Pokemon Fan Fiction / Pokemon Fan Fiction / Fan Fiction ❯ Dragon Realms ❯ Arena of Anger ( Chapter 22 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

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Arena of Anger
By nightdragon0
“This is what you've been searching for?” Alken wondered.
“Hmmm…smell a lot of ash and lava around here.” Abetos remarked.
“It's a volcanic mountain. Skiar seems to have been leading us here all this time.”
The human and Houndoom pair paused to rest by the trail leading up the dark colored mountain. The group's journey through the Dragon inhabited Kanto region had been aided greatly by the presence of Skiar, who could more easily blend in while they were in his dragon form.
At other times, Alken and Abetos spent the trip hiding in cargo holds of trains and ships, keeping to the shadows and out of sight. It was almost like their old life again, hiding away from Team Rocket after defecting.
In their old life, and old world. But this place was completely different, Alken reminded himself once again. And this was the missions they'd taken upon themselves, helping Skiar find what he was searching for.
The Dark Elemental Dragon had remained silent as always, leaving only images and emotions to guide their path. And those clues had taken them up this old, volcanic mountain, which was located on this realm's Cinnabar Islands.
“Hmmm?” Alken felt a familiar tingle. “What is it Skiar?”
The gun strapped by his hip was vibrating in response to Skiar's senses.
“Skiar getting excited?” Abetos queried.
“Yeah, and it's pretty strong too.” Alken noted, glancing around the area. A few trees lined the dirt path of soil and ash, but otherwise, nothing seemed out of the ordinary to the naked eye.
Acting on Skiar's instincts however, Alken walked over to one of the trees and felt around its base. He felt a moment of faint and blinked as he was drawn into another of Skiar's visions.
Once again, Alken watched through the Legendary Dragon's eyes as Skiar walked up a path…to the very location he was standing on.
The area however, looked quite different. There was greenery all around, along with dozens of trees lining a well maintained dirt trail.
“This is the place, isn't it?” A female voice asked.
Skiar turned and a smaller dragon walked into view. She was almost a carbon copy of Skiar, black-scaled with silver claws, horns and talons. Her tail was a short stub however, and she had two pairs of leathery red wings.
She didn't have Skiar's mask either, but wore a bandana over her horns. Alken realized that she had clear, blue and beautiful eyes too.
“Your younger brother's instincts are never wrong.” Another dragon, a male, entered the scene. He looked similar to the female, only that he was taller and more muscular built.
He wore a red scarf around his neck and had a belt strapped across his waist.
“It's here brother.” Skiar whispered. “I know it!”
Skiar's claws touched something which caused the ground to split open beneath their feet, sending the trio plummeting into the darkness of a hole.
Alken involuntarily let off a scream…only to realize that he was out of the vision…and falling for real.
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The building's corridors were dark and deserted, as was expected for a time well past midnight. These were the high security hallways of the bank, enforced steel walls, laser tripwires lining the floor and cameras rotating on the ceiling.
It would seem like a near-impossible task to get through undetected, but in one of the hallways, the metal grills of an air-vent moved. With no more than a click, Juncan removed the grills from his position on the wall and stashed it inside the air vent, where the grills wouldn't get in his way.
The Grovyle had an infrared visor on, along with a waist pouch of tools by his sides. From this pouch, he drew a rectangular device and aimed it at the single security camera viewing the hallway.
An electrical fizzle sounded as the device shut down for the moment.
Taking a quick scan of the area, Juncan concluded that it was clear enough and took note of a steel pipe running along the ceiling. One that was well above the laser tripwires lining the floor.
“This is where you come in handy.” He smirked, bring up the Ankh that contained Asiyu's spirit. There was a slight pause, but soon the Ankh glowed and covered the length of the pipe with ice.
With his superior jumping abilities, Juncan leapt up and wrapped his arms and legs around the pipe. The force of his motion allowed him to slide down the pipe, right to the end of the room, where the camera was located.
In the midst of his slide, Juncan brought up a rope with a clip and snapped it around the pipe. The other end was connected to his belt and Juncan released his hold on the pipe. The rope held his weight as the Grovyle lowered himself, inverted, to a number pad positioned just beneath the camera.
Hastily, Juncan keyed in the code he'd received from the bank manager earlier. The number panel beeped as it accepted the code.
However, the effects of Juncan's jamming device wore off and the camera came back online…only to be shut down immediately by the deactivation code. The tripwires shit themselves off too and the adjacent door lock opened with a satisfying click.
“Perfect.” Juncan released the rope and dropped to the ground, now that it was safe. “You know? If I'd known that I'd have you along for the ride, I wouldn't have bothered to make so many preparations.”
(Grrrr….I'm…not doing this!) Asiyu's voice grunted.
“I'm afraid you ain't got a choice in this princess.” Juncan raised the Ankh and pressed it against the lock. “Not while I have the power of my crystal to counter yours!”
Juncan brought up the green colored spirit crystal he possessed, with its Grass Elemental energy pulsing within. The energy flowed over the Ankh, which responded by glowing in an icy blue.
A small wave of ice then froze the door lock, which Juncan snapped off and triumphantly pushed the door open with one hand.
(That crystal…doesn't belong to you!) Asiyu hissed fiercely.
“You said that with so much passion, it's really touching.” Juncan remarked, chewing the twig in his jaws. “If I didn't know any better, I'd say you knew the old fool who owned this crystal before me.”
(Don't you dare talk about Grix that way!)
“So that's his name? The Legendary Grass Dragon? Or the former one I should say.”
“Oh, I get it! You liked him didn't you?” Juncan snapped his fingers.
(Grrrrarrrggghhhh!) Asiyu roared in rage.
“Oops, guess I hit a sensitive spot.” Juncan shrugged. “I'm a bit of a romantic myself, but I always suspected something after the first time we fought. Remember when we butted heads and felt the energy shocks from each other?”
“Ah well, we can always talk about this later.” Juncan had completed his stride across the empty hallway beyond the door and stopped in front of a large vault. The thick metal door was shut tight of course, with a circular handle protruding from the door.
The Grovyle grunted as he took hold of the handle and turned the device until the door swung outwards.
“Gotta love it when money comes cheap.” He laughed, eyeing the rows of lockers with glee. Within each one was a large sack of cash, which Juncan helped himself too.
While tossing the bags out of the room, he noticed something strange at the back and curiously moved to investigate. Nestled in the rear was circular transparent case, with a single glittering object inside.
It was a crystal…a Spirit Crystal.
“Another one.” Juncan muttered, focusing his mind on his Grass crystal. “Hmmm…this one has the Bug-type properties. Wouldn't hurt to get my claws on this baby!”
He was about to step forward when the humming of lasers caught his ear. Juncan mentally slapped himself for nearly failing to notice the set of laser tripwires surrounding the case.
It caused him to frown too, because the security code he'd been given should've shut down all the systems in the bank. However, it seemed like the safety mechanics for this particular area operated independently of the main system.
“Hmmm…” Juncan glanced around the room, then grinned. He'd noticed an air vent positioned on the ceiling, directly above the glass case. “This'll be a snap.”
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“GGarrgghhh!” Alken braced his arms and legs against the walls in an attempt to slow his fall. While it did some good, it also hurt his hands terribly from grabbing the tunnel's rocky walls.
Suddenly, he ploughed into another body, ending with both entangled in a messy heap. It was Abetos, who had fallen as well.
The Houndoom had managed to find a narrow ledge, but the combined weight of the two snapped it in half, setting their fall in motion once again.
“The ground's approaching!” Abetos warned.
“Push off me, hurry!” Alken ordered.
The pair kicked off each other's bodies and bounded to opposite sides of the tunnel, using the motion to upright themselves. With their positions in order, the two managed to land with hard thumps on the ground. It wasn't the most graceful landing, but certainly better than being splattered across the floor.
Alken pulled out a flare and ignited it, the lights piercing the absolute darkness of the underground cavern.
He had fresh, bleeding cuts all over his hands, but Alken had suffered no serious injuries. Abetos had managed to escape with just a gash at his left side, probably caused by hitting the ledge earlier.
“You all right?” Abetos called.
“Yeah, I'm fine.” Alken acknowledged, moving his light around. “Whoa! What the? What is this?”
“Something there?”
“Bones…” Alken stared.
The cavern floor was littered with dozens of bones from various Pokemon and Dragon species, all in various stages of decomposition. The two were quick in moving away from that area, though Alken kept making occasional glances back.
“That could've been us.” Abetos said numbly. “Nice work back in that tunnel.”
“Hey, that wasn't a compliment!” Abetos growled, suddenly feeling rather annoyed. “You were the one who knocked me off that ledge!”
“What?” Alken blurted out.
“Why? Forgotten already?”
“Of course not! But did you think I had any choice in the matter?”
“You could've gotten us killed!”
“I'd like to see you do better!” Alken snapped, one hand instinctively on his gun.
“Is this the way you treat the fellow who's saved your life more than once?” Abetos barked, jumping into an attacking stance.
“I wouldn't draw a weapon on my partner, but you're acting weird.”
“Me? You're the one who's off your rocker!”
Alken shifted his position and stumbled, dropping the flare into a crack. The light went out, plunging the cavern into darkness.
“Damn it! The light!” Alken cursed.
“What? Doesn't affect me now does it?” Abetos retorted.
“Something you're trying to imply?”
“Yeah, light doesn't matter to me! And it's because of you! I was saving your life when this happened to my eyes!”
“I never asked you to do that in the first place.” Alken said angrily.
The two remained poised there, instincts tense and ready to react on the slightest movement. Neither had to wait long however, as Alken's gunshot broke the silence in a loud burst. The brief flash of light was enough to reveal Abetos in mid-lunge, who clasped his jaws onto Alken's left hand.
Screaming in fury, Alken bashed the Houndoom's head with the butt of the gun. Abetos spun to the side, and was thrown off his feet by an explosive burst from the weapon. Alken tried to follow up with more attacks, but Abetos alternated left and right dodges and slammed into his partner.
The gun containing Skiar's Spirit Crystal clattered over to the side as Abetos thrust his head forward. Alken knew his companion well however, and moved out of the way, grabbing the hound's head under his arm.
The two rolled across the floor, struggling and pounding on one another. As they two fought however, strange flashes of light shrouded them. The forms of the human and Houndoom flickered, revealing them as the two dragons from Skiar's vision earlier…his older brother and sister.
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Securing himself to the harness, Juncan clipped the other end of the ropes to the metallic grills of the air vent. After testing the ropes for stability, Juncan was satisfied and took hold of the mechanized pulley that would be lowering him from the ceiling to the glass case.
Finding his way to the air vent had been no problem with the maps he'd gotten. And as he stood, glancing down on his target from the ceiling, Juncan decided that he would be doing this in style.
In a true, tactical espionage move, the Grovyle dropped upside down, releasing the rope until he was hanging just above the glass case. It was a similar maneuver to the one he'd used earlier, except that this one would not be so much of a walkover.
Firstly, Juncan brought up a scanner and allowed it to analyze the case.
“Hmm….alarms linked to opening the case.” He muttered. “Piece of cake.”
Juncan used the jamming device from before to short out the electrical systems for the moment, and quickly got to work on cutting through the glass. It was surprisingly thin and the leaf blades on his forearms were enough to get the job done.
With a neat, circular hole in place, Juncan stashed the glass section he'd cut out in his belt pouch and searched for another piece of equipment.
“Darn, where did I put those tweezers?” He muttered. “Crap, I must've left them in the air vent when I pulled the screws out.”
“What does it look like?”
“Oh, it's like any other pair of tweezers, but with a long handle.” Juncan sighed.
“They're right here. You want me to toss em' down?”
There was a glimmer as the metallic tweezers fell from the ceiling and nicely into Juncan's outstretched claws.
“Hey thanks!” Juncan called. “I really appreciate the….urk….WHAT?”
He'd been so caught up in his thoughts that he hadn't realized someone had been talking to him. And that someone was Gwyenvere the Suicune, who was happily waving a paw to him.
“You're welcome.” Gwyen smirked.
(Gwyen!) Asiyu's voice gasped.
“What the hell? How did you get out? What are you doing here? How'd you get in?” Juncan blurted out in shock.
“Oh, it's easy enough to follow your trail when you shut down all the security systems in your path and leave them off.” Gwyen laughed. “And besides that…”
“Wargh!” Juncan was jerked roughly and realized that Gwyen had taken hold of the other end of his rope. He flailed his arms about wildly as Gwyen swung him about, barely managing to avoid crashing into the glass case.
One of his scanners dropped to the ground, where it was cut in half by the lasers near the ground.
“Aw crap! Those aren't tripwires! They're laser beams!” The Grovyle realized in horror.
“Now this is fun!” Gwyen faked a laugh. “I've never had a chance to play with a Grovyle yo-yo before.”
“GGAARRRGHHH!” Juncan had to pull his entire body to the left this time to avoid hitting the case.
He was hit by a second shock when Gwyen dropped his body closer to the laser beams. Screeching, Juncan clamped a claw over the leaf blade on his head to prevent it from being charred by the lasers.
“Whoa! Hey! What do you think you're doing?” Juncan yelled in panic.
“Having fun.” Gwyen dropped him even lower this time, till his head was just inches above the deadly lasers.
“Harrghhh! Stop! Cut it out!”
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“What's going on? Why are we fighting?” Skiar called out in pain.
“Shut up!” His brother spun and thrust a fist into his stomach, knocking the wind out of him.
Dropping back to the ground, Skiar let out a roar of anguish whilst clutching his bleeding right side. His brother and sister were caught up in a frenzied struggle, pounding each other against the cavern walls.
Blood dripped down from his brother's face as he got up and smacked his sister across the snout. Snarling, she fought back, jabbing her razor-sharp claws into his chest.
“Rargghhh…gargghh….” Skiar moaned in pain, lying helpless to stop the fight.
His siblings were so caught up in their struggle that they failed to notice the shallow pit they were dragging each other towards. But as shallow as it was, the bottom was lined by rows of deadly stone spikes.
The two were completely oblivious to it, but it seemed almost as if some force was deliberately dragging them towards it.
“NO!” Skiar screamed. “NO! Stop! Please!”
The roars only grew louder as the sibling struggle continued.
And all of a sudden, Skiar was back in reality. But in this world, he existed in a spirit-like form, his translucent body hovering over the gun that held his Spirit Crystal.
Alken and Abetos had hesitated, though the latter still had his jaws clasped around his partner's right arm. Neither was too sure why the other one, or even himself had stopped, but it was most likely out of shock from hearing Skiar's voice.
A voice that he had finally been able to find.
(This dragon knows the aura here is tainted with evil.) Skiar voiced out, clenching a fist. (It's a force tainted with anger, negativity…emotions that cloud your thoughts.)
Alken and Abetos were still struggling, though their more violent movements seemed to have calmed down.
(This dragon understands all you have spoken. You are comrades…ones whose bonds have been formed through times….encounters…battles…both good and bad.) Skiar whispered. (This place you stand in now, brings out the bad to an extreme degree! But think! Remember! True companionship…true partners…can never be torn apart by this darkness!)
Alken seemed to be slowly snapping out of his trance. He was blinking, remembering the times he'd spent…the times in the dark, underground dens of Team Rocket. The place where he'd first picked out Abetos as his partner.
(Two others came to this forbidden place with this dragon once…and the one who stands before you now is the only one who left. This dragon was too weak then…this dragon knew not then, and this dragon lost…lost himself in the lust of darkness.)
Most Team Rocket Pokemon were treated like slaves, but the Abetos was always different. Alken himself, had always treated him differently. Alken knew he'd made a bad decision with his life, but it was through this that he'd met Abetos.
And from there the first bonds were formed, as subtle as they may have been.
(This dragon fell into the trap, and thus proceeded his reign of terror. Thus, he wishes not for this fate upon his other halves!)
The pair had been growing more and more relaxed, and finally, released each other. Alken slumped back, clutching his bleeding arm in pain. Abetos immediately strode over and licked the wound.
“I'm sorry…” Abetos whispered. “I…I…just…”
“No, it was my fault too.” Alken cradled his head. “I couldn't fight it either.”
“Let it slide…for both of us…”
“We're partners, aren't we?” Alken nodded. “Through thick and thin.”
“Yeah…partners…” Abetos acknowledged.
(This dragon feels glad.) Skiar's image let off a grin.
“Thank you.” Alken looked up. “Although it is a bit of a surprise to finally hear you talk.”
“But something puzzles me.” Abetos added in. “If you knew what kind of place was down here, why did you bring us here?”
(It was perhaps for a selfish reason that this dragon did so.) Skiar replied. (This place was where his brother and sister were lost. They, who killed each other in rage…just as you might have. But this dragon lived with the painful knowledge…and died with it…)
“So that's it…” Abetos gasped. “What you wanted to do….was face your fears.”
(You now see it as this dragon does. This dragon became the merciless slayer for Kaiser…and he wished to relief himself of that darkness.)
“All of us share the same burden.” Alken stood up. “Each of us are dark elements, but we don't dwell within it. Instead, we walk the narrow path between light and darkness. And that makes us who we are.”
(You surprise this dragon with your insight.)
Suddenly, a ferocious roar pierced the cavern. Two glowing forms stumbled towards them…two dragons with their fangs baring and claws raised.
They were the forms of Skiar's brother and sister.
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“You're not the one to be making demands when I've got the other end of your leash.” Gwyen gave him a good shaking. “Now, hand Asiyu over.”
“No way! I'm not…urrghh!” Juncan started as Gwyen pulled him up slightly before dropping him again.
“Want me to get you sliced vertically or horizontally?”
“OK! OK! Here!” Juncan tossed Asiyu's ankh upwards, which Gwyen caught in her free paw.
(Boy am I glad to see you!) Asiyu sent the Suicune a private message.
“Same here.” Gwyen whispered.
“Now, could you pull me up?” Juncan pleaded. “Please?”
“Well, I don't know…” Gwyen laughed. “I believe I should ask for that Spirit Crystal that's down there too.”
“Hey, this one you ain't getting sister!” Juncan warned. “Because if you drop me, you won't have a way to get it!”
“True, but…” Gwyen paused for a moment. “If I can't have it, then I might as well drop you anyway.”
“WHAT? NO! Please don't!”
“Hey Asiyu, think I should drop him?”
(No!) Asiyu protested.
“She thinks I should drop you too.” Gwyen smirked. “So…”
“All right! I get it! Just hold me still for a while.” Juncan snapped. “Just make sure you pull me up after this!”
“Oh, fine, fine.”
Positioning himself, Juncan reached down with the tweezers and nimbly plucked the Spirit Crystal out of the display case.
“Come on! I kept my end of the bargain!”
“I'm going to regret this.” Gwyen said under her breath as she tugged.
Juncan held still and Gwyen brought him closer and closer to the air vent, but the Grovyle suddenly kicked off the wall and lunged at her. Gwyen instinctively jerked back and swung a paw, catching Juncan in the face.
And because she had also released her hold on the rope, Juncan fell….and smashed the glass case into pieces. His jamming device had long since worn off, and hence alarms begun blaring, piercing the silence of the night like a knife.
“Uh oh!” Gwyen muttered. “I think it's time for us to go!”
(I agree with that.) Asiyu voiced out. (But the Spirit Crystal…)
“There's no time!” The Suicune took one last moment for a glance, then ducked back into the air vent.
“Crap! This is so screwed!” Juncan got to his feet unsteadily on the pedestal, and made a leapt of faith. Fortunately, it managed to get him over the lasers and close to the door.
Slipping the Spirit Crystal into his belt, Juncan grabbed as many bags of money as he could, but was quickly distracted by something else…the huge door of the vault swinging shut.
“NNNOO!” Dropping the bags and sprinting, Juncan barely made it through the door before it sealed itself shut.
However, the corridor he'd emerged into also had its doors swinging close…and they slammed right in front of the screeching Grovyle's face.
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“Skiar…” Alken whispered, snatching the gun up.
(Fear not, for this dragon realizes what he must do.) Skiar said firmly. (The shadows of the past still seek to drag us into their midst! Unite, and they shall be defeated!)
“Ha! Now you're taking!” Abetos growled, spraying out with his Flamethrower attack.
The two dragons hesitated as the flames formed a blazing wall before them. However, Alken and Abetos jumped right over it and attacked. Alken pelted the male's feet with gunshots whilst Abetos opened his mouth and hurled a dark ball of energy, Shadow Ball, at the female's body.
The dark forms roared in pain and struck back, smashing up rocks on the ground that flew and struck their opponents. Nodding to each other, Alken raised his weapon as Abetos landed by his side.
“Hoero! Dragon Meld!” (Roar! Dragon Meld!)
The next figure that somersaulted and landed in a battle stance was Skiar's. The black, humanoid dragon's scales were built like armor, as were the white, five-fingered claws that he was clenching. Gray shoulder pads, knee pads and arm guards all added to his muscular body's protection.
His tail was short compared to other dragons, and his two pairs of red, leathery wings were in tatters, but he flexed them as a sign of battle.
The featureless gray mask that had been molded over his head was Skiar's most prominent feature, covering the entire face above the jaw, but leaving space for the two horns on his head.
Wasting no time, Skiar charged in a Faint Attack and knocked his brother's likeness aside. His sister came at him with a frenzy of slashes, several of which caught him on the left arm.
With a snarl, Skiar jumped back and made a series of Ninja-like hand motions. Utilizing Double Team, his form split into multiple images of himself. His two opponents attacked blindly, hitting nothing more than shadows.
The real Skiar moved in from the side and drove a Shadow Punch into the female's face. The male grabbed him from behind, holding his powerful arms around Skiar's neck.
The Legendary Dragon begun to choke, but suddenly thrust his elbows backwards and knocked his foe off him. The shadowy formers tumbled back into a pile as Skiar prepared for his finishing attack.
“Dusk Requiem!” Skiar roared as he slammed his claws into the ground.
A wave of dark energy spread out from each point and ploughed through the former dragons, shattering their forms into pieces.
Leaning against the wall in exhaustion, Skiar stood panting for a while. Then, he began to laugh. Alken and Abetos laughed with him too.
“This dragon thanks you, for seeing his past through.”
(It was a look into our past too.) Alken spoke up.
(So, I wouldn't say it was for such a selfish reason after all.) Abetos agreed.
(But now…)
“Indeed, you have helped this dragon greatly.” Skiar nodded. “Now it is his turn to do that favor, and thus, he will help you find the others like you.”
(How then?) Abetos wondered. (We're probably miles away from any of them.)
“This cave holds many powers, thus he must only concentrate to see.”
(Concentrate to see?) Alken wondered.
Unconsciously, he was doing just that and a vision sprang into his mind.
(Nala!) Alken gasped. (She's…in trouble…)
(You saw her?) Abetos queried.
(More like felt, but yes I did. Where however…I can't seem to see it clearly.)
“This dragon will seek out a linkpoint.” Skiar started to climb out of the dark cavern. “And then…your instincts will guide you.”
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“All clear.” Hazuki peered through the door before pushing it open fully.
Kioi moved in front of her and grunted, indicating for Hazuki to follow him. The blue-haired girl took one last look around the messy office, whose window they'd climbed in through, then followed.
Together, they walked along a metallic corridor that formed the second floor. Beneath it, the large open area of the factory's first level was visible. Various kinds of machinery lined every nook and cranny of the level, leaving Hazuki to wonder how the workers got around the place.
Kioi seemed to know where he was going and Hazuki followed him down the stairs leading to the lower level.
“Just what are we looking for?” Hazuki asked. “There's so much machinery around here, where could they be holding a Legendary Dragon?”
Kioi responded with a series of grunts which were impossible to decipher. Hazuki simply gave up and followed the Fighting-type dragon through the maze. It took him a while, but Kioi eventually led her to a large machine in the corner.
“Hm?” Hazuki studied the control panel that had been mounted to the wall.
Beyond the panel was an indented section of the floor, a pit surrounded by railings and `decorated' with `Danger! Keep Out!' signs. Within the isolated section were two square-shaped `doors' in the floor, each one about 12 feet length.
Kioi was staring at the wall with a confused gaze and Hazuki walked to his side.
“Need some help?”
Nodding, the dragon made a `blinking' gesture with his hands. It took Hazuki a while to guess that he was talking about the power supply and she flipped the appropriate switch into its `on' position. Immediately, a soft humming sounded as the panel came to life.
Hazuki scanned through the unfamiliar controls and scratched her head.
“Containment unit 1, sealed and frozen.” She read. “Containment unit 2, standing-by. So, is this where you think they're holding that other Legendary Dragon?”
With a grim look on his face, Kioi nodded.
“All right, let me see.” Hazuki muttered. “Raise containment units? Ok, I'll try that.
Pushing the buttons brought up more mechanical hums and creaks as the trapdoors swung open. Slowly, two square glass tanks rose from their positions beneath the surface.
Hazuki thought she was shivering with fear and shook herself off. However, she soon realized that she had been shaking because it was cold. She was hit by a blast of icy cold air and glanced towards the glass tanks in surprise.
One of the tanks was empty, with only the glass walls of the tank covered with frost. The other one contained a huge ice cube, but what was more interesting was that there was something frozen within the ice.
Or someone…a brown-scaled dragon with three heads that almost resembled a hydra.
Hazuki glanced down at the new set of readings that had appeared and realized that they were the dragon's vital signs. The frozen dragon was still alive, just being kept in a state of suspended animation within its icy prison.
Simply glancing at the three-headed dragon made her shudder. That was something about it that seemed so familiar to Hazuki.
Then, she realized that Kioi was no longer with her. Initial panic swept through her mind, but Hazuki quickly calmed down when she spotted the Fighting-type standing around the corner.
“Hey, so there you are.” Hazuki gasped. “I was worried that…”
Stepping up to his side, Hazuki stopped short and stared. Mounted on the machine before them was another dragon incased in ice, followed by a sealing layer of glass and metallic components.
This dragon was a smaller, `plump' lizard-like dragon that looked like it walked on all fours. Its scales were bright and blue like the color of water. There was also a sail-like fin along its back.
Kioi was staring, long and hard at this dragon. Hazuki racked her brain and suddenly came up with the answer.
“That's Issui, isn't it?” Hazuki gasped. “The former Legendary Water Dragon?”
Turning towards her, Kioi had tears streaming up in his eyes. Several dripped down his face and landed with soft plops on the floor. Hazuki mentally slapped herself for forgetting one important detail…that Issui was Kioi's lover.
She was searching her mind for something to say when she noticed the same screen at the bottom of Issui's icy prison. While the machine had given the vital readings from the other dragon, those of Issui were literally flat and silent.
Issui's dead, and Kioi had probably seen the whole thing…all this being done to her body. That must've been how he knew about the place, and the machine. Hazuki closed her eyes.
There was a soft sobbing and Kioi dropped to his knees, shaking uncontrollably. He was not even holding back the tears that hit the ground as he let off a long, mournful wail.
“I'm sorry…” Was all Hazuki could manage as she put her arms around his shoulders. “I'm so sorry…”