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the wizard’s word

kintsugi

golden scars | pfp by sun
Location
the warmth of summer in the songs you write
Pronouns
she/her
Partners
  1. silvally-grass
  2. lapras
  3. golurk
  4. custom/booper-kintsugi
  5. custom/meloetta-kint-muse
  6. custom/meloetta-kint-dancer
the wizard's word

there are two universes, one in which AZ used his weapon to wipe out an untold number of pokemon in Kalos, and one in which he abstained. this is the third.

the_wizards_word_2_25.png

a bit of a throwback, but today is roughly this flavor of nostalgia.

preferred feedback: this story is roughly 5 years old. it's funny to me because you can see a lot of my old habits being replaced with bad habits. I'm still attached to this story and implementing edits, so feel free to throw anything at it.

content warning: for once i think there is nothing. let me know if you feel otherwise and I'm happy to add tags!

credit: the core story concept of a small bird trying to find the hardest word (and finding specifically a very hard word) is inspired by Jacqueline Jules's The Hardest Word. I also didn't invent shit like Kalos and AZ but that's usually easier to spot.



“Ollie, wait!”

Startled, the swablu executed a neat, mid-air barrel roll before alighting on a small pile of rocks. Shuffling the dust from his cottony wings to the ground, Ollie chirped back to his sister, “What’s the matter, Lita?”

A second swablu, huffing, landed alongside him, her blue eyes glittering in the midday sun. At the top of a cliff, silhouetted against a crystal-clear sky, the two perched pokémon were almost invisible, save for their cloudlike wings. “I just think we should go back to the eyrie soon,” she said. There was a long pause. “It’s getting late.”

A serene breeze blew through the area, stirring tiny whirlwinds of dust up around them. Ollie glanced up, frowning. The sun was shining brightly overhead. “No, it’s not.” He cocked his head to one side, thinking hard, and then he said, “Wait, you’re scared!”

Lita puffed up defensively, her wings making her look twice her normal size. “No, I’m not!”

“Are too!”

“Am not!”

“Are too!”

“Am not!”

“Then prove it!” Ollie huffed, puffing out his chest and sticking his tiny neck into the air. “Last one to the Spire is a rotten egg!”

Lita thought about that for a moment, and that extra moment was all it took for Ollie to crow triumphantly, “Aha, you are scared! You’re afraid of a few fairytales!”

Lita felt reckless frustration bubble up inside of her, starting from the bottom of her stomach all the way up to the tip of her beak. “No, I’m not!” she shouted back, the ferocity of her retort surprising even herself. “And I’ll prove it! You can go back to the Guildmaster, but I’ll go to very top of the Spire all by myself and talk to the Wizard, and I’ll be the first person ever to figure out the answer to his secret! And then! You’ll! See!”

Ollie blinked up from where he had quailed into a small ball of blue feathers and floofy wings.

And that is how Lita found herself flying—quite alone but absolutely not at all scared, even one bit—in the direction that she’d hoped was toward the Spire. It couldn’t be hard to miss. So Lita flew onward, the breeze ruffling at her feathers, and she marveled at the beautiful day as the landscape smudged itself beneath her. She flew for just a little longer, the clouds streaking her cloudy wings, before the ground below turned from blurry green into blurry brown into blurry grey, and that was when Lita looked down from the sky and realized that something quite interesting was happening below.

The world was still. As Lita neared the ashy ground, the blurs resolved themselves into stony shapes, packed so thick that they obscured the dead grass beneath, and the shapes resolved themselves into limbs reaching skyward, the motion forever frozen in time. They were statues, Lita decided, statues of creatures she had never seen before in her entire life, with wings that were too skinny to fly and faces that were too smooth for beaks. She weaved between the protruding shapes of a few of the reaching statues, laughing a little as she flew through the motions of tag with a gaggle of friends who would never catch her. She played with them a while longer, ducking and weaving, until she nearly bumped her little blue head into an enormous, spiraling tower made of pink crystal—one that, from her view on the ground, surely seemed to touch the sky.

The swablu craned her head upward to squint up the tower and its unfathomable number of iridescent angles, which reflected a thousand tiny rainbows into her blue eyes, and she realized that this, surely, was the Spire.

“Don’t just stand there!” a distant voice grumbled, crystal clear in her ears despite the wavering echo, as if it were projected through the tower itself. “I’m at the top, and I haven’t got all day.”

It was here that Lita began to question her decisions. Ollie wouldn’t know if she’d talked to the Wizard, probably, but what if he found out that she’d turned back?

All the same, she spiraled around the Spire until she stumbled upon a crack in its surface, just one, which she followed higher and higher until the gap was big enough for her to fit. She peered into the hollow inside, where a pair of blue eyes gleamed out from the shadows. “Hello, Mr. Wizard?” The sill was smoother than she'd expected, and she almost slipped off with a squawk of surprise, but she managed to right herself just in time. “My name is Lita, and I’m here to—”

“Go on an ancient quest and solve my riddle, I know, I know,” the voice growled gruffly. “Let’s just get this over with.”

Lita blinked in surprise; this hadn’t quite been what the stories had told her would happen. The Wizard was supposed to be very wise and shrewd, with a riddle so hard that people would go mad searching for its answer.

“Expecting someone else?” the Wizard muttered.

“No!” Lita said, mentally backpedaling. “I just thought you would be—”

“Stronger? Scarier? More majestic than a crotchety man in a pink tower?”

“Older,” said the little swablu, wilting a little.

There was a pause, and then a strange coughing sound began to emanate from the room inside of the Spire. Lita froze for a moment, torn between flying back to Ollie and telling him that the Wizard was quite gone and seeing if this creature was okay, when the Wizard finally said, laughing, “Ah, swablu, I was old before you were born.” A strange, smooth face with skin instead of feathers and wrinkles instead of a smile emerged in the window, but he did not let her enter. “Are you hear to hear my riddle, then?”

Lita nodded mutely.

“And do you know the rules?”

“Rules?” Lita squeaked.

By this point, the Wizard had limped back into the shadows, and Lita dared not get any closer. “They’re quite simple, you see. I have one riddle. Every day, you may guess once. If you can trick me into divulging the answer by sunset on the third day, then I disappear.”

Lita blinked. That hadn’t been part of anything Ollie or the others had mentioned. “For how long?”

The Wizard blinked back, as if he hadn’t been expecting her question. “For forever, I suppose.”

“Why?”

The silence seemed to echo in the spaces of the Spire. “You will get no hints from me, swablu,” the Wizard said at last, the gruff edge replacing the surprise in his voice. “Now, are you ready?”

This was suspiciously straightforward so far, but Lita nodded all the same.

The Wizard looked at her and then in a quiet and terrible voice said his riddle, which was this: “What is the most powerful word in the world?”

“What?” Lita squawked in disbelief.

“Is that your answer?” the Wizard boomed.

“No!” Lita cried back hastily, and she could’ve sworn that she heard the faint echo of laughter in the depths of the Spire. “And that isn’t my answer, either!” she added quickly, before the Wizard could try to steal her guesses. “I just don’t know what you mean.”

The Wizard looked at her, quite seriously, and his blue eyes twinkled. “And that, swablu, is why it is a riddle.”



Lita flew down the Spire, her beak clacking as she tried to figure it out. What was the most powerful word? There were lots of powerful words, like altaria, as in the dragon, and rayquaza, as in the even more powerful dragon, and even dare, as in ‘Lita I dare you to go to the Spire by yourself and solve an impossible riddle that nobird has ever solved before thanks a lot, Ollie.’

The swablu scowled a bit as she looked up at the sun. She had three days to solve the riddle, but this day was almost halfway done already. Why did he decide on such arbitrary rules? The Wizard, she decided, was just as strange as Ollie and the others had said, and perhaps more. No one had said that he didn’t even look like a proper pokémon. With his big squishy face and tiny eyes and odd limbs, he looked…

…an awful lot like the stone statues that surrounded the Spire, actually.

Lita’s eyes narrowed and she angled herself back toward her frozen friends, who all seemed to be rooted to the spot with their weird wings waving to her and their strange-shaped mouths. Lita landed on one, ruffling her feathers to warm them in the sun. She stared at the face of one of the statues, and its rocky eyes looked back. All of their eyes did.

Frowning, Lita glanced over her shoulder and realized: the statues weren’t staring at her. They were staring at the Spire. She followed their gestures and their gazes to the foot of the tower, where a spiral of pictographs had been chiseled into the base, their presence breaking the crystalline continuity. Lita frowned, leaning in closer. Here was the depiction of a large deer, and here was the Wizard at its side, and here was the giant beam of light that accompanied the Wizard’s magic. The swablu puzzled through the carvings again and again until—

“I’ve found the most powerful word!” Lita cried triumphantly as she rocketed back to perch on the window. The sun was just beginning to set.

“Oh?” A smile quirked at the Wizard’s lips, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. “And what have you found, swablu?”

Lita leaned in closely and whispered the word hacked into the base of the Spire, scorched into the barren field all around them, the word that had nearly made her heart stop out of terror out of what she read it could do. “Geomancy.”

The Wizard’s face clouded with recognition. “That is what you have chosen.” When the spoke again, he shaped the syllables with his tongue carefully, the vowels sounding difficult and choked on his lips: “Geomancy.”

The little swablu curled her wings inward and waited for the ground to quake and the world to end, as it had in the legends long ago. She looked for the thunderclap that would spell the end, and when it did not come and the Spire remained standing and the Wizard still said nothing, Lita finally said, “Are the Spire’s carvings true?” She leaned in a little closer, until she was all the way in the tower, so that she could watch his face carefully for any sign of recognition. “Did you really sacrifice your friend Xerneas to make yourself immortal?” Lita wasn’t afraid of him, not really, not deep down, even though her voice shook and her head was pounding and she couldn’t feel her wingtips. “Did you really kill all of those people on purpose?”

“Geomancy,” the Wizard whispered again, a strange sort of reverence hanging on it, and the world failed to end again. Lita wondered if he had even heard her question. “No, I’m afraid that is certainly not the word I seek.”

Miserably, Lita lowered her head deeper into her wings. “So I’m wrong?”

The Wizard’s gaze slipped from the swablu to the windowsill, pinioned as he was to the site of his transgression, but he looked firmly at Lita, and the fire petered out of his eyes. “Geomancy is a very powerful word,” he said. He saw her head perk up in response, and he quickly added, “But it is not the most powerful. It is strong, yes. It shaped this land into what it is today. It wiped mankind from the planet, turned them all into the stones you saw below. But,” he added, holding up one hand to wave off Lita’s protests, his voice slipping, “it only holds power in the present, and even then, it is weak. It cannot undo the losses we suffer, it cannot offer solace to those who mourn, and it certainly cannot build a better future.” The Wizard shook his head ruefully, one hand tapping a quiet, slow pattern on the crystalline surface of his table. “That word can only destroy, and it cannot even destroy me.”

Lita watched silently as the Wizard’s gaze drifted once more to the window, where the twisted outlines of the wastelands were just visible. It felt almost wrong to interrupt him, but—“So I have failed your riddle, then?”

He started, as if noticing her for the first time, and then he smiled, slowly and sadly. “That seems to be the case for today. But you may always try tomorrow.”



Lita found herself flapping over to the Spire just as the sun rose. She flew in neatly through the window, her talons settling on the sill. The Wizard was sitting on his chair still, one hand resting on a rickety table made of crystal, and the rest of him lost in thought. “Hello?” she asked tentatively.

The Wizard roused himself as if from a slumber. “Ah. It’s you. Come in,” he said gruffly. “Have you found my word so quickly, then, that you only need one day and one night to solve my riddle?”

“No,” said Lita, the answer forming in her mind even as she voiced it into words. She entered, and then perched herself on the table: the Wizard had only enough chairs for one. “I was actually a little thirsty,” she lied. “Do you have any water?”

Whatever the Wizard had been expecting her to say, it didn’t appear to be that. He harrumphed his way to his feet and shuffled away, even though every step seemed to cost him. Reaching up with his long, spindly arms into the corner, he turned to Lita and said, shrugging, “I’m actually quite foolish for keeping a cup like this up on a shelf, but I do it all the same.”

“Why?”

The Wizard sat down again and offered the empty cup to her. “You tell me.”

Lita looked at him in confusion, and when he said nothing else, she looked back at the cup. It was a plain little thing, barely the size of the Wizard’s curled fist, and the craftsmanship was far from perfect: the fire-hardened clay was so thin in some places that she could see the shadow of his fingers wrapped around it from the inside. Most of it was white, save for an intricate painting on one side, no bigger than the Wizard’s thumb, that depicted a horned, blue deer with flowers sprouting in its wake. It was a very nice cup, except there was already a large crack going down the side, extending from the deer’s feet to an enormous chip in the top. Even her breathing looked like it would cause the cup to shatter altogether. “Well, it does seem quite difficult to drink out of it when you keep it up so high,” Lita guessed.

The Wizard chuckled. “That is very true, little bird, but it’s not like I need to drink water anymore anyhow.” He laughed at his own joke, a joke whose humor Lita didn’t quite understand, and then he said in a very low, very serious voice, “But you didn’t come here for water, either, did you?”

Lita flushed. “No.”

The Wizard waited.

“I thought you would be lonely in this tower all by yourself.”

The little swablu cringed for the Wizard’s thunderous response, but when she looked up at him, he seemed lost for words. He stared at Lita, transfixed, but she couldn’t quite read his face even though every line was carved into it like a glyph. “Oh,” he said softly.

The silence stretched on. “Are you afraid you’ll break it?” Lita asked at last.

“Hmm?”

“The cup.”

When the Wizard spoke again, he looked as if he’d aged a hundred years in an instant. “Yes, little bird. I’m very afraid that I’ll break it, but that just means I haven’t learned my lesson yet.”

This was the confusing thing when talking with the Wizard, Lita decided. He claimed that he only had one riddle to solve, but in reality, he kept many, and each one was harder than the last. “What lesson?”

The Wizard arched one eyebrow. “That’s for you to say, isn’t it? Why should I love a broken thing?”

Lita supposed he was right. “You’re afraid that the cup will break,” she said slowly, trying to fit the little puzzle pieces together. “But it’s a bad thing that you put it somewhere that it won’t get broken.”

“Yes.”

“Because …” Lita began, and then trailed off, wondering for words.

If she were a wise old Wizard, living in a tower all day with no one to talk to, what would she do? Why would she keep a cup up on a high shelf in a room made of crystal that was both her home and her prison, when she needed neither food nor water to sustain herself? And why, of all things, would she call this a failure?

She needed to think bigger. If she were a wise old Wizard, everything she did would have a very specific purpose, because she would have a thousand years to think it through. And she would be very sad and very careful with all the things around her, because she was a wise old Wizard who had once done something terrible, who was both the last of her kind and the reason she was the last of her kind. But she would also want to be happy and hopeful, because … “We must learn to love things even if they break,” Lita guessed, the words feeling right even as she said them, ringing true like a well-struck chord.

“Because,” the Wizard said, one finger raised.

“Because?”

“We must learn to love things because they break,” the Wizard corrected her softly.

Lita looked back at the clay cup, which looked so small and plain nestled between the wizard’s wrinkled hands, and her eyes narrowed as she struggled with the conundrum. “I don’t get it.”

There was the musical clink of clay upon crystal as the Wizard turned the cup onto its side. “It is easy to like this cup for what it can do,” he said at last. “It can remind me of a long-gone friend. It can hold water,” he said, raising it to his lips and miming a sip. “Hmm, or it can make this Tower look much more… alive, yes, that would be the word, when everything else left is crystal.”

“Or you can like it because of the pretty pattern it has on the side!” Lita suggested, her head surging up in her excitement.

“Or that too, yes,” the Wizard said, chuckling to himself. “You see, little bird? You like things for what they do. But that is not the whole story. Love is different. You love things for what they are.” He looked carefully over the rim of the cup to see Lita staring back at him, her eyes wide. The silence was thick in the air for a moment. “This is clay that has taken the form of a cup. But to love the cup for what it is—well, that is much harder. To love the cup, you must love the clay.” He raised one eyebrow and looked expectantly at Lita.

“The clay is molded into the shape of a cup,” Lita guessed tentatively. When the Wizard didn’t say anything to the contrary, she flapped up to his shoulder and added a little faster, “The clay is less hard-looking than the crystals in the Spire. The clay is painted with a pretty pattern.” She stopped short, tilting her head to one side, and then she said in a smaller, less triumphant voice, “And the clay is breakable.” She looked back at the Wizard, and then she lowered her head to rest down the curve of his arm. “But if you love the cup, you must love its ability to break. To be broken.”

“Indeed,” said the Wizard, but he left the rest unspoken: but I have yet to love that the clay can break.

Lita thought about what that meant. She loved Ollie, but what if he broke? Could she still love him then? What if he broke her? She sighed heavily, puffing out air. The thought deflated her, as did the next thought: the Wizard thought himself foolish because you were not supposed to keep yourself high up in a tower, watching the world move by while you remained unharmed, unchanging. That wasn’t how life was meant to be. You were meant to get dents and chips and sometimes even crack. And that was good. “Because,” Lita said at last, and cringed.

“Hmmm?” the Wizard asked, so softly she almost thought he hadn’t spoken.

“That is the most powerful word. That is my guess for today.” Lita fluttered to his wrist so she could look into his eyes. “Because.”

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, he shook his head.

“No?” Lita asked in disbelief.

The Wizard closed his eyes. “Are the Spire’s carvings true?”

“What?”

“You asked me a question yesterday,” said the Wizard heavily. “You asked me, ‘Are the Spire’s carvings true?’ because you wanted to know if I acted the way I did for a reason. If there was a because for what I did.” He spoke without intonation because all of the emotion he had to spare was engraved deeply into his face. “The Spire’s carvings are very true, little bird, because I put them there. But does it matter?”

Lita flinched, although she didn’t quite know why. “What do you mean?”

“If I did it on purpose? If I meant to do it? If I wanted to do it?” When the Wizard laughed, it was humorless and dull, pushed through muscles that had long-ago gone sore with disuse. “Does it matter why? With a single word, I forced Xerneas to end the entire human race. Xerneas refused me, so I made a machine that would use their power. It absorbed the life-force from all of the people you see outside, and it spread, and it spread, until it killed every human alive except for me. And I became immortal, cursed to wait in the Spire until the world I had created learned from my mistakes.” He stopped to look at Lita, hard. “There were many thoughts going through my head when I said Geomancy. My people were doing a terrible thing to yours. They started a war that consumed the entire world we shared, and they refused to stop. The only logic mankind ever knew was violence, and it took the eradication of all of us to learn the difference.” The Wizard’s voice grew low and harsh. “I loved my people, even though they broke me, even though they broke you. I had a reason, and it may have been a good one, but at the end of the day, I still did it.”

He paused for a long moment, and then said, “I thought there would be screams, but it was silent. And that silence haunts me still. I can’t help but think it should’ve been louder, that at least they would’ve had a chance to say something before I took them. But I know even so that that’s just guilt, bargaining—because I did it, and to the ones who lost that day, to the lives I took, that I did it is all that matters.”

The Wizard raised his hand with her still on it, so that she could peer into his bright blue eyes up close, so that she could be tickled by the edges of his beard, so that she could feel the anguish in his trembling fingers. “Because is powerful, little bird. You are not wrong. It allows us to understand why things happen now, and it reminds us to be conscious of how we change in the world around us. It shapes who we are and makes each person unique, because all of us have different reasons for what we do. But it is a wasted word when given to the past. We can learn from it, yes, but we cannot heal.”

“Oh,” said Lita in a faint voice. And she thought she understood, but then again, every time she thought she understood the Wizard, he told her something new.

“Don’t look so sad. You’re quite close, little bird,” said the Wizard, moving his hand away from his face and taking her with him. “I dare say you may even solve my riddle tomorrow.”

“But it’s my last chance,” Lita said miserably.

The Wizard smiled. “Then you had better make it count, right?” He shook his fingers, causing the little swablu to lift off and hover in front of him, her wings beating gently. “Go, now. Return tomorrow by sundown. I have my word to keep, and you have my word to find.”



She searched as far and wide as her wings could carry her, flying well into the night and all through the next day. There were many powerful words in the world, but every time she found one, she imagined herself talking to the Wizard, offering it to him, and she knew that none of them were right.

Lita burst in right as the sun began to set on the third day. Her wings were leaden and every muscle in her body ached from exertion, and yet—“I couldn’t do it,” she croaked, struggling to catch her breath on the table. “I flew as far and as fast as I knew how, but I couldn’t.” She lowered her head. “I don’t know where to find the most powerful word. I’m sorry.”

And as she looked anxiously to see the rim of the sun touching the end of the battered horizon, the Spire shook—a great, resonating hum that traveled from the roots through the floor to the corners of the room.

In the harsh shadows cast by the dying sun, the Wizard suddenly looked every second his age and more. But then he turned to her, and muscles that hadn’t been used in centuries creaked as the lines beneath his eyes shifted into a smile. “You tried very hard for me, harder than I think anyone has in quite a while. Thank you, Lita.”

Lita blinked. “But I couldn’t find your word. I failed.”

“Don’t cry, little bird.” The Wizard reached out and gently lifted her chin with one finger. “I told you to find a word lost in time. A word that could end wars, that could heal wounds, that could slay me when I have undone so many. But when someone says it, when they give it power, when they really mean it, it becomes soft and gentle.” He watched Lita nod back at him, uncomprehending. The Wizard smiled. “Could you say it again for me, one last time?”

And as Lita looked down at his hand, which was slowly turning to glowing crystal, she realized what she had done. “Sorry,” she repeated numbly, and then—“No, wait! I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry—please, you can’t—”

The words were ripped from her, tumbling and chattering incessantly as she spread her exhausted wings and took flight, tugging insistently at his arm, but the crystal glow made it impossible and his fingers became as immovable as the Spire itself. And the Wizard shook his head, even as his useless hand slipped out of her talons and fell to the table, knocking the clay cup to the ground and shattering it into a thousand pieces. Lita squawked in alarm and flew to it even though—or perhaps because—she knew there was nothing she could do, but the Wizard said, “Don’t be sad, Lita. I’m only keeping a promise, and you’re only helping a tired, old man find peace at last.”

Weak words, ones that paled in comparison to the most powerful word, sprang Lita’s tongue, but all that came out was, “I don’t want you to go. Please stay. You have to stay.” Pause. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s only powerful if you mean it, Lita,” the Wizard chided gently.

“I know,” Lita said glumly, and she didn’t try a second time.

The Wizard sighed, allowing his arms to rest heavily on the crystalline table, and he found that they would not lift again. “It’s funny, isn’t it? I haven’t heard that word for a thousand years. To think of how much could’ve been prevented had we only heard it sooner, had we only meant it.” He let the sentence drift off, and then he fell silent, staring as the crystal crawled up his torso. But then he leaned forward, his blue eyes catching the reflected light of the dying sun, and he said in a low, serious voice, “Now that you have found it again, you must make sure that the this word remains unforgotten. Do not let your world make the same mistakes that mine did.”

Lita forced herself to look up at him, to look into his eyes as his neck became translucent and the crystal ate away at it as well. “I don’t think I can. There’s so much I don’t know, yet.”

“We are never ready for the burdens we are given, little bird,” said the Wizard, smiling, cracking. “But that does not mean they cannot be borne.” The edges of his smile tuned to crystal. “Now go, Lita. Do not look back. The Spire will fall with me, and you have your promises to keep.”

“But—”

“No, Lita. Fly.”

Lita could not bring herself to protest the wishes of a dying man who had died long ago. She launched herself airborne even though surely her heavy heart should’ve sent her plummeting down to earth. The Wizard’s words echoed in her ears, all of them, and as she flew, she wondered if maybe there wasn’t a single most powerful word, if instead every word could be powerful if she only knew how to use it. Because the Wizard had used a lot of words, and all of them had been very strong.

But when she thought of the great pain welling up in her chest, she didn’t know of any words, either the Wizard’s or her own, that were strong enough.

She wanted to say that she kept her promise and did not look back. But she turned, and when she did, she saw the most powerful word die on the Wizard’s lips as he whispered it to her because he, too, meant it. And then his watering eyes turned to glass and shattered in tandem with the Spire.



That night, when Lita returned, the entire eyrie was in a hubbub for their brave new adventurer, who had solved a riddle that nobird had ever thought could be solved.

As crystalline pink dust floated around them, they hoisted Lita onto their backs and cheered, tumbling her into the sky in exuberant jubilee. Lita smiled a broken smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes and tightened her talons on a piece of pink crystal that was all but cracked in two, a burden that would have to be borne for quite some time, until the world was right again.

“You did it!” Ollie chirped to her over all the noise. “You tricked the Wizard!”

And the birds rejoiced.

Lita said nothing, even though she knew: it was the Wizard who had tricked her.


 
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Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. swampert
  3. ho-oh
  4. crobat
  5. orbeetle
What a coincidence that I picked this for catnip! I happened to had sort of speed read it earlier yesterday morning.

I have to say, I rather enjoy the idea of pokemon-ifying fable type tales such as The Hardest Word (which I think I recall reading a long long time ago? idk)

Anyways, on to the story.

I really enjoyed the style of prose and the fable like feel of this short piece. The two characters stood out well in their brief introduction, and Lita feels fairly well-defined in the short time we get to know her. The story paces itself well too, with everything flowing smoothly together. I think the only part that felt 'long' would be the part leading up Lita guessing the word 'because' and the discussion about the cup.

However, it didn't really feel like it dragged or was overly long. It was necessary I think, to show why Lita came to that conclusion and to add to the overall narrative of this tale you're telling.

I don't have a lot of concrete criticisms here, I found the story, characters, concept and setting enjoyable as a collective.

I do have a few line-by-line thoughts however, ranging from minor nitpicks that might be personal taste, and some bits I really liked.

“No, it’s not.” He cocked his head to one side, thinking hard, and then he said, “Wait, you’re scared!”
I can almost hear his voice here, good dialogue.

“Are too!”

“Am not!”

“Are too!”

“Am not!”
Loved this bit, it felt so childish in an enjoyable way

All the same, she spiraled around the Spire until she stumbled upon a crack in the Spire,
This part felt awkward to me. I'm not sure if it was meant to be repetitive but even so it feels very awkward in my opinion. 'Spiraled around the spire until she stumbled on a crack in the spire.

It mostly made me stumble when reading it.

The surface of the sill felt silly beneath her talons,
This also briefly made me tilt my head. My guess is perhaps it was meant to be a sort of comparison of sill (windowsill) and silly?

But trying to picture how a windowsill might be 'silly' (as in 'stupid, etc') was mostly puzzling. Unless you meant slippery? Or perhaps Lita feels silly?

Lita nodded mutely, having not quite found her voice just yet.
The placement of saying she hadn't found her voice here feels really odd seeing as how she seemed to be speaking just fine one line above this. Personally, I found it a little strange, and maybe would make more sense earlier in the dialogue?

the silence seemed to echo in the spaces of the Spire.
Enjoyed this bit of prose

The Wizard looked at her, quite seriously, and his blue eyes twinkled. “And that, swablu, is why it is a riddle.”
Also good!

There were lots of powerful words, like altaria, as in the dragon, and rayquaza, as in the even more powerful dragon, and even dare, as in ‘Lita I dare you to go to the Spire by yourself and solve an impossible riddle that nobird has ever solved before thanks a lot, Ollie.’
I appreciate how Lita first thinks that powerful words might be things like 'Altaria' or 'Rayquaza'. Nice contrast to how she moves from physical power (Like geomancy) to more complex concepts, like 'because'.

where a spiral of pictographs had been chiseled into the base, their presence breaking the crystalline continuity.
Crispy prose. Nice

I have my word to keep, and you have my word to find.”
MMMM nice contrast, word to keep, word to find.

Lita said nothing, even though she knew: it was the Wizard who had tricked her.
What an impactful final line. Fascinating to contemplate how this is framed as a trickery of sorts on his part, as well as a lesson learned, and how the tables were turned.

Anyways, mostly minor nitpicky stuff. Everything was very good, and I rather enjoyed this piece. It's a nice short story to contemplate the nature of the word sorry, the power of words, and importance of meaning them as well. An empty sorry is easy to say, but to mean it carries something else entirely. To mean it would entail something more - the desire for change and to learn from mistakes.

Which ironically, is a chance it seems AZ here never gave humanity. There's a lot of neat layers here to unpack, about the wrongs seemingly done by humans and pokemon of the past, and even pokemon of the current time (the implication seems to be pokemon don't even say this word often to themselves, if AZ says those words haven't been said in thousands of years?). Coupled with the fact as well, that AZ never had the chance to say sorry for what he did either. Lotta missed chances it seems, heh!

Anyways, thats my ramble for now. You did a excellent job using this event and the setting of pokemon to recreate a classic story.
 

Adamhuarts

Mew specialist
Partners
  1. custom/mew-adam
  2. custom/celebi-shiny
  3. custom/roserade-adam
It's been over 300 years since I last read anything by you, and what better time to get that done than now?


To start off, this fic was certainly in the "makes me think" fanfic category, a thing I find to be particularly one of your biggest strengths as a writer. This being a oneshot, it didn't waste too much time and gets us straight to the point which is good.


At the start we're introduced to a pair of Swablu where Lita tries to prove she can go talk to the hermit wizard on the Spire. There we met who I assume to be AZ and Lita finds herself challenged with a riddle.

On her quest to solve the riddle, we get some engaging back and forths between the two. I especially liked the analogy involving the cup, and about how we must love things for what they are and not for what we want them to be. Or at least that was my takeaway from that particular exchange.


I can't really comment much on the overall philosophy of this fic because some of it was a bit lost on me, or perhaps I haven't thought much about it. What I was able to take away was nice enough and I enjoyed giving this a read through and through.
 

kintsugi

golden scars | pfp by sun
Location
the warmth of summer in the songs you write
Pronouns
she/her
Partners
  1. silvally-grass
  2. lapras
  3. golurk
  4. custom/booper-kintsugi
  5. custom/meloetta-kint-muse
  6. custom/meloetta-kint-dancer
hiiiii! was gonna try to get responses done before Blitz but here we are

What a coincidence that I picked this for catnip! I happened to had sort of speed read it earlier yesterday morning.

I have to say, I rather enjoy the idea of pokemon-ifying fable type tales such as The Hardest Word (which I think I recall reading a long long time ago? idk)
As an exercise I'd highly recommend it tbh--fable stories have a really nice structure and it was a good way to learn from example of like, this is how to have a manageable but short character arc that'll fit in a oneshot-sized story. With Pokemon in particular you get to color outside the lines a lot during the "pokemonifying" bit, so to speak, so there's still plenty of room to try new things while having a familiar structure to fall back on.
This part felt awkward to me. I'm not sure if it was meant to be repetitive but even so it feels very awkward in my opinion. 'Spiraled around the spire until she stumbled on a crack in the spire.
In this and the other line edits I think you're totally right! A lot of the language here is relics from 2016 where I was learning that you could make cool-sounding sentences without realizing that the sentences still had to mean things, which has been a tough habit for me to fully disengage from lol.
Anyways, mostly minor nitpicky stuff. Everything was very good, and I rather enjoyed this piece. It's a nice short story to contemplate the nature of the word sorry, the power of words, and importance of meaning them as well. An empty sorry is easy to say, but to mean it carries something else entirely. To mean it would entail something more - the desire for change and to learn from mistakes.
I'm really glad you enjoyed it! A reason you might find the story familiar is that there's a similar conclusion drawn in Pen's rendition of it in Making it Big re: the weight of meaning it when you say it.
Which ironically, is a chance it seems AZ here never gave humanity. There's a lot of neat layers here to unpack, about the wrongs seemingly done by humans and pokemon of the past, and even pokemon of the current time (the implication seems to be pokemon don't even say this word often to themselves, if AZ says those words haven't been said in thousands of years?). Coupled with the fact as well, that AZ never had the chance to say sorry for what he did either. Lotta missed chances it seems, heh!
There are definitely a lot of missed chances! Truly AZ's storyline boggles me.

I don't think that the world shown here is meant to be like, crapsack hellscape on the tier of the world that AZ left behind--just that any world that's forgotten the weight of the word sorry can always be on the brink of reaching it. But I struggled to convey that in the story since implicitly it works because Lita spends more time in the wizard's world (heh) than her own.

I'm really glad you enjoyed, and thanks for the thoughtful review! <3

It's been over 300 years since I last read anything by you, and what better time to get that done than now?
Adam!! long time no see; glad your art game is still stronk as ever <3

welcome to my year of interspersing fluff pieces to keep everyone on their toes tbh
To start off, this fic was certainly in the "makes me think" fanfic category, a thing I find to be particularly one of your biggest strengths as a writer. This being a oneshot, it didn't waste too much time and gets us straight to the point which is good.

I can't really comment much on the overall philosophy of this fic because some of it was a bit lost on me, or perhaps I haven't thought much about it. What I was able to take away was nice enough and I enjoyed giving this a read through and through.
These really warm my heart, and thank you so much for the kind words here!! As an author it's one of the most flattering things to hear that my story made you think, even if it's not something that can be put into words right away. I'm so glad that you enjoyed, and thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!!
 

Torchic W. Pip

~ Utterly glorious ~
Location
Sootopolis City
Pronouns
they/he
Partners
  1. torchic
  2. custom/torchic-blue
Hello there, friend! Here for another review of another one of your stories!

So this is how the Mystery Dungeon world begins.

I didn't know that this was a Pokéfied version of an already existing story when I first read it, but I think that's a really cool idea, and you did a great job of Pokéfying the original story.
The idea of AZ wiping out humanity is a really interesting idea, as the biggest fan of Pokémon XY ever. Your characterization of AZ is really intriguing. I especially like how the Pokémon see him as this mystical figure, and there's some hints that he has regrets about wiping out humanity. Like, yeah he killed the humans and that technically ended the war, sure, but did it bring back Floette?
And to tie into the most powerful word: how powerful is "sorry" at this point? Can it end the war? Bring back humanity? Bring back Floette? No matter how hard AZ means it, no, no, and no. Words are only so powerful (and actions but shhhhh).
“Ollie, wait!”

Startled, the swablu executed a neat, mid-air barrel roll before alighting on a small pile of rocks. Shuffling the dust from his cottony wings to the ground, Ollie chirped back to his sister, “What’s the matter, Lita?”

A second swablu, huffing, landed alongside him, her blue eyes glittering in the midday sun. At the top of a cliff, silhouetted against a crystal-clear sky, the two perched pokémon were almost invisible, save for their cloudlike wings. “I just think we should go back to the eyrie soon,” she said. There was a long pause. “It’s getting late.”
I love Swablu. Swablu babey. Torchic approved.
“Are too!”

“Am not!”

“Are too!”

“Am not!”
I really liked this part. It was very funny, and it didn't overstay its welcome.
Lita felt reckless frustration bubble up inside of her, starting from the bottom of her stomach all the way up to the tip of her beak.
This is a very cute image, given how tiny Swablu is.
“And I’ll prove it! You can go back to the Guildmaster, but I’ll go to very top of the Spire all by myself and talk to the Wizard, and I’ll be the first person ever to figure out the answer to his secret! And then! You’ll! See!”
Guildmaster??? Like in Mystery Dungeon!
blue feathers and floofy wings.
floofy. very cute.
quite alone but absolutely not at all scared, even one bit
Love this little part
"Nope I'm not scared no siree no fear here hahaha!"
The swablu craned her head upward to squint up the tower and its unfathomable number of iridescent angles, which reflected a thousand tiny rainbows into her blue eyes, and she realized that this, surely, was the Spire.
First of all love how you said "head" instead of "neck" because Swablu is nothing but a head and second of all oooooooh crystal palace AZ is a brony confirmed
“Go on an ancient quest and solve my riddle, I know, I know,” the voice growled gruffly. “Let’s just get this over with.”

Lita blinked in surprise; this hadn’t quite been what the stories had told her would happen. The Wizard was supposed to be very wise and shrewd, with a riddle so hard that people would go mad searching for its answer.
Love AZ's intolerance of BS.
What is the most powerful word in the world?”
I would make a list of all of my guesses, but that would be way too shitposty for a fic like this. If, however, you disagree, please let me know, and I will give you all of my smart ass responses and reasonings.
“What?” Lita squawked in disbelief.

“Is that your answer?” the Wizard boomed.
I mean that is a good answer.
“But it is not the most powerful. It is strong, yes. It shaped this land into what it is today. It wiped mankind from the planet, turned them all into the stones you saw below. But,”
This was the part where I was like "oh shit. So that's the third option."
“This is clay that has taken the form of a cup. But to love the cup for what it is—well, that is much harder. To love the cup, you must love the clay.”
Dude calm down. It's just a cup.
I thought there would be screams, but it was silent.
This.
he whispered it to her because he, too ,
typo space after the "too".
 

bluesidra

Mood
Pronouns
she/her
Partners
  1. custom/hoppip-bluesidra-reup
  2. custom/hoppip-bluesidra-pink
  3. custom/hoppip-bluesidra3
So, it is half past one in the night and I’m crying into my computer. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings, but I don’t know if they’ll come out cohesively.

I had to read through it twice. Because, again, I didn’t understand it at first. I was actually kinda angry that Lita understood it and I didn’t. I roughly know The Hardest Word and I know what Yom Kippur is, so I could guess the answer, but the wizard’s cryptic lines drove me up the wall.

I mostly lost it when he started with the cup. Because a cup is a cup and nothing more! (Kinda like the “the curtain was blue” story.) And I hated that smarter-than-thou “you have to love the cup for what it is first.” Yeah, very useful, Confucius.

But when I reread it, that was when the tears came. Because that is actually very very powerful. I hear it so often, that people are worthy of love just because they exist, even before they have done anything, but I can’t for the life of me believe it. And the questions that Lita asks about Ollie are also very very hard. Especially the question if she could still love him, even if he broke her.

That is where I struggle the most with in this entire one-shot, I think. Because I can’t quite get over my disdain and hate for the wizard.

He says that “I’m sorry” is the most powerful word, and I have several branching thoughts from that, but I’ll first try it with this one: He says that “because” doesn’t have power over the past. But I don’t see a “sorry” from this wizard having any power, aside for himself.

I don’t know if admitting guilt or feeling sorry ever truly helps a victim? Okay, that sounds harsh now, I’m overgeneralising. But to me, a remorseful convict helps the victim only in a way that they know he feels bad about himself and doesn’t have a good time. In fact, asking for forgiveness is such a two-edged thing, because now it puts the victim in a place where the perpetrator seeks to be absolved from his crimes by word of the victim. And of course, nobody owes anyone forgiveness, but… well, now the victim’s the one that’s stubborn, right? Since the perpetrator has done everything to absolve themselves from their guilt, they are just being denied the acquittal.

Add to that, that a “I regret what I did to you” – in this particular case at least – means that all these people died, and even the one last person alive says their death was meaningless? It just furthers into my general feeling that this particular scenario left me with – that the wizard’s “sorry” is first and foremost self-serving.

Contrast a “I regret what I did” to “You died because.” In this case, if I was the dead person on his doorstep, I would be more happy to hear the second one. It gives my death a reason, even a deranged one. At least somebody got something out of it. But if, after years and years and years of him stepping out the door, looking into my eyes and telling me that I’m dead for a reason, he suddenly came and said “well, I was wrong and I’m sorry about it” I would think about how to slap him in the face, despite my petrified state. And to then not even see him suffer in the knowledge of his wrongdoing is even more insulting.

But then again, I am a very hateful person in this case. Lita – maybe through her sheer naivete – managed to see the wizard as a person and seemed to really care about him. Which is an admirable trait that I don’t possess. On the other hand, she never spared one thought about the people whose lives had been cut short by him when she was playing with them.

And maybe that is, at the end of the day, all that matters. When I was churning that self-serving nature of “sorry” in my head, the thought crossed my mind, that there is no one left any more to serve other than the self. There was no way the wizard could undo any of what he had done, so he could as well feel good about himself. And outside of pettiness and an “this is unfair”, there is nothing I could say against it. Spa day it is, my bro.

But, okay, that is in the case that no one is suffering from the perpetrator’s mistakes any more. But what if the victim is still around? Should the most powerful word really be one that primarily serves to make the perpetrator feel better?

I know that a “sorry” is the first little step in the long road to forgiveness, and that people admitting guilt and leaving their trenches to finally approach each other with their guards lowered is the start of peace. But the thought feels kinda sour when I think about crimes like rape and murder. And “The Most Powerful Word” is really small in comparison to how much more powerful the actions are that can and must follow this word.

(I think the core of my problem is that I see “sorry” more in the vein of asking for forgiveness and less in the vein of admitting guilt, which is, at least in my mind, a process that stays within the area of the wrongdoer and not gives the ball back to their victims immediately. And also, that I’m mainly looking at it from an angle where the victim was completely innocent. For which there are many instances, but wars more often than not, have both sides at least a little guilty.)

But. All of those probably really stupid thoughts of mine aside. Another line had piqued my interest. “A word [...] that could slay me when I have undone so many.” I thought about that, because it didn’t really make sense in my head. The word is currently undoing him, yes. But the sentence is in past tense, and implies that it has already undone him. Were the people he killed maybe, in the moment of their deaths, sorry for what they did? Did one of them utter “I’m sorry” before the wizard took his life, when he was angry?

And then the entire thing about the word being forgotten by time. The wizard seemed remorseful, right? I’m not really good at telling this. But, afaik, he clearly knew what guilt felt like and stuff. So why didn’t he go out there and try to make up for his mistakes? Why did he let the word be forgotten by time?

And if he did truly forget the word and only now learned it again after Lita said it: Why does he get his salvation now? Isn’t “sorry” only the first step in redemption? This story (and the AZ storyline in XY, I loathe it so much) makes it seem like all you have to do is to say “I’m sorry” (and mean it), and everything will be fine. Here, the wizard gets to finally die, in the games, AZ gets his Floette back. But nowhere did he ever try to redeem himself. It again reinforces that “say sorry and the rest is up to the others” vibe I’m getting.

Other than that, a little sidenote: Him explaining why “because” was not the most powerful word, when reasons are but smoke and mirrors after the deed is done, sounded suspiciously like him trying to downplay his crimes. Which. Genocide. You shouldn’t downplay that, Mr Wizard. But your big words sure confused little Lita and brought you some brownie-points with her. Sneaky lill trick you pulled to make the history books of the future talk nicer about you.

So, okay, I’ll try to end my thoughts now. Lita is a lovely audience proxy, and I loved that last line, because, well, yes, she was really played by the wizard. He got the nice part and in his dying breath put a shitton of anxiety on her. That needs some counseling in the future, I’m sure. But it’s kinda nice seeing how he made her out to be a future leader and her clan, unknowingly, plays right into his hand there.

All in all, very impressive read, and I don’t think that there are any bad habits here or good habits that got replaced later on. There are some odd wordchoices that might be an autocorrect-slip, but they are far from distracting.

Pls moar, unpack your archive if there’s more like that :D
 

kintsugi

golden scars | pfp by sun
Location
the warmth of summer in the songs you write
Pronouns
she/her
Partners
  1. silvally-grass
  2. lapras
  3. golurk
  4. custom/booper-kintsugi
  5. custom/meloetta-kint-muse
  6. custom/meloetta-kint-dancer
super late on these, but hiiii! many thanks for all that you guys do. <3

(also, I'm so sorry, I just saw that I didn't quag your review when I first read it fsr? please attribute that to me being bad at using the internet. deeply appreciate you! this discrepancy has been swiftly adjusted)
So this is how the Mystery Dungeon world begins.
Might I recommend, for absolutely no reason, Decoherence by our very own Negrek?
I didn't know that this was a Pokéfied version of an already existing story when I first read it, but I think that's a really cool idea, and you did a great job of Pokéfying the original story.
It's definitely not something I'd do today (or at least not as obliquely; I've definitely flipped the script on some myths/legends), but as a newer author I think it helped a lot to have a framework and proper story structure to try to build around, yeah.
The idea of AZ wiping out humanity is a really interesting idea, as the biggest fan of Pokémon XY ever. Your characterization of AZ is really intriguing. I especially like how the Pokémon see him as this mystical figure, and there's some hints that he has regrets about wiping out humanity. Like, yeah he killed the humans and that technically ended the war, sure, but did it bring back Floette?
And to tie into the most powerful word: how powerful is "sorry" at this point? Can it end the war? Bring back humanity? Bring back Floette? No matter how hard AZ means it, no, no, and no. Words are only so powerful (and actions but shhhhh).
AZ, yes, fascinates me more or less for the reasons outlined. To what extent can genocide be forgiven? To what extent is it worth it? I have some answers but they don't fully seem to align with canon, sooooo to fanfic we go, ahoy.
I would make a list of all of my guesses, but that would be way too shitposty for a fic like this. If, however, you disagree, please let me know, and I will give you all of my smart ass responses and reasonings.
hit meeee

Thank you for the review!! Love to hear your thoughts as always; this is one of my older stories but it's one that I've kept close to my heart for a while, so I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

hi again! first off, thank you for the long thoughts--I know you were concerned about cohesiveness but I thought they were super helpful! Hopefully my answers are also useful at all to you.
I had to read through it twice. Because, again, I didn’t understand it at first. I was actually kinda angry that Lita understood it and I didn’t. I roughly know The Hardest Word and I know what Yom Kippur is, so I could guess the answer, but the wizard’s cryptic lines drove me up the wall.

I mostly lost it when he started with the cup. Because a cup is a cup and nothing more! (Kinda like the “the curtain was blue” story.) And I hated that smarter-than-thou “you have to love the cup for what it is first.” Yeah, very useful, Confucius.

But when I reread it, that was when the tears came. Because that is actually very very powerful. I hear it so often, that people are worthy of love just because they exist, even before they have done anything, but I can’t for the life of me believe it. And the questions that Lita asks about Ollie are also very very hard. Especially the question if she could still love him, even if he broke her.
honestly, yeah, the wizard is based on a person in real life who I have mixed feelings about as well. At the time of writing this (an awfully long time ago), I knew a better person than I was would've been able to love someone for who they are, even if what they do is hurtful. To recognize that people are worthy of love just for existing. But I also found it hard--a lot of this story is me really coming to grips with the concept of loving someone and hating what they did--to offer that forgiveness to others, as well as myself.

A bit heavy for a pokemon story, yeah. But that's been my brand since the beginning and I won't really try to deny it.
He says that “I’m sorry” is the most powerful word, and I have several branching thoughts from that, but I’ll first try it with this one: He says that “because” doesn’t have power over the past. But I don’t see a “sorry” from this wizard having any power, aside for himself.

I don’t know if admitting guilt or feeling sorry ever truly helps a victim? Okay, that sounds harsh now, I’m overgeneralising. But to me, a remorseful convict helps the victim only in a way that they know he feels bad about himself and doesn’t have a good time. In fact, asking for forgiveness is such a two-edged thing, because now it puts the victim in a place where the perpetrator seeks to be absolved from his crimes by word of the victim. And of course, nobody owes anyone forgiveness, but… well, now the victim’s the one that’s stubborn, right? Since the perpetrator has done everything to absolve themselves from their guilt, they are just being denied the acquittal.
No, I think you're not wrong here! Sorry is often for the perpetrator and not the victim; there's a lot of times that people's apologies are for themselves first and for the people they've hurt second.

And, I guess at the risk of using no true scotsman as a defense--there's sorry and then there's sorry. The "It's only powerful if you mean it" approach. Xerneas's curse here is aimed specifically at AZ; he can finally die once the world he's created is better than the man who created a world out of such hatred in the first place. Until then, he's cursed to be a teacher. I think as a more experienced writer I would've been more careful emphasizing that + making it clear what lesson was actually learned here--but basically he can only die once someone in his new world can fully appreciate the weight of empathy. That's what his riddle effectively holds him to.

And it's a specifically-tooled metaphor, and one that doesn't always hold up. Two years after posting this story I wrote a very long, pointed rant to the effect of "sorry doesn't mean shit when ____", because at the end of the day this is a child's story that adults can learn from, but it requires some degree of fairness and trust in the world in order for it to work. And sometimes there are people who won't use that fairness and trust, and will only continue to exploit--and acknowledging that isn't wrong either.

Tying it to AZ's clusterfuck decision was a spectacularly odd decision that I could've only made when I was younger, yeah. But ultimately I think it boils down to: our actions are permanent, and the consequences they have for others are equally permanent. Being flawed is part of being human, but when you make mistakes, what can you do? And AZ is a massive extreme of this, in the sense that his actions are kind of past the garden variety of "mistakes" that this story was meant to address--but ultimately truly saying "sorry" is more than just saying it; it's living it.

All this to say, I don't think these are stupid thoughts at all. It's close to my heart but I certainly would've written this story differently if I were writing it now.
But. All of those probably really stupid thoughts of mine aside. Another line had piqued my interest. “A word [...] that could slay me when I have undone so many.” I thought about that, because it didn’t really make sense in my head. The word is currently undoing him, yes. But the sentence is in past tense, and implies that it has already undone him. Were the people he killed maybe, in the moment of their deaths, sorry for what they did? Did one of them utter “I’m sorry” before the wizard took his life, when he was angry?
I might be misunderstanding your confusion here, but "when I have undone so many" is meant to be the wizard acknowledging that he had the power to kill a ton of people, and yet the word "sorry", while a single word, would solve the riddle and kill him in turn. The people who died probably were not thinking about sorry in that sense/in that moment, no.
And if he did truly forget the word and only now learned it again after Lita said it: Why does he get his salvation now? Isn’t “sorry” only the first step in redemption? This story (and the AZ storyline in XY, I loathe it so much) makes it seem like all you have to do is to say “I’m sorry” (and mean it), and everything will be fine. Here, the wizard gets to finally die, in the games, AZ gets his Floette back. But nowhere did he ever try to redeem himself. It again reinforces that “say sorry and the rest is up to the others” vibe I’m getting.
yeah, this is definitely a sentiment that aged differently as I grew up/as I look back on this. "living is harder".
Other than that, a little sidenote: Him explaining why “because” was not the most powerful word, when reasons are but smoke and mirrors after the deed is done, sounded suspiciously like him trying to downplay his crimes. Which. Genocide. You shouldn’t downplay that, Mr Wizard. But your big words sure confused little Lita and brought you some brownie-points with her. Sneaky lill trick you pulled to make the history books of the future talk nicer about you.
tbf, word of god (me) would have Lita having very mixed feelings on the wizard's actions. she would tell the story in full.

thank you, as always, for sharing your thoughts here! a delight to read.
 
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