(A/N: This chapter is essentially a recreation of the legend told and shown in "The Keystone Pops" of the Pokémon Anime. Feel free to take a look.)
The Enigma Chronicles – Sedition
Chapter 20: Someday...
500 Years Later...
Far abreast of Mount Coronet, concealed by trees and woodland herbage, a small and unremarkable village thrived as one of the first overseas settlements. People and Pokémon coincided peacefully here, masters of their own destinies, for feudal monarchy was dead. The Brethren Congress was no more, its power dissolved, leaving kingdoms and villages everywhere scattered but blissfully independent.
But THIS township was different from the rest, given its location and fascinating history, and villagers often recounted stories of the old beggar man whom founded their village hundreds of years ago; he'd traveled from afar to snuff out a colony of dangerous fugitives... but never succeeded in finding them, so he settled down in his alien surroundings and raised a family... a legacy... a bloodline not yet realized.
A chill wind cut through the crowded streets of the homely settlement. The sigh of fall passed through the infinite branches, lulling the leaves down towards the ground. The village priest wandered the dirt paths, watching the change of seasons at its pinnacle, as flocks of Staravia coordinated southward and swarms of Combee retreated to the safety of their hives in ready of the coming winter. It looked to be a promising transition for everyone.
The priest released a soft sigh, relaxing and taking comfort in the village's breadth of peace. "Very promising indeed...", He whispered to himself, smiling in slight relief. "Hopefully we'll have enough time to harvest the crops and gather more supplies from the mountains before the next attack-"
He'd spoken too soon. The perfect scene suddenly splintered apart. The once clear, blue sky darkened as thick, dismal clouds rolled in. The foul smell of smog filled the air as a harsh, cold breeze blew, giving a warning to the ominous storm that was coming. There was a flash of lightning, yet not a drop of rain appeared.
Flickering with dimensional flux, the wicked ghost Pokémon emerged from the stormy clouds, descending over the village in a fit of bellowing laughter. A swirling, purple vortex with green, varying sized orbs of light circled its hideous face. Its mouth was bowled over in a crooked expression, two green fateful eyes shaped like half-crescents in a dark overcast. Its gaseous mass of a body hung bound to a slab of stone, as if to sustain its ghostly presence in a world full of mortals.
The priest looked up and gasped. "Heavens! Not again!" His feet teetered frightfully in the dirt and he promptly made a dash for the nearest row of houses and huts, his hands waving in panic. "Everyone, find shelter immediately! Spiritomb has come back to wreack havoc!"
"Spiritooomb!", The ghoul howled as it approached the innocent populace. "Mwuahaha! Tooomb!"
The villagers stopped in their posts and gazed into the blackened sky, shuddering beneath the glare of the accursed Spiritomb that had come back to terrorize their village, such was its nature. Of course, this wasn't the same Spiritomb sealed away beneath the ruins of Emerald Kingdom... but it was a monstrosity with just as much an appetite for havoc as Azien and his one hundred and seven disciples. And unlike the Spiritomb composed entirely of Kaiser spirits, this Pokémon acted independently, prowling the mortal world and stirring trouble purely for the sake of petty amusement.
There was more. Some legends claimed the founder of their village, a hermit by the name of Eldar, had encountered the original Spiritomb in his travels and somehow duplicated the demon to help root out the runaways he'd been hunting. But after Eldar's passing, the ghostly spawn roamed Sinnoh by its lonesome, masterless and free to do as it pleased. It had abandoned its original ambitions and proceeded to invoke chaos wherever it went, probably at Eldar's dying request – little known to most, old man Eldar had always harbored a fetish for chaos.
Unfortunately, there was no one left alive from those days to verify such an omen. All anyone DID know was that Spiritomb was bad news every time it surfaced.
Now, here it was again, attacking the village for a good ol' laugh. And the poor natives could only helplessly scatter like mice as the evil Pokémon pillaged apart houses, gutted through fruit carts, and drained the wells and water holes of any excess water. Cries of terror ripped through the air, rubble and embers littering the streets. The whole village was swept in a plague of fiery disarray.
Caught in the eye of the disaster, the village priest toppled to the gravel as everyone scrambled to flee, and he let out a painful cry of agony. The outburst of grief rose over the height of the trees and scattered the Spearows perched above him as it rolled and echoed across the forest.
But as his scream faded off into the valley, he looked up from the dirt and beyond the smoke, spotting a figure silhouetted against the glittering sunset. "W-Who could that be?"
There was a man approaching from the village borders... a tall, herculean man swathed in the light simple clothes of an unsung traveler; from a finely devised silk tunic and cape to the soft leather boots that shielded his feet from the ash spilled before him. His eyes were kept hidden beneath the chestnut tufts of a messy mop of hair, leaving little to the imagination. And on the armor plate of his hardy shoulder sat a Pikachu, its red pouches cossetting electrical sparks.
Once the wanderer pulled to a stop in front of the collapsed priest, he kindly extended an arm to his elder, and the old man hesitantly slid is small hand around the stranger's taut limb as he was promptly pulled to his feet.
A flock of unattended villagers then swarmed to the man and his Pikachu with helpless abandon, cowering behind him.
Maintaining his calm, the curly-haired stray turned his head to the scene of the fuss, where Spiritomb continued its ghastly assault upon the burning village.
The priest swallowed a hard lump in his throat and stepped to the silent wanderer's flank, muttering in a broken rasp, "That Spiritomb just won't leave our village be!" His expression soured, and he cringed at the grisly sight – the attack was far more devastating than Spiritomb's last visit. "If it isn't stopped, we'll all be-"
But rather than draw a sword or so much as string an arrow, the man calmly raised his arm... and a blue fire flickered to life in the dip of his palm. It was an Aura Sphere.
The villagers gasped as one, staring at the display of black art in disbelief.
"I-Impossible!", The priest cawed, his bottom lip quivering. He just knew this had to be some kind of dirty trick! "Aura Wielders have been extinct for centuries!
The Aura Sphere's handler let his shadowed eyes settle on the old man for a moment, then cracked a witty smile. "Are you sure about that?"
The elder stood gobsmacked as the whiskered man chortled on his own expression, his shaded eyes of sapphire blue now the prominent gaze of a legendary hero thought long dead. And as the priest studied this soldiered hero more carefully, he saw something very interesting. He couldn't quite explain it... but he found he was looking into the face of a new generation, one born from the ashes of an old span of heroes.
The villagers suddenly let out a deafening shriek when Spiritomb spotted them from the wreckage and rushed at them from a distance, laughing manically, "Toooomb! Toooomb!"
Pikachu sprung from its perch, charged for battle! "Pika!", The Electric Pokémon chimed out, alerting its Master to Spiritomb's approach. "Pika, Pika! Pikachu!"
The mysterious Aura Guardian spun to attention and fired the Aura Sphere at the ground nearest Spiritomb, causing a cloud of dirt to plume from its impact, suspending the archfiend fresh in its tracks.
With the enemy disenabled, Pikachu dashed into action, the Aura Guardian promptly chasing after with another Aura Sphere charged in his palm.
From a distance, the villagers huddled together and watched in sheer amazement as the fearless warrior and his faithful Pokémon confronted the wicked spirit head-on, sparing no mark of delay or hesitation. The heroic pair seemed nearly unstoppable, launching relentless Aura Spheres and Thunderbolts at the cackling foe, standing their ground like a couple of immovable statues. It was truly a scene to behold, a scene to forever enshrine and recount for future generations.
Flames from wreckaged houses danced around the battlefield, girdling the three competitors in a ring of hellfire. The Aura Guardian and his Pikachu continued their offensive until Spiritomb finally backed off... but only to inhale the nearby flames in its ghostly entrails and spit them back out at the enemy duo, taking them both by surprise.
The villagers gasped in horror, but quickly found their faith renewed when Pikachu repelled the flames with a blast of lightning, driving Spiritomb further away from the village square.
The Aura Guardian then lunged into action, standing firm before the regained territory and holding a defensive stance.
Spiritomb rebounded, safely but begrudgingly, and sneered down at the human who dared to interfere, a look of disgust plain on its face. After a long and intense stare, it turned from him to Pikachu, who was now charging closer with a Volt Tackle.
"Pika, Pika, Pika, Pika!", The nimble mouse babbled as it picked up speed, a voltage light enshrouding its body. "Pika! Pika!"
Wrenching through flames, Spiritomb let out an unearthly howl and raced forward, putting itself on a collision course with Pikachu. And as filaments of glistering energy orbited its vortex body, it became evident to everyone accounted for that a Giga Impact was being readied to obverse the opponent's Volt Tackle.
The Aura Guardian backed away to evade contact with the collision, surrendering complete control of the battle to his Pikachu.
The spectating villagers ducked in cover, many looking off in fear of the outcome. Only the priest stood frozen, his confidence in the pair unfettered. He had no intention of forsaking his heroes with a cowardly demonstration of doubt or skepticism.
But just before impact, Pikachu broke off into the air with a timely dive, leaving Spiritomb speeding out of control with no target in sight and open to an attack. "Toooomb?"
Close by, the young Aura Guardian rubbed his beard thoughtfully. He silently applauded his companion's elusive maneuver, though he'd had an inkling from the start that Pikachu had never intended to risk its life in such a reckless collision course. The Pokémon had been well instructed to mind its opponent.
Unable to pull to halt, Spiritomb slammed smack-dab into tree stump, wasting its Giga Impact on the spot. The demon's stamina dwindled, its power minimal.
As Pikachu tumbled from the sky, harnessing the power of the thunderclouds, bolts of lightning suddenly began to rain down over the debased Spiritomb, each descending at Pikachu's prompt.
The villagers hacked on disbelieving breaths as Spiritomb shamefully met its doom under the firepower of the storm clouds overhead.
And seeing an opportune moment to pinion the phantom for good, the Aura Guardian watching the victory unfold lunged from his post and reached into his belt for something in particular.
The priest cocked his head when he spotted the bustling hero carrying a billet of rock in his palm. It looked to be chiseled down with strange, intricate fissures, and he could only marvel what sort of power it helmed.
Once at a safe but close enough distance, the Aura Guardian pitched the keystone... and, to everyone's awe, the object completely absorbed the unconscious spirit in its archaic fissures, thus ending the demon's campaign of carnage... for now.
The skies cleared, the smog and flames subsided.
A moment of silence was quickly followed by the eruption of cheers, applause and loud whistles rippling across the mob of villagers as they flocked to their saviors.
The priest managed to find his way to the front of the crowd, for he wanted to thank the Aura Guardian both personally and on behalf of his people. But when the time came for him to speak, he just couldn't find his voice. He was still in a state of... wonderment.
Before the speechless elder could open his mouth, the Aura Guardian reached for his wrist and placed the keystone in his wrinkly palm, whispering, "The first Spiritomb was sealed away in a crypt. This widget, however, is a smaller and more reliable repository for evil spirits. I leave it in your hands." He smiled and croaked, "Take good cherish of it."
As Guardian moved aside to examine a pile of rubble left from the damage, the priest looked down to the object in his palm, gasping in a hoarse voice, "Where did you ever find this?"
"It was left buried beneath a deserted witch camp.", The Guardian punctually answered in a most masculine voice. He seemed preoccupied, however, arranging the chunks of stone in front of him into some kind of bizarre shrine. "Think nothing of it."
The people looked to each other in bafflement, unsure what exactly he was trying to construct.
The priest, meanwhile, looked up from the keystone and arched a brow, "Do you typically forage about for ancient relics?"
The Guardian chuckled deep in his throat. "I'm just a helpful handyman. I do what I must, I go where I'm needed." He rose to his feet and stepped aside to reveal his creation. He had forged a small but stable spire from just a scant heap of stone and wreckage. "Keep the keystone sealed away in this hallowed tower... and your village will be safe."
Whispers and murmured sifted through their numbers, but only the priest kept quiet.
Unsatisfied with the lack of reply, the Aura Guardian stepped towards the priest and offered a dire look, one of the utmost serious mind. "Can I trust you to keep these grounds secured?"
The village priest turned to his savior, looking quizzical. He grabbed the nameless man by the shoulders and gave him an urgent jolt. "Just... just who are you, brave sir?", He choked on a fleet breath, humble eyes pooling into bright, spry gems of life. "Why stake your life for people you hardly know?"
The Guardian again smiled, petting the Pikachu mounted to his shoulder, as if waiting a moment to formulate an intelligent response. "It takes a selfless man to inspire selflessness... at the risk of his own self.", He whispered, the words an echo of a past life. "As the first of many more Aura Wielders to surface, I pray society will think rethink its stance against our customs and practices."
The priest furrowed his greyish brow in thought, then stuttered, "...of Aura Wielding, you mean?"
The Guardian shook his head and revised the faulty assertion with a twinkle in his eye, "Of love and compassion." His gaze pierced through wind, tree, and rock to focus on his thoughts. "The same love and compassion my forefather, Sir Aaron, demonstrated throughout the great war. The same affection he found in Lady Rin. The same friendship he forged with Lucario. The same balance he brought to the Ministry. The same righteousness he discovered in himself... and the same selflessness he inspired in others."
Then, as he started to wander off towards the sunset, the villagers quickly cleared a path for him, but not without mulling over his testament. What was he trying to communicate to them? Was he giving them answers to questions they'd have to ask as a community – as a society that had once allowed the Ministry to die?
As if channeling their thoughts, the caped crusader bid them, "These are the answers the future must look to, because hope is not yet lost for those with the gift... and those who want nothing more than to make the world a better place."
"To be wholesomely honest... your kind was nearly forgotten... until today.", The priest uttered aloud, holding the keystone tight in his lanky grip, his gentle gaze following the departing duo. "But our ways have changed over the centuries. Our laws are different. We will not repeat the misdeeds of our ancestors... and when the time comes, we will welcome the forsaken with renewed faith."
"Someday... that time WILL come.", The Guardian answered over his shoulder, then ranged onward as he and his Pikachu vanished into nightfall, following the stars to their next adventure.
YOU ARE REMEMBERED FOR THE LIVES YOU CHANGE
Once you establish a foundation for which you have great passion, start thinking big. Don't look to inspire one person, look to inspire hundreds! Stay positive, work past failures, and present optimism openly to others no matter what the circumstances are. Doubt is a very contagious disease, and if you show any of it, you can easily tarnish any positive influence you might have instilled in a person. And remember, just one good deed passed down to another can be the foundation of a legacy – and even in legacy, we can change lives with what we've left behind.