\EarthBorn nervously steps in, and assumes a false, confident tone\
\EarthBorn uncomfortably takes note of the various different glares coming to him from every direction\
Ah, yes. Let me present Sacred Fire, the erroneously delayed sequel to Aura Sphere readable on Serebii Forums and .
New readers…hi! Thanks for reading my previous fic, and if you haven't, I strongly suggest that you do so as soon as you can. Be advised – If you don't like Advanceshipping, you probably won't like the Destiny Bond series either, as the shipping is of primary importance in the series. Anyhow, thanks for your interest.
Older (not chronologically in one sense but the other) readers... Hello again! I won't make you wait any longer, so to aid you in skipping some random Author's Notes, I haven't written any. Actually, it's because I don't know what to write anyway. Alright, just one more thing – there might be a little retroactive continuity (retcon) in the story, and my modifications are hopefully for the better, so just try and bear with me there. Now I'm wasting time, so here you go…
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Chapter One: Goldenrod
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"To see a World in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an Hour"
Most conversations wouldn't begin if it wasn't for the weather. What then, stops me from starting a story with it?
If you've lived in Goldenrod City for most of your life, you probably know how hot it gets here in mid-June. Sure, it isn't nearly as scorching as the Hoenn summer sun, but it isn't quite tolerable in any human sense of the word. Pokémon were a different story of course – a Charizard or Magmar would consider this climate as slightly on the chilly side!
Despite this, there were some people who did stay outdoors in this weather; for even the heat of the Sun cannot outgrow the passion of battle, and the spirit of adventure. Mid-June happened to be the time when the annual Johto Grand Festival was held. Coordinators and their Pokémon, as well as the anticipating spectators couldn't care less about the heat as they witnessed some of the most spectacular of sights, imagined by the mind of the coordinator, and created by the abilities of their Pokémon. The intense power of their combined efforts, as well as the burning ambitions of both the old and the young, created a symphonic illustration; a harmony unparalleled as they directed their energies into creating some of the most beautiful of artificially made sights. Those who sat in the stands – admirers, well-wishers, or simply spectators who preferred to watch these marvels in real life rather than HDTV – became oblivious to their surroundings while witnessing such exhilarating demonstrations.
But now, the year's Festival had come to a close. Indeed, it was a daughter of Goldenrod City who was universally considered to be a master of the art of Pokémon Coordination, and she, along with five teenagers, casually sat on a comfortable couch, in the much needed revitalizing air-conditioning of the Pokémon Center. So, we head off to Goldenrod's Center – A; the one located right next to the Grand Festival stadium. Incidentally, this stadium was often nicknamed the "Golden Stadium". Sure – one could say that it was named after the city, but in reality, it was meant to be the polar opposite of the "Silver Stadium" where Johto's Silver Conference was held. The immense interconnection between "Gold" and "Silver" was never quite apparent on the surface, but deep down in the cobwebs of ancient wisdom, the connection was pure and simple.
And that daughter of Goldenrod seemed to know that. However casually she sat on that aforementioned couch, there was always the layer of intellect…this process of curiosity which ran about in the neural networks of her mind, analyzing, abstracting and trying to constantly rationalize the irrational; A process we all posses, however involuntary it seems. She did know that some things were just too irrational to be understood by human intelligence, but still calmly pondered about them, lost in her own being as she absent-mindedly listened to the teens conversing in front of her. Her name, by the way, was Bliss Aurora, and her description is not one which can be given in a few lines – in fact, no one deserves that. Every character is unique and has his or her own story, and a part of that story is this one. This is the story of how certain events changed their lives and that of others, forever.
Recently, two of the teens who were currently chatting in the Pokémon Center had become quite famous, for slightly different reasons. One of them – the slightly older, masculine teen with a Pikachu perpetually on his shoulder had gone on to win the Sinnoh Conference. Naturally, an achievement of this magnitude at his age was considered commendable; After all, the Sinnoh League was widely considered to be the toughest one in the Eastern Hemisphere.
The other one – emerald hair, eyes and personality in general – was the runner-up of the Johto Grand Festival. Now devoid of extreme temperatures and the ongoing pressure the Festival imposed on him, Drew felt free to chat with some old friends, as well as simultaneously getting the opportunity to meet Bliss in person. One friend in particular, he was pleasantly surprised to meet. She had darkly blue hair, electric blue eyes and was overall, the youngest of the lot. Her name was Dawn, the very person whose mother – a Top Coordinator - had inspired Drew to follow that path. How was that?
'Hold on,' Ash said, he and Pikachu looking at Drew and then Dawn in turn, 'you two actually know each other?'
'Sure we do.' Dawn replied. Drew nodded and then took over the explanation, ruffling his emerald hair in the process. 'You've all been to LaRousse City haven't you?'
The group nodded, and in the corner, Bliss gave a flicker of a smile. If Meir would have been here, he would somehow find a way to hijack the conversation. It was something about an intense rivalry between LaRousse and Sunnyshore that, despite all attempts of rationality, was not quite solvable. Ironically, many LaRousse and Sunnyshore engineers had worked together, putting Rangernet into operation. For Drew's misfortune, it just so happened that he was on his way to Goldenrod right now.
'Well all those hi-tech changes like the monorail, the wind turbines and the moving sidewalks happened only few years ago,' Drew continued, 'And my Dad was one of the chief architects for the project.'
'So while they were working,' Dawn said, 'Drew had come over to stay in Twinleaf – it's his mother's native hometown you see.'
'Yeah, parts of the city had to be cleared and stuff, so I stayed in Twinleaf for two years.' Drew explained, subconsciously flicking his hair again. 'During that time I got to know Dawn and her mom - when she was still coordinating.'
'Johanna was a pretty decent Coordinator alright.' Bliss commented. She still looked a bit dreamy, but was listening to the conversation.
Dawn nodded while Drew gave a consciously respectful acknowledgement. Dawn had become pretty comfortable around Bliss after the Kyogre deal was over – not to mention that Bliss was a judge in the Johto Festival. 'Watching mom, me, Drew and Kenny decided to become coordinators.' She said, adding, 'I haven't met Drew since then.'
'Well I should be leaving.' Said Drew, turning towards the center's automatic glass door. An orange hue had drawn across the outside landscape, signifying dusk. It was then that someone in the room, still pondering along the corridors of thought, came to a sudden, yet subtle realization.
'Just a minute Drew!' said Bliss. Her expression was perfectly normal, but there seemed to be a glint of inquiry in her sapphire gaze. 'If you really want to defeat Solidad the next time, I think you should give one last battle today.'
The emerald trainer halted, and turned around – with a curiously interesting expression on his face. Sure, it wasn't like he had any logical objections to the challenges – he was a coordinator after all – but it did seem a little unusual for Bliss to suggest a battle right now. What he didn't know was that Bliss wasn't thinking about battling him herself at all. Of course, she sensed that obvious misconception.
'Oh, not against me.' The Grand Coordinator said, smirking slightly. 'I'm just suggesting this because our new Sinnoh Conference champion –'she nodded in Ash's direction, '- hasn't had a good challenge lately.'
'I'm back!' interrupted a rather sugary-sweet voice. This voice belonged to May, who had managed to place in the Top Four of the Johto Festival. Of course, it wasn't an improvement over her placement in the last one, but this time, Solidad barely scratched a win – the match-ups being nearly identical to the Kanto Festival. Anyhow, a single second is all it takes to determine the difference between a win and a loss – and ultimately, it's up to you to decide if that close win or loss really matters at all. May figured that it did, but there was a factor of luck and unpredictability which would influence the outcome without regard for a Trainer's ability.
'Oh, hi May, and you Brock, you sure took a while.' Dawn said, welcoming the tanned, thin-eyed Breeder and the blue-white clothed coordinator, both of them bursting with shopping bags. As you could guess, they had gone shopping for essential supplies and fresh clothes – something they would need on their next journey, wherever that may lead.
'Yes, but at least we got everything.' Brock replied with a note of slight exasperation in his voice. Obviously, he hadn't enjoyed the experience of shopping, with May consistently distracting him from buying the essentials. Ultimately, they ended up going in different directions until they met up again at the Pokémon Center's entrance, almost at the same time.
'So what did we miss?' asked May. She looked around, and suddenly felt empty, as though she was missing something that should have been present here. After a moment, she realized what, or rather, who, that was.
'Getting ready for a battle.' Bliss said, motioning to the Pokémon center's counter. There, both Ash and Drew had finished collecting their Pokémon. Unfortunately for Drew –
'Sorry,' he said, turning to Ash, 'but it'll have to be a one-on-one battle. You see, Butterfree is the only Pokémon that's completely healed now.'
'That's fine with me!' replied Ash, readying a Pokeball in his hand.
'But not with me.' Bliss interjected. The two eager battlers looked at her in surprise. Brock, watching from the sidelines looked a little puzzled. In the little time he had known Bliss, she hadn't acted like thisat all. It was evident that this battle had some kind of ulterior motive behind it. That suspicion was made all the more sensible by her next comment.
'Why don't you have a tag battle guys? Drew with Dawn against Ash with May.'
The trainers merely shrugged in approval while the two girls nodded in acceptance. Although the four of them didn't quite realize what Bliss was up to, Brock sent her a questioning glare. All he got in reply was a silent, 'Just wait a little longer'.
The big and small flashes of light could be seen from the safety of the bush, along with all the characters involved in bringing them about. Of course, Pokémon battles are a lot more than flashes of light. They are strategy, quick thinking, aggressiveness, the fiery spirit, and the connection between a trainer and his Pokémon – all rolled into one. Understanding that is an art of the highest order, mastery of which is a near-impossible feat.
The three figures peering through the bush were attending not only the battle, but also another figure of interest.
'Oh look there's the Grand Coordinator!' the red-haired woman exclaimed dreamily.
'Yea, what'd it be like if wevs got her Pokémon?' asked the Meowth, his slit eyes scanning Bliss Aurora from the safety of the bush. Of course, Team Rocket couldn't have known that Bliss had already sensed their presence.
The third member of the group asked a rather more sensible question. You see, Bliss was not really watching the battle at all, but rather, she was holding a peculiar device in her hand which she was furiously analyzing. All this time, her eyebrows seemed contracted in concentration.
'What is that she's holding in her hand?' was the question. Naturally, James didn't know, but it was Bliss's PDA. What was so great about this particular PDA was that it allowed her to track the Aura around her, with her own body powering it in the process.
Why was she so interested in doing that right now? The answer lies in the tag battle, raging on right in front of her.
However, before Bliss got a clear answer, or the battle got a clear pair of winners, a gush of wind blew over the battlefield, with a streak of fire soon following it. This caused a layer of dust to disperse from the ground into the air, severely limiting visibility. A shadow of two humanoid figures appeared, while the same streak of fire went on, making everyone there sweat, caught and in general, feel uncomfortable.
'Meir and Cynthia.' Bliss sighed, slowly getting up from her position under the tree. 'Trust them to make an entrance.'
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\EarthBorn rereads chapter\
Yeah, I see it's kind of vague.
Anyhow, I was unable to start writing this chapter until three weeks after I finished Aura Sphere, so forgive me, but I've got to regain continuity with the story. I hope the next one feels more "at home".
See you then! Don't forget to review!