The Care Bears
The Confidence Secret
All that day Champ passed beside Cheer. They were both very happy that they had finally broken that invisible barrier that prevented them from talking openly about their feelings for each other. It had always been bad for both of them, now they were making the most of their love. After all, even with all that they had learned about love, nothing compared to the heart having an owner, a special name within it.
The couple had dinner at home, together with Treat Heart and Bright Heart, who were very happy to see that their friends were finally dating. But the bear had a pressing commitment, and he had to come up with an excuse to leave without Cheer coming after him. It was very painful for him to have to lie, since it was something that did not fit his genius and his sportsmanship, but it was necessary.
Walking briskly, Champ arrived at the sports gym, which had the lights off not to attract attention. Opening the door, he entered the main court and saw only the light in the locker room. Certainly Confidence was there.
It was not easy that day for the female fennec. Practically avoiding the company of everyone, she was hidden in the gym, nervous and worried. Deep down, she was afraid of what might happen and did not know what to do. His mission could not have been discovered, and certainly Champ needed to know the truth, for even if she lied, he would notice and tell Nobleheart and Trueheart, which would be very bad.
Sitting with her hands resting her chin, the young woman heard with her excellent hearing when someone opened the door of the gym and entered the place, soon identifying Champ who was approaching the locker room. Seconds later he appeared in the portal.
- Well, I hope you'll tell me everything I want to know - he said seriously before anything else.
- Are you sure you want to know that? - asked the fox giving signs of intense nervousness - There are things that it is best not to find out...
- Of course I want to know! I need to know why you're curious about revolve our old document boxes and albums. That's because they're not all there. And it's good for you to start talking now, if not I...
- I know, you're going to speak to the leaders. It's ok. Sit down right here that I will tell the truth about me and what I was actually doing, as long as you don't say anything to the leaders.
Champ sat down on the bench, while Confidence bowed his head, subdued perhaps for the first time in his life. She waited a few minutes before speaking.
- What do you know about the history of our people? - asked the fox at last.
- How so? - asked the surprised bear - I don't see how...
- It has everything to do with what I'm doing here - the fox interrupted - Champ; I lied about how I got to the Forest of Feelings. In fact, I came because I volunteered for this mission.
- A mission? How so? Explain me right!
- Well, to begin with, there is some secret about our species, for if the history of your group is poorly explained, mine and that of my group is less so. It all starts with an old man named Koran, who was over 85 years old. One day, looking for meaning in his life, he left the place where he lived and began to travel the world. It was when he heard a baby cry one night, and upon investigating, he found a bear cub, but he was different from the other cubs, he was lime green, and very small. Heart pitied, Koran decided to take care of that cub. The same night, in dreams, he was visited by the Great Wishing Star...
- The Great Wishing Star? - exclaimed Champ jumping from the bench - Did she let herself be seen by another human besides Shimmers? I thought she would never do that!
- I don't think it's her usual procedure, but she did - she said quickly - The Great Wishing Star told Koran that his mission was to go around the world to rescue other lost cubs, because one day they would help the others of their species to defeat evil. The next morning, Koran took his things and his new friend, and walked the world again. The years passed, and he found other cubs, each of a different species. Finally, they settled in Canada, he with his nine adopted children. But now Koran was already 95, and he already sensed death coming. The same night he set up his house, he was convinced that he would not see the next day. This worried him a lot, because he discovered the meaning of his life was to take care of those cubs, some of which were already growing. But if he died, who would take care of their?
- In the middle of the night, feeling the ends freezing and death coming, he heard the Great Wishing Star again appear and propose to him that it turned a bear, and thus would have the immortality. Koran, in his dreams, accepted, and the next morning he was surprised to see in the mirror that he was no longer a human. He was now a blue bear, looking 40 or 50 years old, still having many, many years to live. That was in 1953, 41 years ago...
- Wait! - interrupted Champ with a frown - You mean he was turned into a Care Bear, and directly through the Great Wishing Star?!?
- Yes, just like that - Confidence said - And why the surprise? Shimmeringstar is also a human who has been transformed into a bear.
- But only after Wish has made a wish with his special power... But what has all this got to do with you?
- Champ; One of those cubs was me - explained the fox with an excited smile - I still had no name, and I was younger than Hugs and Tugs. Neither I nor the others had a name. That was when Koran remembered that the Great Wishing Star had given more instructions during the night. The human was now called Sage Heart Bear, and should repeat that name to gain his power. And when he named the cubs, they too would receive their power.
- Sage wasted no time, and repeated his new name aloud: Sage Heart Bear. At the same time, an intense light appeared in her belly, and when it was gone, there was a heart formed by thousands of traces of color in her belly. There was his new power, though he did not know how to use it. Then looked at each cub and named it one by one: Love Heart Bear, Anger Heart Fox, Guidance Heart Raccoon, Snowy Heart Fox, Passion Heart Wolverine, Defiant Heart Badger, Crafty Heart Coyote, Calm Heart Lynx, and me, Confidence Heart Fennec. At the same time, we also received our emblem in the belly.
- Actually, this symbol has not meant anything to us yet. After all, Sage Heart did not know how to use it, so she preferred to teach her foster children how to deal with magic. Each one sought within himself a special power and specialized in it, unaware that there was this weapon called "Stare."
- That's incredible - Champ said to himself - Nobleheart and Trueheart won their symbols of the Great Wishing Star, but straight from it, and then they passed that power on to the other bears. I even got mine when I was a baby, long before even my earliest memories.
- Of course the method the Great Wishing Star used in you all was different from what she used in us - Confidence agreed.
- To this day, to my knowledge, only our group could choose who would receive the power of the Stare. I see there is another way then. So you did not know how to use your symbols?
- No, and they still do not know, since I have not spoken to my group since I got here and learned the meaning of those emblems with you. They have no idea what we can do with our symbols!
- The most incredible thing is you guys have improved on the magic of love like you said you did.
Confidence shifted uneasily.
- I didn't say that - said the fox energetically - I said that Sage Heart has specialized in magic, in the magic of humans. He was the last human he knew about true magic, and he taught us about it.
- Human magic? You mean you know how to get a rabbit out of a hat?
The bear had asked that question sarcastically, which did not please the fox, who stared at his friend for a few seconds as if searching for a response to the provocation.
- Well, if you don't believe me, then I'll have to show you - she finally said, smiling and standing up.
Champ sat, just watching. After all, he had seen shows of illusion before, and even liked the theme, but wanted to see Confidence convince him that she knew magic. But soon the bear was open-mouthed, for her friend, putting herself in a combat position, caused a strong white light to appear around herself, and when the light disappeared, the fox was dressed in his kimono without having moved.
- Wow! - exclaimed the sportsman - How do you...
But before he could complete the sentence, Confidence began to fight alone, with an out-of-the-ordinary rapidity, and with a force that caused air jolts and real air banks where she jumped to jump. His arms would not stop for an instant, and his legs would not appear because the speed of the blows. Looking at a bench of pure concrete, and with a series of dozens of blows made in less than two seconds, the fox practically crumbled the piece.
At last, without a trace of exhaustion, she stopped and bowed to Champ, who was stunned.
- For the Great Wishing Star! I've never seen anything so fast in my life! - exclaimed the bear, his eyes glazed on his friend - I think only Shimmers could beat her in a martial arts fight with magic.
- Well, I still haven't measured my strength with him, but I do not think he can beat me - she said with a malicious wink - My family keeps this in secret most of the time, since many people think magic doesn't exist or is something bad. Each of my group has a specialty in magic, and Sage is the one who knows everything. I specialize in martial fighting and wind, which helps me increase the speed and power of my blows.
- That's spectacular! - whispered Champ still in shock - You, a magician just like Aqua Bear, Shimmers, Sky-Heart, or Lonesomeheart...
- Well, you should not be so stunned. Besides them, also Swift Heart, Wish, Good Luck and all of you use magic, with more or less intensity.
- I still can't believe what I saw! But you still have not answered me why you came here, while the rest of your group is still in Canada.
- Because it was the safest way we found to try to make contact with you. We had no idea of you until we began to hear stories about a group of bears and cousins who introduced themselves as The Care Bears Family. One day the Great Wishing Star confirmed that both of you and we were part of the same species and should unite, when the crucial moment arrived. And after much research, we found a way to open a magical portal that would bring one of us here as an observer.
- And you were chosen, then? - Champ asked, smiling.
- Actually, I offered myself just like everyone did. I ended up being chosen by the luck, and by having the least power among all, I would not draw so much attention. Entering the portal, I stopped at the Forest of Feelings, and began to prepare my plan. First of all, I tried to watch over you all when were into the forest, and so I created the story I told for Nobleheart. He brought me here, where I met everyone, and especially you, who will surely help me now.
- And why do you think that?
- Because you’re as curious as I am, and you’re always ready to help a sportsman friend - Confidence replied with a small smile - Now that you know about my secret, I'm sure you will not tell anyone anything and help me prepare his people to receive my people.
- I don't know if that's a good idea - confessed the bear with concern - I'm going to feel like I'm betraying everyone's confidence. After all, it's a lie that I have to build.
- Lying is sometimes necessary - said the fox with a sigh - But that will be for a greater good. Besides that, I'm here for something personal as well.
- That has it to do with you stirring up our antiquities What are you looking for?
- To know about my biological family. After all, if our groups are of the same species, then at some point they met. And I want to find out where and how it went. Don't you think it's fair?
- Honestly, I never thought of that. Everything we need or want is always within our reach here at Care-a-Lot...
- So you've never been curious about where your parents are? - Confidence questioned maliciously - I have this curiosity since cub...
Champ looked at her sadly, and bowed his head in silence.
- Of course I've had that curiosity - he finally said after a few minutes - How many times, as a kid, did I want them to be by my side in the competitions, in my growth, with my new friends. Or when I had my first mission, I used my "Stare" for the first time... I really wanted that.
- And you don't want more?
- I don't know... I often told Trueheart about it, and she rebuked me saying it was no good rummage the past - Champ was getting sadder and tears began to form in her eyes - I think deep down she's right.
- She is not! I don't accept not knowing about my origins! - said the fox, rising to his feet and setting in front of friend - This is important to me, Champ, and to you as well. For all of us! We have to know our past, and I'm sure you know more than I do.
The bear lifted his head and looked at her friend with a faint smile on his face.
- I can only say what I heard from Nobleheart and Trueheart - he said at last, thoughtfully.
- Great! - said the fox - I was sure you would help me.
- Who says I'm going to help you? - Champ questioned with a malicious look - I just said they told me something, but I will not tell you what it is.
- Ah, you will - Confidence said slyly.
- If not, you will do what?
She paused for a moment thoughtfully, until, in a sudden movement, she grabbed his friend's arm and, twisting it, caused Champ to fall to the ground on his back. Quickly the female fennec sat above him, and grabbing the bear's legs, began to tickle his feet.
- Hey! What... Hahaha! Nohohohoho! Stahahahahahhap! - he cried, surprised at this.
- Hector taught me something I did not know - began the fox - I've never noticed how tender the soles of a care bear's feet are.
- Stohohohop! Pleheheheheasehehehe! - shouted Champ, trying to pull his legs.
- Ah, but why should I stop now? It would be worse if I were really torturing you, then you would see...
- Hahaha! Ahahahahall rihihihight, I'll tehehehehell yohohohou! Hahaha! Stohohohop!
Confidence listened to it with great pleasure, and dropped his friend, who wrapped himself in a ball to protect himself, while still laughing at the effect of the tickles. The female fennec sat in front of him, also smiling, waiting for Champ to recover.
- Then? - she asked.
- Nobleheart and Trueheart told us that we once inhabited a valley on a tropical island in the Antilles. There they had an orphanage, in which they collected several orphan cubs, whose parents were killed by hunters. One day, an evil being named Dark Heart destroyed the place trying to kill us. Noble and True managed to escape, taking with them about 30 cubs, some only a few months old as was my case, and others even three years old. We fled into the sea, where we were attacked again by Dark Heart, but at that point we were saved by the Great Wishing Star, which then turned us into the Care Bears Family.
- Only that? - Confidence asked - Is there nothing more to say? Do you know the name of the island or where is it?
- I don't know the name; we just call it Paradise Valley. But I know how to get there. Everybody knows. It's been a few years since we discovered the place through of Good Luck Bear, Funshine and a few others who were cleaning up the Hall of Hearts, precisely the documents and albums you were looking at. No one had ever looked at that paperwork, nor would they have looked if Funshine had not dropped a box with old photo albums. On the first page, they found a picture of two baby pandas, which none of us had ever seen before. It was when Nobleheart recognized them as the Perfect and Polite brothers, who had lagged behind.
- Good Luck decided on his own to go after the two, with Tenderheart and Swift Heart joining him. They ended up on that same island, which is near the Bermuda Triangle, and there, they found that, except for the central valley, everything else was cut off from the world by an eternal snowstorm. With a little luck, and gotten just because of Good Luck presence, they found Perfect and Polite, they brought the two of them here, they gave their symbols in the belly and tried to do the possible, as I did also, for them to adapt to live here. But the two brothers could not, and when they discovered that the valley on the island was also freezing because it was the warmth of their hearts that kept it without ice, they both decided to go back there, at least for some time.
- Some time before you arrived, and when Shimmeringstar had just joined us, we were all in the Paradise Valley for the first time together, and we made another attempt for the Pandas to come and live with us, but they had to come back when the valley froze again. Since then Goodluck has gone there at least once every fortnight to see his girlfriend and bring news of us to them.
- That's very interesting - said Confidence - An island in the Caribbean. Did you find anything with Perfect and Polite? And where are these albums?
- They knew less than we did, they just remembered being alone and having to turn around to survive - Champ said thoughtfully - As for the albums, while we were busy with our new friends, Trueheart changed all of them from place and we can't find them anymore.
- So Trueheart has a secret, and she doesn't want others to find out. Certainly on these albums is the answer, or part of it.
- What did you find as you rummaged through our things? - asked Champ, who had not done this before.
- Few interesting things, just documents that show you how to make it all work in the Kingdom of Caring, ancient adventure relics and a letter.
- It was for Noble Heart Horse, dated February 12, 1943, and signed by Frank Heartom, director of the warehouse sector at Heartown Airport belonging to B & H, reporting the arrival of new BMW engines for airplanes.
- I've heard of this company, but I don't remember where...
- Well, B & H is one of the biggest companies in the world. Certainly you have seen some commercial or advertisement of it.
- Perhaps - said the bear reluctantly, as he still thought.
Confidence studied Champ's features for a moment.
- So, what will you do now? - she asked at last - Will you help me or will you reveal my mission to others?
- I should do that, but... - began the bear seriously, before shaking his head negatively - Nobleheart might help us, but you yourself said that Trueheart has some secret and she does anything for us not to find out about this mystery. She certainly will expel her from the Family as soon as she knows what you're doing here. But I will not let her find out about you. You can count on me.
Confidence smiled and, in a gesture unusual for her, hugged her friend as thanks. She was very relieved.
- I knew I could count on you - she said at last - But now let's go to sleep. Tomorrow we have to find Hector and talk to him before his father wreaks havoc on his head.
- Of course, since what Calvin did, there is no explanation - said the bear - I think it will be another mystery we will have to face. But if Hector studies in the morning, why do you want to leave early?
- Well, at least we can talk better, and without the risk of interruptions - the fox replied, standing up, a smile on his lips.
- One last question - Champ said, standing up - Are you sure the members of your family and Care Bear Family were really together at some point?
The fighter flushed indecisively at that, not knowing what to answer.
- I do not know, but I can feel it in my heart - she said with a shy smile – But now that I've told you this secret, you might as well tell me the story of Impulsive Bear, which I hear so much mentioned about in the conversations, but I never knew what actually happened to him.
Now it was the sportsman who was ashamed.
- Well... It's not a happy story, and now it's too late for that. Maybe in the future I'll tell you about him - the athlete concluded with a small smile as they both left the gym to go home.
The mission of Tenderheart and Love-a-Lot per hour was complete. They had dined with Carlos, André, and Ralph to give them strength in what they were supposed to do and, though they left their friends' house with the sun setting, Tenderheart wanted to take a tour of the Kingdom of Caring's stars with his girlfriend, and the ride was long enough. It was late when they got back.
- Let's see tomorrow what missions we'll have to face - commented the female bear, with a smile to her boyfriend and giving her a kiss on the cheek - As long as I'm by your side, I'm not afraid of anything...
- I say the same - said the brown bear - At his side, not even the worst spells of No Heart frighten me or make me give up.
And the two, approaching, gave a light kiss. That's when Love-a-Lot saw something that caught her eye and she showed it to her boyfriend.
- Are not Champ and Confidence right there in front of the gym? - asked the pink bear - What were they doing there at this hour?
- Training, of course - said Tenderheart without much attention - After all, they both enjoy so much sports that they certainly did not even see it dusk.
- Certainly - she agreed with a laugh - Now let's get some rest. Good night, my dear Tenderheart.
- Good night, my dear Love-a-Lot.
And saying this, they separated each one to his house, very happy to have spent another day together.