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Pokémon Shattered Crests: Book #1 Lines Broken Page 3

Started by Vragon2.0 July 18th, 2018 2:14 PM
  • 68 replies


Darkinium Z

Dani California
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Hours Ago
5,857 posts
13.8 Years
Oh so the first scene is just Jaron having a bad dream there. To be honest since he's a water type being submerged in water is probably the last thing to do in terms of hurting/killing him. That's probably just me, though.

So Jasmine and Dolly checked in with same last names, huh. I think it's Jasmine taking Dolly's last name considering her past. Not sure if you mention how last name are given in your world yet.

Okay, so I'm right on my guess, or at least Dolly's last name is confirmed. I think I remember Miss Dresha and wonder how she's able to move around if she's a fish Pokmeon heh. But oh dear over the news of her death. I wonder how bad this will affect things here.

Foul Play
[Chapter Nine up!]


Say it with me (Vray-gun)

As if I'd be one to say
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted December 4th, 2019
285 posts
2 Years
Contains: Language, Blood, Violence, Child Death [15]
Chapter 34
Stinging Rain

Vragon stood outside the door. A heavy look was all he could express as he knocked on the door for the fourth time. “Jaron…” he said to the silence in the room. “I’m…here for you if you need me. Just…” Vragon tried to turn the knob but sighed upon finding it locked. He looked once more at the door and walked down to his room.

I don’t like this. He thought in his head. Jaron, Ciecro, both of them. Miss Dresha was such a sweet lady, who could do this? The fraxure opened the door to his room and plopped down into the chair. It happened while we were away. They said she had a stroke from some traumatic stress, but… his mind darted to something. A phrase that was said during it. “We found her on the stairs.” Vragon knew what this meant, as did the rest. Someone had taken her and somehow caused all this. But it wasn’t a simple thief since nothing was stolen. Maybe the shock of harming the old lady was it?

Vragon leaned back into his chair. He didn’t like where the past thirty minutes of speculation led him. It probably was the red eyes thugs maybe. They knew Jaron and Ciecro so it’s possible they linked it all. No one else had a reason to do it. And… Vragon bit his lip a little as his eyes grew full of sadness. That means, they hurt her and she’s gone because they wanted to know where I was. Looking up at the ceiling, Vragon remembered when the gallade had entered his mind. Who was to say the same wasn’t done for her?

He just sat there, leaning in his chair, guilt infecting his soul. A few tears dropped as he wiped them aside. She introduced me to them…let me stay before I got my own residing. She even- he went on and on. Listing off the many things she had done for him in his mind as if trying to make the weight on his heart that much more crushing.

Finally, enough was enough. He got up and firmly walked straight back to Jaron’s room and was about to grab the doorknob when he was promptly stopped by the arm. His eyes looked up at Dolly’s brown eyes looking back.

“Vray, don’t.”

A sigh escaped the fraxure as he said, “I just wanted to talk with him abo-”

“I mean don’t blame yourself.” Her eyes narrowed as Vragon looked back at her surprised. “I know that look,” She said, moving his arm away from the door. “We’ll talk about it with him together, but you aren’t going to go in there, and say it’s your fault this happened because it isn’t.”

His head fell ashamed, but she patted the shoulder and gave him a hug, indicating there was no harm done. “Sorry,” he said and she gave a shake of her head.

“It’s fine. I understand. Now,” Dolly knocked on the door. “Jaron, please open up.” Her voice was soft and slow. “It’s not good to be alone in this time. Not for you.”

No reply still. Dolly gave a big sigh as she looked at Vragon. “Vray, I think…I think you should go.”

Vragon’s eyes widened. “What?” he queried, however, he stopped as Dolly gave him a serious but assuring gaze. His head lowered and he started walking away.

After going a little way and turning the corner he noticed Ciecro at the end, leaning on the wall. His arms were crossed, his back leaned on the wall, his head was low, and his eyes were firmly shut as if he was trying to push his eyes further in.

“Ciecro,” Vragon announced, walking over.

Ciecro opened his eyes but didn’t look at him. He remained silent as Vragon leaned on the wall next to him. They both leaned there in silence until Vragon broke the silence.

“I’m really sorry, Ciecro.” The charmeleon just gave a grunt in reply, leading Vragon to let his head stare at the floor.

“Vray,” Ciecro suddenly spoke. The fraxure looked up at him as Ciecro got off the wall. “…I need some alone time.”

He started to walk away but something in Vragon didn’t settle for that. Quickly, he grabbed Ciecro’s shoulder about to say something. To his dismay, it was swatted away. “I said I need some f**kin’ time!” Vragon shrank back as Ciecro gritted his teeth and looked at the side, angry but upset he yelled. “I’m…” Vragon hung his head and turned around. “I’m sorry, I’ll leave you alone.”

The fraxure walked off back to his room, leaving Ciecro alone. The charmeleon’s fists tightened as his anger boiled. He wanted to punch something. But he stopped as he looked at his right hand, shaking as it did before. He growled and headed to go for a walk.

Jaron sat in his room; his eyes were still leaking tears as he rested his head on his arms. The sounds of Dolly still knocking on the door filled the room, but he didn’t care. Nothing mattered right now. Why her? He kept saying over and over in his head as the vision of his dream last night filled his mind with terrible thoughts.

Finally, he moved his head to look up at the window. The droplets of rain were hitting it and running down in large amounts and great speed due to how intense the storm was outside. Jaron turned his head once more to the door. He could almost see Dolly’s pleas and the gentle knocks on the door.

Slowly, he got out of his seat, walked over to the door, and undid the bolt. He headed back to his bed this time as Dolly opened the door.

“Jaron,” she said, walking over to him as he sat down, his head low and sniffling. The kangaskhan joined him on the bed, resting her hands on her knees and joining Jaron in looking at the floor. “Jaron,” she said again, “Jaron, I know it’s a lot to take in.”

Her words sounded basic. Nothing new to him. Just like the death of someone he cared for, by someone that wanted something. Building up in anger, Jaron slowly started shaking a little as a scowl crossed his face. “What’s going to happen now?” Jaron asked, looking at her, not caring what sweet phrase he interrupted.

Dolly put her arms on Jaron’s shoulders and said, “I don’t know. However, I know I’m not going to let anyone hurt you or your bro-” Her arms were knocked off.

“How do you f**king know that‽” Jaron demanded, his eyes showing anger and sadness. “You think I ever expected she’d die? How can I know you won’t die too?” His eyes were gushing tears as he kept verbally lashing out as Dolly listened, watching in serious silence with understanding. “Those red eyes bastards first took mom and dad, then Seliph left us to deal with them, and now Dresha is gone! What makes you not be next, or Vragon, or my brother‽ What if I’m left alone‽”

Dolly looked at him with tearful sympathy as Jaron stared back at her. His eyes showed the type of hurt that breaded hatred.

“I can’t have you all die!... I just can’t…” With shaking, Jaron slowly backed up till his wobbly legs caused him to sit on the floor, holding his head with sniffling. “Why is it the ones I care about the ones that go?” He started to cry as his hands dropped to his lap, shielding the ground from his dropping tears.

Dolly slowly got up and walked over. Getting on her knees, she put her arms around him and hugged the sad little boy. “Jaron…”

“I had a dream last night,” Jaron said with a sniffle, not moving his gaze from the ground. The little tears from his eyes rolled down his cheeks as he elaborated. “I thought I had woke up. I looked around but couldn’t find any of you so I headed downstairs. And, no one was there, not even in the town. I…I felt scared, alone, and….I just had to find someone.” He gave a few sniffles as he wiped his eyes. “Dolly…”

Dolly moved her hand to his chin and lifted it up so he could look at her. “It’s okay Jaron. You know me. It’s safe to tell me how you feel.” Her eyes conveyed the care she wanted to show as Jaron’s eyes lowered slightly.

“Dolly…ever since this attack. I’ve been afraid of losing Vray. At first, it was just him, but with Seliph here. I find myself…needing him back to. And…I realized it was affecting Ciecro. I feel like my world is falling apart around me and I want to stop it, but all I have is some dumb promise.”

“Promise?” Dolly asked as Jaron wiped his eyes.

“Yeah…me and Vray made a promise in the last town. To…watch each other’s backs. Heh, it was before you came in on us.” He gave a little grin as Dolly gave a little chuckle.

“Yeah, sorry about that.” She then moved her hand on top of his croconaw head, catching him off guard. “Jaron, how you feel makes sense. I’m glad you told me. Though, I want you to-” Dolly paused, trying to figure what to say. This was starting to make Jaron a little nervous and Dolly realized she was on a timer. “Well…” she finally stated, “I want you to remember I’m here for you. So is Ciecro, Jasmine, and I bet my bread that new friend of yours, Garon, is there for you too.”

Jaron gave a little smile, despite still being sad as he thanked her for the time. “I…I just…” a sigh escaped his mouth as Dolly hugged him. His eyes looked at her as she said, her head next to his.

“Take all the time you need to recover hun. Loss is something we all struggle with.” There seemed to be strong truth in though words. Truth that Jaron might have suspected Dolly had felt once. But he didn’t pry; he was content being hugged by someone he knew cared despite her silly quips. It’s nice to have you, Jaron thought as he looked at the rain outside the window and finally shut his eyes to cry some more.

Seliph, rested his back on the wall. His head was low and his arms were crossed with tension in their weaving. The blue eyes were closed and his breathing was slow and quiet. Across from him sat Jasmine, her head low and sad. “That’s…basically what we just found out.” She wiped her face a little, to catch any forming tears. “Just…in case you didn’t know.”

Seliph was quiet. Though his muscles showed tension, tension from anger. “Thank you for telling me,” he said with a composed tone as he turned to leave. Jasmine didn’t stop him nor say anything, as he slammed the door behind him and likewise slammed his fist on the desk.

So you claim another, He growled in his mind as his fist tightened. This is all wrong. This… He let out a sigh. This is just…too much. The eyes of anger curved to ones of sorrow. Not for himself, but for what the news meant. Deep down, he knew it. Who else would harm an old fish like Dresha, let alone while they were gone? It’s because of me and us…Meaning likely they know my brothers’.

Seliph sat in his chair and held his head. This is all wrong. Over and over this phrase resounded in his mind. It was all he thought about, even time seemed out of his tracking.

A knock came on his door. He quickly turned and after a few breaths to calm himself asked, “Yes?”

“It’s Garon. We need to talk.”

Seliph hesitated at first but finally gave them permission.

Garon opened the door as Swift scampered in and closed it behind them softly. The large garchomp looked at Seliph, not with a judgmental stare from earlier but one of empathy. He walked over to where Seliph sat and gave a head bow. “I’m sorry for my rudeness before.”

Seliph gave a sigh, admitting his own faults too in that hash out from before. “So…what do you want to talk with me about?” Seliph had a pretty good guess what it was though. Before they could answer, Seliph decided to see if he was right. “Is it about my brothers now? Where they’ll stay.”

“Yep,” Swift said in a melancholy tone. “They aren’t safe here anymore, not with their connection to you.”

Seliph gave a little laugh, perplexing the two. “So I guess I ruined their lives again, huh,” Seliph joked, but more out of guilt in how true it felt.

Garon gave a sigh and sat on the ground, not pleased with the jest but also understanding why it was made. “Stay on topic, Seliph,” he requested and Seliph apologized with a nod.

“Anways,” Swift began, “We’re in a rut now. Your brothers have been identified, meaning they can’t just stay in their old home. The red eyes would use them to get to you and you to get to-”

“The vial.” Seliph’s eyes narrowed as Swift nodded in confirmation.

“Yeah…” The heliolisk felt a chill in his spine as he asked, “Do you…have it here?”

Seliph slowly got up and walked over to the drawer. After pulling out a pick and unlocking something in the drawer, Seliph revealed the red eyes formula, resting in its container. The other two looked at it with scowls, more of defensive gestures rather than scoff.

“I see, so that’s it,” Garon spoke, his voice low and growly, “Have you found a proper formula to counter it yet?”

Seliph shook his head. “I’m not my mother in that field,” he admitted, locking the vial back up and putting it back in. “Trust me, I’ve thrown all I have at it.”

Garon moved a talon to his chin and began to ponder while Swift walked over to the window. “So, is that all of it, or is there more?” he asked.

“I can’t answer that.”

Swift nodded in understanding. “Okay, so we need to find a safe haven for your brothers, while also keeping the liquid there protected. Seliph, do you have any ideas?”

“I don’t know of any place to well…really stay.” Seliph shoved his webbed hands into his pockets. “Not like I’ve settled anywhere for too long. I mean, I’ve been pretty active and hard at work not getting hunted.”

“I can see,” Swift answered, a little respect in his voice. “I mean, you’re what twenty and you’ve already fully evolved.”

Seliph gave a sigh. “Well, back to subject.” Seliph’s arms rocked a little, a little indication he wasn’t really happy about the truth Swift said. “My brothers need someplace to stay and well…I don’t have any ideas. Do you two know somewhere?”

The two looked at each other, grins crossed their faces as they looked back. “Oh, but why ask? I mean, a place to stay for your brothers might be bad if it’s from two mons you can’t trust.”

“Oh come on,” Seliph exclaimed, crossing his arms with some frustration.

Swift and Garon chuckled a little as Swift resumed. “It’s fine; we aren’t that stingy. Besides, it’s in our interest as well. Anyways, I think we might know of someone. You ever met your grandfather?”

Seliph raised a finger to muk chin to think. “Mother or father’s side?”

“Father’s” Garon answered, “Your mother’s father passed before you were five.”

“I see.” Seliph shook his head and moves his arms to his sides. “Nope, I haven’t ever really met my dad’s father.”

“Well, he’s been out of Team Alpha since over two decades ago but he’s still pretty strong despite age. His name is Abdule and…while he is a little strict he is probably our best option.” Garon elaborated. “You see he trained a lot with some of the now Norfarion Generals when they were young and even participated in the Amestrian-Yveshian war. It’s hard to really help keep him down.”

“I agree,” Swift said, turning his gaze to Seliph. “We met him once, he’s some old guy yeah and a bit stubborn, but he’ll do his best to keep you all okay. Plus, I know he’ll be glad to know you three are alright. I mean, we didn’t know you three were till you told us and proved it.”

Seliph thought about the suggestion and despite how perfect this would fix things something about it seemed to deter him. After giving it some thought Seliph asked, “So, where does he live?”

“In Cordrian.” Garon tilted his head as Seliph’s faced changed from curiosity to discouragement. “What’s wrong?” the large dragon asked.

“Cordian…in Norfair.” Seliph gave a sigh. “Well, I suppose that would do for my siblings, I mean, Cordian is near the Cinder Faction capital so they can get training. More than likely, grandfather would have them undergo military schooling, correct?”

Swift gave a nod and added, “It is required by Norfarion law for at least two years of military education.”

Seliph felt a little hesitant. “That would be pretty restrictive.”

It was then Swift started to figure out what was deterring Seliph. He made his way to Seliph’s side and looked up at him, saying, “Seliph, are you hesitant going to your homeland?”

“Huh me?” Seliph acted, “Why would I? I mean, it sounds perfectly-”

Swift wasn’t buying it. He promptly interrupted with a “Seliph.” The greninja looked at him as with what looked like a heavy but determined stare said, “Seliph, if you’ve been working on the formula for as long as you have and haven’t figured out a means to even approach it. Then maybe you should turn it into the professionals.”

Seliph scowled at this suggestion. “I can figure it out, I just need to research more. I can handle this, and with my brothers safely out of peril then I ca-”

“See, right there.” Swift pointed at Seliph, who gave him a confused look. “That’s your problem.” Swift’s kind tone was now replaced with one of sharp criticism, while Garon just watched with a wide-eyed stare at the scene unfold. “You keep wanting to do things yourself when you clearly aren’t capable of doing it yourself. I don’t know why you ‘need’ to do this, but I think it says a lot when you talk about having your brothers go to safety as ‘out of the way’.”

Swift walked over to the drawer and pulled it open. Seliph lashed out with his hand to shut it but Swift gave him a glare that made Seliph shudder inside. Swift then let go and faced him directly. “That mentality made you drop them in the first place, right? Not get any help until you absolutely needed it. Don’t you get it Seliph? Something is wrong with you. This isn’t some research to fix things, this is getting to be an obsession. It always is if you ‘need’ something and have to cut someone like your siblings out of your life.”

“How dare you!” Seliph shot back. “You don’t know my reasons for doing anyt-”

“I don’t need to know to see how important it is to you,” Swift replied back. “This hasn’t been about a cure as much as it’s been giving the red eyes what for, right?”

This attack on his integrity just made Seliph angrier. “What? Am I selfish for wanting to stop them‽”

“No, but you’re misguided if you think that doing it by yourself will stop them.” Swift walked away from the drawer and looked at him. “Seliph, you have a problem. You couldn’t trust anyone but yourself and look where it has gotten you. Eight years of isolation. Working on your own to solve some ‘evil juice’, letting them grow up without their brother.”

Seliph gave a grumble at this being brought up again. “I was keeping them safe. Why can’t any of you see that‽ I was identified; they weren’t. I needed them to stay somewhere safe so I could focus on unraveling that!” Seliph pointed at the drawer.

Swift gave a little chuckle making Seliph demand what was so funny. “You know what? Here’s a funny idea, why didn’t you come back to them and help them to Norfair when you had the chance? Why not be honest about why you had to leave?”

“I didn’t have any chance and telling my brothers why would make them come after me.”

“That’s a lie unless they were on you all the time. There’s no way even the red eyes could keep tabs on you for that long. I mean, you killed one of their iris leaders and that spurred them on you more, right? If you were just doing the formula, why not lay low then help your kin out to Norfair so you three could work together on this?”

Seliph crossed his arms and turned around. “You’re awfully demanding of a scared twelve-year-old.”

“Eight f**king years, Seliph!” Swift stated, “You had eight years to return. Yet you claim you researched on that formula and here you are not even closer to solving it than your mother. You basically let them grow up without you and didn’t even bring anything from it.”

“Why are you on my case for that‽” Seliph shouted, “They’re happier there than running around with me all the time.”

“So why not stay in Norfair once you sneak them out with you? Then they’d be even happier.”

“I couldn’t…ugh…you see,” Seliph fumbled as Swift finally put the pieces together.

“Hmph, I get it.” Seliph looked at him, wondering what he was about to say. “You’re…” Swift’s eyes turned from an angry scowl to one that looked concerned. He let out a sigh as he uttered, “You’re…desperate.”

Something in Seliph snapped at hearing that. He managed to stay quiet, but inside he was full of fury.

Swift let out a sigh as his stare ventured over to the drawer. “Seliph, are you sure you can handle that? I’ve heard stories about that formula. What some rehabilitating red eyes say. Like how there’s something in there. Seliph, are you struggling against i-”

Seliph slammed his hand firmly on the desk cutting him off. “I can handle it,” he exclaimed. “And if you had any sense you’d see my eyes aren’t red.” He firmly gestured to his angry blue eyes. Swift was about to clarify what he meant but Seliph had enough. “Would you just stop it‽ I’ve gone through enough hardship trying to find a damn cure without you adding to it!”

“Seliph, that’s enough,” Garon interjected.

“F**k off!” Seliph spat at him. “All you two have done since coming here is question me.” The two mons looked at him with their unwavering attention as Seliph ranted. “First you bring up that I’m rushing it, then act like I had all the ability and time to make things right with my brothers not understanding what I was doing, and now you’re calling me crazy‽”

“No, it’s not that Seliph.” Swift tried to explain but it was too late. Seliph walked to the door and opened it. “Tell Dolly whenever we decide what we’ll do next I’ll be there. Till then, I need some air from two finicky Norfairions breathing down my neck.”

Swift’s temper got the better of him at this. “I’m pressing this because it’s important. I’m sorry you can’t see past your own vista to notice what you’re leaving lying as you go on. Seliph, Freya nor Gathor would want this for you.”

Seliph faced him and angrily shouted. “Don’t you dare use my parents against me!”

“I will if it means keeping you from dying a second time!” Swift shouted back. Their gazes were locked, with tension that if physical could cut even the hardest berry. It wasn’t till Garon got up and separated the two that they stopped staring hatefully at the other.

“This isn’t going to aid us.” Garon looked from one to the other. “Seliph, Swift, both of you need to stop attacking. We’re not each other’s enemies. Swift,” he looked down at the heliolisk, “as a member of Team Alpha, you know better than to rush head-on.” Swift’s gaze averted, with an irritated expression. “Seliph.” the large dragon looked at the greninja. “I only ask you to keep yourself from isolating.”

“I’ve had eight years of that and I managed to end a member in their Iris council. I’m fine Garon, I don’t need your concern or worry.”

The dragon put a talon on Seliph’s shoulder. “I’ll never stop being concerned for you. Not because you aren’t capable, but because I and Swift care.” Swift’s eyes shifted a little from frustration to somber as his arms dropped to their sides. “Seliph, we’ll do our damnedest to not lose any of you a second time. If we come off as too protective or restrictive because of that, I’m sorry but please don’t think we aren’t on your side.”

Seliph’s head fell slightly as he mulled over his ranting emotions and what Garon asked of him. “I’m…going for a walk.” Seliph removed the talon as he let out a sigh. He walked over to the drawer and once again took out the vial. He stared at it with a firm gaze and clasped it firmly into his hands. “Swift…Garon.”

The two looked at him. He faced them and said, “…Nevermind.” He walked out and shut the door behind him, putting the vial into his vest as he left.

Swift’s head fell, the feelings of guilt starting to show. “I shouldn’t have been so hard on him for that.”

Garon gave an agreeing sigh. They both looked at the door with concerned faces. After some time, Garon’s face went to reminiscing. “I miss that face he made when we visited that one time.” Swift looked at Garon, who was wiping his eyes a little with a talon. “He looked so…calm and content.”

Swift once again looked at the door. He felt the pain in the past, the times Garon wept for their dead comrades and their dead kids. There was something about having seen them, their faces so happy and nice that made the news, the sight, the smell of destruction that their second visit brought that much more devastating. Swift’s fist clenched. I need to make this right.

He walked for the door, prompting Garon to look. “Garon, I may be late for the meeting.” His eyes darted to his friend as he requested, “If we aren’t back in time, give the suggestion we talked about.”

“Swift?” Garon walked over but stopped as Swift raised a ‘stop’ hand.

“I need to hear him out. Alone.” Garon reluctantly gave a nod as Swift gave a smile at the understanding. “Thanks, friend,” Swift said as he opened the door and headed out.

Garon’s head fell. His feelings felt all over the place but mostly in worry. He let out a heavy sigh as he opened the door to leave the room as well.

< O >

Heavy rain fell from the cloudy heavens above. The light of a night sky blanketed a small port town in shadow. The wind was howling and rocking some of the banners or loose things around that were in its way. The lower part of a dirty and worn brown cloak blew in the wind as its wearer walked through the alleys near the port. This mon was large yet kept dry from the cloak he wore.

“What we got here?” Someone said from behind the stranger, walking out from one of the openings. This weavile smirked a dark smile as the stranger turned his head slightly, not looking at him though. “Lost are we, viaggiatore,” The mon said with a little chuckle under his breath. “Well, you must be a un viaggiatore straniero.”

This weavile started walking towards him as four more popped out, surrounding the mon in the middle. “And well,” one said with a dark grin, “this is a toll path.”

The stranger exhaled as he said in a low tone. “I don’t want trouble.”

“Ah, your accent. So you’re a fellow Valenor then, heh. Well, pay up what’s on yah and we’ll let you be on your merry way.” Two of them walked around and stood at the stranger’s sides.

“I possess no money,” The stranger said. This initiated the one on the right to leap for the side. The stranger swung his large arm and knocked him away, but this was merely a diversion. The leader and one at the end fired ice beams at the stranger’s chest and back while the leaped on the head and proceeded to slice. To his surprise despite being hit by two sets of ice beam, the stranger quickly pulled the weavile off and threw him into another.

The leader took his chance to turn it back to their favor. He leaped up and went for a slice at the head.

Nearby a little lotad boy was jumping in one puddle after another on the way home. He wore a happy little face as he nodded to two local peacekeepers, who gave smiles in return. “Stay safe on your way home,” one said, to which he replied with, “yes sir.” He splashed a little more along the way till the noise of something striking stone came from his right. Once he looked down the alley, he saw them. A brown cloaked stranger being attacked by four weaviles. Ones the boy had heard about in some news his father had said. Quickly the boy called for the rangers.

The leader weavile gave the stranger a smirk. His claws contain little clippings from scraping an aggron cheek. “That’s your last warning,” he said. To his surprise, the stranger stood up straight and tried to put his hood on. However, it was too late. “Wha? Heh, you’re a red eye huh.”

The other weaviles joined up with the leader right as the peacekeepers arrived. “Interrompere!” one shouted, readying an energy ball.

“Good to see you, sir,” The leader said as he looked back at the mon. “Found this red eyes walking suspiciously down the alley. He tried resisting and we were having trouble. Red eyes are to be brought in and questioned, correct?”

“You four will come as well,” the guard said with a stern tone. He walked over to the stranger with an inhibitor neckpiece. “Don’t fight back.”

“Please, I was merely defendin-” the stranger started trying to keep the guard from putting the collar on.

“Come on, we’re just going to question you and sort this mess out.” The guard tried to grab the aggron’s head while the aggron attempted to pull the arm away. This little struggle resulted in the guard accidentally hitting the right side of the aggron’s neck.

What happened next surprised the six as some mechanical noise activated and some form of metal was building on the stranger’s face. The hood he had on was pulled off by the building, revealing the finished product of a dark, intimidating red light like an eye with armor plating all over the face.

“What the heck?” the guard said, dropping the neck inhibitor and slowly backing away.

Pathos gave a sigh as he pressed the thing on his neck again, deconstructing the helm. With a rather sad expression, Pathos looked at the guard. “Forgive me.”

The guard tilted his head as the mon continued. “For not saving you from yourselves.” In an instant, Pathos grabbed the mon by the throat and slammed him to the ground with enough force to break the skull. The other guard shot his energy ball, but the aggron dodged it with a quick step. He then aimed his arm and fired a powerful flash canon beam straight at the guard, knocking him into a wall. The mon’s uniform and body were torn up on the left side from being scrapped on the wall by the powerful beam.

“What the-” the head weavile started, but didn’t get to finish. As the firm grip of the aggron grabbed his forehead and back and twisted, snapping the neck. The aggron quickly lunged at another weavile, slicing his arms off with two Fury Cutter’s swinging down. He quickly spun around and grated his fists together forming sparks from Autonomize.

“Let’s get out of here!” one of the two last weaviles shouted as he rushed out, kicking the lotad boy in the process. The two ran, but they were no match for the speed of an autonomized aggron. He leaped up and crushed the leading one with his landing and twisted his body, stabbing the last one right through the head with a condensed Fury Cutter sticking out of the arm like a thin blade. He retracted it and let the body fall over as he walked down the alley, to the lotad trying to hide.

The boy looked up, terrified at the imposing figure of the murderer looking down at him. His red eyes, looking so cold, emotionless, and scary. The boy curled back as the aggron got down and moved his hand to the boy’s head. “Hai un nome?”

In a quiet, scared voice, the boy replied with. “Lorenzo.”

“Lorenzo…” the aggron’s eyes lowered to a sad expression. “That’s…a sweet name.” The boy looked up, confused as the aggron moved his arm away. “I’m sorry, Lorenzo. Rest.” Before the boy could even think a Furry Cutter spike from Pathos’s fist swung up and sliced down upon him.

Pathos stood up, ensured the rest of them were dead and looked around at what was left. The stranger looked up at the sky, as the rain fell on his head. His eyes narrowed as if he was scowling at the clouds in the night sky. “Forgive me…” he said as if to their souls that now no longer resided in their bodies. “I will achieve success…for the sake of all of you. I must. Till then, please forgive my sin done to all of you. Lorenzo…” His fists clenched as a little growl came from under his breath. If emotions could be seen, Pathos would be covered with bother and rage. It never gets old…even though I know the truth. Perhaps… He looked at his open palm. There were scratches and cuts but it was still strong and able. Perhaps, I must feel nothing even in this wake, nothing that is enough to sway my mission. To think that I could kill a sweet boy younger than Ch-… He let out a sigh as his eyes stared up at the rainy clouds, rain striking his metal head. I know how far I’ve come, where my road ends, and yet you still linger in my heart. My burden to carry while I have the will to go on. I must go on. Pathos’s head lowered as he mumbled a few silent words.

He closed his eyes and put his hood back on, walking away from the scene with a heavy scowl on his face and eyes that looked cold and lifeless. May your lives and souls be happy. Though your time here was cut short, I wish for you all peace in silence. Find rest wherever you are now.


un viaggiatore straniero – a foreign traveler

Interrompere – stop

Hai un nome – You have a name?

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
– Unknown


Darkinium Z

Dani California
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Hours Ago
5,857 posts
13.8 Years
The first few parts of this chapter I already expected the boys to be crushed over Dresha's death. Probably will be a bit until they get better.

Hm, I admit Swift and Garon interrogating Seliph for the thousandth time is getting a bit tiresome. I already get that Seliph is too stubborn to get help and trust someone (and probably obsessed with that vital now). Seems like Swift will finally do something about that, though. There are a couple new tidbits though, like the grandfather and possible new location the boys will go.

Onto Pathos's scene. Oh boy that must be the most violent scene you've written so far. And whaaa Pathos killing Lorenzo. ;_;

On the grammar front, I noticed a few instances where you have more than one character speak in one paragraph. For instance:

“No, it’s not that Seliph.” Swift tried to explain but it was too late. Seliph walked to the door and opened it. “Tell Dolly whenever we decide what we’ll do next I’ll be there. Till then, I need some air from two finicky Norfairions breathing down my neck.”
This paragraph I would separate Swift and Seliph's dialogue in separate paragraphs.

Foul Play
[Chapter Nine up!]


Say it with me (Vray-gun)

As if I'd be one to say
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted December 4th, 2019
285 posts
2 Years
Contains: Language [13]
Chapter 35
Trying to Look Deeper

It was in the afternoon, at the docks in a Sorphian port trading town. No other mons were around the landing spot near the backs of the storage facilities. Only Daemon stood there, waiting as a boat slowly came and ported.

Trishula jumped over the side before the crossing came down and walked over to the ghost waiting. Once they were about three feet apart, Trishula stopped and they both just stared at the other. No greeting, no gestures, no words just absolute silence.

Daemon finally gave a cough. “It’s been some time…Trishula.”

The dragon gave a hefty sigh. “Let’s just get this over with.”

“Not even a hello?” Daemon said with a little lighter tone.

The dragon looked at him with an annoyed stare but finally caved in. “Daemon.”

“Hello friend.” Daemon extended his right arm to Trishula, who took the hand and shook it. “I hope it was a fine trip.”

“Fine,” Trishula started walking brushing, as Daemon joined his side.

“If you’re wondering why I am here, I’m supposed to escort you to Brielle,” Daemon informed Trishula, who merely gave a grunt as a reaction.

“I fail to see why I would need an escort.”

Daemon shrugged, curling his fist and placing it under his chin as he admitted, “I’m at a loss to the reason as well. Your master, Azazel, didn’t really say why.” He lowered his fist and instead folded his arms behind his back during his continued speculation. “I figure he more than likely wanted me to bring you to have company that was familiar.”

“Hmph.” Trishula started walking faster, as if these words stung a little.

Daemon stopped and with a rather condescending tone woven into his formal speech said, “Perhaps, he wants you to cool down on the way here.”

Trishula stopped, fists tightening and a little snarl.

“Am I incorrect to assume?” Daemon crossed his arms, on his chest this time, as Trishula remained silent. Assessing there was no need to pry further, Daemon decided to change the topic to a lighter subject. “I hope Plageues wasn’t too obnoxious when he arrived. I wouldn’t blame you if you sliced that tongue of his off but I at least hope he didn’t bring it to that point.”

Trishula turned his head slightly and once again look outwards. “No closer than you are bringing me right now.”

“Why is that?” Daemon asked, though he pretty much knew the answer.

Trishula let out a sigh as he turned around to face the dusknoir. “Are you really going to force me on this?” He inquired, his eyes indicating irritation though lacking in his normal aggression.

“You know my answer.” Daemon floated over to Trishula, whose eyes lowered and looked to the side rather meekly.

There was just silence for a while as Trishula’s breathing slowed and Daemon twiddled his thumbs behind his back. Finally, Daemon uncapped his arms and said, “I understand.” The ghost put a hand on the dragon’s shoulder. “This mission meant a lot to you and Azazel pulling you out of this has cut your ego down.”

“…You know that’s not all,” Trishula said, a little harried by Daemon’s care pestering.

Daemon gave a little huff. “Well, then show me.” He let go of the shoulder and instead gestured Trishula to follow him into a dark alley. Daemon then held out his hand for Trishula to take.

The dragon wore a rather shamefaced frown, hesitant to really partake.

“No artificial connections.” Daemon floated closer, letting his hand fall to his side. “Trishula, it’s been too long. Whatever Azazel did, whatever he told you, please understand you are mine and even Plageues’s friend.” Daemon took Trishula’s hand gently in his, molded it into a fist, and cupped his around it as the dragon watched, a bit timorous at this action. “I don’t want you to forget that. Now,” Daemon opened the fist and moved it to his chest, looking firmly at Trishula.

“I couldn’t ever forget that,” Trishula stated firmly, looking to the side rather guilty. “I just…I don’t…” Trishula looked at Daemon with an honest face and admitted, “he did so many soul links with me, I just don’t…” he let out a sigh. “It makes me on edge.”

Daemon shook his head slowly. “Forget how it makes you feel. Forget that you still have it. Azazel, may be your master, but he doesn’t own what we three had and still have. Trishula,” Daemon said, letting out a sigh, “You and Plageues keep me content even how I am. So please, let’s talk. Azazel can’t reach you in our soul link.”

Trishula paused, looking down and thinking deeply. Despite this, Daemon’s pleading and his own emotions won and he activated the soul link. Trishula’s eyes closed and after a few seconds he opened them wide.

He was standing on a stone surface that was flat and carved into a mountain. His head shifted to a specific direction, as if he knew exactly where to look. His eyes fell upon a stadium made in the side of a mountain, exactly as he remembered it. It was lined with many rock carved rows with mons cheering and awing at the matches happening. He walked to the edge to watch from the edge above the mons below him, engrossed in the sport, and watched for a few seconds before looking left.

There it was, South City. The Sorphian border city, with its signature clock tower stood tall and high in the night sky, as did it’s siblings in the other cardinal cities. Bright light came from inside the clock tower, illuminating the display of eleven o’clock that was seeable even from where Trishula stood.

“You seem to recall well,” Daemon said, floating over to him. The normal shoulder overcoat Daemon was wearing was no longer there. His right shoulder was bare, showing a Norfairion crest. Daemon’s one eye turned to look at a group of three mons not far from where they stood, watching the fights as well.

Daemon stroked his chin, focusing his attention on the young trio of a dusklops, a zoroark, and a fraxure; all excited and talking about the battles as they watched. “It feels so long ago. I know it’s practically two decades, but still.”

Trishula looked at the trio as well and asked his fellow observer, “Are we in yours or mine?”

“Mine of course,” Daemon answered, folding his hands behind his back. “I wouldn’t be so ill-mannered to request having a soul link with you and not being the mind to supply it.”

Trishula gave a little grunt, with a slight smirk. “Typical of you.”

“You almost sound offended,” Daemon said, his eye indicating a friendly jest but with a point behind the joke.

Trishula gave a nod. “Indeed. Daemon, I suppose you can gather why I try to be strong.”

“I presume from Azazel’s teachings or just Azazel’s watching eyes in general.” The ghost began stroking his chin once more as Trishula looked up at the many stars.

“Yes and no.” Trishula’s eyes narrowed and Daemon listened intently. “For a long time, I’ve wanted to do something with my life that had a meaning and gave me a true purpose. That’s why I left in the first place. Why I joined the red eyes, you know.” The dragon looked Daemon’s way. “I didn’t choose Azazel as my master. For some reason he chose me. Said he saw something ‘raw’.”

“You mean, he saw something to use.” Daemon’s eye narrowed slightly. “That is after all his teachings, correct? Growing you into what he would deem as a purposeful use for the ‘raw’ he saw.”

Trishula gave a slow nod. “I’m surprised he let me still interact with you both back then, even if it was rarely. I’d expect him to be concerned about me telling you or Plageues what he would do to me and all. But…” Trishula sat down, letting his legs dangle and tail curl. “There were moments.”

“Moments?” Daemon asked, sitting his ghostly body down as well.

“Yes.” Trishula looked at the match going on as Daemon kept his gaze firmly on Trishula. “There was something about him seeing potential in me…that made me pleased. If someone as horrible as him saw something in me that could carry something out, that’s something, right?”

“That’s a rather simple way to look at it.” Daemon turned his one eye to the match. “After all, this is the second of the three pillars we are talking about. He, Pathos, and Mephiles created this entire organization. He isn't one to be treated or thought of as simple.”

“I know, and just being around him has taught me that as well.” Trishula’s muscle relaxed. “It’s why those moments, where he would emphasize the role he felt I could play. The goals I could reach seemed…” Trishula moved his claw forwards and looked at it. He whispered as if mustering a little vigor while he closed his claw, “It made me for once feel more than just being Vorice, but like I truly was more than that fraxure that ran away. And isn’t that what being a red eyes is all about?” Trishula looked at Daemon, almost as if he was really asking the question for real. “Becoming more than you were.”

“Perhaps…” Daemon let out a sigh as his left arm went over his right shoulder and clenched it a little.

Trishula took notice and after a few seconds of thought, put his left claw on it, surprising Daemon. “It’s strange.” Daemon looked at him and listened as he said in a rather reminiscing tone, “how someone so dark and cruel can have such a way with words…such a perspective.”

“Perspective?” Daemon repeated, asking if Trishula could elaborate.

“Well…something he said to me once.” Trishula closed his eyes for a second as if imagining the scene once more. He stayed like this for a few minutes in their link before finally opening them and looking straight and saying, “I think…we’ve caught up enough.” The dragon stood up, taking his claw away before it had even been on there for three seconds. “We have to go to Brielle after all.”

“Uh…right.” Daemon nodded slowly, flustered but also a little depressed at them ending so quickly.

The soul of Trishula faded out of the link, leaving Daemon all alone. The ghost didn’t leave immediately, just stared off at the rehashing of the battles and matches the three of them used to see back then. His eye lowered and his head turned to look at the group of three friends. His sight went on Trishula’s Averion crest and from there trailed up to his smiling face, sitting happy in the middle of the two. Daemon just watched for some time, the feelings seemed almost resurfacing, like he was back in the body of a dusklops, just watching some tourney with his two best friends.

After a while, he got back up and let himself fade out of the soul link, but not before a little sigh escaped him.

< O >

The rain poured down upon the streets in Frantal. Some emura lights couldn’t seem to aid passerby’s much due to the amount of lines of rain that filled the space around them. The cloudy sky kept the town from the light of the moon and a little spring breeze blew to make the rain more angular.

Amid all this, Swift walked around. The hood off of his little fain cloak since as he looked around, trying to find Seliph. “Seliph,” he would call again and again for some time, but to his dismay each time no answer would reply. After some time searching, he decided to go on a hunch and head to the library. It’s possible I guess, he reasoned in his mind, After all, he was doing research there. Maybe he has more to do or look up.

The heliolisk started a jog on the wet dirt streets for about ten minutes before he finally found the library. Its old stone structure withstood the rain rather well as its silhouette in what little light the city had at this time, made it much more imposing than earlier when it was lighter. Swift carefully made his way to the first window and peeked in. No lights were on.

Hmm…just in case. Swift backed away from the building and shielded his eyes with his hand to try and spy a route up. Finally, Swift found a part of the building that looked scalable. He gave himself a self-assuring nod and got to climbing. Scaling ten feet of wet rock wasn’t easy, but it helped that the building had a lot of openings and crevices as exterior design. Once Swift had safely made it to the balcony on the third floor he quietly looked for any opening. Called it. He muttered in his head at the sight of one of the angular windows slightly nudged open. Carefully, he lifted the window up and stepped inside and shut it behind him without making too much noise.

He found himself on some scaffolding on the top area of building’s roof from the second and first floor. Walking along the beams, Swift tried to see if he could spy Seliph or whoever had made their entrance dripping rain water as he searched.

It wasn’t long though before he heard a noise nearby. Quickly and Quietly, Swift darted to one of the vertical beams and froze. His heart beat sped a little and his eyes narrowed. Maybe…is that Seliph? Swift closed his eyes. Hmm…I hear…shuffling. Swift remained very, very still and even more alert. The shuffling was slow, like sneaking or perhaps long legs. A few breaths were being exhaled too.

It sounds…like someone walking…I should take a look. Slowly, he moved his head to the edge and twisted his face to just get a glimpse of the area without revealing himself too much. No one there, he muttered in his mind, maybe the other si- He stopped. His eyes shot open as he tensed extremely still. Slowly his head turned and eyes looked at the Night Slash knife aiming for his throat.

“Spying on me again?” Seliph whispered, his eyes showing his annoyance. Seliph let the dagger dissolve as Swift gave a sigh of relief.

“Actually,” Swift corrected, but in a way to not sound snarky. “I wanted to talk to you.”

“Haven’t we already done enough of that? I don’t need any more lecturing from you nor Garon.” Seliph was about to walk away before Swift blurted out “Wait.” Leading to Seliph to raise a “hush” finger to his mouth.

“Sorry,” Swift whispered, but quickly followed with, “Seliph, I’m not here to argue. I wanted to apologize. What I said was uncalled for. I was being unfair, okay.”

“Hmph,” Seliph grunted, “Think pretty apologies are going to make me just forget the ‘desperation’ you happened to point out?”

Swift shook his head. “No, of course not. I’m really worried about you Seliph.”

“I didn’t ask for your worry, just your help.” Seliph coldly crossed his arms.

Swift cupped his arms behind his head and tilted his body over. “Well, then why did you call us over?” Swift inquired with a grin.

Seliph gave him an unamused look and rolled his eyes. “I told you both already and even just now. You’re really annoying; you know that?”

“Heh, Garon makes sure to remind me,” Swift replied with an eye closed grin and cheery smile. This positive nature left as Swift opened his eyes and looked down. With a little hefty sigh, Swift undid his relaxing pose and got to the point. “Look Seliph, I am really sorry.” The rueful heliolisk walked over as Seliph sat down on the beam.

Seliph just stayed silent, taking out his vial and eyeing it. “I don’t know why you both think I can’t handle it when I’ve done so for eight years.”

“I suppose it’s more of what happened and all rather than what we know you can do.” Swift sat down next to Seliph and looked at the vial along with him. “That is a rather…Is it supposed to feel…uhm, weird looking at it?”

“Yes, the feeling it makes you have is…odd to say the least.” Seliph cupped the vial in his hands before looking up, “It’s like part of me wonders what is in there. What thing is in there? I know it’s more than just some liquid or biological makeup, but then what else could it be or have to make it so enticing and yet scary to the eye?” Seliph stood up and crossed his arms. “I’ve done many tests and well nothing so far, like you said. It’s … frustrating.”

Swift stood up too and said while he squeezed some of the water from his drenched rain cloak, causing the water to splatter on splatter on the beam. “So, what are you doing here anyways?”

Seliph gave him an annoyed look for a second, but finally let out a sigh and explained. “I wanted to follow up on the Aegis research. Double checking, you know. I believe Vragon is Aegis…or rather his vessel.”

“So.” Swift looked to the beam he was once at, looking away from Seliph in the process. “I take it you did some kind of test or comparison?”

“Yes, and well…his gift more than likely is Savoire.”

Swift turned around and once again got into his ‘arms behind head and slightly tilted to the side’ pose and gave Seliph a curious look. “Savoire is Aegis’s gift right?”

“Yes,” Seliph nodded, “I did some follow up research here just to make sure there was no contradiction or other comparison to be made. Savoire acts as a synergy transfer gift like many others, but the special thing about it is that it isn’t as limited as the others. In fact it can do many things; I suppose it’s just a matter of discovering it.”

“Well, if he is Aegis’s vessel then, I guess that means he has a bigger target on his back. Meaning, we’ll have to be extra wary to keep him safe.” Swift’s head looked down as his eyes went a little sad. “Seliph, I don’t like-”

“I know…” Seliph’s right fist tightened around the vial. “It’s unfair. The fact he is a vessel and what that entails is so…ugh. I can’t imagine how it would feel being possessed like that. I had a traumatic experience with mental invasion once, though it wasn’t a complete takeover but more some bi**h wanting information. It was…during the attack that my parents died in.” Seliph’s head lowered as his eyes grew a little more depressed and calm as he reflected upon that night.

Swift noticed this and took the opportunity to walk closer and sit down, letting his legs dangle off the beam. “If you want…we can talk about it. Move on from what we were discussing before things got so…hectic and heated.” Swift moved his arms back to prop up leaning his back as he looked at Seliph and said with a newly raised brow, “What’s so important about this thing you couldn’t tell us?”

Seliph gave him a ‘really’ look and said, “If I wasn’t going to tell you then why would I tell you now?”

“Fair point.” Swift looked down over the dark library as he swung his legs a little. “We don’t have to talk about that if you don’t want to. But…” Swift paused as he looked at one of the large front windows tanking the rain from outside.” It’d be nice to catch up on things. Hear some stuff from you, even if it’s not for too long. Maybe even some nice stories you could tell.”

“Why are you trying so hard to warm your way into my life?” Seliph gave him a serious look.

Swift was sort of surprised at how quickly things escalated so he paused for a bit. Finally, a sigh escaped his mouth as he rest his arms on his legs and looked back down again. His eyes were narrow and somewhere distant. “It’s because I care about you and the others. I want to be close to the kids of my friends. It’d…be like making up to them for my lackings.”

Seliph raised a brow at that last sentence, not sure what Swift was referencing. Slowly, Seliph sat down and also dangled his legs. “Swift, uhm…I can’t exactly tell you what is so ‘important’ since well…it’s important and the less you know the bett-”

Swift interrupted with, “I knew about your vial before you even showed it to me and Garon.” Swift gave him a look that was asking to be taken seriously.

“It’s not the vial,” Seliph clarified, “That secret is rather counterintuitive to keep from you and Garon.” Swift raised a brow as Seliph looked straight in front of them at the wall above the large library door. “Swift, I was given something important and well…I can’t tell you what it is.” Seliph felt strange, like he couldn’t just let it end there. Feelings of connection seemed to bring themselves in and he mumbled, “But I can say that it is indeed related to the liquid in here.”

“So it’s information?” Swift asked, raising a brow.

“Yes, but not told to me. Something I found out myself, I guess. This red eyes liquid…” Seliph let out a sigh as he tensed up. “I thought, I heard it say something.”

Swift’s eyes widened. “Heard it say something?”

“It felt like that.” Seliph’s eyes narrowed, almost in a way that felt foreign to Swift. It was like Seliph’s mind was all tracked upon some dark thought that was trying to etch its way out. “It felt like it knew me. Was speaking to me intentionally.”

“Knew you? Wait, are you saying it’s alive?” Swift scooted closer, his curiosity and concern building as Seliph continued on with his explanation.

“Well, I don’t know if it’s alive. But.” Seliph paused. What am I doing? Seliph thought in his head, as he started to get a little nervous. Why the heck am I- Seliph stopped as Swift made a little coughing noise to get his attention.

“Seliph,” Swift said, looking straight out into the library below. “I know what it is like to not want to trust someone. To feel like you have to do something to be worthy or whatever….But I am sorry I overstepped my bounds; it was misguided care.” His eyes shut as he continued. “But…I want to help you. I want you to know you aren’t alone, that I’m here for you. You’ve been through a lot, you’ve seen a lot and it’s time I treat you like you have. You aren’t a kid like when I last saw you; you’re a grown ass adult, so it’s time I treat you like that. Seliph, I’m sorry, can you please let me make it up to you?” Swift looked up at Seliph, trying his best to have the most sincere gaze ever as Seliph stared back.

“I…uh…” Seliph looked to the side and then to the vial. “I understand your concern. It’s not that I don’t understand where you are coming from; it’s just…I…can’t be wrong about this.” Swift remained Silent as Seliph’s voice started raising and his eyes narrowing. “I can’t be wrong about it, okay!” He ranted, “Do you understand how it would feel?” He stood up, and looked down at Swift with angry eyes. “How it would feel to know you were wrong and that you made a journey for eight years making you, your brothers, and your parent’s friends all suffer and grow detached for it? Do you have any idea what a weight like that feels like‽ Do you know if you could handle the pressure of that being a looming plausibility over you‽”

Swift listened with mature understanding. He stood up and looked at the desperate greninja. “I don’t know Seliph,” he honestly admitted. He moved his hand to rub the back of his head and looked back at the library windows at the front again. “I just know how it is to grow up weaker than the others.”

Seliph grew silent and listened to Swift calmly bearing his thoughts and feelings.

“To only really be looked up to by one person, working hard to join a team that would treat me and Garon well, and wanting to be strong and brave like them.” Swift looked at Seliph with a sympathetic look. “You’ve been lonely for a long time, like I was before I met garon. We have that…in common. I grew to trust Garon when I needed it and I want you to trust me, because I think you need it too. I know it’s risky, but deep down…somewhere inside you, Seliph, I know you remember me and that I’d never try to hurt you or go against you not out of concern or worry. I wasn’t there for your parents, but I want to be there for you and your brothers. I don’t care how long I have to say it, just so long as you’ll understand that it’s true and sincere.”

For a few seconds, they both just stared straight at each other. Seliph’s eyes started to water up as his scowl became less convincing with ever sniffle that escaped. His eyes struggled to look at the older heliolisk as his fists and legs felt like they wanted to throb like crazy.

Finally, his legs gave way as his knees hit the plank they resided on. The greninja sniffled and wiping his eyes with his arms. “I’ve lost everything, Swift.” He said amongst the whimpers and tear wiping. “I have to stop them. I have to for parents. My mother, her words are all I have now and I need to stop those bastards that killed my father. This vial…” He leaned onto all fours as his tears changed from rolling down his face to dropping onto the hard surface of the wood. “I can’t be wrong…I’ve lost too much to let them win.”

Swift’s own tears started to form a little at seeing Seliph’s true sad state. He looked to the side as his fists tightened. He wiped his tears away and leaned in, putting his arms on Seliph’s shoulders. “Seliph,” he said, as Seliph’s blue eyes met his own blue eyes. “I’m so sorry we were too late to help.”

Seliph’s sniffles broke as he hugged Swift, crying a little. “Uncle Swift,” Seliph mumbled amid his sniffles, causing Swift to tear up a lot at the old title given to him by a little froakie boy.

Swift broke form and joined with Seliph in their weeping but tender embrace. Letting out the pains of eight years passing from the buildup caused by one regret.

< O >

Ciecro sat at the back door of the inn, watching the rain drip down all over. The only thing making him feel worse than it raining when he wanted to go for a walk was being struck with post-lashing out guilt. It wasn’t warranted and he knew that, but he just wanted to be alone during after hearing what happened. Still, despite how the group probably wouldn’t blame him, he didn’t feel the same way about it.

I should apologize, but…ahgh, damnit, Ciecro ranted in his head. He stood up and looked out at the rain falling a few feet from him. Memories started to appear in his mind, memories with Miss Dresha, who’s now gone. His fists tightened and he snarled, “What do dey wan’ from us?”

The frustrations crept up on him as he let out an angry sigh. His eyes shut as his eyes closed and his nerves went still. As if frozen in time, Ciecro just sat in front of the rain, motionless. Not even the noise of the rain seemed to even bother him, even if a small little strange somehow found its way to his charmeleon scales. But I can’t right now. I jus’…don’ tink I can witout… He let out a small growl as continued to just listen to the rain around him.

His trance was cut off as someone sat next to him. He turned his head to look. “…Jaz.”

The absol walked over to his side, looking at him with worry, concern, and sadness. “Are you holding up okay?”

Ciecro just stayed silent, his eyes narrowing as if her presence was making him annoyed.

Jasmine sat down next to him and started with, “Ciecro, I’m sorry tha-”

“Please…lemme be alone.” Ciecro gave a sincere look to accompany his words.

She let out a sigh as she looked at the rain. “I know you want to be alone right now. But Ciecro,” she turned her head to look at him. “What benefit will you get by being alone at this time? I know it hurts right now, but I’m here and so are the others. I just want to help you through this.”

Ciecro looked down, not responding or gesturing anything. It was like he had forgotten she was there and simply remained back in his old position. After a few minutes of stone cold silence, Jasmine got the message.

“I’ll be waiting when you need us.” She got up and walked back inside, leaving Ci,ecro alone with his thoughts.

With a heavy face, she headed back to her room. I want to help him but, argh, I don’t know what to do! Last time I pressed it, it went horribly wrong, but just waiting for him to come to me is just…ugh, so nerve wracking. She shoved the door to hers and Dolly’s room and sat down, depressed with worry. What if he does something stupid? What if he needs me now and just doesn’t know it? She curled a little onto the floor, lying down on her side. I mean, I know Dolly wouldn’t let me be alone when I was very sad. No matter how many times I felt guilty for leaving or missing my sisters, she’d remind me that I’m cared for here and that while she wouldn’t stop me from going back, she’d advice against it right now. Jasmine then rolled onto her back, looking up at the ceiling. I just don’t want him to do something to himself or others. Ciecro isn’t bad, but when something like this happens. Argh! I just feel so powerless right now and I hate it! She growled up at the ceiling and just let herself go limp. Having vented the frustration in her head, she was slowly starting to calm down, till her quiet space was interrupted.

“Jasmine?” a voice said, coming from her door. Startled, Jasmine opened her eyes to see Vragon at the open door, staring at her in a rather perplexed manner. “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you or interrupted whatever you were, uhm…doing on the floor,” he apologized, trying not to flare red from thinking he came in at a bad time. He awkwardly rubbed the back of his head and looked at the door frame, a subtle attempt to avoid looking at her longer.

“Oh, it’s fine.” Jasmine casually said rolling back onto her legs as Vragon let out a sigh of relief.

“Oh thank arceus,” he whispered to himself.

“Did you need something?” Jasmine asked, sitting down looking at him.

“Not really, just wanted to talk since well…” Vragon started to awkwardly rub the back on his head again. “Ciecro wants to be alone and Dolly is with Jaron right now.”

“Oh?” Jasmine gave a nod. Taking the time to look at Vragon, she couldn’t help but notice he seemed rather down too, guilty maybe. She lied down on her stomach and asked, “Something bothering you?”

Vragon gave a sigh, “Yeah.”

“Wanna, talk about it?” The absol gave welcoming look as the embarrassed and guilty fraxure rubbed the back of his head, a frown on his face. “I mean, I’m worried about them too. And well, kind of found out the hard way Ciecro wanted to be alone.”

“Oh…sure. The hard way,” Vragon replied, a little bit bothered to think if Ciecro yelled at Jasmine too. He entered the room and sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the lying Jasmine as she said, “How are you holding up?”

“I’ve had time to process it, though it still feels…unreal,” He admitted, looking at the window, “I mean, Miss Dresha has been good to us and just hearing that she’s gone is enough to well…” A sigh escaped his mouth as his head lowered and eyes shut curving into a scowl. “It makes me angry. Makes me frustrated and mad, but also very...” He didn’t finish, leaving an awkward silence for a few seconds before Jasmine spoke again.

“Vray, you think they’re going to be okay?”

Vragon looked up at her and shrugged. “Dunno, maybe since this isn’t the first loved one they’ve lost as much as I hate to say that. Though, it will probably take time. Especially since neither were up for talking about it.”

“Not even Jaron?” Jasmine inquired, her eyes widening a little at this news.

“Yep,” Vragon answered with a sorrowful sigh following. “Didn’t want to talk to me. I’m glad Dolly is talking to him, but yeah…It feels so weird not being the one he is or wants to talk to right now. Guess, it’s fair though. Dolly is probably better equipped right now than me.” The two looked down at the floor, their faces showing just how useless they felt right now.

“I wish there was something we could do for them too.” Jasmine stretched out a little. “It’s not good for them to go through this all alone, and I’m glad Dolly is at least helping one of them. But…I don’t know what to do to help and I wanna help. But I’m worried I’ll just make it worse.”

“I can relate though…” he paused for a second, gathering his words. “I can’t help but feel that…I’m part of all of this.”

“Why do you feel like that?” Jasmine asked, going back to a sitting position. Her sudden focus caused the fraxure to struggle to say it, so Jasmine decided to take a guess to help him out. “Is it because we think it was one of the red eyes after you that did it?”

He pointed at her with his middle fraxure finger and stated, “Yep…you called it.” After he dropped his claw back into his lap, he started twiddling them to help with how uneasy he felt. “I mean, if I wasn’t their target it wouldn’t be going on in the first place.”

Jasmine gave him a “really…” look making him feel even bad. She let out a sigh and thought about a nicer way to put it. After some time of thinking, she finally asked him, “Does Dolly share that sentiment?”

“Well no,” he admitted, stopping his finger play to look at her green eyes.

“Good, then don’t believe whatever is telling you that.”

“But that doesn’t make it right,” Vragon protested.

“How exactly do you make ‘death’ right, Vray?” Jasmine inquired, raising on of her brows in a quizzical way. “Death may be natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. And it’s not even like you asked them to come, it was merely you existing. How can you blame yourself for their actions on Dresha?”

“I…I dunno, it just. I mean, I’m part of the cause, correct?”

“And why does that matter let alone justify blaming you?” She stood on all fours and looked at him with assurance as she reasoned with him. “The same could be said for Ciecro and Jaron too. I mean, do you want to blame yourself for the death, because that’s an outlandish idea.” Jasmine eyed him with a determined look making his earlier frustrated shrink down when facing this.

He let out a little sniffle as Jasmine walked over. “Listen Vragon,” she said, softly brushing his head with her front right paw, “Now is a sensitive time for us all. But blaming yourself for the part you have in it isn’t going to make Jaron nor Ciecro feel better. The most we can do,” she paused for a second, as if trying to say it to herself as well, “is to wait for them to let us back in. Like Dolly would always say to me. ‘The worse you can do, is rush someone when they need to slow down.’ So let’s not rush them, but instead be there when they need us, okay?” She gave him a big smile as he sniffled, wiping his eyes a little.

“Okay,” Vragon said, putting on a weak but agreeing smile. He got to his feet feeling better. Suddenly, a strange grin crossed his face.

“What?” Jasmine asked.

“You know, you sounded a lot like Dolly there,” Vragon pointed out.

“Well duh.” Jasmine gave a little flip of her head and an egotistical grin, “I’m around her a lot. Of course I’d rub off of her good traits.”

“So you’re saying that her humor isn’t a good trait?” Vragon stated with a mischievous grin and brow raised.

“I mean, we are talking about the same Dolly, right?” Jasmine answered, not sure what Vragon was up to. “Her puns make me want to hit my head on something.”

“Well,” Vragon crossed his arms and leaned in a little. “Ciecro, likes them.”

“And?” She said, a little skeptical at what he was trying to hint at.

“Well, I’m just saying.” Vragon slowly started backing up to the door. “Maybe, he’ll appreciate you more, if you develop a sense of humor.”

“Excuse me?” Jasmine demanded, facing him. “What do you mean, ‘develop a sense of humor’? I can make good jokes.”

“Yeah…no.” Vragon darted down the hallway as Jasmine pursued demanding he take that back before she catches him.

As Vragon tried to avoid getting caught by Jasmine he couldn’t help but chuckle a little in his head. At least she’s not focused on Ciecro and I’m taking a break from Jaron. They both aren’t just kids anymore so I need to be patient and stuff. This looks like a good way to distract myself, I hope….Since I came up with this on the fly. Now to just avoid her killing me.

< O >

“This is beyond boring,” Rosa grumbled, looking up at the ceiling from her lying on a stone row, levitating rocks into orbits around a bigger one with her mental powers. “How long do they expect us to wait? I mean, did they think it’d take a psychic and someone with freaking vines a while to get everything set in order?” she ranted to herself aloud.

“Normally, I’d probably tell you not to worry your pretty little head over it, but even I’m getting impatient too,” Del admitted, sitting up to look at Rosa. “Want to do somethi-”


“Oh come on, am I that detestable to you?” Del protested.

“Where do I start?” Rosa said, closing her eyes and letting the rocks tall onto the floor on both sides of her.

Del gave an annoyed sigh. “You know, Rosa, you aren’t very fun. I bet Daemon is more fun than you.”

“Please,” Rosa replied, not looking or even so much as move her head. “Daemon is about as fun as Plageues is charming.”

“So, then why do you hang out with him anyways, if you clearly don’t like him?” Del asked, leaning back a little.

“I don’t hate him if that’s what you are asking.” Rosa opened her eyes and looked at the ceiling. “He’s just…very specific and focused. It can get old.”

“Ah yes, he is a male of work and all.” Del laid back down and the two looked up at the ceiling. “So…what do you think of him?”

Rosa rolled her eyes as she rolled onto her side, trying to indicate she wasn’t interested in talking about Daemon.

Of course, this just made Del even more curious. “Oh, so it’s more than just teacher then, right.”

“He didn’t teach me Delilah,” Rosa grumbled rolling to her other side. She was about to continue but stopped abruptly. Her eyes looked to the left as she rested on her side, showing slight discomfort from almost going into it.

“Oh? So what is he to you then?” Del inquired sitting up once again to look at the now unsure Rosa.

“…It’s none of your business.” Rosa’s eyes returned to their stern self and she rolled to her other side.

Del looked up, pondering on what Rosa was hiding. She gave herself a little devious chuckle. Maybe I should ask the Ghost when he gets here. Might rile her up.

Del’s thoughts were interrupted however as a third voice called out to them. “Slacking are we?” Del and Rosa sat up to look at the newcomer.

It was a lurantis with light tan lines for color and whose pincers were slightly smaller than average but very sharp and durable. She looked at the two in a rather disapproving manner as she stopped about seven feet away and continued what she had started upon entering. “Or do you both just enjoy doing the bare minimum?”

“Excuse me‽” Rosa spat, getting off her temporary stone bed, “What do you mean by this, ‘bare minimum’ crap? We set this all up here you twat.”

“Oh yes,” the lurantis insincerely agreed, “Well, then you must not want to get picked for setting these things up again, because aligning some rows is what anyone would define as ‘bare minimum’ for an Iris meeting.”

“Tck, and what would you know about it, Ipsiato?” Rosa scoffed.

“More than you, apparently,” Ispaito calmly countered. Placing a pincer on her hip and giving a rather condescending look, Ipsiato added, “or do you have a different explanation on why I’m on the center iris rank and you’re still mid-tier?”

“Hmph,” Rosa grumbled crossing her arms. “Simple, you’ve been here longer.”

“And that helps your case about me not knowing anything about it, because?” Ispiato gave a calm scowl to Rosa’s clearly aggressive one.

As these two locked their stares like blades, Del got off her spot and walked over. “So, Ipsiato, why are you here so early?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” Ipsiato responded, turning her displeased frown now to Del. “I’m here to ensure things are set up accordingly. What kind of leader would I be if I didn’t make sure things were going smoothly?”

“Oh please dear, don’t have me answer that.” Del gave a little giggle at her subtle little shot that made Ipsiato sneer at her.

“Anyways,” the annoyed lurantis said, walking past them to look at the set up. “This could use some work. So let’s start with-” Ipsiato stopped at the sound of Rosa giving an annoyed moan. She spun around and said in an impatient tone, “Oh please, you’re a psychic; you have about as much excuse to be lazy as Corviac has reason to teach anyone.”

“Hmph, well why don’t you do it yourself if you’re sooooooo much classier,” Rosa sassed.

“You’re supposed to be an adult, Rosa,” Ipsiato rebuked.

Rosa faced the grass type, took a deep breath, and snarkily said, “And I am one. It’s just I don’t take kindly to miss ‘I know everything’ coming in and lecturing me for no reason than to bolster her ego. What is it, your lifeline?”

“What‽” Ipsiato shouted as the two began hashing it out verbally, back and forth.

Del just watched, very amused at the fight going on. However, suddenly a voice came from behind her.

“Does Lesath have you to thank for setting them off?”

Del turned around to see a wobbuffet no more than two inches away from her; his face just facing hers and quite closely. She gave a little soft chuckle and took two steps back. “No, that’s just them letting out the bi**h in them.”

He gave her a rather skeptical look, despite his eyes being shut. “Lesath think you are the lying.”

“I mean,” Del defended, “How long have you been observing?”

The wobbuffet gave a little wobble and replied with a monotone high voice, “Since Lesath got here three minutes after Ipsiato did.”

This answer amazed Del. “Wait really? You’ve been here that long? How come I didn’t notice you?”

Lesath didn’t change face, just merely stated. “Lesath very good at not drawing attention to Lesath. Helps when fight of bi**hes goes on and Lesath make little noise when moving.”

“Right,” Del answered, drawing out the word. As she was still processing this, Lesath spoke up once more.

“So did plant lady cause this?”

“No,” Del replied, getting a little annoyed at not being called by name. “‘Plant Lady’ didn’t cause this.”

Lesath paused as he just kept his face locked onto her form, remaining still and starting to make Del feel a little uneasy. “Lesath detect mockery,” He said slowly, “Does plant lady know what Lesath think of mockers?” Before Del could reply, Lesath leaned forwards a little and answered, “Inner iris council member, Lesath, think mockers should be limbless or in plant lady’s case…headless.”

Del froze at this as Lesath moved back to his original posture. They both stood there in awkward silence, the only sound being Ipsiato and Rosa’s argument getting louder by each passing minute. “They’re arguing starting to bug Lesath,” Lesath stated, twitching a little in annoyance.

“Correct.” Del looked up to see, who said this. Her eyes fell upon a rampardos entering. His body looked a little cut and some spikes nicked or broken, but still in good shape and fortitude. His face had the normal red eyes like them all, but a few cracks were around his right eye that went up a little to the start of the blue round head spike that rampardos have. “I took the liberty to have a look around before entering in here.”

“Why?” Del asked, “I mean, no one is going to attack let alone think there’s some kind of-”

“I’m the cautionary type.” He gave her a little stern look as he headed left to look around.

More like the paranoid type. Del muttered in her head.

“That not nice thing to think say,” Lesath suddenly stated.

Del looked at Lesath confused at first, till she figured he had read her mind. “You know,” she said, turning to him, displeased. “It’s awfully rude to read a lady’s thoughts without permission.”

“Lesath read everyone he can, in case Lesath is required to terminate them.”

The response sent a surge of unease throughout Del. She decided to leave the plain-faced wobbuffet alone and instead head over to Skrelle, who was busy looking at the walls. “So uhm…” Del started, trying to stay a conversation, “Skrelle.”

Without a word, he turned to face her and gave a respectful nod, something Del wasn’t quite expecting and was a little flattered by it.

“Oh, well uhm…” Del looked down at the stone rows as a sigh escaped her mouth. “Do you know what will be on the agenda?”

“I shouldn’t discuss the topics before it starts, however.” Skrelle looked at the wall, causing Del to once again return her attention to him. “I can say that today’s meeting will be focused on reassuring the members.”

“Hmm…What about updates? Like the Amestria project?” As she asked, Skrelle’s eyes narrowed in a way that seemed almost bothered. “Oh, sorry…I’ll wait.” Did I say something wrong?

“Yes you did,” Lesath commented as he waddled over. “You said something that bothered Skrelle.”

Del and Skrelle gave aggravated moans. “Lesath,” Skrelle said, turning to face him, speaking in a tone trying not to lecture him as much as just calmly correcting. “I appreciate the concern and informing me, but you don’t need to keep tabs on her.”

“But Lesath heard question. Lesath answer question that was relevant to her and you.” Lesath looked up to him, his eyes still closed. “Did plant lady annoy you, Skrelle? Should I punish plant lad-”

“No, Lesath, she didn’t do anything wrong.”

Lesath looked at Del and muttered. “But plant lady said you were paranoid, therefore she on Lesath’s suspect list.”

“Suspect list?” Del repeated, confused and slight bit concerned.

“Yes,” Lesath stated, “list of mons Lesath will watch and remove should they prove threateni-”

“Lesath, stop!” Skrelle harshly commanded, and Lesath snapped his focus to Skrelle. “A simple phrase that is critiquing me isn’t enough to warrant her name on a hit list.”

“Wait, hit list‽” Del exclaimed, looking at Skrelle for answers.

Skrelle gave a sigh. “He has it in his mind that anyone that openly shows some kind of disapproval of me or other members of the inner Iris is enough to deem them suspicious. Pay it no mind.”

Del gave a reluctant nod as she looked back at Lesath. Lesath moved his arm’s end to his forehead and said, “Lesath won’t punish if Skrelle request Lesath not to. Be nice to Skrelle, else Lesath will burn you to ashes and eat them.”

Del froze, Skrelle facewalled, and Lesath gave a little smile. “Skrelle,” he said, looking up to rampardos, “those two bi**hes are still fighting. Beginning to annoy Lesath.”

“Ugh, I’ll handle it,” Skrelle stated with annoyance. So they keep their tongues at least.

Skrelle started walking over to the arguing girls with Lesath waddling behind him. “But their tongues are root cause for noisiness.”

“I don’t care Lesath,” Skrelle grumbled, “we can’t just take everyone’s tongues that annoy us.”

“Why not?” Lesath genuinely asked.

What the actual fu**? She said in her head, these are our inner council members? To think, I finally go to a meeting and find out one of our heads if a psychopath that reads min-…oh dear. Del froze as she looked at Lesath, whose face was directed at hers, despite eyes being shut. Del just stood still as Lesath mouthed something that made her shudder, then waddled after Skrelle.

“I think it says a lot about you if you’re getting riled up at being asked to do a job correctly,” Ipsiato shouted.

Rosa gave a huff and hair flip. “How about you take your sorry ass and fix this place up to meet your stupidly high bar standards instead of demanding it from me. I did do the job fine; you just want it to fit your polished standards because you’re an overachiever that annoys everyone around you.”

Ipsiato lashed out, “How about you stop acting like a little girl!”

“How about you take initiative to adjust the room to suit your sensitivity yourself instead of asking me to do extra for the sake of your dumb-”

“How about you broads stop arguing over a simple room layout for a meeting.” Skrelle gave an angry stare at them both and in a low tone added. “It is petty and stupid to argue over something like this. Ipsiato you need not be set off so easily considering your rank and Rosa you should honor the words of your superior even if it sounds silly.”

The two crossed their arms and turned their heads away with huffs. The both gave annoyed stares at the walls they were now looking at while Skrelle gave a sigh as Lesath waddled up.

“Broads are rude. Lesath punish rude mons.” The two rolled their eyes at Lesath’s words. “…Lesath serious.” He started flailing his arms around. “Lesath enact punishment fo-”

“Lesath…guard duty…now.” Skrelle gave him a stern look and the wobbuffet faced Skrelle. He gave an obedient nod and waddled his way back to the stairs.

“Lesath tear off Ipsiato’s pincers and Rosa’s body dress later,” he muttered loud enough for the four to hear as he left the room, leaving Rosa and Ipsiato to sneer at him when he left.

“Moron,” Rosa grumbled.

“Dull-witted,” Ispiato muttered.

“Enough,” Skrelle ordered, facing the two. “Enough bickering. This is an important meeting, as you know full well, Ipsiato.” He focused his scowl at Ipsiato, whose angry face slowly started to go ashamed.

The lurantis’s head fell slightly as she uttered a sigh. “Yes sir…sorry, Skrelle.”

“It is pardoned,” Skrelle answered with a calmer, friendlier expression. He gave her nod and turned his focus to Rosa. “Rosa,” Rosa looked back at him with a scowl, “All of you go with Lesath and keep watch. I will finish preparing things here.”

Rosa gave a little huff and started heading out with Del, who was already at the stairs but not because she was asked to. More just so Lesath couldn’t sneak behind her, even though she hadn’t taken off her stare on the wobbuffet since he lipped something threatening to her.

Ipsiato was about to go too, but stopped due to a sudden Skrelle’s request.

“Yes?” she asked, looking at the older rampardos.

Skrelle’s eyes lowered and looked to the side. “You know…I feel uneasy about having this meeting.”

“Are you really concerned we’ll be attacked or something?” Ipsiator asked, in a rather concerned tone. “I mean, I understand if you feel uneasy knowing there are potential troublemakers in the members attending bu-”

“It’s not that.” He walked over to the stairs and looked up them. “I…I feel uneasy with our recent moves.”

“You mean Amestria specifically?” she guessed.

“Yes…maybe…I don’t know.” His eyes shut and head fell. “I just hope, I’m not chosen to go there.”

Ipsiato walked over and stood next to him. “Well…I’m sure you won’t be chosen. More than likely, they’ll keep you here in Sorphia and all. I mean, no offense, but you are getting a little old.”

Skrelle gave her a little jesting snort. “Old huh? Well, good to know this sixty-eight year old can still silence a room with a stern call to order.”

They chuckled a little. “I have a feeling we’ll need it.” Ipsiato gave him a warm smile as Skrelle looked back with his own. They stared at each other’s red eyes for a little with mutual respect till Ispiato, finally, started heading over to the stairs, leaving Skrelle to just watch her ascend the stairs out of sigh.

Old huh, Skrelle though as he turned around, looking at the area ahead and assessing how to approach it. He cracked his neck on both sides as he gave a determined smirk. Well…I still can do a lot. I’m not ready to stop now. Better than just sitting around trying to do something I can’t.


Ipsiato - [Ip - see - ah - toe]

Lesath - [Leh - sath]

Skrelle - [Skrehl]

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
– Unknown


Darkinium Z

Dani California
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Hours Ago
5,857 posts
13.8 Years
Interesting memory/soul link between Daemon and Trishula there. Seems like Trishula is questioning his role in the organization and such.

Finally Swift and Seliph get a heartfelt conversation of what's been going on. Glad Seliph finally clears up his bottled up emotions. Him calling Swift Uncle there is sweet.

Last scene looks like a few new characters have been introduced. I'm guessing they're other members of the red eye council? Got a bit crowded and was trying to keep track who is who (Lesath is easier though due to his speaking style haha).

A couple grammar/style stuff before I go. I've been noticing you're going passive voice again. For instance, "gave a nod", "let out a sigh", etc. In those instances active voice would make the narration read and flow better (he nodded, she sighed, etc).

“Uh…right.” Daemon nodded slowly, flustered but also a little depression at them ending so quickly.
"A little depressed" you mean?

Foul Play
[Chapter Nine up!]


Age 24
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
21,156 posts
7.8 Years
Reviewing Chapter Four.

Ah yes, there's the attack we've been anticipating for the past three chapters. It's quite a good effect to slowly build the anticipation for three chapters and then on the fourth to suddenly ratchet it up several notches. I'm glad you didn't break the tension yet though and have instead elected to keep it at high alert for a while.

The action itself is quite good also. It was nice to see a display of just how formidable Freya and Gathor are. You keep the sequences short and concise, which you should with fight scenes, it helps translate the speed and urgency to the reader. That being said, you don't need to totally abandon description when you make the switch to the shorter, sharper phrasing used for combat. It would add a lot to the visualisation of the scene if you added a little more description to the actions being undertaken. Remember, adjectives are your friend.

You did some more nice character work in this chapter too. It was good that Freya, Gathor and Tetheron's personalities didn't mysteriously vanish during combat like can sometimes happen. I also appreciate the reminder that Seliph is still a kid, after setting up how much more mature he is than his younger siblings, but also the hinting at his strength as he was able to largely resist Rosa. These factors will certainly become very important as the story continues, because Seliph is more or less your central protagonist at this stage.

But, back to your villains. You did a nice job of setting up their personalities and it was a nice choice to see a Gardevoir presented a a villain for a change. In particular, I'd like to commend the bait and switch you pull with them though. Throughout the chapter, you very much played up on Rosa's power and generally made her seem more like the one "in-charge". But as things progressed, the real dynamic with Plageues became more pronounced and I think by the end it wouldn't be wrong to assume he is actually the greater threat.

Only other thing I want to mention, is that you should remember to start a new paragraph when a new character speaks.

Venia Silente

Inspectious. Good for napping.

on the second floor's nest
Seen 16 Hours Ago
Posted 2 Weeks Ago
896 posts
11.4 Years

First I'm gonna say that as per my checking of the thread I'll be fixing the Pomabork for chapters 12 to 16 tonight and tomorrow as I post this.

As for reading, I took that pending shot at chapters 6-10 for this review. And I'll start by saying Seliph is cute and shouldn't deserve this mukty life of having his dad ded in front of him. That kind of thing changes a mon. Sending hugs and don't do that again.

Arriving to Miss Dresha and the letter was the latest I got to when reading the old version so I guess I can start from there which *technically* means Ch. 7 oh well.

Now, I get to finally meet adolescent!Ciecro which is so... expected. Like your typical wannabe cool and rad human teenager except with a tail on fire and they either don't know how to read or don't care about danger signs. A bit of YOLO it seems.

It is a bit disheartening to see the family in the now dysfunctional state of what remains, given Ciecro's general behaviour. That part where Ciecro doesn't really think anything of Seliph and Jaron is like "bad brother", leaves one hoping things get better soon.

Hmmm we also get to meet Vragon and:

“You liar!” Vragon slithered, “You could have easily just said 'hello' or possibly 'beg your pardon' instead of being goofy.”
Uuuh he *was* doing that like five times while climbing the ladder you know, lol. He has this personality that I like. Shame he's not a Totodile line member.

Anyway we have some worldbuilding. There's pendants, a world map that honestly I would like to see an artistic rendition of, mentions of Legendaries having offspring which is nice except that offspring can not be an Axew so off Vragon goes I guess! You can't win every day.

(That said, how would offspring between a Reshiram and Zekrom even work? They're supposed to be two halves of the same being or something, dunno how are you going with that piece of lore in this setting)

I'm quite interested in the mapping. We get a sense that the world is big and regions are apart, but we are not told how they are positioned compared to each other really and barring the mention of distance nothing feels like it describes the Journey Vragon might be seeking to would be difficult. I don't know if that changes later but, it's a thing that is notorious as a hole that is left too abstract because of being in a written medium.

So Vragon (does that name sound familiar) is an Axew line specimen who... seems to have the ISO Standard PMD MC backstory? Appearing at random somewhere, suffering amnesia, being related to a particular trinket. Except in this case interestingly enough when they do try to make sense out of things, I quote, "Just when a piece comes into play ten more holes pop up". This helps to speak of a complex word without actually pointing to any of the complexity, clever!

(Why don't they hire a Detective Pikachu to find out Vragon's origins? :p )

While I do like Ciecro as a character somewhat, he just feels like he's already built-up with a number of classical flaws, ready to be pried upon such as his reliance on strength and his inability to open up. Also probably his inability to communicate any clear sign of distress or sadness (no, silence doesn't count when you also do it every other day) and I'm betting one of those is going to be his downfall. Compared to that, Jaron seems more expressive which should help him, and he has the advantage of being a lovable Totodile member too. And having at least one (1) friend.

Also, this quote is a bit sad.

"Don' worry, this just happens and all. My folks also made sure to grind into my head to make sure I don't lose what matters tah me. You, Jaz, my brother and ever dweeby Vragon have been good to me.
Notice who didn't get mentioned (besides Miss Dreshha).

Character-wise it's a good thing to show up that Jaron is still learning and willing (somewhat) to learn, unlike Ciecro who seems to have a "already done" attitude. Speaking of Jaron:

"Hey, you're the one wanting to get into electrical circuitry
"Croconaw found fried on an alley, acquaintances say he missed out the Electric > Water memo. Film at eleven."

And I finally get a bit of screentime on Seliph. That's good. He seems to be busy with what he said he was gonna do after all these years so, that's a good thing going for him.

Now, Seliph might want to... delve into chemistry? Hey! It's good to see mons going for STEM, those things are important! I mostly hope he does well, and at least this is something that would give him something to speak about with Ciecro once both of them get their degrees.

Well, this is all for tonight, I'll hopefully be commenting more on things during the weekend, or next weekend. I do want to catch up a bit more (at least up to the parts I am cleaning up lol).

And besides, "someone" promised me there's Nidoran screentime further ahead!
Venia Silente - Consulting Worldbuilder
Background... some day.
Fic stuff~

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Nidoran : Carnivine


Say it with me (Vray-gun)

As if I'd be one to say
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted December 4th, 2019
285 posts
2 Years
Contains: Language, Violence [14]
Chapter 36

Ciecro stared at the dry, dirt ground, shielded from the rain by the overhead roof. He didn’t know how long he had been sitting here, just thinking or letting his emotions swirl in him, but all he knew was that it felt like ages.

I…argh, I don’ know what tah do. Sitting ‘ere, ain’ doin’ nothin’ but… Ciecro closed his eyes as memories invaded his head. Why her? Voices filled his head as a few tears started to roll. His head drifted back…back to a particular time. He could hear his name being called as a memory popped in his head.

There she was, the old fish staring at him from the memory. Looking at him with a concerned look. She’d always had dat… he thought in his head as the memory played almost automatically.

“Oh Ciecro,” Miss Dresha said in a soft tone at a younger charmeleon sitting on the rock pouting as she inspected his face. A sigh escaped her lips as she looked at him. “What happened?”

Ciecro’s head fell down a little as he recalled and mumbled the exact response younger him made. “I don’ wanna tawlk abou’ it.” Something about saying that now just felt…wrong.

“Well…when do you want to?”

Ciecro looked up as he recalled the curling motion he did in response to this question and only tensed up as she continued.

“Ciecro, please tell me. I care, that’s why I ask. You can trust me.”

Those words imprinted deep into his mind as his right claw started shaking a little. This was all too familiar. Dresha treating his face after a fight…but he knew exactly why he was so tense at the time. What younger him was afraid to say.

“It was dat day…” he mumbled to himself. “When I did dat ting to dat monferno…” He watched the scene again in his head. Every detail, every motion, he had noticed it all. He could feel the tension he had felt then especially the chill that filled his spine as Dresha talked again.

“Ah, I see,” her voice uttered in his mind.

Ciecro remained still though he recalled clearly him pulling back a little bit bothered at what she meant. A little grin crossed his face as he remembered what followed.

“Ciecro,” she looked up to younger him. “Why do you keep getting into fights?”

I didn’ know, den… he thought as his grin widened a little. The little sharpness he remembered the annoyed reply of “I don’ know, okay!” Followed with a growl. He looked straight, remembering what a sissy he was.

His mind then continued down the memory’s path.

“Well…what if you were fighting, Jaron?” Dresha inquired.

Ciecro gave a little chuckle as he thought about how he took this back then. How he snapped his head straight up and looked at her with a shocked face, almost as if he was given a bad surprise. “What did I say?” Ciecro mulled for a second trying to recall. “Oh right…‘I’d neveh hi’ Jaron like dat!’ Heheh…did little good to de old fish. She coul’ see righ’ trough me…” His eyes lowered a little as his grin faded to a more downcast look. “Dough…dat ain’t hard.”

After giving his head a little shake, he resumed remembering the conversation. Her trying to calm him down saying it was okay to talk and to please not get mad, while he was sitting there doing the exact opposite. It was amusing, looking back on it now but at the same time, it left him disheartened.

Ciecro looked at his fist, the same one that had beat up that monferno and not too long ago almost grounded Seliph’s head into the ground. “Tck…” was all he could say when gazing upon that reckless dumb fist, shaking like a newborn babe being held. So full of energy and yet so stupid and aggressive. Nothing like what he wanted it to be…nothing like Gathor.

He sighed as he returned his focus back to the memory. A few tears began to form almost on cue, due to this part of the conversation coming up. He remembered how he started tearing up and trying not to look into her eyes as he tried to finally admit getting into a fight and beating someone’s head in over some dumb name-calling.

That feeling of shame and embarrassment felt all too real for the charmeleon; a simple scare of what one could do that was enough to make him fear it even to this day. As he started wiping away the guilty and ashamed tears, he thought about what came next, about the reason this memory was so special to him.

“There, there, Ciecro it’s okay. You can be brave and tell me,” her voice encouraged in the memory. That moment was a tipping point for little him to do his best in being honest about it.

“‘Be brave’…”

Of course, it wasn’t all fixed and Ciecro knew that. The worriedness still gripped younger him and those came back too. He moved his right claw over his heart as he thought about the doubts he needed answers for. “But…What if yah…What if wha’ I did makes yah stawp carin’ fo’ me, like Seliph? I don’t want you to go or tink less o’ me.”

Ciecro’s grin returned a little as he thought about Dresha’s response. How she didn’t do what he was expecting, but instead adjusted. “Ciecro,” he recalled her saying. “How about I do something for you then.”

“Do what?” the younger him replied, his stupid head being tilted and sniffling like a bullies leftovers. It was enough to make Ciecro smirk at how overly pathetic he must have looked being vulnerable.

“Well, if you’re afraid to tell me, you don’t have to. Instead, let me show you that I don’t change when it comes to caring about someone. So, I’m going to give you something.”

His eyes narrowed at what happened next. Remembering Dresha diving down into the pool of water and coming back a few minutes later with a gift for him. A little stone.

He smiled, standing up and looking over at the rain as if he wasn’t disgusted by it at all. He crossed his arms and repeated the rest of the conversation from memory. “‘Well, that’s a little shock stone I let out excess electricity in.’ den I dropped it all disgusted tinkin’ it was some girl’s thing boy’s shouldn’ touch. She laughed and calmed me down. And den…”

Ciecro moved his right fist in front, extending it straight out to the rain as his left fell to the side. His eyes scowled but his mouth went to a determined smile. “An’ she said… ‘I’m gonna teach yah sometin’”

He grunted as he ignited his fist in a surge of electrical energy. Its yellow chaostic radiance illuminating a little bit of the area outside the emura light’s reach. A few of the sparks coming from it would climb up the rain only to inevitable fall to the ground.

He shut his eyes. He slowed his breathing. “I’m gonna teach yah deh move…Tunderpunch.” Once he finished saying those words, he let his move stop and lowered his fist back to his side. His head was downcast and his eyes were narrow.

She taugh’ me i’…trustin’ me to neveh use i’ recklessly. I can’t eveh do dat.

His eyes closed as he thought about the rest of the memory.

His concerns. “Bu’ wha’ if I hurt someone?”

Her answer. “Ciecro, you’re a young mon and it’s high time we start having you build yourself into a direction. Ciecro, whenever you are angry or feel like you want to hurt, surge all your feelings into a Thunderpunch and punch a rock. See what power you can do and build yourself from there.”

Him asking her how she knew and her just calling herself observant. Challenging him to be responsible and him voicing his worry and lack of trust in it.

Ciecro moved his right fist to one of the wooden beams holding up the little roof. His eyes narrowing as he thought about the last bit before they nuzzled. ‘You’re only a boy Ciecro. You will mess up, but that just means you have more reason to be better. You see Ciecro?’

His eyes shut. Yah knew how to help me…but I couldn’’ help yah. His fist tightened as his eyes shut and squinted firmly. I’m sorry, I really am. A few tears left his shut eyes as he sniffled. Yah gave me a goal an’ a move…an’ I couldn’ keep yah safe. I can’t…eveh let dat happen again. Fo’ yah sake…an’ mine.

< O >

The rain had lightened up a little in the street of Frantal. It was nearing midnight and already most of the town’s emura lights had been dimmed. No one roamed the streets save for Seliph and Swift, who were heading back both in silent. It wasn’t a tense silence but neither really wanted to start conversing.

Swift was rubbing his arm under his rain hood. His head was uncovered due to avidly enjoying getting his head wet while Seliph, on the other hand, had his on as his head was staring at the ground as they walked, both deep in thought. It wasn’t till they were nearing their last turn that Seliph broke the silence.

“Swift,” he said, startling the heliolisk a little. “How did you and Garon become friends?”

Swift fumbled around for a second, trying to get words together. “Isn’t it a little late to be asking personal questions?” he pointed out with a little chuckle.

Seliph stopped, prompting Swift to turn around perplexed and confused. Seliph leaned his back against the nearest building and said, “I have time.”

“H-huh?” Swift drew closer looking at him with curiosity. “Well,” he said, deciding it was alright to start. “It was more when I found out he looked up to me that I really started letting him in and all.”

“Oh?” Seliph asked, crossing his arms.

“Yeah, I mean,” Swift looked at an emura light across from where they were, his eyes lowering as the recounting began. “I grew up in an orphanage in Bohrmia. I think it was a few years before Garon arrived. Heh, I didn’t pay him much mind at first. I mean, it’s not like he was nor would be the only new kid to come and live there.”

Seliph looked at him as if to ask him that same question. Swift’s head rose and he looked straight forward, prompting Seliph to listen extra carefully.

“I suppose it started when one day I found him crying and stuff. I guess…I was feeling sympathetic that day. Gave him some pointers, he was extremely clinging, and soon I took him under my wing. He was a crybaby whenever trouble happened but it felt nice you know.”

“Nice…as in helping someone?” Seliph inquired.

“Not exactly,” Swift gestured his arm out into a few spins. “It’s like, how you help and how they feel towards you afterwards. Gratitude and all you know.” He leaned back on his arms, folded behind his head and chuckled. “I admit, I was a bit selfish and self-centered…I think that’s where he sort of rubbed off onto me and stuff.”

“What’s wrong with enjoying him admiring you?” Seliph asked, looking at the heliolisk.

“I dunno if there was anything wrong, to be honest.” Swift looked up to the sky and slowly said, “I just…I just didn’t like my mindset then. Enjoying more him following me like a baby rather than actually being my equal. I guess…it felt great being superior.” Swift looked down with a little guilty expression on his face.

Seliph got off the wall, but didn’t immediately say anything; he just stood there observing the heliolisk, who looked like he was going on down an unpleasant memory lane. “Well,” Seliph finally interjected, putting his webbed fingers on Swift’s shoulder. “It’s not like you think that way now.”

“Well…even if it isn’t. I just don’t like it. Becoming the very thing I disliked, you know.” Swift crossed his arms. “I didn’t like the older kids, for how they garnered the attention and all. Treating it like some kind of drug or something to get enjoyment instead of being actual leaders of the pack.” Swift bent down to pick up a little stick and tossed it as he said, “And yet there I was, doing the very same thing to Garon. Treating him as someone to use rather than really being friends with him.”

Seliph took a moment to process this. The words sounded a bit too close to home for him. Is he trying to imply something? Seliph asked himself, with slight skepticism. However, he quickly discarded that idea as the heliolisk started on the second half of the story.

“And it’s weird. It wasn’t till I got out of that complex that we finally decided to get better lives. I taught him how to run fast since well, I taught myself and whatnot. Being alone and all that. It was fun being a mentor to him. And how that eventually led to us to run away and get to some town where we were able to get better help. Eventually, we even wound up in Norfair’s academies, as hard as it is to believe.” Swift looked up to Seliph with a newly added smile. “And those academy days were some of the best days of my life. Garon grew so much then, and honestly…” Swift shuffled his feet a little as he looked down with a little bit of embarrassment going over his face. “He’s gotten stronger than me by far.”

“He is a garchomp to be fair,” Seliph pointed out.

“Well yes of course, but…” Swift paused as if trying to think about how to say it. Despite trying to clarify, Swift gave up trying to explain after a few minutes of thinking. “Nah, it’s not important.”

Seliph was a little put off by this. His eyes narrowed as in his head he began figuring on what Swift could have meant. Potential envy? The thought surged in his mind, as he was snapped back into reality by Swift calling out to him.

“Come on, let’s head back.” The heliolisk started walking on, putting his rain hood on his head, another subtle indication their conversation had left something. Seliph gave a little cough as he followed after Swift, a lot on his mind as well.

It didn’t take them long to finally be in sight of the lodge. As they headed that way, Swift spied Ciecro sitting outside in the walk-in shelter, seeming deep in thought as he looked deeply into his right hand. “Huh? Hey Ciecro!” Swift called out with a wave, causing Ciecro to turn his intense gaze to them a little surprised at being called at. “Hey, why are you out here?”

Seliph by this time had joined up with Swift, and they both were looking at Ciecro, who was giving them a melancholy stare back before letting it look back at the ground. “Uh,” Swift began but Seliph stopped him with a hand on the shoulder.

“Dresha, remember,” He whispered.

“Oh…right.” Swift gave a nod and decided to leave Ciecro alone. Seliph, however, didn’t go with him, prompting Swift to ask but Seliph assured him it was fine. Swift reluctantly went on thinking, I hope this doesn’t make things worse, Seliph.

Ciecro didn’t look up as Seliph approached and let out a little announcing cough.

“It’s wet out here after all. Something on your mind?” Ciecro didn’t reply prompting Seliph to try something else. “Ciecro…uhm.” Dang, this is hard, Seliph uttered in his head as he crossed his arms. He then offered his hand to Ciecro and tried to persuade him to come inside. “I know…that the news must be hard. But catching a cold won’t be good for you. So how about we come inside.”

Ciecro looked at the hand reaching out to him while it dripped a little from the rainwater still hitting and running down Seliph’s head and arm. “…I’m fine,” Ciecro grumbled as he let his head sink again.

Seliph wasn’t convinced. He let out a sigh and just stood there, wondering if he should try further. What’s the point? He reasoned in his head. It’s clear he doesn’t like me anymore or holds a grudge at me. I mean, the crack he left where my head was should be proof enough of that. Seliph was about to head in but stopped before he even moved his legs. One by one, words popped into his head.

Be careful, playing with others like that won’t always end well.

See, right there. That’s your problem. You keep wanting to do things yourself when you clearly aren’t capable of doing it yourself. I don’t know why you ‘need’ to do this, but I think it says a lot when you talk about having your brothers go to safety as ‘out of the way’.

Naw, we still should try and be a close family, but you're yahself and so am I. Don' do your own battles wit us in mind. I wanna rely on you when I need yahs and I want you tah do de same. Watch my back and let me watch yahs. Be angry at me. I wan'tya to be honest and I don' wish I was de perfect father, but one you can love while punching his face in.

Seliph’s head fell low. Processing all these words flooding his mind as if they had all been intentionally released at the same time. His fists clenched and his eyes narrowed. A sigh escaped his mouth as he looked at Ciecro. He’s hurting I can see that. Seliph said to himself, But what do I do? What do I say? What can I say? Seliph’s mind then darted to the memory, of his brothers making that necklace for him and for just a brief moment, the down scowling charmeleon in front of him looked like his sad charmeleon brother, crying about something. After taking a big breath, he decided to at least try.

“Ciecro,” he spoke in a serious but calm tone. “You shouldn’t be all alone out here.”

Ciecro’s scowl shot up to look at him. “Why yah sayin’ dat?” Ciecro asked, almost as if threatening Seliph with the question.

“…Well, it’s not good to bottle up feelings like that.” Seliph put a webbed hand on his side and added, “I mean, they’re here to talk to you right?”

“Why do yah care, what I’m feelin’?” Ciecro asked, his tone lowering a little as his head backed away a little.

Seliph raised a brow. Something was off about Ciecro. The death could be the cause, Seliph figured, but then why would Ciecro even talk. Seliph half expected Ciecro to either sock him in the face for that or to just get up and leave. After thinking for a few seconds, Seliph answered with, “Well…just because it’s not exactly my business doesn’t mean that I can’t give you advice.”

The answer seemed to frustrate Ciecro more, his scowl growing a bit as his head lowered. “Seliph,” Ciecro spoke slowly, “Why…do yah care?”

Seliph paused, quite unsure what to say. “Well…I’m not sure. I guess, I just wanted to see if you were okay.”

Ciecro looked over to Seliph and his expression seemed to be less hostile. He felt sick. Looking at the brother that had left him so long ago and hearing him say these things just made Ciecro angry. But, he couldn’t stop his questions now. He needed to see it. See the monster who wrote that note was there. Ciecro stood up, startling Seliph and looked down at him with a fierce scowl. “I wanna straigh’ answer from yahs.”

Seliph looked up at him, a mix of still processing but at least knowing something very important was about to be asked.

Ciecro took a breath and tried to lessen the anger in his face. He looked at Seliph, trying his best to look composed and strong. “Why did yah write dat letteh an’ leave us wit Dresha?”

Seliph paused, just looking at Ciecro’s deep orange irises. He felt overwhelmed by this sudden deep question posed to him. A flurry of questions, anxiety, and worry filled his head. Seliph stood up, shoved his hands into his pockets, and looked out. He started to try and think of what to say, as Ciecro stood next to him, looking at him with a face that was trying to be patient but clearly wasn’t looking forward to the answer either.

What do I say? What can I say? Seliph let out a sigh as he looked at Ciecro. “I…I don’t know…how to say it.”

“Do yah best,” Ciecro bluntly said, his eyes curving into more of a scowl.

Seliph was clearly losing the fight and sadly he had no clue what to do. Seliph’s mind then flashed back to Dolly’s harshness with him, the too Swift and Garon’s constant interrogations of him. He started to make little noises as one would do when they didn’t know what to say when they should be talking.

Ciecro let out a growl as he suddenly seized Seliph’s shoulders. “I want an answeh!” he shouted.

Seliph just froze, dumbfounded and completely shocked at this action. Seliph was too overwhelmed by all that had just happened to utter anything more than just a few stutters.

This didn’t go well for Ciecro. He firmly clenched Seliph’s right shoulder with his left and gave his older brother a hard punch to the face with his right. The hit sent Seliph onto his back in the wet ground from where the rain was falling. “Why can’t yah say something’‽ I wanna, know so f**kin’ tell me! Yah tink I can’t take it‽” Seliph just looked at him, too shocked and confused to reply. Ciecro gave a little snarl as he grumbled, “F**k dis.” With a harsh push, Ciecro opened the door and slammed it behind him, leaving Seliph to process what just happened in the mud.

Ciecro stormed to his and Jaron’s room, fuming in his head. His right claw seized the handle and was about to enter but stopped upon hearing Jaron and Dolly talking inside.

“I just…” his little brother said with a sniffle or two afterwards.

“Hey, it’s okay Jaron,” the voice of Dolly said in there, “I understand. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you all stay okay.”

Ciecro’s rage and anger slowly calmed as his scowl looked at his hand, firmly gripping the knob. The hand was slightly shaking once more and instantly, Ciecro’s former fury was replaced with an expression of disturbance. He wrenched his hand from the knob as if worried it’d take it and held the wrist firmly with his left. To say he was a nervous wreck would be an understatement.

“Ciecro?” he heard a voice say, and instantly looked in that direction. It was Swift at the end of the hallway, wearing a confused expression on his face. “Ciecro, are you oka-” was all Ciecro heard before leaving the hall and going around the corner. Once he was out of sight, he shoved his back to the wall, panting a nervous pant.

He heard steps of Swift coming and tensed up, but suddenly the sound of creaking filled the room too. The voices of Dolly and Swift started talking. Talking about him. Slowly and with a little bit of trembling, Ciecro tried to scoot his way to the edge to listen, but stopped. A thought crossed his mind. A memory of a look of disappointment. He gave his right fist another look, eyeing it with a face of scared shame and finally let it fall to the side. Stupid… he repeated in his head as he started to walk away from the hallway, only to be stopped by a hand suddenly thrusting itself on his shoulder. He instantly whirled around and prepared to jab only to stop once he spied it was Dolly.

Her face looked concerned, despite her free hand being moved up to intercept the perceived punch. “Ciecro,” she said in a gentle but authoritative tone, “calm down.”

Ciecro shrank back, but Dolly wouldn’t let him. She put her hands on his shoulders to keep him from going off somewhere. That feeling when you were trapped and caught flooded Ciecro’s nerves. He wanted to get away, as shown by his tugging in the arms. “Stawp it,” he loudly pleaded, pulling against the one holding him against his wishes.

Dolly wasn’t having it. She tightened her grip and shook his shoulders frantically as if to snap him out of some stupor. After stopping her shaking, Dolly looked firmly into his orange eyes with her brown ones and said with a soft voice, “I said…calm down.”

Ciecro closed his eyes and finally obeyed. Taking a deep breath, he tried to quell his tension as seen by his trembling decreasing. Once he felt calm and collected enough, he opened his eyes again but kept them looking down. They slowly moved over to look at his right fist, being flooded with shameful memories of what it would do.

“Ciecro,” Dolly said, pulling him into a big hug with her arms, “I know you don’t want to. But, please tell me what happened.”

Ciecro stayed silent.

“If you need it, we won’t attend the planning meeting. But, you need to tell me what’s wrong.” She moved him in front of her and looked at him with a little assuring grin. “You’re brave Ciecro and you know you don’t have to fear me. Don’t replace me in your head with someone else.”

His eyes started to tear up as his right hand started to shake again. Dolly moved her left hand to take the scared right hand and cupping on the top with her right. Ciecro let out a sigh. “I…I wanna do de meetin’. Fihst.”

“After the meeting, can we talk about this?” She leaned in closer and her eyes gave him a look that was asking him to hold himself to that.

Ciecro gave a nod. “Fo’ yah Dolly…sure.” He gave a little grin as he tried to display confidence. A pleased sigh happened in his head as he succeeded in making Dolly smile.

“Good boy,” she said with a cheery tone, hugging Ciecro once more. “Let me know if you need me before then.”

“…Tank yah fo’ bein’ so nice tah me.” It was weird, for once her long hug didn’t grow old. He closed his eyes as an old feeling slowly filled his mind. There was something about this once hug. This one assurance that eased his soul that felt like…his mother. He couldn’t help but shed a few tears since, despite his body reliving this feeling, his mind hadn’t forgotten.

Dolly shut the boards on the window of Swift and Garon’s room and did the bolt. Slowly, she turned around and let out a cough to bring the group, encircled around the room, to attention. “Alright,” she started, carrying an assuring tone, despite the heaviness woven in it. “So we’re going to need to talk about our plan of action from here. Since…” Dolly paused, taking a moment to adjust herself the heavy subject matter and allow the rest to compose themselves for it as well. “Miss Dresha has passed, we’re going to need to figure out what to do now.”

“Hmm…” Garon stood up and waited for Dolly’s permission to speak. “From what I can gather, most likely they were trying to get intel on Vragon there. So more than likely, Vray can’t stay here without being in danger.”

Vragon scowled at hearing this. He was about to stand up and protest this till Seliph spoke up first.

“I’m afraid it could be worse than just that.” Everyone’s attention diverted to Seliph. “I’m worried that they could know of my connection to Ciecro and Jaron too. If that’s true, then you two would become fair targets as well.”

Jaron’s scowl looked to the side as Ciecro just kept his stare at the roof, albeit less scowling than his younger brother.

“It’d be safer for them not to stay as well,” Seliph concluded, sitting back down and crossing his legs.

“Do you have proof they do know that?” Jaron challenged, looking at Seliph with a firm stare.

Seliph gave a calm one in return and merely stated, “Are you saying you want to take the risk?”

“It’s not like that!” Jaron shouted, “You’re telling us to leave our hom-”

“Calm down, Jaron,” Dolly commanded.

“What, so we just leave you all? Me, Ciecro, and Vragon?” Jaron’s angry eyes glared at Dolly, full of tension. However, they eventually backed down as Dolly kept firm a fierce resistance to his scowl and he sat back down.

“No one wants any of you to leave,” Dolly said, crossing her arms, “But given the circumstances, staying in an area where they can track you isn’t a good idea. This doesn’t mean we won’t interact anymore, Jaron, but given what’s been going on and what Seliph has supplied, we need to at least be cautious.” Jaron sulked in angry depression as Vragon patted his shoulder to try and encourage him. “Anyways, Swift and Garon may have a solution.”

Garon cleared his throat as he told the rest about Abdule.

Ciecro and Jaron both seemed to be against the idea, but didn’t speak up.

Vragon and Jasmine kept silent as well with their worried expressions.

Dolly then looked around and said, “Okay, so if anyone has another suggestion, please voice it now. If not, then the plan is to get you four passage to Norfair.”

Vragon felt better knowing he’d be going with Jaron, but couldn’t help but feel bad whenever he looked at Jasmine’s clearly depressed face. This was all messed up. The fraxure looked up to Dolly and asked, “What about you and Jasmine?”

Dolly looked to the side, her eyes showing she’d rather not answer. “We’ll…well, we can’t just move.” She faced Vragon and gave him a smile, “Don’t worry hun…we’ll see you all again. This is just so you can be safe. And besides.” She leaned her back on the wall next to the window. “It’s not like you all being in Norfair will hinder us seeing you.”

“Yeah…” Jaron started, his eyes reflecting his gloom. “But that’s far from here.”

“I know,” Dolly admitted, “but that won’t stop us from seeing you all.”

This statement didn’t seem to make Jaron nor Vragon feel any better. It was then, Jasmine got to her feet and looked at the two. “It’s hard. But think of it like this.” Jasmine let out a sigh as she thought carefully. All eyes were placed on her as she looked at the two and said, “Jaron, you have a grandfather in Norfair. Someone that can help you be strong and Vragon will have a lot more flexibility to find more about his past. I know it’s hard…but try to be strong. For Dolly and me.”

Despite the warming nature from her words, Jaron couldn’t help but feel it was masking a lot of sadness then. He felt like he needed to give her a strong nod. Despite how much he hated this idea, he couldn’t deny the validity of it. Plus, Vragon would have to leave anyways, so staying with him would be better than having him alone.

On that input, Dolly looked around the room for any more thoughts. Since none were ushered, Dolly gave a sigh and stated, “Get some food and rest everyone. Tomorrow, we head for Plainier Town.” She gave one more of her big smiles as she dismissed everyone. Everyone left, save for Ciecro who was stilling chilling in his seat, arms crossed, and head looking at the ceiling.

“You okay?” Dolly asked walking over.

The charmeleon let out some air from his nostrils, dropped his gaze to the wall level, and mumbled, “Jaron…”

Dolly pulled a chair over and sat next to Ciecro. “I know you’re worried about him, but things are going to be alright.” Ciecro just stayed quiet, while Dolly patted his shoulder. “You should get some rest too, Ciecro.”

Ciecro looked at her and tried to say something, but couldn’t figure what to say and just stood up. He gave a nod and started to leave.

“Later then?” Dolly asked as Ciecro stopped.

He turned around and with a grin said. “Yeh, lateh.”

< O >

The rain was starting to lighten, having used up almost all of its resources. Only a fraction fell now upon the dark streets of Frantal. However, it was enough for Armád, who was on one of the roofs. It was barren of emura lights and covered in water due to the rain. The excess was drawing down a built in hole in the building’s side while the two feet tall perimeter barriers prevented the water from seeping down to areas it wasn’t supposed to. Armad stood on one of these roof edges.

His eyes were busy staring at an inn near the building he stood on. “I see,” he muttered to himself. “So Plageues was right.” He started walking from the ledge, pressing an orb in his hand to cut off communications. “Thankfully, it wasn’t hard to track a large group like them and bug each of their rooms. Good to know they’ve got new friends now; I bet Plageues would be glad to know about that.”

Armád got out a communication orb and began fiddling with it till it started to make a connection. After a few minutes of static Armád was greeted by an annoying, “Hello, Army.” Armád’s eyelids lowered halfway as he fetched for his coin. I’m going to need this. He started flipping it as he replied with. “Hello…Plageues.”

“Ah, I see you finally called back,” the flamboyant voice replied from the orb. “So, did you find them?”

Armád took a deep breath and answered, “Yes…and they are headed to Plainier Town for their first stop.” He cringed at the giggling that came afterwards. Ugh, this moron, Armád growled in his head, starting to flip his coin faster. He gave an attention grabbing cough and stated, “Anyways, I believe there is something you should know about that group.”


“So apparently, there’s more of them now.” Assessing Plageues wasn’t grasping this info due to the following silence, Armád clarified. “That group has two additional mons aiding them. From the information I gathered, they know Seliph and are aware that he has the vial.”

“Good grief, Armád, remind to call on you for reconnaissance more often.” A chuckle from Plageues resounded from the orb. “So, change of plans. Armád, I’m going to head to Plainier town and intercept them on the way there. Sadly, I’ll need you to do something.” Armád rolled his eyes as he stopped flipping and Plageues continued, “If you can head to Crion and wait for the transport. I doubt the kid will come with us without kicking and screaming.”

Armád gave a little groan. “So you’re asking me to stall meeting Gaispir again because you need someone to sit on a dock and wait for your boat to come?”

Plageues gave a little chuckle. “I know what you’re think-”

“No you don’t!” Armád lashed out. “What the actual reverse do you mean ‘duh wait for my boat for me dya dya dya’? Like what do you want me to do next, make sure you have a meal ready when you get back‽ You can take your constant neediness and shove it up your ass!”

“Look, we don’t have any cruisers on route so I need you to set one up for me. I’d do it myself right now but considering they’re leaving tomorrow I have to hustle.” A sigh came from the com as Plageues playfully pleaded, “Oh Armád, can’t you find it in your heart to do a mon a favor?”

Armád snarled as he tightened his grip on his coin. “Plageues, I swear to Arceus if you need me to pick up for your lacking in prep one more God damn time-!”

“Look,” Plageues stated, interrupting him for a second. “If you do this, you’ll be doing me a huge favor. You want to hurry on to Gaispir, right? If you assist me in this, I’ll get Daemon to prolong you and your buddy’s time off.”

Armád paused for a bit, thinking it over. While the extra time was enticing, he couldn’t shake the feeling Plageues was going to f**k it over somehow. “…I’ll do it on one additional condition.” He cleared his throat and put his coin away. “I want to be taken off of observing assignments in Triacal.”

Plageues was silent, as if he could see how serious Armád’s face was. A little pondering noise came from the zoroark over the com. “You know, it’d be a lot easier on you if you didn’t blam-”

“Do you f**king accept or not‽” Armád shouted into the com.

“Okay, okay, I accept. I’ll be in Crion once I nab the kid. Have a nice night.” The com switched off as Armád let his arms fall to the sides.

He spat at the ground and grumbled, “What do you know about anything? You’re just some dumb sadistic zoroark.” He started walking to the area where he could climb down and looked as if someone was talking to him. He scowled and he tensed up, reaching for his coin to start flipping. Suddenly, stopping as if something caught his attention, Armád lowered his gaze to the ground with a guilty expression. A sigh escaped his mouth as he put his coin away and resumed his path to climb down.

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
– Unknown


Darkinium Z

Dani California
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Hours Ago
5,857 posts
13.8 Years
Grammar wise, one thing I noticed quite a bit is you often use the phrase "x a little" very often. For instance, here:

(etc). “And those academy days were some of the best days of my life. Garon grew so much then, and honestly…” Swift shuffled his feet a little as he looked down with a little bit of embarrassment going over his face. “He’s gotten stronger than me by far.”
Here you used "a little" and "a little bit" twice. You don't even need to use that pharse half a time. "Shuffled his feet" and "Looked down with embarrassment" sounds more natural.

Why do yah care, what I’m feelin’?” Ciecro asked, his tone lowering a little as his head backed away a little.
Here too. You can take out both of the "a little" phrases.

Armád gave a little groan. “So you’re asking me to stall meeting Gaispir again because you need someone to sit on a dock and wait for your boat to come?”

Plageues gave a little chuckle. “I know what you’re think-”
You also have the "little x" in both cases here and passive voice again. I would just put "Armad groaned" and "Plageues chuckled" there.

I admit, I was a bit confused which Ciecro feelings are right during the flashback with Dresha or him reminiscing. Kinda hard for me to imagine a fish teaching Thunderpunch though for obvious reasons, lol.

Ouch over Ciecro punching Seliph. That'll probably have repercussions later.

Looks like the next destination is Plainier Town and the group stumbling upon Plageues. I don't blame Armad being frustrated with Plageues one bit. =P

Foul Play
[Chapter Nine up!]


Say it with me (Vray-gun)

As if I'd be one to say
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted December 4th, 2019
285 posts
2 Years
Contains: Language, Violence [13]
Chapter 37

Del sat nervously on a branch in the tree near the ruins, occasionally glancing at Lesath, who was standing in a circle with the other two members. As she watched, she felt something right next to her. Del jumped in startle but calmed down at seeing it was just Rosa. “Don’t startle me like that,” Del scolded, but Rosa just brushed it off with a hair flip.

Rosa eyed the trio, deep in thought. Her thoughts were interrupted by Del’s prodding. “What‽” Rosa demanded.

“Heh, just checking to see if you were awake,” Del joked, her earlier concerned look replaced by her normal demeanor. Rosa rolled her eyes as Del returned looking at the three. “So, these are our inner iris council members?”

“Yep…bunch of weirdos,” Rosa answered, prompting Del to give her a look.

“I mean, have you looked in a mi-”

“I know what you’re going to say, so don’t,” Rosa firmly said, leading to a chuckle from Del.

“Hmm…” Del started, looking up at the tree as Rosa closed her eyes to meditate. “I wonder exactly what this meeting will entail.”

“Why don’t you just ask?” Rosa said, in a tone like lecturing a child for saying the obvious.

“You think I didn’t already do that?” Del replied, a little annoyed at Rosa’s prickly statement.

“I’ve given up thinking on what you do,” Rosa stated. “The simple fact is we’ll get the information in the meeting so just wait till then.”

The two sat in quiet solitude for a little bit of time, before Del spoke up again. “Hey, so did you hear any interesting news?”

“Nope,” Rosa bluntly said.

Figures, Del said in her head. I doubt you’d really care to hear news about others after all.

“That accurate statement,” a voice agreed to her left.

Slowly, Del turned her head to see Lesath standing next to her looking at Skrelle and Ispiato’s conversation as Del was doing prior. “Gah!” Del jumped back into Rosa, almost knocking her off the branch.

“What the reverse, Del‽” Rosa demanded, but got her answer once seeing Lesath. “Oh…you.”

“Yes…it Lesath,” he replied in his normal monotone voice. “You both looked bored so Lesath came over to check.”

“Check?” Del repeated, slowly and warily, getting back her bearings. “So, you didn’t come here to hurt me?”

Lesath slowly and rather mechanically twisted his head to face them. “If that what Lesath wanted, neither lady would be breathing.”

Del gulped and Rosa dusted her shoulder unintimidated. “Anyways,” the gardevior grumbled once she had finished brushing her shoulder. “Any reason you came over besides to scare Del?”

“Yes…Plant Lady ask if there was any interesting news. Lesath have interesting news.” The two tilted their heads as Lesath once more looked at his two peers talking, his eyes shut as always. “Lesath, duty to Iris Council often helps Lesath hear interesting information not quickly accessible to Rosa and Del. Example, mon recently defected from the Red Eyes.”

“Someone defecting?” Rosa replied. “I haven’t hear of this.”

“It recent,” Lesath answered. “Certain defector stole one of the red crystals and is currently being hunted down.”

Rosa looked at Lesath, raising a brow. “The defector stole a red crystal? How?” She faced the wobbuffet as she followed with, “Aren’t they only given to higher ranking Iris Members or certain apprentices?”

Lesath’s face pointed at her as he answered, “Lesath not sure since Lesath wasn’t informed fully on it, and not placed on assignment for capture or kill. Lesath understands that defector was in enforcer’s division so possible defector killed holder of a red crystal.”

“Enforcers, huh…” Rosa gave a little grumble as she looked back to the talking duo. “Have they put anyone on it?”

“Not sure, maybe secretly assigned other enforcers operatives to deal with him,” Lesath replied, bobbing his head a little as wobbuffet’s tend to do when idle.

“Enforcers?” Del repeated, out of the loop about what the two meant by the word.

“Branch of red eyes. Enforcer division of the red eyes is the most aggressive of them all.” Lesath kept his closed-eyed gazed firmly on the two as he answered, “They will be deployed for missions and matters that require attacking.”

“So?” Del started, sitting down on the branch, causing a little crackling sound inside it. “Are they our military?”

“Not really,” Rosa answered, her eyes narrowing to a bored look rather than a scowl. “It’s more of mission support, espionage, recon, stuff like that. At least, considered that due to their current numbers.” Rosa then looked up to the sky, deep in thought.

Lesath’s head turned to Rosa and stayed focused on her for a few minutes, making Del feel left out of whatever the two were doing. As Del was about to say something, Lesath spoke.

“Ah, so that why you know Daemon.”

Rosa stiffened, as if she was suddenly turned to stone. She slowly moved her head to look at Lesath with a fierce scowl. “What…did…you…say?” she said in a low, dark, threatening tone as her arms went to her sides, shaking slightly from the tension building in them.

Del’s eyes shot wide open, while Lesath remained unbothered. He kept his bobbing as he answered with a tone slightly more jesting than his normal monotone voice, “Lesath said, ‘Ah so that why you know, Daemon.’ Wasn’t Rosa listening?”

Del quickly got down from the branch and dropped to the ground, taking the sudden surge of solid pink color over Rosa’s eyes as a hint Lesath just crossed the line.

“I don’t enjoy the approach Lord Azazel is taking in Amestria,” Skrelle grumbled with a troubled scowl on his face. “What do you suppose he has planned for that area of the world, Ipsia?”

She shrugged. “Not entirely sure, but frankly I like the idea of having less enemies. I mean, even if Sorphia tolerates us it’s clear they aren’t for us or willing to work with us. To them, we’re just help add to their base as a rival power to the five clans.” Skrelle made a little grunt as she turned her attention to the ruins behind them, observing their pale, cracked stone surface, illuminated in the moonlight like a dark colored picture in a normal lit room. “What do you suppose these ruins are from?”

“Well,” Skrelle began, turning to face them as well. “I’m no expert, but they could be from very far back. Possibly during the time of Aegis’s invasion.”

“So…over a million years old.” Ipsiato turned her gaze to the ground as her mind tried to imagine what it was like back then or what these ruins where like. “I suppose it’s possible,” she admitted despite not being too convinced that one measly structure like this one could survive that long alone, let alone be a remnant from historical invasion.

“It is,” Skrelle bluntly answered, this time with much more assurance. Ipsiato broke her gazing to look at him as he explained, “Look at the design, notice how there’s no exterior decorations or additions on the walls or ceiling that would protrude from it very much. Everything is built as if it was meant to be a large box. That is a style that’s far different from modern day Sorphia. It looks rather similar to Valendorine architecture.”

“True,” she agreed, looking back at the ruined piece from the past. “But even then, how do you know it was way back from that war? Couldn’t it have been from Callium’s war?”

Skrelle closed his eyes and let out a breath. “I believe before that time Mextrein gained influence from the original clans during the time they were under the clan’s rule. As a result, more decorative architecture culture in Mextrein shifted to what it was till we came to what we were today.” He shifted his stance to face her. “Remember, Callium won Mextrein’s liberty around three hundred thousand years ago. That’s far less of a time span than over a million, Ipsia.”

“Fair point,” Ipsiato admitted with a pleased tone. She took a few paces forwards, turning to face the older red eye, a question still on her mind. “But even so, I wonder why out of all the structures that could have around, it survived all these years.”

Skrelle shrugged with his short rampardos arms. “I don’t know. Perhaps it was spared for reasons like history, sentimentality, regrets.”

That last word stuck with Ipsiato. She tilted her head as Skrelle looked back at the ruins.

“It’s something we may never know.” The rampardos took a few paces back from Ipsia, keeping his gaze firmly on the ruins. “What does such a conflict gain us in the end? They all still have damage that remains for longer than we want. Makes me wonder why it was waged in the first place.”

Ipsiato’s eyes lowered. She pulled her pincers close, a bit uncomfortable at Skrelle’s personal reminiscing. “Skrelle,” she started but was interrupted by the sound of something smashing into a boulder about twenty yards behind them. The two spun around, Ispiato surprised and Skrelle ready to fight. Their eyes feel upon Lesath, picking himself off the ground while rubbing his head.

“That hurt,” he stated, facing his attacker, that being a pissed off Rosa levitating from the branch they were on and softly landing about ten yards from him.

“I hope it did you punching bag!” she spat with anger, forming a Shadow Ball and throwing it straight at the clueless wobbuffet.

Lesath sprang forwards and rolled on his side to avoid it, promptly picking himself back up to his normal position in just a few seconds.

“Rosa! What the reverse are you doing‽” Skrelle roared.

“That brute read my mind!” she roared back, angrily looking back at Lesath.

“For all the-,” Skrelle started, pausing to just let out a frustrated roar. “Rosa, stand down now!” He commanded, starting to march over there.

Rosa gritted her teeth with a mix of wanting to defy but at the same time knowing what that would lead to. Slowly, she let her arms drop; her furious gaze turning towards the ground in frustrated compliance.

“No Skrelle,” Lesath interjected, causing both his guardian and attacker to look at him. “Lesath accept challenge from Rosa.” Del and Ipsiato’s jaws dropped, Skrelle tilted his head, and Rosa growled at his obliviousness all while Lesath did his basic bobbing back and forth. “Lesath sense tension in Rosa. Rosa want to hurt Lesath so Lesath accept challenge.”

Skrelle gave a groan as he shook his head for a second. He slammed his right foot on the ground once as he attempted to stop things from starting up again. “That’s not what a challenge is,” he pointed out. “She never asked to battle you, she just blasted you into that boulder there.” He pointed to the currently cracked rock for emphasis.

Lesath stopped his bobbing at a tilt of his head. “Really?” he replied confused. “But Lesath read words saying, ‘I’m going to beat up that sniveling little-’”

“Stop reading my mind!” Rosa demanded taking a few steps forwards. She formed a Shadow Ball between her two hands positioned at her side as she harshly questioned, “How are you even doing that‽ I don’t feel your presence inside so how are you in there‽”

Lesath just kept bobbing back and forth slowly, his tail flopping on the ground in rhythm to his bobbing like a living metronome.

“Rosa!” Skrelle stepped in between the two. “Enough of this!” His fierce gaze met Rosa’s defiant one. The two leering at each other with such immovable wills with neither showing any sign of backing down.

“Skrelle please,” Lesath requested from behind. He put on his best persuasive face despite Skrelle not even looking at him and kept repeating the request over and over. It didn’t take long for Skrelle to get annoyed by the ordeal enough to step out of the way. Rosa and Lesath looked at him as he stopped and about faced in between Ipsiato and Del. “Three minutes…that’s all.”

All the time I need, Rosa said in her head, ready to make this little sponge of a hack pay.

She took a deep breath as she formed a shadow balls, one for each hand. “Eat it!” she shouted, tossing the two at the emotionless wobbuffet.

Lesath stiffened as if activating some combative instinct. His closed eyes moved in time with the balls as he was keeping track of them. When they were about to impact he quickly bent over to avoid one and then with a firm push from his arm that was closest to the ground, generated enough momentum to avoid the second. He rooted his balance as he smacked his arms together and was looked like light blue circles encapsulated him for a moment.

Safeguard, Rosa guessed in her head. She paid it not mind, considering she had no moves that could inflict status anyways. “I hope this hurts you, asshole!” she threatened as she covered her body in a wavy light. It danced around her form like an aurora before she unleashed them as many light beams, all in Lesath’s general direction.

Lesath didn’t seem particularly concerned as they surged straight into the area he was, ripping up parts of the ground around him and uprooting dirt to obscure the results of the destructive force, because when the dust settled there was Lesath standing, coated in some odd white color that swerved all around his form.

Ipsiato’s eyes widened. “Is he usi-”

“Mirror Coat,” Skrelle finished for her, eyeing Lesath carefully. Oddly enough, the wobbuffet didn’t seem in a hurry to shoot it back at Rosa, making Skrelle skeptical the mon was even trying hard. Endurance test or one hit end? They have about a minute and a half so perhaps he’s hoping to stack, he theorized as Rosa pummeled another Dazzling Gleam upon Lesath once more. Again, the wobbuffet converted into Mirror Coat and again refused to fire it.

“Isn’t he going to defend himself?” Del asked, walking over to the observing two.

“Probably not,” Ipsiato stated. “If he felt he was in any danger he would have used it by now. He seems to be just stacking it. Probably waiting till it’s near the end to finish the fi-”

“That’s not his plan.” The two looked at Skrelle with perplexed faces.

“But, he’s stored all that power. He could probably do enough damage to win or gain a pretty big advantage.”

“Maybe, but then ask yourself.” Skrelle turned his eyes to them and in a low tone said, “What test would that give him?”

“What do you mean?” Del inquired.

“Lesath seeks to better himself. Become very strong to carry out whatever is needed.” Skrelle’s eyes narrowed as his focus locked onto the tanking Lesath. “Pushing himself to the extreme. Being reckless in tolerance.”

“So…” Del paused for a second before asking. “Are you saying he’s just doing this to test himself?”

“I would,” Skrelle bluntly admitted. “An angry opponent offers a lot of damage coming your way. If he isn’t careful, she will take advantage of that. Then again, Lesath treating this as some kind of training exercise would probably make her want to hurt him even more.”

The three looked back at the battle, Rosa still pelting Lesath with Dazzling Gleam after Dazzling Gleam, only for it to be added to the Mirror Coat.

Rosa snarled as this mockery. If he was going to have the audacity to read her mind he could at least not just sit there taking everything she fires wearing that stupid face. An idea popped in her head. Forming two shadow balls she gave him a look and said, “I hope you are ready.”

Lesath just remained in his bobbing self as she threw them at him. Once again, he tanked them and added it to the Mirror Coat build but suddenly a floating rock hit him on the back of the head. Lesath fell forwards from Rosa’s sneaky use of a telekinetic lifting and he flopped onto the ground. He wasn’t there for long, because his surprise caused him to accidentally release Mirror Coat causing a large explosion and sending Lesath hurling high into the air.

“Lesath!” Skrelle shouted with concern as everyone just watched him reach the peak of his climb to the night sky before heading straight down. Skrelle quickly charged forwards to catch but he was too late.

Lesath smacked back onto the surface with a loud thud.

“Lesath!” Skrelle hurried to check on Lesath’s condition.

The left arm was bend in the wrong direction though the noises coming from the mouth (currently pressed against the ground) as well the flailing of the right arm indicated he was at least alive.

Skrelle took a sigh of relief but didn’t remain relaxed for long. He stood up and looked at Rosa. “It’s over.”

She gave him a glare as she held another Shadow Ball in her hand. Her arm didn’t seem to want to back down.

Skrelle gave a little snort as he took a firm step in her direction and with a low growl stated, “I order you to go cool off before you do something you will regret. Am…I…clear?”

After a few second stare off, Rosa let her Shadow Ball disintegrate as she spun around and headed back to the forest, without a single reply.

Skrelle faced Lesath again, who was picking himself up. “Are you alright?”

Lesath held his arm as he stood up and gave a nod. “Lesath is fine, just underestimate dress lady’s power.” He started rolling his broken arm, trying to prove it was fine. However, this method of confirmation only showed how broken his arm was, with it flailing around like a child swinging a pond reed.

Skrelle had to back away from Lesath’s flailing around, saying, “Lesath, please stop. That’s not something I want to look at.” The wobbuffet complied and Skrelle worked on clearing the image out of his head. “Anyways, Ipsiato, please treat him. I would but-” He gestured his small arms for emphasis.

With a reluctant sigh, Ipsiato came over to start as Skrelle offered support. Del, however, headed off to the forest where Rosa was. It didn’t take her long to spot some of Rosa’s gardevoir black dress coming from behind a tree.

She started over to the spot when she was met by Rosa saying, “Don’t.”

Del paused, rubbing her head a bit unsure what to do. “You sure? I mean, you look like you have something to say-”

“Not to you or anyone over there.” Her voice was firm yet odd. As if it was requesting space instead of defiantly demanding it.

“Oh, well take care then.” Del began to leave but stopped as she saw Skrelle heading this way. “She’s not in the mood to talk,” Del informed as Skrelle walked past her.

“I’ll keep that in mind.” He gave her a little glance, his eyes telling that he had something to do. “Go see to the others.”

Del nodded and walked off as Skrelle walked over near the tree where Rosa was at. Once there, his gaze shifted off to the darkness in the woods as his breathing slowed, just taking in the night noises and his steady breathing.

“Why is he with you?” The gardevoir turned so she could see Skrelle from behind the tree, looking at him with a rather bothered scowl.

“…Well, Lesath is a special case,” Skrelle admitted, facing her but not venturing nearer unless given permission. “He’s rather loyal to me since I took the time to help bring him back to health. He wasn’t exactly enduring wynaut compared to now.”

Rosa looked to the side, unsympathetic. Clearly it didn’t excuse his blatant intrusion on her personal space let alone a memory but she could help but be slightly curious about it. “Well…you shouldn’t let him just go about the way he does. Reading others’ minds like he has the right to.”

“Yes, I agree.” His tone indicated a sincere apology.

This didn’t make Rosa budge. Her arms tightened in her frustration as her angry gaze remained firmly on the dirt nearby in front. “Well, why don’t you do something? He’s a member of the inner iris council and yet you’re just letting him act this way?” She accused.

Skrelle let out a sigh as he explained. “Rosa…do you know how the inner Iris council are chosen?”

She set aside her frustrations to give him an answer. “Yes…they’re chosen by the red eyes Lords.”

Skrelle gave a nod as he turned and leaned his back on the tree. “I had no handle in them choosing him. In fact, I was against it.”

Rosa’s head turned a little, curious.

“I don’t think he’s ready for such a position. After all, he’s not that old and yet he’s already been put in such a high role and standing. He has incredible focus but that has its ups and downs. I theorize he was chosen for the very reason of monitoring.”

Rosa paused to ponder. This concept of them choosing such a stupid mon to be on the council just so he could spy just made her more fed up. She put her thoughts on pause as he continued.

“Of course, that’s just my guess. I don’t know what their motives are in doing this just that they went with decision. And while he does it very well, I can’t say it’s good for him. He’s…well a bit weird if you haven’t guessed.”

There was just silence from the two for a second till Rosa felt the urge to find out more. “Why weird? Is he sick or something?”

“Not so much sick as needing to adjust.” Skrelle’s eyes looked to the side as he said amid a low growl. “There are some things the red eyes do I find damnable. Lesath is a constant reminder of that. Enforcers training I consider one of them.”

Rosa remained silent, her eyes widening at hearing that. Her mouth opened and was about to ask something, but froze. The defensive walls of hers went up once more and she curled back to the tree. “Well next time, tell that sick punk to take me off his reading list.”

“I will…My apologies for him stepped over your boundaries.” He waited for an answer, which came in the form of an annoyed grunt. After giving a nod, Skrelle left her to her peace and headed back to check on the others.

Rosa sat there in the fetal position. Curling her legs closer the more her thoughts drifted. The fierce angry eyes slowly lowered to the kind that would be on a little girl remembering a sad event. Her nerves tensed as she remembered words and phrases. Lift it higher. Let’s see about now. If you wish to become one of us you need to excel further. Come on, hold it. You can do it. It was hard to believe that she had lived a life like that once. It’s alright…we’ll work on progress next time.

A growl escaped from her as she rolled to her side, thinking. First about the council, then about the red eyes leaders. Despite her initial harshness, it was rather calming to know she wasn’t the only one that felt the red eyes had flaws in them. A sigh left her mouth from a face that looked more longing as she recalled the situation. She looked over to some trees, the image of a corner popped, and image of a younger blue-eyed kirlia sniffling in a little test outfit, while a large shadow slowly crept up. The startled girl flinched back as the intruder offered a hand to her.

The stranger said, “I can offer you a different life. A different role. You need only ask.”

The kirlia paused, looking at the dusknoir hand coming out of a brown cloak that covered the stranger’s body all the way to the floor and a hood for the head. “Who are you and what do you want?”

“I sense turmoil, desperation. How long do you expect to keep them invested, keep them for you and your cause? What if it falls apart? You lose? Who will take care of-”

“Shut up!” the girl shouted, standing up on her feet.

The stranger remained silent and returned his hand to the side. Then he said the thirteen words that she had thought about for so long. “What good are you if you can be tossed aside when you lack?”

Rosa froze as she looked at the girl staring up at the stranger determined. “And what can you offer? Who even are you?”

The figure took off the hood. “My name is Daemon and I’m like you,” he said looking at her straight in the eyes with his. He once more offered his hand to the blue eyed girl. “Someone that is only wanted to be used.”

She hesitated as she pressed her back against the wall, rubbing her arm with uncertainty. “What makes you say that?” the girl asked, more nervously than trying to be tactful.

“As I said,” Daemon continued, lowering himself to her. “I was something to be used too. You sit out here, alone. Not even a bit of sympathy given for a flub in your test. Their bar is very high and sadly psychic abilities aren’t all cut and dry. There is no room for constant mistakes, is there?”

Rosa’s eyes lowered and were filled with honest sadness and worry she felt. A hand of hers was headed to her eyes as a sniffle started but to her surprise, she was beaten to it by Daemon’s larger hand.

“It’s sad…to be tossed aside in favor of ‘better’ talent.” He removed his hand away and once again, he moved his palm towards her, beckoning her to take his hand. “What use is talent if the mind isn’t refined? Maybe she is stronger than you by their standards…but that is where we strive to become more.”

She hesitated, looking at the hand with a debating frown. Looking up at him, she tried to ask something but couldn’t seem to word it.

“It’s alright, the choice is yours to make. After all, no one can make you more…only you can.”

The girl looked up at Daemon’s red eye and then back to his hand as Rosa observed. Her eyes narrowed as she watched her younger self form a confident scowl on her face. Rosa watched the little girl slowly lifted her hand till it was finally cupped into Daemon’s. And just as quickly as it came, the image in Rosa’s head vanished.

Hmm…to think such a pompous prick like him actually has a heart, she muttered in her mind as she stood up. But then again, I shouldn’t be surprised at his strenuousness…maybe one day I should confess to my snooping. Her eyes lowered as if they were feeling slightly guilty. Maybe…I just hope he can help himself so he’ll stop being such a jerk. She about faced and walked out of the woods, heading back to her annoying fellow ruin keepers.

< O >

The sky was sunny, the docks of a small port were brim with life and color. The water was a crisp blue and the shores moved and splashed onto the side in a calming manner.

Demetri sat on one of the docks, arms propping him up from the back, eyes shut, just letting the wind blow all over him. He wore a navy blue vest buttoned up with a nice emblem of a Sorphian Sun on the left.

Suddenly, the sound of a large bell rang behind him. He turned and looked at the West Clock Tower and the sprawling city around it. Of course, it wasn’t easy to see more than just the taller buildings from the small dock he sat at, but that didn’t matter with the large West Clock Tower displaying eleven o’clock to the world. He let out a sigh as he stood up and shoved his hands into the vest’s pockets. It was a fun visit. He muttered in his head with a smile.

“Demetri!” a voice called out to him from the left.

He gave a little chuckle as he turned saying, “Coming dad.” Before he could face the direction of the calling, Demetri was promptly shoved off the wooden dock and into the water. The surprise caused him to flail in the water for a second before remembering how to swim and promptly keep his head above the waters. He looked up at his assailant only to see a laughing Zak.

“Zak!” Demetri shouted, taking in a mouthful of water in the process.

“Sorry Demetri, I couldn’t help it. Here.” Zak sprawled onto the dock and reached his arm out to help pull Demetri up.

Demetri took it and with a troublemaking grin, proceeded to pull Zak in as well. He laughed aloud at Zak’s screeching before being silenced by the waters before coming up for air and promptly cursing with every word in his dictionary.

“You lads,” a voice spoke from the docks. Demetri stopped laughing as he looked up.

“Heh, you know Zak has a prankster heart,” Demetri said with a smile.

The hand of an older grumpig held out to him. “Come on, let’s get ye both dried off.”

Demetri and Zak nodded. As the grumpig reached out to the older one the light from the sun reflected off of something, shining in Demetri’s eyes. He shot his arm in the way of the blinding sensation and head went under the waves. Shaking his head to snap himself out of it, he started swimming back up. As he did, he was struck by a sudden shock, like his muscle converted to a paralyzed status. He struggled and flailed slowing falling deeper and deeper into the water as he was running out of breath. He looked up, seeing the sunlight rays from under the water. Trying his best, he struggled to kick his legs but to no avail. He was slipping deeper and deeper. Terror began to grip him as he was nearing time to take a breath.

Come on, he shouted in his head, trying to focus off his fear and onto surviving. You’ve got to move. He tried to levitate himself psychically, but upon attempt he was struck with a painful migraine. It was enough to make him open his mouth slightly, having water gush into an unprepared mouth.

His head was spinning and his eyes shut. He shot forwards, gasping. To his surprise, there was air. Slowly, he looked around the room, seeing the white walls of some kind of resting room. He was covered in sweat that had apparently dampened the bed’s blanket a little. Somehow, his hand found his head without him knowing it, startling him at first with the unrecognized touch. He looked at his hand and just…processed what just happened.

It…it was just a dream, he reasoned in his head, trying to calm down and slow down his breathing. I mean…Zak and my dad. Haven’t seen Zak for a while and my dad for years. Letting go of his head, Demetri decided to look around the room. Did I?...What happened to me?

His inner question was soon to receive and answer for when he thought this he was promptly startled by a loud and buzzy sounding, “Demetri!!!” Demetri shot his gaze at the door, at Devon, who was pleased to see his peer was awake.

“You alright?” Devon inquired, buzzing over to Demetri’s bedside, “I found you unconiouzzz on a roof.”

“Uh…huh?” Demetri titled his head, confused. “I don’t…remember a…hmm.” Demetri tried to meditate into his mind, see if he could find something relating to what happened before blacking out.

Devon waited patiently for Demetri to end, sadly with no results. Before Demetri could ask him anything Devon was the first to start. “Hey, zzzo I obzzzerved them like you ordered and they’re going to Plainier town.”

“Wait, what?” Demetri exclaimed. “When are they leaving?”

“They already left,” Devon corrected.

Immediately upon hearing this, Demetri cursed, “Fu**ing what‽ Damnit of all the times I fall fu**ing asleep, I had to-”

“It’zzz fine zzzir,” Devon interjected. “We know where they are going. Once you are better we can-”

“Fu** that!” Demetri bluntly stated, pulling the blanket off of himself. “We need to hurry befo-” he was promptly interrupted with an almost face-plant onto the floor from his dizziness at moving up so fast. Thankfully, Devon managed to get in and save Demetri from a potential nose bleed.

“Eazzzy zzzir,” Devon said, almost as if he was trying to say an order nicely. “You juzzzt woke up. You need to get your ground legzzz back before you can really go after them.” Demetri was about to protest but was promptly shut down by Devon buzzing right in front of his face stating with a forced stern expression. “Lizzzten zzzir, if you can’t zzzo much azzz walk to the door without faceplanting, then zzzcrew trying to catch up. At leazzzt have zzzome breakfezzzt firzzzt before you get yourzzzelf darn near lamed becauzzze you wanna ruzzzh it!”

Demetri just paused, just staring a scowl back at Devon, who was doing his best not to back down. After twenty seconds of this stare off, Demetri let out a sigh, let his head fall, and remorsefully said, “You’re right. Sorry for yelling. I just…well…it was sud-…? Devon?” at his knees was Devon, giving of panting breaths of relief. “Why are you shaking?”

“Zorry zir,” Devon said with a weak vikavolt smile. “I juzzzt am not known for being loud or commanding zzzo it felt kind of weird, heh.”

Demetri gave a little chuckle and smiled, saying, “First time for everything I guess. Good sign you are learning the trade, talking back to your superior with a convincing argument.”

“I…juzzzt don’t want to make a habit of it,” Devon laughed with a little crack of nervousness woven into it.

Demetri nodded, and let Devon help him to the door so they could get ready to pursue. Despite the dream he had, Demetri attempted to be optimistic as they headed out. As they headed down the hall Demetri muttered in a low tone, “Thanks, for the help Devon.”

“No problem zzzir,”Devon replied happily.

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
– Unknown


Say it with me (Vray-gun)

As if I'd be one to say
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted December 4th, 2019
285 posts
2 Years
Contains: Language, blood [14]
Chapter 38
What Lies Deeper

“Zzzo, do you feel better?” Devon inquired as he wiggled a little in his seat.

“A little yes,” Demetri admitted with a nod, taking a sip from his drink as the two looked at the ever growing line of construction mons invading for lunch. “I hope the line doesn’t delay our orders too much.”

“Zzzhouldn’t be,” Devon answered. “We got here early, zzzo I think our zzztuff is almozzzt ready.” Despite giving a little optimism, he couldn’t really shake a certain feeling. Something clearly was bothering this grumpig, but if he had learned anything about Demetri it was that he was stubborn. I wizzzh there wazzz a way to get him to talk about it, Devon muttered in his head. I mean, we’re zzztrangerzzz to be fair but- His thoughts were interrupted by Demetri suddenly speaking.

“Devon…” Demetri said softly, watching his hand place his drink onto the wooden table. “Do you have family?”

The question was so abrupt and odd coming from Demetri that it took Devon a second to actually process it. “Oh,” he finally said, “Uhm…well yezzz. I do.”

“What were they like?” Demetri inquired, shifting in his seat to give Devon his full attention. He gave the bug a focused gaze that gave off a rather odd serious vibe.

“Well, nothing really zzzpecial.”

Demetri’s eyes lowered slightly as they drifted over to the side. “Oh,” the grumpig muttered a little disappointed.

Devon tilted his head at this odd reaction. “I mean…izzz there a reazzzon you want to hear?”

Demetri gave out a sigh as he looked back at the bug. “Just…got a little bit of a whiplash in some things. And well I don’t really know you too well. I appreciate what you’ve done and putting up with me and all, though I’d like to hear about you and your stuff.”

“Ah,” Devon answered, a little chipper at this admission. “Well, that zzzoundzzz fine. You zzzee, zzzir,” Devon explained as Demetri went for another swig of his drink. “I have well…over four hundred zzziblingzzz an-” Devon eyes shot wide as Demetri spit his drink out to the side.

“Four hundred‽” he blurted out, forgetting they were in a public establishment.

Devon’s face went red as he could just imagine all the eyes looking at them now. He curled back into his seat and simply nodded, too embarrassed to give an audible answer.

“Oh…” Demetri sat back down, wiping his mouth with his arm. “Sorry about that,” he said with a chuckle to try and lighten the mood. “I wasn’t expecting you to have that many.”

“It’zzz a bug-type thing.” Devon got out of his curl and tried to take another sip of his drink but once again was interrupted by Demetri asking another question.

“So, what made you join the planet nerves?” Demetri gave a little smile, trying to make up for the earlier incident by lightening the mood.

Devon paused, his eyes lowered a little. “Well…that’zzz kind of perzzzonal.”

“Personal?” Demetri repeated, a little confused how a job like the Planet Nerves would fit that. “How so?” Demetri pushed, keeping his light tone.

Devon looked to the side for a second and then back to Demetri. “Promizzze not to laugh?” After a confirming nod from Demetri, Devon let out a sigh and elaborated. “I’ve alwayzzz wanted to zzztand out compared to my zzziblingzzz and do zzzomething meaningful. None of my family hazzz ever been a planet nerve or in any form of peacekeeping zzzo I zzzought to be the firzzzt. I juzzzt…wanted to be different from them.”

“I see…” Demetri replied, sitting back into his seat. “That’s understandable.”

“But…” Devon started. He froze for a second on the pause and then retracted.

“Hrm? No go on, it’s fine,” Demetri encouraged.

“I’d rather not.” Devon shriveled back into his seat more, as if retreating from the conversation.

“Oh come now, you don-…” Demetri sat back and looked to the side for a bit, as if thinking hard about something. “Sorry,” he said, making Devon look at him with surprise. “Never mind.” Demetri looked at him with a smile. “I’m sure whatever your reason is it’s a good one.”

The two sat in silence for a bit, waiting for their good to arrive. Devon leaned up on the table sipping a bit of his drink before asking, “Hey zzzo…what about your family?”

Demetri’s ears stiffened as his focus immediately shot to Devon. “My family?” he repeated like he wasn’t sure that was the question.

Devon nodded. “Yeah, I told you a little about mine zzzo what about your’zzz?” Devon started drinking some more a little pleased that he managed to get somewhere with Demetri’s end of the conversation. Once done sipping, he set his drink down and looked at Demetri only to see the grumpig looking out the window with a little bit of a serious gaze. “Izzz zzzomething wrong?” Devon inquired, getting a little bit nervous at this sudden change.

Demetri remained silent. His eyes were narrow as if he was peering at something out the window. This leer of his was enough to send Devon into a bit of discomfort, enough so the bug had to look away for a bit.

I hope I didn’t tread where I zzzhouldn’t have, Devon thought, looking back at Demetri. It wasn’t long after that the bug offered, “Hey uhm…if you don’t want to anzzzwer you don’t have to.”

Demetri let out a sigh as he picked up his drink and swirled it in his hand, causing the liquid inside to spin in a circle. “It’s not your fault. I just wouldn’t know since I haven’t seen them in a long time.”

“I zzzee.” Devon decided not to press any further. However, the awkward silence that followed didn’t really help the mood. Damn it, here I go making him mad at me or bringing up zzzome trigger, zzztupid Devon. Devon had to put his ranting on pause as their lunch arrived.

Devon’s was a nice little leafy salad with a selection of many berries, all cut in nice slices. The food was covered in a signature sweet sauce with a nice sugary cream poured all over as well that made Devon’s insides just melt with anticipation. Devon immediately started on a blessing in his head, so anxious to start as his tummy grumbled.

Demetri, on the other hand, didn’t even seem to notice their food was here. He was looking out the window again, resting his chin on his hand as he watched the folks outside going about their business. He sighed in his head as his gaze went down a little. I hope things improve. Just…be okay for me, alright Zak.

“You gonna eat?” Devon asked, snapping Demetri back to reality.

“Huh?” The grumpig said with a stutter. “Oh right sorry. Yes.” Demetri levitated his utensils to start cutting away at his big sandwich looking rather bummed and bothered by something.

Devon was going to town on his dish, quickly finishing it up in a matter of minutes. Some satisfying noises came from the full bug as he laid back in his seat content. Though, his mood went down as he noticed Demetri’s more poised eating, levitating the fork to pike the food and then put it into his mouth. Though it wasn’t this method that sent a little bit of bother in Devon, but it was the fact that Demetri’s face still looked like before. Devon let out a sigh as he promptly put his front legs on the table and spoke. “Demetri.”

The grumpig gave a little grunt to inform Devon that he was listening.

“I’m zzzorry I brought it up. I didn’t mean to zzzet you on-”

“You don’t need to apologize,” Demetri answered a little less kind this time, when compared to earlier in this conversation. “Please stop drawing attention to it.”

Devon’s head fell. I didn’t mean for thizzz to happen. A sigh escaped the bug as he mentally kicked himself over and over about crossing the line till the sound of Demetri’s fork hitting the plate ended.

“Alright, let’s go.” Demetri’s words sounded like they were when they first met. So, work focused and rather distant or unapproachable. The grumpig got out of his booth seat and set the coins for his payment and turned to Devon. “We have a bit of ground to cover more than likely. Let’s move.”

Devon nodded and walked after Demetri. Don’t think about it, Devon muttered in his mind, attempting to focus on the mission. We need to find them and keep them safe after all. Zyan and Garde are counting on us so don’t mess this up.

This inwards pep talk pumped up Devon, enough so that he started flapping his wings, go sailing out the door, and even passing Demetri leaving him with a startled face. The bug glanced back to see Demetri following and then looked forwards. Don’t worry about what he thinks or whatever you said. This is your time to shine and show him what you can do! A smile crossed his face as he sped faster on route to the outskirts of town.

< O >

Frantal Town was the hub for many routes coming from the mountains. Some went as far as Shimmer Hill up eastern while others headed southward to fogbound lake. Though, despite it being known as a mountain rest town, it wasn’t that far from the plains to its east. In fact, it’d take less than three hours for a normal traveler to get through to the leveled land and continue the path that would lead to Plainier.

The flat grassy area was just the type of background for the group of eight, as they marched in their usual groups of two. This time though, things were a lot quieter. Dolly and Jasmine were busy in the front, their gaze straight and narrow on the path, not turning a blind eye to the left nor right. Jaron and Vragon were looking on opposite sides despite being next to each other. Ciecro and Garon seemed too busy mulling in their own heads to really interact. Bringing up the rear was Seliph and Swift, both quiet as well.

Seliph’s froggy hands were in his light, traveling vest while he browsed the two foot tall grass covered landscape. He wasn’t thinking about anything in particular, just enjoying the breeze and scenery as they all traveled on the dirt path.

Swift was taking a casual feel to their trip as well. Holding his arms behind his head as normal and slightly angling his eye-closed face up while doing a few hums to himself as they walked along.

As the two continued on, making sure not to get left behind in their pace compared to the others, Swift looked up at the nice sky. He gave a little smirk at the blue landscape above with a few little traces of white cotton clouds that had before been the entire skyline. “You know,” he said aloud, prompting Seliph to look at him. “It’s nice that we have such a pretty sky after all that rain.”

“Indeed,” Seliph agreed, taking his hands out and letting them sway in the nice walk. The greninja looked forwards at the others as his positivity was replaced with the reminder the others weren’t really feeling as great about traveling. He let out a sigh.

“Something up?” the heliolisk inquired, leaning in a little with a curious gaze.

Seliph didn’t answer. The greninja just kept his eyes on the silent, rather shallow forms of the others. He didn’t like it. Not one bit. Absentmindedly, Seliph reached into one of his pockets and pulled something out.

Swift’s eyes widened, expecting it to be the formula. “Hey, you sure you shoul-” he stopped dead in his sentence as Seliph opened his palm, revealing not the vial of the red liquid but a string with a couple of stones attached with some white solid material. Swift peered at it, gazing upon the interesting three stones that were in the middle. “What’s that?” Swift inquired.

This question snapped Seliph out of his rumination. “Huh?” He looked at Swift confused for a second before remembering he was holding something. “Oh this.” The words felt heavy and seemed only to add to the down mood Seliph had caught from the others. “Just a reminder of what could have been.”

“‘Could have been?’” Swift repeated, confused.

“Could have been with them.” Seliph explained, “You see…a couple of days before the…incident, Ciecro and Jaron made me this. It was a pick-me-up present for doing badly in training and a way of saying sorry.” Seliph’s eyes narrowed as he let out a little moan inside, promptly shoving the old necklace back in his pocket.

Swift didn’t ask to get a better view about it, but didn’t feel quite right about Seliph just shoving something so personal away like it was some food bar’s bill. “Sounds nice,” he mentioned with a little grin, trying to cheer the mood up.

“The opposite really.”

Swift let out a sigh. “I’m sorry,” Swift apologized.

“You didn’t do anything. I just sometimes wonder what could have been if I stayed, before having to snap myself back at the reality of the matter.” Seliph raised his head and picked up his pace a little. “Besides, it’s better to understand why things happen, right?”

“Well…” Swift didn’t know how to respond. I don’t want to fight about actions and all, and to be fair he was awfully young to make such a decision. But, I don’t know, it just doesn’t sit well with me. Swift let out an internal sigh as he started to trail Seliph, keeping his eye on the frog’s vest as a focus point while he mulled. It’s not like I don’t understand it and all, but I don’t think it was the right choice. Then again maybe that’s just my emotions or personal wishes talking. Like, how can I really blame him for wanting to keep his brothers safe? I mean, what if I was in his footprints? Would I make the same choice? I don’t know, I just hate that this all happened.

Swift looked up at the back of Seliph’s head. He theorized Seliph was wearing his “business” face and whatever enjoyment of the path had long since been shoved to the side. His own head fell at the thought, being the only one that seemed to just take in the scenery with a smile, well former smile. Suddenly, an idea crossed his mind. He scurried up to Seliph’s side again, threw his arms once more behind his head, leaned to the left a little, and whispered to Seliph, “So, what do you think we should do when we get to Plainier?”

“We probably won’t stay long,” Seliph answered, annoying Swift slightly at the shutdown.

“Well yes, but we’ve got a bit of a ways to get there, right? Not to mention they might have some neat stuff to-” Swift’s words were cut off by a stare from Seliph.

“What are you on about? It’s not like we’re on a vacation,” Seliph pointed out, shoving his serious gaze towards the path in front of them.

“No, but look Seliph.” Swift jogged a little bit ahead, turned around, and started to walk backwards as he continued. “Just because we’re traveling and all doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. Like our race was fun wasn’t it?”

Seliph gave a little nod but his mulling eyes and stiffened walk conveyed the opposite.

The heliolisk, however, remained undeterred by this and instead brightened his smile, closed his eyes, and leaned a little as he continued to match Seliph’s pace with his backwards own. “That’s what I mean, everyone is too focused on the worry aspect and forgetting to well live and all. I’m not saying ignore the danger, but we can’t just go around all paranoid.”

“You say that like we weren’t attacked before. Oh that’s right, you weren’t there then.” Seliph crossed his arms as he let out a sigh. “Look, I don’t know why you feel like you wronged me in some way that you have to get on my good side, but Swift I thought we agreed it was forgiven.”

Swift’s eyes open in a little confusion as his head tilt gave off a similar reaction. “Get one your good side? What makes you think that’s what I’m doing this for?”

“Well…” Seliph looked to the side and his once firm arm cross was slowly migrating to a nervous arm rub. “I mean, with all this need to trying to, I dunno, just shrugging things off and trying to get me to-” His words were interrupted by a giggle from the reptile in front. This prompted Seliph to demand what was so funny.

“Is it really hard to just have someone be nice to you just to be nice to you? I mean, I get being a little skeptical, but you’re talking to the guy that just last night told you about something I feel nowadays.”

Seliph paused, his walking starting to slow a little as he recanted Swift and him talking in the rain.

“I went to you to apologize for what I said and all. I’m not the kind of guy that likes keeping barriers between his friends.” Swift gave another big grin as he twisted around, and once more joined at Swift’s side, the both of them once more looking at the group. “And I’m trying to cheer you up now because I can tell a lot is on your mind and something tells me it’s about them and that in there.” Swift pointed to Seliph’s vest’s full pocket for emphasis.

The greninja’s palm went over the pocket and clenched it a little tight. The vial gave an atmosphere of heaviness as did looking at the little stones from the necklace.

“I can’t imagine what it feels like to carry something like that…but if you ever need someone to take it for a few days. Hit me up.”

Seliph raised a brow as he stared forwards, a strange confusion filled his head. As Swift was left to interpret this, Seliph mulled over the weirdness of how he didn’t immediately jump to the defense at this offer. I mean, I just have known him for…well that’s not entirely true but… He sighed internally. I’m letting my emotions get to me.

“You okay?” Swift inquired as Seliph let out a sigh.

“Sorry, you’re just weird.”

“Huh?” Swift replied quickly as Seliph facepalmed and grumbled.

“No, it’s…it’s weird. I feel a bit longing and all.” Seliph shoved his hands in his pockets, cheeks starting to grow red from embarrassment, more so how he felt than the misunderstanding from earlier. “I feel uneasy, but I want to trust you. Like…think of it like this.”

Seliph pointed his arm out as Swift watched intently. “You have this chest let’s say.” Seliph drew a chest like thing in the air as best he could without anything to mark it with. “And let’s say there’s a key to it that you never take out of your dresser drawer.”

Swift finally broke his arm’s behind head form to rub his head, unsure of what parallels Seliph was drawing.

“Now…let’s say that this chest contains secrets, notes, studies, and philosophies from and by the owner.”

“Okay,” Swift slowly answered, the dragging out of the word emphasizing how this wasn’t getting any clearer.

“Now…say this owner never lets anyone near that dresser with the key let alone telling anyone that the key is in it.” Seliph gestured in a few directions as he continued. “And that’s because this owner is very, very concerned of it leading to the chest’s contents being stolen.”

“Uh huh…”

“So, then he has a visitor an-”

Before Seliph could finish, Swift butted in with. “I’m sorry, but what does this have to do exactly with this longing bit?”

An aggravated groan came from Seliph as he plopped his right hand on his face and dragged it down, making Swift chuckle on the inside at the thought.

“Hey, if you’re having trouble telling me you can just take a deep breath and either do or don’t.” Swift gave an assuring nod to Seliph as he stared straightforward once more and added, “I don’t expect you to tell me everything now. I mean, if you aren’t ready to that’s fine.”

“That’s…fine?” Seliph asked, almost confused at this brushing off.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t want to do that.” Swift placed his arms behind his back again as Seliph curved a skeptical brow at the heliolisk.


Swift kept looking forward, smile ever showing as he answered in a rather light but sincere tone. “Because I care and I now know pressing you isn’t something I should be doing to you. I worry yeah, but I just want to look out for you and everyone in front of us, but I can’t always expect to get all the answers and I went too far with you so I’m respecting your boundaries.” Swift then looked at Seliph with a friendly smirk. “After all, to me, you’re a friend and well…your parents were very important to me. Plus, I want you to think of me as your friend too.”

While Seliph didn’t outwardly say it but these word almost made him tear up. He looked downcast at the ground they were walking on, trying to keep all the teary feelings in.

“You okay?” Swift asked again, with a little concern in his tone as he leaned in to see if he could help.

“No,” Seliph answered, wiping his eyes with his arm. “I’m fine. Just…haven’t heard something like that for I don’t care how long ago.” He then looked at the heliolisk and returned a smile. “Thanks Swift, you’re cool.”

“Heh, thanks, glad you think so.” The electric lizard seemed bounding with energy, happy he could have a positive effect for once. His gaze snapped to the road ahead he started to walk in a very stoic and masculine way.

“What are you doing?” Seliph joked, still rubbing his eyes a little.

“I dunno, just caught up in the moment.” Swift raised a brow, however, as something caught his attention. While they had been talking, neither seemed to notice a growing forest on the path ahead. “Hmm, so this path goes through a forest?”

“Well, Plainier Town is in a forest clearing,” Seliph informed as he joined up at Swift’s side.

Swift’s positive bounding was now a little concerned. “Means we should stick together. I mean, could be some potential trap in there.” He looked at Seliph, his eyes scowling with a determined expression. “Just in case, you know, those guys you talked about show up again.”

Seliph nodded. “Hopefully, they have tracked us down. But so far we haven’t had any-” Seliph stopped in his sentence as he noticed Swift suddenly come to a halt. “Swift?”

The heliolisk had a scowl on his face, but it was oddly acting like it was mulling over something. As Seliph drew closer to Swift, asking what he was doing and all, Swift quickly hushed him. “Quiet.” Seliph complied as Swift closed his eyes.

He turned his mind and focus to the world he felt. The world he could hear. Many sounds came to his head as his gift, Echo Visor, started to active and pick them up. He heard much rustling like wind blowing and other noises like the footsteps of the group ahead. He even could pick up on a little of Seliph’s breathing since he was close. But one sound was catching his attention. He turned his eye-closed head towards the direction, slowly piecing together what it could be. Rustling…but it sounds similar to the breeze speed. But the length of it is…odd. Like the swaying is shorter and less. An idea crossed his mind.

He opened his eyes and started looking across a certain patch of the tall grass on the side of the path. Seliph walked over to him, as Swift peered at a certain spot.

“You see anything?” Seliph asked in a low battle-ready tone.

Swift gave a nod. “Yes…it’s hard to see, but some rustling over there.” Swift pointed to a specific direction.

Seliph peered over at the area, carefully browsing the entire section. And there it was, a small rustling of the grass swerving towards them like a snake. “That’s not even waist size grass,” Seliph stated aloud. “How can they be hiding there let alone know we’re-”

“Not important.” Swift answered, quickly putting an arm on Seliph’s shoulder. “Warn the group, I’ve got your back.”

Seliph nodded and was about to dash after them when suddenly he stopped.

“Seliph?” Swift looked at where Seliph was staring with what looked like a shocked gaze. The group had apparently already gone in the forest but at the edge stood a zoroark with a few white streaks in his fur looking at the two. Swift’s eyes widened as he spied the mon’s red eyes.

The dark type gave a grin as he walked to the forest, vanishing into the forest as he was starting to morph into something blue.

“Wait that’s-…Huh Seliph!” Swift was left in surprise as Seliph suddenly dashed after this mon. “Hey, wait up!” Just as Swift was about to run after Seliph, he suddenly heard an odd noise. Without risking a look, Swift leaped off his currently grounded foot from where he felt the noise was coming from. Thankfully his hearing was on point; he managed to evade an incoming Shadow Ball and rolling for defense. “Seliph! Wait!” He shouted, but his words did nothing to slow Seliph down. Something’s wrong up ahead, Swift thought as he got up to try and find his attacker. Realizing there wasn’t much hope getting Seliph to come back and re-group, Swift decided to try and hear his attacker’s movements again to get a good strike.

He closed his eyes and once more focused through his gift to listen to the noises around. As he did this, however, he heard something else that was strange. He quickly shoved his front leg forwards and leaped away from his spot just as a Psycho Cut struck it. The resulting impact gave him some extra momentum he used to do a recover roll and regain his balance on a one knee position.

Swift didn’t have time to relax though since the launcher of the Psycho Cut leaped out from a patch to his right, bringing down a slice with a gallade elbow. Speedily, Swift pulled his body back and handsprung away from the attack before landing low, ready to defend. Damnit, guess I’m cut off. He gave a challenging grin to his attacker, who gave a grunt at this cocky look.

Swift took a look behind him real quick and noticed Seliph was no longer in sight. “Alright, he made it,” Swift said, relieved at this revelation as he returned his focus back to his opponent.

“You should probably be more concerned about yourself,” Siegfried pointed out as Vex shot out from the ground, doing a side flip in the air, and landing on the ground behind Swift, separating him from the forest.

“I don’t mind a two on one,” the pumped heliolisk jeered, rolling his arms as if he wasn’t at all worried.

“Perhaps we should change that,” Siegfried muttered, clearly not interested in the short mon’s misplaced confidence.

Swift tensed up at this, forming a defiant scowl at the threat. He wanted to try and find a route to get to the others, but he couldn’t take the risk of looking with two goons ready to attack should he drop his guard. They’ll be fine, Swift assured himself in his mind. Garon is with them and al-

“Worried about your friends?” Vex slithered with a dark smile, as a predator would at their squirming prey.

“No,” Swift exclaimed, shooting his gaze at the gengar. “They can handle themselves.”

“Oh sure, sure.” Vex floated a little in the air, meeting Swift’s angry look with his gloating one. “Too bad you won’t get to see the fun in there. I’m sure Seliph is just dying to fight the boss.”

“What do you mean?” Swift pulled his arms up for a brawl while still listening for the gallade in case he tried strike.

“Heh, doesn’t matter now least of all to you.” Vex licked his chops, giving a dark, intimidating look at the smaller electric type. “You’re our opponent or should I say prey.”

“Or should you say, ‘that guy going to beat your asses up’.” Swift gave a condescending smirk, exuberating his confidence with a mocking swipe of his finger over the nostrils of his snout.

“Tck, tough words,” Siegfried stated from behind Swift. “But before you back it up allow me to ask you something.”

“What?” Swift inquired, turning his focus to the gallade.

“You’re Norfairion.” The gallade’s eyes narrowed as he put a foot forwards and pointed his elbow to Swift as he extended it. “Are you true-blood?”

Swift cocked his head, rather surprised at the question. “You mean, were both my parents Norfairions?” The gallade nodded in confirmation as Swift shook his head afterwards. “Don’t think you’ve earned my trust to get me to spout about that.”

“Regardless…I think I’ll be able to tell if you were raised in Norfair.” Siegfried’s eyes narrowed as Swift scowled at this. “Native born are raised to be strong, adaptable, warriors. Norfair brings the strongest of their youth into the military.”

“Thank you Dr. Blatantly Obvious. I am one.” Swift rudely interrupted with a condescending grin.

“Hmph, ones from other lands that come aren’t trained to become the top. I wonder where you lie in this.” Once he said this he slowly surged a Psycho Cut in his arms, keeping the elbow straight and pointing at Swift. “Are you a true-blood or a half-blood?”

“Are you going to keep on asking irrelevan-” Before he finished, Swift heard Vex move from behind him. Quickly, he rolled away from the gengar’s swipe. Just as soon as he got up he was force to parry an upwards leg sweep from Siegfried. This unfortunately left Swift open for another swipe from Vex. Despite Swift’s attempt at dodging he was nicked in the right arm near his wrist by the ghost’s claws.

He did a recovery roll on his side as got back up in the grass, ready to confront the two now in front. Not good, he blurted in his head as he eyed his opponents. If these two are out here and a zoroark is going after them then…Damnit, I don’t have time to waste with these two.

Swift was about to dart off but Siegfried threw an orb right where he was headed. The heliolisk gridded to a halt before the blast orb exploded. The force of the blast sent the small sized heliolisk sailing. He hit the ground on his right arm, skidded on it for a few feet before tumbling past the two in a couple of disoriented rolls before stopping about ten feet from them.

“Nice try,” Siegfried stated as he clashed his Psycho Cut infused elbows together and got into an aggressive stance, facing his arm blade towards the downed heliolisk. “But you have enough on your plate as it is.” He gave a nod to the floating Vex, who floated back a few feet behind Siegfried to give Swift another mon to get around.

Swift picked himself up, rubbing his arm that had been scrapped a bit by the rolling and was dripping a little blood. “So,” Swift said as he took a deep breath. “Game of stalling eh…” He got on his feet, rolled both his arms before letting them rest at a boxing stance. Once his legs were spaced out enough, he put his weight on the back one. Once set to rumble, he looked at the two with a competitive grin and said. “Well, I hope you’re ready to babysit a bad boy.”

Siegfried gave an arrogant raise of his head as he gave a little smirk. “Still feeling the courage or idiocy to spout quips?”

“Are eyes meant to see?” Swift countered, as he gave Siegfried a middle finger. “How many fingers am I holding up?”

Siegfried gave a slight chuckle at this mockery. “I’ve heard of Norfairions only growing in cockiness when backed into a corner. However, it’s been a while since I’ve fought one of your kind so.” Siegfried unbuttoned his collar letting his cloak fall to the ground, revealing his Phynecion crest.”

“That’s?” Swift’s eyes narrowed with a scowl that looked angrier than the others. “So…you joined that group instead of your own kin? How’s the free life, feeding your cousins to your new sicko friends?” Swift let go of his right arm as he got into a low, aggressive stance.

“I don’t approve everything they do, but I have my own prerogatives.”

Swift didn’t seem interested in this attempt to come off in good faith. “Hmph, must be pretty good prerogatives if you’re willing to hunt down a kid, and take him from his home and friends. Lemme guess, because he’s Averion?”

Siegfried’s eyes narrowed. “I’m not inclined to tell you the reason.”

Swift brushed his snout once more with a fist as he said with a sassy reply, “And I’m not inclined to let you kidnap the kid.”

“Hmph, well then ‘half-breed’ show me what you’ve got.” Siegfried took a few steps forwards, extending his elbow blades from beneath his travel cape.

Swift gave a little heliolisk growl as he replied. “I don’t recall answering your question or have we jumped into Dr. Presumptuousness now?” In a change of mood, Swift put his arms behind his head and bent over a little. “Where’d you learn to tell who’s half-breeds and who’s true-bloods, from your red eyes frat buddies?”

“I easily can gather you aren’t one. Grew up in an orphanage after all. Likely a foreign mother for your bastard of a father.”

Swift’s eyes widened as he heard this. “What…What do yo-”

“It’s funny what some mon’s hear on the street and can put together from it. Perhaps you should try having frat buddies like the red eyes to get information,” Vex shouted in a mocking tone.

Swift gave a sneer at the ghost at this counter with his own insult. “So?”

“Go on, half-breed show us why you’re in the big leagues.”

Swift returned his gaze at the gallade, standing in a firm stance that was ready to counter. How…How did they? Grrr, f**k! Swift arched his body low, placing his left hand upon the dirt and pulling up some as he planted it firmly for a push off. Well then, I’ll show you what I can do, traitor! So what if my mom’s Borhmian, I’m not an entitled f**k like you! Swift pushed off his legs, rushing towards the gallade with a zig-zag maneuver. He swapped his frown for a grin as he gave himself a boost in confidence, setting aside his concerns to focus on the stick-legged mon in front. Besides, working up to the big leagues means more experience. So let’s rumble Dr. Galloser.

Siegfried kept a firm eye on his enemy as the lizard pushed off and leaped towards him, spinning his body as the light of an Iron Tail covered his tail. Siegfried raised his arm in response and the two moves clashed with a strong clank like iron against an energy shield.

< O >

Where did he go‽ Seliph exclaimed in his mind as he rushed between the trees.

The scenery was rather dark, thanks to the denseness of the woodwork along with most of the trees being abundant in both height and branch size. A few strips of light did gleam through cracks but even then it didn’t help much for visibility for areas not for the cleared out path.

Seliph kept rushing as fast as he could. His eyes were narrow and curved in a fierce scowl. His breathing was fast and heavy, almost like he was panicking. His arms were pointed to the sides as he navigated his way around the various trees, trying to find Plageues. I know I saw him go this way! But damnit, it’s so hard to follow him in this place.

However, he wouldn’t quit or even slow down. One thought was firm on his mind. The look that evil creature had, running his dad through. That smile, that Devil smile that made Seliph want to run a Night Slash through it was all he needed to pick up the pace.

As he rushed through the forest he suddenly saw something coming from his left. Pushing off the ground away from this movement, Seliph landed on a tree’s trunk, barely avoiding a sweeping large slice from something. He quickly pushed off the tree, as he twirled upside down as he drew a Night Slash mid-air and gracefully landing with his move pointed at his attacker.

Whatever it was, it was big. A bit of the light coming from up ahead that was covered by this attacker. He didn’t have time to figure out what species this enemy was, before a ball of orange light appeared. The light from the move showed a snorlax’s face. Hyper Beam! Seliph quickly rushed to the side as the beam tore through the land he stood at before, causing a powerful shockwave.

Seliph went splat on his back upon another tree before plopping onto the ground. He didn’t stay down for long since he could hear his attacker heading his way. Quickly, he rushed away from it, taking advantage of his speed to put some distance for him to quickly leap his way up to the higher branches of some of the trees.

Once he found a branch he figured was high enough, he stood still, lowering his breath as he pressed his back against the tree. He didn’t try to look down, the sound this snorlax was making was informing enough. He waited and waited as the movements from below slowly grew quieter and quieter.

Is he gone? Seliph grabbed the branch and swung himself upside down, holding onto the branch as he looked around. He then spied the snorlax about fifteen feet away, or at least it looked like it. He quietly let go and landed with very little noise, keeping his body low as he slowly crept to the tree to observe this mon.

He was about to get closer when suddenly he heard a noise behind him.


The greninja spun around to see Garon coming up. It was too dark to make Garon out perfectly, making Seliph nervous. “Garon, is that you?” Seliph stated as he readied to draw his move.

“Yeah, I heard an explosion so I came over.” The big dragon went to the side of the tree as he looked over at the snorlax, who was apparently still looking for Seliph. “Who is that?” he asked in a low whisper.

Seliph stood up as he looked firmly at Garon. The thoughts of his enemy disguising as Garon were overwhelming strong, but despite this conflict he managed to keep himself from attacking and instead ask, “Garon…what is my last name?” Seliph stiffened as he readied a strike.

“Almkin of course. Seliph, we don’t have time for games. Where’s Swift?”

Seliph let out a sigh as he looked back at the snorlax. “Swift…I…don’t know. I think he was fighting someone still in the plains.”

“You left him?” Garon asked in a hasty tone, looking at him with a surprised stare. His white irises scowling with worry and fret.

“I…” Seliph rubbed the back of his head as he looked at Garon saying, “I saw someone come after you so I went after him. It was a zoroark.”

“A zoroark huh,” the big dragon repeated as he looked back at the direction he had come from. “If that’s the case, then maybe we should get back to the group. If they’re in danger-” he stopped as he noticed Seliph was taking a few steps away. “Seliph? Where are you going?”

Seliph stuttered for a second before saying, “Garon…it was a zoroark.”

“Yeah? So let’s go help the others.”

Seliph let out a sigh as he returned his look at Garon, saying, “sorry, but I need to be sure.” Seliph tensed his body as he bent his legs ready to pounce. “Garon, what is my mother’s name before meeting my father?”

Garon paused. The eyes of the garchomp narrowed as he looked back to the spot with the snorlax. His eyes widened upon seeing something.

Seliph looked back at the snorlax’s area too. To his surprise, the creature was gone. Seliph’s eyes shot back at Garon. “Where did he-?”

Suddenly the feeling of sharp teeth dug into Seliph’s left shoulder. He let out a cry in pain as he looked at what looked like a garchomp’s forehead peering into view from the corner of his eye. Seliph formed a Night Slash dagger and swiped at the mon, who let go before it could get cut. Despite this freeing Seliph from the bite, it unintentionally left himself open to a following tail swipe from Garon. The thick garchomp tail firmly smacked into Seliph’s stomach, sending him rolling for a few feet.

As he slowly got up, he looked up at two mons looking towards him. One had red eyes while the other seemed to not have any or at least the red was too small to make out clearly. The red eyes lit up in the dark as shape of this creature shifted.

“I’d love to play again with you, but I think I’ll save the dessert for later.” Plageues said with a dark smile, morphing to a thinner, furry creature. “Knock him out please, but don’t kill him. I want to savor the moment.”

Once done, Plageues rushed away, leaving the other garchomp to fight Seliph. “Yes sir,” a lazy tone replied as the garchomp transformed, morphing into the image of a snorlax.

“W-what?” Seliph exclaimed as he got to his feet, holding his left shoulder.

“Heh, surprised to see a ditto transform.” The creature gave a smirk, or at least one that a snorlax could muster.

Seliph formed a night slash blade in his left hand as he held it backhanded and ready to defend. Wait… a thought crossed Seliph’s mind as the fake snorlax charged at him. He leaped away from each of the swipes, nimbly dodging each one, waiting to see if his guess was right.

After a few minutes of dodging, Seliph put some distance between him and the transformed ditto as he took a second to catch his breath and thoughts. It’s not using moves now…that means either that was a real snorlax before or it transformed from a real one. I doubt he did it and then journeyed all the way over here. Seliph braced himself as the ditto rushed at him, morphing into a stantler, aiming its antlers at him. Meaning there’s a snorlax somewhere and likely with Plageues.

Once the stantler was almost upon him, Seliph drew a Night Slash blade, rolled to the side, and swiped at the legs. Despite his quickness, Seliph failed to even hit for the ditto quickly shifted to a ninjask as it flew around in the tress, sending its buzzing noise echoing throughout the forest.

Seliph got to his feet once more, his left hand tightening over his move weapon, his right arm trying to cover the wound that was starting to bleed down his arm. His eyes darted around, trying to spot his enemy as his breathing sped up and the fake ninjask’s flapping noise died down. Plageues was heading for the group, there is a snorlax somewhere, he left Swift alone, and now he was alone.

Seliph took a deep breath. Calm down, he urged himself as he flipped the move to backhand and lifted it up as he bent low. You can’t afford to fail this time. You aren’t a little boy anymore…you’re a grown adult. And besides. Seliph spun around and sliced the paw of an ursaring trying to claw him from behind.

“Ouch!” the ditto shouted, holding his hand as he reverted from the ursaring form once more to a ninjask and flying around once more.

I’m fine with spilling the blood of the group that ruined my home. His eyes narrowed to an angry, determined look. Quickly, he rushed off in a direction, listening for the noises from the ditto. I’m not gonna play your game your way, you bi**h. I don’t care if I have to dodge him all day, I won’t let you hurt anyone of my family again!

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
– Unknown


Darkinium Z

Dani California
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Hours Ago
5,857 posts
13.8 Years
Chapter 37

Their eyes feel upon Lesath, picking himself off the ground while rubbing his head.
Fell, I think.

“That hurt,” he stated, facing his attacker, that being a pissed off Rosa levitating from the branch they were on and softly landing about ten yards from him.
I feel "pissed off" is too causal for the narration. Maybe "a furious Rosa" might sound better.

Skrelle took a sigh of relief but didn’t remain relaxed for long. He stood up and looked at Rosa. “It’s over.”

She gave him a glare as she held another Shadow Ball in her hand. Her arm didn’t seem to want to back down.

Skrelle gave a little snort as he took a firm step in her direction and with a low growl stated, “I order you to go cool off before you do something you will regret. Am…I…clear?”
Quite a bit of passive voice there. Even though the confrontation is over, active voice would make these passages run smoother.

I take it the scene with Daemon is a flashback of Rosa's? If so, liked last chapter I got a bit confused there. Perhaps itcalizing that flashback could work there to make that clearer.

Hm, wonder what Demteri's dream means there.

I admit, feels kinda weird reading a chapter not featuring Jaron, Vragon, Ciecro, and the others, but it's by no means bad. Kinda amusing Lesath's Mirror Coat really got Rosa off guard there.

Chapter 38

Okay, before I get with the content, oh my gosh dude the passive voice "let out a sigh". Like, "sighed" isn't a bad word, use it. Okay, here's a solution. When you're editing, use the find and replace feature and search "let out a sigh" and similar phrases. Replace those with the active verb, and the writing should be more streamlined. Have this saved somewhere or else I'll keep harking you on passive voice. = P

Swift let out a sigh. “I’m sorry,” Swift apologized.
Two big editing notes with this. One, the "let out a sigh" passive voice I mentioned earlier. Second, you know that '"I'm sorry", he apologized' line from Eragon everyone made fun of? This is the same thing here. We already know "I'm sorry" is an apology and you're just repeating it. Have "Swift said" instead.

Actually, I noticed these last two chapters you seem to almost avoid "said." Always using "reply", "answer", and similar words instead. "Said" gets the job done much better. Okay okay okay, done with editing notes, onto the content!

Swift picked himself up, rubbing his arm that had been scrapped a bit by the rolling and was dripping a little blood. “So,” Swift said as he took a deep breath. “Game of stalling eh…” He got on his feet, rolled both his arms before letting them rest at a boxing stance. Once his legs were spaced out enough, he put his weight on the back one. Once set to rumble, he looked at the two with a competitive grin and said. “Well, I hope you’re ready to babysit a bad boy.”
Getting a bit ahead of yourself huh Swift, lol. Siegfried knowing about Swift's family history though pushed his buttons there.

I admit, I thought that Snorlax was Plagues, and then the Ditto. So yeah, what is up with that Snorlax hanging around?

Foul Play
[Chapter Nine up!]


Age 24
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
21,156 posts
7.8 Years
Reviewing Chapter 5

I really liked that first snippet. It went a long way to showcase the immaturity of the younger siblings as well as how well Seliph knows them. I liked the Electivire fight for similar reasons. The fight choreography was also really well written and I enjoyed the little bits of information we got through it, like Gathor's gift which seems different to abilities.

Overall though I think that this chapter would have benefited from being split into two. The first focusing on Gathor and co. and the second on Seliph and his brothers with a time overlap across chapters. The impact of each event would have been stronger without perspective being yanked away.


Say it with me (Vray-gun)

As if I'd be one to say
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted December 4th, 2019
285 posts
2 Years
Contains: Violence, Blood and Injury, Peril, Language, Demeaning Slang [14]
Chapter 39
From All Sides [Act 1]

The forest looked dark and creepy, not too different from the jungle he grew up in except for the trees. At least, it felt that way for Ciecro. Something about the darkness in there made him when he was younger. The charmeleon let out a sigh as the memories started their unwelcome return.

“Something wrong?” Garon’s curious voice inquired, looking at Ciecro as they walked on the plain path in the forest.

“Huh?” Ciecro looked back, a little thrown off by Garon suddenly saying something.

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.” The large garchomp scratched one of his hammerhead horns.

Tck. Ciecro rolled his eyes before shifting them to the path behind them, attempting to avoid looking at the forest or Garon. Instantly, Ciecro widened his eyes upon noticing something off. Seliph and Swift weren’t behind them on the path. “Dey’re not dere.” Immediately Ciecro began browsing the area.

“Not there?” Garon repeated, looking first at Ciecro and then to the path. Sure enough, neither were there. Garon widened his eyes as he went on high alert, quickly spinning around as he called out to Vragon and Jaron, both of whom were a bit far away at this point in time. “Vray, Jaron! Hang on, something’s wrong!”

Perplexed by the abrupt shout, the two turned around to see what the fuss was about.

“What‽” Vragon yelled back to the two, breaking slightly away from Jaron to backtrack to Garon and Ciecro, while looking a little irritated at the interruption.

“Seliph and Swift aren’t here,” Garon informed, before starting to browse the area again. Leaning his head closer to the charmeleon’s head, Garon whispered while his eyes peered around in high alert, “Go stay with your brother and Vragon. I’ll find Swift and Seliph.”

Ciecro paused for a second, displeased with being sidelined, but complied with a nod and jogged over to the two posthaste. He gestured for Jaron to join him and Vragon, explaining the situation once Jaron arrived.

While Ciecro was getting the two up to speed, Garon returned his fierce gaze to the path behind them. The path to the plains was pretty far from where he stood, in fact, it was no bigger than Garon’s talon. He squinted his eyes as he leaned forwards to get a better look. Slowly his eyes glowed a solidified purple color as he tapped into his gift, True Sight. The world around him went a dark purplish and red as the synergy in the area become visible as bright red and yellow. Their concentration of emissions became his line of sight for the area. Slowly and Carefully, Garon browsed from left to right finally stopping right at something weak synergy blob that seemed to move. As he focused more on it trying to figure out what he was seeing, Garon noticed it wasn’t one but two synergy blobs moving around through the woods, making odd collisions and jumps like they were dancing as they ran parallel to the road. “Guys! We’re not alone!” he roared to the three nearby, all of which shifted their gazes to him at his sudden yelling.

Ciecro snarled as he looked around. “Come on, let’s get tah Dolly an’ Jaz.” The other two nodded as Ciecro called out to Garon, “I’ll join yah lateh!”

Garon nodded, watching the three sprint away down the path. The garchomp then turned his purple glowing eyes towards the path, keeping watch over the three as they ran. He then spotted something coming from their left and immediately darted into action. His head went low, his body bent forwards so his fin was upright, and his arms spread like a bird’s gliding. As his eyes switched out of True Sight, Garon spotted a little light coming from the same spot. “Guys get down!” he roared.

The three dropped, just as a focus blast was sent hurling through the air. To Garon and their surprise, it wasn’t heading for them but instead struck a tree nearby. Its trunk snapped and it started to fall onto the path. Ciecro was getting up unaware he was in the way of the falling tree.

“Ciecro!” Jaron shouted, as he quickly grabbed his brother’s arm and pulled with all his might.

Jaron’s action on Ciecro alerted Vragon to the tree. Without getting up, Vragon rolled to the side as Jaron fell onto his back from his pull, Ciecro landing on top of him right as the tree hit the ground with a loud “thwomp”.

Ciecro turned his head, gazing at the now grounded tree. It took him a second to notice Jaron wiggling underneath him. “Huh, oh,” he rolled off so Jaron could get up. As Jaron sat up, taking slow long breaths after, Ciecro leaned in closer, putting a claw on his brother’s shoulder asking, “Yah okay?”

Jaron just sat there staring at the tree, almost as if the image of something bad was filling his head.

“Hey, Jaron,” Ciecro said again, shaking Jaron’s left shoulder. “Snap out of it.”

“Uh? Hey! Knock it off!” Jaron smacked away Ciecro’s arm, resulting in a growling response from Ciecro. Jaron rubbed his shoulder a look of remorse covering his face. “Sorry, bro.” Jaron looked forwards, towards the tree again, a bothered look on his face. It stays was short due to Jaron remembering Vragon was on the other side. “Hey, Vray you okay?” he said, standing up to look over.

A bit of indistinguishable grumbling came from the other side. “Just fine, Jaron.” The fraxure stood up, dusting himself.

Jaron sighed in relief. “Good he’s okay.” The croconaw sighed in relief as he looked at Ciecro. “How about you Cie-? Ciecro?”

Ciecro was busy looking around, ready for a fight. “Did yah forge’ abou’ dat attack?”

Oh yeah, Jaron said in his head. Before he could reply, Garon had joined up with them, panting slightly as he put his talons on their shoulders.

“Are you two alright?”

They nodded in response.

After taking a sigh of relief, Garon turned around to try and find out where their attackers were. “You two watch over Vragon. Try to get to Jasmine and Dolly if you can.”

Jaron nodded and rushed to the tree. “Vray, keep an eye out. We’re coming.” Jaron started to climb over while Vragon was busy keeping watch on the other side. “Come on bro.”

Ciecro didn’t answer. His eyes were glued to the tree as Jaron was working on climbing over. Why does it have a shadow on it? It didn’t take long for it to click. “Jaron! Lookou’!” Ciecro shouted, rushing over to his brother and firmly wrapping his arms around Jaron’s upper stomach.

“What are yo-” was all Jaron could say before Ciecro pushed off the tree just a second before something huge landed straight on it. The force of the impact sent Jaron and Ciecro flying right into the back-side of Garon’s right shoulder. Garon stumbled a few steps forwards, trying to avoid from face-planting, while the brothers hit the ground. Since it was Jaron’s face that planted into Garon’s shoulder it was Ciecro’s face that his the dirt first.

Vragon, on the other hand, didn’t fly as far from the shockwave but wound up rolling on the ground to make up for it.

“Blegh.” Ciecro spat the dirt out of his mouth as he pushed Jaron off of him. “Yuck,” he stated, shaking his head and brushing his tongue with his claws. His clawing at the mouth stopped upon once more looking forwards. “Oh no.” His eyes widened as his arms dropped from his open mouth. His arms started shaking a little from both anxiety and anticipation.

Meanwhile, Jaron was rolling off the ground with a bit of dirt stuck on his face from Ciecro’s push. “Did you have to push me that hard?” Jaron grumbled, wiping the dry dirt off his face. The scowl on Jaron’s face instantly changed to confusion once he noticed his brother was slowly standing up, wearing a scowl that looked defensive and cornered. “C-Ciecro?”

Jaron slowly looked in the direction Ciecro was facing, his jaw-dropping as he saw a towering snorlax getting up from the little mini-crater he had made. The tree he had landed on was nothing more than splinters harshly shoved into the dirt with no sign of any cuts on the large mon’s stomach.

“Wh-What is that?” Jaron stated, still processing the behemoth in front of them.

Instead of answering Jaron’s blunt question, Ciecro dashed towards it without a second thought.

“Ciecro wait!” Jaron shouted, but Ciecro didn’t comply.

The charmeleon swiftly closed the distance between him and the giant mon. His tail started readying Dragon Tail as he did a little hop, landing on the ground and bending down to aim his jump where the mon’s head was going to be. Right as he was about to jump, something flashed in the corner of his eye. He stopped, turning his attention to this new thing. His eyes widened upon seeing an orange Focus Blast fired at him. Ciecro tried to jump away, but the orb as too fast, grazing him on his side as it flew onwards to explode in the deep woods. He let out a painful shout as he landed on his side, grabbing his rib where his scales had been singed, stinging even more as he touched them. Angrily, he got on a knee, browsing the area for this new assailant.

The sight of his brother narrowly escaping a direct hit from the move was enough to spring Jaron into action. Quickly, he pulled out a blast orb and threw it where he guessed the stranger was.

A silhouette in the dark sprang away from the blast radius, rushing away from them while following alongside the path from the forest. Jaron quickly rushed over to cover his brother. Damnit, Jaron grumbled in his mind at this miss. Jaron didn’t dwell on it and hurried over to Ciecro, who by now was on his feet.

“You okay?” Jaron asked, trying to get a peek at the wound.

“It’s notin’” Ciecro replied with a determined grin. He took his hand off, showing that the burn cut on his scales was rather light. “Not deep.”

“So you screamed like you were stabbed, over the pain of a cut,” Jaron jeered with his own snarky grin.

“Shudup an’ back me up,” Ciecro replied, turning around to face the snorlax, who by now facing them standing up straight.

“You two alright?” They both didn’t take their eyes off this new enemy as Garon joined them in the middle.

“Never better,” Jaron optimistically said. “So, you have any ideas on how to handle this guy?”

Garon raised his talons as his eyes narrowed. His jaw gritted as his legs firmly pushed on the ground as if he was going to jump any second. “Keep an eye out for that mon in the woods,” Garon whispered to the two. They nodded as the three readied for whatever the large snorlax to make his move.

As the snorlax took a rather slow step forwards a purple and yellow flame struck the snorlax’s head from behind, causing him to wobble forwards a little. Vragon’s voice from behind it yelled, “Guys! Follow up!”

Jaron was the first to act. With a determined growl, he quickly rushed towards the mon. He started to form a Slash in his arm, aiming to chop at the right let before the mon could get an attack off. “Bwa?” he uttered as his attention was shifted as his gift, wary sent an unsettling feeling throughout his nerve system.

Before he had a chance to confirm an attack heading his way, Jaron stopped committing to finding it and instead rolled to the side. Once he was right side up again, Jaron was distracted by the impact of a move on the ground nearby. The resulting dirt cloud blinded him, causing him to rub his eyes prone. Damnit no! He roared in his head as he struggled to get the tears flowing to get the dirt out of his eyes.

The snorlax raised its right arm, to do a sweeping strike upon the temporary blind Croconaw.

Without looking at Ciecro, Garon ordered, “Cover me!” Without wasting another second, Garon rushed forwards to help Jaron.

Thankfully, Ciecro got the message easily and jogged after him, keeping a watching eye and taking big breaths in case he needed to spout Flamethrower fast.

As Garon approached the large snorlax diverted its attention towards this new incoming foe. Its swing arced away from Jaron to strike Garon directly from above in a very choreographed attack.

This didn’t deter Garon’s incoming assault but merely provided him with ample confidence he was battling an idiot. As the arm was coming down, Garon pivoted lightly of the foot he had on the ground spun halfway so his back was to the mon, landing with good balance on his other leg. As the snorlax’s attack struck the ground where Garon had been about a second prior, the dragon leaped onto the mon’s arm and with his teeth infused with Crunch, bit as hard as he could into the mon’s flesh.

The snorlax bellowed in a mix of pain and surprise, quickly leaning back while pulling Garon and his arm off the ground. Garon took advantage of this to run a little on the arm to leap and slice at the mon’s head with his talon.

Suddenly, something caught Garon’s eye for a split second before he was nailed in the chest by a smaller, faster made Focus Blast. The orb pushed onto his chest, making him grunt in pain as it pushed him back a little before blowing up, sending him to land a few steps in front of Ciecro.

Oh no! Ciecro immediately rushed over to Garon, trying to help him up.

“Help Jaron!” the dragon commanded, gritting his teeth a little as he rose to a knee and placing a talon on his chest. A small amount of smoke was coming off the area on his chest that was struck by the move, but thankfully, it was no deeper than a scale wound. “I’m alright. Now hurry!” Garon affirmed, standing up to bolster his claim to Ciecro.

Ciecro didn’t hesitate any longer. Dashing towards the large mon, Ciecro took a deep breath as he hurried to defend his vulnerable brother from the brute. As the snorlax was readying a strike Ciecro got in front of Jaron and unleashed a Flamethrower at the mon’s head.

“Hey,” the snorlax bellowed, more out of how deep his voice was than actually aiming for an imposing tone. “Stop it.” It moved its arms to shield his head from Ciecro’s fire move.

“Don’t stop it,” Jaron ordered, blinking as his watery eyes started to get a clear picture again. “Whatever you’re doing,” he added, making Ciecro chuckle in his head as he turned up the pressure on the mon.

As that was going on Garon hadn’t left his spot, panting a bit as he kept a firm gaze on the two. I think they’re fine, he told himself in his head. His gaze turned to the left side of the path, focused on the dark woods. Let’s see where you are.

Garon’s eyes started glowing purple as his gift activated. He gasped as he spotted the mon, but it was behind the snorlax’s position. Vragon! Garon quickly jogged forwards, ignoring the stinging from his chest as he darted into the outskirts of the forest to go around, moving in low and fast.

The searing flame hitting the snorlax’s arm flew overhead. Below its fiery path was Vragon, merely watching it as he tried to see how he could help. Maybe…if I can strike it somewhere else. Yes, that’s it. Vragon slammed a fist into his other one, happy with the idea. His eyes immediately focused on the snorlax’s large feet. Bingo, he stated in his mind.

As he formed a Dragon Claw and took a step something tapped his right tusk, making his head wobble to that side a little. “Huh?” Vragon looked to the right to see a smiling Zoroark looking down at him with a malicious grin.

“Made you look.” Before Vragon had time to grasp the situation Plageues swung his leg into a firm smack onto Vragon’s chest.

The air inside the fraxure’s lungs was forced out as Vragon tumbled a few feet before stopping on his belly. “Oww,” he groaned, moving his left claw at the point of impact. He slowed his breathing down to try and lessen the pain.

“My, my, you’re an interesting specimen.”

Vragon shifted onto a knee as he looked upon his assailant. Plageues was slowly walking towards him, eyeing him like one would a juicy berry within reach. A feeling of dread filled Vragon as he started shifting back.

“Oh, don’t go.” Plageues grinned as he stopped, gazing down upon the shaky fraxure, no more than two feet away now. The zoroark did a squat as he leaned in closer, whispering in a low tone, “Aren’t you the least bit curious about who you are?”

Vragon tilted his head, though didn’t dare to reply or give this creep any sign of compliance.

“Of course you are, Vragon.”

Vragon stayed quiet, his shaking slowing down. “Why are you hunting me?” he asked, his tone a bit high since he was still staring at a mon that could stab him at any moment.

“Hunting you say?” Plageues’s grin grew as he leaned in closer. “I wouldn’t call what we’re doing, ‘hunting’.”

“Then…what would you call it?” Vragon’s eyes turned to a scowl, not one out of anger or rage but defensive curiosity.

“I would call it-” Plageues swung around, surging a Night Slash over his arm like a thin gauntlet to block Garon’s talon swipe for his head. “Excuse me sir, we’re in the middle of a conversation. Couldn’t you have taken the long way around the snorlax, Mr. impatient?” the zoroark dramatically said with a chuckle.

Garon growl in reply as he pressed harder with his talon, pushing Plageues’s defense closer to the zoroark’s face. The fierce gaze of Garon shifted its focus to Vragon, who was just sitting there mentally buffering. “Assist!” Garon ordered, snapping Vragon back to reality.

“Aww, no fair,” Plageues answered, adding a little bit of exaggerated disappointment in his tone. He pushed up against Garon’s talon with surprising strength that while wasn’t enough to overpower the surprised Garon did give him the room to twist his arm so the talon would slide down the dark type move. Once free from the move lock, Plageues shoved his weight on his right leg and did a backwards leg swipe at Vragon’s incoming Dragon Claw, knocking the fraxure off-balance. With Vragon taken care of, Plageues planted his other leg and rolled forwards to evade Garon’s second talon swipe and spring forwards to land at a safe distance. He did a heel turn and crossed his arms as he smirked at the two. “Tsk, tsk,” he mocked as he pressed a finger to his forehead. “If you must, I suppose I can play with you first.”

The garchomp stepped in front of Vragon, keeping a firm gaze upon the zoroark.

“Well, then let’s play tag.” Plageues pushed off to the side and formed a Focus Blast in his outstretched hands.

Garon reacted immediately. Lunging towards the dark type, Garon’s eyes changed to a glowing dark blue, as the manifestation of a dragon’s head of the same color formed in front of his head. Its mouth was open, bearing its fangs like it was roaring, as waves of the same color began to split from this head around Garon.

That qui- Was all Plageues managed to think before his instincts cut the Focus Blast short to switch to a dual Night Slash block. Unfortunately for Plageues, he hadn’t landed yet and Garon’s strong legs gave him a strong push-off. The force of the Dragon Rush struck Plageues like an arrow to a head as the two went straight into the forest, the sound of wood and dirt ripping followed, with a few upset dust flinging itself out onto the path.

Vragon just sat there; his mouth agape in awe at so fast yet so strong clash that just happened. It took the large yell from behind him to wake him from his stupor.

“Vray!” Dolly’s voice called out.

He turned around and there she was. “Dolly! Jasmine!” he shouted back but as he was about to run to them, he noticed something. The ground in front of him was starting to be covered in some kind of shadow creeping over the area. Oh no! Vragon spun around to see the snorlax’s had turned its attention to him and was already halfway through an underhand swipe.

“Ah!” Was all he could say before being slammed in the chest by the mighty snorlax swipe. The move sent him twirling in the air before striking the ground on his side, just stacking on the pain in his chest. He cried in agony as he held his ribs, gritting his teeth. “Argh! My side.”

“Vray!” he heard Dolly call behind him, but he didn’t dare move again. He just sat there holding his ribs as the mon, slowly walked closer, undeterred by Ciecro’s Flamethrower striking his back.

What did deter it, however, was a Focus Blast to the face, from a pissed off Dolly.

“I hope that hurt you fu**ing coward!” Dolly roared, as she stepped in front of Vragon, huffing and puffing from the rush over here.

When Jasmine got there she immediately stopped to check on Vragon, while a snarling Dolly was forming and throwing a new Focus Blast at the snorlax. “Are you okay?” She said, and after a mere second of seeing his condition felt stupid for saying that.

“How is he?” Dolly asked, with a little growl at the end of it.

“Not good,” Jasmine replied, helping Vray sit up. “Dolly, I’ll help Ciecro and Jaron keep him busy so you can treat him.”

Dolly gave an angry sigh as she turned her head slightly and nodded in agreement. She then faced the large mon once again and shouted over to the boys on the other side. “Ciecro, Jaron! Vragon’s hurt!”

On the other side of the behemoth mon, Jaron had finally gotten his eyes cleared, though this was dwarfed by news of Vragon being injured. “What?” he replied, getting on his feet as Ciecro stopped his flame after finally conceding he could do nothing to the back. “He’s injured?” Jaron pressed further in worry, as he took a few steps forwards.

“We don’t know yet!”

Jaron scowled as he gave a glance to Ciecro saying, “Let’s mess him up.”

Ciecro nodded in concurrence and the two started their attack.

Ciecro surged a Dragon Tail as Jaron formed a Slash. “Dolly!” Jaron shouted as he rushed to the right with Ciecro going left. Jaron got near the edge of the forest, where Dolly could see him and did a gesture of a fist hitting his vertical arm and letting it fall to the ground.

Good plan boys. Dolly nodded as she formed another Focus Blast. “Jasmine,” she called back, getting Jasmine to look up at him. “I’ll treat Vragon; you help the boys kick his ass.” Jasmine gave an understanding nod as Dolly pointed her arm straight at the snorlax’s head, who was busy trying to reach Ciecro and Jaron albeit in vain.

Jasmine, stepped away from Vragon after ensuring he wouldn’t fall over and readied to pounce into action. “Ready,” she whispered to Dolly.
Dolly’s reply was firing her waiting Focus Blast straight at the snorlax. The impact of this one was stronger than the first, making the mon stumble and groan.

Ciecro spun around and sliced his left foot with his Dragon Tail as Jaron did likewise on the right with his Slash. This caused the creature to stumble back more from the pain in his feet, but the snorlax managed to avoid falling on his back by using the nearby trees as catchers of his fall.

“Damnit!” Jaron shouted in frustration, as he and Ciecro rushed past the mon and joined Dolly and Jasmine.

“Anyone gotta plan?” Ciecro asked as he focused on the snorlax, who was getting back upright. He suddenly felt a firm grip on his left shoulder. Twisting his head, Ciecro looked at Dolly firmly in her brown eyes.

Dolly looked at him and then Jaron, keeping her hands on their respective shoulders. She then looked at the snorlax, leering at it as it bluntly looked back while scratching its head. “Boys,” she said, her tone a lot calmer but serious. “Keep him busy so I’ll have something to clean up afterwards.”

The two smirked aggressively as she pushed them forwards by their backs. They sprang into action, Jaron forming Slash in his right arm and firing an Ice Beam while Ciecro formed Thunderpunch in his right, Dragon Claw in his left, and activated Dragon Tail.

Dolly turned around and looked at Jasmine. “Try to keep them from getting too into it.”

Jasmine smiled with a nod. “As always,” she replied before leaping to join the two, who were already attacking the mon.

Dolly got on a knee as she propped Vragon up with her arm, asking with a soft tone, “sit still. Try and take deep breaths if you can.”

Vragon obeyed but found it very hard to just breathe normally. “D-Dolly, I…I can’t-” his breathing sped up again.

“Easy, I know it hurts something bad, but if I’m right on the money on your injury you need to keep your breathing spaced. Try breathing normally.”

He nodded and attempted that, having better success on that front.

In the meantime, Dolly pulled her shoulder bag in front of her, opening it and rummaging through it before pulling out a little bottle. “Okay, Vray this should help with the pain.” She took the cork off the top of the rather nice smelling liquid as she moved it towards his mouth. “Try and be still. This is my only Duller.”

“Duller?” Vray stuttered as he looked at her with squinting eyes.

“Don’t worry about it, just drink,” she urged him as she propped him forwards with her strong, right arm and with the other tilted the cap to his opening mouth. She kept it very still, only tilting it slightly to avoid spilling, despite the noise and chaos of the fighting happening behind them. Once the bottle was empty, she set Vragon down on his back. “Just lie down for a second so it can work.”

He nodded. “T-thanks D-D… Dolly?” He noticed she stood up and now had her back to him. His curiosity at what she was doing temporarily trumped his focus on the pain as he noticed her flipping the bottle in her hand.

“Hey! You!” She suddenly shouted, bringing a temporary halt to the fighting going on. Once the snorlax looked in her direction, she threw the bottle straight for its head.

The snorlax easily saw it coming so he merely tilted his head so it would fly by. What didn’t fly by was the following Focus Blast, hitting him in the face like all the others.

Dolly gave a pleased nod at seeing the mon stumbled backwards a few steps. “Keep your focus up. Might save you from getting blasted.” She gave herself a well-deserved laugh while Vragon slopped onto his back, groaning at the return of her puns.

“Oh come on, Vray,” Dolly said with a satisfied smirk, walking over and helping him sit up. “How do you feel?”

“Huh?” He felt his body and even twisted himself a little to see if he could incite the pain again, but to his surprise, it had been dulled very quickly. “How?”

“Woah, hold it,” Dolly put her left arm on his shoulder, trying to keep him from moving. “Whatever injury you have is still there, just dulled.”

“Dulled? Already?”

“Yep,” Dolly replied with a big grin. “You’d be surprised how useful a concentrated Stun Spore potion can be when it’s added to a few components to sparse its effects to dulling the nervous system instead of you know…paralyzing you.” Vragon just kept a perplexed look at her as she moved her left hand down to feel his gut and torso. “Well, I know a thing or two about medicine. Not too much, just what’s been done to me and all.”

“O-oh? Done to you?” Vragon said aloud, turning his focus to the trio and the snorlax’s fight.

“Yep, I’ve been injured a few times and all in the battles I’ve fought and stuff…Well, more skirmishes but hey, the more you know.” Dolly kept feeling around chest and stomach till she finally felt something off. “Yep, there it is.” She said aloud, prompting Vragon to look at her. “Damn, it feels like a big bruise. Vragon.” He looked at her as she took her hand-off. “Vray, before I gave the duller to you, what did breathing feel like?”

Vragon paused to think amid the rather ugly, recent memories of the experience and stated, “Well…it felt like breathing fast worked. I had to push to breath at a normal pace like you wanted.”

The kangaskhan’s eyes narrowed a little with concern as she asked. “Does it still feel like you need to push to breathe?”

Vragon attempted to take a big breathe but found himself coughing slightly. It didn’t hurt, but his throat didn’t feel clear. He answered her with a nod with his head, leading Dolly to respond with a worried sigh.

“Sit tight, bud.” Dolly stood up and faced the three. “Jasmine!” she shouted, gaining the absol’s attention. “Vray’s condition is bad, I’m taking him to town. Help the boys and get to the town when you can.”

Jasmine nodded, quickly swinging her head to fire another Psycho Cut straight at the snorlax.

“Stop it!” the snorlax yelled, rubbing the spot where the move struck. With an angry growl, he started to walk in Dolly’s direction. “Wait!” He rushed on as fast as he could, even though it was about as fast as a normal jog.

“Oh no, you don’t!” Jaron shouted as he ran at its side, firing an Ice Beam at its face. To his surprise, the mon just shrugged it off as he kept going. He growled as he formed Slash in his left, swiping at the fat flesh at his side, not even leaving a scraping mark. “Damnit, Jasmine!” he rushed a little ahead so he was viewable by the group, “Get ready. Go for the head and don’t stop till I signal you!”

Jasmine nodded, leaping in front of Dolly and Vragon ready, to assist.

Meanwhile, Jaron quickly darted in front of the mon as he shouted to its right. “Ciecro! Try and trip him! I’ll handle the rest!”

It wasn’t long before a scaly energized tail struck the snorlax’s left foot, stopping right over the foot as if he was trying to trip him.

This forced the snorlax to stop himself, turning his focus to Ciecro. Forgetting about the two in front, the snorlax was left open for a barrage of Psycho Cuts hitting his face. He thrust his arms in front to shield his head from the oncoming energy slices. “Can’t lose the target,” he muttered to himself. “Sylphiel said to….wait, did he say tha-” His words were cut off by an orb bursting open near his face, spawning an Electro Net that latched onto his head and started shocking him. He let out a mixed shriek of pain and surprise.

“Now! Topple him!” Jaron shouted to Dolly and Jasmine.

The three fired their respective ranged attacks straight into the stomach of the snorlax, who was busy trying to pull at the shocking net. Ciecro removed his tail from its spot, spinning around before he whacked the back of the same foot, attempting to get the snorlax to tumble.

The snorlax waved his arms frantically, but slowly as he tipped over and landed with a thud, shaking the ground upon impact. This grounded foe moaned in pain as the net continued to shock him.

“Good job kids,” Dolly cheered with a big smile, prepping the trio with pleased smiles. The kangaskhan then turned around to Vragon and put a hand on his shoulder. Dolly’s eyes shifted to serious. “We need to get you to the town.” She started to try and pick him up.

“What? No, we can’t just leave everyone else!” he protested, trying to escape her grip.

“Vray, don’t squirm.” She let out a sigh as she explained in an understanding tone. “I understand you want to help but we need to get you to town. I think that snorlax’s hit may have fractured one of your ribs.”

“My ribs?” Vragon repeated, almost as if this news was alien to him.

“Yep, that pain earlier was most likely from that. I’d go into detail about how it correlates, but it’s gross stuff anyways and we should probably get you to a doctor before the duller wears off.”

Vragon’s eyes lowered, angry and upset.

Dolly’s eyes narrowed and curved into a caring frown as she moved one of her hands to brush his cheek. “Hey, look at me,” she asked in a gentle tone.
Vragon didn’t comply.

She looked down at him. His right hand was clutching onto his ribs, near the spot he was doing when in pain only this time it was a clench out of frustration like one would do for a wound that hurt their pride more than their body. “Vray.” She looked back at his downcast face and in turning her frown upside-down, said, “We all have limits, Vray. Not being able to help doesn’t make you useless; it just means wherever you can help you’ll do even better in.”

Vragon sighed as he released the tension he was putting through his claw onto his side. “But what if they get hurt?” he inquired, still looking down.

“They know the plan Vray. Keep you out of harm’s way since you’re their target after all. I’m sure they can manage. But if you can’t assist what good can we do then? The duller won’t last forever and I doubt heading back to town when it’s stopped will be a pleasant experience.”

“I’m not fragile,” Vragon answered, finally looking up at her brown eyes, this time with a look of reckless determination.

“No, but as you probably felt, that thing hits like a machamp after a bulk-up. And it’s not a good idea for you to be running around with range attacks when your rib is cracked; it could make your situation even worse, Vray. You understand that right?”

Vragon slowly nodded, reluctantly accepting that her points made a stronger case than what he felt he should do. “I just…” he began but didn’t continue, instead of looking to the side.

Dolly tilted her head at Vragon shaking his head a little. “You just?”

“It’s okay, I understand.” He returned his gaze to her, this time with a smile. He removed his hand from his side and instead let it prop his back up as his other one was. “I’ll sit this one out.”

Dolly rubbed his head, saying, “Thanks Vray. Don’t worry they’ll be alright.” She stood up straight as she stood in front and bent down. “Now get on. I think it’d be faster if I let you tepigback ride me there.” As Vragon started getting settled on her back, Dolly stood up and with a little jesting grin said, “be careful not to get too embored while you’re up there.”

Vragon looked at her with an annoyed glare, saying, “Ribs broken, remember?”

Dolly giggled as she started jogging off with him bobbing on her back. “Don’t get pulverized you three!” She shouted back to the trio, who had their gazes firmly locked on the snorlax.

“Oh thaaaaaaaanks,” Jaron replied with a hint of annoyance. “If you hadn’t noticed we have the thing grounded.”

“Uh, Jaron.”

Jaron turned his head, asking “what‽” in a frustrated tone carried over from Dolly’s sarcasm. His annoyed face shifted to surprise as he spied the snorlax getting up once more, reaching for the net that still shocked his face. “Are you kidding me‽” He roared, firing an Ice Beam straight at the mon.

The snorlax moved his free hand in the way of it so he could quickly work on tearing the net off of him. The shocks it unleashed on his temple were less effective now that he’d gotten used to them.

Jasmine growled, darting to the side shouting, “Ciecro, let’s hit him from the back.”

Ciecro nodded and, once joined by Jasmine, the two unleashed Flamethrower and Psycho Cut upon the creature’s back. To their dismay, it hardly seemed to do much.

“Grrrrr….jus’s go down yah big, fat freak!” Ciecro shouted. “Jaz!” He gave her a sharp look and ordered, “Keep its attention. Try tah keep it from tearin’ dah net off till I’m ready.”
She nodded and jumped in front as Ciecro ran into the woods. What’s he up to now? She wondered, raising a brow as Ciecro started looking around for something among the trees. She redirected her focus back to the mon. Okay, so range moves aren’t working on it, so let’s try something that can hit harder. She took a breath as she pointed her head straight down. Her absol horn began to glow a green light as a transparent spiky horn grew from it. With her Megahorn ready, Jasmine charged headlong for the Snorlax’s back.

The snorlax was still busy trying to tear the electro net orb off his head, while also fending off Jaron’s Ice Beam with his other hand so he didn’t notice her till he felt the sharp sting of the Mega Horn run into his back. “Owww!” He cried, swapping behind him in instinct as Jasmine leaped back before he could hit her. “Stop getting in the way,” he said, almost like a kid would say to a group of bullies.

This tone of reproach left Jasmine confused. “Huh?”

“Stop attacking me so I can get this off.” The mon started pulling at the net once blocking Jaron’s Ice Beam again as he kept messing with the shocking net.

Gee, it’s like he wants me to continue, she chuckled to herself, looking for a new spot to attack. One that would do the opposite of what the snorlax wanted. Her eyes focused on the hand pulling at the net. Her eyes widened at seeing the snorlax had made more progress in removing it then she thought, I’ve got to slow him down.

With a self-confirming nod, Jasmine surged a white aura around herself that disappeared after about a second. She rushed to the side of the snorlax, Quick Attack taking effect. With great speed, she leaped onto the trunk of a tree and shot like an arrow straight for the snorlax’s hand that was trying to get the net off. With a swipe of her claw infused with her Quick Attack move, she succeeded in knocking it away, making the snorlax swing his body to the side from the force of the attack.

However, the snorlax had fiddled with the net enough so that this sudden pull from his hand was enough to tear the part of the net caught on his head, allowing him to pull it off.

As Jasmine landed on the ground, doing a roll to avoid hurting herself, she looked back and immediately was disappointed she had managed to assist. “Oh come on,” she bluntly said, getting back into attack poise for another strike, but before she could something happened.

The snorlax suddenly began coughing, arching his back and puffing out his belly like he was leaning back to get his head wet from a waterfall. What the-? She began but didn’t take long to spot two reddish-orange arms around the snorlax’s neck.

“Jasmine!” Jaron's voice called out to her. She looked to see him waving for her to come.

“Ciecro’s got him in a chokehold!” He added excitedly, almost as if it was all according to plan.

“Uh…wait so is that why he said ‘till I’m ready’?” Jasmine asked, jogging over to Jaron with a perplexed look on her face.

“I guess so,” Jaron said, looking back at the currently being choked snorlax. “Anyways, let’s see if we can-” He stopped mid-sentence as he and Jasmine were forced to back up before they would be caught up in the snorlax’s mad swinging spree.

“Ack, let go!” the mon bellowed, struggling to get air. Ciecro just tightened his chokehold on the mon, making it begin a phase of “attack everything”. It’s both opened wide as a ball of white energy formed. The snorlax then fire his Hyper Beam straight into the woods, dragging’s its area of destruction with him as he swerved around like a chaotic giant in a small town.

The two observers fell to the ground, covering their heads as the damaging beam passed overhead, blasting up dirt down the path and shredding more of the trees.

Jaron uncovered his head and looked up at the pandemonium happening before him. “Of course it would have a strong beam to shoot too,” Jaron complained in a sarcastic tone.

“I liked him better when he was more docile,” Jasmine uttered, slowly and cautiously standing up. “So, Jaron, any ideas on how we take down Mr. Mountain or are we just going to let Ciecro do all the work?”

Jaron gave her a little snarky grin. “I wouldn’t mind that.”

“You sure we shouldn’t assist? I mean, even if he has a chokehold on it, the thing is a forest cutter.”

The two’s conversation was interrupted by another the loud noise of the snorlax, still flailing around, smacking at the trees nearby.

“So anyways,” Jasmine said, returning to the conversation.

“Like you said, it’s a walking forest cutter.” Jaron crossed his arms as he looked at the snorlax. “One swipe from that thing could do some hefty damage and right now Ciecro’s in the safest spot. I doubt the brute is smart enough to simply fall backwa-”

Jasmine clamped his jaw shut with her paws, eyeing Jaron with a tense gaze. “What’s the matter with you? Want to share anymore ideas with the walking canon?”

Jaron quickly tore off Jaron’s paws from his snout and started rubbing it. “Jasmine, we’ve been over this. You don’t clamp my snout; it’s demeaning.”

“Oh boo hoo,” Jasmine replied, with a tone showing how little she’d cared about his snout ego at the moment. “If you hadn’t noticed we’re busy fighting a tanker. You can rub your chompers all you want when we aren’t in a matter of life and death!”

Jaron growled, still rubbing his snout. Not because it was hurting, but because his pride was. “Okay, okay, I get it,” Jaron hastily answered, taking his hands from his precious croconaw tool. He vented with a little exhale and some nasty words in his head as he watched the snorlax carefully, trying to come up with a plan of assistance.

“So any ideas?” Jasmine asked, her tone reflecting her shift back to the battle at hand than their squabbling.

“…Maybe, if we can get it to fall into the forest, you and Ciecro can cut some trees to fall on him so I can Ice Beam him and pin the guy.”

“That…might actually work.”

“Of course it will. I came up with it.” Jaron gave her a cocky grin, indicating he hadn’t fully moved past their squabble.

“Ha, ha,” Jasmine lazily said. ”Can we move on now?”

Jaron nodded as he pointed to the forest to their right. “Jaz, get in position. I’ll see if I can help Ciecro get him down.” Jasmine spurred to the right as Jaron headed forwards, towards the still raging snorlax.

The mon once more unleashed a powerful Hyper Beam, but thankfully this one went to the sky at an angle so Jaron didn’t need to do any evading work.

Once Jaron felt he was close enough to help without endangering himself, he shouted, “hey Ciecro! We have a plan! Try and see if you can get him to turn to the side!”

Unfortunately for Ciecro, the firm grip he had on the snorlax’s neck had been mostly undone by the constant Hyper Beam blasting, this last one causing his arm to slip from the mon’s front neck and instead hold on the side to just stay on the upper back, pissing the charmeleon off.

“Hey, did you hear me‽” Jaron asked.

“Try an’ do it yahself, puny arms!” Ciecro ranted, struggling to avoid slipping while also steering his swinging body from going into the mon’s grabbing range.

I’m on your team, you retard. Jaron grumbled in his head, trying to spot his position for the frontal assault.
His thoughts were interrupted by a bit of movement out of the corner of his eye, prompting him to roll for safety. Once up, Jaron stopped to watch the large mon swinging around while Ciecro still held on like a cape flying from the back of an exaggerative dancer. Okay, so I need to shove that guy down. But I don’t think direct attacking is smart with those arms of his and my range moves aren’t strong enough to push him, he reasoned, rubbing his chin in contemplation. One hit from that guy could make me down for the count. Argh, there’s got to be something I can do. He kept watching the scene, desperate for any means to land an attack or at least slow it down so they could carry out their plan.

As he watched, he spotted the snorlax do something strange. It aligned itself with the path, his back to one side of the forest and started swing his arms back and forth. Wait, is he going to fal-? It suddenly clicked for Jaron.

“Ciecro!” he shouted, “Get off him now! He’s going to try and squash you!”

Ciecro’s furious stare was substituted with a horrified look at the thought, although, this didn’t deter him from reacting and quickly letting go as the snorlax fell backwards onto a tree. The sheer weight of this mon was not only enough to snap part of the tree after applying pressure for a couple of seconds, but it also provided him ample support to easily get back up.

Ciecro darted from the creature as it got back on its feet, now free from his Ciecro neckpiece.

“Damnit,” Ciecro said with a growl, fists tightening. “How do we beat this guy‽” he shouted.

Jasmine leaped out of the woods, charging a Psycho Cut to launch. The snorlax looked at her while she shouted to the two, “It’s no use. I don’t think we can do that plan now, Jaron.”

Jaron shook his head. “Our best bet is getting it down on its back. Let’s tr-”

“Three mons?” the snorlax said in what felt like a curious tone. The three stayed silent and merely focused on him as the snorlax started tapping his head with his paw. “Wait, didn’t Sylphiel say. Uhm…three mons. Three mons. Oh right.” Without any warning, the mon gave a big clap right in front of him. Something akin to a red X marked the surface he stood on as a little ways down both sides of the path became fenced with large energy walls also possessing the same red X.

“Wha’ de?” Ciecro said, getting a bad feeling from the obscuring walls.

Jaron looked at the transparent, red energy like walls behind him and his brother as well as the rows stretching down the path to cut off the forest access. “Is that…block?” Jaron inquired, putting his best idea of what was going on.

Ciecro grunted with a nod and a serious look. “It means we ain’t gettin’ outta here anytime soon.”

Damnit. Jaron tightened his fists. So was this what fatty supposed to do? Just coup us up here? The angry croconaw grabbed his snout angrily at this idea.

“Jaz, yah okay‽” Ciecro shouted over, trying to think of a way to handle this new set in arena.

“Yeah!” she shouted back. “What are we going to do?”

Planning would have to wait though, because the snorlax broke his form for the move, walked to the center to cut Jasmine from Ciecro and Jaron, and turned to face the two brothers. “Alright, so you both are…” He started thinking again, almost as if he had forgotten what he was saying mid-sentence. “How did he say it? Oh, that’s right. You both are ‘wanted intact for boss Plegees’.”

Ciecro and Jaron looked at each other, bewildered at this statement. Jaron was the first to look back at the large mon and said without thinking, “Thanks?”

He didn’t stay that way for long, since the snorlax then turned around and bellowed like a child would when they had their eyes set on something.
Jasmine started backing away as the snorlax focused his seemingly closed gaze towards her. “W-what are you looking at?” she demanded, as the large mon scratched his head.

“Sylphiel didn’t mention an absol as ‘wanted intact for boss Plegees’. I think that means I’m clear for mushing you.”

“Well…” Jasmine fiddled through her head for something to say till finally blurting out, “maybe Sylphiel just forgot.” She gave a little weak laugh afterwards.

“‘Forgot’?” the large mon repeated, scratching his head even more as he tried to recall his conversation with Sylphiel to double check. “Maybe, but I know he said was to keep a croconaw and charmeleon from being damaged and keep everyone away from the target.”

“Yeah, great job in the ‘from being damaged’ part.” Jaron crossed his arms and gave a harsh snort at the mon, who scratched the back of his head as he looked at Jaron.

“I’m sorry, I forgot Sylphiel said that about you.”

“Well, maybe someone should try working harder to remember these things. You almost smushed my brother, who’s the charmeleon, you smashed berry. What kind of idiot fails such a simple task of remembering the God damn assignment?” Jaron eyed him coldly, Ciecro just rubbed his arm at the image of him getting squashed by the snorlax coming back, and the snorlax made what sounded like sniffle noises.

Jasmine looked at Jaron with half-open eyes and said, “Really?”

“What? You think Ciecro wants to get squashed ei-”

“Okay, can it wit deh ‘squashed’ talk, already!” Ciecro crossed his arms and snarled.

“Anyways.” Jasmine let her Psycho Cut’s light fade from her horn. “’Away from the target’?” she repeated, walking over to one of the newly formed walls.
Jaron did the same on his side, gazing upon the red and slightly transparent walls that built their new battlefield. Clenching his fist, Jaron gave a firm jab right into the wall, leaving a thud sound and a little bruise on his hand. “No use,” he uttered, his mood a mix of anger and despondent.

“Seems like it, damn.” Ciecro surged a Thunder Punch in his hand as he planted his right foot forwards and looking up to the snorlax’s head shouted, “Drop de barrier or I’ll drop yah here and now!”

The snorlax turned his body enough so he could see Ciecro as he stopped rubbing his head. “Sorry, but Sylphiel said those were my orders and if I don’t do them, he’ll get mad.”

“I don’ care!” Ciecro roared, running towards the snorlax and thwomping its side with a firm jab.

“Ouch,” the snorlax cried as his right paw started rubbing the hit spot.

“Just fu**ing get damaged already!” Ciecro ranted, getting fed up at this monster’s apparently infinite endurance. He kept punching and punching at the snorlax in desperation. Finally after about fifty punches, Ciecro, with his head downcast and angry, took a few steps back and just sat down defeated.

“It’s fine, I remember not to hurt you now. So we don’t need to fight, just stay put till the Boss Plegees is done,” the snorlax replied, still rubbing the spot. “Now can you please stop hitting me? I don’t want to forget to not hurt you two again. As for the girl.” He turned and looked towards her, causing her to grow alert and the two boys to watch. “I think hurting her is fine. So, I’ll do that.”

“What‽” Jaron shouted as he started rushing toward Jasmine, but the large snorlax cut him off. “You can’t hurt her! She’s my friend!”

“Sorry, but the orders were to just not hurt you two for Plageues. I think she’s still on my attack list.” The snorlax’s tone didn’t seem rude or hostile, but Jaron didn’t care.

“How do you even know you’re supposed to hurt anybody other than the target? You forgot to not hurt me and Ciecro!”

“Y-y-yeah.” Jasmine backed him up with a rather weak add on. “I mean, did they really say, ‘hurt the absol too’?”

The snorlax began scratching his head, trying to remember if that did happen. “Nope, didn’t really say. Just mentioned to not hurt the two boys for Plegees and keep as many of the group here pinned while finishing the members….Oh, finishing the members.”

“Oh come on!” Jasmine shouted defensively, backing up a little as the snorlax started stepping towards her. “Jaron, Ciecro, a little help please” she shouted over to the frustrated charmeleon and the angry croconaw.

Jaron’s eyes narrowed as he charged an Ice Beam and fired it squarely at the snorlax, who blocked it with his arm. “I don’t care what you say, nobody hurts my friends!” Jaron yelled in angry defiance. “You touch her and I’ll make sure to tear your head off!”

Both Jasmine and Ciecro looked at him, slightly bewildered at his tone and honest aggression. Ciecro, however, could see something additional. Jaron was shaky, his eyes quivering slightly. Almost like he was scared.

Ciecro stepped in front of Jaron, surged a Thunderpunch in his left arm at his side and said. “Yeh, sorry, but you won’ be hurtin’ her. Not witout hurtin’ us.”

Jaron nodded and formed Slash on his arms like blades and the two readied to fight.

The snorlax just looked at them, staring with his blank face at their determined ones. He then let out a sigh. “Sorry, but orders are orders.” With a massive swing of his arm, the snorlax brought down a Brick Break straight to the ground in front of them.

The suddenness and force of the move was enough to knock the two back a little, Jaron hitting the block wall upside down with his back and Ciecro managing to roll and push his right leg back to stop himself before planting into it as well.

With the brothers pushed back, the snorlax once more turned his attention to Jasmine, who resumed her backing up as he walked towards her.

“We need to get him to stop using block,” she stated, a hint of intimated fear in her voice at the colossus targeting her.

“Any ideas, Jaz or is that blocked as well‽” Jaron said with angry sarcasm, as he rolled onto his side and started getting up.

“Save your fuming till after my life isn’t in danger, jerk!” Jasmine shouted back. A little gasp came from her mouth as her backside pressed against the block, preventing her from backing up further. “L-Let’s just try knocking this guy out!” She focused her energy into her head horn, causing it to grow and glow green, as well as forming a cone shaped force of energy over it. “I’ll ram him; you two follow up.” She pointed her head down so her Megahorn was aimed directly at the mon.

Oh yes, of course, follow up with what‽ Jaron grumbled in his head as he flicked his wrists, activating Slash once again but forming them this time as white lines of energy, flowing from his claw tips to the center of his palms both inside and out. Extension of my power. Jaron said in his mind, calming his rage and focusing it into determination. Jasmine won’t die as long as I can fight. She’s strong and I’m strong. This guy may be large, but when there’s a will there’s a way. Jaron opened his eyes and put on a very serious frown.

Ciecro got the message and formed Dragon Claw in his right hand and made a fist for Thunderpunch with his left. “Ready?” he said to Jaron, who replied with a nod. “Ready‽” he shouted to Jasmine, ready to charge at the back with Jaron.

“Ready!” she shouted, rushing towards the snorlax, who was swinging down his arms at her.

At Jasmine’s confirming reply, the two rushed upon the snorlax from behind.

The snorlax formed two Brick Breaks from his hands, swinging them around, one hand to meet with Jasmine and the other for the boys.

< O >

Swift rolled on the ground a little before pushing up into the air using his feet, spinning horizontally, landing back onto his feet, and slowly sliding down to a defense knee pose.

The gallade held his right arm in front, covering his face before slowly lowering it to his side. “Hmph, I felt less force on that one." Siegfried dropped the Psycho Cut surge from his arms as he gave the heliolisk’s struggle against him a rather bored look.

Seeing Siegfried wasn’t going to follow through, Swift back on both his feet. “Am I boring you?” Swift jested, giving a smirk while he panted slightly.

Siegfried merely raised his head a little as replied with a disinterred and ‘talking down to’ tone, “I would expect someone claiming to be strong enough to ‘own our asses’ be able to at least get past my blocking.”

Swift gave a little chuckle as he rolled his neck. “Well then, perhaps I should throw some moves into the mix.”

“Perhaps you should,” Siegfried stated, raising his arms to resume the fight. “Because yes, you were boring me.”

This answer only made Swift enjoy the thought of pounding Siegfried’s smug bland face in. He slowly lowered to a pushing position, placing his hands firmly on the ground as his eyes squinted. He pointed his ready gaze towards Siegfried’s but kept a careful close look at the gallade’s legs. After one more deep breath, Swift tensed up as he pushed off his back foot in a low charge. The grass served good cover as Swift weaved around in it as he sped onwards.

The gallade didn’t seem concerned by this oncoming attacker, raising an arm forward and horizontally for a basic block as he turned his body to the side to brace for it.

As Swift approached, he quickly darted left, starting to form a little orange orb while he rushed to Siegfried’s right, where he could get a shot at Siegfried’s back.

With rivaling speed, Siegfried pivoted off his back foot as he shot his arm down, firing a Psycho Cut to slice lizard as a counter to the range attack.

Swift took this chance to leap forwards and roll underneath the incoming move. He quickly pointed both his arms in Siegfried’s head’s direction as he fired Focus Blast.

The orange sphere soared straight at the gallade, but Siegfried merely leaned to the side, avoiding the blast while giving Swift a mocking, bored looked. Siegfried straightened his body, staring at the lizard as the Focus Blast gravity brought it down and caused an explosion a ways away.

“You plan well, I’ll give you that, sneak.” Siegfried moved his right leg back as he bent his knee, like he would push off to run.

Swift got low too, waiting for Siegfried to move.

“Of course, that’s all you have, isn’t it?” Siegfried pushed forwards, closing the small distance between him and Swift only two seconds. Mid-lunge,
Siegfried surged Psycho Cut once more in his arms and began a horizontal slice aimed for Swift’s head.

Swift pushed back, leaping out of range. However, he didn’t have time to plant his feet before having to push off to a roll to the right to evade Siegfried’s swiping down to catch him. Once clear, Swift tried to push off to back flip-twist into an axe kick. To his dismay, Siegfried blocked it early with his left and sliced with his free arm.

Swift twisted his body, managing to replace what would have been a deep cut with only a minor cut. He landed on his hands and pushed off forwards, landing on his legs and running to put some distance. Huh? He thought as he heard something behind him. He rolled to the side, narrowing avoiding a Psycho Cut that struck the ground where he was going. That wa- Was all he could think before he pushed off for another roll, escaping Siegfried’s slice upon him.

I can’t beat him like this, Swift reasoned in his head as he got up, only to start evading more of Siegfried’s onslaught of attacks. He’s too fast and has the height advantage. I’ll have to play the range game. But first, I need to get some distance.

Siegfried didn’t relent his strong yet speedy array of slices, each one being avoided by Swift. However, this was a set-up. After doing another slice at Swift’s head, Siegfried spun and aimed a kick.

Bingo! Swift jumped back, forming a Focus Blast to fire, thus giving him some time to make distance. Despite this rather good situation, Siegfried was one step ahead of him, firing his Psycho Cut to meet the slightly earlier thrown Focus Blast. The moves canceled, allowing a second one to emerge from the smoke. Swift gasped. He was unable to evade due to being in the air and got sliced on his right shoulder, sending him further than his jump would have.

“Grrr…” Swift tensed as he grabbed his shoulder with his left hand. It’s not too bad thank Arceus. Swift stood up, returning his focus to Siegfried. At least I have some distance now. I’ll take what I can, but I need to get this guy off guard. His eyes narrowed as he pointed his right arm forwards, forming a Focus Blast.

Siegfried surged a Psycho Cut in one arm, ready to fire if Swift did.

Hmph, guess I’ll just have to bore you a little longer, Swift thought, forming a smile as if he hadn’t been injured at all. Underestimating me is something I love to take advantage of.

Siegfried stood, stoic and strong, thinking to himself as his eyes focused on his opponent as his arm waited for Swift to unleash his move. Hmph, false pride I guess or maybe he just smiles to help his mood. Doesn’t matter, keep it clean and there’s nothing he can do.

After about a minute of the stare-down with their moves at the read, Swift shot his Focus Blast.

Siegfried swung his Psycho Cut infused arm upwards, sending the pink crescent move to meet it.

Vex gave a big yawn as he watched the two moves strike before the two clashed again. Geez, does he really need me? Vex grumbled in his head. Like, it’s almost like I want something to go wrong so I can at least stop standing here watching Siegfried and the halfpipe taking turns swatting at each other. I mean really it’s so far pretty one-sided and I get Sieggy is being cautious, bu-

Vex’s mental complaining was cut short as a little noise started to sound off from his shoulder bag. He set it on the ground and quickly took out the flashing com orb. A pleased smile crept on his bored face as he whispered to himself, “Finally.”

He set the com orb back and started digging into the bag. I’ve been anxious to try out these things Sylphiel and Bruno brought when we met up. Boy am I glad I get to use it. With a joyful “Aha!” Vex pulled out a circular band with some empty slots aligning its exterior. He clipped it on his right arm, as far up it as he could, before pulling one more thing out of the bag. Without another word, Vex floated up and shouted to Siegfried, “Try not to let this end up like how it did with the Absol!”

Vex gave a satisfied, troll smirk as Siegfried looked at him with a very displeased look. “Get out of here,” he ordered with a scowl as he sidestepped another Focus Blast from Swift.

Vex chuckled to himself as he flew towards the forest, leaving the two to their battle.

Swift watched the ghost go into the woods, but had to break off watching him to not get caught off guard by Siegfried’s rushing toward him. He sped to the side, running away from Siegfried’s charge till Siegfried stopped.

“Heh, did you go to a school of how to fight cowardly?” Siegfried mocked.

“Dunno, did you go to a school of attitude?” Swift smirked, rolling his right arm, which had a few streams of blood flowing down it from the wound.

“Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Half-bloods like you would only be in a school of half-wits.”

“What’s your deal?” Swift stopped his arm spinning to look at Siegfried with a look that while serious indicated curiosity. “Do you really think that or are you just trying to touch my nerve?” Swift put his arms behind his head and leaned over. “Because if that’s the best you’ve got, well let’s just say I’ll take a real ‘Norfarion’s’ word over a turncoat.”

Siegfried gave a little displeased grunt. “One would think you’d be less benevolent to Norfarions or are you suggesting that I’m the only one who has called you ‘half-blood’?” Siegfried looked at him with a mild scowl, waiting for an answer.

Swift gave a smirk as he stared straight back. “One of my good friends called me that at the start.” Swift lowered his arms and got low. “I don’t know about you Phynecions, but Norfarions don’t care about your origin just what you bring. I’ll always be welcome there because I’ve proven myself moreover.” Swift rushed towards Siegfried, forming a Focus Blast.

Siegfried tensed, ready to react.

Swift threw the sphere, but not to Siegfried, but instead in front of himself.

“What?” Siegfried managed to say before having to shield his eyes from the incoming dirt. It wasn’t long before he felt a firm kick land right into his gut, making him spit. Next Swift pushed off of Siegfried, back-flipping once as he formed and shot an electrical ball towards the unbalanced gallade. It stopped midair and the Parabolic Charge let out a discharge of electricity, zapping Siegfried for some minor damage. “Ack, why you!”

“Why what? Power isn’t always up-front.” The dirt from the move cleared, revealing Swift. Swift kept his eyes closed as a little healing glow of light gleamed all over his body before fading in about two seconds. “Norfarions can respect tact too. So tell me again, turncoat.” Swift stood up, opened his eyes, and rolled his neck. He paused for a bit before putting on a goofy grin and saying, “What school of attitude did you go to?”

Siegfried snarled as he lunged at Swift, who broke his mocking stance and met in kind. Their Psycho Cut and Iron Tail meeting with a powerful clash.

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
– Unknown


Darkinium Z

Dani California
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Hours Ago
5,857 posts
13.8 Years
The charmeleon let out a sigh as the memories started their unwelcome return.
You probably already know what I'm about to say, lol.

I’m on your team, you retard. Jaron grumbled in his head, trying to spot his position for the frontal assault.
Hm, not sure on the use of the bolded word since I know several people don't like it and such. Maybe an alternative word instead?

That Snorlax is quite strong huh. And yet he's somewhat confused what his specific orders were? "Big dumb guy" isn't a favorite of my tropes, though everyone's frustration on that was kinda amusing.

Ouch over Vray getting badly injured. I understand he worries for his friends, but you can't do much when you're badly hurt.

I admit to chuckling over Swift's "what school of attitude did you go to?" line there, heh.

Foul Play
[Chapter Nine up!]


Say it with me (Vray-gun)

As if I'd be one to say
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted December 4th, 2019
285 posts
2 Years
Contains: Violence, Blood, Language, Demeaning Slang, Peril [14]
Chapter 40

Leaping from branch to branch, Seliph desperately attempted to evade his attacker. The bite wound on his shoulder was causing irritating pain, not helped by having to cover it with his right hand to slow down the bleeding from the bite. I need to treat this. He looked behind him as he landed on another limb, listening carefully for the buzzing noises the ditto had been making during the chase.

Narrowing his eyes, Seliph peered around the area as he positioned himself adjacent to the trunk of the tree. Quietly taking off his vest, which had been ripped a little from the bite and stained from the bleeding, Seliph began searching the pockets. Thanks to his familiarity with what was in each pocket, it didn’t take him much time to remove both the red eyes vial and a small bottle labeled ‘Potion’.

Okay, now gently, nngh. The wound jumped up in stinging as he poured a little bit of the potion on his wound. Keeping his mouth firmly shut, Seliph carefully finished covering the entire wound before setting the bottle between his feet. Alright, so now I need something to bandage this. To his dismay, he remembered it was Dolly that was given most of the bandages. Damnit, what do I-…

Seliph held his old vest in front of him, looking at it with a little bit of disappointment. Guess you’ll do. He set it down in front and began emptying its contents, placing them in his pouches on his belt. As he was doing this, he suddenly heard a small noise. He froze. His breathing halted as his eyes shot forward. Is he here? Slowly, he looked around as his nerves began to crawl with dread at the silence around him.

A slight noise like a slither reached his ears from above. Every nerve in his body screamed for him to jump, but he held fast since he hadn’t finished moving his items to his belt. Just, quietly. Steadily, Seliph move his hand to one of the orbs, but sadly he was out of time. In an instant, the noise of harsh snap came from above, prompting his body to almost jump away for him in whatever direction that wasn’t here. As he did, a large arbok’s fangs sunk into the branch where he was. Despite this close call, Seliph wasn’t safe due to essentially jumping off the branch in a random direction.

Doing a mid-air spin to look up, Seliph spotted a branch nearby he could aim for. He spun downwards into a dive, thrusting his arms forward as he ejected a stream of water beneath him. The powerful Hydro Pump sent him sailing, as he flipped forward to land on the branch safely.

Seliph then drew a Night Slash dagger as he flicked it towards the arbok, who was traveling down the branch in pursuit.

With an evil smirk, Sylphiel pushed off the branch and morphed during his fall into a scyther, flying fast around the many trees to keep safe from Seliph’s attacks.

Seliph growled in his head, but his frustration was replaced by horror at remembering something. My Items! He looked forward at the branch where the attack started and thankfully it hadn’t snapped. Without hesitation, Seliph rushed forward, forming two Water Shurikens just in case his attacker came back. As he neared the base of the limb where all his prone items and vest were, the branch snapped.

Sylphiel was clinging to the trunk of the tree in the form of a scizor and used his new claws to snap the branch to engage his trap.

Before Seliph could react, he was in the middle of a fall, his items scattering around as they made their descent together. Once he gained a grip of the situation, he quickly nabbed his vest and scooped up a handful of items before pointing his body in a direct and shooting out his tongue to a branch below. The wood tasted bad, but thankfully it was solid enough to not give splinters. Using his tongue like a rope, Seliph swung himself in an arc, using the momentum to sail upwards. Once complete, he retracted his tongue and began looking for a landing spot.

“No, you don’t!” Sylphiel exclaimed, flying towards Seliph in the form of a beedrill.

Seliph twisted and drew a Night Slash to defend himself, however, Sylphiel remained out of reach and simply dove on him from above. Managing to block the airborne dive, Seliph pushed off Sylphiel as he dropped the Night Slash stick to reach for a nearby branch. To his dismay, he hadn’t jumped far enough. If that wasn’t bad enough, he didn’t see any branches to grab on his way down. As a last resort, Seliph pointed his free hand down and fired a Hydro Pump, but sadly it was only useful for propelling his fall further from Sylphiel.

If I can just remain airborne just long eno- His thoughts were interrupted by a painful jab hitting his arm.

Sylphiel was once again upon him, jamming his needle into Seliph’s Hydro Pump shooting wrist. “Not this time,” Sylphiel said, gleefully looking at Seliph, who responded with a hard headbutt. “Ouch!” This caused Sylphiel to let go and rub his head, but his actions had worked.

With a firm thud, Seliph landed on the ground firmly on his back.

“Ack!” he groaned, rolling over onto his stomach which he held with his free hand. “Damnit.” He got on a knee as he tried to assess if he had broken anything. I…I need to get moving. While he was trying to get back on his feet, Seliph took a look at his assailant.

Sylphiel had landed about ten feet from his location, walking towards him with those creepy black dotted dittos eyes focused on him. “Ouch, that was painful to watch,” Sylphiel jested as his stinger shook a little with anticipation. “Look, make it easy on yourself. Just give up before I have to break your legs.”

As Sylphiel drew nearer, Seliph stood up and formed a Night Slash dagger as he readied a defensive stance. “Go ahead and try, slime.”

“Rude,” Sylphiel rolled his eyes.

“I’m not keen to be mannerly to someone trying to kill me.” Seliph flipped the Night Slash around in his hand to hold the blade part.

Sylphiel grinned as he eyed the move in Seliph’s hand. “Heh, you think that will do much?” Sylphiel mocked.

“Every hit counts in my book. More damage than simply stinging me with your fake needles,” Seliph replied, throwing the Night Slash dagger at Sylphiel, who sidestepped it. Of course, Seliph was ready with a Water Shuriken that Sylphiel attempted to evade but got nicked thanks to Seliph’s good aiming.

Sylphiel angrily buzzed as he held his side, dripping a little bit of some purplish liquid.

“Even a fake like you still bleeds.” Seliph formed a Night Slash sword as he pointed it at the creature. “Come at me. I’ll enjoy cutting down my first ditto.” Seliph gave a confident grin at the creature.

Dang, even in a tough spot this guy’s a piece of work, huh, Sylphiel complimented in his head. Well, then I guess I should see what else this guy has in store.

With a smirk, Sylphiel said, “Well, then ready yourself, ‘Slayer Seliph’.” The fake beedrill blinked as his eyes started to glow a white color.

“Stop!” Seliph yelled, dropping his Night Slash sword in exchange for a Water Shuriken, which he promptly threw at Sylphiel as fast as he could.

As Sylphiel started to morph again, a strange light engulfed him, one akin to evolution. Steadily, the shuriken whizzed through the air to its target, it was smitten away by a quick swipe from the being engulfed in light. “Because this fight just got more personal, for you.” A smile crossed the face of a red eyes Seliph, leering at the real one as the light from Transform faded away.

Scowling as he formed another Night Slash broadsword with both hands, Seliph pulled it back to the side in a defensive posture after cupping his vest to be a bag for the items he had managed to save. Great, now he has my moves and abilities. Seliph’s grip tightened as he thought, meaning he’s a healthier Seliph…If he figures out my gift I could be in trouble. I’ll have to keep him occupied. Without any indication, Seliph charged at the copy, who was still marveling at himself in a little creepy way.

“Interesting physique,” Sylphiel commented as he watched Seliph charging him without worry. “Should serve me fine. Especially since-” Sylphiel stopped midsentence to leap back and spray Hydro Pump from both hands straight at Seliph’s chest.

Seliph, shifted the broadsword Night Slash from side to horizontal front to deflect them. Angling it enough to get both, Seliph struggled against their powerful impact on his move weapon. Despite the power striking from the front and the pain increasing from the strain from his shoulder, Seliph held it firm as he took a glance at the area to his right. Bingo, he said to himself as he spied a tree almost adjacent to the fake him.

“I’m not the one wounded right now.” Sylphiel sprayed harder as he started advancing, but was caught off guard when Seliph used the broadsword to spin his body out of the Hydro Pump’s way, letting it disintegrate as he swung his arm. Sylphiel immediately leaped from whatever Seliph had thrown, thinking it was aiming for him.

Seliph didn’t wait to see the results of his work. Darting into the forest to the right, Seliph just kept running as the sound of a blast orb explosion happened followed by a tree crackling as it fell according to plan. What followed was the sound of a surprised Sylphiel and a tree plopping. Assessing he needed to hide now, Seliph quickly climbed another tree, sat on a limb that had many leaves to cover him, pressed his back against the trunk of it, and just panted.

“I…hate…fighting…dittos,” he said amid his breaths. After ensuring he was safely hidden, Seliph quickly opened his vest, which he managed to hold onto in his left hand. Carefully, he removes the items from, putting them down on the branch at his feet. Once all the items had been moved, he started making an impromptu bandage for his shoulder. I hope the water didn’t wash too much of the healing potion off, ngh. The shoulder wound stung harshly as he applied the slightly wet vest onto it, tying it around and knotting its ends to keep it in place. Despite being in a constant state of pain, Seliph focused on the items, cupping them in his hands to inspect them. Okay, so I used one of the blast orbs. All I have now are the four sitrus berries and com orb I put in my belt, and here I have one Luminous orb and one… he paused for a second as he looked at the last item in his possession, an escape orb. Slowly he put the other items away as he pulled out the red eye’s vial and held it next to the escape orb in his hands. I can use it to escape…but. His head sank a little, trying to not look at the temptation he held directly in his face.

There Seliph was, sitting in silence and stuck in a heated debate between these decisions. I’m wounded and if that thing gets this vial all of my efforts will be wasted. I can’t risk this…I can’t…right? No, I can’t. Seliph returned the red eyes vial to its spot on his belt and was about to start inputting coordinates for the escape orb till something crossed his mind. The conversation he had earlier sprang up, one part specifically.

“I can’t imagine what it feels like to carry something like that…but if you ever need someone to take it for a few days. Hit me up.”

Motionless, Seliph just stared at the orb, the feelings inside him fighting with the reasoning in his mind. Should he go? But if he did, he would be leaving all of them behind. All of them to danger. I… Seliph pulled the vial out once more as if to be some sort of debate settler. If I lose this, all of it won’t matter. That guy is still after me and I can’t hold out against him. None of them are nearby an-

Once more, Swift’s voice crossed his mind, but this time it was a less kind memory.

“Eight fu**ing years, Seliph! You had eight years to return. Yet you claim you researched on that formula and here you are not even closer to solving it than your mother. You basically let them grow up without you and didn’t even bring anything from it.”

I just needed more time, okay! Seliph shot back to the memory in his head. I need more time to solve this! I… He froze. He looked down at the vial, staring at its still mixture in his hands. Something in there looked calming…understanding…agreeing. I need to preserve this. Else, how can I ever face myself? My mother and father died to keep this safe, so I need to…to… He sat down, cupping his legs and pulling his head in, a mix of uncertainty and anger. He couldn’t care less if Sylphiel was still hunting him down. Nothing mattered right now. What would you do mother? He asked in his mind, lost and feeling alone. How can I make the hard choices if I let them in? Losing you both almost destroyed me! He slammed his fist down on the bark of the branch, only a few seconds later retracting it upon realizing he was making noise.

He pressed against the trunk and listened. Nothing but silence followed.

A light sigh escaped his mouth as he slid down the trunk slightly, slouching on the branch as the pain in his shoulder amped from his shift movement. Father…Mother…would you do it? Dad, would you?

Almost as if it was called, he thought about one memory that stayed with him. His conversation with his father that one day before the incident. When life was simpler and his father was alive. He recalled them sitting down, talking, confessing. Slowly Seliph started tearing up as he recalled him yelling at his dad, demanding an answer followed by his father calmly telling him a story. A story of his weakness and worry. How different it was from his story now.

Seliph looked up to the darkness above, teary and sad. He took a breath and in a little whisper said. “I’m not strong enough, am I dad? Swift was right about me.” Seliph put the vial and orb back as he stood up and looked around. Okay, I’ll wait. If I can’t then…I’ll just have to get out of here. Seliph started leaping from branch to branch, trying to see if he could find his way back to the path.

Slowly he made his way along, making sure to pause now and then to listen. After traveling some distance via the branches, Seliph started to question if he had lost Sylphiel. He stopped on a branch and looked around as he listened. I know that tree didn’t kill him…even if he’s transformed he could just revert back or evaded it. No, he must be either searching or tailing me. Lowering his head, Seliph focused on the sound of the leaves around him. Remember…just like hide and seek.

Keeping very still, Seliph waited. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before Seliph had his answer. A slight noise of rustling leaves resounded from his right. The amount of shaking implied the ditto was still in the transformation. With a sharp twist, Seliph stood up and yelled at the top of his lungs, “Hey!” Instantly, rustling’s noise amped up from the startled sneaker. In a split second, Seliph drew a Night Slash and threw it where he guessed Sylphiel was.

What followed was a surprise shriek as Sylphiel stumbled from his spot, ruffling the leaves as he did. He had no time to recover from his free fall before Seliph threw a duo of Water Shurikens. With a snarl Sylphiel twisted his fake greninja body to evade both, quickly grabbing a branch nearby to stop his fall. A little grunt came from Sylphiel at the repercussions from breaking his fall with his arm. “Argh…damn it. Huh?” Upon looking up, Sylphiel’s face was met with a powerful Hydro Pump from Seliph, causing a large blast of water that left no trace of Sylphiel.

“Good riddance,” Seliph grumbled as he started back on track. Suddenly something grabbed his shoulder. Seliph immediately spun, but not before he was stabbed in the side by a Night Slash. The seething dark energy from the dagger sent a surge of feeling in him more of dread than actual pain at least for now. His eyes went wide open as he looked up to the fake greninja staring back at him.

“You know,” Sylphiel said, his a tone that was more boredom than arrogance. “I heard stories about you Seliph.” The Night Slash dagger ran deep as Seliph was pushed against the tree, and Sylphiel got his head close to Seliph’s scowling one that twitched from extra dark surge into him. “About how you managed to kill a council member by your lonesome and you know what? Maybe that guy was just plain dumb because I’m finding it hard to believe you managed to pull that off if you can’t even handle me let alone utilizing your own move set to outwit you, specifically substitute.”

“You mean y-” Seliph started but Sylphiel interrupted.

“Yep, substitute.” Sylphiel cocked his head as he gave a rather proud smile, adding, “Wondering why he didn’t dematerialize? Well I just added a bit of me to it. Although, I guess you could say you did give me some real damage since I had to hurt myself to make the dummy real enough to take a hit.”

Seliph’s right hand went to a fist and pressed against the trunk of the tree. “I hate dittos.”

“Heh, I don’t blame you.” Sylphiel rubbed his head with his free, right hand. “I would too if someone could pull off my own move better than me.”

A grimaced look of disgrace and fury crossed Seliph’s face as he moved to strike. “You…you!”

Sylphiel raised his other hand as a “hold on” and shook his head. “You’ve got my dagger in you, bud. Move and the wound tears more.”

This action confused Seliph, however, he didn’t show it. “Why don’t you just kill me now then?” Seliph demanded.

“Simple, it’s not my call. Mister annoying Plageues gets the call.”

“Plageues?” Seliph’s eyes narrowed at hearing that name.

“Yeah, funny thing about that guy. He wants the honor of offing you himself and well, if you die by me I doubt he’d be pleased with it. If he didn’t straight up punch me, he’d probably just soil my rep and all, but eh details, details.” Sylphiel rubbed his nose and looked at the side.

Seliph’s head fell, knowing he was essentially at Sylphiel’s mercy. If he tried to escape, he’d tear a large wound and bleed to death before he could find help or die sit and wait for Plageues’s in person execution. Though, there was a third option. Seliph raised his head to look at Sylphiel and asked, “Who are you?”

“Oh, nothing too special.” The fake Seliph gave an eye-closed and shrugged with his right shoulder. “Just a red eyes doing his job.”

“Nothing special, huh,” Seliph repeated, almost as if he was mocking it.

“Not all of us get popular for murder you know.” Sylphiel gave him a cold stare. “Some of us work hard and still get the short end for now and all.”

“Then why not kill me and take the credit?” Seliph asked, slowly shifting his legs as he planned his options. However, the way he did it was enough to look like he was simply adjusting his position for comfort.

“Weren’t you listening, wise guy?” Sylphiel gave him a sour look as he grumbled, “Plageues isn’t the best guy to double-cross.”

The two remained silent. Come on, think Seliph, think. If you don’t get out of this you’re gonna end up dying anyway. He slowly began to shift, only for the pain to jump up again from the Night Slash dagger still held in him. He grunted from the pain.

“I’d advise against trying to escape. Right now, I’m keeping you from bleeding, so please don’t waste my efforts.”

“From bleeding?” Seliph repeated aloud, turning his head downwards to finally look at the dagger wound with a more analytical gaze this time. Sure enough, no blood was dripping outside, thanks some minor dark energy emitted by the dagger. Like a mini energy wall covering the rest of the wound for the dagger. Seliph sighed. So he knows how to use my infusement then.

With a defeatist face and low sigh, Seliph leaned against the trunk and just stared upwards.

Noticing this change, Sylphiel took an inner sigh of relief. “No hard feelings you know.”

“No hard feelings,” Seliph repeated in a monotone, almost as if he was too depressed to be offended.

“Well, like I have nothing against you and all. Just doi-”

“Doing my job,” Seliph impatiently finished for him, making Sylphiel pout a little.

Sylphiel moved his free hand towards Seliph’s head and pointing outward for emphasis. “Well I am. You think I’m having fun hunting you down or whatever?”

“You seemed to be having fun a few minutes ago,” Seliph continued, distrusting Sylphiel’s words. “I bet biting my shoulder felt fun.”

Sylphiel grumbled. “That’s just blood rushing to my head and anticipation for a fight. More or less just that part of me.” Oddly, Sylphiel paused, frozen.

“Part of you, huh.” Seliph looked at him, with an expression that looked more bored than Sylphiel had a few minutes ago. Maybe there’s a chance for me. Seliph started planning. Looking at the dagger for a second then recalled his torn vest bag for his items were still tied to the back of his belt. Okay, I think I have a chance. Seliph crossed his leg as he looked directly at Sylphiel, asking, “So how did you pull off that snorlax?”

“Huh? How do you think?” Sylphiel answered, a little annoyed at the stupid question. “I’m a ditto, of course I can mo-”

“You used moves in that morph.” Seliph pointed towards Sylphiel with his right, and slowly moved his left behind his back hoping he wouldn’t be noticed. “So there’s a snorlax in your crew now, hmm?”

Sylphiel paused before give a little chuckle. “Fair enough, you got me. Yes, we have a snorlax here, though not like knowing about him is gonna help your situation.”

“Who says it has to?” Seliph offered a challenging grin, making Sylphiel raise a brow. “After all, bringing a snorlax into a fight might be bad.”

“I hope you’re kidding.” Sylphiel rolled his eyes. “You could hardly handle me when I was a snorlax.”

“Well, you never really landed a hit with that big body. Plus look around us.” Seliph gestured around with his right hand. “This place is covered in trees. More obstruction than beneficial. Mon, I’d like to meet the idiot that brought a snorlax to a fight like this.”

Sylphiel’s face started to heat up from anger. “Look, pal, just shut up, okay. Right now, Bruno is making splinters out of your friends so just sit tight and all. I don’t wanna hear another word from you.”

By now, Seliph’s left hand had gotten the orb he was hoping for and he stared directly into Sylphiel’s ditto eyes. “Very we-” Seliph shot his arm forward midsentence, pressing and activating his Luminous orb.

Blinded by the light, Sylphiel stepped backward, moving his free arm cover his eyes. It wasn’t long before Seliph was upon him.

Seliph tackled him off of the branch, taking advantage of the mon’s blinded state to wrench his grip from the knife and grabbed his arm. Quickly, the greninja turned Sylphiel around, pulling on his arm as he pushed the back of the fake greninja’s head down to keep a lock.

Sylphiel tried to struggle but to no avail. Seliph’s grip was too strong on him to break free and it wasn’t long before his face hit the ground while Seliph jumped off and did a safe roll. In a dazed state, “Sylphiel tried to get up, his head all wobbly from the hard-hit of the ground.

Meanwhile, Seliph was back up and not ready to let Sylphiel get a second to himself. He rushed towards his Doppelganger, seizing the fake greninja’s head with both hands and forcefully bringing it down into an upcoming knee thrust.

Sylphiel was knocked squarely onto his back, groaning in pain as he held his head.

Despite Sylphiel’s weakened state, Seliph wasn’t done. With wasting a second, Seliph cupped his arms, pulling them back over his head as he surged a Night Slash claymore. With a little grunt and stiffening from the damage, Seliph surged more synergy into the move via his gift. Dark Energy shot from the tip to halfway down the claymore, as a fan-like beams of the same color floated on both sides of the weapon. With a fierce shout, Seliph brought it down upon a still dazed Sylphiel’s head.

The claymore struck squarely between the eyes, while the fans of dark energy on the sides crushed the rest of the face.

Panting, Seliph let go of the weapon, took a few steps back before stumbling onto his bum, winded. “P-please be d-dead,” he said amid his breaths. Upon getting back some of his breath, Seliph turned his focus on treating his stab wound. After forming a small Night Slash knife, he cut a square patch from the bandage on his shoulder. Okay, Seliph prepared himself as he let his impromptu knife dematerialize and move his free hand to the one still in his side. You can do this. Just try not to think about it. He braced himself as he slowly began to pull out the knife.

I don’t have a lot of time, so ngggh, don’t mess this up. Squinting his eyes and holding his mouth firmly closed, Seliph pulled the Night Slash dagger out of him, letting it fall from the force of the pull. Next, he placed the patch directly on the wound, which was starting to. Quickly, he moved his packet’s belt up and tightened it so it served kept the bandage patch on the wound, although feeling a bit award to wear.

“T-that…was too close.” Seliph panted, rocking back and forth from fatigue and blood loss, sitting down so his body could rest for a minute. Unfortunately, his mind new he didn’t have a minute. As he got up to regroup with the others, he stopped to stare at the body of Sylphiel, which was starting to melt. Oh no no no, Seliph whined in his head, getting to his feet but having a hard time steadying from his fatigue.

The fake greninja melted, collecting into a little puddle before starting to collect into a taller blob. An angry voice spoke out of it as a pissed of face emerged. “First you blind me, then you knee my face, and then you smash it with a club? What kind of a psycho are you‽”

Seliph scrambled backwards, quickly trying to make some ground. Despite how weak his legs were before, they were now brimming with energy or rather fear energy. Fleeing from the scene, Seliph pulled out his orb and tried to work on setting up some coordinates all while being chased by a raging ditto morphing into a charging stantler. He didn’t pay attention to what he was setting, anywhere but near the ditto aiming to murder him.

“I hate dittos!” Seliph shouted as the chase began once more.

< O >

Come on, come on, where is he? Plageues complained in his head while trying to evade Garon’s relentless attacks with his firm talons. After a couple of minutes of the thrashing from Garon, Plageues finally put up enough distance between them to make a snide remark. “My, my, aren’t we in a destructive mood today?”

No reply came from Garon, just vicious lunging at the smirking zoroark, his fangs bearing as they were imbued with a dark aura from Crunch.

With a carefree smile, Plageues bent backwards to evade Garon’s snapping jaw, forming a little bridge with his body. Quickly, he pulled his legs up and lightly bumped Garon’s chin as he concluded the bridge kick over back in a standing up position. Once back on his feet, Plageues crossed his arms as if he had just finished doing a gymnastics act, staring at the angry garchomp with a smile that just oozed of ‘yes, I just did that’.

Provoked by the taunting, Garon slammed his right talon into the ground channeling a faint tannish energy into the dirt, forming a small circle of the same color around himself.

Plageues cackled as he watched a similar tannish circle form around him. “Not too quick when grassroots are involved,” Plageues mocked, pointing his finger to the small swirls of tannish energy struggling to push around the circle thanks to the grassy terrain. In broad steps, Plageues walked out of the circle slowly, just seconds before the Sand Tomb forced the ground to give way into a spiraling whirlpool of dirt and roots.

Garon didn’t change his stance but gaped his mouth to fire Flamethrower.

With a cynical smile and a raise of a brow, Plageues shifted his right foot behind his left’s ankle, twisted his head slightly while maintaining eye contact, and said with a little challenging tone, “You sure you want to start a forest fire?” Seeing Garon wasn’t backing down his ready to fire Flamethrower, Plageues swung his arms in front. Daringly, Plageues puffed out his chest and dared, “Alright then, go ahead big boy. I’m fine with you trying to blast me, but I’m sure the poor mons in the town wouldn-” He stopped.

Subtly, Garon’s talon was surging the same light tannish energy into the ground. Once Plageues stopped mid-sentence, Garon dropped his Flamethrower and forced his energy into Sand Tomb. A very vibrant tannish ring surged around him as Garon gritted his teeth, intensifying the strength of the new, larger circle appearing around Plageues.

“Such a snea-” was all he could state before the ground beneath him gave way to the dirt spiral. The whirlpool of dirt rolled up to his waist, inflicting damage with its snare.

Seeing Plageues was well contained, Garon stood up and walked over to the edge of the Sand Tomb’s area of effect. Coldly, he eyed the zoroark in the middle, taking the damage as if it wasn’t doing much.

Plageues simply stared back at Garon with a fiendish smile that occasionally twitched showing he was still feeling the damage. “Well, I guess I’m finished.” Plageues raised his right claw over his forehead as he gestured the left outwards for a dramatic pose. With a mocking, wailing tone, Plageues called out, “Oh, if only I had been smart and noticed you were trying to distract me. Oh, woe is me.”

“Are you done?” Garon grumbled, eyes narrowing with displeasure. “You are going to answer all the questions I ask an-”

“I’d love to sweety,” Plageues jested, cutting Garon off with a snarky grin. “But what’s the fun in that?”

Garon squinted as light blue energy began swirling around him. The dragon head of Dragon Rush formed over his unflinching face like a mask, as if it was ready to pounce from Garon’s face onto its captured prey. “I’m not joking with you.”

“I can see that,” Plageues replied, unaffected by Garon’s power display.

“Then ready yourself.” Garon leaned forward, the energy of Dragon Rush angling with him as they both prepared to lunge straight at the zoroark.

As Garon readied, Plageues moved a finger to his chin in thought. “You know before we resume there was one thing I wanted to ask you.”

Garon remained silent, not taking his focus off Plageues nor giving him the benefit of backing down his power.

Plageues sighed. “Oh well, guess since you won’t talk with me like gentlemons I guess I’ll just have to be nasty too. So here’s my other question.” Plageues moved his right hand under his left’s elbow and positioned his left claw over his face. “How long before your friend gets impaled by his opponent?”

Garon remained firm, though his eyes widening slightly clearly showed Plageues’s words had some effect.

“You know, the heliolisk you were with. Shame really, that he’s all by his lonesome fighting. If I was a betting mon I’d put my money on him…for getting it between the eyes-”

“Enough!” Garon roared, the energy around him surging as he started to push off to do the ramming attack.

Just as Garon did this, Plageues flicked his right hand forward. A glowing orb flew straight to a surprised Garon, who couldn’t avert his gaze before the Luminous orb triggered a bright flash of light.

“Gah!” Garon stumbled forward, the timing of the temporary blindness being perfect to messing Garon’s aim and preventing him from pulling back on the attack. He stumbled towards Plageues.

Quickly, Plageues lined up his left arm, which had a Focus Blast forming and propped it with his right. “Aaaaaaaaaaand the dragonair,” he muttered as he let it fly at the rim of the Sand Tomb. The force of the impact propelled the Dragon Rush slightly upwards, and with Garon currently unable to see properly the poor dragon hurled over his target’s head and crashed into the ground on the other side, rolling from the momentum till a tree trunk stopped his tumbling.

Garon let out a painful moan, as he slowly tried to get back to his feet, while Plageues started stepping his way out of the now motionless Sand Tomb.

“Aw that’s sweet,” Plageues mocked as he stepped onto the solid grass of the forest, shaking his legs to get some of the soil off. “You got all angry for your friend. How very loyal.” With a smirk of a jerk, Plageues walked closer to the struggling garchomp. “Let me give you some advice, all tall, dark, and stupid.” With a firm swipe of his leg, Plageues kicked Garon in the chest, right on the spot his Focus Blast from earlier had hit.

Garon let out an angry cry as Plageues thrust his hand at the dragon’s neck, clenching it with a firm grip. The garchomp opened his eyes, still blurred by the flash from earlier, his breathing speeding as his instincts started going crazy.

As Plageues started forming a Night Slash dagger, he whispered in a low tone, “You should focus on handling yourself before going to your friend’s corpse.”

This was enough to send Garon into a rage. Blindly, Garon lashed out at Plageues, who easily sidestepped every strike that was near its mark although it cost him his Night Slash dagger. Unfortunately, this angry attacking only allowed Plageues to sneak behind and kick him in the back. Garon hit the ground on his stomach, but quickly rolled halfway and pushed off his right leg to half twist back to land. Get a grip, Garon the garchomp urged himself, calming down. His words are just words. He’s toying with you so just let him play his game.

Seeing his opponent was emotionally stable now, Plageues just let out a huff. “Well sorry for giving some constructive criticism. Perhaps I should have been more thoughtful for his majesty.” Once done, the zoroark gave an arrogant bow.

By now Garon’s sight was almost back to normal, but he let the zoroark continue his little antics without giving Plageues any kind of satisfaction.

“Done talking?” Plageues rhetorically asked as he straightened back up and eyed Garon with a mischievous stare. “Aww, and here I was hoping to have a nice chat.”

Without a word, Garon bent low and horizontally flattened his arm fins. Narrowing his eyes, Garon slid his left good back and firmly planted it on the ground, ready to push off at any moment.

Plageues grinned darkly at the garchomp’s aggressive stance. “Hope you can fight twice as hard for your friend.”

“I won’t have to.” Garon shot forward and raced towards the waiting zoroark. Forming a Crunch in his teeth, Garon lunged at Plageues’s neck.

Plageues in return cupped his hands together and swung them down with a firm force, emanating a dark energy around himself. The Night Daze surged like a repulse throughout the area, striking the nearby trees and Garon, although he managed to cancel it with his Crunch.

Once Garon had cleared the repulsing move, he looked back at the Zoroark, only to wince at seeing Plageues had vanished.

“Yoo hoooooo,” Plageues called from a tree limb above.

“Huh?” Garon looked up to the zoroark, who was leaning against the tree on his elbow. “Perhaps you can start. Shame it’s predictable.”

“Are you going to keep dodging or fight?” Garon stated, forming a defiant grin of his own.

Plageues gave a little giggly grunt as he turned to lean his back against the tree. “You know it’s cute that you’re trying to act tough and all, just to impress me.” Plageues laughed in his head as Garon’s smile faded, clearly annoyed at the flirtatious mockery. “You know, Garchomps like you would probably make the best subs for certain alpha mon fantasies. All tall and strong, but has a nice tail with a nice a-”

“Enough already!” A blushing, fed up Garon shouted.

“My apologies.” Plageues gestured his arms outwards as he got off his leaning spot. “I just enjoy playing around with sexy, down to planet dragons.”

Garon looked to the side, nearing his tolerance limit. “What do you want with the fraxure?” he demanded, trying to look back at Plageues without backing down.

Plageues gave a little smirk as he noticed something. He stretched his back for a second as he held up a finger as a ‘one moment please’ gesture. “Well, tell you what scalester. If you want to know, catch me.” He leaped away from the fight, going from branch to branch.

“Hey! Stop!” Garon shouted, rushing after Plageues. Unfortunately, Garon’s rushing on the ground made it difficult to keep chase up with the branch leaping zoroark. Whenever he was starting to close the distance Plageues would just jump in an inconvenient direction for Garon to be forced to follow, while avoiding any surprise trees or rocks.

I’ll never catch up with that guy this way, Garon ranted in his head as he kept up a pretty decent pursuit. Suddenly, a thought crossed his mind. Wait, is he… Garon stopped, quickly shifting on his gift to see the synergy around him. His eyes fell on the situation between three smaller synergy blobs and one big one. So they’re still fighting…wait.

Garon quickly looked back at Plageues’s direction, who had stopped. Narrowing his eyes, Garon quickly faced his enemy, deactivating his gift. “Is that your game then?”

Plageues gave a little huff, rolling his eyes like a toddler caught with some stolen candy. “Alright, fine, yes I’m leading you away. But it’s for a good reason I swear.”

“Shouldn’t have confessed.” Garon turned around and was about to start running off when some little shadow of purple in some bushes caught his eye. Diving forward, Garon barely evaded a Shadow Ball, quickly rolling up to raise his talons in defense.

“Finally,” Plageues grumbled as Vex flew in and landed, putting Garon between himself and Plageues. With a bored look, Plageues made a brushing of his hand and said, “You two have fun now.” Without another word, he started leaping to the left, heading in the direction to the town.

Garon tried to pursue him but was forced to block an incoming Shadow Ball.

“Sorry,” Vex said with an evil grin. “But I can’t let you do that.”

“So he’s going to get Vray then,” Garon replied, leading Vex to raise a brow in surprise.

After a second of processing, Vex just shrugged with a grin, saying, “Dang, put that much together? Heh, too little too late.”

“Not on your life.” Garon quickly rushed off in the direction Plageues went.

Vex smiled, quickly levitating slightly off the ground and flying after him. “Sorry, but I’ve been antsy to try this out all day.” Dark aura surrounded Vex as he formed twin Shadow Balls, one in each hand. He began to barrage Garon with ghost ball after ghost ball, trying to trip the dragon up.

Garon wouldn’t get hit easily though. Weaving amid the trees while keeping his pace strong, Garon pretty much was untouchable for Vex. Unfortunately, this required him to focus on evading Vex, leaving him open to a Focus Blast from Plageues in the front. Thankfully, he caught eye of it and quickly rolled to the side, letting it explode with a thunderous force.

“I said keep him busy,” Plageues commanded, this time with a firmer, serious tone. “I’d rather not have to pull more work for you than I already have to.” With that said, Plageues resumed his path as Vex landed to keep Garon away.

Growling, Garon got back to his feet, baring his teeth. Dark energy began to surge in them as Crunch started to activate.

“Heh, nice teeth. Too bad though.” Vex stretched out his left arm. “Time to give this a nice test run.” Slowly, something began to emerge from Vex’s arm, something like a bracelet.

Keeping a firm eye on this new object, Garon watched from a safe distance as Vex pulled something from his side and moved to put it on this bracelet. Briefly, the object in Vex’s hand was visible to Garon. A rainbow-like pattern dotted its exterior, swirling down in a diagonal formation making this object instantly recognizable to the garchomp.

Without hesitation, Garon fired a flamethrower, unconcerned with where the flames would hit aside its target, knowing full well what would happen if he didn’t act now. But sadly, he had no chance from the start.

Vex clicked the Awakening Emura into place, energy surging from the spot with a radiance of white light. Violently, Vex began shaking, power rushing throughout his body as he laughed uncontrollably. He was so caught up in his transformation he didn’t even notice the fire about to strike him, not that it mattered due to the energy flux being more than enough to vaporize the flame like a wave upon rock.

Covering his eyes, Garon braced against the surge of energy. It felt warm, violently warm. Such things emuras were, especially the more unstable ones.

Finally, the light faded. The forest seemed to feel darker, the small pockets of light from the trees nearby looked thinner and hazier. The grass and trees looked like they were watching, spying. Every nerve on Garon’s body was on edge, but even as his body demanded he move he couldn’t.

All the noise in front of him was nothing more than surging crackling and unintelligible giggling, the kind one would hear from a madmon. Perhaps it was accurate, Garon had no idea of telling. He’d never gone mega or had the means to, but he understand the implications of becoming transformed by the enormous unstable synergy inside.

As the light faded the silhouette of a deformed Gengar showed barely in a dark, grey mist. It craned its body upwards before two, bloodshot, red eyes opened followed by an eerie white smile.

As the smile showed, a strange line of black light shot towards Garon. It struck Garon on the arm, startling him but not harming him. “What the?” he said, as the black line wrapped and orbiting around his arm, forming strange letters bearing resemblance of a dead, ancient language. Looking back at the gengar in the misty he noticed something like a thin black fire encircling their location, forming like a mini-forest arena.

With this new detail, Garon easily determined what was going on, and internally groaned at what this meant. “So…that’s how you’re keeping me here,” Garon said in a monotone.

“Yes, with Shadow Tag,” Vex elaborated, in almost a maniacal tone. He dragged his body towards Garon with his large arms. Keeping his mouth open and letting his tongue hang like a famished mon staring at some food through a window, Vex crawled closer and closer while Garon started defensively backing away.

Okay, you can handle this. You’ve got to. The garchomp’s stayed in his boxing stance as he waited for the mega gengar to make the first move.

Vex firmly slammed his fists on the ground, stopping his approach and oozing shadows like liquid from his phasing palms. He opened his mouth to a rather frightening level as a chaotic Shadow Ball formed in his gaping mouth. With a dark laugh, Vex shot a larger, dark, and sparking Shadow Ball towards Garon.

The garchomp braced himself, waiting for the orb to draw closer as he spun off his foot, twirling to the side in evading. During his twist, he formed the dragon head of his Dragon Rush above his one. Once landing he planted his feet, aimed at the oozing gengar, and pushed off, spinning in the air as he rocketed towards the mega ghost with his move cutting through the air behind him.

Vex raised his arms, growing them as he clamped them above his head. He brought them down upon Garon’s Dragon Rush, infused with a dark energy of two Shadow Claws.

The two moves locked, but the upwards angle of Vex’s attack forced Garon to pull his feet out to prevent landing on his stomach when his move was grounded. Desperately, Garon pushed up against his powered up foes’ fists. Snarling as he looked at his Dragon Rush struggling against the mighty dark blobs of his enemies fists.

“I hope it looks like it’ll hurt,” Vex said, drooling from his mouth. “Because that’s only the beginning.” He detached one of his fists and under slugged Garon, who was sent spinning in the air till hitting a nearby tree on his stomach.

Despite the damage accumulated, Garon pushed off the tree and landed on his feet, shaking his head to regain his focus.

“Ready for more huh‽” Vex laughed as his shadow started creeping around, moving up trees and flowing through the grass, leaving a toxic aura in the area. “Because Vex gonna give it to you.” The gengar formed another Shadow Ball as Garon raised his defenses, bracing himself once more.

“Hitter up!” Vex laughed suddenly snatching the shadowy orb with his palm and spinning around to throw it at high speed.

Garon quickly leaned down to evade but was met by a frightening stare from Vex, phasing from his shadow spot. “Peekaboo,” was all Garon heard before getting slammed in the chest with a Shadow Claw.

Garon tumbled a little ways before stopping himself with his talon, panting slightly. He moved his other talon to his chest and discovered a slice on his chest. Argh that last one might have been a critical. Ugh, it burns. Garon went on a knee as he looked down at the triple slice wound on his chest. It didn’t look too deep but it had an odd purple substance on it. Poison? But he wasn’t using a move nor an ability to-…maybe it’s the slime off his body. Garon looked up to see Vex laughing, forming another Shadow Ball in his gaping mouth.

I can’t believe this is happening. Garon said in his head, watching the move aiming for his body. Some good I’ve done. I’m trapped here with an opponent that will be a struggle and they’re off on their own.

The gengar unleashed the black sphere in a swirling maneuver, however, Garon managed to track its movements and leap at a gap in its pattern to evade. He then fired a Flamethrower straight at the gengar, who responded with a Shadow Claw slicing down upon it.

Seeing his attack doing little to his enemy, Garon’s heart started sinking even more. His mind started to be filled with the dread of an unwinnable battle. A battle he needed to win, but couldn’t…A battle he would lose and as a result, those relying on him would fall. Being…unable to stop it. Powerless.

Garon firmly planted his back foot and slammed his talon into the ground, tannish synergy straight into the ground. I’ll never let that happen! He roared in his mind as he engulfed the cackling specter in a Sand Tomb; the sand rose like a miniature tornado, striking Vex from all sides and getting into his eyes.

“What the fuc-” Vex started, his maniacal smile now replaced by confused bumbling. As Vex tried to wipe the sand out of his eyes he was firmly struck in the face with another Flamethrower. Vex screamed as the move scorched his head, shoving his hands in front, trying to shield his face.

Garon kept the fire squarely on the ghost, unconcerned if anything else was set aflame. Nothing like that mattered, not till they were safe. Not till they were all safe.

< O >

“Come on, ‘full-blood’, are you too slow because you’re full of it,” Swift mocked with a carefree smile as he light hopped away from Siegfried’s Psycho Cut infused right arm.

The gallade snarled in anger, quickly swinging his left vertically upwards, hurling a ranged Pyscho Cut straight at Swift. To Siegfried’s frustration, Swift met it with a quickly made Focus Blast with the resulting collision sending a minor shockwave. Siegfried blocked, grunting from the force exerted upon him, while Swift just did a slow backflip as he rode the shockwave, putting further distance between the two.

“Or maybe I’m wrong.” Swift giggled as he stood up and brushed some of the blood of his right shoulder. “Maybe, you are going fast and I’m just faster, which is sad because you were doing so well before.”

Siegfried didn’t reply, just eyed Swift. “You’re making it obvious.”

Swift raised a brow, but didn’t stay still for Siegfried was rushing towards him. Imbuing his arms with another round of Psycho Cuts. “Making what obvious?” Swift inquired as he activated Iron Tail and awaited Siegfried’s onslaught.

“How true my words are.” Siegfried slashed and slashed, as Swift either parried with his tail or evaded it. “You may like to pretend they mean nothing or are swinging in the dark.”

Swift blew off this comment in his head. Once an opportunity showed itself, Swift quickly did a fast handspring backwards, firing a Focus Blast from both hands as he landed.

Siegfried leaned his body to evade, swinging the arm closest to Swift to fire his ranged attack. Like many times before, Swift leaped away from its path, but Siegfried quickly swung his other arm to meet the land where Swift was going to land.

The impact harshly pushed Swift to the ground early, rolling away from Siegfried. He groaned from his right shoulder’s pain, irritated by the dirt it had touched along the way.

“Even if you managed to get a minute ahead of me, you won’t stay for long. You’re simply wasting my time while your allies fight for their lives.”

Swift gave a defiant huff, almost like he was about to laugh. “Yeah sure, whatever. I get it.”

“I’m not sure you do.” Siegfried crossed his arms, eyeing the wary heliolisk with a stern but strangely without the hostility from before. “But then again, all you lot have is words.”

“Really now?” Swift sarcastically asked, brushing his snout with moxie, “Was it words that helped me last long?”

Siegfried shook his head. “No, but while I admit you can fight, you’re quite lacking in prowess.”

Swift’s eyes narrowed. Without a reply, he started brushing the dirt in his wound, while keeping a firm gaze on Siegfried as he winced slightly from the stinging.

“You’re weak and all you have to fight me with is survival.”

Swift gave a little grunt and a cocky smile followed. “Whatever you say, runaway.”

Siegfried smirked, shifting his arms to his side thus putting Swift into alert mode. “You know, I’d consider a half-blood like you lucky.”

“Pffft, I thought you said a ‘half-blood’ like me is physically inferior.” Swift lowered his body, angling in an aggressive, quadruped stance.

“I did and it’s true.” Tensing his arms in case Swift tried something, Siegfried looked to the side of the path. “But, it’s interesting. You, Half-bloods are lucky to not have a burden of a strong society thrust upon.”

Disbelieving what he just heard all Swift could do was laugh. “Okay wow, you put the phrase ‘pompous Phynecions’ to a whole new stage, huh?” Pointing at the stern gallade with his right hand, Swift bluntly accused, “Look, I don’t know what kind of mopey tale you have to say about how Phynecions treated you or whatever, but unlike an arrogant ass like yourself, I earned my place in society. And you know why? Because I learned from the Norfarions I was around and they got to know me. They judge me for what I can do, not where I’m from and most certainly not for what I desire. It’s not all about me.”

“So akin to Averia and Daemoria, then.” Siegfried’s arms slowly folded behind his back as he returned his gaze to Swift’s, his eyes looking a bit more invested in the conversation. “Just focused on how to ‘benefit everyone’, huh? Pitching in to make things better? Utter nonsense.”

“Nonsense?” Swift repeated, almost offended by the random claim.

Siegfried raised his head a little in a belittling fashion and said, “You seem surprised at me being a traitor yet haven’t you ever wondered why someone would betray such a collected society like the clans?”

Swift mimicked Siegfried’s arms and started pacing to the right.

Ensuring Swift wouldn’t get an opening to dart for the forest, Siegfried matched his pace, mirroring Swift’s movement.

“Explain,” Swift inquired, trying to see if he could build his way to an opening.

Siegfried’s eyes shut slightly. “Do I really need to? It’s obvious your society is fixated on the needs of the many above an individual. It’s all fine till someone is thrown under for the sake of the group.” Siegfried’s head leaned towards Swift while bearing a serious, honest gaze at Swift. “What is the purpose in a number?”

“Number…” Swift paused, stopping his pacing as he looked directly at the copying gallade. “Is that how you see yourself as a Phynecion?”

“Yes…do you disagree, half-blood?” Siegfried folded his arms once more, waiting for an answer.

Swift crossed his arms to think, making sure to glance at Siegfried a lot as he thought. The gallade gave him the time to think this over. If he’s going to give me time, the least I can do is use it wisely. As he closed his eyes, Swift used his gift, listening around. “Yes, I do disagree,” Swift said amid his pinging.

Siegfried grunted as he rolled his eyes. “I take it you have pride in joint cooperation and self-sacrifice, then?”

“No,” Swift said, listening around. “It’s-” Swift stuttered for a second as a noise returned to him. It sounded like some manner of talking or at least he guessed it was. “M-more than that. I don’t expect to be in charge of everything or have everything go my way.” Swift drew his attention to the strange conversation he was hearing, which, unfortunately, cut out Siegfried’s reply. Not that Swift was honestly invested in debating with his attacker.

Some conversation? Let’s see… “Here’s”….uhm…”Devon. You go on ahead and ci-…”

His thoughts were interrupted by the screeching sound of an energy spike from his front. Swift flung open his eyes and quickly ducked, covering his head as a Psycho Cut sailed barely over him and sliced some blades of grass before it collided with the ground.

“Clever little half-blood. Perhaps I’ve been too kind to you. Sorry to cut your little searching short, but I believe that’s enough for a break,” Siegfried said, with a smirk that almost seemed amused at this sneaky play by Swift.

Swift got to his feet. Guess there goes that. Swift kept a sharp look at Siegfried, who was walking towards him ominously. I didn’t recognize the voice and it was from behind me, I think. Is…is someone comi-?

Suddenly, Siegfried leaped into the air and started spinning, attacking with Vacuum Wave.

In response, Swift dove to the side. He spun around to defend himself, but to his surprise, Siegfried wasn’t there. With a troubling revelation, Swift looked directly upwards just in time to see a grouping of rocks hurling upon him. He tried to evade the Rock Tomb but was nailed by two. One hitting his rib and another striking his right shoulder, both planting him into the dirt as they rolled a little ways after. He hissed in pain as he grabbed his hurting shoulder, the wound only starting to get worse.

“Let’s see how far you go without speed.”

Swift quickly spun around to see Siegfried getting up from what was most likely a landing. Running out of options, Swift formed a Focus Blast with his right hand and pointed it straight at Siegfried, who just eyed it without fear.

The gallade let out an annoyed grunt as he surged Psycho Cut once more in his extended elbows and awaited Swift to move, ready to meet the move and then land a decisive hit on his slower target.

Swift scowled as the sphere of fighting synergy started spinning as he readied to fire, while Siegfried’s Psycho Cuts glowed from the more synergy Siegfried put into his.

This was it. Time to end this. As Swift was about to release the orb, he heard a noise coming from his left. Siegfried heard it as well. The two looked in the direction of the sound’s origin, only for Siegfried to be struck by a powerful, green wave of force.

The sound of a high pitched buzzing filled Siegfried’s ears as he locked his arms in front to shield his head as the sound wave of Bug Buzz, coming from Devon’s flapping wings. The move struck Siegfried’s newly made guard hard and traveled past the struggling gallade and tore into the grass and dirt path to Swift’s right.

Looking at the scene in complete bewilderment, Swift just stood there with his mouth agape. He was startled as a voice called out to him. “Sir, are you alright?”

Swift spun around, only to look up at a grumpig standing on a pair of rocks, looking down at him with a serious look. Letting out a sigh of relief at the sight of the stranger’s cerise eyes, Swift asked, “Who are you?”

“My name is Demetri.” The grumpig hopped down from his duo of stones but kept them afloat. “Where’s your group?”

A reminder of his friends being in danger prompted Swift to look back at the forest. “They’re-”

“I see, the forest,” Demetri interrupted, leading Swift to look at him with a little bit of confusion. Demetri closed his eyes as he began to slow his breathing. “How many are in your group?”

Swift started counting on his fingers. “Uhm…including myself, eight.”

“Alright, then we shouldn’t waste time.” Demetri opened his eyes and turned to Swift, examining the wound on the heliolisk’s shoulder. “Can you still fight?”

Swift nodded. “Uhm mister uhm…” Swift started snapping his right hand as he tried to remember this stranger’s name.

Demetri sighed. ”Demetri.”

”Demetri, that’s it.” Rolling his neck and then looked straight at Demetri. “Sir, I can find them in the woods. I have echo vizor.”

“Echo what?” Demetri replied, his ears perking up with curiosity.

Swift mentally facepalmed. “My gift.”

“Oh? And Echo Vizor does?”

Swift groaned as he blurted out. “It’ll help me find the rest, but I need to get to the forest.”

Demetri nodded. “Okay, I’ll handle this mon and send Devon to assist.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Swift smiled as he cupped his arms behind his head. “Devon?”

With a little bit of annoyance in his eyes, Demetri pointed to the vikavolt that was still unleashing Bug Buzz at Siegfried. “Go around Devon’s back.” Demetri was about to rush off, but stopped mid-step saying, "Oh, I almost forgot.”

“Forgot wha-?” Before Swift could finish, he was seized by Demetri and pulled in front, where the grumpig applied a finger to Swift’s forehead and closing his owns eyes to focus.

There we go.

The grumpig smiled as Swift blinked in confusion. Demetri’s voice now echoing in his mind like a thought. Wait…what di-

Set up a mental connection. Demetri hastily replied. Just so we can keep in sync. Now, I believe we have a group to save. Demetri grinned, releasing the startled mon.

After a few seconds to process what just happened, Swift finally gave an understanding nodded. “Thanks, but try not to be too rough next time,” he said with a jesting smirk and without another word, Swift rushed towards the forest, running as if his own life was depending on it. He didn’t avert his gaze at all, not even when the angry shout of Siegfried ordered him to halt. It wasn’t till he was safely in the forest that he slowed to a standstill and listened to the sounds once more with Echo Vizor. Come on, Come on! He shouted in his head as he tried to identify anyone’s direction.

As he listened, the sound of a grunting managed to reach him. That sounded li- Swift’s eyes shot open as he stopped using Echo Vizor. “Seliph?”

Are you alright? Demetri inquired telepathically.

Uh…yeah, I found someone. I’m going to help him. Demetri just gave him telepathic grunt in reply. “Okay, hand in there Seliph, I’m coming.” Rushing forward, Swift shot forward, following the sound and hoping his friends were still alright.

Meanwhile, Siegfried was still struggling against the powerful Bug Buzz from Devon. In a raging tone, Siegfried roared, “Enough!” Leaping to the side and swinging his arm, Siegfried sent a Psycho Cut straight for Devon’s right-wing.

The bug easily saw the pink crescent coming and twisted his body enough for it to miss, dropping the barrage of Bug Buzz in the process. Immediately, Devon flew towards Siegfried at ramming speed.

Siegfried responded with bracing his arms for impact; however, Devon shot upwards, did half a twist, and flew straight for the woods. “What the‽ Hey!” Before Siegfried could give chase, he was promptly smacked on the back of the head with a rock. He fell flat onto his stomach, moving an arm to his hurting head.

“Argh, wha-?” He pulled his hand back and saw a little blood on it. Growling, he got back to his feet and with a scowl, faced his new opponent, Demetri.

Demetri slowly stretched his arm forward, causing the levitating rock behind him to start spinning while just floating in the air. Clearing his throat for a second, Demetri put his serious face on and ordered, “By order of the core, I hereby demand you cease hostility with the group you’re targeting. They are now under planet nerve protection.”

Siegfried didn’t answer, just kept a scowl up and rubbing his head wound as he defiantly asked, “The heck is a planet nerve?” His tone was less than savory due to the added stinging from his head.

“Well,” Demetri said with a following sigh. He closed his eyes and took a breath before opening them again, revealing a solid green color that glowed slightly. “This is what you’d call my badge of office.”

Siegfried removed his hand from the back of his head, grunting a little from resulting pain and looked at Demetri. “Never heard of them.” He surged a Psycho Cut in his arms and readied a battle stance. “And I don’t listen to a group with a name as lame as ‘Planet Nerves’.”

“Not my naming choice, sadly,” Demetri said with a little smirk, closing his eyes to return them to his normal cerise ones. “So I take it you won’t be complying.”

“Do you need to state the obvious, pig?”

Demetri snorted and his eyes narrowed. Hard way then. He turned to the side and focused his psychic energy on a few rocks in view, levitating them and pulling them to join with his one rock.

Siegfried just stood and watched as the grumpig starting letting them orbit himself, standing there with his arms crossed and a smug look. “Well, then I won’t trouble you with talking about how outmatched you are let alone your current injury hindrance. So without further interruptions.” The stones froze in midair. Demetri moved his arms to the side, aligning the rocks into a line before stretching out his right hand in temerity. “Catch!” Demetri said with a gleeful smile as he sent all the small rocks Siegfried’s way.

The gallade jumped up in the air, flipping upside down to spin and surge Vacuum Wave to cut them up. However, he was struck by something from the side. The hit knocked him out of his move and to the ground, rolling a little. “Ugh, a…?” When looking for what hit him, he spotted a bigger stone like the one Demetri had earlier. “Typical psychic,” Siegfried grumbled as he stood up. “Can’t fight direct-” He stopped. To his surprise and dismay, Demetri was no longer in front. Siegfried spun around and sure enough, Demetri was running towards the forest. In fact, Demetri was so close to the thick forest that he vanished into the brush in only a second.

“Damn it. Get back here!” Siegfried yelled, chasing after the tricky grumpig as best he could.

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
– Unknown


Darkinium Z

Dani California
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Hours Ago
5,857 posts
13.8 Years
The wound jumped up in stinging as he poured a little bit of the potion on his wound.
This sentence sounds awkward when reading aloud. Maybe rewrite as: "The wound stung on his skin as he poured some of the potion there."

In an instant, the noise of harsh snap came from above, prompting his body to almost jump away for him in whatever direction that wasn’t here.
The bolded part I would rephrase it to "a harsh snapping sound" or maybe even just "a sharp hiss" since it came from Sylphiel being an arbok.

If I can just remain airborne just long eno- His thoughts were interrupted by a painful jab hitting his arm.

Sylphiel was once again upon him, jamming his needle into Seliph’s Hydro Pump shooting wrist. “Not this time,” Sylphiel said, gleefully looking at Seliph, who responded with a hard headbutt. “Ouch!” This caused Sylphiel to let go and rub his head, but his actions had worked.
I feel the "His thougths were interrupted" was repetetive since you mentioned Sylphiel jabbing him in next sentence. Unless Sylphiel had jammmed him twice?

A little grunt came from Sylphiel at the repercussions from breaking his fall with his arm.
Grunted. Grunted.

In a dazed state, “Sylphiel tried to get up, his head all wobbly from the hard-hit of the ground.
Leftover quotation mark.

Swift gave a little grunt and a cocky smile followed. “Whatever you say, runaway.”
Again, grunted.


Seliph really got annoyed by Ditto huh. Sylphiel transforming into Seliph must've been a wild ride for the Greninja. And then Sylphiel chasing Seliph down like that lol.

Plageues gave a little giggly grunt as he turned to lean his back against the tree. “You know it’s cute that you’re trying to act tough and all, just to impress me.” Plageues laughed in his head as Garon’s smile faded, clearly annoyed at the flirtatious mockery. “You know, Garchomps like you would probably make the best subs for certain alpha mon fantasies. All tall and strong, but has a nice tail with a nice a-”
Oh Plageues is being flirty all right.

Hm, so Vex can Mega Evolve huh. Looks like though Garon is able to handle him well enough there.

Swift is lucky (maybe? lol) that Demetri and Devon came to help him going against Siegfried. I do have to agree on the name Planet Nerves, though. Sounds more like something from a sci-fi story heh.

Foul Play
[Chapter Nine up!]


Say it with me (Vray-gun)

As if I'd be one to say
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted December 4th, 2019
285 posts
2 Years
Contains: Language, Violence [13]
Chapter 41
From All Sides [Act 3]

Panting madly, Seliph dashed amid the trees. He darted his gaze frantically left to right, paranoid of an attack from anywhere. Perhaps it was his wounds getting to his head, or maybe something more instinctive, he didn’t know, but he couldn’t fight Sylphiel directly. All he could do was dart forwards in desperation for finding the path, finding anyone.

Something moved up ahead. Sadly he was running too fast to dodge or stop and ran smack into a heavy amount of purple mass. Tumbling a ways, Seliph groaned as he worked on getting back up, only to be picked up by one of his head protrusions. Violently Seliph struggled against the firm grip holding tightly onto his ear.

With a valiant roar, Seliph tried to stab with a forming Night Slash dagger, only for his wrist to be caught and clenched by another arm. Then two more grabbed at his neck, pushing him downwards while the first arm still pulled on his head. Seliph attempted to pry Sylphiel’s hands off with his free hand, but his attempts were in vain.

“I tried to f**king be nice, but I guess you’ll just have to be delivered out of commission before I break those legs of yours.”

Seliph looked up to Sylphiel’s angry black dotted eyes, lodged in the sockets of a Machamp. They peered down at him with some semblance at glee at his suffering, probably still sore from getting his head plastered. Amid his coughs from the strangling, Seliph mocked, “So tell me how does it feel to have your head smashed in?”

“You freak!” Sylphiel shouted, pulling harder on both ends, making Seliph howl. “You feeling smart now, huh? Come on you bastard, give me some more lip. Will make tearing this off more satisfying.”

Despite the pain, Seliph used the opportunity to divert his free hand over the arms and stab with a newly formed Night Slash dagger straight into one of the fake machamp’s arms. Sylphiel roared in pain as Seliph wrenched his other hand free and stabbed into the mon’s stomach, making purple goo leak from the hole made. Sylphiel snarled, seizing Seliph by the shoulders, lifting him overhead, and throwing him straight into a tree.

With a hard thud, Seliph’s back struck the tree as he hit the ground on his stomach. Groaning, Seliph rolled on his back, his head spinning and his wounds hurting. He held his head in one hand as the other attempted to get something to grab for pulling up. He didn’t get the chance.

Sylphiel walked over, grabbed Seliph’s head and shoved him away from the tree. “I’m about ready to take whatever muk Plageues gives me just so I can tear off that annoying head.” Sylphiel slammed his foot down on Seliph’s arm, lifting his leg off as Seliph rolled onto his side. “Go on psycho, keep resisting. I’ll just beat you back into the ground.” Seeing Seliph was going for a horizontal swipe at the legs, Sylphiel stepped back and once clear of the move swung his leg straight into Seliph’s wound.

The greninja rolled a few circles, beaten and groaning. All his strength felt gone, his body felt heavy, his mind felt hazy, and his eyes were barely open. Despite all this, Seliph struggled to get up, refusing to stay and be at the mercy of the Red Eye.

“You are the most annoying person I’ve ever had to fight.” Sylphiel stomped on his way to Seliph, huffing as his fists tightened, ready to pound on Seliph some more. Once he was right over Seliph, who was currently on his hands and knees, he cupped his upper two hands together and raised the over his head. “So I hope this hurts more than I think it wi-” Suddenly his face was struck by a fast moving object. Since he was leaning back slightly, Sylphiel couldn’t rebalance and started falling backwards in confusion.

Pushing off Sylphiel’s face, Swift pointed his arms forwards, forming and firing a quick Focus Blast that struck squarely in the fake machamp’s chest and sent him tumbling a few yards away, uprooting some plants and dirt along the way.

Swift hadn’t landed for two seconds before he was at Seliph’s side, checking him. “Damnit, you’re pretty banged up,” Swift stated, a little bit of guilt setting in though relieved to see Seliph wasn’t dead.

“S-Swift?” Seliph blinked a few times as he held his head.

“Easy buddy.” Swift repositioned him to sit down and moved his back to a rock. “You need to sit still until your brain stops wanting to spin itself out of your head.”

“B-but the di-”

“I’ll handle mister four arms.” Swift moved his face in front of Seliph’s and both sets of blue eyes met, Seliph’s tired ones and Swift’s focused and confident ones.

Reluctantly, Seliph nodded as he leaned back on the tree. Despite not wanting to put all the work on Swift, Seliph couldn’t help sigh with content as his muscles just melted at the change to relax.

While Seliph was resting, Swift focused back on the machamp. Narrowing his eyes, the heliolisk noticed the ditto-like eyes his opponent had, grumbling to himself, “Great a ditto.”

Sylphiel also studied Swift’s appearance, albeit more out of surprise compared to simple annoyance like with Seliph. “Great, so Siegfried was a pushover after all.” Rolling his arms, Sylphiel groaned from the added work load. “Guess I’ll have to do his work for him.”

Hey, so uhm…are either of you there? Swift thought, not exactly sure if they were still connected. His heart about fell with the silence that followed. Oh come on! Swift started to freak out as the machamp started getting up. For safety, Swift threw another Focus Blast at the mon, which slammed him into a tree. Come on, Come on, pick up! Am I doing this right? He rolled away from another one, then with as loud of a thought he could, shouted in his mind, HELLO‽ ANYBODY THERE IN MY…HEAD?

Dyaaa! Don’t zzzhout in my head, Devon retorted. I about zzzpiraled downwardzzz from that.

Then why didn’t you pick up? Swift demanded, scowling.

Devon paused for a little bit before saying. Pick up? You didn’t zzzay anything.

What do you mean I didn’t say anything? Swift shot his arms forwards in a frustratingly confused manner. Don’t I have to like, think words and then it gets se-?

Sorry about that, I got scraped a little from the recoil but I’m fine now. Demetri interjected between the two voices suddenly, confusing Swift more and Devon too, wherever in the air he was.

Uh…Demetri? What do you mean ‘scraped from the recoil’? Swift inquired.

Demetri gave a grumble and explained, I’m being chased by a gallade and one of his Psycho Cuts exploded close enough to disrupt our connection for a second.

Swift nodded understanding, before tilting his head after pondering it for a second. Oh…He can do that?

Anyone can do that with a strong enough psychic move and a good enough hit. I literally have Extrasensory, a move which is all about causing mental static! Demetri ranted, either anger from whatever wound he got or the running.

Oh I see. Despite this chaotic communication and getting rebuked by Demetri, Swift sighed in relief that he hadn’t been cut off from his saviors. I didn’t know that about psychic moves.

It’zzz lezzzzzz about the move and more about the pzzzychic interference one can make. Devon added, trying to explain it in a better detailed manner. You zzzee, pzzzychic movezzz are like how zzztuff affectzzz zzzound. Enough obzzztruction or interference would cauzzze a delay or even a mizzzzzz.

I think I follow what you’re saying. Suddenly, he heard a crack and looked forwards to the trunk of the tree heading straight towards him. AHHHH! He screamed, diving to the side, just narrowly avoiding it.

While getting up, Swift was suddenly bombarded by Devon’s berating.

Zzztop doing that!

I’m sorry, I was just caught of- YIKES! Swift rolled away from a downwards punch by Sylphiel, quickly handspringing back onto his feet. He didn’t have time to reply to more Devon ranting, be it directly to Swift or just the bug’s thoughts being sent without him knowing, before he was once more stuck evading.

Swift, are you engaged? Demetri’s serious and thankfully less aggravated voice joined in.

Excuse me? Swift paused at the question only to snap back to the fight and duck beneath a sweep of Sylphiel’s arms. He darted between the mon’s legs as Demetri tried to correct himself.

Demetri growled over their link and tried to nicely clarify. I mean, are you fighting someone?

You mean you can’t see it? Swift leaped away from another punch, opening his frills to firing a Thunderbolt.

Angrily, Sylphiel crossed his two upper arms to block the move as he slowly moved closer towards Swift.

You do understand telepathy is an exchange of thoughts over a psychic conne-

Yes! I’m fighting someone! Swift snapped, rudely cut Demetri off due to the building stress from so many things happening at once. Seliph is badly injured and this mon is a bit of a hassle. Can one of you guys assist?

I hear you, Demetri I’ll help him, while you go after the zzznorlax on the main path. He’zzz got the other three monzzz caged in with him by Block. A telepathic grunt was Demetri’s confirmation and Devon then asked. Zzzwift, can you fire off zzzome kind of zzzignal zzzo I can find you guyzzz. The forezzzt bruzzzh izzz pretty thick.

Okay, I’ll work on that, just keep an eye out. Once Demetri and Devon had gone silent, Swift finally got a grip on things and after a calming breath, dropped his frills, thus ending the Thunderbolt barrage and stared at his larger opponent, who had lowered his defenses.

“Can’t things just go smoothly,” Sylphiel angrily muttered, charging towards Swift as he morphed into a tauros.

Swift waited patiently for the mon to get close although skeptical that the ditto would just do a simple charge on a small, agile opponent. His patience paid off as Sylphiel jumped forwards, spinning while morphing into a kommo-o.

Leaping above the tail swipe, Swift swung his own tail, slicing across Sylphiel’s face where the eyes were. While Sylphiel was distracted by the pain from his cut and suffering temporary blindness, Swift wasted no time opening his frills and aiming through the branches with a Thunderbolt. Please see it. Swift thought as he kept the move going, although growing nervous as Sylphiel morphed into a Galvantula, and looked at Swift.

Although he was confused by why Swift was firing straight into the air, he didn’t pay it any mind. Charging at the surging heliolisk as started rolling forwards while taking the form of a whirlipede.

I zzzee it, on my way.

That was all Swift needed to hear in his head. He shut off the move, closed his frills, activated Iron Tail, and swiped at the part of Sylphiel’s spin almost at the ground. Right as he struck, Swift bent low as the strike from the Iron Tail knocked Syphiel wildly spinning overhead.

However, Sylphiel demorphed, spinning and becoming a lucario, gracefully landing on one paw as he eyed Swift menacingly.

The heliolisk, eyed him back, trying not to rush into their fight as he waited for Devon to assist. He about jumped in a start at Devon’s voice suddenly asking, I have an idea. Try and get him in a prone zzztate if you can, I’m ready.

Meanwhile, Seliph had been watching this all transpire and was rather confused at Swift’s odd actions. Thinking the heliolisk was in over his head, since Swift looked like he had hit a dead end on what to do, Seliph picked himself up, using the tree as balancer, and moved his hands together to start forming a Water Shuriken.

This got Sylphiel’s attention, giving Swift an idea. The heliolisk rushed in low towards the distracted fake, instantly grabbing Sylphiel’s awareness, however, Swift dashed to the left so Sylphiel’s eyes would follow, putting his back towards Seliph.

Despite being caught in the middle, Sylphiel hadn’t forgotten about Seliph’s attack, and was ready when it was flung towards him. What he wasn’t prepared for was the following leg swipe from Swift, making him leap away and attempting to backflip over the shuriken.

Gotcha. Swift smirked as he could hear Devon’s rapid buzzing. In an instant, the airborne lucario showed a face of dread as he saw something racing towards him, lighting up like a fireball heading right for your face. Just a second later, Swift felt the force of Devon, whizzing through the air engulfed in Wild Charge as he flew overhead, ramming into Sylphiel and taking him away from the duo with great speed till the sparking lights from the move died off in the distance of the dark forest.

“Alright, it worked!” Swift cheered, thrusting his fist to the heavens while Seliph just stared in total shock where the ditto had been taken away by whatever that was. However, Seliph having to lean back on the tree for some balance snapped Swift back to the situation and he rushed over. “Hey easy there, let me help you,” Swift directed, as he let the greninja rest on him to stand for a second. His eyes spotted several of Seliph’s injuries and with a worried look stated, “we’ve got to get you out of here.”

“Agreed,” Seliph concurred with a grunt. As Swift started helping Seliph walk a little before letting go, Seliph asked, “So what was that all about?”

“What was about?” the heliolisk looked at Seliph who pointed in the direction of the bushes where the ditto was rammed away. “That. Who or what was that?”

“Well aheh,” The heliolisk rubbed the back of his head as the two temporarily halted. Slightly embarrassed, Swift started explaining the situation as he helped Seliph sit down to recover a little of his stamina. “I’ll be quick about it. So these two guys came by and helped me in my fight and right now we’re trying to get everyone to town.”

Crossing his legs, Seliph raised a brow as he skeptically inquired, “So these two are here to help us?”

“That’s what they claim at least.” Swift shrugged.

“I see.” The two though in silence for a second, with Seliph being the first to break it. “So they know who we are then…” His eyes narrowed.

Swift crossed his arms and looked down, also a bit concerned about this conclusion. “Yeah, I would have waited if there was time, but in the mome-”

“You had every reason to.” Seliph looked at Swift as he rubbed his side, where his belt covered his wound. “We are in a hole after all. Which is why when this is over we get answers about who they are and what they want with us.”

Swift nodded in agreement. After that a thought struck his mind. Swift turned his head and spoke out, “Can you hear me?” confusing Seliph.

“Of course I can hea-”

“Shoosh,” Swift quickly ordered, confusing Seliph even more as the heliolisk looked outwards to the forwards as if to spot something. To Swift’s dismay, the sound of Demetri’s thoughts answered his question as well.

Yes, I can hear you. You have to think what you’re going to say to say it.

A face palm followed. “Great,” Swift grumbled to himself, dragging his hand down his face.

No judgement here, but at least keep in mind the gravity of your situation. I’m not as antagonistic as the gallade who is chasing me right now was.

Swift scowled as he stared in front, not really paying attention to what he was staring at. Look, sorry but you did kind of just show up out of no-

Demetri interrupted with, Are you really wanting to talk about this while I’m running from a psychopathic gallade and Devon is…what is Devon doing?

Swift started to answer when. Oh he-

Currently giving thizzz ditto the ride of hizzz life. Devon’s voice echoed in their thoughts. It sounded hasty, rough, and full of adrenaline.

The attacker? Demetri clarified.

Yeah, we coordinated a surprise strike. Right now Devon is slamming that ditto guy into whatever stuff they fly into.

The sound of Demetri’s mulling resounded in Swift’s head, like the type of buzzing in your head that doesn’t make your ears hurt or your head spin. Devon, I have an idea. I’ll fill you in.

Oh, wait, before you go. Swift shot his arms forwards, almost as if the grumpig was walking away right in front of him.

Telepathy remember. Demetri reminded him in a slightly ‘tired of the laymon’ way. I’m not going anywhere that you can’t talk to me.

Swift face-palmed once more before mumbling in his mind, Can we add Seliph to this?

Sure, can you touch him?

Tensing at the abrupt question and the thought that followed, Swift demanded, ‘Touch him‽’

Arceus help me, Demetri grumbled in his head, which sadly Swift could hear. Like what I did with you. I can use that to add him to our link; it’s not that complex.

Swift was about to face palm but decided against doing it a third time.

“Swift…are you oka-”

“Seliph, I need to uhm…” An awkward red flooded his cheeks as he thought about a way to say it. As Seliph just watched completely lost, Swift managed to utter the phrase, “I need to touch your forehead so you can join in the telepathy.”

Swift about died in his mind at Seliph’s completely caught off guard look. After giving off a frustrated yell, Swift tried again to explain. “One of the guys that assisted is a psychic and he set up a telepathic link. So I need to touch you so he can add you too.”

Seliph nodded and reached out his hand, Swift did as well and they shook. So…you in yet?


Alright, you’re in. Swift gave a big smile of success as they let go.

So this is how it feels to do telepathy, Seliph marveled. I must say this is quite the experience.

I know right, it feels so weird not using your mouth to talk.

Agreed, it’s almost li-

I’m sorry to interrupt this. Demetri’s impatient voice chimed in.

Oh…are you the psychic Swift was talking about?

Yes, and my name is Demetri. But back on topic, me and Devon could use some help so if you guys can assist that’d be very helpful. That snorlax might prove to be an issue.

Wait. Swift jumped in, and stepped his foot forwards albeit unnecessarily. You said there were three with the snorlax. That means three others are missing.

Demetri gave a groan as the situation was just getting worse. Please find them then.

Swift nodded and without another word, he closed his eyes and let his gift, Echo Visor, take over. After a few seconds of silence, Swift looked in a certain direction. “I think I hear Garon over there,” Swift informed, pointing to the brush behind Seliph.

“Alright, I’ll handle that.” Seliph started walking in that direction, but Swift quickly rushed in front.

“Wait, what are you doing? You’re pretty badly hurt, you shouldn’t get into another figh-”

Swift stopped at Seliph’s hand resting gently on his head. Seliph then bent a knee so their eyes were level and said, “I have a plan…trust me, Uncle Swift.” A smile crossed Seliph’s face, a genuine one.

Pondering, Swift looked down but after a few seconds of mulling look back at Seliph with an understanding stare. “Okay, just…” Swift paused, as he looked to the side.

“Just?” Seliph repeated.

“Just…get yourself and Garon safely to the bridge.” Swift’s eyes stayed averted, but this time they seemed to reach somewhere deep inside him, somewhere Seliph figured wasn’t something to pry.

“I’ll hold myself to that.” Seliph hugged Swift suddenly, surprising the smaller Pokémon. “That goes for you too.” For a moment, there was just silence as the two just stayed in that position, processing the following feelings, information, and closeness. Once Seliph let go, he rushed past Swift, hurrying off to help Garon.

Swift watched him leave, still startled by the sudden hug but appreciating it all the same. He sighed a little, wiping his snout as he sniffled once and rushed off in the direction he had heard the loud snorlax.

< O >

A flying Psycho Cut struck a rock while another sliced part of a stump off. Both failed to hit their intended target, Demetri. However, the resulting explosions sent a minor shockwave strong enough to make Demetri stumble a little. Instead of fighting for his balance again, the grumpig fell with his momentum, rolled on his arm to protect his head, and ending on his knee. He twisted to face behind and shielded his head with his arms, slamming them together horizontally to form a blue wall with a spiral like pattern swirling inside it. The two Psycho Cuts slammed strongly into the newly formed Reflect, causing some minor damage, evidence by Demetri’s grunt as if he cut his arm. The barrier faded into many little blue lights and flew swiftly back into him, making him glow a little light blue light as he got back on two feet.

He’s persistent, I’ll give him that, Demetri said to himself. The gallade was rushing towards him, his arms already set with two more Psycho Cuts. Snapping his right arm outwards, Demetri levitated a rock and flung it straight for the charger, who sliced the rock away with a swipe of his left arm. Demetri raised his left, lifting a dead log up and throwing it flatly at him.

Siegfried threw one of his Psycho Cuts, splitting it in half. As he did this, Siegfried spotted Demetri firing a Power Gem with his right straight for him, forcing him to swing down his other Psycho Cut, causing a minor explosion as the two moves collided.

Demetri’s eyes narrowed as he stepped back a little, watching the gallade leap from the smoke of the two move’s collision and firmly landing on one knee.

The gallade remained in his landing position for a few seconds, infusing his extended elbows with another round of pink energy. On after the other he swung his arms to fire two more Psycho Cuts at Demetri.

The grumpig retaliated by thrusting his right arm forwards and slightly upwards. A telekinetic force hit one of the Psycho Cuts off course so they formed enough of a gap for him to dive through the gap.

After rolling forwards once landing, Demetri extended his right arm outwards, immediately lifting a rock telekinetically and chucking it towards the charging Siegfried.

Siegfried just smacks the rock away with his arm, walking towards his opponent in an intimidating way.

Very persistent. Demetri started to back away, keeping his arms up and crossed in front of him as a defensive gesture. As his eyes locked with the gallade’s, Demetri tried calling for help. Devon are you nearing the path?

Yeah. Had to make a zzzharp turn but I zzzhould be there in no time.

Good. Demetri darted to the left with the Siegfried following in pursuing parallel. During their rush through the forest, both exchanged their long ranged moves of Psycho Cut and Power Gem, although Demetri managed to avoid losing his lead. Finally, Demetri burst out of the brush and onto the path, the gallade leaping out as well. The two didn’t attack at first since the brightness from the path took a second for both to adjust to.

Once the pain was bearable enough to keep his eyes open, Demetri immediately snapped his attention towards the gallade, who was throwing a Psycho Cut. Thankfully, it appeared the throw was before the gallade had his sight fully back, thus sending the move far off course. Demetri watched the move strike a tree to his left; looked back at the gallade, and smirked.

Siegfried growled and threw another, this time not obscured by the light adjustment.

Demetri stepped to the side and leaned far enough so it would cross over his back, while shoving his left arm forwards, knocking some dirt from the path all over Siegfried.

Siegfried angrily cursed, as he tried wiping his eyes, making it hard for Demetri to not at least smirk at the silly display from what once was his fearsome opponent.

With Siegfried busy and focusing back on the plan, Demetri turned around to and spotted a large red wall in the distance, one with a big red X in the middle and small transparent surges amid its solid, red coloring.

Demetri pressed a finger to the side of his head, mulling over what the wall was as he checked with Swift. Swift are you there? Have you arrived at the Block Wall yet?

Yeah, Swift’s voice replied in Demetri’s thoughts. Though I’m having trouble finding a branch high enough to reach the top.

Demetri was reminded of Siegfried’s existence by the gallade’s grunting getting louder. He spun around to see Siegfried starting to blink, as he formed his Psycho Cut arms again. Scowling, Demetri quickly ordered, Change of plans. I’m down on the path fighting their gallade. Back me up.

Uh…okay. He a handful or-?

Just get over here. Demetri interrupted, not really feeling patient. Siegfried threw two Psycho Cuts towards Demetri, who quickly responded with two Power Gems of his own. As the moves collided, Demetri remembered something. Oh, and watch out for Devon.

Swift replied with a quizzical tone. Why?

Demetri groaned at both the unneeded question and at seeing another attack from Siegfried heading his way. He rolled to the side, simultaneously responding with, Bec- Unfortunately, both his message and roll were cut short by a second Psycho Cut thrown right where he attempted to evade.

Siegfried scored a direct hit, knocking Demetri into a side wall as a light blue aura glowed for a second, absorbing some of the damage. Still active huh? Siegfried snickered, getting another duo ready to throw. He was about to fire them, when he noticed Demetri twist his right hand slightly. His eyes darted to the right, giving him enough time to see a rock heading for his face and leaning back enough for it to miss. Enough of this. Siegfried rushed towards Demetri, who by now was back on his feet.

Their confrontation shifted to close melee. Siegfried unleashing a barrage of slices and kicks, with Demetri doing his best to avoid and parry. The rapidness of this array of attacks was starting to out speed Demetri and it wasn’t long before Siegfried went for the throat, surging Pyscho Cut into his elbow as he moved in.

Demetri managed to barely pull back enough to avoid the horizontal slice, but this just set him up for Siegfried to place his weight on the front foot, twist his body to the momentum, and deliver a strong side kick straight into Demetri’s gut.

The impact was strong enough to force Demetri to exhale and the force sent him a few feet away onto his back. Groaning, he rolled on his stomach, planted his foot, and pushed into a forwards roll. Thankfully, his guess saved him from Demetri’s leg coming down upon his back, striking the dirt of the path instead. Before Siegfried could pursue with another attack, Demetri shot his left arm at Siegfried, pushing Siegfried away with a telekinetic force, although the gallade managed to shield his head with his arms in time.

Catching his breath, Demetir raised his defenses once more and readied for another clash, when suddenly Devon’s voice shouted in his head. Get out of the way! Demetri’s ears perked up, hearing a crackling sound behind him. Wasting no more time, Demetri levitated a rock and threw it at Siegfried before diving to the side directly afterwards.

Siegfried of course, deflected this too, but was struck by a weak psychic force sent by Demetri, during his dive. “Stop playing ga-” His face froze in a mix of confusion and surprise as he spied a chaotic, yellow, electrical ball flying straight towards him.

“Ride izzz over!” Devon exclaimed, stopping his wings to an abrupt halt while what looked like a charred lucario kept flying onwards, straight into Siegfried. With a firm thud, Siegfried was knocked squarely onto his back with Sylphiel tumbling onwards from the momentum.

“Ugh, what in arceus’s name was that?” Siegfried groaned, rubbing his chest as he sat up. He didn’t stay surprised for long, shifting to a serious gaze upon seeing Devon in front with Demetri getting up this bug’s side. Cautiously, Siegfried got back to his feet, not taking his eyes off the bug, who was flapping his wings and staring back anticipating a fight. “Sylphiel, assist.” Siegfried commanded, as he watched Demetri started walking along the side while not giving Devon an opening.

“F**k that!” Sylphiel coarsely snapped before more groaning from his aching lucario form body. He rolled off his stomach, lying on his back with small traces of smoke coming off his chest. Most of the fur on the front side of his body was singed off and his back and sides had several cuts and wooden splinters all of which were dripping purple ooze.

Siegfried took a second to glance back at Sylphiel, before starting to back up as Devon and Demetri pressed forwards. “I can’t take these two by myself,” Siegfried pointed out. Unfortunately for him, Demetri and Devon were joined by Swift on their right flank. With a disgruntled breath Siegfried corrected himself, “Three…make that three.”

“What part of ‘f**k that’ did you not hear?” Sylphiel fumed. By the time Sylphiel mustered the urge to at least sit up, Siegfried had backtracked to his side.

Since he was closer now, Siegfried was able to get a much better look at him, which he soon regretted once he got a glimpse of Sylphiel’s current form. He closed his eyes and rasped before forcing himself to focus on the three in front, who were now spread out along the path in an opposing manner.

“Just transform. We need to work together,” Siegfried stressed.

“So far I’ve had my head splattered and now I’ve been roasted alive while smashed into everything in this damn forest!” Sylphiel ranted, getting to his feet, though wobbling a little in the process. “I’m done with this mission!”

Siegfried paused, turned his gaze straight at Sylphiel, and with a straight, cold face said. “Tell that to enforcers.”

Sylphiel paused, his face changing from extreme anger to sudden remembrance.

“Enforcers?” Swift asked, absent-mindedly.

Siegfried’s eyes narrowed, focusing back on the enemies. “I don’t care to tell, but Plageues will so if you don’t want to make yourself a target you’ll help me fight these punks.”

After a few seconds, Sylphiel grumbled, looking at Siegfried with a scowl but not one out of raw rage this time. “Plageues better make up for this.” With that said, his eyes began to glow as his body was engulfed in a white light.

“Zzztop!” Devon commanded, firing Bug Buzz straight at the prone Sylphiel. However, it was met by Siegfried stepping in the way, using his body as a shield for Sylphiel to finish. While strong, the Bug Buzz couldn’t breach through Siegfried’s Pyscho Cut elbows.

Demetri rushed to flank, levitating a rock and hurling it at Siegfried but to his dismay it was knocked away by Sylphiel’s white light glowing arm, which had grown thinner and was extending its elbow. Deciding to fall back, Demetri backed up to Devon who also deduced that they missed their chance and ceased his Bug Buzz. The three stared into the twin gazes of two Siegfrieds, albeit one clearly the angrier version.

The fake Siegfried walks in front and surged Pyscho Cut into his elbows as he threatened, “I’m gonna make that bug squirm for that ride.” Siegfried joined over with his and the two readied to engage.

“I look forward to you trying,” Devon replied, as Demetri crossed his arms and Swift bent low onto all fours.

The twin Siegfried’s unleashed their four Pyscho Cuts as Devon, Demetri and Swift all fired their own ranged moves in response, surging a powerful explosion at their collision.

< O >

“Not such a big dragon now, aren’t you?” Vex laughed in glee as he latched his Shadow Claws violently onto Garon’s blocking arms. It filled him with glee to see Garon struggle against his overbearing force, thrusting downwards while oozing purple liquid down Garon’s arms. “Always bigger, tougher eh? Makes it fun to watch when it’s the other way around!” Vex retracted one of his arms and swiped Garon’s side, making him skid a little on the ground, although he stayed strong on his feet.

Garon, however, didn’t let this strike ruin his defense and simply held it upwards, ready and waiting for the next one. Carefully, Garon backed up, keeping his talons raised defensively as he tried to put some space between them.

“What’s wrong? Dragon wanting to run away?” Vex jibed, crawling towards Garon with creepy anticipation.

I’m guessing this is his first time mega evolving. The power is getting to his head. Garon stiffened as his back fin touched something. The hex-like writing was resonating with the black, hazy-flame wall like a signal to solidify the transparent barriers. Garon snapped his eyes back at the crawling gengar. Hopefully, I can get him to make a mistake and go in for a solid blow. Garon started walking along the wall, slowly and cautiously.

Vex laughed as he moved in kind, forcing Garon to keep scooting along the wall, like a cornered prey trying to get away from its playful predator. Vex licked his chops as he started pacing his words in a manner like chanting while keeping his voice low. “Poor little dragon whelp, fell in a hole…Tried to climb out…back to the cave…eyes watching him struggle.”

Admittedly, Garon found Vex’s repeating this child’s story rather disturbing, mainly with Vex only repeating the scary part over and over. He didn’t let it shake his resolve and simply waited for Vex to make his lunge. It was pretty much given the gengar would make an attack eventually.

Vex’s line repeating stopped. His eyes widened and he gaped his mouth more, a Shadow Ball forming in it.

No more indication was needed. Garon shot straight towards the gengar, leaping onto the wall of the arena and using the Shadow Tag to propel off the solidified wall for a direct smack with Dragon Rush. Vex let out a chilling cry as Garon used the move to push off Vex’s head and land further into their field of battle, twisting himself so he had Vex in his sights.

“I’m going to make you scream!” Vex roared, violently crawling towards Garon.

The grachomp readied his talons. “Bring it spooks.”

The nickname just made Vex wanting Garon’s painful cry more. He leaped up, and slashed from above.

Garon responded by simply hopping back so the move would strike the ground.

However, Vex simply phased into the ground and moved straight towards Garon’s feet. Two hands phased from the shadow blob circle in the ground, trying to grab Garon’s legs but the garchomp had already leaped over with an aerial cartwheel. Vex came up from the ground, pretty pissed. “Hold still you little-” suddenly he heard a little sound coming from near his feet. As he looked down to see what it was, a cyan light glowed. There, less than a foot away from his body was an escape orb. Before Vex could blink he and the orb were engulfed in a pillar of light and whisked away.

When the light disappeared Vex found himself on the plains, the forest not even on the horizon. He moved to pick up the orb, trembling with a mix of shock and rage. “Take me back,” he demanded, but before he could pick it up something else flashed. He looked at the source to get an exploding Blast Orb hurling him a little ways. He scrambled back to his feet only to see that both orbs were in pieces, beyond repair or use. For an awkward minute, Vex remained silent, too shocked by what just happened to even make a sound. Finally, a furious scowl slowly formed on Vex’s face before violently slamming his hands on the ground and roaring to the heavens, “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!”

Garon just stared with his mouth hanging open at the spot where the mega gengar used to be. His blank staring was interrupted by someone coming out from some brush. “Hrm? Seliph?” A wave of relief washed over Garon, as he walked over to join the greninja. “Was that light show you?”

“Yep.” Seliph nodded as he held his side. “Glad I still had my escape orb on me.”

“Clever…but wait, won’t he come back?”

Seliph shook his head as they met in the middle. “Nope, I had one last blast orb. Tossed them both and hoped for the best.”

By the time Seliph had finished, Garon noticed the greninja’s wounded side. “Are you okay?” Garon inquired, moving his talons on Seliph to inspect like a mother to her child with a bruise on the cheek.

While grateful for the concern, Seliph gently brushed the talons away affirming he was fine. “I should be okay if I don’t do more fighting. Those last fights tired me out.”

“You look more than a bit tired.” Garon’s eyes narrowed. “What happened to you and Swift?”

“We both got separated, but he found me not long ago.” Seliph rubbed his head, slightly guilty about how they got separated. “We had some help from two mons that showed up. They’re currently helping Swift assist the main group.”

“That’s good. Though,” Garon looked at the side, a worried scowl on his face.

“What’s up?” Seliph asked, leaning forwards, curiously.

“I think I fought their leader.” Garon’s eyes stared straight to Seliph. “He’s going after Vray. I hope he’s still with the group, but…”

“But?” Seliph leaned in closer, waiting for an answer.

Garon didn’t reply, just stared forwards with a scowl in deep thought. Before Seliph could repeat his question, Garon stated, “We don’t have time to go over it now. The others may need our help”

As Garon started to head off, Seliph raised his finger and stated, “Actually, I think we can let them handle it.” Seliph tapped the side of his head, resulting in Garon giving him a confused look. “One of the mons that is helping us is a psychic type and I’m in his telepathic connection.”

Garon nodded in understanding. “Alright. So what’s the plan then?”

< O >

Siegfried blocked Swift’s Iron Tail with one of his arms and threw another Psycho Cut at Demetri, who was attempting to rush him. After forcing Demetri to pivot to the side, Siegfried tried slicing at Swift, but the heliolisk was too fast, quickly breaking away before the lock left him vulnerable.

After landed, Swift opened his frills and fired Thunderbolt, forcing Siegfried back.

I’m getting tired of this. The Gallade took a second to see how Sylphiel was fairing. Great. Siegfried grumbled at seeing Devon and Sylphiel locked in a Wild Charge and Psycho Cut infused arms. As he tried to assist with a Psycho Cut of his own, Swift sliced at him with Iron Tail, forcing him to abandon the action.

“Don’t even think about it.” Swift bent down, allowing Demetri to telekinetically throw a few rocks at the Gallade, forcing him back further.

“Devon, do you need assistance?” Demetri called out to the buzzing vikavolt.

“Nope.” Devon flapped his wings faster and pushed harder, making Sylphiel struggle to not slide from the force. “I’ll handle thizzz guy.”

“Will you now,” the fake gallade scoffed, pushing harder onto Devon. Unfortunately, his extra effort didn’t really aid him against the bug. Amid this tough struggle an idea crossed his mind. Pushing up on his legs, Sylphiel pulled his body atop Devon’s move, although Devon was able to stop from flying forwards. Once on his arms, Sylphiel pushed off with a hand spring and started spinning while stretching out his arms, in order to fire a Vacuum Wave.

Devon quickly flew forwards, avoiding the move’s radius and fired a Bug Buzz straight up at Devon, striking his stomach and pushing him higher into the air. With a careful aiming, Devon moved slight right on the ground, pushing Sylphiel higher and higher.

“Ack! Stop it,” Sylphiel demanded, managing to finally push himself out of the move’s path. While pleased with himself at first, his mood quickly changed as he noticed he was falling leg first into the forest below, far from the path.

Devon couldn’t help but smile as he watched Sylphiel letting out a shriek before hitting the tree line, followed by cracking noises and loud sounds of pain. Giving himself a satisfied nod, Devon turned his attention to the other battle going on.

Swift went for a leg sweep with his Iron Tail, but Siegfried hopped away. Siegfried wasn’t clear, however, for Demetri came in with a psychic push, causing Siegfried’s landing to be on his back instead of his feet. Although landing in an awkward way, Siegfried used extra distance to his advantage and handsprung backwards, quickly spinning while positioned horizontal to fire a short lived Vacuum Wave at the two.

Swift evaded, while Demetri blocked with his arms. The move beat upon his arm and exposed body, not doing too much damage but decent blows to the grumpig.

Once done, Siegfried landed and fired a Psycho Cut at Demetri, but as a result he was exposed to Devon’s Bug Buzz, pushing him further back. He grunted from the hit as he shielded with his arms and dug his legs in, doing his best to tank the continuous move. What made this situation worse was his Psycho Cut had missed.

“Good job, Devon,” Demetri complimented, walking to the side to get a side view.

“Let’s hurry up and end this so we can help the others.” Swift followed Demetri and almost ran into him when the grumpig stopped suddenly. “What is it?”

Swift? Seliph’s voice resounded in his head.

Seliph? Swift looked to the forest at their right. What is it? Did you get to Garon?

Yes, but we’ve got a problem.

Elaborate, Demetri requested, as he scowled. As he crossed his arms to his defensive position, Demetri couldn’t help but sigh at more complications happening.

So Garon told me their leader is a zoroark and that he was after Vragon. He may be in your vicinity.

I see. We’ll keep an eye out. You both head to the bridge; we’ll join you when we can. Demetri was about to resume his side attack on Siegfried when Swift suddenly said something.

“Oh no.”

“What is it?” Demetri faced Swift, who looked at him.

“When I was trying to get into the Block arena I only saw Jaron, Ciecro, and Jasmine inside. Vragon and Dolly must have gotten separated from them.”

“What?” Demetri looked at the block walls down the path. “So where are they then?”

“I don’t know. I’ll have to hear for them.” Swift was about to rush off till Demetri put his hand on Swift’s shoulder.

“Hang on a minute.”

“There isn’t much ti-” he was cut off by Demetri tapping his shoulder wound, making the heliolisk hiss from the sting. “What was that for?” Swift demanded.

“You aren’t in shape to handle their leader alone. Especially if whoever we’re dealing with hasn’t done much fighting.” Demetri looked at Devon and telepathically ordered, Devon, go with him and secure the two mons in question. If you see this zoroark, don’t hold back.

Noted, but are you zzzure you wanna take thizzz guy on alone?

Confirming with a nod, Demetri walked behind Devon. I’ll be okay. I doubt this guy can scale the Block walls easily.

What do you mean? The vikavolt asked curiously.

Don’t worry about it. You two should hurry; this leader of theirs may have already engaged those two. Demetri crossed his arms and waited for Devon to cease his attack.

Underzzztood, Devon replied starting to stop flapping his wings for Bug Buzz. Let’zzz find them Swift.

Swift immediately rushed off, not look back as Devon flew around and followed closely. Thanks Devon, Demetri, Swift said in their link as he and Devon disappeared in the forest to the right.

A grin crossed Demetri’s face, quite pleased at the show of gratitude. He stared down the gallade, who clearly looked worn from the fighting.

Siegfried infusing his extended elbows with Psycho Cut again ready to clash once more. His opponent crossed his arms, a normal psychic’s defense stance. I had better make sure. Siegfried’s gift activated as his eyes started to glow a little. Let’s see what you’re up t-

Without any warning, Demetri thrust his arms forwards and hit Siegfried with a psychic force, pushing Siegfried back a few feet. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Demetri turned around and rushed towards the Block wall.

“Not this again!” Siegfried sprinted after him, but soon stopped to a jog as he watched Demetri levitate to rocks in front and jump on them. With a spiteful stare, he watched Demetri head for the top of the Block walls. Even if he tried throwing a Psycho Cut, it wouldn’t make it before Demetri was on the other side and thus out of his ability to aim for. Rather than pursue, Siegfried let the Psycho Cut in his arms go out and took a moment to rest.

The three stood there, panting and worn as they held their ground against the large snorlax towering on the other side.

“Well I’m out of ideas,” Jaron said, followed by few wheezes.

“This guy just eats up your moves with ease and my physicals aren’t enough to do much either.” Jasmine started shivering as the mon started walking towards them once more. She started backing up, the realization they might lose this mean taking a harsh grip over her heart.

Ciecro then stepped in the way. “Den we hit it harder!” He surged a Thunderpunch in his hand as rushed towards the mon. “Jaron! Jaz! Cover me!”

“Okay!” they both replied. Jaron rushed to the right while Jasmine went left, both firing at the snorlax’s face with Scald and Psycho Cut.

With the snorlax having to block, Ciecro had a clear shot. Ciecro roared as he charged and with all his might, punched the snorlax’s left foot.

A loud cry came from the snorlax as he backed up a little.

“Keep it up!” Ciecro ordered and the two obeyed, firing their moves continuously on the snorlax. With the moves’ aid, Ciecro pushed against the snorlax’s belly as best he could.

Sadly, Bruno recovered his bearings rather fast and thrust his right paw against the Scald and blocked any Psycho Cuts Jasmine sent with his left. Now that he could see, Bruno easily spotted Ciecro and pulled back slightly, before thrusting forwards and slamming his belly into Ciecro, who went tumbling over till hitting the wall.

“Ciecro!” Jaron yelled, stopping his Scald and rushing to his brother. He put his arms over Ciecro, trying to help the charmeleon get up. Ciecro was panting hard and holding his side, making Jaron feel a chill in his body. For a second, he spaced out, just looking at his brother with a bland stare.

Ciecro finally opened his eyes as he put an arm on the Block wall to lean on.

Jasmine leaned in. “Ciecro, are you-”

“I’m fine,” Ciecro replied, working on standing up. Ciecro the noticed Jaron’s blank stare and yelled, “Bro, get a grip.”

Jaron blinked a few times, snapping back.

Ciecro gave him a determined look before walking in front of the two. “We ain’t done yet.” He wiped his snout with his right fist and readied for another attempt. “We need tah get ‘im on ‘is back. Try an’ aim fo’ more den one area. I’ll charge in an-”

“No,” Jaron walked in front, earning a startled look from Ciecro. “It won’t do anything and you’re not gonna take another hit well.”

“Jaron, we have tah try somethin’.” Ciecro walked in front, but Jaron grabbed his arm, pulling on it. “Stop it!” Ciecro yelled.

“Get it in your head you idiot!” Jaron shouted back. “Nothing we do hurts that guy. We can’t even get him on his back!”

“I’m not givin’ up Jaron! If we do den Jasmine’s toast and we’re as good as dead.” Ciecro looked firmly into his eyes with his fiery, determined ones. “Now get it tahgether.”

Jaron didn’t reply, just look towards Bruno, was walking towards them. He looked like he had a thousand things to say but couldn’t muster anything, just leering at Bruno. Slowly, his eyes focused on one thing. The red eyes on that snorlax.

Suddenly, a small blast struck the snorlax’s head from behind, surprising the three about as much as Bruno.

“What deh?” Ciecro said as some grumpig flew over the snorlax’s head, riding on two rocks. This mon then leaped off, twisting in the air as the rocks were telekinetically fired at Bruno, disorienting him further. Left awestruck, the three could just watch as the grumpig landed in front, his back towards them.

“Any of you injured?” the stranger asked, standing up and looking at them like he was in a hurry.

“Uhhh…” Jaron started till interrupted by Jasmine.

“No, but we could use some help against that.”

Demetri nodded as he looked back at Bruno, who by now was almost able to see normally again. “Understood.” Browsing the arena’s walls Demetri added as he walked forwards, “I’ll handle getting rid of these walls. Once they’re down sprint for the bridge, I’ll cover you.”

“Uhm…who are you exactly?” Jaron inquired.

“When we’re out of temporary confinement.” Demetri gave the croconaw a cold glance as. Resuming his stand off against Bruno, Demetri stretched his arms out front and took a deep breath. I’d advise you all to stand back.

All three winced from the voice resounding in their heads.

Don’t be alarmed. It’s me; I just added you to my mental connection so we don’t give away our strategy just in case.

“O-…kay?” Jaron mumbled as he looked to Ciecro, who shrugged. So it’s telepathy? Jaron thought, attempting to communicate.

Woah, I heard yah say dat. Ciecro looked at Jaron, the two of them getting excited at this new experience.

Mind keeping the mental chatter down for a little bit. Demetri’s eyes narrowed, getting fed up with the telepathic antics today. Just get ready to run for the bridge. He took their silence as understanding and stared at Bruno, his arms crossed and plans open like an X.

Bruno gazed back at Demetri, though more out of confusion at this new player. “Who are you?” He asked, just as surprised as the group was at first meeting.

Demetri closed his eyes as his black orbs on his head began to glow a tan light. Before Bruno could say anything, Demetri psychically spun himself, pulling his body inwards and low, while firing some small tannish orbs from the pearls on his head.

Small Power Gems, went flying around but shifted in their trajectory towards the snorlax by Demetri’s psychic powers. With a powerful force, the barrage of Power Gems struck the snorlax all over, their impact causing small explosions and forcing the snorlax back. Demetri just kept spinning faster, firing more and more that flew like homing bugs before smacking into the snorlax.

Although Bruno tried to fend them off, there were too many for even his large arms to block. Bruno was pushed closer and closer to the barrier till finally he was inside the thing.

At this moment, Demetri did a little hop while still spinning. Cupping his hands together, Demetri formed two larger Power Gems at his side. Once landing and facing the snorlax, he swung his arms down, sending the two large orbs straight into Bruno’s shoulders.

The large snorlax fell into his Block wall, causing it to experience a surge of static that rippled throughout the rest of the walls. The four observed the walls slowly begin to break apart as Bruno hit the ground, partially on the other side of the now non-existent barrier.

“It’s gone, hurry!” Jaron shouted, gesturing them to follow as he darted forwards down the path. Ciecro and Jasmine chased after him as Demetri followed in the rear.

From behind them, the groans of Bruno could be heard, shifting in the ground, slightly dazed. He was about to get up, till Siegfried jumped onto his face and rushed over his stomach, leaping off, and giving chase to the four. “Oohhhh…Sylphiel’s gonna yell at me now,” Bruno moaned, working to sit up.

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
– Unknown


Darkinium Z

Dani California
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Hours Ago
5,857 posts
13.8 Years
Seliph looked up to Sylphiel’s angry black dotted eyes, lodged in the sockets of a Machamp.
"angry black dotted eyes" feels a bit weak descripiton wise. Maybe just "looked up to Sylphiel's glaring eyes"?

Groaning, Seliph rolled on his back, his head spinning and his wounds hurting.
Of course he's hurting because he has a wound lol. Maybe "his wounds opening more"?

Swift hadn’t landed for two seconds before he was at Seliph’s side, checking him. “Damnit, you’re pretty banged up,” Swift stated, a little bit of guilt setting in though relieved to see Seliph wasn’t dead.
I would've use a facial expression/reaction of Swift feeling guilt but relieved instead of outright stating it.

Currently giving thizzz ditto the ride of hizzz life. Devon’s voice echoed in their thoughts. It sounded hasty, rough, and full of adrenaline.
Okay, I chuckled at that line.

“I’ll hold myself to that.” Seliph hugged Swift suddenly, surprising the smaller Pokémon. “That goes for you too.” For a moment, there was just silence as the two just stayed in that position, processing the following feelings, information, and closeness. Once Seliph let go, he rushed past Swift, hurrying off to help Garon.
Also this part is cute.

The barrier faded into many little blue lights and flew swiftly back into him, making him glow a little light blue light as he got back on two feet.
You used the phrase "little blue light" twice.

The grumpig retaliated by thrusting his right arm forwards and slightly upwards. A telekinetic force hit one of the Psycho Cuts off course so they formed enough of a gap for him to dive through the gap.
"Gap" has been used twice here.

“F**k that!” Sylphiel coarsely snapped before more groaning from his aching lucario form body. He rolled off his stomach, lying on his back with small traces of smoke coming off his chest. Most of the fur on the front side of his body was singed off and his back and sides had several cuts and wooden splinters all of which were dripping purple ooze.
Big mood. I don't blame Sylphiel for being so over with this assignment.

The fake Siegfried walks in front and surged Pyscho Cut into his elbows as he threatened, “I’m gonna make that bug squirm for that ride.” Siegfried joined over with his and the two readied to engage.

“I look forward to you trying,” Devon replied, as Demetri crossed his arms and Swift bent low onto all fours.

The twin Siegfried’s unleashed their four Pyscho Cuts as Devon, Demetri and Swift all fired their own ranged moves in response, surging a powerful explosion at their collision.
Hm, I feel it would be easier of you just mention One being Siegfried and another Sylphiel instead of being two Siegfried, but probably that's just me.

(As I read further though, you later pointed out both Siegfried and Sylphiel, so you fixed that already lol).

Vex laughed in glee as he latched his Shadow Claws violently onto Garon’s blocking arms. It filled him with glee to see Garon struggle against his overbearing force, thrusting downwards while oozing purple liquid down Garon’s arms.
"Glee" in two successive sentences was repetitive. You can just have "Vex laughed" there.

Finally, a furious scowl slowly formed on Vex’s face before violently slamming his hands on the ground and roaring to the heavens, “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!”
I'm gonna be honest, the cuss there is a bit too comedic and unprofessional to my tastes. Maybe just the normal f word and one exclamation point should do. On another note, kinda forgot Vex has Mega Evolved due to not refreshing myself what happened last chapter.

All right, so overall the fights on this chapter were solid, but I'm wondering when this huge clash will end since it felt like it keeps going and going and going. Hopefully this fight will come to a close fairly soon. I also thought everyone's reactions to Demetri able to have everyone communicate through telepathy was kinda funny. What held back the chapter for me was some of the awkward phrasing and repetition I pointed out earlier.

Foul Play
[Chapter Nine up!]
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