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 The Darkness Within Him 
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Dragon Tamer
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wow...

no seriously wow

this is great obs...brilliant. I love the way all the characters interact, and how the plot is so intrically done..bravo!!

can't wait for the next chap-rani-tar

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Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:54 am
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Pokemon Master
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Heh, cheers DS_11! If you liked that, then you'll love the ending!

And here is the next chapter, the battle between Red and Pryce. I'll warn you, it ends on a cliff hanger! :O

Quote:
Chapter Twenty One

The two battlers took their place, either side of the Lake of Rage. Red had agreed to a one on one battle, each Pokemon allowed only in the lake. In the Lake of Rage itself were sporadic islands, large enough for a Pokemon to stand on.

”Red. You will bare witness to the experience I have gained with age!” Pryce hurled a Poke Ball into the air, and his Dewgong appeared, diving gracefully and slipping into the water.

“And you’ll see how the energy of youth wins battles!” cried Red.

“Nice comeback,” Xavier commented, nodding his approval from the shore where he sat with Scarlet. Their jackets lay next to them, their top layer of clothing drying in the morning sun while they remained in their wet clothes.

Red had chosen Nidoking, and the powerful Pokemon stood on one of the islands, facing its opponent.

“Dewgong, let’s begin,” announced Pryce, his voice crisp in the early morning air. “Lead with Aurora Beam!” The white Pokemon broke the surface of the lake, and its horn started flashing a multitude of colours. A speedy beam erupted and sped across the water.

“Dive in, Nidoking!” cried Red, and the attack narrowly missed its target. “Use Surf!” Nidoking suddenly appeared on the top of a massive wave which rose quickly out of the water.

“Ice Beam!” called Pryce. Dewgong thrust its head forward, a sparkling beam of ice freezing the wave, as if it had been photographed and immortalized in ice. “Now, use Take Down!” Dewgong powered through the unfrozen water and leapt high, horn glowing.

“Nidoking, dive in, and retaliate with Earth Power!” Red cried. His Pokemon leapt from the icy platform just as it shattered from the blow that Dewgong delivered, and as it slipped underwater, a powerful blast emanated from the Pokemon, sending a multitude of shockwaves throughout the lake.

Pryce ground his teeth, and ordered the next command. “Dewgong! Leap over the attack and use Waterfall!” The white Pokemon leapt over each shockwave, arcing expertly over the waves. It neared Nidoking, and it leapt high out of the water, momentarily blocking out the sun, getting ready to slam down on Nidoking.

“Nidoking, focus! Use Body Slam, then Ice Beam upwards!” Nidoking powered out of the water, before pounding the water with its stomach, sending a plume of water into the air. It rolled over onto its back and fired a powerful Ice Beam into the sky. The attack hit the airbourne water, freezing it entirely.

Dewgong hit the frozen slab with a thud, before rolling off into the water, fainted.

“Good job Nidoking!” Red yelled. His joy was short lived, however. The frozen platform that had been hurled into the sky now descended, landing on Nidoking’s head, and the purple Pokemon suddenly vanished under the water. It surfaced again, fainted.

“A draw’ breathed Xavier from the shore.

”What will they do now?” Scarlet enquired.

Xavier shook his head. “I have no idea…a rematch?”

Back at the arena, the battlers recalled their Pokemon.

“What happens in the event of a draw, Pryce?” Red yelled.

“You must prove to me in some other way that you are worthy of my badge,” he announced, tucking the poke ball into a pocket.

Red smirked. “I’ll show you I’m worthy of your badge! Go…Moltres!” With a burst of fire and a chillingly beautiful cry, the fiery bird appeared above the lake. It flapped twice, gaining altitude and sending a flurry of embers down into the lake, before landing next to Red. “I have captured and tamed the Legendary Bird of Fire,” Red announced proudly. “That makes me worthy of your badge.”

Pryce did not have the awe on his face that Red expected. Instead, there was a sly smile. “Red…” he began, taking out a new Poke Ball. “A legendary Pokemon does not a great trainer make.” He opened it, and a most bizarre, but inspiring Pokemon appeared.

It was taller than Pryce and seemed to be made entirely out of ice. Its body had a series of dots on the top half, apparently a face with no defined head or neck, and its two arms were the same shape, but moved jerkily in the warm air. Despite being so bulky, it seemed to be able to stand on the ground on the two points at the bottom of its body. No, Red realised, it was hovering, slightly.

Pryce’s smile grew wider. “The stage is set for an epic battle, Red.”

Red grinned too. He knew what was coming. “You want a rematch, Pryce?”

The old man nodded. “Let’s see whose legend is better trained. Regice! Show Red the harshness of winter!”

The ice Pokemon, Regice, hovered higher, and levitated to the center of the lake. Slowly, it raised its arms higher, and its body started to glow a deeper blue. With a cry that sounded like both metal scraping and ice breaking, it cried and brought its arms down, unleashing an aura that extended over the entirety of the lake, and then further.

As it did, Red was hit with an icy chill, and Moltres pulled its feathers closer together, shaking. The intense cold brought an image sharply to his mind; the desperate, pleading eyes of Vileplume…

The lake began to crack as the water froze, and a powerful wind swept over the now solid water. The trees that surrounded the lake now had an edge of white frost on their dark green branches and Xavier and Scarlet took advantage of the situation to move closer.

“Are you ready to go up against the Old Man of Winter, Red?” Pryce asked.

Red smirked. “Moltres is going to burn your Ice type away! Let’s go!”

Moltres powered into the cold air, opening its beak and loosing a blast of fire at the Regice.

“Icy Wind!” barked Pryce, and the light blue Pokemon pushed its arms out in front of it, creating a cold gale that blocked the fire attack.

“How the…?” Red stuttered, stunned. “Surely the fire would have burned through…”

Pryce laughed. “You clearly don’t know the extent of Regice’s powers! I found this Pokemon as a youth on my travels around the world, and taming it was no easy task. But the fruits of my labour have paid off! Regice, Charge Beam!”

A ball of electricity built up between Regice’s ‘hands’ and a beam of white-yellow light cut through the air, slicing past Moltres with inches from its wing.

“Moltres, counter with another Flamethrower!” Red yelled.

Pryce laughed. “Regice, Amnesia.” The Pokemon lowered its arms, and the flames enveloped it.

“Yes!” Red exulted. “That should get it!”

Pryce shook his head, and to Red’s amazement, Regice appeared from the flames, unhurt! “Regice has a very high special defence statistic, Red. And being a legendary Pokemon, not many people have had the benefit of researching it. Regice, attack with Charge Beam again!”

This time, the beam was thicker, and it actually stuck Moltres. The fiery bird Pokemon fell to the ground and hit the ice, hard.

“Moltres! Get up!” Red called to his Pokemon, and the phoenix lifted its head before struggling to its feet. “Good,” he congratulated. “Now, use a Fire Blast attack!”

Pryce chuckled as Regice glanced the powerful attack off, before countering with another Charge Beam. This attack was so strong that the ice that Moltres stood on actually cracked beneath its feet.

Red looked at the hole in the ice, suddenly struck with an idea. “Moltres, use Fly and use Overheat!” This attack was far more intense, and from the sky, Moltres hurled out great, white balls of flame, each one detonating with force as it struck and melted the ice.

“Regice, use Charge Beam again!” The electrical attack was now even stronger, and Moltres had difficulty avoiding the beam.

“Moltres, counter with Overheat at the Charge Beam!” The fiery bird aimed its attack at Regice, and the attacks collided with force. The explosion sent Moltres flailing back through the sky, and Regice scraped across the frozen water. It struggled for a moment, trying to right itself, before levitating and turning jerkily back the right way up.

Pryce looked around at the arena as Moltres continued to pummel the ice with fire. There were holes all around and in some places, there was more water than ice. His eyes narrowed…

“Let’s break through that special defence!” cried Red. “Steel Wing!” Moltres’ wing took on a silver hue and it glinted as it soared downwards.

“Regice, immerse yourself in the water and use Rapid Spin.” Regice moved with alarming speed out of the way of the attack, before floating in the water, bobbing up and down. It started to rotate, slowly at first, and then faster, causing a whirlpool to form in the lake. “Faster!” barked Pryce, and the speed increased. Even Red was speechless and Moltres hung in the air, watching. The water started to spiral upward, a great tornado of water rising above the Lake of Rage. Regice rose up with it and became the center of it. A glow emanated from Regice, and the water suddenly stopped spinning and was frozen. A complex structure of ice. Regice continued to spin, before suddenly stopping and it screeched the same metal-ice sound again. As it did, another, faster, stronger aura pulsed from it, shattering the tornado and sending shards of ice in all directions. Moltres screamed as the blades sliced across its wings and body, embedding themselves in between fiery feathers.

“Finish it off with Ice Beam!” Pryce yelled, and Regice reinforced the attack by powering towards the phoenix. The ensuring explosion, caused by Regice’s contact and beam attack, sent the two of them reeling backwards. Regice flipped through the air, righting itself with a shake of its body, whereas Moltres fell, landing on what little ice there was left.

“Moltres…” Red breathed, all air knocked from him with shock. He took out his Poke Ball, about to concede defeat, but the bird Pokemon got back up, dismissing the wounds it now retained. “You don’t have to keep fighting, Moltres!” Red called, but the fire Pokemon seemed not to hear him. It flapped up into the air until it was level with Regice, before opening its beak and pulling back its head.

From the shore, Xavier and Scarlet watched, arms and hands entwined. “Do you think Red will win this match?” Scarlet asked Xavier.

He shook his head. “I couldn’t say. Moltres seems to be acting on its own accord now. Look, something’s happening.”

White light formed in Moltres’ mouth. With a shriek, Moltres unleashed a blast of white light, laced with fire and green sparks. Red gasped, recognizing the Hyper Beam, Solar Beam and Flamethrower combination; even Regice’s defences wouldn’t hold that up.

No sooner had the blast been fired, Moltres tore after it. The beam exploded as it hit Regice and before the ice type could recover, Moltres slammed into its icy body, knocking it from the sky with a powerful hit with its wing. Regice crunched through the ice and a large splash marked its landing. From there, Moltres fired another beam, this one with far more fire in it, and steam rose from the impact point.

Pryce did not wait for his Pokemon to surface. He held out his Poke Ball and the red beam of light recalled the broken body of his ice type as Moltres landed on the shore with Red. “I am…privileged to have been a part of this battle, Red,” Pryce stated, dumbfounded. “I have never had the honour of battling with such force…and you battled so well, Red.”

Moltres landed next to Red, and he hugged the Pokemon. “Thank you Moltres,” he said. “And thank you too, Pryce. I enjoyed that battle, it was a test of mine and Moltres’ friendship.”

Pryce walked across the little ice that was left to Red, and handed him the badge. They shook hands, and were joined by Xavier and Scarlet. “That was truly amazing!” Xavier cried.

Scarlet nodded. “I’ve never seen two legends battle so ferociously,” she said, looking dreamily at the sky.

“Yes you have,” Xavier pointed out. “Lugia and Ho-oh? Doesn’t get much more dramatic,” he added.

The three of them laughed, with Pryce smiling fondly.

The happiness and joy was suddenly broken by a terrified, angry screech from Moltres. It glowed a fiery red, before vanishing from Red’s side. He yelled, and spun round in time to see its panic-stricken eyes before they vanished into a red light.

“What the…?!” Red’s heart was suddenly chilled, an icy hand gripping around it, as if stopping it from beating. He choked at the site and was filled with cold dread.

A woman stood at the edge of the frozen lake, tossing a Master Ball up and down in her hand, a Slowbro standing just beside her. There was a confident smile on her face, but any emotion that was unlikely to be shown was hidden by steel rimmed glasses.

“If you want your Moltres back, Red, come to the Frozen Cave and get her from me.” Lorelei removed her glasses and flicked her hair back over her shoulders. “I’ve missed you, Red.”

Red started forward, but there was a sudden flash as the Slowbro teleported her away. He screamed in frustration as Lorelei left, taking a piece of his family away with her once again.


WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN!?!?!?1!?!?22?

Well, I'm not quite that mean to leave you like that, so I have a couple of excerpts that I'll be including in the next chapter. I might not use them exactly as I type them now, but it's sort of a "Next week, on TDWH," american style thing:

Quote:
Preview:

"I don't understand...why would she take Moltres from me and then tell me where she's going? And why the Frozen Cave?"

"Red, she's going to the Frozen Cave because it's where she used to play as a teenager when she visited Johto."

Red looked up at the old man, suspicion in his eyes. "Pryce, how do you know so much about Lorelei?"

He fixed the boy with a steely glare. "Because I used to be her mentor."

***************

"Lorelei, why are you doing this?! Moltres came back to me, she chose me! Why can't you let us be!?"

Lorelei's face controrted with uncontrollable disgust. "There never were any disasters in Kanto, you foolish child. The fact that Moltres came back to you has made my mission easier; I lied to you Red, killing you was just part of pleasing the Last Messiah. Moltres is what I want, your death would be the finishing touch."


Not sure if I like the idea of finishing with a preview, if it's too awful, tell me and I'll remove it. ;) I just thought it was an idea to keep you all looking forward to the next chapter which I will write on holiday.

See you all soon and thanks for reading the latest chapter!

~Obs.

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Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:24 pm
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Pokemon Ranger
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This is pretty nice, I like the way you describe everything, it all seems so fleshed out.

I travelled throught this last installment and I have to say I did nawt really like Moltres´ sudden recover and the combination of 3 blasts at the same time fired at Regice, it looked very rushing to me.

Also, Lorelei´s appearence out of nowhere was really surprising and unexpected, tho I might not guess what was she doing there... will you explain it later, no?

Well, keep up the good work, and if you are gonna kill Red for some reason, please, don´t let him come back to life :(


Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:24 pm
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Pokemon Master
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AABM wrote:
This is pretty nice, I like the way you describe everything, it all seems so fleshed out.

I travelled throught this last installment and I have to say I did nawt really like Moltres´ sudden recover and the combination of 3 blasts at the same time fired at Regice, it looked very rushing to me.


Upon re-reading it with your advice in mind, I see what you mean. I think I was trying to convey the speed of the attack through my writing, and thus made it looked rushed. I might edit that later on, but thanks for the tip. ;)

Quote:

Also, Lorelei´s appearence out of nowhere was really surprising and unexpected, tho I might not guess what was she doing there... will you explain it later, no?


Hell yeah, she's the pivotable part of the story (hence why she's in my signature. ;) )

Quote:

Well, keep up the good work, and if you are gonna kill Red for some reason, please, don´t let him come back to life :(


Red won't die yet, and I'm still in two minds whether to kill him off or no. I have two cool ideas, but one can't work without the other being stricken from the story...anyway, I have the next chapter all sorted out in my head. It should power the story on a little more in terms of plot, but even more questions will be popping up in your head after it, I think. Sort of like Lost; with each new revelation, more mystery is added.

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Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:16 am
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Dragon Tamer
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*slobbers over awesome storyline*

keep it up Obs...the battles are quite epic, but they tend to be a little...long?

To me, the best bits are the back story, so the battles aren't as interesting.

that said, that gym leader battle was very descriptive...good job!

i don't know about the teaser...Ive done that before, but it doesnt seem to work that well. Your story is good enough that we should be looking forward to the next chapter without any teasers...

My point is that the teasers are ok, but probably uneeded

keep up the great work!!!

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Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:28 am
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YAY! Climactic battle! I love these! Now for my opinions:
1. Like what has been said, Moltres' mysterious beam description was a tad rushed
2. I think the preview kind of ruined the suspense of what would happen next. At least don't let them reveal much about the next chapter.

PS I posted a new chapter to my story. What do you think?

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Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:30 pm
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Seeing as I have been banned until 19th November, I will not be updating the fanfic. And yeah, new account bla bla bla, and I couldn't actually care who this p1sses off, but seeing as my week's holiday away from Psypoke has been extended somewhat, don't expect any updates. I'm assuming this message will be deleted, so I'm sort of hoping you'll see it beforehand.


Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:40 pm
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I have.
And geez, what a cliffhanger, both on the end of the chapter and the preview! Yeah, in America they have those sort of commercials for action movies, due to the 'adrenaline' effect it has on some (like me, for instance, with yours).

Either way, this story just gets better by the second - Regice ftw

- DNA

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Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:22 pm
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Like DNA said, a real cliffhanger. Moltres stolen?! Totally unexpected! And where did Loreli come from? How?! Man, I just can't wait!!! You should put previews like this for every chapter, maybe a little less of what is going to happen.
Hurry up, finish the next chapter! =]

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Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:48 pm
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Cool, thanks for the tips, guys! I'm still contemplating putting previews at the end of chapters. Perhaps it could be for ones that have plot-changing effects.

Anyway, here's the next part to it:

Quote:

Chapter Twenty Two

Red clenched his fists together. He looked at the place where Lorelei had been standing, and could feel his blood heating, hot and running through his veins.

“Red…?” Scarlet asked tentatively, putting a hand on his shoulder. Red threw it off, and started walking defiantly towards a path that cut through the forest, leading away from the lake. Then he broke into a run, with pained shouts coming from behind him.

He ran from the lake, running from his thoughts. The pounding his feet made on the snowy ground jolted his body, and he became choked with tears. She had taken Moltres…

He had not realised where he was running to until he came to a stop in a little town. Red had come to crossroads that branched from the town in four directions. At the prospect of the choice, and the fear of making the wrong one, Red collapsed onto his knees and wept.

***

The four of them sat in Pryce’s house, hands wrapped around mugs of steaming liquid. His house was small, even cramped, and was not used to this many people in at one time. They did not talk, at first, but gradually, the question finally arose from Xavier.

“So…what do we do about it?” he asked.

Red did not look up. His mind was abuzz with what he would do to Lorelei when he found her.

“She has taken Moltres to the Frozen Cave,” Pryce said, head resting on his hand. “Pursuing her may not be the wisest option…”

”And you think I intend on just sitting here and doing nothing!?” Red suddenly exclaimed, looking sharply up. “I am going to the Frozen Cave,” he stood up, but Pryce stopped him.

“You haven’t thought everything through, Red,” he said, and waited for Red to sit back down. The young trainer obliged. “Good. Tell me; do you know why Lorelei has taken Moltres from you?”

Red shook his head. “No! She said something about killing me the last time we met, but she didn’t manage it, and then she left and-“ Pryce held up his hand to stem the barrage of words.

“She tried to kill you?” Red nodded. “And she failed…” This time, Pryce stood up, a thoughtful expression on his face. “The reason she has gone to the Frozen Cave is to lure you there, I think,” he finally said.

“What do you mean?” Scarlet enquired.

”Lorelei failed to kill you Red, and I believe that by luring you to the Frozen Cave, she will battle more effectively because she will be on her ‘own turf,’ so to speak.”

Xavier frowned. “What, you think because it’s an icy place, her Pokemon will do better?” he asked.

“Yes, to an extent,” Pryce replied. “But the real reason is that the Frozen Cave was Lorelei’s personal training ground when she would visit Johto as a teenager.”

Red arched an eyebrow. “And you know this…how?” He did not hide the suspicion on his face.

Pryce closed his eyes in shame. “Because I was the one who taught her the art of the Ice type.”

There followed an awkward silence. “The Frozen Cave is a peculiar place, Red,” Pryce warned. “Once you enter, you can see right to the exit. It is a straight tunnel through the rock that leads to Blackthorn City. However, if you stray from the path and take the other routes that form the maze like quality of the Frozen Cave, you will become lost in the labyrinth.”

Red nodded thoughtfully. “If she’s hiding in the maze, then I have no choice but to go in and find her,” he stated firmly.

Pryce agreed. “Then I wish you good luck, Red. You’ll need it if you intend on defeating her.”

***

Red, Scarlet and Xavier stood in the cold wind, looking into the mouth of the tunnel. A breeze blew through the cavern, and Xavier remarked on how it was because of the shape of the cave.

“I need to find her,” Red told his friends. “I have to get Moltres back, and find out why she still follows me and still wants me dead.”

With these words hanging in the air, he strode forward and went into the Frozen Cave with his friends behind him.

They had thought it cold outside, but when they entered the cave, they were almost frozen solid. The walls gleamed, coated with a thick layer of ice. As Pryce had said, they could see right to the other end of the cave, a penny shaped hole at the end of a tunnel of darkness and ice. To the sides were paths that led off the main route, lit by the reflected light of the ice.

“Alakazam, Barrier!” Red’s sudden command shocked his friends, and Red ran forward down a path before they could react. Alakazam appeared and a transparent barrier blocked their way, preventing them from following.

From the path that Red had taken, they could hear him shout back. “This is my fight guys, I don’t want you to get hurt!” Then Alakazam left the two of them, struggling against the shield.

It was clear to Red that as he moved further and further away from the exit, the colder it got. The chill in the air was added to by occasional winds that flittered through the cave like ghosts. He had recalled Alakazam when his psychic Pokemon had caught up with him, and he muttered to himself as he followed the close, tight path that wound through the cave.

”If Moltres came back to me, then the disasters in Kanto must have stopped. Moltres is no longer upset, so why does she want to kill me?”

He stopped, cut short by the magnificent scene in front of him. The path had suddenly opened up and revealed a cavern of such beauty, that Red quite forgot his mutterings.

The ceiling and walls of the cave glistened with icicles and crystals, and a bridge connected where Red stood to a large arena. The stadium was surrounded by a river of water that crashed down from a waterfall directly behind the arena. Two paths wound from either side of the arena upwards so that one could stand next to the river that cascaded into a waterfall, and it was here that Red saw her.

“Lorelei!” he yelled, his own voice shocking him, surprised at how confident he had sounded.

The woman stared down at him, an arrogant smile on her face. “I’m glad you came, Red. I was wondering if you valued Moltres as much as you said you did when we last battled.”

Red started forward, “Why have you taken Moltres from me?!” he shouted up at her. “Moltres returned to me! It’s not distressed anymore, the disasters in Kanto should have stopped!”

Lorelei shook her head slowly, retaining the same, cold smile. “Red…” she said softly, as if talking to a child, “there never were any catastrophes in Kanto.”

A chill ran down Red’s back. “What…what do you mean? I thought that’s the reason why you were hunting me down, why you killed…” he stopped short, his voice fading away, unable to continue.

“A lie,” Lorelei said, waving her hand as if dismissing what she had said before. “A lie so that you might surrender to your death more willingly than you did.”

Red shook his head, unable to comprehend. “Then why…” he shut his eyes, shaking his head. “I don’t understand!” he yelled, his voice echoing off the ice-laden walls of the arena.

Lorelei began walking left, down a slope that wound past the waterfall before forming a bridge that led to the arena. “Allow me to explain, Red. I have been commissioned by the Last Messiah to have you executed. Your death would be fortuitous to his great plans, and he set me with the task of fabricating some intricate story as to why you should no longer be alive.”

A lie…? Red didn’t see why she would have to lie about why she should kill him; if he had done something that warranted death, then surely he should be told what that crime was. “How does this ‘Last Messiah’ benefit from me dying then?” he yelled, surprised at his anger. He had expected sorrow, but his words came out harsh and fast. “And who the hell is he anyway?!”

Lorelei sighed, as if growing impatient with an unintelligent child. “The Last Messiah’s identity is to remain a secret from all those save for his most trusted advisors.” Her eyes flashed behind her clear glasses. “The most important being me. As for his reasons…it would not hurt to tell you, for the information will not be leaving this cave,” she smiled cruelly, and Red realised with a stab of horror that this intricate plan of hers was all for his own death. He found himself wishing that his friends were here, and wouldn’t begrudge even Eusine’s presence.

“The Last Messiah greatly desires the power of Moltres, and the privileges that come with owning it. You have been blind to the Bird of Fire’s immense power and have merely touched the ice burg of its unending strength. While it remains in your possession, however, the Messiah cannot have it. To merely steal it from you would result in Moltres’ severe depression and it would withdraw in on itself, consumed by fiery grief. Your death, however, would sever the ties it has with you, and it would become the tool of the Last Messiah’s will!”

Red shook his head, defiance rising up inside him. “You’re wrong,” he said quietly, but firmly. “Moltres’ loyalty to me runs deep, and mine to hers is just as strong. You’re wrong, Lorelei,” he repeated, “And I’ll prove it to you.” He hurled a Poke Ball, not knowing which Pokemon he had chosen, but knowing that he wanted to battle her with all his strength.

“Very well, Red. But do not think that your victory will see my vanishing again. This time, I will walk away, and you will be dead, cold as a corpse!” she opened a ball and a savage looking Pokemon appeared, and skittered about the arena. The rush of the waterfall could be heard behind Lorelei, and it cascaded into the water underneath.

Red had chosen Nidoking, and the two Pokemon stared at one another. Red could not convey in words how vital this victory would be to his Nidoking, and he left the feeling unsaid.

“Sneasel,” Lorelei called the Pokemon’s name. “Swords Dance.” The Pokemon leapt into the air, before twirling about the arena. Under different circumstances, Red would have found the attack amusing, but this matter was serious.

“Nidoking, Horn Attack!” The large Pokemon charged forward, head down. Sneasel danced out of the way, leaping backwards and avoiding the hit by centimeters.

”Counter with Brick Break,” Lorelei ordered, and the Pokemon twirled in mid-air, firing off a powerful kick to the ground Pokemon. Nidoking was thrown back, further than normal for an attack of Brick Break’s strength. “Follow it up with Ice Shard!” Lorelei commanded, and Sneasel nodded its head. Taking a deep breath, Sneasel blew out a blast of ice. The attack froze the ground in front of it, forming a line that led to the fallen Nidoking. It took a running jump and skidded along the frozen arena before delivering a punch to the battered ground type.

“You cannot beat me, Red,” Lorelei taunted. “This will end in the same way as it did last time we sparred; the death of your Pokemon.”

Red’s stomach clenched, and despair crawled about his skin. The young trainer felt suddenly sick, and a hot rage ignited somewhere within him. “Nidoking, get up!”

The Pokemon had trouble obeying, but it hauled itself up onto its hind legs again. “I don’t care what sort of plan your ‘Messiah’ has, Lorelei, but I know that he will have to achieve it without my Moltres! Nidoking, Earthquake, and then Take Down!”

Lorelei’s icy demeanor was shattered as panic appeared in her eyes. Nidoking’s attack combined with the ice that Sneasel had early laid caused Sneasel to slip and fall. Before it could even think about getting up, the Ice Pokemon was rammed by the full weight of Nidoking.

Red felt a warm glow at Nidoking’s success. Lorelei opened her mouth, but shut it again, not knowing what to say.

“Give me back Moltres,” Red ordered, holding his hand out. “I defeated you Lorelei, and the honorable thing to do would be to return what is mine.”

They looked at one another for a moment, before Lorelei spoke. “This victory changes nothing, Red. The Last Messiah, whether I win or not, will still desire a legendary Pokemon, and I will deliver it to him. My loss will not change that!” She suddenly turned and ran towards the bridge that she had crossed, Sneasel directly behind her.

Red was quick to follow. “Come on, Nidoking!” he cried, and chased her up the slope, trying desperately not to slip on the icy floor. At the top of the waterfall, he saw Lorelei, running toward a tunnel. An exit.

“Nidoking, Rock Throw!” Picking up a nearby boulder, the ground type hurled the rock, blocking Lorelei’s way. The power of Nidoking’s throw caused a minor rock fall, and the tunnel was sealed.

She turned back and faced him, panic once more on her face. “You’ve got no where to go, Lorelei,” Red stated, indicating to the dead end. “Give me Moltres now, and you can go freely. I’ll not hold what you’ve done against me, providing you stay out of my way.” There was nothing but defiance and truth in his eyes, and he could see that Lorelei was considering his proposal. For a moment, he could have sworn he saw a sparkle in her eye, a tear, perhaps caused by the feeling of desperation and inescapability. Then she blinked, and the expression was gone, replaced by the arrogance and the cruel smirk.

Lorelei took out a ball from her pocket, the Master Ball that held Moltres and began tossing it up it the air and catching it again. ”It’s not over yet, Red.” Sneasel took up another fighting stance, despite the fatigue and pain that it retained from the battle.

“Then I have to take Moltres from you by force,” Red stated. “Nidoking, Seismic Toss!” The ground Pokemon rushed forward with astonishing speed and grabbed Sneasel’s arm. With savagery, unknown to Red, Nidoking pivoted and slammed the Ice Pokemon into the cave wall. The sheer force of the attack caused the entire cave to rumble, and shake. There was a sudden yell, and Red’s attention was snapped away from the short battle and to Lorelei.

The ice on the ledge above the waterfall had conspired with the shaking, and she slipped. Lorelei let go of the Master Ball and grabbed onto the ledge, the waterfall lightly spraying her face with moisture. She cried out, and Red ran forward, careful not to slip on the ice himself.

As he approached the ledge, he felt suddenly dizzy, but it was not through a fear of heights; this feeling was sudden, as if he had been struck over the head. His vision blurred, and the sound of the waterfall seemed to slow, as if everything had lost velocity in time. He wanted to reach out and take Lorelei’s hand, but no matter how hard he tried, he could not do it. Each time Red went to stretch out his hand, he stopped, as if some invisible force clung on to his wrist. Then his vision cleared and everything returned to normal speed. All that was left was a dull thumping in his head. He crouched down with the intention of helping the dangling Lorelei, and he opened his mouth.

Red had meant to say “Don’t worry, I’ll help you,” or words to that effect, but his voice was not his own, nor was it under his own control. “This is for Vileplume, and for the chaos and misery that you have caused me.” The words startled him, and he once again went to reach out for her, but found himself standing up instead. Nidoking stomped over, leaving a choking Sneasel on the floor, bemused as to why his master was acting so oddly. Red turned to the beast, and he ordered an attack that had not even factored in his mind. “Earthquake, Nidoking.” The ground type looked quizzically at the trainer, and Lorelei called up to Red, but the trainer repeated the order. “Earthquake! Do it, now!”

Nidoking seemed to struggle between its own morality and its loyalty to Red for a moment, but deciding that the latter was paramount, it caused a violent quake. Lorelei’s hand slipped from the icy ledge, and she fell. Her scream curdled with Red’s next order.

“Ice Beam into the waterfall.”

Nidoking powered up the blast, before firing a light flash. The waterfall was instantly frozen, and the silence that immediately followed was chilling. The lake that lay underneath the arena had been frozen to the bottom of the cave, and the waterfall was locked in time, sharp daggers of ice formed where the water had leapt from the impact of the waterfall, but had been frozen before falling.

Lorelei’s scream had been cut short, and Red looked over the edge, down where she had fallen. There was no sign of her, just the jagged waterfall, immortalized in ice, below.

Head swimming, Red turned away, nudging the Master Ball that lay on the floor with his foot. He bent down, intending to pick it up, but fell forward, so disorientated with what he had done. Red’s hand closed around his prize, and he sank into unconsciousness.

Lorelei was dead.


ZOMG :O

The next chapter's beginning will be a little...odd, but like the time when Vileplume died, I sort of need a healing chapter. But look forward to it, or else. :P

And thanks for following this everyone. ;)

(Oh, and any bitterness and resentment that was conveyed in Obsidian X's message has all but vanished, so ignore that. :P )

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Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:21 am
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WOW! Yet another chapter of brilliant writing. It's good that you brought back the seemingly dormant darkness withing him. If Sneaky Sneasle saw this, he would immediately go to Slateport Market and request an "I hate Nidoking" sig.

Forget considering a career as an author, you should be one by all means. Have you considered writing an original fiction? I would love to see what kind of amazing ideas you can come up with. You've shown your potential here.

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Last edited by Thunder_dude7 on Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:11 am
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I havent checked in a while....I've actually been having a life recently!
wow....loreli dead.......! This gets better by the moment. I would hate to see this story end, but want to finish it.....just keep it up,seriously! wow.

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Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:18 pm
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You've left me absolutely speechless. For now, I can only say this:
I believe I know now what the "Darkness within him" really is.

- DNA

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Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:00 pm
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DNA wrote:
You've left me absolutely speechless. For now, I can only say this:
I believe I know now what the "Darkness within him" really is.

- DNA

Heheheh, did I make it too obvious? Well, just to say, it's sort of a mix between two things, that complement one another. But I'll say no more regarding that, in about three chapters, everything will become clear...

And on a rather different note, I noticed this:

A few chapters back, do you remember the incident with Bannette, who had come from "The Other World?" Well, look at this:

The Osidian Wolf

The Other World

And that wasn't even intentional!

Next chapter is another sort of healing chapter for Red. I mean, he just committed murder, he needs something to pull him back to his senses...but still, it's going to add to the plot. I thought of something good, only last night, that will stop a hole from forming in the plot, which is becoming dangerously frequent. I have so many things to make sure I tie up (regarding plot ends) that I don't know if I'll be able to include it all...

Actually, I have an idea. Anyone who is reading this message, I want you to PM what you think the ending is going to be like. I won't verify if any of you have got it right, but I will choose one person who I will PM the final chapter to first, and it will be there job to say, "But hang on, how the hell does that work? It doesn't make sense!!" Something of an editor, if you will.

So, PM me with your thoughts on the story, perhaps your prediction of the ending, and when I write the final chapter (which is still a little way off) I'll reply with it included. Then, it is your job to reply to me, saying what parts of the chapter were uinclear and what holes in the plot you noticed.

It's easy for me, because I've got the whole of the plot in my head, but I occaisionally make the mistake of not putting it down. I automatically think "Meh, the reader already knows it" when in fact I might not have actually written it down!

Next chapter should be up by the end of the week!

Thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with it so far!

~Obs.

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Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:18 am
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Okay, I may have a bit of the wrong idea, but whatever. I'll stick to my thought. I'll go ahead and PM my thoughts to you on the ending, to see how close (or far off) I'll be.

- DNA

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Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:15 pm
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First off, thanks to those who PMed me. As I said, I've not confirmed or struck down your ideas, but I have taken into consideration the questions that are going through your minds. I actually have a little document of all your questions and how I intend to answer them during the final stages of the story.

Next up, we have a three part (or two part, haven't decided yet) peice coming up. I don't want Red going all emo on us, so I haven't dwelt too long on him being upset over Lorelei, but I think I've put enough in there. It's your call anyway, you're reading it. :P

So, excuse the lack of action in this installment, part two will see some battles, and part three...might never exist, it could be a new chapter. :P

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Chapter 23 - The Dragon Tournament

Part 1:

Victory was so close! The feeling swept through her veins, shivers of excitement as the climax of the battle drew to its point! She ordered her attack:

”Now, Dragonair! Dragon Pulse!” the blue blast threw the opposing trainer’s Pokemon backwards, and the trainer recalled his Ekans.

The boy was speechless, and he ran from the Gym, shouting something incomprehensible behind him, slurred by tears. Clair recalled her Dragonair and turned to her Gym Trainers.

“You see how the elegance of Dragon Pokemon lends power to their attacks?” she asked, flicking her cape a little. Despite some of the trainees being older than her, they all held Clair in high regard, nodding silently at the lecture.

The Dragon Leader tossed the poke ball up in the air, catching it, a thoughtful expression clouding her face. She looked around the stone walls of her Gym quizzically. Her right hand toyed with something around her neck, a smooth pointed object.
“Something’s missing, though,” she finally said. “These battles, all these trainers we get from Newbark Town with their misplaced arrogance, it’s so…unsatisfying.”

Her pupils looked at one another nervously. This quiet moment was usually the prelude to a stormy rage. As Dragon Gym Trainers, they had earned a reputation of being the best in Johto. Clair, a fiery Gym Leader, had endeavoured to uphold this reputation, and a harsh but effective regime had been set up to train them to being the best they could be.

Clair suddenly snapped her fingers, and the trainers became still, more so than they had already been. “I have it,” she said quietly, more to herself than her trainers. “Boring. These battles are utterly boring.” Incensed by this sudden thought, she left the Gym, trailing her cloak as she went.

The sun was still young in the sky, and great shadows were thrown down over Blackthorn City where the mountain range that surrounded it loomed. Clair marched round the back of her Gym, crossing a bridge that arced over the lake behind. Standing on a small spit of land, she walked between the two stone pillars that marked the entrance to an old cave.

The cavern was lit dimly by blue fire, and Clair strode towards an elderly man who sat in the middle of this ring of flames. The circle of light created a small sphere of brightness about the man, as if the light came from him, warding off the darkness.

“Elder,” she addressed the man. He looked up. “I’m here to tell you that I am going to revive the Dragon Tournament.”

***

The sun hurt Red’s eyes as they emerged from the cave. The city, Blackthorn, bustled with a great many people, excitement buzzing in the air. They walked through the crowds in silence, lost in thought.

Red’s memories were a distant blur. The echo of Lorelei’s scream had resounded in his unconscious mind, only to be cut short when Xavier and Scarlet appeared in his view. He could vaguely remember them yelling something, panic in their voices; Lorelei’s name came up more than once. Red had murmured something, he couldn’t remember what, and this seemed to quiet them. Then Red had lost consciousness. He had woken up a short while ago, being carried by his two friends. Their progress through the cave had been short, having to struggle in turn with supporting their friend, and they had dismissed Red’s apologies with words of “it’s what friends do,” and “we could do with the exercise anyway.” However, their light-heartedness was no mask for the worry that Red could plainly see on their faces, and he had long since given up the false smile that he had worn for the beginning of their trek through the cave.

Now, however, they were in light, the sun high in the sky. They found themselves outside a Pokemon Center, and discovered it was surprisingly empty. Red followed his friends inside, and the nurse was quite shocked. “Oh?” she exclaimed. “Are you not signing up for the Dragon Tournament?” she asked them.

The question had been aimed at Red, whose Poke Balls hung loosely around his belt, but his silence prompted an answer from Xavier. “We’re not really sure what that is,” he said, putting a hand to the back of his head. “We only just arrived here, we had a bit of a rough time in the Frozen Cave.”

The nurse nodded understandably. “I see, you wandered off the path is my guess,” she said as she walked around from the counter. “Chansey, come and make our only guests comfortable, and bring back their Pokemon for healing.” A round, pink Pokemon appeared, carrying a tray of cups and plates. It guided them over to a dining area whereby it unloaded its tray, before refilling it with all their Pokemon. It waddled back over to the nurse, a proud smile on its face.

Red looked at his friends while chewing the sandwich that Chansey had provided, meeting their eyes for the first time. “Sorry,” was all he could manage.

Xavier shook his head. “Red, you have nothing to be sorry about. We’re only sorry that we didn’t have the sense to get through your Alakazam’s force field sooner.”

Red was puzzled for a moment, before recalling the memory of how he had ordered his friends not to follow him, before using Alakazam’s barrier to stop them. Perhaps things would have turned out differently if he’d let them come.

He looked behind him, as if Lorelei would walk through the Pokemon Center doors, before turning back to his friends, leaning forward. “But I killed her, don’t you understand?!”

Scarlet nodded gravely. “Of course we do Red. You had no choice, she left you no option!”

A twinge of guilt twisted in Red’s stomach as he nodded. “Yeah, I suppose you’re right,” he said, but unable to shift those words that were not his own from his mind. Something, perhaps the darkness that lurked within him, or perhaps something else, had killed Lorelei, sent her to an icy tomb. With her, all the answers to the questions his mind begged the answers for had died with her. Who was the Last Messiah? Is he linked to this darkness in his mind?

Why me?


A suspicious look came over Xavier’s face, and Red realised he had been muttering to himself. He regarded Red for a moment, before shaking his head and saying, “whatever happened there, it’s in the past. Lorelei’s…” he looked about him, before continuing in a quieter voice. “Lorelei’s dead, she’s gone. She can’t follow us anymore, she can’t follow you anymore. You have Moltres back, and you’re on your way to getting the last of your Gym Badges!”

At the thought of his last badge, Red couldn’t help but smile. Perhaps Xavier had a point, it was in the past, he needn’t dwell on it.

He felt suddenly sick, and he had difficulty swallowing the mouthful of sandwich. He couldn’t believed he’d just thought that. He’d committed murder, he’d actually killed someone, and yet here he was, eating and laughing as if nothing had happened!

Red got up suddenly and ran to the toilets, a bizarre and guilty thought that he had wasted Chansey’s sandwich.

***
A little later, Red, Scarlet and Xavier sat outside, the afternoon having been spent on idleness. The sun was crawling lower in the sky, but there was still enough light to keep the light breeze from chilling them.

“I really should go and train,” Red said aloud. “They say that this woman here is the best gym Leader in all of Johto, and my Pokemon are out of shape. I’ve been relying too much on Moltres…”

Scarlet chuckled. “If I had a legendary Pokemon, I don’t think my other Pokemon would get a look in!”

“What do you mean?!” exclaimed Xavier, “I haven’t seen your Pokemon in absolutely ages!”

The three laughed, and Red stood up, putting on his jacket. “I’ll be back in a little while,” he told them.

Red walked south, hands in his pockets, eyes on the road, thinking. He needed to put Lorelei behind him. Self defence. That was all he had used. She was going to kill him, and he could stop it only by delivering the same fate to her.

There was a rustling sound, coming from the dense undergrowth that lined the road. Red immediately grabbed a Poke Ball, just as a large boulder rolled into the middle of the route. The trainer regarded the rock, and his grip on the ball loosened.

Then segments of the boulder unfurled, and Red realised that he was up against a Graveler, the menacing Pokemon powering up for a rollout attack. “Venusaur, Protect!” Red’s Pokemon appeared with less than seconds to spare. Graveler’s curled form bounced off the shield that Venusaur had created and richocheted back. “Follow it up with Razor Leaf!” he ordered, and a barrage of cutting leaves sliced past the rock type. Collapsing back into a sphere, the Pokemon fled, leaving Red to recall his Pokemon.

“That was impressive, to say the least,” came a voice, and Red looked behind him to see a young woman in a cape walking down the road towards him. “I’m Clair, the Gym Leader of this town. I certainly hope you’ll be joining the Dragon Tournament, Red.”

He didn’t give her the satisfaction of asking her how he knew his name. Instead, he replied, “I’m not quite sure what that is. Clair,” he added, before realizing that his knowledge of her name had been due to her revealing it to him. He blushed.

Clair put a hand behind her and sat down on the bank of grass that lined the route. She motioned for Red to join her, and he sat an angle so that he could hear what she had to say.

“The Dragon Tournament is an ancient tradition in Johto. It used to be the customary way of earning the Blackthorn Badge, but the Elite Four abolished the tournament, as it allowed only one out of thirty two challengers to obtain a badge.”

Red frowned. “Why?”

“Well,” she continued, “The Dragon Tournament gained much publicity as the years went by. Trainers would travel from all over the world and they would compete to battle the Gym Leader at the time. You see, thirty two people are allowed to enter, and my Gym trainers make up the numbers if not enough challengers enter. It is obligatory for the Leader to enter and usually, they make it to the final. Then, the last battle is between the leader and the finalist. It’s a way of ensuring that the badge of Blackthorn is not given away to just anyone.”

An amused expression formed on Red’s face. “And you’ve brought it back? Won’t the Elite Four be a little annoyed with you?”

Clair smiled at Red. “I can hold my own against the Elite Four. I don’t fear them. And besides, they only abolished it because they weren’t getting as many challengers. It takes eight badges to challenge the League, no less.”

Red nodded. “So, anyone can join?”

“If they’ve got two or more Pokemon, then yes. The battles are single battles, one Pokemon each. That's including the final. People are already signing up, so if you want to join, or maybe your friends, you’d better do so quickly.”

“I might have to,” Red replied. “It seems that I can’t get a badge from you otherwise.”

Clair winked. “Got that right. I intend on battling my way to the final and battling the strongest challenger in Johto through the revival of this tournament, Red. Let’s hope our paths cross in the tournament.”

Red arched an eyebrow. “And if you’re defeated before you get to the finals?”

“I won’t be,” she replied, and got up before walking back down the road.

***

The three friends had gathered outside the Blackthorn City Gym, the majority of people having dispersed earlier while they rested. All three of them put their name on the list, and Red was glad to see that there were still places left for Clair’s trainees to fill in.

“So, do we battle in the Gym?” Xavier asked one of the Dragon trainers who stood sentry.
The trainer indicated behind him with a flick of his head. “Behind the Gym is a stadium, carved out of the rock. It’s called the Dragon’s Den, and it’s where all the battles for the Tournament have taken place, before this gym was built.”

Red nodded. “And when will it be starting?” he asked.

“Well, there are only a couple of spaces left on the board, so the tourney tree should be up in the morning. The first round will begin at six o clock in the Dragon’s Den, and hopefully, all of the round one battles should be over that evening.”

They said their thanks, and took a walk back to the Pokemon Center. Xavier and Scarlet managed to maintain the false, cheery air, and Red tried to join in, but his mind would drift back to that frozen cave, and the voice that was not his own, ordering Lorelei to her death.

“I haven’t had a good battle in ages,” Scarlet said, looking wistfully into the sky. “It’ll be nice to get back into the swing of battling, I think.”

Xavier nodded. “Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve battled too, come to think of it. I’ll probably use Larvitar, see if I can get some training into him.”

“I know it’s not like I haven’t been battling, but I’m also looking forward to this tournament. It’s the final step in my journey to climbing Mt. Silver, and finding out what this darkness is.”

The effect was like someone taking off a mask and revealing something worse underneath. The group was silenced.

“Anyone fancy a warm up match?” Red said weakly, knowing that he had killed the mockery of light heartedness. His friends shook their heads. No-one felt like battling now.

***

Early the next morning, the company of three had to push their way through a quickly gathering crowd outside the gym. The Dragon trainer from the day before had failed to mention how the whole of Blackthorn City was gripped by excitement, and therefore the majority of the population wanted to see how the tree had worked out.

“Look!” called Xavier over the noise of the bustling crowd. “Scarlet and I are in the same quarter! If we both win, we’ll go head to head! That’d be-“

He trailed off, having seen something on the board that had jolted him. “What?!” cried Red, looking. There was nothing out of the ordinary on the tree, and while he checked, he noted that he was in the lower left quarter, while Clair was in the upper right corner. He couldn’t help but feel that she had played a part in the organizing of this tourney…

“It’s nothing,” Xavier said quietly, and Red managed only to read his lips. Xavier turned and pushed passed the crowd, followed by a concerned Scarlet and a puzzled Red.

The day passed by slowly, and Red begrudged the dragging boredom. Xavier had been quiet, and Red, at first, had been annoyed at how his friend would say nothing to him. But then his opinion changed when he suddenly realised that this was how he had been for the majority of his journey. Keeping secrets, holding things to himself.

For lack of better things to do, Red, Scarlet and Xavier arrived at the Dragon’s Den at half past five. A man at the entrance to the cave asked whether they were combatants or spectators and after they told him that they were the former, he passed on the directions to the area where they should wait.

The Dragon’s Den was a lot larger than any of them had envisioned. The whole stadium seemed to have been carved out of rock and massive stands of seats created an oval around a large lake. Two big rocky platforms marked each end of the arena, and other smaller stages littered the water. Red felt his heart sink at the prospect of having no water type Pokemon, only Nidoking that had learnt to swim.

A Dragon Trainer led them through a door in the stadium, and Red noted how the waiting area for the challengers was actually an expanse of space beneath the stands. “Up here,” the trainer pointed out, “is a live feed of what’s happening on the arena. Two names will appear on the screen of this television, and if it’s yours, you need to go to the exit that will be designated, and enter when your name is called out by the commentator. Understood?” The three trainers nodded, the excitement of battle warming them up and putting silly grins on their face.

They quickly found the lockers and put their bags inside. Red leant towards Scarlet while Xavier was round the corner, putting his things in a separate locker. “Is he okay?”

Scarlet shrugged. “He’s said nothing to me, but he seems alright.” She walked off quickly before Red could add anything else, and he didn’t wholly like the feeling of distrust that he suddenly had for her. Red was sure that she was lying. He also shrugged, but to himself, and decided that it wasn’t really any of his business, and locked his things away.


Yeah, excuse the lack of action, but if I had cut any of it, then it would have seemed a little...rushed?

Oh, and here's a picture of how the tree stands at the moment:

Quote:
Image





The next chapter should take up all of the battles, I'm hoping, and then Red can finally start his journey to Mt. Silver. God, took a while, didn't it? :P

oh, and if you do get suddenly struck by any questions, please PM them to me. It'll help me include absolutely everything in the closing chapters.

once again, thanks to everyone who's following this. ;)

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Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:17 am
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Yes, leading off right away with the tournament would feel quite rushed. I can understand somewhat how Red feels, gripping with the concept of murder...in fact, at times I feel exactly as he does, no murder involved.
I've always liked the concept of elimination tourney-trees. All I can say now is
Let the Battles Begin!

- DNA

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Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:57 pm
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Again, a bit late to reply.
I'm not much of a writer, but seeing as you just started a counterplot, a little piece of advice. MAKE SURE YOU FINISH IT!!! One of the worst things you could do to ruin the story is not to bring it all together at the end. I have a feeling you will have no problem with that, seeing how ABSOLUTELY AMAZING this is coming out to be. Seriously, I think someday I'll be reading a book with your name on it.....*hint hint*

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Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:45 pm
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yoyoyo4582 wrote:
Again, a bit late to reply.
I'm not much of a writer, but seeing as you just started a counterplot, a little piece of advice. MAKE SURE YOU FINISH IT!!! One of the worst things you could do to ruin the story is not to bring it all together at the end. I have a feeling you will have no problem with that, seeing how ABSOLUTELY AMAZING this is coming out to be. Seriously, I think someday I'll be reading a book with your name on it.....*hint hint*


Heh, don't worry, I have the whole chapter in my head and how it's going to tie up all the loose ends. That was the reason I had that little 'pm me with how you think it will end and your questions that you, as a reader, are asking in your head' thing a little up the page.

But thanks for the support. :) I might have a chapter up soon...I might even edit this post, so watch this space. :P

8:00am (or something) EDIT: Scrap that, I have something of a crisis. My word document where half of TDWH is stored, has decided to spazz up. It's deleted the whole middle of the document, and so I'm going to have to trawl through this whole topic and make a new folder where I can put everything in seperate folders. I might post the chapter tonight, but I have homework to do, and I have to go to work later...ugh. Sorry guys.

11:39am EDIT: Okay, I have organised them all into seperate chapters as seperate documents, in one big TDWH Folder. I have written half of the Dragon Tournament part 2 chapter, and you'll find out why Xavier has been a little bit....off with his friends.

but for now, I'm off to work. I might finish the chapter off tonight. I might not. I'm not really sure. :P

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Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:53 am
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K, just checking.
I cannot wait to see how this tournament uncurls.....

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Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:56 pm
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Wow, sorry about the complete lack of updateyness. I've had a massive load of essays piled on top of me, and it's been a while since I last saw sunlight in an effort to shift them.

But, with a push from good ol' yoyoyo4582, I managed to write this chapter today. The abstract scene of the gold and silver forest is a reference to a past chapter, in case you'd forgotten it. :P

Quote:
The crowds cheered, and the rumbling of their cries resounded around the filled changing rooms beneath as the challengers watched the screen intently. Only Xavier sat, with Scarlet standing beside him, watching the battle that waged outside.

It was Red against one of Clair’s Gym trainers. He and the trainer were leading the tournament, and Red had opened with his Alakazam against the trainer’s Trapinch. Xavier, however, was barely following the battle. He looked up, but did not see the screen. Instead, his mind was wandering else where...

Grey, heavy leaves fell from dirty gold branches, thudding heavily as they hit the ground. They clashed loudly, as a hammer does when forging a metal item. The golden trees grew dark, and the glittering leaves lost their sparkle. Xavier stood in front of one of these shedding trees, apparently unaware of the noise and rapid movement all around him. He looked straight in front at an approaching hooded figure.

As the man drew closer, the hood fell back, revealing a bald head, encrusted with deep gashes as if someone had taken a sword to his face. A similarly-cut hand shot out from the deep black robe that the man wore, and a thin hand caught Xavier's neck and threw him back against the tree, holding him off the ground.

The rushing of blood combined with the steady, heavy cascade of metal leaves, and Xavier could only just hear his voice. The words, however, were clear:

I am the Black Cardinal, and I am your Father.



"Xavier?!" The shout forced Xavier to open his eyes, though he had not recalled shutting them. A worried Scarlet stood over him, and Xavier realised he was on the floor. "What the hell's wrong with you?"

Xavier struggled to get up, feeling heavily disoriented. Red still battled against a trainer on the screen, and no-one seemed to have noticed his lapse.

"One minute you were looking at the screen, next you were on the floor, are you okay?" Scarlet asked hurriedly.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. I didn't get any sleep last night..."

It was the truth. Xavier had thought of that same thing over and over again...

"It's about yesterday, isn't it?" Scarlet asked grimly, but Xavier did not answer. His mind was replaying the events of the previous day...

He had been looking at the tourney tree, excited, just like his friends. Then he had seen the name. His father’s name. Alex Clayton. His father was in the tournament, and listed as one of Clair’s trainers. Worse still, his name was paired with Xavier’s.

Xavier had remained silent for the rest of the day, speaking only when Red had left the room to let his Pokemon get some fresh air. Scarlet had confronted him, in Scarlet’s abrasive manner.

”What the hell is wrong with you?!” she had exclaimed, and Xavier told her what he had seen.

She had sat down next to him, arm around his shoulder. “But that’s good, isn’t it? I mean, you’ve been searching for your father since you left Olivine, right?”

Xavier shook his head. “I don’t know. I’m not sure if I really want to see him, Scarlet. My father was so cruel, I’m starting to wonder why I even set out to find him in the first place.”


A great cheer from the challengers broke Xavier from his trance, and he looked at the screen, depicting a triumphant Red with his Venusaur, his Pokemon’s foot holding a fainted Trapinch to the ground. Xavier felt a swell of pleasure at his friend’s victory, but his father’s face clouded his vision, and his happiness faded. Scarlet looked down at him, her smile quickly vanishing at the lack of his own. “Xavier, cheer up.” The tone of her voice told him that it was an order. “I know that you’re annoyed with him, and you have good reason, but you knew yourself that if you were searching for him, it would be inevitable that you would find him. You’ve got what you wanted, now smile.”

Xavier couldn’t stop the smirk that spread slowly over his face. She had a knack at making him happier, and he realised that he loved her more than he had ever told her. He stood up and took her hand, raised it to his lips and kissed it softly.

Red strode triumphantly into the changing rooms, receiving a round of applause from the challengers, and Xavier let go of Scarlet’s hand as she pulled it quickly away. She smiled, as if hiding a secret, and looked up at Xavier. The moment had passed, but Xavier knew that he would hold it forever in his heart. He turned to Red.

“Congratulations on that match!” he said, finding that he didn’t need to force the enthusiasm; it came naturally. “It was excellent!”

Red was abuzz with excitement, and he nodded. “I know! It was brilliant! I can’t wait to battle Clair, I’m going to win and I’m going to get her badge!!”

For the next hour, Red, Xavier and Scarlet sat below the stands, watching the round one battles. Some battles were fiery, with the desire of the badge burning in the challengers’ eyes, whereas the majority of them were bland and unexciting fights between Dragon trainers.

Red had just been about to go and get drinks for the three of them, but a sudden hush came across the stadium, and Red looked at the screen, before sitting down again. It depicted Clair, and dramatic music filled the arena. The commentator embellished her entrance with a tirade of words. “Oh, and here we have the Gym Leader, the beautiful Clair, valiantly protecting her badge from the waves of challengers that dare to confront her in battle! Our righteous princess of the dragons fights for the blue side, and a trainer called John holds the red corner.” The drama faded in the last few words of the commentator’s short speech.

Xavier and Scarlet understood Red’s explanation as to why he didn’t immediately go and get the drinks; he wanted to see this, and to analyse Clair’s battling style.

She opened with her Dragonair, a creature of power and elegance. ‘John’ led with a Nidorino. In a few short but powerful moves, Dragonair had the poison Pokemon on the floor, out cold. The battle had been so quick, that Red had time only to marvel at her skill, and realised that he had paid little attention to the exact moves she had used.

“She’s good,” Xavier noted, the understatement showing through by Red’s speechless nod.

***

Red returned with the drinks a while later, having got in a discussion with a trainer about who was the better battler. Red had assured him that he would prove to the man his power when they met in the arena, and Red had been shocked to discover that it was, in fact, a potential opponent in the coming rounds, as the mystery trainer had swept aside his Dragon-trainer-partner aside with ease.

“I’m up next,” Scarlet said, an excited gleam in her eye. “I’m so looking forward to this.” She passed the defeated challenger as he walked back to the changing rooms, and Xavier watched as she appeared on the screen above him. She was wearing her usual clothes, her long red cloak, but with the hood down, and the effect seemed to give her a sense of grandeur, being dressed in such a fashion and in so grand an arena.

“And, from the region of Hoenn, we have Scarlet, a powerful challenger, cloaked in mystery.”

Xavier snorted his laughter at the commentator’s description of his friend. He knew her better than anyone, and he found it odd, somehow surreal, that this ‘mysterious’ figure was as readable to him as a child’s fairy tale.


”Her challenger, in the blue corner, is Edward, also battling for the Gym Leader’s badge. And…begin!”

Scarlet threw her poke ball, and the crowd was mildly surprised at her choice; it was Dragonair, the same Pokemon as the Gym Leader’s. Scarlet smirked, knowing that this was a tactic that intended to offset her opponent.

Edward, however, seemed not to be fazed. He threw his poke ball, before running a hand through his hair and smiling at the camera in what he clearly hoped to be a ‘devilish’ way. Xavier rolled his eyes, and Red laughed along with his friend.

Edward had chosen a Starmie and while its type was not effective against Dragonair’s dragon type, Xavier knew that most Starmie carried Ice Beam, a fatal attack to any Dragon type.

“Dragonair, Dive into the water!” Scarlet ordered, and her Pokemon gracefully slipped beneath the water.

“Starmie, use Thunderbolt at the lake!” called Edward, and his Starmie began powering up its electric attack.

“Out, Dragonair!” yelled Scarlet. “Horn Attack!” Dragonair splashed out, and rammed its horn into the center of Starmie’s gem. The Pokemon was thrown back and into the water, where it loosed its attack, electrocuting itself severely. “Now, use Dragon Rage!” A blast of blue fire followed Starmie in, and the explosion of the attack as it hit, sent a large plume of water into the air.

Edward’s expression was highly comical to Xavier. He ordered his Pokemon to get up and attack, but the commentator ruled the match as Scarlet’s victory.

Even the commentator had shock in his voice at how quickly she had managed to wipe out her opponent, and Scarlet had that same secretive smile as she walked back towards the challenger’s area. She looked at the camera for a moment, and Xavier felt that she was looking at him directly. Her smile widened, before she turned away, and vanished off the screen. As she did, she appeared in the doorway, and was met with the same cheers that Red had received.

It was at this point that Xavier started to feel the worry build up inside him. Somewhere in this great, oval waiting area, was his father, unknowingly about to battle his son. Xavier had not put his surname on the sign up list, and he could imagine that his father would think it an odd coincidence, that he was faced against someone who shared his son’s name, but would think no further of it. As each battle was fought and won or lost, the unsettlement in Xavier’s stomach seemed to bubble, stronger and stronger. What would he say to his father? What would his father say to him? How would one or the other react?

Was his father the Black Cardinal…?

It seemed like a dream, disjointed and confusing, when the screen showed Xavier’s name next to his father’s. Without really knowing what he was doing, Xavier stood up and made his way to the arena, not hearing Red’s words of encouragement, not hearing the commentator’s introduction, and barely feeling Scarlet’s soft touch as she brushed his hand.

Xavier suddenly became aware that he was standing on the floating platform, facing his opponent.

Facing his father.

Xavier did not know what to say. He looked at his face, that face that had been both his goal and his fear for the past four years of his life. Xavier went to call out to him, but his throat seemed to have closed up, prohibiting him from speaking to his father.

“Xavier?” Alex muttered, fear and wonder lacing his voice. “You…you’ve grown.”

Xavier could feel his eyes filling with tears, and he wanted to jump across the platforms to embrace his father. He blinked them away, and the tears were replaced with rage.

“Do you know the extent of the misery and turmoil you’ve put me through?” he asked quietly. “How I’ve spent every night of the past four years trying to blot your face and your words out of my mind?”

Alex held up his hands, acknowledging Xavier’s bitterness, but knowing that one wron word would set him off. “Xavier, you have every right to be angry-“

”Of course I do!” Xavier spat. “You blamed my mother’s death onto me. On my twelfth birthday, you told me that you couldn’t bear to look at me, because all you could see was your wife’s murderer.”

There was a hush about the crowd. Alex’s mouth hung slightly opened, shocked at the venom in Xavier. He closed his mouth and nodded solemnly.

“It’s true. I did. But if I can explain my-“

Xavier cut across him again. “You think you can explain away years of internal torment!?”

Alex looked up and into Xavier’s eyes, oddly defiant. “You are my son Xavier. I owe you an explanation, if only you would give me chance to give it to you.”

The word ‘son’ had cut through Xavier. The effect of such a simple word had been unexpected, and Xavier felt hot tears welling in his eyes.

“Your mother and I had been trying for a baby for many years, Xavier,” Alex said quietly, but the silence of the crowd was quieter still, and Alex’s whisper carried easily to the awed listeners. “When we discovered that she had fallen with you, we were delighted. Her dream of having a child had come true. She would spend each day musing as to what you would be when you were older, what colour hair you would have, your eye colour, your personality, everything. You were more people when you were being formed than you are now,” he said, a sad chuckle escaping from him. “In the last month, her health dramatically deteriorated. She had been admitted to a hospital, and I stayed with her day and night. The farm succumbed to the weeds that came with neglect, and I found myself not wanting to return home because of the state that it was in. For the last two weeks of that terrible time, I did not leave your mother’s side.
The doctor came in on the day that you were expected and told me the fatal news; we could either save your mother, or we would save you. Your mother recognized the gravity of such a decision and made it for all of us; she would willingly die so that you could live.
I protested. Of course, I did not want to lose my child, but I did not want to lose my wife either. I forbade the doctor from doing anything else, but he told me that as it was her body, it was her decision, and there was nothing anyone could say or do that could change that, other than her.
So, when the doctor brought a white bundle of cloths to me, I did not rejoice. I did not smile into my son’s face, I did not care for the colour of the soft fuzz for hair, I did not even look to see the colour of his eyes. I did not want you.
Your uncle, Bernard, came to live with us at the farm. He raised you while I sunk lower and lower into a downward spiral of depression and alcohol. There was no remedy like addiction.
I see you standing there, and I can see more of Bernard in you than I do myself. It’s because he did everything with you. He and his wife moved permanently onto the farm and they cared for you, taught you how the Pokemon should be raised. They were your family, and I was the inconvenient owner of the house in which you lived.
Then Harriet fell pregnant. She grew tired of caring for another man’s child, and wanted to focus her attention on a family of her own. She and Bernard left me alone, much to my protestations. You were twelve at the time, just days after your birthday.
With no-one to care for you, I finally realised what I had done to you. There was no-one to do anything with you, and you would try and talk to me, ask me questions, and every time you did, I hated myself more and more for what I had done. At any point when we were in the same room together, I would turn in on myself, wishing that I had someway of restarting my whole life; your whole life.
And so I left. I left the farm, and I left you. Bernard had done such a good job at raising you that I knew that you would cope. And with me out of the way, life would be easier.
I took to the roads of Johto. I tried my hand at collecting the Gym Badges, hoping that healing would come as I tore into my opponents. But it did not. I continued to search for something, anything that would take my mind away from you, and everything that I had done to you.
Then I came here. After wandering around the Frozen Cave for countless days and nights, I gave up and decided that I would try no longer. It was at that point that Clair found me, and she took me under her wing as one of her Dragon trainers. As one of her elite trainers, I found a cause for my previously-aimless and fruitless battling, and I started to enjoy life.
Please don’t think that you passed out of my thoughts. Every day I toyed with the idea of returning to find you and support you, but every day I realised that you were probably much better without me. You used to be a constant reminder to me of my wife’s death, but had I returned, I would have been a constant reminder of all that I had put you through.”

There was pure silence in the stadium, a silence like none present would ever experience again.

Xavier’s mouth had gone dry. He went to talk, but his voice broke off even before he had intended speaking.

“I don’t deserve forgiving, Xavier.” Alex looked down.

“I do forgive you,” Xavier whispered, and his father looked up, joy and amazement shining from his face.

“Your mother would have been so proud. These past two years here at the Dragon’s Den have taught me many things, Xavier, but I think I could learn so much from you. You are a true man to forgive me, even though you owe me nothing.”

Before the compliment could sink in, Xavier felt a rush of overwhelming understanding; Alex had been here for two years, and therefore couldn’t be the Black Cardinal! It wasn’t him!

“And now,” he added, “ we must battle!” Alex opened a Poke Ball, revealing the familiar sight of Shelgon. The Black Cardinal had a Salamence, and Xavier could barely contain his glee.

“Dad,” he said, almost choking on the word, “let’s enjoy a good match.”

He opened Larvitar’s ball and the little rock and ground Pokemon materialized.

“And the two contestants release their Pokemon!” came a sudden, booming voice. The commentator was back in the swing of the battles, and the crowd begun cheering, a slow, unsure rumble at first, before building up to a roar of excitement, anticipating the father-son battle.

“Thank you, Xavier,” Alex said. Only Xavier heard below the din of the crowd, and he nodded, smiling.



Sorry that was so long, but I needed to get Alex's history out of the way. NOw it's done, we can have the battle, and then get the story back under way. Next chapter; Xavier vs. Alex. Then after that....you'll see. ;)

And again, thanks to everyone who's reading this. I really appreciate all your support.

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Last edited by The Obsidian Wolf on Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:58 pm
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Wow. That was great! Some of the speach was a little unrealistic though.

Quote:
Yeah, I'm fine, I had no sleep last night...

Name ONE person who would say that. Make it more like this...
Quote:
Yeah, I'm fine, I didn't get any sleep last night...

That isn't very important though. Great work!

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Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:18 pm
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Thunder_dude7 wrote:
Wow. That was great! Some of the speach was a little unrealistic though.

Quote:
Yeah, I'm fine, I had no sleep last night...

Name ONE person who would say that. Make it more like this...
Quote:
Yeah, I'm fine, I didn't get any sleep last night...

That isn't very important though. Great work!


Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I never make mistakes, but when I wrote it, I was trying to put stress on the 'no.' Read it again, and put lots of stress on the no, and it makes sense, beleive me. I'll change it though, beacuse 'any' is more universally....normal? :P

I'll have another quick read through as well, just to make sure I haven't done that anywhere else. ;)

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Sun Nov 25, 2007 1:46 am
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Read my sentence again, with a lot of stress on "Any", and it has a similar effect.

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Sun Nov 25, 2007 7:26 pm
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Yeah, I don't remember the gold-silver forest at all.
However, that was quite a shocking turnaround seeing how his father isn't the Black Cardinal. That would make the Cardinal almost a virtual blank as to who he is.
But still that's awesome how father and son are at long last reconciled. How...touching...

- DNA

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Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:30 pm
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