“Hmmm? What? Sure...” The hedgehog absentmindedly mumbled, taking the berry and popping it in his mouth. Lilac watched, waiting for him to say something as he chewed it. She watched him swallow it, and disappointment bubbled up in her throat. Nazo continued to chip away at the rock, and Lilac was about to turn around and leave when she noticed the first beads of sweat on his forehead. He hadn't really noticed - wiping the sweat away and continuing on. However, once his hands had started to shake slightly, he knew something was up. Once Nazo had snapped his focus away from the rock he was so diligently working on, he became painfully aware of the heat that was coursing through his body. With a yelp, he was a blur as he dashed over to the river, cupping his hands and scooping up water as he attempted to put out the fire raging in his throat. Lilac grinned to herself even more when, in sheer desperation, Nazo did what she had hoped - dunking his whole head into the cool river. This of course caused the Houndour to roll over onto her back in laughter, sides heaving in an effort to draw in breath.
Upon seeing Nazo’s reaction, Iyoku began laughing so hard he almost fell over. There hadn’t been much to laugh about before… but now? Fortunately, the other Pokémon were in their Poke Balls again… all except for Shourai, who promptly began laughing so hard that he, unlike Iyoku, had actually fallen down and was rolling on the ground laughing.
Nazo spluttered, coughing as he pulled his now soaking head from the river. “What was that?!?” He growled, more in confusion than in anger. Upon noticing Lilac, Shourai, and Iyoku, a gleam in his eyes showed he had figured it out. “Very funny you three. I have half a mind to toss all of you into the river right now! Thankfully for you, I have had quite enough of water for today.” Lilac couldn't help but continue laughing despite the fact she had pulled a prank on a very dangerous person. Heck, he could've been Arceus and she would still be laughing as hard!
Taking a couple deep breaths, Iyoku finally managed to calm down enough to talk, although a few snickers still escaped. “That was a piece of Tamato Berry,” he said, “Consider yourself lucky I didn’t give you the whole thing.” However, just the thought of what would’ve happened had Iyoku indeed given Nazo the entire berry was enough to get him laughing again, although he tried his best to muffle it.
And, while Iyoku was just laughing at it, that same idea had Shourai laughing even harder before the two finally calmed down enough to speak regularly. However, the Eevee was still snickering; bet he’s gonna pay more attention to what he eats now.
Nazo could only glare at the three. “Next time, the joke shall be on you.” He was trying his best not to show his anger - there wasn't anything to be angry about, aside from the intense pain he had been in. Lilac herself had eventually calmed down, wondering what other reactions he would have to different berries. Although, he would be very careful from now on whenever Iyoku gave him something.
Hiding more snickers, Iyoku went back to sit against the tree he had been leaning against before, and, picking up what he had paused before going into the woods, he continued to hollow out the apricorn. Meanwhile, Shourai sat down next to the fire, his ears pricked and listening to the night sounds of the forest.
While Nazo returned to chipping the rock, Lilac padded over to Iyoku, her eyes stern. <...Do you really trust Nazo? We just pulled this prank on him, yeah... But you don't really talk to him. You both obviously have bad pasts... Or futures, for that matter. That makes you both alike. Talk to him. I think it will help both of you.>
That said, Lilac padded back over to the fire, laying down with a contented sigh.
Iyoku exchanged glances with Shourai as the Eevee watched him through one open eye, the other closed. <She’s right, you know. It would help to talk about it.>
<Yeah, I know, but… It’s getting rather late out, I’ll try tomorrow.>
The Normal Type glared at him halfheartedly as he closed his other eye, trying to fall asleep. If he keeps putting things like that off, he won’t get the chance later…But at the same time… I can’t exactly blame him for his wariness.
Nazo barely paid attention to the others, chipping away at the rock and exposing more of the precious gem inside. Every so often his aura flickered as if alive, casting a soft glow that mixed with the fire. If Nazo hadn't earned the reputation he now carried upon his shoulders, many girls would have fallen in love with his pelt. The hedgehog cast one yellow-green eye up to the stars above, as if silently wondering what the next day would bring.
As he looked at the now-completed Fast Ball he had just set the inside of, Iyoku knew there were other things he had to finish as well. Shrinking the ball to the small size used for storage, he put it away in his bag, and then finally decided he had to ask Nazo about his past. Shourai and Lilac were right, if he didn’t do anything tonight, he wouldn’t be too likely to end up having a chance later. He wasn’t sure why, but he had a feeling things were going to get very chaotic the next day… With two Chaos Emeralds, they would be a prime target for anyone who happened to be seeking them out. He got up noiselessly and walked over to where Nazo was sitting, still uncovering the amethyst from the stone he had found earlier. “You said you were going to tell me about your past, so… Would now be a good time?” he asked a little hesitantly.
Nazo looked up, his eyes showing no anger at the question Iyoku had just asked. “Indeed. If you wish, I shall tell you my tale.” He moved over on the rock he had sat down on, leaving enough room for Iyoku to sit down alongside him. “Now, where should I begin? I suppose I should start at the beginning, before my life was flipped upside down.” During this time, he continued to chip away at the rock. “My home life was nothing out of the ordinary. I never knew my parents, instead I lived with my grandfather. However, due to his old age, he soon passed away when I was only about six.” He sighed, shaking his head. “It was soon after that I was attacked by a wolf, which I barely survived.” A small shudder rippled through the hedgehog, before he continued. “My past times involved searching for rocks and sharpening my spearing abilities. However...I soon began to bully a hedgehog named Sonic.” He stopped, eyebrows furrowed.
Iyoku sat next to the sky-blue hedgehog, listening with interest to the story he was telling. However, he blinked as he recognized the name of the other one Nazo had said he’d been bullying. If he knew Sonic… Could that mean he knew Shadow as well? And what about that Huwing, Cami?
He noticed that Nazo had paused, and then said, “Well, keep going.”
Nazo shook his head, snapping himself out of his daze. “Yes. Well, I remember that I beat Sonic...I disliked him for being different. One day, he had enough. I was standing on a cliffside, gazing out at the sea, when he confronted me. In a heated argument, he pushed me over the cliff...I remember falling, bashing my head across a rock to leave the scar on my forehead...And then, I remember – briefly - being impaled on the rocks below. I was killed instantly...At the age of ten.” The hedgehog sighed, putting down the rock he had been working on. “However...My soul could not rest. I was preyed upon by an evil force who went by the name of Tatsujin.” He stopped once more, anger sparking in his eyes. It evidently wasn't a name he liked to remember.
Iyoku continued to listen; he couldn’t judge other people and wouldn’t. He couldn't deny that it was wrong Nazo had been acting like so towards Sonic, but Sonic’s reaction, although expected, was not right either. However, he recognized the name Tatsujin, although he was very careful not to show it. I can’t be sure it’s the same one… Is it?
Nazo took a deep breath, continuing. “I do not remember the next two years, I am afraid - no matter how hard I have tried. I believe that is the time Pokémon began arriving.” He looked thoughtful. “However, I awoke when I was twelve, in a tube of sorts. I did not know what was going on, except I looked like I do now. I was bitterly angry at Sonic, but being older, I knew I had been wrong. I retaliated against Tatsujin, severely injuring him, but was defeated due to my inexperience with my powers. For the next year, Tatsujin spent time recovering, but there was more...He split my soul in to two, keeping the logical part with him and letting my vengeful part take over my body.” He shook his head. “I trained then, until I was sixteen...The age I am now.” A hiss escaped through the hedgehog's lips, his fur ever so ruffled. “He attacked this planet. He was the reason Shadow's creator went insane. He was the reason Cami's village, and nearly her whole kind, was destroyed. I killed so many, I had no control. I drove Sonic insane, using him like a puppet...” He clenched his fists, grief washing over his features.
Iyoku was silent for several seconds, and then spoke, “While I won't judge anyone’s actions… As you said, it was Tatsujin doing those things, not you. Anyone who has a heart would do their best to stop something like that, and given what Mesprit said earlier about the regret of your past actions…” he trailed off, remembering something that he had tried to forget through the years. Funny how a single event can turn a person’s life inside-out…
Nazo sighed. “Yes, but I was so helpless. The only one who thought there was more to the situation was the Huwing, who I am ever grateful to. Even though I killed their god, Terrador, and the betrayal of one of their Elders. That same Elder, Kurai, later fused with me and took control...I was turned into a monster. He fought against Shadow, whom had fused with Cami to become a being of light. During that time, I communicated with Cami, and instructed her to kill us.” His eyes turned wistful as he recalled the somber moment. “She was so sad...Yet she did it. Shadow and Kurai had entered their most powerful stages, Shadow cornered the Huwing. I was able to stall his body, while Cami took control and sliced the jugular, ending both Kurai's life...And mine.” He sighed, blinking. “That was a few months ago. Sonic sacrificed himself to kill Tatsujin, and was brought back with the Emeralds. As for me...” He trailed off. “I do not know how I was brought back to the living. I could be a spirit for all I know.” He looked at Iyoku, eyes stern yet wise. “Be thankful for every living moment, Iyoku. You never know when it will be taken away from you, and you never know if you will ever get it back.”
Iyoku only nodded somberly, “Yeah… It’s a lesson my Pokémon and I have to learn all too well and often.” Then he paused, “Which reminds me,” he muttered in a barely audible tone to himself, “Celebi said that the Chaos Emerald she gave me was the last that existed in the future… Since that’s the case, I wonder what happened to the others?” he turned, watching Shourai sleeping by the bag that had the two emeralds inside. What in the world could’ve caused them to be destroyed?
Nazo's ear flicked as he caught what Iyoku had muttered. “The Emeralds...Were destroyed?” He crossed his arms, thinking to himself. “The only thing I can think of that could destroy the Chaos Emeralds is an overload of Chaos Energy. Anything, whether it is alive or non-living, will destroy itself if too much energy is sent through them. However, the question here is if that indeed destroyed them, and if so, what delivered the fatal amount?” He thought carefully. A being made of Chaos Energy could easily send their energy into the emeralds to destroy them...And apparently it must have happened in this time. The only creatures with access to a large enough amount of this energy, however, were either himself or Shadow. Although...What if there is someone else I do not have knowledge of?
Iyoku shook his head, “Well, I can safely say I hadn’t even heard of the Chaos Emeralds until that day… So whatever or whoever destroyed them must have done it in the past.” Then he snorted, “That… Trying to find the cause of that could take a while, given that there’s a two-thousand year difference between now and the future.”
Nazo sighed, shaking his head. “Patience is key - that much I know. It is quite a conundrum, but one that could be the key. The Chaos Emeralds help maintain balance, and in some hands in can be a powerful tool to save others. Just as easily, it could also be a tool of destruction. There is a good chance the paralysis of the planet, along with the untimely demises of the Emeralds, could be related.” He stopped briefly, before continuing. “The answers will come - perhaps in finding one, the other will follow.”
The hedgehog looked upwards, a yawn escaping his mouth. “It is late. We should rest and gather our strength for tomorrow.”
Okay, let mehself and Grassy know what you think ^^
I swear, that prank gets funnier every time XD