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Old 06-26-2017, 02:41 PM   #1
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Snorlax Fates Entwined




The tales of five foreigners exploring Fizzytopia, whose destinies somehow align...

Last edited by Maskerade; 06-19-2018 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 06-26-2017, 02:41 PM   #2
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The weather conditions were as inhospitable and dangerous as he’d heard – the perfect test for his physical and spiritual endurance. The dark robes he wore did little to shield him from the piercing cold, and ice crystals pelted his skin with every step. In a way, it was hard not to feel for the natives of Heiml, who were subjected to this punishment on a daily basis – even he, as a man from Saigo, was forced to sympathize with their predicament, despite the ongoing war between the two regions.

Only tragedy can come from underestimating an enemy.


The near-bald, athletically-built man in black-and-red tunic braved the road to the Ice Caverns of the elusive Springtide Isle with undying resolve, followed closely by an equally-determined companion. Sai of the Hajimoto clan - a Saigonese monk - and Jin the Meditite had only arrived in Fizzytopia a few days back, but already they were pleasantly surprised by the region’s unmatched variety of biomes in which to further strengthen themselves.

“No need to overexert yourself Jin. A strong will is worth nothing without an able body to carry it,” Sai said in his usual solemn tone. The Meditite, however, merely shook his head, insisting that he could keep going.

Soon the pair found shelter in a large opening on a mountain wall, a wide crack on the icy surface that extended like a piercing wound deep into the heart of the structure. Inside, the wind waned, although the temperature did not rise. After a while of exploring the maze-like complex of tunnels, Sai came to an abrupt halt, startling Jin.

“Can you sense it? A wavering life force… two distinct souls, in fact. Focus, Jin.”

Doing as instructed, the Psychic-Type closed his eyes for a brief moment, soon reaching the same conclusion as the superiorly-trained human. The duo followed the dwindling energies they sensed to the source, until they finally found the answer.

Encased in coffin-like ice blocks, a man and a Munchlax had been trapped inside the mountain, likely attacked by a native Pokémon on whose territory they’d intruded. Smiling at the sight, Sai exchanged a glance with Jin, before rolling up the right sleeve of his kimono.

“Arceus places this challenge in front of us, so that we may grow stronger. Let us embrace this opportunity!”

The monk closed his eyes, placed his left leg in front of the right, bent his knees and brought his right hand to the side of his body, his palm open. After ten seconds of complete silence, Sai finally spoke, eyes still shut, his voice audibly strained.

“Pay close attention Jin. The Hakkei is a move you will have to master soon! Channel your chakra to the hand and…”

The Meditite nodded and watched intently, realizing the significance of what Sai was doing. Humans weren’t meant to be able to use these techniques, and only those who’d trained extensively in isolation for years could emulate a select number of Pokémon manoeuvres, at the cost of immense physical strain.

”Diamond Art: Force Palm!!”

Sai’s hand was driven forward and slammed against the man’s frozen prison, and again in quick succession into the one encasing the Munchlax. A violent shockwave then expanded outwards from inside each one, and soon afterwards, the ice began to crack until it crumbled to pieces, releasing both human and Pokémon, each thoroughly unconscious.

Sai dropped to one knee, his breathing heavy and his heart pumping madly in his chest; sweat ran like a fountain down his face, and he struggled to even speak.

“Th-there… it is done… d-did you see how?...”

The monk was cut off by Jin, who placed a hand on his shoulder and nodded reassuringly. Then, casting a glance at the freed man – a strange one with crimson hair, in a lab coat and wearing glasses -, the Meditite wondered what would become of him and his bear partner.

After a short while, Sai rose back to his feet at great cost, closed his eyes to refocus and inhaled deeply, regaining his composure. Again turning to Jin, the man from Saigo seemed to read his companion’s mind, and answered the unasked question.

“Whether they survive is up to their own fortitude and the will of Arceus. Their recovery is no longer our mission – we did our part, and more than many would have done. Their path is not ours to walk; we keep to our own.”

Sai and Jin turned back around, believing their purpose fulfilled for now, and in dire need of rest. However, their actions sparked the interest of another: breaking free from his PokéBall, a gaseous form materialized within the cave, taking the shape of a black sphere. Elite Three Marion Ette’s Gastly, entrusted to Rorik Pine, had a sudden change of heart – the scientist was pathetically weak and as useless as he was clueless, but not that monk… Sai Hajimoto knew true strength, and that was a human worth following!

-----

Once Sai and Jin finally found their way back out, with the monk still visibly exhausted, they were suddenly enveloped in an ominous purple fog. Immediately they raised their guard, until Gastly emerged before them, grinning.

A stray soul… What does it want with us?

Monks from Saigo’s Tatakami Tower were trained in body and mind, and grew attuned to the roaming spirits which were in abundance in the eastern Region. As such, it only took Sai a moment to reassess his initial assumption, and reach the conclusion that this Gastly was not a regular wild apparition. No… it had sought him out with a purpose.

“You… belonged to that man. You are already spoken for. Begone!”

Yet, the Gastly did not budge, and the smoke only increased in density around the monk and his partner. It was determined, it seemed.

“… Fine. I cannot decide your allegiances for you. If it’s your choice to follow me instead, then we will do it as tradition demands!”

Honor and passion - those are the principles I live by. I should not deprive a man of his partners, but I also cannot ignore their cries for help; this one sought me out of its own will… So be it! Respect is earned; if that man’s actions weren’t enough to win this Pokémon’s trust, I will not make that same mistake!

Immediately, Jin stepped forward and raised his fists, his serene expression unchanged but the spirit within burning with anticipation. If he could live up to Sai’s expectations here, it could be the very first time since the start of their journey that they welcomed a new companion!

“Gastly! Give us a glorious battle!”
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Old 08-02-2017, 04:35 PM   #3
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"This is... most unfortunate."

Wolfgang Lauther, escaped convict of the Heiml region, watched on from the balcony of the building directly in front of New Fizz City's Pokémon Center. Below, he could see police officers scouring the area - and he knew exactly who they were looking for.

"I slipped up," he sighed. "I would've never expected that meager scientist to escape his ice prison. I suspect he had outside help. And now, he's put out a warrant for my arrest."

Attila the Snover, old as time itself, merely nodded with his arms crossed. It was the last thing they needed - attention.

"If I am apprehended here, they will no doubt deport me back to Heiml, and all my efforts will have been for naught. I fear we must leave this region altogether, good friend."

Again, Attila nodded, before peering over to the absent minded Pokémon next to him. Oblivious to the commotion, the pristine white Vulpix sniffed about, eager to take in the scents of the world as any newborn would. Lauther, in turn, smiled - his path of action was clear, as much of a terrible setback as it was.

"You are the only tie I have left to this land. An Alolan Vulpix carrying the elusive Icium-Z. You would have been my key to triumph, but alas, you would also be the link that would lead them straight to me. No... we must part ways. Other similar Crystals will come my way, no doubt; for now, I must remain as inconspicuous as possible, and to that effect, I cannot carry a Pokémon born of the mystical Springtime Pyukumuku around."

If Beowulf understood, he didn't so much as react. Lauther suspected he was still much too young to grasp anything of the current situation... but there was an underlying wisdom to the newborn, far beyond his age, that could make the departure somewhat easier. Or so he hoped.
Dropping to one knee, the fair-haired gentleman whistled, drawing Beowulf's attention.

"Dear friend," he started, fighting back his emotions, "I am going on a very long trip. People out there want to harm me, imprison me, and I cannot let them! My life is in danger, and I... do not wish that upon you. What I am trying to say is.. we have to part ways."

Beowulf looked at Lauther with deep, tranquility-filled blue eyes, glistening like sapphires. And then, he nodded, without a hint of repressed feelings, like a living ice sculpture.

"My. You really are wise beyond your years," the Heimlan exclaimed with a smile. "Perhaps the gravity of this situation is not lost on you after all... I am glad you understand. That crystal... is a gift from me to you. Take it, find a worthy Trainer and stay by their side. Be as loyal to them as you were to me. Whoever you choose will be blessed, I am certain."

With that, Lauther rose back to his feet and bowed graciously before Beowulf. The ice fox, in turn finally let out a grief-filled cry, before turning around and leaping out of the balcony and towards the nearby rooftop, running until he vanished from sight.

Be brave, little one. And above all, be happy. Because where Attila and I are going, there is no happiness to be found.


-----


"Again!"

Two open palms, one belonging to a human and another to a Pokémon, pierced the waterfall to no visible effect. Then again, and again, and again. Saigonese monk Sai Hajimoto and his student, Jin the Meditite, practiced mastery of the Hakkei relentlessly - Sai merely demonstrating the motion, with Jin trying to focus and release the necessary energy.

"You have perfected the movements Jin," declared the monk from Tatakami Tower, "but your chakra control is still lacking. It differs greatly from the energy paths to channel a Flamethrower or a Thunderbolt, I'm afraid. Here... observe carefully, see how unlocking the gates first and guide the flow of chakra afterwards."

Jin's eyes widened; even the usually calm and composed Meditite could not stay indifferent to what Sai was about to do. He'd seen him do it several times before, and he knew how much strain Pokémon techniques put on the human heart. But the monk did not seem to care, as long as he was being useful to his student...
Sweat ran down his face. Sai closed his eyes, brought his outstretched palm to the side of his body and let out a low-pitched hum. White mist gathered around his hand, and time seemed to stand still for a moment; then, with a mighty shout, the monk drove his open palm forward and slammed it into the cascading water.

"Diamond Art: FORCE PALM!!"

A burst of energy exploded forward and upwards, splitting the stream in half for over three seconds, before the waterfall resumed its natural flow. Sai dropped to his knees, breathing heavily, gasping for air and with his head spinning wildly from the herculean effort. His heart felt as if were about to burst inside his chest.

I thought this would become easier with time… It never does…

Jin hurried over to his master, but the monk motioned for him to stop. Slowly, Sai willed himself back up on his own, trying his best not to collapse from exhaustion as his body so desperately craved.

“D-don’t worry… Jin,” he struggled to say, “… o-once you… once you’ve mastered the… the Hakkei… it won’t b-be… as hard for you to… to do it.”

The Meditite nodded; he knew, of course. These techniques were natural to him and other Pokémon – it was humans who had trouble handling them. Jin was certain he would feel nothing like was Sai was experiencing now once he perfected his own Force Palm. Still, he wished Sai would stop putting himself at risk like that… It was a tremendous burden watching his master injure himself just because Jin wasn’t skilled enough to learn what he should.

“I know that look,” retorted Sai, his composure regained after a little while. “I do this because I choose to; you’ll learn the technique in time, I’m certain of it. The mastery of chakra is an arduous journey, be it for Man or Pokémon. Have patience, Jin – keep training, meditating and observing, and I promise you will unlock this gate as well.”

From a nearby bush, someone watched. Lured by two overwhelmingly powerful presences (which more attuned individuals would call Auras), the newborn Vulpix stared in wonder at the human monk and his Pokémon partner. The man, practically bald and clad in strange black robes, had a vibe of elegance to him similar to Wolfgang Lauther, yet entirely distinct at the same time; he exuded power and discipline, and the passionate yet caring way in which he trained his Meditite… Beowulf was only now realizing how he longed to be raised in a similar manner. Perhaps this was exactly the kind of Trainer his former master urged him to find… Only one way to find out!

“Wh-what on earth?!”

The sudden drop in temperature was the only giveaway, yet one which came in timely manner. At the last second, Sai and Jin were leaping backwards simultaneously, avoiding a blast of snow which came from the nearby bushes.

“Who is there,” Sai demanded to know, his voice deep and imposing, strikingly different from the low-pitched whisper that was his usual tone. “Show yourself and fight us honourably!”

The pristine-white fox emerged from his hiding place, the Icium Z-Crystal on his necklace glistening brightly. It locked eyes with Jin, as if intending to battle, but the Meditite could sense a wholly different intent and did not strike a combat pose. Sai, of course, was not oblivious to this.

“You will not engage it? Ah, indeed… How curious.”

Two decades of intense training at Tatakami Tower under the tutelage of Sage Samanosuke had yielded several results. Among them was Sai’s uncanny ability to sense the will of Pokémon by the aura they emitted and their body movements, even if he could not understand their speech. It was as clear to him as it was to Jin that this Vulpix did not truly wish to fight, but merely capture their attention. In that endeavour, it had been successful.

“I recognize that gem. It’s a crystal capable of unlocking extremely destructive power,” Sai muttered in astonishment. “And it’s attached to a necklace… Someone gave you that jewel. And yet, here you are, alone… Were you released, little one?”

To that, and with poorly concealed sadness, the Ice Vulpix nodded once.

“I see,” the monk concluded with a faint, bittersweet smile. “So this is Shiou’s story all over again. What draws these souls to me?”

The Vulpix, Sai could tell, was tremendously lonely. It was very young, that much was obvious, but there was an air of wisdom beyond its tender age that was apparent to anyone with a mildly trained eye… Was it Sai’s training of Jin that made it seek them out? Did it yearn for the same treatment? Or maybe it just wanted a family to raise him, whoever that was…

“My Pokémon have proven themselves through hardship, sacrifice and battle. If you are willing to do the same,” Sai decreed as Jin finally assumed his preferred stance, “then I will welcome you with open arms, little one.”

The former Beowulf let out a joyful cry, and prepared for battle as well – if that was Sai’s only condition, the ice fox would comply. Lauther had taught him the basics, at least.

“Vulpix! Give us a glorious battle!”
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:35 PM   #4
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Am I worthy yet?...

Sai Hajimoto, monk of Tatakami Tower from the faraway Saigo, easternmost region of the Pokémon World, stood motionless at the footstep of a large, isolated mountain in the Dancing Desert of Incognito Isle.

This was no ordinary mountain, nor was it even normally found on the Dancing Desert to begin with. It spiralled upwards into the sky, like a colossal Rhyperior horn; its structure wasn't a rocky one, but rather made of highly condensed sand - sand bound together by intense Psychic force.

Such events had been described before, mysteriously appearing spiral mountains that rose somewhere on the Pokémon World once every century; Sai had heard of the phenomenon and knew of its meaning. It was the reason he was here today.

The power not to move, but to create mountains. There is no doubt about it - its elusive shape, the energy pulsing within... it has to be a "Kami's Peak."

Legends spoke of a Pokémon with a mind so powerful, it could reshape the world; when it died, it would revert back to an Egg, and a new Kami's Peak would emerge whenever the Egg hatched again. To that creature, natives of Saigo gave the name of Kami due to its prodigious, almost divine displays of power - and Sai sought to train under the tutelage of such a mighty being.

"Come Jin," he urged his Meditite, "we cannot afford to lose this opportunity!"

Smiling in excitement, Jin nodded, eager to meet a creature so powerful, even his own master wished to train under it. It was hard to imagine Sai, in all his stern dignity, receiving lessons from any other entity, but this Kami was anything remotely like the tales described, this was indeed a chance they could not miss.

The journey up Kami's Peak was surprisingly effortless and uneventful; the spiralling shape created a naturally winding path up the mountain that made it easy for someone with Sai and Jin's conditioning to proceed upwards, despite the steep slope. Even so, due to the massive height of the structure, the climb took them over three hours.

At long last, however, they finally reached the mountaintop - a narrow circular plateau, barely wide enough to fit more than ten people. And at the center, floating slightly above the floor with its legs crossed and its eyes closed... was an Abra.

"This... this is it," Sai whispered in amazement. "This tiny creature was responsible for raising an entire mountain in the middle of the desert..."

You would believe the feat easier if I was larger?

The voice echoed, booming, inside his head, powerful and deep and filled with an authority no man would expect from a run-of-the-mill wild Abra.

"N-no," Sai stammered, taken aback by both by the sudden question and by the fact that Kami could speak to him in the first place. "No. True power does not reside in one's body..."

Upon hearing the monk's reply, the Abra remained static, but after a moment of silence, mentally spoke again.

Sai Hajimoto, you have been trained your entire life to give that reply. But do you truly believe it?

Did he? Here he was, confronted by a Pokémon who knew seemingly everything about him, right down to his name which he had not revealed yet - and yet it was still utterly baffling to the monk how the power of the mind, no matter how developed, could have terraforming effects. But he saw it with his own eyes; how could he deny it?

"It is true that I cannot even fathom such power; we human monks of Saigo are not trained to unlock that many gates, as it would surely kill us," Sai ended up answering with full honesty. Not that there was any point in lying to Kami in the first place. "But I yearn to unlock my full potential, so that I may raise my companions to the best of my ability."

In the past, others have sought me out in search of enlightenment, readings of their future, even atonement for their past. But you only seek... power?

There was mockery, disdain in its tone. But Sai would not allow his purpose to be questioned, not even by the legendary Kami.

"You may think my motives shallow, but unless I defeat all in my path, I will never know if I have become the best version of myself," he swiftly retorted. "As long as there remains a single soul stronger than me, then I will not have transcended human limitations. I will have failed the vow I made to my mentor and father."

A different sound rang in his mind this time - not a word, but a distinct... laugh. Kami dropped to his feet for the first time and walked towards Sai, eyes perpetually closed.

Ascendance to a higher plane of existence through conquer of human limits... I see. I may have underestimated you, Sai Hajimoto. You seek to break the chains of your mortality, of your human condition... you may be an interesting student after all.

Sai felt something break loose from the inside pocket of his robe. A PokéBall floated upwards, free from its confines, then hovered over to Kami under his Psychic grip.

I am yours, Sai Hajimoto. I will impart my knowledge upon you, and you will lend your human passion to me - perhaps I, too, can break the oppressing chains of this mortal body under your care.

With that, the PokéBall snapped open, and the Abra was pulled inside. Without a hint of struggle inside, the device shook three times, and finally clicked shut. As it fell to the ground and rolled towards his feet, Sai looked on in silent disbelief, as did Jin.

It took them a long while to realize Kami's Peak had begun to shake and break apart - and in the end, it was Shiou who embraced them in his shadow and Teleported them away to safety, and towards a new chapter in their journey.
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:18 PM   #5
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“We now return to our opening news. The world is in shock as the unthinkable has happened: Heiml and Saigo, two regions at war for over ten years, have launched simultaneous nuclear strikes. Official numbers are yet to be revealed, but early estimates point to several thousand casualties on each side. The reason for this sudden escalation of violence between the two nations remains unclear, but this is already, by far, the greatest tragedy in the history of either country. We will keep you updated on any new developments.”

Rorik froze, looking at the television screen in the main hall of New Fizz City’s Pokemon Center. He had found an unconscious Rowlet near a road in the city outskirts, and had rushed to nurse it back to health. Now, as he prepared to leave the building and release the owl back into the wild, he couldn’t help but overhear the news.

[i]It… it can’t… It can’t be!! No, it’s… it’s not true, it’s impossible!! Roderick Tannhauser, Champion Gottfried, someone… someone should have been able to stop this! What is going on here?!”

His mind was a whirlwind of questions. He felt lightheaded, then nauseous, and before he knew it he was on his knees, on the verge of passing out, right there in the hall. How was his brother Erik? His assistants at the Lab? Everyone back home?! And who would ever give the order for something so heinous, when there were laws and treaties in place that forbade the use of such weaponry?

He then found himself inexplicably thinking about Sai Hajimoto, the Saigonese monk he’d met at Cloud Garden… the man who’d saved his life at one point. Did he know? Surely Saigo would have been just as affected by the event as Heiml… Sai always seemed so composed. How had he taken the news?

What can I do? What… what could I have done? I… I should go back! Yes, I have to check on everyone, make sure they’re alright, and…

He realized his gaze had shifted from the floor to the Rowlet he’d been holding. For some reason, the bird’s expression was not that of vacant indifference typical of a wild Pokemon. No; what Rorik saw… was sadness. The Rowlet was devastated by the news, but not shocked. It… it knew?!

“Wait… you are… Leif’s?...”

The Rowlet’s eyes met Rorik’s, both on the verge of tears, and after a long moment of stillness, it nodded.

If my assitant released his partner, then… then it can only mean…

Something possessed him, and the Professor rose back to his feet, still clutching Rowlet against his chest. He dashed toward the door, determined to head to the Port and catch the first ship back to Heiml that he could board. But just as the doors slid open, he collided with the massive figure who was about to walk in, and fell on his back.

“Don’t bother; there’s nothing to go back to. Follow me.”

Towering over him, standing by the door, was a tall and imposing older man, arms crossed beneath his ragged black tunic. His father, Ulrik Holstadt.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:48 PM   #6
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The journey to meet the mysterious Hemlock had been fruitless. The man proved no more approachable than a rock, and to be perfectly honest, Jin wasn’t sure what made the elder so special in the first place – he did sense an unnatural aura exuding from him, but that hardly made up for the fact that they’d travelled for three whole days for nothing.

“Hemlock is a man worth pursuing, old friend. Trust me on that,” said Sai as they walked away from the hermit’s mountain. “He is older than anyone on this planet, they say. He might even be as old as Kami.”

Jin doubted that. No human could live that long, especially not a human so fond of alcohol.

“There is more to him than meets the eye. You felt it too, did you not? His power? He can help us, I am certain.” Seeing Jin’s expression, Sai knew he had to reveal more to get the Medicham to believe him. “Some say he is from our homeland, but left Saigo to pursue studies that were blasphemous in the eyes of our gods. You see, he wanted… immortality. He became an alchemist, master of potions and poisons. No plant or toxin is foreign to him; he knows the properties of every one of them and the results of mixing or brewing them. It is believed that, after decades of studying and experimenting, he finally achieved his goal… but since he vanished from sight so very long ago, nobody can say for sure. What I can tell you is that he has lived much longer than the average human, and his wisdom and experience are unparalleled. He is to mankind as Kami is to Pokemon: a fantastic source of knowledge locked behind a heart that has long lost interest in those around him.”

He pointed to the horizon, in the direction of the last town they’d passed before finding Hemlock’s cave. All they had to do was walk this arid, empty Route back to civilization, and they could purchase whatever drink might make the hermit speak.

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear you…”

A voice behind him made Sai stop and turn around, intrigued.


A man with crimson hair and piercing eyes had caught up to the pair as they spoke. Now, he walked beside them, with a smile that made Sai uneasy.

I never heard him approaching. Jin didn’t sense him either…

“May I help you, sir? What of our conversation intrigues you so much?”

The other man chuckled and ran a hand through his hair.

“Well, to be fair, I was just gripped by the little fairytale you were sharing with your Pokemon. But more interestingly…” He picked up the pace and then stopped in front of Sai, forcing him to stop. “You wouldn’t happen to be the White Lion of Tatakami Tower, would you?”

The question pierced Sai like an arrow. The tone, seemingly curious and harmless, concealed the mocking edge of a man who knew exactly the reaction his inquiry would get.

How could he possibly know such a thing? I told nobody! And everyone who knew… everyone who watched me claim my father’s mantle… they are all dead…

“W-who are you?...”

Mocking the traditional Saigonese greeting, the red-haired man took a deep, theatrical bow.

“Nowadays, I go by the name of Hush. And you are Sai Hajimoto… the last of your homeland.”

He’d subconsciously tried to ignore the possibility, but Hush’s words hit like a truck, the realization trampling over Sai and knocking the air out of his lungs. The destruction of Saigo was public knowledge by now, but there was no way anyone could know that he’d been appointed as Sage mere days before the tragedy. Unless this man had been watching him.

“How do you know all this? And what do you want from me?!”

“I was hoping I didn’t have to spell it out for you, but boy are you in denial!” Hush’s tone conveyed a sick kind of amusement as he taunted the monk. “You can piece it all together. Come on, it’s funnier if you say it.”

Sai’s hands clenched in tight fists. Jin, too, could understand what was going on – the significance of this meeting.

“Did you… did you have anything to do with what happened to my home? Is that why you’ve tracked me down? To finish the job?!”

Hush erupted in laughter, and Sai couldn’t hold back any longer. He lunged at the crimson-haired man, ready to punch him… but found himself stopping mid-motion, his body freezing up as if gripped by an invisible force. A glistening spot in the sky made him look up, and he quickly realized what had happened.

Like a mechanical angel, a silver and gold Metang descended from the sky, eyes glowing blue as it maintained a powerful Psychic hold on both Sai and Jin.

“You people sure love euphemisms. Let me say it loud and clear: I killed your people. I erased them, and Saigo, from the map. I put an end to the most boring, drawn-out, irrelevant war in History.” Hush’s expression was unreadable at this point, in stark contrast to the way he was laughing uncontrollably only a few seconds earlier. “I mean, if neither Saigo nor Heiml were gonna do anything meaningful, somebody had to do it for them – nobody cares about a war that goes on for a century and no one actually dies. I gave everyone a reason to care. That, and I ended the suffering of the common folk who lived in fear of not knowing when the bombs were gonna drop. I dropped them.”

Sai couldn’t exactly describe what he was feeling. Rage, certainly, and unspeakable sadness, but also sheer disbelief… Not at the story Hush told, but at the fact that someone like that actually existed. The Devil in human form, that’s what he was.

“Besides, you know a war’s gone stale when countries aren’t even willing to pay the mercs they hire. I defected from the Heimlan Army when they shoved me aside doing recon missions, and then even Saigo stopped paying me for government secrets.” As he spoke, Hush approached the immobilized Sai while he searched the inside of his jacket for something. “A war that news anchors don’t talk about, that newspapers no longer cover… That’s no war. And let me tell you: boredom is the real killer.”

“You are insane… How could you? How could you do such a thing?!” Sai’s anger caused tears to run down his face, the powerlessness of being trapped in Metatron’s grip while the monster in front of him delivered the truth with all the bluntness of someone who felt completely justified…

“See, now you’re suffering too. That’s why I sought you out – I don’t want you to mourn forever. I’ll end your suffering like I ended theirs. I’ll end the suffering of Saigo.” Having found what he’d been searching for, Hush retrieved a switchblade from his inner pocket, holding it in his gloved hand. “Blades aren’t my kind of thing you know, I’m more of a guns guy… but that would draw all kinds of unwanted, unjustified attention. So here we are.”

Sai couldn’t even reach for his PokéBalls, them too locked under the intense pressure of Metatron’s psyche. Kami could break the man like a twig, but the monk was powerless to summon him. And powerlessness was something Kami despised – was that why he didn’t come to his aid? Surely the Alakazam could break free on his own. Had he lost Kami’s allegiance with his weakness?...

“Your death will mean peace for all the souls of Saigo. Peace granted by me and my angels. And then, all that’s left is to end Heiml’s suffering too… by killing the last Heimlan.” Hush smiled again at Sai’s look of terror as the monk realized what he meant. “If he’s still the man I remember, Professor Rorik will embrace death. He’s probably too scared to go on living anyway.”

The blade glistened in the sunlight. Hush leaned over, and whispered his last words to Sai.

“Come to think of it… I’d be pretty pissed if I never even knew the name of the guy who killed me. So, put in a good word for me when you meet your god, will you? Or… multiple gods? Spirits? Whatever works for you.” The tip of the switchblade pressed against Sai’s white robes, and the Sage began feeling the pain.

“Let them know that the man who finally brought peace to Saigo… was Nils Gant.”

The edge pierced cloth and skin, and kept going. He first felt a sharp pain in his chest, the most intense he’d ever experienced; then, he felt breathless, as if all the air in his lungs had escaped; finally, once the blade pierced his heart and his consciousness began to fade… he felt nothing.

Jin watched on in horror, unable to move. His own psychic prowess was nothing compared to Hush’s shiny Metang; years of training and meditation had ultimately proven useless when they mattered the most. He looked on as Sai’s lifeless body collapsed to the ground, released from its psychic prison, while he remained trapped. But then, once Hush pulled the switchblade from Sai’s chest and tossed it at Jin’s feet, he too felt Metatron’s grasp loosen.

“Well, whaddya know. You were useless.”

Jin fell to his knees, weak and broken. Hush was right – in the end, he couldn’t save Sai. He’d barely managed to master a Force Palm… He was useless.

“I’ve been around you folk from Saigo long enough to know honour’s a big deal to you. That’s what you’re all about, right?” Hush’s words were soft, tantalizing, almost hypnotic. “Disgrace in life should be mended by an honourable death. But, you know… I won’t judge.”

Jin knew what Hush was trying to do. But he no longer cared… He was right, in his own, twisted way. Failing to save one’s master was an absolute disgrace, and one no student from Tatakami Tower should live with. His psychic power may have failed him when it mattered the most… but it was still good for one thing.

The switchblade on the ground became enveloped in blue light, and slowly began to rise. When it reached the height of Jin’s chest, it stopped, floating in mid-air. The Medicham exchanged one last glance with his fallen companion, his oldest friend and mentor… and pulled the blade towards him.




“Well, that was unnecessarily drawn out. But with that out of the way, I can go find the Professor.” Hush dropped to one knee besides Sai’s corpse and took out the Icium Z in his Z-Ring; the monk wouldn’t be needing it anymore. “Let’s get going Metat… oh?”

No longer trapped by the Metang’s energy, a PokéBall in Sai’s belt snapped open. Shiou the Gengar materialized, glaring at Hush with a murderous stare.

“Well now… how should I put it… It’s nice to meet you, but you a litte bit late.”

At first, it seemed as if Shiou was going to engage Hush and Metatron, but something held the ghost back. The knowledge that, for all his strength, he was still no match for the two of them plus whatever other allies Hush had on hand.

“You know… I do love a good revenge tale. So I’ll let you go – take your buddies and go do what you need to do to make yourselves worth my time. Maybe you’ll find someone who can entertain me.”

Shiou’s red eyes glimmered with an uncharacteristic seriousness. He’d left Rorik’s side to join Sai, the only human other than his first master worth his respect. Now that he’d been taken from him… he would show Hush the meaning of “vengeful spirit”. Summoning a swirl of shadows, he Teleported himself and the remaining Pokemon still in their Balls away, to the only destination he could think of where they could find what they needed to measure up to this Devil.



-----



“What now?! Gouki, do they have booze?!”

This time around, the Nidoran didn’t reply. At the cave’s entrance was the oddest group he’d ever seen: a Gengar, Ninetales, Alakazam, Totodile and Stufful, all but the Psychic-Type looking beyond depressed. They looked like they needed a drink worse than his master, in all fairness. He heard the steps behind him, and turned to face the elder.


“Oh darn it all.” Hemlock had come to see what Gouki’s silence was about, and he couldn’t say it was unwarranted. The Nidoran might not have realized it, but the elder did – these Pokemon had been raised by another man. They exuded an aura of honour and dedication that he’d felt mere hours before… when Sai Hajimoto had come to him.

“I… Damn it. I shouldn’t have sent the boy away. Old timers like me, drunkards no less, should not outlive youngsters like him. You all… stay if you like. I need to have a drink, and then we’ll talk.”
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:43 PM   #7
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“I never thought I’d say this but… by Terrakion, you’re ready.”

Ulrik “Dragonheart” Holstadt stood across his opponent in the cavern atop Cascadia’s Mt Aduro that they had chosen as their final battleground. On the other side of the makeshift arena was a younger man with crimson hair, glasses and a smile of newfound confidence contrasting with his stern northerner features.


“Rorik… you’ve made a lot of progress, I have to admit,” said his father. Ulrik was a man of hard praise and few words, and the relationship between him and his son had been rocky at best; however, the calamity that struck their homeland brought them unexpectedly close.

Ulrik’s team lay defeated around him, six dragons knocked unconscious at the end of a long struggle against Rorik’s chosen ones. The last Professor of the Heiml region adjusted his glasses and nodded at the compliment.

“As much as it pains me to admit it, I couldn’t have done it without your guidance Ulr… father.”

Surrounding Rorik were his companions, beaten but still standing, each of them incomparably stronger than what they were prior to Ulrik’s training. Two in particular had grown beyond anyone’s expectations, shattering their limits and achieving power that could rival even Guntz, to the point that Rorik could no longer say for certain who among his six friends was truly the strongest: Zyll had grown into a terrifying , but retained his abnormally quiet, contemplative demeanour, unlike any of his kind that Rorik had heard about. His six black wings flapped hythmically, keeping the uniquely-coloured dragon afloat effortlessly even after the gruelling battle he had just had with Ulrik’s Salamence. On the other hand, still standing in the middle of the cave, his own battle just now over, was Keb – no longer afraid of conflict, but realizing the full extent and purpose of his unique power, he had grown into a mystic , standing over his fallen foe - a large Flygon – with a look of absolute tranquillity on his face.

Rorik walked over to his father and held out a hand. Ulrik responded without hesitation, accepting the handshake and looking his son in the eye as his equal – if not more – at long last. The months they had spent in Cascadia had served a single purpose, and now, Rorik was ready to fulfil it better than “Dragonheart” could.

“Find the bastard who did it. Make them pay – for everyone back home who couldn’t.”

Rorik nodded in silence. A year ago, when Champion Gottfried had sent him to Fizzytopia, the Professor was no more than a scared man-child with no practical experience of what he called himself an authority on. Now, after all that had happened, he could finally call himself not only an expert on Bonds, but also – and perhaps more importantly – a Trainer. He would not fail Ulrik; he would find the one responsible for erasing Heiml from the map, and when he did…

I will handle it like any Heimlan would. Our land might be gone, but our spirit is not!

Guntz, Stahl, Volg, Zyll, Keb and even the emotionally-shattered Leif, they all stood with him in this next chapter. And if they couldn’t do justice, at least they’d have revenge.
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:15 AM   #8
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An iridescent flash of energy filled the arena, and the Mienfoo was sent tumbling along the ground. It struggled to get back up, but ultimately, strength failed it, and the warrior fell back down, unconscious.

Non... c'est pas possible...

The crowd roared in excitement, hundreds sitting on the stands as they watched the action unfold in the arena. And across from her, with an infuriating grin on his face, was the single most formidable opponent she'd ever faced.

"Champion Levin," the woman finally spoke up with a heavy Kalosian accent. "You really are every bit as good as they say. But my fate will stand above your skill!"


She ran a hand through her silver hair and took a deep breath, attempting to mask her nervousness. Truly, she had never faced anyone like him. A Trainer strong enough to overturn his own destiny... Would he be the first one to defeat her?

I will not fall to him. Most certainly not to him!

"Return..."

The beam of red light enveloped the fallen Mienfoo, and the woman clipped the minimized PokéBall back to her bracelet. Meanwhile, the Champion kept his eyes locked on her, that mocking gaze she so despised. His own Pokémon was not only still perfectly healthy, it exuded a power unlike anything she'd ever felt. A perfect machine, a Metagross who had surpassed its limits and stood before her in its Mega form.

"Well? Is that all the famous Béatrice Chevalier can do?"

She closed her eyes. She had to remain calm; Levin was known for taunting his opponents into making mistakes. But in her case, it did not matter: she had seen her fate, the cards were undeniable. Winning this battle, becoming Heimlan Champion... was her destiny.

"J'ai pas fini, I assure you," Béatrice retorted. "My last companion will settle the match for good."

"Oh, of that I'm sure, Lady Luck."

She despised that nickname, and Levin, of course, knew it. What she did wasn't luck. She did not come here undefeated due to luck. Victory was Béatrice Chevalier's destiny, as it was Levin's destiny to lose the crown of Heiml Champion to her. And yet...

Even without knowing it, he is defying his own fate. Shattering all my predictions without breaking a sweat! But no, I've seen the outcome clear as day - this one will prove me right!

Béatrice held her left hand up, and the bracelet containing all her PokéBalls began to spin. Closing her eyes, she pulled one out, and tossed it in the air.

"I draw..."

The bright light that emerged from the Ball's confines took shape on the arena floor, materializing into a gorgeous white fox with nine flowing, ice-speckled tails. Béatrice's eyes widened in pure disbelief.

"N-non... Why?... XVIII - THE MOON?!"

The Champion smiled at the sight of his challenger's last Pokémon. Or perhaps it was at her childish, poorly-concealed reaction of shock. Either way, she hated it.

"It seems Lady Luck ran out of luck. And that makes you just an ordinary lady... Zion!"

The Mega Metagross acknowledged the call and acted immediately. It charged forward at a speed no machine its size should be able to achieve, and rammed one of its four arms into the Alolan Ninetales's body with a Bullet Punch; the fox was sent flying and crashing into the arena wall.

"Au revoir mademoiselle", sentenced Levin with an intentionally terrible Kalosian enunciation.

Zion charged energy into a glistening orb, and unleashed a violent Flash Cannon against the still-stuck Ninetales. When the dust settled, Béatrice's last Pokémon was knocked out cold, and the challenger from Kalos was handed her first loss.


-----


One year later, that career-defining (or destroying) moment remains a haunting reality for the Kalosian prodigy. Sponsorship contracts cancelled, tournament invitations withdrawn, Béatrice is now seen more as a fraud than the undeniably skilled Trainer she truly is. Her credibility shattered at the hands of Heiml's Champion, she struggles to this day to understand how someone could change their fate so drastically. Destiny had been her one unfailing companion since she could remember; how was Levin able to so easily alter his? And what did that say about her and her rock-solid convictions on the predestination of all things?

Determined to prove her battling style is more than a matter of luck, Béatrice now sets out on a journey of self-validation that may well prove to be one of self-discovery instead. Will she learn to master her own fate, or continue to be ruled by it?
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