Journey's End

The sound of a cargo ship's horn blared as it pulled into Vermillion City's harbor. Ashton, his hand raised to his brow to filter out the sunlight, glared at the distant vessel as he disembarked from the ferry. "What a wretched noise. Do they all sound like that these days?"

Lucius nodded, "Afraid so, Ashton. But now we need to find Shadow and the Blackflame clan's Alpha. They were supposed to meet us here, right?"

Ashton led Lucius, Night Claw, Tia, and the Skydiamond Oracle gangplank as other passengers passed them. "Not used to being around so many humans…" Tia muttered as she followed her companions.

Upon reaching the dock, the Oracle asked, "So, we need to locate a 'Shadow'?"

Ashton glanced around, "No need. Here he comes now."

Hopping across cargo containers was a pair of Lucario, one missing his chest spike. "Hey, how'd the trip go?"

Ashton smiled as Shadow and his father stood before him. "Went quite well, as you can see. And you are the Alpha male of the Blackflame clan?"

Shadow's father replied, "Yes. I am Phantom. And you are Ashton?"

The viscount replied as he shook the Alpha's hand. "I am. Allow me to introduce you to my friends here."

He then turned to face the four Lucario standing behind him. "Tia, Oracle, I would like you to meet Shadow. He has been a trusted companion of mine for some time now."

Phantom then stepped forward and extended his hand to Night Claw and Tia. "Lady Night Claw and Lady Tia, I presume?"

Night Claw smiled as she shook his hand. "Night Claw of the Ironspike clan of Sinnoh."

Tia followed suit, "Tia of the Skydiamond clan."

Phantom then extended his hand to the Oracle, but paused. "Um… And you are?"

The Oracle shook his hand with his/her spare hand, "I am the Skydiamond clan's Oracle. I accompany Tia during clan business."

Tia then asked, "So, Ashton, where is Lucy and the others right now?"

Ashton replied, "They live in Pallet Town. We can get there across the bay."

Night Claw then asked, "Are they expecting us?"

Ashton nodded, "I sent a Fire Clone ahead to them just before we boarded the ferry to let them know we were on our way back. I'm sure they've already sent out invitations and begun preparations by now."

Lucius smiled, "Now we just need to wait for our extra guests to… Oh, never mind. Here they come now." The Shiny Lucario looked back up the gangplank, a few more familiar faces beginning to walk down towards them.

"Everything is prepared and ready?" Aurora asked as she walked along a long table set out at the very back of the Crimson estate's courtyard. Lining it were numerous steel dishes containing a wide variety of foods with small oil candles underneath that had not yet been lit.

Zandria smiled, "Absolutely. Chiara flew out to sea and saw the ferry that was coming from the Sinnoh. If my guess is correct, it should've docked in Vermillion City by now. Ashton and the others should be here before we know it." She then breathed deeply the scent of the food she had only just finished preparing. "Mmmm, can't remember the last wedding I attended. Gonna be a very special one."

Aurora inhaled the aroma of Zandria's cooking, "I'm sure our guests will have no desire to leave after tasting all this."

However, Zandria then asked, "Um… Aurora? As awesome as your body is, don't you think that attire is a bit too revealing?"

Having taken a liking to her more humanoid form that Ashton had helped her take on, Aurora had chosen to remain in her anthro form more often than not. To avoid drawing too much attention, she clad herself in an orange cloth brassiere and an equally orange loincloth. However, it still left the majority of her beautiful alluring body exposed. "I just like to feel the wind against me. Call it my connection with the north wind."

Out in the fields around Pallet Town, Pearl was watching over the children as they romped and played in the tall grass. "Don't wander too far!" The Genetrix called out.

"We won't, Mommy!" Sol replied as he waved at his mother.

Hiding below the grass, Lucash inched about, trying to catch one of his siblings. "I see you, Saffron…" He muttered, seeing the form of Lucy's daughter sticking out up ahead. But just as he was about to pounce, something ran up behind him and gave his tail a strong yank.

"OW! What the…?" Lucash helped as he turned around. He barely caught sight of Loki running away from him and into tall grass. "C'mere, you rat!"

Lucash took off in pursuit of the cheeky Riolu, not having much of a view of the area around him. "Where'd you… THERE YOU ARE!" Lucash shouted as he pounced upon seeing some movement in the grass.

Wait… You're… AH!" Lucash shrieked as a trio of Spearow suddenly assaulted him. "I'm sorry! I thought you were my bratty…. LEAVE ME ALONE!" The Lucario child stood up and ran while shielding his head, the sound of Loki laughing from somewhere in the field of tall grass filling the air.

In the Ketchum household, Ash was looking over a white tuxedo that had been custom tailored for him. "Wow, that looks spiffy. Where'd you get this, Mom?"

Delia smiled, "You like it? I ordered it all the way from Saffron City. I had to make sure I didn't tell them it was for my son's 'wedding' though. They probably would've thought you are a midget."

Ash snickered, "Oh, come on. I'm not that shrimpy!" He then crossed his arms as he began to think, "But now that I think about it, I was shorter than Brock and even Misty back when I first started being a Pokémon Trainer. Have I grown any?"

Delia giggled, "I think you've grown a few inches since you first left for Sinnoh. I'd say you'll get pretty tall before long."

Ash then smiled, "Well, thanks for the suit, Mom. I better go check on the kids. Sounds like Loki's messing with Lucash again."

Delia chuckled, "Oh, that little imp never stops. He really takes after his mother."

Once Ash had gone out the door, Delia glanced around before peeking in on Lucy in the bathroom. "Is it just the way you wanted?"

Lucy smiled, "It's wonderful. Honestly, I never expected it to be this…beautiful."

Delia smiled, "I made sure that no one knew about it. You wanted to keep it a surprise for your sweetheart, right?"

Lucy blushed while smiling, "Yes… I want this to be a surprise."

Before they could discuss anything further, Ruby burst into the house. "Delia, Lucy! They're back! Hurry up and come out here!"

Lucy gasped, "They're back?"

Delia smiled, "Hang it up in the closet! No one's going to look in there today." Lucy did as she was told and followed Delia outside and towards the southern edge of Pallet Town.

"OK, why is there a mob running towards us?" Tia asked as she stood with her companions while a slew of figures were rapidly approaching.

Lucius chuckled, "Them? Oh, that's just the welcoming wagon."

Ash ran up to Tia and smiled, "Hey there, Tia! Did Ashton have any trouble finding you?"

The Skydiamond Alpha chuckled, "I do not believe so, child. One of our Demonslayers escorted him to me. And before I forget, aren't you being bonded to Lucy today?"

Ruby ran up alongside Ash, "Not just her! I'm in the mix too!"

The Oracle stared at Ruby for a moment. "Wait a moment… You as well? Then…" The Oracle then looked at Ashton, "Sir Ashton, just how many maidens are being bound to this boy today?"

Ashton covered his mouth as he tried to not laugh. "Bear with me, please. A total of five maidens are being bonded to him today. Well, if you include my daughter, that is." Latias let out an obvious giggle at her father's words.

Tia scratched her head, "Five… It's been quite some time since I last heard of a Lucario having that many mates… Tell me, Ash. Isn't it tricky spreading out your affections to all of them equally?"

The Trainer chuckled as his three Lucario and one Genetrix lover cuddled up against him. "Honestly, I thought it wasn't gonna be easy. But after a while, it all felt natural. I guess when you have plenty of love, anything like this will work out."

Tia smiled, "Love strong enough to always be with the…" She paused, noticing that others were listening in.

In Tia's mind, she heard the Oracle speak via the use of his/her Aura. "It is for the best that we do not discuss the Cursed Angel in front of outsiders, Lady Tia."

With a silent nod, Tia spoke, "Oh, you know what I mean. Right?"

Ash winked at her, "Yup. I'm not leaving her for anything."

Phantom then stepped forward, his gaze directed to Ruby. "No spikes… Excuse me, miss. Are you by any chance that Lucario who departed from the Blackflame clan almost two years ago?"

Ruby glared at Phantom, "I am. And you better not give me any lip about it. I'm not putting up with any of your prejudice anymore. Mock me and I'll squash you."

Phantom stared at Ruby with his jaw hanging open. "My word… Shadow was right. You really are nothing like that timid little maiden from so long ago."

At the Blackflame Alpha's words, Ruby raised an eyebrow. "Huh? He told you about me?"

Phantom nodded and smiled, "He did. And I am impressed by how much you've grown. What a beautiful lass you've turned out to be."

Ruby's stare remained stern as she replied, "That's awfully cordial, coming from Thanatos' right-hand man."

At Ruby's words, Phantom sighed, "I will not deny serving as Thanatos' second-in-command was a poor choice for my public image. But trust me when I say that law has been stamped out. It is absurd and prejudice and I will not tolerate it being followed during my reign." He then bowed, "For everything you were put through, I apologize."

Phantom's heartfelt apology caught Ruby by surprise. "You're serious? You're not pulling my leg?" When Phantom nodded, Ruby smiled, "Well… OK, I forgive you. But in hindsight, I guess it all worked out for the best. I mean, if I never left my clan…" She then grabbed Ash and pulled him close for a one-armed embrace, "I never would've met this sweetheart." The three of them laughed in unison.

Pearl then stepped forward, "Same here, Phantom. If I never followed my sister, I never would've found my match."

However, Phantom stared in bewilderment. "That voice… Pearl? What happened to you?"

The Genetrix giggled, "Don't recognize me? I didn't think it was possible either. But I…well…I evolved! I'm a Genetrix now."

Phantom replied, "Genetrix? What is it?"

Ash replied, "It's a specie of Pokémon that isn't seen very often in Hoenn, Sinnoh, or most other regions. Thanks to that, there's next to no info on it. But she's every bit as tough as before!"

Pearl nodded, "He's right. If anything, I've only become a stronger fighter than before. I can use TWO Aura Whips at once now!"

Phantom whistled in surprise, "Two, eh? That is quite a feat. In any case, I wish the two of you well in your new lives. And don't worry about your role in the Blackflame Five, Pearl. I found a replacement for you."

The Genetrix grumbled, "I pray it's solely for defensive purposes."

Phantom nodded, "I assure you that things have drastically improved in Hoenn. We've even made contact with a handful of clans that escaped Thanatos' reign. Your replacement in the unit is from one of those clans."

The mention of survivors made Pearl's heart leap. "Escaped? There are clans who got away from us?"

Phantom smiled, "Yes. And we are steadily improving relations."

Pearl's stance became unsteady as she dropped to her knees. "Thank god… I…feel a little better now…"

As the newcomers chatted with their hosts, Loki was inching around the Oracle. At one point, Shadow asked, "Excuse me… Oracle? I've been watching you and….. Are you a man or a woman?"

Ashton winced as he saw the Oracle glance sharply at Shadow before bopping him between the eyes with his/her staff. "How rude."

"Ow! Forget I asked!" Shadow yelped as rubbed himself on the forehead.

As he watched the Oracle harshly dismiss Shadow's inquiry into his/her gender, he began to smirk mischievously. "Loki, what're you up to?" Rukaria asked quietly from behind her son as he began to reach for the Oracle's blue shorts.

The Riolu looked up at his mother and snickered, "The Oracle is hiding something and I'm gonna see what it is!" But as he reached for the Oracle's shorts, Rukaria snatched him up. "Hey!"

Rukaria held her finger up to her son's face. "No. That's going too far. You don't pants someone in front of their hosts." The Riolu groaned and began to pout, irritated that he was unable to finish his prank.

However, Saffron had been listening in nearby. She then gazed up at the Oracle from the side. The Skydiamond Oracle's form seemed somewhat boyish, but the voice was similar to that of a girl's. And the way Loki had been reaching for his/her shorts showed that he knew something of how to tell the difference between girls and boys. And that the best way to tell them apart was hidden under their pants.

The Shiny Riolu inched behind the Oracle, who was locked in conversation with Zandria and Tia. (Is the Oracle a girl or boy?) She said to herself as she gripped the bottom of the Oracle's blue shorts and yanked them down.

"Did the wind suddenly kick up?" The Oracle asked as he/she felt a breeze against his/her upper legs.

Tia glanced down before suppressing a snicker. "So that's why you always used the ladies room at that inn back in Sinnoh."

Zandria burst into laughter as the Oracle's face became alit with a deep blush. She looked down, her shorts around her ankles with her womanhood visible for all to see.

Ash covered his face with one hand, "Loki!"

However, Loki was still being held by his mother. "Wasn't me, Daddy!"

Ash's eyes trailed around just as the Oracle turned around and glared down at Saffron. Ash asked, "Saffron? You?"

The Shiny Riolu smiled, "It was me, Daddy. Is Miss Oracle a girl?"

The Oracle surprised everyone with a furious shout. "How dare you! You do not pull someone's pants off in front of others!"

The sudden outburst startled Saffron into falling down. "But… I…"

The Oracle fumed, "What is wrong with you? What gave you the impression I would not mind you doing this to me, you little whelp? Have you no…" The Oracle paused in her tirade as Saffron broke down crying.

"Miss Oracle, please! No more!" Lucy pleaded as she rushed to her daughter and cradled her in her arms. "I swear she meant no harm. Her curiosity only got the better of her. Please, don't yell anymore."

The Oracle stood ramrod stiff as everyone around her stared silently at her. "Well… Uh… I suppose children will be children… But honestly, do try to keep a better eye on your child's activities from now on. I was being fairly lenient this time, even if I did seem to fly off the handle."

Tia then chuckled, "Then pull yourself back onto the handle and your shorts back up to your waistline." There was laughter all around the Oracle as she stiffly pulled her shorts back up.

Once he had finished laughing, Ashton asked, "If it is no trouble, may I ask why you are so touchy about revealing your gender to others, Oracle?"

The Oracle averted her gaze, "I suppose you can say it is my guilty pleasure to keep messing with the heads of everyone around me. It's entertaining to see some view me as a man and others as a woman and listen to them gossip about it without ever knowing the truth." She then gave Ashton a stern stare, "To that effect, I would appreciate it if this discovery of yours remains here in Pallet Town. I do not want the rest of the Skydiamond clan to hear about this."

Ashton bowed, "You have my word as a knight."

Lucy then cradled her daughter in her arms, "That was close. You're lucky she was so forgiving, Saffron. Now, say you're sorry to the Oracle."

The Shiny Riolu dried her tears and spoke shyly, "I'm sorry, Miss Oracle…"

The Oracle nodded, "You are forgiven. But you really shouldn't do that to anyone. I gave you a harsh scolding while just about anyone else would have given you a harsh spanking."

Saffron winced, having heard of spankings before. "That would hurt… I'll behave from now on."

However, a voice from just behind the group spoke, "Well, pluck mah tail feathers and call my baldy. Nevah would've thought mah own lil' sis would be a mom someday."

Lucy gasped, "That voice… Ashton, you didn't…"

The viscount chuckled, "Did I not mention that? On our way back, we bumped into a couple of familiar faces who were eager to come along for the ride."

Rukaria asked, "A couple? Who?"

Another voice spoke, "I think you can guess, Rukaria."

Everyone turned south to see a familiar Blaziken and abnormally tall Shiny Lucario with a narrow sword on her back. "Kazeerah! And… Hang on, who're you?" Ash spoke as he laid eyes on the surprise guests.

The Lucario smiled, "What do you mean? We met before some months ago. Although I do believe Sir Ashton said you were ill at the time."

Ash cocked his head to one side, "I…was? What was I sick with?"

Ashton gulped nervously, remembering his first encounter with her while Ash was still deceased as a result of being slain by the rogue Lucario known as Outcast. "Oh, I suspect you were sleepwalking at the time, Ash. This is Lady Shield. She is an old acquaintance of Rukaria's."

"Whoa. Nice to meet ya." Ash spoke as he smiled at Shield. He then turned to look at Rukaria. "She an old friend of yours, Rukaria?"

The blind Lucario barged right past her lover. "Yes!"

She then sailed into Shield's arms as Lucy also ran to her old friend. "Good ta see ya again, Lucy. And… Well, who's this lil' cutie?" The Blaziken asked, seeing Saffron being cradled in her mother's arms.

Lucy smiled brightly, "This is your niece, Kazeerah. Say hello, Saffron."

The Shiny Riolu smiled as she waved at the Blaziken. "Hello, Miss Kazeerah. I like your hat."

Lucy then asked, "Hat? Wait a minute, why are you wearing that hat, Kazeerah?"

Kazeerah chuckled, "Ah thought it suits mah style." Resting atop her head was a brown hat that would easily fit the style of an old-western gunslinger. What was more, two leather strips were tied around Kazeerah's forearms while the ends dangled from them. "But anyway, it's nice ta meet ya, Saffron." Kazeerah reached out and gently shook the Shiny Riolu's hand.

Saffron giggled, "You're really tall, Aunt Kazeerah."

Kazeerah chuckled, "That's what they all say. Now, before ah ferget, who's the lucky bloke who won yer heart, Lucy?"

Lucy blushed deeply, "He's…right over there." Kazeerah then turned her head and gazed at Ash, who was locked in conversation with Shield and Rukaria while trying to keep Loki out of trouble.

After a moment of trying to figure out if Lucy was pointing towards Ash or possibly Shadow, Kazeerah glanced at Lucy out of the corner of her eye. "Ah was right, wasn't I? It was Ash?"

Lucy gulped, "You knew?"

Kazeerah chuckled while crossing her arms, "Ah had a hunch back when we parted ways at that fork in the road a while back. Ah even wrote a lil' somethin'…um…" She then began to rummage through the sling bag resting against her hip and pulled out her journal, flipped through its pages before turning it around so Lucy could read it. "Right 'ere."

Lucy leaned closer to get a better look at it. "Looks like Lucy's found that special someone. But who could it be? Guess I'll be finding out next time I bump into them."

"Did ah hit the nail on the head?" Kazeerah asked with a smirk.

Lucy giggled, "No. You dropped a ten ton weight on it, sending all the way through the planet and out the other side." The two sisters let out a hearty laugh before embracing each other tightly. "I missed you, Kazeerah."

Kazeerah smiled as she held Lucy against herself, "Ah missed ya too, sis. It's been way too long."

While everyone was busy in conversation, Ash and Phantom stood back while watching Rukaria struggling to keep Loki from climbing up Shield and grabbing the hilt of her sword.

"Ash, was it?" Phantom asked, his eyes watching the oddly-colored Riolu child.

Ash nodded, "Yup."

Phantom then asked, "It was you who eliminated Thanatos and the rest of the Blackflame Five, right?"

Ash sighed, "Yeah… Can't say I'm all that proud of it though."

However, Phantom smiled faintly, "Don't be ashamed. Take it from someone who was his right-hand man. He was a scourge to Hoenn and an embarrassment to all Lucario. As the current Alpha of the Blackflame clan, I thank you."

Ash nodded, "Thanks, but tell that to my kids. Lucash's evolution was way premature thanks to Thanatos. I just hope he and Sapphire have forgotten by now."

Just before anyone else could continue speaking, Delia clapped her hands several times. "That's enough, everyone! Any further conversations can wait. We're all here for a very special occasion, aren't we?"

Night Claw nodded, "Oh, right. Sorry if we got carried away."

Delia then smiled, "And besides, you all must be tired from that long trek from Hoenn and Sinnoh. Come with me and I'll get you all some refreshments."

Tia nodded, "That would be appreciated, Mrs. Ketchum."

Chiara then spoke, "And the rest of us shall prepare for the ceremony." The entire group then began to head back into Pallet Town, although Ashton began to head toward the western edge of town instead.

A short while later, Tia, Phantom, Night Claw, and the Skydiamond Oracle were sipping tea as Delia was putting the finishing touches on an apple pie. "So, you all come from different clans?" Delia asked as she began to cut the pie.

Phantom nodded, "Yes. I am from the Blackflame clan while Night Claw and Tia hail from the Ironspike and Skydiamond clans respectively. Or was it the other way around?"

Night Claw chuckled, "No, you got them right." She then looked at Tia and the Oracle, "But now that I think about it, how is it that my clan has never had any form of contact with your clan while residing in the same region?"

The Oracle replied, "That is classified. We have our own duties."

Night Claw nodded, "I see. I will not pry further."

As the four Lucario tasted their treats, there was a knock at the door. "Hm, who could that be?" Delia asked as she went to the door.

Upon opening the door, a young man's voice spoke, "Hey there, Mrs. Ketchum! Are we in time for the wedding?"

Delia grinned, "Of course you are, Brock! Come on in and… Oh my, who is this lovely lady?"

Standing beside Brock was a Ninetales who was wearing a noticeable diamond anklet around her foot. Brock himself was clad in a black tuxedo with a red rose attached to his vest pocket. Brock grinned, "This is Lokoko. She's my fiancée."

The Ninetales then bowed, "It's a pleasure, Mrs. Ketchum."

Delia smiled, "You found yourself a real peach, Brock. But come to think of it, how long did it take for you to find her?"

Brock laughed, "Well, considering how long I've been hitting on girls in the hope of finding that special someone, I'd say it was about dang time!"

Delia then asked, "Now that I think about it… Oh my!" She took a look at Lokoko from the side and noticed that her belly was hanging low and heavily swollen. "Brock, you're going to be a father?"

Brock blushed as he scratched his head, "I'm already there. This is Lokoko's second litter."

Delia blushed, "R…really? Then where is the first?"

Lokoko giggled, "Right out there." She then looked over her shoulder and out the door, the sound of children laughing as Sol, Anabel, and Loki were chasing around a trio of Vulpix pups.

Delia smiled, "What beautiful little kits they are. You must be so proud, you two." The two lovers smiled proudly, Loki yelling as he ran from one of the Vulpix with his tail on fire.

"Come to think of it, where's Ash?" Brock asked as he looked around.

Delia ran to the phone and dialed a few numbers on it. "I'll let him know you're here… Hello, Ash. I just wanted to let you know your friend is here with his fiancée." She then hung up and faced the two guests. "He'll be right over. Did you pass his house on your way?"

Lokoko asked, "His house? You don't mean…"

Brock spoke, "That huge house right down the road? Jeez, where'd he get the money for that?"

Delia brought a hand to her chin, "I think it had something to do with collecting the bounty on Hunter J?"

Before they could discuss the subject further, Ash barged into the room. "Heya, Brocko! And… Whoa, nice suit! You all set for the occasion?"

Brock turned and replied, "Whoa, I can say the same to you!" Ash was clad in a white tuxedo, a white rose sticking out of his vest pocket.

Ash grinned, "Hey, was that your car outside?"

Brock nodded, "Sure was… Well, kind of. We rented it to save time on getting here."

Ash chuckled, "Your feet must be really sore after all that. Since you're from Pewter City, you ordered that thing from Bedrock, didn't you?" Brock instantly burst into laughter, realizing Ash was poking fun at the fact that Pewter City's architecture was composed out of mish mashed rocks.

"Hoo, that was a good one, Ash… But anyway, let me introduce you to MY fiancée." He then motioned with his hand towards Lokoko. "Remember Lokoko?"

Ash got down on his knees and looked the Ninetales in the eye. "So it WAS you. How've things been with you and Brock so far?"

Lokoko smiled, "Very well. You already saw our first litter playing with your children outside, didn't you?"

Ash chuckled, "Yup. And it's good to see them putting Loki in his place."

Phantom then spoke up, "I would hate to rush things along, but may we begin with the ceremony? As the Alphas of our clans, we really cannot afford to remain here in Pallet Town for more than one day."

Ash nodded, "Oh, I getcha. But you can stay the night, right?"

Tia nodded, "I don't see a problem with that. But we must depart first thing in the morning."

Ash then jumped, "In that case, let's get the show on the road so the really good parts can get started!" He then ran out of the house, the four Lucario following.

Brock smiled, "Let's get going too. I think we've got some more faces to meet." He then led Delia and Lokoko outside.

As Brock looked around, a voice spoke from behind him. "You all set, Daddy?"

Brock winced, "Whoa… That sounds like Sapphire. Only it's a bit more…" He then turned and saw the beautiful Lucario maiden clad in her favorite flowing blue dress, her sapphire pendant resting snuggly on her cleavage. "Oh my god, has God sent an angel to me?"

Aurora and Zandria then approached Sapphire. "I think everyone is set. Your beloveds are right over there."

However, Brock was beginning to drool as he observed the three curvaceous and busty Pokémon women before him. But before he could drop to his knees and ask them out on a date, Ash then tapped him on the shoulder. "Brock, don't look now, but there's a blue flame right next to your butt."

The tuxedo-clad youth froze and looked behind himself. Lokoko's eyes were set aglow as a blue flame was a mere inch away from his behind. Brock then straightened his posture and raised one finger, "Thank you for reminding me! No more skirt chasing for me! I belong to one girl and one girl alone! Heheheh…"

Brock then walked away with a noticeably nervous gait as Ash inched closer to Lokoko. "How many times did you actually burn him?"

Lokoko smirked, "Just once."

Ash then asked, "How long did it take before he could sit down again?"

Lokoko looked at Ash out of the corner of her eye, "About two weeks."

"He ever go too far after that?" Ash asked with a smirk.

Lokoko chuckled, "Thankfully, no."

A short distance away, all of the Ketchum family's close friends gathered around as Ash stood near Latias, Ruby, Pearl, and Rukaria. The three Alphas stood side by side with Phantom between Tia and Night Claw. Before anything could happen, Ruby asked, "Aren't we missing someone?"

"Um… I'm right here…" A voice spoke from behind Ash. Pearl then turned to look and gasped, "Oh my goodness… Ash, take a look at your fiancée."

Ash turned around and blushed heavily at the sight of Lucy. She was clad in a flowing white wedding dress, a white veil being worn atop her head with a string of pearls being worn around her head. In her hands was a bouquet of white flowers. She was shyly concealing most of her face behind them. "I…wanted to do something different since…this is supposed to be like…well…a wedding… Is this OK, Ash?"

Ash shook his head to clear his thoughts and gently placed his hand on hers. "You're the most beautiful girl here, Lucy." Lucy could not even utter a response.

"Before we begin, I just want to make something clear. Latias here is to be bonded as well as an honorary member of this new clan?" Night Claw asked.

Latias nodded readily with a cheerful grin, "That's the plan!"

Rukaria then raised her hand. "Are the rings in place?" Her silver ring was in plain sight, as were the rings worn by the other four maidens. Ash then raised his hand, showing the golden ring that shimmered yellow like Lucy's. Latias, wearing a necklace instead of a ring, raised the pearl in the center to show it clearly.

Phantom spoke, "Let us begin." The five maidens turned to face the three Alphas as Ash stood a short distance behind them.

Tia spoke first. "We stand here to bear witness to a rare occasion. A bonding of not two, but six beings together."

Night Claw then spoke, "The maidens known as Ruby, Latias, Rukaria, Pearl, and Lucy, are now here to be forever bound to the mate they all share."

Phantom then spoke, "Ash Ketchum. Your bond with these five maidens has not been without trials. You have suffered and endured much with them. And only through those trials has your love for them become as strong as their love for you."

The five maidens then turned around to face Ash, forming a half circle with their bodies. From left to right in Ash's eyes, it was Latias, Ruby, Lucy, Rukaria, and Pearl. They all extended their arms, leaving a space for Ash to place his hand. Tia then spoke, "Join hands with them and let your Aura flow."

Ash's gaze met with the five maidens he treasured so deeply before nodding and reaching out with his hand. When all six of them touched, Ash channeled what little Aura he could through his hand. This set off a chain reaction, the hands of each of the maidens glowing blue with their own Aura, although Rukaria's hand was glowing with the unusual black glow of her unique Aura. Once all six hands were aglow with Aura, the six Aura signatures fused and shot into the sky like a pillar of blue and black light.

The five maidens gazed skyward, as did Ash. "Is this normal?" The Trainer asked.

Tia smiled, "It is. It shows that your bonds are true. By the laws of my clan, and by theirs, you are now life mates."

The five maidens looked at Ash with tearful gazes, their mouths curved into joyous smiles. The audience burst into applause. Even James, Jessie, and Meowth were applauding from beside Ashton. Ash then whispered, his arms wrapping around all five of his beloveds. "I love you all so much…"

After a moment more, Zandria called out, "Come on, Lucy! Toss the bouquet!"

Lucy regained her senses and turned to face Zandria. "The bouquet…. Oh! Right! But where's a high spot to throw it from?"

Chiara smiled, "Allow me." Her eyes glowed a light shade of blue as Lucy began to levitate into the air.

"Eek! Put me down!" Lucy yelped as she could no longer feel solid ground beneath her feet.

Chiara replied, "Do not worry. I won't let you fall."

Lucy gulped, "Um… OK… So, I just toss it?"

Lokoko replied as she and Night Claw gathered below her. "Over here!"

Lucy nodded and tossed her bouquet towards the two women. But as they jumped to grab it, a Cacnea leapt above them and lashed out with its arm.

"Cacneaaaaaa!" The walking cactus shrieked as it swung its arm at the flowers. Unfortunately, due to a distinct lack of fingers, all it did was bash the bouquet of flowers away with Needle Arm.

"What the… Who caught it?" Latias shouted as it fell. When all eyes turned to look at where the bouquet had fallen, they stared silently as Tia held the bouquet in her arms.

"Um…" The Skydiamond Alpha muttered.

The Oracle then leaned in close and whispered, "Anyone special on your mind, Lady Tia?"

Tia grumbled, "That is none of your concern, Oracle."

Ashton then called out, "If everyone is ready, please come with me! The wedding party shall take place on the Crimson estate's grounds!"

Everyone began to follow the viscount to the west, but Tia remained rooted to the spot. She then muttered, "Besides… As the Skydiamond Alpha, I have absolutely no time for such things…" She then began to walk, still grasping the bouquet in one hand. "But perhaps…once I have passed the title onto someone else…"

Along the way, Meowth looked up at James and asked, "Hey, James! Wasn't dat Cacnea yours?"

James replied, "Why, yes. I do believe so. Why?"

Jessie smirked, "Then why was it trying to catch the bouquet? And doesn't it always give you a hug whenever you release it from its Poké Ball?"

James became blue in the face as he imagined the possibilities. Meowth then smirked, "Maybe your Cacnea is a girl and has da hots for ya."

"Oh, heavens no! I would much rather marry…"

Jessie then grinned wickedly, "Jessiebelle?"

At the mention of that horrid name, James screamed like a little girl and ran on ahead of the group. "NOOOOO! ANYONE BUT HER!"

Ashton glanced at Jessie and Meowth and asked, "What in God's name did you say to him?"

Meowth grinned, "Oh, we just told him we've got a whole buncha kosher pickles waiting for him back at da estate."

Jessie nodded, "Mmhm. He really hates pickles."

Ashton raised an eyebrow, "Um… All right then?"

Upon actually reaching the Crimson estate, Zandria chuckled, "Hang on, lemme go grab a spatula." The Zangoose then ran off through the courtyard, leaving the rest of the guests wondering why James had pancaked himself onto the front door.

Chiara then smirked as she held a hand to her chin. "Now that I think about it, he DOES look tasty."

Meowth then extended his claws and grinned, "Let's eat 'em."

Just before Meowth could start dicing James up, Zandria came back with a spatula whose head was around the same size as a small inflatable swimming pool. "Stand back, everyone." She then wedged the spatula under James and pried him off with one yank.

"Ugh… Please, don't tell Jessiebelle I am here…" He muttered weakly.

"Um… Let me show you to the feast." Ashton spoke as he led all of his guests behind his manor. "Here we are. Just let me relight the torches…candles…whatever you call those under the dishes."

Ashton then aligned his fingertip with the row of candles under the metal tins and muttered, "Fire Style: Ember Dart." A small flame shot out from his fingertip, igniting each candle as it shot across the tips.

Zandria smiled, "Before you all ask, they're still pretty hot. So help yourselves!"

The table was very long and held many tins of various types of foods. Too many to count or name. Some were merely barbequed, others were marinated, and so on. But every last guest was able to find something they liked.

"Oh boy, corn on the cob. Mah favorite!" Kazeerah squawked as she grabbed one between her hands and began to peck at it, snatching a kernel with each peck.

Lucy asked, "Is that Fury Attack?"

Kazeerah nodded, "Yup. Ah only use it ta pluck corn kernels quickly though."

Tia and the Oracle leaned against the courtyard's wall together, each holding a plate lined with various kinds of food. "Miss Zandria is quite the wizard in the kitchen, isn't she?" Tia asked as she took a bite.

"I would say so. Never had anything this exotic before." The Oracle replied, wiping her lips with a paper napkin.

Ashton approached the two Lucario and smiled, "Good afternoon, Lady Tia. Lady Oracle. How is the fare?"

The Oracle smiled, "Fabulous. That's all I can say."

Tia nodded, "Likewise. No complaints, but plenty of praise."

However, Ashton then glanced down and noticed the bouquet of flowers at Tia's feet. "Hmmm… Lady Tia, remain still for a moment."

The Skydiamond Alpha remained still as her eye watched the viscount remove one flower from the bouquet and snapping off part of its stem. He then carefully slid it between her right ear and scalp, neatly securing the flower on her head. "There."

The Oracle smiled, "It actually goes quite well with your red bandage, Lady Tia."

Curious, Tia approached one of the windows on the wall of Ashton's home and observed herself in its reflection. The flower in question was a white rose. "You're right. It does look nice."

Ashton smiled, "I thought something a little more elegant would help you look more suited for this special occasion." The viscount then walked away, Tia watching as she felt the flower on her head.

The Oracle then smirked, "Are you sure that bouquet had no effect on your destiny, Lady Tia? Is there anyone it is connecting you to?"

Tia replied with a smirk of her own. "Spread any rumors and the contents of your shorts goes public the instant we return to our clangrounds." This threat prompted an unnerved expression from the Oracle, who knew full well that Tia was not known for making empty threats.

A short while later, Zandria came around the manor's corner while pushing along a cake that was larger than herself. "OK, everyone. Time for the wedding cake… Hey, wait your turn!" Zandria spoke while trying not to trip over Brock and Lokoko's kits.

Shield smiled, "Now that's a cake. Who makes the first cut?"

Ashton replied, "I do believe the newlyweds do that. And I do believe that is Ash and Lucy. They're the only ones dressed for the occasion." Several of the guests chuckled in response.

Lucy blushed, "Well… What do we cut it with?"

Ashton replied, "Well, I used Soul Calibur to make the first cut. Why not use the Skydiamond Sword?"

At this, Tia gave Ashton a bemused glance. "Yeah, right. The Skydiamond Sword is meant to be used exclusively against demonic foes. No exceptions, Sir Ashton. Not even for this particular event."

Ashton chuckled as he reached for Soul Calibur's hilt, "I am hardly surprised, to be honest. No matter. I know Soul Calibur wouldn't mind getting to taste the cake first."

Kazeerah then asked, "Hang on. Are ya sayin' that sword can actually taste stuff?"

The viscount then drew the spirit sword from her scabbard, "Ask her yourself."

Ash and Lucy stood beside each other as Ashton handed Soul Calibur to them. "Do this together. And grip her firmly."

Lucy wrapped both hands around the sword's hilt while Ash did the same. "Ready, honey?" Ash asked while looking at his lover.

"I think so. Just don't let go. Kinda hard to get all our hands around the hilt." Lucy replied. In unison, they both pushed down, pressing the blue blade through the cake. They then did it again from another angle to cut out a slice.

"Is that…chocolate I taste?" Soul Calibur's voice resonated throughout the area. Once the slice had been removed, the cake under the white icing could be seen clear as day. It was a very dark brown.

Lucario spoke, "Chocolate… I want some!" It took several guests to convince him to line up with the rest of them.

"The interior of you home is quite impressive, Sir Ashton. Even more so than our museum." Night Claw spoke as she entered the ballroom.

"Well, imitations usually do not compare to the genuine article." Ashton replied as the rest of their guests entered the ballroom as well. Around the room were small round tables with blue tablecloths and gold ribbons attached to the sides that encircled them.

Shield asked, "Is this the dance floor?"

Ash glanced at Lucy, "Yup. Wanna dance, Lucy?"

Lucy grinned as she took Ash's hand, "Oh, yes! Let's."

Tia glanced at Kazeerah, "She always had a thing for dancing?"

The Blaziken nodded, "Yup. When the right music plays, she really comes outta 'er shell."

Aurora approached the phonograph in the corner and placed a record on it before winding up the crank. "I think this new one has a song that will suit you two just right."

Ash and Lucy took their places on the dance floor while everyone else watched from the edges. The two lovers then joined hands while Lucy placed her hand on Ash's shoulder while he did the same with his own. A gritty noise began to emit from the phonograph's funnel. And then the music came.

It was a very gentle slow song that suited Ash and Lucy's dancing well. At the side of the room, Saffron sat at one of the tables while enjoying a slice of cake as she watched her parents dance. Throughout the whole dance, Ash and Lucy never once took their eyes off of each other.

You ask me time and time again

How did this start, how did it all begin

And I will tell you one more time

It was your smile

From across a crowded room

That first drew me to you

That heartwarming smile

As she gazed into Ash's eyes, Lucy's mind ventured back to when she and him first met in Hoenn while she boiled ramen for lunch. It was an encounter brought on by pure chance. "If you had walked the other way, where would I be now?"

Ash muttered, "I don't wanna think that… It might've been a stroke of luck, but I think it was meant to be, Lucy." They shared a brief kiss before the song continued to sing.

And it was your laugh
In the darkest of times
That made me fully realize
That I had fallen for you

It wasn't your hair
That bounces in the breeze
Or even your eyes
As blue as the seas
Although, yes it's true,
I'm quite taken with all of you,
When you smile a dazzling smile,
All your beauty shines through

It was your smile
That captured my heart for all time
And that made me wish you could be mine
It was always in your smile

Ash's mind trailed back to the many ups and downs of his relationship with Lucy. When she risked her life to reach out to him when first consumed by the power of the Eternal Flame. When she became desperate enough to save him from Soul Edge that she opened herself to the Angel of Doom for assistance. When she stayed with his friends and family to seek out Ho-Oh to revive him after he was murdered by Outcast. And finally, when he nearly lost his life trying to break the Angel of Doom's clutches over her. Despite any and all pains and missteps they had made, the two of them never lost sight of their feelings for each other and endured any hardships that came their way.

"You never gave up on me, Ash…" Lucy whispered, a single tear trickling down her face.

"And you always forgave me, Lucy…" Ash replied as a tear rolled down his cheek.

All your crazy ways give me so many happy days

But it all started

With your smile…

As the song drew to a close, Ash and Lucy held each other in a tearful embrace as their audience burst into applause.

Over the course of the following hour, various other types of music played while some of the guests danced on the dance floor. But while Ashton watched Brock and Lokoko dance, Kazeerah approached him.

"Nice day fer a weddin', eh?" The Blaziken asked while leaning against the wall.

"It most certainly is. I'm glad to see that those two have finally found their future together." Ashton replied, sipping a glass of punch.

However, Kazeerah then smirked, "But we still have a score ta settle."

Ashton glanced over at the Blaziken, "I beg your pardon?"

Kazeerah grinned, "C'mon, Ashton! Ya still owe me a sparrin' session! Remember?"

"I do?" Ashton asked, bringing a hand to his chin as he tried to recall. After a moment, he lightly gasped, "Oh, yes, I did promise you that, didn't I?"

Kazeerah nodded, "Eyup. Whaddya say we get started?"

The music from the previous song had just ended, so Ashton clapped his hands. "May I have your attention please?"

Everyone present glanced at Ashton. "Kazeerah and I have a special bit of entertainment for you all. If you would please follow Kazeerah outside, we shall get started."

Brock spoke, "Huh? You and that Blaziken? Now I'm curious."

Kazeerah chuckled, "Ah reckon y'all won't be disappointed. Come with me." But once she had led their guests down the hall, Ashton entered his bedroom. "Hey, Ashton! Ya better not be chickenin' out on me!"

Ashton smirked, "You're one to talk, considering you ARE a chicken! And besides, I'm just preparing for it! Go on ahead and I will be out shortly."

Once he was alone, Ashton began to examine his weapons. "I know you're sound asleep, Soul Calibur. And I know the Flamberge will not let me strike Kazeerah. Then again, she uses exclusively hand-to-hand skills. Hmmm…" But once Ashton's eyes fell on a wooden chest in his room, he smirked, "As the layman would say… Jackpot!"

Kazeerah had led their guests out into an open field just outside the forest where the Crimson estate stood. "Looks open enough…" Kazeerah muttered to herself.

Lokoko then asked, "What exactly do you have in store for us, Miss Kazeerah?"

The Blaziken smirked as she turned to face the forest and smiled, "Yer about ta find out."

Approaching them was Ashton, but his body was completely shrouded with a blue cloak, leaving only his head exposed. "Goin' fer the mysterious gentleman look, huh?" Kazeerah asked.

Ash smirked as his left hand reached out of the cloak and gripped it near the right shoulder. "See for yourself." With a yank of his hand, he pulled the cloak off and tossed it away.

"Whoa, goin' shirtless, huh? And… Hey, what's that ya got there?" Kazeerah shouted as she jumped back. Ashton was completely unclothed minus his blue pants. And in his right hand rested a single-edged sword with a broad dark blade.

Night Claw gasped, "Sir Ashton, are you going to use Seeker?"

The viscount twirled his family's heirloom sword in his hand. "I have yet to actually use this sword, so why not try it out here?"

Lucy turned to Kazeerah, "Are you sure about this? I don't want to see you get hurt, Kazeerah!"

However, Kazeerah merely smiled at her sister, "Don't you worry none about me, Lucy. This ain't a fight ta the death. Just a friendly sparrin' match. Ah know Ashton wouldn't evah hurt me."

Ashton nodded, "I assure you all, this is only for fun. No real harm will come to either of us, I swear."

Tia smiled, "Well, this will certainly be entertaining. I've never seen you in action with that weapon, Ashton. And I've heard nothing but grudging praise for your skills, Kazeerah. You managed to subdue three of our Seekers on one occasion, right?" She then glanced at Ashton, "Um… Not to be confused with your sword, Ashton. Seeker is a rank in our clan."

The Blaziken replied, "Sorry 'bout that. They were getting' rough with Lucy, so I had ta step in." However, she then glanced at Ashton, squinting her eyes as if to focus. "Huh… Looks like ah better not take chances here. Lucy, whould ya mind hanin' onta these fer me?" She removed her hat, sling bag, and tassels and handed them to her sister.

"Um… Oh, right. I see why now." Lucy replied as she held onto them.

Kazeerah smirked, "Better give us some room, fellas. This is gonna get wild."

As instructed, all of the moved further away to give the two combatants some more room. "Are you sure they'll be fine?" Lucius asked while looking over his shoulder.

Ash grinned, "They'll be fine. I just know it. I mean could hold her own against me that once. Remember?"

Ashton jumped back, twirling his sword once. "All right then, Lady Kazeerah! How shall we do this?"

Kazeerah smirked as her stance relaxed, "I'll let ya make the first move."

Ashton paused, but then made a hand sign with his left hand. "Very well then." In a flash, he dashed towards Kazeerah, closing the distance in under two seconds. But when he lashed out with his left fist, she leaned to the side just slightly, causing the fist to narrowly miss her face. "What the… OOF!" Ashton groaned as Kazeerah thrust her knee into his belly, sending him a short distance away.

"Like yer movin' in slow motion." Kazeerah spoke. "Can't ya try somethin' a lil' new?"

Ashton chuckled as he made another hand sign after regaining his composure. "Trust me, Kazeerah. You've yet to see what the Angel of the Eternal Flame is capable of!" He dashed at her again, only lashing out with a kick instead of a punch.

"Ah said try somethin' new!" Kazeerah shouted as she countered him again. Only this time, Ashton suddenly exploded in a flash of fire upon being struck. "Yeow! What the?" Kazeerah yelped as the flames singed her feathers.

"As I said…" Ashton spoke as he dashed in low and kicked Kazeerah skyward with a blow to the chin. "You have yet to see my full strength!" He the thrust Seeker into the ground and leapt after the Blaziken while staying just behind her.

"Hey… Where'd ya go?" Kazeerah shouted as she looked left and right.

"No escape now." Ashton muttered as ropes of flames extended from his hands and entangled Kazeerah to the point where everything but her head was wrapped in a cocoon of flames.

"Seismic Toss?" Kazeerah asked.

"Not even close!" Ashton replied as he got him and Kazeerah to turn upside-down before going into a rapid spin while plummeting to the ground. "Primary Lotus!"

As Kazeerah watched the ground spinning while getting closer, she came up with an idea. "Come on…" She then opened her beak and released a powerful Flamethrower in an attempt to slow the descent.

There was a loud crash as the two combatants struck the ground hard, kicking up a large cloud of dust. But seconds later, Ashton was sent flying out of it by a Blaze Kick. Kazeerah then immediately out of the cloud in hot pursuit. "Looks like ah gotta go on the offensive ta keep up, ya trickster!"

"Do your worst!" Ashton spoke as he snatched Seeker from the ground. Kazeerah leapt and dove at him with a diving kick, striking the sword's blade as Ashton held it in a defensive stance. The two fighters then began lashing out with punches, kicks, and sword swings. Finally, Kazeerah got her chance and bombarded Ashton in the back with a flurry of Double Kicks before sending him skyward with a Sky Uppercut.

Ashton regained his bearings as his ascent began to slow. "She's fast… And her taijutsu skills are a step above mine…" But he then managed to turn himself over, "But my skill pool is greater. Fire Style: Grand Fireball!"

Kazeerah flinched as she saw Ashton launch a massive fireball coming right down at her. "Dang, nevah knew ya were that big a hotshot, Ashton!" Using Quick Attack, she scurried away just before the fireball could strike the ground and explode. "All right, where are ya now… Huh?"

Ashton dropped right down on Kazeerah and slammed his sword into the side of her head, knocking her to the ground. "Ow! You… Wait a sec… Ya hit me with that sword! Why ain't I bleedin'?"

Ashton smirked as he displayed Seeker's brought blade. "That is the special attribute of my family's sword. It will stay as blunt or sharp as its wielder chooses. And I certainly have no desire to kill you."

Kazeerah then jumped away from Ashton, doing a few back flips to make herself hard to hit. "Well, that makes me feel bettah. But don't think I'll go easy on ya!"

Ashton then made a few hand signs and placed a hand on the ground. "Earth Style: Terra Shield." A slab of solid bedrock jutted up from the ground standing above Kazeerah.

"What's that for?" Kazeerah asked, uncertain of what to make of the stone wall before her.

Ashton chuckled, "You'll see." He then jumped over the wall and tried to slam Seeker down into Kazeerah's head.

"Ain't gonna work this time!" Kazeerah shouted as she blocked the blow by grabbing the sword and yanking Ashton closer to her before kicking him away with Blaze Kick.

Ashton flipped through the air before landing and then leaping and skipping across the battlefield like a Scyther. "Hold still, will ya?" Kazeerah shouted as she kept trying to intercept Ashton with Mach Punch and Double Kick. However, the quick-footed viscount kept dancing around her moves.

"You'll never hit someone with ninjutsu training by throwing blind punches!" Ashton called out moving closer and closer to the Terra Shield.

"Well, how's this?" Kazeerah dashed towards Ashton with Quick Attack before jumping and diving at him with Hi Jump Kick. But just before her foot could slam into Ashton's face, the viscount wove around the attack enough so that the Blaziken flew right passed him.

"Son of a…" Kazeerah muttered just before crashing into the Terra Shield, causing it to crumble all over her. "Ow… Shoulda know bettah than ta place too much faith in Hi Jump Kick…" There was an uproar of laughter coming from the edge of the battlefield, the audience clearly amused by Kazeerah's fumble.

Ashton chuckled, "I tried using your own technique against you, Kazeerah. I just never expected it to work THAT well!"

Kazeerah then smirked, "Then ah guess ya didn't see this comin'." She made a sweep with her leg, kicking up some of the crumbled Terra Shield and hurling them at Ashton's face with Sand Attack."

"Dirty trick!" Ashton shouted as he held up Seeker to shield his face. However he was then struck in the belly with another Sky Uppercut.

"Time ta earn yer wings!" Kazeerah then threw him into the air with the full force of the blow, only to jump after him and drop down onto his back with both feet for a diving dropkick.

"I…not letting you get me that easily!" Ashton then reached up and grabbed Kazeerah's foot, pulling her down as they began to grapple. But they were too caught up in the sparring to do anything to break their fall. The two of them struck the ground hard, leaving them both stunned by the impact.

"That…" Ashton groaned as he struggled to his feet.

"Hurt…" Kazeerah finished as she too staggered to a standing position. The too combatants shared a tired gaze before simultaneously lashing out with a kick, Ashton striking Kazeerah in the face while Kazeerah struck Ashton in the stomach. Both were sent flying backwards a significant distance, neither able to stand.

After a moment of silence, the two of them turned to face their audience as they exploded with cheering and encouragement. Kazeerah chuckled, "Well. Wouldja listen ta that, Ashton."

Ashton nodded, "Seems they're enjoying the spectacle…" He then began to stand, "If that's the case… Shall we keep things going?"

Kazeerah groaned as she too found her second wind. "Music ta mah ears. Time ta turn it up!" She then hunkered over and grunted as the muscles on her arms and legs seemed to expand slightly. "A lil' Bulk Up oughta help."

Ashton smirked, "Then it's time I stop holding back as well." His eyes became a familiar shade of red as a pair of flaming wings sprouted from his back, each flickering in a rainbow of colors. "Show me if a chicken can hold her own against a phoenix!"

Kazeerah laughed, "Aw, hell yeah! Now it's gonna get fun! Come at me, bro! Gimme a good one!"

At the edge of the battle field, Chiara chuckled, "That form never ceases to bring back memories…" The Blaziken dashed towards Ashton as the viscount flew towards her while staying close to the ground.

"The Black Wing… The Night Hawk… Orochi… Soul Edge… The Angel of Doom… So many evils have been vanquished, thanks to you and your descendants, Ashton…" Chiara muttered as Kazeerah leapt skyward, causing Ashton to ascend rapidly as he used Sky Attack to pursue.

"Ashton… You and your descendants' legacy will continue to extend into this generation. And we will be there to witness it like always." Chiara smiled as Kazeerah used Brave Bird to dive at Ashton, both letting out a shout of excitement as they continued to duel each other in reckless abandon.

Days later, the Skydiamond Oracle departed from a raft on the shoreline of one the tiny islands off the west coast of Sinnoh. She then followed a pair of Demonslayer escorts into a forested area. "Right here, sir." One spoke as he moved a boulder that covered a small flight of stone stairs leading into the ground.

The Oracle walked down the steps while her escorts remained aboveground. Upon reaching the bottom, she found herself in a massive archive dedicated to the Skydiamond clan's history and their eternal war against demonic entities. Lining the stone ceiling were many large Aura-blue crystals that constantly gave off a gentle glow. The Oracle proceeded on, the air filled with a musty earthy scent.

"Here." The Oracle muttered as she pulled out a book in the largest section of the archive. A section reserved exclusively for the one demon that continued to return after every death. The Angel of Doom and her eternal host, Lucy Hikari.

The book the Oracle held chronicled the events of Lucy's current life. After opening it to the first blank page she could find, the Oracle dipped an ink quill into an ink bottle and began to write after jotting down the date.

"Current status: Happily married. Number of times married since observation began: 1" As she wrote those words, the Oracle smiled just slightly.

"Now mother to a daughter. Name: Saffron. Husband and father of child: Ash Ketchum. Current residence: Pallet Town, Kanto region." The Oracle paused momentarily before jotting down another line. "Husband's title: Devil of the Eternal Flame."

On the last line, the Oracle wrote, "Status of the Angel of Doom…"

The Oracle spoke her response aloud with a hint of relief. "Sealed."

After blowing on the ink gently to help it dry, the Oracle closed the book and turned to leave. Her footsteps faintly echoed throughout the archive.

"This chapter has ended. A new one has just begun."