Fanfiction of the Month (July): Stir of the Thunderstorm
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April 18th, 2008, 04:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
This is the end of this fic.
The first thing Eralynn noticed when she opened her eyes was the purest blue she had even seen. There wasn't a single cloud to interfere in its solidarity. There wasn't even a sun or a moon. It was only blue.
The dark-haired, bright-eyed girl blinked and realized she was laying on her back. She moved her fingertips and felt something strange. It tickled her palms as she squeezed it, feeling pointed tips on something soft and bendable.
“Grass?” Eralynn thought, slowly coming to her senses. After a few moments of confusion, she moved her arms closer to her side and forced her body into a sitting position. As she rose, she saw the end of the blueness that seemed to surround her. Now, instead, she realized that what she had seen before was only the sky. She could suddenly see trees in the distance. The confused girl readjusted her eyes and concentrated on what was closer.
She sat in a familiar field of brilliantly-colored flowers. Reds, yellows, purples, pinks, whites, and blues surrounded her for a long ways. The only difference in the landscape was the grove of trees far ahead, but other than that, it was only colorful flowers on gently rolling hills for what appeared to be miles.
Eralynn smiled at the lovely scent in the air, allowing a feeling of tranquility to take over. For a moment, she did not care where she was, what had happened, or even who she was. She simply sat, letting the warm, gentle breeze touch her face and enjoying the sights and smells around her.
“Ah, I see you've arrived,” came a voice from behind her.
Eralynn nearly jumped, not expecting that anyone else would be there. Then, she thought about the words. “I've arrived...” she looked around, and then, she suddenly remembered everything.
“Where are Rhylan and Aerance? Is Suicune okay?! Who won the battle?!” Eralynn found herself shouting eagerly. Then, she clutched her right arm and looked down at the white dress she presently wore. She no longer felt any pain. Her wrist was a normal size, and there was no wound on her stomach, from which blood would've still escaped.
Then, Eralynn saw someone step into her view. It was a woman, who smiled at Eralynn while clasping her hands together in front of her stomach. She appeared to be in her thirties and stood at average height. Curiously, this person had long, elegant, black hair. She had fair skin, although not nearly as fair as Eralynn's was. What was most peculiar, however, were the light blue eyes laced with dark eyelashes this woman possessed.
Eralynn stared at her, completely stunned. Then, she looked down at her own jet-black hair. “Who are you?”
“I am Queen Oleander,” the woman said in a hauntingly familiar voice. “Mine was the voice that led you on your journey, little Eralynn.”
Eralynn sat, wide-eyed and mouth open. Finally, she was meeting the voice from her frightening dreams, and it was the Queen that died fighting Varlo the Terrible.
“Don't worry,” Oleander began to speak again, “your friends will be okay. Rhylan has bandaged up Aerance's bruised ribs, and in a few days, he will begin the ride back to Derelon City. Suicune will remain in the Great Dragon's volcano as its leg heals, and then it will travel to the city to begin its duties. The other two guardians were only mildly injured in battle, and they are presently making their way to Derelon as we speak. They will keep intruders out for now, and then Suicune will join them to help.”
Even though everyone was all right, Eralynn knew that she should have felt a bit sad, seeing as she would not see her best friend or the one she was in love with again, but it was very hard to feel any kind of negative emotion at that moment. Jealousy, hatred, anger, fear, sadness, and guilt seemed to have completely vanished from her mind as she sat in the beautiful field with the beautiful Queen. Instead, she felt wiser and more experienced. She felt satisfied and fulfilled. Most of all, though, she felt proud.
Eralynn had killed the leader of Team Devastation, and although she would no longer walk on Earth, she took comfort in knowing that he would not either. She sighed as she now knew that things would be okay for her people. She did not know how she was so sure, but there was no doubt in her mind that this was the last of Team Devastation.
“I know that you have many questions still, Eralynn, and I know that you've been waiting for answers, so I will give them to you,” the elegant Queen smiled at Eralynn as she said this.
Although her overwhelming curiosity had gotten the best of her before, Eralynn felt much different now, and was unable to feel frustration from not knowing these things. She wanted to know, of course, but she was suddenly much more patient and understanding here, as if this place – wherever it was – had changed her entirely. “Okay, where am I exactly?” She began with this obvious question.
“You are in the Afterlife, my dear,” the soothing voice of Oleander answered. “You might feel differently here than you did on Earth, Eralynn. You see, you are no longer a human, and have thus lost many of the things that make up a person, like emotion, impulsiveness, and greed. Here, it will be different, because you are an angel.” Oleander sighed, and then continued. “You have certainly sacrificed much for your people, and therefore, here, you will be rewarded generously.”
Eralynn nodded, already being somewhat aware of where she was. Then, she asked many other questions, all of which the Queen had clear-cut answers for. And there, walking hand-in-hand with the legendary Oleander in the vast field of flowers, Eralynn discovered many things.
She mainly learned why so many had respected and honored the Queen. Oleander had pledged her life to save the colony of Milotic that Eralynn met, and, as she was told, Malkaline was the love of the Great Dragon. He had, in return for rescuing his lover, promised to do Queen Oleander any favor, and that was how the dragon agreed to wait for Eralynn and help her when she arrived.
Queen Oleander knew of the future because she was a seer. She knew that she would die at the hands of Varlo before she could rid the world of Team Devastation, and she knew that someone else would have to finish what she had started. The Queen explained to Eralynn that she saw the birth of a girl similar to herself in the future. Oleander had decided for sure that this was the one to save Derelon City, as she was clever, brave, and cared much for others.
She explained everything to the girl, whose fate on Earth was now sealed. Eralynn listened attentively, absorbing a lot of shocking information, but she did not get mad or question why it had to happen to her. She did not wish to be sent back to the world to start over. No longer human, Eralynn simply accepted what had happened, and was satisfied to have an explanation for her great journey.
“You must understand- no one else could have done this, Eralynn. No one else but you,” Queen Oleander told her grandchild warmly.
* * *
“I just wish that it could have been different, sometimes. That's all,” Rhylan explained to King Nevarro guiltily.
It had been one year after Eralynn had passed away, and the King and the Prince sat in the dining room of the castle alone. The orange, setting sun came through the windows and reflected off of the cherry-wood table. Other than that, the two were sitting in the dark, deep in conversation and thought.
“My boy,” said King Nevarro, “as I've said hundreds of times, none of us knew that this would happen to Eralynn.”
Rhylan slammed his fist on the table angrily while fighting back tears. “But you knew she was the chosen one! You should have told her! You shouldn't have forced me to keep it a secret... or keep who she really was a secret!”
“Rhylan, please understand,” said the King gravely, “that we did everything we could to protect her. Why do you think we traded your home with hers? We didn't just prefer you to be King eventually, my boy. After all, being raised by my Advisor allowed both for her protection, and for me to keep an eye on my only daughter. I must say, however, that it proved extremely difficult not to interfere in her life.”
“Then why didn't you?” Rhylan asked, finally beginning to calm down.
“My mother, the great seer, told me that I would someday have a daughter, and that she would be the chosen one. I was only a six-year-old Prince at the time, mind you, but the Queen made me promise to ask someone else to raise my child for me, and in return, take their child into my home,” King Nevarro explained.
“But, why couldn't she just remain as the heir to the throne? That was her rightful place. It was never mine...” Rhylan said shamefully.
The King frowned, and then answered him. “Rhylan, the men from Team Devastation would not hesitate to capture or kill a Princess in order to get what they want. If I had allowed her to remain heir to the throne, there was a higher likelihood that she wouldn't have taken her journey to gather the three guardians, and the entire city could have fallen. And it wasn't as if we wanted you to take the fall instead, but you must understand that Team Devastation knew it was a young woman said to someday save Derelon.”
Rhylan let out a quiet sigh, realizing his surrogate father was right. He stared at the table silently, waiting for the kind King to speak again.
“That,” the King continued, “is also why she was not permitted to be a warrior. It would have been much too dangerous for her to venture out on the Last Journey or to simply fight in any battles besides the one at the Great Dragon's lair.
“My former Pokemon, Aerance, and I also made a deal so that she would remain relatively hidden in the forest. Aerance and Oleander had once been captives of Team Devastation, but they had escaped the prison together and released some of the Pokemon. Team Devastation members, therefore, were furious, and always on the hunt for the Ponyta, even after Oleander died. And, since Aerance had sworn an oath with Oleander to protect the chosen one when she came, we had to keep the fire Pokemon concealed alongside Eralynn. This is why they were always together, and why Aerance fought so hard to save her human friend.”
Rhylan looked down and stared at his hands for a moment, then said, “Well, Aerance will live with us now, and she won't have to hide any longer.”
“Yes,” the King responded. “Now, perhaps, you can train her alongside Pidgeot. She hasn't been formally trained for battle since she was Oleander's. This wasn't Eralynn's fault, of course... And poor Orriso! Imagine having to lie to Eralynn and tell her she was not physically strong enough to battle.” King Nevarro shook his head sadly.
“Yes,” Rhylan responded. “I sometimes forget how big of a responsibility the Advisor had in this, as well.”
“Indeed,” said the King. “No wonder Orriso was always so strict with her. He knew that he had to keep her safe, and because of Eralynn's reckless attitude, that was no easy feat. It was hard watching him discipline my daughter so often, but I knew that it was for the best and that I could not interfere. Aside from you and Aerance, though, my Advisor took the news of her death the hardest. He tried for so long to keep her safe, and so, it was very difficult for him.
“Little did we all know, trying so hard to protect such a brave soul was foolish. Eralynn handled herself well on a tough journey, and ended up saving her people from otherwise certain doom,” The King thought aloud. Then, after pausing, he said, “Anyway, Eralynn did not need to take the trip to Norsillon to be initiated into warrior-hood; rather, she was already the greatest warrior of Derelon City.”
The King gave a sad smile as he sat, deep in thought. Then, he stood up, patted Rhylan on the shoulder, and walked out of the dining hall, leaving the untrue heir to the throne by his lonesome.
Rhylan reached into his pocket and pulled something hard and smooth from it. He set the stone of Norsillon on the dark-red table and stared at it closely while leaving one finger on it. After waiting for a moment, the gray rock began to change color. It zipped through many different shades, from yellow to red to blue to black, and then, finally, settled on one true color. The destiny stone was an olive green, the color of peace.
Rhylan looked up to the sky, imagining that Eralynn was looking down, watching over him. He pictured her holding the stone in his mind, and he saw the crimson red of the line of Kings and Queens form in her hands.
Despite not being born into the ruling family, Rhylan knew he would grow up to become King of Derelon City someday, and he knew that he would never stop thinking of the rightful Princess for all of his life.
“Goodbye, my Eralynn,” Rhylan said. “I will hold you again someday.”
And from above, the greatest warrior of Derelon heard him, and she smiled.
Stir of The Thunderstorm
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