Pokemon Conquest: The Aftermath
A/N: AU to Conquest. Some little details may be inaccurate. In case you haven't figured out from the title, this will hold spoilers from Pokemon Conquest.
_ Illusio _
"The skies are dark again, My Lord," Kanetsugu reported, entering with Alakazam at his side. "There is little we can do to lighten them."
Kenshin, now crippled with old age, sighed deeply as he sat upon his crystal throne. "The skies are dark... as they have been for so long..." his voice broke as he spoke. "Our Kingdom is dying and there is nothing, nothing we can do."
"We can show the people that we still have love for them," the Warlord's older sister, Aya, whispered. " Where there is love, there is hope... where there is hope, there is prosperity... where there is prosperity-"
"Do not waste your breath, Sister..." Kenshin rumbled, stormy gray eyes lifting to meet his sister's deep blue ones. "No matter how much love we put forth, it will only bring pain..." he stood up, bones creaking slightly as if they had not been used in years. It was with great difficulty that he crossed the mighty throne room and only with the assistance of his two partners, Gallade and Mewtwo, that he was able to stagger to the window. "There is nothing else we can do..."
"My Lord, you should not say such things," Kanetsugu said desperately. "There is still time! We can still make a difference!"
Kenshin's stern gaze swept over the trembling figures of his sister and Junior Warlord. "No. We can no longer make a difference. We have allowed these forces to grow of their own accord. We selfishly stayed here deep in our halls while our people starved." with a sad shake of his head, the Warlord of Illusio turned again towards the windows, staring at the deep gray skies above. "All we can do is wait... wait... and pray for our salvation..."
_ Violight _
"All is not well, Ginchiyo," Muneshige said as he gazed out of the window at the skies above. "Staraptor has been sent out to the other Kingdoms to ask for assistance... thus far, the answers have all come back negative..."
His lover, the Warlord of Violight, growled as she desperately tried to lift her frail body from her covers. Much to his dismay, she fell back again with a hacking cough, fleshy eyelids fluttering. It pained him to see her this way, where so long ago she had proudly strode the halls of Violight Castle. Not far away, her Luxray stood over her, guarding its mistress even when it too suffered from sickness.
"It... cannot... be helped..." Ginchiyo managed between coughs. "They have... their own... problems..."
Muneshige crossed the threshold and gently laid a loving hand upon His Lady's cheek. "I can keep trying... they have to be able to spare at least a little bit of medicine... or healing herbs... or anything..." his voice had taken on a quality that he himself had never heard of before: fear. He was fearful.
He had conquered whole Kingdoms in the name of his love. He had walked the earth of every part of Ransei and back. He had fearlessly charged into battle, without a thought of his own safety. But here, here in his room, Muneshige felt fear. Fear of loss. Of losing her. Of losing the one woman in all of Ransei who had won his heart.
Suddenly, Ginchiyo's hand shot up and gripped his, her dark eyes flashing. "Muneshige... once I'm gone..."
"Don't say that..." he whispered, desperately lifting her and burying his face in her soft brown hair. "Please..."
"Once I'm gone..." Ginchiyo continued, undeterred. "You must... continue to fight for our honor... help the other Kingdoms... restore Ransei to its full glory..." her hold on him tightened. "Please Muneshige... do it in my memory... on my honor..."
Muneshige shook as he spoke. "I... I will... Oh Ginchiyo, I will... I swear it..."
A smile crossed his lover's face. With that smile, she breathed her last. As Muneshige gently laid the woman he loved on her bed and carefully covered her with the sheets, he felt white hot tears running down his cheeks. These tears mingled with those of Ginchiyo's loyal Luxray, who had been there with them to the very end.
For even in death, her pride would never allow defeat.
_ Pugilis _
Yoshihiro had always meant to retire. Years ago, it became his resolve to retire once all of Ransei was united. But not matter how hard he steeled himself for the announcement, it always seemed to end up dying on his lips.
Now here he was, standing in front of a window, watching as the once-blue skies once again turned dark gray. Here he was, with only a bit of gruel for nourishment and a tiny ember to light his fire. He was a Warlord in name only, a shadow of the glory he once was.
What had happened? He didn't understand what had went wrong. One moment, he was witnessing the coming of the Legendary Pokemon. The next, he was toiling to keep his Kingdom alive as droughts and floods ripped all throughout the land. His fateful Conkeldurr had been by his side until the bitter end, until the cruel claws of Pokerus stole it away.
Yoshihiro, no longer the mighty Warrior he once was, brushed the thin strands of silvery hair of what was left of his mighty moustache and sighed. Yes, Ransei was dying. Yes, it was all the Warlords' fault for not foreseeing it. Yes, he should have never gotten mixed up in the whole uniting of Ransei in the first place.
And yet, he could sense a spark somewhere. Perhaps not here, but somewhere...
_ Terrera _
"And... with the power vested in me, by me..." Shingen's thin frame trembled as his thin lips struggled to form the words. "I pronounce you two... uh... in that one state where you're still lovers, but now you're bound to each other, though I'm pretty sure at least one of you will stray, eventually... bwahahaha!"
Yukimura managed a small smile. "Very amusing, My Lord." his Charizard and Shingen's Rhyperior both rumbled out their agreement. Weavile simply snorted.
Kunoichi, on the other hand, could not hide her slight fear as she clung to her new husband. After all, what woman would not be afraid in these dire times? Somehow, amidst all the horror that Ransei had experienced over the past few years, she and Yukimura had managed to form a very special bond. A bond that, eventually, led to him breaking his "unbreakable" warrior's spirit and her maturing so together they would find a little bit of love.
Out of all the nations of Ransei, Terrera had been hit the hardest by the horrid disasters. While it was true that the droughts made no difference on the desert air, the floods had brought out the worst in them. After flushing away most of the Ground Pokemon that were abundant in the earthly kingdom, as well as the crops that could only grow in the desert, Shingen and his entourage were forced to watch in horror as the people starved.
"How much longer can we hold out?" Shingen asked, moistening his lips with his tongue. "I think I'm in the mood for something a little bit better than that thin porridge crap you're always whipping up, Yukimura!"
Kunoichi couldn't help but let out a giggle as her husband bristled. He still had the pride of a Warrior in him, after all. "I'm pretty sure I can whip up something way better!"
Shingen let out a thin, raspy laugh at this remark, a sad shadow of the bellow that it once was. "Well, get cooking! I'll be damned if I and the people of Terrera are going to have to starve to death like common flies! If we're going to die today, or tomorrow, or in ten years, we might as well go out like true Warriors!" he let out that sad, weak laugh again as he slowly rose to his feet, leaning on his cane and Rhyperior for support. "Now... I believe you two have some business to get to..."
"... My Lord...?" Yukimura asked confusedly as Kunoichi turned red with embarrassment. How could Her Lord be so forward? Her blush turned several shades darker as Shingen let out another laugh and winked at her, hobbling out of the room as he went.
"I made sure the sheets were all clean for you two. Just try not to wake up the palace..." he stopped briefly in the doorway to waggle his eyebrows at them. "And Yukimura, be gentle on Kunoichi. She isn't a Pokemon, you know." with one last laugh, he left, closing the door behind him. Not too long after, Weavile and Charizard too left.
Kunoichi and Yukimura stood alone in the center of the room, he with raised eyebrows and she with flaming cheeks. They stood in silence for a few moments before the young Warrior turned to his wife and cleared his throat.
"I don't really understand why Lord Shingen could ever tell me that. Why would I ever use you in a battle when I have Charizard?"
Kunoichi shook her head. Yukimura could be so thick at times. "I'll tell you later. Now, the first thing you do is make sure the door is locked nice and tight..."
_ Cragspur _
"I'm getting too old for this kind of thing," Ujiyasu said quietly as he gazed out the window at the barren lands below. He turned around, nearly knocking over Boldore as he did so, to address his young daughter. "Kai... how much longer do we have before we are unable to hold out any longer?"
Kai's once shining curls bounced lifelessly as she shook her head. Darmanitan gently touched her leg, as if to comfort her. "I don't know, Dad... but I know for sure that if something isn't done soon, we're all dead..."
"Have the other Kingdoms offered any assistance?"
"No... they have to take care of their own people too..."
Ujiyasu's grip on the window sill tightened. "This... this cannot go on. I cannot allow Cragspur to fall like this..."
Cragspur had always been the rock of Ransei. It stood proud and unmoving, unwavering in its ways. Like the mighty mountains and the deep caves it was home to, it was sturdy and could resist any form of attack. Its ultimate defense was its steadfastness. It was, in many ways, unconquerable.
And yet here it was, dying from not enemy forces, but the forces of nature itself. The uniting of Ransei had brought along peace and prosperity for a time, but at what cost? The people were dying. The beauty of the land was fading.
And it had all started when he passed on...
Kai placed a thin hand on her father's shoulder. It had been truly a pain for Ujiyasu to watch her these past years. His daughter, once so strong and beautiful, had withered. Like a delicate flower, she had begun to droop. Her hair no longer shone, her eyes were dark and cloudy. The bounce in her step was gone. In many ways, she had died. And yet, as she stood there next to him, living and breathing, she was a reminder that while they suffered, they still lived.
She was his rock. His anchor to the world. Perhaps, once this was all over, she would bring a new hope to Ransei.
_ Yaksha _
Zoroark was sleeping peacefully. That was really all Kotaro could ever ask for. For in spite of his dark and mysterious ways, he was still a man. A man whose one light in his life was his partner Pokemon.
Many sacrifices had been made in order to unite Ransei. And many more were being made ever since The Disaster struck. Kotaro, who had once hoped to fade away into the shadows of obscurity, was forced to step into the garish light as he desperately fought to keep his kingdom alive.
No matter his efforts, Yaksha slowly withered away even more than it already was. Day by day, he would look out his window and see his people leaving. Warriors, farmers, Pokemon... they were leaving in a mass Exodus day by day. And yet all he could do is stand at his window and watch them go. There was nothing he could do about it.
He was alone.
_ Viperia _
"Hanzo..." Nene whispered as she slipped into the darkened room. Crobat flew around her head. "Hanzo, are you here?"
The shadows in front of her stirred. Slowly, two shapes emerged from them. Nene was just barely able to make out the shape of a man and a Gengar before they appeared before her. Undeterred by the sudden appearance of her retainer and his partner Pokemon, she pressed on.
"I don't know if we have any other choices, Hanzo," Nene said sadly. "Ransei... there's nowhere else to turn to... anyone who tries to come to us die in the poison bog... those who try to escape become lost in it..." a single tear slid down her cheek. "We're trapped here, Hanzo..."
The ninja remained silent, only gazing at the beautiful young Warlord with a strange look in his eye. Gengar exchanged a look with Crobat, its permanent grin widening slightly as it did so. Crobat flapped for a bit around its mistress' head, trying to comfort her with the gentle flapping of its wings.
The floods had thrashed against the Kingdom of Viperia for so long that both Nene and Hanzo had nearly forgotten when they had first started. Either way, as they raged on, and the downpours continued, the poisonous bog- once harmless to many- grew. Soon, even Poison-type Pokemon were succumbing to its fumes. Cries for help had been left unanswered. Those who had tried to leave Viperia never returned. Those who had tried to come to it had perished. Their skeletal remains could often be seen floating in the thin purple water.
"We're running out of food," Nene continued. "Things are getting desperate... Crobat's brought back as much as he could, but... it's not enough..." her Pokemon's frown deepened, great tears falling from its eyes at her words. Nene reached up and stroked her partner Pokemon apologetically as she waited for Hanzo to speak.
Again, he remained silent.
Hanzo's silence was beginning to infuriate Nene. Why did he not speak? Did he not care?
"Oh, just say something already!" she snapped, her fury bubbling up behind her eyes. For a moment, shock flashed across her retainer's face, his Gengar letting out a low chuckle as the ninja struggled to compose his features. "You have the situation, you have the problem, now... now just say something! Anything!" her voice became heavy with tears. "Don't you care...? No, of course not..." she turned away. "You never did... all of this was just some sense of duty thing to you, after all..."
She felt a gentle hand on her shoulder. Blinking back tears, the Warlord of Viperia turned to face Hanzo, who had a strange expression on his face. It was a mixture between shame and pride, fear and tenderness. This look was one that Nene had never seen before.
He spoke. "... One thing exists above, duty, My Lady..."
Then and there, they embraced in silence.
_ Avia _
It was strange how all of this happened. Lightning storms that prevented the Flying Pokemon from taking off. These storms had cloaked the Kingdom of Avia in a shield of never-ending lightning for years, almost to the point where many of the Pokemon had forgotten how to fly.
Masamune and Magoichi stared out the window of the Avia throne room, silently praying as they did with each passing day, each week, each month, that the storm would end soon. Not too far away, Sceptile did its best to cheer up Masamune's Braviary, whose feathers had long lost their luster to the depression of the storm.
"Weather's bad again," Masamune said, as he had said for the past three years.
"Well, it's gotta end soon, right?" Magoichi replied, as he had for the past three years. "This lightning can't at all be good for my looks."
"It'll end tomorrow," Masamune said hollowly. "You'll see." an empty smile crossed his features. "I'll take Braviary out for a flight. You're welcome to come."
Magoichi's answer was automatic. "Sceptile isn't the biggest fan of heights. You know that."
"How can you be my Junior Warlord if your own Pokemon is too scared to fly?"
"I know, I know. Perhaps I can construct wings for him. He would like that, I think."
Then, they turned again to the window, watching the skies above. Three flashes of lightning, followed by three booms of thunder ripped through the air. Rain pounded the roof of the castle in torrents. A few minutes passed. Then, Masamune spoke again.
"Weather's bad again..."
_ Valora _
"The machines in Valora have broken down, My Lord," Ina said sadly as she swept into the room. Empoleon trailed behind her, standing tall and proud even in the midst of misery.
Ieyasu frowned, stroking his black beard. "Have you tried attempting to power them back up? If we hold out for just a little more, we may just be able to survive through this... mess..." he turned to the large man swathed in glittering armor standing beside him. "Is there anything you and Dialga can do, Tadakatsu?"
"I'm afraid that cannot be done, My Lord," Tadakatsu said curtly. The mighty Lord of Time, Dialga, growled in agreement. "While it is true Dialga wields the mighty power of time itself, it is unadvisable that we attempt to change the course of history. What has been done has been done." he bowed his head. "We cannot change that..."
Ieyasu sighed. "Yes... I've heard that from you before... but... if there was just a way to reverse the incident... to somehow make it so he was alive again..." he shook his head. "Perhaps all of this could have been averted..."
Ina closed her eyes. "My Lord... we have already had years to mourn..."
"I know, Ina," Ieyasu said quietly. "I know..."
"Where is Registeel?" Tadakatsu asked, looking to change the subject.
"I sent him off to Viperia," Ieyasu replied. "Registeel should be able to brave the poison bog. With luck, we will soon house Nene and whomever else still lives within its halls." he stood. "Come, you two. There is much to do. I myself must see to these machines before I can judge whether or not they are to be taken apart and recycled."
_ Chrystalia _
"Does anyone want to play Pokemari?"
That question. Over and over. Ten, twenty, thirty times a day.
"Does anyone want to play Pokemari?"
Why wasn't the old man dead yet? Not only that, but why did he not understand that no one wanted to play? That no one could play?
"Does anyone want to play Pokemari?"
A disaster that happened years and years ago caused this. A disaster that led to pain. Pain that led to hunger. Hunger that led to madness.
"Does anyone want to play Pokemari?"
The old man had to go. He was mad, senile, unfit to rule. Soon, they would rise up against him. Soon, they would rule on their own. Soon, Pokemari would never be heard from again.
Soon, Yoshimoto would be silenced at last.
_ Ignis _
"It's not fair..." Hideyoshi whispered. Reshiram bowed its head and wept fiery tears. "After all we've been through... you guys had to go..."
Chandelure's flames seemed to be dying. It was as if the Pokemon was beginning to flicker as well. Raichu, inconsolable in its misery, continued to shock Hanbei, its Warrior. It wanted to wake him up. It fought desperately, almost begging the corpse of its master. No matter how much Hideyoshi attempted to comfort the Pokemon, Raichu would not accept Hanbei's death. Not here. Not now.
Kanbei seemed to be sleeping peacefully. The gloomy expression, dour and antagonizing, which had so long plagued the Kingdom of Ignis, was no more. Now Kanbei seemed to be at peace. Almost happy. Though he would never admit it, Hideyoshi was almost glad that he had left the world in this state. The Warlord of Ignis drew a sheet over the still warm head of the Warrior, stealing a sad glance at Chandelure as he did so. The Ghost-Fire Pokemon did not seem to notice him, as it stared off into the distance, possibly remember the good times it and Kanbei shared.
Hanbei, on the other hand, simply seemed tired. Hideyoshi couldn't help but remember how often the young Warrior would fall asleep in his presence. There was no end to the young man's genius, but something had to be done about the sleeping habit. Hideyoshi bowed his head as he covered his Junior Warlord with a white sheet. Perhaps now this was the nap he deserved.
"Hey Reshiram..." Hideyoshi said quietly as he stared at the sheet-covered corpses of what had once bene his two most trusted Warriors. "How much longer do you think I can hold out before I go join these guys?"
The Dragon-Fire Pokemon gently nudged its head against Hideyoshi's cheek, a deep rumble sounding from deep within its throat.
_ Spectra _
It was ironic. The Kingdom of Ghosts was empty. Forgotten. A Ghost Town on the very coast of Ransei.
No had long since passed away. She had been a ghost herself until the very end. The cries of her Mismagius mourning the loss of its master continued to echo in the darkest corners of the forgotten land. A land long since abandoned and forgotten by the very people who claimed to love it so.
She hadn't forgotten, however. Circumstance had forced her to flee to the Kingdom of Nixtorm. In spite of the warnings of Mitsuhide, however, she always came back here. Once a year, on the eve of No's death, she would float like a ghost past the graves of those long forgotten until she found the lonely, unmarked tomb of her lady.
She and Larvesta would always bring flowers. White lilies. The flower that symbolized death. She would spread them before her lady's tomb and kneel there, letting her tears stain the earth.
Sooner or later, Okuni would too become a ghost and rejoin her lady at last.
_ Greenleaf _
The Pokemon were freezing. But Motonari could only do so much.
He had already sacrificed so much to build a fire, to keep the Pokemon and his people warm throughout these years. Everything, from his precious books to the tall trees that once dotted the landscape, went into the fires over the years. With every note burnt, every letter erupted in flames, Motonari would feel pain. The pain that only a scholar could ever feet.
Serperior had tried its best to cheer him up. He had taken long walks with it, shared many things with it, even ate with it at times. But in the end, despite the Pokemon's efforts, it could not feel the void that the sacrifice of all his notes and research had left.
He had tried to remember what he had written. But a man could only remember so much. As each day passed, he learned something new. But there was nowhere to write it down. There was no more room in his mind to commit it to memory. Everyone else was too busy to remember it for him.
Greenleaf was dying. Its Pokemon were dying. Its people were dying.
But Motonari, Warlord of Greenleaf and Wisest in all Ransei, had already left this world.
_ Fontaine _
All his life, he had been a warrior. Born in battle, raised in battle, Motochika had been a warrior. He never gave up, never backed down from a challenge, and above all, never erred in strength. A fiery man with an unbound spirit, he had always followed the rhythm of his wardrum of a heart and always did it lead him to victory.
But today, for the first time, he knew what true defeat was.
He had braved many battles, served alongside his army in many conquests, and conquered many Kingdoms. There had been a time, a long time ago, when he even managed to hold Nobunaga himself at bay. But those were times of the past, way back before he came to rule Ransei, and before he left it.
Samurott was still proud as ever, standing tall with him as he surveyed his dying kingdom. Fontaine, ever the warrior kingdom, had always fallen in battle when it fell. But here, where fire had destroyed much of its landscape and floods devastated what was left of it, here was where the ultimate challenge was.
Fontaine was starving.
He had tried his best with what food he could get. He himself ate little while the villagers ate their portions. He himself was forced to watch as he grew thinner and thinner while his villagers remained somewhat healthy. This was the greatest challenge of the fiery-hearted Motochika. He had to brave through these disasters that rampaged their way around Ransei.
And, perhaps, if he could survive these trials, he would truly become the warrior he was meant to be.
_ Nixtorm _
"Be careful, Gracia," Mitsuhide said quietly as his young daughter slowly shuffled out into the chilly winter air wrapped in a tight fur coat.
His young red-haired daughter rolled her eyes. "I'll be fine, Papa! Just you watch!"
It was hard for the Warlord of Nixtorm to conceal a smile. After all, in the face of such youthful innocence and vigor, how could he ever even think about worrying himself and his young child of the steadily falling rations? In the years long past, Gracia had grown into a beautiful young woman. She and her partner Pokemon, Gothitelle, had greatly helped the currently ailing Kingdom of Nixtorm. Mitsuhide could never have been a prouder father.
"Just watch out," Mitsuhide warned. "The ice may seem thick, but I'm sure that it's thin in some places..." he hesitated. "Are you sure you don't want Lapras or Articuno to come watch over you?"
Gracia shook her head, thin red locks bouncing. "No way! You promised me that I could go out and ice skate all by myself one day!" twin dimples appeared on her cheeks. "And you said so yourself, Papa, you never break promises."
Mitsuhide awarded his daughter a wan smile. "I know that, but..."
"But nothing," Gracia interrupted with a wave of her pale, yet elegant hand. "A promise is a promise, Papa. You have other things to worry about besides me, anyways."
Ah, the innocence of youth. Mitsuhide couldn't help but let out a low sigh as he watched his daughter's thin feet gently trace circles over the frozen lake. She didn't understand how he felt simply standing on the shores of this once glittering lake, watching as his young daughter leaped and twirled around the ice. The world had changed so much since her child years, with fires and floods and storms and earthquakes sweeping the land. In fact, on the very night he died, a great avalanche had reared its ugly head and buried over half of Nixtorm's village. As food supplies became low, crime rates spiked up.
In truth, Nixtorm had become a living Hell.
But there was a light in this dark world. Mitsuhide toiled on, desperately hoping that somehow, someone would fix Ransei. He stayed alive and worked and worked and worked all for his young daughter. For his Gracia. For the young woman who so much resembled her mother.
She was a beautiful skater. The way her red locks caught the wind and the way the dim sun kissed her cheeks. She had not seen the light of day in a long while, as Mitsuhide had kept her within his castle should another disaster strike. As the girl twirled and smiled at him, Mitsuhide felt his heart swell. Never before had he seen his daughter so happy. And if she was happy, then he was happy...
He saw it too late.
A crack in the ice. It had appeared so suddenly that it had shocked the Warlord speechless. Gracia seemed to take no notice of it as she continued to twirl and twirl, unable to see the deadly crack that was slowly making its way to her feet. Mitsuhide stood and shouted her name, whistling for Articuno, Lapras, anybody... He himself began running forward on the ice, only to slip and fall within the first few steps.
He watched in horror, half crawling, half trying to regain his footing on the ice as his daughter stopped and laughed at him, still unaware of the thin ice that lay beneath her feet. Mitsuhide, tears running down his cheeks, called out to her, imploring her to skate towards him at once. In the distance, he heard the cry of the Legendary Bird as it heeded its call, distantly heard the flapping of wings...
In a matter of moments, Gracia was gone. A hole marked the place where she once stood. Mitsuhide lurched forward, sliding as fast as he could to this gaping maw, ready to grab at anything he could see. He reached the hole as fast as he could, heard the shouts of some of his army in the background as he took the dive.
He saw blackness, illuminated only by the light coming from the hole above. The water that surrounded him was colder than the breath of his own Lapras. It was as if the hand of death itself clutched at him as he desperately swam deeper and deeper, dark eyes searching for the daughter he could still save. His air was running out, dark lines danced at the end of his vision. He allowed one last bubble of air to slip through his lips, his soul reaching upwards towards heaven as he closed his eyes...
Something beneath him, rising, rising...
Powerful hands underneath his arms, lifting, lifting...
Gracia! Why did they not save Gracia?
_ Dragnor _
"Has she returned yet?" Nobunaga asked, gazing up at the stormy gray skies.
"I don't think so, My Lord," Ranmaru replied, exchanging a look with his Lucario. "Rayquaza has yet to return..."
"Five years," Nobunaga whispered. "Five years it has been... and these disasters never cease..." he bowed his head. "When I hoped to conquer Ransei all those years ago... I had no idea that it would one day lead to this..."
Ranmaru came and stood beside his lord. "It cannot be helped... none of us foresaw this happening..."
"But of all the people that could have perished, why him?" Nobunaga asked. "It could have... it should have been me..."
"Do not blame yourself for what has come to pass, My Lord," Ranmaru said.
Nobunaga shook his head. "You don't understand, Ranmaru. What happened... what happened was not supposed to happen... I do not know or understand how that... that thing managed to come to this region, but I do know that it was because of it that we lost the person that had done the most to improve this region..."
"There is still hope, My Lord..." Ranmaru said desperately. "The child..."
There was no more to be said. Nobunaga gave Ranmaru one last sorrowful look before turning back to the storm skies above. Yet, as he continued to stare, he could not help but repeat Ranmaru's words in his head.
_ Aurora _
Everyone was gone.
Mitsunari was much too upset to come.
Masanori was already gone.
Kiyomasa had run off in tears.
Keiji had stopped by, but did not stay long.
It was strange to say that Oichi preferred it this way. Here, in the midst of disaster and sorrow, could she find peace. She stood in that very spot where only fifteen years before, she had met him for the first time. The day where he and her became a team. The day when that grand adventure began.
Together, they had conquered the 17 Kingdoms of Ransei. Together, they had beaten her brother, Nobunaga, and spoken with the Pokemon Arceus. Together, they befriended every Warlord, Warrior, and Pokemon in the land. They had been victorious. Ransei had never been more peaceful.
Then, something came to the land that no one foresaw. It had struck swiftly and horridly, leaving many dead and lands devastated in its wake. As the Hero of Ransei, it was only natural for him, her husband, to take up arms and face off against this beast. She had wanted to go with him, but he had told her to stay back.
For her safety. For their child's safety.
She had waited months. Months writing nonstop letters to him back and forth. She was always the worrywart, and he would always reassure her that he was alive. That he was healthy. That he loved her. That he couldn't wait to get back to be there with her when she finally gave birth to their child.
But suddenly, the letters stopped.
She had already known what had happened, even before Motonari, Motochika, and Hideyoshi carried his body home. And yet, in spite of this, she continued to hope. All throughout the long months that followed as the exhausted Warlords came home, she would hope that it was someone else that had perished, not him. Or, even better, that no one had died and this was all a joke. She had been devastated beyond devastation when she lifted the white sheet that covered him, gazed upon the bloodsoaked face of her husband, felt the pity of the three Warlords upon her...
Not too long after, she went into labor. On that exact day, disaster struck. Floods. Fire. Storms. Earthquakes. Avalanches. Rock slides. Everything that nature could ever throw against them suddenly descended upon Ransei. It had been as if the country itself had turned on its people, blaming them for the death of its greatest hero. By the time that horrid day stopped, by the time she finally gave birth to her strong, healthy child, Ransei had been all but destroyed.
That had been five years ago.
She turned around. The little girl ran towards her, brown locks bouncing as she eagerly picked her way around the debris strewn on the ground. With her hair tied into a ponytail and her elegant bone structure, she looked very much like her mother. But her eyes... they were her father's. The last piece of him left in this world after he had passed away.
Oichi stood and smiled as she came closer, her smile widening at the sight of the little Eevee that followed in the girl's wake. Not far away, she could see her Wigglytuff keeping a watchful eye. Even fifteen years later, the Normal-type Pokemon had never-ending loyalty.
"Mama, what are you doing here?" the girl asked, blue eyes flashing at her mother questioningly. Oichi felt a pang in her heart as she was sorely reminded of how her husband's eyes used to flash like that whenever he was questioning something.
"I... was just saying hello to Papa," Oichi said quietly. "Hello to Papa and his Eevee..."
The girl smiled. "Well... do you wanna come play with me, Mama? You can play with me until Papa comes home!"
Oichi sighed. "I... sure." she took her little girl's hand. "What do you want to play?"
"Ransei Princesses!" the girl squealed as she began leading her mother away. "Uncle Keiji can come play too!"
As she left, Oichi stole one last glance over her shoulder. She saw her daughter's Eevee gently rubbing its head against the gravestone, as if it knew the two souls that had long gone away. For a moment, she could've sworn she saw the glimmer of pearly tears running down the little Pokemon's cheeks before it turned around and began running after them. Blinking back tears of her own, Oichi raised her fingertips to her lips and kissed them, blowing one last kiss towards the stone that marked the place where long ago, she had been forced to bury her husband and his partner Pokemon.
A/N: Just an idea that took root and fruited. In case you are wondering, I left what came to Ransei and killed the Hero open to interpretation, and the daughter at the end is meant to look like the Heroine. ^_^ Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.
PS. If you are one of my Guardians Arise readers, I'm sorry that I haven't updated in months. School is horrid at times. Don't worry, Guardians is still going on. It'll just take time... lots of it.