--Since this is a sequel, you might want to read its predecessor, 'Dragon Rider Chronicles' first. It's recommended, by not entirely necessary.
--The series title 'Kaze no Kaeru' is Japanese and roughly translates to 'Winds of Change'.
Pokemon and all related trademarks belong to Nintendo. The story, its original contents and ideas, and any original characters belong to the author and cannot be used or reprinted without the author's permission.
Alone in the Rain
A raindrop hit my forehead, arousing me from my sleep. Blinking, I sat up, brushing the falling leaves and water out of my face. I dropped down to a lower tree branch to get a little more shelter from the storm.
Alone in the rain...
However, most of my life had been rather gloomy lately.
My name is Nightslice.
Odd name, you'll be thinking. Odd name for a human, that is. But I'm not.
I slashed my pair of sword-like claws about, flexing my muscles. I stretched my wings, cramped after I'd been lying on them the whole night.
That's right, I'm a Scyther. A friend once said that I looked like a praying mantis crossed with a Velociraptor, which I suppose describes me fairly well. When I still had friends with me, that is.
How long ago was that? Hmmm... just two months? Feels like years longer.
And that was when I could be around others.
It should be fairly obvious then, that I'm no ordinary Scyther. That's true to a frightening extent. I can speak the language of the humans, which isn't bad at times, but there's still something else.
A dark power dwells within my being, a dark power even I can't fully control. Someday, it just may take over. That's why I had to leave the others.
Kris...Firestorm...Jade...and all the rest.
I'm afraid of myself, afraid of what I can and may do.
What I'm about to tell you may not matter, but please, stay a while and hear me out.
This is my story...
I was a product of genetic experiments. Born in a lab, created with the viscous power of my breed and human-level intelligence. The scientists then thought they could control life itself. They thought they could play God.
They went a step too far.
I joined forces with Firestorm, then a Charmeleon who'd been captured by the humans, and together, we escaped confinement.
Turned out that the lab was funded by Giovanni, leader of Team Rocket. Soon, we had the criminal organization hot on our heels.
Firestorm, as far as I could tell, was recaptured. I escaped, only to face a greater torment. In a battle high atop the Snowy Mountains, I fell into an icy cavern and would remain buried there for the next 5 years, literally frozen in time.
That was where Kris came in. An orphan who'd been adopted by the late Ninja Master, Wang Long. She'd been trained as a Ninja and had faked her age to get into Team Rocket, where she met Firestorm.
Her noble soul and Firestorm's ferocious courage soon forged a bond, which led them to flee Team Rocket together. Coincidentally, the place they took to hiding was the Snowy Mountains.
On one of their expeditions, they liberated me from that icy grave. Miraculously, I survived and eventually fully recovered. Even though I suffered from amnesia, those times we spent there together were the truly happy days of my life.
Ultimately, we did return to the civilized world and our journey began. Personally, it was a journey of startling revelations and self-discovery.
It was soon revealed that Firestorm was descended from Harasalt, a legendary Holy Dragon who fought Kaiser, his dark counterpart.
And Kaiser was my ancestor.
Prophecies foretold that the Dark Dragon would rise again, and we hoped to prevent it. One Pokemon of light, one of darkness, with equilibrium of Yin and Yang balanced.
Joined by a brash young man called Jade, we sought out hidden Sacred and Forbidden Skills, fought in both trainer and gym battles to maintain our cover, against Team Rocket and Kaiser's forces, led by my biological father, Alugard.
I was tempted several times to join Alugard in his quest for the destruction of humanity, and each time, I refused.
Then came the revelation that I possessed part of Kaiser's spirit. I was the one foretold who would resurrect the Dark God. While it granted me the ability to transform into power warrior known as the Knight Blazer and rendered me virtually immortal, though not impervious to damage, it was one of the most difficult things to accept.
I felt that I was the master of my fate, that no prophecy could control my destiny. That I could still fight alongside my friends for what I believed in.
Then, I lost control of the Knight Blazer and attacked Kris. Though I managed to stop myself from killing her, I realized that I was a threat to everyone I cared about.
Kris and I had grown pretty close during our adventures and I still dreaded the thought of what could've happened.
Even Alugard seemed to have been trying to convince me of that fact. I wonder if he was right after all?
I had to leave. I had to run. To get away. If I could hide away for eternity, by myself, I could shatter the prophecy for good. Then, I wouldn't able to cause harm to anyone else.
But the dreams, they would never leave me.
Fires...battle... what I could do...what I wanted...what I would do...NO!
I roared, snapping my jaws and slashing my blades at empty air. It took several minutes of deep breathing to calm down.
Just that dream...
I'd fallen asleep again. That dream was the one where my past would play out in front of me, like a movie. Then, it would turn into a nightmare.
I shook my head and jumped down to the forest floor.
Time to get back to reality.
Life in the wild was harsh and dangerous. Especially for me, a domesticated Pokemon who'd never lived without humans. In the past two months, I've had to learn how to survive on my own, by myself. And had practically starved myself trying learn how to hunt.
Except you can't die. The voice in my head reminded me.
The choice to take my own life would've been something I would've actually considered, provided it was applicable to me.
I had to keep moving too. The Fuchsia region was populated by all sorts of nasty Pokemon, and not many friendly ones.
Then there were humans, always on the lookout for a new Pokemon to capture. I had to be particularly cautious around them.
I prayed that I wouldn't accidentally run into Kris and the others. I couldn't face them again, not just yet at least.
Still, the hunting was good here and I'd decided to stay a while more before moving on to find a more permanent home.
I'd never really figured out whether Scyther were carnivorous or not, but if my digestive system could handle human food, I figured I'd be able to consume whatever was edible.
I trudged down to the lake and managed to snap a couple of medium-sized fish out of the water, which I quickly gulped down. I then lowered my snout and took a nice long drink.
As I did so, my gaze fell upon my reflection on the water's surface. It had been a while since I actually took time to look and I was shocked to find that I barely recognized myself anymore.
Unkempt hair, worn skin, roughened scales. I really looked like a wild Pokemon now. However, the scar that ran all the way from my left forehead, between my eyes and down to the right side of my jaws was still clearly visible. A little 'memento' Alugard had given me.
Then I heard the scream. To be more precise, the distress call. It was a female...and she was in trouble!
Now, wild Pokemon don't generally have a too good sense of honor; that was a human thing, after all. But something simply made me spread my wings and head straight towards the source of the noise.
The next few seconds was a mad dash, cutting tree limbs out of my way and evading those I couldn't chop up in time.
I finally found the female. It was a relatively young Scyther, surrounded by five Pinsir.
Damn...sometimes I just hate my nature...
The first one never saw me coming. I drove my scythes through the softer, lightly armored sections on his back, ripping his innards out. Posing over the fallen one's carcass, I roared out a battle cry.
The other four came towards me all at once.
I leapt over the first, used the second as a springboard and rammed into the third. The force of the blow catapulted the unfortunate bug straight into the horns of his comrade, fatally impaling him.
Immediately, I turned around and blocked the deadly horns of the one behind. It was still a two-on-one and I found myself in a frantic adrenaline rush.
I was still busy hacking at the first two when the third surviving one came up behind me. Desperately, I rolled away to avoid the impending blow and was unable to recover in time.
All at once, they launched an excellently coordinated attack. One took my feet out from under me and the second immediately tackled me in mid-air, sending me sprawling over. I'd barely had time to taste the dirt in my mouth when the last one leapt onto my back, pinning my chest and arms against the ground and rendering my blades useless.
I screamed in agony as he grasped my neck in his claws.
Then, I felt it.
I saw the purple energy glowing around me body. Charged by an unholy energy, I heaved up and threw the Pinsir off my back.
I let lose a nightmarish roar. Next thing I knew, I was looking through a red visor.
No...I didn't want to do this!
I looked down at the black-clad armor that covered most of my body. Only a single sliver section ran along my chest. My body still retained its normal shape and posture, with two exceptions; the pair of twin machine guns mounted on my waist and my claws, which had been modified so that a five-fingered hand was hidden beneath each of them. It was a sight I dreaded.
It was the Knight Blazer, Kaiser's spirit, and it had taken control of me.
My claws were covered in the body fluids of one of the bugs, and I realized I'd cleanly carved another Pinsir in two. The two survivors were hesitating, panicked and stricken with fear.
I attacked, and made a nice hole in the body of the closest one. The final one had already turned to run, but I wouldn't let him escape. It was a quick chase, and I caught him by the horns and swung him headfirst into a pile of sharp rocks, penetrating his exoskeleton and splitting his skull.
I stood there panting as I reverted back to normal. The mere sight of what I'd just done made me absolutely sick to my stomach. And even the armor hadn't spared me the painful act of having my opponents' body fluids splattered all over me.
Yet, this wasn't the end of my problems.
There was a faint rustling of leaves and one Scyther after another appeared. The female's swarm apparently. They were led by a battle-scared Scizor, who stood and watched me with a distinct sense of curiosity.
Obviously, they'd never seen anything like my powers and were unsure of what to do.
I didn't know much about my own species in the wild, but I did know that they didn't fancy intruders, other Scyther included. And picking a fight with a wild Scyther swarm is not something you'd want to do to keep yourself healthy.
I growled and roared out some illegible statements. Several of them backed off, but most held their ground. I stared the Scizor straight in the eye as I continued snarling and backing away. Far away enough for me to get a head start whilst fleeing.
Word can't explain how thankful I was that none of them decided to follow me.
Later that day, I was seated on a cliff overlooking the sea in an utterly depressed mood.
There I went again. Dammit, will I never be free of this? I hung my head low. Not matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to get away. Kris...despite all you've been through, you're lucky, you know? He just won't leave me alone. Why me? Of all the Pokemon in the world, WHY ME? I never asked for any of this! What did I do to deserve this?!
I couldn't sit still any longer.
Goddammit! Answer me!!
I sprang to my feet and screamed into empty air.
"Now someone's had a bad day."
I started, looking around for the source of the voice. It was in human speech.
"Sssrraa...hhrraa..." I cleared my throat, "Whhho aarr you?! Ssaaow yourrrssself!!"
After spending so long in silence, my speaking abilities had rapidly begun to deteriorate.
"I'm not one you'll see with your eyes alone, son of Kaiser. " the gentle feminine voice continued.
I paused and reached out with my mind. Indeed, I could sense her aura. Not that of any ordinary being, but something more. Closer to what I felt around Alugard.
"Indeed, I am what you think. Your desire something, so come to my chamber where we can talk."
I searched around and found a set of steps carved into the cliff face that I hadn't noticed before. I followed them downwards, flying into a cavern just at sea level. Fortunately, the tide was out or the cave would've been flooded.
My eyes were built for darkness and they adjusted quickly to the dim lighting conditions. As I walked, the only sounds were that of my feet splashing in the puddles and my own shallow breathing. I rounded a corner, which severely cut off the amount of sunlight that was streaming in through the entrance.
Then I saw her.
At first, it seemed like an indescribable mass of mist and light. Then a shape slowly begun to take form. The shimmering form of a Ninetales gracefully stepped forward, swaying her tails behind in a smoothing motion. The pinkish light emitted from her body gave off the feeling of a peaceful tranquil.
"Well met, my lord. I am the spirit of Euphoria."
"Yrrou...arrr...Are you a Knight of Kaiser?" I asked, struggling not to get my tongue tangled.
"Indeed. I have remained bound here, awaiting your arrival."
"Rroo...doon't seem like the type that would ssrr...serve him."
"Time, changes many of us." she closed her eyes, "Nevertheless, I remain duty bound."
"Then forget it!" I snapped, actually getting all my words right. "I may be the chosen one, I will not follow the prophecy, even if I have to live eternity in denial. Kaiser will not raise again!"
I turned to walk away, but a will-o'-the-wisp flashed in front of my face.
"No one said you had to." She said.
"I have nothing to discuss with you." I growled stubbornly heading for the exit.
"Please hear me out, my lord."
I took a few more steps before I paused and reconsidered.
"Perhaps, I do." I turned around, "Maybe you can answer some of my questions."
"As you wish, my lord."
"Am I truly immortal?" I went directly to the point.
"That depends of your point of view." Euphoria replied after a short pause.
"What do you mean?"
"Kaiser's spirit will heal any wound that would've otherwise proved fatal. This even includes incineration, in which the flesh will reform itself. Though it has no effect on other forms of injury, it does enhance the physical healing process."
"I've pretty much figured that part out."
"But his spirit is also the lifeblood of your survival. Separated from it, and you'll evaporate, disappear as if you never were. The only weapon capable of doing that is one of Harasalt's Scared skills."
"Those are out of the question." I spoke immediately. Even possessing those very skills, Firestorm would never willingly strike me down, much less try to kill me.
"Oh, and there is one other way I know of." she grinned.
The Ninetales leapt up beside me and put a ghostly paw on my shoulder.
"That's through decapitation."
"Great..." I muttered, not exactly thrilled.
"But, there is a little side effect to that."
"Side effect? Won't I already be dead?"
"Not really. You see, your mind and heart must function as one." She tapped her head and chest for emphasis. "When separated, your body is meant to die, however your mind can't because Kaiser's spirit won't let you."
"Could you explain that in simple words?" I regretted that sentence the instant the words were out of my mouth.
"Basically, you'll be conscious the whole time. Head lying off all alone in some desolate place. You'll try to scream, but your vocal cords have been cut. Then maggots and other crawlers will start creeping in through you ears and nose. They'll slowly begin eating your brains from inside out. Then, all senses fade away and they start going for the raw flesh. And you'll feel every moment of its..."
I bolted round the corner and promptly lost my breakfast, lunch and dinner.
"Did you have to describe it so explicitly?!" I coughed, swallowing back bile.
"I'm sorry," she suppressed a laugh, "But it's only been a few thousand years since I've had a body. Anyway, I'm sure death would not be your ideal means of escape."
She'd read me pretty well. I had one last thing to ask. Taking a deep breath, I prepared to be disappointed.
"Yes, as long as I'm in this body," I tapped a claw against my chest, "as long as I'm a Scyther, a Pokemon, I realize I'll never be able to escape from this...situation."
"My powers function as long as I'm a Pokemon, but humans had different origins from us and as such..."
"The Forbidden powers would be sealed away," She finished, "Although lying dormant within."
"This is what you felt I desired earlier on, I believe." I continued, heart pounding. "That I wish to become a human."
Euphoria was silent for a while, then she chuckled.
"You know, in all my years of lingering around as a spirit, I've heard of humans wanting to become Pokemon, but almost never the reverse."
"CAN you do it?" I queried seriously.
The spectral Ninetales immediately stopped giggling, realizing that I was dead serious. She nodded slowly.
"Even if I do not agree with your decision, I am obliged to fulfill your wish, my lord." She said, "So, you desire for me to make you a human?"
"Yes." I said.
"Is that your final decision?" she asked, with a slight hint of humor in her voice.
"Yes, it is." I replied immediately.
"So be it then..."
Then, it seemed like a dream come true. I never considered anything else. And now, I wonder, was that all a really big mistake?