The Final Battle
Arc Angel: You draw toward the Gracious Orb’s glow like a moth to a flame and all of a sudden – you were reborn. Its touch was like turning the ignition on a rusty old pickup truck, the decaying network of veins and arteries beneath your ribcage combusting with life, bumping blood through your body for the first time in an eternity. And as the crystal slips away from your fingers the euphoric feeling dies with it, leaving you naked and frail. Your body starts to convulse as your nervous system deteriorates, your mind in such a state of shock you find it hard to think straight. Before the craving can drive you to madness the stifled choking of a hag inches from death coerces you out of oblivion for the time being. Your lapse in judgement had sealed her fate, and now it was down to you to save her. Fuelled with determination you brandish a chestnut sphere: your greatest weapon against the rising shadow. It slips out of your clutch and hurtles toward the earth, cracking open with a burst of light so bright it would draw all eyes back to the plinth. Light runs off his body like water, bringing shape to a gallant warrior, bent on one knee with its twin blades crossed. You blinking away the spots from your dilated pupils in efforts to get a better look into the soul of the grownup Valentine. His stance emanated incredible skill and power, his eyes serious and hardened as they swept tentatively across the mesa. You couldn’t help but feel overcome by nerves as his gaze locks onto yours like he was considering you. Who was this stranger? He didn’t inherit Lucius’s maniacal bearing. Perhaps the world he grew up in forced him to grow up too fast, and you can’t help but feel a pang of guilt for not being there for him. But with the ruckus erupting from the vale and the enemies afoot frozen in confusion the time to strike was now.
You channel your scattered thoughts into a game plan, concentrating on nothing else but the string of orders which felt more like a desperate plea for help. Valentine’s eyes flicker intensely and the sensation your thoughts were being penetrated takes over. You feel him delve a bit deeper than your immediate thoughts, no doubt probing your memory bank. Eyes smouldering with realisation he leaves an imprint of his own thoughts on his way out, his handsome voice filling you with hope and reassurance, ’Yes, my master.’ The words echo through your skull for a few seconds until he breaks the stare and homes in on the gallows ahead. Then time turned back to normal and several things happened at the same time... Gallade leaps from his crouch with tenacious speed, skirting lightfootedly down the edge of the plinth and kicking into air meters before the gallows. He hangs in the Night’s sky for a few moments, his twin blades combusting in darkness as he corkscrews toward the seer. Slashing the noose with one arm and seizing the gypsy’s cloak with the other he rolls onto the floor cradling the hag and gently resting her on the ground. Meanwhile all hell was breaking loose below. Hundreds of shadow monsters were roaring and stampeding under the plateau, a fifty foot cliff the only thing keeping them at bay. The aerial fleet weren’t as fazed by this problem as they rounded on Valentine like homing missiles. The dozen or so red eyes dance like a swarm of Vobeat against the black canvas of dusk, whisking away your false sense of security. Straining your eyes you’re able to make out Hydreigon, Salamence and Charizard with dozens more species veiled by the darkness. Their faces suddenly light up as Shadowy Fireballs spindle out of their mouths swelling in size. You feel powerless to help as the inferno rains down like a carpet bomb, the knight stood above the comatose gypsy and showing no signs of yielding.
Syrian’s twisted laughter is drowned out by the blazing firestorm which quickly consumes Valentine. The blue flames melt away at the rocks prolonging the internal torture, the fire dancing in the reflection of your glazed pupils. The ebbing cinders unveil nothing but charred terrain, belching with smoke and glowing red with heat. There was nothing. Not even a body to salvage. Before this has time to sink in a high pitch battle cry resonates across the valley, Syrian looking to the skies in confusion. The discord underneath your footing settles as a small streak of light emerges from the cliff tops above. The Shaymin was nothing but a blur as it cartwheeled through the air, prompting a bombardment of Shadowy Fireballs from the army which he dodged with ease. The flying beasts had broken off from the plateau now to annihilate the new threat, cutting off the critter’s flight path veering down like fighter jets as they all combust into a Shadow Blitz. The legendary Pokémon headed toward them, twisting through the tightest of openings and coming to a stop above. The Shadow Pokémon break out of their attacks, straining skyward until a bright Flare of green light blinds them. Suddenly a flurry of Seeds shower down like a meteor storm, peppering the convoy and putting an abrupt end to the dog fight as they career lifelessly into the vale. The grass type had only taken out a small division of the army, and whilst it’d cleared the skies it had a lot left to contend with. Another volley of attacks pierce through the sky proving nigh impossible to dodge, the terrier yelping as it’s clipped by half a Shadow Chill. A few cries of bewilderment draw your focus away from Shaymin however as Shadow Pokémon start dropping like flies below. Straining for a closer look you spot a thick of vines break out from the soil, snaring a Shadow Rhydon and pulling it away into the underbrush. One by one the soldiers were being taken out until they started firing aimlessly at the ground.
So much was happening at once you almost forget what you were here for until a low croak drags you back to your senses. Your eyes sweep back over the mesa. Syrian was watching his army fall with smouldering eyes, messaging the Griseous Orb which was pulsing wilder than ever. With such a strong hold you’d have to prize it from his dead body, an idea which seemed to win you over. You find the gypsy’s Dusknoir, who’d been locked in a body binding Shadow Hold. The toad was croaking frantically, resisting the urge for a swift kill when he’d promised himself he’d make this one hurt. With Valentine out of the fight so early there was nothing you could do to save the last remaining prisoner. Reaper was unresponsive, still out of action from your last living skirmish. Hope gives rise to panic and all you could do now was hope Iris could turn the tides of the battle before Giratina arrived...
’Over here’, a gentle whisper from inside your head rescues you from despair. It was Valentine! As though he’d embedded the coordinates in your brain you quickly turn your eastward and find the warrior latched onto the cliff face, his scarlet cloak billowing in the blustery winds. You could only guess he’d Teleported out of the blitzkrieg in the nick of time. He sends a subtle wink your way before vanishing into thin air. Your eyes dart around the skies, the warrior reappearing a stretch above the Shadow Toxicroak toad and breaking into a nosedive. The Gallade extends its swords, pivoting its waist forward and grappling the toad by surprise. With his feet wrapped around the enemy he kicks the Dusknoir free from the headlock, the reaper quickly recessing to the mountains to find his injured mistress. The tables had turned with the frog in your mercy. Valentine presses his swords against the Psycho’s slimy skin, Cutting off his head in one swift cross motion. As he breaks away from the decapitated amphibian you spot a glint of remorse in his eyes, only adding fuel to your burning desire to know more about his past. ’I didn’t think he’d croak that easily’, a small trace of his father’s humour softens the mood, the Gallade smirking toward you as you share a long exchange. Suddenly your smile falters as Syrian lets out a triumphant laugh.
“Everything is going according to plan”, he smiles to himself, “Waste your powers holding them off Iris. In a few more moments I won’t even need an army...” The shaman’s eyes stare jealously at the Griseous Orb, now flickering at blinding speed. With no one left to save you feel yourself relapsing into obsession, its allure growing stronger as its master drew nearer. He holds it over the valley again, allowing its yellow luminescence to break through the shadowy vale like a homing beacon. The renegade Pokémon would be here any second...