Chapter 33: The D**med Forest
The Serperior briefly examined the remaining Knight, me, and my six Pokémon as well.
"You six. Are you with the Knight, or with the peasant?"
The Serperior hissed at the Pokémon.
Meta was easily seen shutting Scyez's, Septim's, and Lesha's mouths with Psychic Power before answering himself: "We're all with the 'peasant.' What of it?"
Immediately after announcing this, the vines swirled around us, which did no pleasure to the most of us. Thankfully, the thorns of said vines didn't scratch us-however, our space was rather thin. Then they started to close in, ever-so-slowly.
"I thought she was-oh, it matters not! HAVE AT YEE!!!"
Me and Film used Flamethrower, Scyez augmented Blaze Kick to shoot out in a fiery ring in front of her fist, Septim used Fire Punch (missing the Spikes entirely), Lesha tried Signal Beam (It was astonishing how a Pikachu could learn it), which, albeit set them on fire, didn't seem to do too much: Rather, there was a brief minute when the fire was consuming the plant as would a Volteer with food, then the damage, without quelling the fire, was somehow reversed. And the walls kept coming towards us.
Vyraz yelled, shooting a fiery projectile from his mouth following our defeats. It was Fire Blast, a five-pronged star of Pyro. The shot itself did far more damage, making a clear hole in the wall, large enough for some of us to slip through...Then that healed as well.
"Vyraz, keep doing that, I have a plan!"
I said. Vyraz complied immediately, shooting off another Fire Blast, and I threw Scyez through the opening before it was gone. Once he realized this, he shot out another Fire Blast, letting Lesha get through, then another, letting Film get through. However, now the vines were really closing in, making me a tad claustrophobic (considering the vines were thick and would crush us all if we weren't careful, to say nothing of the poisons...Though I took a grain of salt with Septim's warnings). All this, because a d**m Knight wouldn't let me use Volteerism. Then again, there was only one alive, and nobody would know...No, I'd rather have someone who at least has partial knowledge of where everyone else is. He was really my only s**ting way out of here alive-was there really a spot the Calypso could park, outside of an open area?! Stumbling into Bavaden by accident probably wouldn't be likely, and considering Calypso, he'd be pissed about that-though unable to do anything, I decided, there would be more Eon Sky members than Knights...WHY WAS I THINKING OF ANY OF THIS?!
I grabbed two PokéBalls, Meta's and Septims, and returned them. I ordered one last Fire Blast at the thorny walls, and I slipped through (narrowly). I pulled out Vyraz's PokéBall, and his last Fire Blast allowed me to pull him through...To the side with the Knight and Serperior, the two of which I felt like I did not need to interact with.
The Knight and the Serperior, fortunately, were so shocked about PokéBalls, that both simultaneously asked the same question (though the Knight was clueless): "What
In response, I took out the Black Illicit Blessing-no, it needed a new name, but maybe AFTER I chucked it into the Serperior's skull would I think of one. Oh, I did so, quite quickly. Or at least attempt it. The Serperior ducked just in time to avoid it. I Jumped over his maw to reclaim it from the thorns...And from there, Lesha, Scyez and Film, without the Knight's continued assistance (He looked utterly battered, seemingly hit with Iron Tails several times and cut up in many, many places), just decided to kill the d**m thing with Fire.
Scyez had fun with that in particular.
"YAY!! Burning! YAAAAAAAAAY!!"
She said, quite cheerily, as she continuously Blaze Kicked the Serperior to death, even after Film and Lesha had firmly Knocked it out with their own moves. Couldn't blame her. She went beyond that, even, well proving an innate pyromania (and brief at that) as she joyously burnt every part of the Serperior, making the fireproof chip, bleeping red still, stand out in stark contrast with the blackened body. After she was done with completely burning the poor snake did she even bother noticing the Chip, and once she did, she immediately smashed it, preventing it's beeping forevermore.
...The vines refused to move. Now, whatever malevolent entity that trapped us here could just as easily kill us now. How did we get around this?
Karazin said, suddenly bursting through.
"Ah s**t. What did I do wrong?"
<"Serperior, which you just faced, are an endangered species. An endangered species in the Onlisk Republic is tracked vigorously via chipping, and they'll know the difference between a purpousful murder by human hands and a wild Pokémon attacking them.">
Karazin started. <"So NOW, the Onlisk are going to hunt down whatever did THIS vigorously, and considering we were AVOIDING them, we really have to reconsider. At least Scyez made it look like a Knight killed it. Bavaden's an easy target for a crime suspect, and considering what else he's done, he's going to die pretty much on-the-spot, cooperation is probably going to be nonexistent.">
Karazin said. <"The only piece of good news is we're in orbit of the planet.">
<"Yhea, we're in orbit. Ah, but there's always a d**m hitch! You're currently in a big fat f***ing forest, and those trees are the equivalent of skyscrapers everywhere I look, a natural barrier against just parking in it! I can't go through that d**m s**t, I can't park in that forest, and I can't abandon the Calypso to get a smaller ship to do it either, if the Onlisk make a surprise ambush, we've got to move. I'm keeping on edge.">
Ugh. Escaping this forest was priority, but when tree cover was harsh enough to make day look more like the whole forest was dimly lit rather than pitch-black, and considering I didn't know the EXACT position of the Calypso, I was in a bind, completely ignoring the vine-prison we were in.
<"Good news: there's a small plain to the east, a flat zone separating the forest and a continuous cliff that overlooks the ocean, perfect for extraction. There's nothing like Civilization we can see for miles on those grasslands. That's your best bet.">
To the east it was, then.
".......Can you, you know, destroy them? Go ahead, use your fancy tricks!" The Knight said, not particularly hating the idea but not particularly fond of it, from the tone.
I took immediate action, first releasing all the Psychic-HOLY S**T!!!
I kept my head to myself, for one, purely out of the fact that my headache magnified to exaggerated proportions. This was no headache. This was interfering with my Psychic ability, and not a rival Volteer or a wild Pokémon: something else, something that didn't attempt to block it out but pained me when I did. Coganan Energy, it wasn't, it wore off a long time ago. Legends can't be sick, and Latries couldn't do it. All I could really pick up before the pain was too much for me to bear was a thought: a very strong thought, one filled with anticipation and desire, anger and ferocity. The words there were none, but it was close. It was responsible. Or was it a 'they?' there seemed to be more around the one mind I found, though their thoughts were different in a sense.
Once done with that, however, I had to kneel and grip my head in frustration.
"That probably is what you get for stealing powers from Arceus...But really, now is NOT the time!" The Knight said, going into some prayer for Arceus to 'overlook a transgression of mine.' Hoo-boy, if he got a response.
<"Oh my. That is not a headache.">
"What...What is it, then?"
I asked. I really didn't like suddenly having my stronger energy being sapped of me.
<"Clueless. I need to study your body and mind personally once we extract you to figure out the source, if it persists.">
Karazin added. <"Psychic energy is your strongest suit, having your head hurt that badly as a side-effect of using it is NOT good. A full physical analysis of your current status upon returning, followed by a Sygyl check and a mental scan using brainwave patterns, possibly explorative surgery if it's really bad-">
<"In short, a load of sciency terms that mean we're going to get to the bottom of this d**m cause. On another note...DID YOU NOTICE THOSE F***ING VINES?!">
Issac yelled, half-sincere, genuine concern and simplification of Karazin's rabble, half-alert of a new scenario. Considering the latter of those, I wasn't suprised.
Just like before, the roots were doing something-but not coming towards us ever slowly. They were growing. GROWING. Might I add that they were growing rather quickly for plants? The fact they were upturning earth in their growth was unsettling (really, they were upturning the ground with almost every move they made, but was that NOT obvious?)
"Alright, sorry 'bout the delay! You, just let me stand on top of you!"
I said, having a simple plan you could have seen coming a mile away. Death Energy=s**ted plants. Easy as pie. Of course, I didn't want the Knight Dead yet, anyways.
"I SAID USE YOUR FANCY WHATNOT, NOT STAND ON MY-"
"It's either this or you die from the blast! It's kind of a pulse of death energy, which, as the name implies, KILLS S**T. Anything living, really. EVEN YOU!"
"OH FINE!" He said-the vines were really starting to close in now, and my three, currently released Pokémon had to crowd around him to escape the poisonous thorns. I immediately acted, with a pulse of Dark energy from my body, spreading out in all dimensions that weren't up or down.
This worked immediately. The plants immediately died, the once proud bark becoming quite weak from appearances, the colorful spines losing said color, and the current threat of being crushed into a bloody pulp by roots gone.
I followed up by using Arbitarian Energy to quickly burn the plants down so we could escape our prison Considering what it was, this was no challenge at all, especially for Arbitarian fire. I charged off of excess that traveled to the ground and waited for the cold, bleak inferno to burn a hole through the roots (it took a few minutes). After walking outside it, I just drained the whole fire away, taking considerably more energy than I expanded into the project of burning it down.
It clearly was setting into dusk-the sudden illumination towards the West tipped me off.
"We're down to two, counting you. I do not think Bavaden wanted you guarded by just one person." The Knight said, more of an out-loud mutter. "We should attempt to rejoin some sort of group, any group, and soon." The Knight added. Did I really have a say?
Well, I guess influency in the form of asking questions and/or making good assumptions would work.
"All of Bavaden's groups are definitely east of us. Maybe we should head east and ron-de-vu with one of them?"
"I have no clue what 'ron-de-vu' means, but if it means meeting up with one of them, I wouldn't have suggested otherwise. Let's move..." The Knight said.
Henceforth, we walked. To be frank, even I, as the writer of this d**m book, find no reason to further describe the trip to our next destination as nothing more than a very annoying headache (and it is a very annoying headache to write this out), I feel no need to inform you of it: It was really just another combination of climbing over and under hills, caves, trenches and bridges made entirely out of roots. The only noticeable detail was that, for some weird reason, Scyez felt the need to weigh herself down with the Serperior's very-well burnt corpse, occasionally barking out "EXTRA CRISPY GRASS EKANS THIGNY!!!"
After a few hours of the annoying trip through the forest (Save whenever Scyez yelled out that phrase, which even the Knight, despite seemingly lacking in Pokemorphism/Pokethrobism, seemed to have guessed as quite hilarious). I took out Meta, Vyraz and Septim, on the way there, and even Meta had a hard time hiding his humor at Scyez’s routine. We were 'lucky' enough to find a group. Moreover, this group was none other than Bavaden's, who wasn't happy to see me.
They were located on a single root bridge, in a clear open space between three massive tree trunks and one of the few patches of ground not completely obscured by roots from an above view. It was dusk at this point, and yet again I had to strain my eyes. We did stop a little prior to this so that the Knight could light a torch, so that we could actually see anything with clarity. Small Pokémon attacks were fended off to no casualties, so we were mostly fine save a few scratches (the Knight realized quickly I could just murder most of these guys, and opted not to participate)
"Knight, what is it? Why are you not searching?"
Bavaden asked, a little impatiant.
"I was the only one left alive in our group, and the eastern group...Well, they failed to respond to our signals. We didn't have one ourselves after a particularly nasty Pokémon attack, so..."
Bavaden looked at me, then at the Knight, then at me again. I knew it: Bavaden couldn't tolerate a Volteer's presence, period, and he'd act accordingly. "Send a message!"
He said. The Chatot made several odd noises, probably signals, and it echoed around the forest.
...Minutes passed...No response.
"Another Message! Higher Priority!"
Bavaden said, taking a side glance at me, who was quite neutral in expression. I didn't get a direct eye-to-eye contact, but they looked quite worried.
The Chatot piped up again, louder, and with different tunes, attempting another message. It took a few seconds, but a respond sounded. Only one echoed back, I knew, and the Chatot responded, a little sweaty itself now.
"That can't be...Only one group left?! Oh, think of it not; ask them if they're the group transporting the other Volteer!"
Bavaden asked. The Chatot made different noises, reverberating, not English at all.
The sounds that came back clearly meant they were traveling with Blizzard, just going off of Bavaden’s pissed-off face.
".......Fine! Looks like we'll have to take you."
Bavaden said, with a note of unhappiness at the very thought. [COLOR="Red"]"I must ask WHY your Lucario is carrying around that dead...Thing
with it., though."/COLOR]
"That's her choice, not mine."
I said, with an underlying tone of 'Like it matters.'
"I would-oh my."
Bavaden said, cut in the middle of a command. I could clearly guess why.
The whole complex system of roots around us, a near-omnipresent entity, was starting to move, and it included the branch we were on. Knights were already falling off, surprised but not scared of the decent-only a few feet down to a small patch of ground below...but it was
starting to sink into the earth as well, So I guess something was up. Scyez was hanging onto her Burnt Serperior Corpse as hard as the root, yelling "YAY!! The trees are moving-I knew they were alive! YAAAAAY!!! I'm a Genius!"
Meanwhile, Meta was supporting the weight of Septim and Lesha while floating in midair, the latter duo having climbed up onto his arms and up on top of his head. Meta then picked up Scyez, who still refused to leave her Burnt Corpse (Perhaps she liked it too much? But what value did she have in that?). Vyraz and Film were flying overhead nearby. Bavaden and the Knight who escorted me here were the only other two hanging on, even when we were turned completely upside down by the Root's movements.
"This CLEARLY isn't natural! It must be Shaymin's work!"
Said a suddenly pissed-off Bavaden. I could agree with only the former half of that.
The platform of earth-complete with the Knights-then suddenly fell into the ground, into a dark tunnel where they couldn't be seen.
At this point, asking woudln't hurt. "Was the path you were taking to get to this point kind of the easiest? Were the alternate routes too tricky to traverse?"
I asked, curious as to if it was true. If so, this was engineered and not a drop-off presant.
".......WHY WOULD YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS NOW?!"
Bavaden responded, quite as if I'd lost my mind entirely. "THIS IS CLEARLY A TRAP!!"
"Just answer the d**m question, it'll give me some insight on whether or not your primary suspect is behind this. There are clearly a LOT of other people you've pissed off, people who, in numbers, could engineer this."
I said, still with my most mind-changing tone possible.
"...WHAT IS A 'PRIMARY SUSPECT?!'"
"JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!"
I yelled back, still heavy with influency.
"...It wasn't terrifically easy, but in comparison, yes it was!"
Bavaden yelled back, very angrily.
Then the root we were gripping on-as well as pretty much the three trees we were between-started to shake violently. Screwing Bavaden, I gripped the root so hard I broke the wooden skin and burrowed into the wood within. Vyraz, Film and Meta had to suddenly maneuver to evade the suddenly violent trees. As if to prove it was less and less of a sound idea to let go, I could hear screams emitting from that tunnel. I used Aura Sight, but all I could make out were 4 auras, all differently colored. There were only three knights...
At this point, the remaining Knight was flung off, away from the pit. Bavaden, however, seemed to have an iron grip on the root...However, other roots reached up and now tried dislodging us from the root we were on now. Both curled up routhly around the legs and torso, and then tried yanking the victim out. I pushed my fingers even deeper into the root, violently resisting the pull of the other root with all my might. Bavaden didn't have my strength, and was easily ripped off and flung into the pit.
My root suffered a different fate. Meta (apparently) applied Psychic pressure to part of the root, so, after a very painful (and energy-draining) minute, the part of the root that was gripping me was cut off, leaving me hanging, alone. I removed my grip and left to floating (f*** gravity), and got out of the range of the angry Trees, making sure to evade the roots. My Pokémon followed suit, happy to leave the range of the rampaging roots.
A lethal splinter the size of a spear was sent flying past as soon as the roots were out of range for my Pokemon, and I didn't get the chance to dodge. It missed its target, thankfully, but it was too close for my comfort. However, now I got a clear picture of who was doing this.