Chapter 5 - Aftermath


Lucario

After such an arduous battle, Lucario had found a comfortable spot back at camp, closed his eyes at the top of a tree, and fell asleep. That night, he dreamed of a Charizard, old and mad and paranoid, flying over towns and burning everything in sight. In the cave he came from, there was the Charizard's family - a female Flygon, a female Garchomp, and a scattering of Gibles and Trapinches. Out in the forests, there was a Salamance, handsome and regal, truly one destined for great things. He had approached a female Mightyena, graceful yet stronger than most of her kind, and gave her flowers and affection, and together they ran off to an old tower. When her alpha and pack sibling went to the Charizard to bring her back, the Charizard used Fire Blast, and killed them both. A Pidgeot saw this, and gathered up his friends - an angry Stantler, an older Seaking, and the last Mightyena - and rallied an army to fight.

Crazy, isn't it? Lucario turned, and saw Sir Aaron - his Aaron - was beside him. Every part of the Pokemon wanted to jump for joy, to hug his old friend, but he could neither move nor speak. His old master looked down upon these events with vague interest, as if observing the shapes of clouds before a storm. How a single act of unthinking love can tear a kingdom apart.

How acts of savagery can become acts of valor. Lucario turned to his other side, and saw Mew, the Legendary from the Tree of Life. Or how acts of heroism become acts of treachery. Floating in space, she gestured with her tail at the battlefield, where the Stantler and Salamance were locked in mortal combat. Before he could see who won, fire erupted everywhere, and they were moved to a large room, where a small hill of melted swords was before them, shaped in the form of a throne - A Throne of Iron, if you will. The Charizard from before was back, fully insane now - liquid fire oozed from its mouth like slobber, and its eyes bulged in madness. As he began breathing fire, a Persian adorned in gold leaped upon the dragon, biting deep into its neck. Blood sprayed everywhere, and the Charizard fell on the ground, twitching furiously before laying still.

Some things aren't meant to be changed, Lucario. The scene changed again, and they were back to the original cave. The Flygon was gathering up her baby Trapinches, looking absolutely terrified. As she was finishing up, there was a monstrous thud, and another, and another. All of them - Flygon, Lucario, Aaron and Mew - turned to a doorway, facing the creature straight out of a nightmare. It was a Houndoom, eyes black as death, fire coming out the sides of its mouth, towering over each of them like a kaiju - A Mountain of a Houndoom, you could say. It looked down at the Flygon and her children, and smiled such a smile of hunger and malice that it chilled Lucario to the core.

But sometimes, there are things that must be changed. Time skipped forward, and a red Flygon was holding the bloodied corpse of the first one, a sibling perhaps. It roared in despair and fury, vowing revenge. For all actions have consequences. A boat crossed a narrow sea, and two Gibles were left alone in a strange, foreign city. The Stantler from before was growing fat, and ruled alongside the Pidgeot and a female Persian, not noticing the lustful looks she had for the golden Persian, or the three little Meowths running about. Or how the eldest Meowth would torture poor Rattata when no one watched.

And some actions have more consequences than others. The Stantler died, the cruel Meowth became king, and the land became cracked and broken. Tentacruel rose from the sea, a solemn Rapidash parlayed with a dangerous female Magmar, more Mightyena fell. Far to the north, Murrcrows worked with an Ursaring and a Dragonite as a horde of people came rushing at a wall of ice. They called for everyone in the land to help them, but no one payed them heed.

We need you, Lucario, to set right what was wrong. A Gabite led a band of Camerupts across a desert and an ocean, accompanied by a trio of young Rayquazas.

And if all things go well, perhaps you can stop the Long Night approaching. In the midst of a horrific blizzard, a massive army of the undead slowly marched forward, under the baleful eye of creatures made of living ice. Far above all of this, a god of ice fought a god of fire. And all at once, Aaron and Mew turned to look at him, as another figure began manifesting.

Remember that this world is dark, and full of terrors. But you shall be the light that leads their way.

So good luck out there. The figure of Palkia came forth, and Lucario knew that this was Jimmy once again. Just remember, we're all counting on you. He reached out to him, and tapped him on his chest spike. He felt a surge of power course through his body, and the next thing he knew, it was dawn.

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"Lucario?" Someone called out. He looked down from the tree, and saw Ned Stark looking up at him from below. "Robert and I would like to speak with you." The Pokemon nodded, and hopped off the tree, following him into the central tent. Robert sat at the main table with Jon and Hoster, having a meal of roasted chickens and wine, while in the corner Sers Selmy and Martell stood under armed guards and chains. Lucario had healed Barristan's leg and Lewyn's face as he promised, though both now had thin scars where the cuts used to be. Both knights had given their word as prisoners to neither betray their "hosts" nor attempt to escape, but the lords still insisted that precautions be followed.

"Ah, there he is." Robert jeered, clapping his hands. "There's our Jackal. Come, join us as we break fast." Lucario and Ned took a seat at the table, partaking in a meal of fish, bread and tea.

"First, I want to thank you for everything you've done for us." The Baratheon gloated, still riding the high of victory and royal face-smashing. "Ever since our battle, word has traveled far and wide of our might. The lords who turned on us in the Riverlands and Vale have bent the knee once again, and ravens have been sent to all the Seven Kingdoms, letting them know that the crown rapist is dead."

Lucario stopped drinking when Robert said that, giving him an uncertain glance, but continued on eating. After using his aura to heal the Kingsguards, he had looked into their minds as them told him why Lyanna had ran off with Rhaegar. The whole time, he felt and saw that they were telling the truth - as far as they knew, Lyanna had come willingly and of her own volition. Despite this, Robert had declared that "Nothing less than hearing it from Lyanna herself would convince him."

The Pokemon didn't know what to think. On one paw, he knew the guards were honest, and their memories showed Lyanna not resisting in any way. On the other paw, everyone kept talking about how treacherous and manipulative Rhaegar was. Who was right? Had Rhaegar drugged or brainwashed Lyanna without his guards knowing? Or were the rebels in denial that their beloved sister and fiancee would abandon them for the prince? He couldn't make heads or tails of it, but he knew one thing - only two people knew the truth about what really happened: one was dead, and the other was still missing.

"Second, you might've already heard the chatter, but you've built quite the reputation for yourself. Already some of the Septs and smallfolk have been calling you 'The Warrior Incarnate'." The Pokemon chuckled, and replied, Me, a god? I cannot imagine how your priests would react to seeing the likes of the gods I pray too.

"Still," Jon interjected, "It wouldn't hurt for you to... well, play the role. It would do wonders to our legitimacy if the Realm came to believe that the Seven themselves came down to aid our cause."

How can I do that when I don't know anything about the Faith, He protested, Not it's customs or rules or stories. I am not some divine messenger; I'm a knight and a guardian, and I would rather inspire them with what I am, rather than what others think I am.

"Well, it's not the only thing they've been calling you." Ned acknowledged. "Our bannermen have also started calling you 'The Wolf of the Vale', and 'The Jackal'."

The Pokemon smiled. I like the sound of that. Much more accurate, a little intimidating. I wouldn't mind that at all.

Jon furrowed his brow, clearly not liking the answer the Pokemon gave. Lucario shrugged - deception and trickery were not the ways of his people. Why bother with lies when the truth would always come to light?

"Anyways, Lucario," Robert continued on, "I have a special plan in mind for you, one that might end this war within the month." This caught the Pokemon's full attention. "We start marching for King's Landing today," He explained, "And gods willing, we'll see King Aerys' head on a spike before the month's out."

"However," Jon spoke, "There's been a recent development that stop us from achieving an easy victory. Ravens have arrived saying that Tywin Lannister is leading his men to King's Landing as we speak. The Westerlands have yet to pick a side, but with his son Jaime serving as one of the Kingsguard, there's a great likelihood that he'll join the Targaryens. If he does, and strengthens the garrison already in place, we may be facing a siege that will go on for months. By that time Storm's End may fall, Stannis and Renly Baratheon will be dead, and the Royal Family will have the entire southern half of the continent to themselves."

"Our hope," Lord Baratheon told him, "Is that you can get to King's Landing before either army arrives, and to keep the gates open. If you can do that, and bring me Aerys dead or alive, we can end this war here and now. Can you do this for us?"

Lucario did some quick mental math. It takes about a week to go from the Riverlands to King's Landing on horseback. If he moved at Extreme Speed as often as he could, he could probably reach the city within a couple days. Finding and dealing with the King might be a bit more difficult, but not at all out of his abilities to take care of. Barring any surprises, he should reach the city before everyone else. Getting to the king, however, might be a bit trickier. Particularly since he'd he be in a heavily guarded, foreign city, trying to get in the most fortified structure in the land, going after a paranoid pyromaniac. And steel-types were weak to fire, after all...

But none of them needed to know that. Barring the Targaryens suddenly getting themselves a Blaziken or a makeshift flamethrower, there was nothing in this world so far that he believed could harm him. Once he found the king, everything else should be a snap.

Yes, I will. He answered. By the time you reach the city, you and your men will be able to walk right in...

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"Lucario," Ned said to him several hours later, as he packed some supplies for the journey, "There is something else I would ask of you, when you reach King's Landing."

If I can find and rescue Lyanna, He answered preemptively, I will do so. And if she isn't in the city, then I will do my best to find out where she is, and tell you.

"You have my thanks." Stark replied, though soon he was leaning against a tree, looking all brooding and sullen. "I don't understand it, why would she run off with Rhaegar? He was a married man, and Lyanna isn't a girl easily woo'd."

I can't say I know how the feminine mind works, He assured him, But when we find your sister - and I promise you, we will - you can ask her why yourself.

There was the ghost of a smile on Stark's face, and he offered a hand, which Lucario shook. "May the Old Gods watch over you on your way."

And may Arceus keep you safe until we meet again.

An hour later, Lucario had gathered up all that he'd need, gave his goodbyes, and sped down the King's Road as the sun began heading down...


New Time on Lucario of House Arryn: King's Landing, here we come! The matchup you've all been waiting for... Lucario vs. Gregor Clegane! The Jackal fights the Mountain!