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Old 06-09-2015, 06:57 PM   #33
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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The images still haunted him. No matter how hard he tried, the mekories of El Rojo being crushed by Nylus's jaws and his lifeless body in his arms always came back. The crying of Ajax still echoed in his ears, as did his own.

Because I was negligent...

In his mind, that's what it came down to. He failed to realize the danger Nylus posed, even as a worthless Magikarp. If he'd taken proper precautions, or tried to warm up to the Water-Type before he evolved, maybe it'd have been different... maybe Rojo would still be alive.

How can I do it without you here? Even if I make it... even if I win the League, what will it be like when you're not there? You were supposed to see me become Champion!

Tears came back for the millionth time, but this time he wasn't alone with his thoughts. Basker, Min, Reina and the young Lumi were all there with him, as he sat outside by the Treetop Base's shade. They'd always been the more affectionate members of his team, and could sense his sadness a mile away. Leon had also intended to stay behind and try to cheer Levin up, but Baroque - effectively the leader of the whole group - decreed the small Ralts needed to become stronger, in case disaster ever struck again. Much to the pacifist Psychic-Type's dismay, the Rhyperior's word was absolute.

- How... how is Ajax doing?

The Axew, to whom Rojo had always served as mentor, had it worst than anyone else. Disillusioned and frustrated by nature, after a prolonged period of abandonment in the Adoption Centre, the Son of the War Axe had never opened up to anyone other than the Druddigon he idolized. Rojo's death meant Ajax was alone again, despite the dragon's dying wish that his apprentice take care of Levin in his stead. Ajax was still coming to terms with all of it, and spent most of his time on his own, off training sowewhere in the woods that surrounded Marble Garden.

- I'm sure Ryker is looking after him from a distance... right?

Basker growled at the mention of Luxray's name, but was forced to agree. Despite his personal feelings towards the rebellious Ryker, there was no denying the Electric-Type had been a critical ally in stopping Nylus. Maybe they could trust Ryker after all, although Basker would always have trouble admitting it.

- Hey Lumi... sorry to have dragged you into this. You weren't even with us when it happened...

The Mareep smiled in his usual carefree manner and curled up closer to the young man, reassuringly. He might not have witnessed the events nor met Rojo personally, but he couldn't allow Levin to give in to sadness and lose sight of his dreams... if anything, he should press on to make the Druddigon proud!

The time is near.

Levin was startled by the sudden voice ringing in his head; a familiar one he hadn't heard in a while. Katsune's voice.
The Ninetales was standing idly by the field not far from where Levin was resting. He'd been there for several hours, silently gazing at the sun, but now seemed to have reached some sort of conclusion...

The Old Sun is near. Eld is looking for you master, albeit unknowingly.

- Wait... what do you mean? How can you tell?

Eld will be reborn soon. The exact moment is not known to me, but the First Light's rebirth is indeed at hand. A new cycle is about to begin; but in its newborn state, Eld's memories will be locked away... it falls on you to awaken them.

This was much too sudden. He needed time to grieve one death, and here Katsune was talking to him about rebirth... It made very little sense to him, but he had a feeling Katsune couldn't tell him much more either.

I came to prepare the path for the Old Sun. I have done so by cleansing your home of the ancient dark spirits that inhabited it... I am but a servant. The designs of Eld are not known to me - I serve as a mere link between you and the First Light. My role is all but fulfilled, only one thing remains to be done. Please listen carefully master...

The Ninetales approached Levin, Basker, Lumi, the sleeping Min and Reina. Locking eyes with the Saffron-native, Katsune delivered a final message, much to the young man's dismay...

When you took me in, years after letting me go, it was because fate deemed it so. You might not have known then, but hopefully you realize now... I am no more than a conduit that leads you to your destiny. I am your link to Eld, the one that has eluded you for twenty four years. But now that the moment approaches, I leave you with one final gift.

- Wait, what do you mean "you leave me"?! What are you talking about? Katsune, please...

It all led up to this moment. The cleansing of your spirit allies, which made me strong enough to achieve my current form, which in turn allows me to close the cycle now. Eld will return to the world with no memory of it; use this to open the Old Sun's eyes. Levin Sanders, Eld's Chosen... you have faced loss, and will continue to face it as long as you walk this path; but know always that light shines upon you, and your dreams will become reality if you embrace it. Be strong, and aim ever higher... as high as the Sun itself.

Each of Katsune's tails began to glow, until his entire body was engulfed in light and flames. The brightness was so intense that it forced Levin to cover his tear-filled eyes.

Thank you for all the moments, however brief. Your future is bright, you have my word... Goodbye Levin, Eld's Chosen.

When the light faded, Katsune was gone. The Ninetales vanished in the same manner that Skuld, Wicca and Nyx had mere months before. In his place, a small item floated in the air briefly before falling on the grass.

Why? Why is everyone leaving? I... I can't take it anymore, I... can't bear to lose anyone else! Katsune, you could have stayed! At least until we got to see Eld together...

He reached for the tiny object, all that remained of his dear Ninetales. The item was warm to the touch and seemed to radiate a faint light when Levin picked it up. The Saffron-native stared blankly at his partner's parting gift, and finally put Katsune's Ring on.

Basker and Lumi drew closer to him once again; coping with Rojo's death was already hard enough, but now with Katsune gone as well, Levin was going to need all the company and cheerfulness they could give him.
The young man stared into the distance, lost in thought.

In two months I lost more friends than I made in my entire childhood. I never wanted this... I just wanted to be good at what I did. I wanted people to notice me. Is this path of mine going to lead to even more losses? And if so... is it even worth it?

As if sensing the Trainer's doubts, Katsune's Ring emitted a stronger glow. Levin tried to smile, but couldn't.

- It's the only path I know. You're right Katsune, I will aim as high as I can. I just wonder how many of my friends will remain when I reach those heights...

Last edited by MarbleZone; 06-09-2015 at 07:05 PM.
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