I HAVE CLAIMED WEEZING. YOU ARE NOT WORTHY.
404 Error- COMPLETE! Chapter 38 and the epilogue up now!
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Banner done by me. I do not do requests. The Shinies are not up for trade.
Fizzy Bubbles info
I totally saw N being a demimortal coming! I have a feeling that he wants to force kyurem into himself and be all three legends at once. Just speculation...
I used to liek mudkipz, then I took an arrow in the knee. However the arrow turned out to be a seaking. It yelled "F*** yeah" so I screamed "FUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!". The seaking's face became that of a troll while mine became forever alone. The situation was super effective.
Double-Immortal N? That's probably not good. At all. I'm going to hide in my Armageddon-by-Flaming-Lightning-Dragons bunker.
As for the previous chapter, N's travel through Celestial Tower got me misty-eyed in several places. SO MUCH SADNESS
Dimensions of Darkness l harmoNy l Envoy - Coming Soon!
Sgt. Froakie - Coming Soon! l humaniZed - Coming Soon! l The Piplup and Chimchar Variety Hour
Latest Chapter: Chapter 24 (In the Shadows)
Credit to PKMNRookie for the awesome Avatar Sig!
Pokemon Soulsilver Nuzlocke Challenge
Irwin, Bonnie, Komali, Samba, Cinders, Shawn
Badges: 7 l Deaths: 2
@MM: I think I meant Bulldoze and got that scrambled somewhere... better go fix that.
So, chapter 50. Normally I'd have it all wrapped up before that number. I may end up coming back to re-write this one, though, or just edit it heavily. Something bugs me about it.
Chapter 50: Showdown in an Electric Blue Cave
The throne room was buzzing with anticipation. Any of the team members who could make it were there. This included Zinzolin and a group of knights that had been under him. Although they had been arrested last night, Ghetsis, Gorm, and Giallo had stepped in to get them released. Now they were all waiting on the meeting to begin, one of the biggest meetings the team had had in the past few months. And N was to lead this meeting personally.
He was in the hallway with Ghetsis, now that it had cleared out. Looking into the hall, he could feel their excitement. It intimidated him, making his stomach flutter. Not only that, but his friends weren't there to back him up as Pokemon were not normally in the castle. And he was dressed differently today, in a long black cloak, black dress shirt, black pants, and the Black King's crown. Being so formal had been special once, but it only added to his discomfort now.
“They're expecting so much out of me that I’m afraid that I’ll only disappoint them,” N told Ghetsis.
“You won't,” he said. “And you need to get used to this. Before you know it, you'll need to address the entire region of Unova, and even the world. I can only cover for you for so long. Are you well rested? I've done what I can to make you look less ill, but you'll need to keep alert this time.”
“I'm fine,” he said, smiling despite his anxiety.
“Good. Let's go.”
It was time. Trying to push away his feelings, N led the way into the throne room, up the center aisle which had been kept clear. The pools had been covered over so that everyone had plenty of space to stand. At first, the room hushed in reverence. Then people began to cheer, happy to see that it was him. They're all here to support me, he reminded himself. Like Rood said, they proved that there was good still in the world by supporting his vision of what the world should be like.
The other five Sages met them at the front of the room. N bowed to them, and they replied in same. Then he turned to the rest in the room and raised his hand. They all quieted in response, heedful of his authority.
My responsibility is towards the innocent Pokemon, and these good people, he thought. After taking a deep breath, N addressed them with a smile. “Thank you for your warm welcome. It always cheers me to see how devoted all of you are to our cause. We have been through rough times ever since we stepped out of the shadows and into the public eye last fall. But we have stayed firm to our beliefs and have even grown in numbers; there are a great number of you who weren't even here for my coronation last summer, and I am grateful that you have decided to support our dreams of equality and freedom for all, both human and Pokemon. In the next month, the conflict could become more agitated as our enemies try harder to bring us down. But I believe in all of you. Together, we can stand against their ignorance and cruelty.
“I must apologize for being distant in recent days. I have had many things to reconsider and changes to make.” Ghetsis had told him several times that he shouldn't speak of doubt here, as that would weaken their faith in him. “But now that I have seen the world's falsehoods for myself, I am more determined than ever to bring justice to Pokemon and set the world straight. By the time summer comes around... no, within a month's time, we should have our plans come to fruition and the changing of the world will begin. It won't all happen immediately, and our path will continue to be a hard one, but in the end, we will have a better world where peace and fairness will rule over all and there will be no reason to hurt each other anymore.
“To start things off today, I have need for a group of volunteers who do not mind taking part in Pokemon battles. Some of our most powerful opponents are young Pokemon Trainers, and we need to discourage them from continuing to fight against us.” It did hurt to think about it... they could have been friends. But he needed to deal with Hilda and Hilbert, the sooner the better.
After a day of getting to relax and actually enjoy Driftveil, Hilda and her team moved on through Route 6 to reach Mistralton. They had spent a lot of time on the route before, training up and even battling some scientists who worked at the Weather Research lab there. They had not gone into the cave at the end of the route, but they would need to today to pass through to the next Gym.
It was raining hard and the stream that passed through was swollen with melt-off from Twist Mountain. But although that covered the ground in mud and slick puddles, it was still a pleasant walk. Even more so when Hilda came upon Bianca and Professor Juniper heading the same way. “Hey, it's great to see you two out of the lab!” she called.
“Oh hello Hilda,” Juniper said, grinning and waiting on her to catch up. “Well it has warmed up and after all those papers I had to write, I'm eager to get back out to field research. How's it going with you?”
“I saw that you had beat Clay the other day despite the crazy restrictions he put on you,” Bianca said, hugging her. “Congratulations!”
“Thanks! And really, it turned out to be not that big of a deal.” She started telling them of what had happened that day. Meanwhile, Kyurem walked along with them, watching the area carefully.
Further down the path, they came upon a muddy field of tall grass. “Be careful around here,” Juniper said. “Sometimes you'll see what looks like a Pokeball lying in fields like this, but it turns out to be a mischievous Pokemon called Foongus.”
“Yeah, I had to fight a few of them recently,” Hilda said.
“I hear there's a couple other Pokemon that also look like Pokeballs,” Bianca said. “Isn't that really curious? I mean, Pokeballs have only been around, what, the past hundred years or so. And those Pokemon only really showed up in the past hundred years.”
“That is something researchers have been looking into for a while now,” Juniper said, shifting her jacket against a cool gust of wind. “The Pokemon we're interested in finding today is like that too, actually. See, there's one known as a Klink living in Chargestone Cavern ahead, and it looks like a couple of gears hooked together. My father has found evidence, or rather, lack of evidence that it existed in the distant past. He's trying to figure out an exact date, which is tough because in the early days, a lot of Pokemon were mysterious and virtually unknown. I want to see one for myself, maybe catch one for close study.”
“So what, did they spontaneously appear when things like Pokeballs and gears came into existence?” Hilda asked.
The professor shrugged. “In the cast of the Voltorbs, the other Pokemon that looks like a Pokeball, almost. That one has a proven cause of existence, when a factory accident caused some Pokeballs to turn into Pokemon. How they can do that, we're not entirely sure.”
“What do you think about that, Rei?” Hilda said, nudging him.
“I wasn't paying attention,” he said. “There's something about the forest today that I don't like.”
“The rain?” Bianca asked. When he shook his head and went back to watching the trees, she said, “I hope it's nothing dangerous. But anyhow, I’m excited to see Chargestone Cavern! I did some reading on it, and there's a naturally high level of electricity inside. I mean really high. It's enough that some of the crystals inside will actually float magnetically! You can even push them towards each other and they'll be attracted or repelled based on the lay of their magnetism. Maybe it sounds silly, but it seems like fun.”
“It is pretty fun, until a cluster of them ends up blocking your way forward,” Juniper said with a chuckle. “There's a great many wonderful places in the world, and even just here in Unova.”
“That does sound wild,” Hilda said. She was trying to think of some joke to go with it (or the rain), but then someone grabbed and pulled her back. She caught a glimpse of black gloves and white hair when the the rainy forest blurred into nothing. Then, with a crackle of electricity, her vision reformed into that of a cave filled with a cool blue glow. Ahead of her, there was a large piece of blue crystal from where the light came from. Smaller blue and white crystals hung in the air, while the darker stones of the walls and floor were solidly there. Not sure what was going on, she grabbed the band she stored her Pokeballs on and picked out Kyurem's.
“We have blocked off the exits to the cave,” the person behind her said. “You have been called to enter alone.”
“Except that I'm not alone,” Hilda said, pressing the button on the Pokeball twice. Once to recall Kyurem, and once more to bring him into the cave. She had aimed the release so that he also appeared behind her. There was a growl and the snap of his jaws.
But the person had teleported with her a few feet ahead, out of Kyurem's range and facing him. Two more appeared close by; they wore identical outfits, entirely black so that it all blended together, from the slim shoes that left no imprints to the long scarves that covered the lower half of their faces. However, their hair was pure white, thick and short, with bangs just long enough to help obscure their eyes. But not entirely; the one that she could see best had red eyes with no pupils, almost resembling the multifaceted eye of a Bug Pokemon.
“Yes, but we don't want to hurt each other,” the one holding her said. It sounded like a woman. “Right?”
Kyurem growled, his eyes seeming to brighten in the dark cave.
“I don't think he's going to back down unless you let me go,” Hilda said.
“We've been instructed to bring you to meet with our lord,” another one of them said. Not the red-eyed one, but another woman.
“Go ahead,” the one behind her said, letting her go. “But don't try to leave; we'll prevent that.” Then the three of them vanished.
Hilda walked over to Kyurem, who was looking around warily. “Man, that came out of nowhere.”
There was a flash as Kyurem reverted to his human form. “Are you okay?” he asked, walking up to meet her and putting his hand on her shoulder.
She nodded. “Yeah, I'm okay. Professor Juniper and Bianca are probably worried, though.” She turned on her Xtransceiver, but the screen looked a little warped. Although it was hard to read, there was a warning. 'Electrical interference too high for visual transmissions. Please reserve audio transmissions for emergencies to limit damage to equipment.' But this was enough of an emergency, so she requested a call to both of them.
It was picked up immediately, although the screen was filled with static. Juniper spoke up first. “Hilda, is that you? The screen's black.”
“Yeah, it's me,” she said. “Sorry about the black screen, but I got brought into Chargestone Cavern and can't do visuals. Kyurem and I are fine, but we've got some people in here that want to talk with us.”
“If you have Kyurem, you should be okay,” Bianca said. “He flipped out when you vanished, but then was gone just as suddenly.”
“Do you want us to bring some help?” Juniper asked. “And who has you?”
“I don't know who, but it was some weird ninjas,” she said. “They said they have the exits blocked off, so I don't know how well anyone else can get in here. Don't worry; we'll go see what they want and try to get out of here quickly.”
“All right,” Juniper said, sounding reluctant to leave it at that. “Be careful. I'll make some calls to get some help.” Then they cut off the call.
Once she was off, Kyurem pointed away from the large crystal. “They've got the entrance clogged up with Galvantula webbing. It's electrified, but Olette could remove it without harm. But with how quickly those people can act, we'd best go ahead and meet with them.”
She nodded. “All right, then let's go show them and their boss that we aren't to be messed with.”
The path was straightforward, as it went around the large crystal and led to an opening in the cave. The three ninjas were waiting on them there, as was their leader. Inexplicably, it turned out to be N. He smiled on seeing her, but something wasn't right. Maybe it was the blue lightning turning things a little creepier than they were.
“There you are,” N said. “Welcome to Chargestone Cavern. This is a wonderful place, isn't it? A great number of Electric Pokemon settled here in years past, causing the natural static electricity here to build, and attract even more Pokemon who love electricity. And it's beautiful in more than just looks too. When you take measurements and calculate the flow of everything you can see those formulas come to life here, causing the force of gravity to be defied and the light to be so clear. It's really breathtaking.”
“Your rate of talking is breathtaking too,” Hilda teased. But the fact that he was talking fast again meant that he had to be nervous. And then there were his eyes, which looked dull and tired, not with the wonder he was talking about. He still looked thin too. All those mixed signals didn't make his smile convincing. “This is a pretty cool place, but seriously, I haven't seen you in a while, not counting when you were delirious. Are you doing all right? I'm just getting back into my normal traveling routine.”
“I'm fine,” he said dismissively. “Aren't you concerned about what you're here for?”
Although that was a worry, she put a hand on her hip and replied casually, “Maybe, but I’m more grateful to see one of my friends up and around again. So who are these three? They're quite rude and if they weren't so fast, Kyurem would've eaten one of them by now.”
“These are the Shadow Triad,” N answered. “They work for me.”
“They snatched her away from me,” Kyurem said in anger.
N bowed his head. “Sorry about that, but we weren't expecting others to be coming here with you. We don't need to be interrupted. I have instructed them not to hurt either of you, so you don't need to worry. They've been gathering information on you and your friends.”
“And that's not a reason to be worried?” Hilda asked, raising her eyebrows.
N came closer. “Your friend Cheren left home in search of power and recognition, and he has become strong at the expense of his Pokemon. It's a shame that he didn't realize how harsh he was being to them.”
“Well he's realized that now,” Hilda said. “I heard it from him, that his Liepard collapsed one day and he had to acknowledge that it was his doing. His parents have pressured him just as hard to succeed. He has relaxed his attitude in the past month, so you don't have to worry about him.”
“I hope that is so. Now your friend Bianca,” he frowned. “She has found that not everyone can be strong and has all but given up.”
For a moment, Hilda's anger bristled, wanting to smack him for talking about her that way. But she caught hold of that before it came into the open. Antagonizing N was the last thing they wanted to do. “I wouldn't say she's given up. Rather, she's decided to turn her focus on other things. That doesn't mean that she's not strong.”
“But she is not strong with the way the world is now,” N pointed out. “As for you... you didn't go in search of power. Power found you. You haven't tried to be strong, but became strong anyhow. You had no serious goal in mind when you left home last fall, you move fluidly from one idea to the next, you can work for your friends one day and yourself the next, you don't value things so much as use them when convenient to you... in this, you seem to have hit some strange middle road.”
“And what's wrong with that?” Hilda asked.
N sighed. “How is the world even clear to you? You need to have some certainty so that you know where you're going, but you cultivate uncertainty and spontaneity.”
“It might be that her values are on a scale completely different from yours,” Kyurem said.
He shook his head. “That's impossible. There is right and wrong. There is no gray, just black and white. There can't be a different set of values that is also right.”
She shrugged. “Well if you brought me in here for a debate, I hate to disappoint you but I've never studied philosophy and don't really intend to.”
“That's a shame.” N stepped back and pointed further down the path. “But enough with words. I want to see you prove yourself in this cave. Whatever your values are, and however you think of Pokemon... you had better keep them close because you will need them. If you fail, you will forsake your Pokemon and everyone will know about it. I'll see you at the end.” He nodded to Shadow Triad member nearest to him. That one took his hand then disappeared with him, and the other two.
“How does he want me to prove myself?” Hilda asked, dropping her hands to her sides. “Is there something special in this cave?”
Kyurem shrugged. “There's a lot of electricity here and if I’m right, the path through it is long and winding. We'll just have to see.”
Hilda smiled. “You and the others are with me. I'm not worried. Let's go.”
After climbing a few ledges, moving some crystals out of the way, and going down a long path, they found someone else. But not a Team Plasma member. Hilbert was there with his Lampent, looking cautiously across a long stone bridge. “Did you get captured by Plasma too?” he asked on spotting them.
“Looks like it,” she said, hurrying over. “How are you doing?”
“Not so well,” he said, looking down and shifting his hat. “I was avoiding this place on purpose, you know. My Pokemon have been getting better, but the wild Pokemon around here hit so many of their weaknesses. And on the other side of this bridge, there's a whole bunch of Plasma knights looking to fight me... us, I guess. N said he'd take my Pokemon from me if I failed.”
“You too, huh?” Hilda frowned. “Man, I do not like seeing him get into being an antagonist.”
“Right,” Hilbert said, nodding.
“He has completely the wrong attitude about it,” she said, shaking her fist in the air in jest. “Way too gentle and nervous about it. If you're going to be a villain, then you have to focus on it and really be a villain.”
For a moment, he stared at her. Then he laughed. “Oh, I get it. Yeah, if this was a movie, I'd be calling him a lame villain too. Although this is a pretty cunning trap. With the other bridge out, this cave is long and there's all sorts of places for them to wait and ambush us. Who knows how many of them are in here.”
“Quit your whining,” Hilda said, walking over to the bridge. Then she turned to him. “Remember, the other day I had to fight ten Plasma members as five doubles in a row, with Cheren as my partner, and we fought Genesect. She might've been underleveled, but after that, Clay forced me to run through and beat ten more battles in a row in under an hour. And I did it. So yeah, maybe this place sucks for your team to get through. But if we stick together, we can handle it. Maybe we don't know how many of them are ahead, but that's fine. I stocked up on a lot of medicines yesterday as I was planning on spending a while in here training anyhow. We're going to be just fine.”
“Yes, m'am,” Hilbert said, in a teasing voice. “When you put it that way, it doesn't sound as bad. Shall we?”
“I'm just waiting on you to start walking,” Hilda said, turning around and heading across the bridge with Kyurem.
Thankfully, Team Plasma didn't attempt to separate the two of them while passing through their gauntlet of battles. Hilda got Hilbert to join her in battles whenever they ran into a pair of the knights, switching around his Pokemon to help them with battle experience. There were six of them across the bridge, leading up to a staircase down to a lower level. Down there, they ran into a full dozen of the knights. Still, it wasn't a big problem even if she had to find some Ethers in her bag to keep her Pokemon from exhausting themselves. Ethers were hard to find, but they were perfect for a long series of battles like this.
They ended up back upstairs after shifting some floating crystals around to clear the path to them. There were six Plasma knights right at the top of the stairs, but they turned out to be no more difficult than the rest. But after that, the way was empty and quiet. “Are we near the exit to the cave?” Hilda asked Hilbert.
He nodded. “It's a short ways around that corner. But I would think they'd put their strongest fighter there, after we've gone through all the rest.”
“Yeah, makes sense,” she said.
They went around the corner and N was waiting for them. “So you made it by working together,” he said. “I hadn't expected that.”
“What, you thought we'd ignore each other?” Hilda asked.
“We're friends, so of course we would work together,” Hilbert added. “What do you want to prove with this?”
“I want to see how devoted you are to your cause, and if you truly do care about your Pokemon.” N then pulled out two Pokemon. “And since you insist on working together, then I will battle you both.”
“Are you sure about that?” Hilbert asked.
N nodded and released a Klang and an Archeops. Well if he was serious... Hilda took Kyurem's Pokeball, signaling him to take battle alongside Hilbert's Lampent Madeline. She had seen him earlier in all these fights, so she didn't react badly when the dragon appeared. Recalling that the Archeops would get less aggressive as it got hit, she ordered Kyurem to use Ice Beam against it while Hilbert had Madeline hit the Klang with Flame Burst.
That did not end well. Madeline managed to hit the Klang with a burst of flames, scattering indirect fire all around it. This made the Archeops turn hazy, revealing it to actually be a tall black canine instead. The Zoroark Zane then struck Kyurem with a powerful hit of Night Slash right before he got hit with Ice Beam. Both were left standing. That is, until the Klang struck Kyurem with a blinding attack of Hyper Beam. Kyurem roared, but then fell unconscious from the combination of blows.
Hilda hadn't seen Kyurem get defeated so quickly, at least not since her first fight against Hilbert; he had even stood up to Genesect's attack when he hadn't been directly in that battle. Would they try something against her now that her guardian was gone? Still, she had to keep focused against a strong opponent. She brought out Tarzan and called for him to attack the Zoroark with Brick Break. “You do the same thing,” she said to Hilbert.
He nodded and had Madeline attack the Klang again, while it was recovering from the Hyper Beam attack. But N healed up Tock the Klang and had Zane use Embargo on them. Not being able to use items for several rounds was going to be a problem. Tarzan managed to make a strong hit, but the Zoroark sneered, barely hanging on to consciousness. He had the same kind of attitude Olette did when she was nearly knocked out when fighting Elesa.
N had Tock do a weaker Mirror Shot at Tarzan while Zane attacked Madeline with Night Slash. She managed to strike with Flame Burst again, but then got knocked out. While that was going on, Tarzan finished off Zane, although he was squinting as he hopped back into position. N then brought out his actual Archeops, calling on it and Tock to attack Tarzan, while Hilbert brought out his Rufflet Regal.
Unfortunately, N had asked Tock to use Thunderbolt, and the Archeops' Acrobatics knocked out Tarzan first. Thunderbolt startled Regal, but he managed to stay alert long enough to use Air Slash on Tock. It couldn't have hit for much, but the Klang was weak from the Flame Bursts and was knocked out. N was down two, but they were down three.
Thinking it was less risky, Hilda brought out Olette and had her use Rock Slide. However, N then brought out a Carracosta and had it use Aqua Jet on the Exadrill while the Archeops struck Regal with Acrobatics. Hilbert tried a last minute attempt to help with Tailwind, but Regal was down before he could do so.
The rest of the battle was just as intense. It had been very close. N had six Pokemon with him, akk who seemed to fight with everything they had in order to protect their Trainer. He had been facing against ten Pokemon, including one legendary dragon. And he ended up winning, but with only one Pokemon, his Sigilyph Rune, still conscious at the end of it.
Once it was over, the Shadow Triad appeared again. “Wait,” N said, holding his hand up to them. He closed his eyes, moving his lips in thought but not audibly.
“Kususo cri?” Rune asked, doing his best to stay aloft.
“He was way better than last time I fought him,” Hilda said quietly to Hilbert. “But that battle didn't end normally.”
“He had better not,” Hilbert said, clenching his fist. But he was shaking. Afraid? Hilda had to admit that his threat of taking their Pokemon if they failed was nerve-wracking now.
“You make your Pokemon battle, but illogically they did not hold back when there was a chance that they would be separated from you,” N said. “All of them were like that, they love you enough... I don't want to, but it would not be fair to separate you when you've made it this far with their assistance. But don't take them for granted. Someday, you will have to let them go.” Then he walked off towards the exit of the cave.
“Are you going to make up your mind as to whether you want to stay with Pokemon or not?” Hilbert called after him, sounding a little angry. “You can't claim the separation is for fairness if you don't live with that restriction as well.”
N didn't reply. When Hilbert started off after him, Hilda grabbed his arm. “Hey, he backed down on taking our Pokemon away now. So there is some give; he might end up not doing it in the end. But let's get to the Mistralton Pokecenter instead of going after him.” She didn't want to say it, but having her whole team unconscious was making her anxious about staying around in this cave. And if this was the end of the cave, then she didn't want to use Revives and have them waking up in pain.
“Right; it's not too far now,” he said. And with that, the two of them hurried to get out of Chargestone Cavern. They didn't even run into N, but he had probably left with the Shadow Triad's help.
It was disappointing to have lost. But, N had the Archeops and Carracosta. The same ones that her father had been training? If that was so, then maybe this was the team N meant to stick with for his challenge against the Elite 4 and Alder, save for swapping one out for Zekrom. Knowing that, she started to consider how she might get an edge for that battle.
Umber must be reaveled to the public and his connections with ghetsis and the orders on N.
EDIT: RANK UP!
TAKE THAT UMBER!!!!
Now go get eaten by kyurem!
They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
Fanfics I like that are still in production: The human species, Pokemon mystery dungeon overthrown, pokemon mystery dungeon journal,pokefusers: saviors of the earth, Pokemon proffesor X, The adveture of advetureness (series). Will trade good fanfic info.
I NEED A BETA READER!
Check out my fic.
I claim deino!
I'm confused. Which N was that? It didn't seem like normal time N at all (Especially after spending so much time around both Hilda and Hilbert) , but Kyurem can distinguish between the two Ns... Right?
"The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them,"- Unknown
Caught me at a good time when I have a moment to respond... That was normal N. That may be what I need to work on a bit more, but he's hit a state where he says he believes one thing, but his heart is believing another. And he can't even admit to that discrepancy himself because, in his opinion, that would be admitting to failure (and as we've seen, he equates failure in this endeavor as his being worthless, or 'nothing'). So he's on fragile ice to becoming what the dark future N is like. I think that comes up in the next chapter, but I've written so much since then that I'm not sure.
It should be, though. I'll add it in to chapter 51 or 50 if it isn't. It's meant to be a character in a transitory state, not out-of-character.
Spoiler:- just something...:
Another interesting chapter, it's pretty scary that N managed to beat both Hilda and Hilbert, including Kyurem.
Please, try not to take offense to this, but I still think the way you describe battles could be vastly improved. How? I'm not exactly sure, but in their present state, they seem a bit too monotone, even a bit stale. Don't get me wrong, they get the point across, which is the most important part. All in all, I consider battle scenes to be the only weak point of this fic, which is pretty good considering that major battle scenes are few and far between.
As a final note, I've been rereading The Ballad of Deoxys and Mewtwo and am remembering how much I loved it. For any readers of this fic who have yet to read Deoxys and Mewtwo, I highly recommend it.
Dimensions of Darkness l harmoNy l Envoy - Coming Soon!
Sgt. Froakie - Coming Soon! l humaniZed - Coming Soon! l The Piplup and Chimchar Variety Hour
Latest Chapter: Chapter 24 (In the Shadows)
Credit to PKMNRookie for the awesome Avatar Sig!
Pokemon Soulsilver Nuzlocke Challenge
Irwin, Bonnie, Komali, Samba, Cinders, Shawn
Badges: 7 l Deaths: 2
Overall rating, 9.0/10
Also, subscription post. Everything else in the fic is so good (especially fleshing out the characters, Fedora is by far the best) that I can't wait for the weekly update.
Yep we should ban baton pass, and weather too. Oh and Trick Room, I'm tired of having to worry about Trick Room all the time. Just ban the move Trick Room, and prankster, it's broken. Ban all status moves on prankster users, they're too cheap. Oh and ban Probopass to it's so cheap. Just ban everything except Magikarp with splash.Well, actually Blaziken isn't really Uber because some people whined about how they were getting owned by it. I mean, it doesn't stand a chance in the Uber enviroment.
Chapter 51: Balance of Power
Hilbert was escorted through the prison halls, the Light Stone following close as usual. They were bleak and stern, more for security than anything. On coming in, he had been searched and his Pokemon scanned and registered. One of the prison guards was to stay with him the entire time as well. It was a lot of hassle, he thought as he waited on the red steel doors to slide aside. But it could be worth it. The man he was going to speak to was due to be executed in a couple of days.
In the visitor's room, he was brought to a table with a simple chair. Sturdy dividers made separate meeting areas, but it seemed he was the only one in today. A pane of security glass was set in the middle of the table, with concrete below it. On the other side, he saw the one who had captured Meloetta years ago, Takumi.
Unnervingly, he looked an older version of the Shadow Triad he had encountered just yesterday. He had pure white hair hanging short, but some of his bangs still fell close to his eyes. He had human eyes, though, a pale pink with noticeable red veins. That along with his pale skin made him seem ghostly, although the effect was lessened by the bright orange jumpsuit he was wearing.
“Takumi, this is the White King Hilbert,” the guard said. “He’s requested this meeting with you.”
Takumi blew one of his hair strands away and gave him a look that clearly said he didn’t care. “The White King, huh? Wouldn’t have thought you’d picked up on my trail.”
“Meloetta told me that you captured her around twenty-five years ago, and then sold her to Dr. Umber for experimentation,” he stated. Hopefully he would get this man to cooperate by being open like this. “She also said that you had some communication with Ghetsis, who now holds a lot of power in Team Plasna. I’d like to know anything you know about Ghetsis and Team Plasma.”
He rested his arms on the table, looking at him skeptically. “That’s it, huh? What makes you think I could know anything useful to you? Or even tell you if I did? I’ve got nothing to be afraid of, even if you got some title for nothing.”
“Something that seems insignificant at first glance might turn out important later on,” Hilbert said. “We don’t know a lot about Ghetsis or Umber, and you seem to know them both. Besides, what good is anything you’ve done if no one knows about it?”
Takumi snorted, then gave an amused smile. “There is that.” He looked at the Light Stone, which was quietly smoldering there. “If that’s what you’re after, then I might know a few things. Maybe even useful things. So then… yeah, I got Meloetta for Umber and some other guy. It was his student or something, Colridge or something. I don’t remember that guy, hardly saw him. She wasn’t the first Pokemon I went hunting for on their behalf, but she was the first legendary that I tried to go after. It took a while, but she’s not really a fighter, wasn’t that hard once I figured out how to find her. But the strangest thing he asked me to do was to train some gijinkas he had.”
“The Shadow Triad?” Hilbert made a guess.
Takumi nodded. “Bunch of creepy kids, if you ask me. He didn’t even tell me what they were at first, just that he wanted to be capable. I haven’t done much training for other ninjas, being disgraced like I was. But that’s a long story about idiots. Those kids didn’t have names, and they wouldn’t answer to any name I tried to give them. I learned to call them Shadow, and they’d answer. All three of them, yet they somehow knew which one I meant. They were talented, basically only needing someone to show them the proper way to do things. On the flip side, they rarely spoke, had no heart or emotions at all, and were so dang serious all the time. I don’t give a damn about anything, and they were beyond even that.”
“They’re still pretty creepy,” he said, recalling how monotonous their speech was.
He shrugged. “Met them? They were worse as kids, I guarantee you that. I eventually went to ask Umber what the hell was wrong with these kids, and he told me that they were gijinkas. Not only that, but they didn’t even have proper parents. He had cloned them from my DNA, then modified them with Pokemon genes.” A dark look crossed his face. “Never said a thing about using me like that before that point, then all of a sudden I learn these three creeps I’ve been training are pretty much my kids. I blew up at him and threatened to kill him. To this day, I honestly don’t know how he slipped out of my grasp.
“But me and my shadows learned something important that day: Umber had no reason for keeping them around. He made them just because he could and once they were old enough, he was going to let the loose without any purpose. I thought, **** that, these kids are as dangerous as I am and they’re still learning. But I’m a loner; nobody works with me, nobody gets near me, I just use my skills for the money. But the only one I could think of that would have any use for three unnatural ninjas was Ghetsis, so I brought them over to him and said, here, take these spooks and make good use of them. And he was happy to get them; apparently he’d been taking in other kids for one reason or another. Probably this Team Plasma ****. He even had a couple of teenage girls who seemed to be slaves for him. Hardly heard a peep out of those two girls, but they were utterly polite and obedient to him that it was disgusting. I never cared to learn more about them.”
“And you thought Ghetsis would be a good caretaker for your kids?” Hilbert asked, not understanding why anyone would think that.
From his shrug, Takumi clearly didn’t care. “Because he would make good use of their skills, I told you that. Anybody else would have thought them damaged or whatever and tried to use therapy on them. It would’ve backfired spectacularly, but I know it’s better to have a good purpose than to get what you people think is help. Ghetsis only cared about how useful someone was to him. He even had me kill one of his girlfriends when she tried to take their sons away.”
“You killed her?” Hilbert snapped. If this man wasn’t going to be killed by the government in a matter of days, then he might have taken the matter into his own hands.
Takumi smiled at that; maybe he thought that reaction was worth speaking freely about. “So you are one of those boys. Don’t let it get to you. I didn’t know that woman beyond seeing that she was a sappy weakling. Ghetsis called me to come with him when he went after her, saying that he wasn’t a violent man but she had to be gotten rid of. Although it's more like he didn't want to get his own hands dirty with murder and theft. But he did make her apologize and say that she loved him before he had me kill her. Then we dumped the both of you in separate parts of the woods, although he had me keep an eye on one of you, maybe even you, to make sure that a particular person picked you up. I thought it was too complicated, but as it turned out, he was very calculating, as he is in many other things.”
This prisoner was now one of his few hated people, but Hilbert did his best to keep that down. He clearly liked getting a rise out of people. And the truth had been asked for. “Then what connections do you have with Team Plasma?”
He watched Hilbert for a moment, possibly wondering how to get him to lash out again. “I did a few jobs for them. Or more particularly, Ghetsis. He told me to steer clear of the public leader, so I don’t know much about N other than he sounds like a real dimwit with a soft heart and inhuman thoughts. That’s how Ghetsis talks about him, but the guy must be useful or he would have been rid of him by now. Actually, I’m in here because my last job was for him.”
“What was that?” Hilbert asked.
“He had the Shadow Triad busy in Unova, so he asked me to go over to Sinnoh and get a hold of three artifacts for him: the Lustrous Orb, the Adamant Orb, and the Griseous Orb. They have something to do with legendary Pokemon and each was being held by a different Trainer. But they were all kids, younger than you. I got two away fairly easily, but when I went after the Adamant Orb, a stroke of bad luck got me. To get away with it, I had to attack the kid and a couple of his Pokemon. I got the three orbs back to Ghetsis, but then an old client squealed on me and the police here caught me. I got tried for the attack on the kid and the Pokemon, as well as a large number of other attacks and deaths I’ve carried out for others. I never killed anyone unless someone was paying me for it, but that don’t matter to most people.”
“That doesn’t excuse murder,” Hilbert said.
Takumi shrugged. “That’s what everyone says until they want someone dead. Then they talk to me. But that was pretty much it. I knew Umber and Ghetsis because I did business with them, nothing more. And they were both reliable clients, always paying me well for the work. I can’t see how those two can work together for long, though. They both hate being out of control in any situation. Sooner or later, one of them is going to destroy the other as a rival threat.”
Hilbert asked a few more questions, but Takumi insisted that he didn’t know much else useful. The prison guard wanted to have a statement from Hilbert about a few things they talked about, mostly the revelation about the death of Stacy Gropius and the connection Takumi had to Ghetsis. Then he left.
And wanted to punch something. “Was that the truth or was he messing with me?” He didn’t really expect an answer, since Reshiram didn’t talk to him a lot like this.
But there was a response. ‘That was him being honest.’
“At least he’ll be dead in a few days,” Hilbert said, rubbing his forehead. “But that still leaves Ghetsis and Umber still out there, somewhere.” Then he turned to the stone. “Are you coming closer to waking up? I haven't heard you talk since the crowning.”
The fire swirled around the horizontal center of the sphere. 'You didn't like what you were told in what he said about your mother's death. While you didn't accept it at face value, you accepted that it could be true. And on being told that it was true, you aren't trying to deny it. With this, our bond grows and I can communicate even in this state.'
He nodded. “I see. I can't bring Ghetsis to justice if I ignore the truth. But what does it mean for N? He fought against us, but then let us keep our Pokemon when he won.”
'I wouldn't betray a person's secrets unless it is more dangerous to remain hidden,' Reshiram said. 'Truth can be used to destroy others, yet I feel that's not what you want. Since you are concerned for him, we should wait. You could attempt to call on me now, but that would further divide you both.'
Hilbert could imagine that happening. What connection they had now was as brothers, friends, and even non-serious rivals. But if he were to call on Reshiram now, N might interpret that as a threat and a challenge. That would turn into a serious rivalry, with them both in command of dragons that could each destroy a good part of Unova. Not to mention, the Shadow Triad seemed to have no qualms in doing as N ordered.
“Are you still drinking? It’s a wonder that hasn’t killed you yet.”
Umber stopped walking and turned to glower at the one speaking to him. But the blond man just smiled smugly at him. He wasn’t dressed like any of the Team Plasma members. “Colress?” he said, having taken a few seconds to recognize him. “What are you doing here? I haven’t seen you in years.”
“Ghetsis asked to see me, that’s all,” he said, glancing around the room. “The operations here are quite interesting, so I asked to stay for a bit and poke around. When he told me how you were working down here, well I couldn’t resist coming to see how you were doing. Poorly, it seems.”
“What the heck are you taking about, poorly,” Umber growled, taking a seat at one of the computers and taking another drink before starting up some programs. “I’ll have you know that I succeeded in the legendary experiment. Brought Keldeo down several pegs and created my own legendary Pokemon. Plus some gijinkas that are more powerful than anything you could have put together.”
“Well sorry if I wasn’t as interested in modifying genetics,” Colress said in that irritatingly dismissive tone he had when apologizing. “I’ve been looking more into other mysteries about Pokemon. So you’ve got immortality down, huh? Can you change a mortal person into an immortal yet?”
“No,” Umber said, scowling at the screen as he entered in his password. “But I’m working on it. It’s a hard thing to test without a large supply of subjects and the ability to definitely remove immortality once it appears. And what are you doing?”
“Just watching,” he said with a smile. He tapped the blue glasses he was wearing.
“That makes you look even more like a smug dandy,” he retorted.
“And you’re still a thrall of alcohol, more inclined to masochism than science.” there was a few moments when neither of them said anything, with Umber checking on experiment monitoring programs and Colress did something with his handheld tablet. “I have been doing some research on this visit. Nothing big, just a bit of social science. Did you know, I could sort most everyone in Team Plasma into two groups, based on their objectives and dreams?”
He snorted. “Social science is a waste of time. But I can tell you’re not going to leave me alone, so let’s hear it.”
“Very accommodating of you,” he said, oozing with false sweetness. “You see, there are a number of people in here who are like Furrets It includes most of the lowest ranking knights, but goes far up the hierarchy, even to some of the Sages like Ryuko. They like being a part of the group; they’re meek and very faithful. Especially when it comes to N; one would almost think a religion is blooming around your young King. They think it’s all good and will be greatly disturbed if Ghetsis reveals his true self. But they’re here for N. They will be loyal as long as he is there.”
“Bunch of loonies, them,” Umber said, not really wanting to agree with him.
Colress nodded. “Possibly. But the other group, they’re like Raticates. They like the darker side of Plasma even if they don’t admit it. They’re here because it allows them to express what they would otherwise suppress: being able to steal Pokemon from others for a reason they see as good, going against the established authority, causing trouble in the name of ideals. They’re not entirely loyal, though. If the group starts to fall apart or show signs of defeat, they’ll be the first ones to bail. But they’re not without use. They’ll be willing to go farther in the name of Plasma, do more violent and nefarious deeds if asked. You just need the right price or motivation to get them to do it, while the Furrets would balk at the thought of turning more violent.”
“You’re not a part of this, so how would this be useful to you?” Umber asked.
“I really have no idea,” he admitted. “But it is something to think about. As is giving up your dependence on that junk.” He flipped his hand into the bottle, almost tipping it onto the keyboard. “I’ve seen your recent reports. You are straying further and further from true science with the passing of time.”
“Leave me alone, you ingrate,” Umber said, pounding his fist on the table. “I taught you and you used that to steal a big grant from under my nose. I don’t care about the rest of these people, whether they’re loyal or not. I do know that your loyalty holds as much weight as a wet paper towel, so get out of my sight.”
“If that’s what you want, professor,” Colress said in exaggerated politeness. He walked away, only to come back a couple of minutes later. “Oh, Umber, there is one thing I forgot to say.”
“What?” he said, glaring.
He just smiled brightly at him and tapped his glasses again. “I have a camera attached to this, and I have now changed the password to your personal network.”
“What?!” He looked back at the screen, only to see that he had been kicked off. Umber grabbed the bottle; it was glass and he couldn’t wait to smash it against that smug pretty face.
But a black gloved hand grasped his shoulder firmly and shoved him back in his chair.
“That’s actually what Ghetsis asked me to come do, find out your password,” Colress said. “Don’t know why he couldn’t do it himself, but maybe you were more guarded around him. I’ve just checked and made sure that I could access everything. You really haven’t changed all that much, have you? Now that Ghetsis has everything he wants from you, I believe he intends to let you go from the team.” He smiled wider. “If you know what I’m saying.”
N was back at Skyla's Gym. He didn't really want to return here, but an opportunity had come up. Later today, he had a scheduled battle against Brycen. Now, Hilda was battling Skyla and the Shadow Triad had brought him to the Gym to watch. They were in an alcove far above the Gym floor, where they could observe what was going on without being seen. Not that being seen was a big problem. Anyone around the Gym was too eager to see Hilda fight to pay attention to who else was watching.
Hilda was doing much better in this battle than N had done against Skyla. Given the difficult fight she had given him in Chargestone Cavern, it was no surprise. It was only because his friends were determined to help him succeed that he won. Although, it was because her friends were equally determined that the battle had been so hard in the first place. But here, Skyla was using a six Pokemon team, and Hilda was still doing well. She wasn't even relying on Kyurem. Instead, she brought out Mimi every time Skyla brought out a new Pokemon. The Cinccino would put the Pokemon to sleep, then Hilda would bring out one of her others to make a better attack. Or leave Mimi out, which she did against the Swanna.
On the last (and sixth) Pokemon, she did bring out Kyurem and had him use a move called Glaciate. It was a terrifying move to watch, making N shudder as Skyla's Sigilyph fell to it. For this attack, Kyurem froze the very air around him into ice spears that seemed almost as long as N was tall, threw them at the target, then used the spears to freeze the target solid for a moment. He didn't even seem to be putting a lot of effort into it, doing a dragon equivalent of flicking a wrist to knock the Sigilyph out in one blow. He must have learned it recently, since the fight in Chargestone.
Watching this, N felt concerned about that battle. Not Hilda, but Hilbert. His Rufflet and Lampent were quite strong, almost equals to the others. But his Larvesta and Alomomola were glaringly behind the rest. What levels were they at? The Alomomola Loch had only managed a Protect, and then a Heal Beam in attempt to help Hilda's Serperior. The Larvesta Ember's strongest attack was apparently the reckless Take Down. Yet in what little he had seen of the four, they were devoted to Hilbert. They just weren't strong enough, leaving an unequal balance of power between the two brothers.
This bothered N greatly and he wasn't sure why. When they called on Zekrom and Reshiram, the twin dragons would be of equal levels. But the rest of their teams would be unequal and N doubted Hilbert's other Pokemon could catch up in time unless he had lots of Rare Candies around. Eventually they would battle for their beliefs, much like the heroes of history had done. As it was, Hilbert stood a strong chance of losing that most important battle.
But that was good. Wasn't it? Because that would mean that his ideals would win out and people would have to let their Pokemon go. The Pokemon could live free from harm and fear, and humans could start relying on themselves instead of others. That was what he wanted. But then why did he feel like he didn't want that to happen?
No, no... he shouldn't even be thinking like that. That was what his penance had been about, banishing that kind of internal treachery. Why was he still paying attention to it? It had to go, along with the rest of his feelings, until he managed to succeed at his life-long quest. Then he could figure out all this confusing stuff. He could attempt to stall until Hilbert's Pokemon were ready to fight on equal terms. But they couldn't delay. It had been far too long already that the corruption had gone on.
One of the Shadow Triad snapped her fingers. “My Lord? If you mean to catch her, we need to go now.”
N looked down at where Skyla was congratulating Hilda with a clapping of their hands... or was that what some kid was calling a high five? “Right. Let's wait outside.”
It didn't take long after teleporting outside that Hilda came out of the hanger in a cheerful mood, followed by Kyurem. “Have you been considering what it is you value?” N asked, making sure to be noticed.
She spun around to face him... and grinned. “Oh, hi N! Being more sociable, huh? It's better to start out with a greeting, remember? You were pretty good about it at first.”
He found himself fighting to keep to a stoic smile, not a glad one. It wasn't appropriate to feel happy that she was still being friendly to him... no, keep that away. That kind of confusion was for sorting out later. “You're not answering the question. And why are you happy to see me, after I beat you before?”
As he might have expected, she jumped on that spontaneous question while ignoring the more important one. “Why shouldn't I be? You agreed to let us keep our Pokemon even though we lost. Thanks for that! I know that you're not a bad guy at heart. Really, you don't have the right attitude to be one.”
“It was a moment of weakness,” he said, tensing. “It won't happen again. Now if you're not going to cooperate, I’ll ask about the other thing I had in mind. I'd like to speak with Frank again, so would you let him out?”
She laughed. “Come to check up with your spy, huh? Don't worry, I haven't forgotten why I have him.” She brought out a potion to heal him up, then released the Gothitelle. “Hey Frank, N has something to talk with you about. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.”
“As if I'm ever,” Frank said, turning around and putting a finger to his cheek. “What's up? Have any more luck picking up girls?”
“That's not important,” N said firmly.
The Pokemon gave him a look of pity. “Oh, that's a shame.”
Right, he was like that. “What's it been like working with Hilda? And what do you think of her?”
“Is that all?” he asked, tilting his head. “I think it's been great. It's a whole lot of fun and she works out with us whenever she can. It's not like other Trainers who will just sit back and call orders. No, she'll get into some rough and tumble with us, and call on us to take a break if she thinks we're getting tired. And this has got to be the best team I've ever worked with. It's so much fun to talk trash with Fedora and Tarzan, and Olette is such a sweet lady that she helps everyone get along. Mimi's a ditz, but she always means well and can be entertaining. And it's terrific being about to tease Kyurem freely. Oh, and don't worry so much about Hilbert being a rival for Hilda's affections. She's trying to ignore romantic advances from both of you equally, so you have just as much chance as he does still. But I’d keep an eye on dragon boy over there, because he won't admit to having a crush on her.”
“I don't think that's what he asked about,” Kyurem said, doing his best to be indifferent.
N tried to ignore anything about romance, especially that odd part about Kyurem. “Right, it wasn't important. So you're all good friends and she is very involved with you all.”
Frank nodded. “Exactly. If I had the choice to go with any Trainer I've had, I’d stick with Hilda. No offense to you, but her values match up with mine pretty well. She might not be the most dedicated Trainer out there, but I never have a doubt that she cares about me and the others. And, she's more fun to be around than most humans I've met over my travels. I try to give her trouble on principle, but when it gets down to it, she has my respect and loyalty. Friendship too. Even if it comes down to the law making all of us Pokemon be released from Pokeballs, I don't care. I'll stay with her because I want to.”
“You certainly seem happy,” N said. A brief rebellious thought wondered why he couldn't be happy with pursuing his dreams, but he quickly shut it out. “But if all of you really want to keep that as your ideals, then you need to defend them stronger. We're down to waiting on Dragonspiral Tower to thaw out and that isn't too far away.”
“We're going to be prepared,” Hilda said with a smirk. “Oh, and you probably shouldn't smile if you're not feeling happy. It comes off as really creepy the way you're smiling now when your eyes look half-dead with stress.”
“I'm fine,” he said, although the phrase had nearly lost its meaning to him. He'd been saying it so much to stave off the worry of others. “Consider your own inconsistencies before you point out mine.” Then he walked off to the south.
Once he was past the nearest airplane, the Shadow Triad reappeared to take him back to Icirrus. Dragonspiral Tower still glistened with ice as the sun hit it. But the large spikes had crumbled and the lake was close to breaking free of its icy prison. It wouldn't be long before they could enter safely.
And then maybe he'd find a real reason to smile.
Last edited by Ysavvryl; 3rd December 2012 at 1:04 AM.
You did a pretty good job making him neutral, like he is in the games.
We're nothing more than concreteness victims trapped into our limits
Blind beliefs that lead us: "Trust in what we can perceive with senses".
Thousands minds that reflect our tendency to flatten layers of knowledge,
demonstrating that we're just wasting our time.
Look above us, sky is just a fragment and shows us how we're nothing more than ants.
Human weakness is what we hide, overwhelming celebration of our fault .
Entwined with our fears of being in your hands, we're deaf to the universe that guides us.
How can we enhance our thin perception of every small wonder hiding behind simple shapes?
Realized a plot hole in the last chapter, eek! Not much, just need to delete a line. I should get back to the last few chapters and give them their proper dates too.
Chapter 52: The Final Badge
It took Hilda two days to get through Twist Mountain. The dirt paths were slick with mud, treacherous enough that most of the miners had not yet returned from their winter break. As for the few left behind, they were willing to take a break and battle her. There wasn't a lot they could do until they could start moving equipment around, so they were scouting out tunnels to see how the winter had changed things.
Once in Icirrus, it was back to the grind of training. Not just to defeat Brycen and get her eighth Badge, but to build her team up in any way she could to better match N's team. Hilbert was training in this area too, checking on the Tower every evening. Sometimes, he seemed to be in a really bad mood, angered over something. But he calmed down as time passed on.
On the evening of the twenty-seventh of April, she met him by the lake where Dragonspiral Tower stood. The lake ice had all broken up now, leaving a chilly rippling surface. But on the tower itself, some icicles and chunks of ice remained. As she watched, a piece on the second story shifted, then fell off and crashed onto the water. Underneath it all was a mysterious stone tower of black, white, and gray stones.
“It's almost cleared up,” Hilda said as she came up with Kyurem. “Find a way in yet, Hilbert?”
He glanced at her. “Oh, evening Hilda.” He looked back at the tower and shook his head. “Haven't figured that out yet. I've heard a few things from Reshiram lately, but he won't answer about this one.”
“That's not surprising,” Kyurem said. “The way will become clear.”
Hilbert waved his hand through the air. “What I wish would become clear is the air around here. You can't see it, but time distortions are numerous in this place. They're evading me for now, or giving me visions into other worlds that aren't really useful here. At least I don't see the use for them.”
“Time distortions?” Hilda asked. But as he said, she didn't see anything aside from the weakening ice and the mysterious tower. “Maybe it's because of Rei here. I mean, we figure that his presence combined with the present Kyurem made the winter harder than normal, and froze up this tower.”
Hilbert reached over to Kyurem, but stopped when he gave him a look. “I can see the time distortions around him easier here. I've seen such distortions in a few other places, but not as many as are here.”
“Maybe this place is just that important, that events filter in from other worlds,” Hilda suggested.
“It might also be that the important event that drove me here occurred at this place,” Kyurem said. “If that's so, then they will remain as long as I am here.”
Hilda teasingly nudged Hilbert. “Hey, maybe you are a demimortal to whatever legendary Pokemon is in charge of the multiverse and that's why you see into them.”
“I doubt that,” he said, smiling.
“Well since you're in a good mood,” she said, making it sound like a threat, “mind telling me what you've been so furious about? Not openly, just there's something bubbling under the surface waiting to lash out and we'd rather that not happen.”
“Right, right,” he said, turning more serious. Then he told her about what he'd learned from Takumi, the one who had actually killed his mother.
Hilda listened through it. “He sounds like a nutcase, fitting in with the rest of that group,” she said when he seemed finished.
“Really,” he said, nodding in agreement. “Him and Umber, and Ghetsis... they don't care about anything but themselves and power. Maybe seeing others suffer. Bad thing is, N's looking for corruption in the world and doesn't realize that it's in people like them.”
“Well that ninja guy is taken care of, so all we got to worry about is Umber and Ghetsis,” Hilda said, crossing her arms over her chest. “And I heard something interesting from Professor Juniper: someone has released some of the papers Umber wrote about his experiments.”
“Like his study into immortality?” Hilbert asked, concerned. “Because if that gets out, there's a lot that could go wrong.”
She shook her head. “Not that one, at least not what she said. Mostly into the gijinka project. It's still only in scientific circles, but sooner or later the news is going to break out to the general public, about people like you and N, and Elesa and all them. It's enough that the police have started a serious investigation into finding him. Although if they release something that links Umber to Team Plasma, N could get in serious trouble.”
“I'm sure he has no idea what Umber's doing,” he said. “Or else N would have kicked him out. But, that's all out of my hands now. It made me so mad to learn about it, listening to that sociopathic freak. I shouldn't let it get to me. It's just, as I keep learning things, and then stuff like Chargestone Cavern happens... well I don't know what I can really do about it. I tried talking to N, but he's clammed up tight now, thinking that if he focuses on awakening Zekrom and getting the separation made real, then he can deal with his problems later.”
“That's not going to turn out good,” Hilda said, worried. “His mind is changing, but he's not accepting that. I'm getting annoyed at it too, since he seems to be swapping between extremes so much. I know he has problems, but geez, it's like talking to a robot; you have no idea what affect your words are having.”
Hilbert kicked at a small rock. “I know. Sometimes Reshiram talks to me, so I think I can awaken him. The rest of my team... well, Regal and Madeline might be able to help, but Loch and Ember aren't even a year old, and quite a ways behind. I don't want to push them too hard when they're so young, because they might turn difficult to handle when they're older. Even if we don't consider that, my team is unbalanced. But they've all become important to me and I don't want to let them go like I did the rest. And with following the legends, I'm sure he's going to insist on battling me. Maybe I can convince him to just duel Reshiram and Zekrom... but I don't know.”
“Don't a lot of the stories that talk about them fighting end up in the destruction of Unova?” Hilda asked. “Or having to stop the battle so that doesn't happen.”
“All things being equal, a battle between them will always be a draw,” Kyurem said. “Neither has a strong advantage over the other. Collateral damage is a high possibility.”
From the sounds of it, Hilbert was still affected by that last battle with N too. That couldn't be allowed. Hilda put her hands on her hips. “But a duel like that with Hilbert and N won't end in a draw.”
“What makes you think that?” Hilbert asked, looking confused.
She smiled at him. “If you can talk him down to a dragon duel, you have a better chance of winning. After all, what are you fighting for? You want to prevent the separation of humans and Pokemon. He says he wants to separate them. But, he has doubts about that. He let us keep ours, for one. They're affected greatly by the beliefs of their partners, right? So because you have no doubts, Reshiram will be stronger.”
Hilbert rubbed his chin, starting to pace around in thought. “You think so? And according to the legends, they used to be one Pokemon until a conflict in beliefs had them split into two. Or three, if we include Kyurem. That might be... although I wouldn't say that I’m without doubts.”
“But on the main conflict, you are certain about that?” Kyurem asked.
“Yes, I am,” he said.
Possibly picking up on her plot, he told him, “Then don't worry about it. Keep trying to reach N and weaken his position, and keep working on forging a strong bond with Reshiram.”
Hilda slapped Hilbert on the shoulder. “Right! And you have back-up in us. If you can't talk sense into N, then we'll kick it into him.”
He laughed. “I see. Thanks.” Then he looked back to the path that led to Icirrus. Someone was coming their way.
It turned out to be Brycen; a white scarf wrapped around his head like a mask, leaving a wide opening for his eyes. “Good evening,” he said calmly. “Lucky that I've found you, Hilda; I was considering making calls to get your contact number.”
“Oh, does the League have news to pass along?” she asked, turning to him.
He shrugged. “Not much. Team Plasma has gotten more aggressive, but so have police efforts against them. No, I wanted to talk with you about the Gym battle. You want to keep up with N; he has only one badge left to get as well, and Plasma has been saying they intend to come here,” he pointed to the tower, “in early May. Not only that, but people all over the region are eager to see your last Gym battle. We need to discuss a time to bring in the Battle Show crew in, but still give you time to try again if needed.”
Hilda grinned. “Oh, that's very thoughtful of you. Although I don't think I’ll need more than one try.”
Giving her a smirk, Brycen said, “Don't get cocky; that's when you'll fail. But that does seem to be one of the qualities people like about you. April 29th, at 7 PM. That seems like an appropriate time. Since this is your eighth badge, you will need to defeat at least six of my Gym Trainers before that time to be eligible for the challenge.
She nodded. “Gotcha. Well that sounds good to me too. I'll meet you in battle then.”
“Looking forward to it,” he said, giving her a respectful salute. Then he walked ahead to follow the shore of the lake.
“That gives you two days to defeat the Gym Trainers, so that should be easy,” Hilbert said.
“Well I'd better do some more training in the moors just in case,” Hilda said. She gave a wink. “Because if my fans are going to be watching, I'd better be ready to impress.”
The inside of Icirrus Gym was like a huge cave walled with ice and snow. The ice floors were extremely slick, enough so that it took careful balance and attentiveness to cross the slippery platforms. And there were multiple platforms, connected by stairs and slides that seemed to be constructed out of snow. Bright light filled the whole place. If there wasn't a roof overhead, one might think one was outside on a clear day after a snowstorm.
Due to the airy design, there weren't many places for an in-gym audience to be. Still, there was quite a crowd tonight. Brycen had quietly added the battle to the schedule on his Gym's webpage, yet the news had spread like wildfire. He was a movie star who had retired to run the Gym, and she was now a star with the Pokemon League. This would certainly be one of the most watched live matches of the year, even if it was only April.
Hilda had opted to wear the orange and black uniform of an Ace Trainer. It was something that could be easily be mimicked, but after some pestering of people online, she was able to buy an official Ace jacket that she could pin her current Gym Badges on. Normally, there was a battle test in order to join the organization and buy their gear, but they agreed that earning three Gym badges in one month, and high level badges at that, was suitable as proof of her eligibility (although the guy she had talked to had warned her that they could spring the test on her 'unexpectedly' now). It was a widely-recognized achievement to be part of the Ace Trainers, enough to get respect anywhere. So, it seemed appropriate for her final Gym challenge.
Because it was a live filming of the Battle Show, they had to work with the show announcers. Brycen was quiet for much of the introductions, simply nodding when he was named. He stood in front of a grouping of icicles that disguised a path to the back area of the Gym. In the center of the platform, Hilda was excited as usual. “We've been gearing up for this battle all week, and we're ready to roll!” she said to the announcer, pumping her fist in the air. The small live audience cheered in approval.
“Excellent!” the announcer said. “So then, we will give the stage over to the coolest star of the Pokemon League, the one and only, Brycen!” He stepped back.
Brycen beckoned her forward, then walked up to greet her with a handshake. “The time has come for your last challenge before you can embark on Victory Road itself. You've already said that you're ready, but there is something we must take care of first.”
Hilda raised her eyebrows. This was unexpected. “Is there?”
Nodding, he stepped back. “You managed to draw attention to yourself in your very first Gym battle, when you made the audacious move to challenge all three of the Striaton leaders at once. There are many who have been following your progress through the Unova Pokemon League ever since. But, there is one battle that they missed out on. The Battle Subway records show that you defeated Iris outside of Nimbasa City, but that one was not taped.”
“We were out at night on a quiet route, so there wasn't anyone or anything to record with,” she said. But it made her wonder and guess at what he was plotting.
“True,” he agreed. “But you have been seeking out greater challenges and it is a shame that people had to miss out on that battle. I've decided that this battle will be fought as a Doubles match. You will have only yourself and your team, but my partner,” he gestured to the side, “will be the Opelucid Gym Leader Drayden.”
And then Drayden stepped out from behind the group of icicles there, dressed in his usual light clothes and showing no discomfort at being in the middle of a icy Gym. He spoke in a gruff tone. “You didn't think I was really going to let you get away without a fight, did you?”
Brycen and Drayden, recognized as two of the toughest Gym Leaders in Unova... Hilda grinned. “Now that's more like it!” she called, pointing to them. “You're going down, suckers!”
“I told you, don't get cocky,” Brycen said, tapping his nose. “Now, all participants declare your Pokemon. I have three.”
“Three here as well,” Drayden said.
“I have six,” Hilda said.
“With that, Hilda, you need to show your Pokemon at their best tonight. Begin!” Brycen released a Vanilluxe while Drayden sent out a Fraxure.
Ice and Dragon. Hilda quickly picked out two Pokeballs and sent out Tarzan and Frank. “Frank, cut off their supply, and Tarzan, knock that cone out of the sky.”
The Gothitelle nodded and used Embargo against the Gym Leaders' team. Hilda had learned from Skyla that high level Gym challenges allowed them to use high-level healing items, which was a huge pain when the Pokemon were tough. Tarzan had the Vanilluxe down before it could use Blizzard, but the Fraxure swiped at the Scrafty with his tail, somehow forcing him to return to his Pokeball and pulling a random Pokemon out. It was Olette.
Time to take a chance. “Earthquake, and Frank hit the dragon with Psychic,” she ordered.
Olette brought her claws up, but it would take her a moment to use her attack. Frank used his mental attack against the Fraxure, making the air around it warp with his power. In the meantime, Brycen brought out a Cryogonal. It turned out to have Levitate, which made Olette's Earthquake worthless against it, a shame when Frank got hit by it too. But her attack did knock out the Fraxure while it was trying to raise its attack with Dragon Dance.
“Frank, again against the Cryogonal; Olette, you're back,” Hilda called, pulling Olette out of the fight. If it was just Drayden, she'd be just fine, but Brycen made this no match for her to be in long. She brought back out Tarzan as Drayden brought in a Druddigon. The Scrafty immediately got hit with an Ice Beam from the Cryogonal, which managed to freeze him in place.
A mess of bad luck, although balanced out because Frank knocked out the Cryogonal. Hilda had him attack again, this time the Druddigon as the Embargo would still be in place. She then used an Ice Heal on Tarzan to get him back into the match. That didn't last long, though, as the Druddgion used the tail attack to return him once again.
But this time, the switch forced Kyurem out. Brycen was down to his last Pokemon, a Beartic. “Get that other Dragon down, Rei!” Hilda called. “Frank, make sure the Embargo stays.”
The Druddigon manged to strike Frank with Night Slash, knocking him out before he could use Embargo again. Then Kyurem knocked him out, only to get hit with Swagger from the Beartic. That could cause a lot of trouble. But, she already had to bring out a new Pokemon. She decided on Mimi as Drayden brought out a Haxorus.
“Kyurem, Mimi, Draco Meteor for both of you!” Hilda ordered. Now to hope that Kyurem stayed with his senses enough to attack the other side.
The Cinccino hopped up in excitement and struck the Beartic with her attack. While it didn't knock it out, there was a definite pause of confusion from Brycen on seeing that. Kyurem growled and struck the Haxorus with his meteor, knocking it out. The Beartic slashed at Kyurem, striking hard but not knocking him out.
But it was one opponent left and Mimi was quicker. “Okay Mimi, finish it off with Tail Slap. You can do it!” She held off on giving Kyurem an order.
Mimi cheered in excitement and ran over to strike with her tail. The Beartic was ready to slash, but she was nimble, avoiding his claws while hitting five times in a row. Once the Beartic disappeared in defeat, Hilda recalled Kyurem to make sure that he didn't try to throw Glaciate at the audience in confusion.
Not knowing that close call, the audience burst into applause and whistles. Mimi twirled around on the platform before running over to Hilda and raising her paws up for a hug. She was a little heavy now to pick up, but Hilda gave her the hug she wanted. “Nice finish,” she said.
Brycen raised a hand, quieting the audience. Then he came forward with Drayden to meet with her. “Excellent teamwork,” he said as she got back up. “You've met with every challenge we've asked of you with style and cheer, so let's give you the last badge you need to finish off that collection. Here is the Icicle Badge.” He then passed over a light blue and gold medal.
“Thanks, it was a real blast,” she said, taking it. “My Pokemon are the best!” She tweaked Mimi's ear as she said it.
“Cii chi!” Mimi squealed, happy to have helped.
“You've all done a great job,” Drayden said. “We'll be looking forward to seeing how you fare on Victory Road.”
After all the excitement after her win, in talking to the leaders, the audience members, and the interviewer from the battle show, Hilda brought her team out for an evening snack by the large windmill. “You've all done so well,” she told them. “I love you guys! I'm sure we can go anywhere we want and be perfectly fine.”
Most of them seemed happy to hear this, but Kyurem was serious as usual. He said, “Now that you have all eight badges, you know what we're going to be doing.”
“Getting ready to take the Championship?” Hilda asked, smiling.
“Going back to your home in Nuvema and staying there for the next week,” Kyurem replied. “That's the job I came here to do, make sure you are safe and that you don't die. This is exactly when we need to be most careful, so we're going home.”
“Auuu chu ci da?” Mimi asked, either sad to hear that or not wanting to stop what they were doing.
“It's what must be done,” Kyurem said.
Hilda sighed. “Well geez, I didn't expect to be a homebody so close to the end. But if that's your duty, I'd better not make it more difficult on you. We'll go back home.”
Back at home, Hilda helped her mother around the house for a few days, letting her Pokemon take a break as well. Kyurem wasn’t taking a break, continually keeping an eye out in case trouble decided to come find them. Bianca came over a few times to visit and it seemed like she had returned to her old life at times.
One day, Alder surprised them by showing up at their door. “I don’t mean to be a bother, but I wanted to check up on you.”
“That’s fine,” Hilda said, opening the door for him. “Come in and visit for a little while if you want. Mom and I were just going to watch N challenge Drayden and Iris.”
“I wouldn’t mind sticking around for that, thanks,” he said, coming in. “I went back on duty, but there haven’t been many who’ve showed up with a decent chance at winning. Nobody’s made it past the Elites in the past month.”
“Well now you’ve got two of us to worry about,” she said teasingly. “Mom, Alder’s going to visit for a little while.”
“Why, hello,” Leslie said, smiling and coming into the room. “Isn’t every day that the League Champion just drops in.”
He chuckled at that. “Got to keep an eye on the competition from younger folks, don’t I?”
The battle show wasn’t starting for a few minutes, so they talked while Kyurem stayed watchful. “How are things going with Team Plasma?” Hilda asked.
“They’re being as noisy as always,” Alder said. “But a number of them have been seen around Icirrus and Dragonspiral Tower. When I saw it this morning, I couldn’t find any ice on it. They’re likely to make their move there any time now. So what are you doing hiding out way over here? We were expecting to see you at the gates.”
“Apparently I’m supposed to die in the next few days,” Hilda said, letting them know by her tone that she wasn't worried much about it. “Obviously we don’t want that to happen, so I’m staying out of the fire for a little while. But we’ll be up there sometime in May, you can count on that.”
“Well that’s a good reason to hide,” he said. “Don’t get lazy in the meantime.”
“Nah, my Mom keeps me busy.”
When the show came on, they went straight to Opelucid Gym. As with the time they had filmed in Castelia, there were three matches planned for that time slot. N was the highest level challenger; his match was to come last. Iris was the one on the job today, defeating her first challenger and barely losing to the second. Then N came on.
Even over the broadcast, Hilda could tell that he was annoyed at being filmed like this. His body was tense and he spoke in a slow (for him) and stern manner. “Can we not make a big production out of this travesty?” he asked. “A battle is not something to be celebrated.”
“You want to honor the Pokemon that fight with you, right?” Iris asked. “But if you don't want a fuss, we’ll start the battle now. Let’s see how well you’ve trained your Pokemon!” She then started off, like Drayden, with a Fraxure.
“He really doesn’t like this, but his Pokemon still work hard to help him,” Alder said. “You’d think that they would be a strong argument against his crusade, since they are so close to him.”
“Especially this group,” Hilda said. “But they might be, in their own way.”
“So are your Pokemon ready for what’s to come?”
Hilda smiled. “Of course. They’ve got my back and I’ve got theirs.”
N’s heart was pounding. The time that he had been waiting for, preparing for, for his whole life… it was that time. He stood in front of the lake Dragonspiral Tower sat in, dressed in his formal black clothes and surrounded by his devoted Plasma followers. Beside him, the Dark Stone was floating. She had started speaking to him after he had won the Legend Badge from Iris. Nothing much, just telling him to do what he felt was right. Hearing Zekrom’s voice was reassuring.
Other than last-minute nerves, he didn’t let himself feel much. There were many thoughts that tried to distract him or sway him from his purpose, but he’d closed them off. On the other hand, he wasn’t excited, not like he had been prior to his coronation as the Black King. It was disappointing to not feel those positive emotions either. But if pushing them aside kept the negative ones from surfacing, then that was a sacrifice that he had to make.
“I’m going,” he said, before one of the Sages broke the moment of silence that had come over them on seeing the awe-inspiring (or what should be awe-inspiring) sight. “I’ll come back with Zekrom at my side. Make sure that our enemies don’t disrupt this ceremony.”
“As you wish,” Ghetsis said.
N nodded, then walked closer to the lake. At that point, he heard Zekrom again. “Don’t be afraid. Just keep walking straight ahead, into the tower.”
Straight ahead… through the lake? But if that’s what he had to do, that’s what had to be done. N didn’t slow his pace and he stepped off the land, and on top of the water. That was briefly surprising, but if Zekrom said not to fear, it was simply the way to go. N walked across the lake and up to the closed off tower. They had never found an entrance. Instead, he walked straight through the wall.
It gave no resistance, just an illusion like some of the things he had seen Zane do with his powers. Or maybe it was a part of the test. The old texts said that those unworthy of being heroes would not be able to make it inside. The unworthy must find the entrance to be as solid as stone, unpassable to their corrupt hearts.
Inside, there was a stone pathway over sparkling blue water. Further down seemed to be the foundations of this place, but in back there was a staircase following the curve of the wall leading upward. That was where he had to go. Thoughts and memories passed through his mind as he went on, possibly a part of the power of this place. He recalled the Pokemon that had lived with him in Sarasota Forest, hiding out from the cruelty of mankind. He remembered when he had met Ghetsis and the other Sages who worked for him. For the Pokemon that had been hurt by humans, and for the humans who agreed that it had to end, he was following in the footsteps of history.
But, he also remembered the time he met Hilda and Hilbert. He remembered that day in the desert when he had found his twin brother, and the time that Hilda had gotten him a root beer float. There were also other people he had met on his journey, nurses, doctors, children, citizens… people who were honestly good people but still insisted on keeping Pokemon as pets, companions, and battle partners. How would they handle the great changes to come?
But he had already decided. N did not let himself linger long on those memories and continued climbing the tower. This wasn’t the time to falter; he had sorted out his thoughts before he had even entered. At least, he hoped he had. Confusion seemed to strike him so suddenly these days.
He grew tired as he got closer, still not in top condition. But that didn’t matter. He pressed on until he reached the final floor. At that place, there were grand columns in a circle by the wall and an open archway opposite the stairs. There was no roof, just a large flat edge that could possibly be used as a perch by the legendary dragons. Overhead, there was a barely visible energy field that kept entrance from being gained from above. Maybe it even kept the rain and snow from getting inside, because there was no signs of weathering here. There was age, as a few of the columns were cracked and crumbling. But they didn’t support anything but the ledge up there, so he felt no danger being here.
Finally. N went to the center of the room, then took hold of the Dark Stone and put it in front of him. “It’s time. I thought I might feel joy at having the opportunity to prove my beliefs. But that is still elusive.” He paused. When she didn’t reply, he said, “Then let’s begin. Zekrom, the bearer of ideals and the guardian of the land of Unova, I am Natural Harmonia Gropius, and I have come here to bring the world into a better state where the ideal is made reality. I am seeking equality between humans and Pokemon. Since the inequality is so great, I want to see both sides separated to realize how much they need to respect the other. Please, come to me and help make my dreams a reality.”
A blue spark snapped off his left hand. N let the Dark Stone go. But, nothing happened.
For a moment, he watched her, waiting. “Did I… do something wrong?” He shook his head. “We got this far. It has to work. Let me try again.”
That did not work either.
...but if he can hear Zekrom, why can't he release him?
"The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them,"- Unknown
I bet that even though his heart isn't corrupt, it's still torn between what he's experienced and what he believes in. There's still a noticeable struggle, especially when he comes into contact with Hilda.
His heart is purely truth and ideals, but that's the issue: It's not fully idealistic. IMO, he hasn't let go of the 'truth' he saw in the world and experienced with Hilda and Hilbert, and that's preventing him from fully regarding his 'ideals' and thus accepting Zekrom.
Hi Ysavvryl, I've only just started reading this awesome story (up to Chapter 9 atm), and I've really loved the humorous twist with the coffee breaks and how it breaks the 4th wall. I was hoping that with your permission, I'd be okay to use something similar in my own stories? As a writer starting out, this story really lets me know where I need to improve so thanks for that
Many cheers to Sworn Metalhead for the awesome banners!
Please check out the start of my new Fan Fic - Perserverance: The Glory Road here http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...oad&p=15444273
@GildedScizor: Sure, you can use that idea. It's really not my own; I borrowed it from other stories I've seen. I haven't been doing that much lately, mostly because I've been short on time for the past few months.
Warning: large chapter alert! It was originally almost half this length, but I got hit with inspiration this week that ended up changing this and the following chapter. And I didn't want to give up the actual plot development, so it ended up long. See, in the sequels, you're given a gift Pokemon that belonged to N, but it's one that you never see him using.
Actually, I really love how the canon story goes at this point. So awesome.
Chapter 53: Visions of Another History
outside Dragonspiral Tower
The afternoon sun caused the lake around the tower to sparkle with its wind driven wavelets. Normally this would have been a quiet time, with local Pokemon going for a drink, for food, or anything else of their own business. Despite how much the humans revered this place, not many came to visit on an ordinary day. But this wasn't an ordinary day, and the local Pokemon were keeping away from the lake. There was still a crowd waiting on the southern side, waiting on their leader who had entered yesterday afternoon. No one had seen or heard from him since.
Although the humans were disrupting the local Pokemon, there was one Pokemon out in the open, flying over the surface of the water and waiting himself. With his brilliant coloration made to mark him as a significant resident of the desert, Rune stood out greatly in this wooded area. He had been taken out of N's team, as League regulations stated that teams could be at most made of six Pokemon. This didn't bother him much. After all, the Sigilyph had helped when he had first been released, and he would continue to do so now. He was waiting too, and thinking.
This day was something to consider. When he had been patrolling the ghost town of Shira, he hadn't really thought much, lost in the memories of the old kingdom. He had heard from other Pokemon that traveling with humans changed Pokemon, but all of them assumed it simply made them stronger. Rune knew he was stronger, but he was changed in other ways. For one, he was worrying about what had happened to his friends in the tower.
For another, he was concerned about the myriad of thoughts coming from the crowd of humans nearby. He used to not care about what others were thinking if it had nothing to do with him or his duty to serve Reshiram. It wouldn't be important to his immediate concerns. But now, most of them were worried about N too, but had faith to stay for his return. Rune felt glad that they cared about N too. However, it was those who had other thoughts that really concerned him. Some of the other thoughts were dangerous, wishing to cause harm to others. Not Rune himself, and sometimes not even towards N.
But there was one who was slowly getting angry that N hadn't come out yet. This one was a potential firestorm in the calm patient woods, looking to disrupt the very structure of Unova. Feeling that distressed Rune and that was why he kept away from the humans, and over the water. But worse than that, the firestorm soul was the one who held great sway over the whole group, most of all over N himself. Rune felt a sense of dread of Ghetsis, one that could destroy so much that he now held dear. Before he left the desert, he wouldn't have even made such connections.
“What should I be doing?” Rune said to himself.
Things had been so predictable and orderly in the desert. Now it wasn't and he was confused. Maybe he wasn't as intelligent as he thought he'd been. He looked over at the crowd, wondering if he should do something about the danger. But then he noticed something different. Within the crowd, there was a Pokemon. The humans wouldn't have noticed, though, since the Zorua seemed to be a child of theirs. Only, there hadn't been any children with Team Plasma, not that Rune had noticed. That Zorua could get in trouble.
It didn't have much to do with himself, or what he was troubled about. However, he knew N would have helped the Zorua not get in trouble. With that in mind, Rune flew over to the southern shore of the lake and spoke to the hidden Pokemon. “What are you doing here, Zorua?”
What looked like a child with messy dark blue hair blinked at him. “I don't fool you, but I can fool everybody else,” he said proudly, without moving the lips or changing the expression of the illusion. “I came looking for my father.”
“Oh? But, I think you will be noticed, as a child in a group of adults.”
The Zorua wasn't impressed. “If I am noticed, it's because you're speaking to me.”
Rune cooed; he couldn't deny that. “Even so, this isn't a group for you to be around. What makes you think your father will be here?”
“Mother said so,” he said. “She said that father was going to work for his friend, who was going to summon one of the great dragons here. When I heard that a summoning was going to happen, I had to see it, and meet father. I came all the way here all by myself.”
It must have been Zane's cub, not too surprising. Rune descended some. “I see. I think I know who you're talking about. Perhaps, I can take you up to meet him.”
“Really, would you?” the Zorua said, eager enough to yip despite his illusion. The humans around them finally realized something was off about the child with them, giving the 'child' confused looks. “I want to go!”
The Sigilyph took a deep breath. Was he doing this to help the cub? Or just to have an excuse to check on N? Humans made things complicated. “Very well. But I won't take you looking like that.”
“Okay!” The Zorua dismissed his illusion, causing some startled gasps nearby. Quickly, Rune picked the Zorua up in his claws and flew him upwards, circling the tower to make it to the top level.
Up there, he found trouble. He could see a barrier keeping Pokemon like himself from entering the roof from above. He could possibly fly through an archway, even though as a spiritual gate it would feel strange. However, there was a layer of ice covering the gate, bearing a black circle. “I could get in if it wasn't for that ice,” Rune said.
“What ice?” the Zorua asked. “That gateway looks spooky to go through, but you should be able to go in.”
Blinking his eyes, Rune shifted his focused and realized that the ice he was seeing was spiritual too. Then he laughed at himself. “Ice that I see on another level. Well, brace yourself, cub. We'll have to pass through a strong power to get in there, but I’m sure that we can.” Then he flew into the gateway.
The physical realm and the spiritual realm met at that point, such as the space deep within Relic Castle where Rune had met with Reshiram. But for being such a small area, the power here was intense and frigid. The power of lightning and fire were also strong, but not as strong as ice. The feeling was over in seconds and they were in.
N's other Pokemon quickly noticed them, although N himself seemed to be preoccupied, kneeling in the center of the space with his hands on the Dark Stone, speaking quietly to himself. Rune dropped the Zorua close to the floor, then flew up higher to shake his wings out to be rid of the feeling lingering from flying through the gate. Excited, the Zorua bounced over to Zane; the Zoroark had been lying on the ground, but lifted his head as the cub stood unsteadily on his back paws in front of him. “I've found you, father! I'm right, right?”
“Say what?” Zane said, sniffing him carefully.
“How are things going?” Rune asked Tock, settling down. If Zane was busy, then the Klang was the most reasonable Pokemon to talk to. Plus, the two ancient Pokemon were asleep. “I didn't think it would take this long.”
“We did not think so ourselves,” Tock said. “There is a positive charge and a negative charge about this situation.”
“Oh? What's positive?” Better to hear the good news first, he thought.
Tock turned on the spot, looking at the Vanilluxe. “Pierre has been mostly sane today.”
“Really? That's great.” Rune hummed in good cheer, glad that a teammate was in a better condition.
Coming over from examining a column, Pierre seemed hesitant, his floating pace unsteady. “They say that, but... this quiet is unsettling. Even if my demons stayed away from my angel, I still heard them from the distance, saw them in the shadows. But ever since we entered this sacred place, there's been nothing but silence in my mind. I appreciated the peace at first, but I don't know what to do with myself now. It doesn't help that N is being strange.”
“Is that the negative?” Rune asked, looking back to his friend. N hadn't moved a bit and his thoughts were strangely quiet as well.
“Affirmative,” Tock said, going over to N's side. “We're concerned that he's not going to be sane. But we can't really tell that like you can. He's not responded to much.”
“I can hardly feel anything from him,” he said, coming to hover in front of N. “I can try to reach deeper.”
“What's going on?” the Zorua asked, turning to them.
Zane sat up and put a paw on the cub's head. “It's a long story, kid.”
While they talked, Rune focused on N. The human's thoughts and emotions were quiet, even hollow. Puzzling... he looked deeper and noticed that his body was in a state-like sleep but was weary and weak despite that. “I hope you haven't given up,” Rune said softly.
“What's that?” Tock asked.
Rune turned his attention from N, since there wasn't much more to find. “He's tired and discouraged. Have any of you talked to him?”
“We tried,” Pierre said. “But his mind is so far away.”
Escaping from under Zane's paw, the Zorua bounded over. “Well if he's sleeping, shouldn't you wake him up before talking to him?” And before any of them could stop him from being rude, he barked loudly and got onto N's lap. Then he put a paw on N's cheek.
Startled, N nearly fell over. He looked around wide-eyed, then settled on the Zorua. “What are you doing here?” he asked.
“Waking you up,” the Zorua said, licking his face. “Hello!”
“Trouble?” the Archeops asked, as he and the Carracosta woke up. The ancient bird shook itself, then hopped closer.
“No trouble,” the Carracosta said, coming out of his shell.
“How are you?” the Zorua asked.
“Uuhhh,” N replied, not entirely alert. But he did take hold of the Zorua as he shifted his legs out from under him. “Not so good.”
The other Pokemon gathered around him too. “You should have something to drink and some rest, from what your body says to me,” Rune said.
“Please don't hurt yourself,” Pierre said, coming close and nudging N with one of his heads. “Even with the peace of this place, it's distressing to see you now.”
“I'm sorry,” N replied, with little energy to his words. He didn't even try to do anything about it, until Zane got a bottle of water out for him.
“What is the status of the mission?” Tock asked.
There was no reply, but Rune felt something troubling in N's feelings. Worse, he couldn't identify what it was. “Don't give up,” he said. “But what do I feel from you? It's something terrible.”
“What's wrong?” Zane demanded, twisting his ears back briefly. But he was just as worried and couldn't stay angered at N's silence.
Although he did take a good drink of water, N still didn't reply. He looked at all of them, but the troubling thing only grew. It was... fear? Still in his arms, the Zorua patted him again. “Why're you shaking? I don't see anything to be afraid of.”
“Something's not right,” N said finally. “I heard from Zekrom at the base of the tower; she told me to enter. But ever since we got here, I haven't heard from her again. What's going on? Why would she tell me to enter and then not respond?”
Rune looked back at the archway. “Does it have something to do with the ice?”
“What ice?” Pierre said. “There was ice here, but it's all gone.”
Coming close to N, Rune brushed his wing against his friend's face. “Look at the gate, with your mind's eye. Like you saw Shira.”
“I was trying to not be confused by such ghosts,” N said, but he did ask suggested. Then he clutched the Zorua closer. “Ice... there's still ice there. He was right; the Kyurem I've spoken to isn't supposed to be here. The balance of having two of them is off just enough...” then he shivered noticeably, his fear growing instead of settling like it should have. “I-I should do something, but...”
“But what?” Zane asked. “If there's a problem, it should be fixed.”
“I told them I would come back with Zekrom.”
Tock sped up his gears briefly. “It's a problem out of your system, an obstacle you have no connection to. It's not your fault.”
“N, what's wrong?” Rune asked, feeling like he ought to cry. “There's something wrong in your thoughts and I can't see what it is.”
“I know I didn't cause this,” N said. “But... it scares me too, but... it was something Ghetsis said to me before we came out here. I was trying to tell him how the things I’ve seen and heard on this journey through Unova are still lingering, like you...” he looked up at Rune, “I let you go and you came back again, and,” he looked over at Pierre and Tock, “you...”
“What?” Tock said.
“I want to hate anyone who would hurt you, but I can't hate you for hurting yourself,” Pierre said.
The Archeops spread his wing out. “Leader! Be brave. Leader better than fear.”
“Be strong,” the Carracosta echoed.
“You're helping me,” N said, his eyes going watery with tears. He looked down at the Zorua in his arms, then let him go. “I don't even know what you're doing here. I've never met you before.”
The Zorua wagged his tail, his red eyes bright. “I came to find my father! And to find you; I heard that you were a great person going to summon one of the great dragons. I was happy to hear that my father was with someone like you.”
Although he briefly gave Zane a puzzled look on hearing that this was his cub, N didn't seem bothered by learning that. “You're helping,” he repeated. “I’m not a Pokemon; I’m not a human either, really, but you're still helping me. I never figured out how to be around humans, but all of you, and other Pokemon that have been with me, you help me connect to them. But then,” N paused, growing tense. “He said that if I didn't come back with Zekrom, then I might as well jump off the tower rather than continue to live.”
“Noooo, don't!” Pierre cried.
“That is illogical,” Tock said, although he sounded just as troubled.
Zane growled. “What kind of foolish talk is that? I'd never advise someone to choose death if they failed.”
Even with them saying that, Rune could feel and know what that terrifying feeling in N was. It didn't matter what they said. If this problem wasn't solved soon, then he would choose that rather than to admit to failure. It was because the stigma of being a failure, of having his life be worthless, that was worse than having no life at all.
Rune felt like panicking. If he had been who he was back when he was patrolling Shira, he would have. But that wasn't going to solve things. “Then you need to get Zekrom awakened,” he said. “If that barrier is there because of there being two Kyurems, then we need to get rid of one. Maybe if you got Reshiram and his King in here, then the power of the both dragons can overcome the imbalance. Or since the barrier is made of ice, we might need the other Kyurem here to hold it back.”
“Why don't you go get them and bring them here?” the Zorua asked. Because he wasn't as emotionally invested in this, the cub managed to keep a lot calmer and cool headed than even his father. “With all three of the dragons in this place, they should be able to solve the problem better than anybody else. You and I are the only free Pokemon here, and I can't fly.”
“Right, I can do that,” Rune said. “I can at least find Lord Reshiram easily, and he would be able to find which one of the Kyurem could help best. I'll go.”
“Thank you, Rune,” N said meekly. “I've set you free twice now, and yet you still freely stick by my side.”
For a moment, Rune lowered himself to below N's eyes in deference. “I admit that at first it was because I had no other purpose, and Lord Reshiram asked me to watch you. But I am not doing this for him. I am doing this for my dearest friend.”
Then he flew back through the gateway, to find his old master.
“It has now been thirty-six hours since the Black King of Plasma has entered Dragonspiral Tower,” the reporter said on the late night news. “Yet N has not reappeared and nothing seems to have changed. No one has been able to get in the tower after him and our cameras have been unable to view what is going on at the top level. The members of Team Plasma remain here faithfully waiting for his return. They are certain nothing has gone wrong. It has been many years since Zekrom and Reshiram were last called upon, so it is unknown if this wait is simply a part of the summoning or if something has indeed gone wrong.”
“What is it?” Hilda asked, leaning back in the couch.
“It’s unusual,” Kyurem said, watching out the window. “If he is worthy, she would have come within the hour, at most. I thought he was worthy.”
“It must be frightening for him to get silence,” Leslie said. “I hope there's some other problem.”
Hilda scratched Fedora’s back. “Well we know that he’s going to stay up there until something happens. You know what’s going on?”
“My attention has been here, not there,” Kyurem said, turning from the window and coming over to her. “It may be that Hilbert needs to be there, since both are expecting to be called on.”
“Could be. Maybe I ought to call him and give him a poke.” At that point, there was a knock on the door. “Wonder who it is now,” she thought aloud, getting up.
“I’ll get it,” Kyurem said, going to the door and opening it. “What?”
“Oh good, you are here,” Hilbert said. “Listen, we have to talk. I know you’re not going to like this, but Reshiram insists on it.”
“Speak of the devil,” Hilda said. “We were just talking about you, and about N being at the tower. Let him in.”
He nodded and came in. Following after him was a Sigilyph, a Pokemon she remembered seeing with N, not Hilbert. “Yeah, I was going to wait until after all the fuss died down. But then Rune came and asked all of us to come. You too, Hilda.”
“Currooo,” the Sigilyph said in a sad-sounding tone.
“She shouldn’t be going into Dragonspiral Tower at this time,” Kyurem said sternly. “I’m not going to let her get killed.”
“You can’t leave her alone either,” Reshiram said in a faint voice from the Light Stone. “And you must come there. Zekrom has been trying to connect to N, but we’re being blocked again by the imbalance caused by having you and the normal Kyurem around. Since you can’t leave this world at this time, you need to be there to pull us through the block. And Zekrom does not want to tell N that she cannot come at this time. It would be dangerous.”
Kyurem fumed silently for a moment, then said, “You can’t get around the block caused by our power?”
“We have been trying, but nothing has yet worked. And it is strong enough that I don’t think even both of us working at it with our bodies at the tower would help.”
“Fine, but the four of us will enter together,” Kyurem said. “We must be careful.”
Hilda felt a little nervous. But, this was getting too serious. She had to do something about that. “And we need to get properly attired!”
“Hu-what?” Hilbert asked, staring at her in confusion.
Over at the couch, Leslie laughed. “You need to be dressed right for the occasion,” she said, getting up. “After all, you’re going to be at this big and important moment not just to impress the masses, but to meet with legendary Pokemon. There’s no excuse to go in looking like an everyday slob.” She teasingly smoothed down a part of Hilbert's jacket.
“Unless they surprise you,” Hilda said, poking Kyurem in the shoulder. “You still have that crown and coat I got you, Hilbert? That should do just fine, once you brush your hair and wash your face. I think I’ve got something hanging in my closet that’ll be great.”
“Don’t take too long,” Kyurem said. “We don’t want N going nuts while you’re still getting dressed.”
“Gotcha!” She started towards the stairs.
“You can use the bathroom down here, Hilbert,” Leslie said, pointing him in the right direction.
“Oh, well, I guess that makes sense,” he said, giving in and heading over. “But Kyurem’s right; don’t take too long.”
Upstairs, Hilda found a dress she had gotten last spring, a white sundress that had tiny blue polka dots on the skirt and blue flowers across the chest. It was a little casual, but finding the white shoes from her Castelia outfit as well as some of her mother’s clip on earrings and a ice-crystal like set of barrettes, it seemed cute and nice enough to go out with. She wore the barrettes low, though, so that she could wear a white sun hat that had a blue ribbon and a snowflake pin on it. Then she grabbed her travel bag and a white umbrella (just because it seemed to fit) and headed downstairs.
“Let’s see, I think… yeah, I still has some healing stuff in case of trouble,” she said, thinking aloud while checking her bag.
Leslie smiled and hugged her. “Good luck, dear. And you’d better come back alive from this.”
“Thanks Mom. I’ll see you again, I promise. Is Hilbert ready?” She couldn't see him, although Rune seemed to be pacing around in the air still.
She shook her head. “Not quite.”
“Hilda, can we speak privately for a minute?” Kyurem asked. “Outside.”
“Oh, sure,” she said, nodding. “I’ll pop back in when we’re done, Mom.”
She nodded. “Okay, I’ll let him know to wait a bit longer.”
Hilda headed outside with Kyurem. It was a bright night, with the full moon hanging large in the sky. Nuvema was quiet as usual, with many of the houses lit up but few people in the old streets. Overhead, some wings from Woobats could be heard on occasion. It was peaceful here, not a night when one might expect to die.
“It seems unavoidable that we go to Dragonspiral Tower now,” Kyurem said, looking around the town. “I would go alone, but those Shadow Triad are hanging around here. I don’t know if they mean to kill, but the risk can’t be taken.”
“I’ll try not to do anything stupid,” Hilda said, smiling. “I trust you.”
“That’s good,” he said, looking down. “I had hoped to know more by this point about why you died at this time. Still, I agree with Reshiram and Rune. We don’t know how much power N and Hilbert truly have as gijinkas, and if he snaps in failing to call Zekrom, there is no way to know what he would do. And yet, you may… there is something I need to say to you before we go.”
“What’s on your mind?” Hilda asked. It was odd to hear him like this. Normally he used as few words as possible.
Kyurem looked to her. He seemed pensive, even. “I’m grateful that I got to travel with you. I’ve spent many centuries avoiding contact with others, especially humans, but this time has been precious to me. I know that I seem serious to you, but I have been happy.”
“That’s good,” she said, smiling. “It’s been fun having you around. It’ll be sad time when you have to leave this time, but let’s not think of that yet.”
“Then you do trust me.” He took her arm and then, to her surprise, kissed her forehead. Then he went on, telling her, “Don’t worry. I’ll be watching over you. What I’m leaving you with is a mark that you won’t be able to see, but will allow others to know that you are under my protection. Not only that, but I’m giving you a gift that you have asked about. You’ll now be able to understand Pokemon just like N can.”
“Whoa, really?” Grinning, she hugged him. “Thanks Kyurem! Now I’ll definitely have to be coming back in order to make full use of that.”
Kyurem put his head on her shoulder for a moment. “You do that.” Then he pushed away. “We need to be going. Go get the King and we’ll fly over to the tower.”
Fortunately, Hilbert was ready when Hilda peeked back in. She hugged her Mom one last time and said goodbye to her (making sure to say she loved her… just in case). Not that long ago, Bianca had lent her a Fly HM so that she could teach Kyurem to use Fly. He took her and Regal took Hilbert, following Rune up north to Iccirus and Dragonspiral Tower.
When they arrived at the lake, there were still a large number of Team Plasma members hanging around. Hilbert looked around, feeling determined to stop this before it turned ugly. “Okay, now we’ll have to see about them letting us in.”
“They're not all dangerous, but they won't appreciate you being here,” Rune said. The Sigilyph were supposed to be intelligent, he reflected; Hilbert thought that was part of why he could understand him too.
“That’s not a problem,” Hilda said. Then she stepped forward and shouted, “Hey, move aside! We’re going in!”
Some of the knights did move aside, but Ghetsis and Giallo came up to meet with them. “Why should we let you in?” Ghetsis asked. “We have yet to hear back from N.”
Going bold, was it? But, no backing down now. “That’s exactly why you should let us in,” Hilbert said. “We know what’s going on and if you want to help Zekrom appear, then let us help N do that.”
“And if you don’t, I’ll just freeze you all in place so you don’t interfere,” Kyurem added.
“You’re here to help N?” Giallo asked. “And to help yourselves, it would seem. But it has been a day and a half now. Good luck.”
“Thank you,” Hilbert said, heading down with the Light Stone floating beside him, and Hilda and Kyurem walking behind. A part of him felt hurt about how Giallo was speaking to him as an enemy. But his uncle seemed to have closed himself off fully to him. Maybe after this was over with, he'd be willing to listen again.
As they got closer to the edge of the lake, Reshiram spoke up. “Just move ahead and into the tower. What appears is not quite what is and nothing will stand in your way.”
“Okay,” Hilbert said.
“It’s basic if you’re worthy of entrance,” Kyurem said. “Stay straight and don’t turn aside.”
As they said, and as N had done yesterday, they were able to cross across the water itself and pass through what seemed to be a solid wall. But once they were all inside, Hilbert stopped, unsure of how to proceed. “Hey, you remember when I said this place was thick with time distortions?” he asked Hilda.
She nodded. “Yeah. They still here?”
He waved his hand in front of his face, seeing it tinted blue. “It’s a total fog in here. I can hardly see a foot in front of my face now. And when I touch it, that’s usually when I start seeing things.”
“There’s no way to know when or if you’ll be alert while walking up,” Reshiram said. “That's trouble.”
Hilda took his hand. “Well don’t worry. I see perfectly fine. I’ll lead you through even if you space out.”
“That’s good, because there’s no telling when they’ll start coming.” He followed her down the stone pathway, but as he thought, visions of another world passed by his eyes.
And this time, he knew exactly what he was seeing. He was seeing the history that Kyurem had come from.
Hilbert stepped off the pillars and began to walk up the stairs. This second room had proven an odd obstacle, as ruins of pillars and statues made the way hard to navigate. After checking around, walking over the pillars seemed to be the only way to go.
But then, the grinding of a stone made him pause. Hilda then passed through from behind it, followed by her dark blue Sawk. “Oh hey, I caught up just in time,” she said, smiling. She waved her hand, in which she was carrying a yellow daisy.
He stared at her for a moment. “Hilda? But, how? Only one eligible to become a hero can enter this place, and there are only two heroes at a time.”
She just laughed at him. “Well it seems that I’m worthy, huh? That was easy once I saw you do it; wouldn’t have thought to just walk right in. Come on, let’s get going.” She ran up past him.
“Hey, wait!” But it took past the next level and up the next stairs for him to catch up. “What are you doing in here? Why did you come?”
“Why not?” she asked. “I mean, N’s been in here for hours and hasn’t come out. I’m worried about him, so I figured I’d come check on him.”
A flame of jealousy burned in his heart. “Is that it?”
“I also thought it might be a good chance to see you succeed in calling your dragon too,” she said, looking back down at him briefly. “What’s wrong with coming to support both of my friends? Come on, no time to waste!”
“This isn’t a game,” he said as he ran up after her.
“Does it have to be so serious?” she asked back, although she slowed a bit so they were together. Silly... but that was part of why she was so interesting, wasn't it?
At the top of the tower, N was kneeling, both of his hands on the floating Dark Stone. He had stopped wondering why he wasn’t getting a response as he was so intent on getting Zekrom to appear. In a weakening voice, he repeated his request for her appearance. He was even ignoring his other Pokemon who were nearby.
As they got close, Hilbert told Hilda, “I think that in order for Zekrom to appear, Reshiram has to appear too. I’ve got the Light Stone, so once we get up there, both dragons should be able to awaken.”
“That’s good,” she said, teasingly tapping him with her daisy. “Come on, let’s go! Hey N!” She ran up the last stairs.
“Wait, Hilda!” Hilbert called, running up after her.
In the final room, N heard voices but didn’t comprehend what they were saying. It did distract him from his summoning. He felt anger but it was a weak emotion compared to the weariness that had a hold on his body. Without really thinking, he got up and raised his hand to stop the ones trying to interrupt him. Some power swelled within him, but he hardly realized what was going on.
N fired out a Hyper Beam and Hilda walked right into it. For a moment, there was nothing to be seen but a bright white light. Hilbert's vision cleared in time to see Hilda’s body fall onto the floor. She was still holding onto that daisy, but it was bent and covered in her blood. Hilbert called out in a panic, dropping down beside her, ignoring the masonry rocks underneath him. Several feet away, N collapsed back onto the floor after exhausting himself from the attack. For a moment, death held stillness and silence over Dragonspiral Tower.
But that couldn’t last. “You killed her,” Hilbert said, his voice shaking with anger.
N was getting back onto his feet, looking hazily at them as he realized what was going on around him. He saw Hilda, dead from a large wound to her chest, and Hilbert kneeling beside her among the loose rocks of this place. What was he talking about? True, he didn’t agree with them, but he wouldn’t go as far as murder. “I did not,” he said, taking hold of the Dark Stone.
“You did, you killed her!” Hilbert shouted, getting up with a look like he wanted to kill N then and there. “And that’s the truth of it. I will swear it on Reshiram, you killed her, you deluded madman!”
“How dare you..?” N started to argue, but then the Light and Dark Stones began to glow. They both moved away from the two boys, heading over to in front of the archway. They grew in a flash and then there they were. Reshiram and Zekrom stood side by side, majestic in real life.
But a bitter split had erupted violently between the two heroes already.
Hilbert was having a hard time convincing people to do what he wanted today. At first, they were cooperative. Then, looking like they were coming awake from a dream, they would treat him with suspicion. But that didn’t matter when revenge was so strongly in Hilbert’s mind. He used his popularity and clout to get into the Champion’s area of the Pokemon League Stadium without having to fight any of the Elite 4.
As he approached the main area, climbing all those stairs, it became apparent that N had defeated Alder. Hilbert would have been glad to fight N on the spot. But instead, N called on his castle to appear and make ‘a more suitable stage’. Hilbert pursued him.
“This isn’t the right time to confront him,” Reshiram said. “Your anger clouds your vision; you should step back to calm your mind.”
“No, because then he’ll get away!” Hilbert snapped. He continued on, further into N’s Castle. The members of Team Plasma stayed wisely out of his way.
At the throne room, Hilbert and Reshiram met with N and Zekrom. N tried to conduct the exchange with pompous dignity, but Hilbert wasn’t going to let him get away with that. “I’m not here to challenge you for any fancy ideas,” Hilbert said. “I’m here to show you how damn stupid your ideals are, and to get revenge for Hilda’s death.”
“I did not kill her,” N said, finally breaking his calm mask to get angry too.
“Stop being so deluded and open your eyes to your own corruption and insanity!” Hilbert challenged, feeling a giant surge of power run through his body. He didn’t care about what it was as his focus was solely on N. The same feeling of power came out in N, who ignored it too even though large empty crests appeared underneath both of their feet.
Zekrom and Reshiram noticed. But for as much experience as they had, neither one had a clue about what the empty crests meant. “Wait a moment,” Zekrom said as the energy turned red.
Then both crests exploded, breaking up into hundreds of red and black arms. Right as N and Hilbert noticed that their rage had turned into an unsettling form, it lashed out towards the two legendary dragons, taking hold of their very life force and ripping it straight out of their bodies.
The two dragons screamed, unable to resist as their souls were grafted straight into N and Hilbert. For a moment, they were stunned by the feeling of fear and pain from the deaths of their partners. It was soon eclipsed by the pain as their human genes, meant to be unalterable, were forced to change and accept the incredible power of the immortals. The forms of dragon scales began to appear over their skin, especially visible on their arms and legs; white scales on Hilbert and black scales on N. The red crests filled in with what should have been the signs of Reshiram and Zekrom, altered to reflect their new owners. They were turned into dragons reminiscent of the ones whose powers they now held.
Then, the power theft was complete. The atmosphere of the room calmed down, leaving the lifeless bodies of the two elder dragons and the uncertain forms of the two newly created dragons. What was going on? Who was responsible for this?
They each felt that the other was the one responsible. Growls were exchanged and then the two began to fight themselves, causing an explosion of power that brought down two-thirds of the castle they were in. Since it was a wreck, both took to the air and continued their fight. Their hatred and confusion left them focused on each other, not realize the destruction following in the wake of their combat.
N felt a feral sense of victory, but was utterly exhausted after days of battle. As his mind began to clear, he looked around them. This had once been Castelia City; not a single building was left intact. Many were smoldering ruins. The wailing of alarms sounded in the distance, but there were no screams amid the burning of fire.
For a moment, N was confused. “What’s going on?’ he asked. He looked down and saw Hilbert. “What’s going on? Hey, Hilbert, get up. Tell me... why do you think I killed Hilda?”
But he didn’t respond. His vision cleared further but he hardly recognized the body he saw. The power of truth, once Reshiram’s, then Hilbert's, and now his, awakened in his mind. With that, N saw what was going on: the destruction both had caused in their battle, the theft of power from the legendary dragons, the fact that Hilbert was his brother, how savagely he had killed his brother, how he had killed Hilda in a moment of inattentiveness, the corruption of his own ideals… one of his arms had black scales, and the other had white, permanent proof of lives he had taken.
“No, no...” N trembled and closed his eyes, but that did not block out the truth. Then he screamed in a voice that wasn’t entirely human. Transforming back into a dragon with features of both Zekrom and Reshiram in a tint of green like his hair, N lashed out against his pain. In that moment, the entire region of Unova and many lands around it were devastated.
But madness had a grip on N and wouldn’t let go with just that.
That voice broke through to N’s mind, finally calming him down. That voice was reassurance that things would be okay, that this moment was only a terrible obstacle on the path to a perfect world. This had to be happening for good reasons, N thought. He wasn’t evil; he wasn’t corrupted. He just couldn’t see things clearly. But the one who called him could.
N descended as a dragon and landed by Ghetsis on top of the remains of the castle. And for once, Ghetsis was smiling for him. “Calm down,” he said, although he still didn't touch him. “You’ve done well, N. I’m proud of you.”
“Ghetsis,” N said, then burst into tears. He lowered his head, not feeling worthy of the praise. And yet, he felt a burst of happiness on hearing it. He had finally done something worthy of Ghetsis’s expectations of him. What it was, he wasn’t sure as he had caused so much destruction and pain and death. “I’m not evil?”
“No, you’re not,” he said. “You're just not used to this power and you still need to learn to control it. But now there is no one who can defy your dreams.”
“I don’t know, I could hardly think until you called my name. And what I’m seeing now is so terrible, I can’t…” he cried out again. There was too much pain in his heart and he saw no way he’d be able to ignore this.
“But that’s what I’m here to help you with,” Gehtsis said reassuringly. “You leave the planning and thinking to me. We’ll turn this world into what it’s supposed to be.”
Leave the thinking to him. If he didn’t have to think, then he didn’t have to remember. That sounded like a good idea to N. But there was a problem in that even combined, Reshiram and Zekrom were still not whole. This led N’s power to continue to destabilize as time went on, making it dangerous for anyone to stay too close. Especially when N began losing himself to his emotions. The obvious solution to that was to complete that ancient power by finding Kyurem, and stealing the power from him as well.
When Hilbert's mind cleared, he found that the mist had started to clear too. Hilda was bringing him up the final set of stairs, where N was waiting. And where he would attack without realizing it, setting them down that terrible road. “Wait a minute,” he said, stopping and trying not to lose his balance on the stairs.
“Oh, you finally out off dream land?” Hilda asked teasingly.
“We can’t go up there, not without being careful,” he said, looking up. “I know what happened in Kyurem’s history, listen.” He tried to tell it quickly, but they had to know how things were going to happen.
“You stole power from my siblings?” Kyurem asked after he was done, watching him intently.
“It didn’t happen consciously,” Hilbert said. “We both were angry and the power activated on its own… no, that’s not it,” he snapped his fingers. “Back when Dr. Umber had me, he intentionally goaded me until I lost my temper and a crest like that appeared and turned red. The only reason it didn’t get Genesect was because Umber separated us quickly once it started to appear. We don’t have control of it. But, that seems to be what this whole plan is about.” He looked up the stairs.
“To mold your lives so that both of you would aim to become the heroes and call on Reshiram and Zekrom, only to steal their immortality from them,” Hilda said. “That’s pretty crazy, but I can see how it fits.”
“And N doesn’t have control over what happens next either,” Hilbert said. “He just reacted to us coming up there. So we need to get in there without startling him.”
“We have to be in there for the summoning to work,” Kyurem said.
“It's already changed,” Rune said, flying ahead of them. “N listened to us this time; you said he hadn't. I see him and... what's that?” He darted up, then turned back to them. “Come up here.”
“What's going on?” Hilda asked as they came up the last of the steps to the top of the tower.
They were greeted by an immense flash of light...
Please! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !
Hurry up and put the next chapter out!
P.S. First response!
They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
Fanfics I like that are still in production: The human species, Pokemon mystery dungeon overthrown, pokemon mystery dungeon journal,pokefusers: saviors of the earth, Pokemon proffesor X, The adveture of advetureness (series). Will trade good fanfic info.
I NEED A BETA READER!
Check out my fic.
I claim deino!
God damn. Everything makes sense now, and the climax you created was simply brilliant.
Can't wait for the next chapter!
...Of all the things to be a Chekov's Gun, you pick something I miss entirely on my first read? To solve this conundrum, I have decided to read the entirety of the fic again. This shall provide distraction until you resolve your cliffhanger. A well set up, and awesomely written climax of a cliffhanger, but a cliffhanger nonetheless.
"The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them,"- Unknown
Wow, really great chapter. This fic has been great from the beginning, and it hasn't gotten any worse since. I'm kinda sad that it's ending though. How about that sequel?
I treat my Pokemon like family. Copy and Paste this in your sig if you do too. Started by legolover8.