Author's Note: Well, it's time to return to a three story rotation, and where better than the fandom of Pokémon to put this third story. I have dwelt here before, even though it's not where I shine best, so I will not discuss that. However in the harem field, I always do better.
Now, just some things to point out ahead of time.
1: I do not deal with HumanxPokémon pairings. While there are some Pokémon who have the required intelligence to be in the same category as a Human paired with a Togruta or Goblin, not all of them have the required level of intelligence, and if you pair a human with a Gardevoir, you conversely would have to let them pair up with something that is less intelligent, such as a Wurmple. So please do not request this.
2: I like specific numbers for pairings, if done as multiples if I feel like doing more. For example, Naruto with 9 due to Kurama and Harry Potter with 7, representing the magically powerful number. As this is Pokémon, a party of 6 Pokémon is used as the amount limit, and thus 6 is the main harem size, and before anyone asks, the initial and possible 6 are already chosen. You could probably guess a few of them.
3: The story takes a few cues from the story Ashes of the Past, but only in a few elements. Believe me, this will not be similar beyond those sparse few elements, because of some points that I don't particularly agree on in the elements of time travel and the effect of memory restoration.
4: Ash will be made more competent due to several factors, but he is still going to be, in essence, the Sweeper user, hyper energetic, compassionate trainer he is in canon, and many of these changes to him are going to be explained in a decent, realistic manner. I don't want to write an Ash who decides to turn into a Smogon guy who just happens to be nicer than Paul.
5: ….Speaking of Paul, note that there will be changes to the flow of the Pokémon anime, partially dealing with the long runner status, partially to make it flow better, and partially due to what you'll hear about this chapter. As Paul had travelled through the other regions and was known to be in Kanto at the start, he will appear during the Kanto arc (Heads up, I despise the guy and see him as the embodiment of the Stop Having Fun nuts who use perfect IV'd Scizor and Garchomp while I just want to have a good fight with my Grass team) and elements of the Battle Frontier and Serena's existence will pop up early on, as well as movepools of characters being updated for the new generations, for example Pokémon like Onix having Stone Edge or Stealth Rock.
6: Unless it's a really big berserk button to the readers, the four move limit is not applicable in this story, referring to Drake's Dragonite as validation for anime movepools being larger. However, it won't be absurd; the kind of Pokémon who will have 10 moves are types like Drake's Dragonite or Cynthia's Garchomp, and having more than 4 moves is characteristic of well-trained Pokémon, such as Gym Leaders and experienced trainers with a bit of League participation under their belts.
And with those points, time for chapter 1 of Pokémon; Reset Bloodlines
In the grand Multiverse of worlds, exist many multitudes of worlds home to many similar and wondrous beings. These beings can manipulate psychic energies, soar through the air, swim to the deepest depths and do a myriad of other amazing things.
We call these amazing creatures Pokémon.
From the most common pests to ones regarded with the same strength as gods, there are hundreds of species of Pokémon known throughout the world. A true number may never be truly known, but the last count had the number somewhere past 700, and said number is prone to change once someone revives a new fossil or discovers some mysterious ocean dweller.
Humans are believed by some to be a lost species of Pokémon, though this theory remains controversial.
Regardless of the controversial aspects of considering Human evolution, humanity has existed alongside Pokémon for generations, with a deeply rooted harmony for the most part that takes on many forms.
Some Pokémon exist as pets, others as workers, but the vast majority team up with humans to improve their strengths as a team; the Trainer and Pokémon traveling across the regions, competing in competitive battles (as well as other forms of competition, such as Contests and the Pokéathalon) for fame and growth on both ends.
Now, there happens to exist a particular young trainer who has something special in him, a young trainer shown to have an uncanny ability to bond with nearly any Pokémon he meets, a trainer with great potential barely restrained by his youth.
His name is Ash Ketchum.
Born in Pallet Town, this remarkable young man has travelled from region to region, competing in many tournaments, winning in the Orange Islands and Battle Frontier, and putting on a good show in Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh and Unova, if not coming in first place.
However, there was always next time, and on his new journey through the Kalos region he has a good shot of winning it there...
The Kalos Region; somewhere on Route 5 between Lumiose City and Camphrier Town
A floating air balloon themed after the Scratch Cat Pokémon Meowth was floating over the gentle wind swept Kalos landscape as the Meowth that the balloon was themed after looked up into the sky.
"Hey guys, you hear something?" Said the Meowth as he spoke to a duo of young adults, one being a blue haired man and the other a red headed woman with extremely long hair, both dressed up in white clothing with large red R logos on the front.
"No, not really," The female said absently as she was currently busy doing her nails.
"You didn't hear some voice in the sky stuttering like a malfunctioning machine?" Meowth pressed.
"Did you take the last Thunderbolt head on Meowth?" The male asked with more concern than the female showed.
"No, I'm quite sure that it was your ugly mug..." The female insisted loudly.
Her screams silenced both of them and Meowth soon regretted having said anything.
He turned back to simply looking up at the sky, partially in the hopes of spotting whatever had made that sound.
He regretted it.
Meanwhile on the ground
The remarkable trainer known as Ash Ketchum was currently in the process of doing his second favourite activity, behind the intensity of a good Pokémon battle: eating.
The dark haired, tan tinted young man, his ever present variant of a red cap adorning his head alongside his blue jacket and jeans, seemed to be currently in a contest of out eating a little blond girl while a dusky brown haired girl smiled at their antics.
Meanwhile in the background, there was a minor explosion and a whimpering about 'the future is now', but that seemed to happen enough that the two in the eating competition seemed to pay it no heed after a brief glance over to check that the blue jump-suited blond was still alive.
Around them scampered about a few Pokémon; a yellow mouse known as Pikachu, the orange mouse Dedenne, the rabbit Bunnelby, the green woodchuck Chespin, the yellow and red fire fox Fennekin, the blue ninja frog Froakie, and the red and white songbird Fletchling; all bouncing about in energetic energy, having finished off their food and just letting off steam until the humans had finished their eating competition.
Speaking of which, the blue jump-suited blond, still covered in black dust after the latest gadget of his blew up, adjusted his oddly undamaged glasses as his little sister and Ash kept eating.
"I envy both of your metabolisms." He deadpanned in utter amazement, just before Ash was about to make a grab at the last cookie, which suddenly vanished...and not because Ash or the blond girl had already eaten it.
All four humans just stared at the vanished cookie in confusion as Pikachu, Froakie, Fletchling, Chespin and Fennekin stared at the missing food in similar confusion while Bunnelby looked on from afar and Dedenne fell asleep in the grass for no real reason.
"Are there Kecleon in Kalos?" Ash suggested, giving a questioning glance to the other male, who nodded in affirmation, but added:
"I don't think that is the case here."
He gave a glance over to the Froakie who looked oddly annoyed at something before continuing with. "I'm pretty sure Froakie would have sensed any hidden Kecleon in the area well before they could get close enough to steal the last cookie."
"FROAKIE FROAK!" The frog exclaimed in agreement, nodding his head to the ego stroaking compliment.
Well it was certainly a mystery and one Ash still wasn't happy about. He had wanted that cookie.
"So, what did happen to the cookie then?" The little girl demanded as the tree behind them suddenly vanished as well, just like the cookie.
All the beings in the clearing, bar the sleeping Dedenne, gave the empty space that was once home to a tree a greatly alarmed look, as the sky suddenly began to turn from the previous sunny day, to an endless abyss of dark, thundering clouds, as tree after tree began to vanish again and again.
Ash wondered idly if perhaps it was a Pokémon doing this and if it was which one.
He did however have some ideas, having witnessed an incident like this before...and it did little to reassure him.
"Brother...what's happening!" The little girl wailed quietly in warranted horror as she grabbed onto his arm for reassurance and comfort.
"I...I don't know, science has no answer for this!" He exclaimed, unable to hide his concern.
The various devices he tried to take out and figure out what the hell was going on was getting him nowhere, with absolutely zero data on what was transpiring.
In fact, his little scanning device vanished itself, right out of his hands as if had never been there in the first place.
The older female, however, did notice that both Ash and Pikachu seemed to have quite different expressions on their faces than the rest of them.
Less along the lines of 'what the hell is going on' horror, to something like 'not again, why Arceus why' horror.
"Ash, what's going on?" She questioned him as Ash could only mutter.
"It can't be Alamos Town all over again."
The ground around them began to vanish as well, coming towards them like a giant eraser was erasing the world itself.
"Alamos Town...?" The girl questioned.
She however only had a second to wonder about this, before the erasing got to the ground they were standing on as well.
With no longer anything left to stand on they all fell, screaming, into an abyss of clouds.
Their screaming resounded for a few seconds before nearly all of them vanished, except for one, who kept screaming as a golden light surrounded him.
With a groan, Ash pushed himself up from a floor made of immaculate diamonds, holding his head like he had just fallen from a plane.
"What...what just happened?" He asked himself absently as be looked around a few times, trying to figure out where he was.
The place was a palace, seemingly coated in gold and silver, with jewels ranging from rubies to sapphires to emeralds and diamonds encrusted into the solid platinum pillars while large pearls hung over each closed doorway.
The stark richness of the world he had landed in reminded Ash of something, it was nothing unless he had someone to share it with.
"Pikachu!" He called out first for his long-time buddy, and waited a few seconds for any sort of response.
"Serena?" He tried for anyone else who might be around, "Anyone?"
Still, the room was starkly silent. He seemed to be the only one there...
The grand palace suddenly was hit with a massive burst of energy that shook it strongly enough to knock Ash back to the ground and cause the palace to flash several colours rapidly; first red and green, then blue and yellow, then black and white...
The lights came out in a huge set of flashes that hurt like a Pokémon's electric attack in brightly lit explosions, so Ash had to close his eyes, and only open them when the light seemed to have vanished and did not blaze as harshly as a sun, instead with the gentleness of a moon.
When he did however he saw something familiar in front of his face.
A mostly golden foot, leading up to a white leg, which was connected to a large, white skinned Pokémon with four quadrupedal legs, an elegant head and several golden like structures surrounding him in a rather lightning-like pattern.
This was a Pokémon that religious extremists climbed the highest peaks to hear in the hopes of hearing his message, or prayed that every bush they passed would instantly light on fire as a sign of his presence.
Ash had met him on a slow week apparently.
"Arceus!" Ash exclaimed in shock and awe as the creator of the Pokémon world nodded in reply.
"Hello Ash, I do believe we have much to discuss."
Dominion of Arceus
"I'll be frank with you; reality as we all know it is no more." Arceus began without preamble as Ash gaped at the creator in a way that would put a Magikarp to shame.
"...You mean it's..." Ash began talking, when he realized his voice changed. "Huh..."
His voice appeared to now be back to normal.
"Oh yes, you might notice your voice change, reality distorting itself can have that effect on a person." Arceus admitted.
Ash felt like Arceus might have raised an amused eyebrow if he had them
"I will say this, your original voice is better," Arceus added.
"Original voice...my voice has always been the same," Ash insisted as his voice changed between two different tones with each word, making him sound kind of disturbing.
"Er, yeah that's related to the problem at hand." Arceus noted with a frown. "To answer the question of why reality is gone, you can blame the one they call Cyrus."
"The leader of Team Galactic!?" Ash inquired in alarm.
He had thought the guy was dead, having walked into a parallel plane of existence to never be heard from again...or something like that. He didn't really understand the explanation all that well.
"Yes, he did wander into a different plane of existence, and by doing so managed to learn the ways of natural space-time fluctuations. This would have driven any mentally sound human insane, but his warped mind was able to comprehend the space-time forces that naturally occur to ensure the world does not fall into entropy, or fray at the ends. To put it in a phase you may understand, this process included introducing new types of Pokémon, separating physical and special attacks more logically and changing the amount of Pokémon that were known to science. It was quite similar to what human writers knew as a retcon."
"With this knowledge, he managed to get around Dialga and Palkia and alter the end results of their birth, essentially shattering reality and slowly remaking it into his desired world without spirit. In fact, of the previous world, there remain but three lifeforms; you, myself and Cyrus."
Arceus let that sink in for a few moments as Ash got the gist of what he was saying.
"Wait...are you saying that..."
"Yes, all your friends are more than dead." Arceus stated matter of factly as Ash look at him in abject horror. "None of your Pokémon, family or friends were ever even born."
That made the fact that Ash existed a complicated temporal mess, a rather minor detail in the current decay of all reality but had it not been in the process of detonating, Arceus would have to smite Ash to preserve reality.
But, paradoxes aside...
The mysterious hall of Arceus was suddenly hit with a massive force that shook it to its mystical foundation as Ash again lost his balance, only for the creator's eyes to glow blue and lift him back up using a Psychic attack.
"We do not have much time." Arceus noted as he viewed the attacks on his palace. "The temporal distortion is currently trying to remove me from existence just the same as everyone else."
Arceus decided to get a move on with his explanation because he hurriedly then explained:
"The only way to alleviate this disaster is to send someone competent back through time with their memories intact, someone who will be able to keep Cyrus from discovering the answers to time and space. That someone, by default, is you."
As Ash looked overwhelmed, Arceus decided not to mention Ash had been his third choice. He was originally going to send back the Sinnoh Champion Cynthia, but she vanished before he could bring her to his hall, same with Lance the G-man.
"I...I can't." Ash stuttered in utter shock. "I can't save the world!"
"Last I checked, you saved the day a few times before." Arceus noted about the trainer. "At Shamouti and Michina you saved the world, let alone the saving of major land areas as opposed to the world as you're prone to do rather often. I can't understand why you don't think you're capable."
"Since I can't win anything." Ash exclaimed, some buried angst bubbling to the surface all at once. "I lost in Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh and Unova, and lost to the first gym leader challenge in Kalos, with a huge advantage on my part type wise. If I'm all the hope reality has, we're all doomed."
Arceus studied him for a moment, before he glowed as a circular field of energy surrounded the two survivors of reality as several scenes began to play around them.
"...Gastrodon is unable to battle, Torterra is the winner..."
"...Ninjask is unable to battle, Buizel is the winner..."
Ash's eyes went wide as he watched his battle with Paul in Sinnoh, but it seemed different. Aside for the change in defeat order, there seemed to be more intensity to the battle than before; like there was even more at stake in it than their last battle (which was perhaps his most satisfactory win of all time, bar Drake and Brandon, possibly.)
Then, in a familiar scene Infernape defeated Electivire, as the call was made:
"...Electivire is unable to battle, the winner is Infernape. The battle, and the Sinnoh Championship, goes to Ash of Pallet Town."
Ash stared wide eyed at the scene as Arceus rewound the scene once more, to some quick montages of battles before it.
"...Ash defeats Nando and goes on to the final eight..."
"...Ash defeats Conway and advances to the final four..."
"...Ash defeats Barry and advances to the finals..."
Then the scene was fast forwarded again, to Unova
"...Ash has defeated Cameron, our foreign favourite Ash has passed the top 32..."
Cameron's Lucario found itself at the mercy of Pignite's Fire Pledge while Hydreigon was decimated by Leavanny's X-Scissor with Swarm's boost.
"...By defeating Bianca, Ash goes on to top 16!" The announcer yelled, with an image of Palpitoad taking down Emboar with Hydro Pump.
"...Virgil has been defeated, and with that Ash goes on to the final 8..." Virgil's Eevee was knocked out by a powerful Rock Smash from Boldore.
"...In his victory over Stephan, Ash has advanced to the final four..." Like what was true to Ash, Krookodile took down Sawk with Aerial Ace.
"...With that victory over Trip, Ash is going on to the finals!..." Pikachu again took down Serperior while scenes from prior battles showed Oshawott taking down a Vanilluxe while Unfezant bested Conkeldurr and Snivy a Jellicent
Ash then found himself watching a brutal battle with Tobias of all people, whose Darkrai and Latios were the only Pokémon of his Ash got a good look at as it seemed the other him had decided to go fishing in the old Pokémon pool, considering he was seeing Sceptile fighting Darkrai again while a later scene showed Krookodile battling Latios, with a scoreboard that revealed Heracross had battled Darkrai, and lost, and a returned Sceptile after battling Darkrai.
The match fast forwarded, with a scoreboard showing Heracross, Sceptile, Krookodile, Infernape, Charizard and Pikachu as having battled, and defeated, Tobias, hoisting the Unova trophy with the Unova Pokémon in the background cheering...
The series of fast forwarded images just left Ash in a confused state of shock.
Did Arceus feel like trying to taunt him with what he should be like, yet didn't seem to be?
"One doesn't simply destroy reality with one stroke of his hand." Arceus noted to Ash. "You have to practice manipulating time, and you were his test subject in that matter."
Ash looked on with growing horror as Arceus elaborated.
"To figure out the way to do all the temporal alterations he wanted in one go, as to prevent me from detecting him, he practiced with far smaller changes. To phrase it in human terms, he choose to do so by being a complete dick to you and pretty much randomly screw up your competency level of both your mind and your Pokémon's physical abilities. Practically every odd loss you had in Sinnoh, Unova and Kalos is a result of Cyrus messing with you."
Ash just stared at the future that should have been in astonishment, "So...I'm not a failure?"
"No." Arceus noted with an affirmative nod.
"And all my losses since the Battle Frontier were all because of..."
Arceus suddenly laughed as the scenes around them showed the battle between Gary's Electivire and Pikachu, as well as the battle at Lake Acuity.
"Oh no, you still lose fights every so often completley of your own accord; no one is perfect."
Arceus almost sounded amused at reminding Ash he wasn't perfection incarnate.
After Ash regained his composure after that scathing reminder, Arceus re-railed the conversation back to saving the world.
"So, now that we've gotten that sorted out, I shall send you back to the past to the day you first became a trainer."
At Ash's questioning gaze, Arceus gave him a stare to silence his question and explained, "I do this because the world cannot afford a second disruption of all time and space, thus requiring you to prepare as much as possible for Cyrus's scheme, though I do recognize sending you back to the day of your birth could possibly ruin your sanity. Also, as I realize that as a Pokémon Trainer, you understand the need of teamwork, thus I shall grant you the ability to restore the memories of..."
BOOM BOOM BOOM
A much more powerful explosion shook the palace of the Pokémon creator, as Arceus stared at Ash in quite evident alarm, more so than when he had believed himself betrayed by Damos.
"...There isn't enough time to do this nearly as complete as I'd like it to." Arceus focused on Ash as an orange glow surrounded Ash while the entire palace shook more and more violently. "Unlike Dialga, I need more focus to send someone cleanly through time like you experienced before. You will be able to restore memories, but not as perfectly and evenly as I'd had hoped to grant you, and not as flexibly, and the distortions to the original timeline may have unpredictable consequences, but it's the best chance we all have..."
BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM
The shaking got worse as Ash's orange glow stopped in a manner similar to a blacked out video game, with a similar feeling of being incomplete as a somewhat shaky blue orb formed around Ash.
"Best of luck to you, hopefully you won't wake up to find yourself of the opposite gender or a Pokémon or something that offsetting to you, and don't expect me to remember anything in the new timeline, so I may try to kill you next time we meet, no offense."
Before Ash could voice his confusion and horror at such a scenario, the blue orb burst into light as Ash vanished, just seconds before the entire palace imploded out of existence, with Arceus in it.
The folds of time
Strange lights and sounds overloaded Ash's mortal senses as he fell through an indescribable vortex, screaming all the way as his voice kept changing from one voice to another, as phrases began to be whispered into his ear in a tongue that seemed to be made of every voice Ash had ever heard, all as one and yet all off.
These and hundreds of other words assaulted Ash, the boy barely able to keep them all straight as a new, burning light filled the unspeakable vortex.
The bright light engulfed Ash, and for the moment, he knew no more.
Author's Note: So, let's see the reactions to my return to the Pokémon fandom, this time in my element of the harem story. Now, all fan thoughts are welcome, and I hope that you all will give this story a chance at least.