Sorry about the delay for this chapter. I got it mixed up with another one. This one isn't a very happy chapter. Just saying.
A battle is about to begin
And a savagery is about be unleashed
To the suffering, will there be a Fin?
"Oshawott, use Water Gun!" Ash commanded. Oshawott jumped in the air before spitting a powerful stream of water. Georgia didn't even seem fazed. "Beartic, use Ice Beam to counter!"
Beartic opened his large jaws and a blue-white beam shot out, freezing the Water Gun attack. The ice stream clattered to the ground.
Oshawott cringed at this. His Water attacks were useless unless he could get up close…
"Oshawott, use Tackle!" Ash commanded, fear edging his voice. The Water Type launched himself at Beartic with stunning power and slammed into his stomach. The Freezing Pokémon reeled back, wheezing.
"Beartic, shake it off and use Slash!" Georgia yelled to her Pokémon. Beartic straightened and his claws enlarged, and they now glowed a bright white. He launched his paw at Oshawott, who dodged in the nick of time. Panting, the Sea Otter Pokémon turned back towards his enemy. Beartic leered at him. Oshawott cringed again. The Pokémon felt a wave of terror for his opponent.
Ash could sense Oshawott's fear for the larger Pokémon. Georgia could too, apparently, as she quickly took charge of the battle. "Beartic, Slash again!"
The Ice-Type's claws lashed out at Oshawott. He jumped and dodged, but Beartic was too vigorous. Oshawott was flung to the ground, those evil claws right behind him.
From the stands, Pikachu could be heard shrieking encouragement. "Pikapi Pikachu!" he shouted, clearly concerned. Axew whimpered as he watched. Cilan looked rather worried himself. "Neither of their attacks will do much damage…and Oshawott is smaller than Beartic…he can't dodge all the time."
Iris's ginger eyes were glittering with hatred as she gazed at Georgia. The Dragon Buster wore a smug expression, which ticked Iris to the core. "Come on Ash, you can do it!"
Ash's single eye darted towards Iris before flicking back to Oshawott. He swallowed as Georgia's relentless Beartic's Slash attacked Oshawott. The poor Water-Type was exhausted. Ash growled softly.
"Looks like Ash is in a tight spot, eh Don George?" commented Freddy. Don George nodded. "Yes, Beartic's relentless attacks aren't letting up the slightest on Oshawott. I wonder if he can pull himself together…"
"Oshawott, hang in there! Use Water Gun in Beartic's face!" Ash shouted over Beartic's grunts and Oshawott's yelps. The Water Type flipped over and a steam of water smacked Beartic in the face, blinding him.
"Now's our chance, Oshawott! Use Razor Shell!"
Oshawott grabbed his scalchop off his stomach and had the tan shell morph into a blue glowing sword before leaping at Beartic. He slashed at Beartic over and over, and the Ice-Type roared in pain.
Georgia scowled at the nuisance. "Geez, you're annoying. How can you win when you can only see out of half your face? Beartic, get into his blind side!"
As Ash was stunned by the insult, Beartic slithered away from Oshawott and into Ash's left side….where Ash had no eye.
"And Georgia takes advantage and makes a break for it!" Freddy called out from his perch. Don George nodded with a grunt but said nothing.
Iris shot Georgia a look that could kill. "Georgia, you're playing dirty!" she snarled, and Axew let out a loud yowl of agreement. Pikachu's cheeks were sparking.
Ash felt a twinge of frustration and he gritted his teeth and tried to point his good eye in Beartic's direction. Darn it! Beartic is going to staying my blind side during the battle now! This is foul play… "Oshawott, attack with Aqua Jet!"
Unbeknownst to Ash, Oshawott was stuck in Beartic's jaws. "Oshawott Osha Wott!" he wailed as he struggled. Ash felt himself begin to sweat. "Son of a—"
Come on now, I expected more from my other self, came a voice. Ash jolted with shock as the world seemed to stop. What…?
Come, come, don't forget me already…remember me? The voice taunted. Ash growled in a rather ferocious manner. Cat-Like!
That's a stupid nickname. Complained the voice. Meanwhile, Oshawott wriggled in Beartic's grasp. The voice began to ridicule Ash. That's so pathetic of you. Can't you even battle with only one eye? I'm rather disappointed.
Shut up…Ash thought desperately. Shut up… "Oshawott…" he whispered, feeling a quivering inside him. Crud…
Cilan's eyes narrowed. "This isn't going to end well for Ash at all…" he muttered. Burgundy's voice made him turn, "Oi, what happened to when he wiped out my flavors in the other tournament?" the Connoiseuse commented aloud. "This…isn't even fair."
"You could say that again…!" snarled Iris. She gritted her teeth, feeling a deep fury begin to build. Georgia, when I get my hands on you…
"Let's wrap this up, Beartic! Rock Smash!" Georgia commanded. The Ice-Type smiled maliciously as he paws began to glow an orange shade. He tossed Oshawott out of his mouth and socked Oshawott back into Ash's view. His single eye widened. "Oshawott…!"
"Oshawott is unable to battle! Beartic wins, and the match goes to Georgia!" announced the referee. Ash shut his eye before returned Oshawott. "Thanks Oshawott, you deserve a good rest…"
He opened his eye to Georgia's smirk. "Pity you didn't have a Dragon-Type. How does it feel to lose to the Dragon Buster, LostFace?"
Ash adjusted his hat rather uncomfortably as he waited for Nurse Joy to return his Oshawott to him. He didn't bother to stick around for the match-ups. The Kanto Trainer was more concerned about Oshawott's condition, and what Georgia said.
LostFace? He thought to himself, Am I really that ugly? I haven't even looked at my reflection since the incident…! Is that why people keep staring at me?
Ash felt a wave of uncertainty inside him. Pikachu chirped softly and patted his Trainer's head, shifting his position on the Kanto Trainer's shoulder. Ash stroked the Electric Type's yellow head in response.
"Hey, Ash, you okay?" came a voice from behind me. The raven haired boy didn't bother turning around. "Yeah, I'm fine, Luke…really…"
"It doesn't sound like it," was his rather worried reply. "Iris was fuming and she went after Georgia. I seriously think she's out for the kill…"
"Iris probably won't kill Georgia."
Ash snorted and turned back to Nurse Joy, who had approached the counter, holding Oshawott's Poké-Ball. "Here's your Pokémon, perfectly healthy~"
"Thank you." Ash said gratefully as he received the Poké-Ball from her. Pikachu squeaked in relief. Ash turned back to Luke again. "Where is everyone, anyways?"
Luke pointed behind him. "They're in the café area to eat dinner. I decide to fetch you." he replied. Ash sighed and hooked the Poké-Ball back to his belt. "So…let's go?"
Luke nodded and waved him over. "Follow me."
"Hey, Ash, looks like Luke found you, eh?" commented Stephan as Ash walked in. The Kanto Trainer snorted in amusement, "Yeah, looks like it."
The group was sitting the same area of tables. Pikachu hopped onto the ground by the table. Burgundy patted a seat by her. Noticing the rather unappealing absence of Iris, he sat down beside her. "Hey, where's Iris?"
"Isn't it obvious? She's going to kill Georgia. Zut, she has temper issues…" Burgundy replied. Ash tittered at the remark. Then he turned, "Um, congratulations for winning the first round, eh?"
The Connoiseuse nodded confidently. "Merci! Soon, I'll get full revenge on Cilan for sure!"
Ash laughed nervously, but said nothing. She's eager for revenge, isn't she…? He thought to himself, feeling somewhat lucky he had a rival who was quite the opposite.
"Hey Ash," came a voice. Both Ash and Burgundy turned to see Cilan approaching them. "Hey Cilan." Ash greeted the Connoisseur. Burgundy merely sniffed, and Ash laughed again.
"Hey, Zorua, where are you~?" came a singsong voice. Bianca was looking for Luke's Zorua.
"Déjà vu…" Ash muttered, smiling weakly.
"Oi…" agreed Burgundy, and Cilan face-palmed. Bianca didn't seem to notice and kept walking, calling out Zorua's name in a sweet and charming tone. Luke groaned and stood up to follow the lively blonde.
Heh, looks like things are the way they always have been… Ash thought to himself. No matter what happens, I shall always treasure these memories forever…
The Kanto Trainer laughed quietly to himself at the melancholy thought. This wasn't like him… ha-ha, maybe I'm getting old~
After a while, Iris came back from her hunt, looking annoyed. Axew hopped out of her hair and onto the floor, next to Pikachu. Ash raised an eyebrow. "Well, did you find her?"
"No!" came Iris's outraged reply. "I can't find her anywhere!"
Ash blinked, "Really? I think you missed a spot." He replied. She shot him a filthy look. "Your such a little kid for—"
"I actually haven't seen Georgia since the match ended," cut in Stephan, in a successful attempt to save Ash from the Dragon Trainer's wrath. "Maybe she went on a walk or something?"
Iris shook her head scornfully, "She's probably hiding from me…!" she growled. Axew made a chirping noise from where he was sitting.
Ash shook his own head, in disagreement, "Georgia probably isn't hiding…"
Cilan nodded in agreement, "Ash is right. Georgia would probably rather take it head on rather than hide…"
Stephan shrugged before leaving, saying something about getting more food to eat. Ash sweatdropped.
Burgundy snorted with disbelief, "Zut! Your rivalry with Georgia is worse than mine with Cilan!"
Cilan gave an uneasy smile at the comment, Ash rolled his eye at the scene, Iris muttered darkly under her breath, and Burgundy shrugged nonchalantly.
At this point Trip approached the group. Ash smiled at the younger Trainer and tapped the seat beside him. "Sit down, Trip."
Trip seemed to consider this for a few seconds before sitting beside his rival. His grey eyes darted around the room, but he said nothing.
"So, what do you think of tomorrow's matchups?" asked Burgundy.
Trip turned to the Connoiseuse. "Apparently you're going up against Luke, Burgundy. I wonder who will win…" Trip commented, more to himself than Cilan's rival.
Burgundy sniffed, "Of course I'm going to be the victor. The more wins, the close my victory against Cilan arrives!"
Cilan smiled warmly, "Well, we'll see…best of luck to both of you!" he said affectionately to the two. Was it his imagination, or was Burgundy blushing?
Ash wasn't paying attention, or maybe he didn't care. He was rather irked by his loss with Georgia. It was bothering him. I wonder why Cat-Like appeared just when I was losing? Was he trying to help me win? Or am I looking too deeply into this?
"So, which one of you guys made it to the final round? I can't really remember~" came a voice. Ash cursed inwardly as Georgia walked into the room, smiling smugly. Iris sprang and looked like she was going to attack Georgia. Ash stood and set a hand on her shoulder to restrain her.
Georgia made the act of thinking hard, "Let's see, Luke, Burgundy, Cilan, and luckily, you Iris. I would like to battle you and your Dragon-Types during this tournament."
Ash raised an eyebrow, and released Iris. Pikachu hopped onto the table, closely followed by Axew.
"Pity we didn't battle in the match today, and we're not going to battle tomorrow either. I'm kind of disappointed." Georgia commented. Ash snorted in reply. "What does that have to do with anything?"
Georgia glared at him, "I was hoping for a more competent battle with a Dragon-Type, and not a battle with a weak half-blind opponent like you."
Ash made a noise like an angry cat, and Pikachu's cheeks began sparking. Cilan and Burgundy started, and Axew let out a yelp. Iris shot Georgia a look that could kill.
"What…?!" Ash said, and didn't even notice how hard he was shaking. Iris blasted venom at the Dragon Buster, "Look, Ash isn't weak and, and you should just shut up!"
Georgia didn't seem daunted, "Well, it's true, isn't it LostFace?"
That did it. Ash's hand clenched into a fist, and before anyone could react, he bolted out of the room without a word.
Ash leaned against a tree behind the Pokémon Center, lost in thought. He knew it had been stupid of him to bolt, but he had thought more criticism would come out of it. So instead of facing the trouble, the Kanto Trainer merely ran away. It had just been the easiest thing to do.
The words Georgia had said were racing through his head over and over, like a repetitive old tape. He half-sat, half-collapsed on the ground.
"I was hoping for a more competent battle with a Dragon Type, not a battle with a weak half-blind opponent like you."
"Well, it's true, isn't it LostFace?"
Ash started as these words coursed through his mind. LostFace? Is that what I look like? I haven't even seen myself after…after…since my eye was torn from me! Is it really that… bad?
"Hey, Ash, are you okay?"
Ash jolted as Iris's voice floated from behind him. The Kanto Trainer turned and saw her, ginger gaze full of concern.
Iris approached him, and sat by him, ignoring his mutters of protest. Resting a hand on his shoulder, she spoke, "Ash… are you okay?" she repeated. Ash buried his face into his knees in an attempt to hide his blush and sudden surge of tears. "Yeah…?"
There was a lengthy and thoughtful silence before Iris spoke again, "Hey, about what Georgia said…"
"I don't care," Ash interrupted, "That jerk can say anything she wants, it won't upset me."
Iris let out a rather exasperated sigh, "You're lying." she replied, squeezing his shoulder slightly. "I think you actually aren't that bulletproof."
Ash snorted and looked up, "Well, I'm only human, aren't I?"
Iris blinked at the philosophic statement. "I suppose…" she muttered. Then the Dragon Trainer remembered something. "Oh, yeah! I found this in the Pokémon Center…"
She dug her other hand into her bag and withdrew a blue checkered bandanna. Ash raised his eyebrow, but said nothing.
Sighing at his clueless-ness, Iris adjusted herself so she was behind Ash. He jerked in surprise, but she ignored him and gently tied the navy cloth around the injured side of his face. With the bandanna secured, Iris returned to her previous position. After scrutinizing the baffled Ash for a while, she nodded and smiled at him, "It's perfect!"
The bandanna covered the disfigurement on Ash's face. The Kanto Trainer lifted a hand to feel the cloth, before smiling at his companion. It was the most genuine smile Ash had displayed since he was mauled. "Thanks Iris!"
The moonlight seemed to illuminate their relief.
Later that night, everyone was asleep. The two had entered the Pokémon Center late that night and silently vowed to say nothing about what had happened between them. It had been a rather touching yet embarrassing situation.
Cilan, however, was still awake. As he slipped on his Shadow Triad costume, he remembered what had happened those many nights ago…
"I know, Chili…I know…"
"I'm glad you understand." Cress straightened as he said this. "Master Ghetsis is concerned. There are still a lot of people who refuse to liberate their Pokémon. Even with our negative evaluations and Master's speeches, a lot of people aren't listening."
Cilan gasped, "How? Is someone encouraging them? Is someone discouraging us? Or both?"
"Both, unfortunately…" replied Cress sadly, "Several Trainers encourage people to keep their Pokémon and ignore Master's speeches. Even Lord N is starting to get frustrated."
Cilan shivered. Usually N was calm and serene. To see him lose his temper was definitely something he would rather not see. A thought suddenly came to him, "This means it's time for us to come out of the shadows, isn't it? At least, that's the fragrance I've received from the conversation."
"Indeed. We're scheduled to meet with Master Ghetsis and Lord N in a few days, during the half moon, near Rightwing Town."
"We're actually heading in that direction now," reported Cilan. "We're sure to get there in time."
All three nodded in agreement before heading back to where they had come from. Cilan moved back to the camp.
Cilan silently leapt out of the window of the room and snuck through the trees. The half-moon was high in the sky, pulsing faintly. Glancing back to make sure no one was tailing him, the Connoisseur continued on his way until he met up with a clearing, hidden by many a cluster of trees. Chili and Cress, also in their Shadow Triad clothing, were there as well.
Ghetsis Harmonia and his son, N, were there as well. His single red eye seemed to pierce the three. The other was covered by a steel and ruby monocle. "Greetings Shadow Triad. You're aware of what has led me to call the three of you here, correct?"
"Yes, Master Ghetsis." All three brothers replied simultaneously. N approached the trio somewhat cautiously, "People are preventing Pokémon from reaching their rightful liberation. We need you to take a step forward with this. You'll have to take the Pokémon… by force."
Cilan swallowed hard. His usual pride always seemed to melt away in the presence of his Lord and Master. "If…If I may be so bold, but… by force, what are you suggesting?"
N's green eyes observed the Connoisseur with such intensity that Cilan didn't dare to look up. "I mean…steal them. Quickly."
"Is someone else stealing the Pokémon for their own benefit?" asked Cress. Ghetsis nodded at the Water Type specialist. "Indeed. There have been sightings… of a Pokémon Hunter and disappearances of Pokémon. We will have to stop them if we are to succeed in our goal."
Cilan jerked. His mind was racing, Pokémon Hunter? Could… could Master Ghetsis be talking about Pokémon Hunter J? If so…
Cilan hid his smile from his Master. If so I'll gladly fight as a member of Team Plasma to take her down!
Me; Longish chapter is long. Weird cliffhanger is weird.
Cat-Like; Oh crap.
Georgia is so evil, or at least I portray her to be. I'm sorry, but I warned you in the last chapter. I think I went overboard here, and, well, you know…This was written before I saw her later appearances, where she became nicer. For that, I apologize...
LostFace is a HUGE reference to Warriors; [SPOILER] this was the same name Bluestar gave to Brightheart after she lost her eye to a pack of dogs (See what I did there?). Of course, her name was changed to Brightheart later, but still…that's a hard name to carry on your shoulders.
NegaiShipping is there at the end. I had originally intended to not connect Iris with the bandanna in anyway, but hell, I guess I did. Oh well, at least NegaiShippers will be happy.
We also have more Shadow Triad!Cilan and his brothers. I'm trying to keep in touch with that plot point; it'll be there for a while. Keep an eye on it; it'll become important later.
I don't think I have much to say here except, bye!
Oh yeah, I do have something else to say. WHERE ARE ALL YOU ANON REVIEWERS COMING FROM?!
Either way, I love you all, and thank you for your kind words~!
Oshawott; Review, everybody!