A wyvern's shriek ran far through the crags of the valleys. The sky was still fiendishly dark, so there was no light to shed down to expose the monster's position. The echoes reached to the rocky valley's corners, where there, its prey would be hiding.
Turning his head to look over his shoulder, Nathan took a small peek to see if the wyvern or woman were still following him. He heard another shriek and ducked back behind the corner where Wimpod was cowering. "Oh man, looks like they're still on our tail." He grunted. "What's it gonna take to get people off your back, seriously? This is 7th grade all over again, god!"
A wyvern shriek made him look up to see the shadow looming closer. "Oh shit!" He ducked down, hiding as the wyvern past overhead. When he peered up, he saw it circline around towards the cliffs above. With it gone, he sighed. "Dodged a bullet again." He looked over at the Wimpod still shivering. "Hey, what's up with you? Shouldn't you be running away or something?"
The Wimpod was a shaking mess. "(N-no way am I getting myself out there. I don't wanna be a midnight snack!)"
Bagon looked up calmly. "(And I don't know about you, but I'm starting to get a little jealous.)" He snorted. "(How come that dragon gets to fly, while I'm on the ground? I'm getting upset right now.)"
"Sssh!" Nathan moved a hand over Bagon's mouth, hushing him. "Do you wanna die before you really learn how to fly?" He whispered angrily. "C'mon, we gotta keep moving."
The two went scurrying, with Wimpod shaking madly and took off with him. "(Don't leave without me, please!)"
They continued their little hideaway gimmick, taking up on going through the lower ends of the valley gorges. Nathan had to look up constantly to make sure they weren't followed, but for the most part, it looked like things were well. Bagon took the front while Wimpod respectively shuddered behind like a coward. They had to hurry and find somewhere safe until the coast was clear.
"Where to hide, where to…hide…" Nathan looked from the gorge off to the side towards the small crevice in the rocky wall that looked like a small opening to a cave. He got an idea. "Uh…well it beats being hot chick bait…wait, that didn't come out right."
Wimpod turned around, his eyes widening before he rapidly scurried away.
"Hey, hold on! Where you going?!" Nate yelled out, but he looked up in time to see something head his way. "Oh shi-AAAH!" He ducked at the last second from a bombastic dragonfire that blasted towards the crevice entrance. He uncurled and opened his eyes wide as he whipped around and saw the explosion made cause the crevice to shudder. Its entrance caused several Zubat and Woobat sharing the roost to fly out overhead and fan out past the wyvern coming down to meet Evan and Bagon.
The dragon touched base with the ground. It lowered its head, allowing the busty Camilla to land on her heels and hold her axe over her shoulder. She swayed her hips seductively as Nathan took cautious steps back as Bagon got in front.
"My, my, what a naughty boy you are." She swooned sassily. "Dragging a woman all the way out here…how bold of you." She tilted her head with a frown. "But…your fun and games of hide and seek are over. That was for Corrin when he was still little."
Nathan leaned back. "Well I hate to break your heart, but as much as I would love to drag a lady out, I've got myself a little full at the moment. Namely, you trying to not kill me…please?"
Camilla smirked at Nathan's insistence trying to pull through an opening. But she saw right through him. "How cute." She aimed her axe towards him. "This is your last chance. I'd hate to have to bring father back an unadoring corpse instead of an asset. Won't you pretty please reconsider?"
Nathan furrowed his brow. As seductive of a plea as that was, he wasn't taking yes to any kind of exception. "Sorry, but I stand firm with where I stand. Bagon, Dragon Breath!" Bagon opened wide and unleashed broiling dragonfire that beamed into the ground at Camilla's feet. Indigo flames erupted, causing her to step back and take caution.
"Okay…now!" Evan grabbed Bagon and started running towards the indigo fire wall. He made quick strides thanks to his athletic training. He had to get this just right. Each stride brought him closer until he was at the point where he wanted to be. 'Now!'
He aimed Bagon downwards. "Hydro Pump!"
Bagon smirked. "(Oh, I get it now! Here we go!)" Aiming for the ground, the little dragon spawn unleashed a violent torrent of pressurized water that spouted on the ground. The momentum of the attack as well as the laws of motion gave Nate and Bagon a jettison sendoff over Camilla's head and sail past her. The princess showed honest shock when she watched them take off, but it left her completely baffled that she didn't see it sooner.
Once they got over, Nathan was about to hit base with a smirk, but a pair of claws snapped on his shoulders and yanked hi up. "Yeow~!" He ws pulled back towards the sky, unintentionally dropping Bagon.
"(GAH!)" Bagon dropped towards the ground, his hard head landing first into the earth. He fell over and felt his eyes throb. "(Ugh…what day is it?)"
Camilla smirked. "Well done." She took a gracious leap onto her wyvern's backside and took to the air with it and her captive. "Now, I believe that we have kept Father waiting long enough…don't you think?"
Nathan gritted his teeth. He knew this was bad, not to mention extremely uncomfortable. He was fairly light, but the nails dug into his shoulders. He had to get down, and fast. His instincts kicked in.
"Oh no you don't!" He Whipped up his legs, stamping the neck of the wyvern hard. The creature gagged as the grip on Nathan loosened. The while dragon rocked side to side while Camilla was trying hard to maintain balance, but even she was bound by surprise.
On the ground, Bagon shook his head and glared up. He snarled and knew he had to get up there. Taking aim, he turned around and faced the ground and opened his maw. A mirror of water projected as another forceful jet of water was blasted into the ground. It shot Bagon skywards, sending him beaming in a perfect 45 Degrees right into the wyvern, and towards Nathan.
"Heads up!" he warned.
The wyvern wasn't listening when Bagon's hard head collided with its backside, sending a harsh shock through it and blasting out of the sky. The creature went down with the drizzle that followed, taking Camilla as she fell off the saddle and Nathan towards the gorge below.
"Gngh…! Gaaaah!" Camilla shrieked, but she was unable to gain control over her wyvern in time. She went falling into the dark gorge.
"Oh craaap!" Nathan followed, yelling as the talons finally let go. But sadly, no one was there to catch him. Bagon fell with him, screaming as he spiraled down with his partner into the darkness.
The dust settled across the valley, causing a sneeze to whistle behind a rock. It made dust scurry about. A moment past, and Wimpod crept up behind the rock, looking around worriedly. He was shaken and scared, but he thought the coast was clear. "(I-Is it over…?)" He looked around, his worries growing. "(Uh, guys? Are you here somewhere? Hello~?)" He crawled over towards the edge, barely catching the shadows they left as they plummeted. He gasped in horror. "(AH~! G-g-guys! AH! AHHH! AAAHHHH!)" He started crawling around in circles. "(OH NO! WHATDOIDOWHADOIDO~?!)" He started looking around for answers. "(Uh, uh…m-maybe there's a ladder down there, or maybe there's a lake to cushion them a little, or uh…?)"
A shrilled got his attention. His fears spiked up at the familiarity of the avian shriek.
"(What was that noise?!)" He panicked, looking up. "(Wait, don't tell me…)"
Overhead, a Fearow circled around. His wings flapped as he eyed Wimpod with a hungry and angry stare. By the looks of it, he was daring him to make a move.
"(No! NO~! Not you again! Leave me alone!)" He looked around once more, but found no plausible route to take. He was a sitting duck. "(No, I gotta go! I…! Wait for me guys, don't leave me alone up here!)"
In his panic, he went for a dive for the gorge, choosing to squirm and shout towards the agony of darkness than end up being Fearow's meal. As he faded into the dark, the wild Fearow landed in his spot, gawking down with sharpened eyes. He cawed mischievously, fanning wings like a taunt.
Evan and Freya made way through the woods, minding the few Fletchling roosting in the branches overhead. It made the woodlands a little harder of hearing, but at least the chirps held their own charm towards them.
"It's starting to get late. I think we should stop looking for him, Evan." Freya insisted.
Evan sighed. "I know that, but I was sure he was around here somewhere." He looked down at the ground. The grass didn't give any sign of footprints to track him. Nothing looked broken, so it didn't seem like stress was taken out. "I wonder if…"
"You are the ocean's great wave…"
A harmonic melody started playing in the distance. It chimed magically through the forest, albeit barely. This brought an alarm up towards Evan and Freya.
"What was that?" He whispered quietly. He turned towards his female associate. "Did you hear that?"
Freya raised a brow and looked down at the bagpipes strapped ho her side. "It wasn't the wind from my bagpipes…" He turned it over to see if there were any holes punctured, but it still looked fine. "No, it wasn't me."
Evan turned around and heard another hymn whisk around through the air. "I know I'm not hearing things." He turned towards a clearing opening beyond the woods. "Over there. What is that?" He pointed at a blue-haired figure walking towards the edge of the dock. "You see that?"
Freya squinted as she looked over his shoulder. With his perspective, she realized what Evan was referring to. "Yeah, I see it."
"…stay low. Let's see what this is about." Taking the lead, he crouched down and made sure to be as subtle as possible. They were slow and quiet, until the two made way over towards a large shrub that was a perfect spotting pint. With the cover, the two got a better visual of what was going on.
They saw an azure-haired female, with a white gown and an angelic hymn singing out towards the water. What she sand wasn't important right. What was, was who it was that was walking up behind her to confront her.
"Evan, look." Freya hissed.
Evan gasped. "Corrin?"
The still water settled back to waving small rifts as the woman's concentration was on the young man in front of her. His soft stare showed that he wasn't any impending threat, but she didn't it so easy to give herself a low guard in front of an armed stranger.
"Yes? Is there something the matter?" the woman chimed.
Corrin cleared his throat to gather what he had to say. He found himself too lost in her soft tunes to have even listened. "Uh, hello. Sorry to have bothered you, I just couldn't help but hear your singing." He grinned. "That song you were playing was really captivating towards me."
The woman took the compliment with a smile. She couldn't help but notice something about him that spiked her interests. "You're…Prince Corrin, are you not?"
"Yes. And who might you be?"
The woman gave him a polite smile and bowed. "I am Azura. A former princess to the land of Nohr."
The news came out so smoothly the way she said it. However, the others felt anything but smooth at this point. Once again it felt like they stepped onto a minefield. Evan and Freya looked towards each other with shock while Corrin was holding in whatever shock he can. But with the revelations that were packed into one day, this was icing on the cake. It took a while for him to process what was told.
"I-I'm sorry. Did you just say…that you were once a princess…from Nohr?"
Azura gave him an innocent bow. "Yes."
"It's just, if I ever heard of another princess, I would've known sooner. Father would've told me…or, King Garon, I think." He staggered at what to think of him now. "Sorry."
Azura shook her head. "No, it's quite alright." She smiled. "We heard that you've grown up with the royal family of Nohr. Just as you have for Nohr, so did I for Hoshido." A pair of Goldeen leaped out behind her, making a subtle splash that made ripples reverberate to distort her reflection in the water. "They've tried getting you back so many times, but it was never enough. They wanted retaliation. And at the time, I wasn't as heavily guarded unlike you. So the Hoshidan ninjas easily kidnapped and brought me here."
Corrin's face fell. "I'm…so sorry. I had no idea."
Azura's smile widened. "It's alright. It's true that I have been a hostage all my life, but you know…it's not all that bad. I've been pretty happy."
"You've been…happy to have been away from your home and family?"
"It's not easy to understand. But, the people around Hoshido have warmed up to me very much, and accepted me for just me. To me, this feels as much home as anywhere else. Even Queen Mikoto treats me like her own flesh and blood. It's lively to me."
Corrin's gaze fell towards his feet. What she said made him think back to his own life in Nohr. Even then, the staff was courteous in their own manners. They treated him very well, even the maids did such a thing. When his siblings would come around, they especially pampered him and gave him their affections. He started to miss them a little more than usual.
Noticing his crestfallen expression, she tilted her head. "Did something happen with Queen Mikoto?"
"Huh?" He snapped out of his thoughts and gave her a distraught gaze. "Sorry, uh, no. Not exactly. It's just…I'm not sure what I should do. She is my mother, and she seems very nice, even though she's known me her whole life…I don't know anything about her. My blood siblings as well, they're all looking out for me…even though I've just met them. And I've just met Evan these Pokémon Trainers, who all seem nice…but, I don't know what to feel about them when they're all doing so much for me."
Azura closed her eyes in contemplation. "I see. I can understand. The news about the announcement of these creatures popping out of nowhere has brought uncertainty onto us all." She smiled again. "But, it's not all bad. But I understand how it must feel. If I were to return to Nohr, I'm sure I'd be treated much like you."
"So then…do you think it's possible? To live with a new life from the start?"
Azura paused to think about her answer. "No. If given a choice, I would prefer to stay here, in Hoshido. Queen Mikoto is a peaceful ruler. King Garon is not." She turned back towards the pond, seeing a Feebas swim beneath the surface. Its back fin was sticking out as it glided across the water towards the seaweed bed near the shoreline beneath the docks.
Corrin looked down with an uncertain gaze. His face fell further into disarray at what to think or say to all of this. With Azura's insight, he got a new perspective at least. But with how to deal with it, that's another.
"I…I think I need to take all of this in." he grunted, turning away. "I just don't know anymore."
Azura nodded. "I understand. It was a pleasure meeting you."
"Yeah, same here, Azura. Hope to see you again." He smiled sincerely at her before walking back towards the palace grounds.
As he walked away, Evan and Freya stayed low and quiet while Corrin moved past the bushes. Had it not been for Evan pulling Freya down at the last second they would've been caught. Once Corrin was out of sight, they poked their heads back up and watched him leave the area.
"Woah…" Evan mumbled in awe. "So then she was also a captive…man. Poor Corrin and her…" He looked down a little crestfallen.
Freya frowned. "Do you think we should talk to her, too?"
Evan took a glance over towards Azura as she walked away from the docks, returning to where she was supposed to be. He chose to not take the chance. "Uh, no. I-I think I'm with Corrin on this one. I think we've had enough for today. C'mon, we've better get back before he starts worrying about us." He took the initiative with taking the lead, and Freya followed behind back through the route of which they came.
As the palace was coming into view within the clearings nearby, they started slowing down. Or rather more accurately, their bodies were slowing down, while their minds were doing all the work. They've been running ragged for the past few days straight, and even they were somehow able to stand. It was a drag to say the east, but they've gotten themselves to the point where fatigue was just taking too grand of a toll onto their bodies. They didn't know how much longer they could keep this up.
"Hey, Evan?" Freya's voice was low as the sounds of the furry little creatures wormed past them to find hiding holes to sleep in for the night. "What do you think is gonna happen to us?"
He heavily sighed. "That's…that's a good question. I don't even know." He came to a conclusion. "Are you worried we might be stuck here like Azura?"
Freya rolled her eyes away. "We might."
"Yeah, that might be the case. But I mean…it's not so bad. It could be worse." He thought back to the events that could've killed him beforehand. "I mean if you ask me, we're getting off lucky. I just hope it stays like this, at least until we get more answers."
Freya looked down at her white tennis shoes. "I know." She smiled. "But I guess we have support now. The queen seemed to have taken our differences well."
Evan smiled. "Yeah, so at least we have something to work with so it kinda feels like home." Home. That was a very opaque term to use right now. Right now, home could be anywhere. Then again, it couldn't be. They were in another world, with no clues to what brought them here than that bright light and thunderstorm. That smile he had dropped again. "Freya, you gonna be alright?"
"I hope so. I mean we have Keith helping us now, but he's away."
Evan raised a brow. "Ouch, okay. I see how it is. I guess I'm a Kecleon now. I'm invisible to you and everyone else now."
Freya hummed. "Hmph, cute. I didn't mean it like that Evan. You're a good guy, and you're really smart, too. I'm sure you'll find an answer to this. You've done well so far."
A small smile crept onto his face. "Yeah…I mean, I did almost kick your butt earlier today."
"Now that was just luck. You were glad that Growlithe stepped in, weren't you?"
Evan smirked. "Maybe~, maybe not. Well, let's just be glad the sun's going down. Let's hit the hay." He started walking closer towards the palace domain, when he thought he saw something in the corner of his eye. "Huh…?"
"What is it?"
Evan heard Freya's concern and looked between her and the spot where something. "I-I just thought I…" He paused, ultimately letting the matter go. "Uh…w-well let's just go. I must be hallucinating…or something."
He left with Freya towards the palace, whereas the domain where Evan was looking at was configured into the setting sun's shadow. Darkness began clouding up the atmosphere as the nighttime Pokémon were starting to crawl out. Spinarak started crawling out while Hoothoot were opening their eyes, cooing loudly throughout the woodland areas. With them gone, a figure watched from the darkest shadows looming beyond the shrubs. It turned and faded back to the woodlands, where not even trees ruffled as it stepped beyond their reaches.
Nathan groaned in the darkness around him. He found the temperature to have dropped be several degrees, apparently explaining the chilly goosebumps he's had on his skin. His eyes fluttered open as an aching pain throbbed his head.
"Ugh…what happened…?" He felt his head. "It felt like a Primeape just up and threw a tantrum at me. Wonder where the hell I am…?" He looked around, realizing it was almost completely dark. Not much light got out except from above. He looked up, realizing the gorge went so far up the walls were unsurmountable. "Geez, just how far down did we really go?"
A sot moan grabbed his attention, instantly putting hairs on end. A shiver went down his spine as he slowly turned his head down to find that despite the harsh fall, he was still alive, and that was because he had some cushion to land on. His eyes widened at the sight of Camilla beneath him, her face facing his as her purple eyes fluttered open.
"Hmmm…?" Catching up to everything that's happened, the princess looked up and realized Nathan was mounting over her. The look on his face showed he was genuinely surprised as well as embarrassed to see and feel such a position.
In a rush of adrenaline, he tried to come up with an excuse. "Uh…this isn't what it looks like." He paused. "Um…you okay?"
"Mmm…yes, I believe so. Luckily my armor helped cushion the fall…" She looked up at him for a moment. "Are you going to kill me in that position?"
Nathan realized what she meant and got up. "Sorry." He reached down, grabbing her supple hand. "Can you stand?"
Camilla attempted to do so as he insisted, but as she was about to gain ground, it was lost when her right shin started aching, like it was split in two. She grunted before simmering herself down. She looked down at her armored leg with a frown.
Nathan gasped. "Did your leg get twisted in the fall?"
Camilla frowned heavily. "Hmph…this is most fortunate for you, isn't it?"
Nathan gave her a serious look. For a moment he thought about some witty retort, but he opted better. He slumped back down against the rocks, sighing out loud. "I don't even know how to answer that question to be real with you. I'm not even close to fortunate."
Camilla, having nothing to help her stand up, had to support herself against a rock. She looked over, finding that her mount was unconscious, as was Nathan's Bagon not too far away. Both had taken hard hits, but it looked like the armor and hard heads shielded them from critical damage. Right now, both of them were completely out of amnesty. They were sitting ducks.
Nathan shot a glance at Camilla. "How bad is it?"
Camilla tried to geta feel of her own leg, despite the armor on it. She could tell the wound wasn't gradual, but it was enough to make her suppress a moan of displeasure. "It's not bad." She frowned at him. "But why are you so considerate about my health all of a sudden?"
Nathan furrowed his brow and looked away. "Hey, I'm not evil. I know enough to know what's wrong and wrong. Is it really fair to kick someone when they're already down? You can't move and I know better than to go near someone when they have a battle axe. I say we call it even."
Camilla graciously frowned. "To be given such amnesty from an enemy…Father certainly wouldn't appreciate this failure?"
Nathan gave Camilla a glance. Aside from glancing at her generous buxom, he asserted where he must on the matter. He cleared his throat. "So…why is it that your Father wanted me and all these Pokémon again?"
"Why do you ask?"
"Just asking. Don't kill me just because I was curious…" He nervously glanced away, holding back his worries from her.
Camilla saw the faintest look of curiosity in him. She couldn't help but feel somewhat eased by that sensitive look behind his disgruntled eyes. It was kinda like Leo, but a little easier to get behind. For the time being she didn't see any harm in complying with his request.
"Well, as it turns out, my Father is the prestigious King Garon of Nohr. A few days ago, we've come across a Hoshidan whom we discovered had these fellow creatures."
"Pokémon." He corrected.
"…yes, Pokémon. They've been coming up recently. My Father insisted on taking them for their usage in our forces. If you know by now, there is an ongoing war against the Hoshidans. And we aim for nothing but to prevail."
Nathan frowned. It didn't sound like she was being modest about her upbringings. In fact, she looked more comfortable with the situation than anything else. He could've asked her if she had any guilt, but instead went for another question of answer. "I don't really care why you guys are fighting; I just know it ain't too bright bringing others into a mess that's between you guys."
Camilla frowned at the whimsical wisdom he had. "Yes, perhaps so…but my Father's orders are absolute. If what he says is true, then finding out as much as possible about these creatures will surely please him."
He rolled his neck away in disinterest. If anything it seemed more displeasing towards him. "Well you caught me red-handed. I know these Pokémon, so I'll tell you one thing…" He started getting up, walking over towards Bagon. "And it's that whatever you thought about these guys, I think you need to reevaluate a little more closely."
Bagon stirred awake, his head in a spinning wreck. He groaned as he tried to get around what was going on as he came to. "(Ugh, Nathan, did we hit another tree…?)"
Nathan went over and sat down besides Bagon. He picked him up and started using his index fingers to roll over the temples of Bagon's head. The pressure was helping stimulate the little dragon's hard-headed headaches. The dragon's aching expression turned to a small purr. Camilla couldn't help but gasp at the turn of moods of the little beast.
"There you…nice and easy dude…nice and easy…"
The princess watched Nathan tend to Bagon, his expression genuinely…caring. It almost felt homely. Just like when she would pamper Corrin when they were younger. The sight gave her some light-hearted notes to take.
"You good buddy?" Bagon responded with a slow nod through his treatment. "Yeah, you're a toughy, aren't you?" He looked up and gave Camilla a serious look. "Now tell me, would you really wanna make something like this be put in front of a blade?"
The princess looked down at the Bagon, seeing how he was almost completely tamed. He looked so comfortable in Nathan's lap that she almost thought it was a completely different Pokémon.
"I don't care about your orders, and I don't care about how sexy you are. I still have my side to say. If you aren't going to hear me out there, then maybe you do need to be here in this ditch we're in. If Nohr's treating their people this shitty, then I ain't taking no pass to that place."
"(Yeeeeee!)" A freakish cry came from nearby, revealing Wimpod as he scurried through the gorge in a frantic panic.
"Wimpod?" Nathan was taken back by the bug's dash behind him and Bagon. He hid behind his back and shuddered madly. "W-where did you come from?"
"(I-i-it's coming. Hide me…!)"
Raising a brow, Nathan felt a shadow loom over his head. He and Bagon looked up. A screeching silhouette went soaring down for them, talons bared, and beak aimed for Nathan's face. At the last second, they barrel rolled out of the way as the figment swooped through, the drafts throwing Wimpod onto his back as he screeched.
They looked back up, watching the Fearow come back around to attack. His cries signaled he was more than angry. "Looks like he's still pissed about us." He looked towards Bagon. "Look alive, Bagon!"
Bagon shook his head and rid of his dizziness and headache. He watched the Fearow come his way with his body folding to make a steeper dive and picked up acceleration. He braced as Nathan called for an attack. "Headbutt!" Bagon lowered his head and took aim for the oncoming avian. He shot up into the bird's chest, causing a gag to go through his system and sent him careening back through the air. The bird gathered as much of his strength and focus to adjust and emitted glowing red eyes that made Bagon's body glow bright blue.
'Leer. Better wrap this up quickly then.' Nathan kept a high guard as the Fearow was going to attack again. His corner eye caught a glimpse of Wimpod huddling behind his leg. "Stay right there. You don't wanna hide all the time, there's just no point." He looked forwards and braced himself. "Alright…look alive!"
The Fearow screeched and flapped his wings again. He went into a steep dive towards Bagon with speed building up. He closed the gap remarkably fast again.
"Bagon, Dragon Breath!"
Loops of air pressure built up as dragonfire swirled inside the maw. He timed it thanks to what Nathan and him trained to do and waited until the last second when the talons were in his face. He widened his maw and expelled the dragonfire, blazing through the feathers and ruffling up the plumage. The Fearow shrilled cries, but he still didn't let up. One talon swept across Bagon's belly, putting him on his back.
"I gotcha!" Nathan reached out towards Bagon, pulling him back in time before Fearow's beak plunged into the spot where Bagon was lying. It was a close call had it not been for Nathan's physical agility. Fearow blinked once, then twice, but he realized his beak was plunged into the ground a little too far in to allow him mobility.
This was the chance they needed. They had to act fast. "Bagon! Headbutt!"
Bagon lowered his head and went dating across the ground as fast as lightning. The Fearow was too distracted to get into the realization. A hard head with the texture of diamonds smashed into his own skull, causing him to gag harder than before. Fearow fell onto his back, whereas Bagon landed promptly. Though not without stumbling off to the side a little.
"Bagon, you good down there buddy?"
Bagon wobbled, but he didn't fall. "(Uh…yeah!)"
Wimpod shuddered behind Nathan's leg. He was scared, but these guys were working hard to preserve him. "(Gnnngh…what do I do…?)" He looked at Bagon. From the look he had, he wasn't going to last much longer. He needed to find levity, and he had to be fast!
"Stay right there. You don't wanna hide all the time, there's just no point." Nathan's earlier phrase repeated in Wimpod's mind. He was an inward mess. What exactly was he supposed to do right now?
He took one more look at Nathan and Bagon was the Fearow was on the attack again. The beak was trying to aim but Bagon was being elusive towards the definite strikes. Nathan directed and made careful observations. He was already scared out of his wits, what's more to do? Again, Nathan's point rung a bell in his mind. He had to, otherwise he may very well be useless.
The Fearow's beak struck the ground again, but it wasn't nearly as deep as before. He pulled it out and aimed for Bagon one more time, but he noticed dragonfire heading his way and flew at an angle around it. He ascended, making a mirror image of Bagon before said mirror released dragonfire back towards Bagon.
Nathan's eyes widened in surprise before he prompted a counter. "Hydro Pump!" A mirror of water manifested in front of Bagon and he blasted another forceful jet of water that went through the dragonfire. It dissipated the majority of the attack, but Fearow was nowhere to be found when the mist cleared.
"Where did…?" Nathan thought fast. He looked up with eyes widening. "Above you!"
Bagon looked up and saw the Fearow's wings spread far and wide. He was at the perfect angle to strike and finish the job with these pests in the way of his meal.
"(Hey! Down here!)"
Fearow hummed and turned towards the noise. His eyes locked onto something scurrying past Bagon. It was fast, but his sharp eyesight caught onto its course.
Wimpod hustled around, leaping up every now and again across the rocky ground. "(Down here! Yummy, yummy! I-it's a tasty snack you're after, right?!)"
Bagon turned wide-eyed at Wimpod. "(What are you doing?!)"
"(I-I don't really know…but I think it's working.)" Wimpod flinched at the shadow coming towards him. "(T-that's him! Take your shot, hurry! While I get his attention!)"
"(Wait, hold up a second-!)" Bagon reached a stubby paw out, but Wimpod was already on the move. He scurried away fast, even to his surprise. He looked back at Nathan for reassurance for the understanding confusion they have. "(Uh, s-should we do something?!)"
Nathan narrowed his eyes. He had to time this just right if they were going to stop that blasted Fearow once and for all.
Wimpod hustled as he was shifting side to side, moving in zigzag fashion over and over and gradually moved about the rocky surface. Fearow's shadow loomed overhead in a threatening manner, but it wasn't directly on his tail. He still had some space until he began tripping on the hard surface. "(Come on…come on…)" He started feeling his breath give out a little from all the running he's been doing. He wasn't sure how much longer he was going to last.
Fearow glided closer towards the ground, his talons bared and sharp enough to claw into Wimpod's carapace. The bug made a beeline for dead ahead to allow a good enough angle.
"(Now! Do it now!)" he yelled.
The Fearow's eyed widened slightly when he realized something. With him breaking away for his food, he didn't notice until it was too late when a shout was followed by dragon fire beaming right in his direction. It was only at the very last second when he was able to pull away in time, but too far into the gorge wall and bumped his back, sending a shock that stunned him.
Wimpod turned around to see if it worked. "(Did you get him?)"
Fearow slumped down to the ground, his body still reeling from that surprise attack. He shook his head and glared back at Bagon and Nathan. His patience was at an end with all this. He unleashed a loud cry of anger with wings spread to intimidated everyone. He was far from out.
Just then, an enchantment circle flashed above his head. He cawed in question before a thunderbolt flashed down onto him, discharging static and electricity that riled him up. His body shuddered in place while Nathan, Bagon, and Wimpod all stared in shock at the surprise themselves.
"What the-?!" Nathan gasped, before seeing the thunder disperse. They all watched as Fearow was still immobile for a brief second, before falling over onto his front. His body twitched as static flared around it consistently, but he was clearly unconscious.
Nathan looked toward the sky, seeing no signs of storm clouds that could've caused the sudden lightning. "Woah…was that Arceus doing me a favor? Because if it is…wow."
Despite her inability to move well, Camilla used her good leg and limped over. She investigated the unconscious Fearow with an eye on the way this thing's tenacity proved to be something else. She frowned and closed her eyes, taking a moment to allow the scenario to sink in.
"Shouldn't you not be moving?" Nathan asked.
Camilla humbly smiled. "I appreciate your concern for my health, but don't worry. My dear Elise can heal me." She turned towards him with an empathetic gleam. She inhaled, then exhaled. They made brief eye contact before coming to a conclusion. "It seems…that my Father will have to settle with what we have for now."
Nathan was confused, but he started getting the picture. Her wyvern crawled over, having been recovered from that earlier fall. She went over and mounted the ride's back and tossed her hair behind her back. The wyvern went over, using its front legs to seize the unconscious Fearow's wings.
"Do be careful with that. We'll need to have that healed by Elise as well…it seems it'll require a little more work under Nohr's training."
Nathan looked at Camilla with his guard high. "Thought you wanted a Trainer to help you force Pokémon to do as they say?"
"Yes. We still do. But…" She paused, thinking about what he told her about his point of view. "It seems that I'm in quite the quandary. I'm physically impaired and you have creatures that can still fight. It's a shame, and Father will most likely settle with my death for not bringing him exactly as he wanted."
"Then don't tell him." Nathan deadpanned. "It's that simple."
Camilla hummed with a smirk. "I'll think about it." She lifted her chin, giving a luscious smirk at him. "And also, consider us even. But next time we cross paths, try to be careful, okay~?" She finished with a playful wink.
Nathan felt a shiver run down his spine. He didn't have time to process the sign as the wyvern started taking off with the Fearow in its talons. It ascended, while Camilla looked down with a domineering gleam and smile onto Nathan. She wasn't going to forget this…not by a long shot.
"See you around. Oh, and don't talk to strangers." She chimed. The wyvern lifted into the air, until they were out of the gorge and sailing across the near-dark skies that clouded the land.
Nathan stood in place, processing what just happened. Slowly, he squinted. "…is it just me, or was that a sign of something going on?" He squinted. "Well, it's always the good ones that get away, that's what they say anyway. Now…how am I gonna get out of here?"
He looked around with Bagon and Wimpod, but the gorge had walls that were too steep to climb. It'd take a miracle or wings to grow to get them out.
Nathan frowned. "…ugh, right. I forgot. It's the s the pretty ones that play hard to get! Well fine! I can work with this! Thank you for leaving me here to die!" He groaned heavily. "Women. This is why I hate people."
Something glimmered by his side. Hidden amongst the rocks, Wimpod scurried over and sniffed the earth briefly. He shuffled a small layer of earth around before it uncovered a disc.
"(What you got?)" Bagon asked, waddling over.
Wimpod showed him the disc. "(This. I thought I saw something shiny. Look!)" He practically shoved it into Bagon and Nathan's faces. Their attention adverted towards the white disc in his possession. Since Nathan could read, he spelled it out.
"What? 'TM 16: Screech'…huh, I didn't think this move was a TM. Wonder how it got down here?" He looked around curiously for any signs of other familiar materials, but wasn't in the clear just yet. He looked back to the TM in his possession, getting an idea. Slowly, he turned towards Wimpod and Bagon, who looked back with curiosity.
"Well guys, might as well be here for a while…" He pondered aloud, holding up the TM. "Wanna learn how to cry out an S.O.S message?"
Wimpod tilted his head. "(…huh?)"
Night turned to morning within the land of Hoshido. Unlike Nohr's constant darkness, the sun's radiance beamed through the blooming trees of the land where many people and some Pokémon that were around were starting to come along.
Inside the palace, Queen Mikoto had just called for Corrin, as well as Evan and Freya. The latter Trainers stood a short distance away while Corrin looked at his mother, who seemed pleasant at this time. "Good morning, Corrin. You and tour friends look much better after some rest."
Corrin smiled passively. He hadn't slept like that in ages. But his head was much clearer after being off his feet. "I am, thanks. I…had a lot of time to think. I got some of the answers I've been looking for. So thanks for that."
"Of course, I'm glad to see you're smiling again." The queen's gaze turned towards Evan and Freya. "And to you too, we thank you once again for what you've been doing. I trust that Corrin has been very courteous towards you."
"Huh? O-oh yeah. Yeah, he's been great." Evan said nonchalantly.
Mikoto smiled softly before turning her attention back towards Corrin. "Corrin. If I may, I have a small favor to ask you."
He straightened his back dutifully. "Yes?"
"…would you please sit on this throne for a moment?"
It was a surprising question to be asked, especially given the heritage as well as the position to be made. Evan and Freya looked at Corrin to see a look of genuine surprise written all over his face. He couldn't make heads nor tails of why she insisted on such a gesture, but he chose to process his wording instead.
"Why do you want me to do that?"
Mikoto looked over at the throne beside them. "Well…this throne has been embedded with the power granted by the First Dragons. It's been said those who sit will regain their true form and mind." She frowned. "I thought, that if you sit on it…"
Corrin's heart leaped. "Wait…are you saying, that you're not sure I'm sane? That I'm still under a Nohrian spell?"
"No!" Mikoto's words came out more forceful than they were intended. "It has nothing to do with trust. I was just wondering if the Nohrians sealed up your memories. Maybe that's why you can't remember. If that were true, maybe this throne would bring back those lost pieces of your childhood…the childhood we had with your siblings…" Her face fell towards genuine sadness. Such fond memories rendered her to a small depression. Her hopes were looking bleak on confidence.
Corrin looked down at his feet, pondering about his mother's insight than just her selfish desires. Maybe she was onto something, then again, this could be Hoshidan logic working its way through his psyche. It wasn't his fault that all this happened, none of it had to be.
Just before he could come to a conclusion, a set of footsteps came their way. A man in his early-mid years walked up. He had cinder gray hair that was tied into a messy bud behind his head. He adorned glasses as well as a dark robe with armor around the waist. Yellow edging helped define the armor around his body.
"Excuse my interruption, Lady Mikoto." He greeted. His voice was all stern but also held a subtle pitch of sincerity in it.
Diverting away from the matter for a moment, Mikoto turned towards the man. "Ah, Yukimura. Does that mean it's almost time already?"
"What is she talking about?" Evan whispered to Freya, who shook her head.
"I'm not sure. A ceremony for something perhaps."
Yukimura nodded. "Yes. The preparations are all set. We're now set to commence whenever you are there."
"Very well then." Mikoto turned towards Corrin and friends. "Corrin, and friends, I'd like you to meet Yukimura. He's one of our finest strategists in all of Hoshido. He's been very helpful getting everything organized ever since this event with these Pokémon showing up as well."
Yukimura chuckled. "You are far too kind, milady. Truth be told, I still have much to learn." He turned towards Evan and Freya. "So you're the Pokémon Trainers I've been told of. It's a pleasure to meet you. I hope to learn much from you and your kind's ways."
Freya nervously smiled. "We'll…do our best."
"Yeah, uh, what she said." Evan followed.
More people came walking behind. Following the lead taken, Ryoma walked in the front, followed by Azura, Hinoka and Sakura. Audino was right beside her, apparently hugging Sakura still. "O-okay Audino, it's been over an hour. Aren't you, uh, getting stiff or something?"
Audino nuzzled her head into Sakura's hair. "(Nope. You're just so cuddly.)" She giggled. Though Sakura didn't understand, she could feel whatever she said being along the lines of a no. She sighed.
Evan whipped around, seeing everyone there. Huh? Oh, it's you guy. What's up?" He took a pause and noticed the new individual beside them, who refused to even give a glance at them. It was a young man with dirty blonde hair that was in a stick-like ponytail. He looked anything but pleasant towards Evan and Freya specifically. He took notice of his blue clothing with a fur waistline and armor around the body.
Azura smiled humbly towards Evan and Freya. She seemed complacent seeing them for the first time. "Hello there. I am Azura. It's a pleasure to meet you both."
Evan took the lead talking again. He blinked once to process how to say hi without it being awkward. "Uh…yeah. Nice to meet you, too. I'm Evan." He gestured towards Freya. "And this is Freya."
Freya held her bagpipes close as she waved. "Hey."
Azura humbly smiled and bowed. "I was told a lot about you both. I hope we can all get along."
"Hmph!" The new man crossed his arms, refusing to respect the request.
Queen Mikoto cleared her throat, regaining the attention needed for her to speak. "Now then, to the task at hand. We've prepared a ceremony for a special occasion. You see, I would like to make a public announcement about your return, Corrin. There's been rumors that are going around, saying spies from Nohr have been lurking within my castle. I wanted to quash those the best that I can to assure public morals." She paused as she turned towards Evan and Freya. "And for this ceremony, we would like for you both to attend beside him. There are still some who are wary of these creatures who mean no harm. We need a public eye to assure them these Pokémon can be tamed."
The three looked at each other and came to an agreeable testimony. Freya looked up and smiled humbly. "If your majesty really needs us to do this…then I guess we can try again."
Mikoto smiled softly. "You have my thanks. Corrin, I've arranged for Takumi, Hinoka, and Sakura to guide you through the plaza. I need to discuss with Yukimura a little, but I'll meet you all at the plaza."
Hinoka promptly smiled. "You can count on us, Mother. I'll be happy to show Corrin around."
Mikoto glanced at Azura. "Azura, you wouldn't mind accompanying them, would you?"
Azura smiled back. "Not at all. It would be my pleasure." She looked back and gave Corrin a meek glance, which he reciprocated with a grin of his own.
"Thank you very much, Azura."
She giggled. "No problem, Corrin."
Hinoka crossed her arms. "I can't wait to show you all around. I'm sure you'll catch on quick. That goes for you two over there as well. I think you're going to be surprised with what we've got in store for you here." She snickered. "Don't worry, I didn't men that in a bad way, I promise."
"Uh, thanks I suppose." Evan muttered.
Corrin turned towards his Trainer friends. "Evan, Freya. Let's try and enjoy this together. I'm sure everyone will be pleased to be here."
Freya meekly smiled. "Sure. If that's what you think is best. Evan?"
Evan nodded. "Alright, lead the way."
The group filed out of the palace throne room, heading to where their destination was supposed to be. Ryoma stayed behind and watched them go with Mikoto and Yukimura beside him. Mikoto sighed heavily. "I hope Corrin is really okay with all of this…"
Yukimura frowned. "Yes, his position is very stressing, I'm sure. It would be a lot to process all at once. But that said, perhaps his return is a sign of something to happen to this land and its future."
"Yes. A fortunate one, I hope." Ryoma said low. He watched them leave the palace for outside. His attention was on Evan and Freya and their backs as they followed Corrin. "Change is a very powerful matter, one that can't be controlled that easily…"
Back in town, the sun was beaming down as flocks of birds were flying in V formations. There were a fixture of Pidgey as well as Starly amongst the flock but they fitted in quite nicely. They sailed over the prestigious town, where cherry blossom trees bloomed and scattered petals across the winds to various parts of the plaza.
Throughout the town, people were seen in groups or running about with their friends. Stands were open were some of the avian Pokémon from taking long distance trips roosted. They didn't hamper anything. Of course they took up a little space, but the people learned from yesterday's example, and they approached others with caution. One kid was riding atop a Skiddo as it trotted through town, the parents behind smiling graciously. A few Mareep and Wooloo were crowded around as kids went up to pet their fluffy bodies. They were so soft and cuddly, they just couldn't let go. Corrin and everyone walked through town towards the plaza, but they were taking their sweet time with taking in the scenery with all these people starting to take babysteps with these Pokémon about. When a stand was about to fall, a Timburr was seeing using his wooden support beam to sustain it for a while. Even Azura found the sight of these creatures fascinating. Overhead Hoppip chirped as the wind carried them and Eldegoss across Hoshido's grand city.
Evan was staring everywhere. At the people and the Pokémon around. He's never seen so many in one place before, not even in past trips to Celadon City. It felt just as busy here, though it could be because of the compressed crowd. "Wow. Look at all this. I don't think I've seen this many in one city before."
Freya's lips smacked. "It's been a while since I've been to some of the towns in Galar, but I'm sure it was something like this too when I was little." She passed by a Poochyena, which was licking from a bowl of water that a middle-aged man happily poured for him.
"Here you go, little fella." He chuckled at the gray creature was getting his fill. "You sure are thirsty, aren't you? Don't worry, we'll treat you well."
The Poochyena barked back, his mouth drenched, but he pounced anyways and licked the man's face in gratitude. Everyone past by with a small smile on their faces.
"Looks like everyone's getting along better than before." Sakura chimed. She was free from Audino…at least for now. The pink and cream creature smiled happily as she followed Sakura in tow.
"Here you go, young man. Have a taste of this." A woman on the stand beside Corrin handed him a roasted potato. The crispy outside was covered in spices that made its texture shine. "Try my world-famous roasted potatoes. They're nutritious and delicious, I guarantee you'll love them!"
"Really?" Corrin gave the potato a small look. "Uh, sure. Why not?" He pulled out small pocket change he had on hand, a small allowance provided by his Hoshidan family. He handed it over and was given the potato in kind. He looked at it as it steamed still, indicating that it was still hot. Taking a cautious bite, he felt that it was indeed hot to the touch. But the compensation far outweighed the cons as spices overwhelmed his taste buds. His eyes widened as flavors enticed him. "Mmm! This is delicious! All these spices are extraordinary!"
The vender chuckled. "See? I told ya." She handed him another potato. "Here, this one's on the house. Why not give it to your lady friend over there?"
"Oh, sure." He did his best to not get embarrassed by the comment and passed it over to Azura. "Here Azura, you might like it."
"Thank you." Azura graciously took the potato, taking a small bite with the spice on top. She smiled heavenly at the taste it had. "You're right. This is delicious."
"Has anybody seen Kaze, or Rinkah around somewhere?" Evan asked, looking around for them, but to no avail.
Hinoka turned around, answering with a smile. "They're patrolling Hoshido's borders to the city right now. After what we've been through in the north, we've gotta stay high alert. The queen's orders."
Evan looked down in understanding. "Oh, well I…guess that makes sense." He almost forgot that these two nations were in a war going on. This was just a break from it, but for how long? That question almost derived him away until Freya tapped his shoulder.
"Evan, you coming?"
"Huh? Oh!" He hurried along with them as they continued through the plaza festival.
They all ventured around the avenues where many stands were showing more displays of foods, masks, and novelty items that were for kids and young adults. They could see the number of people just skyrocketing with each passing minute, and amongst them, a few Pokémon that many have already gotten accustomed too. A man had a Bellsprout on his shoulder as he walked along.
"Everyone looks so…lively." Corrin awed. "The people here are very nice. Everything here is so…open, and bright. It's nothing like the fortress where I grew up."
Azura smiled. "I'm glad you feel that way. I've always been happy here."
"Yeah, I can get used to this." Evan chimed.
"Hmph! Don't get too comfortable now." A sneer retorted.
Evan jerked at the proximity and whipped around. They all turned towards the earlier individual with the dirty blonde hair. He gave them all a stink eye that spelled anything but peace. If anything, it made Evan unnerved.
Corrin looked at him in confusion. "Excuse me?"
The man gave him, Evan, and Freya a suspicious gaze. "You heard me. What makes you think you should feel so at home? Shouldn't you all be going back to Nohr soon? And if you do, take these pests with you."
Azura gasped. "Takumi!"
The man, now known as Takumi, turned sharply towards her. "Hey, who said you could call me by my name? You haven't earned that privilege yet either."
Evan turned towards Freya, but pointed at Takumi. "Is he high or something? What the hell's his problem?"
Freya shook her head. "I don't know."
Corrin gave Takumi a glare. "Hey, how exactly is that being fair? Azura has been around longer than I have. Shouldn't that make her family enough?"
Takumi raised his nose, snorting. "Hmph! I don't care. I don't trust any of you. Not you, nor these pets that can act like weapons and cause a ruckus. Somehow this is all going to go badly. I just wanted to make that clear to you guys." He whipped around, giving them all the back of his head with a defiant sneer.
Evan furrowed his brow at his rudeness and growled. "Geez, what a guy he is. What did we do?" He felt Audino walked up, giving him a hug. "Uh, huh?"
"Um, I apologize for Takumi's rudeness. He's a bit of a hothead. But, he might warm up once everything gets situated." Sakura insisted.
Evan would've said something to argue against Takumi, but he chose to let it go. Audino was much too cuddly that he simmered down. "Yeah…let's hope so."
"Great!" Sakura jumped in place with a chuckle.
Corrin saw Sakura's demeanor with a little moment of contemplation. In his eyes, he was seeing someone almost completely identical in terms of personality. Aside from her being more subtle, she was almost a spitting image of his other sister – or rather, fake sister. As fulfilling as it may be, it was still reassuring to know a little piece of something to make him feel better.
Noticing his stare, Sakura turned towards him. "Hm? What is it?"
Corrin shook his head. "It's nothing. You remind me of someone I know."
Sakura perked up. "Oh, is she your girlfriend?"
"No, actually she's my-!"
Hinoka butted in at the last second. "Alright everyone, break it up now. We better get a move on to where the plaza is. It's almost time. Hurry."
Corrin broke off from what he said as Sakura hurried along with Audino on her tail. He watched Takumi give him a glare before walking off at his own pace. At least Evan, Freya, and Azura were by his side, sharing his vague testimony of wonder.
"Uh, guess we better get going then, see what's up." Evan insisted.
Corrin grinned. "You're right. Let's go."
"Right." Azura chimed.
Another stand was standing, though compared to the ones around it, it wasn't getting nearly as much sales. On it was someone with a chef uniform, with a broad moustache defining his face and complimenting his brown eyes. He stirred the boiling broth, where inside, stew was simmering. Or at least, what appeared to be stew.
"Okay, got the broth boiling. Now let's add…a little chili powder. Hoof!" He sprinkled nearly the whole can into the metal pot. He stirred the powder inside and gave it a big whiff. Instantly his nose flared from the spice. "Oh, yeah! Now that's what I call a hot Tamato Stew!"
Farfetch'd observed his work, but remained unimpressed. "(Looks a little too much there.)"
DK Turned towards him. "Huh? Oh, Farfetch'd, what's up?" he smirked. "Oh I get it, a little more powder you said?"
"(No, that's not what I said at all…)"
"Well okay then!" Dk picked up the can and commenced sprinkling once again. The substance in the pot started bubbling aggressively until the whole can was gone. He looked at the can in question before shrugging and tossed it in as well. "A little texture."
"Uh, excuse me, are you open?" A male consumer shouted from the stall's front.
DK turned towards the man and focused. "Huh? Oh, spry." He walked up, giving him a broad smile. "Ah, welcome to DK's fine arts, how may I be of service to you today?"
The man held up one finger. "I would like to try this Tomato Stew please."
"Coming right up!" He swiveled around and reached for a bowl. He pulled out a ladle and poured the contents of the bubbling liquids into the porcelain bowl. Once enough was placed on it, he sat the ladle down and looked at the contents one more time. The bubbles popped constantly, steam rising into his face. "Oof! That is hot…" He carried the bowl with the tips of his fingers all way back upfront to where the man patiently waited. "Okay, here's what you've asked for~! Do please, enjoy!"
The man smiled graciously. "Thanks!" He looked down at the stew in front of him. The dark red creamy texture was still bubbling, and there were chunks of uneven meat that appeared to have bone in it still. But he was still oblivious to the matter at hand. "Hoohoo! Never seen something like this before."
"That's my Tomato Stew Surprise!" DK chimed. "It leaves you with something to remember me by."
"Let's see…" The man leaned down with a spoonful of the food and put it into his mouth. An instantaneous reaction occurred when he felt his taste buds burn with a spicy and bitter taste. There were chicken chunks of shredded meat, as well as a bit bone that nearly pierced the roof of his mouth. He spit it out rudely back into the bowl, while other bits of it fluttered around the counter. "Oh god!" He coughed. "What is this? It's hot! And I can't even chew this stuff!" He started gaging up bits that were still in his mouth. He looked pale as he started walking away. "I think I gotta go and throw up!" He covered his mouth and zoomed off.
"Wait, don't leave! At least try one more bite!" DK reached out, but it was too late. He sulked his head and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Gnnngh…great, just great! Even in a new world people still have bad tastes. What am I doing wrong?"
Farfetch'd reached for his leak and poked DK with it. "What?...oh my god, me stew!" He rushed towards his highly steaming stew, which bubbled so harshly some of it was spraying everywhere, sizzling. "Gah! My eyes! My beautiful eyes!"
At the plaza, many people and their Pokémon were gathered around. They all gathered to where the statue was, which was a large dragon wrapped around a sphere. There, they were all assembled as Queen Mikoto was beside Corrin. Evan and Freya were off to the side, taking light of the spotlight mainly on Corrin this time.
"Greetings to you all. I trust that everyone is doing well around this time. Allow me to present myself to you all. I am Queen Mikoto, of Hoshido. There are those of you here today because we have been addressed to a matter at hand. I understand that many of you may have been well on edge lately. That, I do apologize for my lack of involvement. But rest assured, we are in capable hands now."
Her attention went towards Evan and Freya. "For this, I want to give these two an extensive thanks for their tribute to this cause. They have shown us that these creatures known as Pokémon are in fact noble and are well tamed if treated well…and I can see that many have begun that progress."
Within the crows, people were looking down at the small creatures that were beside them. Lillipup, Wooloo, and Mareep were crowded by the people, if not for the birds on others' shoulders. There were those without them, but they didn't look at all worried when they saw Evan and Freya with Growlithe and Sobble out.
Growlithe wagged his tail eagerly. "(Wow, look at all these people! They must really like us!)"
Sobble shuddered in place, her eyes on the verge of tears. "(I-I guess so, but…t-this is just so embarrassing.)" She covered her eyes and started misting tears from her nervousness boiling over.
Growlithe tilted his head. "(Are you okay?)"
Sobble whimpered as Freya tenderly picked her up and placed her on her shoulder. The little lizard crept around the back of her neck and onto her other shoulder to where the bagpipes were to avoid minimal view of the public. Evan knelt down and pet Growlithe, whose tail wagged harsher and nuzzled his head into the palm.
Corrin smiled at the sight.
"There is much progress to be waged here, but as long as we hold true to this course we are taking, we shall make this change known well." Mikoto paused. "Now, I do recall that there are rumors about Nohrians within our domain. Please, do not worry yourselves about it. Those rumors are a farce. You see, long ago, my son, Prince Corrin, was taken by the Nohrians. It took a long time, but he is finally home." She turned around, giving Corrin a smile in earnest. "Please, do make him feel home."
Corrin looked at everyone observing him with awe and curiosity. Amongst the spectators, Azura was with his siblings, who were standing close by with accepting smiles, all except Takumi of course. He looked anything but kind at the moment. Even Audino, who wanted to go hug him, was threatened to be pushed back, which Sakura took the fall to comfort her via hugs.
Mikoto and Corrin smile softly at each other, the latter's starting to show genuine happiness at this change. 'Mother…'
Growlithe smiled happily, until his nose wrinkled at a very unfamiliar smell. He growled low as he stared into the growl.
"What is it, boy?" Evan asked. He looked out towards the crowd. He didn't see anything shifty, but he wasn't stupid.
"Evan, what's he growling at?" Freya whispered.
"I don't know. Maybe he sees another dog or cat?" He looked farther in, something finally coming into view. It was a tall figure with a blue cloak and hood. He was easily concealed, but something about him was what Growlithe was threatening to bark at. His brow furrowed in growing suspicions.
"Wait a minute…" He mumbled to himself, thinking to what he saw in the shadows yesterday. That very image made him get something through his cranium. He gasped. "Hold up."
The figure drew closer until the patrons around were starting to move off to the side to allow him towards the front. Once he was in full view, his face was completely covered by the hood, so no one could recognize him. He gazed at Corrin, while the others remained aloof.
Growlithe started barking, giving the alert towards Evan. His eyes widened when he saw the man and recognized the situation. "Corrin, heads up!"
Corrin barely heard Evan's warning before realizing what he meant. He looked past the queen towards the blue figure in the shadows. He saw the man reach out an arm…a translucent, ghastly one. The tip gave off a dark purple haze, which grabbed the attention of something shaking by Corrin's side.
He looked down, seeing Ganglari's hilt starting to wriggle on its own. A shadowy haze engulfed it as the force drawing it became stronger every second. He was too late to reach out and grab it before it flung across the air into the perpetrator's grip.
Freya's eyes widened. "What's that?"
"I don't know, but I have a feeling we need to duck." Evan quipped.
The figure raised Ganglari into the air and plunged the blade itself into the ground. The folk gathered around were getting wary as a magnitude started waking around the atmosphere. Their feet nearly lost balance for them as rippling energy disrupted the air flow around the hoodlum man. A dark, suppressive atmosphere engulfed Ganglari, which gradually enlarged until it erupted outwards. A hemisphere of dark energy exploded out of nowhere, swallowing the area and those too close. Debris went flying, as did the folk standing too close.
"Look out!" Evan pushed Freya down just in time to avoid flying debris. Growlithe and Sobble got low and remained subtly quiet behind them as shreds of the earth flew over them.
The air overturned around the dark forcefield, but no one was safe as the already disfigured pieces of Ganglari were starting to crack apart. The energy that was supposedly suppressing it was unleashed, making it gradually lose hold until the pieces around it had started coming apart. To Corrin's horror, he could only watch as the blade King Garon bestowed upon him shattered to dark shrapnel that blitzed everywhere. In every direction, the pieces flung into homes and buildings nearby. Some of them even carried over towards Corrin, who was still in shock. Everything was moving too fast for him to react in time.
"No~!" Hinoka reached out, but even she would've been too slow to assist.
Corrin went to cover himself from the oncoming blast wave of debris, yet wasn't going to shield himself in time. A figure with white clothing stepped in front and used her back to act as a guard. The moment of impact came and the air was filled with a shrilled scream. It sounded horrific, if not violently painful to the ears. The figure stood in front of Corrin's horrified face to reveal herself being none other than the one person who looked out for him since coming here.
He watched in shock as Mikoto was standing there completely still, but pieces of the debris were piercing her back. Her blood slowly started bleeding through her robe and down her back. She gradually lost balance until she could no longer stand. In a hurry, Corrin caught her in his arms and kneeled.
Evan glanced up with Freya, both showing complete shock at what just happened. They had no words to say, not even a gasp at the atrocity.
"M-Mother…Mother?!" Corrin called down to the ailing woman. "Mother! Are you okay?!"
Mikoto whimpered as her strength was fading fast. She looked up at Corrin's shocked face, trying her best to smile. "You're not hurt…please tell me you're alright…"
Her voice was so weak that she wasn't having long. Corrin bit his lower lip so hard he couldn't find the will to stand himself. "…I'm fine…"
Mikoto weakly smiled. Her eyes started lowering. "I'm…so glad…"
Her head slowly dropped into the crook of Corrin's elbow, her strength at last finally gone. Corrin nudged her, but didn't make any movements known. It was starting to boil up so bad that he started sobbing. Tears were starting to come down his face from overwhelming emotions filling him. He curled his head down and felt his breathing hitching.
"M…M…" Finally unable to hold it all back, he yelled out at the top of his lungs. "MOTHER~!"
Evan's heart sunk in horror at the sight. His head shook. "Oh my god…"
Freya covered her mouth with her hands.
"M-Mother?!" Sakura's eyes were wide as she stepped forward, but Ryoma's arm kept her back. He adverted the anger he had towards the perpetrator with his sword coming out.
"You there!" He rushed towards the man, bringing the blade around to slash through him. His battle cry was swift and stern. He followed through, but the man was gone. "Show yourself now! Coward!"
Evan managed to his feet, hurrying towards Corrin's side. "Corrin, is she…?" He looked down at Mikoto's figure, the blood staining the ground where she laid with a smile on her face. He stepped back, paling. "No…"
Corrin's breathing was getting out of control. His emotions were boiling over to where another change in air pressure arisen. Magenta and crimson steam emitted from the pores on his body as he was grabbing whatever sanity he could, but was unable to. Everything was happening all at once. Taken by tw families. Siblings. And now these creatures and people keeping secrets he had a right towards. And now…this.
It all became too much. His eyes brightened as he couldn't hold back anymore. "HRRAAAHHHH!" Crimson energy bloomed out of his body and caused Evan and Freya to fall onto their backs. The earth trembled as the energy shot up inti a pillar engulfing his frame. Everyone there who hasn't evacuated were all running away into the debris landmine of houses and folks trying to stay stable, but was becoming too much. Corrin's facial features started changing as horns grew atop his head.
Evan gasped at the display as Growlithe remained by his side, growling defensively for him. "C-Corrin…?"
"What's…happening?" Freya panicked.
Corrin hunched over as his back convulsed. His body was on fire as crimson energy protruded into two wings that extended several feet into the air. His body length grew nearly three times as grand as the white armor began merging with him. It gradually lengthened his legs into hooves, as well as his hands becoming talons with sharp edging to cleave through skin. The horns on the head grew to where they surged behind the head, adorning a blue coloration with the rest of the bodily frame. The wings spread far as a long neck protruded outwards.
The crimson energy exploded, putting Evan and Freya onto their backs again. They yelped as Growlithe and Sobble hurried to their aids as a large, monstrous entity hollered as it raised up on its hind legs. A loud roar echoed through all of Hoshido's main city as the talons grazed the skies.
Evan sat up, his face painted with complete shock at the transformation. "What the…?" He saw the creature return to four legs, but his roar's bellow reverberated thoroughly. "C-Corrin…?"
Freya looked just as horrified, but no words came to mind. Sobble rushed behind her with fear in her gaze. "(Eep! Scary monster!)"
"KKRROOOAAAHHH!" The dragon craned his head around, creating distorted waves that trembled everything.
What Evan saw before him, it made his pupils shrink n complete shock. But something more disturbing came to his mind. One that he really wished was fallible at this point. "Oh sweet Arceus…is this really a nightmare I'm in?"
In the dark alleyways, Damon was fiddling with something in his hand as he was concealed by his makeshift hideout. "Okay, so this part goes here, and this part goes…here." He locked something that resembled a chamber. "Heh, now we be making some booty tonight! Hehehe!" He looked at the gizmo in his hand, which seemed much like a Glock. He showed it to Scraggy. "There. Now our homeboys are to be proud of this, fo'."
"(They sure be, homie.)" Scraggy nodded.
"Coo', coo'. Now all we needs is to find us someone to steals from. And if they try and think twice about fighting back, well…you know. Bop!" A serious face got onto him. "Alright, now…where that puppy chow at?"
He emerged from his makeshift tent and turned the corner with Scraggy. The city streets trembled as people were running away screaming and running from something causing a ruckus, something that caught Damon's attention incredulously.
"What they be all about? A riot?" He turned towards Scraggy. "Better see what all the hubbub be about, fo'."
Scraggy nodded and the two started for the rumbling streets. The roars of a dragon echoed far and wide as they all tried getting away with their lives.
Mightyena sniffed the air and continued her trek. She led the way as a white cane was held by Keith, who followed behind the wolf through the enclosed wilderness. It was well beyond the reaches of the northern town where they were now, but progress was being made. At least for Keith of course.
"Mightyena, Ditto, anything yet?" He asked.
Mightyena took a break from sniffing and looked back. "(Sorry, nothing so far.)"
Ditto's cane body shuddered quickly, indicating a no.
Keith sighed. "Guess we're nowhere near then, huh?" He continued his trek, though his pacing was blind and slow due to how uneven the ground was. But Ditto being a cane helped him in that regard. "So no wild Pokémon in this area so far? I'm sure they're hiding out somewhere…that or maybe the Nohrians could've gotten away with them…"
Mightyena kept sniffing, when an ear-splitting echo got her attention. She whipped her head up, facing westward. Her ears twitched and barked loudly to signal Keith.
"What is it, girl? You hear something?" Mightyena gave him another bark. "Well okay, show me."
"(Right…wait, you can't see. Oh! I know what you mean.)" Mightyena carried herself on with the inclination and trotted as fast as she could, while at the same time giving Keith enough tome to stay one step behind her, literally. The wolf hurried through the first line, which lead to the edge of a large valley-like gorge with steep mountains on either side. The view from their point was extreme, not to mention vast.
Feeling Ditto stop suddenly, the cane's lack of motion gave Keith the signal. "We're here?" He went silent, turning his head for any sounds to hear out. He sighed. "It's times like this I wish I knew what I was looking for…"
A faint echo perked him up. "Hm? What was that?"
"…aaahhh…!" The echo was louder.
Keith furrowed his brow and faced the gorge's direction. He started getting an idea. "Wait a minute…is someone there? Mightyena?"
Mightyena frowned. "(I heard it, Keith. It had to be here.)"
Getting an idea she wasn't lying, he frowned heavily and found a resolution to work with. "…let's hurry."
I know I would normally do the Party Data by this time with the chapter wrapping up, but aside from Nathan's point of view, there hasn't been anything done with Keith, Evan, nor Freya. So this time there won't be an update regarding that part.
So we get a little father this time, and so I've shown that Damon is, quite literally, around the corner to being part of something important! Hope you guys are enjoying so far!