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Chapter 20: The Way of the Hyper Voice
Chapter 20: The Way of the Hyper Voice
Hrothofkiin – The Seidr's Isle
On the Seidr's Isle, there is an order of men, rather than Pokémon, who make their home in the volcano-riddled hell-scape, and use the power of their Voices to keep the elements from annihilating their fortress. It is known, as Hrothofkiin.
Pokémon do inhabit this fiery island. Species like Magmar, Magcargo, even a smaller breed of Charizard, but they take little notice of the humans within their midst. Indeed, most have no idea what humans even look like. It's one of the last places on the planet free of their meddling.
In this high fortress among the volcanic peaks of flame and ash, the 'Graybeards' as the locals call them, watch over their homeland of Norstad, from one of the three highest locations in the region, the other two being Ymir's Wahlom, and Valaskjalf, the home of those who ride Articuno.
It is as their nearest and greatest of volcanic peaks erupts, wit
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 0 0
Caleb Pravus, The Prophet by PokeFan1337 Caleb Pravus, The Prophet :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 0 0 So this happened. by PokeFan1337 So this happened. :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 0 0
The Trainer Exam
The Trainer Exam
Gilroy Redwood was in another after-hour session with his grand-nephew, Alex. The boy was twelve now, and his brother Eric was ten. He'd also just gotten a Squirtle, while Alex remained Pokéless.
But, his Gruncle was telling him, there was a chance to earn one, perhaps, and convince his parents to let him keep it. Legally, they were the only ones who kept him from owning a Pokéball.
Every trainer, around the ages of five to ten, was tested for their aptitude in battles, and based on that, they would either be advised to become a trainer as soon as possible, in some cases sixteen, or be directed to find another path, one that didn't involve professional training. Given the culture of their world, almost everyone wanted to become a Trainer. There was an entire industry around professional battling, and if you were good, no job payed better.
If they passed, they, at the very least, received a Trainer ID, allowing them to travel to all the countr
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 1 3
Chapter 19: Save the World, 'Dovahkiin' (2)
The two trainers shared a look. "Seems like an invitation to me." Jess nodded in agreement, and Shruikan began ascending towards the landing. The wind was fierce as they landed, and Alex recalled his dragon, then took Jess' hand and made their way towards the entrance at the top of the tower. Their guard went up as the wind wall they'd seen before returned once they'd landed, and shrouded the tower once more in fierce wind.
He walked towards where he assumed there was an entrance. It looked like a wall of mahogany brown metal, but as they approached, battered by the ever-increasing wind, the wall seemed to split in half, and opened to admit them.
Neither one of them could see the interior, but Alex trudged forward anyway, suddenly glad he'd swapped out his hat for the gifted helmet. It wasn't getting blown away in the fierce wind, as it was made of iron, and he rather liked how it fit. He didn't care that Jess kept mocking him, mentally, almost every time she looked at him. They might
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 0 3
Chapter 19: Save the World, 'Dovahkiin' (1)
Chapter 19: Save the World, 'Dovahkiin'
"Fine. It's a deal." Caleb Pravus glared at the man across the unnecessarily long mahogany table that sat him, and the rest of his followers with room to spare. Those that had managed to climb on Yveltal, anyway. He could send someone to retrieve the others later. If they were even alive still. There was a time when he wouldn't have left anyone behind, but he'd long since stopped caring about which of his sentient pawns lived and died.
They were expendable, after all. And irritating. Always whining, complaining about morale, or the weather, or their lack of time with their family. He was quite sick of it, frankly. He pulled the enhanced Dark Ball from the magnetic clips that held his other sentient tools on the inside of his suit jacket, and tossed it to the man.
He had to hold back disgust as a psychic aura of pink surrounded the ball, and levitated it towards the man, who examined it with a sigh. "Shadow-infusion, hmm? How
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 0 0
The Norstad Region by PokeFan1337 The Norstad Region :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 2 0 Pokemon World MK3 by PokeFan1337 Pokemon World MK3 :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 2 0
Chapter 15: The Castelian Civil War (2)
Alex raised a brow. "War? Between who?"
It was Jess' turn to chime in again. "Probably between the Arceans and Tao's followers. Once you left, he let quite a few people stay at his tower, and maintain it, as he meditated. They've been planning a rescue attempt ever since. Supposedly. Nate and Rosa have been organizing local trainers while Hilda has been here, defeating challengers of the League. Nobody has managed to get past the Four, however."
Alex stroked his bearded chin as he eyed the burning city. "And Hilbert? He should've been back by now. He left weeks ago. He's definitely strong enough for Ghetsis, after the training we had." Hilbert had arrived at the Sage's home a week after Alex, battered and bruised, but alive, and sick of Vegemite sandwiches. He, Red, and Alex had often relaxed together when they had a free moment.
Jess shrugged again. "Nobody has seen him. He does have a tendency to vanish, though."
Alex swore, and mounted Blaze again, who was already ready to go. He wa
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 2 1
Chapter 14: The Foggy Swamp Sage (2)
Dinner was simple fare, some bread, some rice, and a banana. The Sage gladly took the fruit from those who abstained from eating it. Alex had no desire for it either, but he knew he'd need more than bread and rice before long. His body was large, and required quite a bit to keep it running at the level he knew he would need. Thankfully, the Sage informed him that they could indulge in as many helpings as they dared.
Wary of the master's word choice, he settled for seconds, and didn't take more after that. Some other trainers did, however, one in particular, a trainer with a red jacket and sandy blonde hair who was clearly from the Fornia region, Unova's equivalent on the western coast, helped himself to four rounds of rice and bread, eating as though he'd been starved for months.
The others, Alex included, had watched for the consequences of so much gluttony, but the Sage had seemed to ignore him. Indeed, he ignored them all most of the time, preferring to spend his day meditating on h
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 2 1
Chapter 13: Unova, Part 3 (2)
Feeling exhausted and frustrated at his lack of progress on finding out anything more about this Swamp, he went to bed. His relative had stubbornly refused to talk about the Swamp. He was 'on his own for that nonsense'.
He slept for almost a full day, recovering from the three harsh days of work, and sex, with no sleep. Tao's energy had sustained him, and though he could still feel himself slowly growing more exhausted the further he went from Unova. He awoke to find that Arthur had taken care of the rest of the team, letting Hydrus and Terra out to lounge around.
Blaze was practicing aerial maneuvers, with his weights on, and Alex was surprised his team knew how to attach them properly.
Impressed with his responsibility, Alex sparred against Arthur, something he often lost at, but knew his Pokémon enjoyed immensely. They both had rough, untrained styles, and were both complete amateurs. Still unable to properly control his Sword Arms, Arthur took every chance he could to try and
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 1 0
Chapter 10: All the World's a Stage (2)
As he and Jess left Nimbasa and began traveling down the Join Boulevard, it took him a minute to realize they were getting looks. Well, more looks than usual. If he was honest, he'd won half of his random road battles thanks to them being distracted by Jessica's looks. That applied to both genders.
Elesa had, at his request, personally admitted to making up the rumors from the last broadcast, but hadn't given them any new information on this trainer either. Thus, the local hotshot trainers in the city decided to keep an eye out for him, if only to see if the hype was real. As they walked further down the absurdly large tunnel, packed to the brim with shops for literally everything, the going was slow.
Like most women, his was not immune to the lure of shopping, and given that she'd coaxed a certain black piece of plastic from her father, her spending was wild. Naturally, Alex ended up shoving half of it into his bag. It was bigger on the inside, a 'Redwood tech trick' as his Gruncle ha
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 1 0
Chapter 9: Aftermath (2)
Arthur's sense of satisfaction spread to his trainer, manifesting as confidence, renewed after being literally shattered by his trials on the mountain. He had the girl he'd dreamed of for years, he had the makings of his team, and already three of them were fully evolved and powerhouses in their own right.
He could handle addressing the media circus. He met Jess's gaze again, and nodded, lifting his hat and turning it backwards. "Right. I think we've kept the jackals at bay long enough. Are you sure you don't want to join me? After that kiss, they're going to want to hear from you, I think."
She waved his words away, laughing nervously. "Ahaha…no. I'll be in enough trouble for that kiss. If not from mother, then definitely from father. And Connor might be annoyed as well…no, I'm in enough trouble already without adding a bunch of media rumors. They'll probably assume I'm pregnant already as it is. All they do is make up baseless rumors…I'm rambling. Go get'em,
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 1 0
Chapter 1: The Final Semester (2)
Terra took two hours to recover, but the crowd's enthusiasm for seeing him reappear died off once it became clear he hadn't evolved. They really wanted to see him become a Grotle, at least, but Alex knew forcing him to adapt to a new body mid-challenge was a bad idea. It simply wasn't yet time to evolve him.
His opponent was selected from the heads of the department that oversaw the student's training in a specific aspect of Pokémon. Breeding, cooking, battling, contests, whatever a person wanted to one day be, their final test was given in the setting that would best test them and their abilities.
When asked what his 'focus' was going to be, Alex had simply written, on the first day he had come to the University without a team, 'Pokémon Master'. His first counselor had thought that was a joke. So had the second, and third. The fourth took him seriously, but passed him on when he refused to capture a full team.
It had taken him a total of six counselors over the course of his
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 1 0
Percival von Guterstein Velhavende Locuples, III by PokeFan1337 Percival von Guterstein Velhavende Locuples, III :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 2 0 Professor Redwood by PokeFan1337 Professor Redwood :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 0 0


Group is now Open
I'm finally satisfied with everything for the moment, and have opened requests to join. Everything should be set to automatic approval.
Given that I'm somewhat new to this group thing, if you're trying to submit something or join, and cannot do so, send me a note and I shall endeavor to fix it.
:iconglobalpokemonfanfics:GlobalPokemonFanfics 1 0
Welcome to GlobalPokemonFanfics. Anyone is welcome to join.
This group is a place where writers or aspiring artists can freely submit sample of their work, or even request a folder for their own story.
All eligible stories should be regularly updated. Empty folders will be deleted.
:iconglobalpokemonfanfics:GlobalPokemonFanfics 1 0
Articuno by EdoNovaIllustrator Articuno :iconedonovaillustrator:EdoNovaIllustrator 132 11 Arceus by EdoNovaIllustrator Arceus :iconedonovaillustrator:EdoNovaIllustrator 75 8 Giratina - Lord of Underworld by EdoNovaIllustrator Giratina - Lord of Underworld :iconedonovaillustrator:EdoNovaIllustrator 80 11
[PMD:DD] Chapter Zero: Prologue and Premonitions
After Arceus-only-knows time had passed, Jacob found himself regaining his consciousness. At best, the details of where he was and what were happening were foggy. At worst, they were nil. He tossed, and turned for a little while, before flickering his eyes awake and actually taking in the current surroundings. There was a bright light all around, and he seemed to be in a void of some sort. The very edges of his vision melted into a rainbow of colors, occasionally shifting shades between various arguably pretty and arguably soothing blues, greens, and even a red or pink or two.
"Wh... what? Where am I..." He groaned out in a raspy voice, slowly getting up. He had no clue what was going on, where he was, or why his head was currently undergoing a throbbing headache. Was he dead? Was this the afterlife? He didn't feel dead, but what did being dead feel like? Trying to think... He couldn't even remember anything about himself, either. He knew he had been a human trainer, and the last thing
:iconthemjapes:Themjapes 4 25
Tyler's Search Prologue: A Day Like Any Other
(series is complete!)
    Eighteen months ago, the trainer Red, a young man from Pallet Town in Kanto, came out of nowhere and brought down the gang known as Team Rocket. His meteoric rise took him to the championship of the Kanto League and beyond. Now an elite trainer and Pokemon Master, Red crossed the mountains to the neighboring region of Johto.
    The remnants of Team Rocket have gone legitimate, and peace has returned. Professor Elm of the Johto region has just agreed to sponsor a few new trainers. Ray is a young boy, but one day he and Chikorita are going to be just like Red and his Charizard.
    Before you get any ideas, I should make one thing clear: This story isn’t about Ray, or Professor Elm, or even the legendary Red. They're only pieces, a part of the world Tyler lives in. Tyler’s home is deep in the forest,
:iconpolarissb:Polarissb 15 24
Pokemon Ranger - Vatonage Reborn chpt 1
Chapter One – The New Student
       A lone Pikachu stood idly in the middle of what resembled a testing room; positioned in front of the walls was an unknown machine of sorts on either side of the two monitors that displayed visual diagrams of the functionality for some kind of handheld device.  The Pikachu's idling came to a halt, however, as it spotted a white disc spinning around it, leaving a trail of blueish white light behind it.
       Controlling the disc was the same handheld device shown on the large monitors held by a rather tall and slender teenage girl; her golden yellow hair was tied back in a surprisingly long and thick plaited braid, her bright fuchsia eyes kept their focus on the Pikachu, and her attire consisted of a short green jacket with identically blue shorts, fingerless gloves and shirt with a pale gold tie around her neck and brown knee high boots.  The girl almost danced as she spun the disc aroun
:iconladycharizard:LadyCharizard 4 11
Pokemon: Lee's Kanto Arc, Chapt. 1
Note: This takes place several years after Red's story.
Viridian City
Every day is a new start. Especially for the new trainers.
Or so Lee thought. He flinched as his mother sprayed him with Gold Repel.
"There you go, honey, be careful of wild pokemons, I'll give you some repels just in case you run out."
"Thanks mom."
"All boys leave home someday...or that's what they said on tv. Good luck with your starter pokemon!"
Lee nodded and opened the door, heading out of town, passing the newly renovated Viridian City Gym and going to Route 1.
But what would he pick? That question was still to be answered. Charmander? First two gyms are too unforgiving. Bulbasaur? The poison type would get him. Squirtle? There was the grass-type gym. And what he would catch...well, that was another thought for another time.
And his thoughts were broken by a phone call.
"Hey Gray, what's up?"
"Ha! It's you! Today's the day we begin the hunt for Giovanni, buddy! But you'd better hurry, I chose my
:iconjustkid123:JustKid123 4 20
-Shorts VS Cotta-JustxFacula by Composer-J -Shorts VS Cotta-JustxFacula :iconcomposer-j:Composer-J 84 8 ArtTrade - Wolf Trio by KunYKA ArtTrade - Wolf Trio :iconkunyka:KunYKA 254 36 Day 31 - It's Dragonic majesty by KunYKA Day 31 - It's Dragonic majesty :iconkunyka:KunYKA 254 48 Mariguana by drill-tail Mariguana :icondrill-tail:drill-tail 239 163 Teamwork by Abz-K Teamwork :iconabz-k:Abz-K 9 17 Bongmander Tattoo by RustNSplinters Bongmander Tattoo :iconrustnsplinters:RustNSplinters 51 24 What's That Behind Me by Ambunny What's That Behind Me :iconambunny:Ambunny 138 52



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Who stays up till 4 am on his birthday to finish this fucking re-write?

This guy.

What can I say except, you're welcome.

It was supposed to take a few days, but who knew eight hour shifts could turn days into a month. And who knew DA would make me split six of the rewritten chapters? Yay tiny word counts.

Anyways, the beginning of the story has changed. A lot. But at least it makes sense now, and is less cringey. Now, finally, we can continue on with the main story. As soon as I find some cannabis. Stay tuned lads, because we're going full Skyrim. Visk Nau Joors!
  • Listening to: Viking Gods
  • Reading: My own stuff four times.
  • Watching: Pfft, watching requires free time.
  • Playing: lol, I wish
  • Eating: Buffalo chicken strips.
Welcome. This is where I post the majority of my fanfic, and things relating to it, like my feeble attempts to draw maps in paint.

Any feedback is appreciated.


PokeFan1337's Profile Picture
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I'm a writer, writing as more of a hobby than anything else. Apparently I'm good at it, so I figured I'd try some fanfiction.

If you read anything I write, you should be able to figure out what I'm into. I drop references all the damn time.

If you draw my OC trainer I'll love you forever, alas, I have no money, so I won't be commissioning anything.


Chapter 20: The Way of the Hyper Voice

Hrothofkiin – The Seidr's Isle

On the Seidr's Isle, there is an order of men, rather than Pokémon, who make their home in the volcano-riddled hell-scape, and use the power of their Voices to keep the elements from annihilating their fortress. It is known, as Hrothofkiin.

Pokémon do inhabit this fiery island. Species like Magmar, Magcargo, even a smaller breed of Charizard, but they take little notice of the humans within their midst. Indeed, most have no idea what humans even look like. It's one of the last places on the planet free of their meddling.

In this high fortress among the volcanic peaks of flame and ash, the 'Graybeards' as the locals call them, watch over their homeland of Norstad, from one of the three highest locations in the region, the other two being Ymir's Wahlom, and Valaskjalf, the home of those who ride Articuno.

It is as their nearest and greatest of volcanic peaks erupts, with a fury they've not seen in generations, that the Graybeards consult with the two elder members of their order. Koraaviik, the only man known to be able to read the Scrolls, and Zuwuth, the leader of their order.

The assembled men, all gray, bearded, and cloaked in similarly colored robes, bow to their leader. Zuwuth's Voice is rarely heard, for he rarely speaks. His power is truly fearsome, but today, he must speak. Luckily, all those assembled can withstand the power of his Voice. For a time.

"My brothers…" He says, speaking the tongue of Dragons in but a whisper that causes the innermost chamber of their fortress to shudder, and shake loose dust and rock, "The High King has passed on his knowledge of the Voice…to an outsider…and it has awoken something… something better left asleep."

A few of the younger and not-so-gray bearded men murmured softly to each other, but the elders continued to listen. "Hush." The command from their leader fills the room, and silences all other tongues with barely more than a whisper.

He spoke again, once more soft, and continued, "The scrolls have been consulted…Koraaviik senses not malice from this outsider, but hope. For our people. For the future. He brings change wherever he goes, and he hunts a foul presence, recently come to our lands. This is what the Scrolls foretell. You have all felt the presence mentioned."

Indeed they had, for a brief moment. Pure, undiluted anger, rage, fury, all backed up by a power that, to their keen senses, seemed utterly foul. "For this reason, this outsider must be brought here." Zuwuth continued to speak, and the soft, but powerful reverberations of his voice continued to shake them all. "He must be taught our Way. His Voice must become stronger."

The bearded men shared several looks, and then, as one, nodded, and waited for their leader to appoint someone to leave. They did not leave often, and did so lightly. The people of their land had a tendency to worship them as deities because of the Power they had, something none of them wanted, but admittedly enjoyed. While it lasted. Always, they returned to Hrothofkiin.

"Koraaviik shall fetch him." The murmurs started up again, largely in protest, but Zuwuth cut through them once more with the power of his authority, and his Voice. "Koraaviik has yet to leave this place, but there is none more skilled in our Way. He will prepare this outsider as best he can, and then we shall test his Voice when he arrives."

The murmuring stopped. There was a reason only twenty or so Graybeards existed. They rarely recruited, and often, those they did recruit would be torn apart in this very test. The applicants needed to survive the unbridled power of four Voices for as long as they could. The minimum was thirty seconds.

Only Zuwuth had lasted longer, though how long exactly, nobody knew. He was a private man, and kept to himself. Often, applicants would barely last five seconds, and be torn apart by the sheer power of their better's Voices. That was simply how it was, and the people of Norstad knew this. Yet every year they came regardless, seeking power. It was their way.

This stranger, whoever it was, would likely die if tested so quickly. The fact that Zuwuth knew this, and proceeded anyway, was odd. Their order valued all life, an unpopular opinion in Norstad, and thus they thoroughly disliked testing applicants. Often, the masters who did the testing needed months to recover from the sadness of losing a promising pupil.

This was a stranger however. A foreigner. It was likely that only a few would feel sadness if he failed. The universal dislike of outsiders pervaded even here, in this fortress of tolerance and knowledge.

Koraaviik departed then, and with his Voice, tamed one of the Charizard in the nearby volcanic areas. Though they were small, due to a lack of berries, their forms were actually capable of diving into the sea, for what they truly lived on. Fish. Like most Charizard, their tail flames could handle being under water, for a time. This offshoot's tail's burned even in the water.

They were strong fliers as well, for often they had to range many miles from the island just to find enough fish to satiate their hunger. Koraaviik's mount had been forced to aid him, but in appreciation of his strength, agreed to bear him for as long as his journey lasted. The Charizard of the isle often did this, as they were the only local species with wings. They didn't mind, provided they were fed.

Koraaviik had seen the nature of this new force of change, and had been eager to meet it, face to face. Zuwuth had, at first, denied him. But his skill at Tinvaak was unmatched in their order, and finally, the aged elder had agreed to let him go. He hadn't been back to Norstad's mainland in decades. He was eager to see his home.

A sound like thunder boomed for miles as the seer and his mount approached the fierce winds surrounding the mountains between the island and the mainland. The wind stopped. The snow halted. His Charizard flew through, unfazed. The Pokémon had sometimes seen the powerful humans stop volcanoes with their voices. Wind, by comparison, was nothing.

The Revak Feykro - Norstad

After several nights of sleep while they crossed the incredibly vast, barren tracts of icy tundra, Alex finally felt better after his encounter with Percival. Indeed, at that very moment, as he rode atop Shruikan's head, he felt wonderful.

He could feel this new power, and whatever it had awakened, eager to push forth. To be used. But both he and Jess had agreed that until he knew what he was doing, he shouldn't try using the Hyper Voice.

The desire to burned brightly however. He was like a spoiled child on Festivus Eve, staring at a large present that he knew the contents of, and wanted to enjoy. He wanted to shout to the heavens in this new, strange, tongue. Just to see what would happen. But he resisted, and patiently rode on.

After two days of hearing his thoughts, Jess was rather sick of reminding him not to start using this new power. They'd agreed to go and get Connor, before trying to find out where Xerneas was. It made sense to visit the Articuno riders first. They had implied they knew where it was after all. Pravus would likely seek them out as well. Probably in a disguise. It's what he would do.

Finally, Shruikan brought his riders over the 'sacred woods' they'd stumbled onto previously. The airship was all but buried in snow. There was no sign of human life. Alex swore quietly, and continued on. If Pravus had beat them here, this could get a lot harder. Shruikan circled the downed ship thrice before skirting around the eastern edge of the woods.

They flew slowly, obviously, unthreatening. Alex had even tried taking the helmet off, only to discover that it wouldn't budge. None of it would. It seemed they'd be wearing it forcibly until they brought Xerneas to Percy. The lack of freedom to void their bowels and copulate would speed their journey considerably. The trickster had read them well.

Alex's neck hairs rose as they flew further alongside the edge of the forest. He could feel eyes on them, and more than one Articuno could overpower Shruikan. He'd hit them as well though, with an electric attack. The clouds were always stormy in this region, and his electric bolts were quite strong. To attack the intrusive dragon was to ensure fainting of all parties, and a likely fatal drop for their riders.

"Jess…you should join me up here, and do the talking. I get the feeling they don't care for men, and right now, I look like a local." He sensed her amusement at his mental words, and Shruikan slowed again, as the woman floated up to hold onto the free head spike, limned with blue energy. They could both fly true, but Tao had warned them ceaselessly, almost to the point of madness, that they were not to, under any circumstance, waste their power.

Small tricks like glowing eyes were easy. Flying, especially for Alex and his larger form, wasted too much energy at the moment. Jess had a smaller build though, and thus could fly whenever she pleased. In terms of psychic power, she had gained an advantage. Her Delphox had favored her, and Arthur was bound by the Sage not to teach Alex any more until he was told to do so.

That left his Shouting, but for all he knew, it would be lacking. Not long after Jess joined him upon Shruikan's larger head spikes, a pair of Articuno gracefully arced down to them, and flew on either side of their dragon. He eyed the Articuno, as they eyed him, ready to attack if provoked.

They spoke the tongue of Norstad, and for the first time, Jess was glad Alex had pushed Percy into sharing it. It had seriously affected her lover, enough to make him too exhausted for copulation even, but he'd recovered now. It didn't really matter though, since their 'armor' refused to come off.

"Hail, strangers. Why are you flying in this region?" The female rider on their right had spoken first. The left simply stared at Alex, and he gave a slight bow. The severe expression lessened. Slightly.

Jess answered, as they'd both agreed she was the one being addressed. "Well met, rider. We fought alongside your clan at the airship by the edge of the forest. We've come to see my brother."

Alex and Jess shared a look as they saw the woman blush. Her stony demeanor melted in an instant, and she looked almost shy. "Right…Connor…right…he's umm, this way." The two riders pulled ahead of the dragon, who sped up to match them. He knew if he lost sight of them, this mountainous area would make them hopelessly lost. He had no idea what Norstad looked like, he'd seen no maps, and his trainer hadn't thought to ask for one.

Thankfully, he kept pace easily. The two riders remembered them, it seemed. They banked up, suddenly, and Shruikan followed, every bit as graceful. At least to Alex's eyes. They could both sense Jess watching the birds, and felt how badly she wanted one.

The two riders paused at the edge of a sheer cliff, and waved them over. The three looked down, and took in their first view of the rider's home. "Welcome…to Valaskjalf."

Thus far, Norstad had looked like a frozen wasteland, acted like a frozen wasteland, and felt like a frozen wasteland. It was cold. Barren. Cold. Icy. And cold. Alex sighed in relief as he felt the warmth coming from below, and spied the source of it. Hot springs. A village full of lovely Legendary Bird riders, and they, even now, were bathing in hot springs.

Jess punched him, hard, as she knew where his eyes were wandering. While the women below were indeed as lovely as their icy mounts, he knew they couldn't compare to his love. Not that it mattered, so long as their damned clothes didn't come off.

He just smirked. "Connor must not want to leave. I can't say I blame him."

Unlike the rest of Norstad, Valaskjalf was nestled in a lush valley of green grass, trees with leaves of gold and red, and below, in the depths of the fjord it occupied, was a massive lake, dark and foreboding. Both he and Shruikan felt their gazes drawn there.

Their view was interrupted by the massive form of a white Articuno flying up in front of them. There was a screeching sound as the Articuno's rider brought her spear up to Alex's neck, covered mostly by the horned dragon bone helmet. His staff, which was now a Greatsword, had caught the spear, and the weapons shivered as they pushed against each other.

"Lokra! Stop! We're allies!" The spear lowered, and the ice and electric attacks that had formed in their mount's maws faded. Neither had wanted to take the first shot. Lokra, however, never hesitated.

She eyed him for a moment, then smirked. "I know those eyes. You're the trainer. An…interesting outfit." The massive white bird flapped backwards, twice, and was over the village again. "Come! Your friend awaits!"

The large bird arced then, swooping back down into the village, where Alex finally got a sense of scale for it. Next to Iizlokraan, the buildings were quite large. She was too big for most of them, however.

They landed soon after she did, and much of the villagers, almost entirely women and small children, also female, stared at the massive black Salamence in their midst. Some murmured whispers of Alduin, and Shruikan finally asked who this Alduin was, according to these humans. Alex gave him a mental explanation of what he knew of the character, but warned that there was likely more to it. Reality always had more to it.

Jess spoke for them, only half paying attention to his words. "So. Lokra. What has my brother been up to, exactly?"

The aged woman smirked, hopping down from the lofty perch her mount had taken. "See for yourself." She led the way into the largest building, one that had steam leaking from the roof of it, and with one look inside, Alex knew they'd found the center of this village.

"And that's how I recombined the three Legendary Dragons of Unova into One Dragon, and brought about a new golden age." Connor's voice wafted out nearby, and Alex sighed. Someone might as well use that line. He didn't need it.

There was Connor, his friend, half nude, and surrounded by a spring's worth of similarly un-clad women. Many didn't even have clothes on, and the steam did nothing to hide any of it. Looking up, he saw the fuming face of his suddenly-brunette sister, and the smirk of his rival, underneath what looked like a helmet straight from a videogame. "Oh, shit."

The girl's attention suddenly shifted towards them, and Alex crossed his arms, staying silent, and hopefully imposing. His instinct said to let Jess talk here. This was clearly a matriarchal society, and he didn't want to know what they did with the males of their tribe. Historically, such villages never had very humane methods used for regulating the gender not in power.

"Making maps are we, brother?" She walked up to the edge of the spring, which was still the natural rock that it had formed in. The villagers had built around it, and carved it a bit in certain places. Being a main spring, this one had depictions of Articuno all over it.

Connor laughed, scratched the back of his head, and shrugged. Alex had rarely seen him in such good spirits. "Yes, well, there was no need for a map. After I rescued Billy, there was nothing to really…do…until you two arrived. So. What did I miss?"

Like a true nerd, Connor had also seen the similarities between this culture, and the one found in one of his favored games. Unlike Alex, he had been stealthy, used a bow, and was morally gray. He'd always had a thing for the stealthier arts. His Greninja suited him perfectly.

Jess looked ready to chew him out, when her brother snapped his fingers. Gren appeared, suddenly, and judging by the gazes of the many women in the spring with him, they were impressed.

Gren offered a shaking egg to Jess, not fooled by the illusion around her, and she stared at it as it began to crack. The girl's faces had gained smiles at the sight of the egg, their eyes wide with wonder.

Realizing what was likely about to hatch, Alex put a hand on her shoulder, and told her his suspicions, via their link. She grinned. No one on record had ever seen a baby Articuno. No one, on record, had even seen an egg, let alone a hatching one.

She named the baby Articuno in the tongue of her homeland. Folokraan, or Fo, for short. She pressed a blue and gold Luxury Ball to the little Pokémon, and it dinged shut almost immediately. The bond was formed.

She let the baby out again immediately, and it chirped, happy to see her again. It was a lovely sound. She walked out of the hall then, and onto the unoccupied guard walkways that surrounded the main hall of the village.

She pulled out her Froslass, and showed her the Articuno. Then, Jess asked the Froslass to consider staying in this place, to train. There were signs all over the village about missing daughters, but nobody seemed to be investigating them.

Lassi looked around at the entirely female paradise, and then at one of the posters. She nodded. Using her powers over the night, and over the cold, would likely overwhelm whoever was stealing little girls. This village was, also, beautiful. She could spend eternity looking at it.

She looked at her trainer, and then her Articuno. She would be safe with a Legendary bird by her side. Her voice was light and airy in Jess' head as she floated away into the paradise. "This is where I shall spend my eternity. Thank you, trainer, for bringing me. The Snorunt will always be your friends."

She turned, to find Alex behind her, watching the ghost float away. "It's quite an honor, you know, to be allowed to spend your afterlife in Sovallah. This place…this is the hall that guards the gate."

Jess and the adorable little bird stared at him. Alex had a feeling it understood them perfectly. "I don't know about you, but I don't see a hall…I mean the village is nice, but it's not exactly Thor's Hall." She knew the legends as well as he did. They had both hailed from the lands that had worshiped the 'old gods'.

Alex shook his head. So he was the source of it. He'd been feeling a pull towards the lake below the village since they arrived. As if something in there demanded to see him. Shruikan felt it as well. Exactly as his trainer did. It was a call to the dragon, and one who would call himself such. A challenge. He knew it then. Percival's gift was calling to one of them more than the other.

He stepped close to Jess then, and lifted his helmet, effortlessly. His eyes snared hers for once, and they kissed. The helmet came back down once they'd parted, and he winked at her. "Train your new partner. I have a feeling this is going to take a while."

With that, he raised a fist toward the heavens. He spoke the tongue of the dragons. "Rise."

Shruikan's massive form shot past him, and he grabbed a head spike as it did. He climbed atop the dragon's thick neck, and the two flew out, slowly, over the basin below. Their senses tingled as they spied hundreds of icy, watchful eyes from the Articuno above.

As they hovered over the lake, Alex sighed. He saw the telling shimmer of massive white feathers, and Lokra, upon her mighty mount, descended to their level. She spoke in the tongue of Norstad as well. "I thought I recognized your armor. It is not what you wore last time, Unova Champion."

Alex nodded. "I went to see your High King. He gave me this, and the title of Dragonborn. This well is calling to me…I must face it."

Lokra regarded him for a long time. "The High King…pagh…fine. If the Fairy thinks you ready, by all means, awaken Nidhogg."

Alex raised a helmet-horn at her. "Sorry…Nidhogg?"

Lokra nodded. "The dragon the locals call Alduin. He Who Sleeps At The Foot Of Yggdrasil. Go on then, Dragonborn. Summon him with your Thu'um!"

Alex looked down at the well's churning, black waters, and nodded. Lokra ascended, and raised her hand. The riders, and their mounts, began to sing. He let the breath build within him as he prepared his Hyper Voice. His first Hyper Voice.

He didn't know what he would say, and as he hesitated, he noticed something. A small flame, coming fast over the mountains to the west. Only one flying species had a flame-tail like that, and Alex let the breath go. That Charizard was coming straight for him. He decided to wait.

The song faded as the fiery tailed intruder soared down beside the bone-covered Dragonborn, and his black scaled partner. As the song started to pick up again at Lokra's command, the man upon the smaller Charizard's back opened his mouth.

Thunder boomed. The air itself shook, and any trace of the song the riders had been singing faded under the force of his power.

"Not. Yet." The very air shimmered between himself and Alex as they met gazes.

Alex nodded, and looked to Lokra. She swooped down to them, saw the man, sighed, and then flew up once more. "Sisters! The Graybeards come to interrupt our challenger. They mean to train him before the test commences." She turned to the old man. "You have a week. That is how long Nidhogg can wait for his meal."

With a grunt that was more of a snarl, the gray-robed man yanked Shruikan along as he and the Charizard took off. Alex looked at Jess, finding her easily despite not having the hair of flame to catch his eye. He nodded, and she did the same.

They would stay connected, but it wouldn't be as…intimate, as a connection was when in close proximity. That had been one of the first tricks Alex had asked Tao to teach him properly. Jess had agreed as well, and he'd finally relented.

Shruikan followed the smaller Charizard until they came over the stormy peaks of the western mountains, sometimes referred to as 'Alduin's Wings'. The sky darkened, and the man on the Charizard began to speak.

An approximation of his face appeared in the clouds as they rode along, and Alex just stared, impressed.

"This is the only method by which I may speak without a whisper…"

His words boomed for miles, but luckily, this was Norstad. Nobody was around. These mountains were deadly, and inhospitable.

"I understand." Alex said in a more normal tone. Shruikan was next to the Charizard now, and the bearded man's ears would be able to hear him without having to shout. "Can you tell me how to use the Hyper Voice?"

The old man looked at him for a moment, and then Shouted. A wave of Unrelenting Force pushed against Shruikan, and while it hurt, his flight was uninterrupted. Alex and his dragon shared a look.

"I guess he doesn't understand." Alex smirked, and looked back at the bearded man with sunken eyes as he Shouted, "Dovah! Nagah! Qo!" His Voice harnessed the power he and Shruikan had at their disposal, dragon, psychic, and electric. The Sediidah.

Shruikan channeled the summoned power as Rayquaza had against Groudon, and unleashed a Hyper Beam level move. The man and Charizard were blown away by the Taijitu move as the three energies combined into one intensely powerful attack. To Alex, it seemed that the long hours of endless training under Tao had finally started paying off where it mattered. In battle.

Zuwuth hadn't appointed Koraaviik the Scroll Reader for nothing. His Charizard, though damaged, was revived by a whisper from the old man. His gray form bent slightly, and the Charizard was fully healed once more.

They faced off again against the dragon and his equally fiercesome rider. The clouds spoke once more. "My apologies…Dragonborn. You are as the High King has said. Forgive our… skepticism. The Fairy King is devious and sly."

Alex simply nodded. It made sense that these men would fear Percy. They were dual typed, as normal and dragon. The inherent fear of fairy types was ingrained in all dragons. Apparently.

"He shared his knowledge of your Speech, and the knowledge of Hyper Voice. Combining the elemental energy of combination moves is something I've long since mastered." He let his eyes flare with his psychic power. "Go ahead. Test me. And when I pass…you share your knowledge of a single ability…"

A single agreeable boom of thunder answered him from the clouds, as the face disappeared. The Graybeard and the Trainer flew on, back to the fortress of Hrothofkiin. As they landed, the clouds darkened to signal the speech of the Graybeard, but Alex paused him with a tap on his shoulder.

He gave Shruikan a nod, and had him continue on behind the fortress. There was probably a training arena there. The fortress shook as the massive dragon landed, and as the inhabitants of the fortress rushed to investigate the shudders, they came upon a sight straight from legend.

A figure clad in the bones of dragons, his brothers, who his Force had overpowered comes to the summit of this fortress, and shakes the island to its core with his training in the Voice.

Zuwuth stepped forward from the crowd of men, and Alex faced him down, standing several feet over him. He opened his mouth, to request a taste of his Voice. Traditionally, that would be his shouting of Force, but Alex had tapped into another word he knew quite well, inherently. Yol.

The small wave of flames singed the bearded man, and Alex chuckled. The fortress chuckled with him. Shruikan found the little human's reactions amusing. They thought themselves powerful because they had learned an old trick of the Dragons.

His kind had legends of Alduin too, and the mocking tone of his downfall in these human's songs irritated Shruikan. Humans always knew just enough of the truth to be dangerous. They couldn't all be like his trainer, it seemed.

Zuwuth eyed the shaking fortress suspiciously. Then looked at Alex again. "You are the foreigner the High King has named Dragonborn…I admit your voice is powerful…" he paused as Koraaviik whispered to him. "Yes. Right. Quite powerful. Oh?"

He looked at the foreigner again. "Let the Trials begin, then."

Four Graybeards, Zuwuth, Koraaviik, Arngeir, and Bjorn surrounded him, and as one, unleashed the power of their Hyper Voice. And with it, they awakened a Dragonborn. Alex looked down at himself as the smoke and dust of the shivering fortress obscured him for a moment. The sheer power these men were producing with this attack appeared, visibly as waves of air, and from four directions, they slammed into his form relentlessly.

Yet, he was unhurt. He stood before the unbridled power of four trained Hyper Voices, and didn't flinch. Instead, his eyes flared, and the blue glow had deepened. His irises retained the light blue of his psychic eyes, but otherwise, he was unchanged. In appearance.

He blinked, and as he looked down, he couldn't deny it anymore. It had been staring him in the face, really, throughout his journey. Dragon types always seemed to have a connection with him. He could even, technically, breathe fire now. Soon, that ember would become an inferno, in the form of a Flamethrower. He was part dragon, part psychic now.

He eyed his skin, but no changes were visible. As far as he knew, he would appear normal amongst humans. He felt he could tap into this new power though. Push it to its limits. Who knew, perhaps he'd even gain a proper dragon form. His granduncle had investigated rumors of people who could change their shapes into those of dragons. It was a myth focused in Unova, but had turned out to be a dead end.

As he looked around the chamber, he realized the sound had vanished. The fortress still shook, as the Graybeards focused their power on him, and he stood in the midst of it, unfazed. Shruikan's voice echoed in his skull. "Finally…I knew there was power akin to mine in you. I knew it from the moment we locked eyes…dragon and psychic…hmm. You will be strong, even amongst our kind…few are able to combine those types together."

He thanked his dragon, and as the old men ceased shouting, for they'd done so for roughly a minute by now, their leader stepped forward. "You are, indeed, Dragonborn!" He said, shaking the fortress with his proclamation in the tongue of the Dovah. "The Dragon of the West…it is an honor to be in your presence."

As their leader bowed, so too did the other bearded men. "Alok." Rise. Alex said the word, and it rippled through the gathered men. None could deny that his Voice had serious power…but it still needed training.

"Come." Zuwuth said, turning and heading for the courtyard. "We begin your training immediately." Koraaviik had informed him of what the Dragonborn had started, and they had little time to waste.

"Brother…you might want to see this…" Alex heard Shruikan's voice again as he headed up the steps within the fortress, to the doors leading to the back. Even the design of this temple was uncannily similar. His suspicions rose as he sensed his dragon bow his head to…whatever awaited them outside. That was strange. Shruikan had only ever bowed to Tao.

As Alex joined the Graybeards outside, they looked up, startled by both the huge, black scaled Salamence, and the figure it was bowing towards. Arcing through the ash-filled sky was the green form of the First Rayquaza.

"So." His voice thundered in the sky, clearing it of smoke and ash. "I see you have found my home away from Unova." He spoke the language of Norstad better than Alex did, as if he'd been born to it.

The Graybeards had all bowed as well, but the Dragonborn walked towards the large dragon, smirking. "It's been a while. How is-"

"There will be time for that later." The Rayquaza snarled. "You have set into motion events you cannot understand. Because of that, I must train you far sooner than we had intended."

"Y-you intend to train him, master?" Zuwuth asked, daring to look upon the jade colored dragon.

He nodded. "The training of his Voice will be left to me, and me alone. You are strong, for mortals, but you are not dragons. Not yet. Shruikan, join us." A giant green paw enveloped Alex as he stepped into it.

The great dragon then arced into the sky, and headed for his home on this island, the biggest volcano, recently erupted. It was also close to the fortress. Within the lava below, which glowed blue for some reason, not red, was the resting form of the red Rayquaza Brad had tamed. He was still injured, as the battle with Groudon had been somewhat recent.

Once they landed, the dragon looked them over, and nodded. "I see. Tao trained you. That makes some sense. In any case, you were not supposed to learn of this for several years yet…you've only just acquired psychic abilities."

The massive green dragon brought his eye to their level then. It was as tall as Shruikan. "But…you have shown remarkable restraint, control, and prowess already…Dragonborn…" The large dragon chuckled. "I hardly even recognize you. You've changed much in the space of a few weeks."

Alex had to agree. He'd been expecting to relax with this time away from the Swamp. Not that he minded getting stronger. His team was full of powerhouses, and he knew that he was the weakest link in it. Oranguru had said as much, but had refused to make him stronger. Now, in some ways, he'd made up for his weakness.

Alex met the dragon's eye, nodding. He could see the similarity to Tao's. Not in color, for none had the golden eyes Tao possessed, but in the very shape. This Rayquaza, more than any other, was as close to a copy of the First Dragon as one could get. Others had been formed from their surroundings, like Brad's, and had taken on different attributes. This one had been a piece of Tao himself, and like the dragon, did not require a female to procreate.

"Train us." He said in the tongue of their kind, "Teach us to use this power."

The dragon eyed the two young ones, and smirked. "Very well. Let us transform your Hyper Voice into what it was meant to be. The Strunzul."

Norstad – Valaskjalf, Upper Cliffs

The armored form of Shor, the God of Thunder, looked down upon the village below, and grinned. These women were notoriously…eager…when powerful male strangers visited. Or so his sources had said. He would blend in quietly, and work his way to their leader.

As he walked into the first inn he found, the eyes of every woman rider there stared at him. He walked up to the counter, smirked, and said, "By Woden's saggy left testicle, give me some Nor Mead."

That brought on a familiar drinking song, and he proved he could 'chugga'mugga'mead' like no mortal could ever hope to. He blended perfectly. Several weeks passed and the season slowly shifted to the heat of spring in the small village. Jess didn't mind it though, her 'Lil'Fo' kept her quite comfy.

There had been some hesitation when Connor suggested the villagers give his sister an Articuno as thanks for him giving them many daughters. The village's seer had agreed however. She was the only one he'd been denied access to, to keep her 'pure' or something.

With her golden locks, she was easily one of the loveliest women around. She was a strong fighter, too, and often she and Connor would spar for roughly eight hours at a time.

Then, 'Shor' had appeared, and his golden-haired beauty had been stolen away with a glance. Connor was furious, but none of the elders seemed to care. One did not deny a 'god' his desires, and Shor needed a wife.

After that, they'd given him an egg, and said that if it hatched for his sister, she could keep it, provided she raise it for two weeks around the village, to learn how to properly handle a Legendary Bird.

As time passed, Connor grew to have doubts about this Shor character. Like his sister, and Alex, he had learned the old stories as well. They were the myths of their ancestors, carried on by songs. Those mythical beings had many names. Shor also went by Thor. Woden was sometimes Odin.

This Shor acted nothing like the character portrayed. He was dark, brooding, and clearly hiding something. Connor was not alone in his suspicion. Lokra suspected this figure as well. He was far too interested in her daughter, who she'd skillfully paired with the strong Trainer for a reason.

Someone would replace her, eventually. Iizlokraan would need a new rider, and someone else would become the Chief Flyer.

Lokra had seen Shor before, however. While this pale imitation made a good visual recreation, it lacked the thunderous power the true being emanated.

Finally, when she had kept him from her daughter for as long as she could manage, Lokra challenged him. "Mighty Shor. If you have truly returned to us to rule in Woden's stead, open the Gates to your Hall, and the Life Pokémon."

Shor stood, and nodded, then walked outside. He had sensed the growing power of the presence in this place over the weeks he'd stayed here. He had a feeling subduing it would lead to what he truly sought.

What looked like storm clouds surrounded him then, and he floated out over the deep lake. The riders watched, but Lokra stayed perched, shaking her head. "Nidhogg does not want this one. He wants the Dragonborn that was promised."

Pravus looked at the elderly chief, and noticed a small Pachirisu chattering to her, on her shoulder. It then ran away, disappearing into a crack in the ice her mount perched on.

She grinned, continuing. "He says this one has an aura of darkness that would taste foul. Nidhogg desires a Dragonborn."

Shor looked at the well, fuming. He couldn't just whip out Pokéballs as the God of Thunder. He only had one option. He drew his hammer, and pitifully small sparks of electricity played over it. They had impressed in the taverns, but right now, he needed more. More his belt simply could not provide.

"If the World Eater wants a Dragonborn…he shall get one!" Thunder boomed, and then, riding a bolt of electricity down to Pravus, Shruikan appeared, carrying the massive dragon-bone armored form of his trainer.

They pulled to a stop in front of him, but held off on attacking. He was still Shor, God of Thunder…for the moment. Shor gestured, but Alex shook his head. His Voice reached every rider, who like before, had gathered on the cliffs. "I would dishonor myself and our hosts by taking a god's sport from him. By all means, summon the World Eater." At his words, Lokra had the riders begin singing again. Their song filled the fjord.

Pravus stared in disbelief. He knew that smirk. He'd faced this human before…but something was different. Just different enough for him not to realize who was playing the part of Dovahkiin. It was as the look of recognition came over his now-helmetless red-bearded face, that Alex Shouted, "Ahzulomnos!" Thunder boomed as the fury of his shout echoed into the water.

A dark chuckle echoed through the fjord. "Heh…heh…heh…ahst laat…" A pair of truly enormous wings lifted out of the well, and as they rose, they expanded, darkening the sky. Rayquaza had warned them of the World Eater's size, but he'd left out just how gargantuan he really was.

The rider's song faded as they realized not even the magic of old could cage this dragon now. He would either be defeated here, or once more rule over their land with a scaled fist.

Every aspect of him was black. Wings, scales, everything but his eyes, which burned yellow, and seemed to spark with electricity. He was a Black Salamence, though his similarity to Shruikan ended there.

The fjord shook as the beast's head rose, and then, after four thunderous booms, the dragon was standing in the well's water, finally free. The fjord was barely big enough for him anymore. "Go ahead, mighty Shor!" Alex let his voice carry. "Show us all the power of Woden's own son!" His words reached everyone watching, and as Shor remained motionless, murmurs began to rise. The true God of Thunder would never hesitate to battle his nemesis.

Shor was instead staring down Alex as he hovered in the air, fists locked in what was undoubtedly white-knuckled fury. Alex smirked at him. He could do many things with his voice now, and not all of them had to split the sky with thunderous power. Those kinds of Shouts were, admittedly, his favorite though.

In a desperate attempt to stay in character, Shor twirled his sparkling hammer, and shot towards Nidhogg. It was like trying to take a brick wall down with a small coin. He bounced off harmlessly, and it didn't take long for the dragon's massive black paw to swat him into a nearby building.

Alex saw Jess and her Articuno, who was almost half her height now, head for the ruined building. She knew Alex had a plan, as right before arriving they'd shared information, and concocted a plan. Now she played her part: keeping Pravus from slipping away.

With the nuisance gone, Alex turned to his own part of the plan. Subduing Nidhogg so that the way into Uppsalir would be open once more. Permanently.

Before he could act, the dragon turned his gaze up, and snarled. "For your words, you now suffer!" His roar shook the entire mountain chain. In this instance, his fury was well justified. There were two last lines of defense for Valaskjalf, a Braviary, and a Talonflame, a pair of birds charged with guarding the gate and the lake by Woden himself.

Over the years, they had, naturally, become bored, and had convinced a Pachirisu to ferry messages to the trapped Nidhogg for them. Or be eaten. The electric squirrel had done as it was told, but the contents of what it had said to the caged dragon, via electric shock, was always antagonizing, infuriating, and mocking in nature.

In that moment, the Pachirisu in question had fled when it realized Nidhogg was going to probably be free soon. The pair of birds had only seconds to cry their rage at the betrayal before a blast of lightning obliterated them. They had been told Nidhogg was actually doing fine, trapped beneath the water, and was grateful the birds bothered to speak to him at all in his solitude. They had been wrong in their assumptions.

His millennia long irritant disposed of, the dragon turned his focus back to Alex, and the other Black Salamence that dared to challenge him. Another amused chuckle filled the fjord, and the dragon pulled in his wings. They still blocked out most of the sky, for Alex, but keeping them extended constantly was unnecessary.

His words shook the entire fjord as two gargantuan yellow eyes stared them down. "You are the Dragonborn? Ha! I thought you'd be bigger…"

Alex looked up at the massive dragon, arms crossed. "I could honestly say the same thing. The songs say your wings 'darken the sky', but from what I can tell, you could maybe block the sun for a few miles. If that."

The dragon snarled. "Ignorant worm…I am the night!" He puffed his chest up, and roared again. Everyone and every thing held their ear orifices as the dragon's furious Hyper Voice raged through the area.

Alex waited until he was done, unfazed. "You are the night, hmm? Impressive, considering this is the land of the midnight sun. You are aware it doesn't set at this time of year, right?"

There were chuckles from the surrounding village on the walls, and the dragon glared at the human females. His voice needed no enhancement to be heard, but somehow, this gnat's words were just as loud. The dragon snarled again. He'd had enough Tinvaak.

Alex and Shruikan had been waiting for the very moment his eyes narrowed and began to spark again. They zipped up, high, and Alex Shouted down at the still land-bound dragon. "Come, worm! Your destiny has arrived!"

Nidhogg flapped once, and the concussive blasts tore apart several of the houses near the water. He flapped again, and every thatched roof in the village blew away like dandelion seeds. His head turned towards his prison, and his Shout was heard for miles. "Viidost Praakem Fonaar!"

The well of water bubbled, and then, slowly, the heads of thousands of Pokémon began to break the surface. Arbok and Ekans, though they were now dual poison and ice types. They dwelt in the lowest parts of Norstad, preferring to hunt in the dark, but over the long centuries, Nidhogg had become a source of warmth and life for them.

Then he had left, only to call them to the surface. The day had finally come. The gate would open, and the snake's rage would ravage the land as much as their draconic master's.

"Blaze Kick!"

As the first slithering intruder crept forth from the well, it found itself facing down a flaming foot, which fainted it easily. In numbers, the snakes were unbeatable, but there was only so much room on this shoreline.

Ardor flipped back into the line of defense as his opponent fell, and he stood side-by-side with Gar, and Sophos. Being the Champion of Kalos, Connor was more than capable of handling a swarming mass of poisonous, icy snakes.

As the eternal light of the sun shone down on them, more than a few ran back to the water, rather than faint. They lived underground, and the light was irritating. As was the heat. Their master did not notice however, for the massive dragon had followed his dinner into the clouds.

Only then did he realize his mistake. Norstad's airspace was always full of dark, snowy clouds, and today was no exception. Even over Valaskjalf, they were present. Though they wouldn't affect the land with yet more snow until they descended from the mountainous heights.

Given his massive size, Nidhogg had long since lost the speed most Salamence had, but there was another advantage he and his trainer had that the large dragon did not. Mega evolution.

The dragon's eyes widened as he saw the smaller dragon change, and grow considerably stronger, and faster. "What? No!"

The clouds lit with his fury as he fired a Charge Beam, but it might as well have been moving in slow motion against the smaller dragon.

As the apocalyptic battle raged above, giving only brief glimpses of the massive dragon, the snakes of the Hvergelom began to slowly overwhelm Connor, and his three defenders. The cleverer ones had slithered up the rocks, and the less clever ones had followed. The cries of Articuno filled the air as they joined the battle, and pelted the snakes with their Ancient Power.

Jess stood beside Folokraan, glancing at the two battles. Alex could use ice against a dragon, but Connor needed all the aid he could get. He was already burning through elixirs. Jess looked down at her newest partner, and then nodded. There was really only one choice they could make in a situation like this.

Chapter 20: The Way of the Hyper Voice

Hopefully the next one won't end up taking a month to write lol

Next Chapter:

Pokemon (C) Nintendo
Caleb Pravus, The Prophet
The man behind the cult, Percy's only friend (that speaks to him), and the person in charge of enforcing Fornia's 'no flyover' rule. Nobody knows about his past, only his authority, and temper, are public knowledge.

He deals in circles far above your average trainer, and only rarely will he actually put his own boots on the ground. When the prize is great enough however, he eagerly steps in. According to the League, he's also Fornia's reigning Champion, though how anyone is supposed to dethrone him is still a mystery, given that access to Fornian gyms is for Arceans and only Arceans, and none of them Willingly challenge his authority.

He's ruled Fornia for as long as anyone can remember, and he intends to keep ruling it.
So this happened.
Might wait a bit to keep writing.

Also have to wait until my dog leaves me ALONE. lol

The Trainer Exam

Gilroy Redwood was in another after-hour session with his grand-nephew, Alex. The boy was twelve now, and his brother Eric was ten. He'd also just gotten a Squirtle, while Alex remained Pokéless.

But, his Gruncle was telling him, there was a chance to earn one, perhaps, and convince his parents to let him keep it. Legally, they were the only ones who kept him from owning a Pokéball.

Every trainer, around the ages of five to ten, was tested for their aptitude in battles, and based on that, they would either be advised to become a trainer as soon as possible, in some cases sixteen, or be directed to find another path, one that didn't involve professional training. Given the culture of their world, almost everyone wanted to become a Trainer. There was an entire industry around professional battling, and if you were good, no job payed better.

If they passed, they, at the very least, received a Trainer ID, allowing them to travel to all the countries connected by the Pokémon League. Which was most of them. Even for non-trainers, knowing how to properly handle a Pokémon was a skill that governments the world over had agreed was necessary, to keep from falling back into chaos. Thus, the League had received funding to teach and train the world over.

Alex's mother and father had already left discreetly with his younger brother, who was already close with his Squirtle. Once again, they'd left their eldest son to his own path.

If the Professor did nothing, he knew the raw potential this kid had would be wasted forever, and that, would be truly shameful. Redwoods usually made seriously skilled Pokémon Rangers, but the Professor had a feeling Alex had a different path.

The only Ranger in this new generation of Redwoods that really had a chance to be a legend was Geralt, and he and his Dawn Form Lycanroc were already training for that, hard, at University. Those classes were even more intense than the Trainer ones.

The Dawn Form of Lycanroc was the Redwood's most recent claim to fame, as nobody had made one evolve at dawn before. The scientific world was buzzing, and already, trainers were trying to evolve their Rockruff at hours that nobody had yet tried.

Geralt's Lycanroc was referred to simply as 'the White Wolf'. It shared the Day Form's body type, but was pure white, and much, much larger. Geralt had gotten the Rockruff two years prior, when Gilroy had taught them how to catch Pokémon in the Redwood style. Thankfully, he'd had a ball on hand. Alex of course, had not.

Over the years, Pokémon Rangers had blended with the local police of any region with a League, and were often regarded as much, much stronger officers of the law. Typically, they had one to three partners in Pokéballs, and used their Capture Devices for gaining the aid of wild Pokémon. The most skilled Rangers didn't need such devices, and the Redwood line had a knack for producing incredibly skilled Rangers.

The Professor's own sister, Haley, had been one such Redwood, but she'd gone missing years ago in the Stoney Mountains, and by now, was presumed dead. Geralt had the same look in his eye that she had, and thus, the Professor had made every effort to ensure that he'd get the best training. Another familial loss to the life of a Ranger, and he doubted there would ever be another Redwood Ranger. Not from this branch, anyways.

Now, the old man was driving his young, conflicted relative down to the League's Headquarters in Unova proper, the as yet unfinished building that would someday, if the rumors were true, hold the World Tournament. They never saw Eric, or his parents, as they had left early.

The exams sometimes took weeks, months even, depending on when they were given. It was summer now, so the exam would be a longer one. Alex had seemed almost apprehensive about spending so long on his own, but his Gruncle assured him that doing so would prove he could easily handle this challenge.

Alex didn't want to disobey his parents still, but the Professor had no issues. He tried explaining to the lad that he would never have a better chance to demonstrate his potential, but the child still seemed to think this was breaking the rules. The Professor simply smirked. Once this kid had a Pokémon, and real battles, he'd be even more enamored.

True to his word, his Gruncle left him on his own, clad in too-large red and blue clothes. His red jacket made him stand out, his oversized red and blue Unova hat didn't fit right over his dark curls, and his blue shirt clashed too much, but onward he marched, alone, to the reception desk.

It was the first time he was 'processed', and eventually, an older gentleman with reddish oak brown hair gave him a choice. "Fire, Water, or Grass." The old man looked the kid over, and made a bet with himself that he'd pick fire.

Of the three Pokémon available, all this particular examiner had were 'the Kanto starters'. Alex stared at the Charmander for a long time, and the little fire lizard grinned, giving a thumbs up. He examined the other two then, and after several minutes, chose Bulbasaur, to the shock of the Professor, and the Charmander.

"Very well." The Professor said, locking his fingers. "For this challenge, you may use that Bulbasaur. Always remember however, he is the League's Pokémon. Try not to get too attached. He was chosen because he bonds well with multiple trainers. Don't make him dependent on one."

Alex grinned at the Bulbasaur. "Alright then, I'll call you Saur." The little green Pokémon extended a vine, and they shook. For his part, he liked what he sensed in this potential trainer. They would be a good team. He could feel it.

The Professor rolled his eyes. Another genius for nicknames in the making, this kid. The older man thumbed a button, opening a door at the back of the room that was acting as his lab for the moment.

"Your challenge is to follow the signs, battle the other trainers, and get as far along as you can in a two-week period. Good luck."

With that, Alex was shoved out the door as another child came in to choose their partner. Thankfully, there were always more Bulbasaur.

Alex looked down at his, and grinned. He'd chosen this one for two reasons. That Charmander, while intense, would never be his, and this Bulbasaur was clearly close to evolving. His brother had no doubt gone with his own Squirtle, as trainers were wont to do. Very few actually showed up with no Pokémon, or parents, but they all got the aid of another starting Pokémon.

"First, let's get you to evolve…" Alex said, grinning and looking around for Rattata. Five battles later, and the little Bulbasaur glowed, catching the interest of nearby trainers. Saur roared a loud challenge as he finished, smacking the ground with his new stronger vines, and the trainers around Alex decided to battle this newly evolved Pokémon. It would count as an easy victory, or so they thought. He didn't look all that intimidating.

Alex lost thrice to type advantage, but scored ten victories from water, electric, and normal type users. If you gained a record of negative five and held it until time was up, you failed the exam. The battling would continue until time ran out.

Thankfully, victories removed losses, and thus he now had a respectable record of seven. The higher his win count, the better off he'd be. Or so his Gruncle had said. Now, he'd need to follow the more serious trainers further into the wilderness to beat them.

In that first day, many trainers with entire teams of one Pokémon, and one starter, quickly realized how badly outmatched they were by people who knew their type advantages. Several had, supposedly, given up.

Alex was always a target for fire types, that is, until he found a wild Sandshrew, who desperately wanted to be a Sandslash, but had no trainer. Alex understood about 70% of what Pokémon said, and convinced the little ground type to come with them for a while.

The sand mouse grew exponentially once it learned Magnitude, and was able to drive off fire type threats to Saur. Together, the combination of grass and ground was quite powerful, and Alex found it extremely handy for this particular challenge. He often wished they were one Pokémon though.

After finally evolving and learning Sand Tomb, Sandslash stuck around, agreeing to help his new friends until their journey was over. Battling throughout the hills behind Iccirus Town was some of the most fun Alex had ever had.

He met tons of new trainers, saw new Pokémon, and learned very suddenly that he was indeed attracted to women. Given that many of the trainers here were alone, and usually on the cusp of puberty, the 'relationship drama' was everywhere.

By the end of a long seven days, Alex had a Venusaur, and a Sandslash. He was proud of both of them. Most of the trainers he met had managed to evolve their chosen starting partner once, not twice, and thus he soon realized his full-grown Venusaur often had an unfair advantage due to the sheer power of his Power Whip. In his younger forms, it had been formidable, but fully evolved there were few who could stand against the flurry of massive vines.

He didn't let that stop him from battling however, nor did he find an alternative and 'fair' grass type. If these trainers couldn't handle him, they didn't belong here. Besides, losing a battle was always a good learning experience. He'd had his own share of losses, even before this challenge, but that was usually because his partners would flee after taking too much damage.

Over time, trainers who'd picked similar starters and had similar attitudes formed groups, and naturally, the one Redwood found himself with was already experimenting with something called 'Leaf'. It was wonderful, and apparently, legal now.

Grass trainers were typically nothing if not responsible. Sure, their eyes were usually red, and they were a bit too laid back, but they always kept an eye on their friends, and respected nature. They made excellent Trainers. It was no different with Alex. For the first time in his life, he had a group of people looking out for him, not just his Gruncle. Being mostly older, these kids looked at him like a little brother, who towered over most of them, even at twelve.

During one of the many Leaf sessions they had, Alex began to piece together what he wanted, eventually, for his own team. He was addicted to battling now, and regarded as a proper trainer by everyone he went up against. It was a complete 180 from how he was usually treated, and he loved every second of it. The battles, the traveling, the new opponents, styles, moves, he could do this every day for the rest of his existence, and never tire of it.

Several of his classmates from the local school had also come to get their IDs. He took more pleasure than he should have when Saur thrashed them, but it was nice to get looks of respect, rather than pity or disdain for once. In a Pokémon world, not having your own made you an outcast, and a target.

Eventually, as the group of grass trainers began to head back after three more days of hard battle, Alex learned that his brother had been having a hard time of it, and was desperately battling weaker trainers to improve his record. It was expected though. His Squirtle was a baby, and its shell was still too weak for a test like this.

It was only Eric's borrowed Oshawott that kept him in the running for an ID, after evolving into a Dewott. Eventually however, his little Squirt grew as well. His shell hardened, he learned more attacks, and eventually, had become a Wartortle.

Smart trainers usually refused battling past their limit, but Eric hadn't kept an eye on his record, and had gone after the more skilled trainers far too early. Eventually, he managed to climb back in the positives. His losses would still be recorded, however, when the final tally came.

Alex's parents had, naturally, been furious when they returned home to find his chores unfinished, and their son gone. His Gruncle had told him to avoid the main entrance areas as often as possible, and he had.

It was as he was journeying around with his new group of chillaxed friends that destiny saw fit to make a fool of him. He'd been tracking a Poliwag for three hours, and had convinced it to come with his little group of friends, in return for making it stronger. He'd seen it was bullied, and after some hesitation, the little Pokémon agreed.

They stumbled upon their first fiery challenger, literally, as Alex finished his latest Leaf session with a borrowed bong, and not-so-subtly hid it in his oversized and filthy jacket. His friends had insisted he not return until he found a water type of his own to wash his clothes, and himself. He was becoming a man, they'd said, and odor was something he needed to learn to control. Surviving in the woods solo was also an important skill, but he'd had no problems finding berries.

Thus he was, naturally, filthy when he came upon arguably the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen. The words 'terminally pretty' came to mind, though he had no idea what they really meant. His Gruncle used them to describe his wife, and Alex had thought she was quite pretty, judging by the pictures he'd seen. Nothing compared to this girl though, but then, age was likely a factor.

She suppressed a giggle as she saw him, and for the first time since the challenge began, he eyed himself. Torn clothes, a filthy jacket, pants that were now shorts because heat is bad, and splotches of dirt on his face and hat from battling, crawling, and sitting around in the woods enjoying some Leaf.

He hated being a mooch, but the others in his group insisted they didn't mind. It didn't take much to get the kid high, and he was amusing to watch. Grass type trainers always had spare Leaf.

"So, are we going to battle?" Alex had to blink his eyes away from her budding attributes as she spoke. She had to have been younger than he was, but her figure was already filling out. Being as-yet unfinished himself, it didn't really bother him. What she did have was appealing to senses he was not yet aware of. Her eyes snared him more than anything else. He couldn't look away.

Finally, he answered the smartly dressed redhead. "Y-yes. Yea. Battle. Right. Saaaauuuuur!" He shouted for his Venusaur, but as usual, the giant frog-like dinosaur was doing his own thing. A mound of dirt rose beside him, and his Sandslash appeared with a burst of dirt, raising its arms as it saw its friend.

The girl giggled again. "Well, at least that explains some of the dirt. But did you see a Stunky around here? Something smells…awful, really."

Alex waved her words away. "Never mind that. We have a battle to…start."

She raised a brow at the Sandslash. "With that? That's no starter…and you only have one ball…"

He shrugged, scratching his head, which he then realized desperately needed a haircut. "He's my partner for this challenge. We made a promise. I help him evolve, he helps me deal with fire types." His newest addition came waddling out of the bushes then, eyes red and bloodshot, a happy grin on its face. Alex pinched his brow. Poliwag's skin membrane was thin. She probably had a contact high from all the smoke.

The girl just giggled again. "Did…did you smoke up that Poliwag?"

He eyed her again, and as he met her gaze, he began to appreciate how they almost looked like a Snivy's eyes. They had that same cleverly superior look that fit her perfectly. He nodded, as he chuckled, and leaned down to pat the Poliwag. "She just agreed to join me, too. She was being bullied, so she wants to be stronger."

The girl raised a finely groomed brow at him. "You're going to battle her now? Like that?"

Alex grinned. "Don't worry, I know how to handle a Poliwag."

His brother had caught one of those, too. Alex had been responsible for taking care of it though. 'Helping his brother' his mother had called it. 'Proving he could handle his own Pokémon'. Lies, as usual, for the sole purpose of motivating him into doing what nobody else in their crowded house wanted to do. All that food had to go somewhere, and Poliwag droppings were notoriously loose and foul. Arceus forbid his precious brother ever actually clean up after his own bloody Pokemon.

The girl shrugged, and then called out a Snivy. She had two balls, but this didn't look like a League Pokémon. Having a new appreciation for grass types, Alex and his Poliwag walked up to it.

He looked up at the girl again, "This one's yours, isn't she."

She blinked once, and if she was impressed, it didn't show. "Yes. She is. How could you tell?"

Alex shrugged again, moving several feet away. His Poliwag pecked aimlessly at the ground. The Snivy didn't look impressed, but then, they never did. "She said so when Poli asked. And, she doesn't look like any of the Snivy I've battled out here."

"Oh, you've been out here for a while? I just arrived myself. Figured four days to battle was better than waiting for the next exam." She was eyeing him again, and he felt a chill up his spine. He stood a little straighter, for reasons he could not yet understand.

"Yea, it's a shame it's almost over. I could stay out here for months, but I'll have to go back eventually." He looked around for his Venusaur again, muttering. "Though I'd rather not…"

She continued staring at him, and only when his eyes returned to hers did she blink, and curtsy. It was a proper curtsy, though, formal. Practiced. Perfect. And just low enough to spy training bra straps. "I'm Jess. It's an honor to battle you…strange forest boy."

"Alex." He said, sliding his thumb sideways across his nose the way he'd seen others try it. "The names Alex." She burst into laughter again, and he blinked in confusion.

"Your face…oh wow, now it's so much worse!" She kept giggling.

Like the amateur he was, he'd emptied his borrowed slide with his thumb, and naturally, his hand now had a telling stink and charcoal smudges, that were now across his nose. He whistled at his Poliwag, and she jumped, looking at him.

"Get ready to battle, Poli. But first, Water Gun. Right here." He said, pointing to his face.

The little Pokémon blinked and hesitated, and he chuckled, leaning close to pat her. "It's alright, I can take it." Reassured, the little Pokémon inhaled, and Alex suddenly realized just how close he was now. He just sighed, and dug into the ground as the hard pressure of the attack pushed against his face. At least the dirt would be gone.

He was soaked now, and he knew he'd be miserable in the heat anyways, so he said, "Might as well get the rest of the dirt." The little Poliwag obliged him, and he grimaced as he was thoroughly soaked through. Thankfully, his small stash in his shoe remained unharmed by the water.

Once he was through, and dripping, he nodded at the girl. There was no recovering from that blunder with his thumb, and he made a note to get his own pre-battle…thing. "Alright then. Ladies first."

She beat him in that first battle, as Snivy's Vine Whip was quite strong, and super effective. His Sandslash was similarly beaten, though he'd done a lot more with dig. By the time the frustrated Snivy finally hit him, his Venusaur had lumbered back, eyeing the small grass snake and then roaring a challenge, as it saw its friend.

"Holy Heracross…that thing's enormous!" It took Alex more willpower than it should have for him to not immediately say, by pure reflex, 'that's what she said'. His new friends might've been responsible, but they were still very much children. And he was very much impressionable.

Alex just shrugged. "We can stop, if you want. Most people can't handle Saur. We'll call it a win for you. My record can take one loss."

She responded by ordering a Slam attack with her Snivy, which Saur smacked away with a Power Whip. Both trainers winced as the little Snivy went flying backwards towards her trainer.

"Sorry…" Alex said, grimacing. "He's…a lot stronger apparently. Saur gave an affirmative roar, looking proud. His trainer sighed, and gave him a pat. "A bit gentler, bud." The large beast grumbled, but acquiesced with a nod.

Her next partner was a Fennekin which, by his estimation, was about to evolve. Evolve she did, after dodging several Razor Leaves, and the new Braixen launched annoyingly powerful Ember attacks until Saur finally brought it down with a combination of Sleep Powder and Solar Beam. It was how Alex won most of his battles, if he was honest.

He was helping Jess find Oran berries for the lot of them once the battle ended, when another trainer stumbled upon them. "Making friends are we, sister?"

Alex looked up, and saw a boy around his age, clad in blue, with reddish brown hair and a build similar to his own. His arms were crossed and he eyed the two with disapproval. He knew how most guys viewed girls like his sister who had classic good looks, even as young as they were, it was never too early for some people.

"Why yes, brother. Alex here was helping me revive everyone. We just battled." She spoke, but Alex raised a brow as he noticed she was speaking to the ground, not him.

"And?" He said, expectantly.

"I lost." She said, finally looking up. "But his Venusaur is incred-" That was all her brother needed, apparently. He walked over to Alex, ignoring her, and grabbed the hood of his too-large jacket, lifting him onto his feet.

Or rather, he tried to. Alex yanked his damp hood free, and rose several inches over him as he stood slowly, and met the stranger's gaze. They both knew then, it was on.

"Alex, was it?" They boy said, eyeing him over again, "Only one ball hmm? Fine, one on two should suffice."

"Fine." Alex had seen many rivalries in the long weeks he'd spent out here, but he'd never quite understood them. They made people act stupid, mean, even. He understood a little better, now. This kid was a fellow trainer, a good one. He had the talent. That too, he had learned to see in his opponents.

Some people had it, and some people didn't. There was more to it though. He had a sudden and inexplicable urge to beat this trainer that his other opponents simply hadn't brought out. The fact that there was a gorgeous redhead watching had no bearing on the situation. None at all.

"Samuro!" His opponent shouted once, and a Dewott appeared from one of the balls on his belt. Saur came out then in response, needing no summons. Sandslash and Poli were still eating. Saur was fully recharged, however. He'd found his own stash of Sitrus berries, and had eaten his fill.

"Hmph. I guess your Venusaur is kind of impressive…but it won't be enough." The Dewott pulled out its scalchops, and they blazed to life with blades of water.

"You'll need more than Razor Shell for us." Alex said, as Saur thumped the ground with his own pair of thick vines. They'd overpowered Razor Shell before. Oshawott, Snivy, and Tepig were, of course, some of their most common opponents. This was Unova after all.

While it was true that no Dewott had the same fighting style, Alex had never seen one like this. His opponent snapped his fingers, and the otter Pokémon had used Ice Beam on his swords, turning them into ice swords. The advantage was suddenly his. "I think we can handle your vines."

Alex grimaced. "That can't be legal…"

His opponent grinned. "Oh, but it is. Creative move combinations are encouraged in the Pokémon League."

Alex thought for a moment, eyeing his Venusaur, and then nodded. "Fine. Use your ice swords. It won't matter. Razor Leaf!" Saur wasted no time in unleashing a hail of sharp leaves towards the water type, but its movements were perfect, graceful, and with each slash of its swords, any leaf that had a chance of hitting was cut in two.

"Razor Shell." The boy had his arms crossed now, as if victory was assured, and his grin only drove Alex to want to win that much more.

"Sleep Powder! Spread it all around you!" Saur's large tree launched the spores, and they filled the air immediately around him. Since they were his, Saur was, of course, immune to them. The charging Dewott paused, and leapt back. His swords were useless if they couldn't reach.

"Ice Beam." His trainer said, and the otter nodded, still holding his Scalchops, as he shot the beam from his mouth.

"Razor Leaf!" Saur obeyed, and the beam cut a thin swathe through the flurry of sharp leaves. Both of them took hits, and Saur struggled to stay conscious. The Dewott, however, fell asleep. Alex smirked. The flurry of leaves had flown through the dust, and guided it towards his opponent. Two could play the combination game. "It worked…alright bud, Solar Beam!"

Swearing, the boy recalled his Dewott, and brought out a Monferno with crimson fur, rather than orange. "Flame Wheel!"

Saur launched his charged attack as the fire monkey enveloped itself in flames. Being a primarily grass attack, albeit a powerful one, the damage was minimized. "Return." Alex said, pointing Saur's ball at him.

The Venusaur eyed him as he was recalled, and his opponent raised a brow. "What, are you going to fight my Pokémon bare-handed?" Jess interrupted this time, saying, "I tried to tell you, Connor. He has three. The other two aren't in balls though."

The boy glared at his sister, and then noticed Poli had waddled onto the field. She'd eaten her fill of berries, and was once more ready to battle. His Monferno laughed, and his trainer met his opponent's gaze. "Seriously? That Poliwag is weak. Tell it not to fight. I don't want to hurt it."

Poli responded by shooting a Water Gun directly into the face of the Monferno. Alex smirked. "Seems she understood you. Do I need to translate what she said with the water gun, or can you and your monkey figure it out?"

Connor's Monferno was looking down now, dripping with water, and Connor sighed. "Fine. Battle if you want, but I won't be held responsible when it gets hurt. Ardor. Attack."

The Monferno launched forward with sudden and startling speed. A Mach Punch sent Poli flying, but it seemed the fire monkey wasn't done. The punches kept coming, and Alex realized that the Pokémon was enraged. Its tail flame had swelled considerably.

"Double Slap the ground!" Before the next punch landed, Poli leapt into the air. The furious Monferno looked up then, and its fists became encased in flames. Mach Punch was about as strong as Scratch or Ember, but Fire Punch was a whole other story.

What was more worrying to Alex was the fighting style the monkey had used. It looked all too similar to the Iron Fist style, used by the Sinnoh Champion's own Infernape. "Now, Bubble Beam!"

A flurry of bubbles shot towards the monkey, and instead of reverting to its Mach Punch, it hit them with Fire Punch. It was certainly fast, but fire did little to stop the damaging water attack. Poli kept the bubbles coming as she descended, and the Monferno was rapidly overwhelmed.

"Blaze Kick!" Connor had uncrossed his arms now, and once more attempted to help his partner. Usually, Ardor would rage, and only recalling him to his ball could stop him. He hadn't expected the Poliwag to be so strong.

As Ardor's feet were encased in flames this time, Poli was glowing with an entirely different kind of energy, and her form twisted and shifted as she evolved. Facing down a newly evolved Poliwhirl didn't cause Ardor to pause however.

"Mud Shot!" Alex gave the command as the Blaze Kick brought the Monferno close, and then point blank, the two moves collided. Ardor went down, fainting, but the newly revitalized Poliwhirl came through with some damage, but looked more than ready to keep fighting. Evolving mid-battle always brought a Pokemon's health back up. It was what made it so useful, but it could only be done once or twice.

Keep fighting she did, against the sleeping Samuro. In the spirit of fairness, Alex had her use Double Slap until he'd awoken, but his icy scalchops gave him the win. Which only left Saur.

With an order of Power Whip, Saur claimed victory. It was stronger than Vine Whip, and was impossible to block, even with two ice blades. Saur had plenty of vines, and they regrew as fast as he needed them to.

Connor had left once the battle ended, dragging his sister with him. She managed a wave as they disappeared into the trees, and Alex had returned it, still somewhat impressed he'd managed to win. If the top trainers were all that strong, he'd need to re-think combining moves. It opened up a whole new dimension to battling he hadn't even been aware of.

Eventually, the PA system throughout the examination area announced the challenge was almost over. It was the middle of summer though, and Alex was half tempted not to return, to run into the wilderness with his new partners, and never go back. He could survive out here, with their help.

Saur had convinced him otherwise however, as had the other Pokémon they'd gathered into their little team. He bid Poli and his Sandslash a fond farewell, and while the Poliwhirl had left, after sharing a hug, his Sandslash stuck around. He said he wanted to make sure his friends were safe before he went home. Alex had never wanted a Pokéball so badly. The loyalty was inspiring.

When Alex finally split from his group and arrived at the station of the man who'd lent him Saur, he smirked as he saw the man gape at the massive Pokémon the child had managed to train up. "This kid…" he said softly, eyeing him over as he reluctantly shook the Venusaur's vine in a final farewell.

He came over to the Professor's desk then, and the man examined the V.S. Recorder each trainer-hopeful had been given. He had to blink at the numbers. "I take it you battled several people more than once…"

Alex shrugged. "Sometimes. I moved around a lot though, and stayed by the edge of the forest near here. Secluded enough for privacy, close enough to find trainers looking to battle." He was less dirty now, and smelled like air freshener, rather than a Stunky.

The Professor had enough sense to guess which group the grass type user had fallen in with, but he kept his opinions to himself. "I have to admit, I'm impressed. Well done, lad. I'll print up your I.D."

Alex kept glancing at Saur's ball as the Professor readied his Trainer Card, but unlike 90% of the young'uns who came through, the boy did not ask to keep him.

Most of the time, the Professors acquiesced, as after two weeks of hard battle, and usually evolution, the bonds were too strong to break. He'd seen the Venusaur too, but it seemed their bond, while strong, had remained somewhat distant.

Despite himself, the Professor said, "Do you want to keep him?" He glanced at the boy, hiding a smirk, which quickly faded as he saw tears dripping from under the down-turned hat.

"I c-cant. I can't. I'd like to…but I…I'm not allowed." Parting was hard enough, as Alex was realizing that the most fun he'd had in his short life was now ending. Being asked to keep Saur had pushed him past his considerable threshold for tears.

He looked up, and saw the Professor offering the ball to him. It shook in his palm, and Alex knew all he had to do was reach out and take it. His hand paused before it however. "If I did take him…I don't know what my parents would do with him. I know I wouldn't be able to keep him. Please…make sure he's happy."

He gave the ball a lingering glance after he had his I.D. with his recorded wins and losses on the back. Thirty-eight losses, a hundred and twelve wins. It wasn't the best record that year, but it was enough to be in the top percentile. Usually, it was the trainers who managed to evolve their partners completely that had records like that. There were only a few of those, but they promised to be talented Trainers. He left then, hurriedly, and wiped his eyes.

Outside, he saw his parents, and his Gruncle, waiting for him. His father was furious, though he hid it well, and his mother gained an obvious and severe look as she saw the state of his clothes. As planned, he slipped the I.D. to his Gruncle, who moved behind him as he faced his parents, head down.

He told them his record, but said that the I.D. would come in the mail. His father promised to destroy it when it did. This 'act of defiance' only proved, in his mind, that his son was not Trainer material.

They waited for Eric then, in awkward silence. More than a few parents nearby had overheard them, and once more, the looks of pained sympathy came his way. Once more, he was the Pokéless outcast everyone pitied, or mocked. Nothing had changed.

Eric got the reception most of the other children had. Praise, hugs, and congratulations on his I.D. His record had been almost split. Sixty-five losses, eighty-five wins. By the rankings, his record was barely average. Only twenty countable victories was less than impressive, but more than enough for an I.D.

If his parents found it strange that Eric had an I.D. while Alex did not, they didn't say so. If they noticed how much better his record was, they didn't admit to it. All he got on the ride home was stony silence, and reassuring pats from his Gruncle.

Four Years Later…

Alexander Redwood never forgot about that summer, or Saur, but he knew that as long as he lived with his parents, he could never try to claim his Venusaur again. He'd gotten a letter from the League a few weeks later, from the Professor who had given him Saur, but as promised, his father had torn it apart. Thanks to science however, his Gruncle had managed to reconstruct the pieces, and the message itself, but not the name of the Professor who'd written it.

It didn't contain his I.D. but instead detailed what Saur was doing. Evidently, he'd become one of the League's breeders. Bulbasaur was among the most popular of the available grass types for new trainers, thanks to the popularity of Kanto's Indigo League, and the number of challengers who'd entered with a Venusaur.

Alex had decided to try to emulate his Pokémon, but first he needed to know what 'breeding' was. His granduncle had then revealed where children, and Pokémon eggs, actually came from. It was a monotonous explanation, complete with charts, diagrams, and a severe emphasis on how to copulate safely. He decided to wait a bit until trying any of what had been described. It all seemed far too complicated.

That didn't stop him from eventually finding a girl, though. Not having a Pokémon made the sympathy card very powerful. Unfortunately, it also meant he couldn't compete against rivals who did have Pokémon, and could battle quite well.

He'd found out from one of her friends that the number of times she'd cheated on him had grown to the double digits, and at that point, he decided to stop being her charity case, and swore off women altogether until he was wiser, older, and knew what he was doing.

It was only once he was sixteen that his life finally shifted, for the better. This was, in a large way, thanks to their family's newest neighbors, who'd rebuilt and renovated the old manor roughly a mile from their house.

His father had said it had once belonged to them, but they'd had to sell it, and much of their ranching land, during several years of turbulent economic trouble. It was just as well. It was more opulent, but had smaller rooms than their current abode, which was still crowded, even after they'd added a new basement.

Once more, fate decided to test him, but for once, he was actually able to handle it. It was yet another sweltering summer afternoon, and he was enjoying a bowl of Leaf upon a massive stump that had been on their land for ages, but had been too strong to move. He hadn't taken up smoking again until recently, and he was enjoying the effects at that moment. He was also putting off shoveling Tauros dung from the barn, when he noticed a flash of red coming across the land between their ranch, and the old estate roughly a mile away.

It almost seemed familiar, and had he not been reminiscing about his favorite summer, he might not have realized who it was. Or what she was walking into. It was still early summer, and they were barely out of spring, but this season promised to be a hot one, judging by the temperature.

What that meant, of course, was that mating season was still going on. The last few days were always the toughest, as the males were desperate if they hadn't found a mate by now, and desperation made even the calmest Tauros a frenzied hair-trigger mess.

He was tempted to wait until the fiery redhead approached, as he still didn't entirely believe it was the same girl. The odds were simply astronomical, and he was nowhere near that lucky. It was as he avoided looking at her, that he noticed the Tauros idling behind his granduncle's lab, along the edge of the fence.

Most people didn't know how to recognize an angry Tauros, as on this continent, they were usually rather calm. Except during mating season. More than a few Professors had even mistaken their love of running for 'rampaging'. They were strong, and tended to knock over whatever was in their didn't mean it was purposeful.

Most people didn't see the difference, but that very difference was the entire reason the Redwood's own manor, and barn, still stood undamaged. The Tauros were well aware there were children and young Pokémon within. The fence was, however, another story. This very season was the reason it always looked new.

He saw the three tails, whipping away as the young bull by the lab eyed a Miltank across the way. She was a bit small, and had been sick in the barn for a few days. Alex didn't need to see what was in the bull's way to know it was about to trample anything, if only to get to that female first. There were plenty of rival males in the herd.

He also knew that the gate was in its path. As would be anyone walking through it, and opening it. He had just enough time to set the bong down safely, before he heard the gate open. He was already moving by then though, and the sound had set the overeager bull off. They creaked terribly. It was why anyone who passed through it usually climbed, rather than opened it.

He glanced at the redheaded woman coming through, some sort of basket in hand, but didn't have time to register the shock of seeing her again. He took the stance his granduncle had shown him, one hand above, and one hand low, and dug into the ground, which was already shaking. "Leave the gate open…" was all he had time to say.

There was a trick to stopping a rampaging Tauros or Bouffalant. For the Bouffalant, you had to spin them down, into the dirt. Their balance was terrible, and their legs, while strong, tended to flail. Stopping them was a pain, as you had to immediately leap back, or risk being kicked.

Tauros were entirely different. As long as their hooves had ground to pound, they'd keep running, until they either reached whatever their goal was, or ran out of stamina. Thus, the key to stopping them was a bit different, and required precise timing.

What was more, was every Tauros had their own style of charging. He hadn't memorized them all, to do so would be impossible, given the size of the herd. This is why he'd befriended the older bulls, who mostly kept everyone else in line. They knew their schedule as well as their handlers.

While it was usually only necessary for one Redwood to play farmer, which meant mucking out the barn, the role was split between Alex, and his cousin, George. Out of all of their generation, George had the most farming potential. He loved it. It was as obvious as his own desire to become a Trainer. He knew by now, this ruckus had likely gotten his fellow farmhand's attention, but he'd be too far away to help. Their cousin Rose had been milking and cleaning on the far end of the ranch. He was on his own.

He waited, watching as the bull came closer. Sometimes, bulls this young would stop, or turn, if one of their handlers got in their way. But this was mating season, and the pheromones were strong. His eyes were pure rage. All that energy had to go somewhere.

Instead of waving his horns about, the bull lowered them, and Alex's hands moved by instinct, ready to catch them. This was actually the easiest way to catch a charging Tauros. It was still going to hurt, regardless.

He didn't have his gloves either, as they were too bulky to smoke with, and too far away to grab. His bare hands met the unblemished horns, and he let the bull push him as he dropped to one knee.

Suddenly finding this obstacle hard to move, the bull's feet kicked out uselessly behind him, which was when Alex pushed up with everything he had. There was a brief moment when the sharp hooves flashed by his face as the front pair left the ground, but it passed as he forced their momentum to his left, and slammed the bull down onto the ground.

Furious, the bull struggled for several moments as Alex held him down, but eventually, the haze left his eyes. Once it did, he got up, and Alex directed the still-eager beast around himself, and their guest. He didn't seem to even care that he'd just been bested by a human. His mind was on a single track.

Alex looked at his hands, panting, and sighed in relief. They hadn't torn open, thankfully. He'd been lucky for once on all counts. Had that bull been a full adult, he would never have been able to hold it down, and its rage would've focused on him. He ignored the sounds of furious cow-copulation as he turned to Jess, chuckling.

"One day, I'm going to run into you when I'm not covered in dirt." He shook his head, still chuckling, and trembling slightly as the adrenaline faded. Then, he noticed. She was pale as a ghost. He snapped his fingers in front of her face a few times, and she blinked back to reality.

"I-I don't…I'm so sorry…I didn't…are you okay!? How did…oh my gosh, are they…wow. I guess it's mating season." Her gaze had slowly shifted from him, to the bull that had almost trampled them, and then back to him. She'd gone from white to crimson rather easily.

"It is, actually. We should really have a sign up…but we've never had visitors during. Nobody comes around here usually. Not from the back, anyways. Do you need something?" He eyed her over, and like any sixteen-year-old in the spring, his thoughts shifted. The still very loud, very eager pair a few yards away didn't exactly help either.

She blinked for a moment, then nodded. Her own adrenaline from the sudden fear had been much more potent, and the smirking, dirt covered farm boy wasn't exactly hard to look at. And, he'd likely just saved her life. She was a whirlwind of emotion right then. She held out the case of snacks she'd brought, a plastic box that had a handle for carrying, and averted her gaze. "Right, yes, I came to say hi to our new…neighbors…wait a minute…do I know you?"

Whatever confidence he'd had that might've helped him in a no doubt sad attempt at flirtation faded in the face of a total lack of recognition. Though, granted, she probably met plenty of men with curly dark brown hair and blue eyes. It wasn't exactly uncommon in Unova.

"Yes, actually. Alex. From the Trainer I.D. exam. We battled. Then I battled your brother, who seemed to think I was hitting on you for some reason." She nodded slowly, and the silence grew into awkward territory as the sounds of copulation continued with the vigor of youth and springtime, so his mouth started moving again. "Not that I wouldn't, I mean, yea, but I wasn't then. Or now. Not that I don't want to. I mean. I'm rambling. Thank you for the gift." He turned facing his reddening face towards the house. "I'm sure we have something as well. I'll go check. Wait by the lab. The Tauros won't bug you there."

He walked quickly then, ran into the house, set the box down, and then went straight to the large pantry that stored their leftovers. Sure enough, there was one foodstuff marked for the new neighbors. It was his aunt Lisa's handwriting that marked it. No surprise, as she usually cooked.

He was about to go back out, when he realized he was still dirty. By the time he'd cleaned up and gotten his hat, he returned outside to find the lovely redhead on his stump, with a full bowl, sitting next to his brother. He hadn't even known he was around today. He usually trained at the local pool with his Blastoise and other water trainers.

The fact that she seemingly knew her way around Leaf smoking only confirmed his suspicions that she was, indeed, ideal girlfriend material. He also knew that without a Pokémon, he had no chance in Helheim of keeping her. Based on his prior experience, he assumed all women were so easily enticed into cheating. Based on her looks, he knew he wouldn't have a ghost of a chance without a team of his own. She might as well have been a princess, and one couldn't get more peasant-like than Tauros ranching.

That, was when the first parts of a plan began forming in his mind. A plan to finally stop shoveling dung for no pay. A plan to have a team of Pokémon for battling, not ranching. A plan that would, ideally, attract her, or a woman like her he actually had a chance with.

He enjoyed the rest of the Leaf that day, and then soon ran into her brother the next day, when they both stopped by in the middle of his repairing the fence. He'd already chopped everything in preparation, and all that was left was using Mjolnir, his nicknamed carpenter's hammer, to slam everything into place.

Slowly, he became more Connor's friend than hers, only because she had, naturally, become popular in their school after a few days, and gained her own friends of her own gender. The degrees of social separation only increased. Connor had taken pity on him, like so many others, but instead of keeping his distance, he'd openly befriended the outcast. Having a unique Monferno had helped his own reputation, as had his obvious wealth, but that never stopped him from hanging with Alex next door.

Nobody doubted his skill either, as his trainer card still had his victories marked. He'd suggested Alex show his own off, but that presented a slight problem. Roughly two years after getting his I.D. the League had sent an official to reclaim it.

The reason given had been an anonymous 'tip' that Alex had boosted his Venusaur's level with Rare Candies during the test. His granduncle had, like any scientist, demanded evidence, proof, but all he was told was that his younger relative had been seen sneaking about suspiciously into bushes for much of the test.

In reality, it had been to hide his enjoyment of the Leaf. On camera, it gave the 'tip' credence that the League couldn't ignore. A full-scale investigation would be needed to verify the claim, but in the meantime, his I.D. was to be removed.

Eventually, the League had acquiesced when the aging Professor Redwood had claimed they could pry his card from his 'cold, stiff corpse' before he gave it over willingly. As a compromise, his record had been stricken from the card, and the investigation, they learned, would take several years to be completed. Such was the joy of having a bureaucracy in charge of such matters.

They hadn't accounted for the paperwork either. Much of it had, because he was underage, still required a parent's signature. As usual, Frederick Redwood had stood in his son's way, claiming that he'd 'known' the record had been tainted, and that this was yet more 'proof' he couldn't handle his own Pokémon. It had taken two straight hours of calming down, and several bowls of Leaf, before Alex agreed to not running off with a stolen Pokéball, and the first Pokémon he could find. He had been fully ready to wander off into the woods and never return, but that too, his Gruncle knew, would be a waste.

Losing his record and his first relationship in such a deceitful manner almost at the same time had made him come uncomfortably close to ending it all, rather than persevering through the shit he endured from his parents day after day. He'd gone to the only source of comfort he had, and his granduncle had handed him a vial of pills capable of doing the deed quickly and painlessly.

He was of the opinion that if someone no longer wanted to live, they shouldn't have to. But, he'd continued, Alex would have to make that choice right there, right then. He'd chosen to continue on. His Gruncle had promised that things would eventually improve, and that was mostly what had gotten him by thus far.

Connor and Jess had helped him get to eighteen, at which point, he finally was able to step onto the path he'd been itching to tread since he was four. It all began by trading farm labor for University studies, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Trainer Exam

Figured it was high time we had some protag backstory. Enjoy.

Pokemon (c) Nintendo

The two trainers shared a look. "Seems like an invitation to me." Jess nodded in agreement, and Shruikan began ascending towards the landing. The wind was fierce as they landed, and Alex recalled his dragon, then took Jess' hand and made their way towards the entrance at the top of the tower. Their guard went up as the wind wall they'd seen before returned once they'd landed, and shrouded the tower once more in fierce wind.

He walked towards where he assumed there was an entrance. It looked like a wall of mahogany brown metal, but as they approached, battered by the ever-increasing wind, the wall seemed to split in half, and opened to admit them.

Neither one of them could see the interior, but Alex trudged forward anyway, suddenly glad he'd swapped out his hat for the gifted helmet. It wasn't getting blown away in the fierce wind, as it was made of iron, and he rather liked how it fit. He didn't care that Jess kept mocking him, mentally, almost every time she looked at him. They might as well blend with the culture, if possible.

The wall before them opened, revealing total darkness within. Alex walked into it, and extended his senses. What he found intrigued him. Since he'd gained this ability, he'd found conversing with Ninetales to be that much more interesting. They were as clever as a Delphox, but much, much wiser. Not to mention shy.

Blue and white balls of flame lit the interior of the room, and once more, he noticed the theme with mahogany brown. It was real wood this time, even the floor. Covering the floor was a standard Pokémon field used for battling, usually indoors at gyms. The entire floor of the tower must have been devoted to the field, such was its size.

On the opposite side was the Ninetales, and though one might've expected the regional ice type variant, this one seemed just as fiery as the more common species. Its fur was a silvery blue, however, and no trainer stood behind it.

A voice rang out through the room, presumably via some sort of intercom. "Welcome, welcome! It's been so long since I've had such…interesting guests. The ones that just left were rather…prejudiced, but you two…you two are cut from the same cloth as me! How wonderful!"

Alex and Jess shared a look. It was clearly a man speaking, though he had an almost genuine-sounding Albion accent. Most people could easily fake one though, and it seemed to be universally enjoyed the world over, given how often it appeared in televised dramas. His mother had watched a lot of them when he was growing up.

Alex spoke first, "Right…umm…who am I speaking to?"

"Oh how ruuuude of me! Kurama! My entrance, please." The Ninetales, which had been sitting and grooming a fore-paw seemed to roll its eyes.

One of the tails glowed, and pointed to the center of the field. Blue flames swirled as a very obvious opening in the field's Pokéball center raised up a platform, upon which was a man.

His hair was white, his eyes were gold, and his fine clothes all had a theme of light blue, white, and bits of gold. Alex eyed the man for a moment as he made a dramatic pose before the flames dissipated.

Alex brought out his Pokédex then, and thumbed through it hurriedly, then closed it just as quickly as he confirmed exactly which Pokémon the man's outfit was mirroring. It was a trend with trainers, especially wealthy ones.

"I am Percival von Guterstein Velhavende Locuples the Third. But you can call me Percy!" The man finished his absurdly long name with a flourish, and Jess golf-clapped, far more amused than Alex was. He had a growing suspicion that the man's previous guests had been their own quarry, which likely meant the jovial attitude and flamboyant charm was a farce.

"Percy…very well…I'm Alex, Champion of Unova. My lovely lady here is Jessica Gladstone. We're chasing down a band of homicidal zealots that we have reason to believe came this way…" He paused, eyeing the man.

Most humans had the normal typing, and his enhanced vision had, thus far, always confirmed this. Those who had dual typing were rare, but it was usually obvious. This man, to his eyes, seemed normal as well, but something was off. It was like he had a second typing, but for some reason, it was eluding his gaze.

"Oh, they did come this way. I assume you mean little Caleb and his…followers. Yes, they came here to deliver Yveltal to me. In exchange for information." Percy walked to his Ninetales, patting the lovely fox, before taking his place in the trainer box. "I assume you already know what they're after. I'd be disappointed if you didn't. I gave them a clue and a ship, for you see, I have a vested interest in finding Xerneas as well."

"Do you have any idea what he's done with Yveltal? There are still reports coming in, from all over Kalos. Seemingly random people, turned to stone. And you just let him fly off to go gain eternal life? Why!? You don't look like any Arcean I've seen." Alex stared the man down. He wanted to like him, but something about him brought a deep-seated sense of dread. Jess didn't feel it, and he had no idea why he did. It was more of an instinct, than anything.

Though the signal had been spotty, his town map, which also functioned like a television, had kept them somewhat informed of what was going on in Kalos and Unova. After years of relative peace without random teams of criminals interfering with the affairs of the world's many regions, a new wave of them was evidently starting up again.

Percy rolled his eyes. "Well you're right. I'm no Arcean. I've done the 'cult of personality' thing, and it was amusing for a while…but then I got bored. Little Caleb's group is…a bit too violent for my tastes."

"Then why help him?" Alex asked, reaching for Hydrus' ball.

"Because he's the only real connection to the outside I have anymore. The only one that will speak to me, anyways. And, he wants Xerneas as badly as I do." Percy gave his Ninetales a thorough petting as he spoke, and then met Alex's eyes as he prepared to ask more questions. "Enough. No more answers! If you can give Kurama and I a decent battle, I'll tell you whatever you want to know. Deal?"

Alex nodded his agreement, but as he went for Hydrus' ball, he saw the flamboyant man make a gesture that, to his eyes, registered as some sort of psychic power. His hesitation was momentary before throwing the ball, but he did a double-take as Leo, not Hydrus, was called out mid-nap.

"I'm not interested in your Swampert. Battle me with your Luxray, one on one, no type advantages…I find his thoughts intriguing…and that fur, oh, it's so lovely!" Percy's Ninetales stood then, tails flaring out behind it. A low growl filled the room, and Leo's ears flicked in annoyance.

Alex raised a brow at Leo as the large cat yawned, and glanced at his trainer. They spoke with the speed of thought. "Well? How about it?"

Leo stretched and dug his claws into the field, smacked his lips, and then opened his eyes, taking in and staring down his foxy opponent all at once. A small smirk appeared on his lips.

Leo's words were slow, careful, and his tone had a persistent air of superiority. "Mmm…yes. I shall battle this one…" Suddenly, his mane stood on end, electricity flowing through it. Sparks covered the rest of his fur, and he returned the intimidated fox's growl with a loud roar.

Percy clapped excitedly. "Ooo. Careful Kurama…you woke the kitty from his nap." The Ninetales loosed a Flamethrower then, and Leo countered with a Thunderbolt. The two attacks canceled out in the air, and Leo's eyes lit up, piercing the smoke, and following his opponent. A condensed ball of dark energy came flying out of the cloud, but Leo dodged it easily. It exploded in a manner Alex recognized, and left a crater with a horizontal swirling pattern in the field.

Alex grinned. So, someone else had thought of condensing the energy of spherical pulse moves. So much for being original. "Get close, and strike hard." Leo was better with physical attacks, though special ones were almost as strong, due to his nature, and his training. It made him versatile, which was useful against the flying and water types he usually battled.

His Luxray wasted no time then, charging the fox, only to pause before attacking. There were nine copies of it now, and they began running, circling the electric lion, and smirking as they did. "Ohoho! What to do, what to do! I do so enjoy it when he uses this move." Percy seemed to be enjoying himself, but Alex only smirked.

"Double Team is an effective move, I'll grant you that…but…" Thunder manifested in Leo's jaw, surrounding his formidable fangs as he leapt at one of the foxes, clamping down hard on it with the Thunder Fang, and throwing it from the field. "You can't fool the eyesight of a Luxray."

"Can't I?" Percy snapped his fingers, and the bluish white flames lighting the room vanished. "Confuse Ray."

Though the change in light didn't affect Leo, it did cause him to lose track of his opponent for a moment. The ray hit him from his left, as soon as Kurama ran back onto the field. Flames shot from its tails again, lighting the room once more, only to reveal eighteen images of the fox. Leo's head was spinning, and he growled, arcing a Thunderbolt through three of his best guesses.

They vanished, only to reappear seconds later. "Seems like your Luxray is having an issue with aim!" Percy chuckled, and this time, each fox formed a condensed orb of dark energy. Eighteen of them shot towards Leo, who strafed to his left, and dodged three, before the real one struck home.

He rose slowly, shaking his head. The confusion was gone, luckily. "Pretend to stay confused." Alex said through their link, smirking. Leo walked forward shakily, and then ran for one of the Ninetales, attempting a Crunch attack. He bit through the illusion harmlessly, and hit the ground hard. He looked around, panting, and still pretending to be confused.

Percy sighed. "Oh well. It seems this is decided. Finish it." The eighteen Ninetales formed Flamethrowers this time, but by then, Leo had singled out the real one. As the flames approached, he shot a Thunderbolt towards the real Flamethrower, just as the others hit him. He pretended to go down in the cloud of smoke from the collision of the moves.

Percy opened his mouth, but paused, seeing Leo rise again. The cat gave him a grin, before unleashing a Discharge across the field. He chased after the edge of the electric wave quickly, and as it passed through each clone, Percy shouted, "Dark Pulse!"

Leo's Thunder Fang caught the dark ball, tossing it elsewhere in mid-air before he came down with a Crunch attacking, causing the fox to flinch, and he finished the fight with another Crunch, tossing his opponent across the field. Kurama struggled to stand, but his trainer was by his side.

"That's enough…pretending to still be confused…clever. I almost bought it, until I realized he'd hit the real Flamethrower. I'm sufficiently amused! Well fought, both of you. You are welcome in my abode!" The man turned, and headed through another door, this time made of real wood, at the opposite end of the field.

Alex glanced at Jess, shrugged, and followed the man. He still had questions. Percy led them into a posh lounge, complete with everything you might expect a rich snob to have in such a room. Fireplace, large screen television, adjoining kitchen that also had a bar. It had the same color scheme he did, light blue, white, and bits of gold.

"Go on then," Percy spoke as he settled behind the mahogany bar. "Ask away, I can sense you have a thousand questions."

Alex raised a brow. "Can you? I'd heard you also had psychic abilities…"

It was their host's turn to raise a brow. "Heard? Oh, from that village. Hmm. Yes, I suppose some of them are psychic in nature. Like moving your hand to call out your Luxray." Leo and Kurama had followed them in, and the large fox settled on a couch as Leo stayed by Alex. Both he and Percy pet him, and he purred in delight. "I meant what I said. Your fur is gorgeous. I love unique Pokémon."

Alex glanced at his Ninetales. "I can tell…have any others? Like, say, Xerneas?"

The man gave him a grin, then hid his expression behind his long, flamboyant hat as he set about making drinks. "Yes…once. A long, long time ago. Before she fell asleep…she granted me eternal life, and we traveled the world together. Then, she left me alone to rot in this tower…"

Alex tried peeking under the man's down-turned hat, to no avail. "Can't you leave?"

The hat shook side to side. "Not anymore. Xerneas deemed my attitude…destructive, and confined me to this prison until I learned my lesson…unfortunately, she was sent into hibernation when the Yveltal in Kalos expended its energy, and thus awakened the Xerneas of that region. There was a war, or something, and the land needed healing. The result was my Xerneas going back to sleep."

Alex nodded, taking the information in, when Jess spoke up. "How old are you, then?"

Percy gave her a look. "I'd expect better manners from someone like you…but if you must know…I was around for the final years that Arceus' last true Holder spent on this plane. I saw him die, I saw his cult crumble, I saw the chaos of the first ages of the Dark Times…and I got a bit too involved in them for Xerneas' tastes. Thus, the tower."

"Why have you molded an entire region's beliefs and culture on a video game?" The question came from Alex, and the two men stared each other down before Percy answered.

"Because I was bored…and because after the tyrant that caused Arceus to interfere in the first place was dealt with, there was no culture left. The people of this region lost any kind of connection they had to their past in the flames of war…that is, until the PokéNet was created. I helped with that, you know. I got the idea from the Old Net."

"The Old Net?" Jess asked, confused. This time, Alex answered.

"It's what our ancestors had, and what the PokéNet was based on…much of what we know comes from it. Science, technology, culture, there was a ton of information found…but it was never entirely released to the public." Alex stared Percy down again, who was in the middle of fixing drinks for them.

"For good reason." He muttered. "Our ancestors were violent, stupid people. They killed each other, the local fauna, and almost killed the planet, before inhospitable conditions tore their society apart. Things got so bad, our entire race eventually reverted back to living in caves. Until Arceus showed up, anyways."

"That doesn't mean that knowledge shouldn't be available." Alex growled, crossing his arms.

Percy gave him a look. "Yes yes, the Unovan ideal of free information, speech, etcetera. You know not what you're asking for. There are some things on the Old Net that are best left there."

"That didn't stop you from using it to warp an entire culture." Alex shot back. "Why choose such a violent model, anyways? The rest of the world gets on fine without killing each other these days. Why convince these people to avoid technology?"

Percy sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose, as if he'd had this argument a thousand times. "You're just like him…look, all these people knew after they were defeated was how to tame powerful Pokémon, and how to fight. A happy-feely model wasn't going to work, but the one I chose eventually did. If they'd had technology, they would've risen up again. They're far better off as ignorant, violent, barbarians."

Alex exhaled hard through his nose. "We'll just have to disagree on that." He looked around, muttering as his eyes took in the room. "How did you even convince them, anyways?"

Percy slid a glass of what looked like orange juice in front of Alex. Jess' looked similar, though hers was red on the bottom. "It took a long time, a lot of research, and a lot of patience. But eventually the culture took hold. Better to have them fighting for honor than fighting for world domination."

"Oo! A sunrise! How'd you know?" Jess spoke then, breaking the tension between the boys.

Percy gave her his best knowing smirk. "After a few millennia, you learn how to find a person's favorite drink."

Alex glanced at his, and sipped from it, blinking once. "A screwdriver?"

Percy nodded, sipping from his own. "Not unlike mine. A sonic screwdriver. Everything's better with a bit of sonic. I have a friend who absolutely loves these."

There was silence as the three enjoyed their drinks, not awkward persay, but more like a pause. Finally, Alex broke it saying, "Why did you tell Pravus where Xerneas is? He could ruin the entire world with eternal life."

Percy put his drink down, and met Alex's gaze. "Like I said, he's the only one who will talk to me anymore. All of my friends are long dead, and the only new ones I can make think I'm a deity. I need to get out of this tower. He was my only option. I can leave for a few hours, by foot, but that doesn't really help. And I'm eventually forcibly teleported back. It's quite painful. I'd much rather have a 'hero' like you off retrieving it for me, but I don't think you understand just how isolated I am up here."

Alex raised a brow. "Are you saying you'll tell me where Xerneas is? Because I'll gladly go and try to bring her back here. You don't strike me as an evil person. Perhaps Xerneas will feel the same."

Percy looked down at his blue drink for a long time, then nodded. "I'm not the man Xerneas locked in here. It's been thousands of years…the only interaction I have is with my bank representatives, and people who call on my expertise when their precious 'transfer system' has an error. You should know that if you help free me, you'll gain quite a few enemies. The people leeching off my fortunes won't appreciate losing access to them."

Alex glanced at Jess, and she agreed, mentally, that he seemed nice enough. There was one thing that still bugged him, though. "I want your word, Percival. That you won't abuse the gift you've been given. Help your people, 'High King'. Bring them into the future, don't just assume they're too violent, or primitive. Like you said, it's been millennia. People change."

"Not as much as you'd think..." Percy said, sighing again. "Fine. You have my word, 'Dovahkiin'."

Alex raised a brow. "That one, I know. What exactly have I done to earn such a title?"

Percy gestured to his helmet. He'd almost forgotten he was still wearing it. "It suits you…but clashes with the rest of your…outfit." He stood then, and his hands glowed pink as an evil smirk appeared on his noble features. "Let's make you suited to the role, 'hero'."

"Wai-" Alex didn't get the word out before Percy pointed at his clothes, and they warped as his large frame was covered in pinkish white light, changing in appearance, and feel. The white became hardened, bone-like, while the black sections became dark colored chainmail.

He stared in disbelief. Not only was his appearance now a fair reconstruction of the 'dragon bone' set he'd gotten for his character back when he'd wasted his time playing games, the helmet now matched too, and was no longer iron-gray colored. He turned, and saw a long bluish-purple cape as well, the symbol of dragons burned into the back.

He gave Percy a look as Jess burst into laughter. "You can't be serious…I look ridiculous."

Percy raised an eyebrow as he saw the cape, and then shrugged. "You look like suitable 'world-saving' material to me, O' Dovahkiin." He winked at Jess, who burst into another fit of giggles. "Oh? You find his attire funny? Perhaps we should change your appearance too!"

"Don't you da-" But it was too late. Whatever ability Percy used worked its magic on his one true love. Her hair turned brown, her clothing became a combination of steel and leather. Her shoes were replaced with steel boots, and she sighed, looking at all the changes. "Seriously? Who am I even supposed to be?"

Percy grinned. "One sworn to carry the burdens of the 'chosen one'." It was Alex's turn to burst into laughter. Jess just stared at him, not getting the joke. "Don't worry, the locals will think you fit right in. It's not permanent either. By the time you bring Xerneas back, you won't even notice it."

Alex drained the rest of his drink, and nodded at Percy. "How far, exactly, did you warp their culture?"

The wealthy man raised a blonde eyebrow. "Oh? Why do you ask?"

Alex smirked. "I have an…idea, should we need the aid of the locals. It might even help put them on the right path to joining the rest of civilization. But first, I need to be able to speak their tongue."

Percy eyed him for a long moment, and walked out from behind the bar, blinking in surprise at their capes. Jess had one as well, crimson, and emblazoned with the symbol of fire types. The leather in her armor was similarly crimson colored, and the whole thing worked nicely. Percy had some fashion sense, at least.

"Oh my…now isn't that interesting…no wonder you two get along so well…" Percy looked up from their capes, and grinned at Alex. "Very well. I have an idea as to what you have in mind. The people of my land thoroughly dislike dragons, but, there is one among them who tames the beasts, and keeps them in check. He's my favorite persona, if I'm honest."

The man smirked, and his own form glowed pink, as he too changed his appearance. The armor he now bore was ebony black, and almost looked like obsidian from a volcano. It covered his entire form, and had veins of glowing red as well. Two horns jutted upwards from the full helmet.

Alex laughed. "Wow. You would go with that set."

Percy laughed as well, a much more menacing sound now that he was clad in such fierce armor. "What can I say. It weighs less. In either case, you should be able to borrow my role as Dovahkiin…for the moment." Just as easily, Percy's clothes shifted back to normal."Now as for our tongue...that will require you two to lower those mental shields of yours. I can share with you my knowledge of the words, but unless you can use Hyper Voice, they won't help much."

Alex stared at him for a long moment. "Are you telling me that you know how to Shout? Are you telling me that Shouting is even a thing!?" He fought down the excitement. The urge to rush headlong into this absurd wish-fulfillment. There had to be a catch.

Percy grinned at him. "Nii los ol hi saag, Dovahkiin." Alex took that as a 'yes'.

"Fine." He said, still suppressing the excitement. "Share the knowledge." He lowered his defenses then, and he could already feel his lover's disapproval. Tao had warned them to never lower their guard, but now, the two men's minds linked.

It wasn't the same as his link with Jess, or even his team. It was a minor connection. Brief. Limited. Percy's haughty accent rang in his head. "Oh my...yes...yes, you will do nicely indeed. You were born for this role."

Alex's suspicion rose, as did Jessica's. She had, of course, heard every word. "What do you mean?" He said, warily. The unease remained, and it only grew now that his very being was brushing against Percy's. It was like something about the man was fundamentally opposed to a part of his own core.

"Don't worry about it..." Percy said, "This knowledge will only aid you. I'm sharing my knowledge of Hyper Voice as well. With both of you. Prepare yourselves...this is going to hurt."

The pain was, for Alex, instant, and unbearable. He felt Tao's sudden concern, distantly, and he felt his body slump back into the bar stool. His head throbbed, and his ears refused to work as thousands of Words thundered in his skull, each one with their own meaning. Finally, the painful torrent ceased, and one last bit of knowledge came from the strange man.

The knowledge of Hyper Voice. The sacred art of Shouting. It wasn't all that different to how he drew his psychic power for a Confusion level attack, and he knew that, had he not unlocked it, this knowledge would've eluded him. He also sensed that his years of practice inhaling Leaf smoke had increased his lung capacity. He now knew how to Shout, as did Jess, but he knew his would be stronger. For a time. His size, for once, was beneficial rather than hindering.

His vision swam as his ears started to work again, though it was a long time before he heard more than the throb of his heartbeats. He looked up to see the eyes that snared his soul, full of concern. With a start, he realized their connection had been cut. From his team, as well. He hadn't been so alone since battling N on the Victory Plateau. It seemed like a lifetime ago, but in reality, had only been roughly half a year. Slowly, he reconnected with them, assuaging their fears. The shock of the knowledge transfer from Percy had disrupted his links.

And as he looked at the man again, he now had an inkling why.

Alex kept his suspicions to himself for the moment, and stood, meeting Percy's gaze. The hints had now, in hindsight, seemed so obvious, but Percy's revealed typing now only confirmed what he suspected. Still though, he hesitated. He needed more before he fully accepted what his innate senses were telling him.

Percy spoke with his mouth this time, their connection was also gone now, and his defenses rose once more. "The mighty hero awakens. And how do you feel, Dragonborn?"

It took Alex's ears a second to register that Percy had spoken in the tongue of dragons, the language of Norstad. He understood it perfectly. "I'm...fine..." he managed, and he sensed Jess' concern grow again.

"Alex." She said, shaking him slightly. "Focus. You're speaking their words. Not ours."

He nodded again. His skull was still pounding, but Jess, for her part, seemed far less affected. He felt terrible, and as he groaned softly, he felt a drink being pushed into his hand. He looked up to see Percy, and a refilled Screwdriver.

"Drink." The eccentric man said softly, "It will help with the nausea...though I imagine you'll need a rest before your skull stops pounding."

The fact that Percy knew how he felt didn't surprise Alex. The two had stared into the other's very core, and found them to be opposites, but not necessarily enemies. He stood with a grunt, and drained roughly half of the drink. It did help. A little.

"We should head out..." He said, speaking his birth tongue, but still sounding groggy.

Jess looked ready to protest, but Percy cut her off. "I expect you to return with Xerneas, hero. And tales of adventure, of course."

Alex rolled his eyes. "I have an idea as to what I might need to do…now, where do I find your friend?"

Percy shrugged. "Xerneas does her own thing, and I've been cooped up here too long to know exactly where she is. She does tend to move her tree from time to time. Here's my advice, Dovahkiin. Life needs life to live. Where you find an abundance of it, you'll likely find her. Oh, and look for an Ash Tree. She prefers that species for some reason."

Alex nodded again, then looked at Jess. He could tell she was already planning to mock him for the obvious wish-fulfillment he was about to enjoy, now that she knew he was fine, but he honestly didn't care. How often did one get a chance to fill such legendary boots? To literally step into a story like this. It was all but unheard of.

"Ready to go?" He asked Jess as he recalled Leo into his ball. His loyal feline had also been silently mocking his appearance. The rest of his team had joined in, and found it quite amusing, once the link was re-established. He'd spent much of his time in the Swamp playing the very game this land was molded on, so they too had a grasp of the situation, and how outlandish it was.

"Yes…just don't get too distracted, 'hero'. We have a mission to fulfill." She sighed, and shook her head at him. She looked just as lovely as a brunette, but he did admittedly miss the red.

He headed towards the door, striding with confidence as he straightened his posture and let his tone even out. He could pretend to be whole, for the moment. If only for her sake. "Oh, I know…but I'm fully intending to use this to our advantage in that regard. Fare thee well Percival. We shall return soon!"

The man simply laughed. "As you say. Go! Save the world, Dovahkiin." He shook his head as he watched them depart, and looked at Kurama. "You were right once again my friend."

The blue fox had been lounging on one of the white leather chairs in the posh room as the humans drank and chattered. "Of course I was." He said, his telepathic voice filling the room. "My premonitions always come to pass. You of all humans should know that."

Percy joined him on the couch, and pet his fur again. He gestured to the brushes he used on the tails, and they floated over, grooming the lovely blue fur, mussed from the earlier battle. "I'm surprised you let the Luxray win."

The fox snorted. "I did not. He caught me by surprise. But we will battle again, that much I know."

His owner raised a brow. "Oh? Another vision? Does that mean our heroes will be victorious?"

The fox smirked slyly. "Perhaps. I never said his human would be using him." The fox yawned, drifting slowly to sleep. "Truthfully, the next series of events is…muddled. Anything could happen."

Percy sighed, still brushing his fox. "I don't care anymore…I just want out of this damned prison." He gestured at the wall then, and it lifted, revealing the ceaseless storm outside. He longed for lovelier vistas. Like Alola. Oh, how he'd missed the sun.

Norstad – Somewhere over the Jhötunn Forest

Caleb Pravus tapped his pointer finger in mild irritation. "Anything?"

"No sir!" One of the ship's pilots said immediately. No doubt spurred by his new blackened eye. "This forest appears to have no trace of the Fairy Aura either."

Pravus swore, and the entire bridge of the ship held its breath. Upon leaving the strange half-breed's tower, their Prophet had begun swinging at anyone who was in reach. Naturally, that had meant the entire bridge crew. They all had fresh bruises, reminding them of their leader's ruthless power. None dared speak against him, however. That would ensure their families disappeared. Quietly. Without a trace.

"Enough of this." Pravus snarled, standing, and moving to the front window. He scanned the area below himself. A massive forest, surrounding a massive mountain that was separated from the rest of the region by a massive river.

They had checked the forest south of this one as well, and extracted information from the locals, who had been resistant, at first, until his Darkrai made itself known. They had said that if anyone knew where the 'rainbow hart' was, it would be the Jhötunn miners who hunted these woods, fished these rivers, and mined this solitary peak that loomed over the area. He was getting sick of mountains, and thus far, the woods were devoid of human life.

"Is the analysis of the culture complete?" He waited to a count of five before snapping his fingers.

One of the bridge techs spoke up nervously. "Yes, my Prophet. It seems to be a blend of the lore you'd expected, and mythology from some ancient culture called the 'Norse'."

"And? Is integration possible?" Pravus turned his head slightly to glance at the technician.

He stood up straighter, and Pravus decided to hold off on beating him. "Unlikely, sir. The people of this region are uneducated, isolated, and devout. It would take a full-scale Inquisition to establish a useful foothold. Given the lack of resources and infrastructure, it wouldn't be worth our time."

The Prophet nodded, returning his gaze forward, and the tension bled from the bridge. Slightly. "Infiltration it is, then. Who or what are these barbarians most likely to open up to?"

He heard the blonde-haired man once more examining his computer, and allowed him a minute to gather more information. One minute stretched to two. Then three. He sighed.

"U-uh…let's see…the patriarchal figure of their beliefs is someone by the name of…Woden. It says here he has an eye-patch, a spear, and is flanked by all manner of beasts." The tech spoke hurriedly, knowing he'd pushed the Prophet's patience. The information they'd extracted had been high in quantity, but details had been scarce.

Pravus sighed once more, and shook his head. "No. I'm not limiting my vision, and spears are so…easily broken."

There was more clacking of keys on the board, before the tech spoke again. "Here's something. A figure by the name of Shor. It says he's clad in heavy armor, wields a hammer that sparks with lightning, and is regarded as the ultimate warrior-hero. Something the locals greatly approve of. He's even known to, supposedly, wander from village to village seeking a worthy battle. He's the 'favored deity' of the peasants."

The Prophet looked down at the woods again, and sighed. "Fine. It will do. Load the Kecleo data." He turned to the pilot. "Set a course for the other forest. Try to find our people, and stay unnoticed. I don't want those damned birds taking another ship down."

He pulled up his PokéPad, and transferred the data on his newest persona. The macho fire-and-blood type wasn't really his thing, but this was Norstad. It was inevitable. So be it. The Articuno riders no doubt knew exactly where his quarry was, and for all their power, they were still barbarians. They'd fall over themselves to let the 'mighty Shor' speak with the beast. They might even let him drag it away without a fuss.

For the first time since arriving in the frozen hellhole that was Norstad, Pravus allowed a smirk. It quickly faded as he heard the voice of his lieutenant. "My Prophet, we've received a comm from the Dominus. It was text only, and marked for your eyes alone."

"Send it." Pravus waited patiently as this new message made its way to his personal pad. He turned as he read it, and his knuckles turned white as he gripped the pad tighter. A black aura surrounded his body, and the feeling of imminent death permeated the bridge. For all who were not him, all they could feel was the ever-growing, creeping terror that their mortal lives were about to be snuffed out.

Very rarely had he gotten so angry. Very rarely had anyone survived seeing him in such a state, but this time was different. He needed these pawns. Fornia was on the other side of the planet, and reinforcements were not coming. He exhaled slowly, and the cloud of black miasma that crept from his mouth floated harmlessly into the air, dissipating.

"So…Unova's Champion continues to nip at my heels…and now Kalos' newest has joined with him as well, and has befriended the riders…Samson…" The man in question, his lieutenant, still recovering from the undiluted fear he'd felt, blinked twice before answering.

"Y-yes, my Prophet?" He even threw up a shivering salute, fist to heart.

Pravus grinned, only his eyes now radiated that terrifying color, but it was enough. "Send the word to Headquarters…kill the nuisance. I care not how. I am through being lenient…" He turned again, glaring out the window as his will was done.

He would avoid the intrepid trainer, for now. This was a mission for stealth, and Unova's newest 'hero' had an annoying tendency to interrupt his plans. None of his agents in the Swamp had reported back. Bradley, the only one to make headway with the Sage, had vanished, and the signal from Ghetsis' frigate was offline, and had been for days now. He had been the one in charge of making sure Redwood stayed occupied and frustrated. Once more, the aged criminal had failed. If he wasn't dead yet, he soon would be.

Few Pokémon trainers had been so irritating in so short a time, but that was why he had assassination squads. Trainers who had traveled through each of the Fornian satellite states, beaten their gyms, earned their badges, and trained their teams. They would eliminate the pest posthaste. But first, he had to play dress-up. Pravus left the bridge then, eyes returning to normal, as he descended and strapped on the Kecleon Belt.

It modified his appearance in looks and feel. Within moments, he was clad in iron and leather armor that hid his face well under a full Skiddo horned gray helmet, and a square-headed hammer appeared on his waist, covering over the black baton he used on especially deserving subordinates. He grabbed it, testing it out, and it sparked as he swung it. Good enough, he supposed. He sat then, and waited patiently as the stealthed ship shot over the mountains, back towards the 'sacred woods' the fliers evidently defended.

All he had to do was beat Redwood to the prize he had no doubt the greedy trainer also sought. Once he had the stag, he could easily depart. There were things to do back home, and Fornia would provide a sufficient barrier from any more Redwood interference.

In truth, he was surprised there was interference at all. Gilroy Redwood had been flagged as a potential enemy, and any relatives of his that had serious potential had been labeled 'incompetent' as trainers by one of his 'medical physicians'. The only one to receive such a label had been this very boy. He had now idea how he'd obtained a Trainer ID regardless, but it didn't matter now. The order had been given. There was only one punishment fit for those who meddled with the Prophet's affairs.


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bakubreaker98 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Student Artist
Thanks for the watch. ^.^
PokeFan1337 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Flareion09 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the llama!
PokeFan1337 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
ComanderSprings Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the watch!
PokeFan1337 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
No problem
PropagandaRising Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much for the Llama :)
PokeFan1337 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Any time
AgnosticDragon Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for watching me.
PokeFan1337 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome
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