Pokemon Fan Fiction / Pokemon Fan Fiction / Fan Fiction ❯ Dragon Realms ❯ Trials of the Valley ( Chapter 18 )

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Trials of the Valley

By nightdragon0

“Rarrgghh!” Diane lunged towards the shadow with a ferocious growl.

“Careful Diane!” Jade warned. “It could be a…”

“Ow! Ow! Hey! Sis! It’s just me!”

It was a young and familiar voice, one that in fact belonged to Diane’s younger brother Dan. A brief struggle ensured and soon the older dragon had her Charmander brother by the scruff of the neck, lifting him up and whirling him around.

“I should’ve known…” Diane hissed. “You’re the only other one who knows about this place. Now what are you doing here?”

“Well, Shugo had to leave to do something and I asked him to bring me down here.” Dan replied. “And I was sure that you’d show your new boyfriend this place.”

“He’s not my boyfriend!”

“She’s not my girlfriend!”

Both Jade and Diane gave the Charmander angry glances.

“Erm…hehehe…” Dan chuckled nervously.

“I don’t know what I’m more pissed off at.” Diane muttered. “You sneaking in here and spying on us, or the fact that Shugo brought you down from the caves and just left you alone.”

“Hey sis, I’m old enough to take care of myself. Haven’t I told you already?”

“Dan, you know you’re not supposed to leave the caves alone. And especially so in times like this.”

“Relax a little Diane.” Jade put a claw on her shoulder. “He’s just a kid. Give him a little room, you know?”

“Yeah, I guess so.” The female relaxed her shoulders and wings, which had tensed up during her fit of rage.

“See! See! You do like each other! You can even calm big sis down like that!” Dan piped in. “Sis and Jade, sitting in a tree. KISSI…”



WHAM! Diane chucked her brother into the wall, leaving an impression of his body in it as the little lizard slid down to the floor, groaning with his eyes as a bunch of swirls.

“Will he be all right?” Jade asked.

“He’s got a hard enough head.” Diane dusted her claws off. “May as well put it to good use.”

Nodding, Jade turned his head towards the waterfall and happened to spot a shadowy figure dashing past on the other side.

“Diane!” Jade waved a finger to his snout, gesturing for his companion to be quiet. “Look there!”

“Hmm…” Diane wondered as they crept forward to take a look.

Peeking over Diane’s shoulder, Jade could make out a roughly humanoid shape…a Blaziken.

It’s that female soldier, Bashaamo! Jade realized. But what’s she doing here? Wait…could their group be behind the trouble in the valley?

Bashaamo was talking softly to someone, whom Jade made out to be a Charizard. However, he couldn’t get a good look as the figure was standing out of his point of view.

“The device worked as expected, bringing up the storm.” Bashaamo spoke as Jade strained to hear her words.

“Well then, it has been enough of a demonstration for me.” The second voice replied, sounding much older. “We should proceed to…hmmm…someone comes. Quickly, we must not be spotted.”

Even as the pair’s footsteps faded away, Jade, Diane and Dan crouched down behind the waterfall and remained silent. Jade felt his dragon heart pounding within his chest.

Had the pair outside sensed their presence? Were they waiting for an ambush?

There came another flapping of wings as yet another Charizard landed.

“Shugo?” Diane whispered.

Shugo paused only long enough to sniff around the area, and then took off, following the direction Bashaamo had gone towards.

“Shugo!” Diane dove into the shallow stream and swam out of the hidden cavern. “Hey!”

“Whoa, not so loud.” Jade emerged and placed a claw over her jaws. “I know you’re concerned about Shugo, but what if those two weirdoes are still around?”

“He’s definitely going after those two.” Diane pushed Jade’s claw away and climbed out of the water. “And knowing him, Shugo will walk straight into a trap without realizing it.”

“Perhaps, but let’s follow Shugo in secret for now.” Jade suggested. “I have a hunch that he’ll lead us right to our quarry.”

“Yes, I agree.” Diane nodded. “But that other Charizard there…he sounded almost like…”

“Sis! Sis! Can I come along?” Dan, being smaller in size, squeezed his way out through a hole in the wall and ran to Diane’s side.

“No, it’s too dangerous Dan.”

“Sis, but I can help! Besides, you can’t leave me alone here!”

“He’s right I guess.” Jade muttered.

“Oh fine.” Diane turned around. “Get on my back Dan. But you have to promise that if something happens, you stay out of sight and kept completely silent, understood?”

Dan looked up at his sister for a while, then nodded.

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The two pirate Dragons had barely enough time to glance towards the source before Asiyu literally dropped in on their heads. The Ice Dragon knocked the pair onto the shore, and emerged to battle them on land.

“Come on boys.” Asiyu taunted, waving her claws. “Not afraid of a girl are you?”

“Humph!” Both pirates assumed fighting stances, nodding to each other.

(I wish the Lapras were as confident as you.) Hazuki muttered.

(Don’t worry.) Gwyen replied. (Alric’s gone to get the reinforcements organized. He’ll make it…trust him on that!)

Asiyu couldn’t really pay much attention to the ‘chatter’ in her mind as her opponents attacked. She blocked the first few claw attacks and flipped over their heads. One of the Dragons swung his tail and caught Asiyu’s leg, sending her spinning in mid-air.

The Ice Dragon’s face hit the ground, but she quickly crawled away on all fours, evading a stomping attack from the second pirate Dragon. Now it was Asiyu’s turn to use her tail, whipping the stomach of the nearest Dragon and causing him to lurch over in pain. His comrade somersaulted over his shoulders and met with a springing charge from Asiyu that send him flying into a coconut tree.

The second Dragon recovered just in time to have Asiyu whack him in the chest, then grasp her front claws around his neck and lift him up.

“Ack! I surrender!” The pirate pleaded. “Please! Don’t kill me!”

“That I’ll promise, if you tell me where your leader is.”


“Grrr…I’m getting impatient.” Asiyu released one hand and showed off her claws.

“He’s…he’s got this secret exit, a cave on the other side of this island!” The Aqua Dragon blurted out.

“Thank you.” Asiyu grinned.


BOMP! The pirate smacked into the coconut tree and slid down, groaning.

“I said that I wouldn’t kill him, but I never promised not to hurt him.” Asiyu dusted her claws off.

(You think that if we take out the leader, the pirates would scatter?) Gwyen asked.

“That’s my plan for now.” Asiyu got down on all fours and sprinted across the sands.

Behind her, the first pirate Dragon to hit the coconut tree had managed to pull himself up. Moaning, he pushed his senseless comrade off him and shook his head to clear out the stars. That was when he heard a splitting sound and looked up to see a bunch of coconuts falling.

“Eep! This is gonna hurt…” The Aqua Dragon’s eyes went wide.


(Hey what was that?) Hazuki wondered.

“Probably just the coconuts.” Asiyu muttered. “But let’s worry about getting to the leader first.”

The task didn’t turn out to be too difficult at all, for Asiyu picked up his scent trail and followed it through the trees and the wooden buildings. There was a cave up ahead and Asiyu spotted a single Dragon running towards it.

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“They definitely went this way.” Diane muttered, landing on the cliff edge.

“Hmm…” Jade glanced around.

The trio had lost sight of the suspicious characters, and was now standing around the center point of a tall mountain. This particular mountain was surrounded by much shrubbery and smaller mountains all around, making it a somewhat more ‘isolated’ place.

Perfect if you’ve got something to hide. Jade told himself.

“Hey, get down!” Diane pulled Jade’s arm and dragged him to cover of a cluster of boulders. A shadow soon flew overhead, recognizable to be Shugo.

As Diane watched, her cousin landed on a ledge above their position and begun feeling around the rocks there. One piece shifted and the wall opened, revealing a hidden passage. Shugo peered cautiously inside, and then lifted his foot to step through.

“Stay here.” Diane ordered, setting Dan down behind the boulders.

“But sis…”

“No buts.” Diane silenced him with a finger before spreading her wings and flying up to her cousin. “Shugo!”

“Diane, what are you doing here?” Shugo demanded as Jade approached. “And why is he here too?”

“I’m the one who’s supposed to be asking what you are doing here.” Diane snapped.

“Hey you two, this isn’t the time for…” Jade began.

The platform beneath their feet suddenly shifted and tilted itself, sending the three Charizard lurching forward into the darkness. Inside the hidden door was a sloping tunnel that the screaming trio rolled down into.

“Oh no!” Dan saw his elders’ mishap and begun to climb up to the platform.

“Oooff! Arrgh!” Jade, Diane and Shugo all landed in a heap at the bottom of a dimly lit cavern.

“Hey, what was that all…” Shugo started, pulling himself out of the pile.

“Before you start blaming anyone, the platform did that on its own.” Diane gave her cousin a hard whack on the back of his head.

Leaving the pair busy berating each other, Jade examined the cavern around them. The tunnel they’d ungracefully entered by had closed up, and there was no natural lighting in the cave itself. However, rows of candles on stands provided enough illumination, though it also left many corners of the cave in the dark.

“This seems like a place that I’d put things I would want to hide.” Jade said to himself. “Now, just where in this cave would I put them?”

(I’m sensing some strong emotions.) Lombadra’s voice spoke up. (Can’t really pinpoint what it is, but it’s close by.)

Jade acted on the Legendary Dragon’s tip and scanned the surrounding area again. This time, he was drawn towards an odd-looking section on the wall and was reaching out for it when a burst of flames flew right into his face.

“Gargh! Rargh!” Jade almost forgot that he was a Charizard himself and roared as he shook the flames off. Once his vision cleared, Jade found himself facing a couple of Slugma and a Marcargo.

“Hey what are you doing here?” Diane demanded, Shugo and herself rushing over at the sound of Jade’s cries.

“You won’t get past us.” The Marcargo hissed. “The Master commands it!”

The lava monster slammed the ground hard, causing rocks to fall from the ceiling and strike the Charizard trio.

“Grrr! This is not an idea situation to fight in!” Shugo cursed. “It’s too cramped!”

“Well improvise!” Jade raised his head and fired off a Flamethrower.

The Marcargo withdrew inside his shell as the flames harmlessly bounced off. His two Slugma companions then returned fire, giving Jade another two flaming bursts to his chest.

While Jade staggered from the shock, Shugo leapt into the fray and caught one of the Slugma with a Wing Attack. Diane shot off a glowing ball from her jaws, the Dragon Rage, only to have the second Slugma use Double Team.

Her opponent split into multiple illusionary copies and the Dragon Rage exploded off-target. Diane snarled as she eyed the Slugma copies, until the real one struck her and knocked the female over.

Jade was still nursing his injured chest when he saw the Marcargo rearing up for a surprise attack.

“Overheat!” The Marcargo let loose with a terrific wave of flames.

“No you don’t!” Jade sprang forward and swung the Kiazahoushi, the ancient weapon that contained Lombadra’s spirit.

A crescent energy wave emitted from the blade, slamming into the flames and knocking them back into the Marcargo’s group. The result was a deafening explosion that knocked the enemy party across the cave. Jade eyed their bodies cautiously until he was sure that they wouldn’t be getting up anytime soon.

“Perhaps you’re not so bad after all.” Shugo put a claw on Jade’s shoulder.

“Thanks.” Jade smiled. “Now, let’s see what they were guarding.”

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“Ice Beam!” Asiyu opened her jaws and fired, blowing out the cave’s entrance and collapsing it to block the leader’s path.

“Wha…grrr…you…” The leader adjusted his bandana and gave her a cold stare. “You’re the one behind all this? But you’re a Dragon too!”

“I’m not just any Dragon you know.” Asiyu hissed. “These Lapras are under my protection! And you’ve tormented them for long enough.”

“So be it then.” The leader snarled. “Let’s do this!”

Both Dragons roared and fired their Hydro Pumps at each other. As the water splashed about, the pair charged. They became blurs of motion as the two sprang about, their claws clashing and clanging into the night.

Asiyu had just landed and turned to face the leader when the pirate smirked and pulled a hidden piece of rope beneath his feet. A soft click was followed by a sharp pricking sensation as a series of darts pierced Asiyu’s hide.

“Arrgh! Gargghh!” Asiyu felt pain coursing through her entire body and was soon hit directly by a Dragon Rage breath attack. The Ice Dragon was sent careening down a cliff and sprawled out on the beach, face-down. “Guughhh…I…I…can’t move!”

“Those poison tipped darts weren’t just there to distract you.” The leader strode down the beach and arrogantly flipped her over. “Well, I am an evil pirate leader. You didn’t expect me to play fair, now did you?”

“Grr…damn…you…” Asiyu managed.

“But this battle is over!” The leader raised his claws.

“Oh no you don’t!” Alric’s voice declared.

“Huh? What!” The pirate leader looked up and his jaw dropped in utter shock.

Lining the shoreline was an entire squadron of Lapras, all giving him angry gazes. And the Aqua Dragon was literally backed against the wall of a cliff.

(Nice timing Alric!) Hazuki cheered.

“Now! Everyone!” Alric ordered.

The group of Lapras fired their Ice Beams together, freezing the howling pirate Dragon within a huge block of ice. Alric then pulled himself up onto the beach.

“Are you all right Asiyu?”

“I’ll be fine.” Asiyu grunted. “How are your people?”

“I think that we’ve won!” Alric laughed happily. “The last of the pirate Dragons are scattering as we speak!”

“That’s good.” Asiyu closed her eyes. “Then let me rest for a while.”

“Thank you.” Alric bowed his head. “For leading us. We never could’ve done it without you.”

(Nah, all you guys needed was a little inspiration.) Gwyen spoke up. (And that’s what Asiyu gave you.)

(Really, she’s right about that.) Hazuki added in.

Smiling warmly, Alric called for a couple of Lapras to look after Asiyu as he went off to direct his people.

(I think that their problems are pretty much wrapped up, eh?) Gwyen remarked.

(Yes, it was a job well done.) Hazuki agreed. (But what now? We’ve got to be getting back to the mainland right? The other will definitely be worried about us.)

(Well Alric offered to give us a ride on day one remember? And I’m sure after all this that he’ll keep his word. Isn’t that right Asiyu? Asiyu?)

The Ice Dragon didn’t answer, but instead closed her eyes and drifted off into a peaceful slumber.

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Jade groped around the strange-looking section of the wall until he felt a door and pulled it open. That revealed a storage compartment which left all three gasping at its contents. Inside were several shelves lined with small stone ornaments designed in the shapes of Charizards in various poses.

“What are these?” Shugo muttered, bending over to take a closer look.

“Shugo…” A soft voice rasped.

“Huh? Who?” Shugo started.

“Here…stone…” The voice was struggling to speak. “Help…”

“It that Justin?” Diane asked. “He went missing just three days ago.”

Shugo’s eyes turned down to the stone Charizards in shock.

“Justin! Is that you down there?” He gasped.


“RRRAAAGGHH!” Shugo was suddenly knocked to the side. The Charizard landed on his back and was horrified to find a think gray liquid all over his chest and upper body. The strange substance was not only spreading over his body, but coagulating and making it difficult to move.

“You should’ve minded your own business Shugo.” A much older Charizard stepped out of the shadows, holding a device that seemed much like a rocket launcher. Another distinctive feature of the attacker was the brownish crystal that he wore on a chain around his neck.

“Master Tsung!” Shugo practically screamed. “Were you…the one behind those missing Charizard?”

“It should be obvious by now.” Tsung growled. “Only now you and your friends know too much for their own good.”

“Why? Dammit why?”

“I’ve been offered far greater power that you can ever imagine! And all for getting rid of my own competition…the other Elders. Without them around, the seat of leadership of this valley will belong to I and I alone!”

Laughing, the Blaziken known as Bashaamo also stepped into view, with her arms folded. Jade tensed at the sight of the bird-lady as she shot him a cold stare.

“Interesting isn’t it? It’s a substance that has both a shrinking and a petrifying effect.” She explained. “Of course, it was never meant to be used in such large dozes, but I suppose that Raguragi has his methods.”

“Making a deal with Kaiser’s troops?” Jade muttered. “Bad choice indeed.”

“I…I was a fool.” Shugo managed. “But….I will not be that fool again! RRAAAGGHH!”

Forcing his half petrified body up, Shugo charged and rammed into Elder Tsung, pinning the older dragon down.

“Shugo!” Diane cried.

“Get out of here!” Shugo ordered. “Now!”

Bashaamo was about to lunge when Diane sprayed off a cloud of thick gas from her jaws, the Smokescreen ability. Jade fired off a random Flamethrower shot and grabbed Diane’s arm.

“Come on! Let’s go!” Jade urged.

The pair backtracked their way through the cave and was abruptly halted when a burst of flames knocked the ceiling down in front of them. Immediately after, Diane was taken down by a shot from the same grayish liquid.

“You should just surrender and submit to your fate.” Tsung approached, holding a small figurine in his palm that had once been Shugo.

With a roar, Bashaamo somersaulted over a stunned Jade’s head. The human-turned-Charizard tried to defend himself with his sword, but only ended up having it knocked out of his arms by a swift kick. Clutching his hands in pain, Jade roared and shot out a burst of flames.

Bashaamo quickly rolled under the hastily executed attack. She moved in before Jade had time to react and begun plummeting the young Charizard with Blaze Kicks. Jade simply didn’t have the skill or experience to defend himself, and could only howl in pain as he hit the ground.

(Jade! Hey! They’re coming!) Lombadra’s voice seemed all fuzzy and blurred. (They’ll get you with the…)

It was the last thing he heard before the gray liquid was spread over his body as well.

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Crouched behind a boulder, a terrified Dan could only watch as the strange Blaziken and Elder Tsung collected the now tiny stone figurines of Jade, Diane and Shugo.

He really wanted to be brave. He wanted to do something. However, the Charmander was trembling with fear and just couldn’t bring himself to move.

(Hey kid, listen to me. Keep quiet and don’t let them see you.)

Dan jumped, sure that he had heard some voice speaking to him.

(Yeah, I’m the talking sword lying over there, see?)

The Charmander’s glance fell upon Jade’s dropped weapon as he realized that it was the sword talking to him.

(Look kid, can I trust you with something? You have to get me out of here!)

Dan hesitated for a moment, then bit his lip and nodded. Creeping out from behind the rock, Dan got his claws around the sword’s hilt and lifted it onto his shoulder.

(Good job kid, I promise that I’ll find some way to save you sister and the others. But now, we’ve got to get out of here. Understand?)

“Uh, yeah.” Dan whispered.

By this time, Bashaamo had turned around to search for Jade’s dropped weapon. It puzzled her that the weapon was suddenly nowhere in sight and that soon turned into anger as she called for the Slugma troop to search for it.

What all of them walked right by was a hole at ground level that the much smaller Dan had scrambled into. Lit only by the flame on his tail, the Charmander hoped that it would lead him somewhere outside.

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Got to…keep this…up!

Kris ducked the next of the Hariyama’s Arm Thrusts and rammed her shoulder into his chest. The fighting Pokemon staggered, but turned and hit her with the side of his body. Kris lost her balance and was promptly hit beneath the chin.

She dropped backwards, but managed to break her fall by executing a backwards roll.


Her vision was spinning even as the Hariyama charged, feeling that he now had the upper hand. Kris waited until the last moment, then slipped between his legs. While her opponent stopped short in panic, Kris kicked his feet out from under him.

The Hariyama hit the ground with a loud thud and Kris painstakingly pulled herself to her feet, finally becoming aware of her surroundings.

The featureless black walls, spotlights on the roof and the viewing stations all around were giving her a sense of déjà vu. Not so much because of the amount of time she’d spent enclosed within those walls, but because of her past experiences.

Yes, there’d been a time in the past when she would’ve been the one up there, watching the battle through those glass windows. As a former member of Team Rocket, Kris knew these underground battles played on high stakes.

And she’d paid a second visit to the underground, with a new identity after having been turned into a Scyther. Now, Kris was here again…fighting for her life.

The Saber Dragon, Klinge, had spent the last few days putting her under harsh training. Kris had found herself lying literally half-dead on the ground more times than she could count.

Is this fate’s punishment for me? She asked herself. To suffer the torment I once put others through?

BAM! A full forced blow caught Kris at the side of her head, sending her spinning to the ground. No doubt that Klinge would be up there screaming for her to get up, Kris still did so on her own.

Giving a low snarl, Kris held forward her marked Scizor pincers. It was a move that made a Scizor look like it had three heads, mostly meaning to intimidate. Her opponent took the bait and attacked, not wanting to be outdone.

As the Hariyama’s huge fist came forward, Kris moved inwards. In that awkward moment, she was inside her opponent’s center of balance, standing right in front of his face. The fighting Pokemon had a look of surprise in his eyes as Kris rammed a pincer into his face.

Kris stopped there, panting, as her opponent dropped backwards and lay still…joining the limp forms of the other Pokemon lying around the arena. The battle royal was over…and Kris was the last one standing.

Finally…I thought that was…garrrgghh!

A Seviper that had been lying nearby suddenly sprang up and wrapped its coils around Kris’ body. Howling, Kris struggled as the serpent forced her to the ground.

The snake was hissing, showing off his forked tongue and fangs as his head blobbed about. Her Steel element made her immune to its venom, but Kris suspected that it was trying to get her neck where it was less protected.

Kris kept her head down as she eyed the Seviper whilst trying desperately to catch a breath. The Seviper kept moving his head in the opposite direction that Kris moved hers in, trying to target her neck. Kris was quickly running out of breath finally took a chance, swinging her head to one side.

It forced the snake to stretch all the way to attack her vulnerable spot, and Kris used the moment to spread her wings. The unexpected shock caused the snake to loosen his grip, and that was all Kris needed to get a hand out. She sliced the razor sharp pincer against the Seviper’s body, causing him to screech in pain.

Kris then proceeded to pull him off and slam him to the ground, arousing a huge applause from the crowd of spectators above. The snake was hissing pitifully beneath Kris’ foot as the shouts of ‘finish him’ roared from above.

There was no other choice and Kris closed her eyes as she pressed her foot down hard and twisted, breaking the creature’s neck and killing him instantly.

Amongst the shouting from the crowd, Kris stumbled towards the newly opened exit. She was on the verge of collapse as it was, but she held onto her pride as much as her consciousness and made it into the dark corridor, out of view of the spectators.

“You’ve done well.” Klinge was already standing there. “Far better than my expectations.”

Kris couldn’t care less and dropped to the ground. Klinge was probably going to whip her or start giving out more shocks on her collar, but she just didn’t care at this point.

Already, she barely felt the pain as she drifted off into the strangely calm and endless darkness.

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Hidden in the midst of the shadows, Bashaamo leaned close against the wall. She pulled a thick black cloak over her body, in order to hide her flames, and listened.

Just beyond the blue stone walls was a meeting room where Juncan and Raguragi stood talking.

“Sacrifice the girl?” Juncan was asking. “It seems like such a waste.”

“Now that those otherworld fools know we need her alive until then, we won’t be able to threaten them with her as a hostage.” Raguragi muttered. “And there’s no doubt that they’ll try to find her. That leaves more problems for us to worry about.”

“Come on, what are the chances that they’ll find this place?”

“Don’t be too sure. As much as I hate to admit it, they are quite capable indeed.” Raguragi rubbed his chin. “I heard that a couple of them foiled your plans at finding that spring of yours.”

“Oh shut up.” Juncan snapped. “I’ll be getting back to that one soon enough, right after I get those extra funds you wanted me to.”

“And how do you plan to do that?”

“Rob a bank of course.” Juncan laughed. “But this will be a big one! And as such, it’s taking time to plan out.”

“Just as long as it works out.” Raguragi nodded. “By the way, I saw Bashaamo around here. Wasn’t she supposed to be at that Charizard valley working with our new client?”

“She needed to get some supplies.” Juncan replied. “Why? Something up with our mercenary?”

“No, it’s just…ah forget it.”

“Hmmm…” Bashaamo decided she had heard enough and crept away, pondering about the future.

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Nightslice started, springing up and nearly falling out of his tree. The steel elemental bug though he’d heard a voice, Kris’ voice screaming in pain, but shook it off as part of his imagination.

After the Latias and Latios twins had probed the old teleporter, they’d managed to utilize the traces of energy left behind when Bahamut and Lombadra teleported Kris and Jade out. It was a fairly straightforward theory of partner following partner to the appropriate destination.

The area he was spending the night in was a forest, and according to Zian, one that was just outside Saffron City. Kris was supposedly around there, but all of Zian’s attempts to contact her had failed and Nightslice feared the worst.

Perhaps his ‘imagination’ was more of a sign that something had happened to Kris. The strange energies that had remained after their previous adventures had left Kris and Nightslice connected in a way that neither would never fully understand.

“What are we gonna do bro?”

Nightslice jumped at the voice and mentally slapped himself for getting lost in his thoughts. The Scizor jumped down and hid amongst the bushes as two odd figures walked into view. They were definitely not any kind of Pokemon, but neither were they the Dragons that lived in the Eastern regions.

One was some sort of a gigantic bull that stood upright, with a pair of five-fingered hands and a bull head. He was clad in some light green robes and had a large axe strapped by his side. It resembled a mythical animal known as a Minotaur.

The second was some sort of a bird that also stood upright like a human. However, he had a bird face and beak, with wings instead of hands. He wore a blue vest over the brownish feathers on his chest. The bird was also shorter, standing up to his companion’s chest level.

“I really don’t know.” The bird shook his head as he replied. “The bug creature Klinge has is so blasted strong. It’s got an exoskeleton like steel and a fire in its eyes. I saw it thrash a whole bunch of the other fighters earlier.”

“Yeah, and we’re pretty much up to our necks in debt thanks to that thing.” The Minotaur growled. “If we don’t find something that can beat it, we won’t even have our necks for much longer. You know how those Dragons at the Underground Arena work!”

“We never should’ve gotten involved.”

“No kidding. But it’s not like some skilled Pokemon is gonna jump out here in front of our faces.”

Kris? Is that Kris they were talking about? Nightslice wondered, having heard the entire conversation. An Underground Arena? I have a really bad feeling. Perhaps that’s where all those voices I keep hearing are coming from. Hmmm…

Making his decision, Nightslice somersaulted out in front of the duo with a ferocious snarl.