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Old January 11th, 2013 (11:14 AM). Edited January 21st, 2013 by The Prince of Sweet Sorrow.
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The Prince of Sweet Sorrow The Prince of Sweet Sorrow is offline
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Crystal Tier
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Witty Location
Age: 19
Gender: Male
Nature: Lonely
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Chapter 9: Oath to the Hashashin




The sun rose, dousing the village and the surrounding fields with light. Shango opened his eyelids and looked at the sleeping Zoroark next to him. She likes to sleep, he thought and chuckled. He slowly walked away, exiting the shadow of the tree; he was now going to talk to Tristana.

She appeared on his shoulder when he was at a safe distance away from his cousin. The Zangoose sat down and the Victini jumped in front of him.
"Shango, you can't do this!" she whispered, her tone and eyes giving away her desperation.

"Why not?" he asked her, slightly grinning.

"You've sworn to the Ionian Verdict! You can't... join them... you're not a killer!"

The pupils of his eyes were greatly dilated as he stared at her, thinking of her words. His grin had now disappeared.

"My parents were killers. But they had a sacred purpose, as the rest of the Hashashin. Don't you understand?"

Tristana sighed and tilted her head, observing Shango like a mother, rather than his friend. Shango continued. "I've found my origins now. I can't just escape..." he muttered, now looking down. She jumped on his shoulder again and stroked the fur of his cheek.

"Even if I did try to escape, I would be killed on the spot," he said as if he was almost sad, looking at her sideways. "Besides, there are some questions that need to be answered..." he said finally, looking forward in a dark expression. He was thinking about the deaths of his parents.

"Fine, Shango. I'll follow you wherever you go," Tristana said and flew in front of his face. A great smile appeared on the Zangoose face for a moment; then he perked up his ears to the direction of Crystal. Hide, Tristy, he thought, and his fairy vanished out of sight.

He heard Crystal approaching him. "Everything alright, co's?" she asked as she sat next to him. In front of them, Podville unfolded at the foot of the hill. The morning songs of the birds filled the area, but Shango wasn't in the mood - he'd rather eat those birds.

"Yeah, I'm alright, just a little nervous about the Oath..."

"Oy, don't worry about that!" she said, letting out a small laugh. Shango wondered how this Pokemon was an assassin, but he also had a feeling he would soon find out. "I was nervous, too, but it's nothin'," she told him.
They sat there for about half an hour; Crystal was humming along with the birds, and Shango was scratching the ground with one of the claws of his right hand. He could still feel the darkness he had channeled last night inside his hand - was it because of the darkstar? The move he had used was called 'Night Slash', or so Ascendio was telling him when he was little. It was the move that characterized the Hashashin, because all of them, regardless of their type and species, could use it.

"Why is everyone able to use Night Slash, Crystal?"

"Oh, it is the gift of our bloodline. I guess I can tell you now - we owe this power to the darkstar... Those who have been touched by it were able to manipulate the darkness of the Nether Plane in such way, so they can channel any kind of dark power. We, their descendants, are only able to use Night Slash," she said in a mysterious voice.

"What is a darkstar?" Shango asked in a fake confused look. He knew very well what it was. Part of it still lived inside him. But he was curious to hear the perception of the Hashashin.

"Not many Pokemon know of these gems outside the Hashashin... I am not supposed to know, either. I am just a good spy," she said and winked at him with her usual tricky smile. "They say the darkstars are the broken pieces of Arceus's Dark Plate. Can you believe it? I don't even know if Arceus exists..."
"What do they even do?" he asked with anxiety obvious in her voice. The Zoroark looked him inside his eyes.

"They corrupt, Shango. We, the true voidborn, originate from it, so only we are able to communicate with them - any other living flesh that touches it, gets vaporized in an instant. Nothing but ash as remains."
Shango remembered Princess Rosa informing him about all this the night after they escaped from the Fire Clan's camp. So, he was truly a voidborn, whatever that was.

"But where are the darkstars?"

"Nobody knows - historical records reveal multiple appearances of these gems in various time periods and locations, but all tracks have been lost. Our Master is searching desperately for one; it will give us the power to face the Dark Cult directly, he says. One thing is for sure - Chantalai Ancelotti once wielded one of these gems, when he was alive."

"... anyway, Shango. We need to get going."

Shango slowly nodded, the thought of the Oath returning to haunt his mind. They both got up and headed towards the house on the other hill.


***


"Shango Maverick, do you know why you're here?" asked the Master. As usual, he was covered in his black robes which hid any clue that would give away his species. Shango, however, was looking straight inside the hood.

"I am here to take the Oath," Shango replied in a plain tone. All the Hashashin he knew so far were in the room of the house he had woken up two days ago - Nightingale was levitating behind the Master, Crystal and Pasqual were standing next to Shango, and behind them, Bart the Shadow, Enzo, Vincenzo and the three fat ladies were watching them.

"And do you know what that means?" the Master asked in a rather serious tone Shango hadn't heard before. "It means that you are accepting our ethics, our goals and dreams as your own. It means that you will fight with the rest of us for the sake of liberty and justice. If you refuse... We will have to dispose of you, as you are already aware of many of our secrets."

"I will take the Oath, Master," said Shango. The towering figure of the Master approached him and put his hands on Shango's shoulders. He felt sharp claws on his fur, but he did not turn to look. As he looked inside the hood, he wondered why he was so important to this Master; would he attempt to make him remember about his past, or would he play along for now? That's what Shango would do, play along for now.

"Do you swear in your life, that you will be protecting our brotherhood and its secrets no matter the circumstances?"

"I swear in my life," said Shango fearlessly, putting his hand on his heart. The invisible Victini that was clutching his foot was brimming with fire and energy as her heart beat faster.

"Do you swear in your life, to work with the Hashashin for the rest of your life, and that you will never commit to an action againist them?"

"I do," Shango stated in the same tone. The cloaked Pokemon in front of him got hold of his hand, piercing his paw. Shango felt some kind of strange, undefined energy run through his veins when the Master touched him. Blood fell on the floor as the Master let go of him and raised his own bloodied claw in the air. "This is the evidence of your Oath," he whispered, but everyone heard him. He then motioned his other hand behind him, and Nightingale arrived, holding a silver emblem of the Hashashin and a red sash.

The Master grabbed those items and handed them to Shango. "These are the certificates of your Oath. You will be now bearing the symbol of the Hashashin."

Shango examined the symbol he had just received.

(-v-)

It's made of tristanite, Tristana informed him. Shango's green eyes reflected the symbol for a moment; he thought it greatly resembled the starting letter of the word Hashashin, in a way. He quickly tied the red sash around his waist and stuck the symbol of the Hashashin onto it.


"I hereby give you the code name 'Skidred' in hope that it will embrace your sharp claws," continued the Master. Skidred means 'sharp blade' in the language of the Precursors, whispered Tristana into his mind. It is an honourable name. Shango was about to ask her where she knew all this stuff, but then the Master turned to the others in the room.

"This is a historic day, brothers and sisters. Today, we officially baptised the descendant of three of the Hashashin bloodlines as one of us, disregarding the past of his recent ancestors and the law that states nobody is to mix the blood of our families. As the Master of our brotherhood, I have reconsidered his case and decided that it will not harm any of us to have him here. That, however, does not mean that the any of the Laws of the Five Families has ceased to apply."

They all slowly stood up. "You are dismissed," whispered the Master. Shango felt Pasqual pat his shoulder with his hot hand. He turned to face the Infernape, who was slightly grinning, just like the day when he saw him in the streets of Ionia. That day, he had seemed scary and threatening, but now he knew he had found a strong ally in him. At that moment, he questioned the rumours of the ethics of the Hashashin - they weren't truly evil. Nobody who knew them well could prove that, at least that's what Shango started to believe.

"What am I to do now, uncle?" he asked, smirking his eyebrows. Everyone else was leaving the house, just like that; maybe the Hashashin never considered any event of this sort sacred.

"When I get the chance, I'll teach you how to fight like an Hashashin. For now, do as your cousin says - you still have to prove that you are worth being called an Hashashin, boy," Pasqual said in his steel tone and patted Shango's shoulder again before going away. Crystal then commenced a hug attack that ended with both of them on the ground.

"Bravo, cousin! You make me so proud!" she shouted cheerfully and grabbed his cheeks.

"Hey! Get off'a me!" Shango was laughing, as the rest of the Hashashin remaining in the room were. He was not aware that this kind of happiness existed.
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