Well, what to say? I've been writing this fic for quite a while now, and I've decided to post it. I'd love some constructive criticism, so any you have to offer would be great. This story takes place in medieval times in the world of pokemon. Enjoy!
A young boy named Ren was walking home from the market, having bought the next day’s supply of food for his family. His features were unstriking, except that he was very skinny and had shockingly red hair. He lived on a farm near the outskirts of town, along with his mother and father. His family ran a very small business selling candles that barely brought in enough money to keep them alive. The meals tomorrow would be meager, with mostly bread and water to eat and drink. Today, however, Ren counted himself lucky. It was his thirteenth birthday, and his father had given him a very small amount of money to buy himself a present. So, after buying the food his family always seemed to have too little of, he walked with bags in hand to a small stand that was always present in the marketplace, and always run by the same old, one-eyed man.
He often visited this stand, which was covered with many trinkets and curiosities. Most passers-by would call these things worthless, but Ren was infinitely fascinated by the seemingly endless amount of things this old decrepit man had for sale.
“Hello there, Ren” the man offered in friendly greeting.
“Good day, sir” Ren replied and began to scan the items arrayed across the table. His eyes settled upon a small, smooth, red stone with a white triangle seemingly painted on its surface. He had never seen it on the table before. He held the object up.
“How much are you asking for this?” Ren inquired.
The old man chuckled. “I thought you might like that,” he said. “That stone has actually been handed down in my family for generations. But alas, I have no children to accept it as their inheritance. Luckily for you, however, I heard tell that today is your birthday. Now, I wouldn’t do this for just anybody, nor would I do it often, but consider that stone my birthday gift to you.”
Ren stood there shocked, mouth hanging agape. He couldn’t remember the last time anyone outside of his family had given him a gift. “Are…are you sure?” he stammered. “I don’t think I could accept such a gift. If this stone has been passed down through generations of your family, isn’t it important to you?”
The old man chuckled again. “Of course it’s important to me” he said. “That’s why I’m giving it to you. Don’t you see? I’m obviously getting along in years. What will happen to that stone when I pass along? I’d rather you have it than let it pass on to whoever decides they have a right to my belongings!” The man ended his sentence with a laugh, but Ren detected a hard glint in his eyes. The boy thought no more of it though as he thanked the man profusely and went on his way.
Ren walked home on a dusty road that was painted gold by the setting sun. He felt as though the surprisingly heavy stone in the bottom of his pocket might as well have been made of gold, too. However, his happiness soon faded as he heard a sound that chilled his heart and made his palms begin to sweat. It was a low, penetrating growl that signified he was about to be greeted by very unpleasant company. A Houndour stepped onto the trail, followed closely by its owner.
“Well, look who it is, Houndour!” the other boy said, two years Ren’s senior. “It’s the little brat!” This boy had taken it upon himself to insult and humiliate Ren at every chance.
“Leave me alone, Kairn,” Ren said, his voice quaking a little. He wished to simply run away, but he knew he could never live that down. So he stood his ground, legs quivering slightly. Kairn threw his head back and laughed.
“Ha! Leave you alone? Why would I do that, when you and I are such good friends?” He took a more casual stance before continuing. “I heard it was your birthday today. I was wondering, why didn’t you invite me to your birthday party?”
Ren answered in a small voice. “My family can’t afford a birthday party right now. I’m sorry, Kairn, I would have invited you if I could,” He lied.
Kairn laughed again. “Aww, that’s okay, Ren. Hey, I know! Why don’t we have a party for you right here?” he said. “I think you should give me a welcome gift,” he continued, pointing at Ren’s bag of bread. “Houndour!” he shouted in an authoritative voice. “Go fetch me that bag!”
Ren stood and watched helplessly as the Houndour raced down the lane towards him. If he moved or resisted, the Houndour could bite him; or worse, the flame-imbued pokemon might breath fire on him and set his clothes or hair alight. The Houndour ran up close and jumped as he neared Ren, neatly snatching the bag of bread out of his hands. He then returned to Kairn’s side, who reached down and grabbed the bag from the pokemon’s jaws.
“Hey, thanks a lot, Ren,” Kairn said, pulling a loaf of bread from the bag and biting into it. “This bread isn't half-bad,” he commented around a mouthful of food. “You really should get some more for yourself,” he finished, turning and walking back down the road with his Houndour.
Ren walked the rest of the way home in the dark. He told his parents about the mishap with Kairn, and then went to his room, where he flopped down on his bed and waited for sleep. Cold air blew in through cracks in the walls, chilling him. His stomach grumbled; empty. He lay there for a time, uncomfortable and unable to fall asleep. He heard his parents talking faintly; about him, no doubt, and about their lack of food.
A painful, hollow feeling overcame Ren, and he tossed about in his bed. He thought about Kairn and why he was so unkind. He thought about his parents, and about how hard they worked to make ends meet. He thought about how cold it was getting, with winter coming on, and worried if his family would be warm enough, or if they would have enough food, or one of many other things he often worried about.
Then his thoughts strayed to his brother, Bron. His brother, five years older, had always been by Ren’s side. He and Ren where inseparable when they were younger, and his older brother’s shadow was always a comfort to him. It was also a deterrent to bullies like Kairn, who where all too quick to taunt Ren when he was alone, but much less persistent when his older brother was around.
If only he was around. Bron had died two winters ago, when he came down with a terrible fever after rescuing Ren from a freezing river. Bron had been teaching his younger brother how to hunt, showing him how to follow tracks in the snow and teaching him to use a bow and throwing knives fashioned from wood and tempered over a fire. They had needed to cross a frozen river, and Ren, being the lightest, went first. The ice had not been thick enough to support Ren’s weight, and he fell through.
Bron dove in after him, and carried Ren on his back during the swim out of the river. They passed that night in the snow under a broad oak tree, Bron holding Ren to keep him warm and telling him stories to drive his fear away. Bron carved images from his tales into the tree trunk.
The next day, Bron carried Ren back to their home. The older boy acted strong, but signs of his sickness were already beginning to show. He stumbled more and more often as they neared their house. At one point, he dropped Ren during a fall and lay still for a few minutes before Ren could revive him.
After they arrived, Bron’s sickness overcame him and their parents put him to bed. Ren kept a constant vigil over his brother: he only looked away when he had to eat or sleep overcame him. However, Bron’s fever soared, and he eventually stopped eating. His determined spirit kept him alive for a month before he passed away.
Ren had spent too many tears on his brother already. He now tried to remember the good times he had had with his brother, the things they had done together, where they had gone, what they had seen. He took some comfort as he remembered his brother’s smiling face.
Suddenly, Ren noticed that something was digging into his thigh. He rolled onto his back, reached into his pocket, and pulled out his birthday money, along with the strange stone the old man had given him earlier. He placed the money on the bed next to him, and held the stone up to his face in the murky darkness. He could just barely see its outline and red color, and he held it closer until he could make out the white triangle on one side. He wondered what this curious object could possibly be.
Then he noticed something he hadn’t before. On one side, just opposite the white triangle, was a small, triangular indentation in the stone’s surface. It still gave him no idea as to the stone’s purpose, so he laid it alongside his money and drifted into a restless sleep.
Ren dreamed a strange dream that night. He saw himself with Bron under the oak tree, where they had spent that horrifying night two winters ago. In his dream, he and Bron both disappeared, and the symbols Bron had carved on the tree grew bright. Ren stared at the symbols for a long time, studying the depictions of fantastic creatures and breathtaking landscapes, and they seemed to etch themselves into his memory. Suddenly, a hole opened at the base of the tree, and a light shone out as the dream ended. Next to Ren’s sleeping form, the small stone glowed faintly and then dimmed.
EDIT: One-and-a-half years after writing this, I come back to give it the editing it deserves. I didn't really change it in terms of story, but there should be very few grammar mistakes now.
This was pretty good. The description was nice, and I can't wait to see what exactly this stone does.. I think I know, but I'll probably be wrong. XD
Unfortunatly, you're missing commas pretty much everywhere in the dialogue. Corrections are bolded in just this one paragraph, though there are more like it. t_t
The old man chuckled. “I thought you might like that,” he said. “That stone has actually been handed down in my family for generations,” he continued. “But alas, I have no children to accept it as their inheritance.
I also noticed that you repeat Ren's name... well, a lot. Use pronouns, and when Kairn is talking, try not to use his name so much, unless he is supposed to talk like that.
Well, I'm actually 13 chapters into this story. My writing probably gets better as I go along, but I guess that's natural. Here's the next chapter.
Sorry it took so long...
The next morning, Ren awoke with sunlight streaming onto his face through one of the many cracks in his bedroom wall. He lay there for a few moments, blinking and trying to pluck up the courage to get out of his warm bed and into the cold house. He groaned as he pulled the covers off of himself and chilly air replaced the warmth underneath. Then he got out of bed, pulled on a pair of socks and his worn shoes, and pocketed the money and the stone he had left on his bed. Today he would return to the market and buy more food for his family, and find himself a birthday present.
He opened his bedroom door and walked across the living room floor to his parents. They were already busy heating up Combee wax in a pan over a small fire, which would eventually become the candles they sold.
“Good morning," he greeted them cheerfully.
“Good morning, Ren," they said in unison.
His mother turned to him while his father continued to work. Her eyes looked sunken, like she hadn’t gotten enough sleep. She held out a hand. “I need you to go buy us more food today, Ren," she began. “Just buy more bread like yesterday, and bring it straight home. Don’t talk to that boy, Kairn. If you see him, try to avoid him.”
Ren held an open palm under his mother’s closed fist, and she placed a small amount of money in his hand. “Don’t worry, Mom,” he said. “I’ll be fine today. I promise.” He saw her tense face relax considerably, but there was still a hint of worry apparent in her eyes. “I’ll see you both later today,” he continued. “I love you.”
With that, Ren walked to the front door and let himself outside. The day was sunny, but cold; just another indicator that fall was ending and winter was coming on. Ren pulled up his collar to cover more of his exposed neck and began the journey to town, hands in pockets to keep them warm. He held the stone in his hand while he walked, its presence somehow comforting.
He arrived at town without incident, and strode to the bakery to buy the day’s supply of bread. He selected from the owner’s many wares, purchased what he needed, and walked out of the bakery, on to the next stop. He decided to get a small amount of salted meat with most of his birthday money: he knew his parents were very hungry and that they all could use something more wholesome than bread. He used the rest of his money to buy a small box of candies which were on sale in the butcher’s store.
“Those candies are very good," the butcher said. “Made them myself. Both people and pokemon love them, wouldn’t you know? Maybe I should focus more attention on candy-making, and less on butchering! Go ahead, try one!” he ended, and looked at Ren expectantly.
Ren popped one of the small, sugary candies into his mouth. They were sweet, but they also had a hint of spiciness to them. He had not tasted something so good in a very long time, and he said so.
“Ha har har!” the butcher laughed. “Like them that much, do you? I’ll tell you what. Take another one of those boxes, and share it among your friends.”
“But I have no money left, sir,” Ren answered, crestfallen.
“Nonsense, boy!” the butcher said. “For free, for free! Think of it this way. If you share that box with your friends, they will love that candy and come to me for more! It will help my business if you take that box!”
“Thank you very much,” Ren said, his face breaking out into a smile. “I’ll be sure to do that.” He began happily munching on the sweets from one box, storing the other box in his pocket for later. He left the butcher’s shop and started for home, intentionally avoiding the path he had taken the previous day.
Unfortunately, Ren's luck didn't improve. He was about halfway back when he heard a familiar voice. “Hello, brat!” it said. He whirled around to see Kairn and his Houndour standing on the path were he had just been.
“So, brat," said Kairn. “What are you eating there? It looks an awful lot like that tasty candy the butcher sells.”
Ren steeled himself for what would happen next. “It is, Kairn. But this is my candy. You should go buy some for yourself.” He tightened his grip on the bread, meat, and candy. Kairn wouldn’t steal from him this time. He turned his back on Kairn, his heart racing and the hair on the back of his neck standing on end. He slowly began to continue towards his house.
Kairn began to speak again. “Why would I buy my own candy when I can just take yours?” he asked. Then he raised his voice, giving orders to his pokemon. “Houndour!” he commanded. “Go get me that box of candy!”
Houndour started towards Ren and quickly built up speed. Ren whirled around, set his stance, dropped his bag of bread and meat carefully to the ground, and held onto his candy with both hands. Houndour leapt towards him, latching his jaws into the box of candy, knocking the boy down. After they struggled for a few moments, Houndour gained the advantage, and pressed Ren into the dust with his front paws, effectively pinning him down. The pokemon continued to tear at the box in Ren’s still-tight grip, bloodying the boy’s fingers. Suddenly, Ren kicked out with both legs at the voracious pokemon pinning him down, sending it flying over his head and into the bushes. He heard a yelp of pain as he scrambled to his feet to face his attacker, but the Houndour limped out of the bushes and collapsed.
Kairn was stunned. “Wha…what did you do to my pokemon!?” he yelled, furious. “You little fool…I’ll teach you a lesson you’ll never forget!”
Kairn sprinted the short distance between them, and began pummeling Ren’s bruised and cut body with his fists. Ren instinctively held up both hands to protect his face, and Kairn dealt him a heavy blow to the stomach. Ren doubled over in pain and collapsed to the ground, retching.
“I hope that teaches you to never touch my pokemon!” Kairn shouted at his crumpled form. He grabbed the box of candy out of Ren’s hands and called to his Houndour, who got to his feet and limped to the older boy's side. They walked back down the path towards town, leaving Ren lying in the dirt. Ren simply lay still for awhile, trying to control the pain emanating from his stomach and the rest of his body.
Eventually, the boy got shakily to his hands and knees, and then to his feet. He wiped his mouth with his hand, replacing spittle and bile with blood from his fingers. He picked up his bag of bread and meat, and continued on his way. He never looked back to see if he was being followed. Kairn had what he wanted.
In bed that night, after eating his first dinner in two days with his family, Ren still felt sore from his encounter. He thought about Kairn’s Houndour, and how he had kicked the black, vicious pokemon. He hadn’t wanted to hurt Houndour, as it was only performing its master’s will. Ren knew that pokemon would obey their masters at all costs: they were completely loyal, even if that meant pain for others or even death to the pokemon. He just wanted to escape so badly, and Kairn had left him no choice.
He tried to think of other things. That was when he remembered his dream. He remembered seeing his brother, and the strange incident with the writing on the tree and the opening. He decided that the next day he would make a journey to the tree if only to see the markings his brother had made. He felt deep within his heart that he might find more than he expected.
As he faded into sleep, he thought of how he had resisted Kairn’s attack. It made him feel better, stronger somehow. He felt that there was hope, that maybe one day Kairn would leave him alone, that he would be able to defend himself. A warm feeling spread through his body. It was the feeling of courage, one he hadn’t felt since his brother died. He fell asleep with a smile on his face.
New chapter time! I did say a day, and it's 11:38, so I guess TECHNICALLY I wasn't wrong XD
Anyways, here it is!
As Ren readied himself the next morning, he went over the plans for the day in his head. He would first go to the market to get his family’s food, bring that home, and then embark on a trip to the carven oak tree from his dream. Today was especially cold, so he layered his clothing as best he could before leaving.
He went to the living room, where he first took the bread money from his parents, and then told them what he intended to do for the rest of the day. They said their goodbyes, once again telling him to be careful, and he left for the marketplace, stepping out into an ethereal light created by clouds covering the sun.
The chilly outside air seemed to seep its way through his layered clothing, finding small, exposed areas of skin and soon making them numb with cold. He jogged to town to keep warm, noting how much colder it was than yesterday. He wondered how long it would be before it started snowing. Once the winter season began, his parent’s business would flourish. The weather was always darker in winter, which would drive candle sales up. The extra money would have to be enough to help them through the cold season. On certain years, if sales were high enough, Ren’s family could afford more things besides food, such as new clothes and blankets. Ren hoped this would be such a year.
Ren made it to the marketplace, bought his family’s food, and made it home without incident. Kairn was nowhere to be found. As he stepped in the front door, Ren let out a heavy sigh, relieved. He crossed to the dining table, set the bread down, pulled out a loaf, and began to eat. He ate half of the loaf, wrapping the other half in a cloth and placing it in a small sack along with a flask of water. The food would be his meal for his second journey that day.
He said goodbye to his parents before leaving again, sack of food in hand. He then remembered that he had left the red and white stone on his bed. Ren walked back inside to his bedroom, pocketed the stone and his second box of candies, and left for the third time that day. He would need to go through town to get to the forest on the other side, which housed the tree Ren sought.
The boy walked for most of the day, passing through town and journeying well into the forest. He then took a break on a rise overlooking the forest to eat his food. As he was dining, the top edge of the sun, having burned off most of the clouds, sunk reluctantly below the tops of the trees. The forest became lit with a dim, amber-colored glow. Ren finished his meal, brushed the crumbs from his lap, and continued deeper into the forest.
After a while, the forest became very dark. Ren stopped for a moment, hesitating. Was he sure he was going the right way? He had traveled this route many times with Bron before, but that had been nearly two years ago. He looked back, to his sides, and then forward again. The trees were dense, and the darkness complete, except for a half moon hanging palely in the night sky. Ren could see no more than a few yards in any direction. He contemplated going back the way he came, but he was afraid of getting himself mixed up. He continued forward.
After continuing for a while, Ren stopped once again as a slight movement to his right caught his attention. He glanced in the direction it had come from, but nothing was there. He stared for a moment longer, and began to keep walking. He caught another movement out of the corner of his eye, this time to his left. He jerked his head quickly in that direction, but there was still nothing. He began to grow fearful. Something was there, in the dark, and he could feel it watching him.
Ren heard a twig snap behind him, and he quickly spun around. Once again, however, there was nothing to be seen. He turned to keep walking...and shouted. There, where nothing had been a moment before, a pitch-black creature floated in midair. It had wicked, red eyes, a large, grinning mouth, short, stubby arms and legs, and spines lining its back.
“Gengar,” the pokemon said in a deep, haunting voice, staring at the boy. It then passed straight through Ren before disappearing into the darkness. Ren broke into a full run, yelling at the top of his lungs. Suddenly, the Gengar appeared by his side, floating alongside him to keep up. The ghost pokemon was upside down. “Gengar!” it said again, its voice chilling Ren to the bone. He ran faster, his fear giving him strength.
He was paying attention to the Gengar, and not to where he was going. He suddenly ran straight into a tree, its solid, dense trunk winning out against the boy's soft body. Ren was knocked unconscious before he hit the ground. The Gengar stopped, glaring at Ren’s crumpled form, still hanging suspended upside down. The pokemon righted itself, laughed a deep, cruel laugh, and melted into the shadows.
Ren lay at the base of the tree for some time before he awoke. When he did, he wished he hadn’t. His head pulsed with pain: it had been the first thing to contact the tree. Ren held his forehead in both hands until his headache had somewhat subsided, rubbed his bleary eyes, and looked around. Dawn was just beginning to pour a thin, unsubstantial light into the forest, but it was at least enough to see by. Ren looked in every direction before his gaze settled on the tree he had crashed into the night before.
It was the carved oak tree, the one from his dreams. He had arrived. Ren ran his fingers over the carvings in the base of the tree, memories of his brother flooding back to him in a rush. He gazed a moment more, and then noticed that something in his pocket was moving. He pulled out the red and white stone, which was vibrating slightly. He slowly got to his feet and stood in front of the tree, staring at the increasingly puzzling stone. He then glanced downwards. His dream had depicted an opening under the base of the tree, but he could see none now. He walked around the tree a few times, checking for an indentation, anything that would suggest the presence of a tunnel, but still found nothing. After pocketing the stone, he got onto his hands and knees, and began checking around the tree once more.
Just as he reached the side of the tree with his brother’s carvings, Ren heard a rumble beneath him. He got to his feet, looking downwards, searching for the source of the disturbance. The ground then began to collapse. Ren sprung to one side as a small opening was created where he had been standing. His heart pumping quickly, he regarded the hole. It was just big enough for him to climb into, he thought. He walked to the opening’s edge and peered into its depths. The hole ended in darkness just a few feet down: Ren could not tell how deep it was. He debated for a short time whether to attempt to descend. Then, his mind made up, he sat at the edge, slid his legs into the hole, and turned around in order to grasp the rim with his hands.
He was now hanging fully inside the tunnel, but he could still not see the bottom. The walls sloped gently, going under the tree, so Ren figured he could slide down one without being harmed. He let go of the mouth of the tunnel, angling for a wall he could use to slide down. He never touched it, however, as it angled back away from him sharply after a few feet. He fell for three harrowing seconds before landing in a soft pile of sand.
Ren got up unhurt, dusted himself off, and peered around. He noticed that the light from the tunnel entrance was not enough to see by: it was very dark. Then the stone he had placed back into his pocket began to vibrate more intensely. He pulled it out again, this time to find that it was shining brightly. He stared at it for a few moments, spots etching themselves into his vision. He then held the stone in front of him as he explored his surroundings, deciding to no longer question the strange feats it was capable of.
He was in a small chamber, seemingly man-made, with hewn rock walls and floor. There were pillars carved into the walls in the four corners of the room, and murals of things Ren could not identify carved into each wall. Ren then caught a gleam from one side of the room, and walked over to its source. His breath caught when he saw what it was. In a stone pedestal, buried nearly up to its hilt, was a sword of expert craftsmanship. It was made of a metal that Ren could not identify, and it glowed like white fire under the light of the stone. The hand guard was ornately crafted, wrought to resemble feathers layered one over the other. The part of the blade Ren could see had images of more feathers etched into its wide surface. Strangely, the pommel stone was missing: the sword simply ended at the base of the handle. He tried to pull the sword out, but it was wedged tightly in the pedestal.
Ren then noticed that the end of the handle was oddly shaped. It was flat, except for a small, raised, metal triangle in the center. Ren stared at it for a second, realization slowly dawning on him. He looked again at the stone. The triangular indentation in the stone’s surface seemed to match the raised triangle on the sword’s hilt, where the pommel should go. He placed the stone on the end of the hilt, rotating it slightly until it fell into place. There was a clicking sound, and the stone dimmed. Then the feather-like designs on the blade began to brighten, now seemingly etched with white and red light.
Suddenly, the sword popped upwards slightly, a hiss of steam escaping through the small gap around its now-loose blade. Ren stepped back in surprise, and then reached once again for the hilt of the sword. This time it came out easily, as though the metal was sliding out of ice. The feather pattern continued down the length of the still-glowing blade, which ended in a keen point. The sword was double-edged and razor-sharp, with a wide blood groove running from hilt to tip. It was surprisingly light for its size: it was nearly two thirds of Ren’s height, but he felt he could wield it easily.
Ren admired the beautiful blade for a moment longer, until he heard a sharp crack. The pedestal he had pulled the sword from was splitting in two, a crack running down its center. A second cracking noise soon followed the first as the pedestal fell in two. Ren approached it, perplexed. The pedestal was hollow, as he could now see, and a strange object lay in one of the halves. It appeared to be an egg, but it was unlike any egg Ren had ever seen. He set his sword on the other half of the pedestal, examining the egg in its light. The egg was very large, and as Ren picked it up, he could not close his hands around it or touch his fingertips.
The egg was white and red, similar to the stone that now acted as the pommel to the sword, and was very warm. Ren turned it over very gently in his hands a few times, admiring its size and striking coloration. He then set down his pack, placed the egg inside, and shouldered his now much-heavier burden. He picked up the sword from where he had placed it, looked around the chamber one more time, and then walked to the tunnel where he had fallen in.
As Ren stood on the pile of sand at the base of the tunnel, he looked for a way back out. He noticed that the oak tree’s roots were exposed, growing into the tunnel at regular intervals. He tied the hand guard of the sword into the straps of his pack and then jumped up, grasping for the nearest root. He caught it with both hands, and was hanging once more in the tunnel.
Ren began to climb upwards, hand-over-hand, out of the tunnel, using roots as hand- and foot-holds. He was soon outside under the shade of the oak tree. The weather was still getting colder: the sunlight was very bright but seemed not to reach Ren’s skin. The egg in his pack was a reassuring warmth, however, and he began the long journey home, walking in the direction the symbols on the tree faced.
As he back-tracked through the forest, Ren studied the sword. It had now ceased to shine, but it was still a striking white color. He swung it inexpertly a few times, and then found a small sapling. He angled a blow at the young tree, but thought he missed: he had felt no impact. However, slowly, the top of the tree disconnected from its base and toppled to the ground. The sword was unbelievably sharp. Ren stared at the fallen sapling for a moment, and decided to stop swinging the sword around for now. He didn’t care to injure himself, and he continued on his way.
The moment Ren reached the hill he had eaten on the day before, the egg began to move. Ren stopped, placed his sword on the ground next to him, and gingerly pulled the egg out of his pack. He placed it on the ground in front of him as a crack appeared in its surface. He watched as a head covered in glossy feathers broke out of the shell, followed by a long, white neck and a large, winged, red and white body. There was a red triangle surrounding a white pentagon on the pokemon’s head, and a blue triangle on its chest. It stumbled to its flipper-like hind-legs and stared back at Ren with luminous, yellow eyes.
Ren studied the creature for nearly a minute. He finally asked “What are you?” mostly to himself.
He didn’t expect the answer, and it startled him so much he almost fell backwards. “I’m Latias,” a voice said, seeming to come from everywhere, and nowhere, at once. “Pleased to meet you, Ren.”
Well, no one responded to my last chapter, but maybe this one will be different. Here you go!
Kairn walked the empty paths of town under the weak light of a half-moon. No one else was awake at this late hour; they were all asleep in their warm beds. Kairn looked longingly at each house he passed, wishing he could trade places with any one of the people inside. He was homeless: he had been so as far as memory served. He had learned to survive on the streets, becoming skilled at stealing what he could and taking by force what he couldn’t. It was a hard life, and it had made him bitter.
Tonight, however, he felt very differently. After his encounter with Ren, when his Houndour had been injured, he had walked along with his limping pokémon in silence for a while. He had thought of how Ren had needed kick it only once before it was hurt beyond getting up. He had looked at his Houndour anew, seeing it as a weakling, a worthless tag along.
There, in the woods, before he reached town, he had abandoned his Houndour. He had felt he didn’t need such a feeble pokémon, that he should find a stronger one. His Houndour had howled loudly as he left, but he paid no attention to it. It had tried to follow him, but couldn’t keep up due to its injuries, and soon fell behind. He had ignored it, deciding he would find a pokémon that wasn’t so easily defeated.
Now he looked back on his actions with remorse. Houndour had been his companion, his inseparable friend, for almost as far back as he could recall. It was always with him; when he ate, he shared his food with the pokemon. During winter, Houndour would sleep by his side, keeping him warm with its fire-infused body. It helped him find food with its keen sense of smell, and had saved his life on more than one occasion.
The more Kairn thought of his pokémon, the more worried he became. Houndour was still out in the forest and unsheltered, as far as he knew. Its injuries would not allow it to travel far, and the first snow of winter was imminent. Kairn turned around and began to walk towards the forest where he had left his Houndour, reprimanding himself for being so narrow minded. What had he done? What had he been thinking? Houndour was all he had, the only thing he could truly depend on. Anything else he had ever known was either temporary or had been taken from him.
Kairn broke into a run. He reached the edge of the forest, the trees growing closer together with each step he took. As he moved through the forest, he shouted for his Houndour, calling to him, telling him that he was sorry. He ran long into the night before simply collapsing with exhaustion, tears streaming down his face. Houndour was gone. He had nothing left. After a while, his tired body forced him into sleep, easing the pain in his rent heart.
Ren stared at the pokémon in front of him, shock written all over his face. Had this pokemon spoken to him? Was that possible? He heard a laugh. It was made by a beautiful, feminine voice. “Yes,” the voice said, as though predicting his question. “I spoke to you.” It seemed to come from within his mind, as though he were thinking it himself. “But not how you would normally speak, such as with another human,” the voice continued. “No, I am speaking into your thoughts, Ren. It is the only way I can communicate with you, and it is a special form of communication. I can hear your thoughts, in a sense, and you can hear mine.”
Ren continued to stare at Latias, aghast. He tried to speak, but could only utter a few words. “What…how…” he stammered, trying to comprehend what was happening.
Latias sent thoughts to him again. “I know this is hard for you to understand, Ren,” she said. “With time, however, this will all make sense to you. For now, feel free to speak out loud. I can understand human speech. When you are more comfortable, you can try to converse with me through thought alone, but that is for a later time,” she finished.
Ren was still confused, but Latias had reassured him enough that he could formulate a sentence. “How do you know my name?” he asked finally.
“Our connection goes deeper than just words, Ren,” Latias responded. “We have touched each others' mind, and I have learned some things about you.” Ren looked worried, so Latias continued, addressing the root of his discomfort. “Do not worry,” she said. “I will not try to learn your deepest secrets. I only take things that are essential to our relationship, such as your name.”
Ren relaxed, soothed by Latias’ voice nearly as much as her answer. “So you are speaking to my mind,” he stated. “And apparently, I can speak to yours.” He then had a thought. “Latias?” he asked. “You were just hatched, but already you understand language and know how to tell me things. How is that possible?”
Latias hesitated, and then answered. “I wish I knew, Ren,” she started. “However, I am baffled by my knowledge…nearly as much as you are yourself,” she added, mirth filling her golden eyes. She had sensed Ren’s bewilderment even as he asked the question. She had also answered falsely: she knew exactly where her vast intellect had come from. However, she deemed it inappropriate to expose Ren to the truth just yet. He was not ready.
Latias paused, a strange feeling invading her senses. “I’m hungry,” she noted to Ren, surprised. “Do you have anything to eat?”
The boy almost said no, but then remembered the candy in his pocket. “I have this,” he said, pulling the box out. He shook some of the small, hard candies into his hand, and held them out to Latias, who in turn picked one delicately out of his palm with her mouth. She chewed thoughtfully for a while before Ren asked “do you like them?” Latias chewed a moment more, and then swallowed. Without answering, she took another of the candies from his hand. Then another. And another. Soon, the box was empty: she had eaten all of its contents.
“Yes,” she answered finally. “Thank you, Ren,” she added. Ren hardly heard her, however. He was holding the box above his head, shaking it, and peering inside. “Your welcome,” he answered, slightly crestfallen. “But we’re out of food.”
Latias sensed Ren’s worry, and that he was hungry, as well. “I’m sorry,” she thought to him, genuine concern tinting her mind’s voice. “I didn’t mean to eat all of it.” Then she looked around. “Wait right here."
Slowly, Latias rose off the ground, seemingly born upwards by an invisible force. She hovered in place for a few moments, and then abruptly took off at high speed, wings outspread, skimming low to the ground.
“You can fly, too!?” Ren said to himself, a look of wonderment continually growing on his face.
“Of course” she messaged back, sensing his thoughts. “What do you think these wings are for?”
Latias was gone a short time. When she returned, she was carrying a wide variety of berries wrapped in a large leaf. She placed them in front of Ren, and then floated back to the ground. Ren began devouring the fruit hungrily, juice staining his fingers and mouth.
“Where did you find these?” he asked of her, regarding the fruit.
“The forest is full of them,” she answered. “The ones you are eating now, however, are from a bush I found about a three day’s walk from here.”
Ren dropped the fruit he was eating, shock registering on his face. “How far away?” he asked, not believing what Latias had just told him. “How many days walk?”
“Three days,” she sent to him again. “You can keep eating,” she continued confused, not noticing Ren’s reason for dropping the fruit. “I already ate my fill.”
Ren had once again been stunned into silence. How could Latias possibly have gone that far? The sun had barely moved when she was gone, and here she was telling him that she had traveled as far as a three-day hike would take him. Latias, now understanding the source of Ren’s shocked expression, floated off of the ground one more time, laughing in her mind.
“Your wondering how I went so far so quickly,” she messaged to him, more a statement than a question. “I’ll show you. Watch.” With that, Latias tucked in her forelegs, pressing them against her chest, and began flying straight upwards to gain more room. She left the canopy of the trees, and then began to exemplify remarkable aerial prowess. She flew in circles, figure-eights, turned quickly in midair, and performed free-falls. She flew back into the forest, dodging between trees and brushing past branches. She then returned to the open sky, and began to fly in one direction.
Latias quickly gained speed until she was flying so fast that Ren could hardly follow her movements. Suddenly, a force blasted into him that felt like a faraway explosion. The air around Latias’ fading form rippled as she began to fly faster than sound.
From his hiding place near the edge of the forest, the old, one-eyed man watched Latias’ flying form go tearing overhead, and then flinched as he was struck by the same blast of energy that Ren had felt. It made his bones vibrate. “So, the boy has found Latias,” he said to himself. Good. Things were beginning to fall into place.
Latias tilted her wings, circling back on her path, air slipping past her streamlined body. She should return to Ren quickly, before she was seen by anyone in the villages surrounding the forest. He did not know it yet, but he was in danger with her, and the longer no one knew they were associated, the better. She had been asleep in her egg for a very, very long time, lying dormant, waiting. She had stretched out her mind, gleaning information, acquiring small details of the world around her. She waited for subtle changes in nature, small disturbances that were prerequisites for a coming storm, an awakening of evil. That evil was now present; very small, nigh undetectable, but present nonetheless. She did not know its source, or its location, but it was there, and was an ever increasing shadow in her mind.
She knew what the evil would become, and what it sought. Soon, very soon, it would be extremely dangerous to be associated with her. Latias knew she had to be especially careful with Ren, who would be by her side almost constantly in the days to come. She knew that, sooner or later, it would be discovered that they were in league. It could not be helped. As she flew back over the trees, she decided it would be essential to show him another of her skills: it could save both of their lives in the near future.
Ren sat on the grass near the edge of the forest, slowly chewing on one of the last remaining berries Latias had brought to him, thinking. He had a lot to think about: the things Latias had shown him in the past few hours were nearly overwhelming. He had bonded with a pokémon, he thought, and it was one of the most complex, yet exciting, situations he had ever found himself in. He was still amazed at how Latias could speak to his mind. He was unsure if other pokemon were capable of this amazing feat, but he didn’t think so.
As he sat there, finishing the last of the berries, he thought up many questions. Why had luck favored him, if it was luck, giving him this wonderful gift? Where would he go from here? What would he do? What would he see? How would he introduce Latias to his parents, and how would they take it?
As Ren pondered these things, he did not notice as a cloaked and hooded figure crept up behind him. He jumped as the figure’s shadow fell across him, and then stood up quickly, turning around to face the stranger, sword in hand.
A man’s voice emanated from under the hood. “You are Ren, are you not?” said the voice. “I need you to come with me,” it continued, not waiting for Ren’s answer.
Ren held the sword in front of his body defensively. “How do you know my name?” he asked. “Why do you disguise your face? Show yourself!” he demanded, but his quavering voice gave away his fear.
The man did not oblige, nor did he answer. He simply turned in the direction of the path that lead towards town and away from the forest, and began to walk. Ren hesitated for a moment, and then began to follow the man warily, still holding his sword. The man did not speak for a while, so Ren ventured another question.
“Where are we going?” he asked. The man continued to hold his silence, so Ren discontinued further questioning.
Eventually, they turned off of the path and into the surrounding woods. After walking for a short time, they came upon a small cottage that had fallen into disrepair. The man proceeded to the front door, so Ren did the same.
Suddenly, the man was thrown to one side, seemingly struck by an invisible force. He lay writhing on the ground, as though he were struggling against something. Latias then appeared: she was pinning the man’s cloaked form to the ground with her forelegs.
“Where do you think you are going with this boy?” She was almost shouting at the man with her mind, using the same technique she used to communicate with Ren. “Speak, or I will hold you as foe and deal with you as such!” she finished, her face pressed close to the man’s, her eyes flashing like lightning.
The man stopped struggling and lifted his hands to his face, pulling back his hood. “Stop, stop Latias!” he said. “It’s me! It’s Griffith!”
Latias let the man up, backing away. As the man stood, Ren saw his face. It was the one eyed-merchant from the marketplace. “What are you doing here?” Ren asked, shocked.
Griffith regarded the boy with his one good eye. “I came to see you, Ren,” he explained. “I knew where that stone I gave to you would lead you, and what you would find. I knew you would meet Latias, and that your encounter would probably be overwhelming to you, so I came to help you understand better. Come inside,” he finished, and began walking once again towards the door of the cottage.
Ren followed reluctantly at the man’s heels, Latias hovering close behind. They all three went inside, and Griffith closed the door behind them. “Now then,” said Griffith, taking off his cloak and placing it on a hook beside the doorway. “Where shall we begin, Latias?”
Ren spoke up. “How did Latias attack you?” he blurted out. “I couldn’t see her until she already had you on the ground.”
Latias and Griffith exchanged glances. “That’s as good a place as any to start,” Latias thought to both of them.
Griffith nodded in agreement, and then walked towards the back of the cottage, disappearing in an adjoining room for a moment. When he returned, he carried a stack of ancient, leather-bound books in his hands. He placed the books on a table in the room, and patted the top one’s dusty cover affectionately. “These,” he began, “are the Eon Chronicles. Or at least what’s left of them. They contain all known information on Latias, as well as Latios, the male of her species.” He picked up the top book, flipping to its first page. “This is Latios,” he said, holding the book in front of Ren and pointing to a very detailed, colored sketch.
The picture depicted a pokémon much like Latias, although where Latias was red, this pokémon was blue. Latios also had a white teardrop shape on his forehead and a red triangle on his chest. Ren studied the sketch for a moment before Griffith pulled the book away.
“Now to answer your question,” Griffith told Ren, beginning to once again leaf through the pages of the ragged volume. “Ah, here,” he said after a few moments. He began to read from a yellowed page. “Latias has the ability to influence the light striking her body with her glass-like feathers,” he stated, “bending it to alter her appearance or even render herself invisible.”
Ren looked at Latias, who was punctuating the man’s words by taking on the appearance of the table she floated next to. Griffith continued to read aloud. “This ability allows Latias to catch prey or foes unaware, and lets her blend in with any surroundings. It also helps her to avoid harm when foes are near, hiding her from sight.”
Ren walked over to Latias, who now appeared as a perfect copy of the table. He held out his hand, stroking her feathers. The image of the table rippled where his hand touched as Latias’ outer layer of feathers shifted, exposing red and white ones underneath.
Latias faded back into her normal coloration. “Now that you have your answer, Ren, I must tell you something important,” she thought to him. “It concerns the origins of my knowledge, which I told you before I didn’t know.” She studied his face. “What I told you was not truthful, Ren. My knowledge was built over many generations of my species, written down by your kind in the Eon Chronicles. Every one thousand years, a new member of my species is hatched, but not before a member of your species has taught them all of the information contained in the Chronicles.” She paused. Ren was listening intently.
“Griffith was elected to teach me,” she continued. “He is the last remaining member of a family that has taught my species for many, many generations. Now: it is customary for the human that teaches the Latias or Latios to become partners with the hatchling. However, since Griffith is the last of his line, he has decided to give his responsibility to an heir not of his own. He continued to teach me the knowledge of the Chronicles as he searched for a worthy candidate. He chose you to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring my kind’s survival, Ren. He chose you to be my partner, to record what you learn about me, and to teach my offspring all that is known in the Chronicles.”
At this point, Griffith began to speak. “There is a small problem, however,” he said. “Many volumes of the Eon Chronicles have been lost, either to the decay of time, simple misplacement, or theft. Therefore, we do not know all of Latias’ secrets, or what she is capable of.” He lowered his voice. “There is another problem,” he continued. “Every time a new member of the Eon family is hatched, an evil force rises also, seeking to bend the Latias or Latios’ power to its will. The force usually manifests itself as a man, but has also manifested itself in other forms. This evil being attempts to gain control of all of the Eon Chronicles, thus ultimately finding out all of the secrets of the Eon family, including how to control it."
Latias began to message Ren again. “We are telling you this because we need to be cautious,” she thought to him. “The evil being has awakened; I have felt it as an ever-growing presence. Therefore, I must avoid being seen as long as possible, for the creature may have spies in the midst of the world’s creatures. If I am found, we will both be in danger, as the evil being will not hesitate to kill you and declare itself my partner. If that happens, the world may be all but lost: we have no idea what the creature could or would make me do at that point. Keep this in mind, Ren, always,” she finished, staring earnestly at Ren’s face.
Ren stood silently for a long time. His world was turning upside down. Finally he spoke. “What do we do now?” he inquired of Latias and Griffith.
“Train,” started Griffith.
“And find the missing Eon Chronicles,” Latias finished.
Shoot, have I really missed reviewing three chapters? I suck. I do. Anyway, I was wrong.. I never would have thought Latias. XD I was thinking of Deoxys. *slaps self*
Anyway, I really like the description in the couple chapters I've missed. Things are starting to pick up now, with Ren meeting Latias and everything.
A few errors:
“Of course” she messaged back, sensing his thoughts. “What do you think these wings are for?”
Forgot a comma after "course".
“Yes,” she answered finally. “Thank you, Ren,” she added. Ren hardly heard her, however. He was holding the box above his head, shaking it, and peering inside. “Your welcome,” he answered, slightly crestfallen. “But we’re out of food.”
"Your" should be "you're". It makes more sense to say "you are welcome", doesn't it?
That's about it.
Poor Ren. :[ I'm interested to see how he's going to handle this whole Eon Chronicles thing. He just had a hell of a lot of information thrown in his face.
Next chapter. And hello to the new people! Editing this is a lot easier with help.
Kairn stumbled through the darkness. It was his third night looking for Houndour. He had seen no sign of his pokemon; it was as if Houndour had simply ceased to exist. As he walked, Kairn’s stomach growled loudly. The last food he had eaten had been Ren’s box of candy. Not only did the candy turn Kairn’s stomach sour at first, it also contained no sustenance.
Kairn was starving. If he did not find food soon, he would perish. He had been so intent on finding his Houndour, so obsessed as righting his wrong, that he had neglected his body to the breaking point. He took a few more steps, calling out to his pokemon with his voice nearly muted; long since lost from yelling.
Kairn staggered wearily and sank to his knees. His body was failing him, and he needed rest. But all he could think about was his Houndour. He got to his feet again, and continued to stagger onwards for a few yards, before sinking to his knees a second time.
The first snow of winter began to fall as Kairn lay down, exhausted, unable to go further that night. As he did so, however, a small, hard object prodded him in the back. He reached behind himself, grasped the object, and pulled it out from under him to see what it was.
As he held the object up in the wavering moonlight, he saw that it was a small, perfectly round stone. The stone was deep, vibrant blue, and had a white triangle on one side, with a small, triangular indentation on the other. Kairn attempted to examine it a moment longer, but was unable to focus his eyes. He groggily put the stone in his pocket just before he fell into a deep sleep.
That night, Kairn dreamed of a tree with his Houndour sitting in front of it. The leaves of the tree were as green as they would appear in spring. Oddly, however, the trees surrounding it were covered in snow. His Houndour ran to the side, out of view of his mind’s eye. Then, a rumbling noise surrounded him as a hole opened in front of the tree where his Houndour had been sitting, and a light shone out. Afterward, all went black.
Ren stood for a few moments, absorbing everything he had been told. Griffith and Latias looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to speak. Finally he did.
“So I am to become your successor, Griffith, and become Latias’ partner,” he stated, repeating what the two had said to make sure he understood. “I am to first train with her, learn to use a blade, and study the Eon Chronicles we have. Then we are to go off together to find the missing Chronicles and keep them from falling into the wrong hands, all the while being on the lookout for things to record in the Chronicles about Latias that have not been discovered before. Is all of this correct?”
Ren had deduced everything that was required of him, so both Griffith and Latias nodded. Ren continued. “And you expect me to basically walk away from my life, to simply step onto this new path with no knowledge of where I may end up or of how long it may take.”
The two nodded again, more reluctantly this time. They did not like how Ren was taking this, but it was to be expected. They were asking a lot, and Griffith said so. “We can not force you to take this responsibility, Ren. It is a great burden to bear, and one that may outlast your lifetime. As I have said, you will need to continue teaching Latias’ future generations, even after this task is done. But think of what the consequences would be if you did not agree to do this. You have already seen a small portion of Latias’ power, and I’m sure you can only imagine what that power could do in the hands of evil. Think long and hard, Ren. You do not need to make the decision now. There is still time, as Latias has not yet been discovered by anyone save ourselves.”
Ren hesitated, weighing his options. After a few moments, he spoke. “May I at least say goodbye to my parents?” he asked. “They must be missing me by now. I have already been gone for two days.”
Griffith did not hesitate before answering. “That is absolutely forbidden, Ren. Your parents would ask why you were leaving, and you would be forced to tell them about Latias, which would compromise her anonymity. That could prove dangerous.”
Ren managed to look surprised, hurt, and angered, all at the same time. “My parents would never do anything they thought would harm me or Latias!” he said. “They would die first! How could you think otherwise? How could you think they would give our secret away?” He was shouting at this point.
Griffith cut him short. “They could be made to, Ren. The being that seeks you will try anything to find you. It is stated in the Eon Chronicles that one of this being’s greatest tools is torture.” Ren’s eyes grew wide as he began to realize what was at stake.
“And not just physical torture, but psychological, as well,” Griffith continued. “This creature can do things that you could not even imagine in your worst nightmare, Ren. The Eon Chronicles state that all evil fades in comparison as this being grows to full power. We have no idea what it will do, or attempt to do, as it tries to take control. You must always think of this, Ren, before every action, before every spoken word. Latias’ fate depends on it, as does yours and possibly the fates of us all.”
Ren stood still, breathing heavily. What had he gotten himself into? How could he possibly resist a creature that was so powerful, that could supposedly do anything? It was an impossible task, and he had somehow become the one that was to carry it out.
Latias sensed the deep turmoil Ren was experiencing: it spilled from him like a torrent into her mind. “Do not worry now, Ren,” she spoke to his thoughts. “There is a long time still before anything we do carries weight. For now, you should rest. Griffith, I’m sure, has set up a place for you to sleep tonight…” she paused, glancing at Griffith, who nodded in return. “And so you should. Continue thinking about your decision in the meantime--”
"I've already made it," Ren interjected. "At least, I think I have." He closed his eyes for a few moments, collecting his thoughts. "Hearing of this Dark Being or whatever it is, I'm frightened, but I also can't bring myself to simply walk away and pretend as though I never knew. Ignorance won't solve this problem. The evil will grow either way, and I would rather face it in open opposition than hide and let it run amok, or allow someone I may not even know to shoulder the burden. This thing will affect me in any case, and I'd rather have a say in how and when it does. And Latias...after meeting you, I don't think I could simply leave. You're..." Ren opened his eyes and glanced at the dragon: she was staring at him intently, and he turned his gaze elsewhere, embarrassed. "I'm not quite sure how to say it."
Ren looked back at her with puzzlement in his eyes, but then a grin stole over his face, as well. The expression disappeared in a flash as he continued. "Right then. I also have my parents, my home, and everything else I know and love to consider." The boy paused, gauging as he had before the weight of leaving all of that behind. It would be painful, to say the least. But if he did nothing, it might not last, which was a future he wasn't willing to face. Therefore, Ren fought down his fear of leaving that life behind, and was filled with a strange, empowering sensation: he wondered if it was what Bron had experienced when the older boy jumped into the icy river to save him. Feeling as though he were in a trance, Ren heard himself say "I'll go, under one condition: you tell my parents after I'm gone."
Griffith stood silent for a very long time. “Yes, I could do that,” he eventually said, reluctant. “By that time, you will probably be too far away for it to matter, and your trail will have gone cold. Alright, I will do this for you,” he ended, more sure of his words.
“Promise me,” Ren said, taking a step forward. “Promise that you will tell them.”
“I promise” answered Griffith, smiling. This boy had guts. Griffith was becoming more and more pleased with his choice for Latias’ partner the longer he spent with him. Ren had shown some of his courageous spirit over time as the man had watched him from afar while making his decision. Now that courage was beginning to surface rapidly, responding to need. This boy would do just fine. He had been the right choice.
Griffith led Ren and Latias to a small sleeping area with a cot and a cushion he had set up in a back room, and bade the two goodnight. Ren clambered onto the cot while Latias nestled on the cushion, burying her head under one of her triangular wings.
"Sleep well, Latias," Ren whispered to her.
"Sleep well," Latias answered in his mind, smiling at the wonderment apparent in the boy's voice despite his exhausted tone. The house grew quiet after that, and soon both of them had drifted off to sleep.
Interesting. Kairn has the blue stone now, which I'm sure only means trouble for Ren and Latias. >>'
I think more description from Ren about leaving his home would have been nice. I mean, it seemed like he made the decision in a mere two minutes. He doesn't really act like he's going to miss them . . . Maybe he's worrying about where they'll get food? Maybe he remember some good times they had together? I don't know; it's up to you, but I think it could have been done better.
Other than that, everything was great as always. :D
Yeah, there should be some more description of how Ren feels about all this. I mean, he's thrust into a dangerous situation that could put his parents into jeopardy if they find out, and he seems to be perfectly okay with it all. Unless I'm just stating this because I like the deep thoughts of characters and long pages of the character just thinking...
Just a few mistakes I spotted.
“Alright.” he said.
The full stop after "alright" should be a comma.
“I promise” answered Griffith, smiling.
Missed the comma after "promise".
I can't wait to see what'll happen with Kairn and the blue stone he found. And what disaster that could spell for Ren and Latias.
He thinks about his family many times later in the story, if it's any solace. These things do come up, just not in that chapter. They do a little in this chapter, however.
Ren awoke the following morning feeling refreshed and full of energy. He got out of the cot and washed his face and hands in a basin of icy water that had been provided for that purpose, gasping at the sudden shock of cold against his skin. After drying off, he noticed a stand in the corner of the room. On the stand rested an un-ornate suit of armor, gauntlets, boots, and a helm. His sword lay by the side of his bed, where he had left it the night before, and laying next to it was a simple leather sheath.
Ren walked over to the stand, and noticed a small note. “Ren” the note started in a simple, yet meticulous scrawl. “Put these on, eat the food on the table in the living room, and come outside. Your training starts today. Signed, Griffith.”
Ren put down the note and regarded the armor. It shone a dull grey, as though made of iron. However, Ren found that the metal was quite light as he picked up one of the gauntlets, turning it in his hands to examine it. He set the gauntlet back down again, and then pulled the armor off of the stand and began to put it on. First was a shirt of mail, then a thin, yet surprisingly strong breastplate. Then came the gauntlets, boots and helm. All were very light, very tough, and fit Ren to perfection.
He sheathed his long sword in the leather scabbard and strapped it to his back, the white handle angled above his right shoulder. Then he walked into the adjoining room. There on the table was a plate of sliced bread, butter made from Miltank’s milk, and scrambled Pidgey eggs. Ren sat down and began to devour the meal hungrily. His last food had been the berries that Latias brought to him the day before.
As he ate, Ren looked outside one of the many windows set into the walls. He noticed that the landscape, or what he could see of it through the trees, was blanketed in the first snow of winter. He suddenly began to worry about his parents, and then caught himself. With him gone, and candle sales up, his parents would be fine. They would have the money normally spent on him to help them along. He just hoped they would be alright without him there to assist them, and that they wouldn’t worry themselves to death over him. He had an important task to do, and he hoped they would understand someday.
Ren finished his breakfast, wiped his mouth on a napkin, and walked out the front door, stepping onto the snow-covered ground outside. His feet made little sound as he went: the snow seemed to muffle everything. He soon spotted both Latias and Griffith under a sprawling, frost-covered tree a few yards away, and joined them underneath its branches.
“Good morning, Ren,” Griffith spoke first. “I trust that your night was restful?” he asked.
“Very,” Ren answered, nodding at the same time.
“Good,” Latias thought-spoke to him, her eyes shining like newly-minted gold coins. “You will need all your strength for today. First, you will have a sparring lesson with Griffith. Afterwards, you and I will go for a flying lesson. We do not have a saddle for you yet, but you would have needed to learn to ride bare-back eventually, so you will start now. Last, you will study the Eon Chronicles, which you will have memorized by the end of your training. Are you ready to begin?” she waited for Ren’s answer.
Ren noticed that she had grown since lsat night: she was already nearly as tall as he. “Yes, I’m ready,” Ren stated. He turned to Griffith, who stood up.
“Well then,” Griffith said. “Follow me to that clearing. We will have much more room there.” They walked to an open area that was free of trees. The ground here was very flat, and the snow covered it in a thin, cold sheet of white.
Griffith spoke again. “Give me your sword, Ren,” he said, holding out a gnarled hand. Ren unsheathed his sword, pulling it up over his shoulder and then down in front of him. He held the blade point-down, and gave the handle to Griffith. Griffith held the blade upright in front of him, admiring the intricate etchings on its otherwise unmarred surface. He then placed the sword on his finger, with the blade on one side and the hilt on the other, testing its balance. It wavered for a few moments before becoming perfectly level.
Griffith returned Ren’s sword, his face beaming. “I have often admired this blade as I taught Latias in her cave, reciting the Eon Chronicles to her mind,” he said with a smile. “However, I could not wield it because I was not to be her partner,” he continued, glancing at the pommel of the sword which Ren now held. “Now that I have had a chance to examine it, I must say that it is the most masterfully crafted blade I have ever set eyes on.” He paused a few moments, still thinking of the marvelous sword. “Anyways, we must begin your first lesson,” he continued after a short time. “Gengar! Show yourself!” he shouted.
Griffith’s shadow suddenly began to twist and contort. A pair of blood-red eyes appeared as the Gengar that had chased Ren through the forest floated out of the darkness behind him.
“Gengar,” the pokemon said, grinning at Ren, who took a few steps back.
Griffith laughed. “You’ve met before, haven’t you?” he asked, eyes shining. “This is Gengar, Ren, and I am his master. I had him scare you in the forest and chase you until you knocked yourself out with the tree. Quite a bump that was, eh?” he laughed again, Gengar joining him this time. “Well, I had to do it. You didn’t know it at the time, but you were hopelessly lost in that forest. I simply used Gengar to lead you in the right direction. I hope you’ll forgive me.”
Ren nodded, still warily regarding the ghostly pokemon that floated a few feet away.
“Fine,” Griffith continued. “Now that that’s out of the way, let’s begin your lesson. Gengar! Shadow Claw!” he commanded.
Gengar placed its hands together, and then slowly drew them apart as they spouted a black energy. When he was finished, he held a wicked looking blade. The dark-as-pitch sword curved upwards wildly, as though made of frozen fire, and had a serrated edge.
“Now,” Griffith said to Ren. “I want you to simply block Gengar’s attacks. Don’t worry, he will not harm you.” He turned to his pokemon. “Gengar! Attack!”
Gengar began to slash slowly at Ren, his sword as black as night. Ren found it quite easy to block Gengar’s attacks: he sensed the pokemon was going easy on him. After a while, however, Gengar began to speed up. His swings came ever faster, and as Ren grew more and more tired he found it harder to stop his opponent’s blade. Finally, he missed one of his opponent’s strokes. Gengar’s blade slipped past his defenses and passed clean through his body.
Ren gasped, sure he was dying. Then he noticed that he was uninjured: Gengar’s blade had passed through him, yes, but it had done no damage. Gengar cackled loudly with its otherworldly voice. The sword the pokemon held seemed transparent: Ren could see Griffith through the blade.
“Well done,” Griffith was saying. “You lasted a long time against Gengar. I think that your training will go quite smoothly if you have this much natural talent. Now that we have defensive training out of the way, let’s work on offense. Go ahead and attack Gengar this time.”
Ren did as he was told and began swing clumsily at the pokemon with his blade. Gengar parried every blow with ease, but Ren became more and more comfortable with his swing with every attempt. After pounding his opponent’s defenses for some time, Ren saw his chance. He had knocked Gengar’s blade wide with an exceptionally powerful swing, and he now used the momentum from his attack to execute an upward thrust. His white blade passed smoothly through his opponent’s body, but Gengar seemed uninjured by the attack.
“Very impressive, Ren,” Griffith said. “I hope your excellence with a blade also shows in your flying and studying skills. That’s all for today. Go see Latias for your first flying lesson,” he finished.
Ren trotted over to Latias, sword re-sheathed, a smile on his face. “How did you do?” she inquired, eyes set on the handle of his blade.
“Griffith says I did very well,” Ren responded, continuing to smile.
Then his smile disappeared. “Now, I think you’re supposed to take me flying,” he said.
“Yes,” she answered. “Let’s begin. Just climb on to my back and grab a hold of my neck, Ren. I’ll take it from there.”
“Latias?” Ren asked, suddenly frowning. “Are we going to go as fast and as high today as when you flew yesterday?”
Latias sensed his fear, and laughed. “Of course not, Ren,” she thought-spoke to him. “Today we are going to fly very slowly and stay very close to the ground. And don’t worry, you won’t fall off," she added.
Ren looked relieved, and walked up to Latias. She floated down to the ground, and lowered her head so that Ren could get on. He swung his leg up over her back, climbed up, and knelt between her wings, clinging to her neck.
Latias slowly lifted off the ground again, and began to fly forwards at a very low rate without moving her wings. She seemed to be using her mind to hold herself afloat. Ren squeezed his eyes shut as she moved, and then slowly opened them. The ground was passing beneath them at about the same speed as if he had been walking. He decided flying wasn’t as bad as he had thought it would be, and then Latias began to fly faster. She increased in speed until they were skimming quickly over the ground, and Ren squeezed his eyes shut again. He had become comfortable too soon.
Latias curved around the way she had come, slowing slightly for Ren’s benefit. She flew them back to their starting place, and then floated downwards to allow Ren to dismount. “That wasn’t too bad for a first lesson,” she thought to him. “I’m sure flying is a little frightening to those born without the talent,” she finished, grinning slyly.
It was at that time that Kairn’s Houndour stumbled into view, and collapsed.
Anyway, great details with the training with Gengar, and the flying thing with Latias. =) I hope you don't make him master everything too quickly, but I think you've got that covered, no? I can't wait to see what Ren does about Kairn's Houndour, or how Houndour will even react to Ren's appearance with what happened.
Quote originally posted by txteclipse:
Ren noticed that she had grown since lsat night: she was already nearly as tall as he. “Yes, I’m ready,” Ren stated. He turned to Griffith, who stood up.
"Last", not "lsat". lol.
Quote originally posted by txteclipse:
“Of course not, Ren,” she thought-spoke to him. “Today we are going to fly very slowly and stay very close to the ground. And don’t worry, you won’t fall off” She added.
Should be "Today we are going to fly very slowly and stay very close to the ground. And don't worry, you won't fall off," she added.
New chapter time. Hope I'm getting better at catching grammar mistakes...
Ren could tell as he ran up to Kairn’s Houndour that it was in bad condition. Latias was by his side in moments as he knelt next to the injured pokemon, stroking its fur. Houndour was very cold: it had been nearly frozen from wandering around in the snow.
“That Houndour looks terrible,” Latias thought to Ren. “We should get him inside, where it’s warmer,” she continued, looking worriedly at the injured pokémon before them.
“Go tell Griffith what’s happening,” Ren said, slowly picking up Houndour, trying not to hurt him further. “I’ll carry him to the cottage.”
Latias flew swiftly over to Griffith and thought-spoke to him for a few moments before they both rushed inside. Ren slowly made his way to the front door of the cottage, cradling Houndour’s limp form in his arms. The pokémon was still breathing, but just barely. His life force was ebbing quickly as Ren stepped into the warm interior of Griffith’s home.
Griffith had already gathered together a large amount of blankets made from Mareep's wool in front of the fireplace and was now stoking the blaze inside. Ren placed Houndour on top of the soft pile of blankets and began to wrap him in their warmth. Houndour’s eyes opened for a moment, gazing at Ren. They were bloodshot and swollen, but he seemed to be aware of what was happening. His eyes then closed as he fell into a shallow and restless sleep, his body and mind fighting a silent battle against weakness and injury to stay alive.
Latias approached Houndour’s still form, lightly pressed Ren aside, and gently placed the pad of one foreclaw on the pokémon’s forehead. She closed her eyes for a few moments, concentrating. Then she opened her eyes, and turned her feathered head to Ren.
“He is very weak, but not entirely gone,” she thought to him, her tone solemn and matter of fact. “He has at least a chance at recovering. All we can do now is to give whatever aid we can and see if he pulls through.”
Ren nodded, and looked down at Houndour’s sleeping form. The pokemon shivered from time to time, as though it was still outside in the cold.
“Ren,” Latias broke into the boy’s thoughts abruptly, startling him. He turned to her, wondering at the grave tone she had adopted into her voice. She continued to think to him, her eyes revealing pain mixed with anger. “I just talked with Houndour in his mind to help me decide whether he is strong enough to live. While I was doing this, I discovered that his injuries are not only physical, but mental as well.” She paused, staring deep into Ren’s eyes. He grew more uncomfortable with each passing second.
“This Houndour was not hurt by natural means,” she continued, her stare penetrating to his soul. “From what I gathered from his recent memory, he was kicked rather viciously by a human being. He's traumatized from that experience, and it may inhibit his recovery. Do you wish to tell me anything, Ren?"
Ren realized that Latias knew he had kicked Houndour as the creature tried to steal his food. She had become worried that he was not as kind as she thought him to be; that his character was tainted. He felt their trust, developed over just two days, slipping away.
“Latias, you…you don’t understand…I…” he stammered, trying to tell her that his actions had been necessary given the circumstances. Kairn would have ordered his Houndour to do whatever it took to get the box of candy. He had acted on impulse: both to save himself and to resist Kairn’s domination.
“What don’t I understand, Ren?” Latias thought to him, her tone growing more and more harsh. “You kicked this Houndour. He is near death. What is there not to know?”
Ren took a deep breath, recollecting his composure. Latias' sudden outburst had unsettled him, and he worked hard to regain control. “Houndour was under the command of his master at the time, Latias, a boy named Kairn,” He paused to reassure himself that Latias was listening. She was, though she still regarded him with judgmental eyes. He decided to continue anyways. “Kairn was trying to steal my family’s food. This was not the first time; he has done it often in the past. He ordered his Houndour to take it from me, and I decided that in order to save my family from starving, I would have to stand up to Kairn, even if that meant I had to hurt Houndour in the process. I didn’t want to do it, but I couldn’t think of any other way.”
Ren saw Latias’ face visibly change as her anger was replaced with surprise. “I…I’m sorry, Ren,” she thought to him. “I didn’t even stop to think about why you would have acted the way you did. I didn’t think that maybe I was jumping to conclusions and that you were acting that way because you had to. Now that you have told me, I realize that I shouldn’t have assumed so much.” She hung her head. “I feel so foolish…” she trailed off.
“It’s fine, Latias,” Ren said, placing a hand on her shoulder. “I can understand why you would react this way. Seeing anyone acting cruelly to any pokémon must be hard for you. It would be hard for me, too.” He paused as Latias looked up at him. “And don’t worry,” he continued. “I would never do anything like that to you. Nor would I do it again, unless I had no other choice.”
Latias nodded, showing she understood, her face registering calm. Ren stroked her feathers as they stood and hovered next to Houndour’s resting place.
Griffith then moved from the corner of the room where he had been quietly working. He was holding a tiny bowl of green liquid, and as he approached, he gave the bowl to Ren. “This is an ancient recipe handed down in the Eon Chronicles,” he said, looking at the boy. “It is called Potion, and it helps wounds heal at a miraculous rate. I would like you to give some of this to Houndour. It may help him recover.”
Ren looked at the bowl of liquid he held in his hands. It had a faint odor that reminded him of how wet earth smelled after a freshly fallen rain. He dipped his fingers into the bowl, tainting them green with the mixture inside. His hands tingled in a curious way as he knelt beside Houndour and began to spread the soothing balm over the pokémon’s body. Houndour stirred slightly at the boy's touch before becoming still again. Ren worked slowly, gently applying the Potion to each of Houndour’s many wounds. When he was finished, Griffith handed him a wet rag with which to clean his hands.
Afterward, Latias, Ren, and Griffith all decided that they had seen enough excitement for one day, and that they would continue training tomorrow. The man and boy ate dinner at the table in the dining room while Latias feasted on meat from a bird pokemon she had caught in the forest. While eating, they conversed about the day’s events: the humans using their voices, and Latias using her mind. Finally, as the sunlight waned, they all went to bed.
That night, as Latias lay curled up on the floor nestled in a soft pile of sheets next to his cot, Ren kept himself awake thinking about many things. The thing he most thought about was why Houndour had appeared without his master. He knew the two were inseparable: no matter how cruel Kairn became, he would never even think about hurting his pokemon. The only explanation Ren could come up with for why Kairn was missing was that he had been injured.
Or killed. Ren shuddered and pushed the thought from his mind, deciding that Kairn was probably just lost and had sent Houndour ahead of him to find their way home. He held that thought in his mind until he passed into sleep, his facial expressions becoming peaceful to match those of his sleeping companion.
Kairn had walked for another day without finding his companion. His throat was lacerated from calling out Houndour's name. The rest of the boy's body was in similar shape: he was nearly delirious from malnutrition and lack of rest, and had begun to see things that he thought couldn't exist.
As he walked through the forest in the dark that night, faces and shapes began to appear out of the evening mist. He thought he saw Houndour many times, but the pokémon’s figure would soon fade. He saw other things as well; things he couldn’t identify. Strange creatures watched him with glowing eyes that winked out as he approached, and small sounds came from all around him, making him become very uneasy.
As he continued to walk, the things Kairn saw grew more and more frightening. Dark figures would suddenly run across his path, startling him. Things would brush up against his clothes, but when he turned, nothing would be there. Giant, indistinguishable shapes loomed out of the gloom on the fringes of darkness.
Kairn began to walk quickly through the forest, and then broke into a run, desperate to escape its wild and horrifying secrets. He ran for a long time before he crested a small mound and saw lights ahead of him. He fled towards the lights, hoping to find a place where he would be safe from the things hiding in the oppressing darkness.
What he found was a small cottage in a clearing. The light was coming from windows that were faintly illuminated from the inside, possibly by candles or a fireplace. Kairn sprinted up to the cottage, crossed the front porch, and fell against the door, unconscious. His body could take no more.
Wow. The forums kinda exploded there for a while. I couldn't even get on. What's up with that? Ah well. New Chapter time.
Ren awoke to a loud thumping noise in the middle of the night. He sat up on his cot as Latias roused sleepily next to him, also awakened by the sound. He kept still for a few moments, his mind quickly coming fully awake, his heart racing. He stared into the darkness for a few moments, trying to identify where the sound had come from. Finally, he swung his legs over the side of the cot, stood, and tiptoed into the adjoining room, touching Latias reassuringly on the head as he went by. He did this as much to calm himself as to calm her.
As he crept into the living room, Ren’s eyes adjusted to the faint moonlight streaming through the windows. He stood in the center of the living space for a short while until he could see clearly. He decided that the sound had come from the front door, so he quietly walked to it. Latias came up silently behind him as he nervously placed his hand on the door’s metal knob and turned it.
The latch of the door disengaged with a clicking sound, and Ren eased it open. However, the door had moved no more than a few inches before it pressed against something and stopped. Ren held his breath and stood absolutely still for a few harrowing seconds. When nothing happened, he pushed harder against the door, and then yet harder as the door stubbornly stayed partially closed. Latias soon joined him, placing both forelegs on the un-giving door and shoving her weight against it, hind claws digging into the wood flooring.
Suddenly, something behind the door moved, and it flew open with a resounding bang before Ren and Latias’ combined efforts. They both fell forward as the door gave way and landed sprawling across the threshold. Ren lay on the ground a few moments before he picked himself up on his hands and knees and then stood brushing himself off. Latias simply floated a few feet upwards.
As he patted the dust from his clothing, Ren looked around for the object that had been blocking his exit. His hands froze in mid-motion when he saw Kairn’s crumpled body, hidden half out of view behind the open door. At first, Ren thought that Kairn had been holding the door closed, and that he was going to jump out to scare Ren. However, Kairn did not move, and he seemed to be lying in an unnatural position. He also wouldn’t have known that Ren was here, and so wouldn’t have come this far into the woods.
Ren cautiously approached Kairn, pulled the door away from him, and knelt beside him. Kairn’s eyes were closed, and he did not register any response as Ren drew near: he simply lay still, as though dead. Ren touched his shoulder, and then began to shake him gently when he still did not respond.
“Kairn?” Ren spoke, his face close to the other boy’s. When he still did nothing, Ren began to grow more earnest in his attempts to revive him. “Kairn!” he shouted loudly, shaking the other boy more and more earnestly. “Wake up! Kairn!”
Kairn’s head rolled to one side, and his parched, chapped lips parted to reveal a tongue in similar condition. Ren began to feel sick, and turned his head away from Kairn’s ruined face. Just then, Griffith spoke behind him. He had come outside, and Ren had been so preoccupied that he didn’t notice the man standing there.
“He’s unconscious, Ren, not dead,” Griffith said, much to the boy’s relief. “See there? His chest moves slightly when he breathes. Let’s take him inside. I have a cot set up for him already.”
Ren helped Griffith carry Kairn’s limp form inside while Latias followed behind them. They placed Kairn on a cot that Griffith had situated next to Houndour’s resting place. Griffith layered a few blankets over Kairn that he had taken from Houndour: they were hot due to the fire poke’mon’s warmth. Frost that had been clinging to the boy’s body from outside soon melted away.
Latias floated between her two companions and placed a foreleg on Kairn’s brow, repeating the procedure she had used with Houndour. She closed her eyes and stayed perfectly still for most of what seemed like hours to Ren. Every once in a while, however, she would flinch, as though in pain, and Ren would start towards her. He did not understand why she did this, but he felt sharp fear every time she suddenly moved.
Latias eventually opened her eyes. Ren noticed that they lacked their usual luminescence: they seemed less bright than before.
“This boy has been through many hardships,” Latias though to both Griffith and Ren. She sounded very tired, as though her actions had drained her strength immensely. “He is in a similar state to Houndour, who is his partner, as I have learned. They have both wandered through the woods for a long while. Apparently, Kairn first abandoned Houndour…” at this point Ren’s eyes grew wide “…and Houndour wandered aimlessly until he found his way here. Later, Kairn thought better of his actions, and came to find Houndour.”
Latias seemed to finish, and grew silent for a moment, but then continued after a short time. “There is a complication, one I have not discovered until now,” she thought-spoke to her companions. “Both Houndour and Kairn have lost their wills to live.” Ren and Griffith both gave her their full attention as she continued. “Houndour looked to Kairn for direction before their separation. He saw Kairn as a friend, as well as a master. Now that Kairn has broken their trust, Houndour feels lost. He would hardly speak with me when I counseled him, and I doubt he will trust anyone before it’s too late.”
She turned her head from the pokemon to the boy lying close by. “Kairn, on the other hand, looked to Houndour to offer him help during his times of need,” she thought. “They both were homeless before their separation, and Kairn needed Houndour to help him find food and to keep him company. Without Houndour, Kairn feels empty. He does not know how he could survive without his companion, and quite frankly, he doesn’t want to.”
Latias now regarded Ren. “This will make their healing process very difficult,” she thought to him. “If they do not wish to live, their bodies will have a hard time working around their minds. Most of their survival depends on them having the urge to stay alive. Without that, I’m afraid they don’t have much of a chance,” she finished.
The boy and man stood silently as Latias hovered next to them, all contemplating the fates of the two creatures before them. So ironic, Latias thought to herself. Kairn and Houndour were side by side, and yet with no way to know this, they could be destroyed by their thoughts of never seeing each other again. What could be done, though? There was no way to show them that they were together.
Ren was the first to speak after a long pause. “If Kairn and Houndour know they are together, won’t it restore their will to live?” he asked, a questioning look on his face.
“Yes, but we have no way to show them,” Latias thought back.
“What if you speak with both of them at once? What if you allow them to talk to each other through your mind?”
Latias started at Ren’s idea. She had never thought of it before, and there was no record of such an occurrence in the Eon Chronicles. “I wouldn’t know how to do that, but I could try,” she thought to him. “Bring them closer together,” she told her companions.
Griffith pulled Kairn’s cot over to Houndour’s side and stepped away. Latias floated between the two unconscious beings, one human, one pokemon, and placed her forelegs on both of their foreheads. She closed her eyes, and then tensed with concentration.
Suddenly her eyes opened: they were a livid, glowing gold. She arched her neck backwards, eyes pointing unseeingly towards the ceiling. She was in obvious pain. Ren jumped forward, fear instantly overtaking him. He placed a hand on her neck as he raced forward, and a sudden rush of energy flooded into his arm and throughout his body. His mind erupted into a storm of sound and color, and then all went black as he fell to the floor without catching himself.
Ren came to on his cot. As his eyes focused to daylight streaming into the room, he noticed movement near his resting place. Latias’ head lifted into view from where she had been sleeping by his side. “It worked, Ren,” she thought to him, her eyes having returned to their normal shining quality. “Kairn and Houndour know of each other’s presence. They are fighting despite all odds to heal and awaken.”
Anyway, so Houndour AND Kairn are found now . . . guess they found what they both wanted, at least (each other).
My only problem:
Apparently, Kairn first abandoned Houndour…” at this point Ren’s eyes grew wide “…and Houndour wandered aimlessly until he found his way here. Later, Kairn thought better of his actions, and came to find Houndour.”
Can't just put the "at this point Ren's eyes grew wide" smack dab in the middle. >> If you put dashes--like this--then I think it could work.
Also, Ren's opinions on Kairn caring about Houndour would have been nice. I have a bad memory.. I'm sorry.. but I think Ren didn't think Kairn liked Houndour at all.
Anyway, I'm eager to see if Kairn or Houndour survive now that they know what's going on.
*The thing he most thought about was why Houndour had appeared without his master. He knew the two were inseparable: no matter how cruel Kairn became, he would never even think about hurting his pokemon. The only explanation Ren could come up with for why Kairn was missing was that he had been injured.
Or killed. Ren shuddered and pushed the thought from his mind, deciding that Kairn was probably just lost and had sent Houndour ahead of him to find their way home. He held that thought in his mind until he passed into sleep, his facial expressions becoming peaceful to match those of his sleeping companion.*
This is really good. You have Ren training, but it's come to a halt by the arrival of Houndour and Kairn. To me, it's the last two that have the more interesting story. I guess it's made better because Ren is seeing them in a different light, now knowing that Kairn's life has been horrible as well.
If there were grammar errors, I didn't spot any. That's how good your story is! I'm too engrossed in finding out what will happen to keep my editing skills on top!