*Rated T for violence and gore*
The Tale of the Hashashin takes place in a world beyond infinity, a world filled with wonders: the Outer World. It is purely inhabited by tribes of Pokemon who find themselves under a constant war, with their single goal being survival. Our story takes us in one of the many villages in the northern-most mountains of Stygia, where a legendary national hero is about to be born. His fame will not be disputed even after one thousand years, although some considered him a brutal killer with no respect for the Pokemon lives.
*This Fan Fic is based on Odyssey, a Roleplay created by Supervegeta. It is more of a series of events completly irrelevant to the Roleplay, which are happening in a completly different part of the world and in a different era.
Chapter 1: Like father, like son
The Ancelottis were certainly not one of those families you would call normal. They were the last people you'd expect to fight valiantly for their village, because all of them were dark Pokemon, shady characters. Yet, nobody would bother them about their legacy and ideals - a menacing curtain of shadows was covering every single one of them. They seemed to share a secret, a secret so powerful and dangerous that only a few truly acknowledged it.
Adalbert Ancelotti, a Zoroark, was the owner of the local mines, which extracted tristanite, a strange grey-colour mineral; it was indeed extremely rare, and it was used only for creating armours for the Ancelottis. Those armours were lighter and harder than the usual platinum armours their enemies - the Dark Cult - were using in battle. Adalbert himself had designed a special armour to fit his body structure without degrading his agility and maximizing his extreme skill in the martial art he himself had created. This martial art involved fast but focused and precise hits with claws on specific parts, accompanied with the optical illusions the Zoroarks were able to create. Adalbert was planning on passing this unique combat style down to his son, Chantalai, a seven year old Zorua who was considered a prodigy by the Ancelottis. Chantalai had shown extreme potential in combat from an early age, showing signs of his father's own skills.
Adalbert Ancelotti woke up inside his house's bedroom, a rare occasion of him not wandering off to sleep in the forest or up the cold mountain range of the north. The first rays of the morning sun penetrated through the cloudy sky to light up the village; it was ironical, as dark days were approaching the region like menacing thunderclouds on the horizon. Adalbert grunted as he wore his silver chestguard and shoulderpads he himself had created. His armour weighed more each day that passed, but he had accepted that aging was something inevitable. He shrugged the thought off his mind and walked out of his bedroom, headed towards the dining room, only to find it empty. Normally, his son Chantalai would be there, eating the berries his father had instructed him to eat, which were supposedly healthy for him. But only the Pidoves outside the window were breaking the silence of the house - his senses tingled as he walked over to the table.
Suddenly he heard a sound from above like something was cutting through the air towards him. A black furball landed on his shoulderpad, laughing and hugging his head.
'Ha! You're dead, dad!' shouted Chantalai with his usual pep in his father's ear, who could not help but smile as he gave him a side look.
'I see you've already understood the basics.'
Adalbert, still smiling, looked around the dining room for any signs that Chantalai had eaten his food; his eyes were fixed on some pieces of fruit on the floor.
'Ready?' he grabbed thefurball from his shoulder and threw it outside the open door, without worrying about hurting him. Indeed, the Zorua landed on his feet and cried out happily as he dashed off to the garden. Adalbert walked over to a wooden bucket full of water he always kept next to the door and splashed his hands before listening to his son's cries about training. He followed the small rodent to the woods, happy that little Chantalai was eager to learn how to fight properly - it was essential these years, after all. His mind was suddenly clouded with the thoughts of a surprise assault from the Dark Cult which had established a camp nearby, a camp he was unable to infiltrate so far. The locals thought of him as a dangerous, short-fused miner who got lucky and rich, and now was ensuring his own survival; but it's best they did not know about his true job, the one of the spy, an information convoy between the Stygian natives and the Dark Cult. Such a job was to be kept secret, even from their own allies - only the leader of the village was aware of it, purely because he was an Ancelotti himself.
Adalbert's train of thought was abruptly cut as Chantalai was jumping up and down on the spot, bursting with energy. His whole fur shook with his excitement, the Zoroark positioning himself, perking up his body.
Father and son were standing in the middle of a forest clearing, with the cold grass drenching their feet and the refreshing morning breeze dancing on their faces. The sound of a rambling rivernearby was echoing through the forest, which was engulfed in a mist, giving off a mysterious feeling. The leaves of the trees blocked most of the bright sunlight, but the beams of light that passed through were illuminating the soaked ground which emitted a strange, fertile smell. Adalbert looked at the scenery while filling his lungs with the fresh air; Chantalai mimicked him while sniffing at the ground with his usual curiosity. The next moment he stared intently at his idol, his eyes glowing with ambition as he hanged from his lips - Adalbert started talking, his iron-hard voice making the Zorua sit still.
'It is about time we started talking about evolution. In order to achieve perfect balance, you need to learn how to stand on your two feet.'
Chantalai nodded vigorously, even though he only understood the key words: evolution and balance. 'I'm ready, dad!,' he chortled happily, his father continuing with his little speech.
'You'll never fall down in your life again, if you manage to stand on your two feet before you evolve.'
Adalbert walked over to his son and grabbed his front feet, raising them. Chantalai was now standing on his two feet, with the help of his father. He eyed him with admiration, but he didn't return the look. He was serious now, Chantalai noticing that and trying to mimic his focused expression. But he was unable to hold himself back and said:
'Dad, you said I'll evolve! When will I evolve?'
'You'll evolve when you've trained enough,' he said while looking at him firmly. Chantalai's red eyes were opened wide in a wonderful daydream; his father let his son's front feet fall down, bringing him back to reality.
'Do it yourself now,' he ordered with a steel tone nobody could say no to. Chantalai tried to hold his balance while on two feet, and he only managed it for a few seconds. He was excited at first, but then he thought it was boring and pointless. However, he didn't dare slack off as Adalbert had taught him that slacking off would bring punishment. After he trained for two hours constanly, Adalbert spoke.
'Enough of that for now. Show me something frightening with your illusions.'
Chantalai's eyebrows became one as he concentrated. He was but a child, but he managed to create an image of a Linoone running towards his father; Chantalai had observed the Linoones running in the forest, and he copied every part of their movements in his memory, like his father had told him. The illusion disappeared once it reached Adalbert, who didn't show any signs of approval. Chantalai felt picked off, but he reminded himself he could always do better.
'What are you afraid of, Chantalai? Show me something you're afraid of,' Adalbert said plainly. His son's eyes opened wide once again, this time in fear. Then he smirked again; a long body of a Pokemon appeared in front of Chantalai - it was an Arbok which was slithering towards his father. The serpentine Pokemon flung itself to the Zoroark and vanished right after. Adalbert slightly smiled, but his smile disappeared as fast as the Arbok had. The Zorua saw it and a wave of cold happiness and accomplishment hit it; he was pleased with himself, but he would not laid back. Adalbert recognized the feelings of his own son in his look, but said nothing about it.
'Let's move onto the concentration and focusing lessons.'
Chantalai nodded vigorously again and followed his father towards the river. The rambling sound got more intense as they approached the side of the flowing water. It wasn't as big as it was furious - the water fell down the Amaro mountains with extreme force, forming many waterfalls on their way down. Right now, father and son were watching a relatively small waterfall throwing its water down from about six feet.
Adalbert pointed at the waterfall and said, 'Go under that and sit on that rock.'
The little Zorua smirked again, as if he was concentrating. 'But dad, isn't that dangerous?'
'You'll go through many dangerous situations in your life, but this waterfall isn't one of them. Now go!' He said and pushed his son forward.
Chantalai did as he was asked and let the water fall on his head, without even wondering how that would help him. He sat down on the rock, with the water landing on his head. It was a strange feeling, even refreshing. The waterfall wasn't as strong as it seemed at first, the little rodent thought. He could take the water's pressure now and was in fact able to think crystal clear. Within the two hours his father had left him there, he begun realizing what focusing is.
Adalbert had disappeared and some Linoones had appeared from the forest and started mocking Chantalai.
'Don't you have anything better to do, jarhead?'
'Yeah! You're infecting our river with your presence!'
And they went on, but Chantalai managed to ignore them like his father had instructed him, overcoming the childish side of himself. The Linoones left after a while, going behind the trees; Adalbert was waiting for them there, where he paid them for their services to attempt and distract Chantalai - this was a detail of the training Chantalai himself would never learn.
The Zoroark jumped on the rock behind Chantalai. 'Come,' he said softly. Chantalai relieved his head from the flowing water. Only then he noticed a cave behind the waterfall. He jumped in excitement and joy as he followed his father inside.
'What are we gonna see, dad?'
'Wonderful things!' Adalbert said in a excited tone that resembled his son's and walked further into the darkness. 'Go on and fake an illusion to light this cave up,' he said right after. Chantalai concentrated once again and a small flame appeared, lighting up the cavern. It then faded, only to be replaced by a bigger one produced by his father.
The cavern had stairs leading to a circular room. The walls had runes glowing blue on them; they seemed not to reflect the flame Adalbert was holding above their heads. They, in fact, seemed to be out of this world. The little rodent shook his fur in an attempt to ward off the cold that was passing through it. He looked around; the walls were surely made from Pokemon, but the runes were emitting a strange signal that not many could understand.
'What are those, dad?' Chantalai's voice echoed in the cave. He was observing their blue glow with this mouth slightly opened in glee.
'Those,' said the Zoroark with a mysterious tone, 'are the heirlooms of our ancestors. You, the youngest Ancelotti, are our heir. Those runes are the continuation of an ancient script, written by somebody that... clearly has visited other worlds.'
The Zorua sat on his rear feet and tilted his head in a puzzled look. His huge eyes were reflecting the unearthly blue light of the runes. 'I don't understand...'
His father's laugh echoed in the cavern; Chantalai smirked, trying not to be annoyed - he didn't like to be the subject of laughter, even for trivial things.
'You will understand, one day, son.'
Meanwhile, Chantalai's personality had undergone changes as well - he was not so gentle any more, nor innocent or good-willed. He would pluck any food his father was holding, not fully realizing he would be later punished. The Zorua was turning into a truly disruptive student, even from this age; he preferred to learn things himself. However, his personality collided with the iron-hard discipline his father had taught him ever since he was a kid. Adalbert was forced to be much more austere with his son, and the distance between them grew.
Despite the years that had passed, Chantalai had not learned what the strange symbols on that cavern meant, and Adalbert was telling him he was not mature enough to understand. That simply enraged him, but he never showed it. He would try to translate the runes himself, but to no avail.
For the first time in years, Chantalai was interrupted during his training. He and his father were creating examples of illusions, holding them in reality as long as they could, when a harsh-sounding voice was heard behind the trees.
The form of a Weavile appeared in the clearing where the Zoroark and the Zorua were standing. The Weavile was wearing a silver tristanite armour similar to his father's and had a kindhearted face that contrasted his nature. Chantalai charged at him and fell into his arms, crying out.
As the little rodent curled up in the Weavile's arms, Adalbert approached him with a slight hint of fear in his expression; the little one was too excited to notice.
Adalbert extended his hand, Chantalai climbing up to his uncle's shoulder so he would be able to reach and shake Adalbert's hand. Their red eyes met in a power play that lasted only a moment.
'Any news?' the Zoroark said, still bearing that worried look. Raskalov grabbed the Zorua from his shoulder and placed him on the ground.
'Let's walk,' said Raskalov and begun walking towards the river. Adalbert threw a look to his son, saying stay right where you are, and left, following the Weavile.
Chantalai wasn't used to staying still, except when he was under the waterfall - the water calmed him, somehow. Some times, he was so concentrated he fell asleep, but his father didn't appreciate it. Now his mind was veiled with the thought of his uncle. Raskalov Ancelotti was secretly the leader of the village of Krept, where the family of the Ancelottis were running their secret operations. The Weavile, even though he was kind towards his family, was vicious and ruthless - he made the death of the former leader look like an accident and took charge of Krept under a different surname. When Chantalai's father had told him all this, he realized what it meant to be an Ancelotti and thought that the thoughts of killing the members of the Linoone gang who opposed him all the timeveiled his mind like the clouds on the peaks of the Amaro mountains. What the little Zorua wasn't aware of was the biggest secret of the Ancelottis - and he felt that uncle Raskalov and Adalbert were talking about it every time they met, which wasn't often. His curiosity tortured him like the sight of Pidove eggs he wasn't allowed to eat.
Chantalai ran silently with his eyes fixed on the two, hiding behind the trees and the bushes. The Weavile and the Zoroark walked towards the river without saying a word to each other and followed it up to the waterfall, where they entered the cave. Chantalai's heart was racing - what was he going to hear? He entered the cave silently behind the two and jumped on a rock, hiding in the darkness. Meanwhile, the two had climbed down the stairs of the cold cave, their voices echoing in the walls.
'Why are you here? Not Frontier's business, I suppose?'
'Our enemies have progressed northeast of Alamagna and have set a camp on the edge of Vanir forest. Us and Krept, we share the same problem,' he said, sounding worried as well now. Us, as in the Ancelottis, Chantalai thought.
'And what would that be? If you're talking about..'
'Yes, it's about that. You're well aware that the Dark Cult is... searching for something. And the worst part is, they know where it is and they have the ability to claim it by force.'
'That can't be. How could they know...?'
The Weavile grabbed the Zoroark's shoulders.
'Adalbert, hear me out. You have to let me see--'
'No. Only your intentions and desires will be fatal for you when you lay your eyes upon it - it can read your mind. Yes, it can, and when it does, it'll make you kneel and crack your head like an egg from the pressure of the thoughts. No normal skin is even able to touch it. Everything it touches becomes dust, it vaporizes every living being.'
Chantalai couldn't see Raskalov's expression, but he assumed it was even more terrified. The little Zorua begun to wonder what was it they were talking about and if he would ever know. Is this the only secret our family keeps? He was unable to fully understand what was happening, as he was only twelve years old.
'How fitting,' said Raskalov to Chantalai's surprise. Doubt was obvious in his voice. 'Are you telling me the truth, or are you manipulating your own family? You know that the code of the Ancelottis deems betrayal as an unforgivable mistake, right?'
Now it was clear his voice had changed; anger had filled his tone and the Weavile's claws were extended. Adalbert kept his calm, cold stare and Chantalairealised that, despite he had never seen him fight, he was a truly powerful Pokemon. The dark power he emitted was reaching the Zorua on top of the rock, and it made his small heart cower in fear; just who was his father? Was this all power coming from the secret he was holding?
'I am only protecting you. If I wanted to use this power for myself, you wouldn't even know about it, not to mention you'd be dead by now. Or worse.'
Raskalov seemed hindered by Adalbert's words; Chantalai heard a subtle, shuffling noise next to him. He jerked his head to see a Mienshao entering the cave silently and hiding behind a rock. The symbol of the Dark Cult, the black heart with the crossing blades was painted on his cape. A spy! Chantalai thought from where he was. He manipulated the darkness next to him, like his father had taught him, acquiring a state of invisibility. He sneaked quietly behind the Mienshao and without giving it much thought, he jumped and stuck his small claws onto the spy's long neck. The Mienshao let out a cry and threw him away, but it was too late - he then fell on the ground, with the blood staining the black cape with the symbol of the heart.
'What was that?' Chantalai heard Raskalov and Adalbert rushing up the stairs of the cave. They stopped as they saw the Zorua standing next to a blood pool with a Mienshao drowning on his own blood.
They decided to praise little Chantalai, and during the next years of his training, his father taught him one hundred different ways to slit somebody's throat, depending on the species he was upagainist. After four years of harsh training on wild Pokemon, Chantalai finally evolved. Until then, he did not seem to be bothered by the idea that he murdered a non-wild Pokemon. But now that he was a Zoroark, he became proud of it, and asked his father when he could repeat his success. Adalbert was almost scared by his son's determination, thinking that if he would take a wrong turn somewhere, Chantalai's ultimate victim would be his own father. Although Chantalai showed compassion, dedication and skill in fighting, he loved his father, too. The thought of inheriting the mines and his massive fortune by killing his father never crossed his mind. He would only receive the training his father was putting him through with no complain and a desire to keep going.
But Adalbert had not only trained Chantalai in combat and stealth - he had forged his son's soul in a deeper, darker way. He made him discover his ability to manipulate the darkness with his powers and explained where their powers were coming from. The Nether Plane. The black void that was consuming the world, sucking it into nothingness, into unknown. It was approaching from the sea of the northeast of Stygia; nobody on this world could imagine how fast it was growing or what it was exactly. The scholars of the Academy of Knowledge, located in Alamagna, believed it to be the 'cataclysm', exactly what the purpose of the Dark Cult was about: to 'save' them from this devastating calamity that was approaching.