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- Death Desire -
Is dying really inevitable?
Prologue - The start of a new age
It was a dark and depressing night for Neo Sinnoh. Once again, a large thunderstorm was terrorizing the land, but somehow the inhabitants of the region seemed oblivious to the weather - after all, this was the third thunderstorm of the week. After all, though Neo Sinnoh was a region of vitality and creation, a shadow had always lingered within. Right in the middle of land stood the mighty Mount Coronet, towering above the land since the ancient times. The mountain peak had always been a spiritual place for the Pokemon world, but ironically - the mountain range was known as one of the most treacherous areas in the world. With the constant blizzards and low temperatures at night, no pokemon had ever underestimated the severity of hailstorms that howled at the summit.
Rain continued to descend from the gray, depressing beyond, and Mount Coronet itself was far from being peaceful and forgiving. The moon - the only light source for the night - was barely bright enough to light up the way. The trees came to life and swayed with the wind, creating dancing shadows along the long, deserted pathways.
Apparently, lighting wasn't the only pesky problem. Along with some hoots from a random noctowl, the pitter-patter of raindrops formed an unsteady rhythm which had only brought misery to everyone's ears. After a flash of lightning, the occasional thunder rumbled by, joining the exasperating cacophony of nature and worsening the effect. However, for the average inhabitant of the harsh terrains, this was nothing out of the ordinary.
The only thing that differed from the average Coronet night was a strange cave...which seemed to be radiating light deep within the entrance. The radiant golden rays created a lighter, more comfortable atmosphere where everything seemed warmer and happier than before...
A bright streak of light trekked across the sky, leaving a trail of gold behind it. Even Mother Nature had stopped with her 'royal orchestra' and looked above with much anticipation. But alas, beautiful things had always come to an end, and this magnificent scene just happened to end in the blink of an eye. In a matter of seconds, the ball of ice had left our world and continued with its endless journey, never to return in hundreds of years. With the golden trail fading into the night, not much had acknowledged its short visit. Those who had, though, expected little of that little visitor; most of them saw it as an ordinary ball of ice. But there were some intelligent pokemon out there, some who had recognized it as the one and only Millennium Comet.
For those intelligent explorers, the comet's swift arrival (and departure) was as valuable as a land of gold and silver. That could easily be explainable, as something just as rare was about to be awakened. After all, the legend had been proven to be more than a myth; tonight, it would be proven once again.
Just when Mother Nature was about to continue with her work, the entire mountain range was held still by a melody that filled the night with a soft, magnificent song. Following the voice that had brought the mountain back to life, it led us back to the strange, shimmering cave which was glowing even brighter than before. It was now full of sweet, alluring melodies and the entire mountain had seemed to calm down just to have a closer look.
"With our voices of purity, I summon you to answer our call!" a powerful voice echoed across the canyon, and the glowing cave responded with a more vibrant flash of yellow. "Rise, the mighty Wish Maker!"
Answering the summoner's call, a powerful beam of golden light erupted from the cave, blinding everything without its grasp. Even the entire sky was lightened up for a few seconds before returning to its original color - an uninteresting tone of dark blue. After a minute of shining light, the glowing had slowly faded into something equivalent to a firefly. With the environment inside the cave longer shrouded by the blinding light, the cave returned to its dank and depressing self as if nothing had happened at all.
As the light had faded, it was easy to see who had been dwelling inside this mysterious place. Standing in circular formation were five young cinccino - a bunch of brave explorers who had spent days climbing up the treacherous mountain range. In front of them was a graceful, floating figure, never to be seen by the common house folk. Stunned by beauty of the pokemon, their eyes were all bawled out with awe; after all, it was the sole reason of their dangerous expedition...
"You have summoned me from a thousand years of slumber, and I am here to answer your call," said the legendary Wish Maker, twirling in circles with its playful attitude. "Though you may know me as Jirachi, it is only the scientific name of my species. You can, however, address me by my real name: Luminae. Either way, as you have awakened me from slumber, I am here to fulfill your wishes."
People had often classified the Wish Maker as a genderless pokemon, but judging by its feminine voice and actions, it could only be a female. The cinccino remained silent and frozen for a few seconds before coming back to their senses, knowing that they couldn't waste this valuable opportunity. The wish could make turn them into the richest pokemon in the world; it could also destroy the region within seconds. With such a large responsibility on their hands, the explorers huddled up and exchanged their thoughts.
A deafening roar of thunder echoed through the air, scaring away the pokemon that had stood in its way. While a normal crash of thunder and lightning seemed nothing out of the ordinary, it had muted the sound of someone's footsteps, allowing him to arrive unnoticed. As another streak of lightning descended across the sky, the brief luminosity revealed a mysterious silhouette standing at the cave entrance. When the light had faded, though, the silhouette had also merged with the darkness around it. Even Jirachi didn't notice the visitor's arrival, as she herself had been drifting around the explorers, waiting for them to make up their minds. In such a dark environment, it was practically hard to see anything; there was no difficulty for the shadow to stay invisible while standing close to the cave walls - everything was all black.
"What was that?" asked one of the cinccino, glancing around with caution. "I think I heard something."
"Really? I don't hear a thing," replied another, leaving the group in order to have a closer look around. "You and your imagina-"
Just when he was about to return to his little group, the chinchilla froze with terror upon hearing a soft, murderous growl behind him. Without a chance to run, a shadowed arm reached out from behind, dragging the explorer back into the darkness. A scream echoed through the cave, and after a few seconds of silence, the cinccino was thrown onto the ground, landing next to his friends. When the fellow explorers surrounded the injured chinchilla, a cold shiver rushed up their spines - the cinccino, which seemed to be their leader, was lying on the ground with his eyes opened wide. The pokemon's arms and legs were bent to a frightening angle, and his neck had been twisted, pulled and turned to an extent that it was curved and distorted like the body of a snake. Red, gruesome liquid was spurting out from the broken neck, creating a puddle of blood around him that only increased in size. The explorers could only stare at their fallen comrade, watching as the victim lay lifelessly on the ground...
Opposing the awestruck group, even the legendary pokemon had a hard time digesting the scene before her. How could something this brutal happen right before her eyes?! Luminae hadn't seen such a brutal death for hundreds of millennia; this sudden incident had put her into a confused stance, throwing her into a sea of uncertainty. After all, she had always been a pure, kind-hearted legendary, and scenes like this had shocked her to the very bone. As if to betray her own emotions, the jirachi's voice came out as a mere squeak. "W-What's going on?"
The Wish Maker's question had fallen upon wrong ears, a the stranger in the dark lifted his hand into the air, creating an orb of psychic energy. And then, with a push of his hand, the ball surged forward and swallowed the pokemon as a whole. Luminae recognized this as a psychic attack, but the scene before her had plagued her pure, innocent mind, traumatizing her from doing anything to stop it. Upon seeing Luminae's helpless state, the cinccino explorers quickly dumped their equipment onto the floor and rushed toward the exit, only to see the silhouette standing before them with a soft, threatening snarl.
"Don't keep your hopes up, vermin."
Without a single millisecond of doubt, the visitor lunged forward, sealing the group's fate with a roar they'd never forget...
The rain resumed with its downpour, once again turning Mount Coronet into a land of depression. The magnificent flashes of light had long faded into the night, and the cave was back to its wet and miserable self. With a satisfied grunt, the murderer grabbed the last struggling cinccino by the scruff, staring into its eyes like a bloodthirsty beast. Before the poor pokemon could cry for help, the killer had landed a harsh, sadistic bite on its neck, breaking the veins and bones that were hiding beneath the skin. Swiftly after the ruthless blow, he sent the cinccino flying against the wall with a merciless fling, unaware that he had already done enough. With a little moan, the blood-stained chinchilla bounced off the walls and landed on the floor, joining his other friends at a faraway world. Little did the late cinccino know that dying was actually a blessing and not a punishment that had been planned by fate.
Still, the site of the massacre was not a comfortable sight. Some of their bodies were tilted to a frightening angle, while others had holes and bloody openings along their chests; the sight was enough to make everyone lose their appetites. The stranger, however, was galvanized by his own wrongdoing.
Traumatized by the terrible scene, Luminae could only tremble like a defenseless child. The twisted, bleeding bodies...their distorted faces showing pain and horror...tears were forming in her eyes. She hadn't expected this one bit! This was supposed to be a special day - the day of her awakening! Deep inside her mind, a terrifying thought brought Luminae over the edge - no longer was she pure and innocent...she was impure, imperfect, contaminated by the mortal's greedy acts! The thought of being sinned made her tremble even harder.
"W-what have you done," she screeched, looking at the murderer with her eyes showing nothing but hatred. "W-what have you done?"
The stranger glanced at Luminae's direction and replied with an emotionless voice. "I'm here to make a deal, Luminae; and it'll definitely benefit both of us."
At last, Luminae's mind had finally worked something out: she couldn't let this person, whoever he was, get away with such a massacre; she couldn't this sinful pokemon get away with it. With an enraged voice, the Wish Maker growled and returned a threatening stare. "Now that I'm thinking straight, give me one reason why I shouldn't blast you into pieces!"
"Look, I know you have the power to do that!" replied the stranger with a hiss of frustration. "But listen - is it really that interesting? Sleeping for a thousand years, only to be awake for a week? When that week is over, you continue with your hibernation; is that what you really want, Luminae? With your potential you can do things far beyond granting a single wish!"
Luminae blinked, the thought processing in her mind while taking a deep breath. "...Explain."
"My wish is simple," said the stranger while trying to talk in a softer tone. "I wish every being in Neo Sinnoh would be immortal. I also want you to be awake for as long as I want, to support me with your power-"
"A-are you out of your mind?" Luminae interrupted, flailing her arms while hovering inside the psychic contraption. "Immortal? My support? You're nothing but a murderer!"
"Let me knock some sense into you." said the evildoer. "If everyone is immortal, not only would they be happy, we can also govern the region however we want. They'll always be there to work for us, and we will forever provide them with their daily needs...if you are willing to assist me, that is," the stranger's voice was now resembling a little seductive purr. "They will be happy, I will be happy, and you will no longer have to sleep through everything. You are a legendary pokemon, Luminae. You are supposed to be a legend. If you grant me these wishes, Neo Sinnoh would be all yours. However, as I am not the one who have summoned you, I have no right to make the final decision. You can make this dream come true, Luminae, but if you want to turn down such an excellent offer, you are free to leave."
As a 'token of gratitude', he released Luminae from the imprisoning orb, granting her access to the exit. The Wish Maker was certain that the stranger had absolutely no chance of winning if she engaged in battle, but somehow the lust for staying awake - staying alive - had stopped her in her tracks. Luminae was struggling between two choices; she could either kill him, get away...or she could listen to his idea and become the lovable ruler of the region. His violent actions and thoughts had deeply influenced Luminae's mind, turning her into what she had feared to become: impure. Luminae herself was too blind to see that the spirit inside her had already been altered into something evil. She no longer had the urge to fall asleep, nor did she have the urge to continue with her old routine.
She wanted to live.
It was all clear to her now, and the Wish Maker had made her decision. With their eyes locked upon each others', both of them had already forgotten about the poor group of cinccino, leaving their bodies to wither at a side. After a few seconds of silence, Luminae gave her new partner an approving smile before lifting herself into the air, surrounding herself with brilliant yellow light. With a magnificent flash of colors, a golden shock wave was sent across the region, forever changing the lives of the living.
With an amazing burst of light, the duo had plunged the world into darkness.
"Your wish shall be fulfilled."
- It'd be nice if I have some feedback
- There might be some parts in the story where you may think: 'why would he do that' or 'that's weird...', but keep this in mind - twists can be everywhere.
- Fact: I had often capitalized 'Pokemon' and the species' names, but I then decided to revert the changes after reading Farla (an experienced fanfic writer on FF.net)'s explanation. xp
- In this Fan Fiction, a pokemon's age would be equal to the human age, which means that the average pokemon would die at the range of 50 - 100 years old (if they don't have any fatal illnesses, that is).
- However, now that everyone is immortal, they are also unable to die through accidents, gunshots, sickness, murder etc etc. There is only one way to 'free one's soul' (the main character's way of saying 'to kill someone'), and that method is currently unknown.
- If you are wondering, A Legendary pokemon =/= a perfect pokemon. Even deities have flaws, and Luminae the Jirachi is no different. If you think all gods are perfect then you might have to get used to this a little bit!
- This is a prologue, and what happens later in Chapter One would be twenty years in the future (and yes, the Immortal Realm). This prologue is to give everyone a clearer setting.
- I haven't revealed who that stranger is, and I'm pretty sure you would know later in the story (perhaps close to the end), but can you guess what species he is? XD Writing down a guess at the reviews part would be fun for all readers
- Like above, I haven't revealed the main character, but you'll see him in Chapter One.
- Also, according to Bulbapedia and other sources, Jirachi is awakened when either of these requirements are met: 1. Hearing a song of purity (which was accomplished by the cinccino) or 2. The appearance of the Millennium Comet. If you consider this fact-wise, the cinccino group didn't really have to sing as the 2nd requirement is already fulfilled. However I suppose it sped up her awakening I guess xD
- I've created a theme for Neo Sinnoh http://youtube.com/watch?v=-sqYnlpiLMo - (normal YT link + / + the link at the left )
- Death Desire -
Is the Immortal Realm your new Paradise?
Chapter One - Denied
It had been ten years since the beginning of the New Age, and the land was given a new nickname to match its status: 'The Immortal Realm'. Neo Sinnoh's geological factors hadn't changed much over the long, tiring years, but some places had been completely remodeled. One of the largest changes was probably the new castle which, after some discussion, was built at Sendoff Spring eighteen years ago.
To be frank, Sendoff Spring had never been one of the the best places to build a castle, and if Giratina had been dwelling inside the Turnback Cave, he would have thrown a big tantrum by now. Thankfully that was not the case; other legendary pokemon had been pushed out of the region under the new ruler's command. Now, the infamous 'forth lake' could no longer be identified as a 'spring' anymore; the water had been picked away and the crater was now reclaimed to form the foundation of the structure towering above it.
Going through Spring Path wasn't an easy job either. Whoever visited the misty area would have to face the thickening fog and the fact that they could see nothing in such a frustrating environment. If the visitor managed to proceed unharmed, the mystifying trees would be there to warn him with an uncomfortable aura that could only be described as creepy. Of course, facts about this miserable place could no longer be changed; the construction had been done, after all...or perhaps the new Ruler of Neo Sinnoh enjoyed this new home of hers and cared about nothing else. With Luminae controlling the region, it was probably the latter.
At the end of the foggy pathway stood the glorious structure known as the Sendoff Castle - a place of serenity and peace...or so they said it was. The castle itself was clear from the clutches of nature - it was protected by an invisible sphere that deflected anything that resembled the fog. With the ring of gray beyond the new castle moat, the structure was like a heavenly oasis after a long trek in the desert.
The castle was also outlined by a faint golden trail which glowed faintly in the night. While it wasn't bright enough to be seen from afar, it was clearly visible during more peaceful nights. That very night, the magical palace created a romantic feeling for certain lovers in the region; most lovers preferred to stay away from the fog though. It was definitely a well-built castle which was fit for a king...or queen for that matter.
If only things were that desirable for everyone.
The pandemonium was less severe around the moat, providing improved visibility to the visitors; it wasn't much but it was a good start. A wolf-like silhouette was spotted leaping from tree to tree, travelling through the mist with impressive speed. In no longer than ten seconds, the figure had emerged from the fog and, with a final leap, landed on the ground without emitting a single sound. Slowly standing upright after the swift landing, the silhouette flexed his claws and made his way to the Sendoff Castle. Despite looking calm and emotionless, his heavy and anxious footsteps had betrayed his inner concerns.
It was surprising how nothing had stopped him from moving on, especially during that beautiful, mesmerizing night. The bottom of the moat was glimmering faintly in the purple water, but the pokemon had no time for sightseeing; even the circular river with large amethyst gemstones beneath the surface hadn't stopped him in his tracks. With a gentle leap, the fox had landed on the other side of the bridge, looking at the tall metal bars that hung from the castle entrance.
The impenetrable gate wasn't the only thing blocking out the 'intruders.' Two golett guards were standing at both sides of the entrance, holding spears almost twice their height. When the visitor stepped forward, the two spears were instantly lowered to block his way.
"Halt, zoroark," said the golett on the left with a hollow, metallic voice. "Please identify yourself and state your motive."
The zoroark cleared his throat, maintaining his composure before coming up with a short reply. "I am Gaius, citizen of Sunyshore City. There has been a little problem regarding our people and I wish to meet the almighty Luminae in hope for a solution."
The two guards stepped forward and scanned the visitor with suspicious eyes. "What kind of problem are you talking about, zoroark?" asked the same golett, "Since you are here at Sendoff Castle, the problem that is bothering you would not be insignificant. Inform me about the problem and we will see if you are allowed to go through. If you choose not to let us know, we will be forced to arrest you."
"If it is a significant problem, then we should let him in," said the other one at the right while resisting the urge to withdraw his spear. His tone was also relatively less serious than his partner's. "Her highness would need to know about it as soon as possible. We should let him in."
"We cannot grant him the privilege of entering the castle in without special permission," replied the serious one on the left, lying about the 'special permission'. "Plus...this zoroark looks rather suspicious, does he not?"
"Just let him in, it's not like he'll make the castle explode," replied the other golett while rolling his eyes, obviously underestimating Gaius' power. Though it was probably right that he couldn't burn down the entire structure...
"He might do so and I cannot risk myself to take risks that are risky! Do you not know the consequences of upsetting Her Highness?"
"He's a zoroark! What can he do to someone like Luminae? He would be killed in a flash!"
"We cannot afford to let such an annoyance into the castle! She might be resting and if he happens to be a complete bother...we would be severely punished! You would not like that."
Gaius couldn't help letting out a sigh at the conversation, watching as the two guards took turns spitting at each other's face. The zoroark was slightly offended by the 'annoyance' part, but even if Gaius had said something about it, he would have been ignored as the guards were too busy with their own 'problems'. This wasn't going to make any progress, but carrying on seemed to be the only option; the zoroark's duty was, after all, to find a method to reach Luminae one way or another. Finally, Gaius groaned and interrupted the two clowns, "If you are doubting my honesty, I am pretty sure the ruler of Neo Sinnoh can handle a rebellious peasant by herself. Now would you please stop stalling and let me enter?"
After exchanging glances of uncertainty and 'I told you so's, the golett withdrew their spears and reached for two hidden switches on the castle wall. With a soft 'click', the gate was pulled upwards and disappeared in a gap along the ceiling. The golett on the left, though feeling a little uneasy with the visitor's words (no matter how true they were), let out a low, submissive murmur, "You may enter."
With a thankful sigh, the zoroark stepped into the Sendoff Castle, looking around with much curiosity. The hallway beyond the castle gate was far from lively; it was dimly lit with only a couple of small Litwick sitting in their lampholders...which didn't really fulfill their jobs as bright candles. The end of the arched hallway proved to be quite a disappointment with only a gray staircase in sight. As Gaius approached it with steady pawsteps, he noticed that the stairway was built into a small upward helix; it was also the only way to go deeper into the castle. With a nervous frown, the zoroark climbed the spiralled steps and went upstairs.
"Hello, Luminae? Your Highness?"
Gaius' calls were left unanswered as he scaled the final steps of the stairs, reaching the second floor of the Sendoff Castle. The helix continued to spawn upwards to higher levels, but as he was about to escalate up the stairs again, a pair of large red doors had held him in place. A shield-shaped emblem was hanging right above it with a large silver 'L' at the center, drawing him closer to the doors.
"Come on in, visitor! I don't have all day here! Well, maybe I do, but you get the point!"
A soft, songlike voice drifted through the doors and into Gaius' ears, catching him by surprise. Luminae! With a deep breath, Gaius pushed the doors open and, once again, paused in his tracks. The view before him was absolutely stunning, nearly making his jaws drop. It wasn't just a room; it was a giant throne room made of gold, silver and various gemstones. Shiny chandelure were hanging on the high ceiling while mosaic glass windows spread across the walls. A long red carpet was spawned across the center, stopping at the very end of the hall and only a step away from the royal throne. The throne itself was also an eye-opener; it was assembled with star-shaped gems which shone with different colors and tones, creating a beautiful, dazzling sight.
"Well, now that you're here, let's get down to business! Oh, and you don't have to say 'your highness' or something like that. Luminae is perfectly fine," said a soft, angelic voice from behind. "Anyway, i'm surprised by your sudden arrival, though; I have no appointments till midnight!"
Gaius turned around to face the speaker, only to jump back upon seeing her. When did she get here? Luminae grinned and rolled her eyes, giggling as if she had read his thoughts. Before Gaius could say something, the legendary pokemon had bolted through the room, flying around like an acrobat with the occasional spin and somersault in the air. This couldn't possibly be 'getting down to business'...right?
"Luminae, I'm here to talk about the offerings," said Gaius, trailing the jirachi's movements with his eyeballs. "The offerings of Sunyshore City."
"The offerings? That's like, a week after!" replied the legendary with a casual attitude, doing an aerial ballerina spin before landing in front of her visitor. "Are you sending in the offerings a week early? Is that the case? That's great! Better be early than late."
Gaius' expression darkened upon hearing her cheerful words, trying to swallow the lump in his throat, "The Sunyshore citizens sent me to inform you that, well...they aren't giving you any offerings this week."
Luminae laughed at the zoroark's words, twirling around him in a playful, yet slightly intimidation fashion, "What's your name again...?"
"Gaius," she repeated, pushing the name into her mind as she stopped before his eyes again, "Do you and your citizens really want to enjoy starvation that badly?"
Gaius' eyes were widened upon hearing the pokemon's warning. He wanted to speak, but no words could make its way out of his mouth, making him stand there like dumb mannequin. Offerings...the entire idea was despicable.
What's the Offering thing? Well, the offering idea had been set on the first day of the 'Immortal Realm'. Every month, each citizen in Neo Sinnoh, disregarding their age or location, had to send Luminae a gift. The offerings could be anything from dairy to diamonds as long as the people had worked hard for this little present. As children were forever young and the elderly weren't leaving this world anytime soon, the people between them had to work extra hard to cover their offerings as well, making it twice as difficult and heart wrenching. Because of this, most of the towns had decided to group up the offerings, making sure they matched the area's population before sending them to Sendoff Castle in a gigantic bundle.
Before using that new method, everyone had decided to deliver them to Luminae right at the castle, where a long queue of pokemon had often formed along the foggy paths. Those who had failed to deliver their offerings were sent to punishment chambers. The large, deadly dungeons were full of gases fatal to the pokemon body, intoxicating everyone inside it. Strangely though (and also rather sadly for the ones inside), they could only suffer and not pass away; death was simply impossible in the new world, and the pokemon would stay there until they decided to give up by offering twice as much at the following Offering. Death here was clearly the easier and better way out.
The newer bundle idea wasn't perfect either. It was much easier to deliver and to help others create these 'offerings', but the downside was just as downright creepy. If the town or city's offerings were less than its total population, the entire place would be punished instead of a single pokemon. Instead of punishment chambers, though, the entire city would have no water and no food for an entire month. The thought of that sent shivers up Gaius' spine. He couldn't let that happen to him; he couldn't let that happen to Sunyshore.
Luminae has total control over food and water. The pokemon that make food for our daily needs are on her side, and if we anger her in any way, we'll have nothing. Nothing at all. A whole month of thirst and starvation...I'd rather die in the process than living through it all,' Gaius sighed while letting the bitter truth sink into his skin.
But I can't. There's no such thing as death. I'm stuck in this eighteen-year-old body with an eighteen-year-old mind, and there's no way to stop this.
"Anything wrong, Gaius?" Luminae's words snapped the zoroark out of the trance and brought him back to his senses. "You like, totally spaced out over there."
"Oh, I'm alright..." replied the pokemon with a hint of sarcasm. "Nothing's wrong."
"Well if you have any problems, let me know~" said the cheerful Luminae with a little song-like voice. It was obvious that she hadn't noticed that he was being sarcastic.
"Yeah...sure thing, Luminae..."
How could such a cute, sweet-sounding legendary pokemon come up with something like this?! Gaius believed that there was a devil beneath her skin, choosing not to be soothed by her words. After all, even cute, innocent-looking pokemon could deceive you.
It was sad that nobody in the region knew that someone else had joined forces with Luminae, pulling her by the strings from behind. The stranger's visit ten years ago continued to be a mystery, even to Gaius himself.
"The Sunyshore citizens are a little angry about the whole offering idea...they've finally decided to go on strike," said the zoroark with a gloom look in his face, hoping to start a new conversation,. "I'm here to let you know about their plans. What are you going to do about this, Luminae...?"
The Wish Maker placed a hand under her chin and drifted around, pretending to be in deep thought. With a casual shrug, she landed onto her throne and gave him a cold reply, "You're still a week early, so you and your people are free to change your mind; I won't keep this little problem at heart. If the citizens of Sunyshore City still insist to go on with their original plans...there's nothing I can do about it."
Gaius was completely speechless. This whole 'undying' idea was bollocks! People had stopped aging after the wish, and babies had to stay babies for the rest of eternity! There was nothing she could do about it? Nothing at all? She was the ruler of the region! It was Luminae who had set all these hard rules and laws, and now she couldn't do anything about it? How could someone offer no help at all when an entire city would starve and suffer? How could you simply watch someone in pain without letting your heart feel sore?
Luminae was supposed to be a Wish Maker; a pure and innocent pokemon. What she was doing now seemed to be the direct opposite. There must be something that had changed her...something that had destroyed the purity within.
What was it?
"Whether to starve or not isn't up for me to decide," said Gaius with a sigh of defeat. "What happened to you, Luminae...? You should be a pokemon full of grace and harmony..."
The jirachi blinked and lost focus in her eyes, trying to find a proper response. It was like old, distant scenes were being displayed in her mind, refreshing her memories and thoughts. After a few seconds of silence, Luminae brought herself together and replied with a genuine smile.
"Are you implying that I am not a pokemon full of grace and harmony? Am I not graceful? Am I not in peace and comfort?"
"That's not the point, Luminae..."
"Oh! Well...I wish you the best of luck then," she spoke while trying to recall his name, looking at the ceiling above her, "Gaius. That's your name right? Right? Gaius?"
By the time Luminae looked down from the ceiling, the zoroark had made his way to the doors, slamming them shut behind him.
In this world full of chaos, Gaius was on his own.
- The story would continue from this timeline, and you've just seen our main character - Gaius!
- Death Desire -
What are you living for?
Chapter Two - The Dying City
Living in the Immortal Realm had never been easy, which is why almost half of the entire population had left Neo Sinnoh after some dangerous, illegal attempts. Luminae's army of guards patrolled around the region every day and night, hunting down anyone who attempted to escape by land, sea or even air. Despite the harsh security systems, some smart pokemon had managed to run away unharmed. Plus, who could ever blame them from leaving? Neo Sinnoh was no longer a desirable place to live in! After a night of peace (mind you, it was very uncommon), a miserable day was always destined to follow. Who could ever live in a place like that?
Six hours passed since had visited the Wish Maker's castle, and Gaius was still in his dreamworld, enjoying the temporary moment of peace. The zoroark didn't really have a home since he had always slept on sturdy trees, but pokemon was absolutely content and had no complaints. After all, Gaius was so adaptable that he could probably fall asleep when hanging from a cliff and even snore at the same time.
With the morning sun hiding itself below the horizon, a flock of fearow soared across the vast skies, waking the region from its deep slumber with their resonating cries. With a drowsy yawn, Gaius opened his eyelids and slid down from the tree branch, landing on his legs with a light 'thud'. It was probably time to find the Chief.
Sunyshore was only a five minute walk from his makeshift 'home', and finding the leader of the city wasn't a difficult task either. Raiden lived in the Vista Lighthouse on top of a small hill, and how hard could it be to find such a famous landmark? With the skies showing the first signs of daybreak, Gaius had already arrived at the lighthouse's doors, forcing them open with a gentle push. As he stepped carefully into the the Chief's home, the zoroark found himself in a spacious room with long, curved windows facing the ocean and beyond. Faint beams of sunlight made its way through the glass and onto the metallic floorboards, illuminating the room to its most perfect contrast. Standing at the opposite side of the lighthouse was a blackish, four-legged pokemon that seemed enjoying the beautiful sunrise. When Gaius walked forward to announce his arrival, the silhouette spun around with a sigh, revealing himself as a luxray who was clouded with worry and concern.
"Well, how was it, Gaius?" asked the luxray, padding closer to his visitor. His voice was exceptionally low and calm for someone that was governing a rioting city.
"Raiden, Luminae...doesn't want to cooperate," replied Gaius with an uneasy look on his face. "I don't think she cares at all."
"Tell me what happened," Raiden demanded, lowering his head with a frown. "Tell me everything."
With a nervous nod, the zoroark stood in front of the Chief, explaining his little visit and the unexpected replies. As he talked about Luminae's reaction, Raiden stomped the ground with one of his front paws, holding back a ferocious snarl. Electrical currents were surging through his body as if they were displaying his anger, and the lion could no longer hold back his words.
"Ninety percent of the Sunyshore citizens are determined to go on strike, and that Wish Maker just stands there and watches?!" Raiden hollered with frustration, "There's nothing we can do to stop them! It's like they're digging their own graves!"
"Maybe I can do something to stop it, Raiden," said the desperate zoroark. "Maybe I can change their minds!"
"You, Gaius? A zoroark without the abilities to create illusions? I'd like to see you contribute in other ways than trying to do something you'll fail in," snapped the Chief, holding back a tiresome growl, "Like I said, there's nothing we can do about it."
Gaius couldn't help feeling deeply offended by the luxray's insult, but it was the inevitable truth. He was a 'disabled' zoroark, and this flaw had been bothering him since the day of his birth. No matter how hard he had tried, there was no way he could create even the easiest illusions and images. It was a total disgrace of his kind and Gaius had often been sensitive about this topic, but the zoroark was now too concerned about his home to be angry. With a deep breath, Gaius continued with offering some solutions, hoping to find a way to solve this dilemma.
"We'll have to try convincing them," he said, starting with some suggestions. "Perhaps we can encourage th...What was that?"
Foreign screams and yells made their way into Raiden's home, filling the room with irritating voices. Judging by their loud, exaggerated voices, it was probably the citizens going on strike. Hadn't they caused enough trouble already?
"Apparently they're at it again," Gaius stated with a shake of his head, "Causing even more trouble for everyone."
Raiden shot Gaius an emotionless glance before padding towards the doors, pushing them aside. "Guess we'd better go look and 'save the city', Gaius."
"After you, oh mighty, ferocious, brave leader."
With an irritated groan, Gaius followed Raiden from behind, trotting downhill along the trail of rocks and sand. Sunyshore definitely seemed normal enough; the sky was blue and the clouds were fluffy and white. Flocks of Wingull soared above the city, enjoying a little sightseeing before continuing on with their journey. Flowers were blooming, the sun was shining, and the city was at peace. Well, it had to be. With all the citizens fleeing the region, not a single pokemon had caused trouble - no robbery, no burglary, nothing at all. Nobody bothered anyway. As if to prove the city's decline, Sunyshore's population had been reducing over the years, and now the electric powered wonderland was stuck with a population of one hundred.
The desperate yells and cries soon led Gaius and Raiden to the Sunyshore Beach, where almost everyone in the city had gathered around for an unknown reason. Gaius slipped through the crowd, creating a little pathway while Raiden trailed behind him without a single sound. He had a indecent feeling about this, and the luxray was sure that he wasn't the only one that was bothered by this premonition. With the pulls and tugs from the pokemon around them, Gaius was knocked away from the Chief, splitting them up without a single warning.
"Raiden! Where are you? Freaking..." Gaius called out, looking around frantically with frustration taking over him. "Great! Just great..."
While Gaius continued to search for the Chief of the city, Raiden had already spotted an opening among the others and wriggled through with short-tempered grunts.
"Somebody tell me what's going on!" Raiden demanded, squeezing himself out of the ring of pokemon and into a circular clearing in the middle. "Now what's the frightening news that made all of you scramble onto the freaking beach?"
The murmurs and whimpers died down, followed by a few moments of silence. After exchanging hesitant glances, a voice emitted from the depths of the crowd. "It's your daughter."
Raiden's eyes couldn't be any bigger. The sparks around his body had faded, and the Chief's eyes were full of worry. "...W-What happened?!"
His voice was now as soft and weak as a kitten, and the strength within had scurried back into the depths of his heart. Though she couldn't actually die in this world, there were a lot of ways to torture a young Luxio...too many ways. A manectric gulped and pushed himself out of the ring, blurting out the answer with a grim look on his face. He was probably worried that Raiden was going to throw a giant tantrum across the beach, but the luxray had seemed to lost his spark...just like a poor withering plant.
The reply struck Raiden like a bolt of lightning from the skies. Holding back a tiny whimper, the Chief closed his eyes and murmured out a reply. Judging by Raiden's reaction, his daughter must had meant the world to him.
"The kidnapper had left an emblem before leaving, but nobody could identify the culprit," said the manectric while pushing out a metal insignia. It was a titanium, spiked pentagon made by the finest smiths of the region, and its corners were decorated with small amethyst gemstones. In the middle was a golden, cursive L scattered with glitter and sparkling crystals that reflected the sunlight right into the viewers' eyes.
"Luminae," Gaius blurted out, holding in a hiss of anger. "That's Luminae's emblem...I thought she isn't going to do anything until the day comes. I can't believe she had a change of plans; I can't believe that she'll be this reckless-"
"I can't believe that she kidnapped my freaking daughter!" howled Raiden with a infuriating snarl. "What I find incredulous, though, is that not even a single pokemon out of a hundred could catch a single glimpse of the kidnapper!"
The citizens, the young and the elderly, exchanged helpless glances and uttered not a word.
"It's always you and your daughter, Raiden. What about us for a change?"
The same manectric padded out of the crowd and held his ground, wearing a serious, determined look on his face. "The decline of food, the lack of energy, the cargo blockades, the curfews and laws...now there's even cases of kidnapping. It all adds up to this, Raiden. Sunyshore is over. Sunyshore...is dead."
Gaius winced and held his breath, clenching his fists into a ball. What was that stupid dog even talking about?! His hometown was far from dead and insulting the Chief directly could result in a painful beating; Raiden would never let it slip! The zoroark turned and faced his ally, waiting for the luxray to fire away with his unforgiving sparks of electricity. Instead, Raiden retorted with a weak, helpless attitude with his tail between his legs. "I know you've always been an honorable leader among your own gang, Kenzo, but in most cases you are your points are disagreeable. Abandoning Sunyshore would bring you nothing but regret! If we all want to stop the never-ending nights of tyranny, we would have to stay together as a whole. We need to stay loyal to the Chief, and I am the only leader you'll ever need!"
"He's right. At least finish what you started," Gaius added from behind, hoping to give Raiden some backup. "You all wanted to start a revolution and now you're leaving him behind because it's going to fail?"
Various discussions filled the air, turning the beach into a noisy bazaar. Raiden and Gaius watched helplessly at the center as the citizens screamed out their ideas, debating with loud, disturbing voices. According to their decisions, some wanted to stay in this withering city, but most had already planned to escape without looking back.
"You can't just leave your hometown like that! Raiden has tried his best and we can do the same!"
"If all this happened before the offering, I'm not gonna stay and see what happens when the day comes!"
"At this kinda situation I'd rather listen to Kenzo! At least he doesn't live in the past!"
"If it's time to make a change, then so be it. I'm sure Pastoria or Solaceon would provide us some hospitality..."
Kenzo cleared his throat and raised the corner of his eye, enhancing his intimidation with a small, barely-visible smirk. "Don't you see, Raiden? We've had enough. Soon we'll have to find another town with a...better leader to guide our path."
Gaius stepped forward and 'returned the favor'. "And you think I'm going to let that happen?"
"Well, let's let the citizens decide, shall we? Those who would like to follow me in search for a new safe haven, gather around behind me. Those who would like to stay here, stick with Raiden. Begin."
At first, nothing happened at all; it was as if the citizens were too nervous (or to scared) to make a move. However, after seconds of hesitation, most of the inhabitants slowly shifted towards Kenzo's location, standing by his side. Were they moving in unison because they truly had the same beliefs, or was it because they were afraid of being left out? Gaius couldn't tell, but things definitely not going in their favor. Even the children were being tugged along by their parents, forced to chose a side without having a say about it. At the end, it was an embarrassing sight - only a couple had chosen to side with Raiden.
Despite that...nobody was laughing.
"Well then! I guess I don't have any more explaining to do. I'll give them thirty minutes to grab their personal belongings. After that, we'll be on our way," said Kenzo in a cautious yet casual tone. Apparently he didn't want to screw things up at the very last moment. "It was fun being your adviser, Raiden, but it's time for both of us to take action."
Turning around to face his supporters, the electric canine howled and rallied them up, giving them a short recap of what to do. Gaius and Raiden, however, were too defeated to listen. During the recap, some familiar citizens approached them and thanked the two for their efforts, but how much help could that bring? They were still leaving, and a 'thank you' wasn't going to bring them back anytime soon. It was hopeless. Glancing at Raiden's general reaction, Gaius brightened up a little as he spotted a few pokemon standing behind the devastated lion. Had they decided to stay? Loyal, yes, but still - what could a few peasants do against an overlord?
"I suppose we can...look at the bright side...we have four citizens that are willing to stay with us," Raiden spoke gloomily as the remaining pokemon - an alakazam, a kirlia, a gallade and a murkrow - nodded from behind. "These are all we have. We...might as well make out the best of it."
Raiden had obviously lost everything today - his spirit, his support, his citizens...and most importantly his own beloved daughter. It was already a miracle that the luxray hadn't decided to find a quick way to end his own life. How could Gaius ever report this to Luminae? By saying that the entire city had decided to run away? By saying that everyone had left them here...to suffer?
...Suffer. If the citizens had a choice, they would had picked death a long time ago. There had been too much suffering, too much hatred and pain among them. Luminae couldn't even understand a single bit of their pain!
Knowing that Raiden had been through a lot of depressing events today, Gaius walked to his side and placed a hand on his shoulder. It seemed that all hope was lost and going to other towns might be the only way. "If you decide to head towards the inland as well, we will follow you. I'm not going to leave you here, and I'll try my best to find Tesl-"
"I'm not leaving Sunyshore. I'm never leaving Sunyshore. It's been my home for many years and nothing can change that," came Raiden's reply. "Now please. Leave me alone."
With tears rolling down his cheek, the saddened luxray turned towards the lighthouse and padded away without looking back. The remaining pokemon watched as Raiden disappeared into his home, letting out sighs of their own before looking at the zoroark before them, waiting for a command. Gaius opened his mouth and tried saying something encouraging, but he then decided not to. The truth was right before their eyes; how far could encouragement and lies take them? No longer did people want eternal life or money; death was all they ever wanted. If only Gaius could use his claws to help pokemon with desires of death, then they would no longer be in pain. On the contrary, they would be in peace.
And that peace...would be eternal.
"You know, Gaius...there might be something you can do about that problem," said the kirlia as if she had seen through his mind. The psychic type even knew his name without asking! "There might be a way."
Gaius frowned and crossed his arms, "Nobody would age or die in this world. It's impossible."
"Iris doesn't know what she's talking about," said the alakazam beside her, dragging the poor thing until she stood behind him. "The name's Balthazar, and i'm the head Psychic of the Sunyshore Temple. This kirlia is my apprentice and we have decided to stay here to protect the spiritual structure. Forgive her since she has no idea what she's sayi-"
"I do, master. Please invite him to the temple...I have something to show him," said the apprentice with a soft whimper. "Can't you trust me for once?!"
"How can I trust you when you haven't achieved anything at al-"
"Take me to the temple," said Gaius with a rare smile hanging on his face. "After all, we have nothing to lose."
Iris grinned and beamed at her master who only grunted in response. The zoroark then knelt before the psychic girl, rubbing her head as his eyes shimmered with confidence and vitality. Somehow a strange connection had formed between them, and Gaius had a feeling that Iris could be their only hope...
...And he was probably right.
- Gaius, as stated above, is a zoroark that can't create any illusions - he was born like that, unfortunately. However, he can still use normal moves as they aren't his natural ability.