It probably
wouldn't be enough for her, but he could find something else if he needed to.
"I'm back," he said once he had returned. He was relieved to find Hitori
"Good; it's about time!" She replied, sounding frustrated. But then he
noticed humor glittering in her eyes. "My stomach is growling louder than 당신
do when you're angry."
Blowhole couldn't help but let out a slight chuckle. He sat down and
stared into 우주 as she bit into her food. Thankfully, he got no complaints
from her about it, though she showed no signs of liking it much. He assumed she
was so hungry now that she didn't care what she had. Blowhole then realized he
was pretty starved, too.
"Hey, can 당신 wait here for a few moments longer?" He asked. "I want to
get something for myself, too."
Hitori nodded. " Sure. Could 당신 get me something else, too, maybe?"
"Sure," he then turned around and went back into the deeper part of the
Blowhole was thinking, of course. About Hitori. He had been ever since he
met her, really. Or, at least ever since they started traveling together.
Something about her was unique to Blowhole. And he felt things for her he had
for nobody else before. When he had first met her, she had crashed into him,
and he had seen her as only another nuisance. But after a while of being with
her, he had seen her as somewhat of a companion.
Then he realized that their alliance wouldn't last long. The only reason
she wasn't staying with him at his lair was because he hadn't wanted her there
before. So he had suggested they find her a new home.
"Where could I go where I'd have protection?" She had wondered.
"I've heard of a place," Blowhole recalled. "My mother would tell my
brothers about it in stories before they went to sleep. I don't know if it's
real, but we could try finding it. Apparently whenever 당신 want something, it
grows in the ground, and nobody can attack each other there."
Hitori's eyes had gleamed with amazement. "It sounds perfect," she had
Thinking of those stories his mom had told his siblings, Blowhole
remembered the terrible days with his family. Blue and White were constantly
bullying him, and Cora had never done anything to stop them from doing so. In
fact, behind his back, she encourages them to tease Blowhole. She had never
liked him. He was born small, weak, and sickly. Nobody had cared for him; ever.
One day, Blue wandered off, and Cora hadn't been watching him. He was killed.
And Cora refused to take the blame. So she had said it was Blowhole's fault,
and after another beating, she left him to die, with no shelter, food, 또는
anyone to 사랑 him.
Maybe that was why he appreciated Hitori. She was the first creature he
had ever met to show any kindness to him. There were ones who had before, he
recalled, but they had betrayed him. And the two who stuck with him were
killed. Murdered 의해 the traitors. He supposed maybe his 랍스터 army liked him,
but he assumed it was only because he fed them, and gave them a place to stay.
Hitori seemed different, and he had a strange vibe that she wouldn't leave him.
Blowhole realized he was now close to a human suburban area. He could tell
의해 the disgusting smell of smoke that lingered around. Blowhole didn't
understand why they couldn't be content with nature itself. They had to make
everything themselves. He could probably find something for Hitori if ventured
into the unfamiliar territory, but he just couldn't. In truth, he was
scared. Maybe not all of them wouldn't make him do tricks, and hit him when he
didn't perform, but old habits die hard. He turned away and got as far away
from that place as he could.
Blowhole sighed. Blowhole had been searching for quite a while now. How
long would it take? The worst part was that he had seen plenty of fish. Why did
Hitori have to be so picky?
"Stupid girl," he muttered.
I wonder if I'm making a mistake. Maybe I should just go back home, and
things can go back to the way they were.
But somehow he couldn't 곰 the thought of the penguins getting Hitori.
Without him, he was sure they would catch her; if they were still after her,
anyway. They hadn't seem Skipper and his crew since their first encounter after
Blowhole had met Hitori, but somehow he couldn't shake off the feeling they
would have 더 많이 trouble with them later. If his enemies caught Hitori, that
would mean they beat him. Again. This could be his chance to win.
Blowhole's thoughts were interrupted 의해 a rustling in the trees. He let
out a slight growl.
"Who's there?" He hissed.
No reply came.
"Answer me!" He spat.
A black-and-white shape fell down from the branches. It was small, round-
headed, and screaming.
"Ow," he groaned as he hit the floor.
"Private!" Blowhole gasped.
Private stood up. He was movements were wobbly, and looked he looked like
Instinctively, he grabbed Private, and held him up.
"Go back to your precious zoo!" He snarled. Private was wide-eyed. "And
leave Hitori and I alone!"
Private blinked. "Calm down," he said. "I'm not on Skipper's side anymore.
I've come to help you."
Blowhole narrowed his eyes. "Oh really?" He asked.
Blowhole snorted. He didn't believe a word, and he was going to make sure
Private knew that.
He was about to mock Private, but then he thought hard. Private had always
been 더 많이 kindhearted than the others. Maybe he was telling the truth. He had
looked reluctant to hurt Hitori last time they met.
Blowhole sighed. "All right, I'll think about trusting you." He
said, feeling awkward. "Tell me why you, and Skipper," he gritted his teeth as
he said his foe's name, "are after Hitori."
Private shuffled his feet uncomfortably. "We're kind of not after her," he
explained. "I'm not, really. And neither are Kowalski and Rico. We're just
doing what Skipper tells us. That's how things have always been for us, really.
It's natural." He paused slightly.
"Go on." Blowhole pushed.
"Right," Private muttered, staring down at the ground. Looking up,
straight at Blowhole, he went on, speaking clearer. "Skipper has teamed up with
a guy called Cymric. It was all very sudden. One 일 he left to go train 의해
himself for some days. He could hardly do so at the zoo anymore. The lemur's
음악 was too loud." Private's eyes were glittering with amusement. "When he
came back, he started 연기 a lot different. He treated us quite unkindly. And
he said he wasn't our captain anymore, and that he served Cymric. He insisted
we did, too. He took us to Cymric, and he told us to go after the last
Blowhole's jaw dropped. Hitori was the last one? And they wanted to kill
her? They were no better than humans! In fact, they just might be worse.
But why was Blowhole suddenly caring? He never had before. He tried to
flood the whole world. But he instantly shook his head. That was different. He
had been completely justified, and no one could tell him otherwise. He wasn't
going to kill anyone. Just make humans jump through hoops. It served them
right. They made him do it.
His thoughts were interrupted when Private went on. "He wanted a drop of
her blood, so that he could become immortal. That's what that stuff does, 당신
know, if 당신 drink it."
"Hitori told me," Blowhole let him know reluctantly.
"Cymric already has control of all of our species."
Private's words alone seemed to be a great force that threw him at a tree.
But he was still in the same spot, to Blowhole's surprise. There must be
millions of penguins out there! Surely he didn't truly command each and every
Blowhole decided to let Private go on. He wasn't sure if he believed him
또는 not, though. It all seemed impossible, and yet, there was no reason for him
to make these things up. It wasn't endangering him in any way, if he wasn't
really trying to help him and Hitori.
"Cymric trains the young to be his soldiers. He and his guards use harsh
methods. Kidnapping, beating, and for some, even brainwashing."
Despite his villainous mind, dark heart, and all the things that were
terrible he had done, this disgusted him. Too much. If he had eaten anything
he might have barfed.
"Older ones are enslaved. And if Cymric decides a child isn't obedient
enough, they became slaves, too."
"I guess 당신 go through all that harsh training?"
Private nodded. "But since I came with Skipper, I'm a bit 더 많이 trusted,
thankfully. They don't suspect I'm a traitor. They monitor others more. Skipper
has assured Cymric I can be trusted. So I can sneak out pretty easily when I
want, but if I'm gone too long, I'll need to get back as soon as possible. If
they miss me, they'll expect something's up." Private shuddered. "Speaking of
me being gone for too long, I think I have been. I better get back. Tomorrow
morning I will come back and give 당신 더 많이 information. Meet me at this same
place." Then, he added, "Good luck."
"Thanks," Blowhole replied quietly. "I think we're going to need it."
With a 물고기 for himself and some potatoes chips he had found in a
trashcan for Hitori, he headed back to her. There was some mold on her food,
but she refused to eat meat, so for her, 음식 was scarce. Even for him, it was
a bit. They had to eat whatever they could. Winter would come soon. There were
fewer 물고기 to find, and soon he may have to try eating other things.
"Here," he said, giving her the snack.
"Thank goodness." She let out a sigh of relief. "I'm starving! What took
당신 so long?"
Blowhole explained meeting Private, and how it took a while to find things
Hitori let out a grunt of understanding. "That's fine." She chirped. "I'm
just glad 당신 got something. Ever since my mother died, I haven't hardly been
able to get much." She took a bite, and instantly, spat it out.
Blowhole was about to snap at her for being picky, but then he saw that
she had bitten into mold.
"Er, yeah," he said. "Don't eat the green spots."
Hitori blushed in embarrassment. "Sorry."
Blowhole didn't reply. And for a while, everything was quiet. Then,
Blowhole uncontrollably laughed. She actually ate something emerald-
Hitori giggled with him.
Then, after a while, they stopped, and Hitori asked, "Okay, what's so