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Old 05-25-2015, 03:53 PM   #32
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Levin sat outside, by the pond next to his Base, with a carefree smile on his face. Next to him, bending over the water's edge, was Min feeding Reina one last Pokeblock.

She made these herself. I can't remember the last time she was this focused on anything, but she's really taken a liking to that ugly fish... Good for the two of them. Reina doesn't get to make a lot of friends looking like that, and Min hasn't had a close one since Opal left... These two need each other.

His gaze then shifted to the other Pokemon inside the lake - Nylus, the Magikarp he'd gotten from Liza. Despite their daily proximity, the orange fish made no effort to interact with Reina at all... or anyone else that approached the pond for that matter. The only thing he did, from morning to nightfall, was repeatedly leap out of the lake as high as he could, as if desperately trying to get out... to be something he wasn't. The pond was indeed small, but he was no big fish - the tiny body of water suited him perfectly, but Nylus wasn't having it. The Magikarp was perpetually restless, as if trapped in a place (or perhaps a body) that didn't suit him at all.

He watched in silence as Nylus continuously jumped out of the water, each attempt reaching slightly higher than the last. In hindsight, the Magikarp had done some great progress in the short amount of time that he'd been under Levin's care; he still remembered the days all Nylus could muster was to surface briefly in futile attempts to catch small insects... Now, he could probably jump clean over Baroque.

He was snapped out of his reverie by a sudden blue blur leaping across the lake and grabbing Nylus mid-jump. Vlad the Skorupi, who'd been lying in wait for Arceus knew how long, had claimed its prey and was preparing to feast on the helpless fish!

- Vlad, stop at once!

The Poison-Type froze in place at Levin's command. Despite his mostly instinctive behavior, Vlad obeyed the Saffron-native's every order, regarding him as a father figure and the only authority he should respect - and that's what set him apart from Levin's previous unhinged Skorupi, Veiss. Embarrassed for having made Levin angry, Vlad immediately released Nylus, allowing the young man to throw the Magikarp back inside the lake before it suffocated.

- I know it's in your nature to do this, but the rules we talked about apply to all Pokemon under my care, not just Hebi! And seriously, stop hunting Hebi.

The Skorupi hid his face behind his claws, ashamed, but Levin patted him on the head affectionately.

- I'm not mad. I understand your need to do this; Im just asking you to try a bit harder. That way you might even make some more friends instead of scaring everybody away! Nylus is defenseless, he doesn't have it in him to fight back. Please try to keep your instincts in check around the rest of the team...

Vlad nodded but scoffed at the notion of "making friends". Levin was the only friend he cared about, the only one whose opinion mattered. Everyone else he simply had to live with... but for Levin, he'd stay away from the weak ones.

Just then, Min let out a startled cry. Levin turned back, alarmed, to find the water rippling; at first, he didn't realize what was wrong, until he saw the Cincinno forcefully pull Reina out of the water... while Nylus flailed about incessantly in a rage inside the pond! Vlad's assault must have made him angry at his own powerlessness... and maybe Levin's own words only served to make things worse! The Magikarp whipped his fins violently, kicking up water all around him, and leapt outside once more, higher than ever, before starting to glow brightly!

- Oh no... not now. Not like this...

Levin had seen it happen enough times to understand immediately - Nylus was undergoing a transformation, but the circumstances this time around made it much too dangerous!

If Nylus evolves in the middle of a fit of rage... what's going to happen?!

He'd longed after a Gyarados of his own for years. Owning such incredibly destructive power was a childhood fantasy of him, thinking that such a powerful creature under his control would ensure victory against any opponent, even the Elite. But he never considered the possibility that such a power could ever be out of his control!

The glowing Nylus grew to unimaginable proportions - how could such a small creature become almost as huge as Oro?!
The shining mass towered above Vlad, Levin and finally even the Treetop Base. When it was all over, Nylus was far from the helpless little Magikarp he'd been... a roaring, massive now stood in front of them... above them all. It was one thing to watch Gyarados from afar at the Lake of Rage... up close, this was a terrifying sight. The water dragon's eyes glimmered with fury and hatred, overwhelmed by the intense desire to exact revenge on those who mistreated him - the creature who hunted him down, the human who belittled him, the filthy Feebas who shared his lake and would leave him the hell alone!

Blinded by rage, the Gyarados began flailing about like he'd done earlier as a practically harmless Magikarp; now, a mere swing of his tail ravaged several of the trees that grew closest to the lake. Thrashing wildly, Nylus's rampage threatened to destroy the entirety of Marble Garden, and it was Levin's fault!

I... I underestimated him; how could I know he'd evolve so soon? He's not ready for this kind of power... I shouldn't have talked about him like that, and I should've kept a better eye on Vlad! Damn it, now what?!

Mazo and Haou were far away, training together at the waterfall that had served as the Medicham's favourite meditation spot. Syre was also away, flying around freely as he so often needed to do to avoid pent-up frustration. Baroque and Basker were terrible match-ups against a Gyarados and he couldn't risk their safety...

Before Levin could settle on a partner to stop the madness, Nylus swung his tail right in his direction! Immediately Min and Vlad reacted, almost simultaneously, and leaped forward in front of their Trainer. The dragon's tail rammed into the small Pokemon and sent them flying several feet away, knocking them out cold in one hit, and leaving Reina helplessly splashing about on the grass - there was no way he could throw her back inside the lake, now fully occupied by Nylus's gigantic frame... so what could he do?!

The Gyarados once again raised his tail, and this time his rage-filled eyes were locked on the helpless Feebas. The tail came crashing down, but at the last second, a tiny Pokemon Teleported out of thin air and held up a Protect barrier between Reina and Nylus, blocking the killing move!

- Leon!! Thank you so much!

This was his opening; he reached for his belt and prepared to send out his....


Nylus lunged at Levin with his huge jaws agape, looking to devour the defiant human, moving so fast for his size that Levin froze in place, dominated by sheer horror, unable to call out a partner. The deadly fangs drew closer and closer.... until another Pokemon came to his aid!
Emerging from the ground below, having Dug his way over to make it in time, El Rojo jumped in front of Nylus at the last minute.... and Levin was forced to watched, hopelessly and in complete disbelief, as the Gyarados's jaws closed around the prodigious Druddigon's body and his fangs sank into the drake's flesh. The sound of scales and muscle ripping, followed by bones shattering, made Levin's body go numb...

No... NO!!

Rojo's eyes glazed over, his breath became shallow. Nylus released his grip and shifted his attention to another target, anyone would do, so long as the place was laid to waste. Levin rushed over to the mangled dragon, as did a very scared-looking Ajax, the young Axew Rojo had taken up as apprentice...

- Rojo... why? You... you and I... we were supposed to win the League together!!

Ajax was crying. So was Levin. Of all the Pokemon he'd met, the several he'd raised, none had been as tough or as remarkable as El Rojo. A legend in his own right, and the only one to ever get through to Ajax following his abandonment. The driving force behind Gaius's, and later Syre's growth... above all, one of his dearest friends.
Rojo muttered something to Ajax, looking at Levin - one final explanation to the tiny drake he'd agreed to tutor, but couldn't any longer. One final request, that Ajax serve and protect the man he'd chosen to die for, because he deserved it. With his last breath, El Rojo the Druddigon let out a faint warrior's cry, gave Levin one last customary grin... and passed away.

Levin and Ajax were left in a stunned silence, even while Nylus rampaged mere feet away from them. To each of them, and to each in his own way, Rojo had meant the world. He'd given his life to protect Marble Garden, and above all Levin, a gesture that would never have crossed his mind when Stark first traded him over to the younger, eager Trainer... Levin now lived because Rojo died, and he'd take that sacrifice with him forever. Ajax, in turn, promised to himself he'd protect Levin with equal dedication, for his mentor's sake, to honor the memory of the only creature he'd ever respected or cared for. He would become stronger than Syre, stronger than Rojo... and most of all, stronger than the murderous Gyarados who ruined his life!

The Axew bolted forward, blinded by revenge, hitting Nylus with Night Slash after Night Slash to no effect whatsoever. The Gyarados shrugged him off with another tail swing, sending Ajax tumbling back several steps, and proceeded to slither toward the Treetop Base, intent on burning it down... Levin didn't move an inch. He stayed by Rojo's body, contemplating on the catastrophe around him, his role on his beloved friend's death and the impending deaths of everyone else at this rate. His mind was clouded by grief, preventing him from doing anything, including calling out Zion or Bud to stop the menace as he'd previously intended...

Nylus towered over the Treetop Base, casting an ominous shadow on the structure Levin had built from the ground up three years before. He let out another roar, as if triumphantly declaring victory over the man, but before he could ravage the Base a massive lightning bolt came crashing down from the skies and struck the water dragon, electrocuting the beast and stopping it in its tracks!

From the forest's edge Ryker the Luxray emerged. His golden eyes were locked on the Gyarados, and his body crackled with electricity. He'd anticipated this before anyone else, watching on in disapproval while Levin closed the trade with Liza. Years of experience had taught him what nobody else on the team had yet realized - that Gyarados cannot be controlled like normal Pokemon. He let loose a second Thunder, further damaging the dragon, but Nylus kept standing and growing even angrier!

This won't do... he won't fall. He'll destroy everything I have... that monster can't be stopped!

Ryker stepped in front of Levin and gave him a light shock to snap him out of his trance. This was the first time he willingly addressed his new Trainer since leaving Zak's ownership... The Luxray made sure to get Levin's attention before pointing at the flopping Feebas, who could barely hang on anymore. Leon, meanwhile, had already been knocked out during the onslaught, unable to raise a second Protect in time.

- R-Reina... I... I can still...

He took the Premier Ball from his belt and moved to recall the Feebas to safety, but Ryker blocked the path. That wasn't what he meant...

- Why? What do you mean? She's going to die at this rate, she can't breathe! I've seen enough death and destruction, I... I just want peace!!

Wait... peace?

Ryker growled, relieved that Levin finally seemed to get it. Yes... Gyarados embodied destruction, while Feebas held a very different ability within - the dormant power to soothe souls and stop conflict. But in order for that power to awaken...

- So must Reina. Ryker, please, take me to her!

He hopped on the black lion's back and the two dashed towards Reina; Levin held out his hand and picked up the small fish while Ryker kept running towards the Gyarados, nimbly dodging his tail strikes the second they came thanks to his unmatched eyesight.

- Reina, hang in there! Please dear, I... I need you. Rojo... Rojo died to protect me, he sacrificed himself so that we can continue our journey, but if Nylus isn't stopped we have no future! Just look at what he did to Min, she... she's barely breathing after his attack, she also got in the way to keep me safe! But she also needs you now. Please, for all the time she spent with you, all the effort she put into making you the most beautiful Feebas in the world... remember that? She's your best friend, your only friend. And if Nylus isn't stopped, if he can't be tamed, she'll die along with the rest of us!

Reina, struggling to hold her breath, clinging on to what little oxygen she had left in her system, listened intently but looked dejected. It's not like she didn't already know, but there was nothing she could do in this state!
Before Levin could say anything else, Ryker was caught by an unexpected swing from a strange angle, Nylus's tail catching the Luxray's hind leg and causing the three of them to fall and tumble across the floor painfully. Levin, wincing, looked around for Reina, finding her near the Base's front door, out of his reach. She seemed about to pass out from the pain and lack of water, but it was then that Min, limping, caught up to them again. Visibly hurt, she nonetheless winked reassuringly at Levin, approached Reina and, holding her in her arms, healed her with her special Softboiled.

The Feebas, reinvigorated and deeply touched by her dearest friend's gesture, faced the titan with renewed confidence. Levin had made it clear - she was the only one who could stop Nylus and secure a future for the survivors. She hadn't been strong enough to keep Rojo safe, but she had to find it in herself to grow, go past her limitations... for everyone's sake!

Her scales glistened in the sunlight, and for a brief moment, Levin thought she almost seemed... pretty. Her body took on the same glow as Nylus's, and so too did her body begin to grow, multiplying in length until her form was no longer that of a deformed Feebas - shining brightly, Reina unlocked her hidden potential after all, and where once there was a helpless little fish, now stood a gorgeous !

- Reina... y-you did it! Please dear, please stop Nylus!!

Her presence alone exuded tranquility, and it was with a thoroughly peaceful smile that Reina took her Trainer's plea. Turning to face the rampaging dragon, who was now waging battle with an injured Ryker, she let out a stream of boiling water that drenched Nylus, despite dishing no discernible damage to the colossus. But Levin immediately realized her intention and issued one final order to the exhausted Luxray.

- He's soaked! Now Ryker, put everything you got into a Wild Charge!

Enveloped in lightning, Ryker dashed forward on command, rammed its full body weight into Nylus and watched as the electricity spread across the dragon's entire body, dealing severe damage! Stunned and heavily injured, Nylus faltered for the first time, staggering and looking around for the one who interfered in his battle with the puny Luxray. His murderous stare found Reina's angelic gaze, and it was the opportunity the Milotic needed - her soothing aura washed over him, clashed with Nylus's destructive spirit and left the dragon numb, briefly calmed down just enough for Levin to hurl a Pokeball at him, finally trapping him inside again.

- It's over...

He was too drained, too sad and empty to get back up and retrieve the device. His mind kept racing between almost letting Reina suffocate, to his home almost being destroyed... to Rojo. The haunting images just kept coming back - the dragon's body breaking and crumbling between Nylus's jaws, his final plea to Ajax, his last cocky grin before dying. El Rojo, the legendary rogue Druddigon... was dead.

The price of my lust for power... I'm sorry buddy. I'm so sorry!...

Laying wounded on the grass in front of his home, he cried himself to sleep, overpowered by exhaustion. But he'd wake up eventually... El Rojo wouldn't.

Last edited by MarbleZone; 05-25-2015 at 04:03 PM.
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