The Hunchback of Lumiose Cathedral Chapter 9Timothy still had a blissful smile on his face when he climbed back up the bell tower. His mind was on the time he had just spent with Serena, and the moment she kissed his cheek. It felt like he had just woken up from a wonderful dream even though he knew it all happened. He wished the honey blonde woman could have stayed, but he knew it was the right thing to help her escape.Timothy climbed over the railing to the balcony between the two towers and took out a moment to let out a happy sigh. He walked over to the bell tower and went inside to his room beneath the bells to find Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey standing on the other side, beaming. The hunchback only had a moment to react before the three Pokemon pounced on him, making him fall on his back as they cheered and laughed while hugging their friend."Way to go, Timothy!" Electchu shouted."You were magnificent!" Odyssey praised."I've never been so happy in my life!" Shockwave squealed."Hey, get off me, guys," Timothy said before the Pokemon let him go, and he stood up. "What are you talking about?""Oh, pff, listen to him acting like he doesn't know," Odyssey said."Yeah, like he didn't just hit it off with his lady," Electchu said."My what?" Timothy asked."You're lady," Shockwave said. "We're talking about Serena. Yellow hair, easy on the eyes, her Pokemon partner is a Sylveon. Remember?""Boy, I do," Electchu said with a sly grin. "I may not have hit things off with that beauty, but our pal got things looking good for him. Way to go, lover boy!""Way to go, lover boy? I'm not a lover boy," Timothy said."Oh, don't be so modest, Timothy. She obviously has a thing for you," Shockwave said. "She enjoyed learning about you and your life up here, and you know it."Timothy opened his mouth to speak before he looked away with his cheeks turning pink. He snapped out of his bashful thoughts and turned back to his friends with a serious look."Look, thank you all for the encouragement, but let's face facts here," he said. "I'm the ugliest person in all of Kalos, and she has a life out there where she's a part of a pagan religion, remember? It's obvious that I'm not her type.""You don't know that," Odyssey said. "She didn't seem to have an issue with your looks while she was up here, and you said it yourself that she stood up for you at the festival. Why I bet, she cares so little about how you look that she would kiss you if she wanted to."Timothy immediately flushed and turned his head away for a moment before looking at the Pokemon with a goofy smile. Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey were confused with how the hunchback looked at them until Shockwave's eyes widened, and it gasped loudly."Did she kiss you?!" It asked."On...the cheek," Timothy admitted.The Pokemon looked at each other before they cheered again. Timothy's blush grew as his friends began dancing in a circle, hand in hand, as they sang, "Timothy's got a suitress! Timothy's got a suitress!" He walked away from the Pokemon, not wanting to say anything else that would further get their hopes up, and walked over to the rectangular window next to his table of carvings. Timothy rested his arms on the ledge and looked outside to see the moon had risen and was shining brightly above Lumiose City. He rested his chin on his arms and began to wonder if Serena and Sylveon made it to the Court of Miracles safely.As he thought of them, he noticed a couple in their late thirties walking down the street with their Munchlax. The man was tall and muscular with tan skin, dark eyes, black hair, a black man bun, and a goatee. The woman's height reached her beloved's nose, and she also had tan skin with a slim figure, yellow eyes, and medium-short white spiky hair pointing backward. The couple walked halfway across a bridge before they stopped to look at the moon. The woman rested her head on her husband's shoulder, and he wrapped his arm around her waist before kissing the top of her head. Their Munchlax sat down beside the woman's feet, waiting patiently for the couple to finish having their romantic moment.Timothy lifted his head as he watched the couple. His blush came back as he began to imagine Serena and him down there, looking at the moon together. It seemed like they could sneak out of the cathedral and go on a walk through the city with her promise to visit him. He then thought of Serena watching him ring the bells for the evening mass, sneaking food so the two of them could eat together or otherwise just talk. Maybe, by some miracle, Sylveon might warm up to Electchu, and they would begin courting together with their human friends. Timothy knew it was too good to be true, and yet the way she showed how much she cared about him, liked getting to know him, and even kissed his cheek with a smile gave him hope that she felt more than friendship for the hideous man.With those thoughts filling his mind, he took a small block of wood and a carving knife, sat down on his stool in front of his model city, and began to sculpt. By this point, Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey had stopped dancing and walked over to watch their friend carve out a sculpture of Serena dancing. The three Pokemon smirked at their friend, who was smiling as he focused on his project. Shockwave walked over to the cabinet on the other side of the room, took out a paintbrush and some small cans of paint, and walked back just as Timothy had finished carving and blew the dust and splinters off the figure. He silently thanked the Kirlia before he began to paint the statue, starting from the bottom up with Serena's dress all the way to her head. When he finished painting her honey blonde hair, he put the Serena figure on the bridge's model where the couple outside was and then placed his own figure next to it. Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey's smirks grew as Timothy stared at the two figures with a small smile, imagining himself and Serena together on the bridge for real.After a couple of minutes, Timothy looked at the sky and realized that it was time to ring the evening mass bells. He sighed before he gave the figures of him and Serena one more fond look before he stood up and left the room, but he still had a smile on his face, feeling like everything had suddenly turned right for him.******************************************************************************************Ash was in his new quarters in the Palace of Justice, writing a report about the Feast of Fools and his and Pikachu's "attempt" to arrest Serena and Sylveon. Pikachu was sleeping on his bed, and the only light in the room was a candle on Ash's writing desk. The bells for the evening mass began to ring, and the raven-haired man stopped writing and glanced out the window next to his desk, where he could see Lumiose Cathedral at a distance. He furrowed his brow and sighed with his mind on Serena. Even though Archdeacon Sycamore assured him he would let Serena know that he didn't mean to trap her and Sylveon, he still felt guilty that he prevented them from returning to their home.Ash finished the rest of his report and rolled it up before leaving his quarters. He walked up the next floor to Giovanni’s office, knocked on the door, and waited before he heard a blunt, “Enter.” Ash came in to see his father writing his own report about the festival, and Persian was lying on its bed made especially for it.Ash put his feet together and saluted before Giovanni looked up from his report and asked, “Is that your report, Lieutenant?”“Yes, sir,” Ash answered.“Including your attempt to apprehend the Arcean woman and her Pokemon at the cathedral?”“Yes, sir.”“Let me see it.”Ash walked over to Giovanni, and the captain unrolled the parchment and looked at its contents. Ash waited patiently, with his head facing the wall behind his superior. After a minute and a half, Giovanni rolled the parchment and placed it on the side of his desk before standing up and walking over to face Ash.“One day under the justice minister’s service and having a report brought to me before the time of the evening mass is the only thing you’ve done efficiently,” he said. “You arrived later than ordered, constantly questioned Minister Markenel’s command, and failed to capture an Arcean twice. I cannot overemphasize how I expect more from you, Lieutenant.”Ash resisted the urge to wince from his father’s harsh words.“When I recommended that you become my second-in-command, I expected you to be better than all of the other troops in my command given your record in the wars,” Giovanni continued. “The justice minister may be more lenient, but if you continue to fail in meeting expectations, he will not hesitate to punish you and your partner. Don’t disappoint me again.”“I won’t, sir,” Ash said.“Dismissed,” Giovanni said.Ash saluted and turned around, heading for the door. Before he reached for the handle, Giovanni walked over and stood in front of Ash, making him back away.“One more thing, Lieutenant,” he began. “The next time a fugitive declares sanctuary, you are to ignore it straight away.”“Sir, with all due respect, isn’t that against the law?” Ash asked.“Not as far as I am concerned,” Giovanni said. “Superstitions and permits do not overrule Minister Markenel or us. The only reason we abide by anything those “holy people” say is that our elected official is a part of their religion. Still, if he deems it necessary to ignore specific rules of the church, we will carry it out. Is that clear?”“Yes, sir,” Ash said.“Good. Dismissed,” Giovanni said.Ash saluted a third time, and the captain moved away from him to get out. Ash reached for the handle again and opened the door to find Markenel reaching for the handle on the other side. The judge gave a brief chuckle at the timing as Ash and Giovanni saluted to him.“Captain, Lieutenant, I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” Markenenal said.“No, sir. The lieutenant was just here to deliver his report and was about to leave,” Giovanni said.“Ah, excellent,” Markenel said, turning to Ash with a smirk. “On that note, I feel I must commend you for your efforts, Lieutenant.”Giovanni and Ash looked at Markenel, confused, and the latter asked, “My efforts, sir?”“Yes. I’ve thought it over and realized that you have given us the best opportunity to capture the Arcean woman and her Pokemon,” Markenel said. “After all, it was you who found them in the cathedral of all places. It truly takes a cunning soldier to find the wicked in the last place one would expect.”“With all due respect, sir, I must state that the lieutenant’s efforts do not overlook that he failed to capture the fugitives,” Giovanni said.“Oh, I wouldn’t go that far, captain. It is thanks to the lieutenant that the Arcean, Serena, is trapped in the cathedral with your soldiers guarding every entrance,” Markenel said. “With no way out and our scouts searching for her and her partner, it’s only a matter of time before we capture her, and it will be all thanks to Lieutenant Ash. Wouldn’t you say?”Giovanni grimaced, not wanting to say anything that would contradict his words of discipline. Ash’s heart sank as Markenel’s praise made him ashamed of how his hopes to save Serena and Sylveon worked against them. He continued to keep a professional face to hide his true feelings until he realized part of what Markenel said.“Excuse me, sir, but what scouts are you referring to?” he asked.“Oh, your father came up with the idea to disguise some of our soldiers as citizens about to partake in the evening mass so that they could search for the Arcean woman and her Pokemon unnoticed,” Markenel explained. “With any luck, they will quietly take her out of the cathedral with the archdeacon none the wiser.”It took all of Ash’s willpower to resist the urge to finally break his professional demeanor. He wanted to scream “No” at the top of his lungs, horrified that he and Pikachu might have doomed the woman and Pokemon they wanted to save. Giovanni smirked with the judge, confident that his plan would produce better results that will overshadow what they thought his son tried to do.At that moment, however, Butch and Cassidy entered the office with the door still open. They were wearing old, rugged citizen clothes that were covered by their black cloaks. They put their feet together and saluted Markenel and Giovanni, simultaneously shouting, “Sir!” Giovanni waved his hand to tell them to be at ease while Markenel furrowed his brow, noticing the unease in the soldiers’ eyes.“Where is she?” he demanded.Butch and Cassidy hesitated in fear before the former said, “Sir, the Arcean and her Pokemon have escaped.”“What?!” Giovanni growled. “Did you search everywhere?”“Every inch of the building except for the towers as instructed,” Cassidy answered. “We looked for her among the participants of the mass and all the rooms, including the archdeacon’s bedroom. She’s nowhere in the cathedral. She’s gone.”Markenel and Giovanni looked at the two soldiers, confounded by everything they just heard. Giovanni clenched his teeth, and his hands turned into fists, while Markenel looked down at the floor in frustration, trying to comprehend that Serena and Sylveon escaped. Butch and Cassidy covered their shaking hands and legs with their cloaks. On the other hand, Ash mentally sighed in relief, and the edges of his mouth began to curl up before he stopped himself just as Markenel lifted his head with a calm face that tried to hide the rage in his eyes.“I will retire for the evening,” he announced.Without another word, the judge exited Giovanni’s office, moving past Butch and Cassidy as if they weren’t there. The room was silent until Giovanni broke the silence by saying, “Dismissed.” Butch, Cassidy, and Ash saluted and left the room, with Ash walking in the opposite direction from the two soldiers. He turned his head to see Giovanni slamming the door to his office, making Butch and Cassidy jump as they walked away. Ash looked down at the floor while walking and finally let himself smile widely. He quietly thanked the Lord as he headed back to his quarters, ready for a good night's sleep.****************************************************************************************When Markenel entered his bedroom, he closed the door behind him, put his back against the wall, and shut his eyes before he let out a scream. His hands were half-closed as though he was about to strangle someone. He walked over to the window beside his bed and glared at Lumiose Cathedral bitterly as though the building was alive and willingly let the fugitives escape his grasp without a care. In his mind, Markenel could hear Archdeacon Sycamore mockingly laugh at him because he prevented the judge from getting what he wanted again.With a growl, the judge opened the chest in front of his bed and started changing into his nightgown. However, as he took off his rings, he felt something slide off his sleeve and land on the floor. Markenel took a step back and looked down to find Serena’s scarf lying on the floor and suddenly remembered that he had stashed it. His face softened as he got down on his knees and picked up the scarf. He stared at it for a moment before he brought it up to his nose and sniffed it, smelling an unmistakable aroma. Markenel then closed his eyes and rubbed the scarf against his face, imagining the soft touch as someone’s hand.Suddenly, Markenel’s eyes snapped open, and he threw the scarf against the wall. He looked down and stared at his hands as if they moved against his will. His mouth was hanging open, and his jaw was shaking, yet he felt an urge to crawl on all fours and pick the scarf back up. The desire grew to the point that he began to breathe heavily, afraid of his own body.Markenel’s gaze then turned to the large portrait of the Virgin Mary, and his body instantly stopped shaking. His breathing died down to a steady pace as he looked at the painting with a feeling of hope. The judge stood up, walked over the picture hanging above his writing desk, put his hands together, and bowed his head.“Blessed Maria, hear me, and answer my prayer,” he said. “Your servant needs your guidance more than he ever has before.Markenel paused for a moment as if he needed to wait for Maria to be ready to hear what he had to say.“Maria, you, above all others, know that I am righteous and pure. Despite all the vulgar, weak, self-indulgent beings around me, my virtue is strong, and I am justly proud of all I have done with the position God has given me,” he said. “But something has changed within me. I feel a pull to something that is meant to taint me. Never has any temptation thrown my willpower off balance, yet this feeling has done so with little effort. What has happened was done by something, not from this physical world. Something that would destroy even the holiest of worshippers.”Markenel lifted his head to gaze at the painting as if doing so would cure him of his trouble. Despite his belief, however, the picture did nothing to drive the thoughts in his mind. Markenel's heart began to sink as he grew worried that what was tormenting him was more powerful than his idol.Just then, Markenel saw the eyes in the painting blink. He looked at it in puzzlement until he saw them blink two more times. The woman in the portrait's head turned to face Markenel, and he backed away to the wall. With her hands clasped together, the woman's entire body came out of the portrait, and she levitated three feet above the ground at the center of the room. Markenel's mouth hung open as the woman gracefully landed on the ground. He fell to his knees and bowed his head until it touched the floor, and the woman smirked."Rise, my child," she said.Markenel immediately obeyed with tears running down his face and a bright smile on his face."Maria, you've come down from the heavens to my time of need," he said."Tell me, my child, what is it that disturbs you?" Maria asked.Markenel's face went dark, and he said, "It's the Arcean woman, Serena. She has cast a spell on me.""In what way?" Maria asked."I see her face everywhere," Markenel answered. "I see her as clearly as I see you now, dancing with the sun making her hair shine like gold. Her smile and the movement of her body enchants me. The very memory of her scent is making me go insane.""Hmmm, indeed," Maria said calmly "And what pray tell does it make you want to do?""It makes me want her," Markenel confessed. "Not as a heathen that must be tortured, imprisoned, and, if necessary, executed for her wicked ways, but as something to fulfill desires of the flesh. I don't know if this is done through witchcraft, or she is possessed by an impure spirit - maybe even the devil himself, but something unnatural is turning me to sin. I beg of you to drive this unholy force away from your servant."With his confession finished, the judge bowed his head again. Maria remained silent with the same calm expression she had in the painting. She reached out and placed her hand on Markenel's bald head, and he lifted his head to look at her."Dear child, you are right to confess and ask for help," she said. "But I'm afraid no sorcery or evil spirit has caused you to feel this way. This is the work of something weaker than any of those things."Markenel stared at her, puzzled, and said, "I don't understand. How can something weak manage to corrupt a righteous man like me?""It's quite simple," Maria said. "The thing that is turning you to sin is your very self."The dark room became quiet after the woman from the painting gave her answer. Markenel looked at her in disbelief as he took a step back and shook his head."No," he said. "No, no, no, no, no. That's impossible. How could I cause myself to turn to sin?""How could you not?" Maria replied. "You know that what you desire is unholy, but deep down, you deeply want it. You cannot deny that having your way with one so alluring would please you greatly. Deep in your heart, you refuse to fully drive out the temptation before it consumes you.""No. No, you're wrong," Markenel claimed.Suddenly, Markenel felt a strong gust of black wind blow at him. He shut his eyes and covered his face with his arms to protect himself until the wind sporadically stopped. Markenel opened his eyes, and his mouth dropped in awe to find himself and Maria standing in the middle of a large hall standing twenty stories tall. There was no light except for the one shining down above the judge and the woman from the painting. On both sides of the hall were faceless, fifteen feet-tall figures covered in red cloaks, sitting in five rows each and looking down on Markenel."Mea culpa," They chanted as one voice. "Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa cogitatione verbo et opere. Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa cogitatione verbo et opere."Markenel covered his ears as though the figures were screaming their chant. He shut his eyes, clenched his teeth, and got down to his knees. Maria circled around the old man as if she was interrogating a criminal."You know what they are saying," she said. "'My fault. My fault. My greatest fault in thought, in word, and deed.' They are waiting for you to say those very words. To confess that you have sinned against God.""No! No! I refuse!" Markenel shouted."You must. There's no other way," Maria said."I'm not to blame for this! It's Serena who has done this to me!" Markenel claimed."Serena does not possess any power against the mind," Maria said. "You must admit that you're are flawed. That you are not the perfect man you say you are."Markenel's eyes snapped open, and he lifted his head once more to look at the woman from the painting, dumbfounded that she would attack his pride. His disbelief turned into hot anger, and he stood up to look at the red-hooded figures."SILENCE!" He roared.The cloaked figures stopped chanting, and Maria raised her eyebrow while still showing little emotion. With the tables turned, Markenel shouted, "First, the Arcean siren cast a spell on me and tried to pin it on me, and now even the blessed Maria and her subjects believe in her lies?! You are wrong! All of you are wrong, and I'm the only one who sees it!""And what would a mere mortal know of power that can best even me?" Maria challenged."I am no mere mortal!" Markenel shouted. "I am Minister Markenel! I am a righteous judge who has devoted his life to destroy the devil's work in this world. If it were not so, God would not have blessed me with such power over this city, nor give me that misshapen, Arcean creature to one day use to wipe out the heathens once and for all! This is all a scheme from the enemy to distract me from my destiny, and I will not have it! I will not yield to the temptations that have persuaded you!"Nothing but the sound of Markenel's voice echoing all over the hall could be heard. The red-cloaked figures whispered amongst themselves, debating on whether or not the mortal man was right. Markenel turned to Maria, who was looking away from him in thought. He waited until she hummed and turned her head to give him a nod."I think you're right," Maria said. "The enemy is very skilled in telling lies that seem accurate to the holy word. It takes a pure and wise mind to not be swayed, and your ability to see corruption is undeniable. There can be no doubt that we must rely on you to know what must be done."Markenel raised his chin up and clasped his hands together with a stone face like he was judging a case in court."The Arcean, Serena, cannot be allowed to further attempt to taint the minds of God’s people. Her powers of seduction are far too powerful. There are only two ways this must end. She must be destroyed and pay for her sins in the fires of hell, or else willingly give herself to me.""But does not that mean you are willing to give in to your lust? The very thing that is tempting you?" Maria questioned."Only on my terms," Markenel said. "As my mistress, Serena will be mine and mine alone. She will never lure another man to her seductive ways or be allowed to follow her pagan practices. I will purify her with my body full of righteousness.""But you would give yourself into grave sin by letting her seduce you for the rest of your days," Maria said. "It would be your virtue for her salvation.""A necessary compromise for such a beautiful creature," Markenel said."And how do you plan to find her?" Maria asked. "Now that she's out of the cathedral, she could be anywhere, most likely in the Court of Miracles.""It doesn't matter where Serena is," Markenel said. "I will find her. I'll find her even if I have to burn down all of Lumiose City. One way or another, the Arcean will decide her fate. She will give herself to me, or she will burn at the stake. This is my decree as the justice minister."The red-cloaked figures whispered amongst themselves again while Markenel waited for Maria to say something. The woman from the painting clapped her hands, silencing the faceless minions, who turned their heads to her."God's righteous judge has spoken," she declared. "As of now, we are soon to start a spiritual battle like no other. Let justice be done against all who resist, Arceans and people of Lumiose City alike, and may God have mercy on Serena and our righteous judge, Markenel."The red-cloaked figures stood up and took out swords, spears, maces, torches, and crucifixes from under their cloaks and raised them. They began to chant, "Kyrie Eleison! Kyrie Eleison! Kyrie Eleison! Kyrie Eleison!" Markenel smirked triumphantly and raised his fist into the air."Yes, Lord, have mercy indeed!" He shouted. "As God is my witness, Serena the Arcean will be mine or she will -"Suddenly, Markenel heard a knock on a door, and he jumped and found himself back in his bedroom. Serena's scarf was still lying against the wall, the chest containing his nightgown was still open, and the painting of Maria stood motionless. There was another knock on his door, and he opened it to find a female servant with short violet hair standing on the other side, holding a candle."What do you want, Matori?" He asked."Forgive me, Minister Markenel, but I heard you screaming from downstairs," Matori answered.Markenel resisted the urge to scream at Matori for disturbing him and calmly replied, "Nevermind what you heard. I just had a nightmare until you woke me up."Matori furrowed her brow, noticing that he was still in his regular clothes. She decided not to press the matter any further and said, "Alright. I'll let you get back to sleep.""Thank you," Markenel said. "Good night, Matori.""Good night, Minister," Matori said.Markenel closed the door and stood still for a moment before turning back to the painting. He hoped that Maria would come out from the portrait again with Matori gone, but nothing happened. Markenel wished she could bless him with her company a little longer, but he dismissed his disappointment, figuring nothing more needed to be said. He picked up Serena's scarf and gave it one more sniff before he walked over to the window and looked at the city with a grin, confident that the holy one was on his side.
The Hunchback of Lumiose Cathedral Chapter 8Up in the bell tower, Electchu, Odyssey, and Shockwave were eating their supper, while Timothy sat down on the floor against the wall beside them with no emotion on his face. He told his Pokemon friends everything that happened on the way back up to the tower, and they apologized for convincing him to go. He told them not to feel guilty about it, but his forgiveness did not make the Pikachu, Kirlia, and Riolu feel better. They frequently glanced at the glum hunchback as they ate."You sure you don't want a little of our food, Timothy?" Odyssey asked."No, Odyssey," Timothy said. "I disobeyed Master Markenel, and I deserve not to eat."Odyssey frowned and turned to Electchu, who gave an edgy look and asked, "Do you hate us for convincing you to sneak out?""Of course not. You guys did what you thought would be good for me," Timothy said. "It was my fault for letting my guard down and getting on that stage.""At least you had fun, though, right?" Shockwave said. "And now we don't need just Master Markenel's word to know how cruel the world is out there.""I guess," Timothy said.The three Pokemon looked at him confused, and Shockwave asked, "You guess on which part? Had fun or that the world is cruel?""The world being cruel," Timothy answered."What do you mean, you guess?" Odyssey asked. "They tied you down and threw food at you?""I know, but...I guess I want to believe that it wasn't all that bad," Timothy said."Because of that Arcean woman?" Shockwave asked.Timothy was silent for a moment before he finally raised his head to look at the Pokemon. Electchu and Odyssey looked at him with tilted heads while the emotion Pokemon gave him a look that implied it already knew the answer. The hunchback sighed and looked away again."Yeah. Because of Serena," he said. "I know she was the one who convinced me to get on the stage because I'm ugly, but she still defended me. The whole thing is just about as much her fault as it is mine, but at the same time, no one has ever been so nice to me before. She even stood up to Master Markenel for me. Then again, she doesn't know that I'm Master Markenel's son, so maybe she would have left me there if she did."Shockwave gave a skeptical frown and said, "I think you might be giving her too little credit, Timothy.""Yeah, well, we'll never know, will we?" Electchu said.Odyssey and Shockwave hummed in agreement while Timothy said nothing. After half a moment, the hunchback stood up and said, "I think I'm gonna go for a walk. You guys keep eating."The three Pokemon silently nodded in understanding and went back to their food while Timothy exited the room. He went outside, walked to the south tower, and went down the staircase to the next floor below. He had come to this floor before to think about things since people rarely went as far up the cathedral as the middle floor. Timothy paced from one end of the hall to the next, his mind fixated on Serena.As Timothy paced, however, he saw smoke coming from, out of the windows. He walked over to a window to see a group of monks out on one of the lower exterior balconies, fixing some of the cathedral's statues. Some were pouring molten copper onto the busted figures while one of them was stirring copper inside a man-sized cauldron hanging above a fire. The hunchback was fascinated by what they were doing and, against his better judgment, decided to go down another floor where he could watch the monks with the door leading to the balcony slightly open. Timothy smiled like a child fascinated from looking at something he had never seen before while some of the monks began to make conversation."Can you believe the bellringer sneaked out of his tower, Geoffrey?" One monk asked."No, I can't," the monk named Geoffrey answered. "How did he do it anyway? Did he go all the way downstairs and come out from one of the portals without anyone noticing?""If he did, then maybe we should keep a better eye on him," the first monk said."Evan, you know it's forbidden for anyone to go up to the towers except for the justice minister and the archdeacon," Geoffrey said."Okay, maybe not go all the way up there, but we could guard the staircase or something," Evan said. "It might be a little much, but it would be for his own good, especially if he tries anything again.""I doubt he will after what happened at the festival," Geoffrey said. "He's lucky that Arcean stood up for him when she did."Evan gave a light chuckle and said, "Yeah, that's for sure. To think the Arcean woman is staying here too.""She is fortunate," Geoffrey said. "I wonder what she did that riled up the justice minister so much that he'd have soldiers guard all of the cathedral doors.""Gentlemen, that's enough discussion," the monks stirring the lead said. "I want us to have all of the statues fixed before it's time for the evening mass."Evan and Geoffrey sighed and reluctantly did as they were told. Timothy, on the other hand, backed away from the door, looking down, surprised. He couldn't believe that Serena would be inside Lumiose Cathedral of all places, but at the same time, he wanted to see if she was. He didn't want to speak to her for fear of her learning that he was Markenel's adopted son, but he still wanted to see the beautiful woman from afar.Without a moment to think about him getting caught, he went to the nearest staircase to the bottom floor and began searching the main hall, using the columns to hide and make sure Archdeacon Sycamore or any of the monks or nuns were around. Finally, as Timothy was making his way to the stage, he saw the back of a woman with honey blonde hair praying. His heart skipped a beat, instantly knowing it was Serena. He quietly moved closer until he was standing behind the column behind the chairs and dared to peak from his hiding spot close enough to hear what she was praying about."And please help all who are treated differently. Not just the Arceans. Help people like that poor man, Timothy, who was tormented by the people just because of how he looks. Give people like him peace and a chance to live happily without punishment for what they are that they may be loved by others."Timothy stood behind the pillar flabbergasted with his mouth hanging open. He could scarcely believe the pagan woman was praying to the Lord much less praying for him, and yet, his heart leaped from her kind-hearted words. He smiled as he watched Serena hug Sylveon and leaned his arm against the column, but in his moment of happiness, he didn't notice Sister Sophie and three other nuns passing by and the head nun spotting him."Timothy! What are you doing?!" Sister Sophie barked.Timothy jumped in alarm and accidentally knocked down a candle stand. The stand landed on the ground with a crash, and Serena immediately stood up and turned around to see Timothy."Haven't you caused enough trouble already?!" Sister Sophie rebuked. "Get back in the bell tower!"Timothy immediately obeyed, running toward the staircase, hoping Serena wouldn't follow him. However, he was halfway to the stairs before hearing Serena and Sylveon running after him, with the former calling out to him."Wait!" She called out. "Wait, I want to talk to you!"But her words only made Timothy run faster. He made it to the staircase and went up every other step as fast as he could, but he could hear Serena's voice echoing behind him from the bottom steps. The hunchback ran from one floor to the next until he was back on the balcony between the two towers. He looked around until he saw a large gargoyle statue a few feet to the side of the south tower staircase entrance and hid behind it before Serena and Sylveon made it to the top of the steps. The honey blonde woman looked around the area and called out Timothy's name before she and her Pokemon partner ran to the south end of the balcony, unknowingly passing him. Timothy took the opportunity to run to the bell tower unnoticed and closed the door behind him just as Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey were about to go outside, having finished their supper."Timothy, what's wrong?" Electchu asked."Serena! Cathedral! Here! Sylveon! After me! Hide!" Timothy shouted.Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey looked at each other confused before the emotion Pokemon asked, "Could you say that again in a complete sentence, please?"Timothy took a deep breath and said, "Serena and her Sylveon are here in the cathedral.""Serena?" Odyssey asked."In the cathedral?" Shockwave asked."With her Sylveon?" Electchu asked with an excited grin."Yes, and they're chasing after me, and we need to hide!" Timothy said hastily.The room was silent with the three Pokemon looking at each other again. Suddenly, to Timothy's surprise, Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey began cheering and jumping up and down like little children."Way to go, Timothy!" Shockwave cheered."One day outside, and ya got the ladies chasing you!" Odyssey said before giving Timothy a playful nudge. "To think you had us all worried.""And you brought a Sylveon to boot," Electchu added with a sly grin. "Finally, my dream is coming true."Shockwave groaned and hit Electchu on the head, saying, "Knock it off with your fantasies, Electchu. This is about Timothy, not you.""Hey, there's no reason it can't be both," Electchu protested. “Timothy and I can be each other's wingman.""Will you guys be quiet?!" Timothy hissed. "If we don't find a place to hide, they're going to -"At that moment, the door opened behind Timothy to reveal Serena and Sylveon. His heart dropped while his Pokemon friends smiled with Shockwave and Odyssey happy to see Serena and Electchu pleased to gaze upon Sylveon. The honey blonde woman sighed in relief with her hand on her heart before she went inside."There you are. I thought I lost you," Serena said.Timothy felt his cheeks heat up, and he turned to her with his head down to hide his face."Uh, y-y-yes, it's n-nice to see you...again," he stuttered. "S-s-so sorry, but I can't stay and chat. I, uh, have chores to do and...um...goodbye."The shy hunchback ran away again before Serena, or any of the Pokemon could stop him. He climbed up the staircase to the room below the cathedral bells, hoping to find a spot where he could hide. He opened the door and walked a few feet inside the room before he felt a hand around his shoulder, and he turned around to find Serena kneeling in front of him so that she was at eye level with him, turning his face as red as a cherry."Please, stop running," she begged. "I want to apologize for what happened. Had I known who you were, I never in my life would have pulled you up on the stage. I'm so sorry."Timothy didn't say anything, still bashful from the beautiful woman so close to him. He wanted to say thank you for what she did at the Feast of Fools and that he had forgiven her, but no words came out of his mouth. Serena waited for a response while Sylveon, Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey entered the room behind her. The honey blonde woman was hurt that Timothy wasn't speaking until she looked past him and saw the other side of the room where the wooden model of Lumiose City was standing on a table. She stood up and walked past Timothy, looking at the carvings and the broken glass shining above the table from the setting sun."What is this place?" She asked, turning to Timothy.The hunchback sputtered before he answered, "T-t-this is where I live.""Really?" Serena asked. "Where did you get these carvings?"Timothy looked away bashfully until Shockwave and Odyssey pushed him toward Serena from behind and gestured to him to answer. He looked up at Serena, who was waiting for him to answer, and he lowered his head to hide his red face."I, uh, I got the models from my master, but I made the statues myself," he said."You did? That's incredible," Serena said with a bright smile. She picked two statues up and looked closely at them. "Wow, the blacksmith and the baker. They're so well detailed.""Well, I've seen them from up the balcony many times throughout the years, so I know what they looked like," Timothy explained.Serena turned her head to Timothy and asked, "You mean you've never seen them in person?""No, I haven't," Timothy said. "Maybe they were somewhere at the festival, but I've never seen them or any of the people that I've made carvings of up close. It's all through my memory after watching them from up here all of my life.""Incredible," Serena said. "You're very talented.""I'm not as talented as you," Timothy said, lifting his head to look at the honey blonde woman. "You're a wonderful dancer."Serena gave him a sweet smile and said, "Thank you." The hunchback turned his head away again, unable to bear the way she looked at him. She giggled at his bashfulness before realizing something Timothy said."Have you really lived here all your life?" She asked."As long as I remember," Timothy answered."Have you ever left the cathedral before today?" Serena asked."No. Today was the only time I left the cathedral walls," Timothy said. "My friends convinced me to attend the Feast of Fools instead of watching it from the balcony like we do every year.""Your friends?" Serena asked, turning to Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey. "Are you talking about your Pokemon?""Yes, I am," Timothy said."How could they convince you when they can't talk?" Serena asked."Well, Electchu, Shockwave, Odyssey, and I have been together for so long that I can tell what they are saying," Timothy explained."Wow, I didn't know that was possible," she said before turning to the hunchback's friends. "So, you nicknamed all of them?""Yep," Timothy said before pointing at his friends. "This is Odyssey." The Riolu bowed to Serena with one paw on his heart and the other on his back. "This is Shockwave." The Kirlia gave a curtsey before Timothy turned to Electchu. "And this is Electchu.""Pleased to meet you all," Serena said.Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey made calls to say the same thing in their language before Electchu turned to Sylveon, standing beside it."You can call me whatever you want, honey cake," the Pikachu said with a kittenish look.Sylveon looked at Electchu in disgust and smacked it in the face with one of its feelers making the Pikachu move back and forth in a daze. Serena gasped while Timothy glared at Electchu, Odyssey facepalmed, and Shockwave rolled its eyes."Sylveon, you know better than that!” she rebuked.“Actually, that was Electchu’s fault,” Timothy said. “It said something that ticked off your Sylveon.”“It did? What was it?” Serena asked.“I don’t want to say,” Timothy said.“Please tell me,” Serena said. “I won’t be mad.”“Promise?” Timothy asked.“Promise,” Serena said.The hunchback paused for a moment, embarrassed, and said, “Electchu said...Sylveon could call him whatever it wants...and it called Sylveon ‘honey cake.””The room was silent again, with Serena staring at Timothy and then at Electchu and Sylveon. After a moment, she covered her mouth to hide a snort before she burst into high-pitched laughter. Timothy and the Pokemon looked at her, befuddled as she hugged her stomach.“You really think it’s funny?” Timothy asked.“Believe it or not, Electchu isn’t the first Pikachu to have a thing for Sylveon,” Serena chortled before turning to Sylveon. “Did it really say that?”“Sylveon,” Sylveon grumbled while giving Electchu a distasteful look.Serena snickered and said, “So, Pokemon can woo each other by calling them names like honey cake in their language. Now I’ve heard everything.”By this point, Electchu snapped out of its daze before looking at Sylveon flirtatiously again as though nothing happened.“I think Sylveon likes me, guys,” Electchu said.“Yeah, it thinks you’re really smooth,” Shockwave said sarcastically.Half of Timothy’s mouth curled up, relieved that Serena was enjoying herself. The honey blonde woman turned back to him and said, “You’re a surprising person, Timothy.”“Uh, I...don’t know about that,” Timothy said bashfully.“No, you really are,” Serena said with a smile. “Carving detailed figures of people you only see from above, able to tell what your Pokemon are saying perfectly, not to mention you’re lucky that you have all of this by yourself, and not needing to work.”"Well, actually, I'm the bell ringer here," Timothy said. "In fact, the cathedral bells are just above us.""They are?" Serena asked, looking up at the ceiling while imagining the bells above them. "I would love to see them.""Really?" Timothy asked with a look of hope. "I can show you them if you want.""Yes, please," Serena said.Timothy beamed and took Serena's hand, ignoring his blush, and led her out of the room with Sylveon, Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey following behind. The six of them climbed the ladder beside the room entrance to the first floor where the bells were hanging. Serena and Sylveon looked in awe at the sight of the bells surrounding them."They're beautiful," Serena said. "To think they all can be heard all over the city.""Sylveon," Sylveon agreed."They have names, too," Timothy said."You named them?" Serena asked."Oh, no. If it were up to me, I wouldn't be able to decide what to call them," Timothy said. "Their names were given centuries ago by the cathedral's first bellringer, Brother David.""Can you introduce me to them?" Serena asked."Absolutely," Timothy said. He climbed up one of the ladders and began naming the bells while using the beams to swing past them like a monkey while saying their names. "This is Allie. Over here is Katy, Brittany, Jordan, Cassidy, Angelica, Logan, and Julie. Then there's the triplets, Hannah, Amanda, and Sarah."Serena giggled as she intently listened to the enthusiastic hunchback. Odyssey and Shockwave stood a couple of feet beside Serena, watching their friend with smirks on their faces before the emanation Pokemon nudged Shockwave with its elbow."He's having the time of his life," Odyssey said."It isn't every day that a lady comes up here, and he gets to show her his life up here," Shockwave said. "What interests me more is that Serena is enjoying it. Seems like there's hope for something special for our boy if you know what I mean.""I think so too," Odyssey said before looking past Shockwave. "He's doing better than Electchu. That's for sure."Shockwave turned its head to see Electchu staring at Sylveon with googly eyes while the intertwining Pokemon watched Timothy with its partner. Shockwave scoffed, confounded by the Pikachu's persistence. Meanwhile, Serena noticed the biggest bell she had ever seen in her life, hanging only seven feet above the floor. She walked over to it and lowered her head to look at the inside with a curious look. Timothy climbed down until he was standing next to Serena with a smile."This is Candra," he said. "You can say hello if you want."Serena turned to Timothy, surprised before she smiled in excitement like a child. She leaned her head inside the bell and shouted, "Hello!" Her voice resonated all over the bell's inner surface, making Timothy and Serena cover their ears and back away before they turned to each other and laughed."She likes you," Timothy chortled."I'm glad," Serena said.The hunchback then felt a tug on his shirt and turned to Shockwave, who was smirking at him. It gestured to Timothy to lean his head toward it, and he silently obeyed before Shockwave whispered into his ear."I see orange light coming from outside," the emotion Pokemon said. "Maybe the lady would like to see the sunset from the top of the tower?"Timothy's eyes lit up, and he nodded to Shockwave in agreement. He turned to Serena and took her hand, saying, "Come on. There's one more thing I want to show you."The honey blonde woman smiled and followed him up the steps with the Pokemon once again following behind them. Timothy opened the door to the roof and let Serena go first with a bow that made her giggle again at his chivalry. When she was outside, she took a few steps before stopping with her eyes wide and her mouth hanging open.The sun was setting in the mountains beyond Lumiose City's borders, turning the sky into a beauteous mixture of yellow, orange, red, pink, lilac, and purple. Serena walked to the railing to see the entire city from the city square all the way to the main gate. She smiled brightly as Sylveon walked over to look at the view with her, and Timothy stood beside Serena on her left side, happy that she was enjoying the view."I bet King Lysandre himself doesn't have a view like this," Serena said. "I could stay up here forever."Timothy turned to Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey, who grinned and nodded, knowing what was on his mind. The hunchback cleared his throat and said, "Well, you and Sylveon could stay here if you want."Serena's face fell while her eyes were still on the view. She turned to Timothy with a sad smile and said, "I appreciate the offer, Timothy, but I can't stay here."Timothy's smile disappeared, and he felt his heart aching as though something sharp had pierced it."Why not? You have sanctuary here," he said."Sanctuary, but not freedom," Serena said. "You and the archdeacon are very kind, but Sylveon and I don't belong here. Our home is with our people and Pokemon.""But you're not like other Arceans. They're evil," Timothy said.Serena furrowed her brow and turned to face the hunchback, asking, "How do you know what other Arceans are or aren't like when you've never left this place before today?"Timothy winced, realizing that he had offended Serena. He turned his back on her and looked down at the floor, rubbing his arm in shame."It's...it's just how I was taught," he answered."By who?" Serena demanded."I won't say," Timothy said."Why not?" Serena asked."Because then you'll hate me if I tell you," Timothy answered."Hate you?" Serena asked, confused."Yes, because the person who taught me that Arceans are evil is someone you hate," Timothy said.Serena stared at the hunchback facing away from her, unsure of how to respond. She turned to Electchu and Odyssey, who were uneasy with where the conversation was going, and then to Shockwave, who furrowed its brow at Timothy, wanting him to give the woman a clear answer. She walked, stepped in front of him, and gently lifted his chin for him to face her."I don't hate anyone, Timothy," she said. "I am disgusted with what people and Pokemon do to others, but I don't want to hate anyone. Not even my enemies. There's nothing that you can say that will make me think less of you."Timothy was silent for a moment, slowly easing up from Serena's comforting words and the sincerity in her ocean-blue eyes. He felt a nudge and looked at Shockwave, who gave him a look of encouragement while Electchu and Odyssey waved their hands, "No." After a few more seconds of debating, he decided to take another chance on the Arcean woman again."I was taught that Arceans are evil by my master, Markenel, who raised me," he confessed."Judge Markenel?" Serena asked dumbfounded. "How could a cruel man like him have raised someone kind like you?""Cruel? Master Markenel is a good man," Timothy claimed. "He saved my life. My mother abandoned me when I was a baby, and he took me in as his son.""But he let all of those people tie you up and throw food at you," Serena said."Because I disobeyed him," Timothy said. "Master Markenel warned me that the world is cruel and that people and Pokemon would persecute me, but I still went outside the cathedral, so I deserved to be punished. I'm a monster, you know.""Is that what Markenel told you?" Serena asked.Timothy looked at the honey blonde woman like she asked a question she should already know the answer to and said, "Well, look at me."Serena stared at the hunchback, taken aback by how he talked down on himself without a hint of doubt. At that moment, she remembered what Ash said about Markenel saying that a lesson was to be made when the people tormented the poor man. Her skin crawled as it hit her how Markenel justified letting his adopted son be bullied. Serena wanted to hug Timothy tight as though he was a child abused by his parent, but she knew it wouldn't stop him from believing that it was his fault. Serena furrowed her brow and looked down in thought until she got an idea. She got down on her knees and put her hands on Timothy's cheeks, instantly making him blush."S-S-Serena, what are you doing?" Timothy asked."You said to look at you, so I'm going to look at you," Serena said.She leaned her head toward Timothy's face, which turned beet red. Timothy watched the honey blonde woman, puzzled as she opened his mouth, touched his ears, and ran her fingers through his hair. She then stared deep into his eyes for several seconds before she moved her head back, giving Timothy a smile."Just as I figured," she said."What?" Timothy asked."I don't see any monster lines," Serena said."Monster lines?" Timothy asked."Yup. Not a single one," Serena said. "All I see is a person with a human mouth, ears, hair, and green eyes that show that you're kind-hearted, curious, gentle, and shy."Timothy looked at the honey blonde woman with his mouth agape. Never in his life did he imagine anyone would compliment him in such a way. Not even Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey had ever thought to give him such sweet words that would make his deformity feel so irrelevant. His three Pokemon friends looked at each other, grinning with Shockwave and Odyssey, growing more hopeful of Serena's feelings for Timothy.The honey blond woman's smile grew, knowing that her point was made, and said, "Now, what about me? Do you think I'm a monster?""What? No!" Timothy replied. "No, you are kind and gentle, and…""And an Arcean," Serena finished. "So maybe Markenel is wrong about both of us. Maybe being different doesn't make us monsters. I even wager what he's told you aren't even what your god wants you to believe."Timothy stood still, speechless for half a moment before he looked down in thought. Deciding to let him ponder on his own, Serena stood up and turned to look at the view of the city. By now, the sky had grown dark, and stars were appearing. After a couple of moments, Timothy turned his head to Serena, who lowered her head with a glum look, and Sylveon stood beside her, knowing what was on its partner's mind. Timothy furrowed his brow and began to think again for half a moment before he smiled and put his hand on Serena's back, catching her attention."You helped me out, so I'm going to help you and Sylveon escape," he said."But how? There are soldiers in every door," Serena said."We won't use a door," Timothy said. "We're going to climb down.""We can't do that," Serena said."Sure we can. That's how I sneaked to the festival unnoticed," Timothy said. "I'll carry you and Sylveon, climb down from the back of the tower to the main roof. From there, we'll go down to the side of the cathedral where there aren't any guards around, and you two can make your way back home.""Are you sure you can carry both of us?" Serena asked."Of course. Compared to the strength I need to ring the bells, you and Sylveon will feel as light as feathers to me," Timothy said. "Just trust me like I trusted you."Serena hesitated, uneasy with the plan. She turned to Sylveon, who bit its lip, then to Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey, who nodded with assuring smiles. The honey blonde woman sighed before she turned back to Timothy and smiled."Okay. Let's do it."Timothy smiled as the honey blonde woman kneeled down with her back facing Sylveon. The intertwining Pokemon whimpered before it reluctantly climbed on her back and wrapped its feelers around her. Serena stood up and turned to Timothy's friends."Goodbye, Electchu, Shockwave, Odyssey," she said. "Take care of Timothy."The Pikachu, Kirlia, and Riolu made calls to say goodbye before Electchu turned to Sylveon with a flirtatious grin."I'll be dreaming of the day we reunite, honey raisin," it said.Sylveon gagged in disgust, and Timothy, Shockwave, and Odyssey gave the mouse Pokemon disapproving looks."What did Electchu say?" Serena asked."Never mind what it said," Timothy said. "Let's get going."Serena shrugged and rolled her eyes, smirking before she climbed up on Timothy's hunch and wrapped her arms around his neck. Timothy walked over to the other side of the tower and gave Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey one last look before he climbed over the railing.Immediately, Sylveon tightened its hold on Serena, who strengthened her hold on Timothy. The hunchback slowly climbed down the tower, careful not to make any sudden movements that might make Serena lose her hold on him. When they were halfway down, Timothy made a leap to a spiral standing fifteen yards behind the north tower. The sudden jump made Serena and Sylveon scream until Timothy caught one of the gargoyle statues sticking out from the sides of the spire with both hands. He climbed down the spire until he was far enough down to jump onto one of the roof tiles.Timothy paused to turn his head to Serena and asked, "Are you alright?"The honey blonde woman took a second to collect herself before she smiled and said, "I'm managing. You're quite an acrobat.""Thank you," Timothy said.Suddenly, the roof title gave out, and Timothy, Serena, and Sylveon were sliding down toward the edge. Yellow sparks came out from the sides of the title, sliding against the metal railing. The two humans and the Pokemon screamed as the title came closer to the edge until Timothy jumped off at the last minute and grabbed the ledge before they fell off the building. The title slid off the edge and soared fifty yards before it landed on the road with a crash. Timothy waited until he was sure none of the soldiers heard the commotion before he descended all the way to the stone ground."Okay, you two can get off now," Timothy said.Serena let go of Timothy's neck and climbed off his hunch. She turned her head to Sylveon, who was stricken with terror and crouched down for it to get off. The intertwining Pokemon hesitated until it reluctantly reached its hind paw to touch the solid ground before ultimately getting off Serena's back."I hope you weren't too scared," Timothy said."Don't worry. It was kinda exciting more than anything else," Serena said with a smile. "I wish I could say Sylveon felt the same way, though.""S-s-s-s-Syl-v-v-veon," Sylveon whimpered.Serena kneeled down in front of Sylveon and began petting it until it eventually calmed down. Timothy smiled, glad that the two of them were okay before his face fell, knowing that the honey blonde woman was going to leave soon."I'll never forget you, Serena," he said.Serena looked up from Sylveon and saw in the hunchback's green eyes that he didn't want to part ways. She stood up and took Timothy's hands."Come with me," she said."What?" Timothy asked blushing."Come with me to the Court of Miracles. Leave this place," Serena said. "You can climb up to take Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey with you.""Oh, no. I can't do that," Timothy said. "You saw what happened out there.""I'll be there to make sure everyone welcomes you," Serena said."I believe you, but even then, I wouldn't fit in because I don't share your faith. Not to mention I don't want to upset Master Markenel by leaving like that," Timothy said. "No, Lumiose Cathedral is where I belong."Serena frowned at how Timothy's thoughts were on Markenel. Then she smiled and let go of Timothy's hands and put hers behind her back."Okay, then I'll come visit you," she said."What? But...but the soldiers," Timothy said."I'll come after sunset," Serena said.Timothy looked away shyly and said, "But at sunset, I ring the evening mass, and clean the cloisters, and ring the vespers and -"Timothy's voice suddenly died in his throat when he felt something soft touch his cheek. His eyes turned to see Serena leaning in and kissing him with her eyes closed. She pulled back to give her the same friendly smile she had been giving him throughout the evening together with their Pokemon. The hunchback flushed and played with his fingers as he talked with a dopey grin on his face."W-w-whatever is good for you," he said.Serena giggled with her mouth closed, knowing that she won so easily. She reached under her top, took out a necklace hanging around her neck, and put it on Timothy's neck. Timothy lifted the center of the necklace to see a woven pointed ellipse hanging above a chain. A white cross covered the top of the ellipse and was surrounded by a smaller blue ellipse with blue lines connecting the edges. On the right side of the blue ellipse was a small golden cross."If you ever need sanctuary, this will show you the way," Serena said."How?" Timothy asked."Just remember this: when you hold this woven band, you hold the city in your hand," Serena answered.Without another word, Serena put her hand on Timothy's cheek as a silent act of saying farewell and ran down the street with Sylveon into the darkness of the night. Timothy stared at where he last saw the honey blonde woman with his hand on the cheek that she kissed before he smiled blissfully as he climbed back up the cathedral.
The Hunchback of Lumiose Cathedral Chapter 7The rain continued to pour as Markenel's soldiers continued their investigation. Most of them focused on searching the Arceans, confident that one of them was hiding Serena. Those who checked out began taking down tents and banners and taking apart the stages, then cautiously left the square, looking back to make sure no soldiers followed them to their hideout.Ash and Pikachu focused on searching the civilians and leading them out of the square from the west side. Many of them were giving them dirty looks, still bitter that the justice minister ended the festival. The raven-haired soldier and his partner wished they could do something to cheer up the crowd or make it up to them, but they knew nothing they could do or say would make up for ruining their day.But while Ash was guiding a family from the crowd, Pikachu looked behind his friend and noticed a slouched figure in a blue cloak with a wooden cane. The figure was scooting through the people and Pokemon in the crowd opposite Ash and Pikachu. Pikachu then noticed a light blue feeler dangling underneath the cloak. Its ears perked up, and it patted the side of Ash's head to gain his attention."What is it, buddy?" Ash asked."Pika," Pikachu whispered while pointing at the figure with its tail.Ash looked in the direction Pikachu was pointing and saw the figure walking away. He smirked as he noticed the feeler hanging at the bottom of the cloak, instantly knowing what his partner discovered. The duo looked at each other and nodded before Ash turned to the soldier closest to him."Private, take over on my side," he ordered."Yes, Lieutenant," the soldier replied.With his spot covered, Ash squeezed through the crowd with his eyes fixed on the suspicious figure. Pikachu climbed to the top of Ash's head and looked ahead to find that the figure was heading to where Sonia was helping some Arceans, and the four Machoke who carried Timothy were taking apart the main stage. However, as the mouse Pokemon looked ahead, it saw Butch inspecting people and Pokemon in the direction that the figure was heading. Pikachu climbed back down onto Ash's shoulder and whispered to him while making hand gestures to explain what was happening. Ash frowned, worried that he won't catch up with his target before it ran into Butch, but then his eyes turned to Lumiose Cathedral on his left side, and he smirked again."I got an idea, Pikachu," he whispered.As Ash walked faster with Pikachu holding on to him by the head, the figure keeps walking until it spots Butch focused on interrogating a couple. The figure turned right to avoid the soldier, but Butch noticed it passing by just as he finished his interrogation."Hey, old man, hold it right there," he commanded.The figure moved faster at the sound of Butch's voice. Butch ran over to the figure and began pulling it back by the cloak. The person under the cloak grabbed it and pulled back before Butch could take it off."Stop resisting, old man," Butch said. "You're making it harder on -""Hold it, Private Butch!" Ash called out.Butch and the figure stopped struggling, and the soldier let go of the cloak to turn to Ash. Ash walked over to the figure's side, and the figure turned around, thinking it got its chance to escape until Ash grabbed it by the sides."Don't worry. It's us," he whispered to the figure. "Just play along, and we'll get you two out of here.""Pikachu," Pikachu whispered.The figure stood still for a moment at the sound of their voices and eased up. Ash and Pikachu smiled before the former put on a serious face and turned to Butch."I already inspected this man," he lied. "He's a little deaf, so he must not have understood me when I told him to leave the square."Butch scoffed and said, "A deaf man participating in a festival alone? How stupid can one be?""Comes with being a part of the peasant folk, I guess," Ash said. "Anyway, continue your search for the Arcean woman. I will see to it that this man doesn't aimlessly wander in the square anymore.""Yes, Lieutenant," Butch said.As soon as Butch's back was turned, Ash and Pikachu sighed in relief. Ash put his arm on the figure’s back, which felt more like the small back of a little quadrupled Pokemon, and his free hand on the figure's side, which felt like a person's waist. He guided the figure through the crowd until they were at the steps of Lumiose Cathedral and looked back to make sure no one was looking before he opened one of the doors and went in. Pikachu hopped off Ash's shoulder and shook the water off its coat while its partner closed the door behind them."Alright, you're safe," Ash said.The figure dropped its cane and took off its cloak, revealing Serena wearing her regular clothes in a slouching position and Sylveon lying on her back. The intertwining Pokemon hopped off its partner's back, and Serena stretched her aching back."How did you know it was us?" She asked."One of your Sylveon's feelers was sticking out from under your cloak," Ash answered. "You two are lucky that Pikachu noticed you.""Pikachu," Pikachu said with a smile."Oh. I guess we need to be a little more careful next time," Serena said. "Thank you for saving us, though.""Sylveon," Sylveon agreed.Ash gave her a toothy grin and said, "No problem. It was our pleasure. Right, buddy?""Pikachu," Pikachu said.Serena and Sylveon smiled at their positive response before the former frowned and asked, "But, aren't you supposed to arrest us?""No, because we're inside Lumiose Cathedral," Ash answered."So?" Serena asked."The church protects anyone who comes in here," Ash explained. "As long as you're inside Lumiose Cathedral, Pikachu and I can't do a thing or any soldier for that matter."Serena and Sylveon stared at the raven-haired man and his Pokemon partner at a loss of words."Why do you and your Pikachu keep helping us?" Serena asked suspiciously. "Is it just because I have a pretty face?"Ash's cheeks turned pink, and he looked away, scratching his cheek, saying, "W-well, I can't deny that you're very beautiful, but we have other reasons.""And they are?" Serena asked."You and your Sylveon did nothing wrong," Ash answered. "Minister Markenel was out of order to try and have you arrested even though you and your people and Pokemon are protected on your holiday, especially when you were just protecting that man."Serena frowned and asked, "If you agree that what they did to him was wrong, then why didn't you stop it?""I tried to get permission, but the judge refused," Ash explained. "He said something about a lesson needing to be learned.""A lesson? On what?" Serena asked flabbergasted."No idea," Ash answered. "You intervened before I could ask. Though, I doubt I would have gotten an answer."Serena frowned, disgusted by the information, and asked, "What do people and Pokemon have against anyone who is different?""I wish I knew," Ash said."Do you?" Serena asked. "Then why are you serving the justice minister if you don't even agree with him?"Ash frowned, and he and Pikachu glanced at each other before he turned back to Serena and said, "Because I thought Pikachu and I were coming home to serve under a just and righteous system we believed we were protecting.""What do you mean?" Serena asked.Ash took a moment to debate himself and said, "Well, there's a special reason why I am a soldier, but before I say it, I want you to promise me that you won’t think less of me when I tell you this."Serena paused, uneasy with what Ash was going to say before she nodded and said, "Okay. You have my word."Before taking a deep breath, Ash hesitated and said, "The thing is, my father is Captain Giovanni."Serena and Sylveon looked at the soldier, shocked, and for the briefest moment, the Arcean woman became afraid of Ash as though being Giovanni's son made him the cold-hearted man himself. She resisted the urge to run, reminding herself everything he and Pikachu did for her and her beloved partner, and collected herself, hoping Ash and Pikachu didn't notice her and Sylveon's moment of fear."I see," she said. "So, you work for Markenel because your father does?""More or less," Ash answered. "Pikachu and I were motivated to serve in the line of duty like my father and his Persian. When I was of age, we volunteered to fight in the wars. Everything we've done in the field, we thought we were protecting our country and its ideals, including the justice system. When I was summoned to be my father's second-in-command, Pikachu and I were thrilled because we thought it meant I was going to follow in his footsteps in serving a just system.""Pika, Pika," Pikachu said."And you don't believe that anymore, do you?" Serena statedAsh shook his head and said, "I've been home for only a few hours, and I see Minister Markenel and my father doing everything you said at the square. I believe in the Lord of All and not Arceus. That will never change, and I do acknowledge you as people and Pokemon who live in the city illegally, but what you and the other Arceans believe does not give anyone the right to do what the judge minister and my father wants to do with all of you."The hall was silent after Ash finished his explanation. Serena stared at him, moved by the way he spoke with passion and honesty. Then, she smiled and asked, "What's your name?""Lieutenant Ash at your service, my lady," Ash answered with a bow. "It means ash tree, believe it or not."Serena giggled and said, "Ash. I like that name.""Thank you," Ash said. "And while we're complementing each other, you and Sylveon danced beautifully out there.""Pikachu," Pikachu said with a smile.Serena felt her cheeks heat up, and even Sylveon was flattered by Pikachu's positive praise."Thank you. You're very sweet," Serena said."Of course," Ash said with another grin. "Have you and Sylveon always been performing in Lumiose City?""No, we've only been here for a few months ourselves," Serena answered. "I'm from Vaniville Town that's mainly populated by Arceans. I gained a passion for dancing from my friend, Shauna, and so started to perform with her Ivysaur and Sylveon back when it was an Eevee. Over time, Sylveon and I got so good at it that people and Pokemon in our town, including Shauna, adored watching the two of us perform.""Well, that lines up. You really made a lot of people and Pokemon happy when you were dancing at the marketplace and the festival," Ash said."That's what I love about performing," Serena said. "I make so many people and Pokemon smile, whether at home or here in the city. I want to do that for everyone, no matter who they are or what they believe. More than anything, I wish the people in this city could look past what Arceans believe, and we could all live together."Ash smiled and said, "I hope that one day we can do that too.""Pikachu," Pikachu said, smiling.Serena gave them a sad smile and said, "I admire your optimism, Ash, but it can't be when your religion dictates that you persecute anyone who doesn't believe what you believe.""But that's the opposite of what we're supposed to believe," Ash said. "The holy word tells us how -"Suddenly, the cathedral doors opened to reveal Markenel and several soldiers coming inside. Ash and Pikachu looked at Markenel, shocked, and Sylveon hid behind Serena. The judge grinned as he walked over to them."Excellent work, Lieutenant. Now, arrest her," Markenel commanded.Ash and Pikachu's hearts sank, and they turned to Serena and Sylveon, who glared daggers at them."Claim sanctuary," Ash whispered to the honey blonde woman. "Say it!""You tricked me," Serena said. "There's no protection in here.""Yes, there is," Ash protested. "We're not supposed to -""I'm waiting, Lieutenant," Markenel said.Ash grumbled and turned to Markenel with his hands behind his back."I'm sorry, sir. She has claimed sanctuary for herself and her Pokemon. There's nothing Pikachu, and I can do," he lied."Then drag them outside," Markenel said. "I will not allow the heathen to -""Markenel, you will not touch her!"Markenel turned his eyes to Archdeacon Sycamore, walking over to Ash, Pikachu, Serena, and Sylveon. The man of the Lord had wrinkles on his face and streaks of gray in his dark hair. He placed his hand on Serena's shoulder and gave her a kind look."Don't worry, my child. You are safe here," he said before turning to Markenel with a warning glare. "Minister Markenel learned years ago to respect the sanctity of the church."Markenel gave the archdeacon a dark look, knowing what he was referring to. The judge scoffed and waved his hand for his soldiers to leave. But when he was several yards away, he made sure no one was looking before he sneaked his way to one of the side columns in the main hall. Ash turned back to Serena to say sorry, but Archdeacon Sycamore grabbed his shoulder and led him toward the exit. Pikachu turned to Sylveon, who looked at it bitterly. The mouse Pokemon's ears dropped and sadly followed Ash and Archdeacon Sycamore to the entrance."Your Excellency, can you relay a message for me?" Ash asked Archdeacon Sycamore as they headed to the exit."No need, my son," the archdeacon said, giving the raven-haired man a small smile. "I overheard parts of your conversation with her. I know you care about her safety, and I'll make sure she knows."Ash smiled back and said, "Thank you, sir. Please take good care of her and Sylveon.""As the Lord Almighty lives, we will keep her safe," Archdeacon Sycamore promised.Unfortunately, unknown to anyone, Markenel sneaked his way past the columns back to Serena, his gaze never leaving the Arcean woman. He tiptoed behind her while she and Sylveon watched the soldiers go and suddenly held her arm behind her back and put his hand on her throat. Serena gasped in alarm, and Sylveon prepared to attack, but the judge moved Serena in front of Sylveon to use as a shield."You must think you're very clever," he hissed into her ear. "But I'm a patient man, and Arceans don't do well stuck inside stone walls."Serena struggled to break free of his grasp, and Sylveon clenched its teeth, eager to help its friend. Markenel grinned, taking a sadistic pleasure that the woman and her Pokemon were helpless, but then, he felt a strong scent, and his eyes moved to Serena's yellow hair. In a moment of weakness, he took a sniff of her hair, and a perverted smile entered his face."What are you doing?" Serena asked, trying to glare at the judge despite his hold on her neck."I was just imagining a rope around your beautiful neck," Markenel claimed.Disgusted, Serena elbowed him in the stomach, and he bent down and let go of her arm and neck. She took several steps away from him with Sylveon stepping in front of her in defense and hissed, "I know what you're imagining."Markenel massaged his stomach before he straightened himself and smirked at Serena, acting as though her elbow did nothing to him."Such a cunning witch, aren't you?" he said. "So typical of your kind to twist the truth and cloud the mind with unholy thoughts.""I don't think I caused you to think indecently," Serena said.Markenel gave a low cackle, unfazed by Serena's accusation, and said, "Well, no matter." He walked past the honey blonde woman and her Pokemon partner with Sylveon still preparing to attack the judge if he tried anything again. Markenel turned his head to look at Serena with a mocking smirk as he walked toward the cathedral doors. "You picked a magnificent prison, Madame Serena, but it's a prison nonetheless. Step one foot out of the cathedral, and you're mine."Serena's dark look and Sylveon's threatening glare disappeared as the judge exited the cathedral, closing the door behind him. It hadn't occurred to them that they might be trapped in the place that they thought was meant to protect them until they had a chance to safely return to the Court of Miracles. Serena rushed to the entry doors and opened one of them just enough to look outside unnoticed. It was still pouring, and the square was empty except for a couple dozen soldiers. Giovanni was still on his Rapidash with Persian standing beside him with a smirk."Soldiers, Minister Markenel's orders are to have every entrance in the cathedral covered," Giovanni said. "I want no less than four men on every door.""Yes, sir," the soldiers said.Serena slammed the doors shut and let out a frustrated grunt. She put her back against the door and slid down to her bottom, hugging her legs with her head hung low. Sylveon looked at its partner worryingly and licked Serena's hand to get her attention. The honey blonde woman raised her head to see her downcast Pokemon and sighed before petting it on the head."Don't worry, Sylveon. If Markenel thinks he can keep us here forever, he's wrong," she said."Do not be so rash, my child," Archdeacon Sycamore said, startling Serena and Sylveon as they didn't notice him standing a few feet beside them. "Markenel is a relentless man. It would be unwise to anger him any further."Serena scoffed and rolled her eyes, seeing the archdeacon's words as redundant. She looked away from him and rested her head with her legs while still petting Sylveon, acting as though the old man wasn't there. Just then, the archdeacon heard footsteps and turned around to find Sister Sophie walking over to him. Her hair had turned into a blend of dark blue and gray, wrinkles covered her face, and she walked in a slouching position."Supper is ready, Your Excellence," she said."Ah, marvelous," Archdeacon Sycamore said with a smile. He turned to Serena, who had lifted her head at the sound of supper. "Would you care to join us?"Serena looked at him, befuddled, and asked, "Eat supper with you?""Of course," Archdeacon Sycamore said. "We have a spare spot at our table, and there's enough Pokemon food for your Sylveon.""But I don't share your religion," Serena said."And that makes you less of a person and your Sylveon less of a Pokemon?" Archdeacon Sycamore challenged. "You don't have to be afraid of us. You're safe here."Serena kept staring at the archdeacon with a dumbfounded look, unsure if she had heard him correctly. She felt her stomach let out a low grumble and turned to Sylveon, who gave her a hesitant look, not wanting to admit that it was also hungry. Serena sighed before she stood up and gave Archdeacon Sycamore a short nod. His smile grew, and he gestured with his hand for Serena and Sylveon to follow him. The Arcean and her partner followed the archdeacon across the hall, keeping themselves at a distance from the man.Archdeacon Sycamore opened the door to a moderately-sized dining hall at the other side of the aisle, where monks and nuns talked together with several small Pokemon. Two nuns were filling bowls with Pokemon food while a monk was stirring a pot of stew hanging above a fire. Archdeacon Sycamore clapped his hands, and the room became silent with all eyes turning to him."Attention, everyone," he began, turning to Serena. "This is Serena and her partner, Sylveon. They have claimed sanctuary from the justice minister and are our guests tonight." The monks, nuns, and Pokemon all exclaimed words/calls of welcome, making the honey blonde woman and her partner feel more uneasy. "Now that we are all here let us begin."The two nuns placed the bowls of Pokemon food on the floor where the Pokemon sat in front of them and waited patiently. Sister Sophie took it upon herself to grab another bowl of Pokemon food for Sylveon. The humans grabbed wooden bowls and got in line in front of the fireplace, where the cook filled their bowls. Archdeacon Sycamore and Serena were last in line, and they sat down with the archdeacon at the end of the table and Serena sitting next to him. Sister Sophie put Sylveon's food beside Serena's chair to eat next to its friend and then put another Pokemon bowl beside Archdeacon Sycamore's chair where a Gible was waiting. Two monks gave each person a slice of bread and a small goblet of wine before taking their seats. With everyone in place, Archdeacon Sycamore, Sister Sophie, and the rest of the church members took a moment to say grace before everyone began eating.For the next few minutes, Serena ate her stew and bread while still feeling awkward eating with the church members. The monks and nuns engaged in friendly conversation as they ate, and yet there she was alone, not knowing anyone. She looked at her side to see Sylveon feeling the same despite enjoying a suitable helping of Pokemon food. Archdeacon Sycamore sipped the rest of his stew and then noticed the young woman's demeanor."There's no need to be unsettled, my child," He said."What? Oh, no. I'm not unsettled at all," Serena lied with a forced grin."Come now. There's no need to lie," Archdeacon Sycamore said. "You find our friendliness and hospitality anomalous. I can see it in your eyes."Serena opened her mouth to deny it again but then accepted that there was no fooling the old man."It's just that you're not like anyone in your faith that I've met," Serena confessed.The archdeacon chuckled and said, "Thank you. I take delight in being different since what you no doubt have seen or heard goes against the holy word.""But I thought you are supposed to show contempt against those who don't follow your beliefs," Serena said.Archdeacon Sycamore frowned and pushed his bowl away to rest his arms on the table with his hands clasped together. Serena became confused as she watched him let out a sad sigh."Yes, I imagine you would be led to believe that," Archdeacon Sycamore said. "But despite what you may think, the holy word does not command us to behave that way around others. There was a time in early history where the Lord commanded his people to keep away from pagans and fight them, but that was at a time where there were people who did far more foul and wicked things than merely worshiping a Pokemon.""So, you don't mind that my people and Pokemon worship Arceus?" Serena asked."I didn't say that. It is a great sin to have any other gods before the Lord. Make no mistake," Archdeacon Sycamore clarified. "But your sins do not warrant the persecution that your people and Pokemon have gone through in our city."Serena frowned, unconvinced, and asked, "Then why are the Arceans hunted down and imprisoned? It seems like people like Minister Markenel chose to believe that your god wants you to destroy those who are against him because he did want that in the past.""They do," Archdeacon Sycamore said bluntly.Serena looked at him, taken back, and said, "You speak the faults of the people of your religion so unhesitatingly.""I would be a fool not to," the old man said. "There have always been people who say they follow God but do not practice the truth, deceiving themselves with false doctrine. People fall into pride and hatred when the Bible says we must be humble and love one another in fellowship.""So, you really don't see Arceans as people and Pokemon who deserve imprisonment and death?" Serena asked."No. If anything, hating someone for one sin undermines the fact that we all have sinned, including those who follow him wholeheartedly," Archdeacon Sycamore said. "Even so, the Lord is willing to forgive our trespasses no matter who they are. In fact, there have been people in the Bible who weren't God's people that showed more faith and held more to his commandments than his people. Sometimes faith is true where it shouldn't exist, and it falters where it should be thriving. Even the Lord Jesus himself was outcast by people who claimed to be children of God because his teachings didn't match with human understanding even though his teachings are in the law that people studied and offer the gift of life."Serena continued to stare at the archdeacon, feeling puzzled the more he spoke."Let me see if I have this straight," she began. "My people and Pokemon have been persecuted for years because our oppressors say it is just and not because of what your god actually wants you to do?""Yes," Archdeacon Sycamore said. "Since before you were born, I have tried to reach out to our citizens and teach them humility and how we gain nothing by only loving those who love us. There are those with sincere hearts who want to uphold the Lord's teachings, but others, like Minister Markenel, are misguided and twist the word in a convenient way for them. Humanity has been this way since the day we began to sin and will continue to be that way until the end of the world. All we can do is look to God for guidance and trust in what he's doing."Serena hummed and said, "This is all very strange to me. I'm not even sure I can believe that your religion and Markenel's are the same."The archdeacon gave a hearty chuckle and said, "I imagine the lieutenant, and I come off as members of some splinter group compared to what you've seen out in the city."Serena's confused face turned into a bitter glare, and Sylveon lifted its head from its food to give the man a sour look."Don't degrade yourself to him and his Pokemon partner," Serena said. "It's because of them that Markenel has soldiers in every door waiting to arrest Sylveon and me.""Sylveon," Sylveon said in agreement."Perhaps, but I think the two of you know that the boy and his Pikachu weren't trying to trick you," Archdeacon Sycamore said with a smirk. "Otherwise, he wouldn't have told Markenel that you claimed sanctuary when you actually didn't. He and his Pikachu clearly care about you two."Serena opened her mouth to contradict him again but stopped herself once again. She looked at Sylveon, who gave her a hesitant look as they thought about Ash and Pikachu's actions from when they first met them. Eventually, the honey blonde woman sighed and said without looking at the archdeacon, "They are considerate allies, I'll admit."The old man gave her a hearty chuckle and said, "I don't think being mere allies were on that young man nor his partner's minds. And judging by the way you were interacting with them, I'd say you wouldn't mind what they are hoping for either."Serena flushed, and Sylveon's cheeks became as pink as half of its body. The former turned to Archdeacon Sycamore and asked, "Were you spying on us?""Well, I was passing by and got curious when I saw you four," the old man explained. "It isn't every day you see a soldier and an Arcean having an affable conversation with their Pokemon partners, leastways, in the house of God."Serena scoffed and turned her head to face the archdeacon again and said, "You are a silly man.""I'm silly? You and your Sylveon are the ones being bashful when the lieutenant and his partner praised your dancing," Archdeacon Sycamore countered.The honey blonde woman's face turned beet red, and her Pokemon looked down to finish its meal to hide its bashful face. Archdeacon Sycamore chuckled again until he heard the sound of the church bells ringing from above. He sighed and stood up from his seat along with the monks and nuns. Serena and Sylveon looked at everyone, confused before they wolfed down the rest of their food and followed the head of the church out of the room"What's going on?" She asked."It's time for us to prepare for evening mass," the archdeacon answered. "It's a time of worship and prayer after sundown.""Then, what are Sylveon and I supposed to do?" Serena asked."Whatever you wish," Archdeacon Sycamore said with a smile. "Rest, look around, pray if you like."Serena frowned and stood in front of Archdeacon Sycamore, saying, "With all due respect, Your Excellency, I'm grateful for what you've done for Sylveon and me, but you cannot expect me to pray to your god.""I didn't say I was," Archdeacon Sycamore said. "I was merely making a suggestion. After all, the Lord helps those in need and answers all prayers, sometimes in ways we do not expect.""But how do you know your god does anything or even exists?" Serena questioned. "Have you ever seen him or what he's capable of compared to my people and Pokemon knowing that Arceus is real?""Just because I have not seen my Lord doesn't mean he isn't here or has done more than what a Pokemon can do," Archdeacon Sycamore answered. "I believe that there are things at work beyond what we understand in our world, for true faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see."Serena continued to look at the old man skeptically, thinking he was advertising his beliefs to her, and yet, despite how she looked at it, there was a small part of her that felt tempted to give it a try. Her faith in the original one was strong, but her heart was willing to take different measures for any chance of hope in her world. Sylveon and the archdeacon patiently watched Serena debate with herself until she finally decided to roll the dice."How do I speak to him?" She asked with a hesitant look.Archdeacon Sycamore turned his head to the front stage of the cathedral and said, "Choose one of the rows of pews, kneel down, clasp your hands, and pray."Serena looked at the rows of pews that were far apart from each other for people to kneel down from their seats. She looked at the stage where there were wall paintings of bible characters and a gold cross standing at the center."Is there a painting that I'm supposed to look at when I pray?" Serena asked."No, you don't need to look at anything," Archdeacon Sycamore said. "Just pray."With his last instruction, the archdeacon left to do his duties, leaving the young woman and her Pokemon alone. Serena hesitated with the idea, finding the lack of needing something to look at while praying to be flimsy before she sighed and picked a seat in the middle row on the right side to pray. Sylveon followed its friend, concerned with the decision Serena was making outside of their belief. The honey blonde woman got on her knees and clasped her hands. She looked around the hall to make sure only she and Sylveon were around and began to speak."Dear God…"She flinched and bit her lips, feeling silly as though she talked to an imaginary friend from her childhood. Sylveon's concern for Serena's unusual decision grew until the woman let out a groan before she collected herself, looked up at the ceiling, and tried again."Dear God, the archdeacon said that you help those who are in need," she said. "If that is true, then please help my people and Pokemon, who are always in need and persecuted. I beg that you change the views of the people and Pokemon in this city that they will look at the Arceans in love and fellowship as you apparently desire."Serena became silent for several seconds, thinking about what to say next."I ask for nothing for myself or my Pokemon except for this," she began. "Give us clarity regarding Ash and Pikachu. I don't know if what we think we feel for them is real or we just think it's real, but if it is, help us see it, and may we find a chance to see them again."Serena turned to Sylveon, wondering if it was alright to speak for it. The intertwining Pokemon hesitated until it accepted that it was still conflicted about Pikachu and gave its friend a nod. Serena smiled before she looked up at the ceiling one more time."And please help all who are treated differently. Not just the Arceans," she said. "Help people like that poor man, Timothy, who was tormented by the people just because of how he looks. Give people like him peace and a chance to live happily without punishment for what they are that they may be loved by others."With the last prayer, Serena lowered her head and sat on her bottom. She closed her eyes and let out a sigh, feeling as though a great weight was off her chest. Her mind remained uncertain that she accomplished anything, but she was glad to ask for everything that was on her mind. Sylveon licked Serena's hand, and she turned to see it looking worried again for its friend. The honey blonde woman gave her partner a sad smile and pulled the intertwining Pokemon into a hug.Suddenly, Serena and Sylveon heard a crash from behind, startling them. Serena put her Pokemon down and stood up to find Timothy standing beside a column, afraid of the honey blonde woman.
The Hunchback of Lumiose Cathedral Chapter 6Timothy stood on stage, unable to move. Miette ran away from him to hide behind Sonia, who looked at the hunchback in shock. Sylveon and Slurpuff looked at Timothy in terror, and Serena looked at him with her eyes wide open and both hands covering her mouth, realizing what she had done. It took several seconds before the crowd realized what happened before they screamed and gasped at the sight of Timothy's deformed face."That's no mask! That's his face!" A man shouted."He's hideous!" A woman shouted."Is it even human?" Another woman asked."Could it be some sort of a Pokemon?" A third woman asked."No, it's the Lumiose Cathedral bell ringer," a second man said."Keep it away from our children!" a fourth woman screamed while hugging her kids.The more Timothy heard from the citizens, the more it hit him that his worst fears had come true. From up on the top balcony in Lumiose Cathedral, Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey watched what happened, not knowing what to do to help their friend from above. Timothy saw Markenel standing up from his seat, astounded that the hunchback disobeyed him. He suddenly remembered the judge's words and became afraid that the Arceans and the citizens would band together to drown him or tear him into pieces. The hunchback got down on his knees and cried.Suddenly, amid the commotion, Sonia began applauding and cheering at the top of her lungs. The square fell silent, and all eyes turned to her, wondering if she had gone mad or didn't understand what was going on."Splendid! Magnificent! Absolutely marvelous!" She cheered before turning to the crowd. "Ladies and gentlemen, don't you see? We asked for the ugliest face in Lumiose City, and here it is!"The crowd continued to stare at the peach-haired woman, confused, before looking back at Timothy. They thought about it before they realized that she was right and began cheering along with her. Even Miette and Serena took a moment to realize Sonia's point before they joined in. Timothy looked around, having trouble processing what was happening before he felt Sonia put her hand on his hunch, and he turned to her."What's your name, my friend?" She asked."Uh...Timothy," Timothy answered.Sonia smiled and turned to the audience shouting, "Everyone, I give you our king: Timothy, the hunchback of Lumiose Cathedral!"The audience cheered louder while Sonia helped Timothy back on his feet and took off his hood and cloak. Serena, Miette, Sylveon, and Slupuff walked over to them with the honey blonde woman holding a yellow and purple crown with bells hanging at the tip and the blunette holding a purple cape and a scepter. Serena laid the crown on Timothy's head, and Miette wrapped the cape around his neck and gave him the scepter before both women kissed his cheeks, turning his face beet red."Bring out the throne!" Sonia called out.Four Machoke came to the stage, carrying a yellow throne with magnolia cushions using carrying poles. Slurpuff puts Timothy on the throne using Psychic, and the Machoke began carrying him through the square with humans and Pokemon making a path. Sonia walked ahead of Timothy and the Machoke, holding out a wooden pole like a staff as though she was leading another parade.Timothy turned to Markenel and gave him a smile and a wave, thinking it was okay to disobey his orders since the people accepted him. The justice minister glowered at his adopted son and signaled Giovanni to walk over to him. The captain moved his Rapidash toward his master, and Markenel whispered something to his ear. Ash and Pikachu watched curiously as Giovanni grinned and drove his Rapidash over to his second-in-command."Lieutenant, stay with Minister Markenel. I'll be right back," he ordered."Yes, sir," Ash said.While Giovanni rode away from Markenel's tent with Persian following him, the Machoke carried Timothy to an elevated platform. Timothy stood up from the throne and got on the platform before raising his scepter in victory. The crowd roared with applause again, with people tossing confetti and flowers while the music band was playing music. Back in the cathedral's top balcony, Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey jumped up and down and cheered at the top of their lungs. Tears ran down Timothy's face as people chanted his name.Suddenly, out of nowhere, a tomato flew toward Timothy and hit him right in the face. The citizens gasped before they heard Cassidy standing in the middle of the crowd, laughing and pointing at Timothy."Now, that's what I call ugly!" She shouted."I hear that!" Butch shouted from the other side of the crowd. He took out a tomato and threw it at Timothy, shouting, "Hail to the king!""Hail to the king!" Several other guards shouted as they threw tomatoes, carrots, cabbages, and berries at Timothy.Timothy held his hands up in defense as food was thrown at him in all directions. He stepped on a broken tomato and slipped on it, causing him to fall on his back, dropping his scepter. Men among the crowd who had too much to drink laughed at Timothy's fall, and women and children started joining in, thinking it was part of the event.Eventually, citizens grabbed food from the dining tables and joined in throwing food at Timothy. The poor hunchback managed to get up despite all the food on the platform and took three steps, trying to get off before two dark green vines wrapped around his neck. He turned his head to find the vines coming from the bud of an Ivysaur, whose partner was giving Timothy a twisted smile."Where do you think you're going, Your Highness? The fun is just beginning," he said.Timothy pulled on the vines, trying to free himself, but his efforts were met with a Victreebel and a Pansage also using Vine Whip on his hands and pulling them back. The crowd laughed harder while clapping and pointing at Timothy. The hunchback became angry and used his strength from years of ringing the mighty bells of Lumiose Cathedral to pull on the vines, forcing the Pokemon toward him."Oh, that's no fun at all," a man with spiky blonde hair standing behind the platform said. He turned to his Jolteon, who was standing next to him, and pointed at Timothy. "Jolteon, use Thunder Wave!"With a grin, his Jolteon created electricity around its body and fired it at Timothy, hitting him in the back. Timothy yelled in pain and fell on his front, unable to move with yellow sparks around his body. The crowd laughed and cheered for the lightning Pokemon's deed, and a Carnivine and a Tangrowth held down Timothy's feet with Vine Whip, giving civilians the chance to tie him down to the platform. His body paralyzed, Timothy laid on the ground, helpless as people and Pokemon threw masses of food.On the balcony, Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey watched, appalled by what was happening."We gotta help Timothy," Odyssey said."But there are too many people there. We'll never reach him," Electchu said."Better we try than do nothing at all," Shockwave said. "We said we'd protect Timothy, and he needs us right now. He'd do the same for us."The Pikachu hesitated before its face turned serious, and it nodded in agreement. Without another word, Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey rushed to the stairway on the south tower, leading to the church's bottom floor, eager to save their friend. Meanwhile, Giovanni and Persian returned to their spot beside Markenel's tent, with the judge giving his captain a smirk and a nod of approval. Markenel's smirk disappeared, and he turned to Timothy with his arms crossed, faintly heard the sound of Timothy crying out to him amid the laughter."Master! Master Markenel, please help me!"But he turned his head, making it clear that he would not aid his adopted son. Timothy looked at Markenel, devastated, as it became clear that he was all alone.Ash and Pikachu watched the crowd continue to barrage Timothy in disgust, and the raven-haired turned to Giovanni, saying, "Sir, I request permission to end this cruelty.""Denied," Giovanni said bluntly."Sir, with all due respect -" Ash began to protest."I said no, Lieutenant," Giovanni growled.Ash flinched from his father's response and lowered his head. Markenel chuckled with his mouth closed and said, "Don't worry, Lieutenant, we'll stop it in a moment. A lesson needs to be learned first.""A lesson?" Ash asked."STOP!!!"The square immediately became silent, with the citizens and their Pokemon stopping themselves from throwing more food in mid-motion. They looked around, wondering where the voice came from, until they saw Serena climbing up to the platform. She glared at the crowd, livid like a mother scorning her children."Aren't you ashamed of yourselves?!" She rebuked. "You think this is part of the event?! At one time, has the Feast of Fools ever been meant to persecute people or Pokemon?!"The citizens and their Pokemon whispered among each other, some hating that Serena ruined their fun, others ashamed. The rest didn't know what to think. Serena turned to Timothy, covered in pieces of broken fruit and vegetables, and yellow sparks still appearing all over his body. The honey blonde woman's face softened, and she kneeled down to offer him a berry. The hunchback moved his head away from her, afraid that the Arcean poisoned the berry or was waiting until his guard was down to smash it into his face. Serena put her hand on Timothy's chin and gently moved his face to look at her again."Don't be afraid," she said in a soft voice. "It's a Cheri berry. It'll heal your paralysis."Timothy hesitated until he saw compassion in her ocean-blue eyes. He opened his mouth, and Serena fed the berry to him. Within a couple of seconds, the sparks around his body disappeared, and he felt he could move again if not for the ropes that tied him down. Serena took out a cloth and began wiping Timothy's face."I'm so sorry," she said. "This wasn't supposed to happen."Timothy didn't know how to react to Serena's words or actions. His torment made him once again think the world outside of Lumiose Cathedral was a horrible place, and yet this Arcean woman was helping him as though she were an angel from heaven who came to protect him. On the other hand, Serena was the one who put him on the stage, and Miette screamed in fear, and yet the two women kissed him while the entire square cheered for him. Nothing made complete sense to him. Not even the way Serena smiled when she finished cleaning his face.Markenel, meanwhile, clenched his teeth while Serena aided Timothy, his heart filled with hate for her interfering with his plan. His hatred grew when he realized his enemy's gracious act contradicted what he taught the deformed man he sought as the key to destroying Serena and her people and Pokemon. He stood up from his chair and pointed at the honey blonde woman, commanding, "You, Arcean woman, get down at once!"Serena looked away from Timothy and stood up to face Markenel."Yes, Your Honor. Just as soon as I free this poor man," she said."No! I forbid you to lay another finger on the creature!" Markenel shouted.Serena looked at him, appalled for calling Timothy a creature. Her shock turned into anger as she took out a knife and cut the ropes off of Timothy in one clean stroke. The citizens and Arceans alike gasped in disbelief, and Markenel shouted, "You dare defy me?!""Yes, I dare! And I'll do it again!" Serena shouted back. "You mistreat this man the same way you treat my people and Pokemon! You claim to be a righteous judge, but you are cruel to those who need help!""Silence!" Markenel shouted."Your own soldiers started throwing food at Timothy first, causing all of this, and you didn't lift a finger to save him!" Serena continued."I said silence!" Markenel roared."Justice!" Serena screamed.The people gasped once more, flabbergasted that the honey blonde woman spoke to the powerful man without hesitation. Serena turned back to Timothy and helped him on his feet."Mark my words, Arcean, you'll pay for your insolence," Markenel snarled.But Serena laughed mockingly and asked, "Really? You consider kindness to my fellow man an act of insolence, do you?" She took the crown off Timothy's head and held it up toward the judge. "Then it appears we picked the wrong person to be the King of Fools, because the only fool I see is you!"She tossed the crown far over to where Markenel's tent was, and it landed a few feet in front of him. Markenel's blood boiled, and he turned to Giovanni."Captain Giovanni, arrest her!" He barked."Yes, sir," Giovanni said."But, Minister Markenel, it's against the king's decree to arrest any of the Arceans during the festival," Ash pointed out."That does not excuse behavior outside of their holiday," Markenel said.Ash tilted his head and asked, "But isn't it hypocritical to -""Lieutenant, the minister gave you an order," Giovanni said.Ash hesitated, wanting to convince his superiors that what they are ordering was wrong, but his sense of duty and desire to please his father overcame his thoughts."Come on, Pikachu," he said, defeated."Pika," Pikachu said with its ears hanging low.With a snap of Giovanni's fingers, he, Ash, Butch, Cassidy, and the other troops rode their steeds toward Serena with their Pokemon. The citizens and the Arceans reluctantly moved away to make room with Sonia, Miette, and Slurpuff keeping themselves hidden among the crowd. The blunette woman's heart sank the closer the soldiers got to Serena, and she turned to her leader."We've got to stop this," she said."We can't," Sonia said, "If we interfere, Markenel might view this as an entire Arcean affair and arrest all of us.""But, he can't do that. We have our permit that protects us," Miette protested."I don't think Markenel cares about the law right now," she said."What can we do?" Miette asked.Sonia looked away with her eyes shut, and her hands turned into fists, wanting to agree with her friend. Then, she sighed in defeat and looked away,"Right now, we can only hope that Serena has a trick up her sleeve," Sonia said.Miette whimpered and put her hands together in prayer. Up on the platform, Serena and Timothy were looking around at the soldiers surrounding them. The hunchback was worried for the woman who defended him, but Serena smirked and rubbed her chin in thought."Let's see. One, two, skip a few, ten," she said. "So there's ten of you and one of little old me." She took out a handkerchief and pretended to cry on her knees. "Oh, me, oh my. What do I do? What do I do? What's a poor woman to do?"As her sobs grew louder, Timothy took a step to put his hand on her shoulder, unaware that she was acting before he stopped himself, knowing that the action would anger Markenel more. The soldiers on their Ponyta/Rapidash drew their weapons as they got closer, with Ash struggling to hide his fear for the Arcean woman. His heart sank at the sight of Serena crying until he felt Pikachu patting his cheek."What is it, buddy?" He asked."Pika, Pika, Pika, Pikachu," Pikachu replied.Though Ash couldn't understand his partner in the same way Timothy could with Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey, he understood what Pikachu was feeling. The raven-haired soldier looked at Pikachu, confused for a moment before he looked back at Serena and then scanned the area."Hey, you're right. Where is Sylveon?" Ash asked.Giovanni turned to his son, having overheard him, and then back to Serena. The wheels in his mind turned until he realized what Serena was planning, but before he could say anything, Serena took one long blow on her handkerchief, and the area around her exploded into a cloud with silver dust. Everyone shielded their eyes with civilians screaming in alarm before the clouds disappeared, and they looked back to find only Timothy standing on the platform.Markenel looked at where Serena was in horror and fell back on his chair, shouting, "Witchcraft!""This is no witchcraft, Minister Markenel!" Giovanni called out. “She used her Pokemon to escape!”Markenel’s fear slowly subsided before his face turned red once more, enraged that the Arcean woman duped him. Clouds were covering up the sky until it was as dark as Markenel's heart, followed by faint claps of thunder. The judge stepped out of his tent and cleared his throat before announcing, “As justice minister of Lumiose City, I hereby declare this year’s Feast of Fools over due to matters concerning the state.”The citizens and Arceans shouted and booed, while some of the soldiers surrounded Markenel for protection. Timothy, Ash, Pikachu, Sonia, and Miette took the opportunity to secretly smile that Serena escaped while all focus was on the judge. Some people and Pokemon considered throwing food at Markenel despite the wall of soldiers and their Pokemon in front of them until he raised his hand and roared in a commanding voice, “SILENCE!” The square became quiet again, with people and Pokemon suddenly afraid of Markenel.“The Arcean woman, Serena, has resisted arrest and is henceforth a fugitive!” Markenel declared. "You are all to stay where you are as we conduct a thorough search. Citizens found to not be with the Arcean woman are to return to their homes immediately. Arceans found to not be with her either are given until nightfall to take down their decorations and return to the pits from where they came. Anyone found protecting her will be severely punished."With authority behind his words, people and Pokemon silently obeyed as soldiers got off their steeds and began searching everyone with their Pokemon. Satisfied, Markenel then turned to where Timothy was and walked over to him. The hunchback climbed down the platform to meet his master, who stared angrily at him as the rain began to come down."I'm sorry, Master Markenel," Timothy said with his head down. "I'll never disobey you again."Markenel remained silent for a moment before he pointed at Lumiose Cathedral, saying, "I will not come to give you supper tonight.""Yes, sir," Timothy said.The hunchback took off the cape, turned around, and walked toward the cathedral as the rain came down harder. With parents standing in front of their kids, the crowd moved away as though the King of Fools event never happened. Timothy covered his face with his hands as best he could, but he still heard people whispering to each other in disgust or fear. Just as he made it to the cathedral steps, the doors opened to reveal Electchu, Shockwave, and Odyssey bursting out. The three of them prepared to fight until they saw their deformed friend walking over to them."Timothy, what happened?" Odyssey asked. "We came to rescue you, and now no one is attacking you?"Timothy gave the Riolu a brief smile before his frown returned and said, "I'll tell you later. Right now, let's just go back inside."The three Pokemon looked at each other before they followed their friend back inside. With the warmth of the building and his body sheltered from the rain, Timothy gave the outside world one last look with tears running down his face before he closed the cathedral doors.
DP: The Enchanted Christmas Final Chapter"And what a wonderful Christmas it was." Mrs. Potts concluded the story as everyone were all back to their human selves in the present time, "I suppose if anyone saved Christmas, it was Belle." "Poultea." Tia nodded. "Merry Christmas, one and all!" the Prince called out as he, his wife: Belle, and their Pokemon: Acel and Petite, in her Sylveon form. "Merry Christmas!" "And Merry Christmas to you, sir!" "Merry Christmas everyone!" They clapped and cheered, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. "I believe we have a little something for you, Chip." said Belle. The prince reached into his jacket and held out a present to Chip. "A present? Oh boy! Thank you!" he said and starts opening his gift. "Look, Mama, a storybook! Will you read it to me?" "I’d love to, son." said Mrs. Potts with a smile to her son. "Maestro." The prince called out as he looked at the humanized Fife with Karel. "Yes master?" "Would you and Karel do us the honour, old friend?" "I’d be delighted!" he said with a smile and chuckled. Both he and Karel started playing and orchestra played along. The prince and Belle were outside the balcony, looking at the starry sky and at each other. The prince reached into his jacker and brought out a gift to Belle. She opened it and inside was a beautiful rose. The two smiled and enjoyed looking out into sky on a Christmas evening. "Absol." "Sylveon." the Pokemon sigh as they looked at their trainers. Petite smiled and nuzzled on Acel's cheek. He smiled and nuzzled back. This was the best Christmas that they ever have.The End...
DP: The Enchanted Christmas Chapter 15"So, Beast gets girl, and it’s a happy ending for everyone." Forte spoke, "Enchantment lifted, and Forte fades into the background. No longer important. No longer needed." the pipe organ grew angry as he knew what he had to do, "I THINK NOT!" Forte slammed down his keys and the pipes burst open, causing the windows to crack and the chandelier fall. Back at the dungeon.... "What is it, Mama? What’s happening?" Chip freaked out as the ground began to shake and the walls and ceilings starts crumbling. "Azu!" Rillie panicked as he wrapped his tail around his teacup friend. Forte's laugh echoed as everyone gathered around from the destruction. "Watch out!" Angelique as the pillars from the ceiling starts to fall. "Forte!" Fife whispered loudly, knowing he was responsible for it. "Come on you two." he said to Karel and Saber and the three quickly leave the dungeon while the others tried to get out. "Hurry now. Hurry!" Mrs. Potts said to the ornaments as they try to get out of the way from the pillars. "Poultea tea!" Tia said with her trainer. "Can you believe I never took a lesson?" Forte laugh as he continued his destructive music. The dungeon started to spit into a gaping hole, causing Belle and Beast to separeted. Petite stood between the cracks but as it grew bigger, she held on to the side of edge of a cliff, trying to get up. "Petite!" Belle cried. "Absol!" Acel shouted as he was on the other side with Belle. Beast saw Petite as she was about to fall. Petite couldn't hold onto the edge much longer until the Beast quickly grabbed her. "Eevee..." she thanked him as she looked at him. Belle and Acel sighed in relief until they all notice that the gap was getting bigger. "Belle!" the Beast cried as he tried to reach for her. "Oh no, help!" Belle cried out as she was stuck along with the others. "Eevee!" Petite to her trainer and Acel. Fife, Karel, and Saber quickly and carefully dashed off to the parlor. The three made it as they entered and face Forte. "Maestro! Stop!" Fife yelled at him as Forte stopped for a brief moment and looked at the three but even glared at Saber. "What do you think you’re doing?" "Don’t you see, Fife? They can’t fall in love if they’re dead!" Forte laughed darkly. "Kricketune!" "Sableye!" the Pokemon shouted at him. "I’ll tell you what I see! A big old windbag!" Fife shouted but chuckled nervously as he realize what he just said. "You and your Kricketune could have joined me, Fife. But I see my triumph is a solo act." he laughed darkly. The ground starts shaking again, causing Fife to loose his balance and bumped to the chest and sheets went flying. "Kricketune!" Karel rushed towards him and helped up. "I'm alright Karel." he said and looked at the music sheet and couldn't believe what he saw, "My solo! It’s blank!" Forte laughed again. "So naïve. You’re second fiddle, Fife. And that’s all you’ll ever be! And especially you, little traitor." he said as he looked at Saber. Belle tried to reach for the Beast but couldn't cause of the gap. Beast becomes angry. "Forte!" he yelled and quickly left the dungeon. Petite looked around until she thought of an idea. "Eevee vee vee! Eevee!" she hollered to the Pokemon. The Pokemon turned and saw two long pieces of platform, knowing what the Eevee meant. "We can remain as we are… forever and ever!" Forte laughed so sinisterly non stop as the ceiling crumbs keeps falling down until... "Forte!" the Beast's voice growled out that made Forte stopped. The Beast slammed the doors wide open and glared at him. "Enough!" "Heavens... Master.... YOU'RE NOT SINGING!" Forte slammed his keys and green laser of music notes blast to the Beast. Belle and the Pokemon carefully used the platforms to reach to the other side and became a small bridge for them. "Careful." said Belle as she carefully walked the platforms along with the servants, the ornaments, and the Pokemon. Marilda carefully balance herself as walked on the platforms. Once they reached, Petite jumped into Belle's arms as she was happy that she was okay but decided to focus on stopping Forte and to help the Beast. They finally reached to the parlor but saw so many of the green lasers coming out of the pipes and Acel stood beside with Petite while Belle was with the Beast. The servants and their Pokemon watched until something else got their attention. With the ground shaking the bell jar that has the rose is about to fall. "Oh, no! The bell jar!" Lumiere cried out. Cogsworth quickly caught the jar and trying not to drop it. "Oh, careful." Angelique warned in worrisome. Marilda wanted to help but quickly tripped over from all the quaking. "Is this happy enough for you, Master? I know I’m downright giddy!" Forte's voice echoed as the lasers were coming around. Petite ducked from their attacks but Acel used his crescent shaped horn, slicing the lasers away from her. The Beast growled until Saber and Fife approach to him. "Master, the keyboard!" "Sableye!" they said as they pointed at the source. Beast used his strength and start going towards the keyboard while Forte continued laughing and enjoying this moment. With all his strength, the Beast lifted the keyboard up. The keys stopped playing and Forte let out a dying gasp. Lumiere lifted Cogsworth and finally place the jar back on the table. "Got it. Got it." said Cogsworth and landed on the ground. With one final strength, Beast threw the keyboard across the room. Forte grunted, he began to fling forward, unbolted to the wall. "No!" Forte screamed as his pipes were falling down and then himself came tumbling down. "Forte..." The Beast muttered softly. "Sableye..." Saber mutter as his master was gone.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hours went by, everything was fixed and where they should be and the servants and their Pokemon were at the ballroom, as they were looking at something. "Oh, yes, it is lovely." said Mrs. Potts. "Poultea." Tia agreed. "And you said it was impossible." said Lumiere as he looked at Angelique. "Uh-uh-uh-uh, I said it was impossible without me." Angelique corrected him with a smile. "Everyone, shh-shh! Here they come!" Cogsworth said with excitement and Marilda clapped with joy. The door was opened by Axe and a few pokers. "The setting is perfect." said Cogsworth as they all saw Belle and Beast, in their best clothing, with Petite and Acel. "Oh, aren’t they beautiful?" Cogsworth asked. Marilda clicked as she nodded. Belle and Petite gasped as they saw the finest Christmas tree, decorated with ornaments, candles, and an angel topper on top of the tree. "It's wonderful!" "Eevee!" they awed and everyone cheered.To Be Continued......
DP: The Enchanted Christmas Chapter 14Meanwhile at Forte's parlor, the Beast was still depressed as he walked around and Forte just watched him. " Ah, it tears me up to see you this way, Master. Why do you torment yourself? There's the symbol of your curse." said Forte as he motions him to the rose. "Destroy it, and end these adolescent notions… of love and redemption. End your pain forever." The Beast walked toward the rose and removes the bell jar. His eyes grew narrow with rage, as he raises his claw, preparing to destroy the rose. "Yes! Do it! SMASH IT!" Forte urged and the Beast roared as he raised pawed to prepare to destroy the rose. The rose glowed a little and it's petal fell on top of the present. The Beast stopped as he looked at it. "Belle?" he whispered and starts opening his gift. "What are you doing? What is it?" Forte asked, wondering what's happening. The Beast came in and was holding a book in his hand. "Oh, a storybook. Does this one have pretty pictures you can color?" Forte laugh, "Utterly dreadful, Master." "No! This one's different!" he said as he glared at him but became calm, "It's from Belle." "Well, that would account for the creative wrapping." Forte muttered. "Quiet! I want to read." the Beast growled as he sat down on his chair while Forte sigh and kept quiet. The Beast looked at the book and began to read. "Once upon a time, there was an enchanted castle. Its master seemed as cold as winter. Deep inside his heart, his cries of anger echoed through the stone wall of the castle. Though surrounded by servants, he was all alone. And in that simple act of kindness, he knew someone cared. Christmas that year was spent exchanging humble gifts. But the greatest gift that anyone received… was the gift of hope." "Hmm. Hope." he said to himself. He smiled as he closed his book. He got off from his seat and decides to visit to the dungeon. "No, Master! Come back! She’ll only prolong your torment!" Forte pleaded but it was too late as Beast slams the door shut. Back at the dungeon, "You know what, Belle?" Chip spoke as he looked up. Belle looked at him in silent. "I don’t need a tree to celebrate Christmas." "Azu." Rillie nod. "And I can do without mistletoe." said Lumiere as he gave Cogsworth a surprised kiss on the cheek. The Pokemon giggled at that moment. "Well, I don’t need tinsel." said Cogsworth as wiped the kiss off. "Oh, I don’t need holly." "And I don’t need a wreath." "I don’t need ornaments!" "And I… don’t need turkey!" "I don’t need stuffing!" "I don’t need pudding!" they argued. "Chandelure..." Cresent moaned and Marilda clicks knowing that their trainers are at it again.Lumiere: To each his own my friend You know how to get me stressed But when it comes to making Christmas special Cogsworth: I'm a cut above the rest Lumiere: If you could see things clearly You would say that I've been blessed Cogsworth: You can't hold a candle to my timing Lumiere: I'm a cut above the rest Belle: You belong side by side You should never be apart Cause when you're both together You're really twice as smart Cogsworth: (spoken) Twice as smart she does have a point Lumiere: (spoken) Yes, well, two heads are better than one Cogsworth: I'd say that as a team We have got to be the best Lumiere: Now we've found something We both agree on We're a cut above the rest Cogsworth and Lumiere: There's no doubt that as a team We two are the very best Everyone who knows us must agree... We're a cut above the rest Cogsworth, Lumiere, and Belle: There's not doubt that as a team You two are the very best Everyone who knows you must agree Lumiere and Cogsworth: We're a cutBelle: A cut aboveLumiere and Cogsworth: Above the rest! Suddenly the door opened and the Beast came in. Everyone stood still and saw him. "Uh-oh! It’s the master!" "Azu!" Chip and Rillie spoke. Mrs. Potts hid behind Belle and Acel stood close to Petite. The Beast looked at Belle with guilt. "Uh... Belle?" he spoke as he walked closer to her. Belle looked at him as she felt something that has changed him. "Can you forgive me?" he asked. Belle looked into his eyes and smiled as she held his paw. "Of course. Merry Christmas." she says gently to him. The objects and Pokemon cheered with glee. "Let’s give Belle the Christmas she’s always wanted." the Beast proclaimed and patted Acel's head. The Absol smiled as he knew that his master has changed to good.To Be Continued......
DP: The Enchanted Christmas Chapter 13The moon was shining down on the dungeon window. Belle was in a cell wrapped up in a brown, worn out blanket on her shoulders and her head was down. The Beast was in the cell, looking at her with angered eyes. "You said you’d never leave." he growled. Belle didn't looked at him but answered, "I wasn’t trying to leave. I just wanted to make you happy." "You broke your word. And for that, you will rot in this dungeon forever." he said and left the dungeon as he slammed the door. "I should have known you’d never be anything but a beast." she said as she felt her hope was gone and broken. The bell chimes in the main hall as the servants and Pokemon were looking at the clock. "Midnight. Merry Christmas, Cogsworth." said Lumiere. "If only it were." said Cogsworth as everyone walked away and Marilda didn't speak with a click. Petite walked with her head down, feeling heartbroken that her friend is in the dungeon. Acel watched her with sadness, knowing that the Christmas was a bad idea. Without noticing, Saber was hiding as he watch. He felt something inside him that he never felt before. Guilt. In the parlor, Beast looked out from the window, looking at the moon with sadness in his eyes. "Oh, my dear old friend, I told you not to feel for her. Things were so much simpler before she came along, before we dared to… hope." said Forte. "I thought she was the one." the Beast said to himself and not noticing that Forte was smiling. At the dungeon, the small doorway was opened by Lumiere and the others, seeing Belle unhappy. "Belle?" Chip asked. "Allo, cherie." said Lumiere. "There she is," Mrs. Potts cooed. "Eevee!" Petite quickly got in and jumped into Belle's arm. "Eevee vee..." she sobbed as she was apologizing. Everyone got in along with the Pokemon as they tried to get in, including Acel, they all looked at her with sadness. "Merry Christmas." said Lumiere sadly. "Doesn’t look so special to me." said Chip. "Azu..." Rillie said with sadness. "Oh, Chip, I’m sorry. Nothing’s changed." said Belle. "I told you nothing would change." Angelique spoke, "I told you the master would not allow this. I told you Christmas was a hopeless folly!" Belle felt stung and looked away. "But… I was wrong." said the angel. "FurFrou." Filicia said with her head down and Belle looked at Angelique. Angelique: When I felt lost and lonelyNot a dream in my headYour words lifted my spirits highRemember what you saidAs long as there's ChristmasI truly believeBelle and Angelique: That hope is the greatest of the gifts we'll receiveAs long as our guiding star shines aboveAngelique: There'll always be ChristmasBelle: So there always will be a timeWhen the world is filled with peace and love. Everyone gathered around her as she was feeling better and Petite smiled to her. Acel, looked at the Eevee, knowing that she's happy now. "FurFrou." Filicia spoke as she stood beside him. She lay down a Poinsettia flower and shoved it gently to him. "FurFrou Frou." she said to him. Acel nod his head and picked up the flower with his mouth. "Sol." Acel spoke behind Petite. "Eevee?" Petite asked and Acel placed the Poinsettia flower on her. "Absol Sol." said Acel as he meant Merry Christmas to her. Petite looked at the flower and smiled. "Eevee." she thanked him and gave him a nuzzle, which made him blush. Suddenly, the small doorway opened and everybody and Pokemon looked and saw Saber coming in. "Absol!" Acel growled at him but Saber looked at him with a sad frown and walked slowly towards Belle. "Sol..." "Eevee." Petite stopped him for a moment looked back at the Sableye. Saber looked at Belle and looked down at the ground. "Sableye..." he spoke with sadness. Belle looked at him and placed her hand on his head with a smile. "All is forgiven." she spoke and Saber let out a small smile.To Be Continued......
DP: The Little Mermaid Deleted Scene #3The Little Mermaid - Disney-Pokemon Crossover
Deleted Scene #3: The Spirit of Primarina
[Back at Atlantica, King Triton was worried about Ariel’s disappearance. His Kingdra was also worried too. The seahorse came up to him.]
King Triton: Any sign of them?
Seahorse: No, your majesty. We’ve searched everywhere. We’ve found no trace of your daughter, her Brionne or Sebastian.
King Triton: Well, keep looking. Leave no shell unturned, no coral unexplored. Let no one in this kingdom sleep until she’s safe at home.
Seahorse: Yes, sire.
[As the seahorse leaves, King Triton thinks about of what he’ve done to Ariel back there right after he destroyed all of her human collection, and Nimue got mad at him.]
King Triton *ashamed*: Oh, what have I done? What have I done?
[Kingdra looked at him, sadly.]
King Triton: Kingdra, I just don’t know what to do.
[Kingdra stared at the king, trying to find the a
DP: The Little Mermaid Deleted Scene #2The Little Mermaid - Disney-Pokemon Crossover
Deleted Scene #2: Ariel Got Her Legs
[Nimue, Flounder and Sebastian helped Ariel get to shore. They were so tired.]
Nimue *telepathically*: Phew… We made it…
[Ariel turned, and noticed her bottom half. She was able to lift a leg up and wiggled her toes, she smiled as she realized these legs were real. Nimue was amazed by Ariel’s new appearance.]
Nimue *telepathically*: Whoa… Ariel doesn’t have her fin anymore, she’s got-
[Scuttle appears flying above Ariel, Nimue, Flounder and Sebastian.]
Scuttle: Well, look what the catfish dragged in!
[Scuttle then perched on Ariel’s leg, not even realizing, which kind of made Nimue place her fin to her lips and giggled.]
Scuttle: Look at ya, look at ya, there’s something different. Don’t tell me, I got it! It’s your hairdo, right? You’ve been using the Dinglehopper, right?
DP: The Little Mermaid Deleted Scene #1The Little Mermaid - Disney-Pokemon Crossover
Deleted Scene #1: “Her Voice” Sequence
[Nimue popped out of the water, and took a deep breath.]
Nimue *telepathically*: Aah… The blue sky is so beautiful.
[A flock of Wingull and Pelipper were flying above the sky. Just then, Nimue saw a castle nearby, and she was amazed by it.]
Nimue *telepathically*: Wow, what a castle… I wonder who lives here.
[Nimue decided to swim over and have a closer look, but was cautious not to be seen.]
Nimue *telepathically*: I better not be seen, or else I’ll get into trouble.
[Just then, Nimue saw Eric with his male Samurott coming to the beach.]
Nimue *telepathically*: Wait! Is that…?
[Nimue looked closely and smiled.]
Nimue *telepathically*: It is… It’s the human that Ariel saved from the storm.
[Eric looked upon the sea, thinking about the voice of the beautiful girl. His Samur
DP: Hunchback of ND Deleted Scene #1The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Disney-Pokemon Crossover
Deleted Scene #1: The Humiliation! Deja’s Anger!
[The crowd celebrate as Quasimodo was crowned as the King of Fools. Deja and Vu were cheering for him, but right until they notice Frollo and his Houndoom were glaring at Quasimodo and them. They were worried about if Frollo’s Houndoom will eat them alive, or not. To the other side of the crowd, Guards 1 and 2 are watching the celebration.]
Guard 2: You think he’s ugly now? Watch this!
[The guard threw the tomato which hits Quasimodo’s face, the crowd gasped, and so did Deja and Vu.]
Guard 2: Now that’s ugly!
Deja *worried*: Pichu…
Guard 3: Hail to the king!
[The guard threw another tomato at Quasimodo, and soon more tomatoes were thrown at him until he slipped. Soon the whole crowd began to laugh. Deja turned to the crowd, and began to try to tell them to stop.]
Deja: Pichu! Pichu!
What if Disney buy rights for Pokemon franchise?It has been almost a year since I heard a surprising news that Pokemon anime series move from Cartoon Network to Disney XD and even to this day I ask myself, what would happen if Disney really buy rights for Pokemon franchise like they did with The Muppets, Marvel, and Star Wars.
It's funny that both of their mascots are mice and share the same color panels (except for Mickey's skin face)
and they inspire us to help us to reach our dreams/goals
What do you think guys think?
For me personally, I think it would a dream come true.
1. Disney-Pokémon crossover artworks are allowed.
2. In the "Disney Pokémon Characters" folder, you can submit your favorite Pokémon as Disney Characters' partners. Give them accessories, nicknames or anything you like. If you don't like to give your Pokémon a nickname, that's okay.
3. In the "Disney Characters with their Pokémon" folder, you can submit your favorite Disney characters with their Pokémon. Pick your favorite Disney character, pick your favorite Pokémon.
4. In the "More Crossover Cosplays" folder, you can submit your favorite Disney characters as Pokémon trainers, gym leaders, part of the Elite Four, and of course the champion. Plus, Pokémon trainers like Ash Ketchum, Misty, Brock and all the others will be as Disney characters. Pokémon will be as Disney characters too. Like for example: Pikachu as Stitch
5. In the "Marvel Superheroes with their Pokémon" folder, you can submit your favorite Marvel superheroes with their Pokémon. Like for example, Captain America has himself a Braviary, and Iron Man has himself a Scizor.
6. In the "Star Wars Characters with their Pokémon" folder, you can submit your favorite Star Wars characters with their Pokémon. You can choose either Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo or any other Star Wars characters, and pick your favorite Pokémon to go with them.
7. In the "Disney OCs with their Pokémon" folder, you can submit your own Disney OCs with their Pokémon as well.
1. Disney-Digimon, etc. crossover artworks are NOT allowed.
2. No insulting other people's artworks.
3. No mature, or gruel violence artworks.
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