Note: Here it is... The final chapter, the epilogue... It was originally supposed to be included with the previous chapter, but I decided to separate it because I added a bonus sneak peak to a little scene from a possible sequel. Anyway, I thank you all very much for accompanying me all these times...
And so, we trudged home that day, feelings of joy still fresh on our hearts. Never did we realize that such a trip would take us in a wild ride through the stages of life.
As we arrived home, Blade smiled. Almost immediately, he excitedly rummaged through his pile of belongings. I simply stood back, wondering what he was up to.
"Rose, my dear," Blade knelt on one knee before me.
"Oh, Blade, skip the formalities," I dismissed, smiling, "What is-"
"Err, Rose, I'm very sorry about the fact that I won't be able to host a party or get you a ring or anything," he scratched his head.
"Oh, think nothing of it," I smiled, "Besides, I guess that's Ruse's way of saying hi to us..."
"You don't get it, Rose..." Blade nervously gave a chuckle, "I know I may not have enough cash for your ring, so will you take this instead?"
He tried to fit a rather colorful and elegant cupholder to my wrist.
"I spent a lot on trying to collect these, so it's only natural that I would want you to have the most precious one I own," he told me, still kneeling before me.
I fell silent, I knew this cupholder was nowhere near as precious as a wedding ring, but I began to feel it was way more precious than one now.
"Thank you, Blade... Thank you very much!" I smiled, tears streaming down my face.
That was the most sweetest present anyone had ever gotten me. So this ends pretty much most of my tale."
"So that's why you keep that cupholder so dearly? Ma?" a rather energetic Kirlia tugged at my arm just as I had finished telling her my tale.
"Yes, your father gave it as a present to me, why would I not hold it so dearly?" I replied to her.
Twenty years had passed, Blade and I had grown to be honorary members of Blaze's exploration team. In the past years, Blade had managed to earn back his Master rank, also giving us enough cash to construct a rather lofty home just outside Treasure Town. Although we live far apart from our friends, we still managed to hear from each other and have frequent visits.
Blade and I soon enough began to settle down in the outskirts of town. We lived there in peace, raising two children. Our first child was Ivy, she has grown into a rather stunning, if not rash and energetic Kirlia. Our second one was still in his younger stages, a Ralts, whom we named Rally... Even in his childhood, his timidity had often reminded me of Blade, who, despite our time together, is still as timid as ever.
"In other words, Ivy," I warmly explained, "Do not be too rash to judge the world... I've lived through it, and so shall you..."
"What about dad? Doesn't he have a say in this?" she spun around me, busily grabbing her things.
"Oh, you know him... Of course he'd tell you the same thing," I smiled, before taking away a pouch from her, "And I believe that belongs to your dad, Ivy..."
"Ehehe," she sheepishly grinned, "My fingers must've slipped..."
I sighed, if Ivy becomes a thief, well... Wouldn't that be something...
Just before Ivy was about to leave, the door flew open and Blade entered the house. He looked quite flustered, but still as disciplined as ever.
"I'm home... How's Rally?" he warmly asked.
"He's right here," I returned, carrying the young Ralts in my arms.
I gave Blade a warm kiss to which Ivy rolled her eyes at.
"Ma, shouldn't you be sending Rally off to his room?" she raised her eyebrows, "Don't you think that-"
"Rose! Did I pick the right time to intrude?" a familiar voice cut Ivy off.
I turned to the door to see Sandra, Celsus perched on top of her head as always. She waved around as a rather timid Vibrava hid behind her.
"Long time no see," Celsus yawned, "Still busy with work?"
"Oh, not really..." I smiled, still clutching Rally in my arms, "Besides, how's with you two?"
"Things are going great... Anyway, why not take the day off?" Sandra explained, "It's not like we visit everytime..."
Our short conversation was interrupted with Ivy suddenly breaking out into a rather loud conversation.
"Cas!" she sneered at the Vibrava hiding behind Sandra, "We haven't finished our game last time yet!"
"It was obvious that I'd win anyway," the Vibrava, leaving his timidity, quickly shot back.
The two flew to each other, face to face. Sandra and I could not help but just sigh. Cass was Sandra and Celsus's daughter... She is apparently the same age as Ivy, and while we thought they would et along, they'd formed a rather destructive, if not comedic, rivalry.
"What was that?" Ivy began to glare, "Are you saying that you'd win?"
"Oh course!" Cass sparked, her soft voice given a more competitive edge.
"There's only one way to determine this, battle me again!" Ivy scowled, dragging Cass outside the house.
"Wow, rather feisty, huh?" Sandra scratched her head, "I guess she does take after you..."
"Me? Hey, I am not that feisty," I joked around, "Sometimes, I wonder how they get along that well if they are constantly competitive..."
"Hey, if it weren't for Ivy, Cass wouldn't have gotten over her timidity... I guess with friends like Ivy, she wouldn't need enemies," Sandra stifled a giggle.
"Rose," Blade broke my train of thought, "Why is my pouch devoid of money?"
I turned around to see Blade juggling an empty money pouch identical to the one I confiscated from Ivy a moment ago.
"I thought I confiscated it from her a moment ago..." I muttered, my eyes wide open.
"I guess she takes after you very much, Rose," Blade and Sandra chimed in unison.
Swiftly, I ran through the door after my daughter... I guess it was entirely bothersome indeed... Despite feeling bothered, I couldn't help but let out a smile.
She's stolen my spotlight now, Ivy...
And so, this ends my tale, a tale of a thief, a hero, and a lover.
I shuddered in the dark. Cass sure wasn't lying when she told me that the forest was dark and scary... Scary? Nah... I sure as heck ain't gonna lose to that Vibrava!
Although I must admit, now that we are separated and lost... I wouldn't mind losing so long as I don't lose the way here...
"CASS!" I screamed, the sound reverberating through the dark trees, "WHERE ARE YOU? COME OUT SO THAT I CAN FINALLY BEAT YOU AND WIN! Cass? H-help?"
I shuddered... This was different. I was all alone in the woods, without my best friend/rival-to-be-defeated and away from my caring and loving parents...
M-maybe Aunt Ruse would save me, right? She frequently goes through woods like these, right? With the random visits she makes, she'll have to come across me sometime, right? Someday?
I sighed, I had to he strong... I knew I couldn't get out of this alone... So I need to find Cass first.
All of a sudden, just as I began to move, anode figure suddenly emerged from the bushes.
"Good afternoon, hope you didn't bother my rather, unintentional intrusion here," a refined voice calmly spoke.
I whirled around to face the figure. There I saw a Kirlia, although his color was rather different... Instead of green, blue enshrouded most of his hair... He stood still, balancing on one foot and poised all up while blowing through a flute he held the other way. He was eccentric all right, but what caught my attention the most was his waist. Strapped around it was a rather odd wooden... sword?
"W-what do you want from me?" I suspiciously asked.
"Hmm... You're Ivy, aren't you? Daughter of the rather famous... Rose here, right? My mother apparently has some connections with yours, but I must save that for another day," he bowed, playing a soft mellow with his flute, "Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Ivan."
"What do you know about my mother? Who is your mother?" I skeptically asked.
"Did I not tell you that is a tale for another time?" Ivan replied, still balancing on a single foot, "There is only one tale for today, and that tale is whether or not, you live up to your mother's skill! Face me, then, and I shall see how much you truly have grown!"
Without warning, he quickly tossed his flute up in the air, quickly jumping up to catch it between his legs and, at the same time, begin a Calm Mind.
"There's no way out of this, is there?" I groaned, launching a Shadow Ball at him.
He smiled as he saw my attack. Quickly, before he landed, he thrust out his wooden sword straight down to the ground, he quickly landed on the tip with one foot, effectively balancing on it while sheathing his flute on the sword's sheath. Immediately, his figure, still standing on the balanced sword, began to form multiple copies, Double Team.
"Plus difficile, mon cherié," he taunted, dodging the Shadow Ball, "Make this a bit more challenging, will you?"
"My move, then... Psychic!" he snapped.
All of a sudden, several translucent cards emerged around me. They all bore the same symbol of a spade. Before long, I was quickly pressed inside, and I could feel my head hurting as I was squashed by the several cards, before they disappeared. I shuddered in fear, how could his Psychic have gotten this strong?
"I still have some tricks too!" I snarled, launching several Shadow Balls, and slyly using Teleport to manipulate their flow.
"Ah, wise indeed," Ivan calmly smiled, jumping off his sword and grabbing it with two fingers, recalling all his illusory copies, "But one who enjoys the path of battle must always be prepared!"
He quickly spun around, slashing almost all my Shadow Balls in half. Only the last one hit, which took him by surprise.
"Hmm... I guess that you possess some skill..." he smiled, suddenly catching his sword between his teeth, "But I believe you lack experience, my stunning Ivy..."
Quickly, he suddenly hit me with a rather swift Psychic. His odd way of using Psychic still remained, several cards rose around me and tried to press around me, but I managed to dodge it this time. I quickly launched another Shadow Ball at him, to which he smiled and dodged.
"Hmm... It seems that you are working your very best... I should do so too," he suddenly dropped his sword.
Swiftly, he used Psychic and created the translucent cards again, but this time, he jumped over them and used them like steps. He quickly jumped down and landed a Thunderbolt at me, while manipulating all the cards around me to press me. My mind felt nothing but pain, and the last thing I saw before the dusk of unconsciousness was a rather hellish spade.
Note: This is it. I thank everyone for making this all possible. Special thanks to lordrereland, eiuolfyd, MysteriousMystery, and all of you who reviewed! Thank you all, and may we meet again in another work! I might as well rest up for now, as I have a load of exams to prepare for. Please review, and we'll see if a sequel is possible.