Chapter 125:


Pokémon List:

Luna (Kirlia)

Fay (Riolu)

Midna (Zorua)

My dreamless sleep was filled with visions that swam and twisted in front of my mind's eye. Incoherent episodes of my past were dragged to the surface for my consciousness to play with.

I had no control over what my mind was dragging me through.

A pounding headache split my mind while past experiences feverishly repeated themselves on a loop— each iteration was slightly different and the entire spiel was accompanied by my own consciousness, which did notice the repeating patterns but failed to do anything meaningful with this information.

I found myself standing in the small bunker, wading through blood that had murkied the water, an indefinite echo of my weapon's gunshot.

Time after time, I went through the empty corridors of A2, trying and failing to find the answer to a question.

I was in Sunbright town again, waking up in the middle of nowhere in a world that wasn't my own.

It was only when I heard the whispers that I actually started to become lucid.

You won't forget me, will you? someone asked. The voice sounded far off, faint, and fragile, like a broadcast sent through a snowstorm. Despite the distance between us, I could feel the urgency and despair drowning her voice. I couldn't help but feel she would break if I gave her the wrong answer.

I mumbled something incoherent, unable to discern the nature of my situation while still caught in the clutches of a half-lucid sleep.

The voice faded away, and then there were no more dreams. I became faintly aware that I was lying in bed.

My body still yearned for sleep, so without thinking about it, I turned around, as if that act could push away the world.

I heard hushed voices speaking around me, breaking through the haze of my restless visions.

The moment I woke, I kept my eyes closed and immediately tried to scan my surroundings.

I felt blankets weighing upon me while a soft mattress supported my back. Sunlight slipped through the cracks of my eyelids. Most likely, I was lying in bed. Was it my room? Where was the door? How long had I been out? Where were my Pokémon? Was there anything on me I could use as a weapon?

{You're the first human I ever met. Did you know that?} A soft voice spoke in my head. {When I first saw you, I thought you were insane, that nothing good would come from you.} She paused. {And now you just keep proving me right.} Luna did not sound amused. {How's that for a secret?}

Well, this wasn't a dream at last.

I allowed myself to relax and released the breath I was holding. I was safe.

When I looked up I saw a pair of red eyes hovering over my face, almost uncomfortably close.

The weird green hair that fell past Luna's touched my nose. She was that close, but despite that, I didn't blink or show any sign of discomfort. I just answered her intense look with a blank one.

{So you've met the legendary Darkrai,} Luna spoke. {Almost died, again.} Her voice sounded so small, so accusatory, yet it was so compassionate at the same time.

Damn, it was so fucking cute.

I failed to keep my expression straight and giggled. Once the sound had slipped from my lips, it was as if a dam inside me broke. I leaned back and let out a loud salvo of laughter.

To Luna, it must have looked like I lost my mind, but to the contrary, my mind was clearer than it had in a long while. I felt weightless.

Luna's eyes above narrowed. Humorously, she said, {I don't get what's funny.}

I lifted my hand up and booped Luna on the nose, or where her nose would've been if she weren't such a strange creature.

"Boop," I said.

Luna's eyes drew together in a comedic fashion. Annoyance, confusion, and embarrassment caused her face to flush red. {Wha...}

Before she could act, I got up and wrapped my arms around her in an embrace. Being just the right size for a hug, I enveloped her completely, not allowing her to escape or protest.

She looked up, trying to give me the evil eye, but failing horribly because she was blushing too hard.

"Did I tell you how much I love you?" I said while holding her.

Sunlight poured in through the windows. A phenomenal blue sky was visible outside. Sounds of festivities, life, and laughter drifted on the wind.

People often say that life feels like a dream, but after being stuck in a dream like that, I couldn't disagree more. The world somehow seemed more real than it had before.

Truly, the world was beautiful.

After realizing the attempt to remain angry was futile, Luna returned the embrace. I could feel her heart beating inside her chest, as well as the warmth emanating from her center.

Luna buried her head and horns inside my chest. {You're not hugging me nearly enough,} Luna whispered.

"Well, this is awkward," said Midna, her raspy voice cutting through the moment.

Luna moved her head up and glared.

Standing at the feet of the bed were Midna and Fay. The fox Pokémon was looking at Luna with a sly smile. "Well, well well…" Midna gave the Kirlia a disappointed look. "Are we having trouble staying mad?"

{Shut it,} Luna curtly replied before rubbing her head against my chest.

Fay stood next to Midna. The Riolu was awkwardly looking around at the room, actively trying to avoid laying eyes upon Luna and me. The room I had rented was small, so there wasn't much to distract her. She fumbled with her paws.

I pulled my head away from Luna. Still riding the wind of euphoria and deciding to share it, I called out for Midna and Fay to join. I moved to the left and padded the bed, beckoning them to join in on the fun.

Fay feigned reluctance before jumping onto the bed and joining the hug.

"I thought it was rather cool… The way you chose to face Darkrai, I mean," Fay whispered into my ear. She shook her head and joined the hug.


The black fox Pokémon jumped onto the bed, but didn't move any closer. "What's with this happiness all of a sudden?"

My thoughts went back to the dreams I had. It had been a while since I thought about my life before this one. It wasn't something I was fond of doing.

"Darkrai made me realize something." The Nightmare Pokémon probably didn't realize how much it meant to me, but for the brief moment I was back in my own life, it seemed as though I had never been away. In hindsight, I had nearly forgotten that feeling of living a normal life in a normal world.

My past life had been mundane, safe, predictable, and utterly meaningless.

This life I had now was an undeserved second chance. I wasn't sure whether I had won a cosmic lottery, if there were more sinister reasons for my existence, or if I were merely an unchosen hero. It didn't matter to me; all that mattered was not making the same mistakes from my past life.

I gestured for Midna to come closer. "Come on, you little shit, I know you want this as well," I challenged Midna. "Drop the act for one minute and just enjoy the moment."

"You lost your mind didn't you?" Midna said. She let out a soft giggle. After a silent debate, she joined the hug regardless, resting her head on my side while awkwardly trying to find a place to put her paws.

For one moment, life was just a pile of fluff. And I believed we should have stayed like this forever.

Fate, of course, had different plans.

Out of everyone present, Luna was the first to pull away from the embrace. She stepped back and straightened herself, wiping the flush from her face and hardening her expression. {Okay. Although that was admittedly a nice hug, we do need to focus on the problem at hand. Darkrai.}

"He won't be a problem for us," I answered. I scratched my head. "Actually, fill me in on what happened on your end, please?"

"After the game was cleared, Darkrai suddenly appeared and assaulted you," Fay explained. She gazed out of the window. "We didn't do anything because you told us to not intervene—"

{I was monitoring your emotional state very closely,} Luna cut in. {But because you didn't feel in danger, I didn't intervene.}

I nodded. "Thank you. I was indeed dragged into a dream. He tried to fool me into thinking it was the real world as we theorized. Afterwards, I was pulled deeper into a dream and engaged him in battle."

"You won?!" Fay asked with big eyes.

"Of course." I couldn't help but smirk. "Everything went perfectly according to plan, up to the very end. I was speaking with Darkrai, trying to explain how I'd make a good friend, but the conversation was cut short when I was pulled from the dream."

{Not me,} Luna huffed. {He created some kind of barrier of darkness around you two. Most people were too afraid to even attack, but the ones that did didn't manage to penetrate the smoke.}

"Which was the plan, mind you," Midna sighed. "But the red haired lady, she came and cut through the barrier with that sword."

Heartbreaker. The Sword of the Knight. Even in my dreams, Darkrai had been wary of the sword.

In Flamera's hands, it even started to glow, something it hadn't done when I held it. Was there maybe some kind of trigger I didn't know about? Bloodline related or aura related? Whatever was going on with that sword, it seemed that Darkrai had good reasons to fear the blade.

Another piece of information was added to the ugly picture that formed itself in my head. I could already see the final canvas, but I was still hoping that I was looking at it the wrong way.

It was one of these cases in which I hated being right.

"So Flamera saved me?" I murmured. I stared at the sky through the window. "Did Darkrai make any attempt to communicate with us?"

Midna let out a funny sound. It sounded vaguely like a chuckle. "I think he'll be too busy being on the run. The Dragon lady and her people are looking for him."

I cursed, and once again, the ugly picture sharpened. The undeniable truth became more clear.

"Well, that sucks." I attempted a lazy smile. Luna scowled at me, but I ignored her questioning gaze for now. Instead I let out a long yawn and stretched out my arms. eIt was only then that I noticed I wasn't dressed.

I looked around. My room was a mess. During my stay, I hadn't bothered cleaning up, opting to just leave everything on the floor. I found my clothes draped over the chair in the corner while my stuff was laid out on the desk.

I figured that Luna must have teleported me. The room was locked from the inside, after all. A precaution I had taken to make sure no one would sneak into my room while I was gone.

"My clothes please, Fay?" I asked. "We need to get moving as soon as possible."

{What?! Move?!} Luna asked. {You know something we don't?}

"I was wrong about Darkrai," I sighed, moving my arm to reach for the Pokédex. A shiver ran over my arm. "Hell, I can't believe I made a mistake like that."

"What mistake?" Midna asked. She stepped aside so I could grasp the electronic device. I flipped it open. The time in the corner said it was almost 12 in the afternoon.

Fay gathered my stuff. Thoughtlessly, I kept one hand under the blanket to put on the clothes she tossed me, while using the other one to scroll through the countless messages I had received.

Multiple warnings about Darkrai had been sent out. Every so often. its last sighted location was shared with instructions on how to deal with it.

This was becoming really messy.

I swiped away all the messages. I got a few from Ash and Dawn, asking me If I were okay, and how they could help me out with the Darkrai situation. Those messages too were swiftly discarded.

Multiple news outlets were reporting on the 'Beast of Alamos.' Clips of Darkrai's assault on me before Flamera approached us were circulating online.

People were speculating on why the sword was glowing, something no one had seen it do before. Sadly, I too was in the picture, clearly visible, albeit in the corner.

It was a fucking mess. A cluster fuck.

Darkrai, a potential ally, was on the run. I was fairly certain that even the League's Ace trainers wouldn't be able to contain or defeat it, but I couldn't rely on Darkai anymore. The situation was diverging from both the movies and the scenarios I had prepared for, and the worst part was that my own ego had blindsided me horribly.

I closed my eyes for a few seconds and sighed. My mind went back once again to my life before this insanity.

I exhaled.

When I opened my eyes again, they fell upon Fay, who was looking at me with a gaze that held only great expectations. I glanced at Midna, who was looking at me like I was the biggest dork in the universe. And finally, my stare fell upon Luna, my loyal companion whom I dragged to Alamos Town, knowing fully well what was going to happen.

I was blessed to have them in this world.

It was important to remind myself that I wasn't alone.

The Pokédex was still in my hands. I flipped it open again and went through my contacts. My finger hovered on Hylla's profile.

I hesitated for a second, and far too many thoughts ran through my mind. Should I risk exposing myself? How can I explain my foreknowledge? How much help could she even provide?

Before any of the thoughts could take root I pressed the button to call her. She was a friend. Someone besides me had to know.

The symbol for the call appeared on screen, and it connected to the network.

"Hylla," I said. My Pokémon watched with anticipation as I spoke out loud. "Another Shine is abo—"

"Dust? I că̴͉̟̿͛—" Hylla's answered, her voice sounded robotic and flat. Monotone static accompanied it and drowned out her own voice. "Ş̶̬̹̊͗̓orr_- ̵̮̘̀̀D̶̠̣͛u-t̵̥̚,̴̪̗̽͝ ̵̖̲̰̑-_dã̵͓̑ng ̴̗͑̊I̷̘̔̎ ̴̨̰̌̈́̓ć̷̛͖͙͒ã̵͓̑n̵̠̿̿̍ ̷̺̈́ṉ̶̀o̷͓̓͗̈́t̷̗̠̉̕ ̴͉̜͋͒̕ḧ̶͍́̂e̸͉̝̐̌͂ȃ̶̤͍̊ŕ̷̟̙̿ ̵̗̐ÿ̶̨́̈́o̷̧͉̬̓̅̔u̷͈̽̃̓.̵̜̆͠"̶̦̺͓̆͒͠

"Shine!" I repeated, "Contact the Sinnoh League, tell them to—"

"̷̞͎̆̆͜Ỷ̷̤͋̅ȯ̶͙̋͋_ ̵̧̛h̷̹̼̞̅â̸̧̘͙̿̕_ ̶̨͍͙̊͐n̸̪̈́oț̶͐ ̷̗̯̈́̉̈f̷͉̎ơ̶͕̦̐̕ŕ̶̪ğ̵͖̈́͋ȯ̶̦ẗ̶̢́̍t̵͕͂̈_ ̵̟͝h̸̡̭̎͂͝ả̶̢̩̘_è̴̠̄ ̶͍̼̋̅̅y̵̛̝͇͚ȯ̸̢͍̗́̎_—"

The phone call abruptly ended itself.

Unstable Connection. The screen read.

I tried again but to no avail. It refused to connect.

When Hylla didn't work, I tried to call Ash. Again, the same error occurred.

"Bad airwaves?" Fay suggested.

"Fuck," I muttered, closing the Pokédex. "No, this is fine."

I smiled and calmed down a little.

This was what I wanted, right? There was no calling for back-up. We were on our own.

A grin split my face; my heart began pumping faster.

No time for mistakes or misery. Destiny was calling!

Hesitantly, I swung my legs over the bedside and stood up. Despite my long and restless series of dreams, I still found my mind was fully awake, and my legs feeling like they could run a marathon.

I brushed my hair out of my face and approached the desk.

All three of my Pokémon waited, probably for me to lay out a clever plan. I didn't really have any that worked for this particular scenario. To me, it felt more like watching the outcome of a play than being an active participant.

Obviously, that wouldn't do.

"Okay, so here's the thing. Somewhere in Alamos Town, there is an Egg hidden, or that's what Darkrai claims." I went through all my stuff. Notebooks with plans written out, combat knives, antidotes, potions, cooking supplies. My hand stopped when I found 2 paralyzer grenades.

It seemed like ages ago when Looker had given those. It wasn't that long ago, but with everything that had happened, it felt like a lifetime. Barry, Chelsea and I were tasked with investigating the hostile Galactic takeover of the Devon Corp Headquarters.

We used these grenades to infiltrate the building and put everyone to sleep. It had all worked fine, except for the people inside the safe room who had been experimenting on a pair of eggs.

Even now, I still wasn't sure what exactly had transpired.

They exploded violently, releasing a burst of energy that could be felt and seen across all of Sinnoh. The event had been dubbed the Shine afterwards, but I never really gave that moment much thought.

Because they were useful, I decided to keep the unused grenades and carry them with me, though I hadn't gotten the chance to use them properly.

Funny, how these things are still around now I am looking for an egg again.

{Egg?} Fay thought aloud. {You don't mean to say that it's the same as then?}

"Team Galactic is involved here as well. Reality is glitching here, same as when we approached the safe room in Jubilife. It's the same, but on a larger scale. Either the formula changed or this town is altering their effects. Regardless, the egg is an important catalyst.}

"I am missing something," Midna guessed correctly.

Luna explained the situation to Midna while I was packing my stuff. My hand lingered on my most powerful weapon. The anti-aura gun only had four bullets left. Two had been wasted so far.

I put it away. My hands automatically went through the other weapons I carried, making sure they all worked. Then I stashed them away in an inconspicuous spot where I could reach for them easily.

When I was done and battle ready, I turned to my team. Many doubts and questions lingered, but I told that part of myself to shut it. This wasn't the time or place for those thoughts.

"Come, I'll explain along the way." I checked the time on my Pokédex. I wasn't exactly sure why I was checking it, because I did not have a clear deadline, but it calmed my nerves somehow to check it every 30 seconds.

I left the room and stepped out into the open street.

Alamos Town immediately greeted me with a lovely smile. Everywhere I looked, it was bustling with joy and fun. I saw a person riding a Ponyta leading a parade through the street, followed by a herd of smaller different Pokémon. The rider was dressed up like some historical figure. People stopped to take pictures of him.

On the other side of the road, there was a stall selling lake crystals from the waters that ringed the city.

People were talking to each other with high spirits. Pokémon flew above the crowd. A pack of Spearow dove to snatch something from a food truck, but were stopped by a splash of water thrown by a Panpour guarding the truck.

Medieval sounding music played from the speakers, accompanying the festival with its guitar plucks.

Today was even busier than yesterday.

My eyes looked for the dark shadows where Darkrai could be hiding, but there was barely any darkness.

The sun beamed down, showering Alamos with its presence. There was nothing in sight to ruin our moods, not even a raincloud.

My stomach churned as the smell of treats from the bakery drifted past my nostrils.

"Come." I guided my Pokémon into a less busy sidestreet. Keeping a steady pace, I walked past all the tourists, trainers and citizens.

{I can't find Darkrai,} Luna shared, her voice sounding a bit strained from having to keep up with me.

I let out a tsk sound and shook my head. "Of course not. Darkrai is going after Flamera, so that's why we need to find her first."

"Huh?!" Fay almost tripped.

"I was wrong," I repeated my confession. Weaving past people, I cut a path through the crowd. "I assumed Darkrai was after me. You know, special aura and all that shit. But no, he wasn't after me."

It was so obvious in hindsight.

Darkrai had shown up the first time in the Garden of Gaudy as planned. The second time was when I was with Flamera, right after winning the Tattletail game.

The third time, he had dropped the body in the crowd. I correctly assumed it had been a warning, but failed to realize to whom it was directed.

After that, I met him after visiting the bunker underneath the Pokébowls restaurant. The same place Flamera had left not even an hour before.

Looking back, I was extremely suspicious. Darkrai must have thought I was one of her underlings or something.

"Wait, why is Flamera his target?" Fay sounded distressed at the idea of it.

{I don't get it either,} Luna chimed in. She sounded stressed. Her blood red eyes shot back and forth, as if she were following invisible strings of data, {She doesn't harbor any animosity.}

"I don't understand it completely yet," I admitted. "But I know for sure Flamera has always been Darkrai's target."

I was hoping for them to let out a cry of shock, to tell me I was blatantly wrong or that I had lost it.

"Then why bother with dropping you into a dream or forcing the guy to claw out his own eyes?" Midna said. "If she really is his target, why not go for her?"

We managed to work our way back into the main street. On the horizon, the Space Time Towers loomed above the entire town.

The crowd was the thickest here. People in the street completely ignored us as we hurried past.

"It's that sword," said Fay, coming to a conclusion. "Even I can feel that the Knight's sword is dangerous."

{But that doesn't make sense,} Luna insisted. {I scanned Flamera the moment I saw her. She doesn't feel hateful.}

"I don't know. I have no clear motives or evidence yet," I admitted. "But she knows more than she lets on. She wasn't shocked at all when Darkrai appeared, and even told him to fuck off. So, how about we ask her where the egg is and what the hell her plan is?"

In the distance, the bells of the Space-Time towers chimed.

The bells groaned as they swayed back and forth. They sounded old and heavy, and the sound rolled through the town like a thunderstorm.

The medieval music from the speakers died down.

Buzz. A sharp buzz came from my Pokédex. I stopped in my tracks.

I wasn't the only one who got the message. Every single person on the street stopped what they were doing. Hundreds of screens lit up at the same time. Watches, Rotom Phones, Pokédexes.

Without waiting, I opened my Pokédex.

Black on white text stared back at me from the LCD screen.

Round 3:



That was all there was. The screen was completely blank, save for the announcement. In my haste, I had completely forgotten about the final game.

The music began to play from the speakers again, but this time, a mournful tune came from the speaker systems. Violins, a piano, and a trumpet melted together into a beautiful sweeping melody, casting a haunting shadow over Alamos. It was a slow, bitter, and sweet tune that constantly came close to hitting a crescendo, but never reached it, stringing along anyone that listened.

Both Pokémon and humans were completely silent.

I didn't even dare to breathe or to move from my spot.

The speakers crackled, static mingled in with the music. A voice started speaking.

"The Sinnoh region was built upon the bones of ancient legends. Some stories tell us that right now, we are standing on the foundation of existence. The cradle of life. Of course, now you can barely tell, and instead of worrying that we are all enjoying the games, the festivities, and the companionship of one another," Flamera said, her voice unwavering. Both the soft melody and her voice continued to play, but quickly her voice became distorted and the music began to crackle. It sounded like it was being played on an old radio.

The hairs on my arm stood straight.

"But back then, legends still walked the earth, and ancient evils were unchained. And while some of their deeds still echo into the present, others have faded out completely.

"We forgot many of these legends and monsters. But these monsters and legends haven't forgotten us, and today, a new legend will be born."

The music cut off.

"Alamos, welcome to the final game—"

A bell tolled in the distance.

Crash. An earth shattering sound tore through the air. The ground shook.

An explosion of light followed and the entire sky turned bright for a split second.

The Egg. I thought. It hatched. I instinctively closed my eyes.

When I opened them again, the pulse had dissipated and I was looking at something else entirely.

Standing in the center of town and spearing straight up into the sky was a pillar of pure light whose glow cast a bluish shade onto the town.

The beam was far bigger than the last one had been and flared with power. Ghost-like flames danced around the spire's base while reaching for the top and weaving in and out of the beam.

It was almost unreal to see light that pure, but it was really there, and it was heart achingly beautiful.

The light was like a shining beacon for the whole world and the heavens above to see, dividing the sky into two parts while casting its own divine light upon us.

Wind blew past us. The glowing beam generated a shockwave in the air.

The beam swelled with power, like it had a heartbeat it pulsated, and the light grew more violent as the beam reached even higher. The flames hungered for the skies.

Around the beam the earth rumbled and the air rippled. Energy crackled in the air. Colors shifted in and out of existence.

Murmurs went through the crowd. One by one people began to look up.

"Oh no..."




"Look up," Fay finally said, her voice trembling.

A thousand eyes were cast skywards. Both Pokémon and humans looked up in shock.

I followed their gaze.

A series of loud cracks tore through the sky, each one loud enough to wake the dead. It was as if a thunderstorm were raging, but it was clear as day.

The entire sky was deep blue, except for the beam of light piercing through it.

A crash far louder than any I heard before boomed, creating a shockwave in the air. The ground trembled, I almost lost my balance.

Then a crack appeared in the sky.

What happened next defied every rule reality was supposed to follow.

It was as if the sky were a wall, and someone had made a crack in it. That's how it looked to me, but I knew what I was seeing couldn't possibly be true.

Yet, there it was, hanging in the sky. A fissure. A fault in reality. A glitch in the matrix. A crack in the sky.

It was like the image of a lightning strike, except that the lines drawn by lightning remained. The crack had no discernable dimensions or position, at least none that were possible.

Shockwave after shockwave was generated by the glowing beam. The sky tore and screeched. The crack grew. Tiny lines extended from the crack and spread through the sky. They lanced out in every direction in a cobweb pattern, and each time it fractured, the air screamed a bit louder…

"Tell me I'm dreaming," I whispered. "That's not possible."

The spire continued to drill into the sky. I could hear the air groan under its pressure.

Reality was being torn apart at its foundations. The rifts in the sky grew and exploded through impossible angles, following its own unthinkable logic.

The glow didn't dissipate. Instead it shone brighter than it had before.

Reality shattered.

The boundless blue heaven caved in and was ripped apart, revealing a colorless space behind it.

It was only a small hole but the gap in reality widened with each second.

Shining beautifully, the spire tore open the hole in the sky.

More of the colorless space was revealed as the sky continued to break.

Screams of terrors erupted from the crowd. Restrained whispers flooded the streets. I heard a child cry. Bird Pokémon spread their wings. Pokémon dug in or ran away. Hearts stopped beating.

The Shine finally began to dissipate. It started to shrink in size and the light flickered.

A new salvo of cries of terror came. Fear and terror rained from above.

I looked up again, and felt my own heart stop for a second.

Desperately, I tried to move, to open my mouth and say something, but I was unable to do anything. Something else had taken hold of my body.

All I could do was look up at the broken sky in horror.

Through the hole, a blood red eye peered back.

A/N I've dreamt about this for so long.

Thanks to Atomic for beta reading, and Exotic and 0Spearow for helping with suggestions in the Fanfic discord channel.

Next chapter should be out much sooner.