- - - - -
Mythological Monstrosity Rayquaza
- - - - -
"… Blech" Lucario grumbled together with his disgusted stomach, glancing disappointedly at the oddly shaped berry in his hand, "Isn't there anything you can dip these thing in that'll make them taste better?"
"Nothing's tastier than berries!" the Gallade said while removing some large leaves off his berry, "What do you think could possibly enhance their flavor?"
"… I'd take mud, at this point…" Lucario groaned.
"Plenty of that to go around…" Pikablu muttered, taking a bite out of a purple berry covered with dull spikes, "You just need to find a taste that you like. Here, try a dry berry."
“For the last time, DRY IS NOT A TASTE!” Lucario yelled much louder than necessary, “It's an attribute! Heck, if you dip a dry berry in water, what does it become? Wait, let me try that…"
Lucario snatched the berry Pikablu was eating and ran up to the nearby river where he dipped it in. When he took his hand out, the only thing in it was a faint hint of a purplish color as it had dissolved.
"Guess that answers that" Pikablu said coolly, picking up another berry from the backpack, "Normally they just melt in your mouth."
"No! This answers nothing!" Lucario exclaimed while scratching his head in annoyance, "That… This… How… Argh!"
"… Anyway, when we find the trainer… How do we fight him?" Zerobi asked, ignoring her partner completely for once, "Do we battle one by one or all at once?"
"There's five of us, and I'll bet you anything he's got six Pokémon on him…" Pikablu answered the question that he felt a bit ashamed over not having given any thought to, "… So, that puts us at a disadvantage."
"Don't forget that two out of those six are Celebi and Kabutops!" the Gallade chimed in, "They'll be on our side!"
"Right…" Pikablu said, blinking rapidly.
"Wait… How exactly do you know he's got six Pokémon with him?" Lucario asked, remembering his many encounters with Brendan.
"It's illegal to carry more than six" Pikablu explained, "Extra Pokémon get sent somewhere… Or the trainer's sent to jail."
"… Really? Jail?" Lucario mumbled questioningly, "He doesn't get publicly executed or anything?"
"Haha…" Pikablu snickered as Zerobi smacked her forehead, "Nah… I think that'd be a bit too rough."
Lucario and Zerobi were preparing their sleeping bags, when the Gallade and Pikablu got their belongings and started walking away.
"Wait, where're you going?" Zerobi asked, looking up from the ground.
"To the other side of that hill" Pikablu said and pointed to a grassy knoll a little further away, "No offense, but I'd appreciate it if I didn't wake up with one of you at my throat."
"None taken…" Lucario replied slowly, "I sleep light, so don't even think about extracting revenge for earlier, either..."
"Oh, I won't…" the Gallade muttered sarcastically, "Mr. Kills-Their-Opponents-For-Kicks!"
A heavy aura began forming between the two of them, a remnant from and reminder of their earlier battle.
"… This is setting a pretty bad mood" Lucario mumbled before looking directly at the Gallade, "You, what's your name?"
"Not important" the Gallade replied quickly, "What is it?"
"Here, punch me in the face!" Lucario said sharply while pointing at his nose, "That'll make things even from before."
"… Even!? Hahaha!" the Gallade started laughing, "But I totally manhandled you back there! We're far beyond even!"
"You two still on that?" Pikablu sighed with disappointment as Lucario clenched his fist, "Can you at least hide your animosity? We're supposed to be working together, you know…"
"Give them some time, they'll get over it" Zerobi assured him with a nod.
"Kabuta, are things cool between you two?" Pikablu asked, looking at the unusually silent Kabutops next to him, "You've been quieter than your old man since the fight."
"… Uh, yeah…" Kabuta whispered back while staring intently at Lucario, "… I'm cool."
Lucario was suddenly hit by an ominous feeling, and could not help but shudder a bit.
"Lucario…" Zerobi whispered while trying to pick up signs of life from the Pokémon beside her, "Are you awake?"
"Yeah" Lucario responded, getting pulled back from his half-sleeping state.
"… Quite a weird twist of fate, isn't it?" Zerobi said before shuddering bit as the cliché left her mouth, "I mean, not fate, but… You know what I mean."
"Gotta say, didn't imagine this happening when I woke up this morning" Lucario sighed, "Which, of course, is what every day's been like since I became a Lucario."
"I'm glad you're here at least, so if bad thing go down…" Zerobi whispered slowly, "… You'll be here, right?"
"… Yeah. I've got your back" Lucario replied while stifling a short laugh, "You've got my back, back?"
"Uh…" Zerobi mumbled as she remembered their last couple of fights and felt an explanation was in order, "Listen, I know I've been on the sidelines a lot lately, but-"
"Honestly? I'd prefer it if you stick with that" Lucario interrupted her, "I like it. Teaming up in a fight is such a mess."
"Well… Especially for me, with that blood issue…" Zerobi whispered while closing her eyes.
"Besides, you're pretty good support" Lucario whispered back, "You know, whacking the living hell out of my enemy when I'm down."
"Hmm…" Zerobi wondered for a moment, "… What about the medical care?"
"Actually, that ends now" Lucario replied sternly, "After what happened last time, I think I'd rather have that Kabuta thing try her luck."
"So, Lucario…" Pikablu asked as he jumped over a small log block their way, "What's the deal with you?"
"Nothing much, on the run currently" Lucario responded nonchalantly before a quick shudder passed through him, "Being chased by the stuff nightmares are made out of."
"Uh, maybe we should've mentioned that earlier…" Zerobi said, "Yeah, Lucario's being hunted down by legendary Pokémon. Suicune, for instance."
"… WHAT!?" both Pikablu and the Gallade exclaimed at the same time.
"There was that Raikou too, remember?" Lucario jumped in to clarify, "Oh, and some weird bird on two legs, I think…"
"Raikou!? You've fought Raikou!?" Pikablu repeated with apparent shock, "How'd you win!?"
"We didn't" Zerobi said quickly before Lucario could respond, "His trainer showed mercy on us and let us go."
"… Huh. Never heard of that happening before…" Pikablu said as he calmed down, "He must've thought you were too weak to be worth the effort, or something…"
"I'll have you know…!" Lucario burst out before suddenly remembering that he wasn't able to land a single hit against either of them, "… I'll beat them, next time!"
"Hey, tell me what the trainer looked like" Pikablu said indifferently, "Maybe I'll fight him once this is all over…"
"Stick around, I'll bet you it'll be sooner than that" Lucario replied, somewhat relieved to see the Pikachu smiling in return instead of soiling himself in fear.
"Alright, I think my muscles've finally healed!" Pikablu chanted cheerfully while throwing his arms up into the air, "Let's train!"
"Same her, luckily I didn't take much damage from…" the Gallade started, before turning over to Lucario with a question, "… Hey, will you be joining us?"
"… Training?" Lucario said in a fairly low volume, "Should I bother training a body that's not even mine…?"
"Depends" Pikablu said, not really sure what he meant by 'not mine' but certain it was another joke that simply fell flat, "Do you plan on using it, or should we carry you the rest of the way?"
"Guess what? Some of us have to actually work hard to stay in shape!" the Gallade piled on with annoyance in his voice.
"You're constantly fighting for your life, and that's even a question?" Zerobi jumped on as well, "If it increases you chance of survival by even 1%, you should do it."
"Fine!" Lucario shouted angrily, "Geez, cut me some slack over here! I'm still in mourning over all of this!"
"Sounds to me like you're still in whining" Pikablu said and shrugged his shoulders.
"Hey! I've been through hell recently, I've got the right to whine!" Lucario pointed out while gritting his teeth, "Like anything that bad's ever happened to you!"
Pikablu and Zerobi couldn't help but stifle a laugh at this, knowing that few things could compare to their sordid past.
"A-A spar!" Kabuta stammered while pointing at Lucario, "Let's spar!"
"Spar? Still rarin' even after the training?" Lucario asked before jumping up to his feet, "I'm OK with that. It got my blood flowing, too."
"I won't go down as easily, this time!" Kabuta yelled confidently, the two of them walking off to the top of a nearby hill.
"Go easy on her, now!" Pikablu shouted while feeling that he should probably follow them, but ignored it as resting in the warm grass felt so comfortable after his grueling training session.
A few minutes later, they were both struck by a case of uncanny reminiscence as Lucario was sitting on top of Kabuta once again.
"Damn it! I don't get it…!" Kabuta growled pitifully against the ground, "Back home, I never lost a single battle… Especially not when it came to fighting types!"
"… You know, if I were to guess…" Lucario said in a calm manner, "I'd say it's because you've got an advantage over most people."
"… What?" Kabuta asked, not sure which part of her fighting style he was referring to.
"You're pretty eager to fight, and look quite intimidating" Lucario explained, leaning back on his living seat while using his arms for support, "Most people aren't looking for a fight. Already on that level, you've got an edge."
"But…" Kabuta said before trailing off.
"Me? I've fought many hard battles, and seen stuff that would curve your… You know what" Lucario continued, "To me, you're just another opponent."
"Just… Another opponent…" Kabuta whispered to herself, covering up a sad sigh.
The two of them sat on the hill and Kabuta for a few moments, watching the orange sun go down by the horizon.
"… Wait…" Lucario said after a long time of silence, "Could it be that you're fighting just because you look like that?"
"Huh?" Kabuta exclaimed, all too aware of what he was referring to, "W-What? No! My twin brother looks the same, and he's a complete lameass!"
"Always with the namecalling…" Lucario sighed, "You know, I get the feeling your animosity for your brother beyond sibling rivalry."
"Hmpf… " Kabuta huffed, wishing she could cross her arms lying down for extra effect, " Just sayin'… Had it been me, they wouldn't have gotten pops or cell."
Again they became silent, both exhausted from the sparring as well as the earlier training. Both felt that they should be moving, but like Pikablu were simply too comfortable to bother.
"… Hey…" Kabuta whispered after yet another long silence, "Tell me about those battles."
"Uh… What battles?" Lucario asked.
"You know…" Kabuta said curiously, "The hardest!"
The wind was blowing across the plains, setting the strands of grass surrounding the quintet in constant motion, almost like a perpetual dance. It was then, out of nowhere that the Gallade suddenly stopped himself.
"Finally…" he said to himself, "… I've got one!"
"Where?" Pikablu asked hopefully.
"It's actually coming towards us" the Gallade responded, exhaling most of the air in his lungs as a strong feeling came upon him, "It's… Extremely powerful."
"Huh…" Lucario mumbled as a familiar sensation started creeping up on him as well, "Yeah. I sense it, too."
"Finally!" Kabuta exclaimed cheerfully, "Let's beat this thing and go home!"
"Wait…" the Gallade mumbled while closing his eyes and focusing harder, "Scratch that, it's ridiculously powerful… And flying!"
"… Flying? You sure?" Pikablu asked, rummaging through his memory banks and giving off a short snicker, "It's not Ho-Oh, is it?"
"Same level of power, I'd say…!" the Gallade muttered as he suddenly started feeling very hot.
"… What!?" Pikablu exclaimed in startled surprise, "You're kidding!"
"I can attest to that… This one's outrageous!" Lucario chimed in, noticing that whatever it was had already exceeded the power of both Suicune and Raikou.
"Are you sure it's the one we're looking for?" Kabuta asked the Gallade, feeling that his word wasn't exactly the most reliable.
"Oh, sure, might just be someone taking a mortal god out for a stroll" the Gallade snapped angrily, "By the way, I sense someone on t-"
"I see something at the horizon!" Zerobi suddenly said, pointing to their left. Everyone turned their head, barely making out something appearing from behind a nearby mountain.
"That's the one!" the Gallade said while squinting his eyes, "I can't… Really see… Wait…"
Slowly the powerful creature began emerging by the mountaintop, slithering above it with a long body like a cobra creeping out of a snake charmer's basket. At first they thought they were seeing the full beast, but as more and more of the monster's body became apparent they could not help but gasp.
It was almost as big as the top of the mountain it was passing above. Moving through the sky with twisting movements was something that could not be described as anything other than a gargantuan flying serpent. Its body was shimmering with an emerald color, as well as markings that almost looked like warpaint. Long antler-like appendages stuck out of its head, and giant arms small in comparison to the rest of its body were at its sides.
"W-What in god's name…" Lucario stuttered, barely able to comprehend the size of the humongous beast.
"That's…" the Gallade said slowly yet loudly, his ever present smile fading away, "… That's not what I think it is, right!?"
"… Rayquaza…" Pikablu muttered to himself, "… Unbelievable."
"W-We're not fighting that thing, are we!?" Zerobi said with a terrified shout, followed by a gasp. They all stood frozen as Rayquaza turned to the left, moving further away from their position.
"To be able to defeat Celebi and Kabutops, it'd have to be something like that" Pikablu explained, still staring in disbelief, "… But honestly, I never would've imagined…"
"Hurry, he's getting away!" the Gallade yelled, "The trainer's riding that thing! Whatever you're gonna do, do it now!"
"Tch, it can't be helped…!" Pikablu growled before becoming surrounded by several lightning bolts. Lucario stumbled back in shock as Pikablu shot out a large pillar of electricity towards the mythological monster.
Rayquaza remained on its course, not even noticing the attack before being struck by it. It went from shimmering emerald to lighting up like a beacon in the sky, shooting lightning in every direction.
"ARE YOU INSANE!?" Zerobi screamed at Pikablu, "LOOK AT THAT THING! We'll be eaten al-"
Zerobi was interrupted by an incredibly powerful roar filling the sky, shaking them all to their very core.
"… Hey, wait!" Lucario suddenly exclaimed, "I thought Pokémon couldn't eat each other!"
"Big mouth, tiny us…" the Gallade answered while trying his best to force a smile, "Although, I think a casual maiming's more likely."
"… He sees us…!" Kabuta whispered slowly, Rayquaza fixing a gaze into them so hateful that they could almost feel it.
"There's a trainer on Rayquaza's back…" the Gallade said quietly while listening with all his might, "He's saying something."
"Don't keep us in the dark, man!" Kabuta shouted, making the Gallade flinch from the change in volume.
"He's saying…" the Gallade muttered with a faint smile appearing on his face, "… He says that the brown one's built like a brick."
"… WHAT!?" Kabuta bellowed, shaking with rage, "WHAT A BLOODY JERK!"
"How about telling us what he's actually saying?" Pikablu asked sternly.
"Hey, just trying to get her fired up for the battle…" the Gallade snickered weakly, "I can't hear anything from here, anyway."
"I think I know what he said" Lucario muttered with a snarky tone while the enormous adder turned around in midair and began rapidly descending on their location, "… Giant flying serpent aside, we probably should've seen this coming."
"Everyone, scatter!" Pikablu suddenly yelled, everyone splitting off in different directions as Rayquaza came rushing down at them. Before they knew it, its massive body was upon them as it swooped by the ground, causing extreme turbulence around it.
They all managed to avoid the humongous tackle, but it was so powerful that it was like if the air by the impact site had cracked and split in two. Simply being near it was enough to make the wind currents throw everyone into the air. Everyone managed to land safely, except for Kabuta who was the closest to the impact site and tumbled around after crashing on the ground.
"You OK!?" Pikablu shouted at his niece as Rayquaza soared up into the sky again.
"Damn flying twister-spitting locomotive!" Kabuta responded cheekily while trying to regain her orientation.
"Whoa, that was bad!" Zerobi shouted, instantly rising to her feet, "If that thing hits us… How the hell're we gonna fight that!?"
Lucario growled angrily when they all heard a voice echoing from above them, looking up to see Rayquaza come back for another turn.
"Come on, Pikablu!" the Gallade shouted while keeping his eyes on their enemy, "We don't stand a chance against that thing! Use 50% or something!"
"… I can't!" Pikablu suddenly burst out, also staring into the sky, "That trainer's riding on Rayquaza's back! With an attack like that, he'll die for sure!"
"This isn't the right time to be going soft!" the Gallade yelled angrily as Lucario and Zerobi looked at each other with fear, "Let's take the risk!"
"No way! I'm not killing him!" Pikablu yelled back, glaring at his old friend.
"There's no other way!" the Gallade kept yelling as the giant serpent approached, "This is Kabutops and Celebi we're talking about, don't they mean more to you than some stupid human!?"
"HOW D'YOU THINK SHE'S GOING TO REACT IF I KILL SOMEONE TO SAVE HER!?" Pikablu roared with indignation, making both Kabuta and the Gallade twitch fearfully, "I... CAN'T... DO IT!"
"… Damn it! These three aren't reliable at all!" Zerobi shouted hopelessly to Lucario, trying her best to not panic as Rayquaza was getting even closer, "Retreat!"