Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 66 is up!)
Yeah... Those two are definitely going to have a long discussion about their relationship, IF Toxica can keep herself from hitting Octa.
She was about to put the heavy book down, but then she remembered Octa's face might be a better place to put it.
Anyway, this was an interesting chapter in my opinion. I liked the battle and Toxica's growth as a character. It was also interesting to see the ghost who Toxica had met in the Celestial Tower again.
That quote is from that chapter I talked about. Golurk is talking about Shauntal, right? Didn't realize that until now.
“A prank?” Golurk asked. It now stood next to the grave and looked down at Toxica. “She is not laughing. Did you go too far again? You know mistress won't like that.”
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 66 is up!)
Yeah, it's talking about Shauntal indeed. I considered having Shauntal herself appear in the chapter at the time, but felt it would be a bit too much of the same, having Elite Fours constantly pop up, and a bit too obvious. I thought it was more interesting to have only her pokémon appear.
Originally Posted by Tophat Dragoneye
Chapter Sixty-Seven: Brain and Brawn
Boreas burst into Octa's room. “We need to talk.”
The Serperior frowned. “The civilised thing to do is to knock on one's door and request entrance.”
“Yes, I know. But I'm bursting into your room and telling you we're going to talk and we're going to do it right now.”
Octa sighed. “I know what this is about, my dear fellow, and I ask you not to get involved in it. I already had a word with Toxica.”
“So I heard. As did the entire rest of the League. That shouting match also sounded like she didn't make you see reason, so that's why I'm here instead.”
“Do not presume to lecture me on reason,” said Octa icily.
“Look,” said Boreas, “this is really very simple. Do you love Toxica or don't you?”
“Of course I do. However, you are naïvely mistaken. My dear fellow, 'tis not as simple as that, and I'm afraid love has nothing to do with it.”
Boreas sat down. “Of course it is. And why would it be any less simple than you loving her and she loving you?”
While Octa seemed calm at first glance, Boreas could clearly hear the hint of suppressed emotion – probably anger and maybe sadness - in his voice. “Because much though I wish I could give in to my love for a commoner like her, there is too much at stake for it. Our love is detrimental to me, and has already eroded much of my nobility.”
Boreas rolled his eyes and gave Octa a disbelieving look. “You can't seriously be back to that rubbish again.”
“Rubbish?!” said Octa angrily. “Yes, I thought 'twas rubbish as well; you actually had me convinced of it. But now there is empirical evidence to suggest 'tis no mere rubbish.”
“My failure on Victory Road, of course. I'm sure you remember when I simply lay down and waited for death to come in the darkest hour.”
Boreas did remember it, with a pang of regret. It was not one of his proudest memories. “How we lay down and waited for death, you mean. Following my example... That wasn't your fault, Octa, it was mine.”
“Irrelevant. It makes my shame worse, as a matter of fact. I am of the house of Equinox; I should have led you on, never giving up hope. The fact I didn't shows how diminished I have become.”
“But it seemed certain we were going to die. It had all the looks that no amount of bravery would save us. And you even tried to get me to continue...”
“And then my heart faltered and I gave up too. The apparent hopelessness of the situation was no excuse; I should never have surrendered regardless; 'tis not becoming of one of noble blood.”
Boreas frowned. “So you blame Toxica for it.”
“No!” Octa almost shouted. “I blame myself! She is a truly wonderful lady deserving of love; however, I never should have broken tradition and courted her. 'Tis this breaking of tradition, my family's wishes, that caused me to diminish. An Equinox is nothing if he doesn't follow the rules. It was folly to presume to be wiser than thirty-four generations of my ancestors.”
“Octa,” sighed Boreas, “I've told you before: what's the point of following bad rules? You think following rules and being descended from the right people makes you a good person, but I think you're wrong. What's important is the choices you make.”
“Very wise,” sneered Octa, “but you are mistaken. And 'tis my life in any case; why do you interfere?”
“Because you're my friend, because Toxica is my friend, because I want you both to be happy, and... Because I promised Capella.”
“Yes, Capella. We found out about your family's habits shortly before she died, and promised each other we would get you together with someone you loved, not someone chosen for you. Since she's no longer around to help you with her wisdom, I'll have to do it on my own.”
“Ah, you promised,” said Octa sarcastically. “And merely a minute ago you explained to me the choices you make are important, not doing things because you are obligated to. And as you have clearly demonstrated in the past, promises are subject to this as well.”
Boreas frowned angrily. “If you want to play it like that, then alright: I choose to keep to that promise. Because I liked Capella greatly, and for some reason that escapes me right now I like you too. So I will make sure you don't throw your happiness away.”
“Then do not interfere in my life,” said Octa, “how can I possibly be happy if my relationship with Toxica makes me less noble?”
“Don't you realise that even if that were true, you are being very egotistic? You're breaking her heart because you don't want to make a bit of a sacrifice!”
Octa looked confused and surprised. “Well... I, I hadn't thought of it in that manner...”
“D'you know who you sound like with all this? Your great-aunt. But if you can't break your family's rules because it'll weaken you, why are you even talking to me? I'm just a common Glaceon, after all, with not a clue who his family is beyond his parents' names. Your ancestors would never consider me more than a lowly subordinate, our frienship is against your family's traditions too.”
“An obsolete idea only practised in the past and by those determined to repeat its mistakes.”
“Yeah, and so is the idea you have to love who your family tells you to! What's such an important distinction between friendship and love that makes one okay but the other not anyway?”
“You are unlikely to birth my children. I can't take their noble blood away from them. Now please,” said Octa, with almost breaking voice, “leave me alone.”
Boreas ignored it. “That's crap, Octa, and you've known it for ages! Your descendants won't be any lower for descending from Toxica! She's every bit as good as any member of your house.”
“YES!” Boreas startled heavily as Octa shouted furiously. “YES, SHE IS! BUT I WON'T BE IF I CONTINUE LIKE THIS! My love for her has embarked me upon a descent from greatness! If I continue like this, I'll end up cowardly, weak, and mundane... And so will my descendants.” Octa suddenly turned away from Boreas and added with breaking voice: “Leave me in peace now, please.”
“Oh, so your genes are actually going to change because of what you do in life? That's a form of evolution I've never heard of. You're not worried about your descendants, they'll have the same genes no matter what. No, the only person you're worried about is you.”
Octa was still turned away. “Leave me alone,” he said in a muffled voice.
“You're worried you won't be able to admire yourself in the mirror any more, you're worried the great Octavianus VII of the house of Equinox will be remembered as just some ordinary fellow. If you're remembered at all.”
“You're being incredibly selfish! And for no reason at all-”
“GET OUT!” Octa shouted, fury in his eyes. “LEAVE ME ALONE!”
Boreas was shocked by the sudden outburst and staggered back, but was determined to continue. “No, I won't! The only reason you're this furious is because you know I'm right, and it hurts!”
“Get out, or you'll be the one who is hurt!”
“I'm willing to be hurt to help you,” growled Boreas.
“I do not want your help!” snapped Octa.
“Octa, you don't like to lie. So tell me, honestly, that you don't love Toxica and that you're trying to preserve your noble blood for anyone but yourself! I will leave if you do!”
For a moment it looked as if Octa was going to attack him, but then the anger seemed to leave him and he looked deflated and weak, letting his head hang. “I cannot. Please forgive me, my dear fellow...”
Boreas was surprised by the sudden moodswing, but remembering how he had felt when he had discovered Aqua had joined N, felt more sympathetic towards Octa. “I can forgive you, but it's not me you should be asking for forgiveness; it's Toxica.”
“I'm sorry, my dear fellow, but I fear I cannot do that... You see, in life one has to ask oneself an important question: who am I? I have known the answer for a long time; I am a descendant of the great Equinox. It defined who and what I am, my behaviour, my thinking. I cannot give that up, for it is who I am.”
Boreas put a friendly paw on Octa's neck. “Nonsense,” he smiled, “that's not really who you are. You're my best friend. You're Toxica's lover. You're, well, Octa. The Snivy who took care of a little Eevee when he had no-one else in the world to turn to. Who's had my back ever since and saved my life many times. You've fought to help others from Team Plasma. You've always been there for me; that's who you really are, not the distant descendant of a long-dead hero.”
“Thank you, my dear fellow... But the reason I am who I am is my blood; it makes me who I am; therefore I can't relinquish it.”
“Landorus, Octa,” snapped Boreas, “you descend from Equinox by thirty-five generations. How much of his genes do you think you actually have? Tell me, how much is one divided by two to the thirty-fifth power?”
“Not much,” mumbled Octa.
“That's right, it's as good as zero. I'll bet you I contain about as much of his genes as you.”
“You're a different species,” said Octa.
“Oh yeah,” said Boreas. “So I am. Still, don't you see that 'blood' stuff you keep talking about is poetic rubbish? It's just simple logic.”
Octa was at a loss for words. “But... Please, my dear fellow, you are not helping. You're only lowering my morale with this.”
“No. I've never argued against your belief your ancestry makes you a better person, but now it's hurting you and Toxica, so I'm forced to try to end it. But let me tell you: you're a good Serperior. Not because of who you descend from, but because you choose to be. You choose to be utterly loyal to your friends, you choose to fight to try to make the world a better place, you choose not to give in to terror.”
“Tell me,” said Octa snidely, “for how long have you embraced this philosophy of choice you're spouting?”
Boreas blushed. “Well... To tell you the truth I made it up just now. But it sounds good.”
“Yet you will likely have forgotten about it in a week or so.”
“No, I won't.”
“You will; mark my words. However, I should know better by now than to question your chaotic nature. I shall take your words under consideration, for you may have made a good argument. However, right now I do think I should retire to bed, for it is late.”
“Fine,” said Boreas. “But I really want you to think about it.”
“I shall,” said Octa. “Goodnight, my dear fellow.”
“Goodnight.” Boreas slowly walked out of the room, concerned but happy he had made Octa think twice about breaking up. He sighed deeply as he closed the door behind him, suddenly overcome with exhaustion. He slouched back to his room, worried about Octa. He yawned loudly as he entered his own room and went straight for the bed. As he crawled under the big, warm blanket, a pretty blue face suddenly popped up next to him.
Boreas' worries seemed to melt away in front of Aqua's enchanting smile, though not his tiredness. “How did it go?” she asked.
He pet her face a bit, enjoying the feel of her soft fur. “It wasn't easy, but I think I got through to him. He's going to think about it...”
Aqua chuckled, a sound that made Boreas feel happy just like that. “You must've been very persuasive; I didn't think you could do anything after that lengthy shouting match they had earlier.”
“Well...” said Boreas, having trouble keeping his eyes open. “It took a lot of convincing...”
“And it tired you out. Well, go on, my love, sleep and rest here in my arms.”
Boreas snuggled up to her closely, relishing in the contact with her, and kissed her goodnight. “Goodnight... My lovely Aqua...”
As he drifted off to sleep, he felt Aqua softly petting him. On the border of sleep, he could only think of how much he loved her, and then felt regret remembering he still hadn't told her...
As they walked into the main League building, Boreas' mind was elsewhere. He had dreamt about the day they had teamed up with N that night. It had refreshed his guilt over his plans to kill Diego, but especially his guilt for not having told Aqua yet. As he woke up with her sleeping peacefully in his arms, he felt like he didn't deserve her love. But what if she felt the same? It would be terrible if she thought he didn't deserve her love too and broke up with him. Yet he loved her too much to keep deceiving her; he was going to tell her today. He just needed to find a good moment for it. It certainly wasn't when she woke up, nor during the incredibly silent and awkward breakfast that followed and involved Toxica shooting dagger-like glances at Octa.
They had reached Marshal's tower while he pondered this. The room inside was quite ugly and metallic, with a metal platform on rails that took them up; it felt a bit similar to a factory floor. There was a simple fighting ring at the top, surrounded by ropes and then tall fences. On the other side of the ring stood a huge, muscular man. He stood so still and was so huge he could easily be mistaken for a statue.
Black said: “My name is-”
A loud, deep voice like thunder interrupted him. “Do you wish to challenge me?”
Marshal's voice took Boreas back more than a year, to a fierce and stormy day in Nimbasa when he had heard that same voice say the exact same thing. “Well, well,” he chuckled, “I was wondering if we'd see him again here...”
“Well, yes,” said Black a little nonplussed. “I'm here to challenge you. Again. Like in Nacrene City, because I'm pretty sure that was you. But this time, I-”
Marshal roared a guttural battle cry and threw a pokéball, releasing a green creature with a long tail and a mushroom-like head. “Hold on!” interrupted Black. “Tell me what you were doing in Nacrene, and why you won't let me fight N!”
“Fight, don't talk!” roared Marshal.
“Fine. Selene, you're up first!”
Selene jumped into the air, and Boreas' hope soared with her. There was no way a flying type like her was going to lose to a grass and fighting type like Breloom. It would be good to start the battle off with an easy victory. Selene floated over the battlefield in preparation for an attack, leaving the fighting type chanceless to even hit her at all.
Or so Boreas thought. Because Breloom launched itself into the air, twisted around, and caught Selene hard with the heavy end of its tail, sending her tumbling into the roof with great force. Boreas cursed under his breath as she whirled down slowly, like a leaf in autumn. But just before she would hit the ground, Selene spread her wings and swooped rapidly at Breloom. The effect of her attack was incredible: Breloom was thrown across the battlefield and caught by the ring ropes. It hopped to its feet and tried to hit Selene with a Jump Kick, but the crow dodged it. Selene flew at it again, her talons ready, and scratched it. Breloom fell down and didn't get up again.
Wordlessly, Marshall withdrew Breloom and sent out Conkeldurr. Boreas was surprised with its small size; he remembered it being huge, but it wasn't much taller than he'd be if he got up on two legs. But the comically red-nosed creature was very strong regardless of size. It had taken out their entire team almost single-handedly last time, after all.
Selene once again swooped down at her enemy. But as she came close rapidly, Conkeldurr swung one of its concrete pillars like a baseball bat. Boreas groaned as Selene was swatted out of the air like a fly.
Toxica stepped in, an Energy Ball in each hand. Conkeldurr growled in pain as it was hit by them, and angrily tried to smash Toxica with one of its pillars. Toxica nimbly dodged the great piece of stone coming down and slapped Conkeldurr with a burst of green energy. She emitted a thick cloud of pollen from her flower, but then Conkeldurr caught her with a punch that sent her flying into the ropes. Bruised and hurt, she got back up and dived immediately to dodge her enemy's body slam. She jumped on its back, and roots grew rapidly from her feet. Conkeldurr jumped up, but Toxica hung from its back by the roots. Judging by Conkeldurr's face and pained growls, it didn't exactly feel pleasant.
Conkeldurr maniacally tried to pluck Toxica from its back, but its huge, muscular arms weren't agile enough to reach its back. It waddled idiotically while trying to pick her off as it got visibly weaker. Marshall shouted a command, and Conkeldurr dropped on its back immediately, crushing Toxica under it.
Boreas stepped forward; it was his turn. “Long time no see,” he said, “remember me?” He cooled the air in the tower as he talked, hoping he could keep the burly creature distracted with talk while he made the battlefield more to his advantage. “I beat you, and this time I- Articuno's oesophagus!”
Sprinting away while at the same time hitting it with a powerful wind were the only things that saved him from being crushed by the heavy stone pillar Conkeldurr threw at him. Yet he felt a vicious pain as he was pelleted by shrapnel from its impact. He noticed a massive fist coming at him, and so he immediately dived under the legs of his opponent so the punch harmlessly hit his tail instead.
Boreas dug his teeth into Conkeldurr's leg and ran for it, summoning a snowstorm as he did. A mighty impact to his flank that threw him off his feet painfully told him he wasn't fast enough. Spun around, he now faced the furious, roaring Conkeldurr, which lifted up its heavy fists, ready to crush Boreas. Boreas Ice Beamed its belly, making it flinch in pain and giving him a chance to dodge the punch. He ran for the other side of the ring, gathering a storm, as he realised he had no chance unless he kept his distance.
He heard his opponent run after him, however, so he jumped into the ropes instead of stopping and was bounced back by them, past his confused opponent. He lashed out and enveloped his opponent in cold from behind, cloaking it in mist. Conkeldurr charged him furiously, so he froze over the ground in front of its feet, making it slip and fall. Cloaking himself in a fierce blizzard, he pounced his fallen enemy, but was knocked away by a huge fist.
Groaning in pain, he tried to get up when he landed hard, but his battered legs didn't cooperate. Conkeldurr ran for him like a stampeding rhino by the time he got up. Thinking quickly, he focussed the snowstorm around himself, making sure he was as good as invisible to Conkeldurr, then simply sidestepped. Conkeldurr punched blindly into the icy haze, and Boreas simply sneaked out of the side, repressing the urge to laugh at the fighting-type punching into the cloud. He walked to its other side and aimed a strong Ice Beam right at its neck. He fired it, and jumped onto its back, holding on as he kept Ice Beaming. It responded furiously and violently, but quickly calmed down and fell over.
Boreas heard Aqua cheer for his victory, and winked at her quickly before facing his next opponent: a thin, elegant white creature with long, oddly-shaped arms. Remembering what had happened last time he fought the Mienshao, he instantly put forth his paws to use a pulse of cold: a good choice, as the ermine had run for him so fast he couldn't even see it, but was intercepted and knocked down by the pulse just in time. He pounced it, slashing at it with his claws and ice cold wind.
He put his paws on his opponent's shoulders and channelled extreme cold through them, seeking to disable Mienshao's punches. Unfortunately it punched him off and began barraging him with rapid punches. Yet their speed and power was lower than before, so his tactic seemed to have worked. Unfortunately the rapid punches still felt like a rain of heavy stones battering down on his body. He slashed at Mienshao with his claws and pulses of cold to knock it away, then instantly followed up with an Ice Beam to its face.
He cloaked himself in the snowstorm to try and escape the attacks, but unfortunately Mienshao was a lot faster and smarter than Conkeldurr. It got several punches to Boreas' head, which made his snout bleed and his mind go foggy. But he kept fighting back and caught it with several Ice Beams, making it go down first.
Battered, wounded, and concussed he wasn't in a good form to defeat the Sawk that appeared. The blue, suited creature deftly dodged his Ice Beams and closed in. When its powerful fist connected with Boreas' chin and his consciousness drifted away, he wasn't really surprised.
Boreas woke up in a soft, warm bed in his room. He decided to skip the obvious “Where am I?” and “What happened?” questions for now, and asked: “Did we win?”
“Well, well,” chuckled Aqua, “Sleeping Beauty finally woke up! Yes, we won, albeit only barely. No thanks to me, though, Sawk punched me out pretty quickly after it got you.”
“Oh, that's a shame,” said Boreas, though he was mainly happy they had defeated another Elite Four. “But I'm sure you'll do well tomorrow. I know you're very capable of kicking ass.”
With a graceful jump, Aqua landed on the bed and on Boreas at a right angle, quickly rolling over so she faced him in a flirty, sexy pose. “Yes, you found that out first-hand, didn't you?”
Boreas blushed for several reasons. “Yeah, I guess I did. It's not really an experience I'd care to repeat. That fight was probably the only day I haven't enjoyed your company.”
“I wouldn't want to repeat it either,” said Aqua, petting his face. “By the way, you're still very cute when you blush.”
“Thanks,” chuckled Boreas, “but I'm afraid I don't have time for fun now. I have to go pay Gaius a visit.”
“The very same. I figure it can't be a coincidence that Octa's being an idiot right after he shows up, so I'm going to make him stop his meddling.”
“What if he doesn't listen to you?”
“Well, in that case he'll find out you're not the only one in this bed capable of kicking ass.”
As Boreas entered Gaius' room, he briefly wondered how many pokémon had rooms of their own in the League. But this thought was quickly pushed away by more urgent matters.
“I do not have much time to waste,” said Gaius in a voice that sounded oddly like Octa's, “and only agreed to receive you at my brother's request. So please do not tarry and make your point.”
Gaius looked oddly like Octa, yet was also different. He had a far more impressive air of grandeur about him, although it was slightly mitigated because Boreas had only ever seen him look as if there was a rotten fish glued beneath his nose. Boreas faked a smile, remembering Octa had told him to be diplomatic to Gaius when Boreas had asked him to speak to his brother. “Good evening to you too. I'm not here to make a point, just to have a little chat with you about Octa.”
“I figured as much. However, I do not have any intention to discuss my brother with the likes of you.”
Boreas forced his smile to broaden. “Come now, who better to discuss him with than his best friend?”
Gaius snorted haughtily. “Any member of our house. 'Best friend' is an empty boast, so do not employ it, for you know Octa far less well than I do.”
Boreas gritted his teeth, but kept smiling. “If that's true, then surely you know even better than me that this ridiculous idea he has is causing him to be unhappy, and you'll help me convince him to apologise to Toxica?”
Gaius guffawed. “Now I see why Octa requested me to speak to you: he wished for me to have a good laugh. So tell me,” he said, suddenly serious, “why should I oppose Octa's wise choice?”
“I already told you: being with Toxica makes him happy; isn't that reason enough?”
Gaius smiled wryly. “What has happiness got to do with it?”
“What has happiness got to do with it?! Listen to me, you-” Boreas remembered he was trying to be diplomatic, “-brother of Octa, don't you see love has everything to do with happiness?”
“I see,” said Gaius, “you are speaking of your own experiences, aren't you?”
“Well, yes. I'm in love with this girl, and I relish every moment of being with her. She makes me feel completely happy whenever I'm with her, or even whenever I think of her. When she smiles or laughs, the world feels like a better place. How can you claim to love Octa and yet try to take that away from him?”
“Do you have any progeny, sir?” asked Gaius, surprising Boreas.
“Children,” Gaius patronised. “Offspring. Cubs. Spawn. Larvae. Whatever word you wish to apply to them.”
“I know what it means!” snapped Boreas. “You just surprised me, that's all. No, I don't have any.”
“Do you and your partner intend to have any?”
Boreas stammered unsurely. He couldn't remember ever having talked about it with Aqua. He didn't really think he wanted them himself, considering the enormous amount of time and trouble it would be to raise a child, not to mention how easy it would be to screw up and have some poor Eevee grow up with a bad youth. Yet there was also something appealing about the idea. “I... I... Don't think we do. I suppose we don't. I think. Probably.”
Now it was Gaius' turn to be surprised. “You don't... Know?! How can you not have an inkling about such a major choice? Surely if you have any plan for your life whatsoever this choice must be one of the most important ones?”
“I guess I'm not really someone who tends to make long-term plans. What has it got to do with anything, anyway?”
Gaius sighed. “Well, Octa does intend to have progeny. You probably don't understand this, but both Octa and I already love these hypothetical nephews and nieces of mine; and this is unconditional. Therefore, we want that which is best for them. Answer me this: what is better for them? To be born with the same gift of nobility we have, or to have it brutally robbed from them and have them be born Oddishes?”
Boreas gritted his teeth angrily. “The best for them would be to have a father and a mother who adore each other and them, not a pair who were forced to be together by a family who treats them like breeding stock!”
Gaius' face hardened. “How dare you, sir?!”
Anger exploded in Boreas like a seething volcano. “No, how dare you! You think you're better than the rest of us just because of who your ancestors are?! Because of something completely trivial like that, which you didn't even have anything to do with yourself?! At least Octa really has the greatness he claims, but because of who he is, not who his ancestors are! You, on the other hand, are nothing but a petty, control-happy tyrant who has stuck his head so far up his own arse he's well on his way to becoming a Klein bottle!”
“This discussion is over. Get out!” snarled Gaius.
“Fine! I can see you're blinded with arrogance and entitlement; there's no reasoning with you.” He stomped out of the room, then looked back. “One last piece of advice: don't ever get in the way of my friends' happiness again if you ever want to feel warm again.”
Gaius slammed the door shut, nearly catching Boreas' tail in it. He began to walk back furiously, making it hail from the clouds above in anger. At least he'd remained diplomatic for a while.
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 67 is up!)
So I just read this whole fanfic.Its my new favorite. Cant wait for the next chapter,you are an amazingly good writer.
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 67 is up!)
Wow, thanks. I'm glad you read it all and liked it so much.
Chapter Sixty-Eight: Forgive and Forget
When Boreas finally got back from Gaius, he was clearly angry and tired, so Aqua gently guided him to bed and got into it as well. The great soft warmness of the bed was delightful as always. Even though she wasn't too fond of humans, she could easily get used to sleeping in one of these delightful things. But she couldn't wallow in the snuggliness now: Boreas obviously wanted to talk to her, but wasn't sure how to start. So she asked: “How did it go? Did that git listen to you?”
“No,” said Boreas, “it really went about as well as expected. I tried to be diplomatic, he was an elitist jerk, I lost my temper and ended up shouting at him. But he did say something... Well, something thought-provoking.”
“He asked... Well, it's a bit odd, but he asked whether we wanted cubs.”
Aqua did not expect that. “Cubs?”
“Children, offspring, progeny, sp-”
“Oh, thanks,” quipped Aqua, “I had no idea what that word meant.”
“Sorry.” Boreas smiled cutely and apologetically.
Aqua thought about it. She wondered what Boreas' own thoughts were. “Well...” she said unsurely. “I guess I've never really given it much thought. But we are both adults, and I do love you a great deal, so it's something to consider. I mean, if I wanted cubs, I would want them with you.”
“Well, do you want them?” asked Boreas.
“I'm... Really not sure. It would be neat to have little Eevees to raise together, I guess.”
Aqua grinned. “Neat?”
“Sorry,” Boreas chuckled. “Splendid, I mean. Splendid to have little cubs that we could raise together with love. But...” he trailed off.
Aqua nodded. “I know. It's a big responsibility, taking care of cubs. And it would take an awful lot of time. It'd practically be a matter of changing our entire lives.”
“And,” added Boreas, “while we're still fighting Team Plasma, it wouldn't really be right to have cubs. Either or both of us could be gone next week, after all.”
Aqua nodded solemnly. “You're right. We'd have to wait at least until this is over...” As Aqua considered both possibilities, she began to realise she liked a future with only Boreas over one with him and a family. Yet she also knew she could reconsider if Boreas did want it. Cautiously, she asked: “So what do you think?”
“Well...” said Boreas after long deliberation. “It'd be an enormous burden, and an even bigger responsibility. We'd be responsible for making another being's life turn out well. I think right now I would prefer not to have cubs. But I'm not sure, and if you-”
“I agree,” said Aqua. “I mean, look at it from the perspective of those cubs: you're impatient, impulsive, a little short-tempered, and occasionally reckless. So am I. Would you want to have me as your mother and you as your father?”
Boreas laughed. “I guess you're right, we'd probably make for poor parents.”
Aqua briefly imagined herself playing with their cubs and wondered if they were dismissing parenthood too fast... But then remembered the flip-side of it, and how much trouble she had been to her parents. She giggled a bit thinking of how much of a pain she had probably been to them as an Eevee.
That was odd: she could think of her family without feeling down. For a very long time, the thought of her family had been deeply saddening, as she longed back to them, but knew she could never return to them. They thought she was dead, and they might as well be dead to her. But no longer: she didn't feel sad thinking of them, and she knew why. She had found a new true home, where she was loved and never alone: at Boreas' side.
She hugged Boreas tightly and began kissing him, full of happiness that he was hers. Yet Boreas still seems concerned and preoccupied. “What's wrong?” asked Aqua.
Boreas sighed. “Well, there's something I've wanted to tell you about for a while, but I never could bring myself to do it. I might as well tell you now, but it's not really nice to admit... But you have the right to know who I am.”
“This is where you drop your illusion and reveal yourself as Diego?” joked Aqua.
Boreas frowned. “I'm serious, Aqua!”
“Well, it's actually got to do with Diego. You know we allied temporarily on Victory Road with N before you found us?”
“Well, what I didn't tell you is...” he took a deep breath. “During the alliance, I was planning to kill Diego. I wanted to attack him from behind during the battle and murder him by surprise. And then he... He saved my life. I would be dead if it wasn't for him, who I was planning to kill. In some way... I'm as bad as he is.”
Aqua considered this for a while. On the one hand, she thought he was overreacting a lot, yet for some reason something about it really bothered her. “I don't think you're worse than Diego,” she reassured him, still trying to work out what was nagging at her mind so badly. “In fact, I think it's a shame you didn't actually kill him, because he deserves to die after all he's done to both of us.”
Boreas was clearly surprised. “Really?”
“Really. The single good deed of saving you doesn't make up for all he's done before. Yet... This may not be important to me, but it clearly is to you.” Aqua began to realise what had bothered her, and it made her feel pretty annoyed, in fact.
“Well, yes,” said Boreas. “It was. I felt really bad about it for a while, but-”
“Yet you neglected to tell me,” snapped Aqua. “You've had two whole months with me since then in which you could tell me.”
“I... It was hard for me to admit. And I was terrified you'd leave me over it.”
“In the name of Kyogre's dorsal fin, Boreas, I can understand you not telling me right away, but two months? You thought this was so important, but you didn't bother telling me. Well, I'm only the girl you've just been talking about having children with! How many times in those two months have you told me you loved me, or kissed me, or made love to me? All the while keeping this supposedly enormous secret from me.”
Boreas cast his eyes down. “Sorry. I know I should've told you... But as you said, it's not that important; it's just Diego.”
“That's not the point! It doesn't matter that I don't find it that important now, what matters is that you did! You love me, and yet you keep major secrets from me.”
“Not secrets, just a secret,” interjected Boreas. “And now no more; I've told it to you.”
Aqua sighed angrily. “Until the next one! If we're going to make this relationship work out between us, I have to know what you're thinking.”
“You want to know what I'm thinking now? Well, right now, I'm thinking you're being overly controlling and a little invasive!”
“I don't mean your every thought, but when something major is in your mind, you need to share it with me, just like I would share it with you! Because if you want us to share our lives with each other, you'll have to com-you-nee-cate!”
“You don't have to talk to me like that!”
“Yes, I do, because it just doesn't get through your skull otherwise!” she realised she was shouting at him and took a deep breath. “Maybe I should sleep in my own room tonight!”
“Yeah, maybe you should,” snarled Boreas.
“Fine!” snapped Aqua as she hurried out of the room, slammed the door behind her, and stamped down the hall to her own room. Only when she was there did she realise she'd just gone from cuddling and kissing Boreas and talking with him about having children to fighting with him in just a few minutes time.
“And there's yet another reason not to have cubs together...” she groaned.
After an unhappy, lonely night, Aqua had to sit through an awkward breakfast. She wasn't really mad at Boreas any more, but she didn't feel like she had been wrong and should apologise either. He really should learn to confide in her more. Besides, she certainly wasn't going to talk things out with him while the rest was there.
So breakfast was uncomfortable. Toxica was still trying to murder Octa with her eyes, Boreas and Aqua avoided eye contact with each other, and Lucius and – to lesser extent – Octa gave her the occasional suspicious look, as always. They were still clearly suspicious of her, despite Boreas' assurance she could be trusted. Lucius was quite open and obvious with it, while Octa tried to pretend he had no suspicions, but she knew they both considered her likely to be a traitor. That thought had probably only increased after she had done poorly in the last two battles.
And in a sense, she really wasn't on their side. While the sight of humans didn't spoil her mood any more as it used to, she still didn't like them. She'd much rather see a world where pokémon were free from humans than one where they were still under the command of trainers. That said, with Team Plasma in power both humans and pokémon were no more than slaves, and that was far worse. Even so, she knew she didn't have the conviction the others had. Fighting for the least of two evils was far harder than fighting for what you thought was right. And, she reflected with a little bitterness, she was an expert at running away when things went bad by now. She would fight today, of course, but if they won and they had to enter Team Plasma's castle tomorrow, it remained to be seen what she'd do when Team Plasma pulled an inevitable nasty trick.
As she finished her breakfast, her stomach feeling delightfully full, Aqua reflected there was at least one other good thing about humans: they generally had lots of food.
As they walked to the great building with the five towers that was now surrounded by the ominous castle of Team Plasma, a snide voice suddenly said: “Hold it, Black!”
Black stopped in surprise and turned around, and Aqua instantly saw his face cheer up. “Cheren!” he greeted the other human happily. “Great to see you! It's been...”
Cheren smiled and shook Black's hand. “Half a year, yeah.”
“How are you? Why couldn't I reach you and Bianca? Is Bianca okay?”
“I'm fine,” answered Cheren, “it's a long story, and Bianca-”
“Yoohoo! Blaahaack!” a cheerful voice cried out as a human female came running at Black.
Cheren winced. “She's here too.”
The human female flew into Black's arms while unleashing a downpour of words. “Black, it's so great to see you, we've missed you so much, Cheren was sure you were dead when you took months to get out of Victory Road but I knew better, remember Elesa? She's so cool, and we've been helping her and the other Gym Leaders with the resistance against Team Plasma!”
“Honestly,” sighed Cheren, “can't you go anywhere without embarrassing yourself and others?”
“You're just jealous because I hugged Black.” Bianca stuck out her tongue.
“Bianca, Cheren,” said Black, “it's wonderful to see you both, but I've got to battle the leader of the Elite Four right now. I want to hear everything you've been up to afterwards.”
“Of course,” said Cheren. “We just arrived here to watch your final battles, and just wanted to say hi.”
“Good luck!” said Bianca.
As they walked into the great League building, Aqua giggled remembering Boreas' descriptions of those two; they had been spot-on.
Taking the final dark corridor they hadn't entered yet from the hub of the building, they emerged into a gorgeous chamber inside the purple tower. A beautifully calm surface of water that just begged to be swum in stretched out over the chamber's floor beyond the platform they were on, only betraying itself by its reflection of the gorgeous columns that rose from it. There was a semi-transparent staircase which spiralled around the columns until it went to the top. The black walls of the room were covered in what looked like stars, and as they walked up the stairs the ethereal quality of the place was breathtaking.
They reached a white platform, the other half of which was hidden by huge, fancy curtains. The curtains parted slowly to reveal an amazingly comfy-looking bed with a human female in a big pink hat in it. She got out of bed, revealing her blond hair to be so long it would drag over the floor if it didn't somehow float as if she was underwater.
“Who are you?” she asked, her voice oddly echoing in the chamber. “How dare you disturb my sleep?”
Black was clearly even more surprised by this all than Aqua, stammering: “Um. I'm Black, and I think I may have taken a wrong turn somewhere...”
“No, you haven't,” said the human, yawning. “I'm Caitlin, leader of the Elite Four, and I guess you're here to challenge me.”
“Weird...” mumbled Selene. “I thought she'd be someone we'd met before...”
“Yeah...” said Black, looking at her oddly. “Why were you sleeping here?”
“Because I was tired,” Caitlin said ditzily.
“Okay... Why do you want to battle me instead of letting me fight N?”
“Well, I guess because it's my duty as leader of the Elite Four...”
Those words struck Aqua: “Leader of the Elite Four”. Yet she seemed to be a somewhat stupid, airheaded girl with probably little skill. It had to be a trick, Aqua thought: behind that innocently smiling face a fierce intellect lurked that was trying to get them to underestimate her. “Don't fall for it,” she warned Toxica, “it's just a trick. Like Selene, she's way smarter than she pretends to be.”
“You think so?” asked Toxica.
“I am?” asked Selene.
“Yeah; she wouldn't be the leader of the Elite Four otherwise.”
Black and Caitlin had finished talking as Caitlin sent out a Musharna and Black sent Lucius to battle. The pink tapir floated gently, seeming fast asleep as Lucius arrogantly strutted onto the battlefield. “This will be easy as pie, it's not even awake.”
“Don't underestimate it!” warned Aqua. “Caitlin is smarter than she looks.”
“I don't remember asking you one damn thing!” snapped Lucius.
“Oh, I'm so sorry for trying to help you!” Aqua shouted back.
“I don't need your- Argh!” A shower of glowing, white rocks that disappeared after they hit Lucius magically fell from above. They clearly had the same effect as real rocks. Battered, Lucius escaped from the rain and spit fire at Musharna. It didn't even move in the inferno, but the rain of rocks followed Lucius, forcing him to stop it and run for his life. “You distracted me!” he shouted. “I knew you were a traitor!”
Aqua was really wishing he'd get caught in the rain of stones now. “I'm-”
“Shut your trap, Lucius,” snapped Boreas, “Aqua is not a traitor!”
“I can fight my own battles, Boreas,” said Aqua coldly. “So mind your own business.”
Boreas simply gave her an angry look. Aqua sighed; she wished she hadn't snapped at him like that for trying to help her, but he was just very annoying to her right now, the annoyance made worse by Lucius.
“Are you and Boreas fighting?” asked Toxica.
“Mind your o-” Aqua stopped and took a deep breath, cursing herself mentally for being so easily annoyed today. “Sorry. Yeah, we had an argument last night, and it's left me grumpy... More so with Lucius being an idiot.”
Fortunately, Toxica didn't seem offended. “It's alright, really. After all,” she suddenly started talking louder, “I know how it feels when your boyfriend turns out to be an idiot one day!”
Aqua suppressed a giggle over the Vileplume's lash at Octa. “Well, I guess I always knew Boreas was a bit of an idiot. But it's just a couple's argument, you know. We'll make up sooner or later.”
Toxica smiled humourlessly. “Lucky you. I'm done with Octa forever.”
“You don't know that,” said Aqua gently. “Boreas has talked to Octa and to his windbag of a brother, and I think he might at least have gotten through to Octa.”
“If he has, that's bad luck for Octa. Because he's shown his true nature to me now, and I don't want anything to do with him any more.”
Aqua tried to think of a counter-argument, but found it hard to, thinking of Octa: aloof, arrogant, cold, and elitist. “Well, I can hardly blame you for that. I mean, I think you should give him a second chance, but if you don't, I suppose you've still got your friends. It's not like you'll be all alone. We'll still be here for you.”
Toxica smiled. “Thanks. I know you- oh dear, well, he deserved that.”
Aqua turned her attention back to the battle, seeing Lucius was knocked out and badly bruised by now. “Yeah, I guess it does. We're one down, though.”
It was Boreas' turn, and Aqua couldn't suppress a smile as he showed his wits by entering the fray far more cautiously than Lucius, ready to dodge the moment the stone rain began, while never taking his eyes off Musharna. He clearly knew he, unlike Lucius, was in danger of psychic attacks as well as rocks. Aqua shivered as ice-cold wind started blowing.
“I hate it when he does that...” muttered Toxica.
Aqua wrapped her tail around her body for heat. “Join the club...”
Boreas fired an Ice Beam at the bobbing Musharna and kept firing it continuously, then suddenly stopped. His movement ended entirely. Only his face moved, looking completely focussed and resolved, but quickly tiring. Aqua wondered how he was holding up against the psychic attack, and briefly admired how handsome he looked, determined like this, before remembering she was angry with him.
Boreas strained to keep the powerful other mind out of his own. He could feel its thoughts pressing against his, trying to get in, and he only focussed on keeping them out. But it was a losing battle; the psychic was stronger than him, and it was only a matter of time before it was in his mind... Just like the Exeggutor. It getting into his mind had led directly to Diego impersonating Zeph... He tried to repress the anger at the thought, since it would hamper his focus, but then stopped as he had an idea. Instead, he thought back to how Diego had hung him from the Ferris wheel by his tail. His mind ignited with fury as he recalled the Zoroark callously breaking his leg and Aqua's back. He though back to Capella being caught in the disintegrating Hyper Beam, and he recalled the Zangeese killing his parents. He even reminded himself of his fight with Aqua the day before.
By the time Musharna's mind entered his own, it found a boiling sea of rage inside. It tried to grasp his thoughts, but since they were completely covered in fury, it was like trying to read letters that were ablaze. Boreas heard its voice in his mind, but his rage easily drowned it out. He lashed out at the foreign mind inside his own with an inferno of anger. It recoiled, trying to pull away, but Boreas kept unleashing his fury against it, grabbing a hold of it with thoughts like burning chains. YOU WANTED TO GET INTO MY THOUGHTS?! WELL HERE THEY ARE, TAKE THEM! AND THOSE!
Musharna escaped from his mind, and recoiled in reality, moving for the first time in the battle. Boreas pounced it in a rain of Ice Beams, driven by the blazing fury that still coursed through his veins. “Too hot for you?! Then let me cool you down!”
He kept attacking and attacking the pinned-down Musharna furiously until it finally gave up its futile counterattacks. Boreas laughed; it had felt very good to unleash his anger both physically and mentally like that. But his laughter faded when his next opponent appeared: a large, living bell with two metal arms. “Crap, a Bronzong...” muttered Boreas, fully aware of how little he could do to steel-types.
He aimed Ice Beams at the thing's red eyes, but even those were made of metal. The closest thing to pain the attack seemed to cause the Bronzong was a thin veil of white frost that appeared over its eyes. At least that would blind it. Bronzong lunged at Boreas with its entire body, and the Glaceon quietly sidestepped to dodge it. But he had counted out of Bronzong's psychic powers and received a heavy metal arm in the face for it. His head spinning and buzzing with pain, he was hit by the Bronzong's even heavier body while still recovering.
Though Aqua was still angry at Boreas, she was happy when Black switched her in after him so she could beat the Bronzong. She certainly wasn't going to allow anyone other than herself to hurt him. She flooded the centre of the battlefield; Caitlin jumped back on the bed so as not to get wet feet and hair. Bronzong flung its heavy body at Aqua, but she swam far faster than its attack. She formed a rapid whirlpool around the clunky metal pokémon.
She felt its mind attack her own, and dived underwater, swimming rapidly and allowing her natural colour to camouflage her. If she made sure to keep moving so fast it couldn't pinpoint her, it couldn't psychically attack her either. Aqua made the water around Bronzong boil, its heavy body helpless against the scalding whirlpool, its metal armour conducting the heat to the flesh within.
It took a while before Caitlin retracted Bronzong, but when she did, Aqua laughed victoriously. “That's what you get for hurting Boreas!” she looked around to see if Boreas had heard that, and breathed a sigh of relief as she saw he was still out.
Another mind pierced Aqua's with incredible force, and disappeared instantly. Aqua gasped with shock as she saw what had appeared in the whirlpool: a tremendous four-legged metal tank of a pokémon that didn't seem to be affected by the currents or heat. Its small red eyes looked at her from between a white cross on its face. “Kyogre preserve me...” said Aqua in despair. She had heard of the sheer power that was Metagross, and she knew right there the battle was lost. It would take most of the team to defeat this opponent, and even if they did more pokémon would follow.
Metagross lifted off on jets, flying straight for her, so Aqua did the only thing she could think of: she swam as fast as she could to stay away from the far more powerful pokémon. It jetted after her, through the water, and she kept swimming and swimming, even when her entire body was in agony as a psychic bolt hit her. The rest of Black's team was telling her to attack her enemy, but her fear told her to escape it; and did so even more when another psychic bolt weakened her. But then she heard what Selene shouted at her: “It's not what you think it is! It's an Alakazam!”
An Alakazam? If that was true, the psychic attack she had felt in the beginning had planted the image of the Metagross in her head, while the real McCoy had simply been sitting back and occasionally hitting her with attacks. As she thought about that, she realised Alakazam had been standing in the middle of the battlefield all the time, watching her swim around; her mind had just ignored it as someone else's problem. Her cheeks glowing with anger and shame, Aqua recreated the boiling whirlpool around her actual enemy, ignoring the fake Metagross, and collapsed it with Alakazam right in the middle.
Alakazam put up its arms a moment before it would be submerged in the boiling water. Its spoons glowed and a bubble-like forcefield protected it from the worst of Aqua's onslaught of water. She lashed out at it again, but the Barrier protected it well. Aqua had another idea that gave her a malicious grin on her face: she just created a powerful downward current in the water, keeping Alakazam at the bottom of the water in its bubble. Now it was just a matter of waiting. After a while, Alakazam realised what she was doing and attacked her mind. Aqua screamed underwater as her every nerve was burning with pain, but she didn't relent and kept at it. The pain was terrible, but eventually stopped as Alakazam gave up for lack of oxygen.
Aqua let go of the water, which flowed away rapidly while her unconscious opponent surfaced. She panted, trying to recover from the relentless psychic attacks, but she was still overwhelmed with them. A bizarre floating creature inside a translucent green blob appeared. The Reuniclus entered her mind with little resistance, and she felt herself fall asleep.
Aqua's consciousness returned to her bit by bit. Her sense of smell was one of the first things to return, and she smelled Boreas. She felt his fur too, so she gently caressed it as she opened her eyes. She saw Boreas, alright, but he looked at her oddly, uncomfortably. She wondered why he looked at her like that. Then she remembered, retracted her paws, and looked away.
Aqua focused on the battle instead of her faux pas. Selene was fighting a creature that looked like she had designed it herself. Aqua nudged Toxica. “What in Kyogre's name is that thing, and how long have I been out?”
“It's a Sigilyph,” said Toxica. “And you haven't been out that long; Selene beat the Reuniclus pretty quickly. You did well, you know. Even with the Alakazam.”
Aqua blushed. “It made me think it was a Metagross, and I panicked.”
An aerial battle was taking place between the bird and the flying thing. Sigilyph emitted waves of sharp air from the third eye on top of its head, while Selene swooped at it with claws wrapped in dark energy, trying to dodge the waves of air. Unfortunately she was too clumsy a flyer for it, and got hit time and again. While she got in a couple of good hits too, she eventually went down.
Black looked at his two remaining pokémon indecisively: they were both grass-types. “Um... Uh... Octa, please do your best, we can't lose this...”
“I shall do what I can, old chap.” Octa startled everyone by drawing his Leaf Blade, and immediately throwing it at Sigilyph. It was hit in the wing and came crashing down to the ground, where Octa rushed for it and wrapped it with his long body. Sigilyph flapped its wings trying to escape, but when that didn't work, its eyes glowed. Octa's face contorted in pain and he let out a whimper, but he wrapped Sigilyph only tighter. Despite the pain he was in, he didn't relent and drew his sword from the wing. He seemed about to strike, but stopped.
The Sigilyph and the Serperior looked almost as if they were doing a staring contest, locked in psychic battle in Octa's mind. Octa shivered and his facial expression changed. Aqua wondered what it was like inside his mind right now, who was winning. Incredibly, Octa was still moving the Leaf Blade closer to Sigilyph, bit by bit. He stopped, moved it back a few centimetres... And brought it closer to his enemy again. A small smile played around his lips as the sword approached one of his opponent's eyes.
The mental combat was suddenly broken: Sigilyph tried to dodge Octa's stab, but still received a deep cut even as it escaped from Octa's coil. It flew up, badly wounded, only to be grasped by Octa's vines and thrown back to the ground. It didn't fly up any more.
As Caitlin retracted it, Octa suddenly looked very tired and hurt from the psychic attacks. The pokémon that appeared was a black and purple humanoid that looked like it was wearing a dress. Octa lunged at Gothitelle wildly, but after a single cut he received a psychic attack and dropped too.
Aqua patted Toxica's shoulder with her tail. “Good luck, we're counting on you...”
Toxica took a few nervous steps, ducked, and shot a Solarbeam from her flower right at Gothitelle, ran instantly for it while her hands glowed with energy, and pummelled her fallen opponent with them.
“Yeah!” said Aqua, seeing her friend attack the Gothitelle so fast it had little chance to counterattack. Yet eventually it threw Toxica off and attacked her mind, but by then, it was looking very weak: Toxica had poisoned it with powder from her flower. It still attacked Toxica, but soon went down too.
“You... Won,” said Caitlin. “Somehow, you've defeated the entire Elite Four.”
“You're right...” mumbled Black. “We really did it!”
Caitlin gave a little smile. “Yes, you did. You will be allowed to challenge our new Champion tomorrow. Just check the statue in the centre of the plaza then; the way to the Champion will be open for you.”
Black's pokémon were being healed in the pokécenter when the unmistakable voices of Bianca and Cheren were heard.
“He did it! He did it, he did it, he did it!”
“I know, I saw it myself, it was very impressive. But will you stop saying that?”
“You're just jealous because Black gets to challenge the- Heeey, Black!”
“Bianca, Cheren, it's wonderful to see you again!”
“We saw everything!” yipped Bianca. “It was so awesome how you won!”
Cheren smiled. “You did well, Black.”
“Thanks!” said Black, blooming with happiness. “But now you have to tell me, what have you two been up to since I last saw you?”
“Well,” said Cheren, “for my part, I first stayed in Opelucid for a while. After Nacrene fell to Team Plasma and Drayden died, it took a while for Iris to be made the official Gym Leader, so I couldn't leave on Victory Road. When I finally defeated her, I tried to make it through the Black Mountains, but because it was so late in the year by that time the snowstorms ended up forcing me to turn back. I was lucky to make it back at all, really.”
“So what about you, Bianca?” asked Black. “Did you go onto Victory Road too?”
Bianca was uncharacteristically silent and sullen for a moment. “No, I didn't. I... I was scared out of my wits by all that was happening around me. Nacrene being conquered by Team Plasma was terrifying, but I saw that Opelucid was quickly being conquered by them too: not by force, but through people's minds. People would hiss horrible things at me in the streets, just because I had pokémon. Team Plasma was beginning to move freely and openly, and they got ever closer to ruling the city. People were scared and gloomy, and the city seemed to turn grey. I knew they'd soon get me, and I just couldn't handle the fear. I even considered liberating my pokémon... Not because I agreed with Team Plasma at all, but because I knew they'd at least be properly free that way, while if Team Plasma got me, they'd be enslaved by those hypocrites, while they would probably kill me...
I had to get away from it all; I wanted to go home. So I took the train south. But I didn't go all the way: for some reason, I got out in Nimbasa. I think it was because of the happy memories of staying there with you guys I had from a year back. I was so happy to see things weren't as bad as in Opelucid there. There were still trainers there, and the Gym Leader was well-liked, and people were still a bit happy. I decided to stay there for a while, but I soon found Nimbasa too was falling into their grip... The city was turning grey too.
When I called home, Mum told me things were just as bad there. I realised there was nowhere to run any more, and I despaired... I was in the amusement park when it overcame me, and I just sat on a bench, crying, and decided to liberate my pokémon. I tried to tell them to go, but they wouldn't leave. And then there was suddenly an arm around my shoulder, and a kind voice telling me not to do it, telling me there was hope left. It was Elesa, Black, and she helped me pull myself back together. She told me that though Team Plasma would soon indeed rule Unova, it would be temporary. Many of the Gyms across the land had been closed, and the rest would follow, but the Gym Leaders and Alder had been organising a resistance that was already fighting Team Plasma, and would continue to do so even when they ruled all Unova. When she told me about them, I knew I had to join them. I wanted to help in any way I could, even though it might cost me my life. Elesa wouldn't accept it until I had had a day to calm down and think about it, but even then, I chose to join.” She was smiling proudly by now. “Who would've guessed, right? I mean, me...”
“I would've,” Black smiled. “I always knew there was more to you than you thought.”
“Well, I didn't,” said Cheren. “It was a big surprise to me when I got back from Victory Road.”
“And good luck for him too,” laughed Bianca. “Elesa had taken me and two other members of the Nimbasan resistance to Opelucid to help Iris with a big thing. We were just in time to rescue him.”
Cheren blushed and scratched the back of his head nervously. “Well, my pokémon and I were starved and frostbitten by the time we got back to Opelucid. We found a grey city completely in Plasma's power, but we didn't exactly have a choice but to hope the pokécenter would help us. But we ran into Team Plasma, and in our weakened state, we were losing. And then suddenly Bianca and Elesa showed up and saved us. I joined the resistance too once they explained it all and helped me recover. But with our greatest hope – you – seemingly lost in the Black Mountains, things were looking bleak after a while. You can imagine how happy we were to hear you'd shown up at the League after all, two months after you were expected.”
“We took a little side-tour,” explained Black.
Bianca continued: “We wanted to go to you right away once we heard you'd turned up, but since the trains too are controlled by Plasma and they know the League is the last free part of Unova and our centre of operations, it's not exactly easy to get here. The train here is guarded very well. But we finally made it here, and here we are!”
“I'm glad you are,” said Black. “So what exactly does the resistance do? Alder has said a couple of things about it and the stuff going on in the rest of Unova, but not much.”
“We help people and pokémon, protect them from Team Plasma. They kill anyone with pokémon they find, and capture or kill any pokémon in the cities; they claim that's to protect people against the temptation of catching them. Aside from that, we disrupt Team Plasma's order as much as possible. To hinder them, but mainly to let people now we're there, and that the war isn't over. I mean, you've heard how I felt when I thought there was no hope left; we want people to know Team Plasma hasn't won. And right now, you are our best hope.”
“Yeah,” said Cheren. “Have you made any progress with Reshiram?”
Black drew the Light Stone from his pocket and shook his head. “Nothing. But I will fight N, legendary or no legendary on my side. And I plan to win. The question is, though, how much that will do to Plasma. I think N is the only one living in a fantasy world where this battle will automatically determine what's going to happen to Unova. He's just a figurehead; I'm pretty sure the Sages won't be fazed by his defeat.”
Cheren shrugged. “I don't know what they're going to do. But if you win and make N see things our way, that will mean the end of Zekrom's influence on everyone's thoughts. It will also show people Team Plasma's leader – figurehead or not – can be defeated, and therefore Plasma can. Elesa thinks a morale boost like that will be enough to get a lot of people on our side, and might end up being enough to win this after all.”
“I hope so... But do you think Plasma is actually going to let a battle with N happen at all if that's at stake? They can probably just make me disappear before I ever face him.”
“They know they need Zekrom,” said Alder, who had suddenly walked into the pokécenter. “Their control over Unova depends on its influence on people's minds for a large part. Without it, far more people would see what they're doing is wrong, and they would have more hope something could be done about it. It would give us far more support. But Plasma only has Zekrom as long as they have N, and to keep him on their side, they've got to play along. They have to let you fight him for that.”
Cheren stood up straight, as if he were a soldier. “Champion Alder!”
Alder smiled wryly. “Not any more, Cheren, I'm just Alder now. But if things go well tomorrow, your friend will be Champion Black.”
Black nodded nervously. “I hope so... I think you're right; the Sages are too smart to risk losing N's support by doing anything against me before I battle him. But say I win, what do you think they'll do?”
Alder sighed. “That's the big question. Much of the resistance is here, in our headquarters, and I've summoned as many more as can be spared. We're as ready as we'll ever be for whatever Plasma will do, but what that is, we won't find out until tomorrow. We've got your back, but remember that we'll lose if it comes to a full-on battle with all of Team Plasma.”
Black nodded nervously. “I'll have to win first, though...”
“Yes, you will. Do you understand your pokémon better now?”
“Yes, I do... But Reshiram still hasn't appeared.”
“That's not important. The most important thing is that you understand and know your pokémon, that they are your friends. Then victory will come to you.”
Boreas couldn't help ask: “Then why did you lose to N?”
Black suppressed a chuckle, but fortunately Alder didn't seem to have understood it. “Whatever happens during and after your battle with N, tomorrow will be a day to remember.”
“I hope we'll all still be alive to remember it...” muttered Cheren.
That made Aqua think. She quickly became lost in thought, not listening to the humans' conversation any more, as she realised they would enter Team Plasma's castle tomorrow, and possibly never come out again.
Aqua was in her room, nervously walking to and fro. Tomorrow was going to be a big day, a very dangerous day, and Boreas' second birthday all in one. She didn't even think he had remembered himself, but she had just realised it; it would be 25 January tomorrow. It wasn't that important, but what was important was that it could be the last day of either or both their lives. The last thing she wanted was to die while she and Boreas were quarrelling. (Though dying while things were well between them was probably the second-last thing she wanted to do) So she had to make up with him, and she knew she would have to do it today, or possibly never have a chance to do it. But it was hard; she felt reluctance to just go to him and-
“Aqua?” a hesitant voice outside the door said.
“B-Boreas?” Aqua blurted out, conflicting emotions filling her. “What are you doing here?”
“I... I have come to apologise to you...” he said.
Aqua quickly got in the bed, watching the door with a frown as if Boreas could see her through it. Maybe he can, she thought. There's a hole in the door for those things humans use to lock other things. He's probably looking through it. “Oh?” she said simply, finding it hard to think of something else to say.
“I wanted to tell you that you were right. I love you, and I really do want to share my life with you. You were right that that should mean not keeping secrets like this from you.”
Aqua felt her heart beating strongly for the lovely Glaceon outside the door, and partially wanted to run outside and tell him with a kiss that he was forgiven. Yet some pride held her back. “Look,” she said as level as possible, “you'll wake up everyone if you keep talking in the corridor. So why don't you come inside instead?”
The door opened so soon after she said that it was hard to imagine Boreas' nervous system had a reaction delay time. Boreas was beaming happily and walked to her, but Aqua said: “Hold it, I only said you could come in, not any closer.”
The look of disappointment on Boreas' face was too cute for words, and Aqua couldn't help but flash a mean smile. Boreas clearly noticed it, as he grinned. “Aww, what do I have to say so you'll forgive me?”
“Well,” said Aqua, unable to keep a straight face, “you could continue talking about how much you love me.”
Boreas made a mocking bow. “Of course, my lady. Anything else?”
“Well, then you could tell me how beautiful you consider me to be, and how I'm always right.”
Boreas grinned. “Alright then. Your fur gleams like the ocean, and your eyes are beautiful black gemstones. And your lips...” Suddenly he ran across the room, jumped, and landed on the bed on top of her. “Just beg for a kiss!”
“Eep!” Aqua squealed and laughed. “Get off me!” She covered his face in the blanket, and a playful romp ensued as she tried to throw him out of the bed while he tried to kiss her. After a lot of laughs and struggling, Aqua finally let Boreas win and lost herself in the wonderful kiss. She looked into Boreas' cyan eyes for a long time, feeling like nothing but he mattered in the world. She expressed her feelings in four simple words, but knew Boreas knew there was far more behind them.
“I love you, Boreas.”
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 68 is up!)
Incredible writing. Really loving it so far. Keep up the good work!
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 68 is up!)
Chapter Sixty-Nine: The King's Castle
Octa had clarity for the first time in weeks. He had lain awake until past two in the night, but now he was sure his judgement was correct. Like most nights lately, he hadn't slept, thinking about Toxica and his family. All of the things that had been said to him - by Toxica, by Boreas, by Gaius - spooked through his mind. But now at long last he had come to a decision. It was quite a terrifying decision, so he knew the only way he would ever execute it was to do it right now, while his resolve was strong. He left his chamber and slithered quietly down the corridor, going outside.
Gaius had made it quite clear his house would not accept his relationship with Toxica; what was more, Octa knew the piece of his ancestors in himself didn't accept it. For his entire life, he had considered himself a member of the house of Equinox in the first place. It made life easy, as many questions and choices were made for him by that identity. In any difficult situation, the answer to “What shall I do?” was simple: “Do what an Equinox does.” Every hard choice he ever had to make was simply a matter of either following the house's rules and traditions, or doing what and Equinox would do. Even risking his life was made easy by it: risking one's life for honour or to help others was what an Equinox did.
Boreas and Toxica were not like that at all. They had no such simple answer to the question of who they were, and had to completely define who they were themselves. They had no solid rules for making hard choices; a strange, scary idea to Octa, yet Boreas had praised it. But in truth, Octa had made plenty of choices that weren't the Equinox choices when it came to them. Saving Boreas' life and taking care of him was what an Equinox should do. But his Equinox heritage certainly didn't tell him to become such good friends with a common, non well-bred Eevee like him. It very much dissuaded him from falling in love with Toxica, yet he had done so and rejected his chosen bride for her.
But now he had made the most difficult choice of his life: keeping to his family's ways and rejecting Toxica was by far the easiest choice here, the one his heritage told him to make. And he had almost made it. The alternative was far scarier than all the life-threatening horrors he had encountered together.
Lost in thought, Octa had walked through the nightly League, and now stood at Gaius' door. He took a deep breath, knowing this had to be done, though his loss was terrible. He knocked at the door. He knocked harder after a while.
“Who disturbs me at this hour?” said his brother's sleepy voice.
“'Tis me, brother, Octa. I need to speak to you immediately.”
The door opened. “Very well then, enter... I do hope this is something important...” Gaius guided him into the room.
“Yes, brother, it is. I have come to tell you I am stepping out of the house of Equinox; rescinding my nobility.”
Gaius' jaw dropped and he stared at Octa silently.
“I wish for you to return to our ancestral home, announce this to my family, and request my name be stricken from our family tree.”
“I am no longer Octavianus VII of the house of Equinox; I shall simply be Octa.”
“'Tis not the first time in your house's history this has happened; though most of the other cases were involuntary. I make this choice voluntarily, for I choose Toxica. I choose my friends.”
“I make this choice, because my relationship with Toxica and my friendships are incompatible with house Equinox's philosophy. While I could reunite with Toxica, yet attempt to remain a member of our house as I have done so far, I have come to see these things are impossible to unite. Too many of you are opposed to my relationship, and eventually this choice would be forced upon me anyway. 'Tis very possible my resolve to make the right choice, not the easy one, will not be as strong as it is tonight when that time comes. Therefore, I am making this choice right now.”
“Well?” said Octa impatiently. “Have you nothing to say?”
Gaius frowned and spoke slowly. “This is the greatest error of your life, brother. You cannot throw away your heritage; least of all for this.”
“No, not an error” said Octa resolutely, “'tis the hardest choice in my life, yes. The one that will give me the most difficulty, certainly. The one that required most bravery to make, easily. Despite all that, 'tis not an error, but the best choice I have ever made.”
“...Fine, do as you wish, Octa the Houseless,” spat Gaius. “I shall return home right now to ensure your will be done. But I must warn you: if this is a ploy to gain sympathy for you, it shan't work. I will see to that.”
“It isn't. I have told you my reasons.”
“Fine. Our house shall be better off without your foppery threatening its very foundations. And with you gone, none other shall remotely stand a chance as father's successor against me. How ironic; your decision to betray your house shall benefit it so greatly by ending your negative influence over it once and for all and ensuring its future leader shall be a wise one indeed.”
“Wisdom is clearly in the eye of the beholder. Now if you will excuse me, I have others to reveal my decision to.”
“Do as you wish, Octa Vagabond, I care not. I shall depart shortly to ensure this joyous news reaches my family.”
“They still are my family as well, brother,” hissed Octa. “I stepped out of our house, but this does not mean you are no longer my brother, lord Publius Cornelius still my father-”
“You betray us!” snapped Gaius. “You have been seduced by this common witch to betray our house and everything it stands for and still you claim relation! You are no brother of mine, Octa the fallen; you have failed and lost your grandeur. 'Tis no more than right that you should leave our house; in fact I likely would have forced you to leave once I became our family's leader!”
“I thought you had regained your wisdom, but it is clear to me now you never had it in the first place. The obviously higher concentration of Equinox's blood that flows through my veins must have come at the expense of your own. Leave my room now, I have nothing more to say to you!” snapped Gaius.
Octa looked in shock at his brother's face, contorted with hate. “So be it,” he said, leaving. “But 'tis not I who has fallen, Gaius; it is you. The day you lead the house of Equinox shall be a dark one indeed.”
The door slammed shut behind him, and he soon found himself trembling with anger at his brother's insults. Yet in Gaius' face and words, both twisted by fury, he had at last seen what was truly wrong with their house, even with him: their pride had turned to arrogance. They all considered themselves naturally superior to others. Octa had realised the true reason for Gaius' anger was his leaving meant he considered houseless life an improvement. By giving up his nobility, he had implied an Equinox was an equal to commoners, far more so than just by choosing Toxica. He knew now the rest of his family would see it the same way as Gaius, that he himself would've seen it in the same way had it been someone else making this decision. For he knew he was no stranger to this arrogance himself.
Lost in thought, he had walked across the nightly League again and reached the complex where their own rooms were. Now, he knew, he would have to beg Toxica's forgiveness. The thought of it didn't appeal to him, yet he knew it had to be done. The voice that told him an Equinox couldn't do something like that was hard to ignore, even now that he was no longer a member of the house. He would have to do it now, while he could overcome his pride.
He knocked on Toxica's door with his tail.
He knocked again when there was no answer.
“...Hwhah...?” sounded a sleepy voice from inside.
“Toxica, my darling, may I please enter?”
“Don't you 'darling' me,” said the voice, suddenly very awake. “Piss off, Octa.”
Octa was going to parley more to try and gain permission to enter, but realised they'd wake up everyone. Instead, he simply entered. “HEY!” shouted Toxica from the bed. “I told you to piss off!”
Octa closed the door behind him but didn't approach any more. “My apologies for the intrusion at this late hour against your wishes, but I need to speak to you right now.”
“You can go jump off a mountain, Octa, I don't want to talk to you.”
“Please hear me out... What I have to say is incredibly important, and I fear if I don't say it now, I never shall. You do not need to say anything in return, I just want you to hear it.”
“Well, I don't want to hear it, sod off.”
Octa didn't obey, but talked. “I was wrong. I have been terribly wrong all along to consider you beneath me. I am an arrogant Serperior, from an arrogant house. But no longer; for I have just informed my brother I am leaving the house of Equinox. I have rescinded my nobility, for it prevents me from being with you and gave me illusions of grandeur. If I have learned anything from the two years I have spent with you and other pokémon not of noble descent, it is that a descendant of Equinox is no better than you. That I am no better than you.
My arrogance blinded me. It made me blame you for my weakness on Victory Road, for I could not believe I could possess the same failings an ordinary person would.” Octa was a little shocked he had said all that, yet he knew it was nothing but the truth. He prostrated himself humbly before Toxica. “My dear, dear Toxica. I have not given you the respect you deserved. Leaving you for my own shortcomings was an arrogant, awful decision. I am sorry. I beg your forgiveness for my shortcomings and my treatment of you. I have left the house of Equinox for this, and now am truly nothing more than Octavianus. If you can find it within you to forgive me and give me a second chance, I will treat you as you deserve in the future.”
It was silent. While Octa could see Toxica, it was too dark to see the expression on her face under her flower. “You... Gave up your nobility for me?”
Octa nodded. “I realised I could not have both you and it. I have made my choice.”
“Look,” said Toxica hesitantly, “why don't you go back to your brother and tell him you've changed your mind? That it was all a joke or something?”
Octa felt his hope sink. He knew why she was saying this. “No, I shan't. Even if you reject me, I shall consider myself to be of the house of Equinox nevermore. For my brother's reaction educated me. He accused me of treason, among other things. I know now of our greatest flaw: our arrogance. My arrogance. I see myself as better than others, and it has to stop. Whether you forgive me or not, I do not wish to be a part of the house of Equinox again.”
“Well...” Toxica said hesitantly. “It was really brave of you to leave your house... But you've really gone too far this time. I don't feel I can trust you any more, so it's really over between us.”
Octa sighed in resignation. “As... You wish. 'Tis my own fault for breaking up with you like that, I suppose. If I hadn't been so foolish, so arrogant...”
Octa felt furious at himself, and realised he couldn't control his emotions any more. He rushed out of the room, not listening to something Toxica said, and rushed to his own room.
25 January of that year was a date well remembered by the history books as the day the Plasma War's outcome was decided. A dark, violent, bloody day; a day of great sorrow when hope died along with its heroes. A day of death.
Yet for Boreas the day began as peaceful as it could be. He softly hugged Aqua, watching her sleep next to him. It sounded like a storm was brewing outside, but Boreas just listened to Aqua occasionally mumbling or giggling cutely in her sleep. Eventually she slowly opened her eyes and smiled as she saw him. “Happy birthday, good-looking.”
“Birthday? Oh yeah, it is my birthday... I hadn't even remembered with all that's going on.”
“I know,” chuckled Aqua, kissing him, “that's why I remembered it for you.”
When they left Boreas' room an hour later to have breakfast, they found the mood had changed from the days before. Toxica no longer stared at Octa furiously, instead they mostly evaded each other's gazes and said little to each other. At least it didn't make the atmosphere as pressing as the days before, and they chatted about the storm raging outside a bit.
At last it was time to go, as Bianca and Cheren came to pick Black up. As soon as they walked outside, Boreas was almost blown off his feet by the tempest. The valley of the League was very dark, though dawn - which came very late here - was likely near. The occasional flash of lightning illuminated the entire valley, though, showing scary purple-black clouds gyring above. A constant downpour of cold rain soaked Boreas' fur in an instant.
Aqua struggled against the storm as they walked. “Can't you stop this storm?”
Boreas chuckled, though he too was struggling. “Not really, no. I can make it stronger, if you like.”
“But your powers allow you to create wind, don't they? Just make wind in the opposite direction or something.”
“It doesn't work like that. I don't really control the air when I do that, it's more like I remove the air's inhibitions and unleash the chaos in it. I basically let it do what it wants, but it's already doing that. So I can make wind, but I'm not very good at calming it down, because that requires controlling the air instead, and that's far harder to do. Besides, if I made wind in the opposite direction of already blowing wind, they wouldn't cancel out but circle around each other, forming a cyclone.”
An ear-splitting thunderbolt drowned out Aqua's reply. Boreas was going to ask her to repeat it, but Octa began talking to him. “My dear fellow, I have taken your advice.”
“Huh?” asked Boreas. “Well, good job! What advice?”
“That which you said about choices. I have taken it to heart and informed my brother I am leaving my house.”
“Sorry, I think I misheard you over the wind's howling.”
“No, you haven't. I have come to realise the arrogance of it all, the danger of the belief one is inherently superior to others. My brother's reaction confirmed it. He shall probably have arrived home by now, so my family likely knows of this now, so alea iacta est.”
“Woah... Octa, couldn't you have just tried to make up with Toxica instead? I'm glad you came to your senses, but isn't this a bit too extreme?”
Octa braced himself against a particularly strong gust. “No, my dear fellow, for I have come to realise the nature of the greater problem. Besides, 'tis likely I would eventually succumb to weakness once more if I stayed with my house. And this way I also show Toxica I am serious about my desire to make up with her.”
“So how'd she respond?”
Octa looked away sadly. “She rejected me.”
“Then I'll talk to her later,” said Boreas. “I know how much your family and your ancestors mean to you.”
“Thank you, my dear fellow, but it is unnecessary... I just wish all this wasn't necessary... I had hoped despite leaving my house I wouldn't lose my family, that they could accept my choice, but Gaius' reaction told me all. I have essentially lost my whole family.”
“Not your whole family. You're my brother, Octa.”
Octa smiled warmly. “Thank you, my dear fellow.”
By then, they had gone as far as Bianca and Cheren were allowed to go. “Good luck, Black,” said Cheren. “I wish I could go in to fight with you, but you'll have to do this alone.”
“I can't believe you have to go into Plasma's castle alone...” said Bianca. “Be careful, okay?”
“Thanks, guys. But I won't be alone: I've got my pokémon.”
They walked into the building. This time, however, something had changed: a circle on the floor around the statue in the plaza's centre was glowing green. Black cautiously stepped into the circle and motioned for his pokémon to follow. Once they were on it too, the entire circle, including the statue, rose like an elevator. A hatch in the roof opened and the elevator made them go through, statue and all. They emerged into a wide area on top of the building. The four towers of the Elite Four were all around them, while the fifth tower was ahead, a huge flight of stairs ascending to it. But behind that tower, dark shadows of the Plasma castle stuck out against the dark clouds. They ascended the stairs in silence. The entrance to the Champion's tower was beautiful, ancient columns supporting it.
The Champion's room inside had obviously been very beautiful once. More stairs led up to a platform in the middle of a golden room which was supposed to be lit by torches. But the wall had been breached by three dark bridges. Rubble from the intrusion was all over the room, and a powerful stormwind blew through the tower and had extinguished the torches. Puddles of water had formed from the rain. Through the holes created by the bridges the many dark towers of the castle were visible.
“Not quite,” whispered Octa to Boreas, “the chamber I imagined when I first told you about our quest, my dear fellow.”
“Well,” said Black, taking the Light Stone from his pocket, “this is it. If you have any plans to come out of that thing, now would be a good time.” The stone was as immobile as ever. Black turned to his pokémon. “It's up to us. But that's alright: we can do this.”
He stepped onto the bridge and walked through the hole. On the wet path over abyssal depths the storm's unpredictable winds became quite scary and made Boreas wish he was able to calm it down. Fortunately they managed to cross the bridge without any of them falling off, and they entered the castle's dark gate. It led into a large open-air courtyard on the top of a tower. Black and his pokémon instantly braced themselves for a tough fight, but the courtyard was deserted. In the darkness of the storm, the courtyard was dominated by the tallest tower of the castle, which had huge Plasma banners hanging from it. It seemed likely that was where N's throne room was.
Crossing the courtyard, they entered the castle's inner parts. Large hallways and rooms decorated with Plasma banners and large ceremonial shields with the Plasma logo on it were all along their path, yet they didn't meet anyone. “It's gotta be a trick...” mumbled Lucius.
Boreas looked behind him every now and then so he could recall the way back if needed. They occasionally left the inner parts of the castle, walking through courtyards or over walls outside in the storm.
When they were getting close to the tallest tower, they passed a very unusual room. It was larger than any other they had passed, but looked like a child's bedroom. There were many toys, including model trains and a little Ferris wheel. Pictures of pokémon hung on the walls. There were dolls laying around, all of them were of pokémon: not a single human.
“What the hell?” mumbled Black as they wandered inside in confusion. Boreas chuckled when he saw one of the model trains had been thrown through a basket ball hoop and got stuck there, still hanging. There was a full bookcase too: all books about pokémon. With the exception of one shelf, which seemed mainly to contain history books. Reading their spines, Boreas realised most of them were about various atrocities humans had committed.
“Do you suppose this is where N grew up?” Boreas wondered.
“If that's so,” said Octa, “this castle must be far older than we thought. It must have existed underground for at least fifteen years, probably twenty.”
“Look,” said Toxica, with a piece of paper in her hand. “I picked this up from the ground.” It was a childish drawing of a stickfigure and a Zorua, captioned with 'me' and 'deigo' in a child's handwriting. Boreas picked up some other papers. Many of them had similar childish drawings. One of them had the stickfigure wearing a crown and was captioned 'n the king of all pogeymans'. This one featured another human (as well as many pokémon): a bigger stickman captioned 'ghestschitch'.
“Yeah,” said Aqua, “this must have been where he grew up... He always said he grew up with pokémon, even believed he was one in human form himself. I guess the Sages must've kept him here. He's not a bad person, really, they've just brainwashed him. I hope I can talk some sense into him... After all, I'm his friend, or was anyway.”
“I hope you can,” said Black. “But in any case, we've lingered here long enough. Let's go and do what we came here to.”
They left the room, walked out of the corridor, and onto a section of the wall ascending to meet the highest tower. They entered the doors and saw N waiting on his throne.
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 68 is up!)
Good to see that Octa finally made his decision albeit a heavy one, though apparently not so heavy as I thought considering the arrogance in his family. Whatever the case, I hope things can only go forward for him.
I'm surprised you didn't include Anthea and Concordia, N foster sisters in the games, in the chapter. Is there a specific reason for that?
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 68 is up!)
Well, remember that Octa doesn't like to show his emotions too much. He also hasn't had much time to think about the consequences yet.
Originally Posted by Tophat Dragoneye
I'm surprised you didn't include Anthea and Concordia, N foster sisters in the games, in the chapter. Is there a specific reason for that?[/QUOTE]
Yes, there is.
Chapter Seventy: Black and White
“Black, we meet again!” N shouted theatrically. “At last this prophesied day has come! What I desire is a world for pokémon, and pokémon alone. I will separate pokémon and humans, so pokémon can regain their original power!”
The throneroom was huge and lavishly decorated. A long red carpet led in a straight path from the door to N's throne on the other side of the room, up on a series of steps. The throne was large, golden, and decorated with the shapes of various pokémon. To each side of the red carpet were two bodies of water like small indoor lakes. The roof was held up by series of huge columns at the sides of the room, and behind them were impressive statues of pokémon. Four pokémon stood before N's throne: Klinklang, Carracosta, Archeops, and Vanilluxe. There was no sign of any other human or pokémon. Other than the main door they had entered through, there were several other doors in the half of the room where N's throne was.
Aqua spoke up. “N, it's time to stop this charade!”
N stood up from his throne, surprised. “Aqua? So you really survived what those trainers did to you? Boreas told me, but I could barely believe it; this is great!”
“The only one who did anything to me that day was your friend Diego. He was the one who broke my back and tried to kill me, but I survived it thanks to human medicine. He and the Sages have been lying to you all along.”
“How can you say something like that?!” exclaimed N.
“It's simple, I'm afraid:” said Diego, emerging from behind N's throne. “She was captured and nearly killed in the battle by the trainers despite my efforts to stop them. They have brainwashed her, like they do to all pokémon, until she truly believed their lies. We should pity her, and try to help her. She truly believes her lies.”
“Shut your lying trap!” shouted Boreas furiously as they walked forward. “You know all too well what you did, and so do we!”
N and his pokémon walked forward as well. “As you can see,” lied Diego, “poor Boreas has also been brainwashed by our enemies. It's tragic.”
“You're right, Diego,” said N. “But we can save them, right?”
“Of course,” said Diego. “Once you free all pokémon, they will know the truth again.”
“I'm sorry, Aqua,” said N. “I shouldn't have sent you into battle... But I know you would be proud of me if you hadn't been brainwashed. I have brought freedom to so many pokémon already, and my victory here today will finalise that, and liberate all remaining pokémon.”
“N, have you ever looked at your new kingdom?” asked Aqua. “You can believe I'm brainwashed all you like, but the evidence is out there: just look at what Team Plasma has done to Unova! Pokémon should be free, but under Team Plasma they're no more free than under their trainers, but their taskmasters are cruel tyrants instead. Instead of giving pokémon their freedom, Plasma has taken away that of the humans! You're a good person, I know this isn't what you wanted. I've come to realise the true enemy isn't trainers, but the Seven Sages. It's not too late for you to join us; and after we defeat them we can truly liberate pokémon: but not just forcibly remove them from their trainers, but give them the choice whether they want to be wild or befriend a human!”
“That's not true!”
“You've been lied to all your life, N!”
“No,” said N. “It's you who has been lied to. But once you're free again, you'll realise I'm right. For now, I don't want to hear any more of this; it's spoiling this moment.”
“Well said, N,” said Diego. The two sides now stood in the middle of the room, between the bodies of water, only a few metres between them.
“N, she's right,” said Black. “But I can see you don't want to hear it. Maybe you will see reason if I beat you.”
“You're right!” said N. “It's time to settle this once and for all! My determination is absolute, and I will prove my beliefs. Since you've come this far, I know you are equally determined! Let Reshiram and Zekrom battle to decide whether truth or ideals are more powerful!”
“No,” said Black. “Reshiram won't fight, because it hasn't responded to me yet. But that's okay: I only need my pokémon, my friends, to beat you. I'll battle you with them.”
N made a face. “How disappointing. I actually kind of liked you a little. Through our many battles I got the feeling you might be a trainer who truly cares for your pokémon, like me. But I was kidding myself.”
Black chortled. “So because I choose to trust my own pokémon in battle instead of relying on the power of some legendary I never met before I'm demonstrating I don't care for my pokémon? Your logic is twisted up worse than the Gordian knot.”
N ignored him. “You have two options. Challenge me to a fight you can't win or leave this place and let me finish my new world where pokémon are free!”
“Do you ever shut up and listen to someone else?!” snapped Black. “I'm fighting you, and I'll win. Because my pokémon are my friends.”
A fierce white light emanated from Black's pocket. Startled, he retrieved the Light Stone from it: it was ablaze with light, shining like the Sun. It levitated out of his hand and grew enormously. As it grew, it slowly changed shape to the form of a dragon. Reshiram roared and the entire tower shook on its foundations. Boreas felt a powerful, fiery conviction they were fighting for the truth fill him with pride. They couldn't lose: the truth never did.
“YOU FIGHT FOR THE TRUTH,” thundered Reshiram's voice like a raging inferno. “I AM THE TRUTH. YOU SHALL FIGHT WITH ME, HERO, LIKE WE DID LONG AGO.”
All stood in awe, and Black threw a pokéball, making Reshiram disappear into it. It felt oddly undignified to Boreas, capturing a legendary pokémon like it was a Pidgey. Black carefully picked up the pokéball.
“...Maybe I was right about you after all,” spoke N. “Reshiram who lends its power to the hero who searches for truth has recognised you. It is finally as it should be. We shall finally battle, but the rules are that you can't have seven pokémon for an official battle like this. So we'll begin once you send one of your pokémon away to bring you back to six.”
Black looked at Reshiram's pokéball, trying to decide who to send back to the pokécenter. After a moment, he looked at Octa. Then he looked at Boreas, and Boreas realised what he was going to do. He nodded in agreement, though he wasn't entirely sure it was such a great idea. Black looked at his other pokémon one by one. Finally, he pressed a few buttons on Reshiram's pokéball and it disappeared.
“You... You made a mistake,” stammered N. “Reshiram was in that pokéball, you must've meant to send one of your other pokémon away instead.”
“No,” said Black. “I told you: I don't need Reshiram; I trust my pokémon.”
“But-but this isn't how it's supposed to be!” whined N. “Reshiram and Zekrom are supposed to battle! We're like the heroes of legends, you have to get it back!”
“I don't care how it's 'supposed' to be. My pokémon are my friends; if I loved power so much I'd rely on some legendary's power over any of them, I wouldn't deserve them in the first place. I'm sure these legendary pokémon are very powerful, but they're nothing else. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with the pokémon they love best, not with those acclaimed as powerful. I wouldn't be much of a defender of the friendships between humans and pokémon anyway if I forsook my own like that.”
N was speechless. Boreas felt proud and happy by his trainer's trust, yet also a little worried about Zekrom.
“If that's the way he wants it,” said Diego, “then why should that bother us, N? Zekrom will sweep him before you.”
“But...” stammered N. “What if he loses, but would've won if he had used Reshiram... How can I know the truth after this battle?”
“You already know the truth. We are right. You would win this anyway, so battle him!”
“You're right, Diego. It's time to create the future I desire!”
“Boreas,” said Black. “I know this will be hard. But you can do this.”
Boreas stepped forward, a lot less happy about Black sending Reshiram away now that he stood a good chance of meeting up with a teravolt of electricity soon. “Zek-”
“I've got an idea:” said Diego. “Why don't you save Zekrom for last? Give them a chance to at least save some face by battling the rest of your team before Zekrom obliterates them.”
“Good idea. I suppose they've deserved that respect from us.”
“You, Klinklang,” ordered Diego. “Grind him.”
Boreas felt relieved not to have to fight Zekrom, but wondered what Diego's game was. Did he think Boreas stood a chance at beating Zekrom, and therefore want to have him battle other teammembers instead? Or maybe he wanted to beat Boreas himself, but have this Klinklang weaken him first to ensure victory?
Well, if that was his plan, Boreas wasn't going to let it happen. Klinklang rolled towards him rapidly on its largest gear, clearly planning to roll over him. Boreas simply walked onto the water, forming ice under his feet to stand on, then grinned smugly at Diego. His metal foe shot a beam of electricity at him, but he parried it quite easily.
Boreas quickly formed a raging blizzard around his opponent. It could either get into the water to attack him, or allow him to slowly penetrate its metal with his cold. It fired metal spikes at Boreas, but he simply waved his paw and let a powerful gust blow them away. Another beam of electricity was parried by a pulse of cold before the Klinklang realised it could never beat him at a distance and rolled into the water, its metal body covered in a white layer of frost by now.
“Gotcha!” laughed Boreas, freezing the water under him entirely once Klinklang was in. It took a lot of energy, but now the metal creature was frozen in. Boreas could see and hear it still slowly grind its way through the ice, but he just moved away from it. He could afford to wait: he wasn't the one encased in ice.
Boreas smirked at N and Diego. “So now what?” he asked, expecting Diego to battle him personally now.
“Oh no...” muttered N. “I'll have to retreat it...”
“I'm afraid so,” said Diego, “looks like they- Archeops, Rock Slide right now!”
Boreas had mere moments before the rain of heavy boulders from the sky struck. He managed to protect his head, but got badly battered, his limbs aching and feeling bruised. And Archeops was already diving for him, its claws and jaws extended. Boreas crawled out from under the rocks and tried to stop his enemy, only to receive a deep slash from its claws that knocked him down. Boreas could barely focus with pain as his opponent turned around for another pass at him.
He lashed out with an Ice Beam and hit Archeops' wing more by luck than skill. Archeops instantly turned, keeping away from him in fear. It kept at a distance cautiously, scared of him. This allowed Boreas to regain his composure, letting him dodge Archeops' next few rock attacks from a distance as he created a snowstorm in the tower. Archeops soon had trouble flying, preventing it from attacking at all while he weakened it with the cold.
Boreas was about to end the fight with an Ice Beam, but Archeops still had some fight in it: it suddenly lunged for him, unconcerned with its own health, and caught him in a wave of boulders. He easily hit it with an Ice Beam, but couldn't dodge the boulders. His hip was hit very hard, so it was hard for him even to stand up again.
Boreas was sure Diego would come battle him personally now that he had been weakened so much, but instead the Zoroark ordered Carracosta to battle him. Boreas had trouble thinking of a reason why Diego would have the turtle fight him, until he had an odd thought: maybe Diego wanted to spare him from fighting Zekrom? Maybe the Zoroark was actually trying to save his life like he had done on Victory Road?
It was a strange idea, because Diego had never before shown any kind of compassion or remorse towards him. Could it be that the time Diego had spent impersonating Zeph - which paradoxically made Boreas both hate him more than ever and feel kinship to him – had affected Diego as well? Was it possible Diego still thought of him as his brother in an odd way?
Boreas was snapped out of his thoughts by a roaring wave rushing towards him with a sturdy turtle riding it. He instinctively extended his front paws and unleashed a powerful blast of cold to freeze it. He managed to do so and prevented the worst of the wave from hitting him, but he felt horribly drained and exhausted by it. Carracosta swum around the frozen wave and formed a powerful whirlpool around Boreas. He made an attempt to freeze the whirlpool too, but found himself on the edge of blacking out with exhaustion at the mere try. He swam weakly against the current, but even after all the time since meeting Aqua, he wasn't much of a swimmer.
He had one final idea and let himself go limp, trusting the air in his lungs to keep him afloat. His enemy should've just used the whirlpool to beat him then, but he was lucky as it made a mistake: it swam for him to use its claws instead.
Boreas suppressed a grin, waited for it to come close, and when it did he put a paw to its face, unleashed a pulse of cold to daze it, climbed onto its back, and froze himself to its wet shell. He nearly blacked out once more from the energy required, but this time he was firmly stuck to his opponent's shell and couldn't fall off. Carracosta clumsily tried to reach him with its sharp claws, but didn't even come close. Then it began wiggling to shake him off without much effect. Boreas had by now recovered enough that he could start sending pulses of cold through its shield into its body to slowly freeze it.
“Just dive!” snapped Diego. “Dive and drown him!”
Boreas took a lungful of air as he was forcibly submerged. Eventually Carracosta would have to resurface, of course, but words he and Aqua had spoken nearly a year ago echoed through Boreas' head: “I can hold my breath for five hours, you know.”
“I can hold my breath for five minutes. I hope.”
Since he had far less time than the turtle, Boreas gave it his all, sending pulse after pulse through Carracosta's shield until it finally stopped swimming and just floated limply in the water. Unfortunately Boreas' paws were still frozen to its shield. With no paw free to swim, he tried to stretch his neck far enough to reach the surface, but it was futile. Brilliant plan, really, freezing myself to a living rock while underwater...
Fortunately with Carracosta unconscious, the water flowed back into its ponds, eventually leaving Boreas coughing and wheezing on dry land. He finally managed to tear his paws loose.
“Woohoo!” cheered Aqua. “You beat half his team! “
Boreas wanted to say something back, but he could only cough up more water and gasp for air.
“N,” said Diego, “remember when I advised you to keep some pokémon with you and train them instead of relying on wild pokémon temporarily joining us?”
“Yeah, I do, but that would make me just as bad as our enemies, enslaving those poor pokémon.”
“You've never had trouble with having me with you,” muttered Diego.
“Well, you're different.”
“Of course I am.”
“Enough talk,” coughed Boreas, managing to stand on all four legs. “Come fight me!”
Diego threw him a sneer. “Vanilluxe, finish this.”
N asked Diego: “Don't you want to-”
As the Vanilluxe hopped forward it made a rapid snowstorm around the both of them, quickly freezing the puddles that had formed in the throneroom. Boreas chuckled: his opponent's failure to realise this could just as easily be used against it might just be his salvation.
“You think you'll be able to beat me at this just because I'm wounded, battered, and half-drowned,” stated Boreas.
Vanilluxe shot a powerful ball of icy energy out of its forehead; Boreas got the snow to fall in such a way it masked his movements; a very handy trick Froslass had taught him. The beam missed him as he dodged it. His opponent fired a few more attacks on the general region, but Boreas had already sneaked away and was now behind it. He pounced the icecream from behind, slamming its head against the ground hard and sending several pulses of cold through it. “Well, you thought wrong!” he laughed.
He was thrown off Vanilluxe by a powerful pulse that nearly blacked him out, but made sure to quickly use his Snow Cloak to hide from Vanilluxe again. Though he was pretty sure he'd hurt it more than it had hurt him there, he was so weak he couldn't afford even a small bit of damage any more. As he dodged his enemy's attacks, he instead counterattacked from a distance, firing Ice Beams and directing the storm against his opponent. It was clear these pokémon were poorly trained: all Vanilluxe would need to do to beat him was let the storm dissipate, robbing Boreas of his cover. Yet it didn't do so, and with its attacks all missing while Boreas could hit it it weakened soon, and Boreas defeated it too.
Boreas felt proud for defeating two-thirds of the enemy team by himself, but knew these were just a warm-up. Diego and Zekrom would be the true challenge. He was too weak to keep the storm going on his own; it quickly dissipated.
“If you want something done properly, you've got to do it yourself!” snarled Diego as he walked towards Boreas, his front paws enveloped in darkness. Boreas wondered if he should kill Diego if he won. In a sense, this was an official League battle, but then again, in a sense it wasn't. He had sworn to kill Diego, yet part of him didn't want to. Of course, it was unlikely he could beat Diego anyway.
“Then why didn't you?” Boreas challenged his nemesis. “Why did you hide behind those four? Are you afraid to face me when I'm not half-dead?”
Diego fired a beam of utter darkness from his paws. Boreas quickly moved his own paw to parry, but it was so powerful he only managed to weaken it. Sharp pain and nausea overwhelmed him as the beam of darkness hit him and he drifted off into darkness.
He woke up moments later with severe pain in his neck and squirmed against an iron grip lifting him up by it. “Afraid?” said two malicious purple eyes. “Why would I ever be afraid of you?” he tightened his grip, making Boreas gasp for breath. “You are nothing, you are weak! You are no more than an arrogant, pesky flee. I could snap your neck right now and end your pathetic life. I've grown far more powerful since our last meeting.”
“Yet,” Boreas gasped. “You still – haven't learned – to protect your – vulnerable spots.” He gave Diego a kick in the loins as hard as he could. The Zoroark howled in pain and threw him away, and as Boreas landed painfully hard he shot two Ice Beams at Diego; all he could still manage. He dragged himself away to seek cover behind a statue as Diego got up.
“You just don't give up, do you?” He breathed a wave of fire, and Boreas' way was suddenly barred by the searing flames. He winced back from the heat and faced the Zoroark once more.
“Never,” he growled as he shot another Ice Beam. A wave of Diego's paw, and darkness swallowed the attack.
A beam of lighting shot out of both Diego's paws. Boreas was exhausted and unable to do anything, except howl in pain as the electricity shocked him. He convulsed as it kept electrocuting him, until it finally ended. Diego approached him and put his foot on his head. Boreas was too far weakened to do anything. So, this is how it ends...
Then, for one moment, he had eye contact with Diego. His purple eyes didn't look like those of a merciless killer now, but Boreas almost recognised his brother in them. It was probably just the shocks playing tricks with his eyes, but he thought he saw regret in those eyes.
Diego took his foot off Boreas' head. “He's defeated. Send your next pokémon.”
Boreas reached out for Diego's leg and dug his teeth into it. He received a sharp kick in response, finally blacking him out.
Boreas regained consciousness. His body ached badly, but it was quickly getting better due to the potion Black had given him. The first thing he saw was unfortunately Black giving another potion to an unconscious, and partially burned, Octa. Boreas was startled Diego was powerful enough to beat his best friend, who was the most powerful member of the team.
Boreas thought about their battle. He was annoyed he'd lost to Diego yet again, but also intrigued. Diego could've killed him, yet he chose not to. It could just be because an execution wouldn't exactly be looked on kindly by the League, but he and N were planning to abolish the League anyway, and there were no cameras here. Boreas thought he'd seen compassion in Diego's eyes, possibly even regret. Maybe he had really been mistaken when he swore to kill Diego. He would certainly never turn his back to the Zoroark or consider him a friend, but giving him the benefit of doubt by no longer planning to kill him seemed reasonable. Because once he killed Diego, there was no longer any way to change his mind.
“Good job,” said N as Aqua finally defeated Diego. “You have fought very well, and are clearly powerful. But now, you will lose. Zekrom, show them the power of my ideals once and for all!”
Aqua had enjoyed finally fighting Diego again. She had once considered him a friend, and he had tried to kill her. That was unforgivable, just like all he had done to Boreas. He had tried to talk to her during the battle, but she had made it clear she had nothing to say to him by ignoring everything he said and wordlessly fighting him. It felt really good to finally beat him. And now she considered executing the unconscious Zekrom with a wave of boiling water when Zekrom appeared.
The black dragon's appearance filled Aqua with utter fury as old wounds were suddenly reopened. The pain when her grandmother had been killed by humans set her heart ablaze, and Lothario's lifeless body filled her mind. The weight of every single day she had been alone pressed on her mind, and Aqua was furious at the memory of every city she had seen: disgusting, filthy places where nature had been massacred and pokémon captured to make way for the cancer that was humanity. It had been a long time since she's felt like this, known she wouldn't rest until every human being was dead.
Aqua turned around, ablaze with hate, to join Zekrom and kill the horrible bald ape who was so arrogant he thought she was his to command. He was saying something in his annoying human voice, and she spit a powerful ray of water at his face, flooring him. She ran for him, planning to finish it. Other pokémon - misguided slaves of the human - said things she didn't listen to. They would thank her once she'd freed them from the human and tasted its blood.
Suddenly Boreas was in front of her. He had her attention even in her murderous rage. “Aqua!” he said. “My love, think! Remember why you joined us, remember what Plasma did! Black isn't your enemy: Team Plasma is!”
Aqua stopped as she recalled seeing a trainer and her pokémon murdered before her very eyes. It brought her no joy even now. She realised Zekrom's power had turned her against Black; it had twisted her ideals and strengthened them so badly she had switched sides. She quivered with horror at the treason she had almost committed, how easy she had been to turn to the side of evil. None of her friends had done anything like that; they had been strong enough to resist Zekrom, but Aqua hadn't. “Oh- oh no... I-I'm so sorry...”
Boreas firmly kissed her, bringing a moment of happiness to her. “He'll be alright, don't worry. I'm just happy you're well again.” Aqua began to protest, to tell him she was far from well, but he looked her in the eyes and said: “I know this is hard, my love, but you can do it.”
As she looked into his lovely cyan eyes while he spoke, she was filled with a new certainty that she could do it indeed. “You're right.”
That certainty coalesced into a single ice-cold point on her forehead as she turned around again and fired an Ice Beam at the legendary dragon. It probably wasn't nearly as powerful as one of Boreas', but it was enough to make Zekrom roar in pain. Aqua took control of the ponds of water and crushed the black dragon between two powerful waves.
“You'll pay for that! You made me betray my friends!”she shouted furiously as she tried to drown Zekrom in a whirlpool.
A terrific shock made her convulse in agony, set her fur on edge and made the water on her skin boil. “THAT IS IDEAL.”
“No, it bloody isn't!” she shouted as she fired Ice Beams at its head while making the water it was submerged in boil.
Zekrom struggled to escape and shocked her again. “IMPERFECT.”
Aqua's body was smoking from the electrocutions by now, yet she kept attacking. “Yeah, I am! If I've shown any trait in my life well, it's imperfection!”
Zekrom's head emerged from the water, and Aqua aimed another Ice Beam for it, hurting Zekrom again. The terrible shock she received in return made her jump, every muscle in her body cramp, her fur stand up in spikes, smoking, and brought her near unconsciousness. Her legs twitching, she lay on the ground powerless as the water flowed away from Zekrom. Her eyes showed random and painful flashes of colour and she struggled against the heavy sleepiness that tried to pull her under.
“IT IS DEFEATED,” stated Zekrom.
With her last strength, Aqua managed one last Ice Beam to her legendary opponent. “Sink into the depths,” she spat defiantly before one last sharp pain turned everything black.
“Stop fooling yourself, pup! She finally showed her true colours!” snapped Lucius.
“Are you mad?!” argued Boreas. “Didn't you see how she fought to the end?”
“After she attacked Black! We all felt Zekrom's power, but none of us did that!”
“So she's-” Boreas began.
“Gentlemen!” interrupted Octa. “Cease your arguing, this doesn't help! Lucius, Black ordered you to fight, now go and do so!”
“Fine,” grumbled Lucius. “I'll deal with the traitorous bitch later.”
Boreas ignored Lucius as he began to fight Zekrom, focussing instead on helping Black – who fortunately wasn't hurt too much by Aqua's attack - nurse his unconscious girlfriend to health. “I do not like to agree with Lucius,” said Octa softly, “but you have to concede he has a good point. None of us even came close to attacking Black, yet she did...”
Boreas forced himself to remain calm. “She was just overwhelmed by Zekrom's power, that's all... When I looked into her eyes, I saw only mad anger, nothing deliberate.”
“My dear fellow, the extent of her anger shows it wasn't created solely by Zekrom. She clearly harboured ill feelings towards Black anyway; a clear indication she is his, and therefore our, enemy.”
“Look, it's just some repressed feelings against all humanity for what they did to her.”
“And what is that?” asked Octa.
Boreas remembered when Aqua had broken down in his embrace long ago in her burrow by the river and told him all about the human hunters who had killed her previous boyfriend. He was also certain she wouldn't want him to tell that to Octa; he was likely the only person that knew about it. “I can't tell you.”
“Well, then it can't be of much importance.”
“Leave it, Octa,” said Toxica. “She's got a good reason to be angry, but you can trust her.”
Octa sniffed. “Were that I could believe you.” However, he turned his attention to the battle.
“Thanks,” said Boreas.
Toxica nodded. “She told me a bit about her past. Not much, but enough to guess more. I hate to see those two bein' such tossbags to her... Oh, bugger.” Lucius had been enveloped by a huge spherical ball of lightning after only getting off a few bites into his enemy. “I guess it's my turn, innit?”
“Good luck...” mumbled Aqua.
Boreas pet her face a little. “How are you feeling, love?”
“Like I've just committed treason and was then electrocuted...”
“It wasn't your fault, my love. It was Zekrom's power. It took your anger and gave you no choice-”
“But I did have a choice! I could've resisted it, but it seems betraying is just what I do... I shouldn't have joined your team, I'll only end up letting you down and hurting you...”
“No, Aqua,” said Boreas, his face closer to her, “you won't. You're far braver and more loyal than you think.”
Aqua gave him a disbelieving little smile.
“No, really, just wait and see. When it comes down to it, you're a far better person than you think. You fought Zekrom to the end. I believe in you, and so does Toxica.”
Aqua averted her gaze and got up, looking at the battle. “Toxica seems to be doing well...”
Boreas nodded, allowing her to change the subject. Toxica was indeed doing well. She had been shocked several times, yet was still fighting, her plant tissues making her more resistant to electrocution. Zekrom was poisoned by a large cloud of toxic powder, getting weaker by the second. Massive bolts of electricity and energy were exchanged between Zekrom and Toxica. Though Toxica was more resistant to electricity than most, the shocks were powerful enough to weaken her quickly. She fired Solarbeam after Solarbeam at her poisoned opponent, but it just kept on shocking her, demonstrating its incredible power. Eventually Toxica stopped getting up after a shock, defeated.
“It's up to you, Selene.” commanded Black, biting his nails nervously.
Boreas groaned. With Selene's type disadvantage, it was unlikely she could withstand even a single attack. Fortunately she flew right for Zekrom quickly, swooping around it so fast its first attacks missed. It tried to hit her as she spun rapidly around it, raining lightning bolts around randomly. Then Selene flew close to its tail, and it almost seemed like a powerful lightning bolt would fry her, but she made a sudden turn and with dark energy slightly bent the bolt's trail so it hit Zekrom's own tail.
Zekrom roared in anger and tried to physically punch Selene out of the air, but her movement was so quick it looked like she teleported away and Zekrom tripped clumsily. It got up, clearly weakened by the poison inside it, and spat thunderbolt after thunderbolt after Selene, who was moving quicker than Boreas had ever seen her do, seeming to be in multiple places at once, and never the same as Zekrom's attacks. Zekrom turned around and around to try and get her, but she was too swift, and Zekrom got clumsier each time, frequently hurting itself while the poison took its toll.
At last, Zekrom's tail flickered and it staggered weakly. “IMPERFECT.”
“Tell me about it,” said Selene before swooping down and slashing at Zekrom with wing and claw. Slowly the legendary creature toppled and fell with a titanic thud.
The flapping of Selene's wings as she landed in front of her team was the only sound in the tower. She looked at them for a moment before she was rushed by Toxica, picked up, and held in her arms. “You did it! You did it! You beat that thing, I can't believe it!”
Lucius laughed. “That thing was stupid enough to be beaten by you, huh, birdbrain? Whatever, you did really well.”
They were all congratulating Selene for a while and only after that was over realised N had been standing still and wordless like a statue. Silence fell until at last he spoke:
“Everything's ruined...” he said in an empty voice. “The dreams I had... My ideals... They were false after all...”
“No, N!” interrupted Diego, recovered from his wounds in battle. “You can't say that, you know it's not true!”
“But it is!” said N desperately. “They defeated Zekrom, even without using Reshiram...”
“Well, that doesn't mean we're wrong, it just shows they're stronger!”
“...But you've always told me the winner of this battle was right. I was wrong, that's all there is to it... I guess it was wrong to liberate the pokémon...”
“You can't reject Team Plasma!”
“But we're wrong, this battle clearly shows it... Black, you won. That means you were right and I was wrong... Pokémon should belong to humans, I suppose...”
Black sighed. “N, have you ever considered we could both be right?”
N looked at Black like he'd asked him kindly to saw his legs off. “Of course not, that's preposterous.”
“The world is a place with many colours; you should embrace its diversity, not paint it black and white. You were right that many humans treat pokémon as their property, or worse; and that's a bad thing. But forcibly liberating all pokémon to separate them entirely from humans is bad too.”
N thought for a long time. “Well... Maybe... when I grew up, I only met pokémon that didn't like humans... But when I began my journey, I began meeting pokémon that liked humans, including yours. I couldn't understand it, even if Diego tried to help me understand it as he told me they were brainwashed... But now I see: you, my friend, were just as mistaken as I was! Some pokémon really do like humans, and so we should allow them to choose whether they want to be with humans or not instead of liberating them all. Thank you, Black.”
“Well,” said N. “We'll need to change things. I may no longer be Champion, but I am still Team Plasma's king. And I see now that it's time for peace. This war was terribly misguided, and the remaining trainers should be allowed to keep their pokémon, and others too; though we should make sure pokémon never again suffer at human hands. And we'll begin making peace right here. Diego.”
“Yes?!” Diego startled, having looked lost in thought during N's speech.
“This enmity between you and Boreas ends now. We're all friends now, so I want you to shake his paw and forgive him.”
“Good idea,” said Black. “Boreas, I know he's hurt you in the past, but you have to forgive and forget now. Shake his paw.”
“But-” started Boreas.
“There's no way-” began Diego.
“I can't possibly-”
“Are you insane?”
“He tried to kill Aqua!”
“I'm not shaking his paw!”
“I won't forgive!”
“You can't make us-”
“Please, Diego!” pleaded N. “It's over now. Do it for the peace we'll build.”
“Come on, Boreas,” said Black. “N and I made up, now you have to do the same. This is our chance to end this war.”
Boreas and Diego stared into each other's face. Boreas still hated him. He was no longer planning to kill the Zoroark, but he had no intention to forgive either. “Fine!” snapped Diego, taking steps forward, his paw extended.
Now Boreas didn't feel he could refuse; that would make him be less forgiving than Diego. “Hmpf, alright then.” He placed his paw into Diego's. Diego squeezed far harder than he needed to and Boreas chilled Diego's paw down very rapidly, but they shook paws grudgingly before rapidly retracting them, trying not to wince in pain from what the other had done.
“Excellent!” laughed N. “Aqua, my friend, looks like you were right after all. I'm sorry for doubting you.”
“That's alright,” smiled Aqua. “I guess you've finally come to your senses now.”
“Well,” said N happily. “Why don't you go get Reshiram, and then we'll address Unova together, as Team Plasma's king and the Champion, and tell everyone it's time to stop hunting pokémon trainers. It's time we made peace.”
“No, it isn't.”
From each of the rear entrances to the throne room came one of the seven Sages, their entire teams with them, each with a single, mighty addition. Rood's fire-types were joined by a Salamence, ferocious and powerful. Gorm's water-types had been joined by a kinder-looking, but no less powerful, Dragonite. Bronius now had a Tyranitar, mightiest of all rock-types, and Giallo a cold, robotic Metagross added to his steel-types. Among Ryoku's grass-type ranks was a mighty, shark-like Garchomp, and Zinzolin's poison-types had a Hydreigon with them.
Ghetsis was the only one of them whose addition Boreas didn't recognised as a pokémon of almost legendary power. It was a strange, grey and blue creature with a vaguely draconic head; it seemed to be hunched over. It seemed a weird, almost pitiable thing, yet it frightened Boreas. Somehow it reminded Boreas of Reshiram and Zekrom, even though it seemed more like the antithesis of the powerful pokémon.
Boreas could've sworn he saw Diego flinch, looking almost pained for a moment, as the Sages entered, almost surrounding them.
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 70 is up!)
Things definitely isn't over yet, though the sages couldn't have arrived at a worse moment, now that most of the team is exhausted. Things will definitely get more hectic in the next chapter.
By the way, there's an error here:
I presume what is marked bold is supposed to say Diego instead of Zekrom.
It felt really good to finally beat him. And now she considered executing the unconscious Zekrom with a wave of boiling water when Zekrom appeared.
Also, I did miss reading how the battle between Aqua and Diego went instead just the conclusion of it. Other than that, a great reading as usual.
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 70 is up!)
Well, Ghetsis gets Kyurem. Black manages to win. Boreas
goes all Gandalf beats 4 pokemon in a row.
Awesome chapter! I liked this one by far the best. It was fast paced, interesting, and the plot twist with Reshiram was amazing. I never saw this coming. As usual, you've done a great job of mixing the game plot with just the right amount of your own style. It's shaping up to be an amazing story!
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 70 is up!)
Yes, they certainly will.
Originally Posted by Tophat Dragoneye
You're right, it's supposed to say Zoroark, not Zekrom. I guess the Z made me swap them.
By the way, there's an error here:
It felt really good to finally beat him. And now she considered executing the unconscious Zekrom with a wave of boiling water when Zekrom appeared.
I presume what is marked bold is supposed to say Diego instead of Zekrom.
Well, if you mean him stopping Aqua and comforting her, in a way it's very different from Gandalf, as it's born not of wisdom, but more like a lack of it. Boreas' love for Aqua has, at least partially, blinded him to her flaws and made him idealise her.
Originally Posted by Thundagere
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoy it so much. I hope you'll enjoy the final part of the story.
Awesome chapter! I liked this one by far the best. It was fast paced, interesting, and the plot twist with Reshiram was amazing. I never saw this coming. As usual, you've done a great job of mixing the game plot with just the right amount of your own style. It's shaping up to be an amazing story!
Chapter Seventy-One: The Seven Sages
Diego suppressed a wince as the Sages entered the throneroom. He really had hoped it wouldn't come to this. After what N had just said, he knew he would have to do his duty to protect Team Plasma from its most powerful tool. His first task had always been to shape N into the person Team Plasma needed. So Diego had taught N how horrible humans were and how good pokémon. He had spun tales of N's 'heroic destiny' and even told the boy the ludicrous story that he was a pokémon born in human form. He had taught N all the 'heroic' values that had made him into the naïve idiot he was.
And now that naivete had turned him against Team Plasma. Diego knew his duty. He was with N in the first place to make sure he succeeded and to keep him on the right path. But if he would turn from that path after all, as he just had, Diego had to kill him immediately. The boy was far too dangerous to be left alive with Zekrom at his command. If N announced publicly he'd changed his mind, that would be a serious threat. It would probably split Team Plasma in two, and would encourage a lot of others to fight Plasma as well. Diego should've eliminated N the moment he made his change of heart clear.
But he hadn't. He had come to care a lot for N, and had told himself he would somehow fix it, that he would be able to talk N back into the plan. But now, that was clearly impossible.
“Ghetsis,” said N happily, “I've got some great news: the war is over! Black has defeated Zekrom and taught me we were both right in a way. I was just about to come tell you.”
Diego felt like laughing at the idiotic naivete of his pupil, but was almost frozen with worry for him. Black showed himself far smarter as his pokémon formed a defensive half circle around him and they slowly stepped back between the lakes. “N!” said Aqua. “Come here, they'll kill you!”
N laughed. “Don't be silly, Aqua, they're not-”
“Shut up, you good-for-nothing boy!” snapped Ghetsis. N looked as if he'd been slapped in the face. “That decision isn't yours to make. The war continues until Team Plasma rules all!”
“But...” stammered N. “B-but I'm your king!”
The Sages laughed, even Ghetsis. “King?” he grinned. “I'm sorry, your majesty, but a vote held among the Seven Sages elected me Emperor several years ago. And last time I checked, emperors outrank kings.”
Diego tried to remind himself of Ghetsis' long friendship. Ghetsis had entrusted this task to him, and him alone. Following Ghetsis would lead to more power than he could imagine. N, meanwhile, was no more than a tool he had crafted himself. A defective tool that had to be thrown away.
N seemed unable to process the fact that he was no more than a figurehead. Yet he asked: “W-where did those pokémon come from?” he asked, pointing at the powerful pokémon the Sages now owned.
“From this very castle,” explained Giallo, looking a bit like a talking orange between his fatness and his yellow robes. “You have-a lived here for most-a your life, but you've seen little of eet. Since we no longer needed the pokémon who've built this castle, they made-a excellent training fodder so we could obtain the most-a powerful pokémon on the planet. I've always wanted to own a Metagross.”
N was clearly stupefied by the revelations. Diego felt a sudden spark of hate for his friend, using pokémon like that. He focussed to try and quench it, what concern of his were those pokémon after all? But it was hard to ignore. Ever since he had pretended to be Boreas' bloody brother, something of Zeph's had stuck inside Diego's mind. It had weakened him and made him think treacherous thoughts. “Typical Plasma hypocrisy,” said Black. “So this is where those pokémon you 'liberated' went? Slave labour?! I didn't expect something that evil even from you!”
“Evil,” spoke the creepily-thin Ryoku, “is just a word people use to plotect themselves from the strong. Those with power barely get to use it, because it would be 'evil' to do so. We live in a world where the mighty are allowed little in order to spare the weak. Yet the weak could have been mighty if only they'd had the ambition to grab power.”
“Indeed,” Ghetsis nodded. “This is why we came together and began Team Plasma in secret all those years ago. To allow all to unleash their full potential. Powerful pokémon and humans should be allowed to exercise that power, not live for the weak!”
“But...” stammered N. “But...” Ghetsis' talk about their ideals should've restored Diego's confidence... But it didn't. It only made him wonder if they weren't really just simply evil. There was something to be said for a world where all were equal. What if he said he agreed with N? He knew Ghetsis might actually listen to him, but would he abandon his plans? It seemed unlikely, especially as the other Sages wouldn't listen. Shocked at these treasonous thoughts, he tried to stamp them out.
“And this,” continued Ghetsis, “is where you come in. Even with the seven of us, there was little we could do to change the world to be as we wished. We tried to capture Reshiram and Zekrom, but they responded to none of us. We were simply too unlike the ancient heroes who had created them out of Kyurem for them to consider us their masters. We needed a hero. We considered looking for one, but then realised we could make one. I conceived a son, and we had him grow up inside our secret hideout, under fully controlled conditions, getting taught to be exactly as we needed him to be. That would be you.”
“B-but...” stammered N. “But you found me! My parents were pokémon, I am a pokémon in human form!”
“No,” spoke Ghetsis. “I am your father.”
“No!” cried N. “That's not true! That's impossible!”
“Of course it's true. A pokémon in human form, did you actually believe that? Diego did his job well. Until now, you've done the task I created you for admirably, and the nineteen years it took for you to grow up have been spent well anyway. We built this castle, the pokémon we have now, and we made a powerful Team Plasma with people everywhere to quickly grab power once you had Zekrom.”
“So what's that frozen chicken supposed to be?” sneered Black.
“It's Kyurem,” explained Ghetsis. “Or rather, what's left of it after the ancient heroes took Reshiram and Zekrom from it, leaving only traits neither of them desired. While you two were on Victory Road, I led an expedition to the Giant Chasm to capture it. The terrain was our main obstacle, really; Kyurem's remnants are weak, its strength all in Zekrom and Reshiram. It accepted me as its master quite easily.”
“So why did you want it, then, if it was so weak?”
Ghetsis grinned chillingly. “You will see soon...”
Diego wondered what would happen if he refused to kill N, fought for his life, even. Black and his pokémon would likely join them. The four wild hangers-on N had picked up on Victory Road wouldn't do much, and would probably just flee, but Zekrom would definitely be able to take on several enemies. Diego saw it was slowly recovering, no longer unconscious and getting up as everyone had their attention on each other. But even Zekrom would never bring them victory. The Seven Sages were unbeatable together.
And it was a good thing they were, Diego reminded himself forcefully. He would join them in destroying their enemies after he had killed N. Zeph was turning him insane, shifting his loyalties.
“Diego...” said N at last. “He-he's not my father, is he? I'm a pokémon, right?”
Diego felt almost in pain with pity. “I'm sorry, N. He is.”
“But you told me I am a pokémon... Just to make me hate humans?!”
Diego had never felt so horrible in his life. “I told you what I had to to make you into a hero who would want to liberate pokémon. And I succeeded in it. You have become a great and noble hero, my friend.”
“Friend?!” snapped N. “You've lied to me all my life! You taught me only humans lie, but it's obvious you're the greatest liar of them all!”
“Listen to me, N, it was for a good cause!”
“What cause? Clearly not pokémon liberation!”
Diego decided he at least owed N the truth after all these years. Ghetsis had told him most of it anyway. “Pokémon liberation is part of it, but not in the way you thought. Pokémon will be truly equal to humans in our new world. But not all pokémon will be equal to each other, and not all humans will either. The world is a dangerous place, N. All the things I taught you about the cruelty of humans were true. Every living being is basically selfish, that's just how we evolved. You can call that evil, but it's simply how the world works. To deny that is dangerous, as it's denying reality. And it's not such a bad thing either: if everyone takes care of themselves, they all have someone who will always look out for them. But only if you let them. You can't force people to take care of others, that way you inhibit them, restrict their freedom. Everyone should have the freedom to use their power as they wish. This is Team Plasma's true goal, and it's even better than just pokémon liberation. Because everyone can be powerful, but most just don't take their chance, because they have no ambition.
In the past few months, as Team Plasma has taken over, a better order has begun to be put in place to replace the old chaos. You said before that trainers who really want their pokémon should still be allowed to keep them, and they can do so in our new world: by joining Team Plasma.” Diego was beginning to get a dry mouth from talking so much, and in his mind Zeph protested against the principles he'd just laid out. “N, you are a powerful man. You are a good king of Team Plasma, so why don't you remain our king? Now you know what we truly fight for, and as a powerful person our new order will benefit you greatly.”
N was silent, and Diego addressed Black and his pokémon. “I make you the same offer. We won't allow you to stand in our way, but you would be valuable allies.”
“Never,” said Black, and most of his pokémon agreed soon. Even the Houndoom said:
“As long as that bastard in the green bathrobe is still alive, I'll never stop fighting y'all.”
“You can't really believe that...” said N, his eyes filled with betrayal. “You told me we would liberate all pokémon...”
“You explained Team Plasma very well, my friend,” said Ghetsis. “But I'm afraid you wasted your breath. N is a freak without a human heart, and these have been our enemies for too long. It's time to deal with them, right now.”
The Sages, and their entire teams turned towards Black, who was still between the small lakes, but Zekrom and N were suddenly in their way. “Leave him alone!” said N. “Enough people have died because of you. One more step, and Zekrom will fight you!”
Diego winced, knowing what Ghetsis' order would be. Please, N, no...
Ghetsis laughed. “You are nothing more than a tool, and now it's time to get rid of you. Diego, you know your orders.”
Diego was in agonising doubt. N was his friend, but so was Ghetsis. He couldn't kill N, and he couldn't betray Ghetsis. He truly believed in the ideals he had just laid out, yet Zeph protested against him. He took a few steps so he stood behind N, though he didn't know what he would do there yet. He had to kill the human, but Zeph wanted him to stand with him instead.
Diego fought to keep the unwelcome sympathy and pity away, to kill N, but they were very strong. He remembered the happy time when he had been Zeph, day in day out, seeing the world through very different eyes as he pretended to be Boreas' brother. The reason he had been so good as a mole was that he had truly become Zeph in his mind. Only now, Zeph had stuck around for far longer than he had been needed. And now, Diego had decided. He couldn't kill N, no matter what. If that meant betraying Team Plasma, then so be it.
But then another memory came to him: he was back on Victory Road, as troubled by Zeph as he was now...
As Diego looked at the huge icy precipice ahead, he saw a familiar-looking blue fox at its top. The Glaceon only reminded him more of his failure to kill Boreas and Aqua in Opelucid Gym. Some days it seemed as if Zeph was taking him over, which was preposterous because he'd been dead for two years. But the personality Diego had taken on while spying on Black had been all too real, and he might as well continue to call it Zeph.
He clenched his fists in annoyance at himself. He wished he had Boreas here so he could right his wrongs immediately. If only that Glaceon still looking at them from the top of the precipice was Boreas...
A grin suddenly spread over Diego's face. He could set his priorities straight here once and for all; test what he was really made of and whether Zeph was stronger than him. He waited a few minutes until they were at the base of the precipice, then said: “Hold on, I think there may be a path up there.”
N stopped. “What, up on the precipice? Shouldn't we stick to the main pass?”
“Well, the path up there looked as if it was going straight in the League's direction. It could save us a lot of time. But I'll go check it to be sure; I wouldn't want to have us all climb up there only to have to climb back down again.”
“Shouldn't I just send Zekrom to fly up instead?”
“No, you know how it spooks the wild pokémon; I wouldn't want to terrify them. Besides, I'm feeling like a bit of a climb. I'll be back soon.”
With that, he began climbing the icy precipice. The stone and ice it was made of was freezing cold and hurt his paws, but he kept climbing. Zeph tried to stop him from what he was about to do, made him feel horrible for even considering it, but he climbed on. At last, he reached the top of the precipice and pulled himself up. The Glaceon was no longer here, but Diego could see its tracks in the snow. He quietly followed them, and soon caught up to it. It didn't hear his approach, and screamed when he suddenly pounced and grabbed it.
Zeph protested and the Glaceon struggled, so Diego punched the Glaceon in the face. It was as if he had punched out Zeph at the same time in his mind as well, as he was finally quiet. Diego grinned and roughed up the semi-conscious Glaceon's hair to make him look more like Boreas.
“P-please... Let me go...” it mumbled through bleeding lips.
Diego instead kicked him in the stomach. “So, Boreas, we meet again. And this time, I'm going to do what I should've done!”
The Glaceon moaned in pain. “I-I'm not this Boreas! Please, let me-”
Diego grabbed Boreas' right front paw with both paws and broke it, making the Glaceon scream in pain.
Diego grinned in satisfaction as he stood on top of the precipice again. Zeph was quiet at last, and better yet, Diego had finally proved to himself what he was truly made of by killing the Glaceon in cold blood. When the Glaceon had begged him for death after its lengthy torment and he had finally ended it by disembowelling it crudely with a sharp stone, he had truly forgotten it wasn't really Boreas. He carefully went over the precipice's edge and began climbing down.
Diego climbed back down with a mind that was finally clear of concern. Climbing over the freezing cold precipice was almost as tough to do downwards as upwards, but at least this time it was just physically heavy; he could handle that. After weeks of being troubled by his error in the Opelucid Gym, he could now finally relax. He knew it wouldn't be repeated. While he couldn't deny he felt rudimentary feelings of friendship towards N, and even Boreas, they wouldn't interfere with his service to his true friend, Ghetsis. He was sure of that now.
Friendship was a beautiful thing, Diego reflected. In fact, it was the very concrete Team Plasma was built with, but it was a massive weakness when felt towards an enemy. But now that he was finally sure he wouldn't submit to that weakness again, he could rest easily.
His muscles ached by the time he neared the ground; it was a relief to land on it safely. "Diego!" N called happily. "I was getting worried about you, what took you so long?"
Diego smiled. "I saw a path up there, just as I suspected. But I had to make sure it wasn't a dead end, and walked it for a bit, and a good thing I did, because if I hadn't done that, we'd be climbing up this precipice right now to walk the path... Only to find out after an hour it suddenly ends into a steep depth."
"Oh," N looked disappointed, "I guess we can't cut time off our journey that way, then?"
"No, I'm afraid not, we'll have to follow the normal pass. But I did see some... Inspiring views up there, and they gave me the strength to carry on."
N laughed. "Glad to hear it."
No, thought Diego as he smiled along friendlily, you wouldn't be if you had any idea of the truth.
Diego felt strengthened by the memory as Zeph shrunk away in horror. He knew who he truly was and what he had to do. He grabbed N's head with both front paws, and in his mind he did the same to Zeph. He had one final spark of pity, then twisted the head with all his strength. A muted crack ended the lives of N and Zeph, and he never saw either of them again.
“Diego!” roared Aqua. “Murderer! Traito-”
Zekrom roared too as electricity arced over its body and darkness seemed to ooze out of it. Boreas jumped in shock as a huge lightning bolt shot towards him, but it bent off its path and hit Kyurem instead. More lightning bolts followed, but they all bent off their trajectory and hit Kyurem. Meanwhile Zekrom curled up into a large, floating ball of blackness covered in constant trails of electricity.
Then it exploded in a blindingly bright blast that rocked the castle on its foundations and should have destroyed the tower and killed everyone in it. But like the lightning bolts, the explosive release of energy entirely bent off and all of it hit Kyurem instead, wrapping it in a nova of light. When the light settled, a new pokémon had formed. Or perhaps it wasn't a new pokémon, but some kind of fusion of Kyurem and Zekrom: it shared many of the traits of either. Its rear legs and head looked like Kyurem's, but it was standing upright like Zekrom and dark-furred for a large part. Its tail turbine was thinner than Zekrom's and partially covered in grey scales. Its wings and front paws were muscular and covered in black scales on one side, and icy parts on the other side.
Black and his pokémon realised this bizarre turn of events provided the distraction they needed to run for their lives and bolted out the throneroom into the ferocious tempest outside, running down over the wall there as fast as they could. Boreas' mind burnt with questions about what had just happened, while his heart burnt with anger and betrayal. He had honestly thought Diego wasn't as bad as he'd thought, that the Zoroark might have compassion or the capability of friendship inside him. He had shaken his paw, more or less forgiving him even. Yet Diego had proved his heart to be blacker than Boreas had ever thought it could be by murdering N.
“I'll kill you for this, Diego,” he muttered between clenched teeth as they ran past N's childhood room. “I swear I will.”
“You'll have to get in line,” said Aqua. Boreas noticed there were tears on her face. “N was my friend, dammit! And he was a good man, despite everything! Diego will pay...”
Boreas wanted to comfort Aqua, but a beam of intense energy shot right between them; a kind of beam Boreas remembered all too well, as it had cost him his kindest friend and the tip of his tail last time he saw it. He sprinted faster as he heard their enemies in hot pursuit behind them. He jumped around the corner, over a beam of some kind and down a staircase. They all ran down as fast as they could without falling from the stairs: Lucius even jumped and held on to Selene as she flew down.
Bronius' rock-types launched an avalanche of deadly boulders while Boreas and his friends were only halfway down the long stairs, so they risked running even faster.
Boreas' feet missed a step and landed awkwardly on the next, making him tumble and land on his back on the stairs. He scrambled on to escape the crushing wave of rock, but heard its roaring sound had almost reached him, and for a moment he was sure he would be caught in it. But the sound stopped as plants had grown from the stairs, curled around the boulders in mid-fall, and held them tightly now. Octa and Toxica were both standing still at the bottom of the stairs, faces clenched in focus.
Boreas got up and jumped the remaining steps, thanking Octa and Toxica as they joined him in running away from their enemies, who had come closer in the seconds that had passed. Boreas randomly threw an Ice Beam or two behind them as he heard their enemies round the corner. He heard a yelp of pain, but found he could run faster if he focussed solely on sprinting.
There was a lot of cover in this part of the Castle, allowing them to dodge the attacks made by their pursuers. They emerged outside again, sprinting down a descending wall and a courtyard through the storm, which allowed Boreas to use the winds to their advantage and their enemies' disadvantage, giving them some extra metres between them; though it wasn't much since Boreas' friends weren't nearly as proficient as him in making their way through the stormy winds.
Running through a long corridor, Boreas heard a terrifying sound: flame coming towards them. He instantly turned and extended each front paw for as mighty a pulse of cold as he could, but the blazing inferno still washed over him, only singing him and starting a fire on his shoulder instead of simply incinerating him. Yet he ran: he had no time to extinguish his shoulder right now and had to bite through the pain until Aqua extinguished it in passing.
They rushed through halls and corridors and sometimes the outside parts of the Castle back to the exit. They could only hope the Sages wouldn't pursue them in the League.
At last they entered the open-air courtyard where they'd first entered the Castle, emerging from the northern exit. The entrance to the bridge to the Champion's tower was just ahead in the south, but pokémon were there. They skidded to a halt, prepared for a fight, and breathed a sigh of relief when they saw they were the Elite Four's teams.
“Caitlin!” panted Black happily. “Marshal, Shauntal, Grimsley, am I glad to see you! With the five of us, we stand a chance against the Sages!”
The Elite Four didn't move to join Black, and Boreas closed his eyes in annoyance, hoping he was wrong in his suspicion. “Guys?” said Black.
“I'm sorry, Black,” said Caitlin. “But we're not here to offer you aid, but them.”
“What?!” snapped Black.
“Is that so hard to believe?” asked Ghetsis, behind them. The Seven Sages stood in the north entrance to the courtyard, which was wide enough to accommodate them all. There were two more entrances to the east and west, but with enemies before and behind them running for either of those would just get them caught. “Team Plasma's true goal is a noble one, whether you think so or not.”
“They respect power,” thundered Marshal, “and are more powerful even than you. You are a worthy opponent, and I wish this battle would be more even.”
“How can you do this?!” snapped Black. “You were all about doing your duty to protect the Champion earlier, and now that I'm the Champion you'll just betray all trainers?!”
“I've been a psychic all my life,” explained Caitlin, “so of course I've always been made to suppress my powers. Don't enter the minds of mundanes without their permission, don't even pick up any thought at all; always suppress your talent. But the Sages understand that because I have my power, I should get to use it. Suppressing my powers to protect others is wasting them.”
“Besides,” laughed Grimsley, “it's much more fun this way. Why stick with the losers?”
“And now,” said Ghetsis, “it's time to end your rule, Champion, and let everyone know how you killed poor N in cold blood. Yet another tragic victim of selfish trainers.”
They were surrounded by enemies. There was no way out, and no way to defeat them all. Black looked at his pokémon. “So this is how you want to do this?” he asked angrily. “Two of you for each of my pokémon?” Boreas and his friends formed a circle around Black, ready to fight. “Bring it on.”
Ghetsis laughed malevolently. “Kill them.”
“Can ya manage that?”
All were surprised by the heavily accented voice, and the Elite Four turned around to see a human who looked like an ageing cowboy and six powerful ground-types emerge from the castle's gate behind them. Ryoku was the first to regain his composure. “Gym Leader Clay,” he said with a mocking bow that made his beard hang in a puddle of rain, “how nice of you to join us. Are you here to finarry join the winning side, or merely to die in a vain gesture of heroics?”
Clay pretended to think about it. “Well, Ah suppose it's the second. Except...”
At that moment, dozens of attacks hit the sages and their pokémon from the sides as a flood of pokémon of all types charged through the eastern and western gates of the courtyard, while more teams joined Clay too at the southern gate. “It ain't just me, Ah brought the entire resistance along for ye!”
All the Gym Leaders they had fought on their journey had joined the battle, but there were others too: Alder, Cheren, Bianca, and a number of trainers Boreas didn't know. He focussed on his enemies and began to shoot Ice Beams at Ryoku's Cradily, planning to at least get vengeance for Capella.
The chaos that erupted in the courtyard was far worse than the storm itself, but there was a clear tactical element to it. The Elite Four were the first to realise they were in a very poor position, stuck between two enemies, and therefore tried to make their way around and through Black's team so Boreas was forced to fight them instead. He dodged a Conkeldurr's thrown pillar, attacked a Bisharp, and was briefly locked into an icy mirror match against Froslass again.
The Sages were in trouble as well, outflanked in the middle of the courtyard. So it wasn't long until Ghetsis shouted: “RETREAT! Get out of the courtyard, regroup, and summon the grunts! We'll exterminate these pests right now!”
The Sages extended the same orders to their pokémon and slowly the enemy retreated, despite the resistance's attempts to keep them engaged. Soon all eleven teams fought in the northern entrance to the courtyard, a blinding crossfire of attacks flying to and fro. Many of these attacks hit the arching structure itself until after a moment it began to collapse right on top of the enemy. Between the darkness, the storm, and the dust created by the collapse, Boreas couldn't see if any enemies were crushed, but it sounded like a lot of them managed to retreat back into the corridors of the castle.
For now, there was no more enemy to fight, however. “Good work!” shouted Alder over the storm. “Now let's get out of here; it won't be long until they get back here through another way, and this time we won't be able to surprise them! We'll have to leave the League entirely; they won't rest until they get us now.” He then turned to Black. “Are you alright? We were expecting something like this.”
Boreas began to protest they couldn't run away, but Black quickly told Alder the rough details of all that had happened as they began evacuating everyone over the bridges. Finally, he asked: “D'you have any idea what Kyurem turned into?”
“I think I do,” interrupted Iris, who had listened to the story. “Zekrom was once a part of Kyurem, and was only pulled away from it by the ancient hero. It's still only a part of a creature and can't exist without a hero to bond with; that's why all its energy was released in that explosion when N died. But because it was once a part of Kyurem, Kyurem somehow absorbed the energy of the explosion and added Zekrom to itself once again. It's still not complete without Reshiram, but closer to what it once was than it's been in a long time.”
“What would happen to Kyurem,” Boreas asked, an idea forming in his mind, “if Ghetsis were to die?”
With a little help from Black, Iris understood the question. “Well, basically what you just saw Zekrom do. Unless Kyurem, Reshiram, and Zekrom were united in a single being, they can never be a stable pokémon without their hero. Kyurem is closest to it, but in its normal state it's very weak, all its strength in Reshiram and Kyurem; so weak it's almost like a ghost. Ghetsis' dark mind must have appealed to it for him to control it. If he died, Kyurem couldn't hold Zekrom as a part of it without Reshiram, and it would become weak and ghost-like again, while Zekrom would turn into the Dark Stone. All in a huge release of energy that would obliterate anything nearby.”
They were in the Champion's tower by now. “Then we have to go back! Stop!” shouted Boreas.
“What is it?” asked Black.
“We can't run away now, we can really hurt Plasma here. I think we can even capture their castle.”
Alder had stopped too by now. “How, little Glaceon?”
“Well, by killing N, Diego did something we could never have done, but now Zekrom is controlled by Ghetsis, and I don't think anyone would have a serious problem killing him. We retrieve Reshiram as quickly as possible to combat Zekrom-Kyurem's mental influence, and then we fight Team Plasma in its own castle. Obviously we can't win by force of arms, but we could fight to distract them while some of us try to kill Ghetsis. It would not only leave them leaderless, but without the constant morale boost from Kyurekrom, while we would still have Reshiram. It might be enough to get them to surrender the castle, and even if they don't, a legendary being on our side, not theirs, would finally inspire people to fight against them.”
Aqua tried to suppress her guilt as she sneaked down the stairs. It felt like she was betraying everyone, Boreas in particular, even though she knew leaving them was for their own good. Boreas was laying out his plan, and it was a good plan, or at least the best they had. But if she stayed and let herself be made part of it, she would only lower their chances of success. She had once again demonstrated in battle against N how unreliable she was. If she let Boreas count on her in this battle she would betray his trust and possibly make it all fail. She was helping him, really, by getting away. She was helping all the people hurt by Plasma by not getting involved in this. She should be very proud of all the people her decision had probably saved.
Of course, she knew that was complete bollocks. She was making excuses for her cowardice. But if she repeated them often enough to herself, she might start believing them.
“Going somewhere?” asked a voice.
Aqua turned around in shock. “Toxica! I-I was just...”
“Sneakin' off,” Toxica finished her sentence. “Why?”
“Well, you saw what I did when I was up against Zekrom.”
“Yeah, it turned you against us, but Boreas stopped you, and then you resisted it, fought it, and hurt it pretty bad. So why are you running away?”
“You've got it wrong: I turned against you. It wasn't as if it suddenly had me under mind control or something, it just strengthened something that was already there. And I should've resisted it, like you did, but I didn't. I've never been good at the whole loyalty thing, and I don't like humans. I don't like risking my life either.”
“If you summarise that, you can say I'm a disloyal coward who sympathises with the enemy. Do you think it's wise to count on someone like that in this battle?”
“Well, if it's you-”
“If I didn't leave, Boreas would count on me, you would count on me. And when I betray that trust, I might cause your deaths. That's why I have to leave.”
“Listen up, Aqua,” said Toxica firmly now that she had finally stopped talking, “I think that's just an excuse. Because like Boreas said, you're a better person than you think.”
Aqua grimaced. “Boreas is many things, but not wise. To be honest, I think love has blinded him to my flaws.”
“Well, I say it too! You would never consciously betray someone you love as much as Boreas, or friends like me or Selene. What is this really about, Aqua?”
Aqua sighed in resignation. “I'm terrified. This battle is going to be very serious. Have you seen what was running after us? That's forty-nine powerful pokémon, six of which are ludicrously strong and incredibly rare monstrosities. Then there's this Zekrom-Kyurem hybrid, which is likely to be even stronger than Zekrom was. There's twenty-four more powerful pokémon commanded by the Elite Four, and probably thousands commanded by grunts. We've got a hundred at best with the resistance at our side, and most of them are considerably less powerful than our enemies.” Aqua shivered. “In a few hours, there will be a lot of dead pokémon in that castle, no matter who wins. And not just enemies, in fact I have a strong feeling we won't all come back if we join this. I don't want to be among all those dead.”
Toxica squeezed her shoulder. “I don't want you to be among them either. I don't want to be among them myself; it scares me too. But that's why I'm trying to get you to reconsider. Imagine if I died, or Selene, or especially Boreas, while you weren't there. Wouldn't you blame yourself to the end of your days, thinking you could've prevented it?”
While Aqua thought, Alder ordered: “Let's get back into the Castle, we've got a plan! We'll keep them as busy as we can, while our new Champion goes after Ghetsis! Spread out over the eastern and western wings and try to outflank them, but make sure you don't get isolated!”
Toxica smiled and looked at her. “What's it going to be, Aqua? If I have to say goodbye, I wish you all the best, but I hope you reconsidered...”
Well, now that you've presumably finished reading this chapter, I can answer this: another battle with Diego is not far off, and I figured portraying this battle fully would take away from it.
Also, I did miss reading how the battle between Aqua and Diego went instead just the conclusion of it. Other than that, a great reading as usual.
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 71 is up!)
Holy. Crap. You're weren't joking when you said that it would indeed become more hectic. N is killed by Diego, thereby fully turning him into an antagonist, Zekrom fusing with Kyurem and the Elite Four joins forces with Team Plasma.
All bets are off in the next chapter(s), I can no longer see where and how this is going to end, but one thing's for certain: the prediction with Toxica hasn't been fulfilled yet, right? It's going to play some sort of role in the nearby future, that's for certain.
This is the first time in a while a chapter really gripped me into reading it intensively, and that marks it in my book as a great one.
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 71 is up!)
You put me in a serious raging mood now, but man, what excellent suspense! I was hoping that Diego wouldn't go down that path at all... oh well. Now I'm anxious about the lives of Boreas' teammates: I especially like the dynamics of Octa and Toxica's relationship. Keep the new chapters coming!
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 71 is up!)
Indeed, I wasn't kidding. Now, at the end, it's time to go all out. By the way, thanks greatly for nominating this story, Diego, and Toxica (I guess she really has come a very long way from the rather one-dimensional character she was for far too long) for the Winter Award!
Originally Posted by Tophat Dragoneye
Well, it depends on how you look at it. You could consider it not to have been fulfilled yet. It's also worth remembering the Golurk that did this prophecy is currently fighting on Team Plasma's side.
All bets are off in the next chapter(s), I can no longer see where and how this is going to end, but one thing's for certain: the prediction with Toxica hasn't been fulfilled yet, right? It's going to play some sort of role in the nearby future, that's for certain.
That's wonderful, I really hope I can keep up the quality for the few remaining chapters.
This is the first time in a while a chapter really gripped me into reading it intensively, and that marks it in my book as a great one.
Yes, he is truly every bit as evil as he seemed at first.
Originally Posted by Aerospacer
Ever since chapter 57 I have been setting things up in such a way that it would seem Diego would likely switch sides and be redeemed at this point. It was fun to do, but ultimately no more than a misdirection on my part, and a minor personality crisis on Diego's. As the incident with the random Glaceon (and plenty more incidents with Boreas) shows, he is a very evil Zoroark. In a way, I suppose he is like Skrain Dukat from Deep Space Nine: he appears outwardly evil, but when you get to know him better, you find there's some good in him. But when you dig past that, to his true core, you find it's darker than you could ever have suspected. Diego is much the same in that respect.
You put me in a serious raging mood now, but man, what excellent suspense! I was hoping that Diego wouldn't go down that path at all... oh well.
Well, much faster than usual, here's the next chapter:
Now I'm anxious about the lives of Boreas' teammates: I especially like the dynamics of Octa and Toxica's relationship. Keep the new chapters coming!
Chapter Seventy-Two: Love and War
“So what eventually got you to change your mind?” Boreas asked as they waited for Black to return with Reshiram in the Champion's tower.
“You know, I'm not really sure,” said Aqua ponderously. “I didn't want to let Diego get away with murdering N, I didn't want to leave you to fight without me, I wanted to give myself a chance to maybe prove Toxica and you right, and I know Team Plasma needs to be stopped. I don't know which one convinced me, really. Probably a bit of each. I'm glad I've got a friend like Toxica to get me back in any case.” She smiled and patted Toxica on her shoulder with her tail.
“So am I,” said Boreas, “though it would've felt safer not to have you part of this battle.”
Aqua gave him a sceptical look.
“I know, I know,” Boreas laughed, “you're probably more capable of staying alive in this thing than me, and you wouldn't turn back for my concerns anyway. I was just saying.”
“Yeah, you're right there,” chuckled Aqua. “Between the two of us, you're the one who needs his back watched. After all, you're always getting yourself into danger because you don't think ahead.”
“Hey, that's not true,” chuckled Boreas. “I do think ahead and don't need you to keep me out of trouble.”
“It's true, alright. You're reckless and silly.”
Boreas tried very hard to keep a straight face. “I'm not, which means you're just poking your pretty nose into my business.”
“Busybody.” Their lips softly touched, ignoring Octa's frustrated sigh.
Aqua winked. “I do think Octa's jealous.”
“I am not!” Octa enunciated. “However, I am frustrated, for our friends and allies are dying in battle right now while we have to wait for Black to retrieve Reshiram before we can join them; despite this, your minds are occupied by your courtship.”
“Octa, my dear fellow,” said Boreas, “my mind can use a little distraction right now. Besides, this could be our last chance to kiss; we might die soon, so why not make the most of things now?”
Boreas thought he saw something on Toxica's face at this, but then Black entered with Reshiram and interrupted the conversation. Pride and courage filled them all, knowing the truth was on their side. Fortunately, Reshiram didn't seem dismayed by Black's unceremonial dismissal earlier. “Come on, guys,” said Black. “Let's find Ghetsis, end this, and all come back in one piece. It shouldn't be too hard.”
Stepping out onto the bridge to Team Plasma's castle, they were nearly blown off by the storm and instantly soaked by rain. “Forgot about the storm!” shouted Black against the wind. “Get on Reshiram's back, everyone, we're flying!”
As he crawled on Reshiram's back, Boreas felt empowered and proud by the sheer touch of its soft, almost fur-like feathers. He was for a moment fully convinced by the sheer righteousness of their cause and pitying those misguided deniers of the truth out there, before he reminded himself not to be fooled by Reshiram's crap. “I had no idea legendaries were this annoying...” he muttered.
They were soon all on the large dragon's back, holding on to the white feathers tightly. “Go, Reshiram,” commanded Black. “Fly us to Kyurem!”
Reshiram spread its vast white wings and leapt into the stormy sky. Boreas held on tight as they soared over Team Plasma's castle. Little figures fought below them, in courtyards and on walls, their attacks little sparks of light in the deep dark tempest. Black shouted something at Reshiram, and they entered into a dive and swooped right over the fighting on a wall. Reshiram shone brightly with white light on the combatants, invigorating the resistance and breathing fire down on Team Plasma.
They were about to make another pass, but a bolt of lightning barely missed them, its thunderclap deafeningly loud. The stormwinds pulled hard on Reshiram and those it carried, making it clear the shorter they flew through the storm, the better.
“KYUREM IS IN THERE,” thundered Reshiram as they flew for one of the lower buildings, almost invisible through the thick rain curtain.
“Put us down at its entrance!” As they approached the building, an open courtyard in front of it became visible. Tiny figures were fighting even this deep into the castle, but they momentarily scattered as Reshiram descended like a bright, fiery falling star. Several seconds before it touched down, Boreas jumped from its back, landing on a Koffing floating several metres lower and taking it out, instantly jumped on, taking down a Flaaffy as well. A buzzing noise alerted him and allowed him to block a Beedrill's attack before it landed and respond in kind, grabbing the insect, sending a pulse of cold through it, and throwing it onto the Bagon that attacked him as well. A final attack took both down.
Then his friends joined the battle as well. Their allies were on the other side of the courtyard; they were surrounded by enemies here. Most of them were just grunts, and their pokémon were relatively easy to handle, but Boreas recognised a purple-robed old man with long, greying-brown hair and a goatee. With a shudder he recalled his disgusting and nearly fatal trip into the stomach of Zinzolin's Seviper. At least that Glaceon-eating monster was dead now, but the sage brought six powerful poison-types and a huge Hydreigon to the field.
“Ah, our new Shampion 'as honoured us with a visit! 'Ydreigon, show 'im your power!”
The dark, three headed serpent-dragon roared and attacked Reshiram with powerful pulses of energy from two of the heads, while the third devoured a Plusle that was actually on its own side. Reshiram took flight, wounded by the attacks, and flew at Hydreigon, spitting fire. The serpent itself leapt into the air, dodging the flames, and collided with Reshiram, two of its heads biting at the other dragon's throat while the third spit a beam of energy right into its face.
But Boreas had no more time to watch the titanic struggle between dragons: Zinzolin's team had reached them. A Drapion's powerful punch knocked him right into a soft, horribly stinky trashmonster. The Garbodor spit a wave of slime over him, but he blunted the assault by freezing it, then rapidly dodged its fist coming down. With an attack, he froze its oozy flesh in several places. But before he could continue, he saw movement faster than lightning from the corner of his eye. As he turned to parry its attack, he already realised he was too late; the Crobat was just too fast.
A solid beam of water knocked the bat out of the air and made it bounce off Garbodor. Boreas quickly nodded his thanks to Aqua and finished the momentarily grounded bat with an Ice Beam. He turned at the sound of Garbodor blobbering towards him, oozing sludge at him, and defended himself by freezing its every attack. The trashmonster was faster than it looked and Boreas had a hard time freezing the disgusting liquids it threw at him away, but was just fast enough.
An electric attack struck Boreas from somewhere just as he was about to freeze down yet another blob of goo. His muscles spasmed from the shock and made him miss his counterattack. Horrid, burning sludge covered his upper body a moment later. The goo felt like it was dissolving his fur and skin, so he tried to scrape it off with his paws, but he was hit by more balls of sludge, fully covering him in the nasty stuff.
A big wave of water impacted him strongly and washed most of the noxious goo off instantly. He was swept away in the wave, which soon turned into a rapid whirlpool with Garbodor at its centre before it retreated and left Aqua standing next to him.
“Really, my love,” she teased as she blasted Garbodor with a jet of water, “how many more times do you plan on having me rescue you?”
Boreas got up and suppressed the instinct to shake out his fur; it wouldn't matter in this deluge anyway. Instead he Ice Beamed Garbodor. “It's not as if I'm helpless, I just had a bit of bad luck! I don't need you to save me that often.”
Aqua elegantly dodged the Garbodor's slimy bulk as it launched itself at her. “Sure you do,” she chuckled, “you'd be helpless without me at your side.”
Boreas laughed as he froze the ground beneath Garbodor, making it slip as it got up. “Maybe you're right; so I'd better make sure I keep you there.” He suddenly had his best idea ever. “Let's get married.”
Aqua turned right in the middle of a wave that was about to crash down on Garbodor, missing it instead. “WHAT?!”
Drapion saw its chance and jumped at Aqua, surrounded by slime. Boreas' mind lashed out with the stormwind, suddenly increasing a blast of wind to a tornado's strength and thereby launching Garbodor away and knocking Zinzolin's Weezing out of the air with it. “It's a tradition of human origin where you promise your eternal love for-”
“I know what it is!” said Aqua bewildered. “But in case you hadn't noticed, we're a little busy at the moment!”
They both had to run from a mighty ball of fire from the duel of the dragons, but stayed together. “Aqua,” said Boreas as he parried a Vulpix's attack with one paw while carefully crystallising rain with the other into a beautiful flower made of ice, “this is likely our last chance. If I'm going to die today, this is one last thing I would like to have done. I love you,” he said as he completed the flower and gave it to Aqua in one smooth motion, “will you marry me?”
Aqua looked at him with a wonderful expression of love and befuddlement, but had to jump out of the way of a Gurdurr's girder, then swept it away with a single wave. “Boreas, you're insane!” she laughed. “And I love you for it! Of course I'll marry you!”
It was one of the happiest moments of Boreas' life, to look into Aqua's happy, laughing face and know she truly wanted to be with him forever. He rolled out of the way of a Ledian's punch, making it hit a Kling instead and screech in pain before he knocked them both out with a single pulse of cold. “Wonderful!” he said as his tail briefly touched Aqua's.
“Yeah,” she said with a twinkle in her eyes, “so, what exactly are we supposed to do?”
“Uhh...” Boreas realised he only had quite a vague idea of how a wedding was supposed to work; but he figured the details didn't matter as long as he and Aqua considered themselves married. “I think you're supposed to get a best man, to begin with.”
Aqua nodded. “Right, let's get them, then!” They ran back to the rest of the team, which they'd gotten separated from, dodging a few attacks together while holding tails.
“Octa,” said Boreas as he reached his friend, Ice Beaming the Drapion the Serperior was fighting in the face. “Will you be my best man? Aqua and I are getting married right now!”
“What the-” began Octa, using his enemy's cringe at Boreas' attack to stab it. “Of all the ludicrous ideas you've had, this has to be the worst! We're in a battle here!”
“Is that a yes or a no?”
“A yes, of course, my dear fellow!” Octa laughed.
“Toxica,” asked Aqua, “will you be my best woman?”
“I'd be honoured,” said Toxica, defeating Drapion with an Energy Ball, “but I don't think the bride is supposed to have a best woman too.”
“Half the guests to the wedding aren't supposed to be trying to kill the other half and the wedding couple either, but we have to improvise here!” Aqua quickly soaked an attacking Numel.
“Then I'd love to be best woman,” said Toxica. “This is wonderful!”
“Octa,” said Boreas, “could you pull double duty and ask us the questions? I think you know them best!”
“Very well, my dear fellow.” He scraped his throat. “Dearly beloved-” he parried a Pawniard's blade with his own. “And not so beloved, we are gathered here today to unite these two Eevees in matrimony! Boreas, do you-ack!” Weezing had emerged from under the unconscious Garbodor and was attacking them with dark clouds of smog. “Toxica and I can handle it, continue on your own!”
“Boreas,” said Aqua, shooting a jet of water at an enemy behind Boreas' back, “do you take me to be your wife to love and cherish until death do us part?”
“I do!” said Boreas happily, Ice Beaming an approaching Sunflora down. “Aqua, do you take me to be your-” The two dragons, entangled in mighty combat, were about to crash down on them, so Boreas and Aqua ran away together, jumping over enemies and quickly dispatching a few. “-Husband, to love and cherish until death do us part, which I hope will be in more than a few minutes?”
“I do!” said Aqua, creating a rapid flow of water circling around them, keeping enemies away.
Boreas looked, but saw Octa was too far away. “Then I pronounce us husband and wife.” he said with delight as he froze the wave.
Protected by the wall of ice, the battle's noise and chaos was at last gone for one moment. Aqua looked into Boreas' eyes with a happy smile. “You may now kiss the bride.”
Boreas hugged Aqua tightly and kissed her, feeling his limitless love for this wonderful Vaporeon in every cell of his body. Their kiss seemed to last an eternity, so lost in their love were they, it even continued for another second when the wall of ice shattered all around them thanks to the fighting dragons. Then at last they separated and took down the enemies around them together. “C'mon, hubby,” said Aqua with a smile. “Let's rejoin our best men.”
“Good idea, I think the guests might be giving them trouble.” They sprinted back to Octa and Toxica just in time to see them take down the Weezing. The two grass-types turned to them with happy expecting smiles.
“It's done,” said Boreas joyfully, “we're married!”
“Congratulations, my dear fellow!” Octa grasped Boreas. “Now this is something I would never have expected: you getting wed before me.”
They suddenly saw Sage Zinzolin running through the battlefield, pursued by Lucius and Selene, who had clearly defeated the sage's other pokémon. Octa extended his vines and made the robed human trip, then aimed his blade at the man's throat. “Sage Zinzolin, you have been defeated,” declared Octa.
“Damn right he is,” said Lucius. “Birdbrain and I took down the rest of his pokémon, and Hydreigon is getting its triple ass kicked by Reshiram. Kill him and let's get on with it.”
Zinzolin breathed heavily with the blade at his throat, and said: “You may kill me, but you will lose zis battle and zis war nonetheless. It is inevitable. Victoire à la Plasma!”
Octa kept his blade on the Frenchman's throat for a moment, then withdrew it and slithered back a little. “I cannot kill him.”
“Really?” asked Lucius after a moment. “That's good. Because I can!” He suddenly leapt onto Zinzolin, and Octa moved to stop him, but it was too late: Lucius bit at the sage's throat, and there was one final scream before he was silenced forever. Lucius got up, his mouth dripping with blood.
“How could you do that?!” roared Octa. “He was defeated, our prisoner! To kill him was an act of utter barbarity!”
“Get used to it!” snapped Lucius. “Remember, these bastards are our enemies, and they wouldn't hesitate to do the same to us. Remember what they did to Capella? This won't be the last of them whose blood I drink! We're here to kill another one of them in the first place, so quit whining!”
Though Boreas was rather shocked by the brutal execution, he couldn't really feel sad for Zinzolin's demise. “Come on,” he said to stop Octa from arguing. “We've got to help Reshiram defeat that Hydreigon.”
Reshiram was already winning on its own, however, the Hydreigon a lot more wounded. They were flying through the air above the battlefield, their intense beams flashing like the storm's lightning. Boreas shot an Ice Beam at Hydreigon's wings, and his friends joined him in attacking. It spit a great ball of fire down from one head; Boreas got the storm to blow them out of its path with intense force. They all landed painfully and in a heap, but at least they weren't incinerated. They wanted to help Reshiram fight Hydreigon some more, but the three-headed dragon saw its trainer was dead and rapidly dived away from its legendary enemy, flying rapidly over the battlefield. Reshiram was about to pursue it, but Black shouted: “Leave it, Reshiram! We have to go after Kyurem!”
Reshiram descended. “AS YOU COMMAND. THE TRUTH WILL ALWAYS WIN.”
“And Lucius,” Black scolded, “I don't want to see you kill anyone other than Ghetsis again! We take them as prisoners, understood?”
“Sure,” lied Lucius.
Boreas became aware of an enemy attacking him and turned around instantly, but too late: the Nidorino had reached him. But instead of a painful impact, there was dark flash and then it was thrown aside by a cute Umbreon. “Boreas,” she said, “it's been a while, hasn't it?”
“Febby!” Boreas blurted out in surprise. “It's great to see you again!” He saw now that White was greeting Black, and that she had her entire team with her. Boreas was momentarily annoyed with seeing Esper, before deciding it really was about time he stopped being so childish towards him. “I had no idea you were in the resistance!”
“Well, we've been with them only shortly,” she giggled, “White didn't want to give us up when Team Plasma took over, so she eventually went to the Gym Leader for help, and he got us into the resistance. It's good not to have to hide all the time. Oh, and here's Esper!”
“Hi, dude,” greeted Esper, “how are you?”
“I'm well,” Boreas said kindly. “In fact, I just got married.”
“You did?!” Febby blurted out with something between surprise, joy, and jealousy. “Who's the lucky girl?”
Boreas looked for his bride, and saw she was in trouble fighting a Scrafty that looked like Grimsley's. “Excuse me, just a moment.” He rushed for them, firing Ice Beams that hurt and distracted the Scrafty enough for Aqua to strike back at it. While it wasn't defeated, it retreated behind other combatants, unwilling to fight the two of them. “Looks like I'm not the only one in this marriage that needs the occasional rescue,” teased Boreas.
“Oh, shut up,” laughed Aqua.
“Anyway,” said Boreas, “I want to introduce you to Febby and Esper. Febby, this is Aqua, my wife.” That sounded very good, thought Boreas.
“Hello, Febby,” said Aqua with a mean little smile. “I've heard much about you from my husband.”
“Did you?” said Febby, suddenly grumpy. “I heard little about you.”
“Hardly surprising. I suppose the facts speak for themselves, don't they, my love?”
Boreas made eye contact with Esper and saw the Espeon felt as surprised and uncomfortable by the sudden hostility as Boreas. “Yes, yes, I suppose they do. Anyway, I think we should be paying more attention to the battle, and try to reach Ghetsis. But it was great to see you again, Febby.”
Aqua and Boreas ran through enemy ranks to catch up to their friends, who were already in the entrance to the building where Ghetsis apparently was, fighting in a long corridor full of grunts and their pokémon. “What'd you do that for?” Boreas asked in annoyance as he sidestepped to dodge an attack.
“Do what?” Aqua asked with all the sweetness of an apple filled with razorblades. “I was just having a nice girl-to-girl chat with Febby.”
Boreas snorted. “Sure, 'nice'. You were clearly trying to make her jealous.”
“Well, perhaps,” said Aqua with a sly smile. “After all, she was stupid enough to choose that Espeon instead of you.”
Boreas chuckled. “That's no reason to childishly rub it in. Funny thing is, I had no idea she had even had any interest in me at all until just now.”
“I'm not surprised she is, I married you after all. Would it have changed anything if you had known?”
“No,” said Boreas, without even having to think about it. “I mean, Febby is a nice girl and all, but you...” he searched for the right words. “Well, I love you.”
Aqua chuckled. “That's what I figured.”
“Dammit, it was about time you two rejoined us!” snapped Toxica.
“Sorry,” said Aqua, “we got a little caught up talking to an old friend of Boreas'.”
The help of the two newly-wed Eevees was very welcome, as Black's team was getting swarmed with enemies in the corridor. Fortunately there was no rain inside, and each enemy on its own was quite weak. But with as many of them as there were in here, it was hard not to be overwhelmed. Toxica already had several wounds, but they were slowly making progress through the corridor thanks to Reshiram, which made many of its enemies flee, and easily defeated them otherwise.
As Toxica fought against one enemy after another, she noticed Boreas and Aqua were fighting closely together in concert, always covering each other, their attacks working together brilliantly. It warmed her heart to see her friends like this. To see them get married suddenly was a wonderful, though strange surprise in this massive battle. It also made her wonder if she shouldn't forgive Octa. She knew the Eevees had done this because the chances either of them wouldn't live to see tomorrow were large, and they were no better for Octa and her. Boreas' words “we might die soon, so why not make the most of things now?” had hit home. But of course, she was still quite mad at Octa for what he'd done. Dying broken up with him was not an appealing thought, but neither was forgiving him, even if she was pretty sure his regret nor his decision to leave his House were fake.
Lost in thought like this, Toxica was fighting pretty much on automatic pilot. It was bound to go wrong sooner or later, and of course it did. An Absol was faster than her and swept at her with the razor-sharp sickle on its head. She fell back with a cry of pain and a deep cut in her chest. Absol pounced her to finish it, but found its sickle crossed by a Leaf Blade. “That was most unwise of you.”
To Toxica's great annoyance, Octa engaged the Absol and fought it, protecting her as she focussed on regenerating her wound. “Dammit, Octa, mind your own business, you nosy bastard! I can take care of myself!”
“I shan't,” said Octa defiantly, “for you evidently do need my help.”
“Piss off,” she snapped as she got up again slowly. “I know you're just trying to impress me, but you can forget about it!”
Octa defeated the Absol. “What I did was to help you; I would have done the same for any of us, even Lucius.”
“Codswallop!” snapped Toxica as their progress through the corridor went faster: it seemed White's pokémon were creating a distraction on the other end. “I know you still want to be with me, but it's over between us! I don't care that we might be about to die, or that you might've left your House for me, I'm done with you!”
She realised then she was sounding madder than Selene right now and forced herself to calm down and stop rambling. She was ashamed to have flipped out like that for so little reason. “I-I'm sorry, I-”
But they had finally reached the end of the army of pokémon in the corridor, the rest too occupied with fighting White. The grunts that commanded them had fled into rooms to the sides, so nothing stood between them and the hall where Ghetsis was. Reshiram rushed ahead and bashed the doors down, showing a grand, ornate hall. But Kyurem and the rest of Ghetsis' team still stood between them and the Sage.
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 72 is up!)
Couldn't help but laugh a little (in a good way) reading the marriage scene with Boreas and Aqua, yet it is also made well. Got the inspiration from the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie?
Anyway, the chapter.
The focus of this chapter was, of course, the final battle against Team Plasma, but the marriage between Boreas and Aqua got the spotlight here. I couldn't help but smile at this, since it represents the culmination of their relationship. How this will evolve from now on, only the next chapter(s) can reveal.
Lucius' behavior in the chapter is true to him, but this is certainly its peak, killing the sage just like that. It is motivated by one thing, though, and that's Capella's death by the hands of one of them. Time and time again, he has shown that he cares about his comrades, but just doesn't like to admit it (Selene is a different matter though). I just hope killing the sage doesn't end up biting him back.
Then there's Toxica and Octa, relationship still being frosty. It's nice that Toxica is considering making amends with him, but is understandably still angry about him. Let's hope they at least can make amend with each other.
Keep up the good work :)