Pokemon Mystery Dungeon - SoF - Twist in Time
I don't know how I did it after struggling for so god damn long. A random burst of inspiration while I was driving to work and boom.
An idea for a rewrite I'm satisfied with.
Here you go, I hope I can entertain you for a couple of minutes with this.
Chapter 48 - The real J
~ BGM: Corridor - Persona 4
Ri blinked and took a look around her. 'Where am I?'
The girl was standing the middle of a foggy road with residental and office buildings running along it on her left. There was black ashpalt with white road-markings underneath her feet and sidewalks made of concrete-plates to her left and right with lamp posts sticking out of them every five meters or so. Dense fog, that seemingly flashed with static every now and then, was obstructing her vision to only a couple of meters away from her.
"A road? How did I-" With a sudden headache, Ri recalled her very first memory-shred, where she had been walking down a sidewalk as a human.
At the same time, images of the exact scene she had seen back then were flashing through the fog all around her.
Ri's headache lasted another two seconds before it and the images in the fog disappeared again. The strange event made her realize something. 'This place... It's the same road from that memory...'
Her eyes widened. 'Is this the human world?'
She quickly raised her hands in front of her and inspected her body.
Two black paws, one blue arm, two black feet, cream-colored fur on her chest and her tail were still there. For some reason all of her wounds, as well as her clothing and equipment had disappeared.
'Nope, still a Lucario...' She lowered her arms again and stared back into the fog in front of her. 'What happened? I was in the middle of fighting that Lopunny and now I'm on the road I walked to school everyday...'
That thought caused her eyes to widen again while she turned around and looked at the sidewalk with the buildings beside it. The recollection of a location and direction she had to go to reach it suddenly sent the familiar headache of a memory-shred through her skull and caused her eyes to close shut for a moment.
Multiple images of heading down the road, the gate of her school and the hallway down to her classroom on the second floor were flashing through her head until she ended up in her seat with her human hands placed on her desk.
A couple of other students were sitting in their desks as well. She didn't pay them and mind however.
The girl blinked when a voice she had heard who knows how many times greeted her in the same way it had done every morning.
Her head spun to her right, meeting the sight of a young girl with long, brown hair that was wearing an all to familiar school-uniform, consiting of brown shoes, a black skirt, a white blouse and a grey blazer above it.
"Oh, morning Elly..." Ri's voice greeted back.
Unlike last time, Ri was finally able to make out Elly's face.
She had amber-colored eyes, a small nose and slim lips. A couple of freckles covered her cheeks and the tips of her nose.
Elly put her book bag on the desk next to Ri's and sat down onto her seat. "Is that tooth-paste on your cheek?"
"H-huh?" Ri instinctively rubbed on her right cheek with the sleeve of her blazer.
"It's on both sides, actually," the brown-haired girl clarified.
Immediately bringing left sleeve up to her left cheek, Ri ended up with a squished face and a nervous expression.
"I can't believe that worked." Elly let out a laugh. "I'm just kidding. I just wanted to see that cute, squished up face of yours again. It's much better when you do it yourself."
Ri didn't bring down her arms and stayed in this position while she gave the girl next to her a pout.
"Pouting makes it even better."
Static flashed across her vision.
She suddenly found herself in a library. A lot of bookshelves and three rows of desks for students to sit on. Two big windows to her right and the entrance to her left.
She was sitting at one of the desks in the middle with books and sheets of paper spread across it in front of her.
Elly was sitting to her right. "I hate math."
"Uhm... I think I get it. If x equals two then..." Ri's brain suddenly seemed to stop working properly. "Dammit, that won't work either..."
The girl next to her put her head on the desk and groaned. "Why does it have to be algebra?"
Ri sighed. "Because our neighbour class already had their test and told us that most of the questions were algebra-related."
Raising her head again, Elly groaned again before she noticed somebody sitting on the second table next to them. It were two boys with much more organized piles of sheets and books in front of them. "Aren't those guys from Class 4B?"
"Uhm... I think so," Ri whispered in response.
A mischievous expression appeared on Elly's face. "Why don't we ask them for help? I'm sure those guys know how to do it."
"A-are you serious?" Ri turned uncomfortable at the thought of asking their upper classmen for help.
Elly grinned and slowly got up from her chair. "If I get them to invite us to some food as well afterwards, you'll buy me lunch tomorrow."
Her vision was suddenly overtaken by static again before the image of sitting at a table in a restaurant with a huge plate of fries in front her and the two boys from before sitting at the other side flashed through her mind.
There was a moment of silence before she heard Elly's voice and other images of her friends face appeared before her.
"That flustered expression of yours is funny but you should really try to relax a bit."
"Because you turn as red as a tomato as soon as you're confronted with topics that are in the slightest way dating or sex-related. What if one of your sparring partners decided to hit on you in the middle of a fight?"
"Knowing you, I think I have the perfect way to solve your problem."
"You just have to see the whole conversation as a fight. Whoever turns flustered first loses."
"Whenever somebody tried to mess with you just think of what I would say."
The memory-shred abruptly ended with static and Ri found herself back at the foggy road.
Blinking a couple of times, the Lucario tried to sort through the new information. 'Elly... I finally remember her face.' Her eyes widened as a lot of connections and other memories of her friend appeared in her head at the same time.
Peon, Pyro and Storm, Cobal... All those times where she had spaced out and acted in ways she had never done before suddenly made sense to her now. Remembering Elly had also resurfaced the mischievous and flirty side she had slowly copied from the girl during the time they had spent together in the human world.
The fact that she had not remembered why the desire to mess with people had suddenly appeared out of nowhere was the problem. It had been so different from the personality of the amnesiac Riolu-self, she had gotten comfortable with, that it had immediately caused her to go into denial.
Sure, some part of her still found it way to embarrassing to act like Elly but all those new memories of her friend easily blew that hesitant mindset away. It might only have been bits of random interactions between the two of them but it was more than enough to remind her about the influence Elly had had on her.
'I remember...' A smile forced itself across the Lucario's lips while her headache faded. 'You really changed me, didn't you, Elly?'
The almost invisible tint of purple in Ri's red eyes got more noticable while she let her 'fights of mischief and seduction' go through her head again. Now that she remembered why she had acted that way made it actually possible to think about them without cringing from embarrassment.
'Ah... Kissing Cobal went so wrong... If Peon hadn't busted through the door when she did, I'm sure I would've been able to play it off by teasing him about how easy it is to make a knight blush and explaining my true intentions afterwards...' Ri let out a sigh of annoyance. 'Getting busted by Peon was too much for me... There's still only so far I can go before I turn flustered...'
It was at that moment that she remembered how Elly used to describe her expression when she went past the limit of her comfort-zone and turned flustered. 'Completely red with eyes that look like scribbled, white circles...' The Lucario sweatdropped with a twitch from her left eye. 'As if my face could actually look like that...'
She shook her head and recalled the first time she had used Attract back when Grovyle and her came across Verd, the Kecleon merchant. Back then she had suddenly spaced out as well... It must've been before she got too comfortable with the parts of her personality that she still remembered.
'Attract... I remember... Acting like Elly used to be like a special move to me even when I was still human! That's why I'm able to do it!'
Ri let all the information completely sink in before she decided to return to the problem at hand. She was still standing in the middle of a foggy road after all.
Her gaze moved back to the direction that went towards her school. 'Where am I? I'm still a Lucario but even though it's foggy this is definitely the road to school. Wait... If that's how I got to school then the other way must lead to...'
Ri turned around, her eyes trailing the sidewalk next to the road until they stopped on a dark alleyway that had suddenly appeared between the two buildings nearest to her.
~ Stop music
"W-wha-" She flinched at the sight for some reason.
The Lucario looked left and right, blinked a couple of times and hesitantly returned her gaze at the entrance of the alley. 'T-that wasn't there before, was it?'
An intense feeling of fear slowly welled up inside of her while she continued to look at the strangely familiar sight in front of her. She didn't know why but all of her instincts were telling her to stay away from this place. 'W-what's with this alley? Why do I-'
The Lucario was just about to take one step back when a black mist slowly started to spread out from the opening. 'What the hell?'
It suddenly formed into a giant, three-tipped claw and shot into the girl's direction.
'God damn-' Caught off guard, she did her best to react and move out of the way. With a jump into the air, Ri managed to evade the swirling arm of black fog as it flew past the spot she had been standing on. 'What is this thing? I could barely dodge that!' Her eyes widened when it suddenly changed directions and headed towards her once again.
The Lucario struggled to change her positon with an Aerial Ace but this time the claw was too fast. 'Shit, I have to-' Ri let out a scream of surprise before she was dragged into the dark alleyway and everything around her turned dark.
"Let go!" the fighting-type yelled, trying to free herself by releasing a Force Palm from each of her paws. The two shockwaves managed to burst the black claw into fog again, causing her to crash and slide on the concrete floor due to the lack of balance caused by the recoil.
After coming to a halt, Ri got onto her knees while she shook her head to clear out the disorientation. 'What the hell was that?'
Getting back on her feet with a sharp breath, she now found herself between two buildings with the entrance of the alley in front of her. Dumpsters were scattered along the walls and a thick, dark fog was choking out most of the light that came from the direction she had come from.
Ri turned around and stared into the alley with uncertain eyes. She swallowed while her body tensed up from the unnatural feeling of fear that almost forced her to shake. 'Whatever it was, it's still here with me. That huge claw must be connected to something even bigger. I'm not in the human world and I don't think that arm belonged to a Pokemon either. It also can't be another illusion from the Gardevoir... She's knocked out back at the cavern.'
"Pathetic," a distorted voice that resembled her own suddenly echoed through the alleyway. The black fog surrounding the Lucario whirled around, beginning to form into a shape a couple of meters in front of the girl. It formed into a black cloud and slowly expanded in mass until it towered about 4 meters above the girl.
"Wha-" Ri took one step back as the edges of the massive, black cloud sharpened and the rough outline of a Lucario's upper body appeared before her. The only features on its face were three, small areas without black fog that mimiced eyes and a mouth.
"Did you really think it would be that easy, Ri..." the distorted voice said, the figure's facial features shifting to the words.
A headache shot through Ri's brain as the fog all around her flickered with static. The situation didn't trigger an actual memory but it was a clear sign for her that the massive figure in front of was familiar. "Ngh... W-what are you? Where am I?"
"Can't you tell by now?" it responded in a mocking tone. "The road you used to walk to school everyday... Those memories flickering in the fog..."
Ri thought about it for a second before an unsure expression wandered onto her face. Her theory was absurd but for some reason it was the first thing that had come to her mind. "Uhm... Am I... Am I in my own mind?"
The figure smiled scornfully. "Your mind, your soul, your inner world... Whatever you want to call it..."
'Using that Dark Gem sent me into my inner world?!' Another assumption shot through Ri's head after her first one had been confirmed. "T-then you're my-" Ri began to say but was interruped.
"That's right..." The figure let out a sinister laugh. "I'm your inner demon."
Ri's eyes widened slightly as her mind began to race. 'T-this thing is the voice I've heard all those times before. It almost made me kill Mesprit!'
Her expression turned conflicted. The entity could have some information about her past, yet for some reason she couldn't bring herself to ask about that. Trying to ignore the fear, she focused on the current situation. "Why am I here? I just wanted to use Demon's Embrace to beat that Lopunny!"
Ri recalled one of her memory shreds.
I will allow you to use Stage One... You better be grateful.
"You said that I could use Stage One!" she added.
The demonic figure seemed to narrow its formless eyes to this. "Tell me, Ri..." it replied, saying her name with a tone of disgust. "Did I make that deal with you or J?"
Ri didn't understand the question. "W-what? But I am J!"
The demon scoffed and suddenly seemed to radiate anger. "Are you really? Because all I can see is an insecure bitch that cares too much of what other people think of her!"
"W-what?!" Ri felt offended but for some reason that statement caused her even more fear than before. 'O-of course I care what people think about me, I-' A sudden headache stopped her thought while the fog around her flashed with static.
Her inner demon continued. "All it took for you to turn into this shadow of your former self was a couple of missing memories. You really are pathetic." It spread is arms. "Do you know what this alley represent? It's the darkest part of your soul. The place where you shove your darkest emotions and everything you reject about yourself."
The Lucario looked around. Her instincts were still yelling at her to get out of this place and the fear only became worse. "S-so? You still haven't answered my question! Why am I here?"
The figure didn't answer and only growled at Ri. "You almost shoved Elly in here as well. If you had kept denying your memories and the way she influenced you a little bit longer they actually could've been locked in here with me as well. No wonder those memories hit you before you could even become aware of this place."
"So what do you want from me? It's not my fault that I lost my memories!" Ri yelled in response.
"How is denying your true self not your fault?!" the demon roared back at her, causing the Lucario to flinch.
'Denying my true self? What does it mean? I haven't-' Her trail of thought got interrupted.
"You've gotten so comfortable with being Ri that you can't even become aware of your true feelings anymore. All those thoughts, memories and emotions you've denied before you could even consciously become aware of them..." The demon seemed to shake in anger while its formless eyes closed. "All because you couldn't remember your past... Your constant denial almost caused them to become a part of me."
'Thoughts and memories I couldn't even become aware of? T-that doesn't make any sense, I-' She suddenly recalled the moments where she had suddenly spaced out and acted unusual. Most of those moments were because of Elly and the recollection of the deduction skills she had apparently gained from the black figure in her memories but there were still some that she couldn't explain. 'C-could it be talking about that? D-do I really...?' She didn't want to think about it and shook her head.
The alleyway turned silent for a moment before the demonic figure suddenly opened its eyes again and looked back down at her while it let out a chuckle. "But now that you've dragged me out..."
What happened next was too fast for Ri to react. Seemingly in an instant the arms of the massive figure shot towards her and grabbed her.
"No!" The girl closed her eyes and yelled out in pain when she almost got crushed between the two hands that held her by her upper body.
Opening her eyes again, Ri found her inner demon's face right before her own. The pressure on her chest made it hard to breathe. She tried to think of a way to get out of this situation but the empty eyes that stared into her own froze her with fear. "N-no... S-stop... please..."
"No more running away, no more denial." The fog surrounding them became more dense as the light from the alley's entrance slowly died out.
Ri was turning desperate. "I-I know, okay? P-please, just let me-"
"Just knowing that you deny your true self isn't going to change anything... As always you have to learn things the hard way," Ri's inner demon let out one last chuckle. "This is you... the real J."
A scream echoed through the alley while the Lucario was swallowed by the darkness and her mind was flooded with emotions and memories.
A slight breeze of wind blew through the massive, moon-lit jungle clearing that had turned into a crater-filled battlefield by now.
Rizara wasn't sure if she should have stopped her opponent from using a Dark Gem but now she started to think otherwise.
Right after the fighting-type crushed the gem in her left paw, she immediately grunted in pain. Then she suddenly lowered her gaze while she reached up to her head with the same paw.
Rizara's eyes narrowed onto the Lucario in front of her. The black markings all over her body were more visible because of the ripped off sleeves. The black battle dress and the belt below the white remains of her jacket had taken some damage as well. Even thought the fighting-type was covered in wounds, she was still radiating a lot of aura but Rizara could tell that the amount was slowly decreasing.
After a moment of silence, Rizara noticed tears falling from her opponent's hidden eyes.
"What's wrong, love? Finally decided to stop fighting? You can't win with that busted up shoulder of yours," the normal-type called at the Lucario, readjusting the pair of glasses on her nose.
That got her a reaction from the fighting-type. Ri's ears twitched and her left paw moved to her eyes. She quickly rubbed away the tears before she lowered her hand again.
~ BGM: Equlibrium - Persona Q
"Haha.." Ri began to laugh in a low tone while traces of black aura appeared inside of the blue energy she was radiating.
"You're still telling me that I should stop fighting?" the Lucario replied while she brought her left paw up the her right, upper arm. She continued to chuckle and relocated her shoulder with several cracking and grinding noises from shifting her bone and steel-like tendons.
The sounds sent a shiver down Rizara's spine. "Y-you-" She couldn't understand how the Lucario was able to do this without screaming in pain.
Ri raised her head, a pair of icy blue eyes with white, slitted pupils meeting her opponents. She baled her right paw into a fist and raised her arm at the Mega Lopunny while the energy from Demon's Embrace reignited her Aura Burst. "How am I supposed to stop now when I'm having so much fun?!" she yelled at the normal-type with a grin of excitement.
Rizara tensed up and focused on Agility after seeing the look in her opponents eyes. All she could see in them was anticipation and the intent to kill. Her whole presence felt completely different from before.
The Lucario shifted her stance and focused on Extreme Speed. A mix of black and blue energy whirled around her before she dashed forward with a shockwave that tore the ground beneath her feet apart.
Rizara could see the fighting-type closing in on her with her Agility-enhanched perception. The Mega-Lopunny braced herself, ready to raise her defense on any spot her opponent might aim her attack at.
When the Lucario reached her with a pulled back, left fist, Rizara could already read that the punch would be aimed at her face. She was just about to smirk when her opponent suddenly let out a battle-cry and vanished from her sight.
With the sound of a sonic boom, a whirlwind formed around the two Pokemon and Rizara's eyes widened.
For a split second, it seemed as if three Lucario were running around her with unbelievable speed before they attacked her from three different angles at the same time. For the very first time since Rizara had perfected her technique, a single opponent was forcing her to make a decision on where to block.
She had to think.
'Double Team?! No, I can feel the same energy from all of them! Can I spot the real attack in time to use 100%? Should I try to block all three of them at the same time? But that wouldn't block the full impact. Would it be enough to avoid the damage?'
The hint of hesitation in the Mega Lopunny's eyes was everything Ri needed. Before her opponent could react, she launched her right fist into the right side of the Mega-Lopunny's gut and her illusions instantly vanished.
A shockwave was created upon impact and Rizara screamed in pain when she was thrown to her left. It was a blow directly into the Lopunny's liver, leaving her paralyzed with pain while she was flying through the air.
Ri's icy-blue eyes twitched when her muscles had a short spasm and new trails of blood appeared along the black lines that ran across her arms and legs. She didn't care however.
Rizara impacted with the grassy floor after several meters and was flipped around like a ragdoll a couple of times, throwing grass and dust into the air with every contact. Finally landing on her stomach, the Mega Lopunny immediately forced herself onto her knees, grabbed onto her gut with her right arm and puked up some blood.
Her widened eyes stared through the displaced glasses on her nose while she struggled to breath in some air. If she hadn't used 50% of her Instant Curl Up across her whole body at the very last moment then her liver would've been ripped into shreds. Her opponents last attack had luckily only caused enough trauma for some minor internal damage. The direct hit had sent her into shock however.
"Too bad your organs aren't reinforced with steel-like tissue like mine, huh?"
The normal-type was just about to raise her head again when she suddenly felt a hard pull from her left ear and her vision turned into a blur.
Ri had dashed after her opponent after sending the mega-evolved Pokemon flying and grabbed onto Rizara's left ear with both of her paws as soon as she reached her.
Pulling the Lopunny into a circle throw, the Lucario spun around two times before she launched the normal-type straight up into the air.
She then crouched down and brought both of her paws down to the left side of her hip and quickly formed a blue and silver Bone Blade in her right hand before she leaped after the normal-type with a jump that shattered the earth underneath her feet.
Rizara was spinning helplessly in the air when a Lucario seemingly appeared out nowhere right above her.
Ri spun her body around and launched herself onto her opponent with an Aerial Ace, plunging her sword right into the Lopunny's upper, left arm while both of them went back down onto the ground. The impact created a small crater, where Rizara ended up on her back, a blade dug into the ground though her arm and Ri sitting on top of her.
"Yes!" the Lucario shouted, tightening her grip on the handle of her sword and pushing it even deeper into the Lopunny's arm.
A scream of pain left Rizara's lips and her eyes shot open, revealing Ri's face merely inches away from hers with a crazed grin. The killing-intent in her eyes was gone and replaced by something else.
"Can you feel it?" she asked with a chuckle while her face slowly flushed red.
Rizara grit her teeth and turned her head away a bit when she realized that it was lust. It seriously creeped her out.
She tried to move but found that her opponent had her completely locked down. The shock from the earlier liver-blow still hadn't completely worn off either. She tried to talk but still wasn't able to breathe properly. Blood was gushing out from the normal-type's new wound, coloring the floor beneath them in red.
Rizara coughed. "W-what... are... you talking about?"
"The adrenaline rushing through your head? The pain that tells you that you're still alive, that you can still fight?" the Lucario asked and slowly started to pant while she brought her flushed face even closer to the normal-type's. "You're amazing... Nobody has forced me to go this far since this whole mess started." Some of the blood from her arms began to drip onto the normal-type's body. "Destroying my own body... Giving into my lust for battle... All because of you..."
Another chuckle left her mouth. "Come on now, this can't be all you've got. One blow to a vital spot and a sword sticking through your arm can't be all it takes for you to surrender."
Rizara was getting even more uncomfortable when Ri shifted her left paw to the normal-type's chest. "I want more of you..."
"E-enough!" Rizara finally got a grip on the pain and the look of her eyes shifted into a glare. The Mega Lopunny threw her head upwards, headbutting the Lucario's snout and throwing her back. "You're insane!" She then shattered the blade piercing her left arm with a single punch, causing it to fade into blue and silver particles of aura. Pushing her forearm again the Lucario, she pushed Ri backwards and threw her away from her with a burst of strength.
~ Stop music
Rizara quickly got onto her feet and inspected her bleeding, left arm. "Dammit..." Clutching the wound with her right hand, she narrowed her eyes on the Lucario laying in front of her. "What happened to you? Did that Dark Gem mess up you head?"
"Hahaha!" The fighting-type laughed, still laying on the ground. She raised her upper body and got into a sitting position, meeting her opponents eyes. "Quite the opposite actually."
Ri reached into one of the pouches on her belt and pulled out two items from it, causing Rizara to tense up while she tried to inspect them.
"Rizara, was it? Here, take this," Ri said, tossing one of them at the Mega Lopunny.
The normal-type didn't move her eyes from the Lucario while she caught it with her good arm and inspected the object at the corner of her view. It looked like an Oran Berry.
Her eyes narrowed.
"It's not an Oren Berry, don't worry. If I'm allowed to heal then so are you," Ri commented when she noticed that her opponent's expression turned sceptical. "Just keeping it fair." She popped the berry into her mouth and ate it. Some of her wounds seemed to disappear and the aura she was radiating increased slightly.
Rizara did the same. The wound on her left arm seemingly mended in an instant and the immense pressure her Mega Evolution had been radiating returned.
Ri did a backwards roll to get back onto her feet in a fluid motion and dusted off her dress while she looked at her opponent from the corner of her view. "I've heard about your Mega-Evolution, you know."
"What are you getting at, love?" the Lopunny asked with narrowed eyes.
Facing the normal-type again, Ri smirked and got into a ready stance. "It must take a lot of willpower to keep down that feral instinct of yours."
The Mega Lopunny thought about those words and grit her teeth in response. "I don't understand you. Why would you urge me to give into those instincts and turn into a feral beast that can't think of anything but fighting? Neither of us would have anything to gain from a fight like that."
"Do you seriously think I give a shit about that after hearing what I said?" Ri asked in return.
Rizara frowned. Even though she had her pride, she didn't want this fight to continue... even if it meant that she would have to surrender. A short moment of silence passed before the normal-type readjusted the glasses on her nose. "I'm offering you stop this fight one last time, love... I would surrender. You could grab your friend and get the Time Gear. I wouldn't stop you," Rizara answered with an almost pleading expression.
Her only answer was a grinning Lucario that appeared in the air in front of her and a kick to the face that threw her glasses off her nose and forced her head to turn away.
Ri landed on the ground and looked at her opponent after a quick backstep to get some distance between them, hoping this was enough of an answer.
Rizara didn't move for a moment.
The Mega Lopunny slowly faced forward again, a thin trail of blood running down her chin.
She returned the Lucario's grin while a glint of red appeared in her brown eyes.
End of Chapter 48
Chapter 49 - VS Team Charm - Excitement