Pokemon Fan Fiction ❯ A Blond Ray of Sunshine ❯ Part 3: Intervention ( Chapter 15 )
— Part 3: Intervention —
A scream, echoing in the forest. Sounds of explosions all around. Nostrils clogged with the scent of blood. Terrible, mind-numbing pain in every nerve. The horrifying image of Fireball near death.
‘Fireball, no!’ Antoshi cried out.
Latoshi's laugh echoed all around him. The sable-haired boy's sneering expression was so clear — cold, vicious, methodical.
“Join me, Antoshi,” he said. “Let's make this world so much better by cleansing it of evil.”
“I already know how to make this world better,” Antoshi spat, “by cleansing you out of it!” He and Latoshi shouted as they rushed toward each other.
Antoshi gasped, jolting back to reality, sitting on the edge of a messy bed. Even though he'd only dozed off for a few minutes, he had to recollect himself and remember where he was: the hotel room they were staying. They were safe — far away from the site of the horrific battle between himself and Latoshi.
Only a couple of days had passed since his fight with Latoshi. He'd gotten almost no sleep since then. His thoughts had been consuming him and drawing him into dreamlike dazes, pulling him back into that point in time, causing him to relive the horrors of their fight over and over again. The brutal extent of their confrontation rendered him unable to think about much else. The lack of sleep left him agitated.
He looked over at Fireball. The Typhlosion stood staring out of the room's large windows, high above eastern Goldenrod City. It was a bleak afternoon, the sky was cloudy and overcast. The duo had opted to lay low for a while, staying put in their room. Their exploration of the city, and their Johto journey as a whole, was on hold, indefinitely. The mood between them had been abnormally quiet and somber as of late.
‘What is this power inside of me?’ Antoshi thought. ‘Why? … Why was I given this?’
"So," Fireball said, turning to face his friend, "Latoshi … broke my Poké Ball?"
“Yeah,” Antoshi replied. He looked down at the new, unblemished Poké Ball in his hands, slowly rotating it. “I should've stopped him. I should've … done more to make sure that you weren't hurt, and that your Poké Ball was safe. Now, all that history and those memories with that ball, the one that brought you to me for the very first time, are gone.”
The Typhlosion turned his gaze to the floor. "That's why you went out earlier and bought a new Poké Ball," Fireball remarked with a weak chuckle. "After I saw you with it, I thought maybe … you were ready to get back on the road. I thought you were planning to catch a new Pokémon for the first time, or … maybe even a bunch of new Pokémon."
“We can't get back to traveling yet. I have to deal with Latoshi first.”
Fireball took a seat on a second bed across from Antoshi. His concerned gaze met with Antoshi's brown eyes. "Antoshi, you can't blame yourself over what happened in that fight. You don't have to feel like it's your responsibility to take him on."
“How can I not? I know I'm the only one who can stop him.”
"That's true, but … how? What can we do? You heard him before, he kept going on and on about his training and experience. He— … he beat you … badly."
Antoshi cut his eyes at him. “I know he beat me, Fireball,” he said, raising his voice, “you don't have to keep reminding me, okay?”
"Okay, okay. I—I'm sorry, Antoshi. I didn't mean to …" he trailed off.
The mood turned quiet again. Fireball sighed, looking at the Poké Ball in Antoshi's hands. He reached out and grabbed it with a paw, smiling to his friend, reassuringly. Fireball's body was quickly reduced to a reddish light, pulled into the open ball before it promptly snapped shut. Antoshi watched the ball gently wobble, while the front button glowed red and blinked for a moment. Once it stopped glowing, the new home of his best friend was officially set.
The blond-haired boy sighed, staring blankly. He pondered for a moment, hesitating to let Fireball out again. He placed the ball on the bed, and walked away.
‘I don't want to fight you,’ he recalled saying to Latoshi.
‘Good!’ Latoshi replied back. ‘That'll make killing you so much easier.’
Antoshi sighed, getting into a fighting stance, raising his fists. He grunted, throwing a few straight punches in the blink of an eye. He expressed bitterness. He found himself back in the forest, envisioning Latoshi standing over him with the same arrogant smile.
‘Well, so much for this little 'fight' you decided to put up,’ Latoshi said to him. ‘It was okay, but, in the end, the person with real training won here.’
Antoshi narrowed his eyes, letting those words sinking in. He stood up straight, eyes widening with the spark of an epiphany. He grabbed Fireball's Poké Ball and held it out to finally release him. Fireball materialized, sitting on the bed again.
"Um," Fireball began, "should I … ask why you waited to let me back out?"
Antoshi had a serious expression upon his face before he turned away. “Come on, Fireball,” he said, heading for the door. “Let's get going.”
"Oh. Okay, sure," Fireball replied with some confusion. He followed Antoshi as they exited their hotel room.
Outside, Antoshi marched eastward through the city streets toward an unknown destination. His eyes were fueled with determination, irises glowing brightly with the red hue of his spirit energy. Fireball remained behind his friend as opposed to his typical designation by the boy's side.
The mood continued to be unusually quiet and tense. Antoshi had become fairly distant toward Fireball ever since the fight with Latoshi. A gloomy air hung over the boy. It wasn't the Antoshi he knew and loved. Fireball wanted to say something about it to him, but he was too afraid that it would only anger Antoshi further.
Soon, the city's Gym came into view. Fireball's eyes lit up, gasping in elation.
"Oh, hey! Goldenrod City Gym!" Fireball said. He stopped in front of the white pathway leading to the doors of the large, yellowish building, grinning eagerly. "Man, I can't wait to—"
He looked over to see Antoshi was still walking away. Fireball gave chase after him. "Antoshi? The Gym's over here!"
“We're not going to the Gym,” he replied, keeping his bitter gaze forward. Fireball was stunned.
"Oh. … Where are we going?"
“Just follow me,” he said, flatly. “I'll explain later.”
"Oh, uh, all right then…" Fireball replied, nervously fidgeting with his claws.
Once they reached the wooded outskirts of the city, Antoshi led Fireball into the first open clearing he found. A small flock of Starly flew off upon his arrival. Fireball was surprised, curiously staring at him. Antoshi took a slow look around. The environment was similar to that of the battle with Latoshi. The memories again came flooding back to him.
‘Let's just call that a … 'parting shot',’ Latoshi said. ‘You have a lot to think about after this ordeal. But, I think you'll find it wise to reconsider my offer.’
"So," Fireball said, bringing Antoshi back to reality. "What … are we doing out here in the woods?"
“Training,” Antoshi replied calmly.
"Oh, sweet!" Fireball said, with a relieved sigh. "You know, you had me worried for a sec' there. I'll bet you want to make sure we're strong enough to beat all of the Johto Gyms, huh?"
“We're not training you, Fireball,” Antoshi replied. “I already told you, we can't start traveling again yet. I'm the one who's getting training.” The boy stretched out his neck and rubbed his hands together.
Fireball was left confused. "… Huh?" he uttered, bewildered. Antoshi walked a few paces away, turning around to face his friend.
“Come at me,” Antoshi said. “I want you to attack me just like you'd attack an opponent.”
Fireball's jaw hung in disbelief. "Antoshi … what? What are you asking me here? I can't … hit you. You're not my opponent, you're my best friend."
“We don't have time for this, Fireball!” Antoshi shouted, causing the larger than average Typhlosion to jump. “Every second we waste allows Latoshi to get stronger. He's scheming, plotting, waiting to attack us again. He could very well be watching us right now.”
"Antoshi, … is this really the right call? Are you really going to train to … fight him again?"
“This is the only thing I can think of, Fireball. I don't know exactly what Latoshi's training consists of, but the fact is, like you said earlier, he did beat me … badly. I thought that my powers were strong enough for me to do anything. I could fly, I could pick up cars, but Latoshi's power and skill … were on a whole different level I couldn't even comprehend.”
"I thought that you wanted to try to talk him out of this whole, err, whatever it was he's trying to accomplish."
Antoshi laughed weakly. “We're probably way past being able to talk things over with him at this point. The only language Latoshi understands is fighting.” He spread his stance a bit, loosening himself up. “Now, let's train. Come at me.”
Fireball looked at his friend with deep concern in his eyes. He sighed, looking away for a moment before nodding in acknowledgment. The fires on his back came alight. He made the first charge at Antoshi, growling, swiping a claw at his chest. His attack completely missed, however, as Antoshi had already maneuvered behind him. Fireball turned around, eyes wide with surprise.
“Come on, Fireball,” he said, with a perturbed expression. “I know you and your strength better than anyone. You're holding back already. Don't. I can take whatever you dish out at me. And, well, if I can't … I think you know what that means.”
"Yeah, … that's what I'm most afraid of."
“This isn't the time for us to be worrying about 'what if's. Now, stop messing around and strike!” Fireball hesitated for a moment. “Fireball, use Rolling Fireball!” Fireball was shocked by the command. Antoshi took another few paces back and gestured for him to come forth.
With a bitter growl, Fireball curled himself up. Revving in place like a spinning tire caused the fires on his back to ignite his entire frame. Antoshi's eyes glowed bright red, clenching his jaw, watching Fireball blast towards him in an instant. He leapt over Fireball's first attack. The Typhlosion quickly spun around, coming at him again with greater speed than before. Antoshi side-stepped the next pass, and the one after it. After which, Fireball's speed continued to increase to a phenomenal pace.
Not content to simply dodge, Antoshi decided to take a risk and test his own strength. He braced himself, holding both hands out. He grabbed the spinning Typhlosion, his feet digging into the ground from the impact as he slid backward. The intense flames seared at his hands. He strained with effort, the force of Fireball's attack pushing him back less and less. He quickly managed to slow Fireball's momentum to a complete halt.
Once the flames on Fireball's back went out, Antoshi let go of him and took a few steps back. Fireball leapt up into a vertical standing position.
"You okay, Antoshi?" he asked.
Antoshi inspected the ash collected on his trembling palms before patting them clean. His skin had ended up raw and red from the heat of the flames. He felt no pain from it, and was otherwise fine.
“Yeah,” the boy replied, with a slight chuckle. “Luckily.”
Fireball smiled in response. "That was definitely not something a normal person should be able to do."
“Almost nothing over the past few months has really been 'normal' for me, … no matter how much I wish it were.”
"We still don't have to do this whole 'training' thing if you don't want to."
Antoshi shook his head. “Latoshi … threatened your life, he threatened mine. … He even threatened Mom and Dad.” His expression turned bitter, staring at his clenched fists. “I can't let anything happen to my family. Not when I have the ability to protect them.”
"He could've just been bluffing."
“And what if he wasn't?” he shot back, surprising Fireball. “You saw him just as well as I did, Fireball — he's insane! He hears voices in his head that tell him to … to go out and—and murder people? No, I have to stop him. I'm the only one that can. That has to be why I kept having those dreams about him, and what he did to Fern Town. I know if I try hard enough, I can find the strength to beat him. I have to do this.” He closed his eyes and sighed in sorrow. “I have to.”
Fireball turned his gaze away, unable to offer a response. Antoshi looked over at his friend with a serious expression.
“Now, come at me with Return.”
Fireball's eyes widened. "You want me to use Return on … my Trainer?"
Antoshi scoffed, grinning slightly. He guarded his chest with his forearms. “I'm aware of the irony in that. Keep on hitting me and don't hold back.”
Fireball shook his head with a groan of defeat. He narrowed his eyes before taking aim, swinging at Antoshi with enough force to stagger the boy back. Antoshi clenched his teeth, grunting through the powerful, clubbing strikes. The pain he felt was echoed in his expression and his glowing irises.
‘I've been too coddled,’ Antoshi thought. ‘I've never had to fight for myself. I've always depended on Fireball or my parents, ever since I was a child. I can't be a child anymore. I can't sit by and let everyone else take care of my problems for me, not when Latoshi is out there after threatening their lives.’
He shut his eyes tight, his arms glowing bright with his red energy, continuing to defend.
‘Latoshi was right. I can use my power for good, to do great things in the world. Now, I'm going to use them … to put an end his madness…’
Antoshi was not the only one focused on training, however. At the southern end of Goldenrod City, not far from where they fought, Latoshi was busy honing his skills within the seclusion of the woods. He stood still, his eyes closed, breathing calmly. His transparent, black aura gently fluctuated around him. There were no Pokémon anywhere near him. The ones that did show themselves quickly fled after gazing upon his ominous, dark energy.
'Now,' Lazarus instructed him.
His eyes shot open, irises shimmering black. He brought his clenched fists up at his sides and gave a long shout. His aura flared wildly, extending further out around his body.
'Concentrate,' Lazarus said.
The boy briefly closed his eyes, his expression turning bitterly serious. A large multitude of energy orbs, each about the size of his fist, suddenly burst from his aura and hovered around him. Latoshi broke his focus to look around at them in awe.
“Whoa,” he remarked. “That's unreal.”
He brought a hand up, which caused some of the orbs on that side to move up. He gasped, waving his hands around, prompting the orbs to do the same. Smirking confidently, he thrust both hands forward. The energy he summoned responded by shooting out in front of him. He kept his sense of amazement as the orbs violently exploded on contact with the trees and ground.
Once the dust had settled, a flat clearing of earth lay before him. Everything for several dozens of meters had been completely ravaged to nothing. Having the power to destroy at a moment's notice made him feel all-powerful, capable of guiding his own destiny. Yet, taking it out on a bunch of harmless trees left him with a feeling of emptiness.
'Outstanding. You successfully improvised a new technique. Your fight with Antoshi strengthened your abilities far quicker than meditation ever could. You truly have excellent potential, Latoshi.'
He curiously gazed down at his hands, summoning up some of his energy to them. “I don't feel much stronger,” he remarked.
'Of course not,' Lazarus snapped, as if to chide the boy. Latoshi furred his brow in concern. Lazarus quickly lightened his tone. 'This is your new baseline of power. Of course, it would not feel any different for you.'
“Well, if you say so.” Latoshi put his hands in his pockets, strolling casually through the destruction he wrought. “So, where do I go from here?”
'As I have told you, your power is limitless.'
“Yeah, … you have said that,” he replied with disinterest.
'… Is there a problem?'
“I just keep— … err, never mind.”
'Tell me. I will not have you keep secrets.'
“It's … about Antoshi. I keep thinking about when we met, and the things he's said, and … I don't— I mean, I just want to talk to him again.”
'You are not to speak to him. There is nothing that needs to be said to him, and nothing he could say will ever matter.'
“But, if I could just—” Latoshi was interrupted by a piercing noise ringing out in his head again — Lazarus' method of punishment. His eyes shot open wide, letting out a scream of agonizing pain. He fell to his knees, covering his ears.
'I told you not to disobey me anymore, did I not?' Lazarus spoke, calmly, over the terrible noise.
Latoshi gasped once the noise suddenly stopped. He panted quietly for a moment, scowling. “I don't think that's necessary to get your point across,” he remarked, bitterly. He was very quickly getting fed up with Lazarus asserting authority over him.
'Let me tell you what is 'necessary': putting your full faith in me. I will not lead you astray. Antoshi is weak. He is unskilled, he is a coward. You are none of those things. I have already proven my loyalty to you. Now, you must do the same.' Latoshi's gaze was fully focused on the ground like a scolded child. The mysterious voice had a point — he did owe Lazarus a great deal. He settled into a sitting position with his legs folded. 'No distractions. Nothing will stop us from our goal. Nothing. Is that understood?'
“Yes, Lazarus,” Latoshi replied, quietly.
'Very good. Now, return to your meditation. You are to continue honing your new abilities until they are as sharp as a sword.'
Latoshi closed his eyes, heaving a sigh before he returned to his training.
A day later, there were a few small breaks in the heavily clouded, mid morning sky. Antoshi and Fireball's roles had reversed as they continued to train in the woods. Antoshi was on the offensive, while Fireball dodged away from each of the boy's punches and kicks. Antoshi was struggling to land a strike on his battle-hardened Pokémon, especially with his mind continually distracted by the same haunting memories. Nonetheless, he remained ever persistent.
As they pressed on throughout the day, and as Antoshi managed to focus more, Antoshi's speed gradually made significant progress. That improvement came with the intensifying red glow in his eyes, brought about by the fiery emotions stirred up by thoughts of Latoshi's viciousness and arrogance.
‘You're pathetic,’ Latoshi remarked in his memory. ‘You're way too emotional. All you do is cry over every little thing, like a baby. Killing you almost seems like a waste of energy now.’
Antoshi was still not able to tag his target. The constant failure, the lack of sleep, his inability to let go of his memories — it was all wearing on him. He gave a frustrated yell as his red aura exploded to life around his body. In an instant, he suddenly grabbed Fireball by the throat and pinned him to the ground with a violent slam.
"Antoshi!" Fireball strained.
“You think I'm a crybaby?!” Antoshi shouted, enraged. He reared a fist back that burned with the energy of his aura. “Let's see how funny it is when I make you cry!”
"Antoshi, please, stop!" Fireball exclaimed. Antoshi's eyes widened as he snapped back to reality. He quickly let go of Fireball, his jaw hanging in disbelief.
“Fireball, I'm … so sorry. I …”
"It's all right, Antoshi," he reassured him.
He and Antoshi sat down in front of each other. The boy was crestfallen. Fireball knew Antoshi was hurting inside over Latoshi, and what Latoshi had done to him. He was disappointed that his friend chose to manifest that pain as anger. It was so unlike him. Antoshi had always been so kind, friendly, and caring. This rage wasn't like him at all. His best friend was unrecognizable. He was no longer a blond ray of sunshine.
"We've been training like this for hours," Fireball said. "Maybe we should take a break for now. It's a miracle that nobody's come by here yet to see you darting around like a bullet."
“Maybe,” he replied, his voice low. He was unable to look his friend in the eye. “I'm really sorry, Fireball. I went too far there.”
Family was, again, the most important thing to Antoshi. Lashing out at his family made him finally understand how badly misplaced his heart had been. He hadn't seen the situation from Fireball's perspective. He took a moment to steady his breathing, so he could think clearly.
"It's okay, Antoshi. This whole 'Latoshi' thing is getting to you. Why don't we just, you know, go and get something to eat?"
Antoshi grinned and scoffed in amusement. “You never miss a chance for food, huh?” he joked. Fireball grinned. “Still, food sounds good right about now.”
The two of them got up, idly brushing at the dirt and scuff marks littering their bodies.
"You have a little something right here," Fireball remarked, pointing at a glob of mud under Antoshi's eye.
“Oh, I do, huh?” Antoshi smirked, rubbing his cheek, smearing the mud around. “Did I get it?”
Fireball chortled. "Yep, you're fine," he replied, stifling a laugh.
Antoshi grinned and sighed. “I guess that means we should go get cleaned up before we eat. Better call Mom and Dad, too. They probably want to know what we're up to in Goldenrod.”
"Sounds like a good idea."
As they ended their training session for the day, they were unaware that they were being watched. In the shadows of the nearby trees, stood the mysterious girl with long, brunette hair that had healed Antoshi's injuries. She smiled warmly, watching the pair as they left. With a quiet, content chuckle, she turned and headed off in her own direction.
The duo were back in their hotel room, having cleaned up and gotten something to eat. The clouds had almost completely cleared up by noon. The room's wide-open curtains allowed the bright light to pour in. Antoshi was visibly nervous as he sat at the videophone in their room. Fireball stood behind him as usual. Both of them did their best to put up a convincing front while the phone automatically dialed Antoshi's parents.
“There's our amazing Pokémon Trainer!” his mother greeted him. Both she and his father waved to them.
“Hi, Mom and Dad,” Antoshi replied, offering his parents an embarrassed grin.
“Ooh, I'll bet the two of you are enjoying the sights as usual, huh?” she asked.
“Are the Trainers there tough?” his father chimed in.
“Yes, and … err, yes,” he replied with a nervous chuckle. “Fireball and I have been really distracted here in Goldenrod.” Fireball nodded.
“Well, Goldenrod is as big as Saffron City,” his mother said. “You two will have tons of things to do and see there!”
“How's the food?” his father asked.
“It's great. Fireball and I really enjoyed the—” Antoshi recalled his memory of being in the ice cream shoppe with Latoshi. “The, um, ice cream,” he added with a convincing smile. Fireball was surprised at the remark, realizing where the boy's mind was. “I just wanted to let you guys know that we'll probably be in Goldenrod for a little while longer. We're busy training, and I don't feel like we're anywhere near ready to challenge the Gym here yet.” Fireball nodded again.
“Oh, that's perfectly fine, Antoshi!” his mother said. “Have fun and take all the time you want there. Just remember to keep in touch with us. Your father and I just want you and Fireball to have a wonderful time and remember all the experiences you have in Johto.”
“I'm definitely going to remember all of this,” he responded, with a worried chuckle, as his eyes faltered away.
“Antoshi?” his mother spoke up, grabbing his attention. “Is everything all right? You seem more distracted than usual.”
“Oh, I … I don't know, I guess I just feel a little homesick again. I've been thinking about both of you a lot lately.”
“That's no problem, son,” his father said. “Anytime you want to come home just let us know and we'll set it up for you, okay?”
“Thanks, Dad,” he replied, with a grin. “I really appreciate you both being there for me.”
“Love you!” his mother said.
“See you soon!” his father added.
Antoshi and Fireball both waved to his parents before the call ended. As the screen went blank, Antoshi hung his head down with a heavy sigh.
"Are you okay, Antoshi?" Fireball asked, quietly.
Antoshi rhythmically drummed his fingers across the videophone's desk. He pondered a response for a moment, before scoffing in amusement.
“I'm lying to my parents, …” he muttered, “all to keep this a secret. All to keep them from worrying about me. All because I'm worried about them getting hurt. … It's kind of funny when you think about it.” Fireball did not take his concerned gaze off of his friend. “I hate this feeling, Fireball. I just want this nightmare to be over….”
"So do I," Fireball said, placing a reassuring paw on his friend's shoulder. "But … what do we do?"
“Stick to my initial plan. We have to train — I have to train. I have to get much better than I am now if I want to stand a chance against Latoshi.”
Fireball sighed in defeat, his claw falling away. "Are you sure?"
“Definitely,” Antoshi replied. He got to his feet and stretched.
"Do you want me to train with you again?"
Antoshi turned to his friend with a smile. “I know how uncomfortable you are with this. You don't have to come with me, Fireball. I'll figure something out sooner or later. … I always do.”
"Should I … stay here and wait for you to come back?"
“You can hang out wherever you like. Just … don't go too far, okay?”
"You don't think I might get kidnapped by Team Rocket again, do you?" Fireball joked.
“I want to believe it's unlikely. Still, you're a rare Pokémon, Fireball — the kind that Trainers would jump at the chance to catch.”
“By the way, I ma~y have heard there's a buffet happening in the hotel lobby today.”
Fireball's eyes lit up like fireworks. He quickly headed for the door, pushing Antoshi in front of him. "Man, just look at the time, Antoshi! You're losing sunlight here! Better get to that training right away!"
Antoshi laughed as they headed into the hallway. “Fireball! I don't even have my shoes on!”
Fireball quickly reached back in to grab the boy's shoes by the door, before shutting it behind him.
That night, Latoshi was focused intensely upon his meditation. His dark aura flickered calmly around him. As per Lazarus' instructions, he performed mental exercises. He envisioned himself in the midst of a violent struggle with Antoshi. They fought in the same location as their initial battle, both of them ducking and weaving through the trees, steadily making their way toward each other.
Antoshi was fast — that much he was sure would continue to be the case. Latoshi snapped his head from side to side to keep his mind's eye on him. Antoshi threw the first punch, but Latoshi was swift and strong enough to block it. Latoshi clenched his teeth as Antoshi followed up with a kick to his chest, which was hard enough to stumble him back.
'Yes, that is good,' Lazarus said to him. 'You must prepare for Antoshi's inevitable return. You must be wary that he will likely be stronger than before. But, also know that he can never defeat you — not with my guidance.'
Latoshi smirked confidently. Lazarus' words once again empowered him. In his vision, he produced the same mass of hovering energy orbs around him as before. Antoshi appeared to be shocked.
'Perfect. The element of surprise will be key. Let him believe he has the upper hand, and then … strike!'
Latoshi launched his attack at Antoshi, who attempted to shield himself. Just as the blasts were about to connect, a voice called out suddenly, breaking his concentration.
“Declan?” a woman called out in the distance. Latoshi's eyes shot open in surprise. He turned toward the source, his eyes scanning the nearby woods.
No one was there. He looked around while getting to his feet.
“Declan!” he heard again, behind him. He turned around, finding nobody once again.
“Who's there?” he called back. He waited for a short time, but no one appeared or responded.
‘What the hell was that?’ he thought. ‘Am I hearing voices … again? Was it some kind of memor—’ His eyes went wide with shock. ‘Am I— … am I remembering something? Something from my past? …’
'Focus yourself, Latoshi,' Lazarus said. 'Do not break away from your training unless I tell you to.'
“Lazarus, I … I think I just had a memory come back to me,” he said, with an elated grin. “I think … I just might be remembering someone.”
'You must not dwell on trivial things,' Lazarus replied. 'Your training and the rise of your power are the most important—'
“Wait a minute,” Latoshi cut him off. “You told me before that my memories would come back in time. Now that they might be starting to, … why are you so eager to distract me from them? I thought you would at least pretend to be happy for me.”
'Because you do not have time to reflect on the past,' he said, becoming audibly cross with the boy. 'Do not interrupt me again when I speak. Return to your training, is that clear? Or shall I remind you of what happens when you disobey me?'
Lazarus' inquisition came with the creeping sound of low ringing in the boy's ears. Latoshi scowled, bitterly pursing his lips. He obliged Lazarus, returning to his meditative sitting position.
'Now, I will give you different scenarios for you to react to. You will continue your image training for the next four hours. Am I understood?'
“Yes, Lazarus,” he replied, disdainfully.