Pokemon Fan Fiction / Pokemon Fan Fiction / Fan Fiction ❯ Dragon Realms ❯ Each One’s Path, Each One’s Journey ( Chapter 10 )
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Each One's Path, Each One's Journey
By nightdragon0 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Hey, will you wait up there?!"
"Storm, why do you have to follow me?" Nightslice growled, visibly annoyed as his Charizard companion came up behind him. "I have a communicator around my arm if you're worried about me running off."
"Well, if you're allowed to run off early in the morning, so am I!"
"Oh fine." Nightslice broke into a sprint, then began leaping from tree to tree.
Firestorm followed close behind, though from the air, until they reached a raised area by the foot of the mountain. The early morning air was cool after the night's thunderstorm, and dew glistened on many leaves. Nightslice paused there and gazed up into the mountain for a long time.
"What's on your mind?" Firestorm queried.
"Do you remember the old times? Kris and the two of us? Before all this?"
"Of course. You think I'd ever forget?"
"How were you like then? And how about now?"
"Huh? I..." That caught Firestorm by surprise. "Well, I suppose I'm pretty easy going nowadays. I've had time to relax, enjoy life and do what I want to."
"Despite the hard past you've had."
"That's all history now." Firestorm said.
"Perhaps for you. My past, or at least a certain part of it, still lives to haunt me." Nightslice shook his head. "I've always gotten myself so caught up in the current events, current battles, fighting for the 'greater good', that I forget. I even hide it sometimes. But it's always there, and will be as long as I live."
"You're thinking about what they said yesterday about Kaiser's Forces?"
"More about my evil alter ego, the Knight Blazer. I remember how I saw his image even as we stabbed Kaiser's heart during that final battle. I just can't convince myself that he's really gone. Then, we get thrown into this world...and those three soldiers the Legendary Dragons fought...they gave me that same feeling...I'm just so sure that it's him."
"One thing about you is that you dwell way too much on the past." Firestorm snapped. "And it's about you and yourself. How about the rest of us?"
"Ok, maybe that was a bit too much." Firestorm shook back to his normal, optimistic tone. "Even if that's the case, we'll vanquish the Knight Blazer of whoever it is again. With or without the powers we used to have. We all have things we're fighting for too."
"Haha, yeah." Nightslice took a seat, leaning against a nearby tree. "I was never good at hiding my feelings. Thanks pal."
"Not a problem." Firestorm winked, dropping into a seating position as well.
Hiding my feelings... The Charizard thought. You may be obvious when you do that, but I'm really the one who's putting on an act. Dracia...
She was a Dragonite who'd fought alongside them before. However, the battles had taken too much of a toll on her mentally, and she'd run away, retreated into isolation. Storm had wanted many times to go look for her, but...he just couldn't, somehow...
"Wow..." Riot muttered, glancing around. "This place seems...different, somewhat."
"Yeah, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." Nala commented, pulling herself to her feet.
The cave they stood in was different from the one before. This one had a stream running through it, with the soft sounds of waves echoing from the 'light at the end of the tunnel'.
"This stream's salty." Nala said, tasting a drop of the water to confirm their suspicions. "We're by the sea."
"That thing we found just might've been a teleporter." Riot remarked. "Take a look at this."
Beneath her talons was an odd series of symbols carved into the cavern floor that shimmered with a soft, purple light.
"We must've activated it." Nala nodded. "Well, let's go outside and take a look at where we are..."
The entire cavern shook, causing the two to stumble.
"What was that?!" Nala gasped.
"Hard to tell. Could be someone causing them for all we know." Riot replied.
More tremors soon shook the area, only much more violently. The two had to dodge sharp rocks falling from the ceiling as the searched for cover.
"There! Over there!" Nala pointed to an alcove partially hidden by a cluster of rocks.
The two dove into the hidden path...only to have it collapse beneath their feet and send them plunging down in panic.
Fortunately, the drop didn't last more than a few seconds, and Riot hit the lower level hard, leaving an impression of her body in the floor when Nala landed on top of her.
"Ow..." Riot moaned.
"Thanks, that was close." Nala panted.
"I know I'm the one with the armored body, but please get off my stomach before I start puking."
The pain eventually passed and Riot pulled herself up to stand beside Nala as the pair glanced around.
"I think we're lost." Nala said.
Just then, a bloodcurdling howl rang throughout the cavern.
"And in trouble! Get on my back Nala! I should have enough room to fly!"
Nala immediately complied, having learnt to trust her partner's instincts. Riot had barely managed to take flight in the large cavern before a huge figure burst out from the ground beneath them.
It was a golem in a roughly humanoid form, just with no facial features and no obvious head. It was Registeel, a creature with a body of iron, who gave chase with an astonishingly fast speed.
"Oh crap! Not another one of these things!" Nala cried. "Riot! Go and don't look back!"
A burst of electrical energy flew right past, missing by inches. Riot managed to dodge a couple more shots, but Registeel caused another rockslide by slamming the walls.
The pair was thrown out of the sky and landed with a hard thud on the stony floor. Nala and Riot staggered unsteadily to their feet and found Registeel standing over them.
"Get down! Now!" A familiar voice rang out.
"Who? Ugh!" Nala was tackled from behind as a Hyper Beam flew right over her head.
It was met with the black energy of the Shadow Ball ability, which neutralized both attacks.
"Nice job Abetos! That was rather close!"
"Alken!" Nala gasped, staring into the eyes of her savior. "You really are here too!"
"Let's talk about that later shall we?" The older human said, drawing a gun. "We have to take care of this thing first! Abetos, Flamethrower!"
The two simultaneously attacked, Abetos spraying their opponent with flames while Alken fired his gun. Surprisingly, the weapon shot off bolts of dark energy instead of normal bullets.
Yet, the golem barely seemed to have any reaction to it.
"Move it or lose it!" Riot grabbed both humans and flew them out the next Hyper Beam's range.
"It's strong..." Abetos growled as Riot landed beside him.
"We'll have to take it. I have a feeling it's what Skiar sent us here for." Alken raised his weapon. "Nala, here, take these."
Alken tossed her a pair of Beretta pistols. They weren't magically enhanced like his MP5, but it was better than Nala not having a weapon at all.
"Remember how to use them?"
The familiar click told Alken that Nala knew what she was doing.
"Good! Here he comes again!" Riot warned, sending off a Fire Blast.
Even under the combined assault of the four, Registeel continued moving forward until Nala hit an orange spot on its front. The creature immediately let off a metallic screech as some black liquid flowed from that 'wound'.
"That must be his weak spot!" Nala called.
"That's all we need to know. Let's finish this Abetos!" Alken raised his gun above his head. "Hoero! Dragon Meld!" (Roar! Dragon Meld!)
"Yusia, you sense anything else yet?" Kris asked.
"Erm, no. I just felt that something bad might happen if we stayed there."
"She may not know, but I think we should trust her." Hazuki nodded.
"Raguragi and his gang were after us then, so they might come again." Gwyen agreed. "It's better that we're out here so we don't unintentionally put the village in danger."
"Hear that guys?" Jade spoke into his communicator.
"We read you." Nightslice said from the other end. "Storm and I are on our way. Just keep moving and we'll catch up."
"Right then. Over and out."
The party of 5 fell silent as the communicator clicked off. They had left the village a couple of hours ago on Yusia's suggestion. All she could say was that she had strange feelings about something that was going to happen.
And something was...
Kris noticed a glittering metal object in the ground and signaled for the group to stop. She edged forward and poked at it with her sword.
<Doesn't seem dangerous.> Bahamut's voice said from within the weapon.
"But..." Kris then grabbed it and pulled...to find out that it was a miniature antenna. "What's this....oh no! Everyone, on defense now!"
No sooner had she said that did a Cacturne burst out from a nearby bush and attack, knocking Kris down.
"Ambush!" Gwyen realized, firing an Ice Beam at another emerging Cacturne.
"Damn, they must've been monitoring the frequencies!" Jade added in.
"Well, took you long enough to figure out." Raguragi stepped out onto the pathway, along with Bashaamo by his side. "Let's cut the formalities short this time. You know what we want, so you can hand over the Spirit Crystals or..."
"And you ain't getting them!" Gwyen declared, stepping out in front. "Hazuki, ready?"
"Ok, let's go! Hakkei! Dragon M..."
Raguragi and Bashaamo both let off their water and fire attacks respectively. Both beams exploded in a huge cloud of steam and dirt, with Hazuki and Gwyen disappearing from sight.
"Hah, that did it!" Raguragi laughed triumphantly.
"I don't think so!" A fierce female voice roared.
That was when Asiyu the Ice Dragon shot out from the smoke in a spinning Rollout attack, and knocked Raguragi into a tree. Bashaamo reacted with a Blaze Kick, smashing into Asiyu's back.
Meanwhile, Kris had managed to leapt up, despite having two Cacturne jump at her. In a series of quick motions, she slashed one away and kicked the other one off his feet.
<Damn, I can help without your partner!> Bahamut growled.
His sudden shout however, distracted Kris for a second, and a third Cacturne shot several needles into her right shoulder.
"Kris!" Jade ran forward and shoved Grass/Dark type out of the way.
Yet another however, attacked Jade from behind, throwing him against Kris and landing them both in a heap. The Cacturne then turned and moved towards Yusia.
Terrified, the young girl screamed, raising her hands...and the Cacturne went flying, thrown back by some unseen psychic force, even though he was theoretically immune to psychic attacks.
"That power..." Raguragi looked up from his battle with Asiyu. "Could it be? The Child of Legendaries? She may just be the one we need!"
"Yusia! RARGH!!" Distracted by Raguragi running off, Asiyu took a hard blow from Bashaamo's fist.
"This won't hurt a bit!" Raguragi grabbed Yusia from behind and held a piece of cloth to her mouth and nose. It was apparently soaked with some sleep-inducing chemicals, and Yusia quickly passed out.
"NNOO!!" Both Asiyu and Hazuki were screaming, but Bashaamo first threw the Ice Dragon over and kicked her in the ribs till she was near unconsciousness.
"We should take the others out now!" Bashaamo snarled.
"No, I don't want to risk damage to this child!" Raguragi lifted Yusia over his shoulder. "Troops, fall back!"
"Don't fret. With the girl, we'll be able to get what we want." Raguragi smirked. "Hostages always equals a ransom. Hehe..."
Asiyu's eyes were half open, but she (with Hazuki and Gwyen) managed to catch a glimpse of Raguragi departing before darkness overtook them.
Where Alken and Abetos once stood was now the intimidating Skiar, the Dark Dragon. Though still pale in comparison to larger than normal golem, the humanoid warrior flashed across the area and slashed at Registeel with both claws and blades.
Nala and Riot stared in awe as Skiar leapt around, lashing out at Registeel weak 'eye' points. The golem however, was quickly learning Skiar's strategy and began to block the attacks.
Skiar was forced to leap away as the golem unleashed its Ancientpower move, throwing chunks of rock and stone everywhere. Nala and Riot also had to duck, dodging behind a large boulder.
In an attempt to confuse his opponent, Skiar held up his hands in a ninja style motion, using Double Team and creating multiple illusionary copies of himself.
He managed to strike with several punches in this method, but the golem soon stopped trying to follow his motions and stood still.
"Is it beaten?" Nala wondered.
"No, it's locking-on to you guys!" Riot warned. "Abetos, get out of the way!"
Too late, a Hyper Beam flew right into Skiar's face, sending him flying into the wall with a loud crunch. Stones and rock fragments flew everywhere.
"Oh no!" Nala gasped.
<Get...out of here...run...> Alken's voice sounded hurt.
"No, we can't do that!"
Despite his injuries, Skiar jumped forward and attacked, perhaps sensing Alken's desire to protect Nala. The Dragon managed a quick cut to one of the golem's orange 'eyes', but was abruptly grabbed in one of its huge hands.
"Alken!" Without thinking, Nala rushed forward. But something else caught her eye.
Skiar's final attack had snapped a small, glittering piece off Registeel. Both combatants were definitely weakened, but neither was ready to concede defeat yet.
Instinctively, Nala caught the object as it flew towards her and stared at it in shock.
"Is that..." Riot began.
"A Spirit Crystal?!" Nala cried excitedly.
The maroon colored crystal shimmered, then reacted with the gun Nala still had in the same hand. The pair of pistols both changed, taking the shape of a Dragon's head, together with glowing white eyes at the sides. The top could also be flipped open to form a small dagger for close range attacks.
Nala fired both weapons, realizing they now shot off maroon energy rings, which struck Registeel, distracting it and allowing Skiar to escape. The creature then turned towards Nala and Riot.
"It's out time now!" Riot growled.
"Yeah, I've been waiting for this." Nala crossed her guns. "Come, gimme a cool Dragon! Dragon Meld! Unleash!"
The background the appeared in their minds was a rocky mountain. Nala stood at the top, signaled to Riot, then leapt off, aiming to land on her partner's back. However, when the two met, they were both engulfed by bright lights.
The roughly 8 foot Dragon that took shape somewhat reassembled a hydra with limbs and three cobra-style heads.
Dark brown scales covered the entire upper body. Several black stripes ran from the heads down to the tail. The lower belly and throat side of the necks were also in a lighter shade of tangerine.
The huge, thick tail split into three long and thin sections. A large pair of brown pair of leathery wings also emerged.
Too heavy to walk upright, the Dragon stood on all fours, with the belly close to the ground. There were four thick and muscular legs at each side with three toes on each. Their knees 'bent backwards', like a Tyrannosaurus'.
All three heads revealed their brown eyes, forked tongues and two cobra fangs. Engraved in black on the center head was the Kanji Doku, Poison.
With Registeel right in its sight, the new Dragon stomped on the ground, creating an earthquake that shook the golem off balance. Erizar took the advantage and sprayed its opponent with venomous breaths from all three heads.
But Registeel seemed to shake off the attack as if it were nothing. Skiar quickly rushed in and knocked it aside.
<It's a Steel type, Poison attacks won't work.> Abetos warned.
As if in response, Erizar turned and swung its tail, smashing Registeel down as it tried to recover. The serpent-like Dragon then leapt up and slammed its body on top of the golem's, causing the latter to explode in a shower of metallic bits.
Skiar stepped up beside the new Dragon and folded his arms, impressed.
"Wow..." The right head gasped. "That was intense."
"Yeah...wow..." The left head responded. "Huh?!"
"It's me, Nala. Erm, that you Riot?"
"I think so at least. But then..."
In the form of the Poison Elemental Dragon, Nala (as the right head) and Riot (as the left head) turned and made eye contact with the center head.
"Yes, perhaps you two should tell me what you're doing in MY body."
Though that last voice was also feminine, it belonged to neither of the two, but was indeed that of the Legendary Dragon, Erizar.
"What was that?!" Firestorm gasped as the two glanced around the forest.
Seconds earlier, they'd heard some sort of loud, long roar, though it was impossible to tell what it was or which direction it came from for that matter.
"I don't know, but I have a bad feeling about it." Nightslice leaned his head close to his communicator. "Kris, come in. Jade? Hey, anybody there?!"
There was no answer and Nightslice was about to try again when a series of seed bullets shot past. Several of them hit his arm, damaging the communicator and causing it to explode.
"RARRRGH!!" The Scizor dropped to his knees, holding his left arm protectively over his wound.
"Who?!" Firestorm looked around, but the forest remained still.
There was a flicker of movement, and when Firestorm turned around, the 'sniper' fired again. Fortunately, the Bullet Seeds missed by a hair.
"Damn, where is he?" Firestorm wondered.
He shot a quick glance to Nightslice, who gestured upwards with his eyes, apparently pointing to the treetops. The shadow then moved to another position and attacked again, forcing both to dodge.
Firestorm made a circular motion with one claw and clenched the other. Grinning, Nightslice nodded, realizing it was a tactic they'd learnt a long time ago.
At the same time, the pair spun round and cut down the tree directly behind them. They then moved in a clockwise direction, knocking the closest trees down, and were quickly rewarded by a scream.
Juncan the Grovyle fell out of a tree, hitting the ground face-first.
"You again!" Firestorm snarled. "What's your plan this time?!"
"Me? Nothing to do with you!" Juncan pointed a finger, grasping an object hanging around his neck with the other hand. "I was just going to use this Grass Key to open the secret passage and...doh!!"
"Someone obviously can't keep his trap shut."
"Hey, are you insulting me, scale belly?!"
"Wouldn't dream of it." Storm replied sarcastically.
"Erm, I see....uh...hey!" Juncan fumed. "I was just gonna shake you up a little, but now I'm mad!"
"You and what army?"
"Hey, your Dragons couldn't even take us! What makes you think you can? If I were you, I'd be running off scared right about now."
"Well, I'll admit we underestimated you then. But this time, we're prepared! RROOOAAARRRR!!!"
Firestorm and Nightslice snapped into fighting stances. Juncan barely had enough time to bring up his Leaf Blades before Nightslice attacked with a series of kicks.
Juncan blocked several of the attacks and then rolled under a tail swing from Firestorm. Nightslice took him down with a sweeping slash (by lowering his body low to the ground). Firestorm immediately grabbed the fallen reptile by his shoulders and hurled him into a nearby tree, the impact snapping the tree in half.
"Weird, he doesn't seem to have as much energy as he did before." Firestorm commented.
"It's as I thought, there is a limit to the power they can draw from the Spirit Crystals, just like us." Nightslice explained. "Once it's spent, it'll be a while before they can use it again. Isn't that right?"
The last phrase was addressed to Juncan, who was now shaking nervously. The Grovyle immediately turned and ran. Firestorm quickly shot a fireball into his back, while Nightslice dashed forward and tackled Juncan from another side, sending him flying down a steep slope.
In a series of moans and screams, Juncan rolled down, hitting just about every obstacle in the way before knocking himself out against a large boulder.
"How did you guess that?" Firestorm asked, triumphantly looking down at their fallen foe.
"It was something about the way he was trying to intimidate us." Nightslice replied. "He didn't really sound confident when he was taunting us, like he was hiding something. And when he decided to run just now, it was a dead giveaway."
"They're not as unbeatable as they seem. It's some good news that everyone will be glad to hear." Firestorm laughed.
"By the way, I got this key off him. What was it? The Grass Key?" Nightslice brought up the small key, holding its strap gently between his pincers.
"Let me see that." Firestorm snatched for the glittering object.
"Hey, hold on!"
The key fell and hit the grass beneath their feet. Almost immediately, the key magically flew back up into the air, glowing with a green light. It then shot past them and flew further into the forest.
Nodding to each other, the duo followed, trailing the floating key until it embedded itself in the bark of a thick old tree surrounded by a clump of bushes. Not knowing what to make of it, Firestorm and Nightslice cautiously approached the affected tree.
However, as they stepped into the bushes, both were suddenly engulfed by a green light.
"Whoa..." Nightslice blinked.
One moment, they were standing in a forest. The next instant, Firestorm and himself were in sort of a 'tunnel', formed by dozens in intertwining vines and greenery. There was light streaming in through one end of the tunnel, and the other end was blocked off by a similar tangle of plants.
Firestorm retrieved the key from the 'wall', which it had been stuck into.
"This must be whatever secret Juncan was trying to open." Firestorm decided. "Guess this is the entrance."
"I wonder what he was looking for?"
"Well, only one way to find out. Come on, let's take a look."
The pair walked side by side through the plant tunnel and emerged into a densely forested area. It was filled with all sorts of exotic plant life, many of which neither had ever seen before.
"Do you feel like we're being watched?" Nightslice suddenly asked.
"No, there's only miles of plants around here, it seems." Firestorm replied, turning his head to look around. "Why?"
"Oh, forget it."
Firestorm continued walking on, but Nightslice was looking uneasily over his shoulder every 5 seconds or so. The Scizor just couldn't shake the feeing, despite Firestorm's confidence.
The forest path soon opened into a large clearing, causing both to gasp in awe.
In the center was the largest tree either had even seen. Its top wasn't even visible through the foliage, though there was sunlight streaming down. And strangely, directly onto the ancient tree.
Its roots were also thick, strong and branched out in every direction.
"I wonder what its doing here?" Firestorm said out loud, stepping forward.
"Perhaps we should go." Nightslice suddenly said. "Something seems wrong. I just realized that there are absolutely no other sounds about. No other Pokemon at all."
"Hey! Look!" Firestorm pointed.
There seemed to be a glowing object by the tree's roots. As Firestorm moved forward to have a closer look, a couple of vines suddenly sprang to life, shooting out towards him.
"Watch it!" Nightslice leapt forward and slashed them apart. However, more vines emerged from simply everywhere...the ground, the trees, plants...
"I think you're right! Let's get outta here!" Firestorm sliced the closest vine apart, then joined his friend in a mad sprint.
Vines were coming to life all around as they ran. The pair managed to keep ahead, occasionally taking turns to stop and slash any approaching vines apart.
"I told you something was wrong!" Nightslice shouted.
"I'm sorry! But we're gonna make it! The exit's right here!" Firestorm held the key up. "Don't panic!"
The pair had just reached the tunnel when the plants abruptly sealed off its entrance, trapping them against a swarm of approaching vines.
"Damn!!" Firestorm readied a fire attack, only to have a vine wrap around his right leg and send him tumbling to the ground. "RARGH!!"
Nightslice chopped the vine off and immediately slashed at the plant wall...only to have it grow back faster than he could cut it.
"On second thought..." Firestorm pointed. "...panic..."
In a matter of seconds, the vines were literally all over the unfortunate Charizard and Scizor. They were screaming and struggling in shear panic, but there was nothing that could be done.
Horrified, Firestorm realized that the vines weren't just wrapping around his body...they were piercing into it. They went in through any opening...his mouth, ears, nose, and even made their own entrance paths. He felt them snaking beneath his scales, down to his skin and below.
He caught a quick glimpse of Nightslice and saw the same thing was happening to him. Storm could actually see the vines moving beneath his friend's armored plating.
It brought the terror to a new level when the vines went even further, cutting into his flesh and muscle tissue.
He saw they moving under his own scales, felt them coiling around his bones from the inside. Felt them going round his insides, whatever organs he had within. He was choking and gagging but the torture didn't end there.
The vines, finished with their wrapping and tightening, now began pulling and twisting. The sound of his own bones breaking was utterly sickening, and slowly, Firestorm lost the feeling in his legs, tail, wings and arms.
Nightslice was in as much pain as the vines snapped his bones, as well as his exoskeleton. His body was twisted into a horrific mess.
Then, as if to round it off, one last vine slipped in, twisting itself around each one's spine, slowly and steadily. As each one felt the pull, both came to the exact same conclusion.
It was over.