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Destiny Colosseum ~ Training Rooms

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MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
Berries. Elixirs. Mergo carried them out of habit, and he would have been shocked if Owen had ran out of them. He could have insisted… but then it wouldn’t be the same. None of the setup he needed.

The corners of his mouth raised into a tiny smile as he looked down to the pendant and scarf around his neck. “Played myself again, it’d seem,” he whispered. Wanderer probably would have gotten a kick out of it.

Then his face went flat again, and Mergo swung an arm out to the side as he opened a hand. He started advancing. It wasn’t slow.

“This won’t be how I imagined it, but I’m afraid I must insist,” he stressed. “I cannot go home again until this is settled. I’ll end this… in a single attack.

Violet coalesced in the palm of his hand again, drawing out into a rod, but the shape was off. Thinner, bent in places, forking into a number of different tiny ends. And each end blossomed into strange feathery ends that waved up and down with each stride. It was an olive branch, and Mergo held it out to Owen’s chest.

“Do I hit?”
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Owen remained stationary, but Mergo's trained eyes would easily see that he was tensed and watching. That battleheart was indeed still there. But when he saw the full form of that strange blossoming branch, there was a smile, like he caught the meaning. "What does it do?" he asked, curiously reaching toward it. Owen knew that a simple swipe wasn't going to be enough to strike him, and Mergo, too, knew this. What sort of trick did it hold... or was this something more symbolic? Even after all this time, Mergo was unpredictable in how he approached his encounters, social or otherwise.
 

MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
"Look pretty," he answered simply. "There's a story that I picked up on my travels, but it's a dull one. Unnecessary. It's a symbol for truce. And, well, it's supposed to be part of a tree. I thought you'd appreciate it."

Although he'd never actually seen someone hand out an actual olive branch. Probably because he'd never even heard of an olive before arriving there, or seen one since. No great loss. The phrase was the best product to come from it.

The beginnings of a smile emerged as Mergo casually shifted his weight to one leg. "C'mon. Take it already." He waved it about like it were a treat. "You killed me, remember? It's the least you can do. Frankly I think you're getting off easy."
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Owen sighed, deciding to humor it. "All right," he said. "I guess you do hit." And while there was an air of caution about it, Owen did reach out to grab it. At the same time, though, a thin barrier of gold went just beneath his scales, like ethereal, invisible armor. He wouldn't put a harmful prank or two past Mergo's sense of humor.
 

MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
The handoff was completed, and Mergo let go and took a step back. The branch didn't feel like wood. Its icy surface sapped at the heat in Owen's scales, but such was normal. It didn't crumble, it didn't burst into sparkling confetti, it didn't even explode.

"Settled in a single move," he answered. "Told you that I learned, didn't I?"

The smile grew a little more, and Mergo raised his hands behind his head as he turned away, sauntering back to the doorway. But not to leave.

"I mean, now that we're friends, I can take the best parts of you for my people while slowly giving you less to keep you relevant, and then undermine you a generation later until you're a puppet state. That's what you meant by learning to rely on others, right? Using them?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
There was a flash of genuine surprise on Owen's face that was expressed more thoroughly in the spark of his tail. He looked at the olive branch, then at Mergo again, sighing. "Well, I mean, that's one way to end a friendship, if that's what you mean," he remarked. "...Politics is weird, Mergo. It's like a different language to me."

He prodded at the ends of the olive branch and added little flaming orbs at the end. He snapped the 'wood' in two, keeping the material of the raw ends before passing the fronds back to Mergo, though this time with beautiful, decorative, shimmering balls of gently sparking energy. A bouquet of flames.

"Give them less, they'll give you less back in return," he said, "But hey, if we work together, we can both get something useful out of it." He placed the psychic blocks into his bag like gold bars.
 

MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
"Ideally." He caught the ends of the fronds, letting them float just above his palm. They only burned him a little, but he was used to the heat. "Doesn't always work that way, but... Well. I do what I can. And I don't think you're interested anyways." Half the time, even he wasn't.

"More importantly though," Mergo whirled around and put his hands on his hips, letting a veil of shadows flash over him as his body morphed again, "why did you think I actually wanted to fight you? Have I ever held onto a grudge before?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Owen looked genuinely confused at that. "I didn't really think it was a grudge," he admitted. "I thought you just wanted a rematch. You know, competitive. I can get a little competitive..." Owen rubbed his claws together, thinking. "And since my whole deal is Perceive, I feel like it'd be trying to catch me off guard. Take advantage of my trust... and then stab me in the back!" Owen made a jabbing gesture as his tail flared up. "...It'd be like in those comics." He deepened his voice. "You'd teleport behind me and say... It's nothing personal, Owen... Stab, stab!"
 

MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
Mergo considered commenting on the strange way he said ‘personal,’ but held off. He didn’t want to bring attention to Owen’s lisp.

“The opposite, actually,” Mergo answered. “Even down to teleporting in front of you and turning my weapon into a branch. Leaving myself exposed. You’re not the only one who takes advantage of people’s perception of you, you know.”

Mergo let out a theatrical huff and crossed his arms over his chest. “I even had this whole dramatic performance ready for before we’d begin to get you all hyped, but nooo. You just had to take the moral high-ground.”
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Owen puffed a small plume of smoke. "I guess I just do that out of habit, being a Heart 'n all." But he still smiled and stretched. "Hey, did you find any good places to eat? I tried finding an old restaurant but it's not the same here."

He walked leisurely by Mergo's side, lost in thought about food. He must have been training for quite a while...
 

MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
Mergo answered with an amused snort. "The Hero, The Cauldron, The Grace... Aye. I've found a few restaurants by now." And one of them had even been nice to visit. "I think I've had my fill of them lately. At this point I'm more content to start a fire and just make some Vagrant's Soup again."
 

MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
Mergo snorted. “What, you thought you were invited?” he chided. Facetiously, of course. He let out a low sigh and rolled his eyes. “I guess this is the downside of being ‘friends’… Fine. Hell, if you’re inviting yourself, might as well ask everyone else while you’re at it. Set camp and light a fire. Do ‘friend’ things.”

While his voice said one thing, his body language made no attempt to hide the truth. Mergo didn’t mind the sound of that.

<><><>​
 
Epilogue - It's not as strange as you might think

Ambyssin

Gotta go back. Back to the past.
Location
Etherium
Pronouns
he/him
Partners
  1. silvally-dragon
  2. necrozma-ultra
A hardy clang shook the training room. Nero and Bahamut bounced away from each other, the former digging in his talons to stop his skidding and the latter flapping his wings behind him before stabilizing his levitation. His upper right wing twitched. A small wormhole appeared before him. Bahamut thrust the Shining Blade in his upper left wing into it.

Nero crouched down and jumped, but a second wormhole appeared underneath him instead of to either side. Staring down the oncoming blade, he tilted his head crest down and unleashed a flurry of Air Slash crescents. Bahamut sliced through them with ease, but they propelled Nero enough for him to grab hold of the wall with his talons and shoot off it.

Bahamut closed the portals and instead wound up to bat Nero with his large tail. The silvally appeared to expect this, however, as his beak was wide open and clamped down on the grayscale light.

"Disgusting!" Bahamut looked to slam his tail into the floor, but Nero let go and rolled out of the way. "I thought you preferred to fight at a distance."

"Gotta be adaptable." Nero puffed out his chest. "It's what I was built for." He slowly wagged his tail. "Well, how does it feel?"

"Feh." Bahamut dispelled the blade. "I still don't see where the fun in this comes from."

Nero faceplanted. "I should've figured."

Bahamut would've rolled his eyes if he was capable. More to the point, the mutt was being too generous to him. He played along at first, but Bahamut smelled a rattata. The necrozma believed he'd worked it out. "How much longer do you intend to try and distract me from the rest of the team?"

Nero's beak tightened. "Uhh, well, jealousy is an ugly emotion." He nervously scratched a cheek bolt with a hind leg.

"It's not as though they seek me out." Bahamut sat down, occupying far too much of the floor space. "Besides, Diyem's the one they need to lodge whatever grievances they have over leaving with."

"You can help, though." Nero looked down. "You have plenty of memories of leaving places you didn't want to."

"Unwillingly," Bahamut growled.

"... like some of your teammates?"

Bahamut went silent at that. Infernal chimera.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
The mission was over, but training continued. Training for no fight but the one in her head and heart; training to keep her cool in the face of losing so much, so soon. Brisa hit harder than usual, trying to sustain some kind of injury she could nurse instead of the thoughts in her head, but no training dummy compared to a real opponent, and she'd never been any good at running from difficult thoughts, anyway.

She heard a familiar pair of voices from a nearby court, though. The voices of two 'mon she'd considered discussing this very matter with. Worth a try.

Brisa found Bahamut's room and raised an eyebrow at what little she caught of their exchange. For all that Bahamut sulked and brooded and made every indication that he'd like nothing to do with nearly anyone, he sure seemed to end up spending time in company at a fair rate.

"Mind if I watch yer next bout?" she asked, giving each of them a nod.
 

Ambyssin

Gotta go back. Back to the past.
Location
Etherium
Pronouns
he/him
Partners
  1. silvally-dragon
  2. necrozma-ultra
Bahamut shrugged. "I don't intend for there to be a next b— what the hell?"

Air Slash blades peppered his crystaline legs. The front of Nero's crest shimmered. "Have to stay on your toes, don't you?"

Bahamut's eyes sparked. Small balls of golden light surrounded him. Three shot toward Nero, who weaved around them, but Bahamut sent the other two through a small wormhole. The dropped onto Nero from above, knocking him to his belly and allowing Bahamut to reach an upper wing through the portal and wrap it around a startled Nero.

"Your comedy repetoire needs work," Bahamut scoffed.

"... aha ha. Tough crowd?" Nero chuckled nervously.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
"Hmm." Brisa pawed her chin as she watched. In a duelling context, Bahamut had techniques that had never seen prominent use in mass combat. He'd be an interesting opponent to fight, if he ever showed the inclination. Although, judging by the kind of persistent personalities that got him to do things, maybe waiting for him to show interest was the wrong move.

Not that there was time left in any case.

"You trainin' fer a role as a protector of this world, Bahamut?" she asked, with genuine curiosity. "I take it this isn't a recreational pursuit of yers. Interestin' technique y'got, by the by."
 

Ambyssin

Gotta go back. Back to the past.
Location
Etherium
Pronouns
he/him
Partners
  1. silvally-dragon
  2. necrozma-ultra
"I'm training... to regain the powers I lost through this... reincarnation process." Bahamut released Nero, he dropped to the ground in front of him with a surprised chirrup. "Particularly my portals. I want to be able to effortlessly traverse galaxies, like I used to. Perhaps surpass the various portal-makers on this planet."
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
"Best of luck t'ya. Got a timeframe fer yer success, or does it remain t'be seen how long it might take?"

Galaxies, huh? Strange to think, but perhaps the universe that housed Cibus was one with countless other worlds beyond the stars, much as the universe of Bahamut's Etherium. And what of Brisa's? She'd likely never know.

"Nice t'see ya helpin' out," she remarked to Nero. She liked helpful types.
 

Ambyssin

Gotta go back. Back to the past.
Location
Etherium
Pronouns
he/him
Partners
  1. silvally-dragon
  2. necrozma-ultra
"Well, my partner's just like him." Nero stumbled back to his feet. "If you replace the ornery parts with... uh... dorkish? Dorkness? Something to that effect."

"I have no idea how long it'll take." Bahamut shrugged. "I suppose uncoupling from Diyem could either quicken or slow the process. Hard to tell."
 
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