The Care Bears The Confidence Secret 3rd Part Chapter 25
ATTENTION: This chapter contains subjects that may be sensitive to some readers. Read at your own risk. *****
For two days Hector had not gone to school and did not even attend the weekly soccer practice of the school football team. And despite appearing in class that Friday, the boy was quieter than usual, avoiding talking to his friends and even being close to them, which worried them a lot. For this very reason, at recess, they all went to look for Hector, who was in a corner of the courtyard, alone and in silence, without having touched the lunch and with a very frightened look. - Hector, what is it? - asked Diego in English so that only the seven friends could understand the conversation. - You do not look well - Gustavo said - You still having a stomach ache? - Or was this story just to disguise the real reason you were like this? - asked Pedro. - Please leave me alone - Hector said, almost crying. - But why? - Julio replied - Hector, we are your friends! - You can trust us - agreed Paulo, sitting down beside the captain of the team - What's wrong? Why did you miss those two days? - You do not have to worry about me, it's okay... - Hector said - I'm already preparing everything so that my sadness will end soon. - How so? - asked Osvaldo. - Hector Kayson, we've been friends for a long time, we know you're hiding something serious - Julio said seriously - Tell us, you know we will not tell anyone! The boy looked at each of his friends slowly and deeply, as if in doubt. He did not want to tell anyone what had happened in those two days, even because his father threatened to punish him if anyone knew what he had done with his son. So the boy, when he entered the classroom, lied to the teacher saying that he had had a stomach ache in those two days, but that he was better now. But that had not fooled his friends, and Hector knew he had to give them a satisfaction. - You swear will not tell anyone? - he asked - Not to your parents, to the teacher, or to the police? - Police?!? - Exclaimed Paulo - For God, Hector! What are you up to now? - Swear or not? - the team captain asked seriously. - We swear - said the six in unison. Hector took a deep breath, like the one taking courage. - All right - he began - My father hates the Care Bears because he thinks they're responsible for my great-grandfather's death. - As well? Did the Care Bears know your great-grandfather? - Julio asked. - Yes, they were great friends, and when my great-grandfather died trying to help the Care Bears, my family did not accept and hated them. But the bears and cousins are good, and they are my friends! My great-grandfather did not die because of them! But my father does not understand this and punished me for being friends with Champ and Confidence. - So that's why you're sad? Why did he punish you? - Well, he... - Hector made sure no one else was around to hear - He tortured me in those last two days, tied me to the bed without being able to eat or leave the house... And he vowed that if I saw again Champ and Confidence, I would regret. - You must be kidding! - shouted Osvaldo, shocked at those words - Uncle Calvin would never hit you, he loves you! - And you think this is a joke?!? - cried the boy with a little anger, raising his shirt and showing the marks of the whips on the back - He tortured me, told me he was going to kill the bears, and that I would suffer a lot more if I told someone what happened! My father... I do not know if he is my father anymore. He's a monster, that's right! Hector's eyes were filled with tears as his friends sat around him and hugged him comfortingly. They were silent for a few minutes, until Pedro sighed heavily. - What you told us is terrible - he said softly - But can we do anything to help him? - Do you really want to help me? - Hector said with a hopeful gleam in his eyes - Are not you afraid to be discovered and end up by giving wrong with me? - Of course not, we're your friends after all - Diego replied with a small smile - Champ and Confidence taught us how to be united in the good and bad times. - Tell us what we need to do, and we will - added Gustavo. - All right, you need to help me warn Champ and Confidence - Hector began to explain quickly - Dad's keeping an eye on me so that I will not meet them, so you have to do this. - But how do we do that? Calling them? - Julio asked with some irony. - Yes. They said if we needed them one day, we'd just call them, and we'd know how to do it. Tell them not to come to me this week, but I will find a way to meet them for the Annual Caring Fair. - Go where? - Osvaldo asked, his brow furrowed in surprise. - It's a long story, and I'll explain it to you later. Another thing, I need your help on Sunday morning to distract my father as I run out of the bedroom window. - But how will we do it? - Julio asked with a look thoughtful. - We'll think of something - Diego said confidently - But what about you, Hector, what will you tell your father when you get back from that Fair? - I do not plan to go back - the boy replied coolly, making his friends look at each other in surprise - At least while my father is acting like this. - You mean you're thinking of running away from home? - asked Julio. - You would not do the same in my place? - said Hector, at the same time played the signal back to class - We've got a whole week to better match what we're going to do. I only ask that in the meantime you look for Champ and Confidence to warn them, okay? All the boys there agreed to it, and they shook hands in complicity as they returned to the classroom. ***** True Heart made sure that Noble Heart had already left the house before she unlocked the bedroom door and went to have her breakfast by herself, after the third night preventing the horse to sleep by her side. She wanted to avoid further discussions with her husband, she was already tired of all those fights, and in the background she felt ashamed to look at her companion. However, she did not want to show weakness and would continue to defend her points of view until everyone realized she was right. Slowly the female bear took her coffee in a discouraged way and lost in thought, when she heard the bell ring. Fearing that Noble was preparing some more distasteful surprise, she got up and walked sneakily around the house until she looked out the window who was at the door, sighing with relief when she saw it was just Shimmeringstar Bear. - Hello, my son, how good to see you - said True Heart as she quickly opened the door - How are you? I just hope you did not come here to bring me bad news... - No, Mama, I just want to talk to you for a little while - the swordsman replied with a small smile - Or rather, finish the subject we started the other day. The matriarch beckoned for the young man to come in, and they sat down on the couch looking at each other, the female bear having a curious expression. - And what did we start talking there the other day and we did not finish? - she wanted to know quickly - If it's about Wish Bear and you still have not set the date for the wedding, I said that joking... - It's not about that either, True Heart - Shimmers interrupted with a serious expression - I want to know why you're acting so weird and cool these days. - I can't believe Noble Heart sent you here to talk about it! - He did not send anyone, and he does not even know I'm here! True Heart Bear, I have you as my own mother, and that gives me the right to worry about you when I see you acting in a totally different way than usual. Not even No Heart treats your fellow villains as badly as you are treating your family and your friends! Now be frank and tell me what happened to you. For a few seconds, True Heart was silent with arms crossed and with an angry expression, before finally the sweetness of Shimmers captivated her and she gave a deep defeated sigh. - I'm afraid of being alone... - the female bear murmured, her head lowered. - You what? - asked the bear with a surprised expression. - I'm scared to be alone, damn it! - True heart shouted, not controlling their emotions - Afraid that my cubs, the ones I dedicated my whole life and happiness to, form their families and simply forget that I exist! This is what is happening! - My God, True Heart, and how could you think such a thing? - Shimmers continued, not sure how to act - From the bottom of your heart, do you really think that these boys and girls, whom you have nursed since cubs, who owe your life more than anything else, do you think they really would have the courage to abandon it? True Heart was silent, ashamed, not brave enough to face the swordsman. Deep down she knew she was wrong in her way of acting and that all those fears were unfounded. But she also did not have the courage to openly admit her mistake. - Even if each of us had his own family, his own life, we would never leave him alone - continued the bear calmly, with a kindly small smile on his face - And especially Noble Heart will never leave you alone... True Heart, we all love you! And we are all sad to see her act this way, for it is not how our kind, caring and true Mama would act. - I know that... - the matriarch murmured in a low, embarrassed tone - But since Confidence has come, I feel so pressed, so afraid that she will cause trouble for our Family... - Problems worse than the ones I caused in the beginning when I was still a human? - Yes, far worse, even more so than the problems caused by Impulsive Bear. She has some big secret, and we need to know what it's about! Noble Heart does not believe me. And only Cheer Bear agreed to help me spy on Confidence, taking advantage of her friendship with Champ, to try to find out what that fennec is hiding. - Did you tell Cheer Bear to spy on Confidence? - asked Shimmers, his brows furrowed in surprise, beginning to understand the motives of the fight between the vain young woman and the fennec fighter - Why are you doing this? It is not right! Why are you so suspicious of Confidence? - I have my reasons... - True Heart retorted with a furtive glance - Even to believe she's only here to destroy Care Bear Family. - The way you're talking it sounds like Confidence is a criminal! What evidence do you have against her to do so? - That's what we need to find out! Who knows if you could help us...? - No way! - the bear interrupted energetically - I've had a life full of mistakes, and I do not need to look for others. - Oh, Shimmers please help me! - asked the matriarch kindly, hugging the adopted child and looking at him with a hopeful glow in the eyes - I have no one else to turn to; you are the only one who can help me! Please, do it for me, for all the affection I feel for you, my son... Remember that I helped you when Noble Heart and Brave Heart wanted to drive you out of the Family, out of all the love and affection I had for you. I'm just asking a little favor in exchange for that! And discovering the secret of Confidence will make me so much calmer... As much as Shimmers loathed the idea of keeping an eye on someone to discover a secret, he could not resist the caring and pleading tone of his adoptive mother, especially since he always felt indebted to her for defending him. Besides, if her help would help to calm her down by allowing peace to reign between her and Noble Heart, it might be worth it. - All right, I'll help you and Cheer spy the fennec - he said after a short silence - But I'll do it my way, you know? - Thank you Shimmers, I knew I could count on you! - True Heart rejoiced, his heart leaping with joy and giving the swordsman a strong hug - I promise I will protect him no matter what happens, and no one will know that you have helped me as a spy. You are my favorite cub, I love you! - After blackmailing me sentimentally, how could I refuse to help her? - joked the bear with a small smile - But I still do not like that idea, let alone how you're acting, especially with Dad Noble. - You do not have to worry about that, all couples have their good and bad times - the female bear said amiably, beginning to scratch the swordsman's chin - And speaking of couples, remember that you should not speak of our agreement to anyone, including Wish Bear. Understood? - Yes, I understand - Shimmers said, laughing as she tickled in his chin and felt his cheeks flush - I love you, Mama, and I will do everything as you are asking me. - Great! This is my boy! Now, put your feet together on the couch. - But why? - Do not argue with me, just do what I'm asking - True Heart declared with a small grin as the bear stretched its legs out on the couch and kept its feet together before the female bear sat on his ankles and turned toward the feet of the adopted son - Now, as you have been a good cub for me, I will thank you, making you laugh a little. After all you have very cute and sensitive feet and they deserve a beautiful massage with tickles. So your soles will be as red as your beautiful face ashamed. And as she said this, she quickly began to gently rub Shimmers' feet, which curled his toes as she felt the tickles on his soles. He was loving the attention his mother was giving him, and began to laugh loudly in response. This served to relieve some of the weight he felt in his heart, after all he knew that Confidence's future at Care Bear Family was in his hands, not only because of the fight between the fennec and Cheer Bear and that he had watched, but also because of what he would discover thereafter. But all she cared about was having fun with True Heart, and that was what he was doing cheerfully. ***** But not all the bears and cousins were happy or wanting to have fun, and this was the case with Aqua. He could not forget what had happened two days earlier, when he and Lonesome were defeated and tickled by Confidence, and then humiliated by Sky-Heart, and at that moment their greatest desire was to be able to take revenge on both the fighting fennec and the guardian bear. As much as the sea bear tried not to think about it, he could not stop reliving all that humiliation he had suffered. Especially in the case of Sky, who always considered him only a vulgar and impulsive boy, never giving him words of encouragement or considering him a true warrior. More than wanting revenge on the desert fox, Aqua wished to teach the mage bear a lesson so that he would never dare again to scorn someone as he had done all that time. The problem was to find a way to do this, since the guardian was not only a great magician, but also an excellent swordsman, almost as good as Shimmeringstar Bear himself. It would be practically impossible for the dolphin bear to defeat him without the help of his big brother, but he knew that Shimmers would never agree to attack Sky-Heart for the friendship he felt with the ancient bear. - If I could fight evenly against Sky-Heart, he would never again humiliate me again... - the bear murmured sadly, giving a deep sigh - I would teach him a lesson he would never forget... - "Do you really want revenge on Sky-Heart Bear?" Aqua jumped when he heard an unfamiliar female voice invade his mind, and looked around pulling off the saber of light. - Who's there? - he shouted in a fighting position, with the gun in his hands, but saw no one around - C'mon, who's there?!? - "Just a friend who wants to help you" - he heard the voice again in a calm, amused tone - "Put the gun down, bear, and let's talk...” - "I'm not going to lower my weapon" - he thought to himself - "This may be a No-Heart's trap". - "No, no, I assure you I have no connection with that dark wizard" - the voice answered, until a low figure, wearing a black hooded cape that left only the yellow paws appearing, materialized in front of Aqua - I promise I will not do you any harm, and that I just want to help you. - So who are you? And why do you want to help me revenge on Sky-Heart? - I told you, I'm a friend. And I have my own reasons for wanting to see that bear named Sky suffer a punishment. So if you really want to teach him a lesson, and who else has done you wrong, I can help you do it with the gift I have for you. For a moment the sea bear was silent, thoughtful, until he finally lowered the lightsaber, but held it in his hands for an emergency. There was something in her heart telling her to trust that stranger, even if he could not even see her face in the dimness of the hood. - Yes, I want to get revenge on Sky-Heart - he said finally, staring at the stranger - What gift is this that will help me and you want to give me? The stranger slowly approached and, stretching her yellow-haired paw, lightly touched Aqua's tummy symbol. For a brief moment, the dolphin bear felt a faint burning in his skin, and his emblem glowed brightly, before returning to normal. - You have received some of my powers from the heart, and now you can use your ultra-speed at any time you want, rather than only when in the water - she explained quickly - In addition, your wrists are much stronger and agile, allowing a faster reaction in the use of your Dolphin Fire, as well as to wield a lightsaber. You will be able to fight on an equal basis with Sky-Heart, to be faster than him, and also to dominate your mind with a feeling of fear and inferiority that will make him feel defeated. - Is that really true? - the bear questioned with a wary look - How can I know that you're not just joking with me, and that these powers will really work? - "Believe me, they will work, and you will have your revenge" - the stranger replied telepathically - "Now go and test your new abilities, and have fun giving a good treat tickling in that arrogant bear". And at that instant that stranger disappeared before Aqua's eyes, which just stood there, his lightsaber in his hands and feeling a slight tingling in his belly and his magical powers. Deep down, he could really feel that he was stronger and agile, just like when he was in the water or struggling side by side with Shimmers. This could only mean that the unknown female had told the truth, and now he could control his ultra-speed at all times, and even the alien feelings of the people close to him. This was something really incredible, and after the first few moments of surprise, a fierce sense of joy flooded into his heart as he imagined Sky-Heart was now in his hands. With a mischievous giggle, Aqua put the lightsaber down and rubbed his hands in a satisfied way, starting to plan how and where he would do his revenge against the guardian bear, and even against Confidence Heart in the future. ***** Monday, June 15, 1994... ***** Champ and Confidence took the fighting position and started the fight, and for a few seconds they both only analyzed each other's movements, trying to find the best way to attack. Suddenly the bear threatened a kick in the fennec's ribs, but she dodged, and with great agility she gave a strong kick in the cinnamon of the sportsman, causing him to fall on his back. - Arghh! - he shouted in pain, looking at the instructor - That's not good. You caught me off guard. - How do you want to improve your karate if you do not want to take the punches? - the fox asked provocatively - In a real fight nobody will say "I'll hit you in the belly," this happens only in Hollywood comedies. Now get up and we'll try again! Slowly the athletic bear stood up in a grumpy mood, positioning himself again for combat and analyzing what were his best chances of fitting a blow to Confidence. With a cry of encouragement, he jumped and twirled in the air, trying to kick the fennec's face, but she was faster and grabbed his friend's leg, causing him to lose his balance and fall of belly on the ground. - All right, let's go to the third round - she said with a sly grin as her friend continued to fall - Only then will you improve your fight and will not be ashamed in front of Cheer Bear when she arrives. Champ snorted at that remark, if uplifting slowly. In those last three days he and Cheer had done very well, to the point where the female bear asked to attend a karate training between her boyfriend and Confidence, in which the fennec readily accepted, after all she also wanted to demonstrate her willingness to be friend the vain young woman. The sportsman stood up quickly, and soon they were once more in combat. With a quick blow, Confidence tried to reach the bear's arm, which managed to free himself by jumping back. - What do you think? - he asked, smiling - I think I'm getting better already. - You only got rid of a blow, it's a long way to be a good fighter - she said, trying to fit another kick into the bear's arm but could not. However, such a movement made her unprotected, and quickly Champ took advantage of it to give a kick to the chest of Confidence and grab it by the arms, throwing it to the ground - Hey! This is not a stroke of karate! - You're right, sports fan, it's a judo stroke - the bear said maliciously - You used that same blow against me in our last training. And you admit it, I learned very well, did not? - Yes, it's true... You're fighting a lot better now than before. - And you've been doing much better now than before. - As well? - Confidence asked curiously. - You are more joyful, more playful... When you arrived at the Kingdom of Caring all that was left was to build a cocoon and live inside it, away from everything and everyone. - Well, that's true. But it's your fault that you're slowly making me change my ways and become silly and cheerful. - Oh, so you think we're silly and cheerful? - Champ questioned, pretending to be angry. - Just a little - said Confidence, laughing and rising to his feet - It ended up the slack. Time to go back to training! Or will you want to get away from the fight? - That's right, Champ Bear, are you going to want to get out of the fight? The bear and the fox jumped with fright as they heard a strange voice. They had not seen it before, but they had been observed for some time by one of the windows of the gymnasium by two well-known Care Bear Family figures, which were now standing with sarcastic smiles on their lips in front of the two sportsmen. - Shreeky?!? Beastly?!? - said Champ, surprised by the presence of the two villains - What are you two doing here? - We only came to watch our old friend Champ take a beating of Carebear Cousin newcomer - the girl joked maliciously - And who knows also to take to Uncle No Heart two little gifts... - Exactly, to take two gifts - agreed the monster pig before stopping and looking at his villainous companion - What gifts, Shreeky? - Champ and Confidence, you ass! - Shreeky replied, rolling her eyes - Or do you think we came here just for sightseeing? - You two really are more clumsy than I expected - said the fennec with a smirk - I thought the famous pair Shreeky and Beastly were more serious in their business. - You mean we're famous? - asked the bat pig, who swelled with pride to hear that he was famous - I knew that one day there would be fans... - You ass, she's playing with your face - shouted Shreeky, boiling with rage. - What? You mean I do not have real fans? - You do not have any fans here, Beastly - Champ answered earnestly - You'll see what's good for a cough. Stare! And the sportsman threw his Stare at Shreeky and Beastly, who had time just to lower themselves before the girl pulled out her magic mirror and threw a bolt of black energy into the bear and the fennec, which also had only time to play in floor. It was the opportunity the villains expected. With a leap and great agility, Shreeky stood up and ran to grab Champ by back while the bear was still on the ground. Beastly, though a little clumsiest, did the same with Confidence. - Hey! Let me go! - demanded Champ, trying to break free. - You'd better do it before you repent! - Confidence said. - Oh yes? - Shreeky asked in a mocking manner - Why, are you going to throw the Stare at me, risking achieves Champ, too? - No, because I do not know how to use the Stare, but I know how to do many other things. - Oh really? What for example? In response, Confidence kicked Beastly's knee, which he was forced to release her. Immediately the fennec grabbed the monster by the arm and literally spun it into the air like a pivot, before releasing it and making it fly until it hit a wall, where it collapsed on the floor. Shreeky, who had been provoking the fennec up to that moment, was open-mouthed with the strength and agility of the Carebear Cousin. As soon as got rid of Beastly, the fox slowly walked up to Shreeky, brow furrowed and teeth creaking. - And then, you also want to experience how to fly without an airplane? – the young woman asked in a very serious tone, putting herself in a fighting position. - DD-Do not worries, he's already loose - the villain stammered as she released Champ and took two steps back, sweating in terror. - Now get out of here! - said Confidence, threatening to attack. Screaming with fear, Shreeky dashed out of the gym, desperate, pulling Beastly by the legs, and he was still faint from the shock he'd taken from Confidence. As soon as they reached the helicopter-bike, Shreeky threw her helper into the removable hitch seat and jumped into the main seat, something she never did, and pedaled as fast as she could to take off and out of there. The bear and the fennec stood at the door of the gym, laughing as they watched the two villains disappear. - That was the most incredible thing I've ever done - said the fox between the laughter - Surely those two fools will not bother us anymore. - At least for a while - the athlete agreed animatedly - You may not know how to use the Stare, but you gave a fine lesson to those two. And I need to thank you for the help, since if I were here alone I would surely have been taken by the two of them to the castle of No Heart. And it was not going to be a nice ride... - Well, I just did my duty as Carebear Cousin. You would do the same for me, would not you? - Yes, it's true... You deserve a kiss for that. And instinctively Champ gave a kiss on the forehead of the friend, who was embarrassed by that gesture. For a few seconds, the two athletes looked at each other in silence, until they heard footsteps and saw Cheer Bear approaching. - Cheer, I'm glad you came! - said Champ, very euphoric - I... But the pink bear did not look at all happy. Instead, she just stopped in front of her boyfriend and slapped him on the cheek before she turned and walked away without saying a single word, showing annoyance and anger, and fists clenched by some strong emotion. Both the bear and the fennec did not understand what was happening. - But what was that? - he asked, massaging his face - She looked so happy earlier today. - You'd better go after her and find out - Confidence said with a worried look - We can train another day... Quickly the bear ran after his girlfriend, standing in front of her and holding her by the arms gently. - What happened, Cheer? - asked Champ quickly - Why did you give me that slap? - Do I still have to respond? - she exclaimed, her face flushed with anger - How dare you kiss Confidence in front of me? - But it was just a kiss of thanks on the forehead! Please, Cheer; do not let jealousy destroy our relationship! - Whoever is destroying our relationship is Confidence! - said the female bear, beginning to cry of sadness and hatred - We simply will not have peace in our courtship while she lives in the Kingdom of Caring and you to defend her... And saying that, she walked away crying copiously, not wanting to hear any further explanation and feeling her heart betrayed by the love of the sportsman. Already Champ stood there, watching his girlfriend walk away and not knowing what to do to show her that he really loved her. - My Great Wishing Star, what should I do? - he murmured, his heart broken with sadness. ***** - If you do not know how to do things right, then do not do it. That will help me much more - shouted True Heart, taking the stairs with the intention of removing the frame from the wall. - I just wanted to surprise you, you wanted this hanging frame for some time... - Noble Heart replied with frowning brows. - The only surprise I had is that I found the wall of my house pierced and that horrible picture hanging in the living room! - But you painted the picture, you liked it so much! - I do not like it anymore! And you, Noble, after all, did not help at all. Things were not quite right between Noble Heart and True Heart in those last three days. In fact, they were even avoiding each other, because every time they met anything became a motive for fighting. Not even the promise the female bear had made to Shimmers, that she would no longer quarrel with Noble, was enough to calm the spirits of the couple. And the surprise the horse wanted to do, framing and putting on the wall a painting his wife had made years before, did not work. - I'm sorry if I could not please her... - Noble Heart said sadly as his wife removed the painting. - You are sorry? - she shouted - It's the only thing you know how to do, to say sorry. You do not do anything right, ever! - That way you're starting to offend me! - said the horse - You mean that for you I never did anything right?!? - Yes, that's what I think! You only serve to lead your children to the wrong path. - What? I never took anyone to the wrong path. For the Great Wishing Star, what is happening to you, True? You look like you've gone crazy! - Do not call me crazy! You who until now have not helped me at all, only do wrong things, stay in the world of clouds literally... I'm tired of it! Noble Heart heard that and felt as if a stab entered his heart. Tears were forming in his eyes, from fighting so much with the wife he loved so much. How she had changed lately. - Shall I tell you something? - he asked in a low voice - I'm tired. Enough! And without another word, he turned to the door and stepped out into the street, treading hard with rage, wanting to cool his head so as not to make matters worse. - I hope you will not come back until you have your head in place! - she said, tossing the picture into the trash and going into the bedroom. ***** No Heart was preparing a strengthening potion, which allowed the objects plunged in her to have incredible stamina. His intention was to soak his magic medallion so that he would no longer break during battles with the bears, or at least endure more time in a conflict with the Stare. This demanded maximum concentration, since the dive would have to be only a few seconds. The wizard was already lowering his stone when he heard Shreeky's cry to Beastly. Taking a deep breath, he set his magical artifact aside and waited. Soon after, his assistant slipped into the room, stopping at the magician's feet. Her niece came in soon after. - Why did not you tell me that it would be dangerous to mess with Champ and that fox? - she complained with her shrill cries. - BB-But I... - Beastly began, raising his finger. - Shut up!!! - shrieked Shreeky, causing the monster to jump off and fall on the neck of No heart, who began to snorting with rage. - HH-Hello, boss... - the assistant said, trembling in his voice. - Get out there now - the wizard demanded, and Beastly went to the floor - Now tell me what happened. In a nutshell, Shreeky explained how Beastly and she tried to capture Champ and Confidence, the newest resident of Care-a-Lot, and how the fox had used martial arts to defeat the two. - Confidence Heart Fennec... - repeated No Heart, heading for her cauldron - I've watched you a lot these last few months, not to make the same mistake as when I underestimated Aqua Bear and Lonesome Heart Bear. And with a shake of his hands, the liquid inside the cauldron showed the image of the fennec, who was now training alone, since Champ had not returned to the gym. - She does not know how to use Stare yet, so we thought we could capture her more easily - Shreeky explained. - We just did not think she was that strong - Beastly said, looking over the edge of the cauldron - She still pays me for the blow she struck me on the legs. The mage stared at Confidence thoughtfully. - I think she'll be very useful to us - he said at last - Bring her here. - And how will we do it? - Beastly asked with wide eyes - She's much stronger than Shreeky and I together. No Heart took a rope from a corner and plunged it into the magic potion for a few seconds. - This rope is now impregnated with the resistance potion - he began, as he handed the object over to the niece - Use it to tie this fox, she will never be able to let herself go alone. - And why do you want her, Uncle? - Shreeky asked curiously. - Because I sense she has a very strong inner spell, and she's been trying to hide from everyone. If I can get the essence of this spell, I can proceed with a spell that has been paralyzed for a long time. Also, because she do not know how to use Stare, it will be much easier to deal with than with Noble Heart or Tenderheart. Can I count on you on this mission? Are not you going to disappoint me again? - Of course, Uncle, we're going to capture her - Shreeky said, grabbing Beastly and dragging him to the door. - Yes, and Confidence will see what's good for a cough - agreed the bat pig, being pushed out, while No Heart gave one of his rare laughs, demonstrating that he was satisfied with the situation. ***** Although Sky-Heart Bear could not remember all the details of his old life in Edron, since part of his memories were lost during the time he was frozen, he knew that he had been trained from a young age to be a warrior, so like your father or grandfather. Military work was intimately connected with his family, and he had vague memories of training with other bears and cousins guardian, always trying to perfect himself to the fullest, which allowed him to become the youngest Caring General in his homeland. All these things had been left behind, but the bear still retained his rigid training, both physical and mental, and this was one of the reasons why he was not the most sociable among Care Bear Family members. He preferred to be alone, both to focus on his own training and because of his extreme natural distrust for the people, and because he had learned the hard way possible how hard it was to lose someone important in life. Using an old tree trunk as a target, the guardian bear was training his blows with lightsaber. He had great agility, and practically danced while fighting, twisting his body and striking straight up and down, right and left. And unlike other bears and cousins, he did so without a single cry of encouragement, since his courage and confidence were in his self-control of the mind. Twirling around himself, after two blows on the sides of the dry trunk, Sky gained momentum in his arms, and with a leap he plunged the light saber ten inches into the wood, making a long symmetrical cut. This made the bear happy, and he could not resist a slight smile. - I would have attacked the head of the enemy, not the heart - he heard a well-known voice in a provocative tone. It was not even necessary for the mage bear to look back, but he did, to see Aqua leaning against a tree, arms folded and looking maliciously toward the warrior. Sky-Heart just rolled her eyes and sighed. - And what do you understand about fighting to want to teach me how to strike my enemies? - he asked in a cold tone - Go back to the nursery, and leave alone those who know how to fight! - You think you're the best swordsman in the world, and that nothing can stop him. Why do not you try and hit me? At least I can learn a little more with you as to fight with lightsabers... - Listen, kid, I'm not a tutor, let alone your babysitter to change your diapers! Now get out of here, if you do not want any problems! Aqua opened his mischievous grin, tugging at his lightsaber and swaying provocatively as he stared at Sky. - What kind of problems? - he asked in maliciously tones - C'mon, Sky-Heart, I want to see what you can do to me, since you're such a good swordsman and boast about it to everyone... The guardian bear glanced toward that petulant young bear, with a mixture of surprise and curiosity as to why he was acting that way, while at the same time in his chest there was an irresistible urge to teach the sea bear a lesson. - You really want to face me? - Sky asked raising the lightsaber. - Yes, I do - said Aqua with a small smile - Why, if you're that good, it will not be difficult to defeat me, will you? A strange sense of concern took Sky-Heart's mind for a few seconds. If he accepted that challenge, he had to beat the dolphin bear anyway, or else that would be a mockery to him. It was really weird for him to think about it, since he'd never bothered to beat a rookie before. But he quickly discarded that feeling and set himself into a fighting position. - All right, Aqua, then fight! - he shouted, pointing the lightsaber toward his opponent and heading for the attack. However, the sea bear only raised its weapon and locked the guardian's blade, forcing him to retreat and to initiate a series of movements with the saber, trying to attack for the right and the left, but always having the movements barred by the young adversary. The two twisted their blades together again, staring at each other steadily, Sky having a focused expression while Aqua just kept a sarcastic grin. - Apparently you learned to fight - said the mage bear as he unscrewing his weapon and walked two steps back - Were you training the art of fencing with Shimmers? And he tried a new attack from above, to force the dolphin bear to release the lightsaber with the force of the blow, but this one remained firm, and did not even show reaction when the experienced opponent attacked him. - I'm not the one who learned to fight - said Aqua, still with the same malicious grin - You're the one who does not know how to fight. As the sea bear uttered these words, Sky-Heart began to feel a strange fear that he really did not know how to fight. He had never felt this before, and as much as he tried to tell himself that it was not true, more he felt helpless, especially when his young adversary attacked him with all his might and forced him to stay on the defensive. - Of course I know how to fight! - he shouted, trying to strike again, but Aqua made a quick move with the lightsaber and attached the opponent's blade. - No, you're weak - he said menacingly - You're as weak as a cub, and you do not even know how to handle a saber correctly. The guardian bear felt his confidence and self-esteem diminish with every word spoken by the dolphin bear, while an uncontrollable sensation of fear and defeat rose in his heart. This became even worse when Aqua attacked on top, and Sky barely managed to contain the opponent's attack, even using all his might. - "You will not be able to defeat me because I'm much stronger than you" - he heard the voice of the sea bear inside his mind. - "YY-You are controlling my mind!" - replied the mage, realizing that his opponent was using some mental control power to make him feel weak and defeated - "YY-You will not be able to control me..." - I already controlled you! - cried Aqua extremely confident, making a strong move with his hands and plucking the lightsaber from the hands of Sky-Heart, who tried to create a ball of energy to knock down the opponent, but had his attack barred by an ice shield created by young bear. Before the guardian could try to create a new ball of energy, the sea bear threw the ice shield in his direction, causing the blue bear to fall to the ground when struck on the legs. Sky's head felt dizzy, and he tried to stand again, only to find the blade of Aqua's saber half an inch from his throat. - Hehehe, it seems you are completely helpless now - said the young mage in an extremely malicious tone - No one can help you, now you are literally in my hands... He had uttered the last sentence in a low, menacing voice, and at the same moment Sky-Heart's mind was invaded by memories of when Edron was invaded by Shadowmere, the evil creature who tried to destroy the Caring Guardians. The old bear felt the same terror and the same impotence of that occasion, and he just swallowed hard, crawling back in the ground while Aqua followed him still with the blade pointed at his neck. - PP-Please, Aqua! Put the gun down! - he stammered, feeling the cold sweat forming on his forehead - WW-What do you plan to do? - Do not worry, I will not kill you - said the sea bear with a wicked wink - I'll just tied you on the ice and tickle you for a few days without stopping, as a punishment for provoking me... And I bet you have many weaknesses in your body, and I'm going to discover them one by one... The blue bear's breathing grew even more rapid with terror, as another memory arose in his mind from the days when he was only a young recruit, and when his superior in the Guardian army tied him to a pillar and humiliated him tickling his armpits because he had not properly cleaned the barracks kitchen. This memory, and the imminence of what would occur, made Sky's eyes widen as his teeth began to pound in fear. - NN-No! Please! - he swallowed, closing his eyes - You can't do this to me! - Of course I can; you're my prisoner now - Aqua said with a giggle - But to show that I'm kind, I'll give you a ten-second advantage to try to get away ... Starting now! One... Two... Three... The sea bear turned off the blade of the lightsaber, before carefully storing the object, beginning to count the seconds. It took two or three seconds for the guardian bear to understand what was happening, and jumping to his feet, running awkwardly, trying to escape. This was his only chance to escape being tortured so humiliatingly. However, his young opponent continued to count, opening a well-smiled smile as he concentrated and a bluish glow flowing out of his hands. - Eight... Nine... ten! - he shouted, opening his arms quickly, and creating a large barrier of ice around the clearing. Sky-Heart, who was running and almost reaching the woods, hit his nose on the ice and almost fell to the ground, looking desperate around trying to find a way to escape. It seemed like a nightmare he could not wake up. It was when freezing rays began to fall around him, thrown by Aqua, forcing him to run through the clearing, straying from the lightning and sliding into the ice that formed on the ground with each new attack of the opponent. Tears of terror began to trickle from the blue bear's eyes as he ran desperately. He felt trapped just like an animal being hunted. It was the same kind of feeling he had when he was forced to flee through the forest at Edron, being pursued by the Shadowmere co-religionists. The more he ran, the more he felt frightened, without strength, until finally he tripped on a rock and fell with the face on the floor. When he finally lifted his head, he just found himself in front of Aqua, who smirked in his direction. - Tickle's time... - said the dolphin bear, holding out his arms and opening his hands toward his adversary, sending a beam of icy energy toward him. - Not!!! - Sky-Heart yelled at being struck by that magic. Immediately an ice pack formed around the mage bear and held him in the seated position. The ice looked really comfortable, almost velvety at the touch of the prisoner's skin. His hands were completely enveloped by the ice, and as he formed a backrest for the guardian's back, it pulled the hands up over his head, keeping his armpits exposed. The ice also formed a support for the legs, pulling them upwards and tightly wrapping around their ankles, just as their toes were encased by ice rings attached to the ice plate of the ankles, and that kept the toes wide open and with the space between them free to be tickled. - Not!!! Not! Let me go! I do not want to be tickled!!! - Sky screamed as his body was imprisoned, and he tried in vain to pull arms and legs - You'll regret it, Aqua! Let me go!!! - Nu-uh, you're my new tickles toy now - the sea bear said teasingly, taking out a leather bag he'd left beside the tree and approaching the mage swordsman - And I'm going to enjoy every moment of it... Slowly he removed eight metal claws, with their slightly sharp tips, from the bag, and placed them on his fingers, not caring about the screams and grunts of his prisoner. In fact, he was laughing deliciously at the fear and despair Sky felt. After he had placed all his claws, he moved his fingers provocatively before the eyes of the guardian, who flinched in fear. - Coochie coo - Aqua said with a smirk, sinking his claws in Sky's underarms, which shivered as if he were taking an electric shock - Time to laugh! - NN-No! I do nohohohot want to lahahahaugh... No! Nohohohot!!! In less than ten seconds the blue bear was already laughing at the tickles, since he could not bear those claws coming up and down his armpits. Sky pulled her arms tight again, and tried to clench her fists, but nothing happened since her hands were tightly attached to the ice. - Nohohohot! Stohohohop thihihihis! - he bellowed, feeling his armpits scratched - Thahahahat's nohohohot fuhuhuhunny! - But of course it's fun, coochie coo! - said the sea-bear exploring the edges of the prisoner's armpits as calmly as possible - To me, it's so much fun to see you, a bear so strong and fearless, laughing desperately as I tickle your armpits. And we have not even started... He then scratched the armpit edges faster, drawing circles with his claws, and looking directly into Sky-Heart's eyes. - Feel my claws in your armpits, and reveal all your sensitive points so I can tickle you non-stop - he concluded wickedly. With his fears in full bloom and all those tickles, Sky-Heart could not concentrate long enough to use his powers. He closed his eyes and shook his head as he tried in vain to pull his arms once more, and tried to pull his legs and curl up his toes, but nothing happened. - Help! - he shouted at the top of his lungs, wishing someone would listen - "Somebody help me, I'm being tortured..." - "It's no use shouting or trying to use your telepathic powers, no one will hear you here" - he heard Aqua's voice inside his mind - "We're far enough away from Care-a-lot and Care Cousin Village, and the ice I used to enclose the clearing acts as an acoustic insulation". He then slowly sank his claws into the dimples of the prisoner's armpits, still not pressing the skin but teasing the fur, which made the guardian laugh and shake his head, his eyes widening in anticipation of what would happen. - "Besides, I told Tenderheart this morning that I would be incommunicado for a few days so I could train better" - Aqua continued calmly, still scratching Sky's armpits lightly - "And everyone also knows that you like to be alone sometimes so no one will bother looking for you for a while. You're all mine now, hehehe". - Nohohohot! Yohohohou bahahahastard! Stohohohop! Yohohohou cahahahan nohohohot do it wihihihith me! - the guardian bear bellowed as he felt those claws in his dimpled armpits - Why ahahahare yohohohou dohohohoing thihihihis? - I already told you why, you mocked me and Lonesome when we were defeated and tickled by Confidence. And you've always treated me like the rabble of the Kingdom of Caring, and you've never believed in my potential as a warrior... Well, as you see, now it's not me who's stuck on the ice being tortured. The sea bear sank her claws into the dimples of Sky's armpits, scratching quickly up and down, and then in rapid circular motions before scratching the full length of his armpit. Those tickles made the mage bear scream and move desperately, trying to break the ice. - Stohohohop! I'm nohohohot gohohohoing to sahahahay sohohohorry! - the guardian closed his eyes and gritted his teeth amid the laughter - Yohohohou'll pahahahay me fohohohor it! Aqua laughed in an affected way, using only his index fingers to continue scratching the dimples of the prisoner's armpits, up and down. - You really are brave in trying to threaten me, even though I have you in my hands - said the young mage calmly - Soon you will realize that this is not the best attitude... And maybe you also decide to change your mind about apologizing... When the tickling gets unbearable. And saying that he sank his fingertips Sky-Heart's underarms, scratching with short, quick strokes, drawing circles in the armpits, and keeping his armpit dimples constantly tickled, without a second's respite. The blue bear shook his head and laughed, annoyed and frightened by the situation, since he could do nothing to prevent it, and was really at the mercy of Aqua, who did not seem willing to let him leave so soon... ***** - I had heard that Brazil is the country of the bureaucracy, but that was ridiculous - Norman said indignantly - In addition to taking three days to clear a visa, they still wanted to arrest Jacob because of his background! - Stop complaining, Norman - Anna said with a smirk - Leave the family grumpy role to Jacob and continue being just our assistant archaeologist. And we all knew that the fact that Jacob was stuck for four days in Canada would get in the way. - So see if you do not fight the police now and do not get arrested again, okay? - commented Thompson with a giggle, looking at the big brother - We can have a good financial situation, but we can’t pay 20 thousand dollars of bail all the time... - Here in Brazil, the prisons are crap - Jacob said with malicious air - If they had the same air conditioner in Canada, I could even hit the first cop who saw the front... - Then hit that guy in the federal police, I'd help - Norman said with a wink - Imagine that, all of us with paperwork and passports up-to-date, and that cop project wanting to kick us out of customs. - Not all the cops are like that, at least that's what I believe - Anna said calmly - There are those who are good and honor their uniform. And I doubt you have the nerve to beat up a police officer. - Well... I really do not have it, I leave it to Jacob. But what are we going to do now? - I checked everything with a travel agency in Montreal; they were very helpful in giving me all the information. Let's go to Avenida Paulista, the main avenue in the city of São Paulo, to the B & H office in Brazil, to meet with Mr. Heartom and try to discover what is the great mystery that connects our ancestors to the most mysterious island in the world. - All because the name of the island of San Martin appeared in this text - Jacob teased, rolling his eyes - Do you really think all this is true? Do not you think we're wasting time? - The only thing I'm wasting is to stay here listening to you! - replied the woman angrily - If you want to go back to England and take back control of the school, Thompson and I will understand and thank God for that! - Please calm down, do not start arguing in the middle of the airport lobby - Thompson said in a conciliatory tone - I know you two have different opinions about our research, but try to at least not fiercely argue like dog and cat. Anna and Jacob looked at each other in silence for a few minutes, before the woman gave a deep sigh. - Okay, I promise to control myself more next time - she said coldly. - I say the same - agreed the older brother - Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom. We meet outside at the taxi stand. Without waiting for an answer, Jacob walked toward one of the bathrooms at the large airport in Guarulhos, while the others headed toward the taxis and buses that connected downtown São Paulo to the airport. However, the naturalist did not even enter the toilets, only to be hidden until he lost his brothers and employee, to run to one of the public telephones and dial an international number. - Hello? This is Jacob. Yes, I'm already in São Paulo. If all goes well, today or tomorrow we will see Mr. Frank Heartom and maybe we will discover the gold. Yes, I know this is a confidential matter and we have to be careful! I'm not stupid! Okay, any news I'll keep you posted. Auf Wiedersehen. Quickly he switched off the set, put on his suit and tie, and walked down the street to look for the others, knowing full well that none of them even imagined what Jacob was working on.
ATTENTION: This chapter contains subjects that may be sensitive to some readers. Read at your own risk.
The Chapter 25 of "The Confidence Secret" is up!
Trueheart convinces Shimmers to help her discover the Confidence Secret. Meanwhile, Hector begins to plan with friends what to do to escape the hands of his violent father. And Aqua Bear receives unexpected help to take revenge on Sky-Heart's taunts.