Ch. 8 Raining
<Why didn't you kill him?> Latios asked Andrew, an almost shocked look on his face when he saw the fire type trudging further behind.
"Because if I needed too, you would have when he attacked you." He said solemnly. Latios just watched him walk by towards everyone else; he then whirled around, glaring at the approaching fire type.
<You're not going to live much longer.> he muttered. Althalos just looked at the Eon, a blank expression on his face.
<I don't really care right now…> he muttered.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Andrew had been walking slowly walked slowly behind Jack, Nicholas, Latios and Latias for the past few hours, and Althalos trailing behind him a bit farther off. He watched Jack pick up his younger brother when he started stumbling. Andrew gave a wan smile. "It's nice," he thought "that brothers can trust each other like that." Latias was suddenly next to him.
<Are you alright?> she asked, leaning against him. Andrew blushed a little and gave an embarrassed, but worried laugh.
"Not really, but I don't want to talk right now, we need to keep moving." Latias just leaned into him more, purring softly.
<Aw, but don't you see how tired little Nicholas is, not to mention myself. It's also getting dark out.> Andrew looked at the sky, and indeed, it was starting to get dark.
"Today just flew by." Andrew thought out loud, gently pushing Latias away, but she only resisted and pushed harder into him until he almost fell. She laughed and Andrew could have sworn her eyes glinted when she did.
The party soon came to a halt on a large cliff area. The ground was covered in fresh grass and a breeze blew through the area, cooling everyone off. The sun was just sinking below the horizon, making the sky turn a brilliant array of colors, stretching from the dark blue behind them, to the bright orange and pink of the disappearing clouds, and a few beams of light blasted through the clouds to light up the sky in an amazing shade of yellow, while in the distance, smoke rose from the elevated Fortree City, yet closer on, on the mountain side, shown the lights of Lavaridge Town. The silhouetted shape of the mountain at their backs was a beautiful site to behold too, standing above everything else. Andrew stood on the edge of the cliff, letting the wind cool him. He went out to hunt for himself after setting up camp, and was soon followed by the others.
He was taking a good sized Swellow back to the camp when he saw Latias slowly creeping towards an unsuspecting Tropius. He crawled up next to her.
"You're never going to be able to catch that." he whispered, making Latias start. She shook the leaves surrounding her, scaring the Tropius and causing it to fly off.
<I can knock it out of the sky though!> she took off in pursuit of the grass type, Andrew laughing at her. He walked back towards the cliff to see that everyone else had arrived with their meals except Althalos.
<Where's the Typhlosion?> Latios asked.
"How should I know?" Andrew snapped.
<Well, good riddance to him.> Latios said, stick his nose in the air. A loud crash followed by a <help me> alerted Andrew and Latios, but Nicholas and Jack couldn't understand and they went on cooking.
Andrew and Latios made their way through the woods to find Latias, stuck underneath the now dead Tropius.
<How on earth are you going to eat that?> Latios was surprised.
"I'm just surprised she even managed to take it down." Andrew said, eyebrows raised. He leaned over and started to push on the corpse.
"Damn, this thing is heavy! Latios, are you going to help me?" Andrew managed to push it most of the way off of Latias, but at the last second, Latios used his psychic to move it all the way, causing Andrew to fall down. Latios laughed as Andrew spit out a face full of dirt and brushed himself off. Latias floated up next to her brother and patted his back.
<That was a good one!> she laughed.
Andrew heard a stream over a little a ways and concentrated his energy on it. He pictured the stream in his mind, and the water rising out of it, then weaving through the trees towards him. When he opened his eyes and concentrated on the world around him, he found that Latios and Latias were still laughing, unaware of the watery threat. Andrew made the water from into a ball and had it hover over the two eons, and then he let it all go with one big splash, and Andrew was surprised to see that the water kept coming, and that it was now pouring on him. He looked up to see that the sky had darkened, and that it was now pouring rain. The Eon's stopped laughing, and started leaving, Andrew close behind. Latias, though, stopped. She turned around and started lifting the dead Tropius with her psychic.
"Leave it!" Andrew called from further up.
<but I'm hungry! She shouted back. Andrew, with an annoyed look on his face ran back, and rather than helping her move the grass type, grabbed Latias's arm, pulling her away. This made her lose her concentration, and she let her prey drop. She followed Andrew to the cliff side, where on Latios was waiting. By now, he was soaked completely through, and his feathers, as well as Latias's, and Andrews clothes, were stuck flat against their bodies. Latios yelled at them that there was a nearby cave, and lead them to it.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Kayla woke up lying in the raft next to her sister and their Metang.
"Alys!" she said, shaking her sister, who blinked her eyes opened.
"Are we there yet?" she asked drowsily. Kayla looked up, and saw the silhouette of Slateport City.
"Yep!" she said giddily. She shook the Metang awake and looked at the raft that they had built. It had now been a few days at sea, and the poor quality ropes had corroded, completely in some places. Some of the planks of wood were gone, and the sail was missing as of last night. After completely waking up, they set out across the beach. As they came closer and closer to the capital, they noticed what looked like a rain cloud hovering over the city, but as they got closer still, the saw wreckage scattered about them and found that the rain cloud was billowing up from the city.
"How did they get here so fast?!" Kayla was worried, but she started running towards the city in hope that the castle still was intact.
CH. 9 Mountain side
Andrew sat at the entrance to the cave. It had been raining non stop for the past three days, barely letting up enough to hunt.
"At least it will put out the fires…" Andrew thought to himself and walked towards the rear of the cave where everyone else was huddled. Althalos, who had arrived shortly after the rain started had lit and kept a fire burning. He stayed in the furthest corner of the cave unless the fire was shrinking or it was time for a meal. Andrew sat next to the fire type, who was leaning against the wall.
"I know what it's like to lose those you care about." Andrew said. Althalos stared blankly at the opposite wall for a few moments and then looked down.
<I have already lost so much. I don't like killing.> He said sadly.
"Do you have a family?" Andrew asked without looking at the Typhlosion.
<Yes, my mate and son.> Althalos seemed sadder than before.
"Do you know where they are?"
<In a prison camp, probably working like slaves. They'll stay like that until my service is over. I haven't seen either off them in more than a year now…>
Andrew looked at him. "Family is hard to lose. I have witnessed and been a part of so much violence. I am harder than the most well trained knight or samurai, and yet I still cry when I lose someone I care about."
<I know that you probably hate me for trying to kill your friend, but you have to understand that I have "failed" too many operations. He was the only one who suspected anything. Besides, my mission was to assassinate you and any accomplices. There would be severe consequences if I didn't.>
"I don't hate you, let's just say that I strongly dislike you," this made Althalos smile a little. "But would you have even killed them?" Andrew asked, pointing to John and Nicholas. Althalos shook his head.
<They are only with you for protection and because you're going where they're going. They know no better.> Andrew acknowledged this with a nod.
"Now, what are your consequences for not killing me and my friends?"
<Being forced to watch my family killed, or be forced to do it myself…>
- - - - - - - - - - -
Kayla, Alys and the Metang stopped about 100 meters from the entrance to the city. The smoke seemed to be coming from inside, but there were no breaches in the walls or signs of fighting, not even a blood splatter. The only living thing they saw was a guard up in the wall turret. He leaned over the edge.
"Who are you? State your business?" He yelled down to them.
"We are Alys and Kayla, Nieces to his Royal Majesty, King Alexander!" Alys yelled up to him. The guard turned around and he yelled a command to someone on the other side of the wall. Four men could be seen through the gate pulling a lever and the large iron gate lifted. The two girls and the Metang walked through and were briefly saluted by the men. Kayla stopped in front of them for a moment.
"What are those fires from?" she pointed to the thick, billowing smoke that lifted from the center of the city.
"Those flames are from The Book of Alliances. They're burning all records of the alliance that Kanto made with us 12 years ago. No need keeping what doesn't exist anymore." One of the guards said with a shrug.
"I see…" Kayla said, "Where is the castle?" she asked.
The guard pointed down the large road that lead through the city. "Follow this until you get to the market place. Turn left on the other large road there. Follow that to the Wailord Inn. Make a left at that intersection then keep going. It is a straight shot from there, about 30 minutes total on foot."
"Thank you very much." Kayla said and curtseyed. The guard bowed and returned to his post.
- - - - - - - - - - -
"Enemy contact, front!" General Sontoyo shouted. Four archer units, three Venosaur and seven swords men charged at the small squadron of men. Five Blaziken wearing heavy armor shot fireballs at the charging enemy. After a few minutes, all the Kantonian soldiers had been burnt to a crisp, their ashes floating away in the soft wind. A young soldier came up to him.
"Where to next, sir?" he asked. The general looked at him for a moment.
"We will head to Lavaridge next. We might be able to find some suitable recruits there." General Sontoyo mounted his Rapidash, a strong, heavy destrier by the name of Honoo, and began leading the way to the volcano city.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Andrew woke up sweating, it had suddenly become very hot in the cave. He looked around to find that it was actually Latias, curled up against him, a large ball of red and white feathers. He gently moved away from her and she shivered violently as her sudden source of heat left, but she didn't wake up.
Andrew did a quick head count and was happy to see that everyone was there and asleep. He tossed another log onto the smoldering embers of the fire pit and looked outside; it had finally stopped raining. It was still cloudy out, but a few beams of sun had broken through the clouds, leaving a beautiful view on the forest below.
"I would come up to a mountain like this with my father every once and a while. He would take me when he went on his merchant trips sometimes." The voice startled Andrew and he looked around to see Jack.
"I would appreciate it if you wouldn't sneak up on me like that…" Andrew sighed.
"Sorry, this just reminds me of those views. Did you ever do anything with your father?"
"I'd rather not talk about him." Andrew muttered irritably.
"Okay, how about your family in general?" Jack asked.
"The only family I have alive is my older sister, and I haven't seen her since I was about five. My real family is here with me." Andrew looked at Latios and Latias, then sat down and let his feet dangle over the edge of the cliff and watched the sun rise. Jack sat next to him.
"You don't seem like someone who scares easily, why so?" Jack tried to change the subject.
"I've done to much to be easily scared. I am scared when some one I care about, or someone innocent is hurt or dieing. I am scared when I am dieing, but then again, we are dieing from the moment we're born, so I am only scared of my own or a loved ones premature deaths." Jack just nodded, taking in the words of wisdom. The sun finally rose to a good light and the clouds parted, letting the soft, morning summer light fall. Andrew got up and began waking everyone else. Jack woke Nicholas and everyone ate a quiet breakfast of dried meat. They began to trek along the cliff side and down into the expansive forest.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Kayla and Alys got lost twice, but thanks to their metang, they made it to the castle in about 45 minutes, give or take. The entered the castle courtyard, and were stopped by some guars. After explaining who they were again, they were brought to the throne room, a long hall that also served as a feast hall. Large, white granite pillars, 20 on each side, held up the ceiling, each had a Hoennian flag hanging from it. A large grey silk rug stetched from the massive iron and wood doors to the king and queens feet. Only the queen was in her throne, the King off doing royal duties.
"My beautiful nieces!" The queen said joyously and stood up to meet them, giving each a hug.
"How is my brother in law? Why are you here?" she asked. Kayla and Alys looked at each other sadly, then the queen. "As far as we know, we're the only survivors from Dewford. We hid in the cave and we were working on a raft each night, we only just arrived early this morning," Alys explained.
"Oh, I guess that's what that messenger Tailow was holding. My husband never let me see what it was, he told me that it said that our former allies have declared war on us, but I guess your father had written something about him dying in it as well," the queen shook her head sadly then called for her maidens. "Please, prepare a room for my nieces!" the maidens rushed to another part of the castle. "Did you know that the Kantonians just finished a very large battle with some shadow beast and his army a season ago? They were assisted by a boy who had the power to transform and who claimed he was Kyogre. A Hoennian legendary assisting the Kantonians seems like a very strange thing to be doing, but of course we weren't at war last season."
"Really? How much information was received about this boy?" Kayla asked curiously. The queen gave her an odd look.
"Not much really, I heard he looked to be younger than you, in case that's what you're wondering, three or four years at least. He was traveling with a Latios and a Latias, the Eon Siblings. A witness said he turned into a Rayquaza for the duration of the final battle, and that after some the dark being attacked him with some kind of dark energy, his rayquaza form turned black. They wound up defeating the dark thing, btu the boy was seriously hurt, on the verge of death, so they say. He gathered up enough energy, and 'poof,'" she emphasized with her hands, "turned into a boy again. It's all simply preposterous I say," The queen waved it off with her hand. This whole thing just made Kayla more interested.
"Do you know where he is now?" she asked.
"Last I heard he was in one of the forests, quite a ways from here though."
"Your room is ready, my ladies," a maiden said as she ran in, curtseying.
"Thank you very much," Alys said, both girls curtseyed in return.
"Your mother taught you very nice manners," the queen said before they left.
- - - - - - - - - - -
General Sontoyo worked his way up the mountain, troop behind him. They had been climbing for a few hours, and finally reached the top. He looked around and got off of Honoo, ordering his men. "Lucipher," he pointed to the head Blaziken, "take your soldiers and scout the area, we don't want any interferences on the way down," A few minutes later, the Blaziken came back with the rest of the fire types. He gave Sontoyo a thumbs up. The platoon headed down the mountain towards Lavaridge. The citizens there were pretty shocked to see armed soldiers in their city. Lavaridge was a town mostly inhabited by murderers, thieves, jail escapees and any sort of criminal you could imagine. Even still, it was probably the most patriotic city in the country, all of those previously stated would not hesitate to join the army to protect Hoenn, and join they did. The squadron now had about 50 extra men, a few more Rapidash and extra supplies and weapons. Sontoyo watched from the back of Honoo with a grin on his face as his now larger group of soldiers marched uniformly down the one way short cut. Even the younger men, who were but petty thieves knew how to march. Sontoyo was glad that he had come here, even if he had a murderer or two in his lines, that would just make them more aggressive in battle.