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Old December 10th, 2012, 07:26 AM
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The Prince of Sweet Sorrow
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Chapter 6: The Return of the Hashashin



Three years had passed since the return of Shango Maverick in Hesperia, with no major or important events taking place. He had already become a nobleman that attended the Ionian council on the King's behalf. King Eoleo Nagrand had given up his attempts to manipulate the darkstar's immense long ago, and Shango would never find what he intended to do with him. Much to his disappointment, early the first year of knowing her, Princess Rosa was secretly sent in Erca. He truly had forgotten about her and the business with the darkstar, as well as the Hashashin, and had focused on the Ionian Verdict and the King's demands. The hooded figure of his dreams had also disappeared from his subconscious.

He was already richer than Ascendio Nome, but he found out riches were not suiting him; he missed the days of the Seeker greatly. Meanwhile, his friendship with Tristana had grown strong. Him and the fiery spirit would never part ways, although they didn't even know why they were stuck together. They had just found the friend they always wanted in each other. Plus, Shango found her company quite useful, as she had taught him how to use the technique of flamethrower, although she seemed unable to use any kind of hostile ability of that sort. Her advice seemed to be accurate and her words of comfort always effective; this was proven when they were going through difficulties with the King's temper and demands.

If we take a look at Shango from the political view of Ionia, he had become an admirable celebrity in Ionia, but his fame stopped when he abruptly vanished from the world. He was last seen attending an Ionian council; it was only finished by night, and he was forced to walk to his turf by then, as reported by the other members of the council. Various assumptions were made, but the fact that he was once threatened by the Hashashin was not brought up by the Nagrands, who were well aware of that.

But this is the tale of Shango, so we shall be seeing this through his eyes. How it really happened. He was slowly pacing through the trade square, observing the lighthouse which could not be opened by any kind of method the specialists used. It was then when he realised the Infernape he had seen three years ago was standing across the square, staring at him. The pair of red eyes was behind the threatening Pokemon as well. Shango turned around to see the familiar Accelgor appearing from the shadows. More Pokemon appeared from the dark around the square, including the incredibly powerful dragon known as Nightingale. Next to the Infernape stood a female Zoroark, species that Shango nor any Hesperian or Stygian had seen before. With his pupils dilated, he spotted a figure coated in black was blending in with the shadows amongst the Pokemon that had surrounded them; he realized it was a tall Pokemon wearing a black hood and cloak so that his body was covered entirely. Not a single clue was given about his species. The only thing Shango could tell was that he was tall and bulky, much more than himself.

"Shango Maverick," spoke that particular Pokemon in a rough and deep masculine voice, walking towards him with heavy footsteps that made strange sounds as what appeared to be claws hit the cobblestone of the square. He was forced to look up into the impenetrable darkness of the hood. "It's nice to finally meet you. We have heard so much about you."

"What do you want?" asked Shango coldly, baring his fangs.
All of the Hashashin could stare through him with their piercing eyes. He was not feeling safe without the Seeker's hood, but he hadn't wore it in a long time; Tristana was invisible, flying above, but she could help none. He threw her a quick glance, warning her to stay close.

"Information, of course," said the mysterious hooded Pokemon and laughed. His laugh seemed old and friendly, in a way. He appeared to be their leader, . "Have you any knowledge regarding some... darkstar?" he whispered.

Shango thought he was probably too important for them to kill him. Stay hidden, he directed his thoughts to Tristana, whose eyes had become large as she was on the verge of crying. He pitied her full of concern face. He came to the decision he firstly thought as most viable one: fight back. Jerking his body back, he charged at the Infernape; he saw him, he was sure of that, yet he remained unmoved. Much to Shango's surprise, he went right through the flaming Pokemon as if it was only an image. He fell abruptly on the ground and darkness immediately engulfed him like a mist; something landed heavy on his head and he was thrown unconscious.


***

When Shango opened his eyes, he felt truly sick. He slowly started to comprehend with his environment. A bed. Good start, he thought to himself. A window where the sunlight entered from. A blue carpet of extraordinary beauty, unknown to him - but he could tell it was probably Stygian, from its grey color. A wooden door in the far end of the small room with the white, worn out walls he was into. He heard Tristana speaking to his mind, giving him a bright idea of dealing with the Hashashin. He then remembered what happened in the Ionian trade square: he was kidnapped by the Hashashin, if the mysterious Pokemon in the hood and the rest who surrounded him in the square weren't a dream.

Suddenly, the sound of the door that got unlocked cracked in, and when it opened, the Zoroark he had clearly seen in the square entered, holding a piece of brown food on her hands. Her appearance only proved his assumption wrong - this was all real. He preferred himself to fight, but strangely, her otherwise wild face seemed friendly.

"Hello," she said in a cheerful voice, as if she was truly happy Shango was there. The Zangoose only stayed at bed and tilted his head, eyeing her confused. He had to play this right.

"I brought you some food," she approached him and gave him what she was holding. "It's chocolate." Shango was surely hungry, but he took the piece of chocolate with slow movements, still staring at the Zoroark. He was still staring at her when he ate it.

"Who are you?" he asked, in a convincingly confused tone. "Who am I?" he asked, looking at his hands, then around him. It was like the Zoroark's face was hit by a tidal wave; Shango enjoyed the effects of his acting, but kept himself from grinning.

"You mean..." she muttered, observing him, "that you don't know who you are?"

"No..." he said plainly. "Where am I?"

"Excuse me," she said with a dark expression and hurried out of the room; she didn't bother locking the door. Shango silently thanked Tristana for the idea she gave him. He was sure the spirit was above him right now, smiling proudly as she always was when proven useful. The Hashashin would have massive trouble with the amnesia; he chuckled at the thought. That would give him time to escape.

Still feeling kind of dizzy, he walked outside the room into a hall. Nothing special was there, only some drawer that contained strange garments. As Shango heard voices from the other room, he perked up his pointy ears.

"He's lost his memory, apparently..." said the voice that belonged to the female Zoroark.

"Perhaps it is better that way."
said Nightingale.

"No, you fools. Without his memory, he knows nothing of this darkstar!" this was their leader, Shango was sure of that. The voice was the same as the tall Pokemon's he talked to in the square.

"You misunderstood what I said, Master," said Nightingale, slightly irritated. "What I meant was, if we build him to be an Hashashin, he will be on our side when he truly remembers. Besides, he truly is an Hashashin."

A pause in the conversation, silence from the other room. Shango did not know if things could get any more complex. He, an Hashashin? Tristana's flames flared upwards as her heartbeats quickened along with his.

"Y... you've got quite the idea, Nightingale. Since when are you so bright?"

Shango heard footsteps,
so he took a garment outside the drawer and adopted a clueless expression as he holded it up and observed it. It appeared to be a white cloak with a hood attached onto it, but it was very different to the Verdict's Seeker uniform. Yet, it was cool to touch, and he bet he would look cool under it.

The door of the room opened; the tall Pokemon in the black hoody lowered his head to pass through the doorstep. He stared at the Zangoose looking around, seemingly lost. Shango turned his green eyes to him in his most innocent look.

"Greetings," he said with his eyebrows slightly raised, having a foolish smile on his face.

The Zoroark and the Hydreigon were right behind their "Master", with slightly worried expressions, as if Shango was a time bomb that would go off any minute. The matter of the darkstar seemed too important - perhaps it was wrong of Shango to never attempt to steal it from the King.

"Hello, little fella. Are you aware of who you are?" the Master asked in the same friendly voice he used back in the square. It was the kind of voice you'd expect a frail yet wise old man to have, who is absolutely harmless. It set something in Shango's mind off. How could the Master of the Hashashin be so... friendly? The man seemed almost as if he had good intentions.

Shango shook his head negatively in response, while trying to push away his thoughts so he could bring them up later.

"You are the last of the Mavericks, Shango Maverick."

"The last of the Mavericks?" asked the Zangoose with genuine interested mixed with curiosity and confusion.

"Exactly," spoke Nightingale. "The Mavericks were once the most powerful family of the Hashashin..."

Shango opened his eyes wide. He, an Hashashin? There was no way. They were definitely trying to trick him, as they had said before. But why would they lie about his entire family? He pulled himself together, trying to get over the shock and muster all of his patience and calm.

"Hashashin? What is this? And where is the rest of my family now?" he asked in the same convincing, confused look.

The Master crossed his arms, which appeared to be a lot smaller proportionally with the rest of his body. He glanced back at the other Hashashins. The Zoroark stepped forward.

"We, the Hashashin, are an organization dedicated to preserving the peace and justice over the Stygian natives that were forced under the Dark Cult's rule."

Yeah, that's the original definition, when they first formed four hundred years ago, Shango thought sarcastically. Nightingale floated next to his master with a small grin. "As for your family, I disposed all of them. They were traitors."

Shango tried his best to hide anger for the statement, as he detected no lie in his voice. Nightingale had done what he just said, and he was proud of it, he could tell by the way he was grinning. Shango's eyes flashed with the darkest of emotion: hatred. So it was all true: that's where he originated from, the Hashashin. They operated mostly in Stygia, and the river which brought him to Ionia and into Ascendio's hands was beginning from Mt. Aegis, which was in Stygia. He wondered what had happened and he was thrown into the river - it could have to do with his family being 'traitors'. Either way, he was going to find it all out here.

"Traitors?" he managed to ask with a trembling voice, forgetting to ask what the Dark Cult was; thankfully, nobody noticed.

"Indeed," said the Master. "They dared to commit incest amongst the families of the Hashashin; your grandmother from the side of your mother was a Cortez, your mother was an Ancelotti and your father was the only Maverick to survive the Ionian Verdict's assault to our stronghold in the Ishtero Monasteries," he stated, paused and took a deep breath as if he was relishing those events and facts. Shango smirked his eyes, sensing that the words of the man before him were clouded - it was quite possible that he was lying. "According to the Laws of the Five Families, nobody and under no circumstance is to mix the bloodlines - but your parents and grandparents did, and the result is right in front of us. You, my boy, carry the legendary blood of three of our families. We were not quite aware of your existance, until recently..."

Shango looked at him with his mouth half opened. Too much information to take in, but that was to be expected.

"You do understand, what this means, of course. You have many family members amongst our ranks. In fact, three fifths of our people," his voice was heard as if he smiling.

Arceus, or whoever is in charge, must be joking with me, Shango thought as he looked at the Master in disbelief. A weird thought crossed Shango's mind. "Am I related to you?"

The Master laughed for a while. "No. I am Ignacio Phylax. The Phylax's are one of the two families that are left unspoiled by incest." Shango couldn't grasp why the mixing of the families wasn't allowed. "However, this gal over here," said the Master, pointing at the Zoroark, "is your cousin. Her name is Crystal Ancelotti."

Crystal gave him a hearty smile that greatly resembled to his, as he shockingly realized just now. Shango's world started falling apart as each passing moment, something confirmed his connection to the Hashashin. "What species is she?" he asked with curiosity. All of the Hashashin laughed, as if it was an inside joke.

"She is a Zoroark, boy," said the Master. "We consider Zoroarks sacred masters of the art of assassination - their body's structure and the ability to create illusions easily place them on top tiers of the Hashashin. The greatest of assassins were Zoroarks. Chantalai Ancelotti himself, the one who founded the Hashashin, also our legendary hero and mentor, was a Zoroark. This kind of species is the characteristic of the Ancelotti family; each family has one, except yours truly. The Mavericks were mostly random Pokemon we recruited to our ranks due to the respect they showed us."

Each piece of information was a treasure for Shango, but he had a hard time accepting it. "Why were the Mavericks so powerful, then?"

A moment of silence fell amongst the Hashashin, who exchanged nervous glances. Finally, the Master decided to speak. "You'll come to know, eventually," he said mysteriously.

"Which are the rest of the families and their characteristics?" Shango asked quickly. The questions he had seemed countless.

"The Hashashin were formed by the last of the Ancelottis at that time, Chantalai. He recruited two more families in that era - the Phylax's, and the Cortez's. The symbol of the Phylax's is a Salamence, as the first Phylax member, Richard Phylax, was one of these dragons. As for the Cortez's, it was the Zangoose - you got that trait from father, I suppose. At a later time, all of the Dawsons joined our ranks to fight against the Dark Cult; their symbol is the Weavile. And then, the Mavericks."

"I see..." as an amnesiac, he wondered what to ask next. All this information had gotten his head spinning. "What is my part in all of this? Why am I still alive, if incest is a crime amongst the Hashashin?"

"Because..." the Master paused, apparently thinking. "We decided that you could be proven useful."

"Useful, how?" his sincere tone woud keep fooling them for a long time... because after hearing all this, he intended to find out more, which meant he had to stay more.

"Oh, but we just told you. You combine three of our bloodlines. Truthfully, after our consideration on the possibilities, you just might be the most powerful Hashashin in existence."

Shango's eyes widened in the coming of such news. He didn't know how to respond to any of this, only question them. So that is why he vastly outmatched his peers back in the academy, simply because he was the son of three of the Hashashin families? What was so special about them, anyway? Is that why he was able to keep up with Bart the Shadow, a seemingly experienced and deadly Hashashin who was double his age?

"Well, I'd bet my claws you have many questions," said the Master. "How about you follow your cousin here? I am sure her knowledge will suffice to quench all of your questions."

Shango slowly nodded, eyeing Crystal, who was smiling cheerfully.
How did I get myself into this?


*****


Last edited by The Prince of Sweet Sorrow; December 16th, 2012 at 09:19 AM.