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Pet Name: Cardeai
In a dusty, bare, landscape beyond Tyrannia lays a land where the sunlit mountaintops shelter a young group of kougras fighting for their survival.
One of these kougras is Cardeai. A tiny kitten at first, his life journey began when his family was forced to flee the Terror Mountain's snowy hills in pursuit of better hunting grounds in Tyrannia's warm heat with rich prey.
Ard was the weakest and smallest of his litter, and his father who led the kougra group was a very stern and grim-looking tyrannian kougra. Ard could never quite impress him in his youth when he was still walking on stubby, tiny legs, and mewling like a newborn kit.
But the hard journey through the terror mountains changed him. On the trek through the unrelenting snow, his father had eyed him wearily, fearing for his son's safety.
"How are you holding up?", he asked Ard once, half-expecting his tiny son to fall asleep in the snow.
"I'm trying", Ard said, pleading.
"One day you'll be leader, Ard. You need to shape up", his father answered coldly, and walked on ahead.
Ard bowed his head low and followed, looking tired and sad.
His friend, Spirit the Naleap, cheered him up:
"One day he'll see how strong you really are", he encouraged Ard.
"I hope so", Ard sighed, placing his tiny paw in front of the other.
Their conversation was interrupted by a gruesome shriek ahead. Ard tried to remember whose voice it was, and his heart froze in terror as the realized its familiarity.
"Father!", he shouted and sprinted ahead.
Ard jumped over icy cliffs, zig-zagging through the kougra group who watched with startled eyes and fearful mews, and came right in time to see his father battling with a giant beast made out of ice. The snowager!
"He's supposed to be sleeping!", Spirit exclaimed, and Ard nodded in shock. Why was the snowager awake?!
Ard didn't have time to think however, as the giant beast raised its head and snapped at the kougra group's leader.
"I'm coming, Father!", Ard shouted, and without hesitation threw himself between the hissi and his father, shoving the latter aside roughly.
Both collided on the edge of the cliff, the beast hard on their paws.
"Run, Ard!", his father said to him, but fear made Ard's heart brave.
He would never leave his beloved father to face the snowager alone!
Ard hissed fiercely at the icey hissi as it apporached, and it blinked in confusion:
"You're just a baby kougra! I'm not scared of you! Who do you think you are?!"
Ard gulped. His paws shaking, he raised his head proudly, aware of the other kougras staring at him in:
"I'm Cardeai, and I'm going to be a leader someday. No one hurts my friends and family as long as I'm here!"
The snowager halted. The moment seemed to last forever. Stunned, he finally bowed his head with a smile:
"Then I shall let you pass. If there is one thing I value, it's courage. You have a bright heart, young one. Go on ahead, and may Fyora protect you."
The snowager slithered away gracefully.
Ard tried to catch his breath, and looked up at his father and the other kougras.
"You'll be a fine and fierce leader one day, my son", his father said proudly, with warmth in his eyes.
The other kougras joined in: "Cardeai! Cardeai!"
"When you finally grow bigger, of course!", his father added with a laugh.
But after this journey, Ard knew he could face anything.
When I grow bigger, of course, Ard added in his thoughts, smiling.
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