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Old 03-23-2014, 05:34 PM   #21
MarbleZone
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Life had been quiet – the good kind of quiet – ever since his final battle with Ivan. He’d found an unprecedented peace of mind that allowed him to finally look toward a goal of his choice, rather than the one he’d been subconsciously aiming for his entire life up until recently. With his victory over Ivan, Levin had put his ghosts to rest, and his true journey could now begin.

He looked out the window and gazed at the meadow around his house. Once filled with almost thirty Pokemon, less than half now roamed the vicinities of the Base. He missed each and every one of his former partners, and not a day went by that he didn’t think about them. But with each passing day he felt more certain about the call he’d made. If he was going to move on, they should too; they had destinies of their own that he couldn’t provide. His path led to the Pokemon League and the World Championship, to Gottfried and Johan, and he knew those who’d be happiest travelling with him down that road.

Ivan carried our name with his Steel-Types; I’ll do the same with my own calling.

Outside, Aya the Mienfoo perfected her palm thrusts against the much bulkier Buster the Heracross, who was always eager to fight, even if he seemed unfamiliar with the concept of “sparring”; each time Aya struck, he fought back with double the strength, overwhelmed with excitement. The resilient Mienfoo said nothing, and always got back up to resume her practice. That was the biggest virtue of Levin’s preferred Type – all they had, everything they were, was born out of effort and dedication. Fighting-Type Pokemon weren’t born in flames, frost or lightning, clad in armor or knowing how to brave skies and oceans. Their power came solely from a drive and passion unmatched by any other Type – they were handed nothing, much like Levin himself.

But only a fool would have an entire team consisting of a single kind of Pokemon. The others I kept, I love just as much – they became the only family I have, all of them, regardless of their Type. And I’ll see them all to the greatest accomplishments a Trainer and his team can hope to attain!

He still had a long way to go; most of his remaining partners were still young, and he had no chance of defeating most Gyms in his current state, let alone challenge Gottfried or his apprentice. But slowly, he was getting there; he still sought a few remaining Pokemon to add to his team, some unspeakably hard to find, but he had the time and the will – sooner or later, he’d be ready.

Levin walked outside, followed by Basker as always, and sat on the porch petting his faithful Growlithe while he watched Aya and Buster still going at it – the latter was tireless, and the former was an incorrigible perfectionist, so Levin knew their practice session would likely go on for hours. Good for them.

Suddenly, Basker barked and began wagging his tail, looking happily in the distance. Levin followed its gaze until he saw him: emerging from the woods after weeks of absence, Syre the Bagon had returned!

How long has it been again? He does this all the time, but he really pushed it this time around…

Syre was the most anti-social Pokemon of the bunch, refusing to spar with anyone or even take advice from his peers or Levin himself. Perpetually bitter after getting the cold shoulder from the other Dragons, Gaius and Rojo, in his youth, Syre had since vowed he’d surpass them all on his own, no matter how hard it was or how long it took him. He’d often disappear into the forest to train on his own for days on end, but he’d never been gone this long. And now that he was back, Levin could tell something was different in the Bagon – a fire in his eyes that burned even brighter than usual, filled with more than just his usual anger.

Greeting nobody as he walked through the meadow, Syre headed straight toward Aya (who Levin believed he’d never even met) and Buster. When neither noticed his presence, due to being so caught up in their training, Syre arched his head back and released a massive Flamethrower right between the two combatants, narrowly missing them both and immediately capturing their undivided attention, if not for the best of reasons.

What are you doing?...

Aya looked puzzled, unaware of who this Bagon was and why it wanted to pick a fight. Buster on the other hand, was quick to pick up on Syre’s intentions, and seemed ecstatic to oblige. The dragon looked them both in the eye and growled… was he looking to take them both on at once?!

But why this? He has never willingly approached the others before, so why would he start a fight with these two all of a sudden? It’s not like him!

The Heracross made the first move, needing no further incentive. He lunged forward, aiming for a Horn Attack… but Syre effortlessly dodged to the side as Buster just kept going! Aya realized the Bagon was serious about this, so she should make the most of the opportunity; it wasn’t often that she got to face a new Pokemon. Making full use of her speed, she closed in on Syre just as he evaded Buster’s assault, and struck him on the chest with a flawless Dual Chop!

Syre winced but didn’t flinch. Although the move was particularly effective against his Type, the Bagon seemed to shrug off the double strike like it was nothing… Then, locking anger-filled eyes with the Mienfoo, he blasted her at point-blank range with a Dragon Breath so strong it sent Aya flying! Her body, covered in blue flames, crashed against the side of the Treetop House, not far from the entrance where Levin was watching, and the Fighting-Type was unable to get back up. Syre had knocked out Aya with a single move.

Levin looked on in shock; Since when had Syre become this powerful?! Had he been so oblivious to the dragon’s growth that he’d missed the signs? Or was did the Bagon deliberately conceal his power by training in isolation? Either way, Levin felt guilty for not realizing his own Pokemon’s strength – it was what he yearned for the most, and yet somehow he failed to see it in Syre. That was the very reason why the young drake had grown bitter and distant in the first place: being ignored and cast aside by those around him, forgotten in favor of the stronger dragons… But now, as the battle went on, one thought lingered in the back of Levin’s mind… Gaius was never this strong as a Gible.

Paying no more attention to the fallen Aya, Syre once again turned his sights to Buster, who was preparing to strike again. The beetle again tried to ram the Bagon with his horn, to which Syre countered by lunging himself at Buster as well, his head covered in Psychic energy. The Horn Attack and Zen Headbutt collided, cancelling each other out and propelling the opponents a couple of feet away from one another.

Buster seemed incredibly excited; he shook off the damage and prepared to strike again, eager to keep going against someone who didn’t hold back. Syre, on the other hand, also got back up but remained in place, waiting for Buster to charge, his expression as dead-serious as always. The Heracross rushed forward, charging power in his horn as he did. When the energy took shape, effectively doubling the size of Buster’s horn, Levin knew what was coming: the Bug-Type was aiming for his signature move, Megahorn!

Aya, meanwhile, had recovered. However, she stood back and watched instead of getting back into the fight – she realized she had lost, and her dignity prevented her from interfering. Levin smiled at the Mienfoo and wondered if he’d have done the same in her shoes.

As soon as Buster made his intentions clear, Syre decided it was time to go all-out. If the Heracross was going to tap into his strongest moves, then there was no reason to hold back anymore. Leaping into the air, the drake’s whole body was enveloped in blue energy; then, as he propelled himself downwards, the aura took the shape of a massive dragon head, as if ready to devour the opponent! Likewise, Buster spread his wings and charged upwards, his massive Megahorn looking to pierce right through Syre’s Dragon Rush, unafraid of the Bagon’s display of power!

This is it.

The two forces collided once again, and the resulting shockwave was incomparably stronger this time; Levin found himself struggling to keep his footing, while the smaller Aya was knocked down! Green and blue energy streams spiraled into the sky as a cloud of dust filled the area. And when it finally settled, Syre was standing over an unconscious Buster!

Unbelievable…

Syre growled and turned his eyes to Levin. They were filled with defiance and bitterness, as if telling his Trainer that he’d bet on the wrong horses when he cast him aside in favor of Gaius and Rojo. Levin clenched his fists; Syre didn’t get it! The Bagon was the only dragon Levin kept for a reason…

- Please Syre, think! If I didn’t want you around, if I didn’t see anything in you, why didn’t I let you go like all the others?! Come on, let me help you get even stronger! You have all the potential in the world, but if you continue to…

Suddenly, Syre roared, cutting Levin off. He wasn’t having any of it. He’d gotten this strong on his own, and he’d continue to do so without anybody’s help! One day he’d fly and rule over all other dragons, but he couldn’t rely on Levin to carry him there, he couldn’t rely on anyone but himself! He looked at the foes he’d just conquered, to validate his convictions, then glared at Levin one final time before making his final point: his small frame was engulfed in a bright light and began to change and expand.

He’s evolving?!

When the light subsided, Syre was no longer a Bagon. Instead, a creature covered in armor stood in his place, a heavy quadruped whose facial features were invisible, aside from a pair of bright yellow eyes. Giving physical form to the emotional shell he’d built around him, the growled and turned around slowly, making his way back to the forest to resume his training. Levin watched Syre go, struggling to adjust to his massive shell, visibly uncomfortable in his new skin, but much too proud to ever admit it.

You still don’t get it… You’ll regret this, Syre. You’ll hit a glass ceiling on your own and be stuck in this form forever… I promise I won’t give up on you though. Like it or not, I’ll be there to help you! But you’ll have to let me in someday…
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