TEEN: Champion Game {Chapter 35}

Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 127
Like Tree1Likes

Thread: Champion Game {Chapter 35}

  1. #1
    Unova's #1 Yancy fan Seizon Senryaku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Summoner's Rift
    Posts
    697
    Blog Entries
    16
    Follow Seizon Senryaku On Twitter

    Default Champion Game {Chapter 35}

    NEWS: 29/10/13 Scratch that, I'm just going to pick up from where I left off. This may prove difficult.

    News Archive:


    Unto defeat you must play the game . . . the Champion Game.




    Prologue
    00 - Sleep Comes Slowly

    Arc 1 - Parodos
    01 - To Triumph Over Someone
    02 - I Will Make a Wish for the Future
    03 - The World of Dreams
    04 - Television
    05 - And Now, Something a Little Magical
    06 - Great Power of a Certain Kind
    07 - Golden Dream
    08 - Approval
    09 - I Think This Cat Has a Problem
    10 - War of Stone
    11 - The Flames of Battle

    Arc 2 - Episode the First
    12 - My House Is . . .
    13 - The Darkest Night
    14 - Blitzkrieg
    15 - The Warriors of Justice
    16 - Total War
    17 - As Long As I Live
    18 - Peace
    19 - Freedom
    20 - SolarBeam
    21 - More Dreams
    22 - Green and Black

    Arc 3 - Parabasis the First
    23 - Festival of the Sky
    24 - Soar
    25 - Wings Have We
    26 - Every Clap of Thunder
    27 - Catch Your Breath

    Arc 4 - Episode the Second
    28 - Words of Power
    29 - It's a Troublesome Life
    30 - How Far We've Come
    31 - Coruscation
    32 - The Gods Wait to Delight In You
    33 - The Circus of Circumstance
    34 - Boo
    35 - Invidia et Ira
    36 - Can We Please Focus? (coming soon. Soon! I promise! No, really. >_>)

    OOC
    0.1 - A Very Misheard Christmas (Non-canon Christmas party with the cast of SGTG)

    NB: All chapters you see named here at any given time are completed and ready to go, with the exception of the last one on the list which is usually the one in progress.

    Hoenn Reloaded: A Guide to the People and Mythos of Champion Game (Authors' Atlas thread)

    Brought to you by the author voted Best Newcomer at the Fourth Quarterly Fanfiction Awards.


    Fic Awards:
    Winter 2012






    Spring 2012




    Badge Case:
    Last edited by Seizon Senryaku; 28th October 2013 at 10:01 PM.
    The Atlantis Codex / Champion Game

    'A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.' - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    'Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more; men were deceivers ever.' - William Shakespeare
    'Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.' - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    'When one life meets another life, something will be born.' - Un(k)own

  2. #2
    Unova's #1 Yancy fan Seizon Senryaku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Summoner's Rift
    Posts
    697
    Blog Entries
    16
    Follow Seizon Senryaku On Twitter

    Default Prologue - Sleep Comes Slowly

    A/N: I generally prefer to write one-shots, I won't lie. Regardless, I enjoy doing a chapter fic now and again, and this is what results. Champion Game has been running for a couple of months elsewhere, so all of the chapter titles you see in the index up there are either complete or in progress (in the case of the latest one). Anyway, this is quite different to what you may have come to expect from me. It's a bit dark, yes, although not so much at first, and this time round, I'm certainly not out to be depressing. Regardless, I think I'll let you get on and read it now. Prologue's very short, so Chapter One will go up in a few hours, after badminton (probably about 10:15 my time).

    Prologue
    Sleep Comes Slowly


    Five years.

    That was how long it had taken him. Just fifty-nine months, nineteen days, and he was the Champion. It was almost a joke.

    Ren rolled over in his bed, burying his head deeper in his pillow. It was almost physically impossible to stay awake, and yet something . . . something was nagging at him. He knew he should be happy. He had finally made real the goal of his childhood, the goal of so many thousands of aspiring Trainers the world over. He had done what so few had done before, and all before his fifteenth birthday. Just two days ago, he had stood in the Hall of Fame, head high, as the previous Champion bowed out and inscribed his name upon the hallowed list. There had been a whirl of media attention, cameras and press conferences, interviews and talk shows. In such a short time, he had become Hoenn's favourite teenager.

    So why . . . why did he feel so empty?

    Frustrated, Ren rolled over onto his back again, glaring up at the ceiling. The room was dark and bare; the only decoration was a dusty chest of drawers under the window. A single light bulb hung from the ceiling, dim and cold, barely visible in the weak trickle of moonlight that spilled between the dust-heavy curtains. Of course there was no sign of life in the room – it was his first time sleeping in it in nearly five years. When he had left on his tenth birthday, he had packed up all his toys, his books and photos, and stored them away in the attic. He hadn't returned once in all that time; never long enough to stay the night, at least.

    It was all returning to him now. It wasn't that he'd forgotten his childhood; all he'd done was pack it up in those boxes with his toys. When he'd set out to become a Pokemon Trainer, Ren had put the first ten years of his life behind him, dismissing them as a pointless necessity, a stepping stone to where he wanted to be.

    Ren shook his head wryly. He'd come full circle. In five years, he'd travelled all over the Hoenn region and overseas, beaten thirteen Gym Leaders, won the Ever Grande Conference, defeated the Elite Four, and finally taken down the Champion. And now . . . now he was back where he'd started. The irony was almost amusing.

    So if I've returned to where I started . . . have I really succeeded in going anywhere at all?

    Finally, Ren started to feel the dark haze of sleep overcome him, and he welcomed it gratefully.
    The Atlantis Codex / Champion Game

    'A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.' - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    'Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more; men were deceivers ever.' - William Shakespeare
    'Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.' - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    'When one life meets another life, something will be born.' - Un(k)own

  3. #3
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    The Old World.
    Posts
    2,231
    Blog Entries
    329

    Default Re: Champion Game

    That certainly is an interesting prospect. I can almost make out what you have planned for the story, but I always seem to stay guessing. Will Ren start a new journey? Will he be involved in another greater aspect of his new journey, something that is only available to the best of the best?

    Regarding the Prologue though, it is very well written. I couldn't spot any errors, and it was interesting enough to keep the readers hooked for the upcoming chapters. Looking forward to seeing where you take this.

  4. #4
    Unova's #1 Yancy fan Seizon Senryaku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Summoner's Rift
    Posts
    697
    Blog Entries
    16
    Follow Seizon Senryaku On Twitter

    Default Re: Champion Game

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuujux View Post
    That certainly is an interesting prospect. I can almost make out what you have planned for the story, but I always seem to stay guessing. Will Ren start a new journey? Will he be involved in another greater aspect of his new journey, something that is only available to the best of the best?

    Regarding the Prologue though, it is very well written. I couldn't spot any errors, and it was interesting enough to keep the readers hooked for the upcoming chapters. Looking forward to seeing where you take this.
    Well, I'm just going to warn you now - because some people seemed to be caught off guard by this elsewhere - that this is not going down any path likely to be expected. This fic is very heavy on the fantasy elements, and that's all I'll say for now.

    A/N: In regards to the chapter itself, this is a little dialogue-heavy. In fact, much of the opening section of the fic is. I think it's necessary, though. It shouldn't be too bad.


    To Triumph Over Someone


    Ten hours later, Ren opened his eyes blearily to find his room full of light. Squinting, he propped himself up on one elbow and glanced over at the window. The curtains were wide open, revealing a sharp, crisp azure sky free of clouds. The sun was streaming in through the casement, painting his whole room golden and illuminating the dust motes in the air.

    Groaning, Ren flopped back down onto his bed. He had forgotten how passive-aggressive his mother was when it came to getting him up in the mornings. She had probably come in and opened his curtains just as soon as she had woken up herself.

    Eyes adjusting to the light, Ren sat up and grabbed his watch off the bedhead. It wasn't even half past eight. With a sigh, he swung his feet out from under the blanket and onto the carpet. Yawning, he stood up to get dressed.

    When he got downstairs ten minutes later, his mother was sitting at the kitchen table with a bowl of cereal. She looked up, beaming, when Ren entered the room.

    “There's my little Champion!” she exclaimed. Ren rolled his eyes and smiled indulgently.

    “I'm nearly fifteen now, Mom,” he complained half-heartedly, knowing full well it would make no difference.

    “Aww, don't be like that, sweetie!” his mother pouted. “It's like you don't love your mommy anymore!” Shaking his head, Ren grabbed a bowl off the shelf and poured himself some cereal.

    “Don't be silly, Mom,” he said quietly, looking down at the table. “Course I do.”

    “I know, sweetie,” she said, ruffling his hair. “I just wanted to hear you say it. It's been a long time since we sat down together like this, huh?”

    “I came back for Christmas last year,” Ren reminded her, splashing milk onto his cornflakes before getting up to fetch a spoon from the drawer. “It's not like I haven't seen you.”

    “I mean just you and me, like it used to be.” She fell silent for a moment before speaking up again. “Don't suppose you'll be home for long this time, either, huh?”

    “Yeah, pretty much,” said Ren lightly, refusing to meet her eyes. “I've got, you know . . . Champion stuff to do now. Taking challengers, and . . . um.” Ren suddenly realised that he had no idea what was expected of him. Challengers would come infrequently. The Ever Grande Conference was only held once a year, and there had to be some kind of special reason for any Trainer to make a challenge outside of that – for example, if one of the Elites vouched for them personally. That meant he'd be taking perhaps one challenger a year. Other than that . . . what was he to do?

    “That reminds me!” his mother said brightly. “Steven rang earlier. He wants you to meet him in Rustboro City today. Can you call him back and tell him you'll be there?”

    “Steven?” Ren said. “What does he want? I just got back – can't it wait?”

    “Well, I assume he wants to talk Champion business, sweetie. You'll have to go and find out.”

    “Sure. I'll call him now, then,” Ren decided, standing up and snatching the phone off its hook. “Be right back,” he said over his shoulder as he headed back upstairs, dialing the number he had been given earlier.

    Ren sat down on his bed as he pressed the 'call button', idly staring at the ceiling as he waited for Steven to pick up. He didn't have to wait long.

    “This is Steven Stone,” said a familiar voice.

    “Steven! It's Ren.”

    “Oh, hello, Ren,” Steven said. “I trust you've been keeping well?”

    What sort of eighteenth-century greeting is that? Ren wondered absently. Aloud, he simply said, “I'm all right. A bit tired, but I guess that's to be expected. But what's this about me having to go to Rustboro City?”

    “I have to . . . talk to you about something very important,” said Steven. Ren frowned.

    “Something important? Is it so important you can't tell me over the phone? I mean, I just got home last night and all.”

    “Yes!” Steven said emphatically. “This is a matter of crucial importance, and I need to speak to you about it in person.There should be a train leaving Slateport at nine thirty. Can you be on it?”

    Ren glanced at his watch – it was quarter to nine. “Can't it wait?” he asked.

    “Not possible,” Steven insisted. “Can you be on the train?” he repeated.

    Ren rolled his eyes. “Sure,” he said, shaking his head as he resigned himself to Steven's stubbornness. “Meet me at the station?”

    “I'll have someone there to pick you up,” Steven said. “I'm sorry, Ren. This must all seem very confusing and inconvenient, but trust me, there's good reason for it. I won't keep you in the dark any longer than I have to.”

    “Alright,” said Ren wearily, biting his lip. “I'll be there.”

    “Thank you, Ren. Goodbye, and be safe.” With a click, the line went dead. Ren sighed and flopped back onto his bed, staring at the ceiling. He had been looking forward to spending some time at home, but it seemed that that was not to be.

    With another sigh, Ren picked up his backpack off the floor and started tossing things into it. Over the last five years, he had gotten used to travelling light, so he knew exactly what he needed. There wasn't much: just his Pokemon, a few toiletries and a change of clothes.

    Out of habit, he straightened the covers on his bed before he left. It might have been a long time since he'd last done it, but it still didn't feel right to leave the house without doing it. He clunked down the stairs again, his durable, hard-soled shoes making an uncomfortably loud noise as he did so.

    “Oh . . . you're going now, sweetie?” his mother said, her brow slightly creased – with concern or disapproval, Ren couldn't tell which.

    “Yeah, Mom,” he said. “Steven wants to talk to me in person, so I've gotta catch the nine-thirty train.”

    “Do you have to go now? Can't it wait?”

    “That's what I asked,” Ren said wryly, “but he was quite insistent.”

    “Oh, I don't like it,” she grumbled. “You come home for one night and then you're off again! I hardly see you these days.”

    “I know, Mom,” Ren said, “but it shouldn't be for so long this time. I'll talk to Steven about . . . whatever it is he wants to talk about, and then I'll be back. Maybe even tonight, but I can't make any promises.”

    His mother smiled and ruffled his hair affectionately. “Don't worry, sweetie,” she said. “I know it has to be important, so you go and do what you have to do, OK? I've managed without you for five years, after all. I'll be fine for another couple of days.”

    “Gotcha,” Ren said, nodding as he opened the front door. “See you, Mom. Love you!”

    “Love you too, honey,” she said quietly as the door closed between them.

    Ren took a deep breath of cool morning air before slapping himself in the face. He worried about his mother. She pretended not to be bothered, but he knew how hard it had to be for her. She had been living alone for five years, after all. Ren couldn't imagine how hard it would be to be isolated, which was why he had tried to visit as often as he was able, but being the Pokemon Champion was a demanding dream. As much as he wanted to, he couldn't spend his whole life in Slateport.

    He'd thought, perhaps, that things would change after he finally became the Champion. Of course, he'd known that he'd still be running all over Hoenn like one possessed, but he hadn't realised it would start this soon.

    I promise, Mom, he said to himself as he looked back at the gate. After this, I'll come home and stay for at least a month. It'll be just you and me.

    Sweeping his tousled brown hair out of his face, Ren set his eyes on Slateport City – visible just a couple of miles along the coast, glittering like a jewel in the morning sunlight – and stepped out confidently towards it.

    Ren's house stood atop a hill overlooking the sea, and the winding, jackknifing road that passed in front of it offered a spectacular view of the sea to the south-east. The sun bore down strongly despite the early hour, and even the cutting breeze that sliced across the cliff-face did little to alleviate the warmth. Ren could only imagine what the heat would be like later in the day.

    As Ren made his way along the road, he marvelled, as always, at the ingenuity of whoever had built the road in the first place. On one side, the cliff rose up, almost vertically, just inches from where he walked. Covered in tough grass and hardy flowers, the cliff was one of the most steadfast constants in Ren's world. On the other side of the narrow road, the cliff suddenly dropped away again. Even though he had seen it a thousand times before, Ren took a peek over the rickety barrier that separated the road from the open air. Like every other time, it took his breath away. The land dropped away at a ridiculous angle; he fancied that if he fell off, he might bounce once before he hit the water at the bottom – twice if he was lucky.

    With a grin, Ren set his eyes straight ahead again and set off with renewed vigour, the comforting smell of brine in his nostrils.

    The walk was mostly downhill, which made the going easy, although there were lots of switchbacks to traverse. Ren made it into Slateport City proper with twenty minutes to spare, and quickly headed for the train station. He kept his head down and his eyes averted from everyone he passed. It wasn't that he didn't want to be recognised, but at this stage, it could possibly delay him and make him miss his train. He wasn't willing to risk Steven's ire simply because he couldn't deal with a couple of fans.

    A couple of times, he thought he saw people pointing at him and whispering to each other, and in each case, he quickly crossed the street or took a different turn. The central train station was near the city outskirts, so he didn't have far to go. He purchased a ticket to Rustboro from a bored-looking attendant, and was just about to climb onto the train when he heard an excited shriek from behind him.

    Ren!” With a wince, he glanced around just in time to get tackled head-on by a small, pink blur.

    “Oof!” he exclaimed, stumbling backwards and just about falling into the train. “Who- what the-?!”

    “Long time no see, Ren!” said the pink blur excitedly, detaching itself from his midriff and beaming up at him.

    “Natasha?” Ren queried. “Is that you?”

    “Of course it's me, idiot!” his twelve-year-old cousin squeaked, bouncing up and down madly. “Don't tell me you forgot about me after just five years!”

    “No, 'Tash, I didn't,” Ren said hurriedly, glancing at his watch. The train was about to leave. “But look, I've gotta go. I'll come visit when I get back, I promise.”

    “No! I want to come with you! Where are you going?” she demanded, stamping her foot. Ren started to answer, but he was drowned out by a piercing shriek from the loudspeaker.

    Nine-thirty to Rustboro is now departing. All passengers, please board the train immediately. Nine-thirty to Rustboro.”

    “Rustboro City,” he tried again. “It's a long way away, but I promise I'll see you when I get back. It's too far for you to come,” he said, climbing onto the train.

    “No!” Natasha protested, leaping nimbly past him onto the train. “I'm coming and that's that.”

    “'Tash!” Ren hissed, making a grab for her, but it was too late. The door shut with a clang, and the train began to move. “Oh, damn it!” he sighed, slumping down onto the nearest seat. The carriage was empty but for the two of them.

    Natasha giggled happily. “This'll be fun!” she said happily, jumping onto the seat beside Ren and snuggling into his side.

    “Not really,” Ren said, taking a deep breath. “You're not supposed to be on this train, are you?”

    “Nope! Daddy wanted to take us on holiday to Lilycove, but Rustboro's gonna be much more fun!”

    Ren ran his fingers through his hair in exasperation. “So . . . you were going on holiday, but you just decided to jump on my train? Oh, what am I gonna do with you . . .” Shaking his head, he took out his PokeNav and dialled a number. It picked up on the third ring.

    “Hello?”

    “Yeah, hi there. Uncle Roger, it's me, Ren.”

    “Oh, hello, Ren! What are you calling for? Congratulations on becoming the Champion, by the way. Mary and I were going to drop by and congratulate you in person, because I heard you were in town, but we were too busy packing for our holiday!”

    “Thanks, Uncle Roger,” Ren said uncomfortably. “But, uh . . . about that holiday. I imagine you're looking for Natasha about now, right?”

    “Well, yes, actually, we are,” Roger said, sounding puzzled. “How the blazes did you work that out? We're at the train station, but she's run off somewhere, the little tyke.”

    “Yeah, well, um . . . I've got her,” Ren said.

    “Oh, splendid!” Roger said cheerfully. “Could you bring her back to platform twelve? The train leaves in ten minutes.”

    “Actually, that's why I'm calling,” Ren said, scratching his head and glaring at his cousin, who raised her eyebrows innocently. “Your little bundle of fun just jumped on my train, and now there's nothing I can do about it. It's the express, so it doesn't stop until Rustboro.”

    “Rustb- oh, for the love of-” Roger stuttered. “Well, um, I, uh. Huh, what's that? No, Mary, she's fine. It's Ren . . . Yes, I did congratulate him . . . No, she's on the train to Rustboro . . . How should I know? Well, uh . . .” There was a crackle at the other end of the line, and Ren frowned.

    “Hello, Ren,” said a different voice.

    “Aunt Mary!” Ren said, surprised. “Hello.”

    “Natasha's with you, is she?”

    “Yeah,” Ren said, shooting another glare at his cousin, who was now rolling on the seat in paroxysms of silent laughter. “I'm sorry, Aunt Mary, but she jumped on board before I could stop her.” A crackle of feedback that may have been a sigh filtered down the line.

    “Well, there's nothing to be done about that, is there? Roger and I will catch the next train to Rustboro and take her off your hands at the station.”

    “Well . . .” Ren said. “I kind of have to be in Rustboro on business, you see. I don't know if that's practical. But I can't just leave her at the station, and I wouldn't dare put her on a train by herself . . .”

    “That is a problem, then,” Mary said.

    “Uncle Roger said you were going to Lilycove for a holiday,” Ren said thoughtfully. “How long was that going to be?”

    “Just for the night. Why?” Mary asked worriedly.

    “How about this?” Ren said, biting his lip. “I'll take Natasha with me, and you and Uncle Roger go to Lilycove. She'll be fine with me, I promise.”

    “Well . . .” Mary said, sounding unconvinced.

    “I can't imagine you've had much peace for the last twelve years with this mad creature around,” Ren said frankly. “You could use a break.”

    “I guess . . . that does sound nice,” his aunt said. “All right, Ren. You're our favourite nephew, and we trust you, so we'll leave our little girl to you. I know you're grown-up enough to handle it.”

    “OK, Aunt Mary,” Ren said. “Catch you later. Enjoy your holiday.” With that, he hung up and leant back in the seat.

    “So?” Natasha asked.

    “Against my better judgement, it's you and me on holiday in Rustboro,” Ren said.

    “Yay!” Natasha squealed, jumping up and racing up and down the carriage. “I'm going on holiday with cousin Ren!”

    Ren exhaled heavily, smiling. His cousin was the only relative he knew that was even close to him in age, and they had grown up quite close. She was hyperactive and wore too much pink, but she was still special to him.

    “Sit down, you,” he said. “I'm going to go and see about getting you a ticket.” Obediently, Natasha flumped herself down onto a seat and sat as still as a statue, arms crossed. Shaking his head, Ren headed for the door to the next carriage.

    It didn't take him long to find a guard. Apologetically, he started to explain his situation, but before he had even mentioned how Natasha had leapt onto the train, the guard leant down and tipped his chin up, examining Ren closely. A grin had spread across the big man's face as he recognised him, and he had continued – much to Ren's chagrin – to announce to the whole carriage, which was much more densely populated than the one Ren had boarded, that it was 'that new Champion kid everyone's been talking about'. When the guard had asked if anybody had a problem with the Champion and his cousin moving up to first class, the other passengers had responded enthusiastically, although one or two had 'demanded' an autograph as 'payment' for class-skipping. Chuckling, Ren had obliged before going back to fetch Natasha. The guard showed them to the carriage at the front of the train and sat them down in much more comfortable seats.

    “That was nice of him,” Natasha commented as she excitedly pressed her nose to the juddering window. “Are you really that famous now, cousin Ren?”

    “I guess I am,” Ren said bashfully, looking out the window too as Hoenn flashed past. Far to the north, he could see the spire of Mount Chimney thrusting up above the rest of the countryside.

    I am, he thought. Life's gonna be a lot different now that I'm the Champion, but I expected that. The question now, though, is . . . where do I go from here? Is there someone else I can beat? Can I get stronger? Or is there no point now?
    The Atlantis Codex / Champion Game

    'A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.' - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    'Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more; men were deceivers ever.' - William Shakespeare
    'Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.' - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    'When one life meets another life, something will be born.' - Un(k)own

  5. #5
    The Dimension Wizard Flaze's Avatar Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Why do you care
    Posts
    59,627
    Blog Entries
    151
    Add Flaze on Facebook
    Follow Flaze on Tumblr Visit Flaze's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: Champion Game (1)

    ....awesome

    I really hate myself for not being such a detailed reviewer so that I can explain how much I liked this in better terms. I couldn't find any grammatical mistakes or at least nothing that irked me in it. As for the characters well, I really like Ren he's really interesting and is sort of like that snarky yet sweet type of character and his reactions towards Natasha make for a lot of funny moments. For the story itself I can't really tell where it's gonna go the first chapters leaves a lot of outcomes as it is, but I know that there's gotta be something in the name that hints at what is about.

  6. #6
    Unova's #1 Yancy fan Seizon Senryaku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Summoner's Rift
    Posts
    697
    Blog Entries
    16
    Follow Seizon Senryaku On Twitter

    Post Chapter Two - I Will Make a Wish for the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Sky Flame Haze View Post
    ....awesome

    I really hate myself for not being such a detailed reviewer so that I can explain how much I liked this in better terms. I couldn't find any grammatical mistakes or at least nothing that irked me in it. As for the characters well, I really like Ren he's really interesting and is sort of like that snarky yet sweet type of character and his reactions towards Natasha make for a lot of funny moments. For the story itself I can't really tell where it's gonna go the first chapters leaves a lot of outcomes as it is, but I know that there's gotta be something in the name that hints at what is about.
    Glad you like the start of it!

    A/N: OK, here we are with another chapter. Firstly: no, I will not be posting a chapter every day. I will be posting chapters quite quickly for a while - maybe two a week - until we catch up here, though. The only reason I'm putting this up so soon is because I feel it'll stand a bit better with the first chapter. End of Chapter Two is where a little stuff starts to go down, I guess. So, expect Chapter Three on . . . Monday/Tuesday, perhaps?


    I Will Make a Wish for the Future


    The train pulled into Rustboro City with a rattle and a deafening screech. Ren had spent the whole trip split between controlling Natasha and burying his face in a magazine so he wouldn't be recognised. The friendly guard, who had introduced himself as Simone, saw them off the train with a cheerful wave, and Ren grabbed hold of Natasha's hand to avoid her wandering off as he navigated his way out of the station.

    Steven said he'd send someone to pick me up, Ren recalled as he scanned the throngs of people packing the bustling station. But who . . . ? There was nobody he recognised, so he shrugged and continued to wend his way through the crowd. Maybe there'll be somebody outside? he reasoned.

    Hopefully, he scanned the line of bored-looking drivers standing by the door, checking to see if any of their placards had his name on it. Nothing. Just as he was about to make his way out of the station's grand entrance, he felt a tap on his shoulder and turned, somewhat taken aback, to see a somewhat irate-looking teenage girl in a grey school uniform, her brown hair drawn back, in two bunches, with a large pink ribbon into a pair of ponytails.

    “D-didn't you hear me?” she said crossly. “I was calling you the whole time!”

    “Ah,” said Ren. “Roxanne. It's been a while.”

    “Three years since you won the Stone Badge,” she said, smiling. “You've hardly come by the Gym since.”

    “Ah . . . sorry about that,” Ren said, scratching his head. “What, did you miss me?”

    “I-I just thought I should battle you again sometime,” Roxanne said. “But come on, we're blocking the path.” She was right, Ren realised as he hurriedly followed the Gym Leader out of the station and down a wide flight of stairs towards a large, fancy-looking black car parked on the road below.

    “This us?” Ren asked, gesturing to the car. Roxanne nodded. “After you, then,” he said, opening the door and gallantly waving her inside. Roxanne went a little pink, but climbed in anyway. Ren chuckled and helped Natasha up into the car before following them.

    Inside, the car was remarkably spacious. Roxanne was already seated with her back to the driver, leaving Ren and Natasha to sit opposite her. Once Ren had closed the door behind him, Roxanne pressed a small red button on the armrest and spoke into a small microphone embedded into the side of the car: “To the Devon Corporation, if you please.” Without further discussion, the engine of the car purred into life, and Ren felt the slightest lurch as it pulled out into traffic.

    “Nice ride,” he commented. “Being a Gym Leader paying well, then?”

    “No, ah . . . this car belongs to Mr. Stone. He asked me to come and fetch you from the station, but I think a vehicle of this, uh . . . scale is somewhat unnecessary.”

    “I see. That makes sense, I guess,” Ren said, quietly trying to dissuade Natasha from opening the minibar she had just discovered under her seat. The Gym Leader smiled at the younger girl.

    “Hello, there,” she said in a friendly manner. “My name is Roxanne. What's yours?”

    Natasha tilted her head slightly, sizing Roxanne up. “I'm 'Tash,” she said eventually. “Are you cousin Ren's girlfriend?”

    “Wha-” Ren started, taken aback, but he was overriden immediately.

    “Absolutely not! That's preposterous!” Roxanne said insistently.

    “Then why are you all pink?” Natasha challenged her. She had a point, Ren admitted. At Natasha's comment, Roxanne's face had gone a deep shade of rose that put her hair-ribbon to shame.

    “Speaking of pink,” Ren said quickly, trying to defuse the suddenly awkward situation, “why are you still wearing those pink stockings? I mean, it's none of my business, but they're really quite . . . out there, aren't they?”

    “What? These? Um, I . . . maybe,” Roxanne said distractedly, refusing to meet Ren's eyes. “But never mind that. I wanted to congratulate you personally for defeating Steven.”

    “Ah, thanks,” said Ren.

    “I . . . knew, you know,” Roxanne said hesitantly. “Back when you came to the Rustboro Gym three years ago, I could tell that you were going to go a long way.”

    “Really?” Ren asked, surprised. “But I only had three Gym badges by then.”

    “Still,” Roxanne said, “I could see it. I think it was your eyes.”

    “My . . . eyes?” Ren said, confused. “What about my eyes?”

    “Well, I think . . . As soon I met you, I saw something in your eyes. I didn't know quite what it was at the time, and I still can't be sure, but whatever it was . . . it told me you were going to keep going. All the way to the top. And look at you now! I'm going to have to start calling you 'boss' soon.”

    Ren laughed uncomfortably. “Boy, that'd feel weird,” he said. “But that reminds me . . . exactly how much control . . . no, that's not what I want to ask. What I mean is – how much responsibility does the Champion have?”

    “What do you mean by that?” Roxanne asked, frowning.

    “Well, all my life, the Champion's just been . . . there. Sitting up there at the top of the heap, unassailable and distant, and . . . well, there was a lot of secrecy. I know very little about what the Champion is actually expected to do, other than, you know, take challengers.”

    “That's . . .” Roxanne stared out of the tinted window as if looking for answers in the stone facades of the city. “That's something . . . that Steven will tell you about today, I think. How much did he tell you when he called?”

    “Nothing,” Ren grumbled, leaning back and staring at the ceiling. Something nagged at him, but he couldn't be sure what it was. Something wasn't right. “He told me nothing.”

    “That's Steven for you,” Roxanne said, “although I probably shouldn't be so flippant. However mysterious he might be, he's still Steven Stone, even before he's the Champion.”

    “I met his father when I was here last,” Ren noted. “He seemed like an . . . interesting man.”

    “Yes, that sounds about right,” said Roxanne. “Mr. Stone is, of course, still the CEO of the Devon Corporation. He's one of the most respected businessmen in the world, and I think he plans to have Steven take over from him in a few years.”

    “He's going to retire?” Ren asked, arching an eyebrow. “But he's only, what, sixty?”

    “Sixty-seven,” Roxanne corrected him. “Still, he's in perfect health, from what I've seen, and personally . . . personally, I don't think Steven's going to want to take over any time soon.”

    “What makes you say that?” asked Ren, frowning. “It's not like he has nothing to do, or anything, but I still imagine he'll have a lot of time on his hands now that he's stepping down as Champion.”

    “When I . . . last talked to Steven,” Roxanne said slowly, looking Ren directly in the eye for the first time, “he seemed . . . restless. I don't know if I should be telling you this, but . . . I don't think he's the sort to just settle down peacefully. Did he ever tell you about his hobby?”

    “What, collecting rocks? Yeah, I ran into him a few times in Granite Cave when I was training there,” Ren recalled.

    “Collecting rocks? Well, not exactly, though you've essentially got the right idea. Steven has a great interest in the rare minerals and gemstones that can be found all over the Hoenn region. Hoenn has a remarkable geological makeup, and the bedrock varies wildly from one place to another. Because of this, and the huge number of natural and artificial caves that can be found here, I don't think Steven will ever be satisfied with the results of his research. He is a remarkable man, but he appears to have inherited his father's fortitude. I'm not sure if that's a good thing, frankly.”

    Ren remained silent for a moment, considering. “I don't know. Is Mr. Stone really looking to retire so soon?”

    “Probably in the next few years. It would seem he's quite happy to have Steven available again. At least, that is the impression I get. It makes sense, don't you think?”

    “True,” Ren said. “But I can't imagine Steven actually going directly against his father if it came down to it. You know, if he actually directly said 'I want you to take over Devon Corp.' He couldn't turn that down.”

    “I suppose you're right,” Roxanne admitted, “but it's still worth keeping an eye on. I don't think that's what Steven wants to discuss with you, anyway.”

    “Do you know what he wants?” Ren asked. “Because it seems I'm somewhat in the dark here.”

    “No,” Roxanne said, then paused – for a little longer than necessary, Ren thought. “No, I have no idea at all. All I know is that it's something to do with your new role as Champion, but I imagine you will have worked that out already.”

    “I'd figured as much,” Ren said, nodding.

    “Are you gonna go to a meeting, Ren?” Natasha piped up, reminding Ren of her presence. She'd been so unusually quiet, he had almost forgotten she was there.

    “Yeah, pretty much,” he said.

    “Can I come with you?” she asked. “Daddy never lets me go to his meetings!”

    “Well, ah . . . I guess we'll have to see,” Ren said. “It depends on what Steven thinks, I guess. If it's too secret, you're going to have to wait outside, I suppose.”

    “Here we are!” said Roxanne suddenly, as the car came to a gentle halt and fell silent. After a few seconds, the door opened from the outside, and she slipped out gracefully. Ren followed her, nodding his thanks to the driver as he made sure Natasha was with him.

    “Wow . . .” Ren breathed. “I see this every time I come to Rustboro, but it's still pretty impressive.” The headquarters of Devon Corporation was a large, brown-stone building that managed to look both ancient and solid at the same time. The facade was intricately carved and set with large, fearsome gargoyles that jutted out into the street. Standing on the cobbled footpath and looking up, the building loomed impossibly high, even though it was relatively small compared to those around it.

    “Isn't it just?” Roxanne agreed. “Come on. Steven wanted to see you as soon as possible.” Shrugging, Ren followed her into the building, taking time to admire the classical stone arch as he passed through it.

    Roxanne crossed the empty foyer quickly, her buckled shoes clacking briskly on the tile floor. Ren looked around – he had only been inside Devon Corp once or twice. Quite suddenly, everything was modern. They passed through a revolving door into the building proper, and Ren had to rescue Natasha, who wanted to keep going round and round.

    “Honestly,” he muttered. “You're twelve years old now, but you still act like a little kid! Would it kill you to grow up just a little bit?”

    “But it's so much fun!” Natasha protested, giggling. “I'm not important or famous like cousin Ren, so I can do what I want to and it doesn't matter!”

    Ren frowned, but before he could think too hard on it, he was distracted by Roxanne practically dragging him onward. “Will you get a move on?” she said.

    “Whoa, whoa! Why the big hurry all of a sudden?” Ren asked, walking faster to catch up.

    “Steven told you it was urgent, did he not?”

    “Well, yes, but-”

    “Then come on,” Roxanne said, chivvying him past the receptionist, who nodded respectfully to the pair of them. Ren followed along as quickly as he could, Natasha trotting happily in his wake. Did I do something to piss her off? he wondered. Nothing came to mind, so he left it.

    Roxanne led them into a lift and pressed the button for the top floor. With barely a lurch, the carriage began to ascend, its three occupants standing in awkward silence for the duration. With a soft ding, the doors opened, and Ren stepped out. Roxanne didn't move.

    “Are you . . . coming?” he asked, uncertain. Roxanne shook her head. She opened her mouth slightly as if to speak, but then closed it again as if thinking better of it.

    “Good luck,” was all she said, after a lengthy pause. Ren nodded and beckoned to Natasha, who followed him out of the lift.

    “See you around,” he said, still slightly bemused. Roxanne nodded silently as the lift doors closed and she disappeared from sight. “Well, that was strange,” Ren said aloud.

    “She got all worried when we came into the building,” observed Natasha. “Why's that, Ren?”

    “She did?” Ren arched his eyebrows. He had noticed something strange about Roxanne, but hadn't been able to put his finger on it. Was it worry he had glimpsed in her face? He didn't really think so, but . . . “Girls are so hard to figure out,” he muttered under his breath.

    “They are indeed,” said Steven from behind him. Ren jumped and spun round to face the former Champion.

    “Don't – don't do that!” he squeaked. A flicker of amusement passed across Steven's smooth face.

    “Come with me, Champion,” he said, turning and walking away. They were in a hallway, Ren noticed as he followed Steven's shock of silver hair. An ostentatious one, at that. The floor was covered with plush red carpet that seemed to swallow Ren's feet as he walked, and the walls were painted in a similar shade, with gold trim glinting on all sides. Ornate golden chandeliers hung from the ceiling at intervals, glittering with droplets of diamond.

    “Nice place,” Ren said quietly.

    “Quite. Actually, this floor is the Stone family's personal residence in Rustboro. My father lives here most of the time, as he never likes to be too far from his work. It is a little extravagant for my tastes, but then, I have no real say in the matter as I spend so little time here.”

    “So, will you tell me why I'm here yet?” Ren queried, hurrying to catch up to Steven. Steven glanced across at him briefly.

    “I will,” he said. “But first, may I suggest that your . . .” He tailed off, seemingly uncertain.

    “Cousin,” Ren supplied, seeing where Steven was looking.

    “May I suggest, then, that we find some way for your cousin to entertain herself for an hour or two. I apologise for the seeming lack of trust, but what we have to discuss is for your ears only.”

    “How exactly do you expect a twelve-year-old to entertain herself in a place like this?” Ren asked, gesturing around at the ornate furnishings.

    “I have some idea,” Steven said, before leaning over slightly to address Natasha directly. “Do you like books?” he asked.

    Natasha nodded solemnly, which surprised Ren slightly. His cousin had never shown much interest in literature of any kind, from what he could remember. “Yes,” she said. “I like reading.”

    “Well,” said Steven, drawing to a halt before a dark wooden door, “would you like to see my library?” Without waiting for an answer, he pushed the door open and gestured her inside.

    Ren peeked over Steven's shoulder into the room beyond, and his eyes grew wide. A huge, warmly-lit room stretched out from the door, lined with enormous, floor-to-ceiling shelves packed with books of all shapes and sizes. “Wow,” he breathed. “How many books do you have?”

    “Thousands,” Steven said – a touch smugly, Ren thought. “Katrina!” he said sharply, raising his voice a little.

    There was a scuffling sound, and a girl poked her head out from behind a bookshelf several metres away. She had mousy brown hair and a small pair of square glasses resting on her nose. She looked to be a few years older than Ren. “Yes?” she said. “Oh, hello, Steven! Did you need me for something?”

    “This is our Champion's cousin,” Steven explained, indicating Natasha, who had wandered towards the nearest bookshelf and was scanning it eagerly. “Could you look after her for a little while for us? Ren and I have some business to discuss.”

    Katrina smiled. “Sure thing. I'll keep an eye on her – both, if I can spare them.”

    “Thank you,” Steven said, smiling back. “We'll be back in an hour or two, I imagine.” With a final nod, he closed the door again. “My sister,” he said, upon seeing Ren's confused expression. “She's studying for her Masters in Anthropology, so she spends most of her time in the library.”

    “I see.” Ren followed Steven as he set off again, heading down a different corridor. How big is this floor? Ren wondered. It had taken them a good couple of minutes to get from the lift to the library.

    “Your cousin seems like a sensible child,” Steven remarked.

    “Strangely, no,” Ren said. “She's usually quite hyper, and I just don't know what's up with her today. Ever since we arrived in Rustboro, she's been . . . pretty strange. Normally she'd have been bouncing off the walls all the way up here, but . . . no. I don't know.” He shook his head. Natasha had been acting strange. Perhaps she really had mellowed out over the five years he hadn't seen her? He was willing to put her initial display of hyperactivity down to excitement at seeing him again, but still . . . there was something strange.

    “She'll be fine with Katrina,” Steven said. “She won't brook any nonsense, not while she's studying.” After another couple of turns, he stopped abruptly and opened another door, gesturing for Ren to precede him into the room.

    The room was a lot more understated than the rest of the floor, Ren noticed immediately. The red and gold colour scheme remained, but the floor was hardwood and there were no chandeliers. Light came from quietly humming fixtures on the ceiling, and the only furnishings in the room were two low chairs, facing each other across a plain metal table.

    “This room is where my father holds his most secret meetings,” Steven said. “The ones where it is absolutely imperative that their contents remain confidential, and the ones with clients who are too pragmatic to be insulted by the lack of an extravagant conference room. I don't know the sorts of people he meets with in here, but it's none of my business . . . yet.”

    “It might be, if you have to take over the company from your father.”

    “Who told you that?” Steven asked, his eyes narrowing.

    Ren inhaled sharply. He had the sense he had said something he shouldn't have. “I . . . assumed it?” he said weakly. “I mean, you're the oldest, aren't you?”

    Steven continued to examine him closely as he took his seat and indicated Ren should do the same. “That sounds unlikely. Did Roxanne say anything?”

    “She . . . might have mentioned it,” Ren admitted as he sat down on the metal chair, which creaked slightly under his weight. “Hypothetically, that is.”

    “Tch,” Steven tutted. “That girl . . . oh, well. It is of no great importance.” He paused, staring at Ren for a few moments, looking him up and down. Ren shifted uncomfortably in his seat, suddenly very aware that his unruly brown hair was sticking up all over the place, a pet hate of his mother's. He was only wearing ratty old jeans and a red t-shirt, too – he hadn't had time to get changed before he left for the train station. He felt very scruffy next to the immaculate Steven in his black pants and collared shirt with its purple zigzags. He sank slightly into his chair, as if it would prevent Steven from seeing him.

    “What did . . . you want to talk to me about?” Ren asked.

    Steven leant back in his chair suddenly, rubbing his eyes and sighing. “This is an awkward business, Ren,” he said, his voice suddenly carrying an awful lot of gravity. “A most awkward and tiring business. And, setting aside any matters of Champion and ex-Champion for the moment, I'd like you to listen to me as one man to another. Do you understand?”

    Ren frowned. Suddenly, Roxanne wasn't the only one acting weird. “What . . . are you trying to say?”

    Steven dipped his head slightly and closed his eyes. “I'm trying to say that . . . what I have to discuss with you today is something I'd never hoped to discuss with someone like you. Please don't take offence, but . . . you're still little more than a boy. I always expected to have to tell my successor about this – you can't be Champion forever, after all – but I didn't expect it to be someone as young as you.”

    “Will you please tell me what you're on about?” Ren demanded. “You're just confusing me more and more! And just because I'm fourteen doesn't mean you can be condescending!”

    Steven nodded. “You're right. I'm sorry. I'm insulting your intelligence if I try to hide anything from you. All I need is your solemn promise that you will take me seriously, because without that this conversation will bear no fruit. Agreed?”

    Ren nodded firmly. “Agreed. Now talk, if you have something to say.”

    Steven let out a long, slow breath before opening his eyes and looking directly into Ren's. “Let me begin with a question.”
    The Atlantis Codex / Champion Game

    'A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.' - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    'Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more; men were deceivers ever.' - William Shakespeare
    'Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.' - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    'When one life meets another life, something will be born.' - Un(k)own

  7. #7
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    The Old World.
    Posts
    2,231
    Blog Entries
    329

    Default Re: Champion Game (2)

    Whatever made Roxanne and Steven weird got to Natasha too, didn't it? *is speculating about a virus outbreak*

    Anyway, this story is coming along wonderfully. Especially the dialogue; you manage to make it very interesting, and really sets every character apart from the other. Can't really say much about the plot, as it isn't clear yet. But aside from that, these two chapters have been great, keep it up!

    Also, isn't Ren 15?

  8. #8
    The Dimension Wizard Flaze's Avatar Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Why do you care
    Posts
    59,627
    Blog Entries
    151
    Add Flaze on Facebook
    Follow Flaze on Tumblr Visit Flaze's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: Champion Game (2)

    Cliff hanger, my worst enemy....

    “Honestly,” he muttered. “You're twelve years old now, but you still act like a little kid! Would it kill you to grow up just a little bit?”
    And I wonder what the hell happened to that girl as soon as she entered the building. Really the chapter had that air of mystery and curiosity in it, especially when both Roxanne and tasha began acting strange, granted I think they each had different reasons. This brings me to Steven, he displays a really serious side so he's hiding something important. Anyway I wonder what he will tell Ren and if it'll be what he's been looking for.

    And didn't you say in chapter one that Ren had been travelling for five years and he left when he was 10 + 5= 15

  9. #9
    Unova's #1 Yancy fan Seizon Senryaku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Summoner's Rift
    Posts
    697
    Blog Entries
    16
    Follow Seizon Senryaku On Twitter

    Default Re: Champion Game (2)

    Haha, the old 'five years' thing. Nobody picked this up on any other forum, and I've been waiting for ages. If you recall, the prologue says he had been travelling for 'fifty-nine months, nineteen days' which is juuuuuust under five years. He was rounding up for convenience's sake. It's actually Ren's fifteenth birthday in a week or so, which ought to be . . . special. *grin*

    As for why Natasha and Roxanne both seemed so weird, you're gonna have to wait a looooooong time to find that one out. Nyeheheh.
    Last edited by Seizon Senryaku; 7th July 2011 at 11:34 PM. Reason: Ought to be. OUGHT to be!
    The Atlantis Codex / Champion Game

    'A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.' - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    'Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more; men were deceivers ever.' - William Shakespeare
    'Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.' - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    'When one life meets another life, something will be born.' - Un(k)own

  10. #10
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    The Old World.
    Posts
    2,231
    Blog Entries
    329

    Default Re: Champion Game (2)

    So you set a trap for your readers!

    In five years, he'd travelled all over the Hoenn region and overseas, beaten thirteen Gym Leaders, won the Ever Grande Conference, defeated the Elite Four, and finally taken down the Champion. And now . . . now he was back where he'd started. The irony was almost amusing.
    But you also said "nearly five years" in another part.

    Either way, it should affect the story much.

  11. #11
    Fossil Maniac LibraSnakes13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    24
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Champion Game (2)

    I've read quite a few stories on fanfiction.net and I have to say that most of them are quite banal. What's interesting is that you took one of these banal concepts (the journey of a young kid getting his first pokemon) and fast forward it to the end. It certainly brings up some interesting questions on what exactly does a champion do?
    The Hoenn setting is also nice as Hoenn is usually the region that people don't pay very much attention to nowadays.
    Along with that, you have captured the mysteriousness that is Steven Stone (certainly an interesting Champion and one of the harder ones to beat IMO) and brought with it the kind of realism that we expect him to be.
    Grammar is great and vocab is nice as well (it would be difficult to find the word "ostentatious" in a pokemon story...).
    Conversations flow nicely (one of my bigger problems as a writer) and the characters act believable.
    Now, if I were to guess on where this story is heading I would probably point towards the Regis being involved in it somehow. But we'll see...

    Keep up the work!
    Anomalocaris are sexy


  12. #12
    Unova's #1 Yancy fan Seizon Senryaku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Summoner's Rift
    Posts
    697
    Blog Entries
    16
    Follow Seizon Senryaku On Twitter

    Default Re: Champion Game (2)

    Quote Originally Posted by LibraSnakes13 View Post
    I've read quite a few stories on fanfiction.net and I have to say that most of them are quite banal. What's interesting is that you took one of these banal concepts (the journey of a young kid getting his first pokemon) and fast forward it to the end. It certainly brings up some interesting questions on what exactly does a champion do?
    This was the exact aim (well, one of two main ones) with which I set out to write this fic, almost exactly in those words. I decided I wanted to do OT, but I didn't want to write a journeyfic/schoolfic, so I just skipped the slow stuff. That way, I can flash back to the important stuff if it's necessary.
    The Hoenn setting is also nice as Hoenn is usually the region that people don't pay very much attention to nowadays.
    I love Hoenn. It's so pretty, and it just generally seems like the kind of place where stuff like this might happen.
    Along with that, you have captured the mysteriousness that is Steven Stone (certainly an interesting Champion and one of the harder ones to beat IMO) and brought with it the kind of realism that we expect him to be.
    I've had mixed reactions on my portrayal of Steven, so it's nice to see a reader who likes him.
    Grammar is great and vocab is nice as well (it would be difficult to find the word "ostentatious" in a pokemon story...).
    Conversations flow nicely (one of my bigger problems as a writer) and the characters act believable.
    Good stuff, good stuff . . . one of my worst fears as a writer is having stupid mistakes left in a chapter when it's posted. The other is wooden, dull dialogue, which I have been guilty of so often in the past.
    Now, if I were to guess on where this story is heading I would probably point towards the Regis being involved in it somehow. But we'll see...

    Keep up the work!
    Don't worry, I definitely will!

    Ooh, the Regis, huh? Well, you'll have to wait and see for that! Whehehe. /sableye
    The Atlantis Codex / Champion Game

    'A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.' - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    'Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more; men were deceivers ever.' - William Shakespeare
    'Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.' - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    'When one life meets another life, something will be born.' - Un(k)own

  13. #13
    Unova's #1 Yancy fan Seizon Senryaku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Summoner's Rift
    Posts
    697
    Blog Entries
    16
    Follow Seizon Senryaku On Twitter

    Default Chapter Three - The World of Dreams

    A/N: I said Monday/Tuesday, but it's Sunday night at 10:40 and I think this thread has fallen asleep pretty well. This is when we start to see where the fic is really going. Next chapter Thursday? It's a date.


    The World of Dreams


    “Why do you think we hold the Ever Grande Conference, Ren?” Steven asked at length.

    Ren frowned. He would have thought that the answer to that question was simple. “Uh . . . to find out who's the strongest Trainer in Hoenn?” he ventured.

    “Yes,” Steven agreed, “but at the same time, it's far more than that.”

    “What . . . what exactly do you mean by that?”

    Steven took a deep breath and interlaced his fingers in front of him on the table, staring at them intently as if expecting them to answer for him. “What if I were to say to you, Ren . . . that there is a hidden factor determining how successful each person is as a Trainer?”

    “I'd say you were mad,” Ren said. “Sounds like one of those crazy video games where you don't know how anything's calculated – it just does it for you.”

    “Not so much,” Steven said. “There's no math involved. Just . . . power, if you will.”

    “Power? What kind of power?” Ren felt himself being drawn in, despite his skepticism. Steven was making a face that was far too serious to doubt.

    “That's just it. That's why this is so hard to explain. I . . . don't exactly know, Ren. But every Trainer – no, every person in this world has a measure of this power within them. I suppose you could call it a spiritual power, because it has nothing to do with physical strength or mental acuity. Sometimes you get muscle-headed imbeciles with huge reserves of this power; other times, the exact opposite. I'm at a loss as to which factors affect a person's spiritual power.” He paused, as if waiting for Ren to react.

    “Sounds . . . confusing,” Ren offered, unwilling to give away too much of what he was thinking. A multitude of possibilities, explanations and worries were running through his mind at high speed, but he didn't feel like letting Steven be privy to them just yet. “So what does this power have to do with the Ever Grande Conference?”

    “People will tell you that factors like age, experience, discipline, and the like determine who becomes a Champion, Ren. This is not true, and I am sure you, of all people, will be able to appreciate that. You came into this position at the age of just fourteen. By all rights, there is no way you should have been able to become Champion now. Yet you did.”

    “I did,” Ren agreed. “But surely those things do matter, right? I mean, you get to be the Champion with a lot of hard work! It doesn't just . . . happen.”

    Steven inclined his head. “You're right. It doesn't 'just happen'. And there is some truth in what you say – things like how long you have trained with your Pokemon, research into your opponent's strengths and weaknesses, and your strategy in battle do make a difference.”

    “But that's not what you just said,” Ren pointed out.

    “Perhaps I am going in circles a little,” Steven admitted. “What I mean is that while these factors play a large part in determining the winner of a Pokemon battle, that part is nowhere near as large as some would have you believe. What makes up the difference is something in here.” He tapped his chest with his left index finger.

    Ren looked at him askance. “What . . . you mean, like, friendship or something? I thought that was the kind of stuff that happened in kids' TV shows?”

    Steven shook his head. “No, Ren. Nothing so intransient or idealistic. What I speak of is this spiritual power that resides within everyone. Imagine, if you will, a scale. The scale reads one to ten. Each human being is placed somewhere on that scale, and that number, to a certain extent, determines their success as a Pokemon Trainer, should they choose to follow that path. Of course, the scale is completely hypothetical – there is no way of measuring this power. I consider myself to stand at about nine point three, but this is only a rough estimate. And again, like I said before, you can have something else contributing to your success. Somebody with a 'score' of eight or higher might lack the willpower to persevere in their goals. They might not be quite quick enough to make the split-second decisions that are required to make or break a Pokemon battle. Do you follow what I'm saying, Ren?”

    “Yeah, I think so,” Ren said, nodding his head slowly. “In other words, whether we're going to be a good Pokemon Trainer or not . . . is predetermined?”

    “To an extent, yes,” Steven admitted. “I've thought long and hard about the philosophical ramifications of this, and I would greatly enjoy discussing that with you, but here is not the place. Back to the point: each person has this power, and their Pokemon will react to it accordingly.”

    “The Pokemon can sense this power?” Ren asked, surprised. “So, what . . . they see that their Trainer has this power and work harder?

    “Not as such. Perhaps it would make more sense if I compared your Pokemon to plants. A plant, in normal soil – say, in your backyard – will grow well, provided it is cared for. You can make it grow higher by watering it regularly, keeping pests away from it, and protecting it from harsh wind and rain. Pokemon are much the same. You look after them, care for them, train them, and they will grow strong. Are you with me so far?”

    Ren nodded. “Makes sense, I guess. I never really thought of it like that, but . . . Pokemon are a lot like plants, aren't they? And I don't mean just the Grass-types-”

    “Focus!” Steven said sharply. “Now, tell me what happens if you decide to grow your plant in, say, the vicinity of Mount Chimney?”

    “It . . . grows better?”

    “Because?”

    “Because of . . . the minerals in the soil, or something? It's been a while since I read any books on Geography.”

    “Right. In other words, your plant will grow bigger because its environment is more conducive to growth. Provided you then water it properly and so on like you do its counterpart in your garden, it will turn out much larger and healthier, even though you treated it the same. Do you understand now?”

    Suddenly, Ren did, although he was still having trouble attaching any form of credence to Steven's story. “Yeah . . . if a Pokemon's Trainer has a high level of – what did you call it? – spiritual power, it's like growing the plant in volcanic soil, right? And then it gets stronger more easily, yeah?”

    “Correct!” Steven exclaimed, beaming. “I didn't really expect you to catch on so quickly, I'll admit. Not that I think you're slow, or anything like that, but I am unused to dealing with those younger than me.”

    “No hard feelings,” said Ren, offering Steven a half-smile. “But I'm still taking everything you say with a pinch of salt, I'm afraid.”

    “That's to be expected. I would begin to doubt the wisdom of telling you this if you believed it all instantly. However, I do have proof to back up what I'm saying, which I will show you soon enough. All I desired was to ensure you did not panic when faced with that evidence,” Steven said darkly.

    Ren said nothing. What Steven said sounded crazy, yes, but he couldn't help believing him just a little bit. Steven Stone was not the sort of person to play jokes; Ren had gathered as much from the few encounters he had had with the man.

    “Very well. In any case . . . this all leads back to the Ever Grande Conference. This contest is held annually in order to discover the person in each region who has the highest spiritual power. This has been going on for many decades, and there is a very good reason behind it, but that will become apparent soon enough. What is important is that you have defeated me, Ren. Do you understand what that means?”

    Ren's eyes widened involuntarily. All throughout Steven's explanation, he had completely forgotten to apply what had been said to himself. He slapped himself mentally for the oversight. Steven had been trying to tell him something the whole time, and he had missed it completely.

    “Yes, Ren. It means that you are currently the person in the Hoenn region with the highest spiritual power. You are the most volcanic of the volcanic soil, if that makes any sense. The legacy of the Hoenn League is now yours.”

    “Was this all some elaborate way of handing over the Championship?” Ren asked, suddenly confused again.

    “Essentially, yes, but it was not for any idle purpose that I explained all of this to you. For now, I believe, we are done, actually. Unless you have any further questions?”

    “Hundreds,” Ren said.

    “Many of them will have to wait,” Steven said, “but go ahead. I will answer as best I can.”

    “Why is this important? For now, I'll take your word that I won the Championship because of this 'spiritual power'. Why is it so important that the Champion is someone with high spiritual power?”

    “I think you are still mistaking the purpose of the League,” Steven said, smiling. “The Pokemon League was founded in order to find the strongest person in the region, for a very specific purpose. It was never to find the strongest for the sake of knowing who the strongest was. The annual boxing tournament is held to discover the best boxer in Hoenn. The biennial Dewford Surfing Extravaganza is held to find out who can ride the best wave. The Pokemon League is held so that Hoenn has a Champion. And Hoenn needs a Champion, Ren. They need the strongest Champion they can get, and at the moment, that's you.”

    “Why?”

    “That, Ren, is what must be explained later. Take this.” From inside his shirt, Steven fished out a small, silver pendant, which he unclasped from around his neck and handed to Ren.

    Ren examined it closely. It hung on a silver chain as fine as thread, a chain that looked like it should break if he touched it. The chain pooled gently in his hand, cautiously supporting the emblem that sat atop it. Attached to the chain by a single, delicate ring, it was about the size of Ren's thumbnail, carved intricately into the likeness of a cloud. Or was it a puff of smoke? The shape seemed to billow and flicker as he looked upon it, although when he blinked, hard, and looked at it again, he was quite sure that it was motionless. “What . . . is this?”

    “It is the Dreamlight,” Steven said solemnly. “It must remain around your neck at all times now, Champion.”

    “Looks awfully fragile,” Ren said worriedly as he drew out the gossamer-like chain and looped it around his neck, bringing the tiny, delicate clasp around to the front so he could see it while he tied it. Suddenly, he paused. “Why do I have to wear this?”

    “It is a symbol that you are the Champion,” Steven said, “and to all who may ask, it is nothing more than this! Do you understand?” he pressed.

    Ren nodded. “But . . . it's something more?” he ventured.

    “Yes, of course. It is what will guide you to a further explanation. I have told you all that I am permitted to tell you for now. For the rest of the story, all you need to do is go to sleep any time after sundown.”

    “Go . . . to sleep?” Ren asked skeptically as he did the clasp up and settled the Dreamlight beneath his shirt. It felt cold against his skin, but pleasantly so. “What does that have to do with anything?”

    Steven shook his head. “Sadly, I may say no more. When you go to sleep tonight, you must wear the Dreamlight. This will lead you to your answers.”

    Ren closed his eyes for a moment before standing up and pacing around the room, looking at the barren walls and featureless ceiling. “I don't like it,” he said eventually. “I don't like it at all. You want to know why I don't like it? Because it sounds like a fantasy. Something I'd read in a book. Normally, that would be cool, but . . . you telling me this suggests one of two things.”

    “Firstly, I'm pulling your leg,” Steven supplied, examining one of the fingers on his left hand. “Secondly, there's something huge going on that you can't comprehend. In either case, you feel threatened. If I'm making fun of you, then the joke is on you, and nobody likes that. You fear ending up as the fool. If, on the other hand, I am telling the truth, you instantly find yourself far out of your depth, facing the unknown, and that is what you fear most. Am I right?”

    “Exactly,” said Ren. “I don't get how, but you're right.”

    “It's not too hard,” said Steven, abruptly standing and crossing the room to stand directly in front of Ren. Gripping the boy by the shoulders, he looked him straight in the eye and said, “Because that's exactly what went through my head when I was told about this six years ago.”

    Ren shuddered deeply. Something in Steven's light blue eyes worried him. He couldn't explain what it was, but there was no doubt that it was nothing good. Steven apparently felt the tremor, as he gave Ren a comforting pat on the shoulder before he released him.

    “Tell you what. We've still got some time, and there's no sense talking about this any more. Let's go and find something to do in Rustboro for the afternoon.”

    “But . . . I have more questions!” Ren protested.

    “No, you don't. Ask them to . . . well, the person who will explain the rest of this to you.”

    “But you haven't even told me who that is!”

    “It doesn't matter. You will meet them tonight. I told you – all you have to do is go to sleep with the Dreamlight on. For now, difficult though it may seem, I'm going to have to ask you to put everything I have just said out of your mind.”

    “What? You want me to . . . just forget about it?”

    “Essentially, yes.”

    “What was the point of telling me in the first place, then?”

    “I told you,” Steven said. “It's so that you don't panic when the truth is revealed.”

    “Why don't you just tell me?” Ren asked, his left hand involuntarily balling into a fist. “Wouldn't that be the sensible thing?”

    “It is . . . forbidden.” Steven looked down at the floor.

    “Forbidden? Who forbade it?” Ren ground his teeth slightly. This is getting ridiculous.

    “I . . . can't tell you that, either,” Steven said. “Can you please just do as I ask? This is difficult for me also.”

    “Fine,” Ren said in disgust, folding his arms. “If you're going to be too bloody-minded to just tell me what's going on, then whatever.”

    “Excellent,” said Steven, pointedly ignoring Ren's petulant frown. “And although I hardly feel you need to be reminded of this, everything that was said in this room remains here. You must not speak of it to anybody else unless I say so. Understood?”

    Ren nodded. Who would he tell, anyway? It sounded like a load of rubbish, anyway. Spiritual power? Who did Steven think he was kidding? But still, it didn't make sense if Steven was joking. After all, why would he? There was no good reason for him to, and that was the fact that Ren could not deny. He only wished Steven would answer his questions a bit more directly.

    “In that case, let us return to the library and collect your cousin,” Steven said, unlocking the door. “I imagine she will be pleased enough to be liberated from my sister's dreary company.”

    “She didn't seem that dreary to me,” Ren said as he followed Steven out of the meeting room.

    “Oh, she is, I'm afraid,” Steven said wearily. “Of course, I wouldn't ever say it to her face, but spending time with her is . . . taxing.”

    “How so?”

    “She likes her books, Katrina. She doesn't do people well. It's hard to explain, but . . . having her in the room immediately puts something of a damper on one's mood. It's like she emanates waves of 'I don't want to be here, I don't want to talk to you' that rub off on everyone else.”

    “That's not very nice,” Ren frowned. And this is the girl studying anthropology? he wondered. “She can't be all that bad, surely?”

    “Oh, don't get me wrong,” Steven said. “I'm very fond of her. But I wouldn't really want to spend too much time with her.”

    Ren didn't say anything. What could he have said to that?

    “Katrina!” Steven said brightly, pushing open the library door. “We're done!”

    “Oh, hello, Steven,” Katrina's voice said from somewhere among the shelves. “We're over here, by the biographies.”

    Steven raised his eyebrows at Ren, then tilted his head to indicate that they should both go. The pair made their way carefully through the hazardous-looking maze of loaded bookshelves until they finally spotted Natasha and Katrina, sitting cross-legged on the floor amongst a multitude of books.

    “You didn't take as long as you said you were going to,” Katrina said, raising her eyebrows. “I don't think it's even been half an hour yet.”

    “No, you're right,” Steven said, “but nonetheless, we have finished our . . . business.”

    “Well, that's all right. I'll see you around some other time, Natasha,” Katrina smiled.

    Natasha looked up at Ren curiously. “Why are you back so fast? I was having fun!”

    Ren smiled. “We finished talking about what we needed to, so we're done. Come on, let's not bother Katrina any more than we have to.”

    “Oh, it's no trouble, really,” Katrina said, waving a hand airily. “She's a remarkably intelligent child.”

    “Can't I stay a bit longer?” Natasha begged.

    “Actually, if Katrina doesn't mind, that works out perfectly,” said Steven. “Ren and I have somewhere else to be, and if you want to stay here for another couple of hours, I don't see an issue with that.”

    “Somewhere else to be?” Ren said blankly. “Like where?”

    “Did I not mention it? You and I are appearing on tonight's Hoenn Buzz to be interviewed.”

    “No!” Ren exclaimed. “You did not mention that! And I want nothing to do with it!” he fumed. It was bad enough that people had to recognise him wherever he went, but any measure of anonymity he might have retained would surely be destroyed if he appeared on primetime television.

    “I'm afraid you don't have a choice,” Steven said. “I made the arrangements this morning and they've been hyping it all day via advertisements. Two Champions on TV together is not something that happens often, and you're not getting out of it.”

    “You can't just go ahead and make decisions like that on your own! I don't want to be on TV!”

    Steven gritted his teeth. “Newsflash, Ren: you're going to have to get used to it. The Champion is a media personality as much as he is anything else.” As if suddenly noticing that Natasha and Katrina were still listening, wide-eyed, from their position on the floor, he inclined his head to them politely. “My apologies. Ren and I will be leaving now. We will return later this evening to collect his cousin.” With that, he wheeled and strode from the library, leaving Ren to follow him reluctantly.

    Once the door to the library had closed, Ren stepped in front of Steven and glared at him. “What the hell are you playing at?” he hissed. “I can't do this! I don't want to do this!”

    Steven's mouth remained set in a firm line. “You have no choice in the matter. It is your responsibility as a Champion to be accessible to the people of Hoenn, and you have to learn to do that whether you like it or not. I'll give you a hint – it's a lot easier if you like it.”

    “Steven, I can't! It's not like I can't walk down the street for fear of being recognised or anything, but this is just going too far.”

    “You're not getting out of it,” Steven said adamantly. “Now come on. It's already four o'clock, and we need to be there for five thirty.”

    Reluctantly, Ren followed Steven towards the lift, his heart sinking.
    The Atlantis Codex / Champion Game

    'A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.' - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    'Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more; men were deceivers ever.' - William Shakespeare
    'Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.' - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    'When one life meets another life, something will be born.' - Un(k)own

  14. #14
    The Dimension Wizard Flaze's Avatar Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Why do you care
    Posts
    59,627
    Blog Entries
    151
    Add Flaze on Facebook
    Follow Flaze on Tumblr Visit Flaze's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: Champion Game (3)

    So where should I start...wait let me process everything.

    So what I got from this was that everyone has spiritual energy inside them that has been predetermined since they were born right. According to this depending on how much spiritual energy you have it also varies in how good a trainer you'll be and how your Pokemon will grow around you and apparently the whole purpose of finding a champion is to find the person with the highest amount of spiritual energy. What I still don't get is what all this has to do with it I mean why is it so important to find a champion and why does it sound like the Dream World is somehow going to be involved in this fic and on another note what does that Zangoose in the banner represent?

    It was a good chapter, and now there's a lot of explanations that I'll have to keep track off for later.

  15. #15
    I feel so much spring... Cabaret's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    The United States
    Posts
    564
    Blog Entries
    25

    Default Re: Champion Game (3)

    What can I say, great as the one-shots before it. You take lots of care into your writing and plenty of focus on the plot. It seems you have most of the story already written which is good, that way you won't stop posting. Roxanne is my favorite gym leader, and just having her in the story makes me respect you more and more. There were no flaws with the formatting. The story is interesting thus far, I can't wait to see where it goes from here.

Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •