Oh, dear… I haven't updated anything in a while… Just been so busy…

I've also seen the new batch of pokemon for the new games, Diamond and Pearl. Seems that Kaiyou may have a little competition for Dark Legendary. I'm not sure if it is or not, but it's grouped with them, so we'll see. Though, the two main ones are really, really cool. One's dragon/steel, and it's black, looks kinda like a dog with all these silver spikes everywhere. The other is dragon/water, and it's a pale salmon-y color. It looks okay, but not as cool as the dragon/steel.

You can thank the author of the wonderful fic Anomaly for this update, for she's the one that inspired me back into it.

Anywho, on with the fic!

Price for Freedom

Chapter 32

A Little Bit of Training

I awoke in Shayla's room to the hazy morning. Lifting my head, I soon realized that I was the first one up. Shayla was sound asleep on her bed with some kind of quilt strewn about her torso and legs, Amburna was coiled up like a sapphire snake in the corner, Shoko was curled up beside her by the door. The Eevee brothers were gone, but I assumed them to be playing somewhere outside. Kaiyou had spent the night outside with his sister and Kuvai. Illauna… had disappeared. Ever since the last match, I hadn't seen her. I, on the other hand, was lying on the rug beside Shayla's bed. I stood and stretched, not really feeling like going back to sleep. Today, after all was the day of semi-finals.

I made my way out of Shayla's room to the outside, where a soft, cool breeze greeted me. Taking in a deep breath of the fresh, sea water air, my body suddenly felt rejuvenated and refreshed. Yes, today was going to be a good day!

A scent caught my nose: Auriella. I made my way to the lone hilltop where, sure enough, she was sitting, overlooking the small hamlet. She turned her head as I approached her and smiled. "Already awake?" she asked as I came to her side. "The others won't be awake for another two or three hours."

I shrugged. "I didn't feel like going back to sleep; I'm too excited."

" 'Excited?'" she repeated with a confused look. The look remained until realization washed it away. "Oh, that's right. Semi-finals are today." She chuckled and shifted her weight onto one hip. "Are you nervous?"

"Not really," I replied confidently. "We've breezed through the other matches, why should this one be any different? Besides, if we do get into trouble, Kaiyou's on our team. No trainer's pokemon there could beat him." Auriella chuckled.

"If you say so, hon," she answered as she shook her head slowly. "Regardless of your Lord, I'm sure you'll do great. You're an excellent fighter yourself."

As I sat down, I gave her a confused look. "How do you know?"

She rolled her eyes and returned her cerulean gaze to the small town below. "We DO have a television, dear. And the Hoenn Championships are no trifle. They telecast the competition, every battle." She gave me a glance as I lowered my head in embarrassment -she had mentioned watching our battles on the TV before. "We've watched all of Shayla's championships on the TV."

I rolled my shoulders to release the leftover tension from sleep. I felt rather stupid, since Shayla's parents had already said that. "Oh yeah, that's right," I replied sheepishly.

Auriella chuckled under her breath. "Still, I wouldn't let my guard down if I were you. Your opponent didn't get all the way to the Semi-Finals for nothing. They're going to be as determined as you are."

I smirked down at the hamlet below. "Maybe, but they aren't as strong, and that's what counts in the end."

Auriella did nothing the reply, simply chuckled again at my proud boast. "Whatever you say, dear."

Suddenly, a loud explosion erupted from the direction of the beach. Startled, I turned to see a black, canine shape -which could only be Kaiyou- and something else fighting on the sand. Worried that Team Magma may have found him, I raced to the shore, leaving Auriella in a shocked stupor.

However, when I got closer to the scuffle, I saw that he was battling two pokemon, not just one. I growled as I raced toward my Lord, what cowards! Pitting two pokemon against one! Not that it really mattered; Kaiyou would still be able to wipe the floor with them. For a moment, I vaguely wondered that if Kaiyou were in trouble, why didn't he call for help? I shook the thought out of my head as the beach came into better view. I could ask questions later AFTER the retarded Team Magma peons were finished.

When the two enemies were in the firing range of one of my elemental attacks, I fired a flamethrower from the grassy sand dunes. Kaiyou apparently saw it coming and darted out of the way, leaving an enemy open to the flame. It landed just in front of one of the enemies, spraying hot, smoldering sand all over him. He jumped into the air and yelped.

"HOLY SHIT, THAT BURNS!!" a very familiar voice howled. The ball of still flaming sand darted into the sea water frantically. Upon colliding with the low tide, a loud hiss sounded from the ball of sand. Thinking that the cowardly bastard got what he deserved, I trotted casually toward my Lord, who had completely collapsed on the sand. Worried, I loped a bit faster, but then I heard that he wasn't in pain, he was laughing. I stopped and noticed another telekinetic laugh; Kazu lay on a rock a few yards away from me. Confused, I turned my attention back to the pokemon I had flamed.

Tai emerged from the water singed and irritated, with a tiny string of kelp caught across his drooping ear. He glared at my Lord, then at Kazu. "Okay," he began as he shook himself, which still didn't dislodge the strand of kelp, "who was the bastard with the flamethrower, hmm?" He snorted and finally saw me, standing by the still laughing Kaiyou. He glared. "Can you not tell a training session if you see one?"

I laughed nervously and pawed at the very interesting sand. "I, uh… I thought that Kaiyou was fighting for real… Sorry…"

My apology didn't seem to soothe the singed, sopping wet jolteon. " 'Sorry' won't get my fur to stop smelling like burnt Barbecue. Nor will it get all of the sand out of my ears." He scowled for a few moments, and then sighed. "Oh well… Come on, I want to keep going."

Kaiyou's ears perked and he stopped snickering. (All right.) He picked himself up and shook off some of the sand that had collected in his ebony coat. He turned his grand head down to me with a strange, wolfish grin. (You can go watch with Kazu. I don't think Tai would appreciate any more "help" from you.)

(Ass,) I snarled back at him as I made my way toward Kazu. He was sitting on a very comfortable-looking rock that made a great vantage point for watching the mock battle. As Kazu shifted to make room for me, he smirked and said, "I have to say, I've never seen Tai run that fast for anything other than a buffet."

"Be quiet," I snapped sulkily. I watched as Kaiyou gave some instructions on how to counter a long-range attack, which made Tai glare over his shoulder at me, and moved back a couple of steps to give the jolteon a bit of maneuvering space. Sighing, I lay down on the cool rock and followed Tai's movements as Kaiyou threw thunderbolts at him. "So… why are you three out here in the first place? I mean, whose idea was this?"

Kazu shrugged. "Tai's, really. Late last night, he talked to me about it, said that we needed to be prepared for really large, agile pokemon. Something like one of the royal Nidos, or Steelix, or large dragon pokemon, like flygon, salamence and dragonite. We talked to Kaiyou early this morning, who was more than happy to help." He paused as Tai deflected one of Kaiyou's thunderbolts with one of his own, which caused an explosion. After the sand settled, Kaiyou was no where to be seen. Confused, the damp jolteon trotted nervously around the beach, looking for the Dark Legendary. Kazu seemed confused as well, but I wasn't. I could see the very faint glow of Kaiyou's stripes in Tai's shadow.

"He's under you!" I called out nonchalantly. Tai turned to me, and cocked his head.

"What?" he called, just before Kaiyou's head sprang out of the Void, knocking the jolteon into the air. After Tai landed on his back, he growled. "No fair!"

Kaiyou, whose head was only poking out of the Void like some kind of gopher, scoffed. (You have to be ready for anything. Especially since, with training, any Dark can use this technique. The pokemon in the next battle may be able to, so you need to know how to counter it.) With that, he plunged back into the Void, leaving Tai angry and confused.

"Well, how the HELL do I counter you popping out of nowhere?" he shouted into the air. I heard Kaiyou heave a telepathic sigh -so Tai could hear- and he poked his head out of a rock face not too far from us.

(You are completely useless,) he frowned. (Though, I thought you already knew about the Void, what with TWO able Darks being on your team and everything…)

Tai growled. "Nose down, please."

Kaiyou chuckled. (Sorry. The main principle of the Void is that you can only go in and out through shadow. Any lighted areas are out of the question. Get it?)

"Yeah, I guess so…" was Tai's unsure reply. Kaiyou grinned, a strange thing on a canine face.

(Good!) my Lord chirped happily, and disappeared back into the Void. Tai took a few steps back, nervous.

"Okay, I get that you can't come out of light, but what about MY shadow? What am I supposed to do, levitate?" He looked over to us for some kind of help, but Kazu and I only shrugged.

(Figure it out,) was Kaiyou's ever-helpful advice. (I'm sure that head of yours holds more than cobwebs.)

Tai sent a bolt down at the ground in frustration. "Shut up!"

Kazu sat up, his face lit with an idea. "Tai, jump! If you jump, your shadow will weaken, and he won't be able to get through!"

Tai nodded and began jumping continuously. I started snickering; he looked absolutely ridiculous. Kaiyou began to laugh, too. (Good shot, but that's not the answer I was looking for.)

The jolteon performed another jump as he perked his ears on confusion. "Huh?"

Just as the jolteon's back feet hit the ground, Kaiyou erupted out of the sand, the jolteon caught in his jaws. While in midair, he flung Tai back into the water, and disappeared back into the Void using his own shadow. "Tai!" Kazu shouted as he scrambled off the rock and into the water. Tai managed to get out of the ocean on his own, however, and shook himself. He coughed for a little bit and glared at Kaiyou, who had emerged out of the shadow of a bush a few feet away from my spot.

"There was no need to fling me into the water!" he growled as his fur bristled into needles. "Asshole!"

(No need for cursing, either,) Kaiyou chastised, (Though that was a valiant effort on your part, that's not the way to counter a Dark using the Void. You're still vulnerable to when you come back down, as I just demonstrated.)

While Tai glowered at Kaiyou's half-emerged head, Kazu asked, "Then how does he avoid it? Is there even a way?"

(Oh, there's a way, don't you worry. But I'm not about to spoon-feed it to you. I'd rather have some thought go into this. So, let's try again. And this time, if I get you, I'll send you further out into the tide.)

Tai gaped at my Lord. "WHY!?"

Kaiyou moved his head as if he shrugged -you couldn't really tell with only his head out in the open- and smirked. (To give you some incentive. Here I come!) With that, he pulled his head back into the Void, and the game was on again.

Tai danced anxiously on the sand like they were hot coals. "What the hell do I do? WHAT THE HELL DO I DO?!"

"Calm down!" Kazu shouted from the sidelines. "Freaking out will only cause you to freeze up. Now, How can you get rid of shadow in general?"

"Uh… Put light on it….?" he answered tentatively. He glanced fearfully at the sand when Kaiyou began to happily hum the "Jaws" theme. "But he'll get me if I jump!"

It was then that I finally understood what Kaiyou wanted Tai to do. I stood and shouted, "Tai! Use Charge! Make yourself a ball of light!"

He looked at me, question and hesitation in his brown eyes. He then took in a deep breath and used the biggest Charge that I had ever seen him accomplish. Sure enough, the shadow beneath him disappeared, and Kaiyou laughed underneath us in the Void.

(Good, good! That's what I wanted!) Kaiyou praised as he emerged out of a shaded oak tree. (Now that you've eliminated the shadow beneath you, the Dark pokemon can only come out of the remaining shadows, which, in a lighted coliseum, will be few and far between. Just keep your eye on the remaining ones and you should be able to attack when he comes out.)

Tai cut the Charge attack off and sat down on the grass, panting. "Th… Thanks… I guess…"

Kaiyou chuckled as he nudged the tired jolteon with a friendly paw. (You did well, even though most of your ideas were thrown in by outside parties…) He sent a smirk at Kazu and I, who couldn't help but redden at his comment. Kaiyou stretched his back legs as he made his way off the beach and headed toward the house on the hill. He paused to look over his shoulder at us. (Now come on, I bet everyone else is up and ready to go. We should be getting back to Ever Grand here pretty soon.)

…………

Oh my God, it's done! This chapter, though small, is done! Wo0t.

Now that I have a DeviantArt account, I will be able to post pictures of Kaiyou, Yasille, Buganti/Kuvai and Shayla so that you'll finally be able to see what they look like. I only have Kaiyou's picture ready for a scanner, but it's something.

Oh, and a reviewer commented that Kaiyou was the name of a bald, annoying four year-old on Channel 13. However, his name isn't pronounced like that. It is Kai-yo, not Kai-yu. Sorry for the misunderstanding. J

I have three pages of the next chapter already written, so it should be ready within a couple of weeks at most.

Ja!