The next thing we did was challenge the two Gyms we missed. The Water one in Pastoria City would have been easier with Zekrom and his Electric-type attacks, but it was simple enough with the Pokemon I had. After the long conflict with Team Galactic, just about any fight would seem easy now. With all of our worries about Team Galactic forgotten, we continued east and north to get to Veilstone City. Thankfully, the lake Akumu was concerned about before was entirely intact. It turns out the Galactic guys hadn't messed with it after all.
The road north to Veilstone was a little bit rocky, and my team was still sore from the hike up and down Mount Coronet yesterday, but we managed to make it to the city without more than a few scratches from battles with Trainers on the way. Akumu doesn't even acknowledge the existence of the Galactic base anymore. In fact, there are no grunts out and about in the city, either.
The battle at the Fighting gym goes smoothly as well. Searcher holds up well against the opponent Pokemon's attacks, and Gabrias's moves are powerful enough to take down his enemies in about two hits. Uma's venomous spikes prove fatal, and Aleta's endurance is impressive even against physically trained Pokemon. Before long I now have five badges in my case.
Our next task isn't to find a Gym, though. Akumu and I take the team all the way home back to Canalave, a journey that lasts a couple of days. However, there are no intense battles like there were with Reshiram and Team Galactic, so the walk back home is relatively relaxing.
I stop by the house and say hello to my parents again. I told them I was coming home, but like most parents they still respond to my presence rather melodramatically. I decide to introduce Akumu as one of my Pokemon, but I don't say what kind – I do allude to the fact that he has been here for a while, though. The Pokemon and I rest at the house for a while before we head for the shipyard.
No ships for Newmoon Island. That's a good sign. We'll stay here for a while and fight like we had for a while. If we can beat the legendary Pokemon Reshiram, surely we can convince a few humans that Newmoon Island isn't a place where they belong. Only Akumu and his family can belong there. But of course, Akumu belongs with me now. Maybe like I just did, he'll go back and visit his parents sometime.
"Hey, Lucidia." Akumu nudges me out of my imagination. I've been staring out at the ocean again – a habit I've had since I was little. "Do you want to go to the library? It's been forever since we went in there."
I blink slowly. "Sure… maybe we can read up on all of the legendary friends we've met."I glance at my four Pokemon, who are also looking over the ocean. The only differences among them is that Gabrias evolved again – he's even taller than me now, and with a considerably more humanoid shape. He also has more red and yellow across his front. His legs are thicker and his arms longer – generally his limbs have gotten more capable.
"What do you think?" I inquire. "Anything you guys want to know?"
Aleta shrugs. "We Pokemon can't read well, but I don't see why not."
Thus we begin our walk to the library.
"Hey, Uma," Searcher starts up, turning his cobalt eyes to the Seadra. "Gabrias is all fully evolved now, as am I… you still have one stage to go. Don't you want to evolve?"
Uma flicks his black eyes to Searcher and shrugs his shoulders. "Not really. I like my ears how they are." He points a slender finger to the fins that jut out of his jawbone where human ears would normally be. "Unless I get more spikes or more poison or something, I like myself how I am."
"Suit yourself…" Searcher instantly drops the subject.
We set foot back on solid ground just as the drawbridge behind us begins to rise. M Pokemon all turn to watch the bridges point to the sky, letting a giant sluggish boat underneath them. There was a reason this city was called Canalave.
The library is a mainly vertical, three-story building overlooking the water just north of the Gym. (That's right, there is a Gym here – we'll have to go there before we leave.) It has a peaceful blue roof with earthy brown siding and several windows watching out of the walls. Akumu and my Pokemon enter slowly; our group is rather large, and we'd rather not interrupt anybody. Inside, the silence is as deafening as the pressure several miles below the surface of the ocean. Pages rustle occasionally as other patrons read their books or replace them on the shelves. Our destination is the top floor – the level with the most information on Sinnoh region mythology. Recent additions have been made, as well – there are now volumes of the history and myths of other regions also. The one that comes to my mind first is Unova, where Zekrom said that he and Reshiram lived before Team Galactic got involved. (Where was that place Zekrom wanted me to visit? Dragonspiral Tower, that was it.) Surely the mythology on Unova would mention something about Zekrom and Reshiram.
We climb the stairs to the top floor of the library – barely a challenge after spending so long trekking over Mount Coronet. There aren't very many people up here, which is nice.
Any talking that we do will have to be in whispers. If we want to scream or have fun, that will be outside. No use interrupting the suffocating atmosphere of the library.
I sit down with my Pokemon at one of the wide tables while Akumu plucks a volume from one of the shelves. Hopefully he has better reading skills than my other Pokemon, or we could end up looking at a whole lot of junk.
I open the book Akumu chose to the middle, which bears a long gallery of photographs and illustrations. All of these Pokemon look unfamiliar – this must definitely be a volume on Unova mythology. There are several legendary Pokemon depicted, from artists' interpretations to wall drawings like the ones in Celestic Town. Some look like they're riding on top of clouds; another is a weird robot-looking dragon with the tiniest arms I've ever seen on a Pokemon… except maybe for Gabrias when he was a little Gible. That sure was a long time ago.
I open to another page and hold my breath for a second. I recognize the black and white shapes circling the page: an artist's interpretation of Reshiram and Zekrom using their respective powers of fire and lightning. Zekrom looks just as enthusiastic as he did in real life, with his wide fingers spread far apart as he runs his tail engine to generate sky-blue sparks that jump around his shiny black body. He vaguely resembles a machine. Reshiram resembles his three-dimensional self as well: his ocean-blue eyes contain glinting conviction while his cloud-white fur flies everywhere in the flames surrounding his body. In this drawing, Reshiram and Zekrom appear to be fighting each other – a strange thought, given that they appeared to get along quite well after their fight at the top of Spear Pillar. Perhaps some of the relationship between the two halves was lost in translation between the worlds of Pokemon and human. After all, it wasn't as though Zekrom and Reshiram drew their own pictures or wrote their own stories. All they did was live their lives, and the humans around them would depict them in whatever way they wanted. It was interesting to see how people would translate the actions of Pokemon, even legendaries, into a language that their colleagues around them could understand.
According to the myth, Zekrom and Reshiram were originally the same Pokemon, controlled by a pair of twin brothers to create the entire Unova region. The one Pokemon eventually split into its two halves after the twins began to forge their own paths. One brother pursued hopes and ideals, thus creating Zekrom, while the other brought forth Reshiram by focusing on the truth and what really does exist. The leftovers of the previously united Pokemon were known as Kyurem, and this separate dragon Pokemon apparently lived somewhere far away and very cold. Zekrom never mentioned anything about Kyurem, but perhaps since this Pokemon was the remains of the original dragon, he didn't know it existed.
After exchanging whispering recollections of our old friend Zekrom, Akumu replaces the book on the shelf and pulled out a different one. This one pertains to the mythology of the Sinnoh region, with which I was considerably more familiar. However, now might be a good time to read up on the Azelf Pokemon that Akumu mentioned back in Pastoria City. He helps me locate the page pertaining to Azelf. As it turns out, Azelf has two sisters by the names of Uxie and Mesprit, who are the beings of knowledge and emotion respectively. Each of the fairy-like Pokemon lives in his or her own lake. The lakes are located in a triangle formation across the Sinnoh region, with the Lake of Verity (Mesprit's home) being just north of Twinleaf Town and the Lake of Acuity where Uxie resides being west of a city far to the north by the name of Snowpoint. I had never been to Snowpoint City, but doubtlessly my Pokemon training would take me there sometime very soon.
The three Pokemon Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf don't appear to have too many stories tied behind them as Zekrom and Reshiram do, apart from being created by some all-powerful Pokemon. After glancing over their article one more time, I turn to a set of pages that pertains to the legends of Darkrai and Cresselia. Akumu smiles almost mischievously as he notices the stories located in this article. Perhaps we're going to find some inaccurate human interpretation of what he does and laugh at it. Maybe Akumu could even write his own book… nah, Pokemon don't write books, they fight.
The Cresselia that Akumu mentioned before is in this book as well. Cresselia supposedly gives people good dreams by being around them, while Darkrai's presence gives people endless nightmares. Surely this can't be a hundred percent true, since Akumu has been walking around with me for years and I've never had any outstanding nightmares. The myth suggests that Darkrai can't control its ability to give people bad dreams (which is supposedly a defense mechanism), which is where Cresselia comes in. Cresselia's feathers will cure people of their Darkrai-afflicted nightmares when in close proximity. I can infer from the myth that Cresselia would travel around awakening people from their nightmares whenever Darkrai appeared and inflicted them. If there were several Darkrai and only one Cresselia, I can see how that would be a monotonous job. However, the book mentions nothing for either multiple Cresselias or just one. Perhaps people still don't know how many of the individual Pokemon there are. It must be hard to tell when the legendary Pokemon are so rare in the first place. You never know if you encounter the same one twice or a different individual. I know from Akumu's direct words, though, that there are at least a few different individual Darkrai living on Newmoon Island – otherwise he never would have mentioned having a family. Maybe I could write one of my own stories about walking around with a Darkrai, like a novel… would anybody want to read it?
I glance up at Akumu. An amused smile has been sitting on his face for a while now. It must feel strange to be reading in a book about what people think about you. He's probably laughing at the authors on the inside for portraying his existence in such a silly fashion. It's always been hard to tell exactly what Akumu is thinking just by looking at him, though. The one ice-blue eye that is constantly visible does a good job of concealing his emotions beneath its freezing shield until some sort of warm passion melts the frost. That hasn't happened much except when he has spoken to me.
"Does Cresselia sound the same in this book as she does when your parents told you about her?" I ask Akumu, doing my best to keep my voice at a whispery level.
He shrugs his shoulders. "Sort of. The way Pokemon say things is always going to be different from the ways humans say them. The other Darkrai made Cresselia seem a lot scarier than these humans do. Maybe you humans just see Cresselia as the hero and me as the antagonist."
I blinked – that was an interesting thought on perspective. "I guess we do. We always associate darkness with negativity, while light and good dreams always prevail. It must be different for you."
"It is," Akumu agrees, nodding slowly. "With Pokemon, there's no such thing as good or bad, protagonists or antagonists. Everything just exists how it does and nobody really questions it. They can make up myths as to why things how are they are, but we Pokemon never consider one side being 'bad' and the other being 'good.' That must be a result of you humans and your vanity trying to back up everything that you do and make it seem logical when it really isn't."
"I guess you're right." I fold the cover of the book back over. I wonder what Canalave City could have been like several hundred years ago before the humans got here. Were the Pokemon who lived here any different? Was there more water or land where the drawbridge is now? I guess we can never really find out, since nobody has invented a method of time travel as of yet. All we can do is be thankful for what we have, I guess, even if it is a result of our humanoid vanity.
I stand up and sweep my eyes over my Pokemon. "Who's up for a round at the Canalave City Gym?"
Uma and Searcher stretch their limbs simultaneously, but the Beedrill speaks first. "I sure am. It's been a while since I got any decent exercise from our fights. I hope the Pokemon are tough enough."
"I'd like a chance to practice my Water-type moves," Uma agrees, slowly rising to his feet.
Gabrias nods from his standing position behind Uma and Searcher. It's a miracle Pokemon his size are allowed in this library.
"I could always use more practice as well," Aleta adds on.
"Akumu? Would you like to try?" I inquire.
He shakes his head slowly. "Nah. Fighting isn't really for me. I'll just watch and wait until I can use my effort to keep your human friends' insanity in control." He smiles mischievously again.
"All right, then. Looks like we've reached an agreement. Shall we go?"
"Of course!" Searcher starts to dash down the stairs, but Aleta holds him back.
"No running," she murmurs to him with a playful smile in her amber eyes.
"You guys can run and fly and swim all you like once you get outside," I assure Searcher, and I lead my Pokemon out of the library. With such an expansive region as Sinnoh ahead of us, I'm sure my Pokémon will eventually get tired of running, flying and swimming… or maybe not. Pokémon sure do have a lot of stamina.