Jay grumbled something about “stupid dungeon Pokémon” as Leo clasped his outstretched paw and helped his leader to his feet. The Riolu seemed no worse for the wear. A few cuts were visible through his blue fur, the once bright azure color dulled with ground-in dust and blood, but he looked like he was functioning properly.
“What the hell was that?” Jay said with a cough. Leo didn’t know how to answer him. He didn’t rightly know how to explain the string of events that had transpired in the last few moments. “Is everyone okay?” Jay inquired, brushing himself off as the Riolu blinked in the blue sunlight.
“I think so,” Leo replied. Looking around, he saw Noah getting up from the crater he had hunkered down in during the assault of the music, Jay was still getting oriented with his feet and limbs, and the monster was nowhere in sight. She had vanished. Though, there was something missing from this scene of aftermath.
“Kelly?” Leo blurted out when he did not see the yellow and white furred Jolteon at all. Jay ceased his complaints as he found he could not find his friend as well. “Kelly? Kelly!” Leo yelled with increasing volume as he took a few steps in each direction looking for his teammate.
There was no sign of the Jolteon, despite her being literally a foot away from him before the Froslass’s song. Both he and Jay fell dead silent as they tried to listen for any sound from her, though only the canyon walls screeched as wind tore through them, making his tail flame flicker. His blood turned to ice once again as the demented dungeon seemed to mock him, tempting him to venture deeper in search of his friend.
“Kelly!” Leo screamed to the passage, his voice straining as sheer panic took over. It was then that Noah jogged up beside both Pokémon. The Dewott put a paw on both of their shoulders.
“She’s gone.” Leo felt something inside him collapse. Whether it was his soul or a lung from the Froslass’s attack, he couldn’t tell.
“Gone? What do you mean ... gone?” The Charmeleon’s voice barely broke a hushed whisper as the cold wind blasted from the passage. The instinctively tightened muscles in his legs kept him from collapsing to the ground while his mind managed to keep a rein on his emotions to suppress his urge to sob.
“Noah, wh-where is Kelly right now?” Jay asked, the Riolu trying in vain to mask his own emotions with a near monotone voice. The wind ceased, allowing the oppressive silence to once again rule this domain of altered sun and stone.
Noah only shook his head in apparent defeat. “She’s with Her now, probably about to be frozen alive. If I remember right, we have about ten minutes before she is added to Her ... collection.” The Dewott looked up at the two remaining members of Salient, his face betraying no inner feelings or thoughts. “There’s nothing we can do now. If we’re lucky, we can still get out of here while she’s busy with Kelly.”
“N-nothing? What do you mean, ‘there’s nothing we can do’, Noah?” Leo demanded, his voice rising in volume. He knew perfectly well what it might mean. The Froslass had wanted me and I refused. And so she took the next best thing... His thoughts plainly told him, and for once, he knew he could trust them. It’s all... He felt his heart drop again. It’s all my fault she was taken.
The Dewott crossed his arms as he leaned against a pillar of glowing blue rock. “It’s exactly what it means. We can’t do anything. She doesn’t usually bother us when we travel through here, but on occasion, she will take one Pokémon to her lair and freeze them solid,” Noah answered nonchalantly as he tightened the strap on his shoulder.
“How do you know this? Huh? How?” Jay spoke up, his paws curling into fists as energy began to flow into them. Noah moved his paw down Jay’s arm and pushed it down.
“I’ve seen it happen. Seven times. Watched them all freeze while Torrent ordered us to run for the exit. Trust me, seeing a Arcanine frozen alive oversteps the boundary of mentally scarring ten times over,” he explained as Leo saw an involuntary shudder run down the Dewott’s spine.
Leo wasn’t sure if it was the combined effects of everything that had happened to him over the last week, or his mind finally slipping past his damaged rational, but he felt a burning force of anger rise from his chest where his heart fell.
He had gone through too much: waking up, arrest, near death, hallucinations, exile, he could handle, but the notion of losing what was perhaps the only other being on this planet that could sympathise with him, it was impossible. He wouldn’t let it happen.
“No.” Both Noah and Jay looked up from their argument at him. “I’ve gone too far with her, Jay, and even you, Noah, to lose any of you. My head may not be clear right now, but that is the one thing I am damn sure of. Noah, where is She, because I am going to tear Her to shreds,” Leo snarled, a low, primal growl accompanying the statement.
“Leo, you don’t understand: She will kill all of us if we don’t leave. Kelly’s probably already dead anyways, so let’s just--” Noah replied shortly before being cut off as Leo lunged at him. His reptillian body tackled the otter to the ground, shoving his head into the small, sharp rocks. Leo held the sharp edges of his claws against the Dewott’s neck and pressed forward enough so that Noah would feel the pain. Jay crouched down next to the two, though didn’t make any attempt to stop Leo’s assault.
Leo’s chest was heaving, anger leaving a red mist in his eyes. He huffed a hot jet of steam from his nostrils as he leaned close to the pinned Dewott’s face. His red scales glinting almost evilly in the stark, blue sunlight.
“Shut up! Kelly will survive! She’s strong enough! I know she will! Now, you are going to lead us to her, and then, you, Jay, and I are going to march right in there, burn Her goddamned liar to oblivion, and then rescue Kelly. Do you understand?” Leo yelled, every thought of his bent suddenly on the destruction of the Froslass.
“You know? For once, I actually agree with one of your horrible ideas, Leo. Let’s do this, “ Jay added as Noah gave a sigh of defeat.
“You two are the most stupid, stubborn Pokémon I’ve ever met, and that’s coming from me. I’ll go, but I hope you know we’re all going to die. Her ‘pet’ will make sure of that... “ Both Leo and Jay shot him confused looks as they wondered what he meant by his last sentence. Their questions were answered as a deep, feral-sounding roar shook the blue-stoned dungeon. Leo released his grip on the Dewott and climbed off of him, letting him get back to his feet with an annoyed huff.
Kelly, don’t worry. We’re on our way, he thought to her as the glowing blue ground thumped in rhythm to the steady footsteps of the monster’s personal monster.