Iyoku nodded before silently continuing into the woods, Yaiba and Shourai keeping an even pace on either side of him, while Kouena and Taiga trekked slightly ahead. They knew the forest best, and were also on high alert like the others. The grey hedgehog scanned the forest carefully, watching for any sign of the white Lucario that the greenery could be concealing before them. He found it slightly ironic that the Flareon that had been so bent on getting rid of them before was now working with them without hesitation; perhaps there was more to her behaviour than they knew.
Lilac whimpered, head raised and ears pricked. <Iyoku, how far away was Reiki?>
The Houndour was growing more nervous as time passed, and not even Sevi could calm her down. She already had a sort of plan - if she used an Ember on Kouena, her Flash Fire ability would protect her and power up her own abilities. It was a small edge, but an edge nonetheless, and they needed everything they could get.
The grey hedgehog shook his head as he thought to himself before delivering his reply. <I'm not entirely sure – I can't pinpoint the exact location.>
This was true; while he had the ability to roughly sense where something was, he wasn't able to pin it down exactly. However, his intuition told him they were getting close and to prepare for battle.
He knew that living in the future had tempered him and all of his Pokemon, for they were used to fighting to kill, but this opponent was tremendously powerful – who knew whether they would win or not? Their chances didn't seem that great, though.
Lilac growled a little to herself. <He is probably waiting for us. An opponent like him would not be caught off guard so easily.>
Sevi issued a low hiss in agreement, eager to end the fight and return to her guard duties. That was because she sensed something occurring there, and wanted to figure out what. Matters first, however, and this called on focusing to help defeat Reiki. He was strong, yes, but just like Lilac, she felt if they all teamed up he could be defeated.
Iyoku mentally agreed with Lilac’s statement before returning his eyes to the forest. We’re getting closer,
he thought, and sure enough, the next few minutes of trekking through the woods revealed a small clearing that was several feet away from the river, and even further away from any side of the cavern wall. At least they weren’t in any danger such as rockslides, but that was still the least of their problems. The grey hedgehog paused in his steps as he sensed a wave of negative energy, and his eyes narrowed in response. They were very close.
Lilac's fur bristled as she too sensed the energy. Taking a step forward, she called out, <Reiki! Show yourself, you traitorous swine! You disgraceful Monogatari Kurai! Scum of Arceus! Come out and face us, you cowardly mutt!>
Anger traced every word she spoke as her words mentally echoed around the cave. An angered enemy was dangerous, true, but an angered enemy also let their emotions rule them, leading to gaps in defenses.
“Tch,” Iyoku’s ears pricked at the sound of the voice, and he watched as the white Lucario emerged from the trees, watching them with emotionless red eyes. “If you think that’s to get me angry…You have another thing coming. Monogatari are the superior race for a reason; we do not let our emotions get in the way of our decisions.” He paused. “That is, not unless we wish our enemies a brutal, painful and bloody death.”
Iyoku watched carefully, knowing that he could be setting up a trap – the grey hedgehog certainly wouldn’t put it past the corrupt Monogatari to do so.
Lilac growled. <It does not matter - you will still be defeated. If there is one thing that you do not possess, it is the power of friendship.>
She shook her head. <Why have you come back, you rotten piece of filth? What could you gain by coming here?>
The Houndour had a feeling, but she did not want to listen to her instinct. It was highly unpleasant.
The Fighting-Steel Type studied them before he replied coolly as he folded his arms, saying, “You should know what I seek by now. You provided enough clues at our last meeting – however, I can truly say this meeting will be our last.”
Iyoku took a cautious step forward, “It doesn’t matter,” he said. “I have no doubt you can sense our intentions. We’re not about to lose easily.”
Lilac snarled at Reiki. <You will not take Nazo! He will never bend to your will, nor could you ever make him!>
Her body tensed to attack, but she remained where she was, trembling from anger and confusion. Reiki couldn't get Nazo on his side...Could he? Nazo wouldn't be tempted, right? She couldn't answer any of these questions, doubt clinging to her mind like a painful thorn.
Reiki was silent for a few seconds before he replied, “I see there is no advantage to persuading you to give up this fight, so I feel we should get on with what you eight came here for.” After saying so, another figure became visible in the trees as it emerged from the forest, followed by two more. The first was a large, oval shaped creature that bore magnets and antennae that was recognizable as a Magnezone, while the second was a Metagross – distinguished by the large metal ‘X’ on its front – and the last was a four-legged creature that was a Bastiodon, known because of the massive shield that was its head.
Lilac turned to the Flareon, Kouena. <Here, Kouena.>
Taking a deep breath, she released an Ember over the fox, knowing Flash Fire would kick in and power her up. She then turned back to the battle. <I'll take on the Metagross. His Psychic attacks won't be able to hurt me.>
She heard Sevi hiss; and realized that the Seviper was at an extreme disadvantage - all of their enemies were Steel, and thus her Poison would have no effect.
Kouena nodded slightly, a visible red lining of fire becoming visible around her, while Taiga looked at Sevi, <Do you know any other moves besides Poison?>
she asked as Iyoku prepared an attack of his own. Shadowy purple energy gathered upon his gloves until it was recognizable as the deadly sharp edges of a Shadow Claw. I may have no choice but to use it full force,
he thought grimly. Yaiba and Shourai had crouched slightly, each ready to charge an attack or evade depending on the immediate situation they found themselves in.
Sevi turned her head towards Taiga. <Well dear, I believe I know Crunch.>
She then looked back at the battle, while she noticed Lilac's muzzle being licked by flames from a Flamethrower. As of now, she had not attacked - but the move was getting powerful within her mouth. How long should, or could,
she keep the technique held inside?
The Water Type listened, keeping her eyes on the battle. <I have an idea,>
she said, <If both you and Lilac take on the Metagross, you should be able to knock it out rather easily – I’ll use Helping Hand to give Crunch a boost.>
Yaiba studied the four Steel Types, knowing that his Flamethrower and a rather large arsenal of other moves would come in very handy. Iyoku had given TMs to his Pokemon whenever he got them, and this was just one of the many situations in which they had earned their money’s worth. The Absol also knew several Water Type techniques along with Icy Wind to slow the opponent’s speed. Opening his jaws, he let a freezing gust of wind free from his fanged mouth, unleashing the attack that was also combined with Blizzard – it would slow them down no doubt, and while they were trying to recover, they themselves would be firing attacks – literally.
Sevi nodded, her mouth glowing with a dark Aura as she turned and faced the Metagross, whom had been frozen to the ground by the ice combo. Lilac opened her mouth, unleashing a powerful jet of fire at the Steel Type, smirking as its mouth opened in a silent shout of pain. Out of the corner of the Houndour's eye, she saw Sevi coming in for a blow of her own, and hoped the fire and ice would keep the Metagross preoccupied, so it could not retaliate with a Psychic Type move (which would wreak havoc on a Poison Type). She knew these Pokemon would probably kill if given the chance.
At the sight of the Flamethrower, the middle eye on the Magnezone narrowed, and its magnets gave off a whirring sound as they spun and drew in a large amount of electricity, only to release it in the form of a powerful attack of blinding light that was Thunder. However, before the move could connect, Shourai flung himself at the ground, vanishing into the earth a split second before the attack would’ve hit. He didn’t give the others any chance to use a move such as Earthquake, either, for he lunged out of the ground right below the Magnezone and slammed into it, which sent it flying.
Taiga was rather surprised – for a basic evolution Pokemon, that Eevee was impressively powerful. She returned her attention to the battle just in time to avoid a Body Slam from the Bastiodon, and she jumped to the side as her form liquidized during the use of Acid Armor only to reappear behind the Rock-Steel Type, and blast it with a massive jet of water that was a super-effective Hydro Pump. Poor Special Defense coupled with the Vaporeon’s high Special Attack caused an instant knockout, and the fossil Pokemon collapsed to the ground as its legs buckled underneath the heavy bulk, its eyes spiraling.
The Metagross let out a grunt as Sevi wrapped her jaws around its leg, dealing Dark damage, but due to its high Defense, it didn’t do much. At that moment, its eyes and body took on a bluish glow, and an intense wave of energy slammed into the Seviper, lifting her away and causing her to writhe in pain. Lilac let out a growl, running forward for a close-range Fire attack. Using his Psychic ability, the metallic Pokemon managed to fling the severely injured Seviper at Lilac, who was caught off guard. With a yelp, they both slammed into a tree, and the Metagross broke free of the ice that had held it down.
Yaiba’s eyes narrowed, and he charged at the Metagross as his scythe began to glow with a dim black energy that was recognizable as a Night Slash. However, before the partial Psychic Type could react, the Absol vanished in a fading twilight of dark energy, and appeared behind the Pokemon, still charging an attack that he then let loose – the Night Slash had been combined effectively with a Flamethrower, and he slashed at the Steel-Psychic Type with a scythe and claws cloaked in black flames. The metallic creature roared in fury as Yaiba hastily returned to a defending position, noting the metal on the Pokemon’s body that had begun to melt upon contact.
Lilac dragged herself to her feet, nudging Sevi into an upright position. Letting out a howl of anger, she charged at the Metagross, who, caught in its agony, failed to see her coming. Leaping on top of the beast, she unleashed a Flamethrower down below it, super heating the metal and thus rendering it flexible. Painted cherry red, the Metagross flailed its arms, trying to dislodge Lilac. Sevi, seeing this, shot forward at a speed seemingly too fast for a creature with no legs, clamping her jaws around one of the segments on the leg. Biting down as hard as she could despite the burn her mouth was sustaining, she successfully crippled that limb. The crunched metal was similar to a broken bone, causing it to scream out in even more agony.
Seeing the other Steel Type in trouble, the Magnezone hurtled towards it, knocking Sevi off and sending her several feet backwards. However, their troubles weren’t over yet; Kouena’s eyes narrowed angrily, and she began a charge at the Steel-Electric Type. <It’s time to finish this!>
she thought angrily, as flames cloaked her body. She bolted towards the Pokemon, time seemed to slow as she was ablaze with fire, and slammed into it, the extreme heat from the Flare Blitz attack causing her to shear a gaping hole straight through both sides of the Pokemon.
Landing quickly on her feet, she ducked as Taiga fired another Hydro Pump at it, freezing the Magnezone in its warped state before Yaiba fired the final Flamethrower at it, knocking it out, while Shourai did the same to the Metagross by hurling a well-aimed Shadow Ball at it.
However, they all knew the hardest challenge was still ahead. As they watched the Lucario smirk while preparing a pitch black Aura Sphere, Iyoku’s mind began to work furiously at how they were to defeat the villain.
Lilac whimpered as Sevi landed a few feet away from her, and did not get back up. Lilac bounded over to the fallen Seviper, standing in front to protect her from Reiki. She unleashed another Flamethrower, aimed at the Lucario, hoping to cause him to jump into the air. Unless winged or capable of levitation, one was much less maneuverable in the air than on ground. She could care less if Reiki fired the Aura Sphere at her, either - she was sure she could eliminate the ball before it became much of a problem.
The white Lucario just shook his head, and with the same expression on his face, he fired the Aura Sphere at the Flamethrower, completely negating it, and the attack still went strong as it flung itself towards the Houndour and the downed Seviper. However, before it could connect, Iyoku jumped in front of it as he swiftly drew his sword while imbuing it with his own Aura, and slashed completely through the special attack. He watched carefully, knowing that he was too low on his own energy to use the same technique. However, something did distract them, even if it was only for a split second. The other Steel Types they had been fighting – the fallen Metagross, Bastiodon and Magnezone – seemed to vanish into thin air after a dim light glowed from them.
The hedgehog thought as he returned his attention to Reiki. He had been fighting through them all this time...What else is he capable of that we don’t know about…?
Lilac snarled, fur bristling. <YOU. WILL. NOT. TAKE. HIM!>
She growled, pawing the ground. Where was Naomi when you needed her? Lilac was beginning to feel helpless. He was really strong, and he hardly had fought! Lilac gazed at Reiki with her purple eyes, deciding to ask him something. <Why do you want him so badly? He is dying, he is of no use. Besides, I doubt you could convince him to join you. So why?>
If he was to kill them, the least he could do was explain himself!
The Lucario was silent for several seconds, before he finally spoke. “I have figured out that he would not join, even if I did kill you. However, what will happen in the future…It’s not for your kind to experience; as the darkness grows, so do the powers of those who use it. I intend to take full advantage of that situation the second it arrives.” A staff materialized in his claws, and he finished with an emotionless expression, “If you think you can stop me, by all means, try. I need a good warm-up.”
Lilac relaxed - only because Nazo was safe - before bristling again. <Warm up? You should be careful about saying that around a Fire Type - they may take it literally.>
She was relieved that he wasn't after her partner anymore. If the powers of those who wield darkness grows as the paralysis comes closer, doesn't that mean Nazo - if he lives - will grow stronger too? Perhaps become corrupted by the very power he holds?
She shook her head. Why do I doubt him so? He is my friend and partner, and I should trust him!
She smiled slightly - she would grow stronger as well as the future world approached. Perhaps strong enough to kill Reiki.
“Of course,” he finished as the staff burst into flames. “I already know you will try to stop that future from occurring. Therefore, my job is simple; eliminate all threats that stand in my way.” Yaiba’s eyes narrowed angrily, and after charging a Razor Wind, he fired it at the white Lucario, but as impressive as the attack seemed, all the Steel-Fighting Type did was simply spin his Bone Rush-Fire Punch combo, and the Normal Type move was negated on the spot.
Iyoku thought. Powerful and crazy; what a winning combo!