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Chapter 34.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 34: Aquatus.

The Aquatic War Arc.

Everyone huddles around the diner area, munching the kelps like no tomorrow. The Lanturn shines her light, aiding everyone's sight. Ramon stares ahead, being behind the group due to his height. Yowa swims to the kelp stash in the corner, snatching a few of them and bringing them towards Larry while chewing on some. She sets it down, smiling.

"I'm not hungry," the School says, smiling back. Yowa pushes the kelps forward.

"Oh come on, hun! Momma's spent these lovely kelps with her daughter's hard-earned shells! Plus we got our lovely assistant Mary giving us light." Yowa gestures to the Lanturn, Mary staring ahead in an unphased fashion. "The least you could do is give 'em a taste."

Shells? "U-Um…Sure thing, ma'am." Ramon grabs one of the kelps, bringing them to his maw with caution. He opens and chews, his face scrunching. O-Oh god, this is gross!

Yowa tilts her head. "Eh? Something's wrong?"

"Mm." The School chows down the rest of the kelps, swallowing. He shakes his head before nodding. "Nope! P-Perfectly fine!"

Yowa widens her eyes. "My my! I guess the war has gotten ya mighty hungry, huh? Glad I insisted on you eating, then!"

Fisher lightly taps on Larry's side, chuckling. "The kelps were good, huh?"

Ramon nods. "Y-Yes siree it was! I forgot to get myself so-something to eat before randomly being thrown into war." He looks away. So grassy and dirtish…I'm sorry.

"Oh dear. Then I'll go grab you some more kelps at the stash!"

Larry jumps up a bit. "I-I don't think that'll be necessa—"

Yowa swims off to the corner, snatches a couple more kelps, and slams them in front of Larry. "Here ya go, hun!"

"Oh. Ni-Nice." Aww…

Yowa then swims beside Aquatus, being by Fisher. Once everyone starts eating, Yowa turns towards Aquatus and speaks, "So how was today's fight?"

"The usual: Having to keep attacking the Gyarados here and there. Nothing special about it besides meeting Larry."

"I see, I see. Well once again, momma's proud of you for comin' home alive!" Yowa smiles, shoving some kelps into her mouth.

"We're so happy that you came back, sis! That way, we can say you finally have a boyfriend!" Marsh follows as he and Beckett scoot close to Aquatus, the two giggling.

Aquatus sighs at the kids, smiling. "Thanks." She blinks for a moment before shaking head. "What? HEY!" Pouting, she frowns at them. "Stop insisting that I have a boyfriend solely because I bought a guy over for dinner! There is a thing as being friends, you know." She shakes her head.

"Relax, sweetie. They're just messing with ya, per usual." Yowa smiles, her fin lifting up and down.

"I can see that." Aquatus smiles while rolling her eyes, the two kids snickering.

Ramon shrugs, nudging his fins together. "S-So what are y-you two's thoughts on the war?" he asks Aquatus' parents.

Fisher lifts his head, closing his eyes. "Virtuous has the bright idea of showing those serpent FREAKS who's boss." Smirking, he glares at Larry. "Their wild attitude ain't got nothin' on our sardinstic beauty!"

Sardinstic beauty…What? Larry thinks, blinking into obscurity.

"Mhm, hun. And our large blues of glory form is a whole new level of beauty! Beauty that them GyaraDORKS don't have!" Yowa follows, her fin on her lips as she giggles.

Large blues of glo—I, what? Larry tilts his head, completely dubious on what he just heard.

"Virtuous knew what was up when he boasted about these feats we have. Especially since we never liked them serpent trash in the first darn place!" Yowa sighs. "Honestly, I wouldn't mind if he was my husband because of those fiiiine, fiiiiiiiiiine wisdom of his'." Yowa holds her fins together, shaking her head and smiling. "Also helps that he's a fine king, too."

Fisher raises his brow, eyeing the Solo form. "I'd be upset at that comment, but that's Virtuous. So I'll let it slide." Soon he and Yowa laugh, waving their fins at each other in flattery.

"I kid around, anyways. But his wisdom really does speak to us all, hun."

"Agreed." Fisher eyes his two young Wishiwashis. "Right, kids?"

"Virtuous is the best!" the two Solos respond, nodding afterwards.

Fisher grins before turning towards Aquatus, who's gradually nibbling on her kelp. "As for you, Aquatus: Thank you for not only making your family proud, but also King Virtuous proud for joining our cause." Aquatus eyes him, lips sealed. Fisher's grin devolves, leaning himself forward. "Something's wrong?"

"...Nothing." Aquatus jolts her lips up: Her smile trembling, her eyelids shielding the sorrows. "I'm honored to join Virtuous' cause, too."

Ramon eyes the sardine, lowering his head.

. . .

Everyone sleeps in their respective rooms at the top of the coral house: The young Wishiwashis sleep in the rooms on the right while the parents sleep on the left. Ramon and Aquatus are in the room above Aquatus' parents, lying down on the rough purple ground. Aquatus eyes the large fish, a hole-window providing some light thanks to the Lanturns.

"You really are lucky that this room can fit a School form. Otherwise, you would've been sleeping outside," Aquatus says before giggling.

The fake Wishiwashi eyes down at her. "Haha…Ye-Yeah."

"Anyways, have a good night's sleep, Larry." Aquatus turns to the side, her head lying on her fins.

"Goodnight." Larry remains on his belly, his eyes closing.

. . .

The sun shines at the two foxes: The Zoroark sitting down with his legs spread while the Shiny Zorua rests on his lap, both gazing up. The clouds pass over them gradually, Ramon caressing the grass beneath him. The soft winds lean the greens to the side, tilting the Zoroark's fringe.

"So—" Nomar blinks. "A lot has happened, huh?"

"Yeah…" Ramon scratches the back of his head. "Getting to learn bits about who that Travis guy is, meeting Roan after returning his wristband, and now having to solve some war issues just to get across the lake."

Nomar stretches, yawning. "When you put it like that: Yeah, that's a lot to take in under one day."

Ramon lays down, sighing in exasperation. "It's crazy how all of this is even happening to begin with: From when I've woken up in that institute to dealing with this war." His brow raises. "It all sounds like some bizarre…mixed-meshed fairytale story. That includes the grudge Virtuous and Behemoth held against each other before starting The Aquatic War."

"Sometimes the craziest, most unbelievable things can happen to you."

Ramon's paws rest behind his head. "I suppose so. I'll just hope to recover my memories by the time I reach Glory Pride."

Nomar leans his head, gazing at Ramon. "I'm as eager to meet you in real life as you are eager to fully remember yourself!" He closes his eyes and smiles. "Let's do our best at reaching our goals."

The Zoroark gazes back before nodding. After a few minutes of silence, he asks, "...Can a Pokémon make evil decisions, especially those who are Intellicates?"

The blue Zorua tilts his head, giving Ramon the look of peculiarness. "Elaborate."

"I mean, I was wondering about this due to Roan mentioning about Zorua and Zoroark being known for deception." His ears lower, staring off.

Nomar shakes his head. "Don't think too much about it: They're just meaningless labels given to us by humans. It's their way of wanting us to feel inferior."

Ramon blinks and lifts himself forward. "You think so?"

"Nah: I KNOW so." Nomar frowns. "This is especially the case when it comes to labels like 'Intellicate' and 'Nativu', human's way of differentiating what are essentially two of the same Pokémon."


"Think about it: We hardly dress like humans, we don't walk like humans, we don't eat like humans, and we sure as hell don't communicate with each other like humans."

Ramon lifts his claw. "But we are capable of talking like one, seeing as how I can understand what Justin and Ada are saying. Perhaps that's what makes us Intellicates."

Nomar sighs, lowering his ears and shaking his head. "Regardless of that being the case: 'Intellicate' and 'Nativu' are purely imaginary terms humans use to manipulate Pokémon like Roan. Having them feel as though they're on the same level as them: Inclusive, in other words."

Nomar stares at the waving grass. "I believe all Pokémon are, well, Pokémon: Creatures meant to thrive in the wild, differing themselves from the twisted wasteland that are humans. Regardless of whatever false labels they give us, we are nature's habitats. While they—" glares. "Are its diseases."

"...I see, then." The red fox lowers his ears. "Even then, I…think Roan could be right about Zoroarks. Considering what I'm doing right now." He strokes the grass, his hair shielding his eyes. "Pretending to be an ally for Virtuous, and will do the same for Behemoth tomorrow." Ramon clenches his teeth. "I'm deceiving those two….Like how those Zoroarks deceived Roan."

Nomar remains silent for a moment, the serene winds brushing against him. He taps on Ramon's leg, sighing. "Maybe that might be the case…" He eyes the Zoroark, frowning. "But always remember: At the end of the day, humans are at fault here. Windmill Forest's hurricane wouldn't have happened if the two Pokémon's trainer didn't abandon them."

Ramon nods at a gradual pace, stroking his arm. "Agreed…"

The grass shifts, the wind blowing to fill the ounces of silence. Eventually it subsides when the Zoroark says, "Hey Nomar, you said you were going to tell me how you know about Transvolution. Care to explain?"

The blue fox gazes into the distance, ears flickering. "I forgot."

Ramon lifts his brow, the blue sky shifting away. "You forgot?" Nomar nods. "How so? You've been so serious about me changing back into a Zorua earlier. I'm not sure how you've forgotten."

Nomar lowers his head. "I've told you before that my knowledge is leaving me thanks to my death. I used to know about it, but now the thought is…slipping away…"

"But you sounded terrified, like you knew what I was going through." Ramon folds his arms. "Seems important enough to not forget about."

Nomar stares at the fox. "Hey, that Ada girl forgot about the Dne War four days ago, right? And that war was important, too."

"Yes, but she isn't dead: Her thoughts aren't leaving her so easily compared to yours…If that's how losing memories works in the dead…" Ramon shakes his paws in a defensive manner. "N-No offense, by the way!"

Nomar stretches himself out once more. "None taken."

Ramon lays his paw on his chin. "Also, didn't you say you don't believe in those war stuff? Since you've told me they're made up by humans, then why mentio—"

"Let's focus on getting to Gloria Falls, alright?" Nomar says quickly. "I'm really sorry for forgetting about Transvolution. But maybe my memory of it will come back after you revive me. We'll see."

Ramon blinks for a moment, the sky dimming to dark orange. He nods. "Okay."

. . .

Ramon opens his eyes wide, gasping and flailing. He looks at himself being in his Zoroark form, gagging.

Si-Since when I decided to change back!? he thinks, gritting his teeth. He closes his eyes, surrounding himself in pink auras before shrinking down. The transformation ends with him being a Solo Wishiwashi, coughing on his fin.

He groans, clearing his throat and breathing in and out. Aquatus slowly lifts her eyes and groans, rubbing them.

"Mm…What's going…" She eyes the abnormal breathing fish, swimming within seconds. "Are you alright, Larry!?"

Larry looks at the Wishiwashi. "Y-Yeah, I'm, uh fine." He shakes his head. "Had a nightmare and ended up coughing like crazy from it."

Aquatus pins her fins against her Mystic Water. "Yeesh! You cough after waking up from a nightmare?"

Larry nods meekly. "Mhm…"

"You must have had a panic attack. Want me to give you some space?"

"U-Um—" Ramon pokes his fins together, squirming while looking off. "Y-Yeah. That'll be nice."

The sardine backs away. "What was the nightmare you had? If you don't mind telling me."

Larry flinches, fidgeting his fins. "I, uh—" Gotta think of something quick and effective. "I…was dreaming about ge-getting killed out there in the war. Th-The thought of it terrifies me." He whimpers.

Aquatus gives the other sardine a nonchalant look. "Is that so?" Larry nods. The lady Wishiwashi looks off to the side, chuckling within the wispy winds. "I get it: Randomly being chosen to fight for your kind is a scary feeling to have when it comes to death playing along."

"Y-Yeah." At least I'm half telling the truth here…Partially. Erm…Fully. "A-And that's, uh, quite a way to phrase my nightmare there."

Aquatus shifts side to side, staring off. "I can be quite blunt that way, heh."

I can tell.

Aquatus looks out of her window, gazing at the dimly lit lights. Larry stares out as well, the two exchanging silence. The illusion Solo coughs a little, breaking the quiet barrier. "...So Aquatus—" he looks at her. "D-Do you believe Wishiwashis are stronger than those Gy-Gyarados?"

"Honestly…No." She swims close to the window, pressing her fin against the wall it's attached to. "I believe some are stronger than them while others aren't. The same can be said for the Gyarados, too." Smiles. "And that's fine since the strong can help the weak become strong. Besides, the weak can help the strong in cases that don't involve fighting."

"Really?" Larry tilts his head.

"Mhm. Such as alerting others of intruders infiltrating the palace." She eyes a Lanturn passing over her home. "Not like that has happened before, but considering how loyal the Wishiwashis are, I wouldn't put past a child warning one of the guards about an enemy being here. Heck, you were considering doing that while in your School form, Larry."

"R-Right." Larry blinks for a moment before shaking his head. "Wa-Wait, are you calling me weak!?"

Aquatus giggles. "Maybe."

"H-Hey!" Larry whimpers, lowering his head.

"Even if I did, it's not really a bad thing. Again, you're willing to do whatever you can to aid others despite your weakness. Sure, there's a stronger Wishiwashi that does the job better. But a weaker one wanting to help is fine, too." Aquatus nods. "Personally…that's what true strength is: The will to help others regardless of one's power."

Ramon eyes the sardine, his lips sealing, succumbing to silence. I've…never thought of it before, but Clinton was so confident in helping me when Travis almost killed me. He did this despite not being born with Magic type, knowing he's at a disadvantage with Travis. He stares off. He has a strong will to help others.

Aquatus turns around, frowning at the illusion Wishiwashi. "This is the kind of view I desperately wished for Virtuous to see. To understand…His petty rivalry with Behemoth has involved both of our species because of pointless power bets: Always wanting to prove who's the strongest between the two kinds when in reality—" she clenches her fins, glaring down. "It should've been us agreeing to disagree. Because both the strong and the weak are useful in willpower."

"I see…"

Aquatus sighs, her fins unraveling, her eyes shutting. "If only Virtuous and the rest of the Wishiwashis saw it that way. How much that'll set his grievances free instead of the war we're in now."

Larry keeps quiet, gazing at the melancholic Solo before him. He nods. "Agreed." And I'm being genuine completely. "Although, if you believe in those things, then why did you join the war? Especially since you found it to be pointless."

Aquatus shakes her head. "I have no choice."

"S-So it was like my case where you were randomly recruited?" Larry elaborates.

"Not entirely: Virtuous wanted to create an army for the war as soon as possible. Sometimes it'll lead him and his men to randomly slap recruits on someone without their consent. Other times they would ask others if they wanted to join. I was one of those Wishiwashis they asked to join the war."

"I see. It doesn't re-really answer why you took the offer, though."

Aquatus looks up. "I joined so that I could take care of my family." She waves her fin around. "Virtuous gives away shells to those that participated in the war. Shells that are valuable enough to be used for trades and such."

"Huh…Where did he get those shells fro—"

"I have no clue where he got them from, either," Aquatus says before shrugging. "That's a mystery to all of us Wishiwashis, honestly. Although, I'd imagine he likely got them from his trainer."

"I see…I didn't see him hand out any, though."

"Probably because you've made him mad for questioning his war decisions."

"R-REALLY!?" Larry yelps.

Aquatus giggles, her fin on her maw. "Joking aside, he usually gives them away the next day. Keyword: Usually." She huffs. "He can sometimes forget to do that." She glares off to the side, folding her fins. "Some king he is."

"Oh. That sounds inconvenient…Al-Also, hey! Don't joke like that!" The illusion Solo whimpers, lowering his head. "R-Really thought that I've offended our h-highness with an unorthodox question THAT badly."

"Hehe." Aquatus then stares out of the window again. "...You know, I've been thinking about meeting a Gyarados."

"Wh-Why? Didn't y-you already meet one on the battlefield? Not to mention m-multiple of them?"

"Yes. But fighting them doesn't really represent what those species are." She presses her fins against herself. "I wanted to know more about them than just the battles. See what they're like in conversations. What their interests are. And much more." She sighs softly. "I feel like they're not as ruthless and vile as Virtuous makes them out to be."

"B-But haven't you seen how they've attacked?" Larry gulps. "I-I mean, I can understand why Virtuous makes them out th-that way."

Aquatus frowns at the illusion Wishiwashi. "Yes and that's because they were in the middle of fighting us. Do you genuinely expect them to look less ferocious during conflict?"

"I…" Larry stares off, his laughter raspy. "Fair enough."

The lady sardine leans her head against the window, her fins clinging to the walls. "Honestly, I wish this war didn't exist because it prevented me from wanting to talk with those Gyarados. Even then, I'd probably be seen as some weirdo here. I wouldn't care though because I just…believe in forming a civil, calm discussion. Wanting to find some sort of common ground and understanding with the kind my species despise." She shrugs. "Perhaps I may be weird for doing so, but it's better than holding onto irrational grievances and spite towards another kind, you know?"

Larry swims beside her, gazing at the yellow lights dimming throughout the palace's corals. "I suppose so, yeah."


The two continue their gaze at the dimly lit outside, maws shut. Soon, Aquatus eyes Larry.

"By the way, why are you in your Solo form now?"

"U-Uh…" Shoot! Didn't realize I was even in that form! No wonder why I was seeing Aquatus at the same level as me! "Um, I-I feel like the Gyarados won't intervene after really thinking about it."

Aquatus quirks her brow. "But you were so insistent on them infiltrating the pala—"

"I-I was being super paranoid earlier. Unreasonably so," Ramon mentions quickly. "A-Apologies for the interruption, by the way."

Aquatus squints briefly before stretching her fins out, yawning. "Well anyways, I'll go back to sleep. Have a good night's rest." She swims to the center of her room.

"You too, Aquatus." Ramon follows, the two laying on the ground and closing their eyes afterwards.

. . .

"Rock!" Justin shouts.

"Paper!" Courtney exclaims.

"Uh, scissors?" Roan tilts his head.

And Lycus ends it all with the word: "Shoot!"

The boy, weasel, dragon, rabbit, and avian all lower their retrospective hands and paws, all except Courtney spreading their fingers: Justin expands two of his fingers, aiming it towards the middle of the living room as Sylock does the same thing. Roan and Lycus' hand and paw has two fingers out, aiming towards the middle along with Courtney's fur-covered hand, shielding her fingers.

Justin smacks his lips. "Shit, lost again!" Justin squints at the Lopunny. "Yo, you always choose rock!"

"Or at least we think she always chooses rock. Can't tell with her fingers hiding in those furs," Lycus mentions, shrugging while snickering.

Courtney presses her hand on her lips, grinning with deviants. "I can't help it: My furs are naturally bushy that way."

Sylock crosses his fingers together, forming an 'X' symbol before shaking his head. "X for doubt," he signs, smirking.

Roan nudges his head. "Wait, is this not rock?" He quirks his brow.

"Nah, fam: That's scissors." Justin's hands lay behind his head. "So you've actually never played rock-paper-scissors before? Like ever?"

Roan shakes his head. "Simon and I mainly hitchhike a lot and exercise. Something we usually do for fun."

"'For fun'?" Justin folds his arms, shaking his head. "Damn. None of y'all thought of doing some basic fun like this? Bet you've never heard of hide n seek, too."

"Hide n what now?" Roan gives the boy the look of bewilderment.


"Now now, we can always teach him that if any of us were to play hide n seek," Lycus mentions.

"True. Let's get back to our game." The five get in the middle again, raising their arms up and down in repetition. "Rock!"

"Paper!" Lycus shouts.

"Scissors!" Courtney nearly finishes.

"Uh, shoot?" Roan concludes, his tone perplexed. Everyone stops their hands in place, all except for Courtney spreading them, pointing towards the middle. Justin shoots his gaze at the Lopunny's hand, seeing her fingers not being visible.

"HAH, YOU DID ROCK AGAIN!" Justin shouts, slamming his fist down. "I—erm, we won this time!"

Courtney gazes back, her eyes half-closed while she smirks. "Look again."

"Huh?" Justin takes another glance at the rabbit's fur-covered hand, two brown fingers peeping their way out. "Man what the!?" The boy strokes his head while Courtney bursts into laughter, Sylock glaring at her with a smile.

"I love pulling this trick off sooooo much!"

"Dawg, that is so bull." Justin pouts, sitting down and folding his arms. "I ain't counting that. How are we supposed to know you showed scissors and not rock!? YOUR FUR IS HIDING YOUR FINGERS!" Courtney snickers more at the teen's rants. "Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if you were holding scissors in the previous round."

"Want me to tell ya a secret?" Courtney hovers her hand over her lips, leaning forward. "I was." She grins.


Sylock snorts, shaking his head. "I knew that was the case."

Justin eyes the Blaziken. "I don't know what you're saying, but your movement is telling me you knew about her doing this."

"And ye're right!" Courtney winks, lifting her arm up. "I like tricking him and the others into thinking my hand is rock cuz of my fur. Guilty as charged!" She snickers before sticking her tongue out playfully, leading Justin to lie on the ground with his hands against his head.

"I will never recover from this, man."

Lycus snorts before going into an all out laughter, covering his stomach. "Wow. She really messed with you badly, my guy."

Sylock shrugs, closing his eyes while smirking. He'll get used to it.

Roan stands there dumbfounded, slowly eyeing at his hand and poking it. He blinks rapid fire, raising his brow. "Hmm…So if showing two fingers is scissors, then…showing all of them is rock?" Roan lifts his finger. "Actually we all should win since we showed rock."

Justin turns his head at a gradual pace, squinting at Roan. "Fam: We all have paper, not rock. She has scissors, and scissors are effective against paper. That's why I'm freaking out about losing."

"Oh." Roan laughs in a raspy manner, stroking the back of his head. "Perhaps I'll understand how this game works as time passes by."

"Bro, it's really not that hard to understand." Justin strikes his head towards the Lopunny, frowning. "What is hard to understand is this Lopunny's ball furs! Man they're so puffy that they may as well become one with the clouds."

"Excuse you?" both Courtney and Roan say, the two ending up laughing afterwards.

"Yeah. In fact, I'd call those furs: Cloud Balls! A new addition to Wrists Incorporated!" Justin grins, his hands by his hips.

"What the hell?" Lycus and Sylock say, the latter signing in his case while jolting his brow. Courtney and Roan snort before falling flat on the ground, holding their stomach from all that laughter.

"I can't even. Wow." Courtney giggles.

Justin closes his eyes. "You're welcome to my education on Cloud Balls."

"I would like for you to never say that again, kid." Lycus' paw nudges his head, shaking. "That was terrible."

"That was GLORIOUS!" Roan counters, snickering while forming tears in his eyes. "I haven't laughed this hard since the time Simon told me about how eggcited he was to climb another mountain!"

That just tells me all I need to know about your sense of humor, Roan, Sylock thinks, sighing and shaking his head.

Justin bows his head. "Glad I could make y'all two's day better."

"No kiddin," Courtney agrees, her laughter subsiding.

Justin stretches his arms out, standing. "I'll go see what the other three are doing."

"Alright. I'll play some more rock-paper-scissors, then."

"Same here," Roan follows. Sylock just shrugs and nods with the others.

"I might as well come along. Don't feel like playing more of this game," Lycus says.


The two walk towards the right, passing by the fireplace and being near the windows. Sitting by them are Ada, Coleo, and Mesmeren: Ada resting her elbows on the left window's edge, Coleo sitting on top of her head, and Mesmeren standing beside her. All of them gaze out of the window, at the void blues, at the…melancholic sky.

Ada sighs, staring at the raindrops hitting the grass. The droplets have lessened its aggression from earlier, becoming more calm and serene. The girl taps her cheeks. "I hope he's okay…"

Mesmeren gazes at her for a brief moment before nodding. "S-Same…" She presses her fingers together, wiggling in place.

"I hope he's alright too, fam," Justin says, capturing the three's attention. The boy slips his hands in his pockets, looking at the bleak sky. "The fact he hasn't come back yet has…gotten me worried for him, honestly."

Ada frowns. "I wonder why," she responds with resentment in her tone.

Justin looks back at her, raising his brow. He tries to say something before Coleo interjects, "I am sorry for involving ye all into this mess. It wasn't me intention…"

"Same here," Lycus follows, lifting his paw. "I've never intended for anyone to get in this crap. I apologize for this, too."

Ada puts her hand against her head, shaking. "No need to apologize for something out of your control. Although it's just…" She sighs heavily. "I…I still believe this might be a bad idea. This whole lying ordeal…"

"Hey man, give him some time to make this work." Justin lays a hand onto Ada's shoulder, smiling. "I know I'm worried about him not returning back, but there's a part of me that thinks he knows what he's doing. He'll be fine regardless of our worries, I believe."

Ada smacks the boy's hand away, clenching her fists. "You have every right to be worried because YOU'RE the one who insists on having him go through this deceiving train!" She grits her teeth, her fists trembling as Courtney and the others look at her. "If it weren't for the lies, Ramon would've come back by now. It makes me believe he probably got exposed and captured!" She stomps her foot, glaring directly into the boy's brown eyes. "This is exactly why I believe lying is wrong!"

Justin glares back. "Ah for crying out loud, fam! First off, it was Roan's idea to have Ramon be disguised as one of them, not me!" he snaps back, clenching his fists while Roan looks off in melancholy. "And secondly—" he stomps on the ground like an earthquake, pointing at the girl. "Don't you dare act like you're completely lying free when YOU lied to Isaac about not staying focused during that Gothitelle fight!"

"I…" Ada's fury collapses, fleeing as the look of shame takes her over.

"Who's Isaac?" Lycus asks. Justin slightly turns.

"A cop Ada and I met four days ago. He helped us out on solving Majestic City's crime issues."

"I see."

Ada strokes the side of her arm. "I mean…i-it wasn't entirely a lie."

Justin quirks his brow before folding his arms. "Are you kidding me, fam? Are you seriously trynna lie about your lie!?" Frowns. "NOW that's worse than what Ramon is doing. At least he's doing it to help resolve The Aquatic War. What you did, Ada, was to cover your silly harmless lie with an actual harmful lie. I SAW you staying focused during that fight! Don't you dare spit in my face telling me that you weren't!"

"W-Well…" Ada becomes lost of words. The girl, raised by her honorary father, is stumbled in a corner of guilt.

Justin slams his fist against the palm of his hand, leading the girl to flinch. "Face it, fam: Lying isn't entirely bad. It really depends on the situation. And what you did there was one that wasn't okay!"

"Hey, that's enough," Coleo says, raising his setaes up. "Let us not get worked up over this." He looks down at Ada. "I know how ye feel about lyin', but trust ye matey on doin' this for an end to this war. For what he is doin' is not an act of malice, arrrgh."

"..." Ada simply turns towards the window, gazing. "I hope so…" She sighs, closing her eyes. "I hope he's…okay."

"Fam…" Justin lays a hand onto Ada's shoulder. "We all hope that he's okay." Ada slightly gazes at the teen, her eyes drooping into the blues itself. Then she turns back to the sky, remaining silent.

Soon the rest of the group looks outside, all staring at the raining void. Not a single full moon is there, nor the stars themselves. They all stare despite the lack of light.

Continue staring on…into hope.
Last edited:


Charizard Fan
  1. charizard
Disclaimer: This fanfic contains blood, death, and minor language.

Chapter 1: The Beginning Part 1.

Darkness fills the entire corridors of hollowness, the voids consuming each and every angle; nothing moves. A mere voice, however, shatters the silence, the shadows dissipating. The fade resembles one's eyelids; the more they rise, the brighter it gets. Once the darkness fades, a red paw hovers over the eyelids. A groan is being followed by grim breathing and staggering pants.

The owner of the soft voice originates from a black fox known as a Zorua, who caresses his red eyelids. He groans a second time, grooming his large red tuft and gray tail. His eyes shift around, head turning and tilting. Where...am I? he thinks, surrounded by dark walls with little to no light. He gets up and winces, holding his belly and clenching his teeth. Ugh...Why am I in pain? He gazes, the darkness shrouding his view the more he stares. ...Doesn't look like I can see anything. The fox sighs, hesitation creeps in. The cold, solid ground nudges his paws at each and every step. He shivers, the Zorua clittering his teeth and grunting.

Eventually the lights glitter their way into existence, shining like a shooting star blasting through the night. Oh? He walks towards the light. And walks, walks, walks...Until finally, he reaches its location: A peephole. The Zorua tilts his head. He lays his paw against it, creaks screeching. Hmm. He then uses both of his paws and pushes forward. He groans, the hole eventually bursting open as he rolls out of it. He bumps against the wall and yelps, rubbing the top of his head. He gasps at his surroundings.

"Whoa," he says, seeing the many white walls plastered everywhere. Decaying and crippling walls, tables, and chairs lie from one place to the next; one of the tables breaks apart as if it were ants scattering across the floor. The Zorua blinks, moving his head back. Hmm...What a peculiar place.

He looks to his side, yelping at the site. What the? A man's corpse lies against the wall as red liquid drips and trails from him. He remains still, the pale skin suiting the deep claw marks on his chest. What happened to him? the Zorua thinks to himself, shaking and trembling.

Next to the corpse is a black collar, the fox tilting his head at it. "Hmm?" He walks towards the collar, the name 'Ramon' spreading across it. He raises his right brow. Who's Ramon? This guy? The Zorua shakes his head. No...It would be silly for someone like him to wear it. Hmm. He gazes at the blood trailing from the corpse to the crooked door. One thing for sure though. The Zorua shifts. ...at least I know where to leave.

He wanders around the facility's littered mess: Disorganized materials run through the corners and pathways, leaving none to escape its destructive nature. His face screams with adrenaline, his eyes shaking in place and his mouth hurling for safety. I-I'm not sure how I got here, or why the place is like this. The lights flicker on and off from the ceiling, sending chills throughout him. The Zorua soon steps on a liquid substance, his eyes blinking rapidly. "Hmm?" He looks down and shakes, his body weeping, his eyes rattling.

"H-Huh?" He winces, lifting his paw up only to spot blood on it. "More...blood?" He soon looks up, backing away from the site. Blood leeches all over the place, many corpses lying around the pool of it all. Some are shrouded in it while others chips away their skin, caressing the red floor. Wh-What happened here? He turns towards a black liquid mixing with the blood nearby, swirling in place. What in the world? The Zorua steps on another liquid behind him, turning around cautiously. His paws touch the black liquids, a mess developing all over them. He yelps and runs from the liquid, shaking them off.

"Aaah!" he screams, zooming past the death wasteland. He soon stops and pants, gazing at the ground and feeling his heart pound faster than a rabbit hopping away from its predator. The fox closes his eyes and breathes in the air, only to open them and cough. Oh gosh, it even smells, too! How come I didn't notice that earlier? He looks behind him, the trail of blood streaming its way to his paws. At least I'm no longer there. He exhales, shaking himself less and rising in relief: There's little to no blood in the new area.

The place is dark and ominous, with less ceiling lights for guidance. He gazes, his shakiness and breakdowns returning. This area being dark certainly isn't helping, though. He then hears a creaking noise nearby, the sound repeating itself over and over. The Zorua shivers, trembling once again. That doesn't help, either!

He takes another deep breath, nose scrunching before he shakes his head and exhales. I have to keep going, or I'll never get out of here, he thinks to himself, nodding his head with lower brows. He continues down the path of darkness, looking around with raising eyebrows and twitching ears. He bumps into a wall and turns, a door appearing at plain sight: The lights are barely lit.

Nevertheless, he approaches the door, laying his paws on it without question. He soon blinks and turns to the side. There lies a paper by the corner, still and lifeless. Hiding its deterioration within the folds. The Zorua tilts his head, raising his brow. "Hmm?" He walks towards it, the lights shining down on the two. The very words 'Project Transvian' lie on the paper.

"...Transvian?" he says to himself, proceeding to read it.

"This project will expand a Pokémon's potential by turning them into a deceased group of Pokémon species known as Transvians. It'll help any Pokemon regretting their evolutionary decisions, and revert their mistakes."

Expanding a Pokémon's potential by turning them into Transvians...What?
The Zorua continues.

"I believe I found a way to make the impossible possible. By adding magic blood to their circulatory system, it'll give their hearts a chance to adapt and blend the abnormal blood with their natural blood, regardless of the Pokémon being an Intellicate or a Defect."

Magic blood? Intellicate and Defect? What is this person talking about!?
The Zorua flickers his ears, releasing a soft sigh.

"In order for this project to become successful, we'll need to attempt the following-" the rest of the paper is smothered in blood.

Wow...What I just read makes no sense. He groans and closes his eyes, nudging his head against his paws as blood paints it. He then puts his paws on the gray metal door, pushing himself forward and grunting. Please tell me this is the way out. The door creaks open, gradually allowing the Zorua to enter. Another dark place is at sight, this one being larger than the previous. The ceiling lights all line up in a row, some providing little spotlights while others don't. Broken windows, tables, and chairs are spread across the area.

Nope. Far from it. The fox breathes in the air once more, gagging at the smell before proceeding. He glances around, lowering his ears as his eyebrows raise in unison. There's a ceiling light hanging back and forth, creaking and shrieking and creaking again. The Zorua's body shivers, deep breaths spawning to comfort it. Stay calm, he tells himself, lowering his eyebrows and nodding. Eventually he comes across a journal lying against a desk, its back facing him. Oh?

He walks to the journal and touches it, flipping it over. 'Dr. Yvonne's Project Entry' is the journal's title, mystifying the fox. He opens to a page that shows an unusual katana. The grip is blue with darker shades surrounding it; the blade itself has a cyan color and plasma look to it while it's shrouded in a variety of electrical surges. Whoa. The Zorua gazes at the mystique weapon, his mouth gaping and remaining still. The title of the weapon is called 'Project Beam Katana.' His eyes widened at such a title as the words 'Status: Success' are underneath it. This looks so cool!

He flips to the next page, another unusual weapon rearing its way into view. This one takes on the form of two arm cannons that's colored red; both are conjoined to one another, with a mini laser exiting its hole to occupy them. The title of this weapon is 'Project Arm Cannons,' with its status being a success as well. Wow! This looks cool, too! He flips through many more pages of the doctor's outlandish gadgets and experiments, such as a ring enabling someone to improve their memories and a watch that can transform into a suitcase.

This Dr. Yvonne guy sure makes a lot of interesting stuff. Some of them are even a success, too! The Zorua wags his tail. I wonder where these things are? Hmm. He smiles at each and every page, becoming fascinated by the scientist's numerous creations. It's only when he comes across a page with blood on it that lower his lips. Oh...

The words and images become too distorted, obscuring itself. The only things that aren't affected by bloodstain are the title and subtitle: 'Project Transvian. Status: Success. Subject-' the fox blinks at the following word 'Subject,' the blood next to it leaving room for uncertainty. He glances at the bloodstain, groaning to himself and shaking his head.

Hmm...Strange. Not just this: Everything I'm witnessing so far! The magic blood, the Intellicate and Defect, that Transvian project thing, the dead bodies, and this facility in general is just- he lowers his head, sitting down. Why am I here? Why can't I remember anything? D-Do I even know my name? The ceiling light falls and crashes on the ground, a loud shattering noise vibrates from it. The Zorua yelps and runs behind the desk, trembling and shaking in repetition.

He stares into the dark abyss, feeling his heart beat faster than usual, his breathing becoming louder and shakier. Soon he stops his breathing and closes his eyes, breathing in the air again before exhaling. His heart gradually returns to its normal pace, his muscles coming to ease. It's just the lights, Ramon. Calm down. He opens his eyes only to blink in a constant manner, raising his right brow.

Wait, Ramon? Where did I get that name from? The collar I saw earlier? The Zorua looks to the side, lifting his paw to stare at it. Perhaps that's my name? Or probably someone I know who wears that collar, and now I'm calling myself that individual's name for some reason? He sighs heavily. Either way, I'll roll with the name, since it's starting to resonate with me...apparently. The Zorua, now named Ramon, shifts himself before returning to the front, directing his eyes on the bloodstained journal. The many things I saw from this journal look intriguing and amazing, but it doesn't answer my questions, unfortunately.

Then lies a pathway leading up to a small light, the Zorua glaring and gazing at it. Maybe my questions will be answered once I escape from here. He nods and walks towards it, only to stop and look at the desk again. Although- he walks back and stares at the journal, picking it up with his mouth. Perhaps showing this journal to someone can help me piece together what's going on. All of the sudden, Ramon spits the journal out and coughs, wiping his tongue with his paws. Gah, the bloodstains! I totally forgot about them! YUCK! He spits some more, his face wincing from the putrid taste. And my bloodstained paws are making it worse! "BLAH!" he shouts, sticking his tongue out. He soon adjusts his head to slowly sink his teeth into the journal, grabbing it by the sides.

He continues on the pathway, the light appearing larger and larger as he gets closer. He ignores the two other pathways beside him, picking up the pace. He pants through the journal, sprinting like he's on a marathon. Soon a door becomes the source of the light, tilting slightly. Wasting no time, the Zorua leans his paws against the door, grunting and pushing.

Come on...Please be the exit. He groans and groans, panting more as he hears the door squeak and screech. He stops for a moment, slowing down his breathing and inhaling. Okay. He exhales and proceeds, using all of his strength and effort to budge the door. Some lights shine through the other side of it, rays of them streaming to the ground behind him. Almost there! He pushes more and more until finally, the door opens enough for him to escape. "Yes!" he muffles loudly, exiting through the doorway. Ramon gasps at the site, his eyes hopping in joy as he drops the book.

The grass and trees spread all across the building, the sun beaming its ray of sunlight at him. Not a single ceiling nor the darkness appear at the top, only the serene blue sky and the puffy clouds. The wind flies past the Zorua's ears and collides against his face, him feeling nothing but the cool breeze. He closes his eyes, sniffing the air and exhaling in pure relief. The smells of rotten decay have been replaced with the tranquility of the natural habitat. The meadow green from the grass, the fragrant riches from the trees, and the overall gracious odor from nature gives his nose a wonderful paradise.

I...I think I escaped. Yes, I'm finally outside! he thinks to himself, sighing in relief. Ah, fresh air at last! Picking up the book, he moves forward only to be stopped by a yellow object. Huh?

The object extends itself from left to right, the Zorua trailing its direction. It's tied together by cones, a bunch of yellow tape springing from one place to the next. The tapes repeat the same words throughout its travels: 'KEEP OUT.' Odd. He ducks underneath them, walking away as the smooth and gentle texture of the grass smooches his paws. He turns around, his face ranging from calm and content to grim and distress.

The facility is littered with broken windows and structures, bricks spreading from one area to the next as a random pole is stuck at the top. Glasses lying next to the catastrophic bricks while the door itself looks even more crooked than before. Soon a brick falls and collapses on the ground, breaking apart and flying off like a boomerang.

Ramon leaps to the side, the pieces crashing next to him. He stares at the facility's decaying state, closing his eyes and shaking his head. I have no clue what happened to this building. He opens his eyes. And so far, being outside doesn't give me an answer, either.


Hmm? His ears flicker, the sound getting louder and louder: A large, spinning bone comes flying towards him. What the!? He jumps out of the way before more bones spin towards him. There's more!? He dodges the bones, all hitting the ground. After panting nonstop, he's met with a powerful blow to the stomach, lifting off the ground. "Gah!" He drops the journal, seeing a cloaked figure smacking him away with their bone.

Ramon slams into a nearby tree, coughing and wincing. "Ug-Ugh."

He groans, wrapping his forelegs around his stomach. He grits his teeth, a lot of strains surfacing throughout him. Dear goodness, it hurts! he thinks.

"What a coincidence that you've escaped as soon as I arrived," the individual says in a tone that would make even the toughest of bodybuilders shriek in terror. The Zorua feels as though his face is shattering into bewilderment and dread.

"What...?" Ramon responds, his voice becoming raspy.

"Now then-" the tall figure gets into a pose, aiming their bone at the Zorua. "Time to finish what I've started."
Alright! I’m awake and actually capable of reading now! I did read this chapter last night, but I’ll be honest I don’t remember a thing. I was not functional whatsoever lol.

I’ll only comment on it one time (because it’s solely personal preference), but I’m not a fan of present tense. I get it that a ton of people prefer that though, so I’ll not mention this again.

Your opening is very very vague. Like, so vague that I’m actually having some trouble figuring out what’s happening. Especially the fade rising with the eyelids, I think you could reword this bit to be a little clearer. You don’t need to be quite so vague!

Fwiw, when you stopped being so vague you had some decent descriptions. I think it’s a vagueness problem, because it does pop up again when you vaguely describe his attacker at the end of the chapter. It’s clearly a marowak of some kind. Don’t shy away from telling us that!

One thing that I think would really help improve the chapter is separating Ramon’s thoughts from the paragraphs of narration. There’s a few times where you slipped back and forth from internal monologue to narration and it got a bit jumbled up for me.

I will say that the subject matter is there and is interesting. The execution just struggles a bit at times.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Alright! I’m awake and actually capable of reading now! I did read this chapter last night, but I’ll be honest I don’t remember a thing. I was not functional whatsoever lol.

I’ll only comment on it one time (because it’s solely personal preference), but I’m not a fan of present tense. I get it that a ton of people prefer that though, so I’ll not mention this again.

Your opening is very very vague. Like, so vague that I’m actually having some trouble figuring out what’s happening. Especially the fade rising with the eyelids, I think you could reword this bit to be a little clearer. You don’t need to be quite so vague!

Fwiw, when you stopped being so vague you had some decent descriptions. I think it’s a vagueness problem, because it does pop up again when you vaguely describe his attacker at the end of the chapter. It’s clearly a marowak of some kind. Don’t shy away from telling us that!

One thing that I think would really help improve the chapter is separating Ramon’s thoughts from the paragraphs of narration. There’s a few times where you slipped back and forth from internal monologue to narration and it got a bit jumbled up for me.

I will say that the subject matter is there and is interesting. The execution just struggles a bit at times.
Thank you for taking the time out to read my fic. I forgot to mention that the earlier chapters are a bit rough around the edges, and it gets better as you keep on reading the fic, moreso around the 7th chapter onwards (my modern style of writing starts appearing a bit there). I tried re-editing the earlier chapters multiple times and it always came off as weirdly wordy and vague, as you've stated.

My attempt with the eyelids part was to have it be from the perspective of Ramon waking up and rubbing his eyes: I guess that didn't really worked out all that well. 😅

And lastly I would like to mention that the attacker's identity is meant to be hidden for a secret reveal...muuuuch later into the fic. I will not spoil when that happens though, but I will say it isn't a Marowak if you've paid attention to the height difference between them and Ramon. I gave out more hints of this attacker whenever they show themselves. Good to know that you've actually gotten the chance to read the first chapter of my fic, and I hope you'll be able to enjoy the rest!
Chapter 35.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 35: The Next Disguise.

The Aquatic War Arc.

Ramon gazes out of the window as Aquatus adjusts her necklace, patting her fins. He shakes, his fins quaking. His heart sinks to the bottom of his core, his sanity rising to the tower of vacillate. Ramon grits his teeth, dread and guilt clouding over him. Soon, a simple touch lands on his fin.

"It's okay," Aquatus says, patting. The illusion Wishiwashi pauses in place, eyeing her. "We'll be fine out there. I'll make sure we both survive today's phase…Alright?" She smiles.

Larry gazes, noticing a single tear slipping down from the Solo's left eye. The tear floats upwards, becoming a bubble. Is she…tearing up? After a moment of silence, he nods. "Al-Alright then." Aquatus nods back, the two exit the room to dine with Yowa afterwards.

. . .

Virtuous Palace's center is filled with many Wishiwashis and other aquatic creatures, some watching an army of Wishiwashis floating towards the top entrance. Within the rows of armies are Larry and Aquatus, the two swimming at a calm pace. Virtuous is beside the armies, rearranging his King's Rock.

"Next stop to Phase 31, my Wishis!" he exclaims, pointing at the exit. "For there is the continuation of showing how inferior those despicable serpents are!" He slams his fist against his fin's palm. "We will NOT let those vermin beat us in this war!" He turns towards the crowd. "Isn't that right, my Wishis?"

"YEAH!" all of the Wishiwashis yell in unison, some bringing their fins in the air while others jolt up and down in ecstatic.

"'I've heard him say those phrases whenever we enter a new phase. Does he not have any other speeches?" Aquatus says, squinting.

"W-Well, it still w-works on his massive followers. So he likely felt no need to change the speech, haha," Larry responds.

Aquatus shakes her head. "I suppose so." Sighs. "As long as his followers despise those Gyarados, there really isn't any need for him to change his speeches."

Adjacent from Virtuous is Aquatus' family, all waving at the two as her siblings jolt up and down in excitement.

"Good luck, y'all!" Yowa yells, hovering her fins over her maw.

"Kick those Gyara-shits asses!" Fisher exclaims, forming a fist while smirking.

Aquatus and Larry hesitantly wave back before finally leaving, Lanturns guiding the armies through the aquatic darkness. While moving further away from the palace, the Wishiwashis start glowing blue and increasing their size. Larry's eyes widen, shaking with intensity. He looks beside him, Aquatus increasing her height within the blue glow.

R-Right…They change into their School form during the war, the illusion Solo thinks, his lips trembling. The Wishiwashis reach the surface, facing towards the blues bubbling afar. An army of Gyarados emerges, exchanging deadly glances with the Wishiwashis. Larry gulps, pressing his fins against his chest as Aquatus' tail surrounds itself in aquatic energy.

. . .

Justin's eyes: Darken.

Ada's eyes: Darken.

Courtney's: Darken.

Mesmeren's: Darken with dread.

Everyone has dark circles beneath their eyes: Gazing, squinting at the fight between the Gyarados and Wishiwashis. Ada sighs, tapping the window with melancholy.

"Ugh…" Is the only thing Ada can utter out, groaning.

Justin eyes the group, smirking. "Yeah, we're looking mighty ughly, aight."

"Justin…" Ada rubs her head, her elbow leaning against the window's edge. "We stood up all night long, waiting for Ramon's return...Cut us some slack on the puns, please." She pins her arms on the edge and plants her face on them, groaning. Coleo yelps from the sudden movement, hanging onto her.

Mesmeren nods shakily, poking her fingers together. "Y-Yeah…" She starts humming to herself, shifting side to side.

Justin lays his hand behind his head, laughing with uneasiness and somber. "Yeah. You're right." Sighing, he shakes his head. "I was just trynna enlighten the mood a little, that's all. I'm concerned about him, too."

Ada lifts her head, slightly staring at Justin as a small smile forms on her. "...Thanks."

Roan rubs his eyes and grunts, sitting on Justin's head. "Say, I wonder what's taking Lycus so long with his business in the forest."

Coleo shrugs. "I don't know. Not sur' what the lad's business ev'n is."

Ada blinks, looking up at her hair. "Wait, Lycus left? I thought he was with us all night."

"He was. But ended up sleepin' halfway through." Coleo turns around. "Once he woken up, the lad told us he needed to go take care of somethin' in the Windmill Forest and left out of the back window."

The group looks behind them, the back window afar being partially opened. "Huh…" Ada blinks, perplexion swarming throughout. "Guessed I wasn't paying…much…attention." She yawns, her hand nudging her lips. "God, I'm tired."

"Same," Courtney agrees before snapping a glare at the open window. "Also it would've been kind fer Lycus to shut the window afterwards? Seriously, what if some robber or rogue Nativu barges in!?"

Coleo sighs, shaking his head. "He does that, sometimes. Cannot be helped, argh." He then eyes the rabbit. "Also, 'Nativu'? I heard Justin lad mentionin' them before, too. What is that?"

Courtney waves her hand around. "Nativus are the kind of Pokémon you see out n' the wild, usually. Sometimes they're captured by trainers to become their companions, like what happened with you." She scratches the side of her cheek. "Well, minus the part you're an Intellicate. But still."

"I see…" Coleo gazes out of the window, eyeing a Gyarados smacking one Wishiwashi with its fin. "There be a lot I don' know about. Intellicates, Nativus—" he presses his setae against his chest. "Never knew there were differences between Pokémon."

"Mhm. Thinkin' about knowin' more?" Courtney asks.

Coleo continues his gaze, the intense downpour rattling across the lake. "Hmm..."

. . .

Pants. Pants. Heavy pants.

Aquatus stands in front of Ramon, glaring at the incoming Aqua Tails. Her mouth hangs open, charging her aquatic energy. She fires her Hydro Pump, pushing three Gyarados away. Ramon squirms, eyeing side to side: Wishiwashis and Gyarados thrash and bash each other, some twacking the other with their fins and tails.

The illusion Wishiwashi is stuck in his own corner, the water rippling and swishing frantically. Ugh…Can't think of a proper time to escape and transform.

One Gyarados charges towards him from above, its maw encasing in dark auras. "AH!" Larry yelps, closing his eyes and covering his head. A chomp is heard followed by a grunt, Larry opening his eyes at Aquatus' fin caged by the Gyarados' Bite.

The lady School headbutts the Gyarados before pushing it away with Hydro Pump, colliding it into another serpent. She then glances at Larry, her head turning slightly. "Why aren't you in your School form!?" she yells before white auras engulf her, thrusting her Double-Edge against an incoming Gyarados. She winces afterwards.

"U-Um." Larry whines. "Once again, I-I'm scared to fight!"

Aquatus quirks her brow. "What?" She coats her tail in aquatic energy. "This isn't the right time to be in Solo form, though! Far from it, in fact!" She hops out of the water, slapping a Gyarados with Aqua Tail before crashing back down.

A huge splash pushes Larry back. "Whoa!" Aquatus swims by him in time, stopping his flow. The illusion Wishiwashi sighs. "Thank you."

Aquatus pants, staring down at the sardine. "I can't do this alone, Larry. I need you to change back."


"I understand that you're afraid to fight. You didn't ask to be in this war. But if you don't change back, then you and I will be in a lot of danger, especially you due to your vulnerable state right now."

"Ugh…this is stressful."

Without warning, a Gyarados slams its Aqua Tail towards the two. Both of them dodge in time, the water splashing up. A huge wave emerges, pushing the two Wishiwashis away. The lady School bumps into another School, grunting. And the illusion Wishiwashi spins himself around, moaning in discomfort.

"Oof…" He shakes his head before realizing he's by himself, staring down. Alright, now's my chance! He swims underwater.

"What the—" Aquatus eyes around, the rain mixing in with the recent splash obscures her vision. "Larry? Larry!?" As she looks for him, she yelps from a sheer, chilly force gripping her side. She shivers, glaring at a Gyarados clamming down with Ice Fang. Aquatus winces before slamming the Gyarados against another one with Double-Edge.

After freeing herself, she dashes off, shielding behind a couple of Wishiwashis. Three large rings cast around her, Aquatus panting heavily while eyeing the ongoing conflict.

"Are you alright?" one of the Wishiwashis asks in a low tone, staring at her with concern. Aquatus looks at him, shaking her head.

"Severely hurt and have lost a friend here." She grunts, the Aqua Ring healing her at a gradual pace.

"Oh no…One of our comrades died?"

Aquatus shakes her head. "More like I lost track of him somewhere in the lake."

"Oh." The Wishiwashi fires a Hydro Pump at a Gyarados, shooting it from the sky. "Hopefully he's doing alright."


. . .

Ramon dashes as far away as possible, looking around within seconds. "There's got to be a corner around here somewhere…" Eventually, he lays his eyes on a rocky surface with corals similar to walls, holes painting them. "Ah! That should do." He swims towards the corner, tugging between it. He closes his eyes, throwing away the sounds around him and focusing on himself: His desire to cast Illusion.

Breathe in. Ramon inhales. Breathe out. And then exhales, surrounding himself in magenta auras.

He increases in size, becoming more slender and serpentine. Two barbels form onto his face along with a crest on his forehead. As the transformation continues, a paw appears from behind the corals. Behind them is Lycus, his eyes being blue instead of the usual black.

Once the glow fades, Ramon opens his eyes and stares down, the yellow underbelly running up his newly formed Gyarados body. Lycus' eyes revert to normal, the weasel smirking and returning his paw. Bingo. He encases himself in dark water before Aqua Jetting away.

Ramon blinks and turns to his side, lifting his brow. Did…someone swam away? He exits the corner, trails of bubbles fading away from the spot near the corals. The serpent whimpers. Oh no…Hope it wasn't any of the Wishiwashis nor Gyarados. He shakes his head. Can't worry about that now. I GOT to find Behemoth and tell him to end the war.

The Gyarados stares off, thinking about what Coleo told him about Behemoth. …Hmm. If Virtuous was hard to convince, then Behemoth… Gulps. I-I'll try my best as always.

Ramon swims around, eyeing the corners of the corals and the rocky features from other spots. He squints. Now where to find Behe— he gasps, focusing on a couple of Gyarados leaving their underwater palace below. The outside has coral walls with many holes littered throughout, bright lights emanating from it. Ah. He should be in there! …I assume. Maybe. Ramon sighs before nodding. I-I got this.

The serpent swims towards the entrance, passing by the Gyarados soldiers. One of them looks at him, raising his brow. "Um, aren't you supposed to be out fighting in the…" Ramon is gone before the fellow serpent can finish his sentence. He blinks. "Nevermind then."

Once the illusion Gyarados enters the palace, he widens his eyes in astonishment. "Whoa…" It's the only word his deep tone voice can utter, dumbfounded by the palace inner corals sparkling like glitter. Similar to Virtuous Palace, it has many coral structures and homes littered everywhere. Shops on the right side while pathways are on the left, leading to other parts of the palace.

Ramon's amazement soon fades when he spots a few Water types living here, those being the Gyarados and some Relicanths. The shops are even closed, signs either crooking or decaying. Ramon tilts his head.

Why's this palace so much more…barren compared to Virtuous'? he thinks, nudging his tail against his chin. He takes his attention towards the pathways, one of them leading to a castle. If I know anything from Virtuous' castle, then Behemoth must have one, too…I assume. Maybe. Without a second thought, he travels along the path.

. . .

Xenia floats above the cabin, staying within the tree's shadows as she gazes at the purple gem. I'm close… She smiles widely, dark red and blue energies building above the gem's meter. It pulsates, the energies inching close to the top. I'm so close to becoming those things. Those…Unmons. My mistress promised me. She promised I'll become one! Her eyes enlarge, her pants weighing. All I need to do is fill the Bitter Glory, and I'll finally achieve my lifelong dre—

Something hops on a tree branch near her, Xenia striking her attention towards it, squinting. Lycus sits on the branch, wiggling his fingers. "Did I interrupt ya on something, pumpkin?"

Xenia blinks. "Yes. Yes you did." She huffs. "I was in the middle of indulging in my fantasy, and you ruined it. Hmph!"

Lycus stretches his arms and legs out, snickering. "It'll no longer become a fantasy once this mission is done. So don't worry about your daydream being ruined, Love."

Xenia rolls her eyes, shaking her head. "Still doesn't excuse the interruption, dear."

The Floatzel looks down. "By the way, could you lower me down to the cabin slowly so that the others don't hear me?" The Espeon nods, her eyes glowing light blue while the Floatzel is coated in dark pink auras. She lowers him down with Psychic. "Thanks."

"Did you record Ramon transforming into a Gyarados?"

As Lycus lands, he looks up at Xenia and snaps his fingers, a projector displaying the illusion Wishiwashi turning into a Gyarados. "Right to a T, surprisingly." The display fades, the Floatzel folding his arms. "It was a bit of a pain, though: Having to angle my paw exactly towards him while also remaining hidden." His eyes close, sighing in relief. "Glad my gut was correct on Ramon failing to convince Virtuous at ending the war last night. Otherwise, I would've gone underwater for nothing."

"I see." Xenia purrs. "Regardless, you've done an excellent job there, Lycus."

Lycus' cheeks redden, the Floatzel looking off to the side and scratching the back of his head. "Th-Thanks. Anything to achieve a goal for my beloved Espeon."

Xenia turns back to the gem. "It's almost done filling up. The Bitter Glory…"

"Nice." Lycus smiles. "Say hun: Do you believe our mistress' plan will benefit us in the long run?"

The Espeon simply nods. "You'll be able to explore all you want with me. Free of anyone telling you not to go here nor there." She raises her paw, caressing the gem. "All we have to do is wait for the Bitter Glory to finish charging, and our mistress will be very close to reviving him."

Lycus claps his hands calmly. "Woo!" He grins. "Looking forward to it."
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Chapter 36.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 36: Behemoth and the Behemoth Palace.

The Aquatic War Arc.

Ramon swims around the pathway, looking at the castle from afar. Coming to a halt, he stares off to the side. Hmm…Maybe I should ask someone nearby where I'm at first. I FEEL like I'm at the right place…but it never hurts to be extra sure. He looks around, jotting his eyes from one structure to the next.

The illusion Gyarados spots a nearby Gyarados hanging by the walls along with two other Pokémon: One being a reddish-orange fish with white barbels while the other is a coelacanth fish with brown scales. The Magikarp and Relicanth chat with the Gyarados, the Magikarp chewing on kelps while holding another.

Ramon tilts his head at the Magikarp and Relicanth. There's even more kinds of Pokémon here that's not a Gyarados…Why would Lycus lie about the two species pushing away those who're not their own? He swims towards the three, waving his tail. "Hi. I'm, uh, new to this place…"

The three look at the fake Gyarados. "Hmm?" The Magikarp tilts her head before swallowing her kelp. "Can we help you?" she says calmly.

"Uh, yes." Ramon clears his throat. "I've recently stumbled here while lost out in the wild. Can you tell me where I'm at?"

"This is Behemoth Palace, home to a lot of Gyarados and Magikarps along with some other Water types," the Gyarados answers.

"Oh! I see, then." Ramon frowns. "May I go speak with him then?"

The blue barbels Gyarados raises his brow. "Who? Behemoth?" Ramon nods. "Didn't you say you were lost out in the wild?"

Oof! I got to think of something quick. "Yeah! But, uh, I remember passing by a few Gyarados talking about Behemoth and how great and ruthless he is. Makes me curious to meet him in person."


The Relicanth swims towards the two. "Unfortunately he's pretty busy training himself right now." He grunts, clearing his throat. "Still though, you could try to talk to him."

Ramon nods. "Will do." He looks at the path beside him, the road twists and turns towards a castle. "That leads to his castle too, right?"


Without a second thought, Ramon swims on the path, swerving around one corner to the next. Turning and jerking, going through several loopholes and swimming over large gaps. Eventually, he makes it out of the path in front of a large coral castle, some hole windows displaying on it while sharp edges spring at the top. A few coral homes surround the castle, some Gyarados leaning on them and either talking with one another or staring at the bright lights.

Ramon looks behind him, blinking in confusion. That…that was a path, alright. He shakes his head and stares back at the castle, two Gyarados guards being in front of it. Both of them wear long kelps around their head and neck: The former in a style of a crown, the latter as a necklace. They stare ahead with a stoic expression, unphased.

The illusion Gyarados swims forward. "Uh—"

"Hmm?" one of the Gyarados says, eyeing Ramon with suspicion. "What do you want?" His tone is as nonchalant as a bored man waiting in a long line.

Ramon gulps. "I, erm, want to see Behemoth! Just to talk to him about the wa—"

"Can't," the second guard answers. "He's busy training himself at the moment."

Ramon then blinks to someone's screeching and shouting from the castle, looking up. He squints at a Gyarados with a King's Rock on his head, headbutting a punching bag hanging from the ceiling and biting it from time to time. The illusion Gyarados gazes with uncertainty, widening his eyes.

That…must be Behemoth. "I see." He sighs. "But I'd like to talk to him. It's really urgent and I feel he should listens to my concerns about the wa—"

"Once again: You. Can't." The first guard groans, rolling his eyes. "He is absolutely busy training himself for the next phase in the war. Besides if you're from the army, then you shouldn't be here right now." He pushes Ramon with his tail. "Go back to helping the others!"

Ramon yelps and nods. "Will do!" He turns around and swims away, caressing his side with his tail. He…didn't have to push me. He stares off, resting by a random coral home as some water bottle gets pushed away.

"Don't be too bothered by them, dude. They're usually this uptight when it comes to letting Behemoth do his training," a relaxing, down-to-earth voice says, Ramon looking around in perplexion.

"Hmm?" He turns to his side, another Gyarados approaching him with a necklace that has a blue gem at the end. He also has some kelps and a pink heart-shaped fish on his back, too. Ramon grimaces at the dead Alomomola. Yeesh. Is that fresh?

"Yeah. He's always busy with his training during the war, mainly prepping for Phase 32."

"Phase 32?"

The two can hear grunts of fury and menace coming from the castle, roars emanating. "I'LL KICK YOUR ASS THIS TIME, VIRTUOUS! JUST YOU WAIT!"

Ramon yelps, gulping while eyeing the castle. The Water Gem Gyarados shakes his head, lowering his eyelids. "Yeah…" He turns towards Ramon. "32 is a part of one of those huge phases: Where Behemoth and Virtuous personally participate in the war to fight each other. This only happens every ten phases of the war."

"Huh." The illusion Gyarados lays his tail beneath his chin. "Why every ten phases after the first?"

The aquatic serpent shifts. "Maybe he and Virtuous just have a fascination for that?" He then sighs. "But anyways, apology for how roughly the guards treated you. Again, they take Behemoth's training seriously during the war."

"I see…"

"The name's Quintin, by the way. What's yours?"

"My name is La—Erm." Ramon pokes his snout with his tailfin, gazing up. Maybe I shouldn't use that name.


"Sam. The name's Sam. A pleasure to meet you, too," Sam quickly says.

Quintin blinks. "...Yeah. Pleasure meeting you, too." Sam smiles, showing off his sharp teeth while struggling to keep it up. Quintin blinks once again, tilting his head. "So uh…I don't think I've seen you around here before, man. You new?"

"Uh." Sam shrugs. "Yeah. I wanted to visit Behemoth to see if he could guide me around here after being lost in the wild. Been hearing a lot about him from other Gyarados out there."


"Say, how do you know so much about Behemoth's business? Including the 32 phase thing," Sam asks.

"That's because I'm his bro. I know a lot about him, personally."

Ramon leaps back. "Wait, you're his brother!?"

Quintin nods. "Yep: Knew him since I was a Magikarp."

But…how's that possible when Behemoth was captured by his trainer? Did his trainer come to The Lake of Purity before Behemoth was captured? Ramon thinks, staring off.

"We can talk more about it over at my house." Quintin points towards a coral home from afar next to the castle.

"Oh. Alright then." Sam shrugs. "I have nowhere else to go so I may as well."

The two swim around the castle, passing by a couple of guards hanging around. Some are colliding with one another, giving each other a headbutt while others sit by to watch the training. Another set of guards lean against one of the coral homes to the left, chatting with each other as one of them laughs.

"Phillian actually drops the ball like that!?" one guard exclaims.

"Yep. Right on the tail, too. Saw him swear like crazy since." The other guard snickers, leading the rest to follow along.

Sam eyes the guards, chuckling softly to himself. He then tilts his head, staring at the castle. "Why's the palace named after your brother?"

Quintin smirks. "It wasn't always named that."

Sam blinks, looking at Quintin. "Really?"

Quintin nods. "It was originally named after my dad, Colossal. Until my bro was born, leading my dad to predict him being the new king of this palace and renaming it afterwards."

"Huh. Does determining someone as the ruler always depend on birth?"

Quintin looks around, the glittering corals shining down at the two serpentines. "For the most part, yes. Behemoth and I are born under the same bloodline as our dad, so we get to rule the palace…Or at least, only Behemoth can."

"Huh? Why only Behemoth?" Ramon tilts his head.

Quintin stares at the shining ceiling and stops, lowering his brows in disappointment. "Dad named my bro 'Behemoth', which means he gets to rule. Not me with the name my mom gave me."

"That…doesn't sound quite fair. You were both born under the same line, therefore you should've ruled alongside him, too!"

Quintin shifts, shaking his head. "It be like that sometimes, man. Nothin' I can do about the cruelness life can throw at me."

"I see…" Ramon looks off to the side as the two continue forward, passing by a tire and fishing rods nearing the houses. He eyes those objects, squinting. Why am I seeing those objects here? In fact, there was that water bottle I noticed earlier, too… Ramon blinks. Weird.

The Water Gem Gyarados chuckles softly, breaking the silence. "Come to think of it, there was a time I was temporarily ruling this palace for a long while."

Sam gazes at Quintin. "Hmm?"

Quintin nods. "This happened after Behemoth was captured by a trainer during a family trip my dad took us to. He…didn't feel quite happy about my bro being yanked like that." Sighs. "And neither was I."

"I can imagine," Sam says before whimpering. A family trip, huh? That explains Behemoth being captured…But— he glances off to the side. Who IS this trainer? Does he know about illegally owning an Intellicate like Coleo? And he abandoned the three because of seeing them as weak…He caused this whole war between Behemoth and Virtuous. Led to Roan being separated from his mentor. Like Nomar said. Ramon shakes his head. The…nerve of this trainer.

"To make matters worse: My mom and dad passed away due to feeling severely ill, resulting in me being in charge of the palace." Quintin shrugs. "Things didn't look so training ground and…barren heavy when I was in charge. Heh, in fact this palace looked pretty lively and filled with energy." He puffs his chest out. "And it was also named after myself, dude: Quintin Palace." The serpent leans towards Sam and whispers, "Which sounds infinitely better than Behemoth Palace. Don't tell bro that I said that."

Sam snorts. "Alright then."

"But yeah, once Behemoth returned out of the blue, he told us all about how his trainer abandoned him because of Virtuous making him and his other friend look embarrassingly weak. Then he ruled the palace again and…here we are now."

"I see…Sounds like a lot to digest and take in."

"Yep…" Soon the two Gyarados stop in front of a coral home next to them, containing two hole-windows and a large entrance showing off its insides: Rows of pebbles forming a circle on the right side while another form a parallel line to the left. Quintin turns towards Sam. "Anyways, welcome to my home, Sam."
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Chapter 37.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 37: Quintin.

The Aquatic War Arc.

Munch. Munch. CRUNCH!

Quintin rips a fin off from the heart-shaped fish before biting down, the bones snapping. He and Sam are on the right side of his house, sitting inside of the circular formed pebbles. Sam quivers, wincing as multiple sweats drench his forehead despite being underwater.

Quintin looks at Ramon while taking another bite. "Want some?"

Sam shakes his head. "Nope! I'm goo—" his stomach rumbles, the false serpent looking down at it.

"Your stomach is saying the opposite, dude." He laughs softly.

Ugh…I haven't eaten anything for a while. Sam whines. "Y-Yeah…" The corpse suddenly lands in front of him, Sam blinking before staring at the Gyarados.

"You can have the rest of it. I was really only in the mood for kelps, anyways." Quintin smiles, wrapping his tail around a bunch of kelps. "Just thought of getting myself an Alomomola in case the kelps weren't enough."

"I…see." Ramon leans down, sniffing the bitten fish: It has the wretched smell of a long expired food, an aroma so monstrous that even the bravest of noses will be at death's door. Ramon scrunches his maw up for a moment, squirming.

Oh goodness, it reeks! And then within a flash…Ramon doesn't smell the foulness. The unbearable aroma has transformed itself into that of a magnificent five star meal, emanating the fresh and exquisite scent that penetrates his nostrils.

Huh…? This was smelling awful not too long ago…and now it's… The illusion Gyarados' maw hangs. Oh that's…Mmm.

Ramon salivates, drooling over the pink fish. The Water Gem Gyarados quirks his brow, taking a bite off from his kelps. "Uh?" Within a flash, Ramon sinks his teeth into the Alomomola, ripping off the side before engulfing it. He pants, tongue hanging, eyes sparkling at the fish.

This. Is. So. DELICIOUS! Ramon takes another bite. And then another! And another! He keeps going, some parts of the Alomomola spilling on the sides. Quintin backs up, blinking in astonishment. Ugh! Bones crushes from the sheer force of Ramon's sharp teeth, some hurling their way into his mouth while others float downwards to the ground. He soon finishes his meal, burping out bubbles.

"I—Whoops! Sorry about that!"

Quintin stares for a moment before chuckling. "Oh no problem, man! You were really hungry, and I'd be lying to myself if I said I wouldn't do the same while hungry."

"Haha…Ye-Yeah." Ramon looks away. "That's what being lost in the wild with little food can do to ya."

"Yeppers, man!" Quintin smiles once again, showing off his sharp teeth while closing his eyes.

Sam looks down, gazing at the chips of pink skin. …That's my first time eating a Pokémon. At least, I think that was a Pokémon.

It was
, Nomar answers. And correction: It's your first time in a long while to eat a living Pokémon. Erm, non-living considering this one is dead. You get what I mean.

Sam whimpers in his head. I-I didn't mean to. I—

You were hungry, Ramon. Just like how you and I were during the wilderness. Don't feel down about it, alright?


Ramon lifts his head and looks around Quintin's home, raising his brow in perplexion. The coral structures lack the vibrant brightness of the ones outside, the plain grayness spreading throughout. Not even a single Lanturn is there to light the house up! And lastly, a few hole-windows are placed on the right and left side.

"Say, why does your home look so empty?" Sam asks.

Quintin shakes his head. "Most homes are like this, man." His tail leans against his forehead. "Behemoth doesn't know how to make the palace look nice."

"Huh. That explains why I saw those tires and water bottles all around the palace…Whatever they're called." Sam shrugs.

"Yeppers! Humans drop those things all around the la—"

"Uh, why's that?" Sam asks, raising his brow. He then blinks for a moment before yelping. "Whoops! D-Didn't mean to cut you off there!" Ugh, why do I DO that sometimes!?

The Water Gem Gyarados snickers. "It's fine, man." His head shakes. "And beats me on why they drop those things here, dude. Prolly forgot to take them home or somethin'?"


The Water Gem Gyarados lifts his tail up. "On the plus side, Behemoth do be gatherin' them stuff up and layin' them across the palace."

"He wanted to make the palace look nice?"

"Yeppers!" Quintin leans forward, his lips nearing the side of Ramon's head. "Even though the palace looks more like shit cuz of it."

Sam snorts before he and Quintin laugh. "I can see that!"

"Don't tell him that I said it!" Quintin covers his lips, grinning.

The two rest on the ground, staring up. Even the gray ceiling isn't much to awe about, only having dots sprinkling throughout it.

After a moment of silence, Ramon says, "What's your thoughts on the war?"

"Hmm?" Quintin looks at him. "Well…It's dumb, dude."

"You think so?"

"Mhm. Behemoth's beef with Virtuous felt uncalled for. He has this thing for wanting to prove Virtuous he's stronger than him. And Virtuous does the same thing, from what I've seen in the previous big phases." He smacks his lips. "Like man, who cares? Admit the two of y'all are both strong, weak, or agree to disagree, maaaaaaan."

Sam gives Quintin a slight glance, sighing. "Sounds stressful."

"Hella. I hate feeling that way, dude." Quintin rubs his head with his tail, groaning. "Getting a headache from just thinkin' about it." He lays on his belly, bits of sand puffing up. "Their rivalry also led to the growing dislike between the Gyarados and Wishiwashis. Like it grew so, SO much, man. To the point where it be stormy and shit out there."

Sam grimaces. "Tell me about it…"

"Not gonna lie…Really wish the two groups didn't hate each other."

"Because you wanted peace to happen between them, right?"

Quintin flips onto his back, nodding at Sam. "Yeppers! And not only that but uh…um…" He looks to the side.

Sam raises his brow. "Eh?"


Sam leans closer to the serpent. "Well what? Don't leave me hanging, now." Snickers.

"I-It's just, uh—" Quintin blushes deeply. "Those Wishiwashi ladies be smokin' hot, dude."

Sam blinks. "Eh?"

"L-Look! The Gyarados ladies are fine and all. But I'm a Wishiwashi lover at heart, dude." Quintin stands up, his tail nudging his chest. "They're just so blue and uh slim and…Shit, can't think of anything else to say. But like, you get what I mean!" He covers his face.

"D'aww. How cute of you to think that way." Sam smiles.

Imagine finding someone attractive. Can't be me, Nomar says with an annoyed grunt.

I…don't think it's necessary to shame others for having attraction, brother, Ramon thinks.

Eh. Whatevs, I guess.

Quintin scratches the back of his head, chuckling in a nervous manner. "You think so?" Sam nods. "Th-Thanks, man. You…have no idea on how many Gyarados raised their brows and suspicion at me when I admitted this. My brother included."

"Yeesh. Sounds embarrassing."

"It is." Quintin sighs.

"Well this makes me more glad that I let you be happy about yourself here." Sam smiles.

Quintin smiles back, his face reddens further. "O-Once again, thanks man…" He looks out of the right hole-window, gazing at the sparkling corals. "But yeah, I just want everyone between the two groups to relax and like…vibe. Like just vibe in complete unison. Life is too diverse to focus on who's strong or weak, you know?"

"...Yeah." Sam looks out of the window. "Besides, there's use for both of them. Both the strong and the weak…"


Swishes from the civil Gyarados and other Water types are heard outside, being the only things filling the void of silence. Afterwards, Ramon turns towards Quintin.

"Why doesn't Behemoth agree to disagree on who's the strongest?"

Quintin smacks his lips. "The dude is too stubborn and arrogant to think about that."

"Yeesh. Is their rivalry that bad?"

Quintin nods. "We're in a war between two kinds as we speak, dude. All because of their disagreement, man."

"I see…"

. . .


A tail coated in blue auras slams against the punching bag, a Gyarados snarling at it in willpower. His King's Rock shifts from side to side, the fish smacking and slapping the bag multiple times, his Aqua Tail shoving it. Behemoth stops, his lips encasing in icy, light blue energy before dashing towards the punching bag.

His teeth sinks into it, ice building up within seconds. Behemoth shakes the bag, growling before snapping the pathetic rope off and throwing the bag across his room. The icy energy fades, the Gyarados leaning his head back. A yellow-orange beam charges in front of his maw before he flings forward, firing the Hyper Beam.

The bag erupts into pieces, smoke emanating from it along with the many cotton that are floating around the room. Some even exits out of the window, Behemoth turning towards the outside of his castle. He pants, glaring at the shining outdoors.

"Is everything alright up there, sir?" a masculine voice says outside of the castle below.

"YES! EVERYTHING IS FINE!" Behemoth shouts.

"A-Ah…Gotcha, my King!"

Behemoth snarls. "I must do this," he says, his tone menacing. "I must do this to prove how wrong Virtuous is! ONCE AND FOR ALL!" His tail smacks against a random cup in his room, the cup springing itself out of the window.


"OW!" the voice from earlier says.

Behemoth moves forward, grumbling. "Phase 32 will be different. It'll be the phase where I show that know-it-all punk of a fish who's the strongest!" His tail slams down. "I'mma beat him up so badly, he'll wish to never doubt my strength ever again!"

Behemoth gazes off to the side, Quintin's home becoming the spotlight of the show. He groans, the sparkling corals casting their lights onto him.

"Come on, bro!" Those voices in his head. His brother's. "You used to be so considerate and kind towards others, man. And now you're just…not."

Behemoth shakes his head. "No…" He looks behind him at the deteriorated bag. "You've never understood why I'm like this, Quintin. Even after telling it to you and the others."

Behemoth grumbles, striking a gaze at his tail. "I could count a lot of times Virtuous was talkin' smack about my fighting skills. Always insisting he could 'help' me while at the same time shit all over my attempt at getting better! Especially after hearing the pokedex's thoughts on Wishiwashi!" He slams his tail on the ground, a rumble rattling. "Kindness has zero place for assclowns like him!" Snarls. "He's the true reason why our trainer abandoned us: He's completely full of himself!"

Behemoth glances out of the castle. "Heh…Tomorrow will be the day he'll regret fucking with me."

. . .

"..." Sam blinks.

"..." Quintin blinks.

Both stare and gaze at the ceiling, their bodies coiling while on the sandy floor. Silence occupies the house, with the occasional swims and chatters outside. There isn't much the two said to break the barrier: Keeping their eyes locked at the ceiling, remaining motionless yet alleviated.

Ramon smiles: The serene, calm environment making his worries fade away. At this very moment, the disguised Gyarados has felt tranquility, something he hasn't felt for a while now.

"Pretty chill here, ain't it?" Quintin says.

"...Yeah." Ramon lowers his eyelids. "Feels great to relax after being out in the wild for so long."

"I can imagine, man. Feel free to relax here whenever you like."

"You don't mind?"

"Nah." Quintin snickers. "I let anyone relax here whenever they need a quick place to chillax."

"I see." Soon, Ramon looks down in melancholy. Ugh…As much as I'd love to relax, I need to return back to the others. They could be worried sick about me!

Quintin looks at Sam, blinking. "Something's up?"

Sam sighs and stands, floating towards the exit. "I have to go."

Quintin raises his brow. "What? Why, though?"

Sam gulps. "Um, I'm thinking about signing up for the war." How many more LIES do I have to make!? Can I just go back to being myself already!? He whimpers in his head.

The Water Gem Gyarados tilts his head. "Didn't you just get here, dude?"

"Y-Yeah! But maybe if I join the army, Behemoth would be more willing to talk to me!"

"But—" And before Quintin knows it, the illusion Gyarados has left the house, leaving him alone. "...Weird."

. . .

Justin pokes. And pokes. And pokes again…the window taking in the assaults from his finger.

Everyone continues staring outside, planting their entire face against the windows out of desperation. "Man…I hate this," Justin mentions, rubbing his eyes.

"W-We probably should've fallen asleep, huh?" Mesmeren pokes her fingers together.

"No kidding!" Courtney yawns, covering her lips. "Feelin' close to knocking myself out."

Mesmeren smirks. "Heh…Makes me wish I was born with the Insomnia ability." She shakes. "Would've made it much easier to stay awake."

"I'd imagine…Then again, wouldn't you not be able to sleep?"


"Huh…" Courtney's hand leans against her chin, Ada raising her brow at the tapir.

"On one hand, it would be nice to not require sleep so that you—" Ada yawns midway. "Don't have to worry about tiredness and…lack of…focus the next day." Yawns once again. "Ugh, I'm tired."

"Aren't we all?" Justin states before snickering, Ada and Courtney joining in.

"So yeah, pretty neat to not be forced asleep. But at the cost of never being able to…dream again?" Ada scratches her head. "Sounds more like a curse than a blessing, in all honesty."

The Drowzee twiddles her fingers. "A-And why's that?"

Ada lifts her finger. "Dreaming can give someone a lot of inspiration and interpretation, sometimes even being an unexplainable mess that's a joy to explore."

"I mean, there are nightmares, fam."

"Yes, but those are different. They're not meant to be joyful: They're meant to be dreadful, hence the name given to them." Ada folds her arms. "Still, even nightmares can give someone an idea for their future goal! Maybe providing hints on the wrong path they could've taken if a certain decision didn't happen."

Justin lifts his finger before pausing his opened lips, now gazing off with a finger against his chin. "Huh…That's a smart way to look at nightmares. Never thought of that, fam."

"Mhm." The girl looks down. "So if an Intellicate was born with Insomnia, they…wouldn't be able to dream and see those inspirations and interpretations. Hell, I'm wondering how they can still have energy the next day?"

"This is even more weird when you consider a Nativu with that ability. Don't they mind being unable to sleep?" Courtney asks, tilting her head. "Mighty strange ability, I'd say."

"Yeah…" Ada shudders. "The more I think about it, the more I feel that ability causes a lot of negatives than positives."

Mesmeren gazes out of the window, a sorrowful smile paints her. "It's better if I lose my ability to sleep…kn-knowing what I am."

Everyone looks at her.

"Hmm?" Ada stares with concern. "Why…would you believe so?"

Mesmeren remains silent, her fingers stopping. "...I'm sorry."

Everyone looks at each other, uncertainty heightening throughout their blood. Before anyone can get a word out, something hops inside of the cabin's back window. Everyone looks behind them within a flash.

"Ramon!?" they shout, with Roan falling off from Justin's head and slamming his face on the wooden floor.


"Ah shit, my bad, fam." Justin rushes over to Roan's aid, holding his hand out.

Roan groans, feeling as though he's seeing stars around his head. He then grabs Justin's hand. "N-No worries! I, Simon's apprentice, will fight off against the greatest foe of this battle: Headache."

Coleo snickers softly. "This is why I always han' on tight while on someone's head. That happened to me when I was with me trainer."

"N-Noted, then!"

A laugh comes from the back window, grabbing the group's attention. Lycus is there holding two apples, chowing on one in his right paw. He swallows. "That was a funny show to witness."

"Damn, man…" Justin lowers his head, groaning. "Legit thought you were Ramon for a moment."

"Sorry to break your hopes up there." Lycus looks at his apples while walking forward. "Although, I know just the thing that could cheer you up: These apples. They taste soooooo good. The sweetness and juiciness will freshen your body up like no tomorrow!" He holds the left apple forward. "You guys want some? I even have more behind me!"

"Really?" Ada asks. Lycus moves his tails to the side, showing off six more apples. "Oh my. That's a lot."

"Mhm. Wished there were more hanging on the trees though, but at least there were enough for each of us. Figure we could get something to eat in these trying times, you know?"

"Well I'm not really—" Ada's stomach growls, the girl looking down. "...Actually, eating an apple sounds like a good idea right now."

Roan jumps up. "I'll happily take your offer, Lycus!"

"You got it, little man." The Floatzel tosses the Axew his left apple, Roan catching it. He chows down on the red fruit, smiling and humming at its sweetness.

"Mmmm!" Roan swallows. "Thank you very much, Mr. Lycus sir! You certainly have a great taste in food for finding quality apples such as these!"

"Heh. They were literally just hanging from the trees. Fresh and all."

"Ah, that explains it." Roan keeps eating the fruit, his face blooming with joy.

The weasel hands the rest of the apples over to the others, Ada being the first to grab one from the tails and gives it to Coleo. She then grabs another one while Courtney and Justin snatch theirs within milliseconds, the rabbit sinking her teeth into the fruit. Mesmeren grabs hers' and nibbles on it, her hands trembling along the way. And Coleo bites down his', holding it with his setaes.

"Ah, this should be enough to fill me up," the Blipbug says, munching on the skin.

"I doubt this apple can fill me up, but it's better than nothing," Justin says, taking a bite. "Mmf." He shakes his head, some juices seeping down his lips. "Youve werenve lyinve abouff—"

"My goodness can't you talk without food in your mouth for once, Justin?" Ada grumbles. "I thought Mrs. Phoenix taught you better than this."

Did she just say Phoenix? Lycus thinks, lifting his brow. If so, these could be the group that wacko-haired guy was talking about. Still, I'll ask them why they're wandering around just to be sure.

Justin swallows and scratches the back of his head nervously. "Haha, my bad."

Ada huffs and munches on her apple. "Hmph!"

"Like I was saying: You weren't lying about these being fresh off the trees, Lycus! They're tasting mad good, man!"

"What can I say? I'm a man of my word." Lycus smiles, showing off his fangs in pure smugness. He looks at Sylock, the Blaziken keeping his gaze onto the Lopunny while folding his arms. Lycus lifts his tails, showing off two apples. "Hey, want some? I'd imagine you could be starving right now."

Sylock shakes his head.

"Ah come on. I heard that apples can really benefit you in the long run!" Lycus takes a bite off from his apple, his teeth grinding and crushing the flesh. "Mmm, a juicff beneff, no lessff!" He swallows afterwards, Ada shuddering at the sight.

Can ANYONE not talk with their food in their mouth? she thinks, squinting.

Sylock glances at Lycus and signs, "Sorry, but I'm not hungry." And before he knows it, his stomach rumbles like an earthquake, a blush casting onto him. Courtney nudges him with her elbow.

"Your stomach is speakin' differently than your mind." She snickers. "It's alright. Go ahead and eat up, Sy."

The Blaziken looks at Courtney for a brief moment, staring into her pink eyes with uncertainty. He then sighs. "Alright, fine." He grabs one of the two apples and takes a bite, only to receive a sudden hug from Courtney mere seconds later.

"There ya go!" She closes her eyes and smiles, leading Sylock to slowly smile back.

Lycus turns towards the teens, wrapping his tail around the last apple. "Ada and Justin, wasn't it?" He clears his throat. "I meant to ask you two this before, but what brings you around here?"

Ada tilts her head, swallowing a piece of her fruit. "We're trying to reach Glory Pride City, which is across this lake."

"And why's that?"

Ada stares at her bitten apple, gripping it. "...Our friends should be there. The ones Justin and I grew up with in our village…" Sighs. "Before we got separated."

"How did you two get separated from them?"

The girl looks out of the window, prolonging at the heavy rainfalls and war zone. "Our village got burned down by a terrorist group known as Team Conjure. It's because of them, we were forced to go our separate ways..."

Justin eyes the girl, tapping his apple before lowering his head. "Yeah…"

Village. Separated. Lycus hides a small smirk. And CONJURE…Bingo: These are the ones. He then completely changes his facade into that of pity, his apple clinging against his chest. "Oh…I wasn't aware of those tragedies. My sincere condolences to your home village, Ada and Justin."

"Thanks, man." Justin stands next to Ada, staring out of the window as well. "Once this nasty war is over, we'll finally leave this lake and hopefully reunite with our friends..."

"Agreed: Terran, Merlin, X, and Serene are probably worried sick about us. Along with Ethan, too." Ada sighs. "Only time will tell on when we get to see them again…"

Lycus raises his brow. "Wait, one of them is named 'X'?"

The teens look behind them at the Floatzel. "Oh right. That's the nickname he chooses to give himself. He doesn't like his real name: Xavier."

Lycus widens his eyes. XAVIER!? He stares off, his teeth grinding against the edge of his apple with aggression. That…mistake of mine is still alive, huh?

Justin jolts his brow. "Uh, you aight, fam?"

Crap. They're catching onto me. Gotta calm down. He inhales before smiling at the two. "Sorry! Thought I'd forgotten one more apple for Ramon, but thankfully I didn't."

Coleo tilts his head. "But did ye had that Rune power where ye can remember things clea—"

"Speaking of Ramon! Why is he traveling with you two? Or those three, while at it," Lycus says abruptly, pointing at Mesmeren, Courtney, and Sylock. "I assume they're also from the village, right?"

Coleo raises his brow as Ada scratches the back of her head. "Not really. Justin and I found Ramon nearby an abandoned facility, helping him recover his memories from there."

"Abandoned facility?" The Blipbug scratches the side of his head.

Ada looks up. "Yes. It's a building that used to be run by the now defunct company, Prospective Institute. They're known for thinking up new ways to improve society with their experiments." She reaches inside of her jacket's pocket, taking out a journal. "Proof of this is within Dr. Yvonne's journal. He's one of the famous scientists of the institute, who has documented several entries and information here."

"Huh…" Coleo tilts his head. "I see."

The teen puts the journal back. "As for the other three, they have their own reasons for traveling with us. And you already know Roan's."

Roan brings his arms up. "Indeed!"

Courtney raises her finger up. "I wanted to tackle the worldwide tournament taking place in that city!" She forms a fist, smirking. "Proving the world how strong I can be."

Sylock stares at Lycus, nonchalant. "I'm just tagging along to look after her," he signs with one hand before biting his apple.

"Not sure if I understood that, uh…"

"Sylock! And he said he's just lookin' after me," Courtney answers.

"Right." Lycus nods. "These are some thoughtful goals you all have so far." He looks down at the Drowzee, who keeps her gaze on the window. "What about you?"

"Hmm?" She turns. "M-Me?"

The Floatzel nods. "Yes, you: Why are you traveling with Ada and Justin?"

The many eyes gaze at Mesmeren, the Drowzee looking away while blushing. "W-Well…I'm lost and don't have anywhere to go. A-And also wanted to repay Justin, Ada, and Ramon t-too for saving me from those scary C-Conjures!"

"You were caught by those Conjure peeps?"

Mesmeren nods meekly. "M-Mhm…" She then stares out of the window to her right, squeezing her apple.

Lycus puts his paw beneath his chin. Huh. The failed target is even traveling with these teens. How cute.

"Hmm?" Mesmeren blinks in perplexion. "Hey um…"

"Somethin' the matter, lass?" Coleo asks.

The Drowzee points, her face warping in mortification. "Th-There's a Gyarados heading our way!" A-And that weird familiar sensation is coming back, too!

"What!?" All of them shouts, jotting their eyes towards the window.

A Gyarados springs out of the bushes, staring directly at the group. Everyone stands on their guard: Courtney and Sylock grabbing their sword's hilt, Justin and Ada casting their Magic moves, Coleo touching his dagger's hilt, Lycus forming icy energy around his fists, all while Mesmeren remains as still as a pumpkin. Completely immobilized.

However, the Gyarados glows magenta before decreasing itself, arms and legs sprouting from it. A long red hair spawns at the top of its head, a snout replacing its big maw. Once the glowing ends, the Gyarados has turned into a familiar Zoroark with bangs. The Zoroark pants heavily, staring at the ground in exhaustion.

Mesmeren gasps. "It's Ramon!" She's the first to rush towards the window, opening it immediately. Everyone lowers their guards and follows her, letting the Zoroark inside of the cabin.

Ramon groans, shaking his head. "Ugh, that took longer than it needed to…" He soon yelps from the sudden hug, blushing at Mesmeren, Ada, and even Justin huddling close to him. Coleo clings onto Ada's hair as the apple falls off from her head, the Blipbug staring at it.

There goes me apple, he thinks.

"We missed you so much, fam!" Justin whines. "Thought you were a goner for a moment, not gonna lie."

"Yeah…" Ada follows, tightening the Zoroark's arm.

"I…" Ramon blinks in…uncertainty. From what his brother told him, he has every right to not see this act of kindness as anything but genuine. Especially from humans. And yet, he is surrounded in hugs. Massive ones. The fox can't really put his claw on it. The…many concerns radiating from his friends upon his return. He can't understand it.

Despite his confusion, he gives the group a warm smile. "...Thanks." Is all he can think of saying.

"Ramon lad."

The Zoroark looks at Coleo. "Yes?"

"Were ye able to talk with Virtuous and Behemoth about the war?"

Ramon slowly looks off to the side, twitching his ears while forming a poker face. "Well…"
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Chapter 38.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 38: A Special Night.

The Aquatic War Arc.

"Short or long answer?" Ramon asks.

"It doesn't matter, lad." Coleo keeps his gaze onto the Zoroark, squinting. "Tell us."

The group huddles around the fox, sprinkling with anxiousness.

"...I was able to talk to Virtuous, but not Behemoth. Regardless—" Ramon looks down, his ears lowered. "I couldn't convince them to end the war: Virtuous ranted about his hatred towards Behemoth to the point where he doesn't believe in forming an agreement with him. As for Behemoth, his guards prevented me from seeing him because he was training himself. They even pushed me when I tried talking to him."

"Bro." Justin's face distorts into perplexion, the teen raising his brow. "They couldn't be nicer about it?"

"That's what I thought!" Ramon sighs. "Apparently they're more aggressive about ensuring Behemoth's success, thanks to the war. The Wishiwashis aren't any better since Virtuous makes them feel superior over the Gyarados, motivating them effectively."

"I…see." Coleo gradually stares down.

"I'm sorry Coleo, but considering the things I've heard from Behemoth, even he wouldn't come to an agreement with Virtuous."

The Blipbug is quiet, his heart feeling as though it's slowing down. He trembles, sliding off Ada's head. The teen gasps. "Whoa!" She catches the insect in her hands, a tear sliding across Coleo's cheek. He eyes the ceiling, clenching his teeth.

"How?" He whimpers. "How do we stop this man-o-war from gettin' worse?" He slams his setae on Ada's hand, glaring. "The Illusion plan wa' all we got…"

Roan's hand leans against his maw, gasping. "Blasphemy! How are we going to cross the lake now!?" Roan pouts, folding his arms and sitting on the floor. "This war is all sorts of wrong: Getting into speciesism disputes, shooing away those that aren't their kinds, and having leaders who aren't willing to hear others' concerns!" He throws his arms in the air. "It's an absolute catastrophe!"

Ramon scratches the back of his soft hair, staring down. "Not to mention their homeplace isn't looking so great, either."

Coleo gazes at the Zoroark. "Homeplace?"

"Both Virtuous and Behemoth have a palace named after themselves."

"Huh…I see. Was not awar' of Virtuous and Behemoth ownin' a palace."

Ramon nods. "And from what I can conclude from them: The war led to Wishiwashis being randomly recruited at Virtuous Palace, random objects littering Behemoth Palace, and the increase of tension between the two groups."

Coleo stands up. "I figured the war would lea' the two places towards that state."

"Mhm." Ramon stares up. "Although, I wasn't alone in disliking The Aquatic War."


Ramon snaps his claws towards Roan. "Like you mentioned, their leaders aren't willing to listen to others' concerns. I've met a Gyarados and Wishiwashi who aren't fans of the war for different reasons: One wanted to know a Gyarados personally while the other wanted to date a Wishiwashi."

Ramon laughs softly, scratching the back of his head as the group looks at him, perplexed. "I'm not kidding about the last part."

"Huh." Courtney snickers. "That's cute."

"Ah…" Coleo scratches the back of his head with his setae. "More power to ye, I guess."

Ada smiles. "Not much of a lover type?"

Coleo shakes his head. "Neva saw meself as one."

"D'aww, but there's beauty in finding love," Courtney joins in, blushing while giggling in her fur-covered hands.

"To ye, that is." Coleo folds his setae like they're arms, sighing while closing his eyes. "Love was neva me thing. Me attention focused on learnin' and explorin' this vast world. Wantin' to know its mysteries, especially in this region, argh."

"Th-That's fair," Mesmeren says, poking her fingers together. "I personally wouldn't mind falling in love with someone. But I-I can see other things being more interesting than attraction."

"Thanks." Coleo smiles at the Drowzee.

Ramon smiles for a moment before reverting back into uncertainty. "Besides those two things, both of them wanted peace between the two species: Regardless of their strengths and weaknesses."

"I see…If only Behemoth and Virtuous agree instead of continuin' their bickers and involvin' others into this war." Coleo sighs. "The only thing we can do is to wait til' the next day. That way we can make our next move when given the chance."

Courtney folds her arms. "Maybe we can leave and hope the war solves itself?"

Ada raises her finger. "Yeah no, there's a lot wrong with the idea. First off, Virtuous and Behemoth have been fighting each other for a long while." She holds two fingers up. "Secondly, their kind already don't like each other, with only their distaste growing more and erupting into a war thanks to those two." Three fingers. "Thirdly, considering this war has been going on for a long time now, I doubt us leaving will end it anytime soon. Nor at all, for that matter." Four fingers along with a glare coming from her. "Annnnd fourthly, that'll be rude of us to leave after the depressing state Purity is in. Plus this lake stands between us getting to Glory Pride!"

The Lopunny tilts her head. "Coulda we just…walk aroun' it, though?" Shrugs. "Besides, you weren't huge on having Ramon use his Illusion to convince the leaders. So why not just leave?"

Roan puts one hand by his hip while lifting his finger, eyeing Courtney. "About the idea, Courtney ma'am: The Lake of Purity is pretty massive and wide. I noticed how far it stretches, from both left and right." He taps his chin. "So if we were to try to go around, it'll take us a long while. And there's possibly a chance that could lead us into another area instead of Glory Pride."

"Huh." Courtney stares at the lake, rumbles forming due to the heavy rain and war. "Oh right! I remember seein' how wide and lengthy the lake looked earlier, too! Thanks for the reminder, Roan."

Roan smiles widely, closing his eyes and puffing out his chest. "Glad I could be of service, madam!"

Courtney waves her hand, snickering. "No need for formality, kid."

Roan shakes his head. "But I must! Otherwise, it'll come off as rude!"

Sylock rolls his eyes, folding his arms. Constant formality is no better, though.

Courtney sits on her knees and pets the Axew, leading the kid to snicker. "If you say so." She then stands back up, Ada walking close to her.

"Also Courtney…" Ada pauses, staring off to the side.

Courtney blinks. "Yeah?"

The teen sets Coleo on top of her head before stroking her arm, caressing it. "I…at least understand why we all went with the Illusion plan now." The arm is gripped further, the girl wincing. "We…ultimately have no choice. Even despite my concerns about lying, it was our only shot."

Courtney rests her hand by her hip. "Right. Sometimes ya need to lie in order to solve some things in life." She lays her other hand on Ada's shoulder, patting it. "They say the truth can set ya free. In some cases, it can. Like tellin' the truth about you feeling cramped in yer friend's home instead of hiding that fact. Helps to let others know what ya really feel to grow a healthy relationship. Keepin' stuff like that in lies will not help anyone nor yerself."

Mesmeren looks up at the rabbit, holding her hands together. Ex…Express how I truly feel…?

Ada nods. "Indeed. My father always told me about the perks of honesty. It helps to tell someone—anyone, your genuine thoughts on something."

Courtney snaps her fingers. "Attagirl! You are right about that. However…" She folds her arms, her sword's sheath shuffling. "Sometimes tellin' the truth isn't going to help. Take the war for instance: If we all went out there right now and told the two leaders to stop fightin' each other, they wouldn' listen to a single thang we say and tell us to scram as a result."

"Ye: Behemoth and Virtuous' hatred are so strong that they wouldn't eve' listen to me, their closest friend."

Courtney nods. "The world is filled with all kinds of things: Not all of them can be solved by a simple truth…" She looks out of the window. "But neither can they be solved by a simple lie. Which unfortunately…we just experienced."

Ada flinches for a moment, taking her attention towards the Zoroark. Ramon keeps his gaze away from everyone: Twirling his bangs, staring down.

Ada frowns. "So if telling them the truth doesn't work, and lying to them doesn't work…" She snaps her attention back to Courtney. "Then what does work!?"

Courtney strokes the side of her arm, looking off to the side. "I wish I knew the answer to that, pal…"

The girl sighs, shaking her head. "I'm lost…" She forms a fist. "Was everything I know about truths and lies…false? Is telling the truth not always a good thing? Is telling lies not always a bad thing?" Her hand unravels, raising it—looking at it. "I guess it's not always recommended to lie, but in certain cases like this, it's…okay?"

Justin walks beside her. "Again, fam: It depends. Like I've said, you wouldn't want to be blunt about Clinton's shopping, right? Telling him he's bad for it and all…No one gains anything from being told their shopping is a slog, man."

"...Maybe." Ada's hand shakes. "I don't know." She pants, tears welling up her eyes, her heart sinking within the deep depths.

Roan stares with concern, walking close to the girl. "Are…you alright?"

Tears drip onto the girl's hand, the trembling persists. "I'm just—Just, ugh…" She turns away quickly, Coleo hanging onto her hair as she faces the windows, her hand gripping the other. "I'm so stressed and tired and…miss my father and my friends. I miss my father dearly…He has helped me a lot while I was growing up, trained me to defend myself, and taught me to be truthful and honest at all times." Her hands press against her chest. "If only he were here. Right now. He would've known what to do. The right decision he would make that'll put me at ease from doubting myself."

"But what if he resorted to lying in this situation, too?" Justin asks.

Ada pauses. Her hearing leaves, with only those words echoing throughout her mind. The father she grows up with, the man who always preaches about being truthful and never deceitful. She wipes back to reality, frowning at Justin. "HE WOULD NEVER LIE!" she yells, her voice shaking.

Justin backs away, holding his arms up. "Whoa, calm down, fam!"

"I-I know he wouldn't! He's been so disciplined, teaching himself to not go down the path of deception! He has trained himself to be honest in the most heroic way possible. And has passed that honesty down to me ever since my mother di—" Ada gasps, being captured by something clingy yet…warm at once. She quickly pieces it together as Justin hugging her.

"Hey…it's okay." Justin smiles. "I know how good of a person your father is to ya. I get it. He has taught ya not to abuse your usage of lyin'." Sighs. "But sometimes fam, we all get into situations where we have no choice but to lie. It…doesn't make us bad people for doing so. It just makes us human. The literal living. Even Pokémon can feel the same way, too. Aight?"

Tears continuously slide down Ada's cheeks, the girl staring ahead, across the cabin, as though mesmerized. Everyone stares at the two, Ramon and Mesmeren forming the look of shock and intrigue. The fox stops twirling his bangs, lowering his arm. Mesmeren squirms, her lips quivering.

Right…Coleo, Courtney, Roan, Mesmeren, and Lycus are all Pokémon just like me. They all rolled with the Illusion plan. Ramon glances off. I…I ended up befriending two Pokémon that way. Wh-While in my Illusion, lying about who I am…I-I had no choice there. I wonder if what I've done was even a good thing or not! I should've just focused on convincing the two leaders instead of talking with Aquatus and Quintin, but I…I had no other choice! Things just— he grits his teeth. …Am I a bad person?

I-I just agreed to this Illusion plan without saying much. I-I don't know if I can even call myself good, knowing that pre-pretending to be one's ally played e-exactly like what my kind does.
Mesmeren looks away. E-Even if the Illusion plan was for ending the war, it s-still adds to how awful I am. I-It involves lies…and my k-kind is filled with it. A single tear slides down Mesmeren's cheeks, the tapir gritting her teeth. I-I am a bad person…

Justin pulls away from the hug, staring into Ada's eyes. "We'll find our friends and family. Together." Smiles. "And when we do, we'll learn more about life as well…Together."

Ada gazes for a moment, her lips sealed. She then wipes away her tears. "Alright."

Ramon looks down, his bangs shielding his left eye. The things Nomar told me. The thoughts, concerns, and feelings Justin and Ada have…They're completely conflicting. The awfulness of humans doesn't match with the sincerity of Justin and Ada. Their genuine kindness and concern for their loved ones…versus the many wars caused by humans over the usage of Spells, along with The Aquatic War being formed by one trainer. I…I don't understand. Are all humans truly evil?

Mesmeren looks down, panting heavily. So many deceptions and lies and cruelty my kind are capable of. I-I'm capable of those things, too! I don't get the kindness I received from Ramon, Ada, Justin, and others…I don't get why they accepted me. Even after stating I have nowhere else to go. E-Even after admitting I have no goals of my own! Her eyes tremble. I'm just a runaway! A Drowzee who doesn't want to do that family ritual ever again because I am a disgrace towards everything! Why does everyone tolerate something as evil as me?

Roan looks at her, raising his brow. "Hmm?"

Justin turns around at Ramon, lifting his brow as well. "Eh?"

Both Ramon and Mesmeren stroke their heads, trembling. I'm so lost! the two thinks, clenching their teeth.


The two Pokémon stop in place, looking at the location of the voices. Justin and co. stare at the two, all except for Sylock forming the look of perturbation. "Are you two aight?" Justin asks. "You were like, panicking hard there."

"Yeah…" Roan agrees, lowering his head in sorrow.

Ramon and Mesmeren look at the group for a brief moment before sighing. "Sorry," they say in unison.

"I'm just stressed out by…everything going on so far," Ramon elaborates.

"S-Same…" Mesmeren strokes her arm. "I feel useless during all of this." Which I am.

"Argh, that ca' happen sometimes when a plan doesn't succee'." Coleo sighs before the group stare outside, a Gyarados and Wishiwashi colliding their Aqua Tails. "What we ca' do now is let this day pass…We are all tired, so let's rest for the time bein'."

"Yep," Courtney agrees.

Justin folds his arms. "You know, maybe some good ol' fashion joke can—" yawns. "Cheer us…up. Man, the tiredness is getting to me more now, haha."

"Justin, I don't think a joke is really nece—"

"What does an Intellicate use to wash their clothes?" Justin asks.

Ada folds her arms, tilting her head. "A cloth?"

Courtney scratches the side of her head. "Uh, their Water moves if they're a Water type?"

Roan pokes his chin. "Hmm…Their hands or paws?"

"Nope: A Wishiwashimachine!" Justin slaps his knee before bursting into laughter.

Courtney and Roan snicker, covering their mouths. "Oh wow, that was a pretty clever pun, Justin sir!" Roan says.

"I second what the kid said! Man."

Ramon and Mesmeren chuckle while Sylock, Lycus, and Ada roll their eyes, Ada folding her arms. Justin looks at the teen and snaps his fingers, displaying his usual finger guns. "Come on, man. You gotta give me a big, BIG credit for that one!"

"Not funny. Didn't laugh," Lycus says, shaking his head. "Can't believe you topped your Cloud Balls joke in the bad pun department, kid."

No kidding, Sylock thinks, leaning against the wooden wall.

"Hey man, I wasn't talking to ya. I was talking to Ada." Justin chuckles. "You think that was good, right fam?" Ada glances at the boy for a moment, deadpanning. "Right?"

The girl soon turns away slightly, closing her eyes before forming a small smile and giggling. "Alright, admittedly that was a good one. Been a while since I've laughed at your silly gags."

I genuinely hate to admit it…but that was a good pun, even if corny, Nomar says in Ramon's head, pouting.

"Ayy, thanks fam!" Justin points at the teen while glaring at Lycus, smirking. "See? Even she agrees that it was good! And she usually hates my puns, haha!"

"Pfft, her awful taste, not mine." Lycus folds his arms, finishing his apple and tossing it towards the fireplace.

"Hey!" Justin and Ada exclaim, puffing up their cheeks in an over-the-top manner.

Lycus looks at his tail, one apple lying on it. Oh right! That reminds me. He walks towards the Zoroark. "Hey Ramon."

Ramon tilts his head. "Hmm?"

Lycus lifts his tail, the apple shifting side to side. "Want an apple? You must be hungry after traveling a lot underwater."

Ramon lifts his claw. "Funny that you mentioned it because I've already eaten. Was given something to eat while in Behemoth Palace."

"Ah, but surely their food may not be enough for you."

"It is, actually. I ended up eating a dead Alomomo—" the apple is shoved against the Zoroark's lips, Ramon blinking. "Eh?"

"That wouldn't be enough to fill your whole belly, though! Surely some nutritious, juicy flavored fruit can fill a fella's belly up in no time flat! Far better than eating an Alomo—"

"My guy, I am not hungry." Ramon quirks his brow. "I've been saying this like…three times now. I am very, very sure about my hunger being satisfied."

Lycus eyes the fox, the suspicion plastering over Ramon's face while he glances. Hmm. Thought I could get him, too. Tch. Lycus shrugs and sighs, setting the apple onto his paw. "Alright. I'll eat it for myself, in case I get hungry later on."

"Right…" Ramon folds his arms. "Which reminds me, Lycus: While in my disguise, I've noticed other species of Pokémon living alongside the Wishiwashis and Gyarados. Didn't you tell us they're against those who aren't their species?"

Lycus nods. "I did."

"Then why was I seeing the opposite?"

"The Gyarados and Wishiwashis are very selective about what species can live with them."

Roan raises his brow. "Really?" Lycus nods, the Axew tilting his head in confusion. "So not only they're speciesist, but also very picky about it, too." He shakes his head, his hands on his hips. "I cannot STAND anyone that thinks this way, let alone a group! It's uncalled for!"

"Yeah…" Ramon lays his paw against his chin. "Pretty weird that the two society's function that way."

"Agreed," Ada follows.

"I gues' Virtuous and Behemoth make exceptions on which species gets to live in their palace." Coleo raises his brow. "Still weird though, argh."

Everyone continues wondering about the selectivity, all bouncing around each other's theories and predictions.

Lycus forms a small smirk, caressing his apple. Good. The excuse worked.

. . .

Light rain showers across the lake, the cabin remaining still as the trees protect it. Justin and Ada relax on the cabin's first sofa, Courtney and Sylock on the second, and the rest sit near its warm fireplace. Coleo rests on top of Ada's head as Lycus leans his back against the couch.

They all chat with each other: Smiling, even exchanging some laughter.

"And then X threw the cake at Serene's face after singing happy birthday!" Justin snickers. "The look on her face was priceless: She was as red as an apple, man."

"Daaang, did he now?" Courtney laughs. "That's a little cruel to do on someone's birthday, don'tcha think?"

Justin shrugs. "Eh, that's why X and I got a backup cake for her."

Ada huffs, folding her arms. "Hmph! I still think it's unnecessary to throw a whole cake at someone during their birthday."

Justin scratches the back of his head, laughing nervously. "Maaaybe, yeah. She wasn't all that stressed about it, though. Hell, she even commented on liking the taste of the cake after licking it off her face."

Ada rolls her eyes, shaking her head while smiling. "Right."

"Also the fact she slapped both of us with her vines afterwards." Justin rubs the side of his cheek, whimpering. "Serves us right, haha."

Lycus stares at the fireplace, jittering his fingers. Wished that vine wrapped around X's neck and sna—

"Just goes to show you: Never prank someone on their birthday!" Ada smirks while puffing her chest out.

Justin snaps his fingers, giving the teen the finger guns wink. "Noted: I will remember that for everyone except you."

"Thanks—" Ada blinks for a moment before shaking her head, lifting her fist. "Hey!"

Courtney laughs more, covering her lips. "You two sure had some interesting time living at Synchronic Village. Lovin' the energetic friends and supportive family y'all hang with."

Ada pounces towards Courtney, inching closer by the edge. "Oh you don't know the half of it! There's all sorts of fun activities and trips we did together."

Justin nods. "Yeah! Like the time my mom and I played darts with you and your dad!"

"Or the time Serene and I went climbing a small mountain with Ethan!"

Justin gasps, clashing his hands together. "Yo, what about the time X and I went camping at Synthesize Lake? You were there with the whole gang, too!"

Ada blushes and looks away. "I-I'd rather not remember the Great Move Massacre."

"The great what now?" Courtney asks, flickering her ears.

Ramon points at the Lopunny. "I second what she said."

Justin laughs. "She's referring to us messin' around with our attacks while chasing each other for 5 minutes straight."

"I-In other words: Playing tag, but it involves us using our moves. Anyone hit by them ends up being the tagger until the game ends." The girl sighs heavily, shuddering.

"Heh, sounds like y'all are trynna hurt yerselves during that trip." Courtney snickers.

The boy lifts his hand up and down. "Naaah, we were just using our moves lightly. So no one got hurt."

"Not even your Intellicate buddies?"

"Nope." Justin rubs his hands together, smirking. "Although, they had to endure the absolute dread and horror of this serious as heck game of tag!"

"Oh wow." Courtney grins back. "Sounds like fun!"

"It's not!" Ada huffs. "No one wasn't hurt during the Great Move Massacre, b-but 13 year old me was mentally scarred that day…." Shudders. "I still think about the time I was zapped by Mystical Projectiles left and right, a random leaf fell onto my nose leading me to sneeze like crazy, and—Just, ugh!"

Mystical Projectele? Coleo thinks, tilting his head. Or whateve' it's called.

Ada's hands nudge her forehead, gazing at the ground as if she's being stoned. "I will never forget about that battlefield."

Justin rolls his eyes. "Now I know you're being overdramatic, for real." He shakes his head at the rabbit. "Again, we all used our moves softly. To a point where it be ticklish, for real for real."

The teen huffs and looks away, closing her eyes while folding her arms. "E-Even ignoring my disastrous rundown with that event, it just feels off having to use my moves that don't involve fighting."

"Eh." The boy shrugs. "Elemental moves don't have to always involve fights, fam. Sometimes they can be used for other fun stuff like tag or a race. X and I were racing each other one time: He was using Aqua Jet while I was relying on Mystical Projectile to outrun his ass."

The girl lifts one eye at Justin, the look of judgement displaying. "I see."

"And for the record: You called our game the Great Move Massacre, I called our game the Move Tag. We are not the same." The dark brown teen tugs on his collar while sneering at the girl. She rolls her eyes.


Courtney, Roan, and Ramon laugh softly at the exchange, the Lopunny elbowing Sylock afterwards. "Ya know, this reminds me of the time I first met Sylock at the Serenity Vicious Center." Sylock blushes, staring off at the fireplace.

"The what now?" Coleo asks.

"It's a center built next to the Windmill Forest, which is also next to this lake. It's where anyone who did something wrong in Serenity goes to be taught a lesson."

"I see."

Ada blinks, looking at the Lopunny with curiosity. "Wait, you two used to be at that center?" Courtney nods. "Huh…What did you do to end up there?"

Courtney scratches the back of her head, laughing nervously. "Weeellll, when I was a little ol' Buneary, I used to get myself into a lotta trouble cuz of folks doesn't like it when I'm into activities meant for 'men'."

Ada forms the look of befuddlement, her hands frozen. "...OH…"

"..." Courtney smacks her lips. "Yeeeaaah, we got some yikers in Serenity ever since Tranquility left. As I've stated before."

"No kidding."

"Eventually, I ended up in the center due to needin' to be taught a lesson for doing stuff meant for 'men' when I'm not supposed to."

"Who sent you? Forest?" Ada asks.

"Nope: The previous mayor of Serenity. His rules were…so dumb, oh my gosh. But that's a different topic in itself." Courtney waves her hand. "Just know one of those rules involved ladies not being able to work nor do fun activities that's considered a 'guy' thing, which uh…yeah." Courtney shakes her head. "My childhood was nothin' but stupid sad."

Everyone forms a look of grimace, Mesmeren holding her hands. "Y-Yeesh! I-I'm surprised you even stayed in that pl-place…"

"Yeah." Courtney rolls her eyes before shrugging. "On the plus side, I've gotten to meet Sylock this way. And we slowly became friends throughout our time there: From random sparrin' to drawin' on the walls while the guards aren't lookin'. And much more fun stuff we did together!" She hugs the Blaziken, who jumps a bit in shock. "Honestly, meeting Sylock was the best thing to come out of that dumb mayor's decision."

"D'aww." Ada puts her hands against her chest, smiling. "That's genuinely sweet to hear."

"Mhm! Soon, we got released from the center after Forest became the new mayor. I think the previous mayor's name was like…Actually I forgot his name." The rabbit shrugs. "But at the same time, I do not give a damn about him, HAHA!"

Roan snaps his fingers. "Serves that fella right: Justice to him by forgetting thou name of him!"

"Pffft!" Everyone except Sylock and Lycus laugh, Justin grinning in response. Sylock forms a small smile not only to Courtney…but to the rest of the group as well. As if he's feeling some level of reassurance and…warmth.

"Yo, I like this Roan kid: He's just like me, for real."

Roan shakes his head, waving his hand up and down. "Maybe in terms of humor, but we definitely have a lot of differences when it comes to how we approach things, Justin sir."

Justin blinks at the Axew, shaking his head. "Aight, you have a point there: I don't call someone by their name followed by some polite word to address my gender, fam."

Roan lays his hands on his hips, smirking. "And I don't always end sentences off with the word 'fam'."

Justin smacks his forehead. "Ah, you got me there!" The two snicker with each other as a result.

"Anywho—" Roan turns towards Courtney and Sylock, eyeing them with astonishment. "We truly live in such a wonderful world where even in the bleakest parts of our lives, we still bond with someone during it all! I'm happy to know that's how you two met each other, Courtney ma'am and Sylock sir."

Courtney smiles. "Thanks, Roan."

Roan nods. "No problem! It reminds me of how I met my oh-so amazing mentor!"

Justin jumps up for a bit, shoving Ada against the couch. "Yo where's the popcorn: We're bout to hear the origin story of Roan meeting the dude he loves talkin' about!"

"Ugh! Hey!" Ada pouts, frowning at the boy. "Watch where you're going! Yeesh!" Justin shakes his head while his hands and eyes move in exaggeration, mimicking. The girl punches him in the stomach.

"ARGH!" Justin covers his belly, keeping his eyes on Roan.

"Sorry about that, Roan: Go on." Ada crosses her legs, her hand over her lips before giggling softly.

Roan snorts before clearing his throat. "I was traveling around the vast fields of Windmill Forest, lost and clueless of where to go! This vile rainstorm back then didn't help, either." He looks down. "I've called for help numerous times: Not a single person, nor Pokémon, came to my aid." Whimpers. "It was…heart-wrenching."

"Oh dear…" Ada presses her hands against her chest.

"And then there was a tree, ready to strike me. I thought I was a goner…" The Axew's hands tremble, rising up. "Until he stood in front of me!"

Roan rises his head up, tears filling his eyes. "SIMON VICTOR! My mentor…my friend. Who carried that fallen tree over his head, thanks to being gifted with Magic type." He sniffles, wiping away his tears while smiling. "The moment he asked 'Are you alright?' was the moment I knew: I must know how to fend for myself and become as strong as him!"

"Oooo." Ada claps her hands, smiling. "Interesting to know this Simon guy is a Sorcerous."

Sorcerous? Magic type? What the blimey are these lots talkin' bout? Coleo scratches the side of his head, tilting.

The dragon blushes, closing his eyes while smiling back. "Yeah! I became so intrigued by his strength and will to help poor ol' me. Or poor youn' me, in this case." He waves his hand up and down. "Either way, I asked him if I could travel with him due to wanting to become strong and protect the weak. Plus I had nowhere else to go."

"I see." Ada smiles.

"Thankfully, he accepted me as not only his student, but also his partner too!"

"Ayy, that's great to hear, fam!" Justin lifts himself up. "I'm happy for yo—OUCH!" He sits down, covering his stomach again as the group chuckles. Justin glares at the girl. "Man, you didn't have to punch me THAT hard."

"I'm sorry, Justin: You believe that was a punch, I believe that was a tap. We are not the same." Ada winks at him while smirking.

"I—That's not how this works!"

Courtney and Roan burst into laughter, Courtney tapping on the sofa repeatedly while Roan covers his snout. Ramon, Mesmeren, and Coleo laugh softly at the teens while Sylock and Lycus give the whole group an eyebrow raise. Lycus blinks.

How the hell are they a threat to Team Conjure? the Floatzel thinks, squinting.

Ramon leans close to Mesmeren. "We have some interesting friends, huh?"

Mesmeren gasps softly before taking a proper look at the group: The laughter, the commotion, the agreements and disagreements. She stares in awe, rendering herself speechless. The tapir gulps, gazing down at her conforming hands.

"R-Right…" She partially closes her eyes, caressing her hands.

Ramon lowers his ears with concern. "Is…something wrong?"

"..." Mesmeren stands up, nudging her fingers against each other. "U-Um…" Everyone stops and turns towards her, the Drowzee shivering at the sight, looking away slightly.

"Something's up, fam?" Justin asks.

"..." Mesmeren pokes her fingers more. "Are…Are you all okay with me? Being here? L-Like…traveling along."

Ada raises her brow. "Um, yeah?"

The Lopunny shrugs. "I don't have any problems with you hangin' around with us. Doesn't matter, to me." She then looks at Sylock, who also shrugs before nodding. "Even Sylock agrees."

"Same here!" Roan follows.

"I second what the kid said." Justin smirks at the tapir, giving her the usual finger guns. "You're aight in my book, Mesmeren."

"O-Oh…" The Drowzee strokes the side of her arm, gazing down. "Are you sure?"

Ada tilts her head. "What do you mean by that?"

"Erm." Mesmeren keeps staring. "I-I feel like I'm slowing everyone down. You all have different g-goals in mind: You and Justin want to find your friends and family, Ramon wants to recover his memories, Courtney and Sylock want to participate in a worldwide tournament, and Roan wants to find his mentor." She bites her lower lip. "E-Even Coleo and Lycus have a goal of wanting to end this Aquatic War…Meanwhile—" she looks up at the group, trembling. "I-I have no goals of my own. I-I am just…here. Following you all wh-while not contributing much. Not doing anything gr-great…J-Just like my ki—"

"That's not true." Ramon lays his paw on Mesmeren's arm, the Drowzee gasping. "You did a lot of great things for us. Such as saving me from Travis in Majestic City and Gloomy Woods."

"B-But you were still badly hurt as a result…" Mesmeren lowers her ears. "H-He was too strong for both of us."

"Regardless: You risked your life saving mine. Whether through indirect means behind the dumpster, or direct means in front of him." Mesmeren blinks before gazing at the Zoroark. "You've even helped the group fight off against Team Conjure at Serenity. Point is, you've contributed to the group in more ways than you think." Ramon smiles.

Mesmeren is still, motionless while tears slowly climb their way up. She rubs her eyes within a flash, wiping those tears away as her shakiness returns. She looks at the group, her lips quivering, stammering into a smile.

"Th-Thank you…" This is all she can say, conflicts riling inside of her.

Roan lifts his arms up in enthusiasm. "No problem!" He then tilts his head, blinking. "Although, I wonder who these Team Conjure guys are."

"Same here, lad," Coleo follows. "I am also wonderin' what the blimey is a 'Mystical Projectele'?"

Ada looks up at the Blipbug. "Oh right: You're not aware of Magic type and humans being the ones capable of using them." She then points at Roan. "Annnnd this is your first time hearing about Conjure."

"Technically second: I heard it earlier while you were talking with Lycus, but was too busy eating my apple to question it." Roan snickers.

Ada scratches the back of her head, her laughter raspy. "Right." She then yawns and stretches herself. "I'll explain all of it tomorrow since it's getting late right now, and I want to…" She yawns, covering her mouth. "Sleep badly, as you can see."

Roan nods, slamming his fist onto the palm of his hand. "Sounds like a good idea!" He collapses on the spot face first, snoring.

Courtney snickers. "Well goodnight to you too, partna."

Lycus hops up, stretching himself out. "I'll sleep on top of the cabin. Just wanted to feel that cool breeze, to be honest."

The rabbit quirks her brow. "But it's raining out there."

The weasel shrugs. "I'm a Water type: I'll be fine." He walks towards the back window.

"Heh, good point."

. . .

Everyone rests on the sofas: Justin and Ada's head lean against each other, Courtney and Sylock pinning their backs together, Coleo nesting well on top of Ada's head, and Roan snuggles up on Justin's lap. Mesmeren is also there leaning against the sofa's edge, shaking throughout her slumber.

Ramon is sitting at the front window, doused in the only light source: The full moon, shining down at the cabin despite the light rainstorm. The Zoroark sighs, leaning his paw against the window. He looks up, sorrow plaguing him.

What is this world? What…do I even believe in it? he thinks, shaking his head. Ugh, everything's so confusing…

"H-Hello," a soft voice speaks, the Zoroark flicking his ears while blinking. He turns around: Mesmeren walking forward, twiddling her fingers. "I…didn't expect you t-to remain up at night."

Ramon smiles. "I can say the same for you, too." Mesmeren scoots beside him, leaning close to the window. "Any reason why you woke up?"

The tapir shrugs. "I couldn't sleep…" She quickly turns towards the fox. "Wh-What about you?"

"Oh. Um," he sighs, gazing at the lake. "Just wanted to admire the lake in its peaceful state. At least, close to it without all the fighting." He shakes his head, eyeing the sky. "Still raining a lot here, though."

"Y-Yeah…" Mesmeren's hands are behind her, nudging together. "At least it's less hectic than earlier."


Soon, voices are heard outside:



Ramon and Mesmeren blink for a moment before two figures roam the lake: One being a Wishiwashi with a Mystic Water necklace while the other being a Gyarados with a Water Gem necklace, both eyeing around with concern.

Mesmeren tilts her head. "I-I didn't know those two Pokémon w-would roam around at night."

"Me too," Ramon agrees before eyeing the Wishiwashi, who he recognizes as Aquatus. "Although, that Wishiwashi is in her Solo form."

"S-Solo?" Mesmeren raises her brow. Also, 'her'? Does he know that Wishiwashi?

"Erm, a form change thing that only Wishiwashis gain access to. Their other form is called 'School'."

"Huh. I see, then."

Aquatus darts her head from side to side, her necklace jittering. "Larry! Where are you!?" she yells, sometimes hovering her fins over her maw.

Quintin swims forward, scanning everywhere while carrying two purple berries on his back. "Sam! Dude! Did you run off or somethin—OOF!" He bumps into the sardine, gripping onto the berries. "Whoops, my ba—"

Aquatus gasps before increasing in size, glowing blue. As the transformation fades, she frowns at the Gyarados, her tail surrounded in blue auras. "What are you doing outside of your place, Gyarados!?" she questions in a menacing manner.

"Whoa whoa whoa! I mean no harm here, lady!" Quintin states, raising his tail up like he's surrendering himself.

Aquatus remains firm. "Are you sure?" Quintin nods, shaking with pity. Aquatus sighs before reverting back to her sardine state, staring up at the towering serpentine. "Alright…Admittedly, I didn't want to fight you. I've…done enough of that with you Gyarados." She looks away with guilt.

"I understand, man." Quintin shrugs. "I don't like fightin' myself, to be honest."

"I see." Aquatus tilts her head. "Although, it still begs the question of what you're doing here at night? Shouldn't you be resting at Behemoth Palace?"

Quintin waves his tailfin up and down. "Meh, I ain't worrying about them complaining about me not being there. I'm too busy trynna find my buddy, Sam."

"Oh! Coincidentally, I'm looking for a friend of mine as well. Named Larry."

Quintin snickers. "Niiice. We can form a mini-team called 'The Searchers' to find our buddies together."

Aquatus giggles, covering her mouth. "Perhaps. Technically speaking, I'm not supposed to talk to you due to our kind being against each other."

"Pfffft, like I give a shit." Quintin rolls his eyes. "I don't see anything wrong with me talking to a little Wishiwashi here."

The Solo blinks for a moment before she nods. "...Yeah. You're right."

The serpent flinches. "Wait, really?"

"Yes: It can get rather boring having to talk with the same Wishiwashis over and over. Plus I would love to know what a Gyarados is like, personally." Aquatus gazes up at Quintin with intrigue.

"Hah. Then why not get to know each other a little before finding our friends? Let's start with you: How's life for you in Virtuous Palace? Or whateva he calls it." Quintin smiles.

Aquatus rolls her eyes. "A borderline snorefest." She lifts her fin up and down casually. "There's the same 'Virtuous is great!' here, and 'Virtuous is great!' there. As in, different topics can happen…only for it to be overshadowed by the massive Virtuous praising." She stares ahead, deadpanned. "It gets old and annoying fast."

"Oh man, I bet. Didn't think your kind would have a big hard-on for the fella," Quintin says before snickering.

Aquatus snorts. "Well if you put it as such, yes. But it's also the way they treat him as if he can do no wrong when…he's been blatantly against understanding the other side because of his petty rivalry with Behemoth." She shakes her head. "His self-entitlement to being the strongest has led his followers under a similar mindset, thinking they're better than your kind because of it. It…bothers me. A lot." She clenches her fin. "Maybe Behemoth would've been a better leader than Virtuous."

"I…wouldn't say that, man."

Aquatus blinks, tilting her head. "Why's that?"

Quintin looks away in an awkward manner. "My bro's been so focused on the war that he hasn't done an alright job at managing his palace."

"Wait, Behemoth is your brother?"

Quintin looks back at Aquatus. "Yep."

"That's interesting."

The Gyarados nods. "But yeah, his way of managing the palace isn't all that great: It be lookin' all barren and filthy, havin' trash from the surface everywhere. And even though I've seen some peeps chilling there, most of em' are lonely." Quintin shakes his head.

Aquatus lays her fin on her maw. "Oh dear. Virtuous Palace doesn't look messy at all. Nor barren with lonely people, for that matter."

Quintin shifts. "I guess I have a trashy leader while you have a brashy leader."

Aquatus giggles. "Right. Or as I like to call them: Team Self-Absorbers!"

Quintin bursts into laughter. "Dang, that's a better joke than what I came up with."

Aquatus folds her fins together, closing her eyes and looking up with pride. "Why thank you!" She then holds her fin out. "Aquatus is my name, by the way."

Quintin uses his tailfin to shake Aquatus' fin, being mindful of the berries. "Quintin's mine. Nice to meet ya, lady."

The sardine puts her gaze onto the berries, tilting her head. "Wait, are those what I think they are?"

Quintin looks at the berries. "Eh? You've heard of Bluk Berries before?"

Aquatus gasps. "YES! Those are my favorite kinds of berries! I tend to sneak one with me whenever I get tired of the usual kelps, hehe."

"Heh, same! I really love eating them, too!" Quintin leans his tail close to Aquatus. "I was gonna to eat two but eh, you seemed like a kind lady so here ya go."

"Oh. Thank you!" The Wishiwashi grabs one of the berries, moving it close to her in eagerness. Quintin tosses the other into his mouth, munching.

"Mmm!" The Gyarados exclaims, licking his lips.

Aquatus bites into her Bluk Berry, her eyes rolling up in pure bliss, some crumbs already clinging onto her mouth. "Mmm, indeeff!" she agrees, chewing more. She and Quintin smile at each other, eating their food in peace. Aquatus then swallows, licking the crumbs off.

Soon after they're done, Aquatus' lips lowers at a gradual pace, sorrow spreading throughout. Tears are spiraling up, clouding her vision. Quintin looks down, tilting his head.

"Did I do something wrong…?"

"N-No," Aquatus answers, looking away as multiple tears slide down her cheeks, whimpering. "It's just…" She covers her face with one fin. "This is the first time I've…ever managed to talk with a Gyarados without having to fight one. Which is sad yet…relieving all at once."

"Fight one?" Quintin leans his head close to Aquatus out of curiosity.

"I…I participated in the war. Virtuous chose me to do so without giving me any choice, hence what I've said earlier."

"Ah…I get it, now. Sorry that you're forced to enter." Quintin nuzzles against Aquatus without warning, the Wishiwashi gasping before blushing. "At least I'm glad you feel relieved from talkin' to me, dude." He smiles.

Aquatus is silent for a moment, tears keep streaming down before she nods. She nuzzles back, patting Quintin's side. "...Thank you, Quintin."

"No problem." The serpentine brings his head back. "I don't like the war as much as you do. It prevented me from being with a Wishiwashi cuz of how weird and questionable that'll be to my kind, man."

"Figured." Aquatus sighs.

"So yeah…Glad I've gotten to talk to ya, too."

A brief silence rises.

Both stare at each other with warm smiles they haven't felt in a long while. Soon, they look away, a simple blush forming on their faces. The rain continues its downpour, the full moon shining its light at them.

"...Well. I guess this is farewell, for now," Aquatus says, staring down in gloom.

"Yeah. It's real late, I feel. So we can try searching for our buddies tomorrow."

Aquatus shakes her head. "We probably won't due to tomorrow being the next big phase."

"...Oh. Right." Quintin smacks his tail against his face.

"Phase 32 is going to take up most of my time in the field since your brother and Virtuous are participating in it." She sighs. "If only this sweet moment can last a little longer…"

The Gyarados leans his head close to the Wishiwashi again. "Hey man, no need to feel too gloomy. Maybe someday when this war ends, we can keep hangin' with each other and know more about ourselves. Free of these self-boastings from your home and the eyebrow-raisings from mine."

Aquatus looks at Quintin, a toothy smile emanating joy and hopefulness from him. She smiles back. "I hope so, too."

Soon, the two turn around before diving beneath the lake, never to be seen by Ramon and Mesmeren again.

Ramon smiles, his arms resting on the window's edge. "I probably did something good after seeing those two so happy with each other." He sighs. "Which is…a relief, honestly."

Mesmeren looks at him. "You know them?"

Ramon looks back. "Yes. I was Larry and Sam, thanks to my Illusion ability." He puts his paws by his hips. "Those two mean well compared to other Wishiwashis and Gyarados I've seen. They view the war differently than their leaders, as you saw earlier."

"Oh…Y-Yeah, I see then. That explains why you know th-the Wishiwashi." Mesmeren pokes her fingers together. "I-I wonder how they'll re-react if they find out about your true identity…"

Ramon shivers before gulping, staring off to the side while scratching the back of his head. He sighs. "I am honestly scared of that pos—" he coughs onto his paw, grunting.

Mesmeren jumps back, flinching. "Wh-What's wrong!?"

"Ugh…" Ramon looks down at his paw before his eyes widening in mortification, trembling. "...What the…" Black blood paints the Zoroark's paw, dripping down his arm at a sluggish pace. My…My blood! It looks different this time!


It…It looks exactly like those black stuff mixing in with the normal blood at the institute! But…why? Ramon sweats, shaking nonstop. Why does my blood look like this instead of the usual purple?

"R-Ramon!" Mesmeren finally catches the Zoroark's attention as he looks at her, the Drowzee quaking. "A-Are you okay?"

Ramon looks at his paw, and then at Mesmeren, and then back at his paw before nodding. "Y-Yes. I'll be fine…I hope." He stares out of the window. "C-Can you open the window so that I can wash this off, please?" Mesmeren nods and uses her psychic powers to lift the window, the Zoroark dousing his paw into the rain. "Thank you." He looks at his paw, the blood sliding off each time the droplets hit it. Eventually, his paw becomes all clean. "...M-Mesmeren." He brings it back.

Mesmeren blinks. "Y-Yes?"

"Don't tell the others about this. Along with me remaining in my Zoroark form, too. Play along with me being an Intellicate, okay?" Ramon sighs, closing the window. "I…meant to tell you the latter ever since I've saved you from drowning."

"...O-Okay. I…I don't get it, but—" Mesmeren looks out of the window, her hands behind her back. "I-I'll go along with it."

"Thank you." Ramon looks out of the window as well.


The two keep staring, nothing but the raindrops splashing across the lake with its ripples. They then look away: Ramon tapping his arm, Mesmeren shrugging in place.

The Zoroark twirls his bangs, losing himself into thoughts. He looks at Mesmeren, the tapir now tugging her blue ribbon before yelping from its tightness, stopping. She then nudges her fingers together, submerging herself into deep thoughts while staring at them.

"...Hey Mesmeren."

Mesmeren flinches and gasps, jolting her attention towards the fox. "Y-Yes!?" Gulps.

"Um, relax." Ramon pauses, looking off to the side before staring back. "I wanted to know why you asked that question earlier? About you thinking you're slowing everyone down?"

"...Hah." Mesmeren shakes, stroking her arms as she stares out of the window. "I believe I'm not w-wanted in this world."

Ramon blinks. "Why's that?"

"B-Because of the…things my kind has done. Drowzee and Hypno." Tears climb their way up the tapir's eyes, her hands pinning against her chest. "I used to live around a group of Drowzees and Hypnos. The gr-group did…so many terrible things I-I wanted to forget about, but c-can't."

Ramon looks down at her, concerns coursing through. "Such as?"

Mesmeren bites her lower lip, trembling more. "S-Setting u-up a c-ceremony in-involving kidnapping people a-and…" Her breath becomes irregular, her eyes struggling to keep in the aquatic rivers, tears sliding down her cheeks. "Hy-Hypnotizing th-them, st-stealing th-their thoughts, an-and kil—" she whimpers, covering her maw.

Ramon places his paw behind her, rubbing her while leaning close with anxiousness. "H-Hey! Calm down!" he exclaims, shaking himself. "You can leave parts of the story out if it's making you feel awful."

Mesmeren's shakiness slows down, the Drowzee lowering her hands. "...Th-Thank you." Her breathing slowly comes back, her heart beating at a steady pace. She inhales before exhaling, sniffling. "A-After that c-ceremony, I ran away from the group…and wandered around Wizlore since then."

"I see…" Ramon gets on his knees. "I'm so sorry to hear about that ceremony terrifying you…"

Mesmeren looks at him, her eyes meeting his'. "Mmhm…My life didn't get an-any better after I ran away." She stares down. "P-People didn't wa-want anything to do wi-with me. Wh-Whether in towns where I get harassed and bullied by others, o-or in cities where I-I'm threatened to be killed if I e-ever step near them." Whimpers. "I-It's all the same result."

Ramon leans back in mortification. "Why would people do that to you!?"

"...Because people hate the Drowzee line: Th-They're horrible." Her lips quiver, the Drowzee trembling once more. "I'm horrible." Without warning, she bursts into wails, covering her face. "I-I'm such an aw-awful person for what I-I'm capable of doing!" She grits her teeth, tears bypassing her hands and falling onto the wooden floor.

Ramon simply hugs the Drowzee, the crying persists. He stares at the floor, caressing the back of her head gently. He trembles, his other paw resting on the floor. Is it true? About what Mesmeren's species has done? If so, then… Tears rile up the Zoroark's eyes as well, Ramon gnashing his teeth.

Above the cabin lies Lycus staring at the moon, closing his paw while smirking.

What if Pokémon aren't any better than humans?

Lycus looks behind him, Xenia sitting on top of a tree branch while eyeing her Bitter Glory gem. She takes her attention towards the Floatzel, grinning.

What if we're just as awful as them!?
Last edited:
Chapter 39.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 39: Phase 32.

The Aquatic War Arc.


Ramon springs out of the sofa and lands on the ground, eyes widening, ears jolting. Mesmeren is pushed off from him, yelping and rubbing the back of her head. Justin and Ada open their eyes, raising brows in unison. Roan screams, stroking the boy's white shirt.

"Wh-What was that!?" Roan exclaims before immediately letting go of the shirt, clearing his throat. "N-Not that I was scared and all, haha!"

Courtney rubs her head, grunting. "Mm, wha…" Sylock strokes his head, groaning before holding the side of his stomach. Justin and Ada whimper along with Roan, the three caressing their foreheads.

"My head…hurts," Ada comments. "For some reason."

"Same, lass…" Coleo grits his teeth, slowly opening his eyes in discomfort.

Ramon rushes to Mesmeren's aid, caressing her head. "Sorry about that…"

Mesmeren shakes her head. "I-It's fine—AH!" She squeaks, gnashing her teeth, gripping her head.

Ramon quirks his brow, blinking. "Are you—"


The fox's skin crawls from the menacing roars, turning towards the three front windows. "Is it coming from outside?"

Everyone else looks at the windows, curiosity flinging in the air. Ada squints her eyes, her hand beneath her chin. "I suppose so."

They walk forward, gazing at the ongoing downpour. The group blinks in perplexion, rows upon rows of Gyarados and Wishiwashis soldiers glaring at each other, none moving a single muscle. Justin scratches the side of his head.

"Why aren't they fighting?" the boy asks.

Coleo gasps. "Ah, I almost forgottin about THESE kinds of fights. Where Virtuous and Behemoth would join the battle themselv'."


Coleo nods. "Ye. I call these the Big Phase Fights."

"Phase 32, in other words," Ramon mentions.

"Yes." Coleo grunts, wincing. Ramon tilts his head at the Blipbug. "These fights alwa' starts off with the two lads throwin' insults at each other before it begins."

One Gyarados floats towards the Wishiwashi that has a King's Rock while the latter does the same: The two coming face to face, exchanging glares while floating above their comrades. As Behemoth and Virtuous begin their barrages of insults, Justin smacks his lips.

"That's dumb." The teen waves his hand up and down, snickering. "They out here wastin' their time yapping when they should be JABBING, ya dig?" He laughs before screaming without warning, wrapping his arm around himself and falling to his knees.

Ada gasps. "Justin!" She reaches down before whimpering herself, closing her eyes.

"Ada!" Roan whines as well, panting heavily. The others follow suit, all but Ramon groaning and pinning to the ground in sluggish agony: Sylock claws the ground facedown, Courtney squints within aggression, Ada quivers in place nonstop, Coleo lies on his side with widen eyes, and Mesmeren clenches her teeth while tearing up. The Drowzee strokes her head, eyes trembling.

The Zoroark stares at them, mortified beyond belief, quaking at the sight—the sounds, of his friends going through misery.

"Wh-What's going on with you all?" Ramon says, his breath skipping a pattern, his heart racing.

Ada looks at the Zoroark, dread filling the teen's eyes. "I…" She shakes her head, stroking the side of her belly. "I—AGH! H-Have no clue!"

Ramon keeps shaking, his arms and legs feeling as though they're ready to give up out of fear. The fox then gasps, his paw against his snout. His eyes meet the group's: Dark circles forming beneath them, their skin becoming lighter and pale. "H-Hey, um…"

"What…is it?" Ada grits her teeth.

"Your eyes…and your skin, too." Ramon gulps. "They look different than before."

"What do you mean by that, dude?" Justin asks.

" I-I'm seeing dark spots underneath your eyes. A-And you all look pale, too!"

"What!?" Roan exclaims, grunting as he gazes at Ada and Coleo. He widens his eyes at the two's dark circles, falling onto his bottom before pointing. "AH! I'M NOTICING THEM, TOO!"

Mesmeren yelps upon looking at Courtney, jumping back. "E-Eek!"

Courtney and Sylock look at each other, eyes enlarging with unease. "Holy crap, you're right!"

The group panics further: Shaking. Quivering. Quaking, screaming to their very core.

Ramon pins his back against the window, stroking the wooden door beside it. …M-Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that to them. Whimpering, he lowers his ears. Ugh…

The group freaks out more and more until they groan again, unmoving. Courtney sighs. "Why am I feelin' slow, weak, and in a lot of pain right now?" she questions, caressing her head.

"I w-wish I knew the grand answer to that, Courtney ma'am—AGH!" Roan strokes his side.

Sylock squints to the side. Wish I knew the answer, too. He grits his teeth. Wait…Is it because of… He then forms a fist. I swear if that's the case, I'll—


Behemoth's booming low voice shatters the group's thoughts, all eyeing the window. With zero time to think, Ada immediately opens the window with her magic. Everyone lifts themselves up at a gruesome and painstaking pace, wincing along the way.

Behemoth and Virtuous remain face to face, their armies standing behind them. Ramon looks between the two groups, the ferocious glaring and menacing expressions paint across them. He then spots a Wishiwashi on Virtuous' side with a Mystic Water necklace, pity spreading throughout.

The fox lowers his ears. Aquatus…

Behemoth snarls. "Tch, those previous big phases I was caught off guard." His tail is coated in aquatic energy. "This time, it'll be different. I've trained incredibly hard just to beat the shit out of you!"

Virtuous lays his fin against his maw, snickering. "Foul mouth much, my dear friend?"

"WE'RE NOT FRIENDS, YOU BITCH!" The aquatic aura grows stronger around the Gyarados' tail, his army tensing up.

The Wishiwashi School shrugs, raising his brow. "I suppose you've never heard of sarcasm. Typical for someone with a numbskull head like yours." Sighing, both his fins and tailfin shroud themselves in liquefied energy. He closes his eyes. "This feels like deja vu. You know," Virtuous opens his eyes, striking a glance. "The reason why this war started? Because of you. Saying those exact. Same. Words."

Behemoth points his tail at Virtuous. "YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP, RIGHT NOW!" He growls. "YOU'RE the one that caused this war in the first place! YOU were the one that kept messin' with me with your shitty, bum ass ego!" Virtuous stares at the Gyarados, deadpanned beyond belief. "YOU were the one who's been so 'oooo, I'm an expert at being strong while you're not, hahahaha' at ME!"

Virtuous blinks, turning his attention towards his Wishiwashis. "You're hearing this, right? This foul beast here making such baseless and unfathomable claims about me?" His head shakes. "Tsk tsk." He glares back at Behemoth. "This is why Gyarados are inferior: Playing the victim blaming card, making wild assumptions about those that try to help them become strong when they're putting zero effort into their training to begin with!" Smirks. "Absolutely pathetic."

The leader Wishiwashi and his army laugh, Behemoth and his soldiers snarl, gritting their teeth. Aquatus squints at Virtuous, annoyance filling her mind. This feels like I'm witnessing two kids fighting each other at the palace's playground. How embarrassing, she thinks, smacking her fin against her forehead.

"Tch." Behemoth raises his tail. "My soldiers, hold off from fighting."

"Hmm!?" one of the Gyarados exclaims, looking up at his leader.

Virtuous chuckles, waving his fin up and down. "My Wishis hold off, too."

Aquatus tilts her head. "Why?" she asks, swimming a little close to Virtuous.

"I know exactly why."

Behemoth further prepares his Aqua Tail while Virtuous encases himself in Liquidation. "We want to do a quick one on one!" both leaders say, charging towards each other.

Aquatus blinks. This is…new. I know they've fought each other before, but it's usually with the armies fighting alongside!

Behemoth and Virtuous collide their moves together: Virtuous' fins slamming against Behemoth's tail. A huge wind bursts from the collision, the grasses and trees and bushes lean to the side. Everyone at the cabin backs away a bit, Coleo hanging onto Ada's hair tightly.

The Blipbug gasps, gnashing his teeth. "We got to stop them addle heads from fightin'!" Coleo wiggles in place, squinting at the window before hopping off from Ada's head.

"What the—" Ada gasps. "Coleo!"

The insect yelps, hurling forward and leaving out of the window. He falls onto the grass facedown, groaning. He sighs, nodding before crawling towards the lake, breathing rapidly.

Ramon peeps out of the window, scanning around the grasses. "Do you see him?" Ada asks the fox, Ramon squinting his eyes with sheer focus. Eventually, he spots the Blipbug shrouding beneath the wet grass.

"Yeah, I see him," Ramon answers.

"Okay. Let's go."

Without a second thought, the group exits out of the door, Ramon being the first behind the small bug. His ears flicker to the group's gruesome groans, turning around. Everyone is on their knees, stroking the grass and panting heavily. Mesmeren whines, gripping her chest in agony.

I-It feels so…unbearable. The Drowzee sniffles. I-I feel so weak! M-More so than usual… She soon feels something warm touching her head, looking up at the Zoroark. Ramon caresses her, showing her his other paw.

"Come on. I can help you follow Coleo." Ramon smiles.

Mesmeren gazes at the Zoroark for what felt like ages, shivering from the drizzles along with her discomfort. Nevertheless, she perks up her lips slowly, placing her hand on the paw. After aiding her up, Ramon eyes the rest of the group.

"You all can stand, right?"

Everyone grunts while being on their feet, Justin and Courtney staring at the Zoroark before giving him a thumbs up. "We're feeling like shit, but we sure be getting up though." Justin chuckles before grunting once more, stroking his head.

Ramon grimaces. "I…see, then."


Everyone jumps and looks ahead of the lake, moving forward at a sluggish pace. Behemoth is seen surrounded in red auras, his eyes glowing red while he dashes towards the Wishiwashi leader. Virtuous leaps to the side, evading the Outrage before shooting his stream of Hydro Pump.

"GAH!" Behemoth flies back, stopping himself in time. His head tilts from side to side, the Gyarados being in a confused state. He receives another Hydro Pump to the face, shaking his head afterwards before snarling.

Virtuous smirks. "Too slow." He encases himself in white auras. "Let me show you how to REALLY attack fast." He charges towards the Gyarados. "AAAAAAAAH!"

Behemoth stares at Virtuous with a stoic expression, his lips forming icy energies around them. He dodges the Double-Edge and Ice Fangs the blue fish, Virtuous yelping. Behemoth yanks him towards the lake, the fish crashing between the two armies. A large amount of water splashes up, the Gyarados and Wishiwashis all roaring and rowdying up with aggression.

"Dumbass." Is all Behemoth says, his icy auras fading.

Virtuous surfaces from underwater, glaring at Behemoth before smirking. "Just because you pulled one smart move on me, doesn't mean you're getting better."

"Okay, you pretentious little shit."

Virtuous gasps. "Excuse me, 'pretentious'?" Blinks. "My my, I see someone has been using big words as of lately. Who taught you that, hmm?"

"I got it from you. The many times you'd scold me for being excited about any battle I won." The aquatic serpent glares.

"Hmph, you're the one to talk! With the many times you'd say 'I can do better' every time I've beaten an opponent." The aquatic fish glares back, his fins encasing in blue auras again. "Do you even know what 'pretentious' means?"

Behemoth's tail gets coated in aquatic energy. "It means—" he dashes towards the Wishiwashi. "YOU'RE TRASH!"

Virtuous zooms towards the Gyarados. "WRONG!" The two collide their attacks in the air, using their moves again and again before going into a barrage of Liquidation and Aqua Tail. The armies cheer the fight on once more, screaming their heads off with excitement and glory. Aquatus glances off, sighing and shaking her head.

Behind the Gyarados army lies a puddle of water bubbling. Surfacing from it is Quintin, who's holding a King's Rock in his maw. I-I'm really not supposed to be out here! he thinks, shaking. But my bro needs his crown or else he'll look out of place. Not sure why he keeps forgetting about it in these big phases, though. He swims towards the groups with determination, panting.

Virtuous and Behemoth slam their attacks against each other: Behemoth's tail on Virtuous' fins. The School glances up at Behemoth's head, smirking. "For a ruler, you are quite honestly doing a poor job at representing it."


"It seems like you keep forgetting something in Phase 2, 12, and 22 of our fights. And even in Phase 32 itself!" Virtuous snorts. "Sad, really. Shows who you are as a ruler perfectly."

Behemoth snarls, gritting his teeth. "Keep mocking me and I'll keep smacking that stupid grin off your face, asshole!" He twirls his tail around, slapping Virtuous away.

Virtuous blocks the Aqua Tail in time, flying across the sky in a gradual manner before stopping. "I'd like to see you try, my dear friend."

"How fucking STUPID can you be!? We are NOT friends!"

Virtuous rolls his eyes. "I should be asking that question after I explicitly stated it was sarcasm not too long ago."

"Ywok, brffo!" Quintin's voice leads the Gyarados to blink, turning to the side.

"Hmm?" Behemoth descends towards the Water Gem Gyarados, Quintin panting heavily and grunting. "Quintin? What are you doing out here?"

Aquatus widens her eyes in surprise. I did not expect him to be out here during the war! What's he doing?

"I'veff forgoff thaft I don swiff as ofteff as yoff doff." Quintin brings his tail towards his face, dropping the King's Rock on it. He brings it towards Behemoth. "Here, dude. You forgot about this while rushing out of the castle."

Behemoth looks at the King's Rock, scooping it up. He places it on top of his head, nodding. "Thank you, brother." He suddenly grunts from a stream of water ramming against his face, Quintin yelping and backing away without question. Behemoth shakes his head, squinting at the Wishiwashi.

Virtuous laughs, waving his fin up and down. "Didn't your previous battles ever teach you to never take your eyes off your enemy?" He floats down. "You should know better, Behemoth."

Behemoth's eyes widen upon hearing the latter sentence, the serpentine snarling, his sharp teeth drooling with furious saliva. He then roars, jolting his head towards his soldiers. "Behemoth Squads! ATTACK THESE WISHITRASH, NOW!" he commands. The Gyarados army roars with fury, Quintin shaking momentarily before moving out of the way.

Virtuous raises his brow. "'Behemoth Squads'? And somehow I'm the pretentious one here." He clears his throat, eyeing his Wishiwashi army. "Alright my Wishis, what Behemoth did there is exactly why Gyarados are inferior to us! Let's further show them the truth!"

"YEAH!" the Wishiwashi army all shout, preparing themselves with shrouded blue energies and auras. The Gyarados army does the same thing, some shrouding their maws in dark energy. Aquatus sighs, her tailfin surrounding itself in aquatic auras.

. . .

Ramon and others almost make it to the lake, Coleo gasping at the sight. "They're gonna start the real brawl!" he says, picking up the crawling pace. He soon groans, covering his side in agony. "Argh! Blasted pain of the unknown!"

Ramon walks close to him, leaning down and extending his paw. "Want to sit on my head?"

"Argh…" Coleo sighs before nodding. "I might as well cuz of this thing in me. It is slowin' me down so I have no othe' choice." He climbs on top of the paw, Ramon placing him on his head afterwards. Eventually, the group reaches the lake, their faces drenching paleness.

Ramon looks at the group, whimpering. They…look so ill. Why?

"Aight, no time to waste." Coleo stares up at the leaders, who are about to continue their full on brawl. "Vir—" the Blipbug falls on his back, flinching from the drastic splash being in front of him. "What the!?"

A simple Floatzel lies there, his back facing towards the group, a flow of water shrouding him. His Aqua Jet fades, the Floatzel gazing ahead at the leaders. "Lycus? Where have you been, lad?"

Lycus gradually glares at the group before jolting back to the leaders. "King Behemoth and King Virtuous!" he shouts at the top of his lungs, his paws hovering over his snout.

Behemoth and Virtuous pauses in place, both blinking in curiosity. "Seize your attacks!" Virtuous pleads to his army.

"STOP!" Behemoth does the same. Both armies remain still, tilting their heads.

The two leaders turn to their side, eyeing Ramon and the others. Lycus strokes his chest before bowing down. "Thank you for providing a simpleton such as myself your attention. It means a lot to me."

Justin and Ada look at each other, raising their brows. "What?" they say in unison.

Virtuous squints. "What do you want that is more important than the war going on?" He pouts. "It better be something good, or else you'll receive a beating, too."

Lycus scratches the back of his head in a nervous manner. "N-No need for that! I promised, what I'm about to tell you will be crucial to you two's fights."

"Oh?" Virtuous taps his fin. "Elaborate."

The weasel clears his throat. "There's…a traitor among you two's armies."

"A what!?" Behemoth exclaims, he and Virtuous staring at each other with suspicion. The other Gyarados and Wishiwashis converse in uncertainty, confusion rising. The leader serpent glares at Lycus. "How would you know there's a traitor in our soldiers?"

"Lycus, what the hell are you pulling here?" Justin asks before he and the others groan once again, all falling to the ground afterwards. Ramon grits his teeth, keeping Mesmeren from falling herself. Justin strokes the grass. "Shit, this stupid pain, man!"

The group pants, shivering from the rain crashing down.

Lycus moves out of the way, pointing at the struggling Zoroark. "I've been following this vile creature throughout Wizlore. All the way to this lake here."

'Creature'? Ramon and Coleo raise their brows, the former doing his best to keep a shaky Drowzee warm in his hugs.

"This Zoroark caused many troubles with his devious Illusion ability, using it to disguise himself as someone's ally or friend. The disguises even look identical to anyone he transforms into." Lycus grips his fist. "He used his gift as a means of wickedness, absolute lowest of the lows!" He presses his paw against his chest. "I even saw him pretending to be someone's lover before killing them cold-blooded, having the actual lover be framed for murder!"

The armies gasp in surprise, confusion extending more with several concerns spiking in. "Murder!?" one Gyarados shouts.

"Disguising as someone's friend and pretending to be them!? EEK!" one Wishiwashi states, gritting his teeth in fear. Behemoth and Virtuous stare off, concerns and perplexion building up. Aquatus and Quintin stare at the Floatzel, uncertainty rising throughout.

Ramon trembles, eyes quaking. I-I…

The Floatzel caresses his chest, lowering his head. "I know." He closes his eyes. "It's mortifying. Horrible, even! The thought of a close friend, relative, or even significant other…" His eyes open. "...Being disguised as a deceivingly evil Zoroark this entire time!"

Mesmeren drops to the ground from Ramon's grasp, whimpering before looking up at the fox. "Wh-Why did you…" She pauses, her hand against her lips. Ramon's eyes swell up in tears, his paws and arms twitching.

"That's what this Zoroark, the crime against nature itself, has been doing to you two: Pretending to be an ally." Lycus glares at the fox. "Like some sort of cruel joke!"

B-But… Ramon pants, his breathing becoming irregular.

Aquatus swims forward, getting a little close to the Floatzel. "How…would you know about this? Any proof of this Zoroark being capable of such…things?" she asks with an ounce of hesitation.

Lycus nods, unraveling his paw. "I am one of the few Pokémon gifted with an hidden, extraordinary power called 'Capture Projector'." A giant blue monitor appears above the Floatzel's paw. "It allows me to remember anything I see with perfect accuracy and lets me share it with you all with a moving image here." The projector shows Ramon transforming into Roan, the real Roan circling around him with excitement. "As you can see…" The image momentarily fizzles out, reverting back to normal and showing Ramon changing from Roan to a Wishiwashi. "He shapeshifted into a Wishiwashi!"

Aquatus puts her fins against her maw, shaking. "L-Larry!?" Her voice quivers.

The image fizzles again before coming back, revealing the underwater. From there lies Ramon the Wishiwashi changing into a Gyarados. "And then I caught him shifting into a Gyarados the very next day!"

Quintin freezes, widening his eyes. "S-Sam!?" His voice quivers.

Lycus eyes Quintin and Aquatus, sighing while looking down. "Oh dear…I'm so, so sorry. That you two," he looks at the paralyzed fox, grinning. "Believed that he's your friend."

Ramon, Aquatus, and Quintin stare at the projector in mortification, the two Water type armies all frowning at the fox's direction. Everything goes silent for the fox, nothing but his heartbeat can be heard. His mouth left agape, his paws frozen in place…

Vile…Devious…Evil… Tears finally slide down the Zoroark's cheeks, clouding his vision. His lips tremble, the fox staring down at his paws, coating them with tears. Am I one because of my Illusion? Because of me…being a Zoroark? He gnashes his teeth, tears plummeting down more and more.

Aquatus and Quintin release their tears, a stream of them sliding down. Larry wasn't real the whole time? Aquatus thinks. "N-No…It can't be…"

Quintin grits his teeth, looking away before yelping. Sam i-isn't real!? "N-No way this is happening, man…"

Lycus whimpers. "It's all true, you two…"

Virtuous and Behemoth narrow their eyes at Ramon, frowning. "Tch. Can't believe I have a fake follower, all along," Behemoth says.

"Same here," Virtuous agrees. He looks at Aquatus, the lady Wishiwashi covering her face with her fins. "No wonder that fellow Wishi was being suspicious by remaining in his School form! Any Wishiwashi with the Schooling ability could've changed back to Solo!"

Mesmeren whimpers within the group while the other five glare at the Floatzel in pure fury.

"Lycus, you lyin' asshole!" Courtney exclaims before groaning in pain.

"How could you, fam!?" Justin follows, groaning afterwards.

Coleo lowers his brows, slamming his setae on top of Ramon's head. "I thought I could trust you, Lycus!"

Lycus forms a fist, the projector fading. He coughs blood onto his paw, grunting. "Apologies, that's from the effect of my gift. That can happen, sometimes." The Floatzel then bows at the Wishiwashi and Gyarados group. "My sincere apologies for Ramon the Zoroark and his no good friends meddling between you two's palaces." Sighs. "They're a part of a small nefarious group that only exists to make life worse for everyone. Pity, isn't it?"

"Very much so!" one of the Gyarados shouts.

"Yeah!" a Wishiwashi follows, leading the two armies to converse once more while keeping their eyes sharp on the group.

Nomar. I'm not evil for being a Zoroark, am I? No response. Ramon sniffles, gritting his teeth. Nomar…?

Lycus turns around, walking besides Ramon and the others. He stops by the Zoroark, leaning his head close to the fox's. "It's just 'business', Coleo. Nothing personal," he whispers, looking slightly at the Blipbug. "By the way, I hope you enjoyed the Weakener I put inside of you and everyone's apples."

Coleo tilts his head. "Weakener? ARGH!" He grunts, covering his belly.

"Wished I could've done the same to Ramon, but…" The weasel gives the fox an nonchalant stare. "Considering the crybaby state he's in, I don't need to." Lycus looks at the cabin from afar, his eyes making contact with something else that's shrouded behind the many trees.

That something being Xenia, the Espeon staring back while on the branches, smirking. The two begin to glow blue, Xenia rubbing the Bitter Glory with her tail in serenity. She takes an empty syringe out of her satchel with her telekinesis, green liquid dripping from the tip.

I won't be needing this anymore. She tosses the syringe, the purple gem pulsating more quickly. She then takes her gaze onto Sylock, squinting.

Oooh. The Bitter Glory's meter reaches the top, the gem sparkling momentarily before pulsating at a calm pacing, the sounds of cacophonous screeching and wailing from it. Xenia doesn't care for the distraught sirens, laying her attention on the furious Blaziken. How intriguing to see my toy being alive after all these years… She giggles before vanishing with the gem.

Lycus turns back around and gets in front of the groups, eyeing them. He sighs, caressing his chest. "I unfortunately have to take my leave without Ramon and his fellow goons. A friend of mine needs me back at base pretty soon." Roan snarls, gritting his teeth as the Floatzel continues. "I'll leave them up to you two to handle. Provide whatever punishment you want onto them. Just be sure to never let them escape, especially an wicked creature as evil as the Zoroark himself."

Ramon drops to his knees, closing his eyes as tears keep streaming down, the fox whimpering and lowering his ears. Roan watches his friend breaking down, gripping his fist and shaking with red.

He snaps his attention to Lycus and shouts, "YOU MONSTER! TRAITOR!" Roan grunts, stroking his stomach. "How could you do this!?"

Lycus shakes his head. "I believe you're the monster and traitor to all of life, you no good Axew. Or perhaps, you could be a Zorua in disguise."


"In fact—" Lycus glows brighter, pointing at Ramon and the others. "Every single one of you could be a Zorua or Zoroark. Doesn't matter if you're small or large, you're all the same: Evil."

Mesmeren and Ramon tense up, whimpering. Evil… The two think in unison.

Roan gasps, raising his fist in the air. "Why you—ARGH!" He strokes his arm.

Courtney groans. "You two-faced lying bastard!"

"I'd kick your ass if it weren't for my body feeling like shit, fam!" Justin winces.

Ada forms a fist, clenching her teeth. "LYCUS!"

Sylock glances at the weasel: The small smirk plastering across the aquatic Pokémon's face, the look of confidence emanating. Sylock's fists shake, the Blaziken's muscles heating up in vexed. I KNEW I shouldn't have trusted him and eaten the apple! He snarls. FUCK!

Lycus then waves at the two leaders. "Take care." He disappears into the blue light: Leaving behind the lake, the ongoing nasty rain, and the three groups. The gang eyes the two armies, the large fishes and serpentines snarling.

Behemoth frowns: Looking at the group, then at Virtuous, at the group, and back at Virtuous. He huffs. "Screw it: Some of my soldiers take care of the faker and his friends while the others handle the Wishitrash." Glares. "I still want to settle my score with Virtuous."

Virtuous looks at the leader Gyarados, nonchalantly unphased. "Yes…I agree." He encases his fins and tailfin in aquatic energy. "My Wishis do the same, too!"

Behemoth coats his tail in aquatic auras, some of the Wishiwashi and Gyarados eye the gang with their moves ready. Quintin looks around, shaking in place. Aquatus sniffles, gazing at the weeping Zoroark ahead.

Ada and the others stick close to each other, the teen widening her eyes in anxiousness. "I knew this disguise plan was a bad idea!"
Last edited:
Chapter 40.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 40: Natural Disaster.

The Aquatic War Arc.

Everyone's backs pin against each other, eyes widening at the two armies: Some charge after them while the rest fight each other. Justin and Ada squint, lifting their arms in unison. A blue and purple shield forms around the group, blocking the incoming Water moves.

"GAH!" the teens wince, closing their eyes and stroking their arms. The combined Mystical Shield fades, hordes of Gyarados and Wishiwashi swarming the group within seconds.

Mesmeren gulps and snaps towards the cabin, running. A Wishiwashi and Gyarados jolt in front of her, the Drowzee falling on her behind. "EEK!" she yelps.

Courtney grits her teeth, grabbing her sword's hilt. "Dammit." She looks around. "There's—Gah! So many of them!" She winces.

A Wishwashi's liquefied fin slams beside Ramon, water splashing on him. The fox yelps, falling on his back.

"Ramon!" Ada yells, blocking another Wishiwashi's Liquidation with her claws, groaning. Ramon shakes, eyeing at the large fish in front of him. Tears stream down his cheeks, the fox completely immobilized by misery.

Coleo squints at the Wishiwashi, jumping off from the Zoroark and taking out his dagger. Before the large fish can prepare his Hydro Pump, Coleo slashes him several times, the Wishiwashi yelping and backing away. The Blipbug backflips on the Zoroark's head, tugging his hair.

"YARGH, LAD! PULL YESELF TOGETHER!" Coleo yells. Ramon gasps, looking up at an insect peeping over his head. "I do not know what ye ar' goin' through, but we need ye help on belayin' these lakeswimmers from hurtin' us!" Sighs. "Please."

Ramon blinks for a moment, looking around: Justin sweating at his blades clashing against a Gyarados' Aqua Tail, Ada pushing a few Wishiwashis back with her purple beams, Courtney and Sylock kicking and shoving some Gyarados back while Mesmeren whimpers behind them, and Roan slashing another Gyarados with Dragon Claw.

Everyone's desperation leads the fox's shakiness to slow down, a simple sigh radiating from him. He stands. "Al-Alright…"

"Thanks." Coleo clenches the fox's hair, Ramon's claws glowing white. A Gyarados swings his aquatic tail at Ramon, the Zoroark countering it with Fury Swipes. "Ngh!" Coleo grunts, gritting his teeth. Ramon grunts as well, pushing his claws forward. He soon shoves the serpentine away, panting.

Roan hops over a Hydro Pump, yelping while airborne. "HOLY—" his eyes widen at the two incoming Wishiwashis, both shrouded in white auras. Roan opens his mouth and, "AAAAAAAAAH!"

Before the two fishes even reach the dragon, large winds blow them back and collide against a group of Gyarados. Roan lands, eyeing the dark brown boy twirling his blades. "Thank you, Justin! You're a lifesaver!" The kid exclaims before whimpering, stroking his arm.

Justin lifts his thumb. "No proble—AH!" he groans, stroking his arm as well. "This stupid ass pain, man. I swear." He sees the Wishiwashis floating back up, both charging towards the two. "...Did that not do anything to them? What?"

Roan also notices three Gyarados behind the boy, quaking . "OH NO! BEHIND YOU, JUSTIN!"

The boy jolts behind him, twirling his blades. "Crap!" He swings his Sorcery Blades, huge winds gnashing against the three Gyarados. The Gyarados snarl, shaking themselves from the winds before dashing forward. Justin blinks. What's going on with my winds? Why ain't they doing SOME damage like it did at Majestic? He grips his blades, frowning.

Mesmeren jumps and ducks from the many Hydro Pumps, stroking her head as she trembles. Her lips quiver, tears welling up. Get me out get me out get me out get me out ge— her panicky thoughts halt when an Aqua Tail lands in front of her, the Drowzee backing away within seconds.

"EEK!" She eyes the Gyarados up, his browbeat glare striking into her heart. The Pokémon simply opens his mouth, a stream of liquid charging itself. Mesmeren shakes her head, tears falling down. "Pl-Please no!"

The moment the Hydro Pump fires, a Flamethrower collides against it, blinding the Gyarados. Mesmeren looks behind her at Sylock, the Blaziken dashing towards the serpent and jumping. He kicks the Pokémon's face, roars of pain exuding him. Landing, Sylock grunts in discomfort, his hand gripping his hilt.

"Th-Thank you, Sylock," Mesmeren says before whimpering, stroking her chest. She then looks down, her shadow getting bigger as it doesn't take long for her to hear the incoming Double-Edge. "AAH!" She rolls forward, a Wishiwashi crashing into the spot. She leaps off, colliding against Sylock. "Oof!" Mesmeren groans, bouncing off instantly. She then dusts him. "S-Sorry!"

Sylock sighs and stands, pulling out his sword while eyeing everywhere. Mesmeren gets close to him, trembling. Many of the aquatic soldiers rush towards them, Sylock grinding his teeth. How the HELL do I deal with so many Water types while having a scared person in the back!? he thinks.

Ada extends her claws and swipes, pushing several of the water soldiers away from her. She pants, jumping from a sudden Hydro Pump before blocking a Wishiwashi's Aqua Tail, groaning. "UGH!" She's pushed back, sliding across the wet grass.

Courtney dodges the Water moves, white trails following her. She shoves a Gyarados with her Quick Attack, wincing afterwards. Her eyes then widen to a Hydro Pump slamming her out of the blue, pushing her away. "ACK!" She flips over and over before sliding back.

Ramon blocks each Aqua Tails with his white claws, backing away from two Gyarados. Then a third one lurches from behind them, flipping forward to slam her Aqua Tail. Ramon gnashes his teeth, jumping away in time.

He slides across the ground, gripping it. Soon his back is met with Ada and Courtney's, both eyeing the group of furious soldiers. Ramon pants, rumbling. "T-There's so many of them!" He whimpers.

"Lots of them against eight of us…" Courtney grips her sword along with the strap-on. "This ain't lookin' pretty, y'all."

Ada nods. "Yeah…If only my body wasn't in pain today!" She shoots her purple lasers towards the incoming water soldiers, pushing them back. She whimpers, stroking the side of her stomach. "Why am I hurt whenever I use my Magic moves, let alone doing basic attacks!? I wasn't feeling this way yesterday, so why now!?"

Coleo squints as Ramon pushes another group of fish with Dark Pulse. "It has somethin' to do with the—Argh, Weakener Lycus put in our apples," Coleo says.

"Weakener?" The Lopunny collides her sword against a Wishiwashi's Aqua Tail. "The heck is that!?" She shoves the Pokémon back, grunting.

Ada keeps shooting her projectiles, whimpering. "GAH!" Her eyes widen to more of the soldiers charging towards them, gnashing her teeth. "Arceus gracious, there's MORE of them!?" She snaps towards the boy, Justin jumping over a Gyarados while kicking the other in the face. "JUSTIN! I NEED YOU FOR THE SHIELD, PLEASE!"

The boy lands, panting heavily while nodding. "You ain't gotta tell me twice!" He rushes towards the teen, gritting his teeth in anxiety.

Roan yelps and follows the boy. "W-Wait for me, Justin sir!"

Sylock eyes the two before grabbing Mesmeren by the head. "E-Eh!?" the Drowzee says, being pulled by the Blaziken. Sylock zips forward, two Wishiwashis ramming against each other in his place, knocking themselves out.

Everyone eventually regroups, Justin standing next to Ada as his blades disappear. He throws his arms forward, Ada following suit: A huge blue and purple shield surrounds the gang, blocking off any attacks. The teens whimper, closing their eyes and gnashing their teeths.

"Sh-Shit it hurts, fam!"

"I-I know…Whatever this 'Weakener' is, it's doing anything but benefitting us!" Ada winces.

"Weakener, fam? The hell is—GAH!" Justin pants.

"I'm on the same—AGH, boat as you are, Justin."

Ramon looks at the teens: The pale skins of dread, the black circles of torment. Anxiety and misery surround them, seeping within as they use their combined shield. The Zoroark lowers his ears, sorrow painting his green eyes. …This is my fault. His bangs cloud his left eye. They're hurt because of me…

. . .

Over at the lake itself, Virtuous collides his liquefied fins against Behemoth's aquatic tail, the two growling at each other while airborne. The armies below bash and ram, some even using their Hydro Pumps to push the others away. Virtuous huffs, smacking Behemoth away with his fin. Behemoth shakes his head, snarling before charging towards the Wishiwashi, tackling him. Virtuous grunts, shielding himself while pushed.

"I HATE YOU SO FUCKING MUCH!" Behemoth exclaims, shoving more.

"Hah! Same here, you empty-headed debacle!" Virtuous groans. "Truly the biggest pain in the buttock! Not only on my trainer, but also on me, too!" He headbutts the leader Gyarados. Behemoth groans before Virtuous Hydro Pumps him, pushing him away.

Aquatus ducks under one Gyarados' tail before shoving him away, the serpentine colliding against another. A column of water ushers towards the School, two Gyarados spawning within, their eyes glowing light blue. Aquatus rolls to the side, evading the combined Waterfalls. She pushes another Gyarados with Hydro Pump, dodging more incoming Aqua Tails as the water splashes up.

Gah! This is crazier than the last big phase! she thinks, grunting. Her tailfins are coated in blue energy, the School grinding her teeth at four Gyarados dashing after her. She swings her Aqua Tail, slamming them against the lake. A huge water wave springs up, another Gyarados leaping out while screaming her war cry. Aquatus jumps forward and bashes against the serpent's belly, pushing her far away. The Mystic Water School lands back, panting heavily.

. . .

The Mystical Shield fades in and out, the teens whimpering. "Can't hold on much longer! Brace yourselves, fams!" Justin closes one eye while spawning his Sorcery Blades, the shield disappearing completely.

Many Hydro Pumps and Aqua Tails spiral towards the group, their eyes gapping with dread.

"OH SHI—" Courtney cuts herself off as the group jumps, dodging the Water moves. The attacks hit the ground, exploding everyone away from each other.


Everyone screams while separating: Justin with Ada to the southwest, Courtney with Sylock to the northwest; and Ramon with Coleo, Roan, and Mesmeren to the southeast. The water sprinkles more onto them as they land.

Justin and Ada groan, their heads nudging each other. The two blink before turning their heads, blushing. Ada is about to say something until their shadows grow bigger, both looking up: Five Gyarados tower over them, fury spreading throughout.

The teens gulp. "Crap," they say. The Gyarados open their maws and shoot their menacing flood, the teens rolling over within seconds.

Meanwhile, Courtney has her head planted onto her arm, panting. "Ah…Not sure how long I can last durin' all of this," she mentions to the Blaziken lying beside, wincing and stroking the grass. "Dammit!"

Sylock looks up at an upside-down group of Schools, white auras encasing them. He grits his teeth, flipping backwards and landing onto his feet. He groans in agony, stroking his left arm while one of his eyes is closed. Damn this poison or whatever that Lycus asshole put inside of me! He pants, gripping his sword as blue and purple energy surround it. I'm an idiot for trusting him…I should've known better. He looks behind him, seeing a struggling Lopunny lying on the ground while forcing herself up. Now I'll lose her because of—


A brief image of a Buneary and a Combusken appears in his head, bumping each other's fist.

.No. I refuse to lose you. Sylock snaps at the Wishiwashis group, bringing his sword to the right. NOT EVEN TO SOME STUPID FISHES! He snarls, swinging his sword and shooting a large magical wave. The blue and purple wave collides against the blue fishes, pushing them away. Sylock pants, eyeing his silver sword, the energy around it fading. Thank you, Delia. He then rushes to Courtney's aid, helping her up.

. . .

At the southeast, the other four are already up and protecting themselves, Coleo gripping onto Ramon's hair further. Roan collides his Dragon Claw against a Wishiwashi's Double-Edge, groaning while pushing forward. The large fish overpowers the dragon, shoving.

"AH!" He rolls around the ground a bit before jabbing it with his claws, stopping. He grunts, gritting his teeth. "This is—AGH, almost worse than the hurricane incident! ALMOST!" Roan leaps from two Aqua Tails slamming beside him. "YIKES!"

Ramon ducks from one Hydro Pump before jumping over another, zooming towards one Gyarados that's about to use Aqua Tail. He jabs him with his dark paws quickly, pushing him back. Once his Sucker Punch fades, a large shadow forms over him, Ramon yelping. He turns around at another Gyarados lurching forward, his maw shrouding in icy auras.

"Ah no ye don't!" Coleo puffs his cheeks, rinsing something in his mouth before firing a glob of web at the serpent, clouding his vision. The Gyarados backs away, flailing under the Sticky Web.

Ramon sighs in relief, lifting his claw at the insect. "Thanks, Coleo."

Coleo grunts in pain a little before nodding. "No problem, matee—AAAAAAAAAY!" Coleo screams, eyeing a Wishiwashi School behind the Zoroark. Ramon turns, eyes enlarging at the incoming Double-Edge. He screams as well.

The School almost reaches them until he pauses, being pushed away by force. The two turn around, Mesmeren panting heavily as her eyes stop glowing. She lowers her hands, dropping to the ground, whimpering.

"U-Ugh. Confusion u-usually doesn't take a lot out of me," she says.

Ramon rushes to the tapir, picking her up. "Thanks for saving us there."

Mesmeren blinks, her hands connecting with Ramon's. Her face grows red. OhMyGoodnessGraciousHe'sHoldingMyHands—AAAAAAH! She slowly lifts her mouth, smiling. "N-No problem!"

Ramon raises his brow at the shaky smile, smiling back. "Alright the—" he's smacked away by a Gyarados' Aqua Tail, screaming towards the lake.

Mesmeren jumps back, yelping. "RAMON!" she screams as Coleo grits his teeth, hanging onto the fox as tightly as possible.

. . .

Aquatus groans while dodging more and more of the Gyarados' Aqua Tails, glaring. "Is this SERIOUSLY all you guys can think of doing!?" she exclaims. She soon yelps to something wrapping around her, wincing. "What the—" a Gyarados' Crunch clamps her, the dark auras radiating his maw. The soldier then tosses Aquatus towards land. "AAAH!"

Eventually, Ramon and Aquatus collide their backs against each other, the two coughing up blood. The Zoroark falls on the grass while the Wishiwashi falls on the water, both groaning. As the two pick themselves up, they turn around, making eye contact. Aquatus' necklace shifts, her eyes radiating with spite. Ramon lowers his ears, his eyes nearing its teary state.

The fox looks away, guilt spreading across. "I can explain."

Aquatus looks side to side, spotting more Gyarados heading her way. She casts her Aqua Tail, staring back at Ramon. "After what the Floatzel showed us?" She smacks one Gyarados away. "Why should I hear ANYTHING you have to say!?"

Ramon trembles, gritting his teeth. "I-It's not entirely like how Lycus portrays it!" He collides a Gyarados' Hydro Pump with his Dark Pulse.

Aquatus headbutts another Gyarados. "Are you saying those images weren't you? Were you NOT the same Zoroark that transformed into 'Larry' and 'Sam'?"


Aquatus glares at the fox. "Sounds like Lycus is right about your kind being deceptive." Ramon feels his heart being stabbed by multiple needles, eyes widening. Aquatus continues, "You were pretending to be our friend. And for what? Just to cause more drama in this war? Something that neither I nor Quintin wanted!?" Aquatus backs away from a Gyarados' Hydro Pump before shoving him away. "It's thanks to you: This war will never end!"

"But…" Ramon sluggishly moves away from a Gyarados' Aqua Tail, falling on his behind. "It's…"

"It's exactly how you intended it, right? You Zoroarks—" she grits her teeth. "Should be ashamed of yourselves!" Aquatus yells, tears streaming down her cheeks. She fires Hydro Pump at two more Gyarados, pushing them away.

She's right. Tears slide down the fox's cheeks, everything feeling as though they no longer exist. Ramon's paws stroke the grass, his heart beating at a slow pace. I shouldn't have used my Illusion. Images of him transforming into a Wishiwashi pop into his head. I have no reason to. Images of him transforming into a Gyarados pop into his head. Even though I did it to convince the leaders on ending the war, I…ultimately made things worse.

"L…" Coleo's voice vaguely rings through Ramon's mind.

I should've said no. I should've let the war sit by and solve itself. I should've… Images of him being saved by the two teens from Travis appear in his mind. …not met anyone. Muffle sounds of the fox crying emanate the void.

I'm a Zorua. A Zoroark.

"La…!" Coleo's voice rings stronger.

I'm a monster from the start…Maybe that's why I ate the dead Alomomola. Maybe that's why Nomar and I went out hunting before I was taken away. Maybe that's why I couldn't remember my past with the Institute: I… Images of Travis scolding him in Gloomy Woods appear in his mind. I've ruined the Prospective Institute with my Illusion! I wanted to forget about it, and move on like none of it happened! Maybe that's why I have amnesia because I purposefully gave myself one to forget about my unforgivable deeds, exactly what a Zoroark would d—


Coleo's voice booms through Ramon, the Zoroark witnessing an incoming Gyarados' Crunch. Ramon rolls over, the Gyarados ramming into the ground and groaning.

"...Ugh." Ramon plants his paw on his forehead, tears streaming down like crazy.

Coleo sighs heavily, looking down at the somber state the fox is in. He frowns, glaring towards Aquatus. "LASS!"

Aquatus blinks, tossing a Gyarados into the lake. She stares at Ramon. "You don't sound like that a moment ago?"

"That's cuz of the lad o' top of the Zoroark!" Coleo exposes himself from the red hair, Aquatus quirks her brow.

"Who are you?" The School pushes a Gyarados away from her.

"Virtuous and Behemoth's friend, Coleo. He's not the one who thought of the idea: His friends did, and I followed throu' so that we could end the war!"

Aquatus tilts her head. "You're the leaders' friend? And this Illusion scheme exists to end the war?" She shakes her head. "I found it too hard to believe after knowing what that Zoroark has done. Perhaps you COULD be a Zoroark, too."

"Lass—" Coleo grips his setaes. "Even if that is the case, Lycus lied about why Ramon used his Illusion! The lad wanted to convin' me friends to end the war while not getting caught."

Aquatus dodges one Hydro Pump before snarling. "Why couldn't you do it yourselves, then!? Why toy with our emotions by having your friend pretending to be like us!?"

"BECAUSE VIRTUOUS AND BEHEMOTH WOULD NOT LISTEN, LASS! I TRIED!" Coleo tears rain down his cheeks, the storm accelerating it. "I grew up with those two addles with me trainer. I tried tellin' them not to fight over who is the strongest! I tried tellin' them not to take it too far, and yet the more they fought, the more serious it got. And now…it has gotten so bad, both of ye kinds are involved."

Aquatus lowers her glare, slowly turning into concern. "Are…you telling the truth?"

Coleo nods. "Take a look at our faces, lass: We are both hurt, and want this man-o-war to end." He points at himself and then at Ramon, who continues to tear up. The fox looks at Aquatus, his lips quivering. Aquatus stares at them for what feels like an hour, her mind wandering. "I…wished there was a way I could prove to ye."

"..." Before Aquatus can say anything—


Quintin's screams catch their attention. They turn towards him: The Water Gem Gyarados is swimming around in panics, dodging and ducking each menacing stream from several Wishiwashis.

Aquatus gasps. "Quintin!" She gnashes her teeth, shaking her head. "Great: Now I'm stuck!"

Coleo raises his brow. "What do ye mean?"

Aquatus blinks before zooming behind Ramon, smacking two Gyarados away with Aqua Tail. "Quintin's my friend, and he's in trouble! But I'm also by Virtuous' side in this war. If I go help him: Virtuous and others will see me as a backstabber." She whimpers, panic rising within. "What should I do? Keep my loyalty or go help Quintin?"

Ramon sniffles, wiping away some tears. "A-Aquatus…" He stands, trembling. Aquatus looks at the fox. "I…I know that I've been disguising as you and Quintin's friend throughout these past two days. But my feelings during those disguises were absolutely genuine, even if I had to lie about my origins." Sniffles. "I never intended to harm anyone like this, contrary to what Lycus had you thinking." He shakes his head. "Like Coleo said, I had no choice but to be under those disguises. I needed enough time to convince the two leaders to end the war…But—" he sighs, another tear sliding. "It doesn't excuse myself for pretending to be someone I am not, despite my genuine feelings. And…I am truly sorry for doing that to you two."

Tears cloud the lady Wishiwashi's vision. "And you expect me to forgive you? Just like that?"

"No. I don't." Ramon looks down at his right paw, the mourning scar mocking him. "I frankly deserve no forgiveness…" No Zoroarks such as myself do.

"Ramon, lad…" Coleo looks down.

"I see…" Aquatus shakes her head, eyeing Quintin from afar. "Even after being told all of this, it doesn't help me decide what I should do about Quintin. I just…don't know."

"Aquatus…" Ramon slowly smiles. "I've known you enough to know that's not true: Deep down, you know which decision is truly right for you."

Aquatus gazes at Ramon for a brief moment, memories of her chatting with his Wishiwashi self sprinkling throughout: Her going over everything wrong with the war with him, her being stressed out by it all. And to top it off, yesterday's time hanging out with Quintin shows up in her mind. The Wishiwashi's tears stream down her cheeks, nodding.

"You're right." She looks at Quintin, several Gyarados dashing towards her and Ramon. She encases herself in white auras, glaring. "I know what I should do. Thank you, Ramon."

Without a second thought, the School zooms towards the Gyarados and pushes them out of the way, groaning from Double-Edge's recoil. Coleo looks at the fox, smiling. "Nice jo' on givin' her the good ol' pep talk, matey."

Ramon looks away in melancholy, stroking his arm. "...I guess so." Not like it changes the kind of species I am, anyways. Then he and Coleo return back to the others, dodging any Water moves along the way.

. . .

Quintin whimpers, surrounded by three Wishiwashis. He covers himself. "W-We can talk this out, man. We don't have to fight, ya know?"

"We don't talk to inferiors," one of the Wishiwashis states as he and the others prepare their Hydro Pumps. Quintin gulps. "Now peri—ACK!" He's shoved by Aquatus, flying from her Double-Edge.

Before the others can react, Aquatus blasts the first with her Hydro Pump and slaps the second with her Aqua Tail, knocking them away. The Water Gem Gyarados looks at the Mystic Water Wishiwashi, gasping while widening his eyes with glee. "Aquatus!" He sighs in relief. "Man am I glad that you helped me!"

Her aquatic auras fade, the large fish nodding. "I'm glad I got here in time, too." She jolts her attention towards Quintin, squinting. "You aren't supposed to be out here, by the way! It's unsafe."

Quintin laughs nervously, scratching his head with his tail. "Y-Yeah, I know. I just wanted to bring my bro his crown, that's all." His head lowers. "Sorry."

Aquatus lowers her glares, sighing. "It's fine." She pats the serpentine by the side. "Are you hurt in any way?"

Quintin stares off. "Besides what 'Sam' did to me, I'm alright…"

Aquatus looks at Ramon and the others. "...About that—"


Aquatus and Quintin snap their attention towards five Wishiwashis ahead, all summoning their Aqua Tails.

The lead Wishiwashi in front of the four says, "How dare you save a low-life, despicable Gyarados!? You fend! You absolute backstabbing fend!" She snarls. "You're a traitor to all of Wishiwashis!"

Aquatus' necklace shifts , the fish frowning at the five. She huffs. "I'm a traitor to our war, not to our kind!" She shrouds her tailfins in blue energy, looking at Quintin and smirking. "Stay close behind me at all costs. I'll explain the 'Larry' and 'Sam' situation while protecting you, okay?" Quintin doesn't say anything else, giving the School a shy nod.

. . .

Ramon and his friends are regrouped by this point, becoming more and more exhaustive: Courtney and Sylock block the many Aqua Tails with their swords, Justin and Ada push some Gyarados away with Mystical Projectiles, and Mesmeren and Roan clash their moves with the aquatic soldiers'. Ramon dodges a Wishiwashi's Hydro Pump before firing his Dark Pulse , pushing him back. One Gyarados slams his tail besides Justin, the teen jumping away.

"Shit, forget this!" Justin grunts, glancing at Ada. "Ada, shield again!"

"Right! AGH!" Ada grunts as well before the two lift their arms up, casting a huge shield around themselves and others. The combined Mystical Shield endures the Wishiwashis and Gyarados' attacks, the aquatic soldiers hammering it.

"Ugh…" Ada squints, grinding her teeth, keeping her arms up.

Bang, another hits the shield.

"Ugh!" Justin pants, keeping his arms up.


Justin and Ada's eyes stretch.

"AAAH!" the two scream in agony, purple blood spilling out of their mouths, splattering across the shield. Everyone eyes the teens, dread radiating throughout: Mesmeren trembling like crazy, Sylock and Courtney gripping their hilts, and Roan falling on his behind.

The Axew grips the grass, focusing on the blood dripping the teens' lips. "O-Oh god!"

Justin looks at the group behind him, his dark circles emanating his grim state. "B-Bad news, fams…" Coughs. "That was our last useth of the shield."

"Last useth?" Coleo says.

"W-We…can only use—AGH, our Mystical Shield three times during a figh—AAH" Ada screams, coughing out more blood. Tears descend her cheeks. "God, this hurts!"

Justin widens his eyes at the girl, gritting his teeth. "Hang in there, Ada! AAAH!" He screams as well, spitting his blood on the ground. "Screw this stupid Weakener, man!"

Ramon whimpers, lowering his ears. "Ada! Justin!" he shouts.

Roan puts his hands against his head, the teens screaming and coughing nonstop as the aquatic soldiers ram their shield. "Wh-What should we do!?" the Axew questions. "Once this shield is down, those Gyarados and Wishiwashis will kill us all!" He whines, tears streaming down his cheeks. "We're all feeling too weak to handle them! I-I don't want to die! Not when I haven't found Simon yet!"

Courtney snaps her fingers. "This dang Weakener screwin' with us and all! We would've handled this fight better if it ain't for it."

Coleo puts his setae under his chin, pondering thoughts. Think, lad. We got time. He soon sees the shield fading, panic seeping. NO, WE DO NOT HAV' TIME! WHAT DO WE DO!? He looks behind him, staring up at Behemoth and Virtuous slashing each other. Hmm… He then turns towards Mesmeren, who is mortified by everything going on. Okay, maybe she may help! "Lass!"

Mesmeren doesn't hear him, her hands pinning against her chest.


Mesmeren still doesn't listen: Trapped inside of her panicky state that's spreading nothing but hopelessness. Her focus is no longer on the teens, rather it's on the many Gyarados and Wishiwashis banging the shield. We're going to die. Tears falling, body quaking, eyes begging to scream. The shield fades further as the teens scream, the Drowzee whimpering.

Coleo strokes the Zoroark's hair, gritting his teeth. HOLY BARBARACLE, SHE DEEP IN FEAR!

"I—" Ada wails. "I CAN'T HOLD ON MUCH LONGER!" She gasps before falling to the ground, the shield shifting from purple and blue to just blue.

"ADAAAAA!" Justin screeches, gasping as well. He falls after her, the two landing next to each other, barely moving while panting.

The shield is gone.

Ramon's paws shake, the fox gasping. "No…"

Several Gyarados and Wishiwashis come ushering towards the group, their tails and maws at the ready. Courtney grits her teeth. Crap crap crap crap—

"AAAAAAAH!" Mesmeren screams loudly and covers herself, petrification taking over.

"..." Everything feels as though it's in slow motion, Ramon eyeing the Drowzee. He freezes momentarily before gnashing his teeth, snarling. "NO!" he shouts, shadowy auras flourishing throughout him. He leaps in front of Mesmeren instantly.

"WHOA!" Coleo shouts, clinging on.

. . .

The tapir's ears flicker to something eerie yet fuse-like. "Hmm..?" Her eyes open, gasping. "Whoa…"

Courtney blinks before groaning, rubbing her head and looking up. "...What in the…" Courtney pauses, gazing at something shrouding over the group.

Sylock raises his brow. What…am I looking at? he thinks, he and Roan gazing up, shocked and mesmerized.

"Shiver me timbers, lad." Coleo tilts his head, being engulfed in shadow energies.

Justin and Ada groan, the two slowly look behind them. "It's…dark all of the sudden." Justin pants, blinking at something in front of him. "...Ada."


"What…is going on with Ramon?" Justin points, everyone looking.

Many shadowy arms sprout out of the Zoroark's back, surrounding the group in a large shield. Everyone can vaguely see the aquatic soldiers either hitting the shield or gazing at it in bewilderment.

The group keeps their focus on the fox, Ada staring in intrigue. "I…have no clue," Ada answers to the boy.

Ramon turns around, staring at the group with black scleras and red irises. He lifts his right paw, the scar forming a dark spot. Then a shadowy hand leaps out, the fox jumps a little. J-Jeez! A whole arm follows afterwards, extending itself. The hand grips the air, Ramon staring up in awe.

Shadow Arch, a voice says in Ramon's mind, raspiness emanating.

Hmm? Did you say that, Nomar? Ramon thinks, blinking.

Say what? Nomar asks.


Roan holds his hands together. "So…cool!" He smiles. "How are you doing this, Ramon sir? Your eyes even have a different look, too!"

Ramon shakes his head. "I have no clue. This just…suddenly happened after seeing you all get hurt."

Courtney puts his hand beneath her chin, thinking. "Hmm…" She gasps and slams her hand onto her palm. "You're using yer Rune!"

"What?" Ramon blinks, eyeing up and down at his dark arms. "How so?" He suddenly coughs black blood onto his right paw, wincing.

The rabbit raises her brow at the blood's color. "Yeah…That's a sign of you using your Rune right there."


Courtney tilts her head. "Say, why does your blood lo—"

"Sorry to cut ye out, but I nee' Ramon to do somethin' for me!" Coleo says, Ramon looking up the leaning Blipbug. "I nee' ye to tos' me towards Virtuous and Behemoth! It's the only way I ca' grab the two addle's attention." Whimpers. "Please."

Ramon shoots his gaze at the two leaders, Virtuous and Behemoth ramming their heads against each other before Behemoth charges a yellow-orange beam. He lays his paw underneath his chin, his ears flickering to the Hyper Beam. "I'm…not sure."


The fox glances up at his shadow arm. "This is my first time using my Rune, so I have no clue if this…shadow hand would consume you if it touches you." He whimpers.

Coleo shrugs. "I mean, I am on top of ye whil' ye ar' covered in this…" The Blipbug eyes around. "Dark thing or somethin'. I feel fine and unharmed, lad."


"Look, we do not hav' much time. I don't want me two pals killing themselves." Coleo holds his setaes together. "Please. Just trust me in this plan."

"...What if it fails, much like with the Illusion plan? What if I don't throw you properly? I—"

"Believe in yeself that you can throw me, lad." The Blipbug smiles down. "If the plan fails, then we can think of anothe' one. We got this."

Ramon looks at Coleo for a moment, lips sealed. He then nods. "Okay." He glances at his shadow arm, the hand wiggling its fingers briefly before lurching towards Coleo. It swirls around the bug, gripping him with caution. "I think I can open the shield enough to where I throw you, but not have the Gyarados and Wishiwashis enter inside."

"Got it." Coleo frowns at the two Water leaders above.

The shield exposes an opening, showing Behemoth and Virtuous afar. Ramon brings the hand towards him, his face meeting Coleo's. "Are you ready?"

Coleo nods. "As ready as any lad can be, argh."

"Alright then." Ramon glares at the leaders, his hand jolting back. "Here goes nothing!" The hand jets forward, flinging Coleo towards the opening.

"AAAAAAH!" The Blipbug exits the hole, zooming forward as he flips. The entrance closes afterwards. THE LAD THRE' HARDER THAN I EXPECTED! He bypasses the soldiers, some stopping their brawls to gaze at the screaming bug.

Behemoth forms icy auras around his maw, snarling. "Time to end this shi—" something pins against his face, the Gyarados yelping. "What the!?" He blinks and looks at his snout, gasping at the Blipbug with a brown strap-on. "Coleo!?"

"Argh…" Coleo rubs the side of his head. "Behe—" Virtuous rams against Behemoth's belly with Double-Edge, the Blipbug bouncing off. "AAAAAH!"

Ramon and the others spike up with worries, staring at their fallen insect friend.

"COLEO!" they scream.

Virtuous blinks. "Coleo? What in the world are those traitors talking about?"

Behemoth pushes Virtuous away. "YO, GET THE FUCK OFF FROM ME: I JUST SAW COLEO OVER THERE!" He points at the insect, Coleo crashing right into the lake. Behemoth and Virtuous gnash their teeth, the Gyarados nudging his tail against his head. "OH SHIT, NO!"

The two leaders roar as loud as an airplane, the armies pausing their attacks midway. Even those who are hitting Ramon's shield have come to a halt, eyeing Virtuous and Behemoth.

"My Wishis, stop fighting! Something big has happened!" Virtuous claims.

Aquatus lowers her guard, looking at the leaders in confusion alongside Quintin. "What?" the two say.

Ramon keeps the shield up, everyone having a sharp eye on the leaders. Virtuous and Behemoth dive after Coleo, a huge splash surfacing.


Everyone gazes at the spot, commotion flourishing throughout. Eventually, the kings hop out, placing Coleo in front of Ramon and his friends. The Blipbug coughs out, gasping.

"Blimey! Ack!" Coleo shouts, panting. "I—Argh, almost died!"

Virtuous and Behemoth gaze down at Coleo, the two sighing in relief. "I'm at least glad you didn't, my beloved bug," Virtuous states. Everyone looks at the three, the two armies settling with more perplexion. "It's been so long since we've last seen you, Coleo. Where have you been?" The King's Rock Wishiwashi leans closer with anxiousness.

"Yeah, man. Haven't heard of ya in a long while," Behemoth agrees.

Justin blinks several times. "...Yo, what are those two leaders sayin' again?" he asks, eyeing Roan. "Can't understand them cuz of roaring and…whining sounds?" He scratches the side of his head.

Roan nods. "No problem, Justin! I can translate what these Nativus are saying."

"Thanks, fam."

As Roan guides Justin, Coleo glares at the two leaders, dark circles displaying his fury. "Ye two…I was at the cabin the whole time." He tilts his head towards the far brown cabin, groaning. "Hoping ye two wou—"

"Well I'm satisfied to hear that, Coleo!" Virtuous glares at Behemoth. "Especially since this numbskull here almost got you killed."

Behemoth raises his brow, snarling. "The HELL do you mean by that!? YOU WERE THE ONE WHO HIT ME WHILE HE WAS ON MY FACE!"

Virtuous leans closer, summoning blue energies around his fins. "Like I was supposed to know he was there! If you knew he was, you could've prevented his near death more properly!"

Behemoth's face is against Virtuous', his tail shrouding in blue auras. "He deadass landed on my face. Out of nowhere."

Virtuous snarls. "When will you ever admit that you're wrong!?"

Behemoth snarls back. "When will YOU ever admit that you're wrong!?"

Coleo slams his setae on the ground. "ENOUGH!" The two leaders glance at the bug. "YE TWO ARE BOTH WRONG!"
Last edited:
Chapter 41.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 41: Coleo and the End of The Aquatic War.

The Aquatic War Arc.

"I am TIRED of seein' ye two bicker ove' the strongest nonsense since our youth!" Everyone looks at the three Pokémon, curiosity thriving. Coleo frowns at the giants, fury plastering throughout.

"But Virt—"

"Hush! Ye hav' yer chance to talk! So it is me turn!" The Blipbug folds his setaes. "It started off bein' minor, somethin' that only bugged me a little. But then it became worse when Damon used us in battles. I was becomin' worried because I care for our friendship!" He winces. "I became eve' more worried after Damon abandoned us. The two of ye then…coul' not stop fightin' over who is at fault on the abandonment. No matter what I say nor do, ye two would always push me advic' aside." Coleo looks down, somberness spreading across. "It was till we reached the lake that ye two forgot abou' me and involved yer kind in yer addle cause."

"Well, it WAS Behemoth who sta—"

"WHAT DID I JUST SAY!?" Coleo shouts at Virtuous, pointing. "If ye were so worried about me, ye would have let me finish!"

"...Apologies." Virtuous looks away in guilt.

"Like I was sayin', this war pushed away visitors from comin' here. Bringin' the lake into ruins." He spreads his setaes. "Look around ye."

Virtuous, Behemoth, and their soldiers scan the lake: Dirt and debris slosh throughout, broken paddles surfing across. Pieces of canoes nudge against Virtuous and Behemoth, the two squinting down. They both blink.

"Did we cause this?" Virtuous asks.


"Huh…" The Wishiwashi shakes his head. "I don't remember forming a mess here."

"That's because ye were too focused on The Aquatic War between ye and Behemoth."

"I…see, then."

Behemoth squints towards the shadow shield, snarling at Ramon and gang. "It doesn't excuse that foul PRICK over there for pretending to be one of us!" Ramon looks away in remorse, his lips quivering. Behemoth continues, "We should get rid of him right no—"

"I agreed to him using his Illusion!" Coleo shouts.

The Gyarados blinks. "What!? Really!?"

"Yes…" The Blipbug sighs. "I wanted him to disguise as yer kinds, hoping to plea' ye two on ending the war. I was not tryin' to deceive ye nor yer allies." Coleo looks behind him at Ramon, the fox stroking the side of his arm. "Neither was Ramon and his mateys."

Virtuous huffs. "That doesn't explain what that Lycus guy showed us!"

"Lycus twisted the truth, lad!" Coleo lowers his head. "He used his Capture Projector to show half of the truth, treatin' it as Ramon usin' his Illusion to toy with ye when that isn't the case!"

"Well it certainly looked to be the case. In fact, what if you're a Zoroark in disguise? Pretending to be our beloved Coleo?" Virtuous and Behemoth glare at the Blipbug.

"Lad, think: I was drownin' not too long ago. If I were a Zoroark, why wouldn't I change into one of yer kinds at that poi—ARGH!" Coleo groans, covering his belly and gritting his teeth. "Drats…"

Behemoth raises his brow, leaning his head down. "Are you alright?"

Coleo shakes his head. "Nay. Lycus gav' me and the others some apples, and poisoned us with somethin' called a Weakener…"

"Huh. That explains your pale face."

"And dark circles," Virtuous points out. "So I guess you are the real Coleo, then."

"Does that mean the things you said are true?" Behemoth asks.

Coleo nods. "Yes, lad…" He whimpers, eyeing the two with melancholy. "I miss ye two's past selves. The two of ye were being so caring for one anothe', even when ye two tend to fight each other here and there." Smiles. "I…was not as open with meself back then. I used to not be ver' vocal until I met ye two. Ye two…gotten me feelin' better about meself: The many adventures we had, the times we saved each othe' lives, and the funny jokes we made while with Damon. It was…all comforting to me. It is what strengthened our relationship the most." He sighs. "So it hurts me to see ye two fall down this deep hole of bickers, to the point where ye involve yer own kinds."

Behemoth shakes his head, grumbling. "I'm sorry Coleo, but I just could NOT stand Virtuous' way of thinking. He pisses me off with his strength mentality!"

Virtuous snaps a glare at the leader Gyarados. "And I could NOT stand your barbaric way of thinking!"

"But Coleo's right, man: This war has got to stop!" a familiar laidback voice says, Virtuous and Behemoth turning to their right. Quintin is there next to Aquatus, the two eyeing their leaders.

"I've felt a lot of doubts and insecurities about my liking the Wishiwashis, man. All cuz it'll make me look weird if I told others about it." Quintin sniffles, tears sliding down his cheeks. "I don't want to get in a fight with those I like, man. I just…don't want to get in a fight over some superiority nonsense, period."

Behemoth lowers his head. "Quintin…"

Aquatus pats the Water Gem Gyarados' back, nodding. "I agree." She sighs. "Virtuous, why should you care about who's the strongest between the two species? To prove an ultimately useless point? A point that would only escalate more violence than peace?" Virtuous stares off to the side. "In fact, why should ANY of you care about who's the strongest? Honestly…" Aquatus gazes up. "The only thing that matters isn't who's the strongest: It's the help we can give towards one another, regardless of our strengths and weaknesses."

Virtuous lowers his head. "Aquatus…"

The Mystic Water Wishiwashi pulls Quintin into a hug, looking at the two armies. "Some of you probably agree with me on this, too. Deep down you know how ridiculous this war has gotten, and how it has benefited neither of us." Frowns. "It impacted our relationships and the state of our palaces."

The serpentine and fish soldiers converse with each other about the situation, some of them nodding.

"Hmm…yeah. This war was honestly becoming brutal for me," one Gyarados states.

"Same here," one of the Wishiwashis agrees.

"I just wanted to hang out with my friends…But had to deal with 32 days of nonstop fighting, instead!" another Gyarados exclaims, whimpering.

"Same!" another Wishiwashi shouts.

Ramon keeps the shadow shield up, staring at the necklace wearing Pokémon with intrigue. "Aquatus…Quintin."

The Mystic Water School looks back at the kings. "Even your followers believe this war is taking a heavy toll on them." The Wishiwashi sighs, gloominess spreading across. "So please…put your differences aside and lay this war to rest. I don't want to continue this. And nor does Quintin…No one wants to continue this." She presses her fins together.

Quintin nods. "Yeah, man…"

Virtuous and Behemoth look at the two Pokémon before eyeing around the place, maws opening at the sight of the two armies concurring to Aquatus' speech. The rain slow itself, turning into light drizzles. The two look at each other, right into their very own eyes: Memories of their youth come flooding in. From the time they defend each other during double battles to the time they help Coleo overcome his fear of mud. Behemoth remembers the small compliment Virtuous gave to him when he was a Magikarp, during the time he fought off a Pidgeotto by himself. Virtuous recalls the small compliment Behemoth gave to him when he was in his Solo form, during the time he fought off a Trumbeak by his lonesome.

The giants have tears welling up, lips shaking before the two cry. "I'm sorry!" they yell, hugging each other while closing their eyes, tears streaming down their cheeks.

The aquatic soldiers all look at the leaders for a brief moment, shock sparkling. Soon they look at each other and bawl their eyes out, hugging.

"We're sorry, too!" the two armies state, patting each other's backs with their fins and tails. Aquatus and Quintin look at the two groups, warmth emanating throughout. Coleo looks at the armies in awestruck, gleefulness shining within.

Justin blinks, remaining on his behind while lifting himself forward, grunting. "Huh. Wasn't aware that the war was run by a bunch of crybabies."

Roan raises his brow. "Oh my word, Justin sir!"

Ada lifts herself forward and smacks the boy's head, Justin yelping. "Shush! Don't ruin the moment now." She folds her arms before grunting herself.

The boy sighs, rubbing the back of his head. "Ye-Yeah, that…was uncalled for, even as a joke. I deserved that. My bad." He laughs nervously.

After what feels like hours, the leaders and their armies release their hugs, keeping their gazes. Virtuous sniffles. "I've been such a fool throughout these many days. So obsessed with proving you wrong that I've…forgotten about those times you've helped me."

"And the times you've helped me." Behemoth sniffles.

"Along with the times ye two…helped me," Coleo concludes, the leaders staring down at him. "Our relationship may not been great from the star', but we were still stickin' by each other's sides. To the point where we coul' joke about our downfalls without turnin' it into a man-o-war, argh."

"Yeah…That's true." Virtuous sighs, looking at Behemoth. "For all those times I've belittled your efforts…I'm sorry."

Behemoth nods. "For the many times I tried showing off in front of ya, I'm sorry too." He shakes his head. "We were both fucked up by our own stupid ways, man."

Virtuous blinks, shaking his head. "Hah, I suppose that's one way to put it." He smiles.

Behemoth snickers, playfully bumping his tail against Virtuous. "Yeah." He smiles back. "Hey, I think you and I know what to do next."

"Mhm. I couldn't agree more, my Gyari."

Aquatus and Quintin keep smiling while blinking, visible confusion plaguing them. 'My Gyari?' they think.

Behemoth laughs, waving his tail up and down. "Ah come on, man. You don't need to call me that."

The crown Wishiwashi blushes, looking off to the side and twiddling with his fins. "Y-Yeah, you're right." Behemoth blinks in confusion, the armies along with Ramon and his friends looking at the two in admiration.

Quintin brings his maw close to Aquatus. "I'm sensing a crush moment going on here," he whispers.

"Same." Aquatus giggles.

Virtuous looks at his army. "A-Anyways, some of you may have already told the others about the war ending. But I will declare it, anyways."

"And so will I!" Behemoth follows suit, looking at his army.

The two leaders clear their throats and yell, "The war between us has officially ended!"

Soon, more Gyarados and Wishiwashis surface above the lake, looking at the leaders in shock and intrigue. Some of them are Aquatus' family, Yowa and Fisher widening their eyes and blinking in surprise. The Wishiwashis are also in their Solo forms.

"Well I be dang: The two made up for each other and ended the war?" Fisher says, tilting his head. "Huh."

Virtuous smiles. "My Wishis, I shall propose an utmost proper message upon all of yo—"

"Hey, no need for all that formality crap." Behemoth snickers softly, Virtuous following suit.

"I suppose so." The leader School continues, "You Wishis can be weak, but you can also be strong."

"You Gyarados can be powerful, but y'all can also be gentle."

"But what matters is not our strengths and weaknesses!"

"It is…"

The two leaders look at each other briefly before nodding, Virtuous spreading his fins while Behemoth spreads his tail at everyone.

"The support we gained from one another!"

Some of the groups cheer in unison while others nod, all smiling up at the kings. Marsh and Beckett open their mouths in amazement. "Whoa…" the two simply say. Yowa and Fisher fold their fins, raising their brows.

"Hmm…I don't know if I dig this sudden change of peace with the Gyaradorks," Yowa states.

Fisher shrugs. "I just hope this means the shell economy will get better."

Aquatus begins to tear up once more, smiling in pure glee. "Finally…It's over." She leans against Quintin, wailing. "Oh my god, it's finally over!"

"Y-Yeah, man." Quintin cries along with her, patting her back.

Ramon and gang stare at the whole group, sighing in relief and satisfaction.

"I agree with that Wishiwashi chick over there," Courtney says, pointing at Aquatus. "Bout time this mayhem is done wi—ACK!" She strokes her side, sighing heavily.

The Zoroark's shadow shield starts fading, his shadow arms disappearing. Ramon sighs, staring down at his right paw. The scar mark remains in place, sticking out like a sore thumb. Glad it's over, too… His smile fades, being replaced with sorrow. …It doesn't excuse me for what I am, though.

Behemoth and Virtuous turn towards Coleo, the Blipbug getting on his stubby legs and dusting himself off. "Thank you for ending 'The Aquatic War', as you called it," Virtuous says.

"Nay." Coleo points at Ramon and others behind him. "I have Ramon and his friends to thank fer comin' across the Lake of Purity. If it wer' not fer them, this war would've continue in this bloodbath of broken friendships."

Virtuous enlarges his eyes, grimacing. "Yeesh, y-yeah…Again, that was a huge mistake on Be—erm, OUR end." Behemoth glares at the Wishiwashi for the potential victim blaming, to which the Wishiwashi laughs in a shaky manner. He hugs the Gyarados. "A-Apologies for that."

Ramon's friends stand up, walking towards the three while groaning along the way: Moving at a steady pace, with Ramon being beside Justin while aiding him. Justin carries Roan on his back, his arms laying on top of Ada and Ramon's neck. Mesmeren leans close to the fox, shaking while holding his hand. Sylock and Courtney rest their arms on top of each other's neck, panting.

"I agree!" Roan says, lifting his arms up before quickly hanging onto Justin. "Glad to have come here to help you out, Coleo!" E-Even if I almost died not too long ago!

"Same here," Courtney agrees, Sylock nodding at her.

"Me three, fam." Justin smiles.

"Agreed…" Ada sighs in relief. "I'm…still unsure about the lying part when it comes to Ramon's Illusion, but…" She looks at the gray sky, the storm calming further. "I suppose it was for a necessary cause."

Justin frees his left arm from Ramon and jabs Ada's shoulder lightly, smiling. "That's the spirit, fam. Thanks for understanding the difference between our lies and Lycus' lies. Sure it doesn't make it entirely okay, but it's still a healthy useth of it, though."

Ada rolls her eyes and shakes her head, smiling back. "Sure, if you consider that as 'healthy'."

Ramon gazes at Aquatus and Quintin. "Speaking of my Illusion, I…need to go talk with those two." He looks down at Mesmeren, moving her close to Justin. "I'll be back, alright?" Mesmeren simply nods, her shakiness persisting while she clings onto Justin's shirt.

Ramon takes a deep breath, walking towards the two Pokémon while the others continue conversing. The soldier Wishiwashis revert back into their Solo forms, including Aquatus herself.

The fox reaches the fish and serpentine, the two gazing at him. Ramon lifts his paw up. "Hey, I'm—"

"I'm sorry for not understanding your motive, Ramon," Aquatus says.

Ramon shakes his head. "No…I'm the one who should be apologizing the most. For deceiving the two of you as 'Larry' and 'Sam'." He lowers his ears, looking down. "Again, I…only did it to help Coleo bring peace between his friends."

"...I get it, man."

Ramon blinks. "You do?"

Quintin nods. "Yeah, Aquatus told me about it." Shrugging, Quintin stares off. "I'm still hurt by the whole Illusion stuff, sure. But after knowing why you did it, I understand. In a way, I…" He looks back at the Zoroark. "Thank you for even trynna end the war like that."

"...I see." Ramon looks away. "I still believe I'm in the wrong for doing such a thing. Like Aquatus said to me, I should feel ashamed for even doing that."

Aquatus holds her hands together. "About what I've said to you: I'm genuinely sorry." Ramon perks his ears up, blinking. "I was so emotional and distraught by what Lycus showed us that I just…ended up taking every single thing he said to heart, including the generalization of your kind being evil and vile." She grits her teeth, clenching her fin. "I was against Virtuous' portrayal of the Gyarados kind, so it felt very backwards of me to…say those things to you. I regret saying them…"

What? Ramon's eyes tremble, his gaze remaining at the lake. Tears cloud his vision as the rain occurs less and less.

"Honestly man, you ain't an awful person. I'm glad that you used those Illusions: You've gotten the two of us to meet each other last night!" Quintin shows off his toothy grin while closing his eyes.

"Agreed. I've gained interest in him because of our meetup." Aquatus soon blushes, shaking her head. "I-Interest as in becoming friends, of course!" She blinks, staring off to the side. "...I think. Ugh, sorry if I'm acting awkward."

Quintin snickers. "Nah, it's fine."

"Mommy, look: Aquatus has a boyfriend!" Marsh exclaims, pointing at the Mystic Water Wishiwashi. He and Beckett giggle while Aquatus' parents stare in perplexion.

Aquatus leans close to Quintin, her fin besides her maw before she whispers, "Ignore them."

Quintin blinks for a moment, chuckling. "Alright then." He turns towards Ramon. "By the way dude, I forgot to mention that your eyes look…different…" The Gyarados tilts his head, staring at the fox raining tears.

But why? Why would she forgive me? Ramon's lips quiver, eyes squinting. Lycus literally showed off the evilness of Zoroarks.

"Uh, Ramon?"

Who would even forgive someone like tha—


Ramon blinks, looking to his side. "H-Hmm!?"

"You alright, dude? You're even tearing up and everything." Quintin and Aquatus stare with concerns, the latter holding her fins together.

The Zoroark pauses for a brief moment, his shakiness coming to a complete halt. He sighs, wiping away his tears. "S-Sorry. Just, uh…thinking about something else on my mind. It's personal."

Aquatus nods. "Whatever it is, I hope you feel better soon." She smiles.

"...Thanks." Ramon scratches the back of his head. "And about my eyes, I wasn't aware of them still looking different."

"They look dark instead of green like before."

"I see." Ramon blinks, feeling less raindrops crashing onto him. He gazes down at his paws, the lack of water being noticeable. "Hey uh, is it me or…is the rain gone?"

Soon, the gray clouds fully evaporate along with the rain, a brightly lit sun taking its place. Below the sun is also a large streak of colors prancing across the lake, a rainbow forming from it. Everyone looks at it, gasping in pure awe.

"Whoa…" they say collectively, the rainbow showering its sparkles upon the Lake of Purity.

That's…so beautiful, Ramon thinks, his jaw hanging open.

So pretty! Nomar says in Ramon's head, his tone booming with enthusiasm.

"...It's been so long since I've seen that rainbow," Aquatus states, sighing in relief. "I miss it so much..."

Justin, Ada, and the other four gaze around the lake, clear water flourishing themselves from one spot to the other. The trees stop their wavings, the bushes coming to a halt. The sparkles even give the water a fresh look to them, the leaves swishing along gently.

Mesmeren and Roan leave their maws hanging, their eyes diving into the world of amazements. Wow, the two think.

Ada smiles. "This place looks gorgeous."

"Mhm. Definitely seein' the 'purity' part now," Courtney agrees.

Roan points at some debrises nearing the other side of the lake. "There's still some dirt left here, however. So Purity is still a mess, despite the rainbow."

Everyone looks at the spot, even eyeing at the broken canoes and paddles besides the Wishiwashis and Gyarados. Courtney nods, grimacing. "Yeaaaah, that part still looks bad."

Behemoth puffs out his chest. "No worries: We'll do our best to clean the lake here."

Virtuous nods. "Agreed…Albeit, somehow try to find a way to clean it." Shrugs.

After Roan translates what they said to Justin, the teen sighs. "Admittedly, Ada and I would've used our Magic to easily clean the lake for ya, but we're…not doin' so hot at the moment." He squints to the side. "Thanks, Weakener. Very cool."

Roan translates Justin's words over to the kings, both of them tilting their heads.

"Magic?" both Pokémon say in unison.

"Nutshell version of that: Humans, at least some of them, have Magic type and are capable of using Magic moves. These types of humans are called Sorcerous, which is what Justin and Ada are," Roan explains, pointing at the teens below him.

"Oh." Virtuous and Behemoth look at each other for a moment, raising their brows before looking back. "I think I got that."

"It's okay if you don't get it!" Roan smiles, closing his eyes. "Magic type is a pretty complex type compared to other elements! So don't feel bad about not knowing much about them." The Axew raises his arm up at the colorful sky. "The Pokémon world is vast and wide, filled with many wonders and mysteries to discover! And Wizlore expands upon them further! Thus it is why it's okay to not know about things until you've discovered them!" He spreads his other arm out, looking as though he's praising the sun itself. "I hope to one day find my mentor and explore this region—this WORLD, with him. Perhaps even solving issues and helping others along the way, including the weak themselves!" Roan puffs his chest out, smirking. "Traveling with these lovely six friends will certainly benefit my goals, too!"

Sylock squints at the dragon, embarrassment drenching over him as Courtney giggles at Roan's speech. Does he ALWAYS have to be so over-the-top about adventuring? Also I do not remember us being friends at all, kid.

Behemoth and Virtuous blink for a moment before laughing along, nodding. "Sounds like a huge goal, alright," Behemoth states.

"I've done some fair bit of traveling myself. Knowing past experiences, it's tough out there, kid. Stay safe," Virtuous advises.

Roan nods. "Certainly!"

Coleo stares off for a moment. Traveling, ay? He caresses his chin before nodding. "...Speaking of this world," he looks at Ramon beside him, waving. "Lad, set me on top of your head, please."

Ramon blinks, lifting his brow while staring at the bug. "Um, sure." The fox picks the insect up, placing him on his head. Coleo shoves some hair aside to give Behemoth and Virtuous a better look at him.

"Behemoth, Virtuous: There is somethin' I want to tell ye two."

The two leaders gaze at Coleo and Ramon, perplexion spreading across. "Yes?" the two say.

"I will be travelin' with Ramon and his friends."

"Huh!?" the two exclaim.

"D-Did we mess up a lot, man!?" Behemoth whimpers.

"I-I know that we've been fighting each other for a very long time, but I didn't think we've ruined our relationship this badly, too!" Virtuous whimpers as well.

"We're sorry!" The leaders whine, tears raining down their cheeks within seconds.

Coleo sighs in exhaustion, shaking his head. "Ye two: I'm not leavin' cuz of the war. Relax."

Virtuous and Behemoth pause their teary states, blinking. "Eh?"

"This is from me own personal choi'. I wanted to know more about thi' vast region outside of the Lake of Purity." Coleo points at Ramon's friends behind him. "These guys hav' tol' me about other things out there that I neva knew about. Such as me trainer not suppos' to own me since I am an Intellicate."

"'Intellicate'?" Virtuous asks.

"A Pokémon that's able to share similar intelligence to humans and can communicate like one, apparently. Allowing them to bypass speech barriers easily," Ramon explains. "At least, that's the short version of what they are."

"Aye, indeed." Coleo frowns. "Thi' makes a human ownin' one illegal, and I…wondered if Damon knew."

Virtuous sets his fin underneath his chin. "Interesting…"

"Does this mean Virtuous and I are Intellicates, too?" Behemoth asks.

Roan lifts his finger. "Considering I have to translate your words over to Justin and Ada: Nope!"

The crown Wishiwashi smacks the water in a playful manner. "Drats, thought I could be as smart as Damon, then."

Behemoth raises his brow. "Then what the hell are we? Just some normal ass Pokémon?"

"Yep, apparentl' under the name 'Nativu'. Pokémon that lives out n' the wild like ye two."


Aquatus puts her fin underneath her chin. "Yeah…This whole Intellicate and Nativu stuff seems quite bizarre to me." She smiles. "But interesting, nonetheless!"

Coleo folds his setaes, gazing up. "And that is why I want to know more about it." He grins in pure eagerness. "Know more about the world I live in."

"I have no problems with you joining us too, Coleo!" Justin states.

"Same," Ada follows. The rest of the group agrees, with Sylock giving off a neutral shrug.

Behemoth nods. "Since you're bout to leave, then I guess this is farewell, bud."

Virtuous sighs in relief. "Thank you for helping us see the errors of our ways, Coleo." He starts tearing up. "I'll never forget you, my beloved friend."

Coleo forms tears as well, sniffling. "O-Oh ye lads…Come here!" He leaps off from Ramon's head, diving towards Behemoth. Virtuous jumps out of the water, catching Coleo. He hugs the bug, Behemoth wrapping his tail around the Wishiwashi Solo and bringing him close. The three shut their eyes, nuzzling and embracing their warmths. "I'll neva forget ye two as well!"

"D'awww," the group of Wishiwashis and Gyarados say, hearts blooming with joy. Justin and the others smile at the three Pokémon, warmth spreading across.

Ramon eyes at the three, folding his arms. He sighs. I…still don't think I'm a good person, he slowly lifts his lips. But I'm at least glad the war is over, rekindling those three's friendships.

. . .

Everyone travels across the lake: Aquatus next to Virtuous, Virtuous next to Behemoth, and Behemoth to Quintin. Ramon and Mesmeren are on top of Aquatus' School form while Courtney and Sylock are riding on Quintin's back, the two Sorcerous being on Virtuous' School form. Coleo and Roan ride on Behemoth's back, with Coleo sitting on top of Roan's head.

The group swims ahead, the Wishiwashis and Gyarados are either watching them or following along. Aquatus' family does the latter, being next to the Mystic Water Wishiwashi. They all socialize with each other, the Intellicates doing all of the translating except for Sylock. The Blaziken leans his back against Courtney's, his eyes closed shut as he folds his arms, sighing.

"So you're just teens traveling around this region in order to reunite with your friends and family?" Virtuous asks.

"That's the nutshell of it fam, yes." Justin gives a thumbs-up.

"Sounds very valid," Aquatus agrees, joining the conversation. "I'd be worried sick too if I was separated from my family."

"D'aww!" Yowa nuzzles against the School. "I'm so happy to hear you're very considerate of us, Aquatus hun."

Aquatus nuzzles back, smiling. "Always has been, Mother."

The main seven jolts in sudden pain, Coleo covering his belly. Ramon holds Mesmeren, patting her back. Quintin looks behind him, grimacing at the sight of Roan clenching his teeth. "Yo, are you guys going to be alright?"

"Yeah…I'm worried about this unknown illness taking a toll on you seven." Aquatus whimpers.

Coleo has one eye closed, grinding his teeth. "Ye ca' thank Lycus meddlin' with the apples we ate."

Aquatus sighs. "Right…I hope you all get well soon."

The four aquatic Pokémon make it to the other side, turning their backs towards the land. Virtuous and Aquatus lean themselves, their tails touching the brown dirt. Ramon carries Mesmeren, the Drowzee blushing with intensity while the two slide down. Justin and Ada spiral from Virtuous' back, falling face first.

"Oof!" the teens exclaim, rubbing the back of their heads.

Virtuous winces at the sight, flinching. "Ah…My apologies, you two."

Ramon reaches the ground in time, translating Virtuous' words over to the teens. Justin and Ada groan, having their arms rest on each other's necks before standing.

"It's fine," Ada says.

Courtney, Sylock, and Roan hop off, grunting in discomfort. Virtuous and Aquatus revert back to their Solo forms, looking up at the group while in the water. Mesmeren gazes into the distance, her hand against Ramon's chest fur.

Di-Did he have to carry me like this!? H-He could've easily just held my hand! She blinks. …Is that any better, though? She covers her face, whimpering. Oof!

Ramon quirks his brow. "Something's wro—"

"NOTHING!" Mesmeren shouts, everyone looking at the two in curiosity. "I-I am fine! Yes, fine in fact!"

The Zoroark tilts his head. "...Okay then."

Mesmeren looks at his eyes, the dark scleras dancing around his red pupils. The Drowzee blushes further. Wh-What is WITH him becoming more h-handsome with every new look!? F-First the bangs, and now the eyes… She buries herself into Ramon's chest, the Zoroark reddening himself up. Heh, h-how embarrassing of me to feel this way!

Aquatus sighs softly, nodding. "I suppose this is farewell, you all. Once again, thank you for everything you've done to end this war." She turns towards Ramon. "Especially you, Ramon." The Zoroark remains still, staring at the four Water types in perplexion.

"If it weren't for you, my bro would've kept squabbling with Virtuous and I'd look like a weirdo for liking the other side," Quintin says, showing off a toothy grin.

Behemoth scratches the back of his head in a nervous manner. "Yeah…Again, my bad for pretty much ruining the vibe for everyone involved."

Virtuous sighs. "Same here." Lowering his brows, he nods. "We'll do our best to repair the damages being made here!" The Wishiwashi whimpers. "Even if some of my citizens still hate me for what I've done. Understandably so."

"Argh, cheer up, lad. At leas' I forgive ye, and a close friend forgiving ye two matters the most." Coleo closes his eyes, smiling in pure relief.

Behemoth and Virtuous form tears in their eyes, sniffling. "U-Understood, our beloved Coleo!" they both exclaim in unison. "Here's hoping for a wonderful journey of yours'!"

Coleo raises his setaes up. "Thank ye, lads—AGH!" He covers his belly, laughing in a shaky manner.

Ramon looks away, squinting. …I don't get it. His left bangs do their best to shield his despondent. I twisted your emotions throughout the whole ordeal. All of you. His teeth gnashes. Why thank me?

Mesmeren looks up at the fox with concern, lowering her ears. She is about to say something before Ramon says, "I'm glad that the war has ended, too. Best of luck on fixing the Lake of Purity."

"Thank you," Virtuous and Behemoth say, nodding.

Ramon and gang wave at the leaders along with the rest of the aquatic Pokémon, all turning around afterwards. They walk forward at a sluggish pace, a swirly road being ahead of them, rows of trees providing them proper guidance. The group passes by a crooked sign: 'Now leaving Lake of Purity'.

Once they're gone, Aquatus whimpers, her fins against her chest. "I wish there was a way we could heal them from this 'Weakener'." She looks down.

Quintin pats her on the back. "Same here, man." He gazes at the pathway. "Same here."

Virtuous sighs in a calm manner. "Hopefully they'll find a kind person that'll cure them."

"Yep," Behemoth agrees.

The four turn around, gazing at the crowd of Wishiwashis and Gyarados conversing about the events. The two leaders smile.

"You know, we should combine our kingdoms at some point, Virtuous."

The leader Wishiwashi yelps from that sudden statement, eyeing the leader Gyarados. "R-Really?" Behemoth nods, Virtuous forming a red look on his face. He adjusts his King's Rock, laughing shakily. "C-Certainly! I…wouldn't be against such an idea at all, my Gyari—I mean, friend!"

Behemoth chuckles, bringing Virtuous close to him with his tail. "D'aww! Come here, you knucklehead." He hugs him.

"Hahaha…" He's completely unaware of my crush on him, huh?

Yowa, Fisher, and their children swim close to Quintin, all eyeing up the big Water Gem Gyarados. Yowa leans close to the Mystic Water sardine, her fin beside her maw. "So you wanna tell us who this big Gyarafella is?" she whispers.

Aquatus blinks for a moment before gasping. "Oh right!" She turns to Quintin. "Since the war is over and all, I'd like you to meet my family." She gestures to the Wishiwashis behind her. "Quintin, this is my mother, father, and my two siblings over there named Marsh and Beckett." She turns towards her family. "And everyone, this is Quintin, a friend I met before Phase 32." She shoots a glare at her siblings. "And only just a friend."

"Whatever you say, Sis!" Marsh exclaims, snickering with deviousness.

"Why it's a pleasure meetin' ya, Quintin. You can call me Mrs. Yowa!"

"And you can call me Mr. Fisher, Quintados!" Fisher grins.

Quintin blinks. "...Wha—"

"Bet you could swallow us all at once. Definitely with how HUMONGOUS you are!" Fisher laughs.

"Uh, yeah man. That's what evolving into a Gyarados feels like, I guess?"

Fisher gasps. "Actually, I've thought of a new name for your kind! Instead of Gyarados, how about this one: GINORMORODOS!"

"Oh my gosh, honey stop it!" Yowa waves her fin up and down, laughing along with Fisher and their kids.

Quintin tilts his head while Aquatus presses her fin against her face, shaking her head. "I'm…lost, dude."

"Pay no mind to those…'jokes'. They're not used to this sudden peace between our kinds," Aquatus states, sighing heavily.

"Anyways, what do you do during your spare time, hun?" Yowa asks in genuineness.

Quintin blinks. "Oh. I guess I like hang out at the game area and play some sand dust sports?"

Beckett gasps. "Wait, you play Sand Dust Thrower, too!?"

"Huh. Is that what it's called?"

"Yep!" The little Wishiwashi swims close to Quintin, her parents following suit. "Were you the Striker? Protector? Or are you a filthy casual Mixer?"

"Eh!?" Quintin blinks in confusion.

"Just teasing about that last part! …Kind of." She giggles, leading the Gyarados to form the look of uncertainty.

"Al…right, then." He laughs, scratching the back of his head. "I'd like to think I'm a Striker? As in the one doing most of the throwing. I found it more fun, honestly."

"Oh my gosh, same here! Hehe."

Fisher tilts his head. "Huh. If you and my daughter found something fun about this game, then maybe I should join in, too."

Quintin nods. "You should, Mr. F! I've seen some Gyarados doin' some crazy tactics when it comes to that sports game."

"Really now? I'd imagine due to how big y'all are." He blinks before shaking his head. "Also, 'Mr. F'?"

The five laugh and continue on with their conversation, Aquatus watching them while smiling along. I guess introducing him to my family isn't a complete disaster, after all. Maybe.



Aquatus blinks from those two voices being called out, looking to her side. Another Gyarados and Wishiwashi rush towards each other, hugging. The Gyarados carries her beloved Wishiwashi, nuzzling her. Aquatus' heart flourishes in warmth at the sight, the Mystic Water Wishiwashi sighing in relief.

I'm so happy to see us move forward in our new lives…

AN: Greetings, everyone! This second story arc has been an blast to write, but I've been feeling pretty exhaustive of having to constantly write one chapter after another, with an momentary break from the arc due to personal things going on in my life that gets in the way at times. Hopefully you've all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoy writing it, though! I'll be taking a 3 or so weeks break from writing this fic (besides doing some small planning on it from time to time). The third and final story arc will receive an major overhaul since I personally don't like the direction I have planned for it a long while back. So if it takes like plenty of months for the next following chapters to come out, then you know why.

If you've reached this far into the fic, I just wanted to say: Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for taking your time out to read this fic, let alone the recent chapters themselves. It genuinely means a lot to me that someone would find this passionate work of mine entertaining to read! I always do my best writing this fic of mine so to know that you all are still reading it 41 chapters in just...warms my heart, in all honesty. Feel free to tell me your thoughts on the fic as per usual, even provide some feedbacks if you have any! See ya in the next chapter, folks!
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Chapter 42.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 42: Moving Forward.

Rumbling. Trembling. The Emmet and Ingo's Choo of Choos.

The train traverses across the many forests, the railroads scaling above them. Some blue and purple sparkles stick the train on the road, ensuring the train crosses. Many people sit in the train's seats: Some socialize with each other while others stare out of the windows, basking at the flourishing greens and the wandering wilds.

Munching on his vanilla cake is Travis the Lucario, sitting at the very end of the train. He jabs the sweet-toothed treat via his fork, jolting it towards his mouth. He glares out of the window, his cloak covering all but his face. The claw marks on the left side of his face—all healed and patched up instead of raining blood from two days ago. The jackal gazes at his near reflection, the marks spitting at him for what happened at Gloomy Woods.

Travis grumbles. "I'm killing that fox the moment I see him again." He sets the fork on his plate, caressing the claw marks. "I have to admit though…That Zoroark did a damn number on me this time around. The perks of evolution, in other words." Travis eyes the cake. "Thanks for healing me, Forest. The bleeding would've gotten worse if you didn't fix those marks." Drooling at the treat, his tail wags. "Also…thanks for this delicious cake, too."

The Lucario takes another bite, smiling while closing his eyes. He soon lowers his ears, staring down. "...Seven days since I've left our house, Noctis. I'm sorry for the long absence, but I should be back home in no time." Another jab to the bitten cake. "Hopefully you're doing okay right now. Knowing…what caused me to leave in the first place."

Travis' ear flickers to a single 'tap'. And more. And even more—the taps keep going, the Lucario turning to his side.

Sitting across is a woman in black clothing, her head resting on her hand while gazing outside. Her witch hat lays on her skirt, her hair clouding her left vision before she brushes them aside. She taps on her camera beside the hat, the neck strap being long enough to reach her black hair's length. The blues paint this woman's face, her eyes partially closing, staring at a Wingull flying by.

Travis stares at the lady for a brief moment before glaring at his cake, chowing it. "Grr…" He grumbles, leaving nothing on the plate while gripping his fork. "How could anyone trust that damn Zoroark? Who's to say everything he said isn't pulled right out of his ass?" The fork snaps, the top of it flinging towards the woman.

"Who's to say anyone, both man and mon, isn't pulling tricks up their sleeves?" the woman says, stopping the fork with her magic, blue sparkles forming around it and her hand. "How could anyone trust a human and a Pokémon? Knowing both are capable of vile tendencies, especially humans…" She sets the broken fork beside her, her blue eyes locking onto Travis'.

Travis raises his brow. "Were you listening to the things I said?"

The lady shakes her head. "Only ever heard you mention the word 'trust' and decided to join the topic from there…" She stares down at her camera, caressing it. "Apologies if that's weird."

"It's fine." He sets his plate to the side. "I agree with you, but I believe Zorua and Zoroark are the worst of them all."

"How so?"

Travis lifts his paw. "For starters, they have the Illusion ability, allowing them to shapeshift into anyone and anything of their choice." His paw forms into a fist, rattling. "They can pretend to be a little girl needing someone to help her. And the moment you help them, they reveal their true despicable selves, having you be caught by their dirty trap."

"That's quite the specific example."

"Yeah…Because it happened to me." He says that last part softly, glaring off.

The pale skin woman nods. "My sympathies, then." She strokes her chest, closing her eyes. "I understand where you're coming from there. However…I believe humans are the true culprits behind the world being in ruins." She opens her eyes, glaring at the seat in front of her. "The thirst for power, the egocentric mindsets…Wars of the past even happened because of them. Even if a Pokémon were involved to aid them, they're still the masterminds behind their wickedness."

"Hmm." Travis puts his paw underneath his chin, staring down. "I did encounter some humans with the Zorua that tricked me. All of them being Pokémon Hunters." Crossing his legs, he frowns at the woman. "You may have a point there, but still: Pokémon aren't any better than humans, especially the Zorua line."

The woman shrugs. "I'm not doubting it: All of them have malicious intentions, hidden behind any kindness you can think of…" She squints her eyes out of the window.

Travis stares at the woman for a brief moment, the train rumbling on the rails. He looks out of the window, the train turning away from a city with many large buildings. The Lucario folds his arms.

"...Travis. That's my name."

"Scarlet. Pleasure meeting you, Travis."


Nothing but the train's trembles is heard as the two's lips are sealed, both keeping their gaze towards the outside. Scarlet stops her taps, laying her hand on top of the front seat.

"...Is there a good reason for me to be here? Alive?" she says.

Travis blinks, glaring at the woman. "Yeah? There's always a reason for anyone to be here."

The woman withdraws her hand, looking at it. "Can't say that I agree." Squints. "I'm unfortunate enough to be born like this. Forced to be flawed beyond belief…" Her hand curls into a fist. "That's what I am."

The jackal keeps his gaze on her, his face scrambling into uncertainty. His feelers twitch, Travis looking away and grabs them. No. There's nothing wrong with her. Shush… He sighs, staring down at the forest along with some river streams.

. . .

The path twists and turns and zigzags for the eight, the sun being obscured by the large trees showering over everyone. The group grunts and pants, dragging their feet against the ground with the exception of Ramon and Mesmeren, the former carrying the latter. Roan whines, gripping his arm.

"Ugh…This is quite unbearable!" Roan exclaims.

"Tell me about it," Courtney follows, being beside the Axew before she coughs. "Eck!"

Coleo grits his teeth, squinting. "We mus' keep goin'. Regar'less of the Weakener."

Sylock nods at the Blipbug before grunting himself, stopping. Courtney immediately lays the Blaziken's arm onto her neck, guiding him forward. "I gotcha, Sy." She smiles, her lips quivering. Sylock smiles back, his lips trembling as well.

Justin grins at the group. "Ya know, the Weakener ain't Weakus." Before anyone can react, the teen groans further, gritting his teeth. "Goddammit!" Ada gropes his shirt, shaking with concerns. The boy looks at her. "The Weakener didn't like that pun, haha…"

Sylock squints. Neither did I.

Ada pats Justin's shoulder. "Just…try not to strain yourself, okay? We're all in pretty bad shape so we'll need the energy as much as—AGH!" She strokes her belly, bits of purple blood leaking out of her lips. "Possible…"

Justin sighs. "Yeah. You're right…"

"I just hope we don't remain in this Weakener stage forever…Ugh." Ada rubs her ill, dark eyes.

Mesmeren shivers. "S-Same…"

The Lopunny looks over at the Zoroark, Ramon lowering his ears and staring at the group. "Hey Ramon."

The Zoroark perks up and looks back. "Erm, y-yes?"

"Why were you coughing black blood?" Courtney taps her chin. "Meant to ask that earlier but ya know, us being in the middle of a dangerous war and all."

Ramon squints at the ground. "I have no clue."


The Zoroark sighs, whimpering. "S-Sorry. I wish I knew why my blood looks that way." Blinks. "What I do know is that it looks similarly to the black blood I saw at the facility."

Everyone looks at the fox out of curiosity.

"Black blood at the facility?" Justin and Ada ask.

Ramon nods. "I have no clue whose blood those are, but it was mixing with the normal red ones…" He shakes his head, grimacing. "I'd rather not think about it, honestly."

"Understandable. I can only imagine the horror of traveling through a pool of blood would be like…" Ada shivers, shaking her head. Coleo tilts his head at the fox as the group keeps moving forward, the occasional grunts and groans persist.

"By the way Courtney, I've heard a strange voice in my head saying 'Shadow Arch' while I was using my Rune." Ramon flicks his ears while blinking. "Not really sure what that's about."

"Wha—" Courtney pauses for a moment before gasping. "Ooooh!"

Justin deadpans. "Ooooh…what?"

The rabbit points at the fox. "That there is the one telling ya yer Rune's name. Since it's ya first time usin' it."

Ramon raises his brow. "Huh? But didn't you tell me I got to name my Rune once I've used it for the first time?"

"I sure did. It's because those with Runes can choose to either keep their Rune names or change it into somethin' else." Courtney smirks at the Blaziken. "Isn't that right, Sy?" Sylock simply nods at the Lopunny, smirking back.

"Oh. I see, then." Ramon smiles. "So what you're telling me is that the Rune voice is the one telling me the name of my Rune first, and then I get to decide on keeping its name or not."

"Yep yep!" Courtney perks her large ears up. "Speaking of, do ya plan to keep your Rune name or nah?"

"Hmm…" The Zoroark shrugs. "I see zero reasons to get rid of it. So I'll keep it."

"Mateys, I see somethin' up ahead." Coleo points forward, everyone gazing at some tall buildings, windows displaying here and there.

Ada smiles, eyes widening. "We're almost there to Glory Pride City!" She moves quickly, Justin yelping as his feet get dragged further.

"Whoa there, Ada! Let me pick up the pace, too!"

Mesmeren giggles in a soft manner, the teens moving ahead of her and Ramon. "H-Hey, slow…down." Her eyes close. "You…two…"

Ramon eyes the Drowzee. "Mesmeren?" No response. Ramon stops in his tracks, shaking the tapir. Mesmeren's hands nudge against the fox's fur like a feather, unmoving and more pale. "Mesmere—"


Ramon yaps, looking ahead at Justin and Ada being on the ground. Ada lies on her side, eyes closed while her mouth hangs open. Justin's eyes quake, the boy panting heavier while becoming more pale. He shakes the girl, whimpering: She's not moving a muscle, her skin becoming paler.

"ADA!" Justin screams, shaking the teen more. He keeps going until his arms slow down, his eyes closing. "A…da…" His head lies on top of hers', his groans fading.

Ramon widens his eyes, gnashing his teeth. "Justin! Ada!" His ears flicker to many grass rustling, turning to his left gradually: Courtney, Sylock, Roan, and Coleo are on the ground, unmoving along with being further pale than before. Ramon gulps, backing away. He looks at Mesmeren and then at the rest of his friends, shaking at his very core.

Ramon whimpers, his heart racing like crazy while he strokes Mesmeren. A-Are they…dead!? His head shakes. No! I…I don't want to think about that possibility. He glances at Mesmeren's hands, her fingers twitching at random. Okay…Mesmeren is still alive, at least. Barely. I think this means the others are, too. Ramon lowers his ears. This must be the effects of the Weakener. Having everyone enter the next stage of it…

His lips quiver. What should I do? The Zoroark looks ahead. Maybe I can go into Glory Pride asking others for help, but… His eyelids lower. I don't want something to come by and attack them like what happened at Gloomy Woods. Groans. Ugh. No way I can get help quickly, too! The fox whines. I would carry them all with me, but I could only carry Mesmeren.

Ramon grunts, sniffling as tears form. What can I really do!? It feels like every possibility is off limits. He gasps. Wait…I could use my Shadow Arch to carry them. Like how I carried Coleo earlier. Nods. I saw multiple hands forming around us like a shield, too. So this got to work!

The fox stands still: Nothing but the small gust of winds blowing his hair and a few leaves.

I'll try again.

Ramon lowers his brow, blinking: Nothing happens. Again.

The Zoroark's tears drip onto the unconscious tapir. "MY FRIENDS ARE IN TROUBLE! PLEASE LET ME USE MY SHADOW ARCH AGAIN!" Ramon screams, a leaf falling onto his snout before sliding off. He sniffles, breathing at an irregular pace.

C-Calm down…I can use it. I just, I don't know, need to concentrate on using it like I did with my ability. The breathing slows down. Yeah…Th-That makes sense.

Ramon closes his eyes, inhaling. After a few seconds, he exhales, opening his eyes: Shadowy auras cast around him, dark arms sprouting out of his back. His Shadow Arch rises above everyone, Ramon sighing in relief.

"Thank goodness…" Without a second thought, he grabs the six and picks them up, gripping onto Mesmeren further. He nuzzles her. "Don't worry, everyone: I'll find help there."

Ramon moves forward, more buildings revealing themselves up ahead, some cars even passing by a corner. Ramon walks past a sign:

'Now entering Glory Pride City'

AN: Apologies for the long way, everyone! A lot has been happening to me mentally for these past two months. But hopefully things should get better for me now and I start writing more chapters of M&T. I've gotten its third and final story arc ready to show off to the world. So buckle up, folks: We're in for a wild ride these next following chapters!
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Chapter 43.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 43: Not-So Pleasant Reunion.

Vehicles pass by the many houses and stores, people roaming around the streets of Glory Pride's suburbs. Some of the residents chat with each other while the kids frolic around in a friendly spar. One child flicks their Mystical Projectile at a Fuecoco before the fire gator ducks, almost hitting a woman near the food mart.

"HEY! Watch where you aim that thing!" the woman yells, stroking her groceries while glaring.

The kids laugh in an awkward manner, all scratching the back of their heads while in the street's middle. "Our bad, ma'am!" the Fuecoco says.

As the woman crosses the road, the kids notice some cars heading towards them. They move to the sidewalk, continuing their spars in its open space. The cars drive towards a yellow orb statue in the middle, turning their left or their right path.

Nearing the food mart seven feet away is a fairly large house with fences surrounding it, some windows being next to the front door. The only part the fences haven't surrounded is the garage, a walkway leading towards it. Inside of the house is the living room with three couches: One on the left, one on the right, and the third in the middle.

There's a table in front of the middle sofa, with a picture portrait sitting on it. The picture has a Riolu, Charmeleon, and two teens eyeing forward: The Riolu posing in a determined manner while wearing his black cloak, the Charmeleon flexing his arms while wearing his yellow chain necklace, the mid teen adjusting his glasses while wearing a blue jacket, and the late teen rustling his hair while wearing his lab coat. They're all smiling, with the latter's glasses about to fall off.

Two orange scaly feet sit beside the portrait, a yawn following from the individual himself: A Charizard. The Charizard groans, his head against his hand as he wields a TV remote, his chain necklace hanging around him. Beside him are three Pokémon: A Buizel, Leafeon, and Flareon. All four of them are sitting on the middle sofa, eyeing at the fairly large TV ahead.

The TV has a Dragonite wearing a crystal necklace and a Nidoking wearing black gloves, both charging towards each other with their ultimate moves.

"Fire Ice Punch!" the Dragonite yells, her fist encasing in flaming chill energy.

"Poison Thunder Punch!" the Nidoking yells back, his fist encasing in electrifying toxic energy.

The Charizard rolls his eyes. "Boring as shit." He presses a button.

As the two Pokémon collide their moves, the channel switches to two Prinplups slapping each other with their flippers before an Empoleon smacks them in the head. The Charizard laughs.

"Now THIS is my kind of show," he says, grinning.

The Buizel looks up to him, pouting. "HEY! Change back to Mixturing Moves, NOW!"

The orange dragon looks down at the weasel, glaring. "No."

The weasel whines. "Why!? I was enjoying that show, especially at Episode 5 where things were really heating up!"

"You were?" The dragon blinks before rolling his eyes. "Kid, you literally need to like better shows than this. This feels like someone's attempt at creating an epic, grand story without planning any of it."

The Leafeon beside the Buizel giggles. "Honestly, I agree with Noctis here."

"Shush, Serene! I'm surprised that you're even paying attention to the convo this time around. Cuz you would always be doing your nails nearly everyday!" The weasel huffs, folding his arms.

Serene looks at the Buizel deadpanned. "...I lost my nail file in the flames, remember?"

The Buizel blinks for a moment before looking away, laughing with raspiness. "Ah…My bad for forgetting that."

"It's fine." The tan canine looks down at her toenails, whimpering. "Ugh, they look so…unpolished! I wish I still had my nail file." Tears stream down her cheeks like a waterfall, the Flareon beside her immediately trembling at the sight. Serene looks at him before shaking her head, waving her paws. "NO NO NO! I'm okay, Ethan! No need to worry about me feeling down! I'm just overreacting, that's all! Haha…"

Noctis and the Buizel give Serene perplexing looks before facing each other. "ANYWAYS!" The Buizel squints his eyes. "YOU'RE WRONG!" Pouts. "Like this show is really good, with action scenes making up for some of the hiccups in it. And there's times where this show gets really emotional, too. Such as what happened to Carrie at the end of Episode 4. Genuinely feel so bad for her, dude."

Noctis blinks again, shaking his head. "But like…why though!? THAT CARRIE CHARACTER SUCKS, SHE HARDLY DID A THING AND ONLY EXISTS AS DEATH FODDER!"

The weasel leaps up. "H-Hey! She ain't no death fodder! Also, did we watch the same show? Because I could've sworn I saw her fighting those Malamars in Episode 3 and 4!"

"She deadass only appeared in two episodes and then died at the end of the second one. How is that not death fodder? Like sure she's a side character and all, but the story didn't give her character enough time to expand and have us care about her before her death TWO episodes in. Hell, I would've taken three or four episodes focusing on Carrie."

The Buizel waves his paw up and down. "Nah, I think the writers did a good job at fleshing her out. Especially during the middle of Episode 4 where she was comforting her little brother despite her injuries."

"Eh, I guessed so." Noctis blinks for a moment before scratching the back of his head. "Although, I will admit that you're right about her fighting those Malamars. But she's still an ass character because of her being a generic protective type." He shrugs.

"Nah, she's not bad. You just have bad tastes!" The Buizel sticks his tongue out playfully.

Noctis squints. "Says the kid who thinks a Malamar casually explaining his evil plans to three randos is good writing."

"Wait, is that not good writing?"

Noctis shakes his head. "No. Why would explaining your secret plans to RANDOM PEOPLE be a good idea, X?"

X tilts his head. "I mean, I figured that happens just to let us know them Malamars bad." He poker faces.


As the two continue their dispute, Serene pats her brother on the back, concerns spreading throughout. Ethan tenses up, his shakiness persists. "Come on, Ethan…" Serene lowers her ears. "I said that I'm fine and was overrea—"

"Th-That's not i-it," Ethan interrupts, his voice being as shaky and quivery as he is, his blue necklace dangling.

"Then what is it? If it's us being in danger, then you don't have to worry. We're safe here in Mr. Noctis' home. Okay?" The Leafeon smiles.

"N-No…" Ethan shakes his head. "M-Mother will be mad…" He stares at Serene, eyes widened. "W-We've been g-gone from her for so, so long." The red canid strokes the sofa, tears wailing up on his claw marked face. "I-I don't want to get pu—"

A hug is met with the Flareon, Ethan gasping as he stares at Serene. The Leafeon rubs the young creature's back, nuzzling him. She closes her eyes. "I know," she says, wrapping her vines around the Flareon. Ethan blinks, sniffling before his shakiness fades, closing his eyes as well.

Behind the four is a kitchen a few feet away, containing two individuals: One being in front of a stove wearing an apron while the other is holding a cookbook flipping through pages. Steam rises from the large pot on the stove, the dark brown woman using her spoon to stir inside. She hums, grabbing a salt nearby to sprinkle.

"This Aspear Soup is looking nice so far," the woman says, sticking her tongue out in concentration.

The teen nods, preventing his hat from falling off. "Yes yes, this recipe looks fantastic, Mrs. Phoenix!" Merlin flips to another page, an Aspear Berry cutting up into pieces displays itself. His eyes jolt at the numbers, words going over the process such as 'add a pitch of apple juices to the pot' and 'sprinkle some salt into it.' The Sorcerous gasps, grasping the book.

"This is information heaven! I can learn so much from all of these words!" He points to the word 'helve'. "I wasn't even aware of this word's existence! I guess 'helve' means handling a tool, presumably very carefully due to the next step of placing the sliced Nanab Berry inside."

Delia quirks her brow. "In other words, cut a Nanab Berry in half and put it inside the pot."

"Erm, yes exactly that."

Delia chuckles. "Well I'm not doing this by myself, so go look in the berry basket for some Nanabs."

Merlin nods. "Right on, Mrs. Phoenix!"

Merlin rushes to his left, the steam leaving the kitchen and heading over to the living room. The aroma climbs up X's nose, the Buizel sandwiching his face with his paws. "OH THAT SMELLS GOOD!" he exclaims, his face going red with enthusiasm.

"AH!" Ethan yelps, Serene patting him within seconds while laughing in a nervous manner.

"Eh-Ex!" Serene stutters, frowning at the weasel.

Delia giggles, smiling. "Just give it a couple more minutes and then it'll be ready."

The Buizel's maw drools, moving himself from side to side while holding his paws. "Oooooh I'm looking forward to it, Mrs. Phoenix!"

Noctis' belly rumbles, the Charizard staring at it. "...Yeah, I'm getting hungry too."

X then blinks in perplexion. "Um, what?"

Noctis looks down at the Buizel. "What do you mean 'what'? I gotta eat just like you do, boy."

"No, not that. I mean…" X glances at the front door. "Feels like I'm…sensing something nearby. Two, in fact."

Everyone looks at him with raised brows, Serene tilting her head. "Really?"

X nods. "Yeah. I don't think I've felt this way before, either. It's weird."

The chained necklace dragon waves his hand. "It's probably nothing to worry about. Could be your mind messing with ya." Without a warning, X sprints off the couch, ushering towards the door. "What the—Where are you going!?"

"X, wait!" Serene's about to get up until Noctis lifts his hand, the Leafeon pausing.

"Stay here with Ethan. I'll go after your friend."

Serene eyes her brother, the Flareon quivering his lips as his shakiness returns. "Yeah. I will."

Noctis flaps his wings and flies up before landing behind the sofa. He looks down at his feet, groaning. "Ugggh, I have to ruuuuuun." He rolls his eyes, dragging his feet against the ground.

The Buizel passes by the kitchen, Delia and Merlin looking to their right in confusion while the latter holds some Nanab Berries.

"Um, X?" Merlin asks before the door opens, closing right after the Buizel leaves.

"Huh. Wonder where he's going."

"Yeah…" Merlin sets the berries and cookbook beside the sink on the counter. "I'll go follow him."

"Wait, what about—"

Merlin runs off and opens the door, dashing after X. Noctis stops in front of Delia, panting and eyeing her. "Hey watch over my house real quick, alright?"

"But what about—" Noctis leaves, closing the door. "...my soup."

. . .

A car drives towards the exit on its right, riding along the bumpy roads. Ramon walks past a double-ended sign: 'Avalon Forest 2 to Glory Pride City'.

More vehicles zip by him as he's in the middle of the street. Justin, Ada, and the others are held in the air by his shadow arms, the Zoroark panting while stroking the back of Mesmeren's head.

People on the sidewalks eye the fox in discomfort, some White Flower Florges pinning themselves against a nearby building.

Just…need to ask for help. Dark aura flourishes throughout the fox, his black scleras piercing through the people's dread. "H-Hey, can someone please he—"

"AAAH!" one man screams, running off along with everyone else.

"Let's get away from them!" a Sudowoodo exclaims, holding a woman's hand and tugging her.

"O-Officer! POLICE!" a Forretress yells in a raspy tone, their hat scrambling off from them as they float away.

Ramon grits his teeth, shaking. "W-Wait, no! I just need someone's—"


Multiple cars swirl around themselves and drive away from the Zoroark, zooming past the yellow statue up ahead, some even turning to their right. Ramon lowers his ears. "Help…" He sighs. I don't look that scary, do I?

"Mm…" Mesmeren whines, twitching a bit within Ramon's grasp.

Ramon looks down at her. "Just hang on, Mesmeren." He eyes his friends afterwards, all remaining still in his shadow hands. "All of you hang on a little longer. Please…" The fox moves forward, grunting.

Once he stands in front of the statue, he turns to his right: Three individuals dashing after him. Maybe they can help me, Ramon thinks, more vehicles evading him. He then blinks in confusion. That tingling feeling is back again…

. . .

A truck honks at X and Merlin, the Buizel rolling towards the side while the teen jumps after him. Merlin sighs, stroking his chest and staff. "Phew, that was a close one!" He eyes a disappeared Buizel's spot. "X?" He looks ahead, the weasel dashing towards a shadowy figure. Merlin yelps, following.

X stops in front of the figure, eyeing him. "What the hell?"

Merlin stops next to the Buizel. "What is it?" The boy then gasps, his hat tilting.

Noctis soon catches up with them, panting and huffing while his hands are on his knees. "Damn…Note to self: Fly to your location instead of running next time. Please." The Charizard glances at Merlin and X. "What're you two ogling at?" He then looks in front of him before jumping back. "HOLY SHIT!"

The Zoroark stands before them: Red irises gleaming within the darkness shrouding him. Spacey, fuse noises pulsate his shadow arms. His hands take hold of six individuals, waving around. And lastly, a Drowzee lies in the fox's grasp, twitching and quaking at random.

X widens his eyes at two teens encased in those shadows: Justin and Ada, barely moving.

Ramon stares at the three, his ears lowered. "Hey, can you please help my fri—"

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING HOLDING MY FRIENDS HOSTAGE!?" X shouts, clenching his teeth.

The fox gasps. "Wh-What!? No no no! I'm not holding your friends hostage!"

Flames form around Noctis' maw as Merlin gets in a posture, purple sparkles forming on his staff's tip. "Your appearance says otherwise," the teen states, frowning.

"It's not what it looks like, I swear!"

Aquatic energy casts around the Buizel as he snarls. "I'm not buying that crap: Let. Them. Go. NOW!"

"But I'm telling you the truth: I'm not holding them hos—" Ramon is shoved by X's Aqua Jet, dropping Mesmeren along with the others. His eyes widen, feeling like everything is at a brief halt as he's being separated from the tapir. He rolls around the ground, flailing over and over. He rams into the bushes near the statue, groaning. "Ugh…"

Everyone hit the ground, Mesmeren whimpering while the others groan. "R-Ra…mon…" That's what the Drowzee can say, tears streaming down her cheeks.

X jumps from the Zoroark, glaring. "I don't know what you did to Justin and Ada, but I'll make sure you regret it!" Six dark tentacles emerge from the weasel's back, X forming orange irises in his eyes while black scleras cast around.

Ramon shuffles out of the bushes, eyeing the pointy tentacles aiming at him. The slender tendrils rush towards the fox, Ramon gasping. He counters them with his shadow arms, getting pushed back before jumping to the side. He soon coughs out black blood, trembling.

Using this Rune is hurting me more often than it should, Ramon thinks. He eyes another tentacle slamming downwards, the Zoroark rolling to the side as it hits the ground.

Dark Tendrils, an unknown raspy voice says in X's mind.

X blinks for a moment before shaking his head. Could be my mind messing with me there. He lunges towards Ramon, striking his Dark Tendrils forward while the fox keeps dodging.

Merlin and Noctis hear coughters to their side, seeing seven individuals lying down. Ada strokes the ground, gazing at Justin. The boy's lips shake, his chest moving gradually. "Ju-Justin…" The girl lays her hand on top of his', whimpering. She turns towards the fight, her vision blurring.

"Ada! Justin!" Merlin and Noctis rush towards Ada's side, the wizard hat boy trembling with dread. "Are you okay!?"

Ada slowly turns towards him. "M-Mer…lin?" She lifts her shaky hand, pressing them against Merlin's face. "Is that…you?"

Merlin nods. "Yes, it's me." He scans the girl, eyes expanding. "What's wrong with your voice? Wh…Why do you look so pale?" The boy looks at the others. "Actually, why are all of you pale? …Did the Zoroark do this to you!?"

Noctis scratches the side of his head. "Um. Wanna fill me in on what the fuck is going on?"

Merlin shakes his head. "I-I have no clue myself." He quakes. "Maybe they need to heal. That must be it." The teen presses his hand onto Ada's chest as it glows blue. Ada's face remains in its pale, weakened state, Merlin sighing before he stops. "...Doesn't seem like it worked." Whines. "Why!?"

"R-Ramon…" Ada groans.

"Hmm?" Merlin leans closer.

Ada uses her last ounces of strength to point at the dodging Zoroark. "He…helped u-us." She pants heavily. "He…isn't the cause of…Weaken…er." The girl passes out.

"What?" Merlin shakes the teen. "Ada? Ada!?" He brings his head against her chest, a 'thump' happens every now and then. "...Okay. She's still alive: Good."

Noctis rests his hands by his hips. "Hey um, I'm still confused about what just happened. Like what did she say to you?" He blinks before shaking his head. "Wait hold up, you know her too?"

Merlin nods. "Yes. She's a childhood friend of mine. Her and Justin." He turns towards the Charizard. "The ones we've told you about being separated from."

"Oooh." Noctis grimaces. "Not-so…pleasant reunion it seems, though."

Merlin grimaces as well. "Indeed." He looks at the fight afterwards. "As for what she told me, she said this Ramon guy has helped her and isn't the cause of this 'Weakener'."

"Wow." Noctis holds his hands together, his fingertips resting beneath his head. "I love how I got some answers and yet, I'm STILL confused."

"Sorry." Merlin sighs, shaking his head. "I don't even know what this 'Weakener' is, either!"

"Right." Although…did she say 'Ramon'? Noctis squints, eyeing the fight as well.

The Zoroark ducks and dodges, leaping from two tentacles. X encases his arm in dark energy and lunges towards the fox. "Hey, I'm—" Ramon grits his teeth and ducks backwards from Pursuit, leading the Buizel to hit nothing and rolling forward.

X jabs the ground with his tentacles, stopping himself. Ramon's Shadow Arch latches onto the ground before pushing the fox up, backflipping over the weasel.

Ramon lands in front of a large saloon building beside the statue, panting. The people inside eyes them, all trembling and quaking.

"Please listen to me!" Ramon exclaims, X keeping his tentacles active. "I wasn't holding your friends hostage! I was trying to find them some help!" Ramon whines, lowering his ears. "I mean no harm, I promise!"

X enlarges his eyes, his irises twitching in madness. The words 'I promise' rings into his mind, brief images of a Pokémon Trainer saying those exact words popping up in incoherent paces. The Buizel frowns, flaming aquatic auras boost around him.

"You 'promise', huh?" His auras spark, radiating with splashing fiery. The Buizel moves his arms back.

Merlin and Noctis widen their eyes, confusion spreading across. "What…kind of Pokémon move is the kid using!?" Noctis yells.

Merlin shakes his head. "I don't think that's a Pokémon move. I think it's a—"

X pushes his arms forward, the flaming waters jolting towards the Zoroark. "I DON'T BELIEVE YOUR CRAP, YOU MONSTER!"

Ramon gasps, his heart feeling as though it has dropped to the very depths upon hearing 'monster'. The Zoroark looks down at the ground and closes his eyes, retracting his shadow arms. Tears slide down his cheeks as he says,

"I can't blame you…"

The aquatic flames rams him into the building.

Whatever flames that initially catch onto the debrises is doused by the water afterwards, giving the civilians a chance to scram. Ramon rolls around the ground a couple of times before sliding across, crashing against some desks. The wooden structures collapse onto him, clouding bits of his face.

The fox doesn't care: His hands twitching, his legs twitching, and his face…unmoving. Ramon gazes at the ceiling, more tears sliding down.

Ramon!? Nomar yells, wanting the Zoroark's attention: It is null and void. Ramon, please get up! PLEASE! A tentacle wraps around the fox in a slow, steady pace. I DON'T WANT YOU TO DIE! BECAUSE IF YOU DO, THEN I'LL DIE PERMANENTLY, TOO!

Does Mesmeren have a point? Ramon thinks. About her being unwanted by the world?


The Zoroark is lifted. Because if so… The tentacle brings him forward to an aquatically furious Buizel, X bringing his right paw to the side. I'm also unwanted here…

"X, stop!" Merlin shouts behind the Buizel, X keeping his menacing gaze. "I think this Ramon guy wasn't holding our friends hostage!" Ramon looks down at Merlin and Noctis, the boy stroking his brown staff in concern.

X's eyes tremble, the weasel shivering. Brief images of the same Pokémon Trainer pops into his mind again, his appearance becoming more clear as a single cap overshadows his eyes.

The dark brown trainer was holding a chain in one hand and a Pokeball in another, yanking X by the neck. "You're going to be my companion!" the trainer said, his tone distorted. "WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!"

Snapping back to the present, tears rain down X's cheeks. The Buizel snarls, igniting his Azure Cerise on his paw. "No. He definitely held them hostage, harming them in some way or shape. Why else would he come here looking all shadowy and dangerous?"

"I don't know, but I haven't seen him try to fight back, either."

"Tch." X's aquatic flames grow bigger. "Probably just pretending to be harmless so that I won't light his ass on fire right now."

Ramon twitches, tears dripping nonstop. Merlin presses his staff against his chest, gazing at the Zoroark. "That…could be the case, but I don't think so. Look at him, X."

X's raging vision clears, the Buizel eyeing the fox's gloomy state. Ramon hasn't tried to move the tentacle, scratch it, kick it, nor even bite it. All the Zoroark does is staring at the ground, sniffling and tearing up like crazy. X's heart thumps and pumps at a speedy pace, the weasel gritting his teeth.

"...Were you telling the truth the whole time? You're not really harming my friends? You…were really trying to help them?" Ramon keeps tearing up, unable to respond.

"Yes! Ada has told me so," Merlin states.

X looks off to the side, trembling further. He eyes his surroundings: Many broken furniture and desks littering everywhere. "...O-Oh." The Buizel glances back at the Zoroark. "I'm—"

"Jewel, use your Healer ability! Tress, wrap those two with your feelers!" an unknown voice commands in a semi-low tone.

Everyone then gets surrounded in bright pink auras, overriding X's flaming aquatic one. Noctis and Merlin look at themselves in confusion. "Huh? Where's this coming from?" Noctis asks before seeing four ribbon feelers jolting towards X and Ramon. "WHERE ARE THOSE COMING FROM!?"

The feelers touch the two, X's shakiness and Ramon's tears coming to a halt. The Buizel drops the Zoroark, retrieving his tentacles as his flaming water dies down. The feelers lower the Zoroark, placing him on the ground as he coughs. The two Pokémon look at each other, exchanging uncertainties.

"Why am I feeling so calm all of the sudden?" X asks, tilting his head.

The four then turn around: Three individuals stand before them. One is a young man with tan skin, folding his arms while covering parts of the words 'Live and Learn' on his pink shirt. His long, black hair is tied up in a ponytail, blue pants displaying holes around his kneecaps as he has a purple Mega Bracelet on his right wrist. Four Pokeballs of various types are attached to his waist, his white shoes showing themselves.

Standing next to him is a pink quadruped Sylveon and a white biped Audino: The latter on his left, the former on his right. The Audino is in his Mega form, holding his chest's feelers out while closing his eyes.

A couple of officers are behind the three, some preparing their firearms, others simply having their magic sparkling around their hands. The man gazes at the four, his red and blue eyes striking them with intrigue.

"What seems to be the problem here?"

Hope you all enjoyed this new chapter of M&T being posted 4 days (or 3 if you live in a country that has a timezone far ahead of mine) before the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet! Looking forward to playing that game myself along with writing more of this fic and including future Gen 9 Pokemon whenever possible. Anyways, have an awesome day!
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Chapter 44.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 44: Weakener.

"...9,999. Annnd..." Noctis slaps another buck onto his hand, handing the cash to a Claydol with a black top hat. "10,000 pokebucks!" The Charizard smiles while closing his eyes, gripping his red purse. "Told ya I'd get the money for you. No need to go through that boring, snoozefest court shit, eh?"

The black clay squints their eyes, snatching the money away from Noctis. "Hmph! Asshole," the Claydol says in a mechanical tone, turning towards their collapsed saloon by the yellow orb statue. Once they float away, Noctis' smile fades, the dragon glaring while folding his arms. He then turns towards the cops beside him, all hundling around the weakened seven.

"You're welcome," Noctis says, his voice oozing with sarcasm. The cops guide any vehicles around the scene, yellow cones displaying themselves. Some pedestrians stare at the group, heads tilting and commotions rising. A few officers tell them to move along, which some did. Ada and the other six barely move, panting at a raspier manner than before.

The ponytail man stares at Ramon, Merlin, and X, his hand resting on his chin. "So the whole fiasco was a misunderstanding, right?"

Merlin strokes his brown staff: His knees touching the ground, his eyes fixating on the teens. "From what Ada told me, yes."

The trainer's two Pokémon look at Ramon and X, the Audino already being in his normal pink form. The man nods. "I see." He eyes Noctis. "It's a good thing your friend has the money to cover the damages."

Noctis sighs. "These kids don't have any to begin with. Might as well cover for them."

Merlin nods. "Our sincere gratitude for that, Mr. Noctis."

X stares at the Zoroark for a moment before looking away. "Hey, um—" he grips his arm. "Sorry. For what I've done." The Buizel frowns. "I haven't seen Ada and Justin for so long. I...just thought you were harming them, that's all."

Ramon doesn't respond: He gazes at his right paw, on the scar he left two days ago. He squints.


Those words echo throughout his head, his hair clouding his left eye in misery.

Ramon shakes his head. "Don't apologize."

X blinks. "What?"

The Zoroark covers his scar, his mind dashing towards the time he used his Illusion at the Lake of Purity, a decision that almost led to him and his friends being killed. He stares at Mesmeren, sitting on his knees in front of her, her body twitching at random.

"You're right about me." Ramon grits his sharp teeth. "I am a monster."

X raises his brow. The weasel is about to lift his paw until the pink shirt man says, "I wonder why those seven are like this: Pale, twitching at random, and hardly moving." The man taps his chin as three ambulances arrive at the scene. A couple of medics exit from behind the trucks, bringing out stretchers.

They reach the seven, a Carnivine pressing a button beneath her stretcher before it descends itself, the same going for the other stretchers. Tress the Sylveon and Jewel the Audino inch close to their ponytail trainer, staring at the weakened individuals with worriedness. The man caresses their heads, mystery thriving in his mind.

Ramon sees his friends being placed on the stretchers: Ada, Justin, Mesmeren, Courtney, Sylock, Roan, Coleo—All of them rest on those placemats, the latter being on a much smaller size for species like him.

"It's because they're affected by this illness called Weakener."

The Carnivine gasps, she and the rest of the medics jolt their gaze towards the fox. "Did you say 'Weakener'?" Ramon nods, leading the medic to nearly drop her cap. "We need to get them to the center, NOW!" The venus flytrap ascends the stretcher, the other medics doing the same.

The ponytail man lifts his brow, blinking. "'Weakener'? What's that?"

"And why do you need to rush them towards the Pokémon Center?" Noctis asks.

Merlin and Ramon stand up as X strikes a puzzled look at the orange lizard. "Did you NOT see how their faces looked!? Could be a big hint on why they need to leave, ASAP!"

"That's one way to put it!" the Carnivine says, having Mesmeren rest on her stretcher as she turns towards the first truck. "As the Zoroark said, these seven are affected by Weakener, a deadly status ailment created by criminal organizations. It'll hinder anyone's wellbeing, making them nearly incapable of speaking, and slowly killing them the more pale they look." She glances at the truck. "Think of it as dying from hunger."

X widens his eyes. "YIKES!"

"Could we come with you?" the ponytail trainer asks, frowning.

Merlin leans close to the Carnivine, gripping his staff. "Please. I want to be with my friends."

The medic looks at the other medics for a moment, all nodding. The Carnivine then nods at Ramon's group. "Yes. We have to hurry though before your friends become worse."

With no time to waste, Justin, Ada, and Mesmeren are taken inside of the first truck, Ramon and others following suit. The cops usher towards their cars as the medics bring the rest of Ramon's friends inside of the trucks, driving away. The vehicles have their sirens on, leading cars to move around them.

. . .

There he is again: Back at the Pokémon Center, taking note of the wider space for the hospital this time around. The row of chairs sitting across the ones Ramon and the others are sitting, the many people roaming from one spot to the next, the large windows displaying themselves across the center—There's a lot he sees here compared to the Majestic City's PC. There's even more than two door entries to the patient rooms this time! The cops are also not with the group due to the ponytail trainer telling them he can keep an eye out for them.

A woman nods at the nurse behind the counter before walking by three doors, standing in front of an elevator that opens for her. After seeing two Mudkips with monocles exiting the elevator, Ramon flickers his ears to the ponytail trainer's hums, turning to his right.

The trainer crosses his legs, shaking his head. Tress is on the floor looking up at him, uncertainty plastering across. Jewel shares the same sentiment, laying his hands against his chest.

"It's genuinely concerning that such an aliment exists. To think it could cripple someone this badly to the point of making their moves weak." The man glances. "Not even a Sorcerous could heal someone from the Weakener status."

Merlin stares at the trainer two chairs away. "Yeah...It makes sense why those medics wanted Justin, Ada, and the others to be here immediately." Sighing, he closes his eyes. "I hope those nurses find a way to make them feel better."

X folds his arms, being between Merlin and Ramon as he glares across. "Same." He grips his arms. "I swear if those two die on us after not seeing them for a long while, I'll—" the weasel gasps from the sudden pat on his head, eyeing up at Merlin.

"I...wouldn't think that way, X. All we can do is think about the positive and...hope they'll pull through." The boy rests his hand onto his robe. "Just like how we always hope to see the rest of our friends again." He smiles.

The Buizel gazes at Merlin for a brief moment, solemn and dreary shrouding his orange eyes. He sighs before looking down, a single tear slides down his cheek. "I hope you're right, Merlin," he says.

Merlin nods before taking his attention towards Ramon. "Hey um Ramon, right? Do you perhaps know who gave Justin, Ada, and the others the Weakener?"

Noctis looks at the Zoroark with intrigue, sitting next to Jewel. So I'm not hearing things, after all. That IS him. He leans his claw against his chin. Or maybe he's a different guy with the same name. But I could be overthinking it there.

Ramon caresses the side of his large hair in a shaky manner, the words 'vile creature' echoing through his mind. "A-A Floatzel named Ly-Lycus." Trembles. "H-He gave them that s-status after infecting the apples they ate."

Merlin gasps. "Oh! How deceiving!"

Noctis raises his brow. "Infecting some kids with that thing was something I didn't expect. What the hell?"

"'Lycus'?" X blinks, glaring off to the side. "That name...It sounds familiar." The Buizel sighs heavily. "Can't put my finger—erm, paw on it though."

Merlin stares down at the weasel. "I see."

X stands on top of his chair within seconds, forming his fists and gritting his teeth. "It's whatever since that guy's an asshole for hurting my friends like that!"

"The dude isn't just an asshole—" Noctis crosses his legs, his hands behind his head. "He's a whole shitstain no one wants on their feet. Honestly, anyone is for using that illegal drug on others." The Charizard shakes his head. "I mean, why bother to create the Weakener? What benefits would that even make?"

The Audino hugs his ponytail trainer as he shrugs. "Could be for power reasons, wanting to assert themselves as the more threatening one than the others," the trainer states, petting Tress on the head, the Sylveon purring. "Could also be used to stop anyone from affecting one's ulterior motives, whatever the case may be."

Merlin gasps. "Is that information I smell?" He leans over X, his hand pinning against the Buizel's head as he yelps. "Do care to share more, sir!"

"Hey! Watch it!" X exclaims, pouting.

The trainer chuckles. "Eager much?"

"Of course! I strive to learn about the world as much as I can!" Merlin now presses his elbows onto X's head, the Buizel whining further. "Do tell us about why someone would use this deadly status!"

"UGH, GET OFF MAN!" X groans.

Ramon and Noctis laugh in an unsure manner as the ponytail trainer continues, "Heh. Well if I could from the perspective of someone using the Weakener, I'd guess they'll want to use it for their own benefits. Such as blackmailing others into doing anything they want, having the upper hand in an unfair battle, or even showing how threatening they are, as I've stated earlier." The trainer taps on his chin. "Considering we're told that only criminals made this aliment, I can imagine this was used to intimidate not only each other, but also the public too."

"So basically some powerplay crap, right?" Noctis says.

The trainer nods. "I'd personally call it cheapshot crap, but you're not entirely off the mark."

"Tch." Noctis rolls his eyes. "They're all garbage for using that unfair status, anyways."

"I see." Merlin lifts his elbows off from X, freeing the poor weasel as he shouts 'finally' in relief. "Those were some interesting analyses, Mister..." The teen tilts his head. "Huh. Actually, I don't think we've ever gotten to introduce ourselves, have we?"

The heterochromia man blinks for a moment before snapping his fingers. "Ah, you're right actually. I'll go first, then." He smiles. "The name's Ace Vermilion and these two are my partners, Tress and Jewel." He pats the two Pokémon's heads. "I'm the Fairy type Gym Leader of Glory Pride City."

"Whoa whoa whoa, wait wait—GYM LEADER!?" both Merlin and X exclaim after shaking their hands.

Ace snickers. "Yep. In the flesh, too."

Merlin gasps, having stars for eyes. "Oh my gosh, that's so cool!" He hugs his staff in enthusiasm. "I've always wanted to meet one in person ever since I've read this newspaper article about a Sceptile Gym Leader tackling a Pokémon Trainer all by herself. Without even having her companion join her during the fight at all." The boy sighs in heavenly relief. "It was one of the most interesting news I've ever read!"

Ace smirks. "Heh. Glad that the newspaper made you feel stoked to meet one in person." He tilts his head, tapping his chin. "But I wonder how newspapers are still a thing today when rarely anyone reads them."

Merlin whines. "They should! I've learnt so many big words being used there because of them. Like do you know what 'Inquisitor' means?"

"In-what?" Noctis says, staring at Merlin as if the boy has committed a heinous crime.

"Inquisitor! It means someone who's tasked to ask questions and gather information, even in the harshest way possible."

"Ah." Noctis nods. "Some nerdy shit I don't care about. Gotcha."

X slowly looks at the Charizard. "That's so real, dude."

"Hey! It's good knowledge, I swear!" Merlin pouts, folding his arms as Ace, Tress, Jewel, X, and Noctis chuckle. Even Ramon starts to smile a little, albeit at the fact of seeing joy going on between everyone. Merlin shakes his head. "Anyways, it's an absolute honor to meet a Gym Leader like yourself, Ace!" The boy shakes the man's hand.

"With pleasure." Ace smiles.

Ramon tilts his head. "That's interesting to know about you, Ace. But also...What's a Gym Leader?"

X quirks his brow. "Dude, you don't know what that is? It's pretty common around Wizlore, even small villages know about them!"

Ramon lowers his ears. "Sorry. I just...don't know a lot about this region. Nor the world I'm living in."

Ace waves his hand up and down. "It's fine, it's fine. Not everyone knows about everything, even something as common as Gym Leaders. I can explain them to you." He rests his hands on top of his lap. "Gym Leaders are strong individuals who tests any challengers participating in the All Star League to prove their worthiness against the Wizlore Champion."

"All Star League? Wizlore Champion?" Ramon blinks. "I...don't know about those, too."

"That's fine." Ace waves his hand around. "The All Star League is a large event for anyone wanting to take the Champion title. After beating all of the Gym Leaders, the challengers will then participate in a special event at the All Star Tournament to see who out of them all will battle the Champion and their Elite Four. The Wizlore Champion is someone who's the strongest individual of Wizlore, with four Elites further standing in the challenger's path. Could be one person, could be multiple. It depends." He gives Ramon a thumbs-up. "It's an optional, fun event for anyone to participate."

"Huh. Sounds neat." Ramon smiles, lifting his claw up.

The Buizel sits down, his paws by his sides. "I'm lowkey surprised that Pokémon Trainers are even still a thing, to be honest." He shakes his head. "A lot of Pokémon are like me, Ramon, and Noctis: Able to make their own choices and live their lives the same way humans do. I doubt there's even a point for Pokémon Trainers to still be a thing when you think about it." Shrugs.

Noctis? Ramon raises his brow. Did I hear that correctly?

Ace nods. "That's a good point." He pets his two companions, the Sylveon and Audino nuzzling him. "I suppose some people don't want an old tradition like becoming a Pokémon Trainer go away completely, even though the majority are moving on." Tress hops onto Ace's lap, smiling at him. "It's not a bad thing. As long as they don't catch a Defect outside of catching season, nor catching an Intellicate at all: The individual being a Pokémon Trainer should be fine."

X squints at the trainer, folding his arms. "Not sure if I agreed."

Ace blinks, tilting his head. "How so?"

X's mind undergoes a blurry image of a Pokémon Trainer smirking, wielding a Pokeball covered in blood. He shakes his head. "Even despite the existence of Defects, there's no point in owning a Pokémon. If society can treat Intellicates with the similar level of rights and respect, then what seems they can't do the same for Defects? Just because they don't share a similar thought process to humans like we do? Without a language barrier?"

Ace stares at the Buizel with intrigue along with everyone else. The weasel sighs, frowning. "All I'm saying is that those Defects have feelings, too. Ever been considerate of them?"

"...He has," Jewel answers the Buizel, catching his attention. "Under my care with him, he always considers my wellbeing before encouraging me to do my best in battles."

"Same here!" Tress follows in a cheerful tone, nuzzling the tan skin individual. "Ace helped me become a Sylveon, something I didn't know I wanted to be until I was captured by him." The Sylveon shivers. "I've been through many fights in the wild, desperately hoping for a place to live in." His head shakes. "I have no clue what you mean by those things, but I do know that I am happy with being Ace's partner."


X looks at the two Defects hugging their trainer, the purrs and glees emanating from them as Ace chuckles. The weasel is left speechless, gazing at the three in uncertainty and gloom.

The Sylveon wraps one ribbon around Ace's arm, the ponytail man smiling. "I don't know what Tress and Jewel said to you but judging by their reactions, I would like to guess that they told you—" he lifts his finger. "I like burgers!"

"..." X, Ramon, Merlin, Noctis, Tress, and Jewel all tilt their heads. "What?" they say in unison.

Ace blinks. "Wait, that's not what they said at all?"

"No...Why would they randomly tell others about you liking burgers?" Noctis asks. "I mean, neat fact about ya I guess but still, what."

Ace whines along with Tress and Jewel. "D'aww, I thought I could guessed what they were thinking that time around."

Tress giggles, his ribbon against his maw. "Tsk tsk, Master." He pats his trainer on the head with his other ribbon.

"Well, I did have a second guess and it was telling you that they're happy to be my Pokémon." Ace blinks. "Which...should've been my first guess, but mistakes like that happen sometimes." He chuckles, shaking his head.

"Au! Audi!" Jewel exclaims, smiling before hugging Ace once more. "Audino!"

"Sylvee!" Tress mentions as he follows along with the hug.

X glances the ground, his arms folded. He taps them, gritting his teeth. I don't get it. The weasel strokes his arms. He's not like that other trainer. Even though he definitely should've been...

"Hey." The Buizel blinks and looks at the source of the voice: Merlin. "Are you alright?" the boy asks with concern.

"...Yeah. I'm fine." Before Merlin can speak further, X cuts him off with the following: "Anyways, uh: I'm X. Yes, that's my name. Do not question it."

Ace raises his hand up. "I wasn't going to, haha."

Noctis coughs. "Shit name."


"...Biggie Draco?" Noctis blinks, shaking his head. "Wha—"

"And my name's Merlin. I'm X's friend and the Charizard is our caretaker, Noctis."

Noctis simply waves, looking at X with perplexion. "Uh, sup. That is in fact my name, yeah."

"Wait." Ramon jolts towards Noctis. "Did Merlin say your name is Noctis?"

"Uh, yeah? Why did you—" Noctis' brain immediately turns gears as he remembers Ramon's name being mentioned earlier, and now being met with the fox double checking his own name. The two grow quiet, maws sealed, eyes locking onto each other.



Nothing but the walks and talks from others is heard, awkward exchanges polluting.

So he's the guy Travis was talking about... Ramon and Noctis think, continuing to not say a single word. Just staring, with a single gulp from Ramon's end.

"...The name's Ramon, by the way," the Zoroark says, ending the entire introduction.

X blinks in confusion. "Yo, you two good?"

"E-Erm, yes. I'm fine," Ramon says.

"A-Okay, on my end," Noctis says.

The two Pokémon continue staring, the Zoroark quivering. Merlin then gasps, the blue hat boy clasping his hands together and stares at X. "Oh, I almost forgot to ask you something."

X lifts his brow. "Yeah?"

"How did you use a Magic move earlier?"

Noctis snaps out of the staring contest and shakes his head. "Wait, what? THAT was supposed to be a Magic move!?"

"It has to: He was using both fire and water elements at the same time. Plus they...looked dark, in a way? The sparkles around them, I mean." Merlin shakes his head. "He was far from us so I couldn't tell the exact details. But regardless, it's an abnormal move for any normal Pokémon to learn. Making me believe it's a Magic move."

"Weird." Noctis caresses his chin. "Aren't Sorcerous supposed to be the only ones to use Magic moves, though?"

"That's what I'm thinking, too." Merlin's hand lays against his chin. "Even his eyes looked different than before. Somewhat similar to Ramon's."

X looks at his paws, dozing into mystery. He forms his fists before unraveling. "I don't know." His brows lower. "I don't know how I formed Azure Cerise and Dark Tendrils off the bat. They just...happen, I guess. Probably out of desperation to save my friends."

Ace raises his brow. "Interesting."

"Sounds like you're going through a similar case as I am," Ramon chimes in, the Buizel staring at him. "My eyes ended up looking like this after I've used my Rune, a hidden power that Intellicates can use." Ramon points at the weasel. "Your Dark Tendrils is your Rune, I assume."

"Ooo, Rune huh?" Merlin lifts himself up in intrigue. "Sounds like more interesting things for me to learn! How fantastic!"

X blinks. "Huh. Didn't know that." He tilts his head. "Still doesn't explain why it turns my eyes like this, though."

"Yeah...That part, I honestly don't know the answer to." Ramon sighs. "Nor me being able to sense you nearby."

"Wait, I wasn't the only one that had that odd sensation while near you!?" Ramon nods, the Buizel looking off in perplexion. "So like...What's going on with us, dude? Our eyes don't look like the norm and we have some weird powers that apparently Intellicates aren't aware of?"

Ramon tilts his head. "It's all as strange to me as it is to you, believe me."

Soon the double doors entrance open, revealing Delia Phoenix in her usual blue jeans along with the brown and white shirt. She eyes the group, rushing towards them. The woman pants, stroking her knees.

Noctis frowns. "Didn't I tell you to watch over my house?"

"Look dear, I saw three ambulances passing by the house and got really worried after you've left. I had to stop by to check up on you, Merlin, and X." Delia looks at the three, sighing. "Thankfully you three are fine, but...why are y'all here?" Merlin, X, and Noctis look at each other, hesitation boiling throughout. Delia jolts her brow up. "What's going on?"

"Um...Mrs. Phoenix." Merlin pokes his fingers together. "...We found Justin and Ada. Injured."

Delia enlarges her eyes, mouth ajar. She feels her heart sink to the absolute bottom of the pit upon hearing the word 'injured'. "Really!? Where are they!?"

Merlin simply points towards the patient rooms. "In there."

Without a second thought, Delia ushers to the counter, moving people aside here and there. Some complain to her about it while others hardly react: She doesn't care. She wants to seek the counter right there, right now.

Once Delia reaches it, she slams her hands onto the desk, glancing at the nurse. "I need to see my son, NOW!" she demands, her eyes welling with tears.

The nurse tilts her head. "'Son'?"

"Justin Phoenix." The dark brown woman sniffles, wiping away her tears.

"Oh!" The nurse shakes her head. "Justin is still in the middle of the Weakener being extracted from him along with the others. I apologize, but you can't see him right now."

"What? What's the Weakener?" Delia asks. After the nurse explains the basics to her, the woman trembles. "Oh my Arceus..."

"I understand how you're feeling after hearing this. It's an issue that's been happening in all of Wizlore that we're trying to resolve. I'm not sure if it's in any other regions, but the point is: The Weakener is deadly, and no one should have their hands in it. Nor even experience it."

"My goodness." Delia strokes her chest. "Who would do such a thing to someone? Let alone someone's child..." She whimpers, pressing her chest. "Can I please still see him? I...I'm sorry if I'm being impatient or naggy, but I haven't seen him in months. We've been separated from each other due to our village being burnt down." The woman shakes, biting her lower lip. "In general, I-I miss him." Her voice goes shaky and melancholic. "Please."

The nurse looks at the desk for a moment, succumbing to thoughts. She then grabs a handbook from underneath, setting it between her and Delia. "I can call you whenever the extraction is done. That way, I'll tell the other medics to let you see your son."

Delia holds the nurse's hands, shaking them with glee. "Thank you so, so much!"

"No problem." The nurse smiles.

Delia grabs a nearby pen and writes her phone number in the handbook, Noctis walking towards her. "Heyo, Delia. Might wanna go back to the house. Like. Now." The Charizard folds his arms, the other six being behind him.

The woman looks at Noctis, finishing. "Oh Noctis." She sighs in relief, caressing her head. "I'm so glad that I came here. I finally get to see my son after all these times." Tears slide down her cheeks. "It feels relieving, you know?"

"Uh huh uh huh." Noctis gestures to everyone on moving out of the way for the other civilians behind them, to which they did. "That's good and all, but I'm concerned about you being here."

Delia blinks, shaking her head in bewilderment. "What's wrong with me being at the PC just to see my son again?"

"Ugh, assuming much?" Noctis groans. "I just want you to go back because it's not safe to leave two kids alone at the house."

Delia quirks her brow. "Since when did you care about kids? Last I checked, you don't like their guts."

"Wait, he doesn't like kids?" X widens his eyes at the large lizard. "I thought he was joking when he said that!"

"I—" Noctis smacks both of his hands against his face, groaning. "Look, who cares about my dislike: The point is, Serene and Ethan are left UNINTENDED."

Delia nods. "Right. We'll have to go back home anyways as I wait for them to call ba—" Delia pauses, staring at Ramon, Ace, and the two Defects. "Huh? Who are these four?"

The Zoroark waves at her shyly. "Hello, Mrs. Phoenix. Erm, the name is Ramon."

Ace gives the woman a thumbs-up. "And I'm Ace Vermilion, the Fairy type Gym Leader of Glory Pride City. These two with me are my companions, Tress and Jewel. A pleasure to meet you."

"The name's Delia Phoenix, and hello to you too."

Ramon stands upright, looking down at Delia. "About your son..." He caresses his arm. "He's a great person to be around. I like the jokes he makes and the banter he tends to get with Ada." He snickers softly.

The woman waves her hand up and down. "D'aww, don't make me blush." She places her hand against her chest. "I've been very proud of raising him into the best person he could possibly be."

"That's nice."

Delia sighs. "Just talking about him makes me wish to see him right now." She whimpers.

Noctis gets between the woman and the Zoroark. "Look, you can see him soon. Right now, we REALLY need to get back to my house."

Delia frowns, folding her arms. "Oh what's the hurry, Noctis? I'm away for only like what, a couple of minutes or so?" She moves her hand around. "Nothing's bad going to happen to Serene and Ethan, I guarantee you." Soon, Delia's phone buzzes throughout her blue jeans, flinching. She takes her phone out of pocket and taps it. "Hello?"

"M-MRS. PH-PHOENIX!" Ethan yells from the other line. "HE-HELP!"

"Wait, what's happe—"


The line cuts off.

Delia's eyes widen, the woman slowly slipping her phone back. Noctis and the others gaze at her, a mix of uncertainty and perplexion filling their looks.

"I heard screaming. What the hell was that about?" Noctis asks.

"...Ethan and Serene are in trouble. On what, I have no clue. Regardless, w-we need to go help them," Delia states.

"Oh crap!" X exclaims. "Just when I thought things couldn't get any WORSE today, dude."

Noctis growls softly to himself, gripping his fist. Knew those extremists will come back the moment all of us adults aren't in the house. He grits his teeth. Assholes.

"I saw a teleportation statue a few feet away from Mr. Noctis' house. I can teleport us there," Merlin suggests.

"I'll call the cops to arrive there, too," Ace states as he already has a hologram displaying in front of his hand.

Merlin nods, looking at Delia and Noctis. "Huddle around, everyone." He touches the two. Wasting no time, X touches Merlin's leg while pressing his other paw against Ramon's. Ramon eyes around the forming circle he's in as Ace concludes his call, he and his two Pokémon joining them.

Afterwards, Merlin starts glowing blue along with everyone else, all warping out of the Pokémon Center.

Hello, everyone! Hope you all are enjoying your Christmas, today! Figure a new M&T chapter today would be a good Christmas gift for ya, in case you've read this chapter. Stay tune for the next two days though as I'll be releasing Chapter 45 and 46 on those days! Consider what I'm doing as a treat for you readers this month since I appreciate the support this fic has. Merry Christmas, everyone!
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Chapter 45.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 45: Trouble at Noctis' House!


Ramon, Merlin, Noctis, Delia, X, Ace, Tress, and Jewel appear in front of the teleportation statue, landing down with grace. Ramon touches and caresses himself at a frantic pace, confusion and interest painting his face. It's bizarre how he doesn't feel anything funky inside of him despite the fuzziness of the teleportation.

Meanwhile, Merlin strokes his knees and pants like crazy, sweat dripping his forehead. "Wowie. That…was a lot of energy I had to do." The orb statue dims itself, Merlin wiping away the sweats.

"Huh…I didn't feel any pain from the teleportation." Ramon tilts his head. "I thought I was going to."

"You're not supposed to," Merlin states as he and others stop glowing. "Although, teleportation makes the person feel exhausted depending on how many people they bring with them." He looks at the statue. "Not to mention the statue itself will need to recharge after being used. May even take longer due to many others teleporting with me."

"Huh. I guess Justin and Ada forgot to tell me about that info on teleportation statues."


Serene's screams catch everyone's attention, all staring ahead at the middle road: A large group huddling around Noctis' house a few feet away. Some civilians run away, cars making u-turns to get out. Everyone nods at each other before dashing forward, Merlin staying behind panting.

"I'll catch up with you all in just a second!" Merlin shouts, taking deep breaths. He then rests on the teleportation statue, stroking it. "...On second thought, maybe more than just a second." He sighs with embarrassment.

. . .

Dashing forward, the group reach the Charizard's house: Fences broken, trash and dirt painting the windows and doors. There's a lot of crooks throwing and punching and overall thrashing the house. Some are Pokémon while others are humans. Regardless of their species: The crooks are igniting the house with their mayhem, some being on top of the roof hitting the sides with their magical hammer.

In between Ramon's group and the destructive house are the two Eeveelutions, both held hostage by two men with magical knives. Serene groans while Ethan whines, the knives poking their cheeks.

X frowns, gritting his teeth. "Serene! Ethan!"

The two knife wielding crooks look at the group, the other goons following along. Their eyes are specifically on Noctis, the Charizard staring back with flames ushering from his gnashing teeth. The crooks snort, smiling.

"Well ain't it our favorite orange fella, the Flaming Vortex!" the first crook says in a southern accent. "Took ya long enough to get 'ere, heh heh."

Flaming Vortex? Ramon thinks as he, X, and Delia look at each other in confusion.

"WHEN WILL YOU SHITHEADS STOP!?" Noctis shouts. "I've given you everything I've ever won from the All Star Tournament. What more do you thugs want!?" He forms a fist. "My life is already shit enough."

The first goon tilts his head, thinking. "Hmm, that there is true. I do mighty appreciate those golden trophies of yers' being inside my trucky." He shakes his head, smacking his lips. "But I'mma need more of yer belongings." Grins. "I need yer behind to be as homeless as possible, sealin' yer downfall as the famous Flaming Vortex."

"You lowlife FUCKS!" Noctis snarls.

The second goon laughs, pressing his knife further against Ethan. The Flareon whimpers, the tip seeping blood from the side of his cheek. "Hell, we might even take these two away from ya out of spite!" He looks at the first goon as the rest of the crooks laugh and grin along. "Hey, maybe we should sell them off to some Pokémon Hunters. 'Talking' Pokémon be makin' folks bucks in the black market. And besides…Pokémon shouldn't have rights, anyways!"

"Heh," the first crook tilts Serene's head, the Leafeon grunting in discomfort while gritting her teeth. "That a good ol' point there."

X widens his eyes, the laughter from the goons ringing throughout his mind along with the words 'Pokémon Hunters'. Fire and water cast upon the Buizel's paws before he fires them, hitting the two goons.

"GAH!" the two scream as they jolt back, dropping Serene and Ethan. The Intellicates scatter towards Ramon's group, sticking behind them while Ethan clings close to Serene.

The first crook gnashes his teeth, standing up at a sluggish pace. "Get their asses!" he shouts, enlarging his knife. He and the second goon charge towards the group along with the other chaotic criminals, some hopping off from the roof before dashing.

Ace takes out his poke and great balls from his waist, clicking the middle button to enlarge them. "Brace yourselves." He throws his balls, red light casting a blue rabbit and a black hair-filled goblin to the field. "Ariel, Blackburn: We got troublemakers to deal with." The Azumarill and Grimmsnarl waste no time preparing themselves, both frowning. Tress and Jewel nod at each other, getting in a stance as well.

A fight breaks loose between the groups: Ramon and X shoving against two grunts before punching the third, Ace's Pokémon take care of four grunts while Ace fires two pink waves towards the fifth, and Delia and Noctis defend themselves against the other four.

The grunts don't always stay fighting the same opponent as they rotate around, flinging their Mystical Projectiles, Vine Whips, and Hydro Pumps at Ramon's group. Serene and Ethan do their best to dodge the attacks, Ethan tearing up along the way.

X rams against an Intellicate Azumarill with Quick Attack before slapping them with his tails, Ariel punching the Azumarill afterwards. One goon jolts towards X with her red magical sword but Ramon punches her face, the woman flailing across the ground. Ramon whimpers, lowering his ears.

"D-Didn't mean to punch that hard…"

A Venusaur's vines are about to hit the fox until X counters them with his Dark Tendrils, pushing the large amphibian away. "Nah, it's fine. She had it coming for raiding Noctis' home," X says, jumping and twirling himself around, hitting two more goons with his spinning tentacles.

Ramon blinks at the Buizel, realizing how quick and effective he is at using his Rune. "Wow…"

Once X lands, he coughs out purple blood, grunting. "Okay, maybe I should use that 'Rune' less. Jeez, that hurts."

Ramon sighs. "Yeah, I meant to tell you about that earlier." Then he and X keep fighting, the previous crooks recovering from the attack.

Ace ducks and dodges a man's Mystical Projectiles, Tress charging a pink orb in front of him and firing his Moonblast. Once the goon is hit, Jewel jumps in front of him and screams with all his might, slamming the goon with Hyper Voice. The impact causes the Azumarill and Venusaur grunt to fly towards the side, both rolling around.

Ace smirks at the two, giving them a thumbs-up. "Thanks."

The Gym Leader gazes at his other two Pokémon: Blackburn colliding his brightly lit body against the lady goon's magical sword while Ariel jumps on top of one guy's head, pushing him down. The Azumarill drags one grunt behind the previous into her Play Rough frenzies, both grunts screaming.

Ace nods, casting two of his pink Wiz Waves. "Good job, you four! Give them all you got!" Just after he says that, a goon shoots his blue lasers at him. Ace smirks, countering with his waves.

A brief smoke emanates from the collision, the goon being left confused. "Huh?" Then out comes a feeler smacking his face, Tress leaping forward and shooting a whirlwind of flames. The goon jumps back from the Mystical Fire, grunting while shielding himself.

. . .

Noctis finishes slashing one goon with his Dragon Claw before punching an Intellicate Crawdaunt. He then pushes the crawfish back with his large stream of flames, increasing the Flamethrower size. This leads to two goons jumping to the side.

Delia blocks two Gallades' fists before ducking the two's Psycho Cuts. The woman then kicks the first Gallade goon away while grabbing the other's arm, throwing him towards the first. The green humanoid jumps over his comrade and jolts towards Delia. The woman smirks, jumping backwards and dodging his kick. The Gallade then speeds behind her, he and the other Gallade preparing their Psycho Cuts.

"Hmph!" The woman ducks and swings her leg, tripping the Gallade behind her.

"EH!?" the Gallade goon yells, firing his Psycho Cut upwards as he gets hit by the other Gallade's move. "ARGH!" He flies off, crashing and rolling all over.

The other Gallade yelps. "Oh crap, sorry!" He's then met with a punch to the face by Noctis, colliding against several other goons.

Delia giggles, dusting herself off. "I may not have my bow with me, but I can still do a number on you fools, thanks to my karate!"

Her and Noctis' backs press against each other, Noctis grumbling while pushing some grunts away with his fiery flame and Delia ducking some of the physical attacks thrown at her.

"So Noctis," she kicks one guy in the head and then pokes the Crawdaunt from earlier in the eyes, flinching him. "Is it really true that you had to put up with these thieves from time to time?"

Noctis Dragon Claws two goons, sending them flying in different directions. "Yep. Always have to since my All Star Tournament days."

"Oh." Delia kicks another goon in the head before pushing the other back with her hands to their belly. "That explains why you wanted me to return home badly."

"Mhm." He headbutts a Noctowl before punching it away, snarling. "I'll explain it all later. Right now, we gotta weaken these bozos for the law to arrest."

Delia nods. "Right."

Soon, two Mystical Projectiles crash into Delia and Noctis, both flying off and rolling around. Noctis lands on his back while Delia falls on top of him, groaning in pain. The two magical knife crooks retrieve their hands after using their Magic moves, glaring towards Serene and Ethan.

"Ugh, I hate those that fight back!" the first crook states, he and the other one jolting past Ramon's group with their knives out.

After Serene pushes a Blastoise back with her vines, she eyes the two crooks, gasping. Ethan, reeking of tears trailing down, stares at the two in horror and shakes. Serene grinds her teeth, standing in front of her brother. "STAY AWAY!" she yells, multiple leaves casting around her.

Serene fires her Razor Leaf at the two goons, the leaves twirling rapidly. The crooks reach their hands out, forming red shields around them as the leaves bounce off. After the Mystical Shields fade, the first goon kicks Serene towards a nearby house's wall, the Leafeon screeching in pain. A person runs out of the house as Ethan trembles further, clittering his teeth.

"SERENE!" he screams.

"U-Ugh…" Serene tries to stand, but her back is met by the crook's slamming foot, coughing up blood.

"N-NO!" Ethan is then pinned down by the second crook, whimpering and wailing.

Ramon and others turn towards the two Eeveelutions, rushing towards their aid. Blackburn is the first to have two crooks tackle him down before Ariel follows suit from two more, both yelping. Tress jumps over the Blastoise crook before two Minccinos smack the Sylveon's head with their tails, slamming him towards the ground. Tress yelps, leading Ace and Jewel to stop and look at him.

Before the two react, the Azumarill crook smacks them to the side with Aqua Tail. This is where the Venusaur crook wraps them with his vines, picking them up and slamming them. "GAH!" Ace groans, spitting out purple blood.

Ramon and X push and shove each goon heading their way until more start piling on them, both groaning. "Crap!" X yells, he and Ramon being grabbed by the face before two men pins them down, facing towards their helpless friends.

"Ugh," Delia says, attempting to stand before many crooks surround her and Noctis with their Mystical Projectiles, one of them having their purple sparkling auras close to Noctis' head. "Oh crud…"

Noctis glances at the sparkles, then at the green and red canine hostages—his teeth grinds. SHIT!

The two goons chuckle as Ramon's group struggle underneath the barrages of restraints, grunting. The first crook grips his magical knife, smirking at Serene. "Ya know…maybe killin' these two right now ain't so bad. Telling the whole world how hard the Flaming Vortex fell down: Couldn' even protect two kids in front of some baddies."

Noctis snarls, attempting to get up before being grabbed by the neck and slammed down. "Gah!" He groans, the grunt's purple glowing hand being around his neck. "You…fuckers."

"Next time you move, I'mma shoot you in ya fuckin' neck, chump," the grunt in front of him says, laughing.

X spreads his eyes as the first crook continues, "And also, this is for arrestin' one of my pals earlier at the city's middle."

"GET YOUR HANDS OFF FROM HER!" X yells, forming his tentacles and flaming aquatic auras around him. The Blastoise crook slams the Buizel's head, the tentacles and auras fading afterwards. X is knocked out, Ramon staring at the weasel with shaky eyes.

"X!" Serene screams, clenching her teeth.

"Let's just get this gosh darn thang over with!" The first and second crook raise their hand up, Ethan's face drowning with tears. Just as they lower their knives down, the two are hit by red shields, pinning against the neighbor's house. "Gah! What in tarnation!?"

Soon, some purple large sludges hit the goons off from Noctis and Delia, causing them to yelp. Several more shields hit most of the goons afterwards, trapping them as they grunt, Ramon's group being freed.

Ramon and Delia blink, looking at each other. "Where…did those come from?" Ramon asks.

Ace looks to his side, sighing in relief. "Took you long enough to arrive."

Ramon and the others look at Ace's direction, staring at two figures along with a group of cops: One being a plant biped creature with mainly green coloring all over her body and two roses as her hands, the other being a young person with yellow curly hair and a generally feminine look to them. The Roserade has a Poison Barb on her back with a string attached, carrying it like a backpack. And the curly hair individual is wearing a blue jacket that shields their red plain shirt with a dot symbol.

The individual shrugs at Ace, their blue fingernails surrounding in mini red shields, energy sparkling around. "Blame one of the cops for snacking on some donuts earlier," they says, their tone light.

"H-Hey!" one of the cops behind them yells, wiping away the crumb on his cheek.

The Roserade bows her head. "Mes sincères excuses, Mr. Vermilion! Inconveniences such as what Kellie mentioned has gotten in our way," she says in an elegant tone. "I hope I can make it up to you eventually."

Ace laughs in an awkward manner, touching his chest as it glows blue, healing himself. "No need to do that, Nered. At least you're here, regardless of the lateness."

Nered pouts. "But I feel like a failure! A fool! Je should've been more effective at arriving here for yo—Je mean, for moi leadership performance!" She blushes, looking away.

Kellie snickers. "Right."

A few goons outside of the red shields grit their teeth, looking at each other. The cops draw their weapons at them.

"FREEZE!" one officer yells.

"Shit shit SHIT!" one of the crooks says, sweat dripping down their heads along with the rest. "Let's skedaddle!" The goons fall down momentarily before turning around and running off.

The curly hair individual shakes their head, wagging their finger. "Nah." They lean their left hand back, the red shield pulsating. "Not on my watch." Kellie shoots their Mystical Force, the shield enlarging itself and engulfing the goons. They all groan, the shield shrinking in size and locking them in place.

Kellie dusts their hands. "You were all out of luck the moment I arrived." They then look at the cops, tilting their head towards the encaged crooks. The cops nod before rushing towards them.

. . .

The crooks get themselves inside of the cop cars, restraints being around their hands or paws via handcuffs of all sizes. Kellie and Ace aid Ramon's group, Kellie finishing healing Serene before placing their hands onto Delia. Noctis shakes his head at Ace, telling him he can shrug the injuries off.

After healing his four Pokémon companions, Ace receives a tackle hug from them, with Tress being the main one nuzzling him. The Gym Leader chuckles. "I'm glad to be with you four, too! Thanks for the support."

"Of course, Master!" Tress exclaims, even though Ace can't understand him.

"I'll need you all to get off though so that I can heal X over there," Ace states.

After the man's Pokémon frees him, he touches X's head, blue auras vibrating from it. X slowly opens his eyes, grunting. "E-Ergh…" Ace pulls his hand back, X shaking his head afterwards. The weasel caresses it. "Jeez, that literally hurts," he states, chuckling in a soft manner. He is then met by a hug from Serene, the vines and forepaws tangling him. He blinks. "Eh?"

"I'm so glad that you're okay…" Serene sniffles.

X blinks once again, smirking. "Jee wiz, someone's suddenly attached to me. Did I give off a grassy aroma to you or something?"

The Leafeon leans back, frowning. "Don't joke, X. Our lives were threatened earlier, so I had every reason to worry about us. Especially for you and…" She looks beside her: Ethan trembling and quaking against her, dried up tears littering the boy's face. "Him."

X stares at the Flareon, his orange irises and black scleras dousing into sorrow. He rubs the back of his head, sighing. "Heh…My bad for saying that, then."

Serene sighs as well. "It's fine." She smiles at the Buizel.

Kellie lifts their thumbs at the cops, nodding. "You all did a great job restraining these crooks."

One of the cops shakes his head. "Nah. We couldn't have done it without your help, Mx. Kellie."

"Thank you. I appreciate that."

"No: Thank YOU." The cop sighs heavily, shoving a Blastoise inside his car. "Most of the Sorcerous cops took a day off today, so we were worried that us Ordina ones would have to deal with criminal groups with the potential of having a Sorcerous in it. Thankfully, your friend contacted you to aid us as well." The cop chuckles, resting his elbow on his vehicle. "It really was our lucky day today."

Kellie giggles. "I see." They then wave at the cops. "You can go now. I'll be fine here with Ace."

The cop nods before he and the others drive off, getting further away from everyone. Noctis then shoots a glare towards Delia.

"Good LORD, Delia!" He snarls, Delia looking away while caressing her knees. "You had one task to do, and somehow screwed it up. If it weren't for that Kellie lady showing up, then we would've died for nothing!"

Kellie points at the Charizard. "'Person', not lady. Correction."

Noctis squints at the individual. "You looked like a woman so I assumed you were one. My bad."

Kellie rolls their eyes, detecting the sarcasm beneath the lizard's breath. "To be fair, I felt like one a few months back. But right now, I'm feeling like a person rather than a woman."

Noctis shrugs. "Right."

Delia strokes her knees. "Sorry." Everyone looks at her. "I'm…sorry. For putting us all in danger earlier." She stares at the concrete. "I know I should've stayed at the house and watched over the two kids. But…" Sighs. "I was curious about the ambulances. And finding out it's about my son just…I don't know, I couldn't help but to forget about the whole situation after knowing he's here." Tears start wailing up. "In this very city I'm in." She sniffles, looking at Noctis. "I've told you before that I've been separated from my son for months now. The Synchronic Village incident affected me so much, to the point where I thought I could never see him again. Never see him grow up and learn and…experience all kinds of things in life."

Delia wipes away the falling tears. "I…hope you understand where I'm coming from there, Noctis."

The Charizard gazes at the woman, eyeing the stroking of the knees and the dreariness of those brown eyes. The more he looks, the less fiery he feels. "Hmm…" The dragon lizard sighs, caressing his head. "...Alright. You have a point there. Sorry for the way I was acting earlier." Noctis shrugs. "Just…be more wary about others too, alright?"

Delia looks down at her hands, nodding. "I'll try."

Soon, Merlin arrives at the group, dread spreading across. "I am so, so very sorry for arriving late!" He whimpers. "That teleportation took a lot out of me, and it was…horrifying to watch what was happening from afar. Without knowing exactly what's happening due to the distance." He shakes his head. "Are you all okay?"

"Yes. We're fine." Delia sighs in relief. "Thankfully this Kellie and Nered person helped us in time after my decision earlier…"

"I see." Merlin sighs as well. "That's good to know."

Nered waves at the two, smiling. "You're very much welcome!"

Kellie then lays their hands on their hips. "Welp. Since we're pretty much done here, I might as well continue my Spell Guardian duty at Gloria Falls." Ramon's ears flicker as he looks at the Sorcerous. "Hopefully I didn't leave my post for too long."

"Same here! I'm already feeling embarrassé for arriving late." Nered huffs. "Don't want to add 'Stolen Spell' to the list, too."

"Um, hey!" Ramon yells.

Kellie and Nered look at the Zoroark, peculiarness spreading across them.

"Hmm?" the two say.
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Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
From what I've read on Discord, humans are Magic type, but is it a type like the Water or Fire types? If so, it feels like a missed opportunity to not explore it from that angle.
Hello! Thank you so much for taking your time out to read my fic and giving your honest thoughts on it. Yes, Magic type is considered to be an elemental type much like any of the others in this fanfic. So you have a valid point there where I could've shown how it worked in Chapter 6. That way the next chapter can begin with Ramon being a little more understanding of how the Magic type works, but would still like to know the general idea of what being a Sorcerous is.

As for the descriptions, I guess I could've gone about them better in the older chapters. Understandable to not really be a fan of how they're worded. But regardless, I'm glad that you enjoy the fic despite its flaws! Things will get so much interesting from here on, with my favorite bits to write usually happening post Chapter 20. But I enjoyed my time writing the fic's first arc too (despite being paranoid about my writing when it was new).
Chapter 46.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 46: Recovery.

"What kind of Spell are you two guarding?" the Zoroark asks.

Everyone stares at him, Nered and Kellie eyeing each other in suspicion. Nered then glares at the fox. "Why do you want to know about that?"

Ramon leans his head back, gulping. Oh no, both he and Nomar think.

What…do I say? Ramon whimpers in his head.

Tell them that you've met that Forest guy or whoever his name is! Nomar suggests in a quick tone.

Oh right! "I've met a Spell Guardian before who's tasked to protect the Transmutation Spell. I was curious about it."

Kellie and Nered look at each other once more, eyebrow raising. Ramon displays his calm composure while simultaneously screaming within.

"Do you know their name?" Kellie asks.


"Oh." Kellie lays their hands by their hips, smirking. "That old goofy fella. Always trying to tell any kind of jokes and be as funny as possible. Wonder if he still does that, though."

Nered frowns. "Wouldn't surprise me, given the last time we met him." The Roserade sighs. "Flowerade is not a good calembour, or pun, and no one can convince me otherwise."

X raises his brow. "'Flowerade'? What."

Kellie shakes their head, snickering. "It's one of his better puns, that's for sure."

Nered rolls her eyes. "Disagree."

Kellie turns towards the Zoroark. "As for the Spell I'm tasked to protect: It's the Revival Spell." Ramon perks his ears up at the words 'Revival Spell', intrigue circulating throughout him. "I'm not alone at protecting it since there's a ton of Spell Guardians at Gloria Falls, too. Nered even sometimes helps out here and there on it."

The Roserade bows her head. "Yes, indeed."

Ramon nods. "I see, then. Can I—"

Don't ask further questions, Nomar states. Let's wait for an opportunity to go there ourselves.

Huh? But why?

Kellie tilts their head. "Can you…what exactly?"

Ramon, do I need to tell you for the umpteenth time about humans not being trustworthy? We've seen examples of their wicked deeds and betrayals. We shouldn't let them know about our intentions, Nomar says, his tone grim.

Ramon frowns. Then explain Lycus!? He's not a human, and yet my friends and I trusted him. He backstabbed us hard, and now Justin, Ada, Mesmeren, Courtney, Sylock, Roan, and even Coleo are at the Pokémon Center because of him!

The fact that you still called Justin and Ada your 'friends'...
Nomar's voice becomes raspy enough to sound like he's shivering. Do you even know what they are!?

I do! I was just mentioning the case for Lycus, who's a Pokémon like you and I! Ugh, are you even listening to the things I'm saying!?

Are you, brother?

Ramon is about to argue with Nomar further until—


Ramon blinks at Kellie's fingers. "Hey, can you elaborate further on what you're trying to say?" the individual states, staring with gray curiosity in their eyes.

The Zoroark eyes around, the look of uncertainty spreading across every single person gazing at him. Noctis glances in bewilderment while Delia presses her hand against her lips, perplexed. X walks up to the Zoroark, his paws behind his head.

"Uh, are you alright?" the Buizel asks.

Ramon blinks for a moment before shaking his head. "Sorry. Just, uh, daydreamed for a bit." He looks back at Kellie. "I forgot what I was going to say…" He scratches the back of his head nervously. "Again, sorry."

"Ah, it happens." Kellie stretches their arms out, looking at Ace. "Welp, with that said: I'll go back to my guarding duty. Take it easy, Ace."

"You too, Kellie," Ace says before snapping his fingers. "Wait, would you like to do some gaming at my house tonight?"

"As much as I love to, I'll pass." The curly hair Sorcerous lowers their fists and nods with firmness. "I want to commit towards my Spell Guardian duty all day. Feel like I've been slacking off for some time now, so I'll make up for it now."

"I see."

Nered waves at Ace. "I for one will take up your offer on gaming tonight. Since I'm not binded to protect the Revival Spell like Kellie is," Nered says, looking off to the side and blushing.

Ace smiles. "That's cool to know!"

The Roserade perks up. H-He says it's cool for moi to hang out with him! Oh how fantastical of an opportunity! She sighs, smiling back with serenity.

"Alrighty then. Take care!" Kellie concludes, Nered walking close to them. The two walk away as Ace waves.

"See ya!"

As they leave, Delia's phone rings in her pocket, the woman taking it out. The words 'Pokémon Center Customer Service' pop up on her screen, the woman gasping. Noctis looks at her.

"What is it?" he asks.

"It's the Pokémon Center! They must be calling me about my son's injury!" Delia answers the phone, bringing it to her ear. "Hello?" The woman nods, voices emanating from her device. "Mhm…Okay, got it. Thank you for the update so very much." She hangs up, turning towards the group. "The nurse from earlier told me that we're allowed to see Justin and Ada along with the others they're with. The extraction process is done, according to them."

X hops up, smiling. "Oh that's awesome!"

Ace lifts his hand. "I'll teleport us over to the center since it has a teleportation statue next to it."

The Buizel pauses his happy-go-lucky jumps, gradually staring at the young man. "Why…couldn't you do that with Justin and Ada earlier?"

The ponytail trainer caresses his nose. "Good question. And I have a good answer." He points towards the weasel. "Lowering my risk of exhaustion." He tilts his head at Merlin. "As you've seen with your friend here, he became too tired to catch up after teleporting all—" Ace counts his fingers. "Eight of us, including Merlin himself." He shakes his head, his hands by his hips. "I don't want to risk that when teleporting more than eight people at once. Plus it'll be hectic for the medics to worry about both me and the injured seven at the same time."

"Couldn't one of the medics aid you with the teleportation though?"

"As far as I'm concerned, no. Even if one of them is a Sorcerous, both of us can't teleport at the same time due to deaths being caused by using so much magic from more people teleporting."

X widens his eyes. "Whoa, really!?"

Ace strokes the side of his arm, nodding. "Yeah. There's a reason why whenever a Sorcerous uses the statue, it's always one of them doing the teleporting and not two or more. The high risk of death just to get to, I don't know, a grocery store nearby is not worth it."

X raises his brow. "Jeez…That's so weird. I thought Sorcerous were these very powerful humans all my life." He squints. "Seeing Justin and Ada being immobilized, seeing you getting held down by those crooks earlier, and then hearing about the consequences of having more than one Sorcerous teleporting is just…very surreal, dude."

Ramon strokes his chest, looking down. "I hope Justin and Ada never have to resort to that point."

The Buizel nods. "Same here." He then sighs.

Noctis turns around, glaring at the catastrophic mayhem that is his home, littered with broken fences and windows. Even the roof peels off parts of itself and lands on the ground, the wood breaking in half.

The Charizard grumbles, clenching his chain necklace. "I'll stay here in case anymore of those extreme Anti-Noctis crooks come by to make my day even worse."

"'Anti-Noctis'?" The Buizel snorts. "You're famous or something?"

"Used to." The Charizard glares. "Put it shortly, these guys want my ass in shambles because of my All Star Tournament days. Hence the phrase 'Flaming Vortex'. That was my title."

"Yoo, that's awesome." X forms his fists and jumps in place. "I watched those tournament matches all the time! And then you come out of nowhere to always change the channel into something else." He folds his arms, pouting.

Serene tilts her head. "I wonder why. I was enjoying those matches, too."

Noctis doesn't look at the group: Keeping his gaze directly on his house. "...I have my reasons."

"Weird." X then blinks. "Also wait, why did you stop participating in the tournament, too?"

Delia perks up. "Yes, I've meant to ask you that after those cro—"

"I've. Said. That I have my reasons." Noctis huffs. "Don't you have a son and some friends to worry about? I'll tell you after your visit with them. Just…" Noctis forms a fist. "Just not feeling it, right now."

Delia looks at the orange lizard with blues, watching him pick up a single broken fence and gazing at it. The dark brown woman caresses her bangs, scrunching up before staring back at Ace. "Good point."

Ramon stares at the Charizard for a moment, walking towards him. "I'll stay with you in case you need backup."

Noctis simply blinks in bewilderment, raising his brow at the fox. "I don't need anyone's help. I can defend myself just fine."

"What happened earlier said otherwise." The Zoroark looks up at the tall lizard, intrigue spreading across. "You'll need that extra protection on top of someone helping you clean this mess here."

Noctis grumbles, folding his arms. He huffs, closing his eyes. "Fiiine, you can stay and help."

X lifts his paw up. "As much as I want to stay here, I really want to come with Delia to see Justin and Ada again."

Merlin nods. "Same here."

Serene and Ethan nod along with the teen, the Leafeon pressing her vine against her chest. "I haven't seen those two in like, forever." She smiles, her brother shielding under her cyan cloak. "It'll be nice to see them again."

Delia's hands sit on her hips, nodding. "That settles it. We're ready to go, Ace."

Ace gives the four a thumbs up, smirking. "Gotcha then. Just let me return my Pokémon real quick." He turns towards his four companions: Taking out his Pokeball and Great Ball to return Ariel and Blackburn inside of them respectively. He then takes out his Ultra and Heal Ball. "I'll send you two out after I'm done teleporting, okay?" Tress and Jewel nod, the former rubbing his head against Ace's leg.

After Ace returns them, X and Serene stare in bewilderment.

"I don't get it," Serene says. "How could those Pokémon fathom being treated that way?"

The Buizel nods. "Yeah. I know they're Nativus and all, but the thought of being captured and owned is just—" X pauses for a moment, eyes widening before he grits his teeth, looking away. "Gah, it just…doesn't sit right with me."

Ace blinks, setting his Pokeballs around his waist. "Hmm…It's pretty understandable to feel iffy about it. Seeing another Pokémon like yourself being tamed and captured, even though you're a different kind that actually has their own freedom and will."

That's because all Pokémon belong to the wild and not by humans under some weird systematic society! Nomar states in Ramon's head, Ramon staring at the ponytail trainer with concern.

Ace taps his chin. "It's admittedly a gray and touchy topic that I feel no one wins in." He takes one look at his Pokeball devices, sighing. "Sometimes I wonder if I'm even a good person for being these four's trainer. Solely because I'm owning them, feeling like I'm robbing them of their freedom despite their Nativu status."

X glares down. "...Right."

Ace smiles. "What I can say is that my Pokémon are happy to be with me." He looks back at the group. "The feelings of a Pokémon are valid regardless of their Nativu or Intellicate status. Journeying with them, helping them out in any way, and overall treating them with the proper care and love they deserve. In a way, a bond between a trainer and their Nativu is similar to a human and their Intellicate friend."

Ace grabs his Heal Ball, smiling as images of him raising Tress as an Eevee pops into his mind, the two hugging each other with warmness. "We cherish them. Both in heart and soul."

Serene blinks, her paw to her maw. "I…never thought of bonding that way before." Nods. "Interesting perspective." X looks off, remaining quiet.

Hmph. Can't believe she actually bought his nonsense. Nomar groans. What a fool. Ramon simply lowers his ears, not having much to say.

Ace nods, returning the ball to his waist. "With that said, I would never intend on owning an Intellicate. Not only because it's illegal: It's just downright immoral regardless of any context, reasoning, or excuses one could come up with." He folds his arms. "I see zero good reason for anyone owning an Intellicate."

The Buizel gasps at what Ace said, looking at him a little. …At least you're one of the good trainers, I guess. X then lifts his arms up. "Alright alright, we're getting off track at this point. Let's go see my two dope buddies, NOW!" The Buizel glares at the Sorcerous with determination, feeling like lightning is surrounding him while his eyes glow white.

Ace chuckles. "You're right, actually." The man touches Delia and Merlin's shoulders. "Huddle around, you three." X, Serene, and Ethan nod as they join the Sorcerous, all starting to glow blue.

Soon, the six disappear, leaving Ramon and Noctis behind.

"..." Noctis stares at Ramon.

"..." Ramon stares back.


Ramon trembles a bit, silence whistling across their ears besides a few pedestrians passing by. The Zoroark blinks, so does the Charizard. Their gazes feel as though the two are going through a never-ending loop of awkwardness, not looking away from one another. Noctis leans down to pick up another broken fence, walking towards the front door.

"You gonna keep staring at me or are you going to help me clean this mess up?" the lizard states.

Ramon gasps, shaking his head. "O-Oh! Sorry!" The Zoroark follows the Charizard, picking up some broken materials along the way.

. . .

In. Out. In. Out.

Justin, Ada, Mesmeren, Courtney, Sylock, Roan, and Coleo rest on seven beds retrospectively, breathing at a normal pace: Justin's bed being across from Ada's, Mesmeren's next to Justin, Courtney and Sylock's next to Ada's, and Roan and Coleo's are beside Sylock. A stool lays between Justin and Ada with a counter being right behind it. The plain white room is wide, having one large window on the right and left side along with being behind the seven, the right displaying many buildings afar.

Rows of blue chairs sit across the seven, two double doors displaying in the middle. Pushing the doors is a Pokémon nurse along with Delia and the others, Delia jotting towards the unconscious teen first.

She leans down and hugs the boy, tears flailing on the bed sheets. "Please," she says. "Please be okay."

X, Serene, Ethan, and Merlin walk close to her, all huddling around the teens as well. Serene caresses Delia's back while laying her other vine on top of Ada's forehead, gazing down at the girl. "I hope they're okay, too." The Leafeon closes her eyes, sighing. Ace, Tress, and Jewel sit on the chairs, the Gym Leader tapping his exposed knees in anticipation.

"Justin is fine. Along with Ada and the other five with them," the nurse states, walking towards the group. "The medics successfully extracted the Weakener out of their bodies, so they're resting peacefully."

Serene blinks, tilting her head at the nurse. "What's a Weakener?"

Ethan looks as well, flicking his ears. "Y-Yeah."

Ace folds his arms. "From what the Carnivine medic told us earlier…" The pink shirt man explains the process over to Serene and Ethan, both widening their eyes in mortification. Ethan clings onto his sister, trembling as the Leafeon pats his back.

"Wh-Why would anyone create that!?"

Serene snarls. "Agreed. It's horrible to create something so dangerous like that!"

Ace presses his finger underneath his chin. "Like I've told your friends, it could be some sort of power dynamic that criminals use to show they're the most threatening."

The nurse sighs, adjusting the clipboard on her arm. "Regardless, the medics know about the ailment's existence and went through severe training on extracting it."

Merlin nudges his head against his staff. "How so?"

"We use Magic to get rid of the Weakener, surrounding the victim in its energy so that we can withdraw the substance." The nurse stares at Justin and Ada. "Any Sorcerous can do this, but it's best for a PC Sorcerous to do the extraction. Mainly because any wrong move on removing the substance could lead to deadly consequences." The nurse glances. "Which includes killing the victim."

Merlin and X look at each other, gulping. "Ah…Understood."

"Yep. I do NOT want to be the one with the Weakener then." X shakes his head.

The nurse waves her hand around. "No need to worry: We make sure to never make such a critical mistake here at the Pokémon Center."

"I hope so, dude." X scratches the back of his head, nervousness creeping throughout.

Delia pulls away from the hug, holding her son's hand. "Who did this to him?"

X looks at Delia. "A Floatzel named Lycus did this. They ate some sort of apple with the Weakener inside." He squints at the teens. "That's what Ramon told us."

"I see…"

X presses his paw against his cheek. "Man, I swear that name sounds familiar, but…I'm not sure wh—"


X gasps, the masculine voice rings throughout his head, barely saying the name he wishes to not hear. He strokes his chest, grinding his teeth. Is. Is it really…?

"Hey, X?" The Buizel looks at the Leafeon, her ears lowering, her paw against her chest. "Are you okay? You…even looked pale, too."

X keeps staring, panting in exhaustion. Concerns spreading from person to person, the weasel feeling as though the staring lasts for an eternity, sweats dripping down his forehead and cheeks.

Nah, I'm tripping with myself. Sighing, his paw lays against his head as he smiles. "I'm fine." He shakes his head. "Just, uh, had a brief scare over the thought of the Weakener and its effects." This is half true, considering the weasel's disturbance of the status earlier.

Serene nods. "Yeah, I getcha." She squints at the teens. "The fact that it could make anyone be in a horrible shape like Justin, Ada, and the others they're with is just…something I don't want to experience."

"M-Me too…" Ethan looks down, lowering his ears.

X folds his arms. "Well, I simply got to not be weak. That way, I won't get the Weakener." The Buizel smirks. "Easy."

Serene pouts, hitting the weasel's arm in a playful manner. "I honestly expected Justin to say that, not you!"

Merlin sits on the side of Ada's bed, snickering. "Same here."

X chuckles. "And my mother thinks I will never think of anything clever when hanging around Justin." He sticks his tongue out before grinning. "I still think my Floatzel joke is great. I mean, she was right there. In the lake. Floating. How could I NOT make it!?"

Delia snickers. "Now I'm seeing Beckham's point about your brain being consumed by the 'Justinese Language', as she puts it."

The Buizel shrugs. "I don't know, Mrs. Phoenix. Your son is really fun to hang with. Can you blame me?"

Merlin raises his hand up. "I would." He closes his eyes, leaving one finger up. "You haven't been focusing on the art of words."

X glares at him. "Oh shut up, Newspaper Boy."

Everyone laughs, X smiling. Serene and Ethan are smiling too, albeit they're gazing off to the side, ears remaining lowered.

Mother… the two think, Serene even taking a look at her Flareon brother: The faded claw mark on his face. It's still there. The Leafeon lifts her maw, patting the canid's back with her vine. He looks at her, slightly smiling back.

Soon a futuristic, sorcery sound emanates from Ace's hand, the man blinking. As he summons a hologram to the side, Delia sighs in relief, holding Justin's hand again. "I'm glad that he's recovering," she says, smiling. "It gives me hope knowing that he's survived." She turns to the nurse behind her. "Can I stay here for a while longer?"

The nurse nods. "You may. Again, we've taken all of the Weakeners out of them. They should be in good shape and will wake up soon."

"Thank you."

Just as the nurse turns around and touches the double doors, the blue robe boy taps his staff. "Say, I have a question to ask you."

The nurse looks at him. "What's the question?"

"What do you medics do with the Weakener?" Everyone else stares at the nurse upon hearing that question.

The nurse looks at her clipboard for a brief moment, contemplating. She then nods. "We get rid of them. Permanently." She smiles, closing her eyes. "So no need to worry about them whenever you come by to the Pokémon Center."

Merlin quirks his brow, his staff against his chin in perplexion. He is about to say something else until Ace speaks, "Hey, I'll be leaving now. Got a challenger waiting for me to battle him at my gym."

X perks up. "Oh that sounds dope! I'd watch, but I wanna stay with my buddies." He looks at the two unconscious teens.

Ace nods. "Understandable. Lucky for you, there's a normal All Star Tournament event coming up tomorrow night. You can watch people of any kind duke it out in a fun match, whether at home or in the stadium itself."

"Ah hell yeah, dude!" The Buizel jumps in joy. "Thanks for telling me that! I'll keep that in mind."

The nurse has left by this time as Ace touches Tress and Jewel, nodding. "You're welcome!" Once the three teleport away, the five keep their gaze onto Justin and Ada, all smiling.

"Man, I'm looking forward to talking to them again. Since I imagine they have a lot to tell us." X pokes his cheek, looking at Mesmeren and the other unconscious individuals. "The only person missing from our group is Terran. Because I don't know who these five are."

Delia lifts her finger. "I think you're also missing Li Cheng and your mother, X."

X gasps, pressing his paws against his head. "Ah shoot, you're right! How did I forget about my mom?"

The short-hair woman shakes her head. "What a shame. Looks like I'll tell your mother that her own child has forgotten her." She gives X a neutral face, folding her arms.

The Buizel jumps. "Wh-Wha!? H-Hey, don't actually do that!"

Delia giggles. "I'm just messing with you. Forgetfulness happens sometimes."

"Oh." X sighs heavily. "Don't scare me like that, Mrs. Phoenix. You know how my mom be, man…"

"Oh I'm aware." Delia snickers more.

Serene and Ethan stare at the two, both shivering. I-I hope mother isn't too angry about our absence… Ethan whimpers softly. Please.

. . .

Noctis sets a vase on top of the kitchen's counter, tapes clinging all over. The Charizard puts his hands by his hips, smirking. "There. Good as new." The vase crumbles into dust, the tapes latching onto the counter now. "..." Blinks. "Okay: Screw you, too."

The Charizard looks behind him, staring at the Zoroark picking up many smaller pieces on the carpet. Ramon places them in his paw one after another, glancing. His back is then met with a tap, the fox blinking.

"Eh?" He turns around, the tall orange lizard towering over him. "...H-Hi." Is all he can muster.

"Hey," Noctis replies back, his tone coming across as uninterested as a waiting line.

Silence emanates between them, eye contacts of discomfort being exchanged. The Charizard looks down at the glasses and dirt on Ramon's paw.

"Don't you know how to vacuum or something?"

"...No?" Ramon lifts his brow. "I…don't even know what that is."

Now it's Noctis' turn to give the fox the eyebrow raise. "What? But how do you—" the Charizard shakes his head. "Nevermind. Just throw that trash away."

"Oo…kay then?" Ramon walks over to the kitchen's trash can, placing the pieces inside.

Noctis sits on the middle sofa, sighing with heaviness: The inside and outside of his home still looks like a mess, albeit less messy than before. The Charizard eyes the tilt over portrait on the table, grabbing it. He eyes the yellow chain Charmeleon hanging around with a black cloak Riolu and two teens, frowning at the broken glass exposing the Charmeleon's face.

Ramon walks to the sofa, seeing a glass piece nearing the portrait. The Zoroark reaches his paw out and—

"So you wanted to say something to me earlier, right?"

Ramon stops, his eyes turning towards the Charizard. "Hmm…?"

Noctis waves his portrait. "We kept looking at each other earlier. Clearly you wanted to say something." He points to an empty spot besides him. "Sit down with me. Or stand in place." He shrugs. "I don't care. We're having this talk, either way."

Ramon blinks for a moment, uncertainty and intrigue having a tug-o-war throughout him. Especially with how brutally blunt Noctis is. In the end, the fox sits next to the dragon, his paws on his lap. "Erm…Okay then."

"So…" Noctis crosses his legs. "What do you want to say?"

Hello! This is the last chapter I'll upload before putting this fic on a massive hold. Not only to focus on drafting the rest of the fic's chapters (I have them all plotted) so that I can reach its finale, but also to focus on other interests too such as gaming and reading other people's fics! I kind of feel bad for not uploading a new chapter since Chapter 43 in November 14th because of Scarlet and Violet taking up most of my time. So I figured to upload not one, not two, but three chapters daily this week to make up for those absence. And that will not be the last time I'll do that, considering I plan to draft the rest of this fic's chapters.

Speaking of fics, I want to recommend Free N' Forth by Darkestccino. A good, slowburn start of a PMD fanfic that is my main inspiration for wanting to finish the rest of my fic's final chapters like he did with his'. His characters are so distinct and charming from one another, and I adore the way he uses foreshadowing (especially the 20th chapter and onwards). With that said, hope you all have a wonderful Happy New Year's!
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The Ghost Lord
The Yangverse
  1. reshiram
  2. zygarde
Hi! I'm here for Review Blitz! And you happen to be on theme! Somehow even though we've talked on the Discord a lot I have. Somehow. Never read any of your shit. Well I'm FIXING THAT NOW.

We start in a abandoned laboratory. With a cute little Zorua. And also dead bodies. Don't mind those. The Zorua investigates things. He comes across some weird-ass gobbledygook that he can't understand and is also obscured by blood. From the dead bodies. Don't mind those. He also may or may not be named Ramon, unless that's one of the dead bodies we should not be minding, It's not entirely clear.

The Zorua also finds diagrams for some COOL INVENTIONS like a SWORD and an ARM CANNON and boy he wishes he could get his paws on those. Unfortunately they do not seem to be in the lab. And he is stuck here. With the crashing lights. And the blood.

Eventually our vulpine friend DOES escape, but then what's this? He's cornered by a mysterious Pokemon that uses bones (GEE I WONDER WHAT KIND) who wants him dead. How will he get out of this?

You do a good job of setting up the intrigue here (intrigue is a word Umbra likes because it is a thing Umbra likes, it gives Umbras reason to come back for more when the motivation strikes) what with the mysterious nonsense technobabble and the lab. And this seems to be setting up a MAINLINE reincarnation/isekai plot which was once more common but is a novelty these days, which definitely has me interested. My one gripe is in some places the prose is kinda trying too hard - sometimes simpler is better in that regard.

But very promising start. I look forward to seeing what happens to our little Zorua frien

Venia Silente

For your ills, I prescribe a cat.
At the 0-divisor point of the Riemann AU Earth
  1. nidorino
  2. blaziken
  3. fearow
Chapter 3: Justin and Ada.

Hey! I remember this story! I read a few chapters one as a deal to recover my silverware. It was a Pokémon story with the absolutely original concept of a Pokémon with amnesia, finding itself with no idea of where or when, and then be attacked and pursued by shady figures as the circumstances of the MC showing up are somehow special.

I feel tho, and I'm sorry to say, I believe this kind of story premise will never catch on.
— Venia Silente, 2005, famous last words.​

As if!

In any event yeah I decided to get back to this. I remember there was a lot of blood in the first chapter and some promises of blood in the second chapter, so let's see if it pays up.

Last we left our Ramon he was being carried away unconscious by one stranger rescuer. An Hero, we could say. So, what do we start with?

I wish!

There's some misunderstanding as medical procedures are NOT informed to the patient to seek consent (remember people, consent is important!) and because of that our foxxo has to back off and get rightfully paranoid because, how can he know the other guy is not trying to inject him a Corona vaccine against his will?

Ramon blinks, holding onto the tree. "Oh...Are you sure you didn't inject anything deadly in my stomach?"

The teen shakes his head. "No. Why would I do that cruel shit, dude?"
...I mean... that sells it. What evil guy's ever use "dude"? In particular like that?

"You're a talking Pokémon, man. How else would I understand you?"
I'm loving this guy's dudeness and flawless logic. Also the healing magic, assuming it's not just oh, bleh, Aura. But the attitude definitively helps.

"Well just let a man express his story, dude. Now like I was saying, Ada and I have this thing called-"
dontsayitdontsayitdontsayit :p

It's nice that they did bring up attention to the fact of ZoRamon being Understood™ even if for a brief moment, and it was resolved just as quickly, for now.

After that, the girl from before shows up and decides that this guy's attitude does need a little correction!

"Uh, why are you walking like that?" Justin's head tilts to the side from the girl's slap, his lips puckering from the impact.

"I can't believe you left me like that without any concerns!" Ada exclaims, clenching her fists.
They care about each other! In exactly what terms, yet to be seen but at least that's something that shows here. Also this plus the combat nuke in the background give this scene an eerie Teen Titans vibe, which I liked and don't recall feeling in the previous ep.

Ada: "I use magic to heal myself, just like Justin used his' to heal you, I assume."
ZoRuamon: "...What?"
Same question, tbh! Also glad the answer was not "Aura".

I guess there's a reason why this story is called Magic & Transvolution. About time I figured THAT one out!

Ada: "And as for the sparkling things, I used my Magic moves: Mystical Projectile and Enchantment Claws."
ZoRuamon: "...Again: WHAT!?"

2.- It's good to hear that this story is OpenDND compliant and safe from WotC's potential attempts to sue anyone using Dungeons & Dragons concepts! Which is good given this story started early enough before the whole DnD debacle.

3.- That said tho... "Enchantment Claws"? Really? Couldn't they try for a 25% cooler name? It's MAGIC!!!

Justin: "Transvian!?"
Ada: "Where did you get Transvian from?"
ZoRuamon: "I got it from this jour...nal..."

Oh yeah I had forgotten about that1 Wasn't very clear from the combat scene before if the attacker was more interested in ZoRuamon himself or in the book, but I guess the fact that the book *was* allowed to be lost for a little while is indicative of the former.

And I have to say these parts of the scene also have that little Teen Titans vibe... I'm not sure exctly what it is, but I'm guessing it's partly how the characters are allowed to be nonchalant and quirky as a scene progresses, instead of it merely being a point-of-show, and keeping some sort of threat gradient between the interlocutors, the things they speak about, and the connected or background events going on (the fight with the attacker, for one).

If that's true tho the question is, is Justin the Beast Boy or the Cyborg equivalent here? :p

The Zorua stares ahead, his face remaining still and content. I'm not sure what'll happen from here. But I get the feeling that hanging with these two may help me recover my past, Ramon thinks to himself.
ZoRuamon voice-off during intro: "Gotta get back. Get back my past. Zoruamon Jack."

He [the attacker] spits his blood, painting the grass in red while glaring at the Zorua. His cloak looks rugged and torn, showing off bits of his blue skin.
????: "I will not sleep. Nor rest...Until I have you pay for your crime, Ramon."
Ooooh yeah it's Personal™. The book is just a tying mcguffin in the meantime. Teee heee, that was promising.

Glad I could finally get back to this story! A good episode with some promise, ZoRuamon is still alive, we have technically advanced nothing about the attacker but we all feel better about it, and we now officially have Onscreen Magic. All in all, a win!
Chapter 47.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 47: The Tale of the Flaming Vortex Part 1.

Ramon stares.

Noctis stares.


"...Well?" Noctis huffs. This kid's mouth sewed or something?

"Um…" Ramon taps his knee. "D-Do you know who…Travis is?"

"The Lucario, right?" Ramon nods meekly, to which Noctis folds his arms. "Yeah. He's my closest friend." Sighs. "The fact you know him further tells me you're the survivor Travis was talking about."

"Wait—" Ramon squints. "If you know who I am, then you're aware of him wanting me dead over the incident."

Noctis grunts, his hand against his head. "Yeah." Ramon's heart beats fast as he strokes the sofa, trembling. The Charizard looks at the fox, unphased. "I kept telling him to stop going after you, though."

Ramon's shakiness fades, ears perking up. "Really?"

"Yep." Grumbling, Noctis fiddles with his portrait. "The idiot wouldn't listen: He keeps thinking you're the cause of Xander's death and has been hellbent on this 'revenge' since."

Ramon lowers his ears, whimpering. "That's unfortunate." He strokes his knees. "Noctis…Do you think I'm the one who caused the incident?"

The Charizard glances at his portrait. "I don't know if you've caused it or not." Shrugs. "But it's pointless to kill you over, anyways." Noctis blinks, turning towards Ramon. "With that said though: Do you know what happened while in the institute?"

Ramon shakes his head. "No. I woke up in that dark place with no memories of what happened."

Noctis tilts his head. "Eh?"

The Zoroark nods. "It's true. I don't know anything about the facility besides the journal entry Yvonne wrote." Gasps. "Oh right, the journal!" He fiddles with his claws, ears lowering. "It's…probably still with Ada. Hopefully it's not damaged and all."

"Huh. Good to know you have his journal, at least." Noctis sighs. "Are you sure you don't know what happened at the Prospective Institute?"

Ramon nods. "I'm…very positive about it."

"Hmm…" Noctis folds his arms. "It's a big mystery for us all on what caused the incident. All we know is that a Pokémon survived the incident." He caresses his chin. "I'm not sure if it's you or someone else though. The news wasn't…entirely clear about that part, admittedly." Sighing, the Charizard shakes his head. "Regardless, it makes me not agree with Travis' vengeful thinking even more."

"Right..." The fox's claws twirl around each other, gazing down. "Say, Noctis: Is it true that Project Transvian was formed because of you?"

The dragon raises his brow. "Why'd you ask that?"

"...Because Travis told me two days ago while trying to kill me."


Silence flourishes, nothing but the fox's nervous twiddling is heard.

"...Yes. The project was formed entirely because of me."

"Oh. So that means—"

"Yep: I hate the shit out of my evolved form." Noctis looks down at his hand. "It's heavy, sluggish, and overall feels uncomfortable as FUCK." He forms a fist. "Evolving into a Charizard ruined my life. My reputation as the Flaming Vortex went down the drain because of it, ending my All Star Tournament days."

Noctis sighs. "To be honest, I used to be excited about evolving. Wanting to know how much better I can be the bigger I get, ya know?"

Ramon tilts his head. "Really?"

Noctis taps his leg, setting the portrait back on the table: Staring at the yellow chain Charmeleon. "Yeah. I remember a while back I was training for the next tourney at the All Star Tournament, feeling myself getting stronger and stronger…"

. . .

The yellow chain Charmelen slid across the ground before dodging the Lucario's Bone Rush, landing in front of his house. Purple flames radiated around Noctis' maw, the lizard grinning. Travis clenched his bone, his feelers twitching.

"I'm feeling reeeaaal close to evolving, Travis!" Noctis said in a hardy yet soft tone, flinging his Dragon Breath. The Lucario spins his bone around, twirling the purple flames.

Travis flew the flames to the side, smiling. "Mhm. I can sense your powers growing stronger." Stroking the side of his arm, he shrugged. "Although, I'm not entirely sure of that being correct."

Noctis waved his paw around. "Ah come on, your aura is entirely correct here!"

Travis shook his head. "You know how wrong my aura is, Noctis."

"Look man, if I say I'm close to evolving and you agree, then that means your aura is telling the truth here, right?" Noctis lifted his claw up. "Just relax and admit that your aura is correct."

"Hmm." The jackal looked away. "I'll…conclude it as a hunch, okay?" His ears lowered, staring down. "I don't want to trust my aura because of that incident. You know the one…"

Noctis grimaced. "Yeesh, right." He shrouded his claws in draconic blues. "Let's get back to training me up for tonight's tournament, okay? Don't wanna turn this into a gloomfest now."

Travis nodded. "Fair enough."

The Charmeleon rushed towards him, jumping. The Lucario dodged before Noctis smirked, lifting his head back before ushering rows of flames. Travis grunted, twirling his bone as a shield. This was when Noctis got behind him and Dragon Clawed his back, the Lucario yelping.

"Ate too many vanilla cakes before training, eh?" Noctis snorted.

"Sh-Shush!" The cloak wearing Lucario swung his paw around, Noctis jumping back in time.

The two continued as a young man exited out of the house, taking out a remote from his blue pants and clicking it. The garage door opened, the two Pokémon stopping on the concrete and eyeing the man. He walked towards Travis, handing him the remote.

"I have to go take care of an important assignment at the Prospective Institute." Dr. Yvonne smiled, pressing his messy black hair down before the curls sprung back up. He sighed, his black glasses tilting. "My hair will never stay down, huh?"

Travis took the remote, snickering. "With how busy you are, your hair will stay wacky."

Noctis poked the man's leg, the late teen blinking before staring down at him. "You think you can make it to the tournament tonight? I feel like it'll be a really good one!" The Charmeleon smirked, his eyes closed, his hand against his chest. "I'm getting closer and closer to being so strong, dude." His fist slammed against his palm. "Like I'm talking evolution levels."

The young man smiled. "Really now? That's wonderful to hear, bud! But…" He shook his head. "I'm afraid I can't make it tonight, my friend."

"What? But I thought you were off from work today!"

"I…was. But my job is calling me for this one overnight shift today, and I simply can't miss such an opportunity." Dr. Yvonne patted Travis' shoulder. "That's why I want you to record everything with your phone. Just so you can send it to me afterwards."

The Lucario nodded. "I can do that."

Dr. Yvonne smiled, his hands nudging each other. "Splendid!" He walked towards his black car, waving at the two. "Have an awesome time at the event, guys!" He got inside, the two Pokémon stepping out of the way before he drove off.

The two stared at the moving vehicle, the Charmeleon sighing.

"Man…" Noctis folded his arms, his cheeks puffing up. "He's ALWAYS busy with that job of his'. I'm happy that he got it, but blagh: It felt like he hardly hangs around with us nowadays because of it."

Travis patted Noctis' back. "Yeah, he really likes his work. Seeing as his job is about helping others in some way or shape, I can't entirely blame him for the business." Smirked. "Hell, he's willing to sacrifice his days off if it means working there some more." The jackal's paws rested behind his head. "Xander means well, Noctis. I'm sure you understand."

The lizard sighed once more, shrugging while forming a small smile. "I guess so."

Noctis then leaped away, sliding on the grass and casting draconic energies around his claws. "Regardless, I'm still rearing myself for this event tonight." The Charmeleon grinned. "Wanna continue this dance?"

Travis grinned back, yellow auras painting his paws. "You betcha."

The two started sparring, laughing while dodging each other's moves.

. . .

The crowd roared!

The crowd shouted!

Some even tossed their popcorn across the stadium while flailing their arms, jolting up from the bleachers with extreme joy!

Travis dodged the thrown bag, holding his red phone horizontally, pointing towards the battlefield. The field was a wide, oval arena with vivid grass smoothing across for the competitors. Two spectators, an Inteleon named Bond and a light skin individual named Zenith, were in a room above the bleachers: Eyeing the vigorous fight from a huge, wide window.

Noctis brung his head back before shooting an array of spinning flames, engulfing the Butterfree opponent. And then the next match, he snuck up on a Pawmo and Dragon Clawed them, the yellow rodent yelping while flung into the air. Once the Pokémon fell down, the crowd screeched with rigorousness, screaming:

"Flaming Vortex! Flaming Vortex! FLAMING VORTEX!"

Travis wagged his tail. "WOO! JUST ONE MORE ROUND, NOCTIS!" He stood up. "You got this, bud!" Noctis turned around, smirking at the Lucario before lifting his claw.

After all the matches, the finale arrived: Menacing stomps echoed throughout the stadium. A shadow casted over the lizard, Noctis staring up, his smirk remaining.

"Annnnd the final opponent the Flaming Vortex will face is—" Bond paused his smooth voice: The tall, green armor biped grinning down at Noctis. "Bulk the Tyranitar!"

Bulk cracked his fist. "I heard a lot of things about ya, Mr. Flaming Vortex."

Noctis chuckled. "Go figure."

"Heh, yeah." The Tyranitar cracked his neck. "It's an honor meeting you in person."

The Charmeleon caressed his snout, jumping up and down. "Right back at ya, Bulk."

Bulk rammed his fist against his palm, his tail slapping the ground. "Now to see if your legendary title can truly hold up against a big brute like myself." His grin intensified. "Surely a type disadvantage doesn't concern someone as famous as you, right?"

"Type disadvantage?" Noctis shoots his flames in the air, the crowd erupting at the sight. Looking back at the Tyranitar, he folded his arms, grinning deviously. "Oh please: I eat those for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all at once!"

Cracks casted around Bulk. "Even dessert?"

Draconic auras shrouded Noctis' claws. "It won't even make it to dessert, haha!"

"Heh." The Tyranitar nodded, pillars of sharp stones rose up. "We'll see then, Mr. Flaming Vortex."

"Just don't hold back!" Noctis crouched before dashing forward.

"Right back at ya!"

The moment Bulk flung his Stone Edges, the crowd cheered wildly. Even Travis stood up with enthusiasm, keeping the phone up and steady as he smiled.

Noctis clawed several stones before leaping over the others, flipping forward. Bulk's tail encased itself in metallic skin before he twirled, his Iron Tail clashing Noctis' Dragon Claw. The two were pushed back, sliding across the smooth field. The audience roared once more, the Flaming Vortex chants returning.

Bulk lifted one stone from the ground and chugged it. Noctis ducked before the Tyranitar slammed his tail down onto him, the lizard jumping back in time, small dust rising. Noctis ran around, drawing flames around the towering foe. Bulk smirked, cracks forming around.

"I see what you're trying to do. I'm not letting it happen, though." Bulk lifted his hands, the Stone Edges sprung upwards. Noctis jumped off before being hit, groaning. He slid across the ground, one stone jolting towards him. He jumped to the side, slashing it in half.

Spectators commentated the match with zero pauses, but the two opponents didn't care as their eyes were attached to each other, purple flames shrouding Noctis' maw.

"Nice catch: Spoiling my Fire Spin trap like that," Noctis said.

"That tends to be one of your dirtiest tricks in the book." Bulk lowered his head, nudging his nose. He smirked. "Hence why I stopped it before you even form that circle," Bulk said.

"Tch." Noctis grinned back. "You're smarter than I thought."

Bulk blinked. "I'll…take that as a compliment?"

Noctis snorted. "Yeah because it is." He brung his head back and flung forward, his Dragon Breath roaring ahead.

Bulk shot one sharp rock towards it, obliterating the breath. A brief smoke rose, clouding Bulk's vision. Soon Noctis jumped out of it, slashing the pseudo's cheek with draconic energy. Bulk grunted, moving back. He looked behind him: Noctis staring back, toothy cockiness ensued.

The Tyranitar laughed. "Good one, Vortex." His tail shined in metal. "But it'll take a lot more than your Dragon Claw to knock me down."

Noctis laughed as well, his purple claws persisting. "Good." He jolted around, swinging his claws. "Because I want my opponent to be hard!" Bulk twirled around, his Iron Tail ramming against Noctis' Dragon Claw.


The collision echoed throughout the stadium.

"LOOK AT THIS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN!" Zenith shouted through their microphone, their black hair swishing about. "THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE ALL STAR TOURNAMENT IS ALL ABOUT!"

"YEAAAH!" the crowd yelled.

Noctis and Bulk kept the adrenaline going: The Charmeleon leaping over the sharp stones, the Tyranitar striking any draconic flames with his tail, the small lizard cartwheeling from erupting quakes, the biped giant evading the fiery claws. The two persisted, the crowd wilding.

The opponents soon came to a halt, panting. Bulk wiped sweat off his forehead, sighing. "Phew, you really are good at this. More so than I thought, heh."

Noctis flicked his snout. "You're not bad either, big guy."

"Hmm…" Bulk rubbed his claws together. "Let's see how you handle this." Snapped.

"Handle wha—"


Storm of grains rushed from the Tyranitar, engulfing the battlefield. A forcefield prevented the sandstorm from hitting the audience, everyone gasping.

Travis blinked. "That's—"

"Sand Stream." Noctis formed his fists, shielding himself while eyeing around. Bulk was nowhere to be seen, the sands clouding the Charmeleon's vision. He grunted. "Where did you—GAH!" A stone jolted the lizard back, rolling him around. Noctis clawed the ground, stopping.

Laughs echoed throughout the sandstorm. "Am I finding your weakness, Mr. Flaming Vortex?" Bulk's voice said, Noctis eyeing around the field, vigilant.

The ground beneath Noctis cracked and thumped like a heartbeat, pulsating rocky debris. Noctis eyed down. "Ah shi—" the Earthquake sent the Charmeleon up.

"ARGH!" He flailed around in pain. I need to get rid of this sandstorm and FAST! The lizard tried to cast flames until a huge stream of water splashed him. He yelped, ramming the ground and spiraling all over.

The crowd gasped, slamming their hands against their chests or mouths or even pressing on the stadium's shield: Concerns everywhere.

"Oh no!" a Flamigo exclaimed, his red tie poking the shield. "Is our beloved Flaming Vortex alright!?"

"I have no clue!" a dark skin woman said, stroking her parasol. "Oh goodness me!"

Noctis grunted, stroking the ground. "Ugh…" He slowly pushed up before stopping, eyeing his shadow: It was becoming bigger than usual. "UM—"

Bulk slammed onto the lizard, red energy engulfing his entire body. Crucial waves vibrated the battlefield, Noctis coughing up blood. His eyes widened, his teeth gnashed, his claws groped.


Everyone stared in awestruck, gasping once more.

"WHOOOA! Looks like Bulk has the upperhand, thanks to that sneaky Body Press!" Zenith stated, standing up and gripping the desk.

Bond crossed his legs, sipping coffee from his mug. "Indeed."

A Cyclizar bit his fingers, his teeth clittering. "I-Is this the end for the Flaming Vortex?"

"Will he be dethroned after remaining the top for so long!?" a woman said, stroking her hat.

"Ngh…" Noctis groaned and grunted, trembling. He soon stopped, his head hitting the ground.

Bulk smirked. "Looks like I won, Mr. Flaming Vortex." His head bowed. "It was a pleasure battling you."

Travis frowned. Come on, Noctis. I know you wouldn't give up that easily!

The two spectators looked at each other for a moment before nodding, the first pressing the microphone against their lips. "Alright, folks! It looks like the winner of tonight's All Star Single Tournament is—" Noctis glowed blue, his size increasing. Everyone blinked in perplexion, their eyes gluing to the scene. "OH WAIT, SOMETHING'S HAPPENING!"

"Grr…" Noctis grumbled: Wings forming on his back, his voice lower than before, his tail expanding its length.

"Hmm?" Bulk tilted his head. "Are you evolving?" The Tyranitar got shoved off by the evolution, rolling around as he yelped. "Oof!"

Noctis stood up, spreading his arms out and clutching his fists: He stopped glowing, uttering his menacing roar as his wings flourished.

The crowd shouted with excitement, including Travis himself. "WOOO, LET'S GO NOCTIS!"

Noctis flapped his wings, winds evaporating the sandstorm. "WELL WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT, FOLKS! THE FLAMING VORTEX HAS EVOLVED AFTER ALL THESE TIMES!" Zenith yelled, the audience cheering endlessly.

Bulk brushed himself off, sighing. "I had a feeling this fight isn't over that soon."

Noctis eyed at his new form. "Hmph." He clenched his hands. "Well I didn't mean to evolve this soon, but here we are now." Snorting, Noctis beckoned the Tyranitar, casting his draconic claws. "Let's dance."

Bulk smirked, bringing his Stone Edges up before dashing towards Noctis. He fired, Noctis slashing them one after another. Bulk jolted his Iron Tail towards the dragon, who countered it with his claws. Noctis flung his purple breath, pushing the Tyranitar back. He leaped forward, plowing more and more Dragon Breaths at the behemoth.

Bulk grunted, shielding himself. He soon gasped, electricity surging through him. Crap. He closed one eye. Paralysis!

Noctis smirked. "Gotcha." He flew around the Tyranitar, flames ushering from his maw. He flew higher and higher, the crowd gazing in awe.

"THE FLAMING VORTEX IS USING THE CLASSIC OL' TRICK, FOLKS!" Zenith shouted, slamming their hands on the desk.

Bond snapped his fingers, winking. "Outstanding maneuver from our beloved Vortex!"

Noctis stopped midair, the flames swirling around Bulk. The dinosaurian gritted his teeth, tilting his claws up.

"I just. Got to—NGH!" He was immobilized, the surges springing him. Noctis snapped his fingers, menacing flames closing in and engulfing the Tyranitar. Bulk groaned and screamed, the Fire Spin trapping him like a cage.

The Charizard rubbed his wrist, casting his Dragon Claw. "I know the flames won't be enough, so let's actually finish this."

He dashed down, zooming around the furious vortex. He arched his arm, squinting. Swinging his claw, Noctis flung Bulk out of the Fire Spin. Bulk spiraled all over the ground, sliding across. He groaned, twitching.

The two spectators jolted up and down, saying, "AND WITH THAT, THE FLAMING VORTEX REMAINS AS THE WINNER OF THIS NIGHT'S ALL STAR SINGLE EVENT!" The crowd erupted with joy, some whistling being thrown here and there.

Travis formed a fist and pressed his elbow down, holding the phone in his other paw. "Hell yeah, Noctis!"

Noctis descended, walking towards the Tyranitar. Bulk slowly stood, grabbing the side of his arm. "That was a really fun match, Vortex." His hand held out. "I appreciated it a lot, especially the last minute evolution move." Smirked. "You really are the Flaming Vortex everyone hyped up to."

Noctis looked at his hands, glancing. "..."

Bulk blinked. "Is something wrong?"

"..." Noctis shook his head. "It's nothing." A small smile formed. "I liked our fight, too." He shook Bulk's hand. "Thanks."

Noctis' voice of the present says:

"This is where my regret began…"

Author's Note:

The road towards this fic's end has officially begun! Hopefully you all enjoyed this chapter as we march our way towards this fic's third and final arc, every Fridays weekly! There's so, SO many moments in this third story arc that I genuinely cannot WAIT to show you all. Also this is the first chapter of M&T1 to be uploaded in 2023, let alone on my birthday, too! But with that said, see you all next week with Chapter 48. nwn
Chapter 48.

Sonic Ramon

Pokémon Trainer
Chapter 48: The Tale of the Flaming Vortex Part 2.

A yellow paw rammed Noctis' face, the Charizard grunting away towards his home. Sweats dripped down his cheeks, his Lucario friend jumping back and sliding across.

Noctis panted, bruises littering throughout. He glared, forming a fist.

Travis tilted his head. "Are you alright?"

Noctis stared at his hands, those fingers being more defined than his Charmeleon self. Even his claws were different! They used to be large and mighty: Small and shy they were deduced to. Doubt anyone would even notice them, only he would. He formed his fists, shaking his head.

"I'm…I'm fine." A scratchy gruff shrieked his voice. "I can keep going."

Travis lowered his ears. "I…really think we should take a break. You've been pushing yourself a lot right now. I'm scared that you'll—"

Noctis stomped, the concrete cracking. "NO!" Snarled. "I said I can keep going, god dammit!" He brung his fists up. "Now fucking fight me already, Travis! Don't hold back, either!"

The Lucario gazed at the dragon for a moment, sighing. "Alright then." He took deep breaths, crouching. He then jotted towards the dragon, his paw curling into a fist.

Noctis swung his fist forward, but Travis ducked underneath and uppercutted him. Noctis gnashed his teeth, groaning. "Gah!" He backed away, spitting out saliva. "Come on. You can do better than that." The lizard lifted his hands, beckoning.

Travis dashed forward, yellow auras encasing his paws. Noctis lifted his head back, purple flames emanating around his maw before the Lucario smacked him, the lizard spitting his draconic flames to the side. Travis Force Palmed Noctis over and over, the dragon growling in pain. The Lucario then kicked Noctis back, the Charizard roaring.

"COME THE FUCK ON!" Noctis stomped, cracks forming around his foot, blood dripping down his bruises. "PUT MORE POWER INTO YOUR MOVES, DAMMIT!"


The two proceeded: Travis dodging Noctis' moves while providing intense jabs and kicks one after another. Noctis growled and snarled and screeched—Pain coursing through his sluggish maneuvers left and right.

Soon, Noctis was coughing—shaking, even. The lizard was on his knees, spitting blood while growling, closing a single eye. Travis stared, lowering his arms. He whimpered.

Noctis gritted his teeth. "Why—" he gagged out blood further, his growl intensified. "Why did you stop!?" He moved forward before gasping, falling down afterwards.

"N-Noctis!" Travis rushed over to the Charizard's aid.

The front door opened, Dr. Yvonne exiting before eyeing the gruesome scenario. "NOCTIS!" He hurled over, sitting on his knees and inspecting the dragon. The young man then frowned at the jackal. "Why did you hurt him so much? I thought this was supposed to be a friendly fight!"

"I—" he winced, his feelers twitching, his eyes closing.

"I, grr—" Noctis pushed himself up. "I asked him to go rough on me, jackass." Once up, he started shifting side to side, groping his head. His vision going wonky, his belly stirring with eruption, his fragile hand feeling like a feather instead of something warm. "Ugh…" His eyes half-closed, everything feeling as though he should melt into the ground.

Noctis eyed the now standing scientist and jackal, panting heavily. The man patted the lizard's arm, gazing with concern.

"Come inside, Noctis. You've done enough training for the day."

The Charizard growled, pushing the man's hand away. "I can, ngh, continue training whenever I want!"

"Noctis, please." The scientist rubbed his hand. "I don't want you to bleed further." Dr. Yvonne sighed. "Don't push yourself, my friend."

Travis nodded. "Y-Yes." He stroked his cloak. "I'd…rather not have my friends in the hospital because of my bruteness…" His cloak shifted to the side by the wind.

Noctis smacked his lips. "But I NEED to get strong. If I don't push myself, then I'll never keep my title as the Flaming Vortex!"

"Not while you're all bruised up and feeling close to passing out," Dr. Yvonne stated, folding his arms. "Please, just come rest for the time being."

"..." Noctis snarled, gripping his fist. "Alright, fine! I just hope I remain as the winner in later tournaments, then." He headed towards the house, Yvonne and Travis following along.

"I'm certain that you will!" Travis says with encouragement, his feelers going haywire. He gripped his appendages. Shut it.

. . .

Noctis groaned, jumping back from an Emploeon's Aqua Jet, sliding across the stadium's field. The crowd cheered, Yvonne and Travis being at the front row seats wooing with enthusiasm.

Noctis frowned at his opponent: The Nativu Empoleon, Luxury, sliding back to her trainer, Golden.

Golden formed a fist, jolting their elbow down. "Great job, Luxury. Keep it up!" the trainer said, their tone low.

Luxury kept her glance on the Charizard, nodding. "Will do, Master." Her arms raised, standing still.

Noctis panted, purple flames coating around his maw. I can do this… He flung his Dragon Breath, the draconic energy roaring across the field.

Golden snapped their fingers. "Dodge with Aqua Jet!"

Luxury encased herself in aquatic auras, swerving over the dragon flames. She rammed the Charizard, Noctis groaning. He shielded himself, being pushed back. The lizard smacked the penguin away with his tail, the Empoleon sliding across the ground.

Travis and Yvonne lifted their fist up, the scientist wearing red clothing as the two cheered. "You can do it, Noctis! Go get 'em!" Yvonne exclaimed.

"Yeah, show 'em who's the Flaming Vortex!" Travis yelled. The Lucario's appendages twitched, blinking. Hmm?

The Charizard jabbed Luxury's flippers before she smacked him away with metallic claws, kicking him afterwards. The Lucario squinted. Is…something really wrong with him? Will he actually lose this fight? His ears lowered. Is that why my aura is acting up?

Noctis gnashed his teeth, his vision blurred. His maw was engulfed by flames, the dragon glaring at the penguin.

Travis' appendages spasmed further. No. The Lucario shook his head. I don't believe that: He'll win! He got this! He bit his lower lip. I…know he does.

"Travis?" The Lucario blinked, eyeing Dr. Yvonne. "Are you alright?"

"Erm…" Travis nodded. "Yeah. I'm fine."

The Charizard unleashed his stream of flames, Luxury raising her flippers and spreading her legs. Her trainer spreaded their arm, their gray glasses leaning forward. "Wave Crash!" The Empoleon nodded to the command, submerging in immense water. She dashed towards the lizard, zipping around the Flamethrower.

Noctis widened his eyes, enlarging the swirling fire. He turned his head, Luxury rushing closer to him. Come on, come on—HIT! His brows furrowed. HIIIIIIIIIIT! The grass burnt to the crisp, yet the Empoleon moved further and further from the flames.

"JUMP!" Golden shouted.

Luxury smirked, leaping up and twirling. She flipped herself forward, ramming her flipper against Noctis' neck.

Noctis gagged: His flames dying, the lizard soaring back within seconds. He flailed around the ground, rolling before crashing into a wall. Smoke rose from the collision, clouding the lizard.

The crowd gasped, standing up in intrigue. Travis' paw pressed his chest while Yvonne bit his fingernails, sweat dripping down their cheeks. Luxury slid across the ground, her aquatic auras fading.

After what felt like hours, the smoke vanished, the Charizard grunting and walking forward. He stroked his arm: Panting, growling—even shivering. Shivering? He blinked, pausing. The Charizard eyed the Emperor Pokémon: The lack of bruises, scratches, bleedings. None of them were there. Luxury squinted, her flippers up and prepared.

Noctis' vision became hazier: Shaking left to right, right to left. The crowd eyed him, confusion circulating their minds. Noctis squinted his eyes for a brief moment, gripping his arm. His eyes then widened, all of his movements vanished.

"...Sh-Shit." He fell, trembling.

"Whoa!" The Intellicate Inteleon grabbed his microphone, pointing at the window. "At a shocking turn of an event, Golden and her Luxury have beaten the Flaming Vortex, officially moving onto the next match!"

Noctis' eyes quaked, the dragon staring at the wall across as some of the crowd shot up with cheers. Travis and Yvonne stared at their friend: The man sighing as the Lucario trembling, melancholy flowing through them.

He…lost? Travis glared to the side. No. I don't believe my aura was right about this. This is just…just… He groaned, his appendages twitching. Unfortunate circumstances. Yeah. That's what this is.

Noctis closed his eyes, taking the deepest breath of his life. He got up, grunting. He walked forward to Golden and Luxury, a crooked smile forming.

"That was a good match we had there." His eyes closed, nodding. "It's clear that you two's bond as Trainer and Pokémon was so strong, it even defeated the Flaming Vortex himself!" He pointed at himself, chuckling.

Golden and Luxury eyed each other for a brief moment before the trainer quirked their brow, folding their arms. "That wasn't us at our 'full potential'."

Noctis blinked. "I…" His head tilted. "Come again?"

Golden tapped their chin. "How do I say this nicely…" Their throat was cleared. "We thought with a grand title like yours, you'll put our bonds to the test." Sighed. "Unfortunately, that wasn't the case because of how sluggish you were against Luxury."

Noctis lifted his brow. "I mean, wasn't I sluggish before?"

"From what we've seen of your previous fights: No, you weren't." Golden adjusted their glasses. "You were pretty speedy and always had the upper hand via a trick by the end." They pressed their glasses back. "This time around, you weren't dodging our attacks. Barely even did any damage to Luxury."

Golden's Empoleon folded her flippers, the trainer laying their hand beneath their chin. "This fight doesn't feel like any others I've seen you in." Their head tilted. "What happened?" Golden's glasses leaned forward. "Or…"

Noctis perked his head up. "Or…what?"

Golden pushed their glasses back: Glistening as their hands slipped inside of their pockets. "Was your title just overhyped lies?"

Noctis gazed, lips sealed. His heart beated, his expression motionless.


The Charizard walked past the two, eyeing the double door exit. Golden blinked, eyeing him. "I wonder if I've hit a nerve there."

Luxury squinted at them. "You certainly have," she said in her language.

The dragon stomped past Travis and Yvonne, the two eyeing him. The jackal opened his mouth and—

"I slipped up," Noctis said, stopping halfway. "I'll…I'll do better next time." He eyed his two friends, others being beside them gazing down at the lizard. His lips quivered, smiling. He proceeded through exit, Travis pressing his paw against his chest.


. . .

From there, Noctis went through many losses in each All Star Singles: Pummeled into the wall, thrown across the field—even flown into the air for a brief moment before crashing towards the ground! The audiences winced and grimaced at the Flaming Vortex's losing streaks, his friends warping in dread at it all.

Noctis widened his eyes at them, feeling as though his reign was being depleted rapidly. His title was devolving. But he kept going, hoping to earn himself first place in the tournament again. Until…


The Charizard fell on his back, attempting to move up before a purple monkey pinned him with two tails. Noctis glared at the pitch black sky: Quivering, stroking the grass.

"The winner of this match is Swifty the Ambipom!" the announcers exclaimed, crowds erupting in celebration.

"YEAAAH! YOU GO, SWIFTY!" one guy screamed.

"THE FLAMING VORTEX IS OLD SCHOOL, NOW! SWIFTY IS WHERE IT'S AT!" an Orthworm yelled, his arms hovering over his mouth.

Noctis' eye twitched.

"Yeah, the Flaming Vortex isn't how he used to be anymore!" one woman stated, sighing.

Swifty gasped, her hand pressing her maw, bringing her tails back. "Oh my goodness gracious, I didn't think so many people would be this cheerful about me defeatin' the great ol' Vortex himself!" She turned towards Noctis, leaving her hand out. "Speakin' of, you did a mighty fine job during our match! Even though you weren't dodgin' my attacks, I still had fun!" The Ambipom smiled.

The Charizard looked down at his hands—at himself: The belly, the fingers, the tail…Even the wings too made him wince in disgust. Tears welled up, clouding his vision.


Swifty tilted her head. "Is somethin' wrong?"

"Tch!" Noctis gritted his teeth, smacking Swifty's hand away.

The Ambipom yelped. "What was that for!?" The Charizard didn't answer, flying towards the exit while groaning, tears falling behind. Travis and Yvonne eyed the lizard from their seats, sorrow spreading across. The Ambipom rubbed her hand, glaring. "Jerk…"

. . .

Tapping. No sounds.

Tapping again…Still no sounds.

"Noctis? I want to talk." Travis lowered his ears, tapping the dragon's door yet again. This time, he heard something: Weeped, whined, and whimpered. The Lucario turned towards the young scientist, looking up and sighing. "Can you help me talk with him? Please…?"

Yvonne adjusted his brown coat, nodding. The man knocked next. "Noctis? Travis and I would like to talk to you. Please, we want to know what's wrong."

Once the weeping faded, a 'click' ushered into existence before the door opened: A tall Charizard stood before them, fresh tears sliding down his cheeks. His lips shook.

"Come in…" The lizard walked over to his bed, the two following him. The bed shrieked Noctis' weight, the dragon snarling. He punched his bed, tears flooding. "SHUT UP!"

Travis and Yvonne lifted their arms up.

"Calm down," Yvonne said, sitting beside the Charizard afterwards. "Tell me, what's wrong?"

Noctis sniffled, Travis sitting on the other side. "Everything is wrong with me." He looked at his hands. "My hands," then his wings. "My wings," his belly. "This stupid fucking round belly here," and lastly: himself. "The overall heaviness of my body. Just…everything feels so shit."

Yvonne patted Noctis' back. "That's okay. It's normal to feel weirded out upon evolving. Travis went through a similar case, too."

Noctis gritted his teeth, smacking Yvonne's arm away. "No, you don't get it: I can never get used to this new body! I hate everything about it. From how sluggish I move to how heavy I feel. It sucks…" Whimpered. "It absolutely sucks. I…" His teeth clenched. "I wished I never evolved in the first damn place!" Noctis covered his face, tears landing on his legs.

Yvonne and Travis eyed each other before the two hugged the lizard, the latter being mindful of his chest spike. Travis gazed off, caressing Noctis' back. "I'm…sorry, Noctis. I feel like it's my fault for telling you about my aura senses. It's what led you to evolve."

Yvonne shook his head. "Travis, don't blame yourself over this."

The Lucario squinted. "No. I was prompting him to evolve, and then he did during that same day. I…take full blame for this." Yvonne stared at his friends, the distress and melancholy spreading like a disease.

Noctis… The man groped his shirt, his glasses tilting. The three continued in the huddle, Noctis keeping his face hidden.

. . .

Noctis exhales, opening his eyes while staring at the ceiling. "From there, history writes itself: Yvonne doing a ton of research on Transvians, dedicated to turning myself into one so badly." Waving his hand around, Noctis shakes his head. "And then the lab incident happened and such." He glares at the fox. "You know the rest."

Ramon lowers his ears. "Oh…" He holds his paws together. "I'm…sorry that you have to carry the burden of evolution. Truly."

Noctis sighs. "It's whatevs. It happened, my close friend is dead because of it, and now I just have to deal with it." He glares at his Charmeleon self on the portrait, tapping his leg. His hands then sit behind his head, gazing up at the ceiling again. "Life and its circus act, am I right?" Ramon blinks, twiddling with his claws. Noctis rolls his eyes. "That's rhetorical. You don't need to answer."



Perhaps an awkward one between them.

The Zoroark strokes his arm while the Charizard waves his feet up and down in boredom.

"By the way, I was supposed to call Travis if I were to see you in person. That's why your name is familiar," Noctis says.

Ramon's fur stands up, his lips quivering. "Wh-What!?"

Noctis waves his hand. "Don't worry yourself, kid. I won't tell him since I don't believe that crap about you being the cause." He turns. "He's been overreacting like crazy since Xander's death, believing you destroyed the facility since the news rumored of a lone survivor being in there."

Ramon stares off. "Ri-Right…"

Noctis shakes his head. "I guess it could be plausible that you caused the incident, but like: Why the hell would you remain in the building you've destroyed?"

Ramon jumps forward, snapping his claws. "I know, right!? I couldn't wrap my head around that logic when he thinks I'm lying!"

The Charizard quirks his brow. "Wait, did he ACTUALLY assume you were purposefully staying at the Prospective Institute?"


Noctis rams his face against his hand. "What an idiot, man." Sighs. "I'll put some sense into him about this petty revenge crap he's doing." His fist bangs his chest. "You have my word."

Ramon nods meekly. "Th-Thanks, Noctis. It…It um…" He sniffles, tears crawling up.

"Eh?" Noctis then widens his eyes from the Zoroark's sudden hug, the fox weeping on him. "Whoa!"

"I-It…means a lot to me that someone who's aware of the incident doesn't think I'm the cause." Ramon clenches his teeth, tears dripping down.

Noctis stares, his hand shaking while he pats the fox's head. "It's, uh, no problem, kid."

Ramon blinks for a moment, backing away. "S-Sorry about that!" He wipes away the tears. "I just…needed that release after all I've been through."

"I'd imagine." Noctis grabs the remote on the table. "Wanna watch some movies or something?"

"Um." Ramon taps his chin, lips sealed. "...Yeah. I would want that, actually. I…need something to relax for once." His claws poke each other.

The Charizard clicks a button, snickering. "I feel ya." The two look at the TV: An Eldegoss dancing to a crowd of Leafeons admiring their movements while hazy vocals play. Noctis scrunches his face. "What the fuck?"

Ramon snorts. "Looks like we're in the middle of some, uh—" his head tilts. "Interesting film or something?"

"Nah, this is some weird ass music video. Changing this right now." Noctis hits another button as Ramon sighs, succumbing to tranquility.

. . .


Everyone in the PC room is: Delia resting on her son's arm, Merlin stares at Ada while stroking his staff, X glances out of the window while his arms fold, Serene and Ethan stick close together as the Leafeon pats her brother's back.

Justin and Ada remain in their retrospective beds along with the other four: Quiet and still, their eyes shut.

"Ngh…" Justin groans.

"Ugh…" Ada groans.

The five perk up, eyeing the teens. The two open their eyes, moving forward sluggishly.

"Where…are we?" Ada asks.

"ADA!" Merlin shouts before he, Serene, and Ethan hug her.

The girl yelps. "Huh!?"

Justin blinks in confusion. "What's going o—WHOA!" a hug latches from his mother and X, the two teens eyeing everyone as a whole. Tears immediately rise up, the two trembling, their lips lifting.

"Oh my god, Justin!" Delia exclaims, crying on the boy's chest. "I'm so, so happy to see you again!"

"We miss you two so much, Ada!" Merlin says, tears streaming down his cheeks.

Justin and Ada's lips quiver, the two embracing the hug, nuzzling everyone.

"I'm happy to see you all again, too!" Ada says.

"S-Same here, fam!" Justin follows.

Tears of joy exchanges between them, everyone wailing and crying in the biggest relief of their lives.

Happy Pride Month, everyone! nwn
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