The Guardians Council.
This Council was comprised of the Aura Guardians of the Hoenn Region. There were fourteen total Guardians, one for each major town or city, and as well as a few apprentices.
The Council, run by the current Leader Cynthia Shirona was located in the depths of Forina. A Valley of shrubs, and caverns, with massive stone pillars protruding from the ground. They kept themselves away from civilization, for in the times of war, or civil unrest, the Temple would be a primary target for any enemies.
The Temple resembled a church. An arched roof trimmed with gold, blue stained glass windows lining the quartz walls. The large oak doors at the front were engraved with an image of an Aura Guardian and their Lucario partner.
It had been said that the Guardian on the door had been the original, the first.
But he was a myth, and had a tale of his own. The temple was far from anything special; it served as meeting grounds for the Guardians of Hoenn, and was used to send out Pidgeys to those being sent on a mission.
The two riders and their Pikachu slowly approached the Temple. A blond woman, dressed in the Guardians garb stood with her hands on her hips and a smile adorning her face at the foot of the doors.
Ash was surprised to see Cynthia well a where of their arrival, from what he knew, they hadn't sent word ahead that they'd be coming.
Sliding down from the stirrups, he followed after Alyssa who went and took the other blond into a tight embrace, "It's been to long Cynthia!" She laughed happily.
"A little more notice next time yeah?" Cynthia grinned; when they separated she started for Ash, "Ash, my Arceus how you've grown! Now a Guardian in his own right, I bet you can't wait to get your papers signed!" She took the raven haired Guardian into a hug.
"It's good to see you as well Cynthia, how's Katrina?" He asked as she released him.
Cynthia raised a suspicious eyebrow, "Come around for my apprentice now yeah?" She teased, "She'll be off for her final Trial within the month!"
Before Ash could respond, Alyssa took Cynthia's arm and whispered something into her ear. He could only watch as the blonds face contorted in confusion until she turned to him full of disbelief.
She looked him up and down before turning to Alyssa, "You're sure?" She whispered, "It's not too soon?"
"We have to," She turned to Ash, "Ash could you take care of Flare and Blaze and meet us inside?" She asked kindly.
He nodded hesitantly as the two older woman started for the doors, speaking quietly to each other. It definitely involved him he realized, the way Cynthia looked at him… A small amount of nervousness, and hesitance.
Taking both of their horse's reigns, he pulled them around back to where the stables were located. He watered, and brushed them down before starting back for the doors. With Pikachu perched on his shoulder, egg held safely in his arms, he pushed open the oak doors and stepped inside.
There was truly nothing fascinating about the décor. A simple long blue carpet that ran the length from the door to the back, where a stone alter sat. Wooden tables were placed against the walls, with dishes and utensils set out for twenty.
A chandelier hung from the ceiling, a burning blue flame on each of the candles. And then there were the two senior Guardians, speaking in hushed tones in front of the alter.
He approached slowly, making out a few words as he did so.
"Champion, he could…"
Cynthia noticed Ash approaching and waved him over, "You'll be staying here for a few days Ash, think you could go and bring in your supplies?"
He looked at Alyssa, and she nodded and shooed him away before looking back to Cynthia and resuming their conversation.
Something was happening, and he wasn't altogether sure that he liked it.
The carriage lurched and she bit back the urge to tell the driver to slow down. She and Dawn sat alone in a carriage surrounded by her escort, and Drew as they passed over the border into Johto. They'd been on the road for just under two weeks, having made more stops then she would like, they were behind schedule on how close they should have been to castle Johto.
Dawn continued on with her knitting, humming a quiet tune to herself. Yes the blunette had something to keep herself occupied with, but her? Nope… Her idiotic father had forbidden her from bringing along Eevee, for the stupid reason of her having enough things to deal with.
She pulled back the drape and peered out the window, Johto was big on forests, something she herself wasn't too fond of. Especially because of Pokemon like Ursaring, which were quite common in thick bushed areas such as this.
She suspected Ash would be arriving back in Petalburg within the next few days, her Guardian then being ordered to keep at the castle while Alyssa came to watch out for her…
She really did like Alyssa, the blond being kind, informative, someone she could speak to about any problem. In the days following their talk about Ash, she had sought her out at any chance she could possibly get. And all they had done was talk and share stories.
She liked that.
But she wished she could see her Guardian, after two weeks, she kept on imagining him coming out of nowhere, riding Blaze like a knight in shining armor. And coming to her rescue, prying open the carriage door, swooping her up behind him, and then they'd ride off. Fending off her escort until it was just the two of them going… Going somewhere!
She really didn't care as long as it was with him.
She sighed and let her head fall against the side of the carriage.
She missed him.
Had this been any other time, he wouldn't have questioned it.
But with the arrival of the other twelve Guardians, them just showing up out of the blue… It was kind of hard not to notice.
A week had gone by since they arrived at the Temple, and his time had been spent watching over the egg. Nothing else.
Alyssa had received news from the castle in that time, that she was being sent to Johto to watch over May, and that he was to return to Petalburg and watch over the country side.
He should have been distraught over the news, but at the moment it was the least of his concern. The grounds were deserted.
Having just returned from a midday ride, he could not locate a single Guardian. Alyssa, Cynthia, no one! And that was hard to do, especially when the Temple only had a single room!
Slipping down from the saddle, he tied Blazes reigns to a post alongside the other Guardians mounts, "I'll be back in a second Blaze, I'm going to see if they're inside…"
Walking around to the front of the building, using the hand that did not support the egg, he pushed open the heavy wooden door, stepped inside and had his eyebrows draw together, "Aly? Where have you been? Where'd you all go?"
Alyssa came out from around the alter and started towards him, when she stopped in front of him her eyes looked him over with worry, "Did something happen?"
"All five of your Trials have been completed," She spoke quietly, "But you have one last lesson,"
He glanced over his shoulder as if expecting something to pop out and attack him, when nothing happened he looked back to the blond, "Okay, what is it?"
She didn't answer, instead walked over to the far wall, barren of anything except for a blue and white banner. She gestured to a brick, "Place your hand here and focus your Aura."
Gingerly he reached out and placed a hand on the smooth stone, closing his eyes, the cool feeling washed over him, and then he felt the stone beneath him tremble.
His eyes opened, and he stared in disbelief as the bricks pushed into the wall, and slid right. Revealing a rectangular door way, "Alyssa…" He whispered quietly, "What…"
"Come," She stepped into the doorway, he followed after her.
A straight staircase leading down into the ground greeted him almost immediately; torches lining the walls, blue flames blazing brightly.
When they came to the bottom, he felt the Aura radiating from the door at the end of the hall. A plain wooden door with a bronze knob greeted them, he looked back and she gave him the nod to open it.
When he did, his jaw drooped open, and he took in the sight with awe.
A large circular room, the walls housed nothing but shelves.
Shelves that radiated a blue and green like oceans water from tulip like plants. They seemed to be made of crystal, there had to hundreds of them, lining the circumference of the room. In the center though, stood a single stone pillar that he supposed would reach his chest. On it?
A single crystalline plant.
All of the Guardians stood around the circumference of the pillar, about six meters back in a perfect circle. Hands clasped at the small of their backs, and feet spread apart. Alyssa came up beside him, "This is the Library," Her tone startled him, it was nothing but a whisper, but he could here the fear in her voice.
"We record the important events of our history, from riots, assassinations… To wars."
"Why have I never seen this?" He whispered, the room basked in a calming blue and green glow. Alyssa kept her eyes forward, "We had to keep this from you, on the chance that you returned home."
"Home?" He asked in confusion, "We were in Petalburg not even-"
She took his hand and held it tightly, "No, not in Hoenn Ash… But Kanto,"
And instantly he knew what this was about.
Her hand fell from his, and in a shaky voice she said, "We record the events on what we call a Time Flower, they can only be accessed by those who possess Aura making them useful tools."
She swallowed the lump forming in her throat, and tilted her head in direction of the pillar, "You've asked me three times as to where you've come from, and I always told you that I'd tell you when the time was right. It is now that time,"
The flower… "D-Do I?"
He took his focus away from the purple and ice blue flower and brought it to Alyssa; she kept her eyes focused solely in front of her, refusing to meet his gaze. But the fear, the nervousness… Did he want to see the reasons he was in Hoenn if it was having such an effect on Alyssa?
"Should I see this mum?" He whispered, a tear ran down her cheek at the name. But she kept her mouth shut, and her eyes straight ahead.
Turning his eyes back to the flower, he placed the egg down onto the ground and started forward.
His footsteps echoed around the room, and they grew increasingly slower with every step that brought him closer to the flower. When he stopped in front of it, purple he could tell was the true color of the flower, and that the blue inside of it…
His hand rose and he glanced over his shoulder back to Alyssa, she hadn't moved. Looking to every Guardian in the room, they all stared unblinking at him, before his gaze landed one last time on the flower in front of him.
He brought his hand down, and the room was suddenly lit in a swirl of colors, blues, greens, purples, until the image of a stone hallway formed.
And a blond girl no older then himself was seen running down it.
A twenty year old Alyssa Cloud, newly appointed Aura Guardian to the Kingdom of Hoenn, sprinted lightly down the long corridor of Viridian Castle.
Screams reigned from all around the castle, the clashing of steel on steel, the thrum-hiss of a bow and arrow, scraping of armor against the ground as wounded knights dragged themselves across the marble floors.
The walls turned grey, and the floor pulsed blue. She ran quickly, her feet making no sound as she rounded a corner. The world slowed, and she bent backwards as a blade passed in slowed time over her head.
She rolled passed the fully armed knight, unslung her bow and knocked her arrow before the stroke even finished. When the armor clad giant went to spin and swing again, a specially designed armor piercing arrow slammed into the chest plate directly where the heart was.
And then she was continuing along her path, passing rows of doors, scattered torches, all the while ignoring the screaming around her. She flew up a spiral staircase and started down another hallway, and then she heard a scream that stood out.
Not that of a wounded, but that of a woman. It was a shrill, choked, NOOO! Double timing, with an arrow already knocked, she ran into the throne room.
The blue figures that were there she recognized immediately, Norman the King of Hoenn, Alexander the King of Johto, and Cynthia, her best friend, and fellow Guardian.
There were three figures on the ground, one kneeling forward with his neck clearly exposed. Another slowly sobbing in the slowed time, cradling something that positively burst with Aura.
Distracted momentarily by the object, her Aura diminished and she saw Norman raise his sword into the air above his head in a two handed grip. Before swinging it down onto the exposed neck of the kneeling man. Who was no other than Jason Gilead, King of Kanto.
The woman shrieked and held the bundle to her chest as the King's head hit the ground and rolled slightly forward, "My King, the eastern walls have been secured!" She spoke running down the hall towards the Kings.
Norman glanced away from the decapitated body and to her, "Very good," He then looked to the woman, "Alexander,"
King Alexander removed his sword and pointed it at the woman, "Kneel,"
Norman looked surprised by the order, "It's not necessary-"
"The bloodline must be severed, and she is the true Queen of this Kingdom, and then the boy if we are to live in peace-"
The Queen held her child to her chest and pushed backwards against the wall, "NO! Not my baby, please!" She sobbed, choking on her words.
The queen shook her head, "I won't let you harm him!"
Alexander brought his sword into a two hand grip and swung at the slightly exposed neck that he could see. A hiss then a screech sounded as iron impacted steel. The sword deflected up above the Queen, passing over her head harmlessly.
Alexander turned to where the arrow had come from; another arrow was knocked and drawn back to full draw, pointed at his skull.
"Guardian Cloud!" Norman shouted in disbelief, "What do you think you're doing!"
Alyssa glanced to Cynthia, feeling her heart hammering against her chest as she spoke quickly, "Your killing the innocent, that child doesn't even know what royalty, or a bloodline is. It wasn't a part of this war, and neither was she," She took a quick breath; "Gilead was the one who commanded the armies, who ordered the attacks. Not the Queen, we know that the King makes the decisions, and not the Queen, so what you're doing is murder."
"Lay down your weapon girl," Alexander said harshly, "These affairs are not yours to be taken in,"
"As a protector of the people of Hoenn, and of what is right, I cannot allow you to touch that child."
"Alyssa," Cynthia whispered looking at her friend with wide eyes, "Put down your bow!"
She shook her head, "I can't,"
"Cloud," Norman spoke lowly, "Put down your weapon, this affair does not concern you,"
"I'm sorry your Majesty but it does, what is the difference between me and the kid?"
"Yes listen to Shirona," Alexander said slowly, "And lay. Down. Your weapon!"
"I was given a chance, after being a beggar for my entire life. And I'm not going to let you take away a life before it's been given a chance,"
Cynthia nocked and drew and arrow and aimed it at Alyssa, "Drop the bow Alyssa, I don't want to-"
"You're going to murder someone who doesn't know that its royalty, that it lived in a castle, or was born to be a King or Queen. It doesn't know that it's father was a tyrant, it has a chance to live a normal life!"
"So what do you expect us to do?" Norman shouted irritably, "He'll grow up and take revenge for his father! Which we can prevent right now if-"
"If you commit murder!?" She exclaimed in disbelief.
"Alyssa!" Cynthia plead, "Drop the bow!"
"Cynthia take the child away from the Quee-"
Alyssa's arrow was back in her quiver in a heartbeat, and she was at the Queens side in an instant, "I'll take him," She whispered quickly, "He'll be safe, I'll take-"
"Cloud step away from the Queen!" Norman ordered dangerously, "These matters are not of your concern!"
The brunette Queen looked at her in disbelief, "W-What?" She choked.
"I'll raise him, I-I can bring him back to Hoenn, he'll be safe- I'll raise him as a Guardian!" She announced looking directly to the King, "I saw it, his Aura is strong for a new born, I'll teach him to be a Guardian!"
She noticed Cynthia blink, and then come around to get a better view of the bundle in the Queens arms, "My Arceus she's right…" Looking to Norman she said, "I-It's a good idea my lord, the boy is strong in Aura,"
"Absolutely not!" Exclaimed Alexander angrily, "The bloodline must be cut!"
"I'll take care of him, I swear to you. I won't let any harm come to him," She whispered to the queen.
"W-Why would you do this?" She whispered, "You're no older than twenty,"
"I know what it's like to not get a fair chance in life; your boy hasn't been given a single chance. I can give him that chance; I'll raise him as if he was my own, please!"
The brunette stared at Alyssa, searching her for the sliver of a lie. She couldn't find one, the way she defied her own King, refused to let them commit murder.
She placed her lips onto the temple of the baby's head, and fought back a sob, "Your mommy loves you Ash, you be good. Mommy will always love you," She looked up to Alyssa, "Thank you," She whispered gratefully.
She carefully handed over the small bundle and said, "His name is Ashton, or Ash for short."
Alyssa cradled the baby in her arms gently before looking at the tear filled eyes of the queen and saying, "I'll take care of him, I promise,"
"Hand over that child," The tip of a blade was at her throat before she knew what was happening, Alexander holding the steel firmly against the soft flesh.
"I don't take orders from you," She hissed.
"Cloud," Norman spoke calmly, "The boy will get no special treatment, and you will be raising him on your own."
"I know your Majesty,"
He regarded her critically, "Cynthia escort Cloud out of the castle, no one learns of this. He was an orphan and she took him in. Parents killed in battle,"
The queen shut her eyes and muttered a prayer of thanks at his words. The sword lowered from her throat and she glanced at Cynthia, "Let's go," Looking back to the Queen, she said one final time, "I'll take care of him, I promise,"
She smiled at her, "I know you will… Thank you," Steel pressed itself against her cheek, "I don't like this Norman,"
"It's not your call,"
Alexander cursed under his breath, but ordered the Queen to kneel.
Alyssa turned away, holding the bundle in her arms closer as she saw the queen expose her neck. Starting for the doors, with Cynthia beside her, there was the swoosh of a sword, a dull thud, and then the image distorted.
The image flickered, blurred and then seemed to retreat into the tip of the opened Time Flower. The crystal flower closing itself once all of the light was gone, and dulled in color.
Ash stared blankly ahead, eyes focused on the wall ahead of him, as tears leaked from his eyes. That had been his mother… His father… Killed before his very eyes.
The emotions that surged through him were everywhere. He wasn't even sure if what he had seen had been real. He knew it was real… But a part of him wished it wasn't.
He knew now why he never learned that he was… The son of a King and Queen. His mother's maiden name must have been Ketchum… And his fathers would have been Gilead.
None of the Guardians had moved, all still standing like statues.
What was he going to say to Alyssa? He… Mew he didn't know… Running a hand carefully over the Time Flower, careful not to activate it accidentally, he slowly turned himself to look at Alyssa.
She was a few steps behind him, and she refused to meet his gaze. Her hands were out in front of her, holding a bundle wrapped in clothe, "This is yours by birthright," Her voice was quivering as she held it out to him.
He reached out and drew back the two ends of the cloth. A long black scabbard, trimmed with an intricate gold pattern running down the side housed a blade. The hilt that protrude, was a perfect T. A perfectly polished steel pummel at the bottom of a black leather hilt.
He picked up the scabbard delicately with both hands. Wrapping one hand around the hilt, his eyes closed. It felt right; there was no other way to put it. This was his… Swallowing the lump in his throat, he removed the sword with a shiiiing that ricocheted through the room, and held it in front of his eyes.
The blade was beautiful, a feint blue in the finely tempered steel. It was massive, 40'' if he guessed right. His reflection looked back at him, reading the odd inscription running down the length of the blade.
"This is your father's sword," He snapped out of his gaze and looked to Alyssa, "Norman took it with him after he left Viridian Castle. We recovered it from him for when the day where we told you the truth…"
He carefully slid the long sword back into its scabbard, and looked back to Alyssa. "It's yours now,"
His right hand dropped to where the sword he had retrieved from the outpost was, and unclipped it, letting it fall to the ground. He then clipped the scabbard to his hip and looked to Alyssa.
He startled her as his arms found their way around her, and his head buried in her shoulder. And then he was crying, crying because she gave him a life, because she loved him, and saved him from being killed before he was even given a chance.
Alyssa wrapped her arms tightly around him and shut her eyes tightly as tears threatened to escape, "I-I'm not mad," He whispered and her hold tightened, and shoulders sagged in relief.
"Thank you for everything, I-I don't say it often, but I truly do love you mum, I really do!" His voice shook and he held her tighter, his mum, the woman who took him in on a whim that he'd become a Guardian, who saved him from death before he could even remember.
"I love you so much Ash, I'm so sorry we couldn't have told you sooner!"
"I-I understand Aly, I was a liability, I truly understand, I can't be mad at you," He pulled back and gave her a light kiss on the cheek before looking over his shoulder at the other twelve Guardians, "Or any of you for that matter, you are all my family. I understand,"
And only then did Cynthia crack a small smile, her own eyes watering a little at his words.
He and Alyssa separated, and he wiped away his tears with the palms of his hands, "We're sure you have plenty of questions Ash," Said Cynthia in a quiet voice as she came over and took him into a quick embrace, "But we… But we have a request of you, or if you'd like to call it your first… And final assignment as a Guardian of Hoenn,"
He glanced to Alyssa in shock, "W-What? I-I haven't even-" He stopped as Alyssa took his hand and gave it a soft squeeze.
"We'll explain upstairs," She said quietly, "You'll be wanting to sit during this discussion."
Fifteen Guardians sat around a rectangular wooden table, beneath the glow of the blue flamed chandelier facing towards Ash, Alyssa, and Cynthia.
He knew each of the men and woman around him, by name, hometown, and by where they were stationed in the Region. You could point at any of them, and he could announce their apprentices name in a heartbeat, or their mounts themselves.
But for the first time, in the years that he'd known them, he regarded them as if he knew none of them. Not because he hadn't been told the truth. But because at the moment, they looked at him as a foreigner…
Or how they would have first looked at him when Alyssa had shown up to their annual gathering with a child in her arms… Confused, weary, hesitant, skeptical, suspicious.
And how was he supposed to address them? Like nothing had just happened? That seemed like the best way to go about it, he didn't want… Special treatment. He wanted to know just what the hell Cynthia had been talking about.
His first and last mission as a Guardian?
Alyssa was the first to begin speaking, her voice neutral and calming, her blue eyes fastened on his, "Over the years," She began slowly, "Hoenn and Johto have been in close relations as you know,"
He nodded and his head turned to Cynthia as she began where Alyssa left of, "Before the war, the two Regions were already close, and the agreement that the Princess and Prince were to be married when of age showed us all how far Norman would be willing to go to turn Hoenn and Johto into a joint Kingdom,"
Steven, a Guardian just entering his thirties spoke next, "At the time we all thought this for the best, with both Kingdoms losing many soldiers and resources during the fight with Kanto. But now we see otherwise,"
Ashs eyebrows furrowed, "On what grounds?" He asked slowly.
A red head six years his senior, Lorelei was next, "During this time of peace, it has been my duty to watch over Johto, learn of rumors, gossip, or anything that could stipulate trouble. Over this time I have not heard of any such things,"
"But due to the attack presented on you," Cynthia began once again, "We have started regarding the situation differently. As you most recently saw, Alexander wanted nothing more than to see you dead,"
Ash shut his eyes briefly to calm the slight buildup of anger and hurt.
"Your father Jason was of the Royal bloodline, not your mother Delia Ketchum. He wanted a complete reform of the Kanto region. And he almost had that in the end."
Alyssa spoke up, "Your uncle in now the King, the brother of your father and heir to the throne since both you and your father were killed."
He had living relatives? "So since the Kingdom is still under the Gilead bloodline, you are the rightful heir to the throne of Kanto,"
His mouth drooped open and he felt his heart skip a beat. "But the government was reformed when the war end-"
Alyssa had a slightly guilty look on her face, "Do you understand now that why I have been sent on assignments to Kanto, you have had to go and stay with Cynthia?"
He shook his head, "You're a spitting image of your father, all except for your eyes. They're your mothers," Cynthia said softly.
"Had you gone with me to any of the barons, you would have been recognized. We couldn't have that, you being alive was a guarded secret. None other than those at this table, Alexander, and Norman know."
"Kanto had been reformed, but not much so. Before the war, it had been a well-rounded system, the only flaw would be the ruler." He simply nodded, he knew of his father from talks, lessons, and through reading, "So the only change was that of who ruled, your uncle Giovanni Gilead brother of Jason Gilead, took up the mantle as soon as your deaths had been confirmed."
"Had he wanted the throne for himself?" Asked Ash with eyebrows drawn together.
Cynthia shook her head, "Nay he did not, Jason had been a strong ruler, and Giovanni being the younger of the two looked up to him. But even your fathers own blood recognized an unnecessary act of war, and he had he not been for it. But had no choice but to partake as he was the Chief of War. At the end though, the treaty signed between Kanto and Hoenn had been drawn by him,"
Ash nodded faintly, he now remembered that from a lesson early on in his training.
"He is a fine King," Alyssa said slowly, "But not the one we need now."
The silence that followed wasn't tense. It was just regular silence, until what she had said clicked into his mind.
Ash leapt up from his seat in shock, knocking the chair back onto its hinges shaking his head furiously, "Y-You all are out of your minds!" He exclaimed, "You want… You… Me to…. You want me to-"
"We need the true King of Kanto to take his rightful place on the throne," Said Cynthia in a low, powerful voice that stopped him in his tracks.
"B-But why? If… This is insane! If… If my uncle is doing fine then in what need am I of going back? I'm a Guardian! Not a-a-a- King!"
Alyssa stood up surprising him, "Aye but you are," She said in a cunning voice that halted any possible questions, "for when you marry the Princess, the crown goes to you-
"It goes to Max-"
"The eldest shall be given the crown," She said lowly, "May is far more equipped for the duty, the Prince is no King. Acknowledged by Norman himself, the crown will go to May. And who ever weds her shall be King."
She wasn't done speaking, Ash could see it in her eyes, something was waiting to spring up-
"And in a few months' time that shall be LaRousse."
Ash didn't know how to respond to that. He'd be lying if he said he wasn't still looking for a legitimate way for him to find a way for May to get out of that blasted agreement. And that with every night that passed, the frustration was becoming greater and greater. That with every day that pasted he was getting less and less time to get the plan finished before the wedding.
"I being King won't change a thing," He said finally, "It won't change that the agreement is still in place,"
Alyssa shook her head, "Nay it won't, but it will give you influence in your decisions no matter what it be."
"There is another reason however," Cynthia interrupted quickly, "Your… Relationship with the Princess is important yes, but the safety of Kanto and Hoenn are now at risk,"
"The LaRousse's are looking for control over the three Kingdoms, but in a much more subtle way then your father went about doing it."
"None realized until late that there may be other reasons for the marriage. We're to believe that Drew marrying May is strictly so that he can become King, and then from there on both Hoenn and Johto would be used declare war on Kanto and conquer it for their own. Once the Princess and the Prince bear a child that is,"
The thought made his stomach twist into a knot, that May… He shook his head, "How do you know this?"
Alyssa this time, "Not until of late as Cynthia had said. The Knights who were sent after you, to kill you… There is only one person who would want you dead, and that would be Alexander,"
"But why at this time?" He exclaimed, "He knows not of my relationship with the Princess, nor does his bastard of a son!"
Cynthia spoke softly, "Or does he?" And Ashs eyes snapped to the Chief Guardian, "What if our King sent word to Johto, informing him of your infatuation and the damage that would be caused by you?"
"Lord Maple would not request for my death-"
"Nay, he may not. But what if Alexander sent his Knights to finish what he wanted twenty years before? Then the bloodline would be finished, and no one would ruin the marriage. Especially not by the one who was supposed to be killed along with his mother and father,"
Ash set his chair back up and sat down tiredly.
"Why hasn't the King been notified of any of this? Surely he would cut the agreement in a hurry?"
"If he did go and do that, war would be declared, and since the Princess is no doubt settled in Johto, her life would be on the line. And no doubt be threatened-"
"Then I'll get her out!" Ash exclaimed slamming his hands down onto the table, "As her Guardian it is my duty to protect her!"
"Then protect her by becoming King!" Cynthia shouted in a voice that had him sitting back in his seat, "Lord Maple would not risk his daughter's life; he would consent with great reluctance to continue on with the agreement. Or else war would have his bloodline severed. He, the Queen, and the Prince would be killed in Alexander's wake, and May would be kept alive under threat to wed Prince LaRousse! She would be the one to draw a Treaty in the end, ending with her being the only one left in the Royal bloodline. This would give Drew title of King, and her the Queen of Hoenn."
Ashs hands clenched and his gaze fell to the blade on his hip. "I can't rule a country though; I can wield a sword, and draw a bow. But to command a Kingdom, and order-"
Cynthia tapped the table drawing his attention with a dangerous smile, "Aye but ye need not to! Learn from Giovanni in time, but take the crown before the wedding and except the invitation for yourself! Steal her highness's hand in marriage and take her to Kanto! The blood line ends with your uncle who has no children of his own, and Max would be left to rule over Hoenn come his time!"
"That's the thing!" He said as calm as possible, "How do I take her hand in marriage? I've slept for months trying to come up with something! Other than placing an arrow through the green haired shits heart, I have no idea!"
The table of Guardians fell silent. The first time in in their two hours of speaking.
"An assassination would only lead to war, Hoenn would be at fault and Kanto would side with Johto in the cause…"
"When is the damned wedding?" Asked Ash, "In all this time I know not of the date."
Steven spoke, "No date as of yet," He informed, "preparations take well over a half a years' time, and the sending out of invitations would add to the time."
"It's been two months since LaRousse proposed aye?" There was a general nod across the table, "That would give me four- five months to travel to Kanto and…" He shook his head at the thought, "Take the crown?"
"Take the crown and plan, become the King and fight for Lady May," Said Steven encouragingly.
"Unite Hoenn and Kanto, become the King you were born to be!" His eyes flickered in surprise to Alyssa as the words escaped her mouth, "We shall send word to Norman that you've… You've been what Alexander wanted. Killed, while you make the journey."
"Word will reach Johto of this," He replied certainly, "Norman will want May to know of my death, and… And if she learns that I am truly alive, that I've travelled to Kanto. A happy May would be far to suspicious, she'd have to be uninformed of this."
"I'll watch over her, keep her from getting any news for as long as I can of your 'death.'"
Ash cast his gaze across his fellow Guardians, "I don't want to leave you all," He said finally, "I do want to be a Guardian,"
Cynthia gave him a small smile, "Aye, but it is not who you were born to be, a fine Guardian you are. Damn fine, but your path lies elsewhere."
He looked down to the hard wood table, before he nodded gravely, "I suppose so…"
His eyes drifted to his hand as he felt a small squeeze, looking to his mother she said, "You'll go to Kanto then?"
His gaze then drifted across the fourteen pairs of eyes that regarded him anxiously, "I'll be living in Kanto mum," He said softly, "No more afternoon coffee?"
Her eyes watered and her hand tightened over his, "No more," She whispered feeling her throat constrict.
Shutting his eyes, his free hand dropping to the hilt of his father's sword, he inhaled and exhaled deeply.
"Alright, I'll go.
Bip Bap BAM! Big chapter!
Most of you guessed that yes, Ash was indeed the Heir to the Throne in Kanto. As to the foreshadowing sometime back.
Please, please please! Drop off a review for this chapter! Feedback is absolutely lovely! Positive or negative I'll take it!
Following the events of the Time Flower my writing… Well at times it goes a bit odd, but last month I got into Stephen King's the Dark Tower series, and I absolutely love the writing style. So I'm slowly attempting to change my style to follow his example, in baby steps though, as I'm terrible at metaphors.
It's hard to say what I'll write next, whether another Guardians chapter, or Ashes, I'm undecided. But there will be a Spark of a Soul chapter in less than a week, and… Unfortunately I've got another story idea that popped into my head.
One that I wouldn't mind turning into a full blown fic… It's an Advanceshipping, but that's all I'm going to say.
Also since I'm terrible at describing weaponry, Ash's sword is pretty much the sword of Anduril from Lord of the Rings... It's an absolute monster...
Thank you all so much for reading, it was a biggie this chapter, so please drop in a review and tell me what you think! I'm going to go over it tomorrow morn'- Or well around three as it is currently 2AM- for spelling mistakes and errors. I'm too drained at the moment.
Once again, thank you all for reading and your reviews are truly appreciated!
That's all for now, I'll see you all next time!