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[Nip] Frozen Wilderness

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Nip was winded and it was hard to tell exactly why, or when he'd been running, or if he should have been at all. It was nighttime; the sky was total blackness. The forest trees were relentlessly thorny and forgave not even the slightest misstep. The ground was frozen and packed with a thin layer of sleet, and it smelled like it would rain to make it even colder the next day.

Someone was following him.

That's why he was running--had to be. That was what happened.

Far, far behind him was an old village, one that held nothing but painful memories and regrets. Why was he here again?

But up ahead, in the gloom, a pair of red eyes stared at him. Red eyes, but they were familiar despite the odd color. Was that... Tempest?
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Staff
Partners
  1. custom/sneasel-nip
  2. bidoof
  3. absol
  4. kirlia
Nip was fairly certain this wasn't what he had been doing before. He hadn't been on the run in some time now. And he was a sneasel then, not a weavile.

But he was so winded. So tired. Surely, that meant he was on the run, like he always had been.

He sniffed at the air before cautiously creeping forward, not breaking eye-contact with the other set of eyes. A thorn tugged at the fur on his right leg, but he only winced slightly and otherwise ignored it.

"...Tempest? Is that you? ...Why are you here? You shouldn't have followed me."
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"You're right."

The voice was colder than the ice itself. Something flopped on the ground in front of Nip, midway between the pair of eyes that indeed did not belong to Tempest, and Nip himself. It looked like a severed tail. One that usually belonged to a set of nine. The one who tossed the tail stepped out of the gloom. She was nothing but a shadowy silhouette, practically an illusion, but she looked so very real all the same...

"But follow you he did. And look how he suffered for it. All because you didn't know your place."

Umbra has appeared!
HP: 1000
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Staff
Partners
  1. custom/sneasel-nip
  2. bidoof
  3. absol
  4. kirlia
Recoiling at the sight of the severed tail, Nip stumbled and nearly fell. But he kept his footing, only to freeze in place as the shadowy being emerged.

No. No!

This couldn't be real, right? Tempest had to be fine. Tempest had to be back with the tribe. He'd specifically avoided telling him anything so he wouldn't follow. Tempest had a life to live there, friends that accepted him as one of their own. Nip didn't. Tempest had everything to lose. Nip had nothing.

But none of that mattered. She had found him. Umbra was here. And while he could try to run, the choking thorns felt like they closed around him, blocking any method of escape. There would be no running now. Either he would have to find a way to subdue - or at least slow down - his former mate, or he'd have to die trying.

But what can I do against her? he thought, fur spiking along his spine. He drew his lips back in a terrified snarl. I've never beaten her in a fight.

A part of him knew this had to be fake. Too many things didn't add up - Umbra's appearance, the fact that he was a weavile, and the fact that he was almost certain he'd been flying to do battle before this. But panic shut all those thoughts down. Expecting an attack, Nip allowed instinct to guide him. A brilliant glow surrounded him as he crossed his claws together in front of him, creating a preemptive shield.

Nip Used Brilliant Paranoia, gaining +2 protects, +1 def, and +1 res
 
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Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Umbra used Feint Attack on Nip, but it was blocked!

"Tsk." Umbra withdrew her fist while the jaws behind her head gnashed angrily. Her true face was unreadable and blank, impassive, bored. "Your first instinct is to hide. Of course it is." Nip's Radiance was incredibly high, and that brightness seemed to annoy her. She stepped away, but the moment she did, Nip's final barrier faded away--

Nip's Brilliant Paranoia lashed out, dealing 214 damage!

"Tsss...!" Umbra shook her head, looking dazed, but not quite yet. "Don't think that will work a second time... There's nothing I hate more than a coward. To think... someone like you would tarnish me... by mere association... There's only one way to absolve that. But you already knew that... didn't you?"

Now that Umbra was closer, it looked like a satchel she had on her contained even more of Tempest's tails... Some of them, ectoplasmic as they were, still looked truly scuffed, like there'd been a struggle.

Umbra: 786
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Staff
Partners
  1. custom/sneasel-nip
  2. bidoof
  3. absol
  4. kirlia
As much as he hated to admit it, she was right, he probably wouldn't be able to pull that off again. Not in his current state, at least. But what was he supposed to do? His techniques had never been good against Umbra. That attack seemed like it did some damage, but there was no way he'd be able to pull it off again...

He took a couple of nervous steps back, eyes warily looking the phantom Umbra over. His eyes trailed the satchel and his stomach roiled at the sight of the severed tails. Tempest... deserved better. Deserved a better student than him. Deserved to have a happy life, free from the conflict that Umbra started... and that he exacerbated with his rash decisions.

Despite his fear, despite every muscle telling him to flee, Nip lunged forward, shadowy frost covering his claws. Though he was aiming to strike Umbra, his real goal was to get close enough to reach for the bag.

"Those don't belong to you."

Nip used Void Frostbite
Net HP: -150
Net Stam: -64
Net Stats: -1 def, -1 accuracy
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Nip's Void Frostbite dealt 59 damage to Umbra!

Umbra shrieked in surprise, "Fire?!" She wasn't expecting a burn from a strike from Nip of all things, that was for certain. Perhaps these illusions were only partial memories--they were illusions, right? It was so hard to tell.

But that moment was all Nip needed to grab the bag from her. The satchel itself tore off and the bag tumbled onto the ground between them, eight more tails flopping onto the snow, oozing fresh, blackened ectoplasm. But that wasn't the interesting part.

There was a red, crackling orb embedded in Umbra's side, formerly hidden by the bag she'd been holding. Tempest's core, imprisoned.

"You'll pay for that," Umbra snarled. She rushed at Nip, countering with a heavy slam from her larger jaws.

Umbra used Iron Head on Nip, dealing a grazing 209 damage!

"...What?" Umbra said, noticing the look Nip had. "Oh... this? I found it in that weakling... I took it for myself. After all... by Yveltal's blessings, the strong claim the weak. That is the way of death." She stepped closer. "Where do you stand?"

Umbra: 727
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Staff
Partners
  1. custom/sneasel-nip
  2. bidoof
  3. absol
  4. kirlia
For just a second, Nip allowed himself to feel hope. He was actually doing damage to Umbra. Umbra who had always came out on top. Maybe this wasn't such a hopeless fight after all-

Pain shot along his side as umbra countered with a painful metal strike. He stumbled back, clutching a paw where she'd struck.

This is hopeless. Run! Or maybe if you submit, she'll go easy on you. It's better than dying.

But you've never even gotten this far. Keep at it and you might finally win!

No, you'll just end up like Tempest.

Tempest...

Anger flared in Nip's chest. Had Tempest tried to stop her? Or had she done this just to hurt him more? After she finished him off... what then? Would she stop, or find someone else to take her anger out on.

He took a deep breath to calm himself and clear his head.

Nip Focused!
-20 rad/-20 shd


With the shadowy and radiant feelings quelled for the moment, Nip shifted his stance and glared at the mawile.

"...What?" Umbra said, noticing the look Nip had. "Oh... this? I found it in that weakling... I took it for myself. After all... by Yveltal's blessings, the strong claim the weak. That is the way of death." She stepped closer. "Where do you stand?"
"...You know what? You're right. The strong survive. But you're not strong. You're just full of yourself and enjoy tormenting pokemon you think are lesser than you."
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"You... are calling me weak?" Umbra stepped closer to Nip, up to the point where they were only a step apart. "I know there's the phrase of... taking one to know one. But I don't think that applies here. I know weakness when I see it. And you..."

Her larger jaws turned toward him, opening to show her many, sharp teeth.

"You are nothing."

Umbra is preparing a powerful attack!

Umbra: 727
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Staff
Partners
  1. custom/sneasel-nip
  2. bidoof
  3. absol
  4. kirlia
"No, you're not weak... physically." Nip let out a frosty puff of air, forcing himself to remain calm and defiant as she approached him. "You'd beat almost anyone in a fair fight. "You're weak in spirit. You can't stand anyone being better than you. And if you think you're being treated as an equal to someone weaker than you, instead of above them?" His lip curled into snarl. "Well, I know what you do."

He could try fleeing now - she seemed worked up enough that he could get away while she was distracted. But she had Tempest's core. And he couldn't just abandon him.

As he began to draw energy from the sky above, Nip quickly said, "Tempest, if you're still in there, I could really use your help right now!"

Nip used moonlight, targeting himself, as well as Tempest's core!
HP: +150
Stam: -48
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Nip's Moonlight fully healed Umbra!

Umbra's jaws twisted into a horrible grin. "And apparently, you are weak in mind... Did you really think that would work? Do you really think that trying to heal what is already dead will work?" She took a threatening step forward. "Do you... really..." Her breathing was becoming rapidly more labored. She squinted, her eyes narrowing, as she held her chest. "Think that... that..."

Tempest's core brightened. Umbra struggled to walk, but then screamed in pain, clawing at her own chest, trying to pull at something.

A single, red eye appeared in her chest, followed by a second one. Tempest's eyes.

Umbra screamed, rolling on the ground, ripping at her own hazy form, punching at where Tempest was returning. He shrank into the hazy body and reappeared on her shoulder, which ripped open to become his jaws.

"A weak spirit... is mine to remove," Tempest hissed as Umbra's form twisted and writhed on the ground. The nine severed tails slithered toward Umbra; seeing this, she started to crawl away with her two good limbs remaining--one arm, one leg. The other two weren't responding...
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Staff
Partners
  1. custom/sneasel-nip
  2. bidoof
  3. absol
  4. kirlia
Even if it was Umbra, watching Tempest begin to tear his way out like some kind of parasite was honestly kind of horrifying to watch. It almost made him feel bad for her. And yet, Nip couldn't look away. She did this to herself. And what really mattered was getting Tempest back again. He had to give him all the strength he could offer.

Nip used moonlight again!

"Keep fighting!" Nip called out. "You're the strongest Pokemon I know, Tempest. Strong in every way!"

Nip called out to tempest!
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"STOP! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" Umbra wailed, tearing off part of Tempest's ectoplasmic face, but it just grew back. And the piece Umbra held grew over her hand, rendering it useless. She screamed again and smashed it into a tree, but nothing worked. The tails dug into her body, and Tempest formed out of the husk that Umbra was becoming.

"You tried to claim what you could not handle... and Nip is stronger. Stronger in spirit... than you ever will be. He may have once been weak..."

Umbra shuddered, trying to stand.

"...but no longer."

Finally, her arms gave out. She let out a final breath... and Tempest pulled himself from the hazy remains. His core was dissolving...
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Staff
Partners
  1. custom/sneasel-nip
  2. bidoof
  3. absol
  4. kirlia
Nip waited, heart fluttering as he watched Tempest emerge from the husk that was the fake Umbra. His core was dissolving, but...

The ninetales stretched, fanning his tails out behind him. They shimmered as bits of frost and snow fell away before he sat down, curling them around his sides.

"Do not worry about me," Tempest said, lowering his head to be eye-to-eye with Nip. "I will be fine. Better than fine, thanks to you."

The weavile stared a few seconds longer before letting out a long, relieved breath. "Oh, thank Yveltal. I thought I'd lost you." He paused, his gaze starting to slide away as doubts crept into his mind. "Did you... mean what you said? About me?"

Tempest blinked, leaning forward to touch his nose To Nip's head. "Of course. You may not see it, but you've changed in the moons you've been here. I know I'm not the Tempest that taught you, but I can still see it." He pulled back. "I'm proud of you."

Heartbeats passed as Nip stared at Tempest, trying to digest his words. He was... proud? Slowly a smile crept on to his face. It seemed just a bit warmer now. And the thorny trees ssemed to receed and become a bit easier to traverse. Above, a single, bright star twinkled down on the weavile and his shade.

"We should get going," Nip said, turning to the path ahead of him, where Umbra had been hiding in the gloom. "The others might need us."

Tempest dipped his head before standing and pushing ahead into the gloom. Nip waited only a few heartbeats before following.

...Thank you.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
The frozen wilderness warmed the more they advanced through the storm. The eye was just ahead, where a battle raged from far away, the distorted land behind them giving way to more red haze. But they were stronger for it. One way or another, as Eien's influence faded out... they found a new way to work together. A new power to share.

Nip's Eternal Spirit awakened!
"I'm not going to run!" - For one turn, Nip's evasion and shields are hidden. In exchange, he takes 90% reduced damage and status. On his next turn, his HP is set to 100%. The amount of HP that was lost and the amount of HP he had remaining, rounded to the nearest 100 each, can be applied to two different hexes for their next strike. Thresholds are doubled if these are debuffs.
 
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