I'm glad you enjoyed it. The focus was indeed very much on the bizarrely timed wedding, and the rather silly tone the chapter got from it was more or less intentional. There needs to be some comic and romantic relief, after all, and the final part does need that, as you'll see.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.
Thanks, I hope I will.Keep up the good work :)
Chapter Seventy-Three: The Tightening Noose
Ghetsis looked surprised to see them enter the huge hall. “If it isn't our new Champion. Good of you to have come and brought me Reshiram. It was about time poor Kyurem became a single pokémon again, wasn't it?”
“You'll pay for having N killed, monster,” growled Aqua with a look of pure hate on her face.
Ghetsis looked at her with amusement. “N was the monster, you know. He was created and raised as nothing but a tool to get me Zekrom, and that was all there ever was to him. He was a freak without a human heart.”
“You're one to talk about having a heart,” said Black,“after using and then killing your own son like that!”
“You clearly haven't understood the philosophy of the Seven Sages-”
Black interrupted. “You'd better make that Six Sages. Zinzolin is dead.”
Ghetsis seemed genuinely hurt for a moment before shaking it off with a shrug. “That's a pity, but no serious problem. You see, I'm about to kill you and reunite Kyurem fully, so I can do with one Sage less. I'll have a perfect pokémon for a perfect Emperor of Team Plasma, of Unova, of the world!” From beneath the huge mantle that was part of his robe, Ghetsis revealed a cane with the Team Plasma logo on it and banged it on the ground, snapping Kyurem to attention with the sound. “I am the most powerful Sage, and don't really need the help of my allies any more.”
“And what would your so-called allies say,” asked Black, “if they heard this?”
Ghetsis shrugged. “It's nothing they don't know. They would do the same if they were as brilliant, as wise, and as powerful as I am. As it is, they're content to bide their time and be my second-in-commands until they can replace me some day. Of course that day will never come, as I am perfection! And now, I've got four new Sages to replace poor Zinzolin anyway.”
“There's only one problem with your plan:” said Black, “you'll be dead soon.”
Ghetsis laughed. “What an incredibly predictable thing to say. Instead, you should thanks me: you got to be the sole audience member for one of my speeches. But fine, if you want to rush into things, then so be it. We both have seven pokémon, so at least you have some tiny chance against me.” He banged his cane to the floor, and his team began to move. Other than Kyurem, there were an Escavalier, Spiritomb, Bouffalant, Seismitoad, Eelektross, and Kingdra. Ghetsis clearly had the tactical insight not to base his team on any one type, but instead on pokémon with very few weaknesses. But Boreas reminded himself this battle wasn't about taking out the enemy pokémon, but the enemy trainer. If someone could just kill Ghetsis, Kyurem would be gone too... Boreas quickly looked around the hall, taking anything that might be useful in. On each side of the room, there was a huge statue of a Lugia on a stone pedestal three metres high and almost five wide.
“An even fight,” sneered Black, “are you scared yet?”
Ghetsis laughed. “You'll need at least another trainer on your side to make it even. Farewell, Black.”
Ghetsis banged his cane again and the battle started in all its deadliness. Boreas instantly aimed a powerful attack for Ghetsis, but the man jumped behind the pedestal of the statue behind him.
Mighty attacks flew over Black's team aimed for him, so he quickly did the same, seeking cover behind the statue's huge pedestal. Reshiram and Kyurem collided with terrifying might in combat in the middle of the hall, fighting each other with devastating flames, lightning bolts, and ice.
Boreas tried to run around the enemy team in the hopes of reaching Ghetsis, but found his path suddenly blocked by a huge wave of water. He tried to freeze it before it reached him, but was too late: it crashed into him with nearly bonebreaking force. He was submerged in a maelstrom of water. The rapid, chaotic currents prevented him from freezing any of the water, since the water near him would be far away within a second, and turned him so suddenly his neck felt whiplashed soon. The currents never allowed him to surface at all, so he was rapidly running out of air.
He caught occasional glimpses of a large, dragon-like seahorse with a sharp snout in the maelstrom, a bright white ball of energy forming on its snout. Boreas tried to attack Kingdra, but the currents were so fast and unpredictable his attacks mostly missed, and the one time an Ice Beam did hit his enemy it seemed to be hurt little.
All of a sudden, the currents held Boreas in a single place, but before he could capitalise on it a bright white beam of energy enveloped most of his body. He felt like he was on fire, his every cell burning with pain. He weakened the beam with powerful pulses of cold through the water, but it still felt as if the beam was disintegrating him layer by layer. He was unable to resist screaming in agony and so lost the last air in his lungs. The terrible beam ended at last, so Boreas attacked back and froze the water near Kingdra, then struggled to reach the surface as his lungs were desperately begging for air by now. Kingdra was too occupied with getting away from the suddenly encroaching ice to keep up the drowning currents, so Boreas could finally ascend in the water. His muscles burned and he had a dreadful headache, not even to mention the pain the beam had inflicted, but he spent the last of his strength to reach the surface while suppressing his breathing reflex. His front paw finally touched delicious air: he was almost there.
But hope died as a current pulled him deep under again. In the shock of the moment, Boreas' breathing reflex got the better of him and he inhaled deeply, but instead of liberating air, water reached his lungs. It was like inhaling magma: his lungs were in agony from the water filling them, and he instinctively breathed in and out quickly, more agonising water filling his lungs as his vision slowly faded to black.
Though his mind had raced to find a way to save himself, he finally realised he was truly drowning to death, and decided he didn't want his life to end thinking only of the burning pain in his lungs and the terror of not being able to reach the surface. He focussed only on Aqua, picturing her face when she had agreed to marry him minutes ago. Thinking of her he felt his mind slowly go blank. In his dying moments his oxygen-deprived brain dreamt of her grabbing him, her sweet face full of fear for his life, and kissing him. The pain, the panic, and the all-consuming need for oxygen faded as death embraced him. At least it was a good dying dream, Boreas thought through a densely fogged mind.
But the dream continued as Aqua swam rapidly through the currents holding him, and shielded him from another beam with her own body, screeching in pain underwater as she was hit. Moments later, Boreas was thrown out of the water and landed hard on the ground, feeling utterly horrible. He coughed and vomited up floods of water and wheezed to get air, but his lungs were still almost full of the horrible stuff and the air he breathed barely offered any relief. Between coughs and wheezes he was still drowning on dry land.
He was lifted by two large human arms that pressed hard on his chest and held him facing downward. It hurt, but made him cough up far more water than before. Boreas was vaguely aware Black was running, holding him while the enemy's attacks flew him around the ears. Boreas' breathing became slightly more effective, slowly removing the pain and fog in his mind as they dived behind the cover of a statue.
Boreas had no idea how long he coughed up water while Black pressed on his chest, but he felt himself slowly recover. “Tha-Thank you...”
“Are you feeling better now, little buddy?” asked Black full of concern. “I thought I'd lost you there for a moment.”
“Much- much better,” gasped Boreas, “still- bloody awful.”
Boreas tried to see how the battle was going, but hidden behind the pedestal he could only see the large blob of water he'd nearly drowned in: Aqua was still fighting Kingdra inside, but it was hard to see who was winning.
Suddenly an armoured insect with two sharp lance-arms, one of which was covered in blood, hopped around the corner. Boreas tried to get up to fight, but was still in no condition to do so, breaking out in a water-spewing coughing fit instead. “Don't worry, little buddy,” said Black, pulling his knife, “I'll defend myself.”
The Escavalier ignored Boreas as it lunged out at Black with its lances. The human fortunately dodged them and stabbed back, only for his knife to harmlessly bounce off the armour. Escavalier stabbed at him again, but Black dodged it.
A huge ball of fire from the battle of the legendaries hit the top of the Lugia statue and melted the stone there instantly, distracting Escavalier for a moment and allowing Black to put some distance between them. But followed and stabbed at him again: Black parried with his knife, but the powerful pokémon easily flung it from his hand. It stabbed with its other lance and pierced Black's leg all the way through.
Boreas got up, forcing himself past his weakness to go help his badly wounded trainer. He ran into Escavalier's back just as it was about to kill Black with another stab, making it miss. Boreas put a weak pulse of cold through his enemy. Escavalier wasn't hurt much and threw Boreas off, then turned around to finish Black. The human had tried to crawl away, but with his one leg pierced and bleeding heavily he was slower even than the armoured insect. Boreas tried to fight Escavalier again, but was felled by a dreadful coughing fit.
On the other side of the statue, Kyurem tried to hit Reshiram with an obliterating Hyper Beam, but missed. The beam hit the hall's roof instead, where a rain of boulders exploded from its impact as it knocked all the way through. One of the heavy rocks struck down Escavalier as it was about to strike, knocking it out, though its armour prevented it from being crushed completely.
Fortunately neither Black nor Boreas were hit, but the wound on Black's leg was bleeding badly. Boreas went over to him and softly breathed ice-cold air on the leg to slow the blood loss. “I'll be alright, little buddy,” said Black with a cringe of pain. “Go help the others, they'll need you more than me right now.”
Boreas nodded and, coughing up some more water, he walked around the statue cautiously. The first thing he noticed was how wounded Reshiram and Kyurem looked. Their titanic combat was still going on, massive fire and ice colliding every second, but they were covered in wounds and looking ready to fall. Instead of blood, their wounds oozed a strange gas that hung about them; white for Reshiram and black for Kyurem.
The next thing he noticed was that many of the other combatants were defeated by now; fortunately none looked dead. Aqua was now fighting Seismitoad in the big blob of water surrounding them, while Lucius spit fire at a Bouffalant charging him. With Ghetsis' remaining pokémon fighting his friends, Boreas quickly sneaked over the battlefield to the statue Ghetsis had hidden behind, planning to end this immediately. With heavy creaking and crashing, more parts of the ceiling came down, making a wide crack that let in rain and wind.
He walked around the pedestal's corner: there was Ghetsis, his robes partially torn by someone's attack, and all that stood between him and Boreas was a brown, bell-shaped stone. Boreas jumped around the corner and instantly Ice Beamed the Sage, but his attack never landed: a ghostly vortex of purple and green appeared around the stone and absorbed the beam. Boreas quickly tried to parry the Shadow Ball it fired back at him, but still found himself weakened by nearly drowning.
The other pokémon disappeared before Boreas' next attack hit, and then he was floating in a purple vortex. “We are Spiritomb,” said dozens of whispering voices at once, “you are now one of us.”
Terror struck Boreas as something was trying to enter his mind as they said this. “Y-you're just trying to scare me! The legends can't possibly be true!”
“Don't resist it, Boreas, it's not so bad to be Spiritomb,” said Capella's kind voice.
Boreas nearly dropped his guard in shock and the entities closed in on his mind. But he realised what they were trying to do and immediately unleashed all his icy power into the centre of the vortex, creating a Blizzard inside it. A hundred and eight voices cried out in agony, and he was suddenly back in the hall, the Spiritomb before him was pulsating furiously. “That is for abusing Capella's memory!”
He fired an Ice Beam at the stone: it cracked and there were more cries as the vortex shrunk away. “And that is for Black!”
“We are Spiritomb... We share our pain.” Boreas writhed in sudden agony as he felt his very life force drain away while the vortex grew again. “You cannot defeat us. You will join us.”
Boreas fired a continuous Ice Beam into the vortex's centre, shrinking it as his life force drained away. “And that...” he growled, “is for Aqua!”
The Spiritomb finally disappeared entirely, reduced to just the stone. Boreas collapsed, less strength left in him than in a slice of white bread. But he knew he had to kill Ghetsis and tried to get back up.
“Not bad,” said the robed human as he swung his cane and knocked Boreas out with a single hit to the head.
Blood dripped through Boreas' fur when he woke up again feeling like someone had run him over, but he instantly remembered what had happened. There was no Ghetsis behind the pedestal any more, though: only the stone of the defeated Spiritomb. He slowly got up and looked at the battlefield. To his horror, Reshiram lay defeated before Kyurem, and none of his friends were still fighting: they all lay on the ground either unconscious or barely able to move. Ghetsis stood behind Kyurem, laughing. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!”
Kyurem fired a Hyper Beam at the statue Black hid behind, shattering it in a huge explosion. This was too much for the heavily-damaged roof: it all came down. Ghetsis shouted a command and Kyurem used some kind of pulse that blasted Boreas away on its shockwave, along with the pieces of the collapsing roof, causing it to explode outwards instead. The hall was completely ruined and had no roof any more, but no-one was crushed by the debris. However, Black was completely defenceless against Kyurem now. He couldn't even flee with his pierced leg. Boreas rushed back as fast as his legs would carry him, which was unfortunately very slow. “Kyurem,” shouted Ghetsis, “Fusion Bolt!”
Huge electric shocks hit Black, and he squirmed helplessly as he was electrocuted. The dragon kept on shocking him on and on. Boreas managed to break out in a run: his only chance was to take out Ghetsis before Kyurem killed Black. He jumped at Ghetsis, firing off an Ice Beam as he did.
Boreas and the Ice Beam hit Ghetsis, knocking him down to the ground, but just as Boreas was about to finish it, Kyurem's head turned and spit a beam of light at him that charred his fur and knocked him back, landing hard on the ground. The blackness encroached on him and his legs were barely responsive. Don't let him down now, dammit! I HAVE to keep going!
But as much as his mind wanted to, his body was spent. It was nothing short of a miracle he managed to remain awake, let alone move. “No... No...” he muttered weakly as he squirmed with a front paw in an attempt to rescue Black.
The human lay on the ground now, smoking and still convulsing several seconds after the shocks had stopped. “Kyurem...” said Ghetsis as he got up. Boreas cooled his body down a little: he might be able to manage a very weak Ice Beam and his brain blazed trying to think of a way to save Black with it. “Kill him.”
There had to be something he could do, some idea that would stop Kyurem and Ghetsis right now... There had to! Electricity on Kyurem's body gathered at its snout in a fraction of a second as Boreas' half-conscious mind made overtime.
He had no idea. All he could do was look on, completely powerless, as a huge flash of lightning ended the life of his beloved trainer and friend. He wept bitter tears of rage as the fallen Reshiram's body immolated and glowed with light. It emanated huge spitfires that bent off their track and hit Kyurem instead as Reshiram curled up and became a floating white ball of fire and light. But just before it was about to explode, Kyurem emanated a big cloud of greyness that merged with the ball of white energy instead and mixed with it as it retook a physical shape.
Reshiram had become Kyurem-like. Its once pure white lower body was now covered in grey scales, and its head had become like Kyurem's empty face, but with Reshiram's white feathers on it as well.
“What is this?!” exclaimed Ghetsis. “They were supposed to become a single, complete Kyurem! How can they be two incomplete Kyurems?!”
Boreas didn't care at the moment, his mind in flames of hate for the evil monster that had murdered his trainer. He tried to drag himself to Ghetsis, even if all he could do was bite the man's ankles it would be better than nothing. But he was too weak.
“Hmm...” muttered Ghetsis. “Reshiram and Zekrom must have been apart for so long reuniting them has become very hard... So instead, a bit of Kyurem's spirit merged with each. But who am I to complain? Two Kyurems for the price of one!” he laughed and one by one returned the pokémon that were still out to their pokéballs. Boreas was still dragging himself towards Ghetsis, centimetre by centimetre, completely focussed on revenge. But he came nowhere close, as Ghetsis climbed on the black Kyurem's back and ordered them to ascend. The two Kyurems flew out of the ruined hall. Boreas' will gave out and he lost consciousness.
When Boreas woke up, he was under water again. After an initial moment of panic he realised he had clearly been breathing this water for a while, which meant it was Aqua Ring, and that meant Aqua was still alive and helping him recover. But even she couldn't help him recover from the horrible loss he had just suffered. He glumly let the veil of water restore his energy and lessen the pain of his wounds greatly.
When the veil disappeared, Boreas saw Toxica had taken Black's potions from his backpack and was helping the others recover in silence while Aqua did the same with her Aqua Ring. Boreas felt immensely alone. He slowly walked to Black's body. At least it didn't look nearly as gruesome as Capella's. The electricity had scorched him in a few places, and of course his leg was still badly wounded, but overall Black looked barely more than asleep now. Boreas touched his friend's head, and found it was ice cold like the storm itself. He wasn't used to others being that cold.
Just as Boreas felt the tears coming he felt a welcome presence next to him. He embraced Aqua tightly and cried on her shoulder. She rubbed his neck and back softly, trying to comfort him. “I'm so sorry...” she whispered. “I'm so sorry...”
Boreas' tears slowly stopped with Aqua comforting him, and his grief turned to fury slowly. He finally let go of Aqua and looked around. “Did any of you see where Ghetsis went?”
“I did,” said Selene solemnly. “I could see the highest tower, the one with the throneroom, from where I lay. He flew there.”
“Right,” said Boreas, “then I'll follow and kill him.”
“My dear fellow,” said Octa kindly, “I share your need to avenge this most grievous loss... But we must rein in our righteous anger and think of the greater good. Ghetsis has all three parts of Kyurem now: his death will no longer change much, and therefore we can't win. We have to alert the resistance and help them retreat.”
“Iris said the three dragons would have to become Kyurem again together for them to be a complete pokémon. For some reason, they've become two different Kyurems instead: therefore both are still missing a part of Kyurem and can't be stable without a... 'Hero'” he spat out the so very inappropriate word, “to bond with. We kill Ghetsis, and both of them do their exploding thing.”
Octa nodded pensively. “That is a very good point, my dear fellow... But can we be sure of that? If you are mistaken, many more might die. And even if you're right, we couldn't defeat Ghetsis with Reshiram on our side; how shall we ever kill him now that all three dragons are his?”
Boreas sighed. “I don't know. You're right: the six of us can't defeat his team. But maybe some of us can distract them, while the others go after Ghetsis?”
“A distraction within a distraction...” mumbled Aqua.
“Enough talk!” snapped Lucius. “I'm not gonna let those bastards get away with killing two of my friends! I don't care what you guys do, I'm gonna kill them all, right now!”
They tried to reason with him, but he rushed out of the ruined hall. “He'll get himself killed like this instead, I'll stay with him!” said Selene, flying off after him.
“Dammit,” cursed Boreas as he ran after the two dark-types. “We can't let ourselves be split up like this! Come on, we have to keep up with them!”
Boreas recoiled in terror as blazing heat blistered his skin and instinctively lashed out with wind to blow the heat away from him, which saved his fur from catching fire. He was clearly not going to be able to get past Rood as easily as most of the rest of the combatants.
He had followed Selene through the now abandoned, half-collapsed corridor and through the battlefield as fast as possible, but had slowly lost her anyway. Fortunately he knew where Lucius was likely heading: the tallest tower. All they had to do was go there, and they would hopefully run into their friends. Boreas had kept running, looking behind him to find he was completely alone only much later.
He didn't know where Aqua, Octa, and Toxica had lost him, if they'd followed him at all, but he'd realised the only place there was a good chance of them running into each other again was at the tallest tower. So he'd made his way through the battlefield alone, not interfering even when he saw the enemy's dragons easily destroy pokémon by pokémon. Even Hydreigon was still a threat: now that Sage Zinzolin was dead, it had gone rogue, slaughtering and sometimes devouring pokémon and humans from both sides with brutish glee. As he made his way through the battle, it became clear to him things were going poorly: they were badly outnumbered, and each of the six remaining Sages and the Elite Four was more powerful than as good as all the trainers from the resistance. Though most didn't know about Ghetsis killing Black and taking Reshiram yet, all could feel it. Boreas hadn't noticed it in his rage over Black's death before, but Ghetsis having all three dragons had an incredibly depressing effect on all the resistance, and invigorated the enemy. Many were scared and looked as if they were about to surrender or flee.
Despite that, a minor victory had been won in this part of the castle, as Elesa, White, and one other trainer had broken through the seemingly endless line of grunts. However, they had encountered Sage Rood and his fire-types leading half a dozen grunts in a maze of corridors, and Boreas had just run into their battle. It was on the only way to the tower, so he had no choice and had tried to get through the battlefield. But each attempt had been foiled, so it was easy to see he wasn't getting through without helping Elesa and White beat Rood. Since most of their team was busy fighting Salamence in a different corridor, that would be difficult.
After barely saving himself from being incinerated by Chandelure, he tried to blow it out of the air: to no avail, as the ghostly chandelier barely seemed to notice the wind. It blew a stream of fire at Boreas, but he handily parried it and responded with an Ice Beam, which had very little effect on the ghost-type. He dodged a powerful Flamethrower that made the floor sizzle after, and defended himself from multiple more fire-attacks.
He pushed himself against the wall and from this position fired an Ice Beam behind one of the decorative shields that hung on the wall, hitting the wire that kept it up there so it fell off, hitting Chandelure and crushing it to the ground. “Just like old times,” he chuckled.
But he wasn't done yet: Chandelure was only brought down, not defeated yet. A scorching burst hit his front paws from under the heavy shield, setting them alight. Boreas jumped on top of the shield as he cursed with pain and extinguished his burning paws quickly. He brought the shield down on his trapped opponent several more times, then took a moment to inspect his paws. His fur was scorched and his skin quite sore and full of blisters, but he could continue.
He ran around the corridor's corner, where he found Febby duelling Ninetales on her own, badly hurt already and completely on the defensive. Boreas recalled he had found this Ninetales very attractive when he had first seen her, that it was the first time he'd had an interest in a girl in fact. Now all he could see was Febby, wounded by deep cuts and a very bad-looking burn on her side, defending against a constant stream of attacks from the Ninetales.
“Hey, you!” Boreas challenged the fire-type, cloaking himself in a fierce snowstorm that filled up the corridor around him. “Keep your paws off her!”
He sprinted at Ninetales like a comet with the raging Blizzard around. Ninetales turned her attention from the wounded Umbreon to the roaring tide of white about to crash into her and breathed a powerful Flamethrower into it: missing Boreas, who was using his Snow Cloak to conceal himself. He pounced the Ninetales, firing an Ice Beam while lashing out with the roaring storm that overwhelmed the other fox like a tsunami.
Ninetales was strong, throwing him off rapidly, but he just followed up with more of the Blizzard, the winds of it heavy with a painful rain of liquid air. Boreas easily dodged another powerful fire attack, completely in his element in the icy storm, and surprise Ice Beamed Ninetales from the side.
Ninetales breathed intense, bright white fire, but not at Boreas: the fire instead coalesced into a fierce, hovering orb of intense light and heat like the Sun. Boreas tried to hold on to his storm, but the powerful heatwave washed it away, quickly dispersing it through the wide corridors.
Ninetales blew a wave of flame onto Boreas. He defended himself, but his pulse of cold weakened the inferno only a little. There was a searing pain and he was thrown against the wall, ablaze with the fire. Using his own powers of cold he quickly doused himself, but he felt roasted.
“Impressive weather, little snowflake,” said the Ninetales angrily. “But now it's time for you to melt!”
“Don't count me out yet!” With a flash of darkness, Febby collided with her, throwing her to the ground and lashing out at her with claws and teeth surrounded by dark energy. But after the initial surprise, Ninetales was still stronger and gained the upper hand, clawing at Febby with vicious claws until she bled heavily. As Boreas tried to fight again, Ninetales breathed fire right into Febby's face.
He roared in fury and tried to freeze Ninetales, but in the desert-like heat of the orb, his wounds made him quite weak. He tried to blow the orb away, but couldn't. Ninetales turned to him, getting off Febby. “Sorry about that,” she said insincerely, “but this is what happens to all those who oppose us. Now for you...”
She breathed in to incinerate Boreas, and was blasted away by a huge, powerful beam of green light. “Thank you for all this light,” said Octa casually. “'Tis quite rare this far north.”
Boreas had no time to thank Octa: he rushed for Febby. “Febby! Come on, let's get you to White!”
“B-Boreas...” she mumbled. “It's too late...”
“No, it's not.” Boreas chilled down her many deep cuts, slowing the blood loss from them. “C'mon, Octa, we have to get her help.”
“Right you are, my dear fellow. And you as well, if I might add. I'm glad I found you at all.” They began carrying her together.
“Where are Aqua and Toxica?”
“I don't know. Everyone was just running to catch up to each other, and I do believe we all got separated in the process...”
“Boreas...” muttered Febby. “Tell Esper I love him... And wish we had had more time together...”
It pained Boreas to see Febby like this, so he made sure they moved her extra fast. “Don't say things like that, Feb, you're not going to die today. You're going to have time enough to talk to tell Esper that yourself, because you're not going to die until you're really old.”
“A-and, love Aqua... Forever... I hope you'll both live happily ever after together...”
Boreas felt tearful, hearing Febby so fatalistic; it made him realise even if they got her to White, she would likely not make it anyway: her wounds seemed far too severe for potions to be much help.
As they turned the corner, an infernal battle waited. Elesa, White, and what was left of their teams were in a fighting retreat against Salamence, Charizard, Camerupt, and Arcanine. White was wounded herself, bloodied and clutching one arm as if broken, but instantly came to Febby's aid, and then lifted her up with her one working arm as Rood's pokémon advanced on.
Boreas and Octa joined the battle, but it didn't seem to change much: Salamence was just too strong.
“Boreas!” Esper was fighting next to him. “What happened to Febby? Will she be alright?!”
Boreas genuinely felt sorry for him. “That Ninetales got her... I don't know if she'll be alright, she was very badly wounded. She-she said she loves you, and wishes you'd had more time together...”
“Oh no, oh no, oh no,” said Esper panicky, “I don't know what I'd do without her, I couldn't live like that...”
They were driven out of one of the building's exits: this one led only to a large balcony looking out over the power portions of the castle. They were trapped. From their high vantage point, they could see the resistance losing everywhere. Many were closed in by far larger groups, others were already running away.
“Ahh,” said Rood, as he emerged onto the balcony behind his pokémon. “Now dat's a view I wouldn't miss even for dis rain. Team Plasma's final victory is at hand, Gym Leader. It's such a shame to have to kill you all, but your interference is too dangerous to be allowed...”
With that, Rood's pokémon attacked. Charizard flew at them, about to spit fire, so Boreas blew it wildly off its course and made it hit Camerupt. Right at that moment, Arcanine pounced him, but found its claws parried by Octa's Leaf Blade. As Octa engaged the Arcanine, Boreas Ice Beamed the Charizard's wings as it came over again, causing it to crash on the balcony, where Boreas jumped on its back and began Ice Beaming the back of its skull.
But an impact of Charizard's heavy, flaming tail threw Boreas off the dragon's back and set his paw on fire again: he landed in a sideways roll that extinguished his paw, but then Charizard opened its maw and a huge inferno shot towards Boreas – and met with a bright green beam of light from Octa that dispersed the flames with its sheer energy before they reached Boreas.
Charizard roared in fury and spit fire at Octa instead, and Octa fired another energy beam: the fire and the beam met in the middle between them. Boreas saw Arcanine rushing for Octa, enveloped in flame, and made sure he got there first, enveloped in a snowstorm, taking both the brunt of the impact and hurting Arcanine almost as badly. It was on its feet first, however, and pounced Boreas in blind rage. Only for its throat to meet with Octa's blade instead.
“Thanks, my dear fellow,” said Boreas in surprise, before chuckling as he realised Octa's idioms were finally beginning to rub off on him.
“No problem at all,” Octa smiled. “After all, you-”
Boreas threw Octa aside and created a powerful pulse of cold, protecting both of them from the worst of Charizard's Flamethrower. Octa fired a Solarbeam at it, and it actually retreated. Boreas laughed, but Octa directed his attention to the left. “'Tis not over yet.”
Salamence had defeated or killed most of White and Elesa's teams by now, only Esper and a Luxray still standing against it. Salamence turned its attention to Boreas and Octa as Charizard sat back and protected Rood instead. Boreas Ice Beamed the dragon, and it roared in pain and rampaged towards him, completely ignoring Luxray and Apollo attacking it, and even Octa getting in its path and stabbing into it was simply thrown out of the way with a single paw.
The metres-tall dragon rampaged towards Boreas, further attacks only making it angrier, and attacked him, thrusting its huge, sharply jawed head towards him. Boreas jumped out of the way just in time, but the impact next to him was like a meteor strike. Boreas was showered in shards of stone and thrown back, but Salamence wasn't even fazed by the incredible impact and tried to crush him with a claw. Boreas rolled away from yet another Earth-shaking impact by the mighty dragon, and ran back to the others.
Things were looking very bleak, as Salamence and Camerupt were together stronger than the rest of them, and the battle was going incredibly poorly for the rest of the resistance. But suddenly, down in the lower parts of the castle, a brilliant white-green light shone through the storm. The fighting stopped for a moment as all looked to see what this strange green Sun in the storm could be. Boreas squinted, and saw it wasn't a single source of light, but a whole cluster of them, shining brilliantly like green stars, and a single blue one.
Octa was teary-eyed with joy. “'Tis my family... The house of Equinox has come!”