Okay, so here's my crack at a Pokemon Conquest fanfic. This game is AMAZING and deserves lots of love and some advertisement. It's my favorite pokemon game now! So anyway. This story doesn't necessarily follow the hero/heroine's side of the story, but it's just a different take on the main storyline. It may contain some spoilers. Rated T just to be safe.
Oh! On another note: I actually learned something from playing this game. "Nobunaga pounds the rice to make the rice cake, Hideyoshi kneads it, and in the end, Ieyasu sits down and eats it." Random little quote there that I thought was awesome and probably doesn't make any sense.
Summary: Her mother says, "Every warrior must answer the call. Don't squander your good fortune, girl." Then her mother goes back to preparing dinner, and the girl is left wondering how being called off to war is good fortune.
IN the Kingdom of Terrerra...
"Hush now," her mother replies sternly. The girl is effectively quieted, watching her mother with widened eyes. The spoon is being waved around in the air dramatically before her face, but she dares not flinch away. Whatever's coming to her will only be worse if she flinches. "You will not ruin this for yourself. You're doing your family a great honor by accepting this invitation." I haven't accepted it yet, have I?
The girl sits straight in her seat, legs crossed, hands folded. She wants to question all of this, but that spoon is right there, and her mother's not one to be questioned... Without a response, her mother is satisfied, and turns 'round to stir the soup. Feeling bold, the girl speaks. "But, Mother." And she rushes all the words that follow so as to get them all in. "I understand that it's an honor, but it's an honor I don't think I really want."
Her mother stops her stirring abruptly, turning 'round to stare chidingly at her child. "Excuse me?"
Girl swallows. "I understand that it's an honor, but it's an honor I don't think I really want..."
"Selfish girl," her mother chides, shaking her head. "Don't you want to fight for your kingdom?"
"Well?" There goes the spoon flying around everywhere again. "Your grandfather, father, sister, and brother all fought before you to protect our way of life. Each and every one of them accepted the call without hesitation, and now you've decided to drag our name through the mud?"
"Mother, no!" Girl panics. "I would think of nothing more than to protect our family name! I just don't think that there's ever going to be an end to the figh-"
"Hush now!" Girl quiets herself, tries to quiet her thoughts, and quiets her heavily pounding heart. "You will go. You've spent your entire life preparing to join the fight. I have big dreams for you, young one. Dreams your sister and brother before you had, and Arceus bless their souls. Poor children." Her mother's demeanor suddenly changes. She's lost two children to this war. Girl doesn't want to die, either.
"But, Mother... I don't want to leave you without someone to carry on the name," Girl remarks quietly, although she has no intentions of ever marrying. She just wants something to save her from this dreaded fate.
Her mother waves her hand dismissively, no longer angry. Just tired. It's in her eyes. "I'd rather you went off to war and brought your father honor than be like me." That was the root of every discussion in the house. And then her mother shoots her the look. "Besides. I see right through you. You'll never marry, like that Keiji in the next kingdom over."
Girl drops her eyes. Her mother, albeit how much she wants to deny it, is right. About everything. "All right." She sighs, terrified of the war she's about to enter in to. Her appetite has been obliterated, but she'll eat anyway. "I'm sorry." She feels obligated to apologize for arguing. Her sister and brother didn't argue. She shouldn't, either.
"Listen, child," her mother says roughly, although Girl catches the comfort that's supposed to be in the words. "I know you're frightened. But you just have to remember, everyone gets a little leary at the sight of war." Girl thinks of the slowly spreading poison that is Nobunaga's kingdom. He's not leary of the war at all. "You'll be fine. You're with the best of the best, our very own warlord. Even Nobunaga of Dragnor is said to fear him."
Girl simply nods, although she wrestles with her mother's words and her own feelings of despair. "I know. Lord Shingen and Kenshin of Illusio are said to be two of the most powerful." She's listened to the storytellers weave their tales. "Lord Shingen's Rhyperior is supposedly the most powerful pokemon in all of Terrerra."
Her mother smiles. "Exactly. I have faith in you, my dear."
"It's not that I'm frightened of," Girl says quietly. "I'm rather afraid to put my faith in something so foreign."
Her mother says, "Every warrior must answer the call. Don't squander your good fortune, girl." Then her mother goes back to preparing dinner, and the girl is left wondering how being called off to war is good fortune. "Your grandfather wants to congratulate you, so I'll prepare a bowl of soup for you to take to him. I expect that they'll be waiting for you."
It was all business, Girl thinks. She stands, taking the bowl from her mother and heading for the door. At the sound of her feet, a hard-headed little beast makes his appearance, following her out into the sandy air of Terrerra. The rock-type breathes it in, and it takes Girl a moment to get used to it. Everybody in Terrerra has come home looking snockered at least once in their lifetime. The sand has a tendency to redden the eyes and burn the skin.
"Shall we take a run after we visit Grandfather?" Girl asks her pokemon, a young Cranidos. Cranidos approves the plan with a growl, and so the two set off for Grandfather's house at an easy pace, with Girl thinking of what's ahead of her, Cranidos still unaware of their fate.
MEANWHILE, in the Kingdom of Dragnor...
"Lady Oichi!" Ranmaru calls out, his dark hair swaying slightly behind him. He walks the halls of the castle searching for the young girl, his favorite person to talk to when he was in a bind or worrying over the next battle Lord Nobunaga would be sending him into. Ranmaru has a certain fondness for her, but won't ever admit it aloud.
To his dismay, however, his friend cannot be found. Ranmaru's demeanor changes, as he looks down at the stony walkway in sadness. He wonders where she is today. Maybe she isn't even in the castle, he thinks. The young warrior turns a corner, but abruptly doubles back and hides behind the wall. With a slight peek, he catches sight of Oichi at the end of the corridor. Another glance brings Lord Nobunaga into the picture.
Oichi looks up at her brother with an upset expression. "How could you wish for something so terrible, brother dear?" she queries, completely taken aback. Ranmaru watches from his perch, already concerned for the lady. "I don't understand... You used to be so good and kind..."
Nobunaga's reaction makes even Ranmaru flinch. "Enough, Oichi. Don't you see it? This legend is slowly destroying our beloved Ransei."
"But if you accomplish what you set out to do," Oichi counters, her voice almost a whimper, "you'll destroy everything anyway!"
Nobunaga simply looks down at her from behind his dark eyes. Oichi remembers them to be a soft chocolate color, but now they've turned and she can't even recognize him anymore. Oichi covers her face to hide from the person she doesn't even know anymore, all of her emotions threatening to bubble over, and she's sure that her brother will at least show some sort of empathy. He'll try to understand. Or so she believes.
"Brother dear, please, reconsider your current course of action!" Oichi pleads.
"No." His voice is firm. His clarity is shrouded. All he wants is to restore Ransei to what it was before this hellish civil war ensued, however long ago that was. "I will not let anything or anyone stand in the way of my conquest, Oichi. Whether or not you are my flesh and blood. It does not matter."
Oichi is astonished. She steps away from Nobunaga. "N-Nobunaga... Brother... I don't understand..."
"Then leave." Behind him, she sees the flash of Rayquaza's eyes. She realizes that there is nothing she can do. This is not her brother; her brother is gone and she doesn't even know the face of this person in front of her. He's changed so much that she's not even sure she wants to fight for him anymore.
"Fine," Oichi stammers, blinking back her tears. Nobunaga makes her feel childish for crying. She gazes up at him, unable to find the right words to tell him that he's wrong and that he'll just kill himself in the end of this. But no words come to her, so she takes to her feet, running down the corridor, flying past Ranmaru, who immediately turns to chase after her.
A voice, as heavy and as thick as the night, stops him. "Ranmaru!"
The voice makes his blood run cold. "Yes, Lord Nobunaga?"
"Prepare to invade Spectra. No's kingdom will fall to us tonight," Nobunaga states coldly. "Mitsuhide has already joined our cause."
"Yes, Lord Nobunaga." Ranmaru bows, before bolting off to tell the others, even though all he can think about is his beloved Oichi.
BACK IN the Kingdom of Terrerra...
All is quiet. Peaceful, really, Girl thinks to herself. It's a contradiction to the news that she's going off to war within the next few days, possibly even hours, depending on when the warlord or his generals come for her. She knocks on Grandfather's door, already able to hear the soft music he plays on the flute. The music abruptly ends, and no sooner than that has the door been thrown open and the girl been welcomed into the home.
Her grandmother embraces her happily. "Dear girl," she says, over and over, her dark eyes sparkling proudly. Cranidos runs to play with Grandfather's Sandile, which is laying around lazily until it sees the rock type.
"Brought some of your mother's soup, have you?" Grandfather asks, standing up slowly. He stretches his old limbs, allowing a few things to pop and loosen up a bit. "Oh, goodness. It's a terrible thing to grow old. I remember when I was your age, going off to fight with all of those other warriors." He smiles, ruffling his granddaughter's hair.
Girl holds out the bowl of soup, smiling. "It's fresh. Mother just made it."
Grandmother takes the bowl and goes to dish some out for everyone, while Grandfather leads the girl over to take a look at Cranidos. "See him? Someday he ought to grow up to be even studier than he is now." Girl laughs aloud at this.
"If he gets any sturdier, I'll have my hands full." Cranidos is trying to headbutt Sandile, he easily evades the attacks, snickering in the way only dark types can. He fires a mud shot at the rock type, which gains a sultry whine from the dinosaur-like pokemon. Cranidos runs to Girl's side, hiding behind her leg as he glares at Sandile. "Maybe he'll get a little braver."
At the word, Grandfather looks down at her. His skin is wrinkled and leathery, but Girl sees that in most old people's faces. What she does see only in her grandfather, though, is the way he's managed to stay hopeful all these years. There's still a spark behind his eyes, which makes her smile. Grandfather speaks to her, "Are you ready to go?"
She won't get anything other than the truth past him, so she shakes her head. "No. Far from ready."
Grandfather nods. "Mhmm. Just as I suspected. Come and have a talk with your grandfather," he says. Girl follows him to the table, where they sit as the soup is served up. Grandmother takes her seat to listen to the conversation as Grandfather begins talking. "Now. Tell me. Do you want to join the kingdom's army? Think hard about it, girly."
Girly pauses, thinking hard. "Well, yes, and no. Mostly no, I think."
"You think? Well now, see there? That's your problem," he replies. "Girly, listen. You've got to be brave, like Cranidos. He'll go off and fight anything without any fear at all. I know why you're spooked, though." Girly listens to him speak, her eyebrows rising slightly. Grandfather rubs his chin, watching his granddaughter thoughtfully for a moment. "Aha! I know. Your brother and sister. You don't want to end up like them? Lose yourself to a pointless war?"
He was spot on. "Yes."
"Well now, see there? Girly. This war isn't pointless."
"If I could challenge that..." she begins, hesitating slightly. There's no spoon flying around, so she feels safe to continue. "How long has Ransei been engulfed in this civil war? Since before my time, since before Papa's time. Everybody's always been fighting. I don't see an end."
Grandfather simply rested his hands on the table. "You've just supported my own point."
Girly is confused. "Wha? How? I said that I didn't see an-"
"I know," Grandfather cuts in, taking a spoonful of soup. "Your mother makes wonderful soup, girly. Anyway. You've supported my point with that very statement. 'How long has Ransei been engulfed in this civil war?'"
"Since before my time, and before-"
"Yes, yes, well now, see there?" His white eyebrows go up and she smiles slightly at his expression, even though she doesn't understand what he means. "If everybody's always been fighting, if you don't see an end... That is the reason you will go to war!" He continues to eat his soup while Girly simply sits, not having touched hers yet. "If you don't see an end... You will fight to find that end. So that the generation after yours will see an end. They will see the solution. They will end the war."
And then it clicks in her mind. To fight to find the end. To fight to the end. Although she feels no braver and no more eager to go to war, she understands the purpose of the fight. "I see, Grandfather." But Grandfather sees, too. He sees that terrified little child quivering behind the girly who's trying to grow up too fast. All children everywhere grow up too fast, he decides.
What did you think? Feel free to leave a review! I appreciate them all. :3