Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon. Comprehende?
Deep inside Sukaku's lair, the three teams had separated to discover the whereabouts of Haruka and Yuuki
Kabushi closely surveyed his surrounding area. Dozens of shadows could be seen in the water, hiding the inner dangers of the deep. Several rocks that served as platforms were spread out the room, with Yamaga on the other end. Fighting a psychic had never been a practice for him, so this bout would be a new experience.
But that was the problem entirely.
The young samurai glanced over at Ayane, who looked stressed over the situation. Her eyes danced nervously over the area she was standing. Kabushi could only pray she wasn't losing her nerve so soon. "Ayane, are you..."
"Don't worry, I'm fine for now. But more importantly, this won't be an easy battle. We can't form any plans, otherwise he will know."
"That doesn't sound like a particularly safe idea. Are we actually going to face that Slowking without a plan?" Leo asked.
"It sure doesn't sound any worse than to give him a chance to predict our moves. There has to be a way…"
Yamaga grinned wickedly, watching his victims plot meaninglessly. "Fools, there is no chance for you. I think I'll start with sending that ninja into the depths of the sea." Lifting his hand, the slowking channeled his psychic power towards Ayane. Strangely, he couldn't hold onto her with his abilities. "What? Impossible!" He tried to use his abilities on the other two, but to no avail.
He was confused, something he hated.
"Don't even think about it, Yamaga." Ayane flashed several orange pieces of paper with several kanji written on them. "I've placed an anti-psychic talisman on everyone, so your tricks won't work on us. Ninjas are especially trained to handle those with exceptional magic abilities."
Yamaga's eyes narrowed angrily. "You will regret messing with me, human. You may not be able to be affected, but the same can't be said about your surroundings!" Using his abilities, Yamaga targeted two large spots in the water behind the group, erecting two pillars of water. The water towers were hurled at the trio, who were separated after dodging the crushing water attack. "At least I can read their thoughts. Now let's see what is going on in their puny minds…" Yamaga's first victim was Kabushi, who was jumping platform to platform, all the while avoiding the leaping waves of Carvannas jumping at him.
'This is crazy! I'm supposed to fight without a plan in mind? Damn psychics and their cheap abilities. If only I can get close somehow. Maybe I'll summon Raijin…' Kabushi fingered for his Pokéball.
"Kabu-kun, do not summon a Pokémon! Only anti-psychic Pokémon will be effective. Leave that to me and Leo!"
"Of course!" Leo unclipped his Pokéball, prepared to summon Esca.
'…God dammit…' Kabushi was starting to feel more and more left out. Yamaga suddenly found something to exploit…
"Yoko-chan, let's take out this psychic!"
"Esca, let's go!" Ayane and Leo summoned their respective Pokémon. The Sneasel and the Espeon were more than ready for battle.
"Ah, a Slowking. Haven't battled one of those in a good while…" Yoko crouched in a running position.
"Awaiting commands." Esca waited patiently for either Leo's commands or Yamaga's actions.
"Yoko, use Swift!"
"Esca, use Psybeam!"
"Hmph, nice try! Mirror Coat!" Yamaga created a large water wall that absorbed Yoko's swift attack, nullifying the attack. Though Esca's Psybeam went through the water, the attack was reflected back at Esca by the Mirror Coat, who luckily dodged it.
"Tch, clever." Ayane didn't like how smart Yamaga was for a Slowking. Yamaga knew he couldn't use both Counter and Mirror Coat at the same time, but used the water around it to absorb the physical attack. Close range was definitely the best way to defeat Yamaga. However, that was starting to be a problem.
Several columns of water slammed into the occupied platforms. Everyone managed to avoid getting crushed from the waves. "I think it's time to change things up a bit." Going deep into his psychic powers, Yamaga used it to lift a dozen Remoraids from the water and hold them into the air. "Remoraids, use Water Gun!" The school of floating fishes fired high pressured water attacks at the group. The attacks were aimed at Ayane, Leo, and their Pokémon.
Everyone but Kabushi.
'I'm the only one not being attacked? That bastard must think I'm weak! I'll show him!' Kabushi charged after the Slowking, jumping from one platform to another.
While dodging and deflecting the Remoraid attacks with her ninja sword, Ayane spotted Kabushi running after Yamaga. It was strange why he was the only one being bombarded by attacks. Unless… "Kabu-kun, don't attack Yamaga!" It was too late, however, as Kabushi swung his blade at the Slowking.
"Argh, dammit!" The red wave struck Kabushi hard, flinging him in the air.
"Water…GUN!" Yamaga shot a strong Water Gun attack at Kabushi, which propelled him into the ceiling roughly.
"Guh…damn you…!" Kabushi struggled through the high pressure water attack, holding his sword against it. "Thu…THUNDER STRIKE!"
"Gwah!" Yamaga quickly ceased his water attack, weakened from the electric attack.
"Leo-kun, save Kabu-kun! I'll handle Yamaga!" Ayane ran with Yoko after the psychic while Leo headed for the fallen Kabushi.
The red haired samurai glanced over at the rushing Leo, contemplating about the mysterious Ivalian student. 'That Leo…come to think of it, wasn't he taller earlier?' Now that Kabushi remembered, Leo seemed to have changed his appearance when he was talking to Ayane. Somehow, that guy was two different people. What did this mean? Regardless of the oddness, there was no time for such thoughts. He tried to push himself off the ground, but the shock he received from falling from the ceiling hadn't settled down, paralyzing his muscles. "Dammit all…get…up…!"
"Kabushi!" Leo managed to safely reach Kabushi's platform thanks to Esca's Light Screen, protecting him from the Remoraids and Yamaga's attacks. Lifting the boy up, the alchemist helped Kabushi get back in his feet. "That was reckless of you. NEVER rush a psychic with just brute strength."
"YOU shut up!" Kabushi bitterly shrugged him off. Something about Leo rubbed him the wrong way, what it was exactly he didn't know.
"This is no time for childish antics. Follow behind me and—"
"The hell with that! I will do things my own way!"
"Yes, we clearly saw you using your way, and got trounced in the process. That's why you should follow our lead instead of acting like a petulant child."
"Why you obnoxious little…"
"Kabu-kun, Leo-kun, knock it off!" Ayane chastised.
'Gotcha.' Yamaga opened his mouth, aiming at Ayane. A light began to envelop inside. By the time the young kunoichi noticed, it was too late. "Hyper Beam."
Just before the attack hit, Yoko jumped in front of Ayane, taking the full brunt of the hit. However, the force sent Yoko crashing into Ayane and pushed them to the wall. The sneasel was knocked out from the power, and thankfully fell on one of the platforms.
Ayane, however, wasn't so fortunate.
With a start, Kabushi and Leo gasped in horror. "AYANE!"
Unconscious, Ayane plunged into the water. Several shadows from the water quickly swam to Ayane's position, preparing to feast on her. Kabushi's eyes widened as he saw the bubbles started appearing less and less. "Ayane…!" He was more than prepared to dive in for her, but Leo held fast.
"What do you think you're doing?"
"What the hell is wrong with you? She's going to die if we don't go after her!"
Leo's expression turned grimed as he looked away. "I'm afraid…it's too late to save her."
"What…? No!" Kabushi looked helplessly as the air bubbles suddenly stopped, followed by the spot being filled with blood. It hit him with incredible shock that Ayane, his teammate, was killed. The worst part of all was the fact it was his fault for distracting her. He felt crushed. "Ayane…"
Yamaga reveled in the fact he took out the most competent annoyance of the teens. HIs battle should go alot smoother with Ayane gone. "Foolish imbeciles! One down and two to go. This shouldn't be too difficult. Now, who shall be nex—"
A large cut mark appeared on Yamaga's chest, startling the water/psychic Pokémon. His eyes widened as he saw Kabushi standing in front of him, a look of pure malice on his face. It was clear Kabushi wasn't going to take Ayane's death lying down. "There shall be no mercy for you."
'That was…too fast to catch! What kind of human can do that?' Before Kabushi could land another strike, Yamaga teleported away from him and reappeared on the other side of the room. "That was close."
"Unfortunately for you, I am closer." Leo said, crouched behind Yamaga with his sword readied.
"Dammit! Counter!" Yamaga activated the counter barrier. 'Now I should be safe.'
"Esca, Psybeam!" Leo commanded.
The attack struck Yamaga's back, piercing through his Counter barrier. With Counter inactive, Leo was prepared to finish the Slowking off when Yamaga opened his mouth. "Ice Beam!"
Leo was blasted all the way to the wall, most of his body frozen onto the wall. With his hands sealed, it would be impossible to perform an alchemic transmutation. He was unable to continue fighting. 'This…is not good.' The only person left to protect the enraged Kabushi was Esca, who was also battling the random Pokémon jumping out of the water.
Things were looking bad.
"Hmph, two down…" Yamaga eyed the two remaining opponents: Kabushi and Esca, who were knocking down the Water Pokémon bounding from the lake. It was obvious he would have to take things a bit seriously. His eyes glowed bright blue as he pointed his hand at Esca. Unfortunately for the Espeon, she recognized Yamaga's presence too late to react. "Disable." Esca was frozen within a blue aura, immobilized. She would not be able to act further until Yamaga deactivated the attack.
This left Kabushi alone, facing a powerful psychic threat. The only Pokémon that would be able to have any effect was his Raichu, but he would most likely get thrashed by the psychic abilities.
This battle was completely one-sided.
"You're all alone, little samurai. Your chance for victory was lost the moment your friends' fate was sealed. For a moment, I almost thought I was in trouble with your burst of anger, but now I know differently. You've let your teammates down and failed as a team leader. Your utter weakness and human faultiness has led to your downfall. So, what do you have to say for yourself before I destroy you?"
Kabushi was silent as he stood his ground, impossible odds against him. "Yeah, you're right…I did fail my teammates. I was too wrapped up in myself to take this battle seriously. If I was a little stronger and took things more seriously, perhaps everyone could've gotten out of here without casualties. However…" He smirked confidently, in a way that only Satoshi could do. Yamaga didn't like this one bit. "Your fatal error was pissing me off. So, you better pray for mercy." Kabushi pulled his sword back and slid his feet apart, showing the true visage of a samurai. "Because you shall pay for taking Ayane's life with your blood…" Yamaga could see a strange energy circling Kabushi. Dozens upon dozensl of transparent chains and similar restraining devices appeared around Kabushi The amount of bindings around him looked as though it was meant to hold back a being of immeasurable strength and lethal force. "Blood Seal limit break…Blood Assimilation." As he spoke those words, all of the transparent limiters were broken into tiny shards. He slid his finger tips along his sword, which quickly absorbed the blood that was stained.
"Blood assimilation…? Strange chains appearing on his body? What is going on?" Yamaga attempted to read his mind, but encountered a startling problem.
Kabushi was somehow blocking him.
"Heh, so this is what it feels like to have psychic abilities…" To the Pokémon's surprise, one of Kabushi's irises turned light blue while the other changed to violet. "Too bad for you…your time has run out..."
Meanwhile, another fierce battle was taking place within the icy prison of Sukaku's lair. Ryuga and Imite were left to face a legion of Wartortles and Octillerys, followed by Kurosaki, the powerhouse Crawdaunt.
Ryuga rolled away from a devastating Crabhammer, which shattered an ice pillar. While his and Imite's Pokémon were helpful in holding back the Water-type Pokémon, Kurosaki was clearly becoming a real threat. If the two were to stand a chance, they had to get an advantage over the large Crawdaunt. Kurosaki wasn't your average opponent. Not only did he know how to use his strength, but his surroundings as well.
"Hahaha! This be a fun fight! Crabhammer!" Kurosaki launched another blue ball of energy at the mage.
"You'll have to do better than that to get me!" Ryuga side-stepped the Crabhammer attack. "Ha, simple."
Imite found something wrong with this situation already. Kurosaki looked very confident about this attack. She realized it quickly once she saw the Crabhammer attack slamming into the wall. "Ryu-kun! Move it!"
"What do you want, Enemy-san…?" Ryuga gasped as he saw a stalactite dropping from the ceiling. Quickly, the mage jumped away from the large ice spike. Another surprise awaited the mage as he felt a large energy approaching behind him.
It was the Crabhammer attack.
"Argh!" Struck dead on, Ryuga slammed roughly onto the icy floor.
"I'm no idiot when it comes to da art o' Crabhammerin, punk! Take this example!" Swinging his giant claws, Kurosaki smacked the Crabhammer ball, sending it hurling towards Ryuga.
"Oh no! I won't make it in time! Unless…" Imite quickly formed hand symbols to perform a jutsu. "Water Style: Shark Blade Jutsu!" From her hands erupted a large surge of water that whipped at the Crabhammer attack. It was strong enough to deflect the attack away, sending it crashing into one of the groups of rampaging water Pokémon.
Kurosaki's eyes narrowed at Imite. 'Wait a minute…dat be one of em' human techniques called ninjutsu? Interesting…' Ninjutsu wasn't something new to him. Of course, it is thanks to his training that he can get around it. The real problem was the mage, who he recognized very well. "Oi, sissy-lookin' boy! Do ya be da one dat hangs around wit dat one guy?"
'Did he just call me sissy looking? Why that arrogant…' Ryuga decided to ignore that comment, but was curious with Kurosaki's question. "Who do you mean by that guy?"
"Dat guy wit da mysterious look 'n his eyes. What's his name again…ah yeah, Saito!"
Imite was shocked with that name. 'Saito? Isn't that the name of the rogue sensei who started the whole Shadow Raid incident? Why on Gaetia would a Pokémon way out here know about such a guy? And what relationship would that guy have with Ryu-kun? This doesn't make sense!'
Standing up, Ryuga dusted the snow off his mage robe. "You are correct, Kurosaki-kun. It's been awhile."
'WHAT?' Imite was dumbfounded with this new set of knowledge. Of course, she was going to keep quiet and listen to their conversation. At least then, she could develop a plan to defeat Kurosaki and save the others within the ice prison.
"So it has, sissy-lookin lad!"
"Don't call me sissy-looking, dammit!"
Kurosaki immediately turned serious. "But really, why are ya here, and workin' wit dat eyebrow lass? I thought you boys don't hang wit them Arcadian guys, especially you of all people, cursed child."
'Eyebrow lass?' If the conversation wasn't getting so interesting, she would've lobbed a knife down Kurosaki's throat long ago.
"That's none of your concern. We're taking Shiroku-san back to Aka City. That is our only reason for being here. As for Enemy-san, I was unfortunate enough to have her stalk me here."
"STALK YOU?" Forget killing Kurosaki. Ryuga just jumped to the top of her blacklist.
"Heh, interesting. Didn't think ya were da type to have an ex-girlfriend stalkin' ya!"
"EXCUSE ME?" Imite didn't know what level of offense that was, but it was beyond all her wild imagination.
"Ex-girlfriend? She's not even qualified to be a pet."
That tore it. "Oh no you didn't…!" Imite stormed up to Ryuga, grabbing him by his collar. "Don't go around insulting people when they're right next to you, jerk!"
"Unhand me this instant! The last thing I want is to catch something from your vexed looking eyebrows. I might get cooties."
"What are you, a 1st grader? I'll bash your teeth in if you don't cut it out!"
"How about I cut your eyebrows! That way, you won't frighten small children!"
"You bastard! Don't make me—"
"Don't be relaxing just yet, kiddies! We're still in a battle!" With his giant pincers, Kurosaki snagged the bickering teens.
"Gah! Damn it all…!" Ryuga growled, the hard claws slowly crushing him.
'This isn't good. I can't believe I let my defenses down so much…! Damn you, Ryu-kun…!' Imite needed to perform a jutsu to get out before she got crushed. What was also pressing was the fact she was being squeezed into Ryuga. This had uncomfortable and disgusting written all over it. Their Pokémon were too caught up within their own battles to assist them at the moment, leaving them exposed. Fortunately, Imite was able to free her arms. "Ryu-kun, I know you're gonna hate this, but bear with it…"
"What are you talking abo—What are you doing?" Ryuga's eyes widened as he felt Imite's arms wrap around him. He was starting to feel uncomfortable for various reasons.
"I told you to bear with it. Alright, got it! Hang tight!"
"Like hell I'll—" Suddenly, the two disappeared from Kurosaki's pincer. In their place was a thick stalactite.
"Damn brats…!" The large piece of ice in his claw broke into tiny shards under the pressure. Kurosaki glanced about the area for any signs of the kids. "Alright, if I were a couple o' scrubs, where would I be hidin'…?"
Meanwhile, Imite and Ryuga appeared behind a thick column of ice. Thanks to the replication jutsu, the two were able to except the Vice attack unscathed. Once they were away from the Water Fang admiral, Imite withdrew her arms quickly, which were still embracing Ryuga. "Look, just to be clear, I had to do that so I could use a jutsu."
"Personally, I would rather died than be embraced by you." Ryuga pointed out clearly, annoyed with their close contact.
"You weren't so reluctant back at the beach…"
"It was a reflex, damn you!"
"I thought it was planned."
"They're completely different, moron!"
"Don't call me moron, eyebrow wench!"
"Found ya!" Kurosaki laughed hauntingly, looming over the bickering teens.
Ryuga and Imite paled upon the sight of the giant lobster. "….Shi—"
The two barrel-rolled away from the beast just before Kurosaki swung at them, his huge claws cleaving the stalagmite in half.
As the two dodges Kurosaki's attacks, Imite was curious about the conversation that took place. More importantly, Kurosaki called Ryuga the cursed child. Now that she thought about it, Ryuga had never been seen talking to anyone except his own teammates. 'Did that have something to do with him being cursed? What was the curse, anyway? Ooh…! Why does that loser have to be so damn mysterious?' Just thinking about it made her extremely curious, but also worried.
"Enemy-san. Focus on the battle and do not waste time on useless thoughts." Ryuga spoke seriously, side-stepping another Crabhammer attack. He could tell she was thinking about something relating to what Kurosaki blabbered out. Regardless, he had no time to worry about that. Kurosaki's Crabhammers were getting annoying. But the worst part was that he knew the giant crab was more capable than that single move.
What was that giant crab thinking…?
Kurosaki continuously pounded Crabhammer after Crabhammer at the duo. Those children did not know that not only did they already fall for his trap, but they were knee deep in trouble already. After his last Crabhammer dissipated, he stopped. "Heh, I think I've set things up pretty nicely. You guys are doomed now."
Ryuga and Imite froze in their tracks, surprised with the comment. "What do you mean by that? All you've been doing is bouncing Crabhammer attacks all over the place. You haven't done anything!" Imite said.
"You're half right lass. But why doncha take a good look at yourselves?"
"Oh no…!" Ryuga paled as he glanced at his clothes. Frost and snow were slowly enveloping his magician's gown, which made things several times colder and heavier. The air was getting thinner and thinner by the second, which made breathing very difficult. On Ryuga's back, where the recent Crabhammer hit, there was a large patch of ice. It was then Ryuga realized that Kurosaki wasn't just trying to attack them with Crabhammers.
He was slowly freezing them to death.
"Ya mighta thought I was just a dummy, but da only dummies are ya two. Now I gotcha right where I want ya!"
'Ugh…it's so cold…!' Ninjas were required to wear little clothing for mobility, so she was in even worse shape than Ryuga, and she hadn't even been injured yet. Her body was shivering from the intense frost that reached down to her bones.
'Heh, its easy science when ya think about it. Heat expands and cold retracts, so if I make da muscles tight, those punks can't move right! I made sure my Crabhammers were nice n' frosty fo da brats! Now I can use my signature attacks…' Kurosaki started creating dozens of large bubbles with his mouth, each of them slowly floating in the air, hovering over Ryuga and Imite. The two slowly started stepping back, unsure of what was going on. Within a few seconds, frost started to cover the bubbles as they began to freeze and drop from the sky.
Ryuga and Imite barely avoided getting crushed by giant ice bubbles, hitting the icy earth like 2 ton boulders. What made things worse was difficult to see Kurosaki's location since the ice bubble's reflective surface acted like a mirror. The density of the icy air doubled in the area. 'Damn that Crawdaunt! My body is getting numb from the cold…!' Ryuga thought, rubbing his arms to warm himself up.
"I'm not done yet! Here it comes! Crabhammer!" Launching the attack, the icy energy sphere slammed into the collection of ice bubbles, causing them to shatter and launch icy, sharp shards flying about. Both the ninja and mage were struck by the shards and the speedy Crabhammer, injuring them greatly. The two were lying on the ground, weakened and stricken with frost. "Bwahahaha! Is dat all ya got? I didn't even break a sweat!"
"Dammit! RYUGA!" Anji banged on the ice wall repeated, desperate to try and get to Ryuga. "This isn't good…not at all…"
"I agree. Things are looking very grave at the moment." Motoko feared.
"Not just that, but Ryu-kun's body hasn't dealt with such weather conditions before. The sudden change will make him extremely vulnerable. He might die from the arctic conditions long before Kurosaki kills him." Anji closed his eyes, gritting his teeth. 'Imite-san…I beg of you…save Ryu-kun for me…!' He was truly worried for both his teammate and Imite.
On the battlefield, Imite struggled to stand up, her body feeling like a block of ice. Looking to her side, she could see Ryuga's eyes wide open, dilated. He was teetering between consciousness.
This was bad.
If Ryuga were to be unconscious, the cold would kill him within minutes. She had to get him away. Putting her hands together, she quickly made a ninjutsu symbol. "Shadow Clone Jutsu!" 8 Imite clones appeared as they darted at Kurosaki. While the Crawdaunt was busy, Imite carefully dragged Ryuga's body behind a stalagmite to hide. Though she was in bad shape, Ryuga was in much worse condition. 'Damn idiot! Why are you always so troublesome?' She thought half-angrily. This would be the second time she would have to save his life. After hiding in a good location, she began checking his body's condition. His skin was light blue, and his pulse was very low. Imite was slowly starting to panic.
Ryuga was going into hypothermia.
'I know it's really cold, but I didn't imagine he was this sensitive to it!' First thing she had to do was to take off the iced shirt because it started getting too cold. As she did, she made sure to keep his body off the cold floor by laying him on her lap. Her pale cheeks blushed from the awkward situation, but didn't have a choice if she wanted to save him. Peeking around the ice pillar, she noticed that 5 of her clones have already disappeared.
Things were looking very grim.
"Alright Ryu-kun, you better appreciate this, because this will happen only once." Imite's face gained a dark red blush as she realized her quickest way to heat themselves up…
With Ryuga, he felt his mind drifting. At first, everything was painful, but then, the pain started to subside, replaced with numbness and sleepiness. All he wanted to do was sleep and forget this madness he got himself into with that demon hair destroying woman. 'Sleep…let me just get some sleep…' He was about to fall sleep when he felt something warm. Warm…and comfortable. He liked this sensation, as it was taking away the numbness. 'This feeling, it's familiar, and yet, so comfortable. But where do I know this from?' As his senses started coming back, he slowly started opening his eyes.
The first thing he saw in front of him was fire. His eyes followed where the fire was coming from, which was a paper talisman. It was then he noticed two small hands holding onto the talisman, followed by arms that were wrapped around him. This left Ryuga's slowly recovering mind lots of questions. 'Where am I, and why is my shirt off? If I remember correctly, I was fighting Kurosaki-san with…with…with…!' The mage paled in horror as he slowly turned around to glance behind him.
Imite was the one holding him.
And the only thing she had on was a bra and her lower ninja gear.
Imite noticed the horror-stricken face and smiled nervously. "Um…I can totally explain this!"
"WAAAAH!" With speed that would beat any ninja, Ryuga shot away from the imitating ninja. It didn't help that the fire talisman was still lit and fell on him. "GWAAH! IT BURNS!" After patting the fire on his chest out, he tossed Imite an astounded stare. He was bewildered and shocked with what he had witnessed. "WHAT WERE YOU TRYING TO DO TO ME?"
"I was trying to save your life! You should be thanking me!" Imite demanded angrily.
"I would if I'd asked for it! I'd prefer to be embraced by death than by you! And for the sake of my sanity, put your clothes back on!"
"Why you…!" Imite was embarrassed, angry, and irritated. But most of all, she was hurt. She made a defeated sigh as she slipped her ninja shirt back on. "It's not like I wanted you to die…"
Ryuga stopped panicking when he noticed Imite's displeased manner. Stubborn, he huffed defiantly. "Stop whining. I didn't ask you to stick your neck out for me. For the same reason, if I died, it wouldn't be your fault, so quit acting like a lost child."
"Ugh, so annoying…" Imite mumbled bitterly.
Ryuga felt a stab at those words. But all he could do was growl at her, unable to develop a comeback. Her anger was pretty reasonable. Frustrated for many reasons, he hesitated to try to say something. That girl was so bothersome. "Listen, Enemy-san. I—"
With a quick dash, Imite slammed the back of her fist into Ryuga's face, sending him hurling onto the floor. Ryuga's expression went from immediate confusion to anger. She didn't have to get that made at him. "You evil, eyebrow wench! Why the hell did you—"
A huge claw sliced through the stalagmite, and in the process slashed Imite deeply, large amounts of blood gushing out of the gash across her body. The force knocked her far back, slamming against the wall of the area. She slid down the wall, unable to stand back up. "Nice little trick ya tried to pull back there! But ya punks are outta spunk! Now it's a killin' time!" Kurosaki raised his giant claw to deliver the final blow.
"Crystal Lightning Blade!"
"BLARG!" Kurosaki was blasted away from Imite, sliding across the battleground. A hard, metal object slashed his side, leaving a huge cut and a large shock. The Water Fang admiral was left dazed from the sucker punch. "Ugh…what hit me…?"
Imite, still conscious, struggled to stand up, but was unable to. She weakly glanced upward at her savoir, a very unlikely person to, once again, save her life. "Ry…Ryu-kun…?"
Ryuga held a fierce, determined expression as he stood near Imite, a broadsword made of crystal in his hand. The weapon broke down and transformed into four crystal balls and floated into the air. The mage did not face Imite, but kept a firm focus on Kurosaki. "Enemy-san, listen very carefully, because I will only say it once. What you are about to see must remain inside these four walls. You are very fortunate, since so very few people have seen this side of me…" With the crystal soul spheres revolving around him, Ryuga's pupils started changing into a deep shade of red. Black spots started forming on his skin until he was as spotted as a Dalmatian, his hair taking on spots of light red. A dark aura enveloped his body, infusing him with unimaginable power. "And even fewer have lived to tell about Tsukimono Ryuga, son of the cursed generation…"
Imite's eyes widened, unable to comprehend the ominous feeling she was getting from this frightening version of Ryuga. Just what on Gaetia was he? "Ryu-kun…?"
Ryuga grinned maliciously as he calmly spoke four words. "Curse seal limit…break…"
Elsewhere, Satoshi and Kasumi were dueling with Mid-boss, and having a very difficult time. Though they were much stronger than before, the fact that half of their forces were scattered made their situation as strenuous as their first encounter with the Ursaring. Unlike their first bout, Mid-boss had returned with more tricks and devastating attacks. "ICE BEAM!" Hozaru shot a blue beam from his mouth, the attack running across the large cavern hall horizontally. Satoshi, Kasumi, and their released Pokémon managed to evade the attack, by jumping or crouching, the floor and walls being covered in ice.
"So you can use ice attacks now? You're just full of surprises, Mid-boss!" Raigeki said, prepared to move or strike at any moment.
Mid-boss grew infuriated. "STOP CALLING ME MID-BOSS!" In a fit of rage, he shot another round of Ice Beams, forcing everyone to avoid the attack.
"We have to do something about that Ice Beam of his. It's even worse than his Flamethrower!" Satoshi gritted his teeth, frustrated with their current position. All of their Pokémon were released and ready to battle. Mid-battle, however, Mikado and Zohl were put to sleep by a strange new attack Hozaru used.
"I'll take him on! Uwoooo!" Pumped up from previously using Focus energy, Baiken leapt onto the walls and bounced off the wall to jump over the Ice Beam and fly at Hozaru, preparing a Rolling Kick.
"Baiken-chan, wait!" Kasumi called out.
For Baiken, it was too late.
Cutting off his Ice Beam, Hozaru wore a sleepy look on his face. "Uwaaah..." During the yawn, a puff of white smoke emerged out of his mouth and struck Baiken. The fighting fowl yawned in response, looking very sleepy. Hozaru grinned, easily side-stepping the haphazard Rollling Kick. After crashing and rolling on the ground, Baiken was fast asleep.
"Wha…what kind of attack is that?" Kasumi asked out of surprise.
"Yawn. An ingenious technique if I do say so myself. Anyone hit by it is quick to fall asleep. Ever since our last battle, I've trained myself relentlessly for the day that I encounter you brats again! My honor as the Power Fang of the Raokei is at stake! However, to thank you for giving me my first defeat as part of the Fangs, I shall show you a secret attack that I've been working on. I saved it just for you guys."
"Secret attack? That can't be good." Satoshi started sweating nervously. Things were not looking good.
Hozaru clenched his paws tightly, positioning his legs similar to that of a sumo wrestler. "Haaa…!" A powerful force began to emanate from the Ursaring, making Team Tatsujin back away. The grizzly bear Pokémon had a tense look on his face, his body getting solidified harder and harder by sheer muscle. Whatever the Pokémon was planning, it was going to be massive. It was only about half a minute, but the pressure that Team Tatsujin felt made it seem like hours passed by. "Hehehe, your time has run out, brats! READY OR NOT, HERE I CO—"
Something large broke through the ceiling of the hallway and slammed into Hozaru. The dust that erupted veiled the identity of the flying object. Satoshi and Kasumi, stunned, peered closer at the object that crashed through the ceiling. How it broke through all the rocks and dirt that led to this area was a mystery. However, once the dust cloud settled, their jaws dropped, eyes widen with horror and shock.
It was Seta's van that broke through the ceiling.
"Oh my, I should've known better than to ignore that banana peel…" Seta laughed, stepping out of the now burning vehicle. Kasumi was astounded with the amount of blood the man's head was gushing out. Satoshi and Raigeki were just plain speechless. Seta took notice to Satoshi and Kasumi and smiled happily, somehow ignoring the burning sensation on his back. "Hey guys! Looks like you two could use some help!"
"You're the one who needs help!" Both Satoshi and Kasumi yelled.
Moans and groans could be heard from inside the van as three people fell out of the van's side door, dizzy and exhausted. This led to even more surprises, Satoshi pointed at them in shock. "Shigeru-niichan! Sakura-chan! Ibuki-sensei!"
Ibuki, sprawled on the ground, weakly attempting to keep conscious. "Kami-sama…if I live, I swear I'll never drink again…"
Shigeru was in no better shape, hanging onto Sakura for dear life. "I didn't think we could ever hit so many G-forces. I could swear I felt my soul leave my body…"
Hanging onto the van, Sakura's legs were trembling, her eyes wide from terror. She held her fore fingers onto her neck, checking for a pulse. "Well, I'm not dead yet. I guess that's a sign that Kami-sama is watching over me…"
Satoshi didn't know where to start, flabbergasted. But one question just had to be asked. "What…are you guys doing here?"
Gathering themselves, Shigeru, Ibuki, and Sakura straightened themselves up. "A little birdie told us that you were heading into enemy territory, so we came to help you guys."
"Thanks you guys. We could definitely use it."
"Sato-kun, where are the others?" Shigeru asked.
"We split up around the entrance of the cave. There were three paths. We took the middle."
"Ah, I see. Since this is the middle, I'd suppose this is the toughest path. That's my cue." Ibuki slapped her fist together in anticipation. "Shigeru-kun, Sakura-chan, go find the others in the separate paths and be careful. Seta-san, you're with me."
"That's fine. Sa-chan, let's go." Shigeru said.
"I will in a moment. Kasumi-chan, listen for a second." Sakura ran up to Kasumi and whispered something in her ear.
"Huh? Wha?" Kasumi blinked, confused with her words. Before she could ask, Sakura ran off with Shigeru. "I wonder what that was all about…"
"Alright. Now that that's over with, let's go find Haruka-chan." Just as Ibuki finished her statement, a loud roar ripped through the air, followed by the van being propelled and tossed over the group.
"I'm not finished yet, fools!" Shouted Mid-boss, recovering from the sneak attack.
Ibuki, recognizing the threat, quickly took a fighting stance, as did Seta. "Satoshi-kun, Kasumi-chan, go ahead through that door! Seta-san and I will take on this brute!"
Kasumi was shocked by her words. "Wait, Seta-san is fighting too?"
"I'm more capable than I seem, Kasumi-san. Please go ahead with Satoshi-kun, we will be fine." Seta nodded.
Kasumi seemed unsure at first, but after noting Satoshi nod, she was convinced. "Okay. You two be careful. Satoshi-kun, let's go!"
"Right behind ya!" Recalling their Pokémon, Satoshi and Kasumi dashed forward, heading for the large door.
"The hell you are getting away! RAAH!" The ursaring swung his large paws at Satoshi, only to have it blocked by Ibuki. Hozaru was stunned that such a frail looking human could've blocked his attack.
"You're not touching one hair on their heads, Hozaru-kun."
Hozaru was surprised that the human knew his name at first, but then he smirked wickedly. "Glad to see I've met more worthy opponents. I suppose I could skip those brats for today. I'll just take you on instead!"
"Hmph, bring it, big boy!" Just as Satoshi and Kasumi opened the door a good bit, Ibuki, Seta and Hozaru began their brutal bout.
Beyond the door, Satoshi and Kasumi were shocked with what a large beauty the throne room was. Unfortunately, their amazement was halted by a large Blastoise on the other side of the room, who was smirking haugtingly.
"Welcome to my lair, humans…" Sukaku spoke, his booming voice echoing throughout the room.
"…Damn that's a huge bastard!" Raigeki shouted, frightened.
Satoshi and Kasumi couldn't help but agree with Raigeki. That was probably the biggest Blastoise the two have ever seen, equipped with a large trident and tough battle armor over his thick shell. The Pokemon had to be atleast 20 feet tall.
This battle was going to be their toughest battle yet.