Chapter 10: Stars
The walls of Fortree loomed ahead. Latias leaned against Andrew, "Do you think they'll let us in?"
"Well, they'll have to if Nick and Jack are gonna see their uncle," Andrew looked up to the guard on the wall. "Good sir, we need access to the city! We have with us the nephews of the reigning Lord here!" The guard looked down at them, and then called to one of the guards below. He came out with two huge brutes of men, each carrying a giant axe. "Quite the welcoming party," Andrew said to the man, who was inspecting each of them.
"You're the boy, aren't you? At ease, men," the guard called the two brutes off. "Please, come in!"
"Well, that depends. What boy are you talking about? Thank you very much. May we please see the Lord?" Andrew asked as they were escorted in.
"The boy who can transform! Of course it's you; you're traveling with the eon siblings. And actually, I'm afraid that our lord is not here at the moment. He is in Slateport discussing things with King Alexander and the other lords. His lady is here though; to make sure everything is running smoothly. You may see her," the guard pointed to a tall building that rose above the trees and elevated homes; the spires and turrets of a small castle rising just above the tree tops. "Find your way there and one of the guards will assist you in finding Lady Doris."
The party started walking towards the building, walking along the elevated walkways, which made for a rather nice view of the again setting sun. Althalos was still lumbering along in the back of the group, trying not to make any eye contact with those that were staring at them. He soon found Andrew next to him.
<What do you want?> the Typhlosion asked without looking up.
"Copper shint for your thoughts?" Andrew asked him.
<Being among all these people… Some of which I might end up killing or witness being killed, it's strange knowing that they will probably die,>
"Now, now, Hoenn is a much greater country than that. She won't die that easily. Her people are as hardy as the elements. There is no easy way Hoenn will go down."
- - - - - - - - - - -
General Sontoyo crawled out from under Honoo and looked around. The only things moving were the flames of what used to be Littleroot Town. Then he noticed, just at the entrance to the ton, the Kantonian camp. He grabbed a bow and arrow from a nearby archer, whose body was grossly distorted, and lit the tip on fire. He launched the arrow with expert marksmanship into a tent. The fire was quickly put out, but a satisfied smirk crossed his face when a soldier ran out of the tent, screaming like a small child, and his clothes on fire. He turned around to see if he could get Honoo to get up, but the Rapidash was missing a leg and there was a big gash across his face and neck. HE remembered what had happened. The now larger group had moved to Littleroot, receiving a distress call from a messenger taillow. They went there as fast as possible, and charged head on into a skirmish between the villagers and the soldiers. This moved the Kantonians back, but they regrouped and charged with fresh soldiers, annihilating the Hoennians. The first thing that happened was axes; so many axes. They rained from the sky like a hellish downpour. Then the men with the long swords came in, killing everything in their path, but even then, there were soldiers left. They fought to the last one, until finally, one caught Honoo in the leg, toppling the horse pokemon, and crushing Sontoyo beneath him. That was all he remembered. He was hurriedly looking for survivors, but was frozen by an all too familiar voice.
"Ah, Sontoyo, my friend! I thought you died when Honoo fell on you," the Hoennian general turned to see Henry. The fat man lumbered towards him and Sontoyo rushed at him, but two soldiers grabbed him by the arms.
"You've let yourself go, Henry. Put on a few hundred pounds I see," Sontoyo spat at Henrys' feet.
"Is that a challenge I hear?" Henry taunted.
"Oh, I bet you wouldn't be able to move your fat ass quick enough. I get the feeling you just hid in the trees during the fight, just like you did when we were kids," Henry punched him in the face, with uncanny speed for someone his size.
"How's that for speed?" Henry laughed. "You know, when we were children, you beat me up many times. Now, I am the general of an army. I think I should repay the favor," a guard gave Henry a crossbow, which he aimed at Sontoyo. "Are you ready to meet God?" he pulled the trigger.
- - - - - - - - - - -
"It would be an honor to have you here at the ball tonight!" Lady Doris exclaimed, "You would be the guest of honor. All of you would be invited," Andrew contemplated the offer.
"What do you guys think? I nice break from all the excitement?" he asked.
<Sure, why not? It'll be fun,> Latias giggled. She was in her human illusion now, standing up straight as she could, trying to match Andrew's height, but off by a few inches.
<Do I have to?> Latios groaned. The whole idea of dancing publicly was foreign to him, and seemed like a bad idea. He had tried dancing before as a human, and bad dancing is something not even an illusion can cover up.
<Aw, come on! You might meet a pretty Flygon or something there,> Latias tried to change his mind, but really I was all the more reason for him not to go in his opinion.
<As long as I don't have to look like a human, I'll go,> he finally gave in.
"What exactly are they talking about, Andrew?" the boy was asked by both Lady Doris and Jack.
"Oh, they're just arguing about the ball. I, for one, will be there gladly. I need a break," he looked a t Jack. "What about you?"
"I think I'll just stay in my room. Play with Nick," he shrugged.
"Well, Latios, Latias, I'll see you both at the ball."
- - - - - - - - - - -
Latias put on the dress, which had been quickly designed for her about two hours earlier. Despite it being rushed, it was still beautiful. The silk was soft shade of gold to match her eyes and there were light pink frills around the arms and at the bottom, which dragged only slightly on the floor. She looked in the mirror, thinking. She liked Andrew, a lot. She also knew that he liked her just as much, but she also knew that he was too stubborn to just admit it. If he didn't really like her the way she did him, well, she couldn't think like that. If he didn't she would hide away and cry, but those were not thoughts for now. The ball was to begin in just a few minutes, and already citizens of the small town were filing into the castle by twos and music was drifting up through the halls. Latias put on the slippers and walked down the hall ways to the ball room. It was already crowded, but she quickly spotted Andrew. He was wearing a white and red military coat, with some mock medals on the shoulder. He was over by the food table. She waited patiently for him to finish what he was doing, and looked around. There were a few couples that looked as young as they were, and some so old that they were almost skeletal. Althalos was standing in a corner. He had received some temporary armor to make him look more official. It didn't fit him too well though, as it was made for a swampert guard. The armor was too wide at the shoulders, and he had to keep lifting it up at the bottom of the plates. Latias giggled watching him trying to look all official, and only barely succeeding in doing so. She turned back to Andrew, who was now talking to another girl. This worried Latias, thinking he might not dance with her, but he just gave the girl a small bow and started walking towards Latias.
"You look beautiful," he kissed her hand, making her blush.
"You are looking fine yourself," now Andrew blushed a little. The music started playing a little louder now.
"May I have this dance, my fair maiden?" Andrew asked, taking her hand.
"Of course, my knight in shining blue armor," Latias smiled. Andrew put her hand on his shoulder, and his own on her waist. They started dancing in time to the others.
- - - - - - - - - -
Latias rested her head on Andrews shoulder as the music slowed to a calm dance.
"Want to go get some air? I found a pavilion near the entrance to the castle," Andrew asked her. She let Andrew lead her outside to a small white construction in a tree. They climbed the ladder to find that it was open topped and empty. The only light was that of the bright stars. The music could still be faintly heard outside, and they kept slowly dancing. Andrew tilted Latias's head up and kissed her gently on the lips. Her fears of Andrew possibly not liking her completely disappeared, leaving only a big warm spot in her stomach. Although he hadn't said that he liked her, that kiss was more than enough. She rested her head on his shoulder again as they slowly danced around the tree trunk that rose through the center. She had a stupidly infatuated smile on her face, and she could tell Andrew had a similar look. They sat down on the bench against the tree and Latias rested her head on Andrews lap, letting the illusion break. Andrew was warm even though her feathers, and she fell asleep, still grinning.