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Fornia Mk1 by PokeFan1337 Fornia Mk1 :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 1 0
Mature content
The Once and Future King :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 0 2
Chapter 23: Taunts, Tales, and Teleportation (2)
This was how Alex spent those three months before Fornia. Training in the Swamp by day, and adventuring at night. He was battling tons of trainers, and seeing many battle styles. More than once, a wandering blackbelt had even challenged him to a battle of martial arts, and not Pokémon.
Arthur, after returning from his Grove adventure, informed his trainer that there were many Gallade who were considered great knights in the Pokémon Leagues throughout the States. For a reason he kept private, he wanted to travel to those Leagues, and battle those Gallade. Having read the same legends Arthur had, Alex could guess why.
The Sage had been right, as always. His species had a thing for tournament battling. Shruikan and Blaze helped expand the number of places they could teleport to, by the day. Alex was making a trail essentially, slowly reaching ever closer to Fornia. It was impressive just how massive the continent was, and he knew once he got in range of Fornia that he'd
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 1 0
Chapter 23: Taunts, Tales, and Teleportation (1)
Chapter 23: Taunts and Tales and Teleportation
The State's Eastern Coast – Jinia Town
The first thing Alex had done on his way south from his subtle return to his Alma mater was return home, to show Eric the cache of documents their granduncle had found on the Arceans. Once he'd read through several, including those detailing what had happened to Elaine, Eric understood his brother's disdain for the group, and admitted he'd been skeptical about what Alex had told him a few days earlier about Norstad. It seemed like something out of a story, a cult that powerful, led by a man so blatantly evil, but he couldn't deny hard evidence when it was right in front of him. He still didn't buy into that bit about Thor though.
He'd offered to go to Fornia as well, but Alex had convinced him to stay in Unova, to study, and run the lab instead. He also gave him a method of contacting Tao, and once he'd announced that the Redwood Lab was open again, something st
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 0 0
Pokemon World MK4 by PokeFan1337 Pokemon World MK4 :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 2 0 Unova Mk 1 by PokeFan1337 Unova Mk 1 :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 2 0 Tao's Pokeball by PokeFan1337 Tao's Pokeball :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 2 1 150 Million Years From Now by PokeFan1337 150 Million Years From Now :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 0 0
Chapter 22: The Best Laid Plans (2)
Northern Norstad - The Fairy King's Tower
Several days had passed since the fall of the World Eater. Alex, Jess, and Connor had all been welcomed as heroes in the hall of Faarangar, and had earned the aid of Shor as well, should they one day require it. Naturally, Alex had been fascinated with the 'god', for upon getting a proper look at him, not distracted by a major battle, he'd discovered that he too had a dual typing. Fighting, and electric.
Shor had soon realized that humans were no longer as…gullible as they had been in the past. They had grown up, fallen, and then rose again. Even the Earth was vastly different to how he remembered it. Eventually, after several mugs of mead, Shor hinted that his origins were in the stars, but beyond that, refused to reveal more. That night had been spent singing songs, drinking mead, smoking plants, and enjoying the hard-won victory against the dragon, and the Prophet. The fact that he'd retreated at all still nagged at Alex, but he
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 2 1
Chapter 22: The Best Laid Plans (1)
Chapter 22: The Best Laid Plans
Norstad – Valaskjalf's Main Hall
Alex and Jess looked up at the sky, as the clouds had suddenly turned dark, not dissimilar from when he used the Strunzul. Then, the sounds of battle became clear. Heavy booms of thunder echoed from the gap in the newly formed door behind the village's main hall.
Alex shouldered his way free of Lokra's grip, and met her gaze. "No offense to your…king, but Pravus is our quarry on this hunt."
He glanced at the sky again, as the clouds arced with streaks of lightning. He remembered then something his granduncle had told him once about this particular weather formation, when he'd been younger. When the clouds boomed and lightning cracked the sky, it meant Thor was hammering away at something. Growing older, he'd learned his ancestors had also considered it a sign of rage sometimes, and a bad omen at sea.
Jess picked up on his thoughts, and the same underlying excitement w
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 2 3
Chapter 21: The World Eater
Chapter 21: The World Eater
The World Forge – Mountain Adjacent to Hrothofkiin, Several Weeks Earlier
"Show me what you already know. Let me taste of your Voice, 'hero'." His Rayquaza's semi-mocking tone echoed throughout the volcano. For some reason, he could not sense the Legendary Dragon, and it made battling him much more difficult. Even Shruikan could not follow his stealthy movements through the smoke-filled air.
The inside of the volcano was largely obscured, and had Alex not spent so much time around smoke, both from the Leaf and a certain super powerful dragon, he likely would've coughed himself raw, but it didn't seem to bother him. Whatever the Graybeards had done had changed him, it seemed. He was eager to test his new limits.
Suddenly, Alex's vision shifted, and he recognized sight through Leo's eyes, which cut through the obscuring smoke, and were all but immune to trickery. Alex gave the mental equivalent of a glance to his Luxray, who preferred to ke
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 1 1
Chapter 20: The Way of the Hyper Voice
Chapter 20: The Way of the Hyper Voice
Hrothofkiin – The Seidr's Isle
On the Seidr's Isle, there is an order of men, rather than Pokémon, who make their home in the volcano-riddled hell-scape, and use the power of their Voices to keep the elements from annihilating their fortress. It is known, as Hrothofkiin.
Pokémon do inhabit this fiery island. Species like Magmar, Magcargo, even a smaller breed of Charizard, but they take little notice of the humans within their midst. Indeed, most have no idea what humans even look like. It's one of the last places on the planet free of their meddling.
In this high fortress among the volcanic peaks of flame and ash, the 'Graybeards' as the locals call them, watch over their homeland of Norstad, from one of the three highest locations in the region, the other two being Ymir's Wahlom, and Valaskjalf, the home of those who ride Articuno.
It is as their nearest and greatest of volcanic peaks erupts, wit
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 1 0
Caleb Pravus, The Prophet by PokeFan1337 Caleb Pravus, The Prophet :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 1 0 So this happened. by PokeFan1337 So this happened. :iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 1 0
The Trainer Exam
The Trainer Exam
Gilroy Redwood was in another after-hour session with his grand-nephew, Alex. The boy was twelve now, and his brother Eric was ten. He'd also just gotten a Squirtle, while Alex remained Pokéless.
But, his Gruncle was telling him, there was a chance to earn one, perhaps, and convince his parents to let him keep it. Legally, they were the only ones who kept him from owning a Pokéball.
Every trainer, around the ages of five to ten, was tested for their aptitude in battles, and based on that, they would either be advised to become a trainer as soon as possible, in some cases sixteen, or be directed to find another path, one that didn't involve professional training. Given the culture of their world, almost everyone wanted to become a Trainer. There was an entire industry around professional battling, and if you were good, no job payed better.
If they passed, they, at the very least, received a Trainer ID, allowing them to travel to all the countr
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 1 3
Chapter 19: Save the World, 'Dovahkiin' (2)
The two trainers shared a look. "Seems like an invitation to me." Jess nodded in agreement, and Shruikan began ascending towards the landing. The wind was fierce as they landed, and Alex recalled his dragon, then took Jess' hand and made their way towards the entrance at the top of the tower. Their guard went up as the wind wall they'd seen before returned once they'd landed, and shrouded the tower once more in fierce wind.
He walked towards where he assumed there was an entrance. It looked like a wall of mahogany brown metal, but as they approached, battered by the ever-increasing wind, the wall seemed to split in half, and opened to admit them.
Neither one of them could see the interior, but Alex trudged forward anyway, suddenly glad he'd swapped out his hat for the gifted helmet. It wasn't getting blown away in the fierce wind, as it was made of iron, and he rather liked how it fit. He didn't care that Jess kept mocking him, mentally, almost every time she looked at him. They might
:iconpokefan1337:PokeFan1337 0 3


Pokemon: Lee's Kanto Arc, Chapt. 1
Every day is a new start for a trainer-coming out into the world, getting stronger with Pokemon, fighting against the injustice that people face. And today, another trainer gets ready for an adventure, reaching the age of 10. Now, he is a kid, but when he finishes his journey, he shall be an adult...
"Lee! Are you done packing your bag?"
"I've just finished, mom, I'll be down in a second!"
Lee combed his black hair down, covering a bit of his glasses. Then he picked up his green trucker cap, pushing it down until it fit onto his head. A quick look in the mirror and he smiled-perfect, ready for the adventure ahead of him. Picking up his yellow bag, he wore it on his shoulders, the weight pressing onto his red-orange vest, and the shirt and skin underneath it.
Opening the door of his room, he walked down the stairs, his mother waiting down for him at the stairs. Reaching the end of the stairs, Lee flinched as his mother sprayed him with Gold Repel.
"There you go, honey, be careful of wil
:iconj-k-123:J-K-123 2 8
The Power of Steel by IndexSFM The Power of Steel :iconindexsfm:IndexSFM 89 10
PKMN Burst 28: Best-Laid Plains
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Best-Laid Plans
Terra's POV
"Why the hell are all these Meowth in my restaurant?"
I gulp. Paul looks pretty angry. "Well... reality was collapsing all around us and this is where Hoopa transported us to...?"
"Oh, it's Hoopa's fault, huh? I'm going to have words with that little imp." Paul looks around the room. "Where is it, anyway?"
Nobody knows what to say to that. How could we? Gladion especially. I can tell from the look on his face that he blames himself for the disaster.
I take a deep breath. "We... we lost Hoopa in the reality quake," I confess. "She couldn't go through her own rings."
"Oh," Paul says, looking awkward. "I... I'm so sorry."
There's a silence, a silence that sees Gladion hanging his head and everyone else trying not to look at him. Trying not to blame him. Even Gary, for crying aloud.
And then someone starts banging on the door. "Open up! Open for Hoopa!"
Half the group falls all over each other trying to get to the door. In the
:iconeurekatrollcat:EurekaTrollcat 1 0
Shadow of Giratina by ConvoyKaiser Shadow of Giratina :iconconvoykaiser:ConvoyKaiser 21 0
Gold Standard - Chapter 1
I wasn’t raised under the assumption that I would become a pokemon trainer. I was the child of the founders of the most prominent media company in all of Johto, and doubts that I wouldn’t carry on this legacy never crossed through my parents’ mind. I was supposed to be some phenom businessman, or journalist or... whatever. I was never given a concrete answer. Truth is, I never knew what I was supposed to be. I only knew what I couldn’t be.
My parents were wealthy, and that may even be an understatement. I was enrolled in the most prestigious schools, given the coolest gifts a kid could ever dream of getting, taken on the most luxurious of vacations, but I was never exposed to any pokemon. Ever.
As my tenth birthday approached, it seemed as if my classmates could only talk about training. They shared their plans for their future adventures, the gym battles they’d partake in, and the pokemon they’d catch. The list went on and on, but I never understood
:iconnational-gs:National-GS 2 0
IAPL: World Map by NikNaks93 IAPL: World Map :iconniknaks93:NikNaks93 74 77 Pokemon: RED vs. BLUE by e-hima Pokemon: RED vs. BLUE :icone-hima:e-hima 382 12 Pokemon Gaang by Hapuriainen Pokemon Gaang :iconhapuriainen:Hapuriainen 1,035 112 Pokemon by PurpleBlades Pokemon :iconpurpleblades:PurpleBlades 2,299 123 Pokemon Rim #1 - Invasion, Day One by Pokemon-FR Pokemon Rim #1 - Invasion, Day One :iconpokemon-fr:Pokemon-FR 181 35 Jazmin123B by JazminandJazz Jazmin123B :iconjazminandjazz:JazminandJazz 27 90
TAOP Episode 36: The Finale!
  “Hello, little sister. It’s so nice to see you again.”
  “What are you doing with Mom and Dad?” I demanded.
  “Oh, nothing. Just using them as hostages.”
  “Why?” I asked. “The Clor’th attacked our village. They’re trying to kill and enslave us.”
  “Trying to kill or enslave you. I made a deal with them.”
  “Don’t do that!”
  “Bit late. Should have told me before they INVADED OUR VILLAGE.”
  He grabbed Mom and held her over the side of the cliff. Muffled screaming ensued.
  “No! Please! I’ll do anything! Just don’t kill her!”
  “Alright, then. Join the Clor’th.”
  “Ok. I will.”
  “Good.” Mom wiggled.
  “Stop struggling, Mom!” He said. “I’m going to have to fuse you with a human later. I advise you accept your fate
:iconpinelopikirliagirl:PinelopiKirliaGirl 2 16
Pokemon Rangers Layla and Zangoose - RotGRS -0
Pokemon Rangers Layla and Zangoose
Ruin of the Go-Rock Squad

   Ever since I was little, I pondered the question. What did I want to be when I grew up? All the other children at the preschool knew what they wanted to be. From trainers to professors to coordinators to breeders... Everyone knew what they wanted to be.
Not me though.
I was always rather smart growing up, so a scientist seemed like a good fit, but I wasn’t quite that smart. I was very pretty, or so a lot of people told me most of my life, so many thought I'd be great as a coordinator, but I didn't see the point of contests and I didn't like fancy or elegant events.
Now, being a trainer did sound tempting, since I did like pokemon and I was very brave, plus I was rather good at battling with strategy. Sadly, I was never the friendliest person. I wasn't any good at making friends, so going on a journey that revolved around making friends didn't work out for me. I wa
:iconsonicranger-1:SonicRanger-1 2 0
[Comic] Goddess of Life X God of Dead 10 by vavacung [Comic] Goddess of Life X God of Dead 10 :iconvavacung:vavacung 253 43 Pokemon White by Eclipse4d Pokemon White :iconeclipse4d:Eclipse4d 77 3 Pokemon Y by Eclipse4d Pokemon Y :iconeclipse4d:Eclipse4d 114 12



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Who stays up till 4 am on his birthday to finish this fucking re-write?

This guy.

What can I say except, you're welcome.

It was supposed to take a few days, but who knew eight hour shifts could turn days into a month. And who knew DA would make me split six of the rewritten chapters? Yay tiny word counts.

Anyways, the beginning of the story has changed. A lot. But at least it makes sense now, and is less cringey. Now, finally, we can continue on with the main story. As soon as I find some cannabis. Stay tuned lads, because we're going full Skyrim. Visk Nau Joors!
  • Listening to: Viking Gods
  • Reading: My own stuff four times.
  • Watching: Pfft, watching requires free time.
  • Playing: lol, I wish
  • Eating: Buffalo chicken strips.
Welcome. This is where I post the majority of my fanfic, and things relating to it, like my feeble attempts to draw maps in paint.

Any feedback is appreciated.


PokeFan1337's Profile Picture
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I'm a writer, living in 'murica, writing as more of a hobby than anything else. Apparently I'm good at it, so I figured I'd try some fanfiction with a universe I actually know.

If you read anything I write, you should be able to figure out what I'm into. I drop references all the damn time.

If you draw my OC trainer I'll love you forever.

I might commission something. If I ever get money. lol


Fornia Mk1
Since Swtor is going to eat up my life with that sweet, sweet XP bonus, I decided to do a thing. The next chapter will probably come soon. It's getting there. For now, enjoy.

Eight and a half state's worth of land makes up this region, which I cannot emphasize enough, is depicted on a large scale. I did the best I could with names and locations of cities, but the important things to note about this region are the fossils literally everywhere, which are the main draw of 'tourism', and the constant, overbearing presence of the Church, which relentlessly urges you to join it for every moment you're in one of their cities. Naturally, people already within the cult are oblivious to the many not-so-subtle efforts focused on converting as many people as possible. It's a general rule that if you're not an Arcean, you're not worth associating with.

This kind of attitude is mainly prevalent in the southern part of the region, while the northern and mountainous parts are home to those who are fed up with the Church's method of governing. Among this so-called Rebellion are Fornians, and members of the Tribes of the West, whose existence has all but been reduced to legend, for most Arceans, despite the fact that they often trade with the Takoma region to the north, which is run by the Tribes.

The League in this region is a bit strange. Technically, Caleb Pravus is the reigning Champion, but given that he's also a ruler of a country, he doesn't really have time, so he claims, to battle every aspiring challenger that comes along. This, is where the League structure comes in. While not an official part of the Pokemon League, the Fornia League's rules mirror the genuine League's, in hopes of one day being recognized by them. It's common knowledge to non-Fornians that the League refused to establish itself in Fornia until the ruling government's practices changed into something more humane. Despite this obvious denouncement, Pravus, and his entire region, continued to pretend they were genuinely a part of the League. More over, it is also known that the Fornian League is the hardest in the world. While it is genuinely challenging, in reality, it comes in around number eight in difficulty.

Winning the 'League Challenge' gives you a chance to become a 'Hand of the Prophet'. This position essentially elevates a Trainer in Arcean society to a level of fame and fortune. Those who become Hands are allowed to live in the Oasis of Glory, a supposed paradise in the far south of Fornia. Trainers who go there are rarely heard from again, but this is entirely normal, to most Arceans. The Church comes before everything else, including family. Being a Hand of Arceus' own Prophet is surely more important than taking a vacation, or enjoying Festivus.

Mature Content

This content is intended for mature audiences.

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The Once and Future King

Unova – Forests North of Pledge Grove

She ran as fast as she could, the edge of her 'dress' whipping in the wind. The little Ralts in her arms wailed at the sudden harsh movements, and she calmed him with her mind. "Hush little one…hush…you're okay…" He'd only hatched a month ago, in the safety of the Pledge Grove. It had been a wonderful month, the best one in years, since fleeing her home in Albion. Since abandoning the throne to that witch. Since the new Queen's relentless pack of trainers and Pokémon had murdered her mate, and forced her into hiding.

Like most baby Ralts, her son had learned to Teleport almost immediately, which was what had caused this current chain of events. There were only so many Ralts in Unova, and those that hunted them, had sensed him as soon as he'd left the grove. A chilling howl filled the air, a howl that still haunted her dreams. Dark circles had formed under her blue eyes, the only thing that marked her lineage as different from the rest of her species. She knew that howl. The Houndoom had her scent. She would never escape.

"Cobalion!" She shouted again, through her telepathy. The Pokémon with the iron will did not appear, however. Out of all of those she had fled to, seeking asylum, the Swords of Justice had been the only ones to take her in, despite the risk. They had been royal guards of Albion, once. Before treachery had turned her mate against them, and led to their own banishment.

That hadn't dampened their noble hearts, however. They did the same in Unova as they had in Albion, and had kept this land safe for many years. Despite what she'd done to them, what her mate had labeled them as, they had still taken her in. They were, truly, the noblest of Pokémon. She still could not believe how easily they had all been fooled. But none of that mattered, now. The Houndoom had her scent. She was as good as dead. It would never let her go.

She looked at the little Ralts in her arms, and teleported to the Pledge Grove. She knew it would lead the hunters there, but she had to try and get help. There was no choice but to battle now. The Houndoom's howl echoed again in the distance, but this time, four figures appeared in front of her. She collapsed, panting. "Please…they're coming."

Cobalion looked at her, and nodded. "Keldeo." His mental baritone was impressive, and commanding. The youngest of the Swords looked up, already in his Resolute Form. "Take the young one north. To Humilau. The humans there are kind, and there are many places to hide. Wait for our return."

Keldeo looked ready to argue, but another howl echoed. This one was closer. "Go!" Cobalion growled, "If it gets the young one's scent, he too is doomed."

The Gardevoir looked at her son as Keldeo prepared to flee. She reached out to him, her mind enveloping his. She shared her memories as well, though she locked them deep. They would only surface when he was ready to see them. She hoped that someday, he would be the king his father had foreseen. The king Albion needed. "Go little one…be safe…I love you." The young Ralts was too upset and confused for words, so he settled for emotions. Love. Sadness. Reluctance to leave. It almost broke her.

Keldeo took the young Ralts onto his back, and jetted out of the grove with the water shooting from his hooves, over the trees, and began heading north. Minutes later, a growl filled the grove. "Down, Cerberus." A voice silenced the Houndoom. A human voice, belonging to a human woman. She was clad in red leather that was entirely too revealing. She matched the colors of her mega evolved Houndoom, but where he was more black, she was more crimson. They went well together. She grinned at the exhausted Gardevoir. "Igraine…at last."

The Gardevoir's eyes went wide. "Circe…? I don't…but why?" She had never seen the trainers behind the Houndoom that had followed her from her former home. She'd never imagined this, however. She knew Circe had a Pyroar and a pair of Lycanroc, but the Houndoom was new, and most likely borrowed. If that was indeed the case, she'd had more enemies than she'd originally thought. Cerberus only ever hunted for one master. It made more sense now. That witch had foreign aid from the Imperium. She was playing with fire, and she probably didn't even realize it. The Emperor was as devious as he was charismatic and charming.

Her eyes moved to her defenders, as they stood before her in a protective triangle wedge. "Now now…you shouldn't get inv- wait a minute…I know you three…oh my Arceus…you found the Banished Knights! And they're actually protecting you! Oh, this is too much." The woman laughed for a good fifteen seconds. Terrakion snarled. The Houndoom eyed him most of all with a wary look, but he was only half paying attention. He could almost smell another Ralts line scent. Cerberus blinked, as he recognized the Gallade King he'd been ordered to kill. His scent was all over the three warriors in front of him. The Houndoom drooled. That fight had been truly enjoyable...and delicious.

The woman continued, "Do you know what they say about you three back in your 'homeland'? Do you know how the people of Londinium see you? Egg breakers, they call you. Honorless deceivers. And Cobalion…" she grinned at the blue Pokémon, "You they hate most of all…the renegade leader who returned to kill the king he once protected. Uther's death is on your horns."

"Lies!" Cobalion's telepathy filled the air around them.

"Truths." The woman said, grinning. "Morgana says it, and the beloved people you hoped would one day respect you again believe her, easily. It must be tiring. You do so much to save them, all of them, and yet only the Pokémon ever actually believe in you. Maybe that's why you spent so long protecting them in this region, and not the humans."

"We defend all who need our help…humans have a tendency to be more of a hindrance. Your kin are not defenseless. Not in this region. Unovans are fierce warriors." This came from Virizion now, who had spent quite a while with the Trainer-turned-Champion, Hilda. Hilda still had her Pokéball, but did not mind if she stayed with her fellow Swords. It was the closest thing to a home any of them had had since leaving Albion.

"It doesn't really matter what Unovans are. Or what any of you do. You already know how this ends. Tonight, the false Queen dies." The Houndoom snarled, and Terrakion faced it down, shifting the wedge to take drool paused, as Cerberus realized how outmatched he was. Normally, three on one would be no problem, but only his true master could bring that out. One of the many reasons he hadn't wanted to be 'traded' temporarily to this woman who barely knew him.

"Your little puppy has to go through me first." The large rock type lowered his head, but did not charge.

The woman frowned for a moment, and then pulled another ball from her hip. It was a deep purple with green highlights. "Natubratus…Forest's Curse!" The Trevenant she called out glared at the Houndoom for a moment, before doing as ordered. Terrakion charged, but the massive purple roots that were a part of the ghost tree's move stopped its charge before it even began. Circe grinned. "Now you're all weak to my fire…" In this instance, the Trevenant had replaced Terrakion's rock typing with grass…for as long as its roots held, anyways.

The Houndoom leapt forward then, and bathed all of them in its' fire. The Swords cried out in pain as the unnaturally dark flames burned them, and the Gardevoir they were defending.

Unova – Just North of Humilau City

Keldeo finally stopped running once he found a cave that lacked inhabitants. He'd gone the long way for sure, spending most of the trip running atop the water, a trick he'd learned once he'd mastered Sacred Sword, and made full use of his elemental typing. The little Ralts had hung on the entire trip, often asking for his mother. Keldeo did his best to calm the young one, but knew what the fate of his mother likely was.

He didn't know about the other Swords, but he did know that a Houndoom never gave up on its prey. Their Mega Form was even more brutal, and relentless. He'd heard legend of one Houndoom with three heads, Cerberus, who was the msot relentless of all, but he seriously doubted that howl had been from the three headed beast. Cobalion and the others had been in worse scrapes, they could handle a Houndoom. And, they had Terrakion. No fire type stood a chance against him.

Days passed, as Keldeo scavenged the nearby forests for berries. Thankfully, it was summer, and the fruit was plentiful. Only Alola got more sun than the eastern coast of Unova this time of year.

The young Ralts grasped much of what had happened, mainly from sensing Keldeo's emotions. The conclusion he always reached, was that whatever had befallen his mother was entirely his fault. She'd warned him not to Teleport blindly out of the grove, but he had done exactly that.

It had been fun, at first. He met all manner of Pokémon in the woods, and only reached out in fear to his mother when he heard her shouting for him, and the howl that shortly followed.

He often wandered the woods around the cave they now called home, on the northern shore of Unova, sad, lost, until one day, he ran into something he'd never seen before.

His mother had called them humans, and had spoken fondly of her own, back in the home-she-never-named. From what he could sense, this human in particular was kind, and what's more, was this human had a psychic type with her. He didn't recognize it, but it was red and yellow, and had a long stick that shot fire into the air.

He'd approached the Pokémon quietly, and realized suddenly that it was a male when he heard it speak to him. "I see you, little Ralts. You should not wander far from home. What would your mother think?"

The Delphox had thought that would scare the little Pokémon back into the woods, but instead, it started crying. He blinked, glanced at his oblivious, sleeping human, and then moved quickly, shushing the little one, and then noticed how young it was. "Hush now, it's okay. Are you lost?"

The Ralts sniffled, and then shook his head. "My mother…gone…" He didn't have psychic-type speech down very well, but he'd learned a lot from Keldeo in the past few days.

The Delphox's eyes narrowed. "Was she caught? Did a human take her?"

The Ralts again shook his head, and fresh tears welled up from under his green hair. He couldn't explain with words, so instead, he reached out to the kind, strange Pokémon, and shared his memories. The Delphox sighed with sadness. A Houndoom. That explained much.

"I don't know where to go…lost." the Ralts managed, and he kept whimpering. The psychic fox examined the hatchling's memories, and nodded, slowly, in understanding. This infant was heir to a Kingdom, and, under the protection of Keldeo. Since this was Unova, the fox decided not to interfere in Sword business. Those who did had a habit of dying.

The Delphox looked around for what he assumed was Keldeo, but the Sword was thankfully nowhere to be found. He did however, know where the cave they were residing in was, so he guided the youngling back there. "I can help guide you lost one. But come, first show me your cave. We shouldn't stay out in the open. Not unless you want to be caught."

The Ralts didn't know what 'caught' meant, but he led the kind psychic type back to their cave anyways. Once there, the strange Pokémon began gathering sticks, plants, and other strange materials that it pulled from the depths of its fur. "Sit here, little one, and I shall give you guidance."

The Ralts tilted his head, feeling somewhat better being back in the cave, and munching on an Oran berry. "Guidance? Gratitude."

The Delphox smirked. He was saying emotions now. He'd forgotten how cute baby Ralts were. "Hush. Watch. I will discern the nature of your future…and from that, you can figure out where to go. Perhaps you'll even find your mother."

Thankfully, the little Ralts was too young to understand what skepticism felt like, and instead he sat, and did as the red and yellow Pokémon said.

The Delphox drew his wand then, and the circle of twigs lit up on the cave floor, incinerating the plants he'd put within it. Smoke filled the immediate area, and then, he summoned the power. "I see…you will become strong. A Gallade, like your father…a great warrior…with a weapon of serious power…" He glanced at the Ralts, not quite believing what his third eye told him. Excalibur? Even Pokemon thought that only a legend. He continued on regardless. "You have many paths before you, but only one will lead to the answers you seek. If you wish to find your mother…go with the... turtle. Hmm."

Ralts tilted his head. "Turtle?" He smiled. He liked that word.

The Delphox chuckled. "Yes…something turtle related will guide you towards your destiny…I can't tell if it's a Pokémon or not…but that doesn't matter. You will know the turtle when you see it, so trust your instinct, and go with it when you find it."

"How I find?" The Ralts asked, and the Delphox swatted him with his soft tail. The Ralts giggled, the concept of swatting in general was entirely unknown to him, thankfully. Thus, the grabbed the tail and snuggled it. "Soft. Gratitude!"

"You mean, 'How do I find it'." The Delphox managed through a hard laugh. "Let's see…it's near here…interesting…in three days, go north-west from this cave. You will find your turtle." He grinned at the Ralts, sensing his next question. "North-west is that direction." He pointed, and the Ralts nodded.

"Del! Where are you!?" The Delphox's ears perked up. His trainer was calling for him. He'd recognize her voice anywhere.

"I must go now." He said to the young Ralts. "Stay safe, listen to Keldeo, and do as I told you in three days. Which way is north-west?"

The young Ralts pointed, and the fox chuckled, and gave him a pat. "Good lad. Now, go rest. Perhaps we'll meet again in the future."

The little Ralts gave him a hug, and shared an emotion he couldn't name, so again he said "Gratitude..." It was sad though, tinged by the understanding that they were parting. He had bad experiences with parting.

Del smiled. Using Future Sight like that took a lot out of him, but in this case, he sensed it was worth it. He didn't quite know why, but he did know one thing. They would definitely meet again.

This was how Alex spent those three months before Fornia. Training in the Swamp by day, and adventuring at night. He was battling tons of trainers, and seeing many battle styles. More than once, a wandering blackbelt had even challenged him to a battle of martial arts, and not Pokémon.

Arthur, after returning from his Grove adventure, informed his trainer that there were many Gallade who were considered great knights in the Pokémon Leagues throughout the States. For a reason he kept private, he wanted to travel to those Leagues, and battle those Gallade. Having read the same legends Arthur had, Alex could guess why.

The Sage had been right, as always. His species had a thing for tournament battling. Shruikan and Blaze helped expand the number of places they could teleport to, by the day. Alex was making a trail essentially, slowly reaching ever closer to Fornia. It was impressive just how massive the continent was, and he knew once he got in range of Fornia that he'd be battling Leagues all the way back to the Swamp. He wasn't trying to become Champion, but he did have a series of 6 on 6 wins against the Champions he came across.

Jess was with him, of course, and despite being trained by Alex, Arthur, and even Delphi, she just couldn't grasp how they used Teleport. She'd the hardest time grasping the universal energy web that she was supposed to reach out to, and move along. She hadn't realized just how connected she was to the planet at large, and Alex teased her for it all the time. Being a rancher, he'd always known he was a part of larger, interconnected web of life.

One night, they'd visited Percy, who'd heard about Jess' inability to learn Teleport. He gave them Tapu Cocoa, and had then told Jess that the key to understanding teleportation was, "Life…needs life to live." After giggling for a full minute, she'd poofed home, and then back again.

Once she learned how to Teleport, Alex brought her towards the Swamp, as instructed. She was eager to learn, of course, but with their new ability to be literally anywhere at any time, they'd been rather distracted on the way down.

With sudden access to places the world over, Alex felt less guilty about catching multiple partners. Being able to teleport, and only needing four hours of sleep, meant he could finally train his other partners, or at least tell his cousins to let them out. It was summer, after all. He'd found the right evolutions for each of the Eevee he'd caught together, and once they were all trained up, he set them to guard the ranch from the nearby forest. With powerful moves learned by way of TM, and perfected with training.

At first, the proud group of genetic variants claimed to have better things to do, then they'd realized just how many reporters, tourists, rabid fans, and even wild Pokémon came around the Redwood Ranch lately, and would, if ignored, trample the wild Pokémon's homes. More than once a Pokémon intelligent enough to pay attention to human media had sought him out, for training. Sometimes they wished to be caught, other times, they left after learning to incorporate elements of the Dragon Style into their battles. His eeveelutions grew stronger as they battled off more and more people, but the two that shone strongest were his Espeon and Umbreon. He wasn't all that surprised. One guarded the ranch during the day, and the other took the night. Always their patrols were in balance. He was glad at least two had picked up his lessons.

Alex gave similar tasks to his other partners as he had with the Eevee, and slowly, his family noticed that certain chores were just randomly being taken care of by his Pokémon. His Muk and Garbodor cleared the garbage by splitting it between themselves fairly, before wandering away to find more. His Machamp helped with ranching. His Squirtle and Bulbasaur tended the plants. He also knew that his cousins could find uses for those he sent over. More than once now, they'd bonded with the Pokémon in question, and he'd simply traded them.

Thus, it was well into summer by the time Alex and Jess finally arrived at the edge of the massive Swamp. She too battled the dragon woman, and earned the right to fly in on her Articuno. Fo was quite large now, and had proven herself by beating down a certain Dragonite with ease. Once they returned home, Arthur had popped out, just in case a certain Mewtwo decided to make an appearance again. It didn't.

Connor did eventually make his way to the Sage, and then back through the Swamp again to earn the right to fly. There was a reason Garchomp was feared, however. He'd smirked at Alex and his sister, who were in the middle of sparring, as he sliced down through the canopy of the island. Evidently, he'd been victorious against the Dragonite as well, and had also acquired power he supposedly wasn't ready for.

Once Alex, Jess, and Connor had all arrived, finally, it wasn't long until Hilbert showed up as well. N remained nowhere to be found. Since Alex could Teleport now, Hilda didn't have to battle quite so many trainers, which had given her time to finally visit this Swamp her brother constantly pestered her about. She was surprised to learn that the Champion could travel so far so fast, and hadn't expected him in the Swamp, but her brother was glad she'd finally made it down. Naturally, the other Champions were quite eager to 'get to know' the girl who'd beaten down the original Team Plasma. When they asked Alex for an introduction, he'd smirk, and send them to Hilbert. He knew how that would end. The elder twin was overprotective, and ruthlessly strong.

Once everyone had finally returned, they were almost halfway through the summer. The Sage gathered his first generation of pupils, and told them, and other worthy disciples, why so many regular Trainers had been allowed to the Swamp. They weren't unskilled persay, they just hadn't all won a League yet.

Part of proving one could be the honored student of a Sage was being able to teach, as well as learn. In fact, often the advanced lessons on inner peace were based solely on how well you could train a pupil.

Alex had been doing this already, in a fashion, and once he had time, he'd organized the trainers who wanted to learn from the man who'd united the Unovan Dragon. A change happened in the training ground over the next few weeks.

Some Champions had convinced others to learn from them, but the more Alex taught about balance and especially the martial arts of the Dragon Style, and how they were related, the more trainees he had who were both newcomers, and old Champions. Everyone was eager to learn 'Kung Fu', which was where Connor had chimed in.

His meteoric rise to the rank of being able to fly had been impressive, and he too claimed that he could teach Kung Fu. Apparently, he'd also said the Tiger Style could easily beat the Dragon, but Alex hadn't much cared. His disciples spoke for themselves. It also helped having Jess around, for her skills were almost as good as his. When it came to using psychic power however, he was entirely outclassed.

In truth, he'd essentially copied Tao's method, though it would take much, much longer on this plane. Some students didn't care however, and went weeks without rest, determined to master everything they could be taught.

Those were the disciples who soon unlocked a second typing, like their mentor had. Dragon and psychic was rare enough that Alex was the only human around the Sage's compound who'd had that combination. He also soon noticed that the Sage didn't care if his honored disciple was a psychic type or not. He trained and groomed many trainers personally, and Alex gained a bad habit of beating them in battles of Pokémon, and fist.

Eventually, Oranguru had Alex battle his longtime neighbor, and the scarlet headed Champion had grinned at the offer to battle. He opted for a battle of fists. Evidently, he knew how a six on six would go. The so-called 'masters' of the Tiger and Dragon styles met on the Pokémon field towards the back of the island. It was surrounded by bamboo dorm buildings now, and almost felt like a stadium.

Connor summoned his Raikou, and Alex rolled his eyes. Evidently, he wanted his mentor to watch. That was fine by him. Tao appeared in a psychic Teleportation flash, towering over Alex. The massive white and black dragon grinned at the tiger-like Legendary. This was a bet long in the making.

As the two humans clashed after sharing a nod, it soon became obvious who the more skilled fighter was. Alex hit Connor's balance points with every move, and the explosive strikes, which made the tiger so deadly, simply couldn't hit his opponent in return. The Champion of Unova was a black and white blur. He moved like water, and struck like thunder. He almost reached for his staff, but Connor hadn't allowed that.

Seeing defeat looming, Connor had flared his second typing's power, and as fighting type energy claws formed around his fists, Alex smirked at him, and mouthed a word in the tongue of the Dragons.


His eyes went from the bluish purple of the dragon typing, to the pure white of psychic. His power flared, and then condensed around his form, and the smirking dragon launched forward again, as he began to, finally, attack without pulling his punches. Everything thus far had been a warm up.

Though Connor scratched his opponent many times, his claws never seemed to leave much more than a few marks, and each time Alex struck in return, Connor nearly doubled over. He glared at his rival, and wondered when he'd gotten this good.

Connor flared his fighting type aura again, and as he did, it turned yellow, and began sparking with electricity. Alex's smirk grew as he recognized the trick Thor used in battle. "Really? Are we going there?"

Connor grinned. "Come and find out." He dropped into his stance again, and Alex sighed. His opponent didn't seem to get it.

Though the Kalos Champion's muscles had grown exponentially, he was simply not fast enough for the advantage Teleport gave to his opponent. Each strike from the 'dragon' slammed into his target, and given that he had limited uses of Teleport, he didn't pull his punches. There was a reason he preferred fighting with a staff.

As his fighting type energy faded, revealing just how hurt his body was, Connor grinned at his rival, who remained seemingly immune to the bloodless slashes all over his face, chest, back, and legs. "Alright, I give. I know when I'm beaten."

Alex let the power fade, and smirked at his rival. "You have much learning to do." The numerous slashes sparked as the skin sewed itself closed, and the tears in his robe sewed themselves shut. He stretched then, and glanced at Tao, who glanced at Raikou, who snarled in irritation.

The large tiger stalked over, and placed something at Alex's feet. Ghost, Dark, Steel, and Fighting type crystals. Each flared as Alex connected to them, and lifted them up via telekinesis. "Thank you. We should battle again in the future. I still need more of these." The tiger glared at the human, and then blinked, as Tao snarled at him in return.

He stalked back to Connor, and returned to his ball without a word. He'd had enough of draconic smugness for one day.

The dragon had followed him back to his 'home' of course, and watched him pocket his new prizes. "You should have Arthur bond to them. And there is more to know, before you set off for Fornia."

The retrieval of these particular plate crystals had been the final step in their plan to leave. The Swamp was unbearably hot, as it was the middle of the summer, but they knew Fornia would be hotter. Alex had mentioned that they planned to look at Albion, assuming they survived Fornia, and the Dragon hadn't missed a beat.

Arthur had practiced forming 'energy balls' of many types now, but only ghost and psychic ever really worked. Once he had access to a fighting crystal, his 'Excalibur Sphere' as he called it, was easy to use. Especially in his Mega Form. He knew he needed to be stronger than Mordred. He'd read the legends, and, he remembered just how close their first encounter had been.

Once he'd bonded to each, and formed spheres with each, he'd returned to his ball to continue practicing. It was safer in there, and it was designed to help his power grow. Perfect for training. Alex and Tao chuckled at his behavior. He really was always on the move.

Jess had been busy gathering crystals as well, like Steel, Water, Electric, and Grass. They would need to find more before reaching Fornia, but they'd manage. It was no secret that the regions Fornia controlled were literally brimming with ancient stones and fossils. Archaeologists were more than willing to join the Church, if it meant discovering and reviving an extinct species of Pokémon.

Scientists had hypothesized that the Stoney Mountains were some of the first places Mew began to copy DNA from. Life flourished in those regions, but the Arceans kept a lock on all of it. One thing Alex was looking forward to most, was finding all those new species nobody had yet been able to freely catalogue.

Tao looked between the two trainers, and sighed. "You're ready to leave, and yet you aren't disguised." Jess smirked at the dragon, and summoned the fairy type energy from her crystal. Ever since being immortalized by Xerneas, she'd had a knack for using it to disguise things, which was good, for she had no Pokémon that could make use of it. Yet.

With a wave, their appearance changed, and they gained the dark tanned skin, and golden hair so common in the Fornia region. At least among Arceans, which was who they were trying to infiltrate.

The dragon nodded, seemingly satisfied by their attempt at disguise. "Very well. The first thing you'll want to do is gather the other plate crystals. If you do that, Pravus will never overpower you. Next, comes having Pokémon who can use those crystals."

Alex nodded. He had a Pokémon in mind. Tao and Oranguru had told him to get another four Pokémon, to make his total ten. His original six would be used for full battles, and the other four would be useful in Fornia. He fully intended on training the new four just as hard, however. He needed battle-hardened partners who could use the other crystals in his possession. Jess was still trying to decide what she wanted for her team, but Alex already had his first pick. He needed an Aron. An Aron from the mountains around his home region, of course.

He had no hesitation, for he'd heard rumors of the way the World Tournament was supposedly structured. It was rumored trainers were able to use ten partners, and any move they could learn, had learned, or would learn. There was no four-move limit in that tournament, mostly because everyone who qualified already had Pokémon that could use over four moves. Evidently, Alex's hadn't been the only team to be remembering more.

It was as he began searching the mountain closest to the ranch, and caught the gaze of a particularly ravenous Aron, that he knew he'd found his partner. He needed an Aggron that was powerful, and hungry. It was literally the key to his plan working. He offered the Aron an Ultra Ball, once he'd convinced it that it wasn't food. The little Pokémon asked to see his team.

They appeared behind him, grinning, and the little steel type's eyes widened as it saw just how outclassed he was by his new teammates. Hydrus terrified the little one, but the others he didn't mind. Blaze was only slightly impressed at how fearless the little Pokémon seemed around him. Steel types usually took one look at the Charizard and refused to battle. His flames often turned blue against real opponents.

Alex knelt down to the still-chewing Aron, and smirked. "Come with me. The time is right. There's no better team." The Aron blinked, and then pushed the Ultra Ball button, which dinged shut. One down. Alex smirked at the ball. "I'll call you Cenomons."

Chapter 23: Taunts, Tales, and Teleportation (2)
I might just start making them 16k words each if DA is really going to keep such a small word count.

Next Chapter:

Pokemon (c) Nintendo

Chapter 23: Taunts and Tales and Teleportation

The State's Eastern Coast – Jinia Town

The first thing Alex had done on his way south from his subtle return to his Alma mater was return home, to show Eric the cache of documents their granduncle had found on the Arceans. Once he'd read through several, including those detailing what had happened to Elaine, Eric understood his brother's disdain for the group, and admitted he'd been skeptical about what Alex had told him a few days earlier about Norstad. It seemed like something out of a story, a cult that powerful, led by a man so blatantly evil, but he couldn't deny hard evidence when it was right in front of him. He still didn't buy into that bit about Thor though.

He'd offered to go to Fornia as well, but Alex had convinced him to stay in Unova, to study, and run the lab instead. He also gave him a method of contacting Tao, and once he'd announced that the Redwood Lab was open again, something strange had happened. Applications from potential aides, who were really just students roughly Eric's age, came flooding in. Apparently, working at the lab of a Champion was a big deal, even if said Champion wasn't really running it. In fact, many people had started moving to Derrion Town, and the surrounding areas.

Curiosity about their newest defender brought them, but they stayed for the gorgeous views, and clean air. Alex headed south again once he'd said his farewells to his family after a last home-cooked meal, and before he left his home region, he found Tao, who was helping to repair New Tork City, resting atop the Empire building, it was the tallest in the city, and gave a decent view of most of the Unova region. From up there, the damage from the 'civil war' became easier to see. It had been extensive, and expensive. Saboteurs were also still an issue, as what few Arceans remained refused to give up on their Prophet's dream of bringing New Tork down.

Aside from that however, Tao had things well under control. Rosa and Nate were busy hunting the cabal down, and the sly dragon had informed his trainer that he'd ordered them to do so together because, once upon a time, he had helped Unovans find love, as well as balance. He had sensed that hunting the remaining Arceans would bring those two closer together. Hearing that from Tao had caused Alex to laugh for a full minute. Not just because after extensive discussion, Alex knew he had no conception whatsoever of what instinctual drive sparked most relationships, but because many Unovans had been waiting for that exact development. It was obvious to anyone that saw them together, except them, apparently. Hilda, he'd been told, had remained at the Plateau, and had a winning streak that was getting to be as long as his own. He'd rolled his eyes at that. He did actually lose battles. Sometimes. But never a six on six.

He asked the dragon what his infinite wisdom said about his own romantic entanglement, but the First Dragon refused to answer. That, was when Alex proposed a trade of information. He claimed to know why Tao was having such a hard time remembering the so-called 'dragon tongue', despite having access to Alex's knowledge of it, and also claimed he could solve said problem. In return for wisdom.

The dragon could easily tell when Alex was lying, but he'd agreed after a long few moments regardless. In this case, Alex wasn't bluffing. There was a benefit to being part psychic type, and sometimes, even Legendary Dragons needed an extra pair of eyes to see what their own could not. Through their mental connection, Alex had sensed a block on what he assumed was Tao's speech center, buried deep in his brain, and locked by…something. He also sensed his new Voice could remove said block, and make the dragon even stronger. Had it been any other Legendary, he might've paused, but the last Pokémon he worried about having more power was Tao. He had always ruled fairly. There was a reason Arceus had placed him in charge of an entire continent.

Instead of shouting, Alex whispered a series of dragon-words into the ear slit of his white scaled friend, words relating to memory, blockage, and the recovering of such things. For a moment, the dragon's eyes turned half white, and half black, before swirling into a familiar circular pattern, and regaining their pure golden color. The dragon thanked his trainer, as that particular memory block had been a result of being torn in three parts for thousands of years. It had been nagging at him subconsciously for ages, but he simply hadn't noticed the block.

He also quickly demonstrated that, while Alex may have had the Voice of a dragon, the First Dragon's would always be superior. He did more with one word than Alex ever could, but then, that was par for the course with Legendary Pokémon. That word had been 'Yol', and the torrent of fire Tao shot into the air around them burned hotter than any Flamethrower.

What exactly he remembered of the past, he did not say. Instead, he addressed the knowledge Alex had wanted in regard to his own relationship. His response was thus: "To understand how I guide lovers to each other, you must first dismiss the fanciful nonsense your species has created around the entire institution. There is no such thing as a 'soul-mate'. The concept of 'souls' is an ancient, outdated, and entirely human one. The body and mind are always connected, not separate, and what affects one will affect the other. This is how all of existence functions. In Balance. This is why maintaining it is so important. Death. Un-death. Immortality." He grinned knowingly at his trainer, who rolled his eyes. "They all affect the body and mind in different ways. The reality of my ability is simple. I use my Divine Sight to gaze into the…core…of a human, and then use my psychic abilities to divine something about their strongest, and closest, potential match. Then, I lead them to each other. The result is usually positive. But there are always exceptions. Sometimes, running across another strong match can tear the first apart."

He leaned down to his trainer, his massive golden eye towering over him as his soothing psychic baritone thundered in his skull. "You will be hard pressed to find a better match than that of fire and dragon. Though she may not have the typing, yours is as fiery a human as I've ever seen. She burns brightest in your presence, and you in turn are fueled by hers. It is a rare match. Cherish it, for it will not come twice."

Alex pondered the dragon's words, and then finally bowed, thanking him for his insight. Evidently his opinion of Jessica Gladstone had risen during their training in his home dimension. It's not that he wasn't glad, he was more curious as to how he hadn't noticed, and then, slowly, he recalled the long hours he'd spent focused on perfecting his martial arts forms while his love and Tao had been off in the rock garden behind the temple. He'd assumed they were meditating, but evidently, they'd talked as well. It hadn't seemed strange, as the dragon had often isolated them from each other when teaching.

Once Alex departed from the building, he continued on his way south, riding on Shruikan, who had never seen their home continent from the air. Not with his own eyes, anyways. The eastern coast of the States was, in a word, gorgeous. New Tork was not the only metropolis on the way south, but Alex had no intention of going near a city. He got enough challenges from flying trainers as it was. Something as unique as a Black Salamence would be mobbed in a foreign city. In Unova, the locals had quickly learned to associate the massive dragon with the Champion who rode on his back, clad in white. While many still wanted battles, far more often he was asked for autographs, or given Holociever numbers so he could set up future battles.

Jinia Town was the largest town on the eastern coast, and the last one of significance before the Swamp. Alex hadn't stopped there last time, as he'd been in a rush, but this time, he decided to pay a visit. He rode in atop Leo however, though that didn't really do much to stay subtle. His golden-furred Luxray attracted almost as much attention as his giant black dragon. They stayed at the Pokémon Center that night, before heading further south towards the grassy plains north of the Swamp in the morning.

He soon discovered that he was not the only returning trainer who wanted to continue south the next day. There were tons of other trainers, some he knew from the last time he'd been down here. They had made it to the Sage. The vast majority however, had not, and were new trainers who had been invited due to their skill, and not their station as Champion. Evidently, Oranguru had lowered the standards one had to meet to attempt to cross into the Swamp.

Not only that, but Alex soon discovered, over a bowl of Leaf with several other Champions, that these new trainers were all given guides of some sort to the Sage himself, rather than wandering the Swamp aimlessly until they had a vision, or went mad from having too many. Eventually, Alex had, at the behest of the other primarily grass type Champions, singled out a girl, clearly from Unova, and used his 'natural charisma' to find out why she was here. Said charisma consisted of 'Hey', and the question 'What brings you down here?' He was clearly a wordsmith.

It was clear she recognized him, and she even claimed that they'd battled once, but after a few hundred road battles, the faces start to blur. She didn't seem to mind his lack of recognition, and answered his blunt question about her purpose for being here, claiming that she had come to learn from the Sage. He was half tempted to ask why she hadn't gone to Tao instead, but he had a feeling that was none of his business, and wisely avoided prying.

The returning trainees shared a look once Alex explained what he'd heard, and a few were understandably irritated. Getting to the Sage in the first place had been difficult for all of them, many had experienced their own personal hell as they'd relived past traumatic events, and come through them, again, unscathed. But now these new trainers, not even Champions, were getting a free pass to an island that had been cramped with a few hundred humans. Now, there would likely be thousands.

They decided to head out at midnight, while the newbies slept, and found they weren't the only Champions with that idea. The returning students had figured space would be limited, and Arceus only knew how many had already reached the Sage. By the time their mixed group of flying types reached the Swamp's edge, the first light of dawn was filling the sky. Then, they saw her.

The purple-haired woman from their last exam was standing on the open plains before the Swamp, arms crossed, her Dragonite by her side. She waved down the group of twenty or so Champions, and once they landed, she began explaining what they'd evidently missed in the two months they'd been gone.

"I know many of you may have mixed feelings about these newcomers," she began, eyeing those who nodded at her words. Alex remained impassive, stone-faced. This woman had acted like a sifter before, separating the skilled from the unworthy. He had no doubt she was doing the same thing now. "Understand that they are here because they wish to learn from the Sage, and nothing else. They will not be competing to become his top student, though they have that option, many have chosen to avoid potential death, and simply be guided to the Sage."

She looked ready to say more, but a familiar sound cut her off as a helicopter, blades whirring away with obnoxiously loud noise and wind, set down beside the group of Champions. They collectively groaned as they saw the symbol on the side of the machine, and Alex looked down, embarrassed. There was only one news network global enough to be interested in a story in this place. Naturally, they had a HQ in one of the largest tech-savvy cities on the planet. New Tork.

Thankfully, it wasn't John Crimson who stepped out of the chopper, but rather a woman, blonde hair, curves in all the right places. The men amongst the group eyed her openly. Some looked away quickly, fighting their instincts. Others did not. Alex just chuckled, as he recognized the woman who'd been summoned by Joey after his first attempt at an interview. He couldn't really blame the others for staring, her cleavage remained glorious, but he'd already developed an immunity. Praise Arceus.

The purple haired woman crossed her arms, and glared at the blonde. "We've already had this discussion. No."

The blonde frowned, and then turned her gaze to the crowd of trainers, several of whom looked ready and able to 'assist' her in whatever way they could. A familiar feeling of 'oh shit' tingled up Alex's spine as he saw her eyes catch his hat, and then his face. She smiled, and waved obviously. "Champion! Alex Redwood! Remember me?" The group slooowly turned to look at the white and black clad trainer as Alex moved up to the two women.

The examiner eyed him with a severe look. "You know this…floozy?"

Alex gave the blonde a nod, and then met the examiner's sharp gaze. He had no earthly idea what a 'floozy' was, but knew a derogatory term when he heard one. "I do. She's from Unova. In fact, if it wasn't for her and her cameraman, I might never have run into Ghetsis at the PNN, Reshiram and Kyurem wouldn't have been freed, and Tao would not have been reunited."

The cameraman in question was, of course, Joey who had evidently stopped training at the Dragonspiral tower, and was now outfitted with a camera on his shoulder. His Raticate had a similar device strapped to its back. The symbol of balance remained on his t-shirt, and his shorts, as always, remained the same. He grinned, and waved over-excitedly at Alex as he saw him. Alex waved back, smirking. He knew how badly Joey was crushing on his coworker. Evidently Tao had guided him, as well.

The purple-haired proctor looked between the three of them, and then settled on Alex. That same nervous feeling returned. He had no idea why this woman always put him on edge. "They want access to the Sage, so they can…'document' his training with their devices."

At that, Alex frowned. The last thing they needed at the compound was the distraction of being on live TV. Especially with so many new, untrained recruits. He turned to the blonde then, and met her gaze evenly. "Go home, Haley. I'll give you a story when I come back, but this…this place isn't for the modern world. There's no PokéMart in there. It's literally just a Swamp. A girl like you wouldn't last five minutes in there. The Krokoroks here are human eaters."

"And this clearly dangerous Swamp is taking in thousands of skilled trainers." Haley countered, "The world has a right to know where their loved ones are disappearing to."

Alex nodded. "It does. I agree, but this is something to learn about after the training is done. Not during it. You have my word, exclusive interview. With you, not John Crimson. But only after we're done in here. It could take a while, though, so you should go home, and find a better story. Like where the Swords of Justice have run off to."

She raised a manicured brow at him. "What, they've disappeared?"

He raised a not-so-well-kept brow at her. "Nobody has seen them since that Beheeyem invasion fiasco. Anywhere. They're not around Unova. If you really want to give people a story, find out where they've gone. We could've used their aid this year, no?"

The blonde nodded, sighed, and then snapped her fingers. "Joey, we're going home." She glanced back at Alex as she left, and he resisted watching anything but the back of her head. The view was, of course, glorious, but he had never been an 'ass man' as his fellow males so eloquently put it. "You'd better keep your word, Champion."

"When have I ever not?" Alex said as the chopper began taking off again, and headed north. He sighed. "Bloody reporters…"

"They're not the only ones to try to enter." The woman said, once they could hear themselves think. "But I do appreciate you getting rid of them. They've been pestering me for two weeks."

"You were about to tell us something else…?" Alex prompted, grinning.

The purple haired woman brought her plain wooden staff down towards his head. By pure instinct, he caught it, and she seemed genuinely impressed. "Not bad. You've improved."

Alex smirked. "I try."

The staff spun with a blur, and he grunted as it slammed into his stomach. He'd seen it coming, but he wasn't nearly fast enough to block it. He was however, fast enough to tighten his abdominals to take the hit. It had moved past his guard far too easily. "Do. Or do not." The woman said, smirking down at him.

"There is no try…" The Champions groaned, in unison. It was a lesson Oranguru had drilled into all of them. Painfully.

"Right, listen up!" She began again, pushing Alex back to the front of the crowd. "Things are a lot different this time around. For you veteran disciples, you have the chance to gain access to the air space over the Swamp." The trainers shared a look. More than a few had been shot down by absurdly powerful Hyper Beams because they'd tried flying. "Don't worry, our snipers know who to target, and who to let pass…of course, this gift does not come free." She grinned down at them, and Alex noticed it was similar in many ways to the way Leo grinned at his prey before pouncing. He felt the large cat's ball hum on his belt. Evidently that was a compliment.

"To gain access to flight in the Swamp, your task is very simple." The woman gestured to her Dragonite. "Beat him, and you may fly with the best." The Champions murmured again. This woman had been absent during their first stay here, but the few times she had appeared, usually after shooting down a student breaking the 'no flying' rule, she'd let her Dragonite battle some of the more eager Champions with their own dragons.

While the absurdly proportioned dragon looked silly, its power had been monstrous. On the level of the Sage, or at least very close to it. It had taken down renowned dragon types with a single blow, usually a Dragon Claw. Naturally, this had made everyone even more uneasy in her presence. Alex stepped forward, smirking. "Challenge accepted. One on one?"

The purple haired woman grinned. "No substitutions. Will you be using your Charizard? Or perhaps that lumbering black beast you rode in on?" Blaze and Shruikan immediately began arguing, via their telepathic link, over who would fight the Dragonite. Blaze had seen it first, but Shruikan needed the battle experience. They were silenced and shared their surprise with the examiner as Leo sprang forth from his ball, and snarled at the Dragonite.

The woman raised both eyebrows, and walked towards the Luxray, who was sparking with electricity already. "I didn't know you had such a…fierce warrior on your team…oooh…his eyes are…uncannily similar to yours, actually." She said, looking up at Alex, comparing the two.

Alex smirked, and his normally blue eyes turned red and gold. "They are, aren't they? I like his colors, too. Black and gold just…it just works."

The look of awe at his Luxray's coloring faded, but the smirk remained. It was his turn to unnerve her with his gaze, and though she'd never admit it, a chill went up her spine. Those eyes had fire in them. "Dragonite. Go." She gave the command once she returned to her side of the imaginary field they were using. There would be no 'ring outs' here.

Leo's form had begun to glow as she'd walked back, and the two fliers on their team protested. Leo had fought Kurama after all, and this Dragonite deserved to face a dragon. Leo roared as his saber-toothed Mega Form crouched down into a battle stance. "He who strikes first gets the meal…" Leo's mental voice growled to the other two. Alex chuckled, and his two overeager battlers quieted. It was too late to change now.

Seeing his opponent had mega evolved, the Dragonite glanced at his trainer. She shook her head. Alex fought down his disappointment. He hadn't seen a Dragonite's Mega Form, and Dragonium crystals were exceedingly rare. If anyone had one though, it would be a trainer like this. He smirked at her. "Not a wise choice. Leo's Mega Form is…deadly."

The purple woman rolled her eyes. "You'll excuse me if I'm not intimidated. He may have a unique color, but I'll bet he's spent most of his life fighting flying and water types. He's never faced down a Dragonite." Alex just shook his head. A Black Salamence was, in his opinion at least, far deadlier than a Dragonite, and Leo often sparred with Shruikan.

Leo snarled at the woman's words, and she raised a brow. His new form's mane was, unlike his normal one, sleeker, though it extended under his jaw as well, not unlike a Pyroar's. Electricity shot through it, and it flared out. There was, in truth, a reason Alex had let his proud cat take the lead again. None of his team were as good at night battling, and though the sun was coming, the night was still their ally.

The Dragonite assumed the battle was on, and launched forward, its fists encased in fire and lightning, one claw for each. Alex frowned, as Leo dodged the fire one. The electric claw hit, and he snarled in surprise and pain. Usually such attacks didn't damage him much, but then his trainer realized, these weren't actually punches. Fire and electric type energy had covered the dragon's true attack, Dragon Claw.

He saw the purple haired woman moving her mouth, but no sound came out. The electric claw turned to ice, and he swore as he and Leo reached the same conclusion. She knew the dragon tongue. Normally, he didn't use it in battles, as it put a target on his back, and was unfair against trainers who couldn't power their partners up with their Voice. He did much the same with telepathy, though he kept their battle strategy silent, only shouting moves verbally.

He whispered his own words, and the sky darkened again, as dark, ominous clouds rolled in from seemingly nowhere. His Luxray grinned, and melted into the much heavier shadows as an Ice Claw sliced through an apparition of his form. Then, like the night hunter he was, Leo came out of the shadows from seemingly nowhere, his massive saber-teeth wreathed in lightning. They sank into the Dragonite's bulky leg, and then the cat disappeared just as quickly.

The woman frowned, but said nothing about his tactics. As far as using the Voice went, augmenting one's Pokémon was more of a legitimate rule violation than changing the weather. Plenty of Pokémon did that anyways, just by appearing. Leo struck again, this time with his claws. He and Alex had discovered that his bones were actually quite good at conducting electricity, and since his claws had the same composition as his teeth, they'd figured out how to use an entirely new move. Thunder Claw, they called it. He was still getting the hang of it without mega evolving, but in this form, Leo had no issues controlling his elemental typing.

Three red gashes appeared across the Dragonite's chest, and it roared in frustration, then glanced back suddenly at its trainer. It nodded once, and Alex knew they were shifting strategies. "Careful, Leo…use a distance attack this time."

While Leo much preferred physical attacks, his special ones were just as strong. He agreed with his trainer, and did as ordered. He didn't take opponents this strong lightly. A bolt of Thunder arced down from the sky, and the Dragonite hissed as he dodged it. The searing plasma had struck his tail, but it was a minor wound.

Suddenly, the woman shifted her head, right towards where Leo was hiding. Alex had enough time to swear, and his lithe cat was already moving in the shadows, but they might as well have been in slow motion.

The Hyper Beam tore across the grassy plains they were battling upon, and hit Leo directly. He began panting, and winced. It had hit his bulky abdomen, namely the muscles, and while nothing was broken, he'd almost been taken out in a single hit.

The Dragonite was panting as well, and Leo took the chance to hit him directly with a Thunder. That was the downside of Hyper Beam. Monstrous power, but it left a Pokémon unable to dodge, or attack for a moment. In a battle like this, that was a dangerous strategy. Evidently, the examiner had expected it to take Leo down.

She reached the conclusion the same time he did. Alex could see it on her face. The next hit would decide this, and he knew what move she'd be using. "Hold your breath…" Alex said, watching her. "She found you somehow, last time. Shield your mind, and hold your breath. Don't move."

Moments passed, as the Dragonite waited, a smirk that mirrored his trainer's on his face. Alex growled softly. They were waiting for him to strike, but, they didn't know where Leo was. He hoped. "Use it." He finally said to his partner. They might as well try. Their spherical Taijitu attacks had stopped Hyper Beams before, after all.

Leo powered up the Electro Ball, and Alex's Electrium flared from within his pocket. Leo would provide the dark type energy, as in this form, it was a part of him. The examiner narrowed her eyes. She had once mentioned her distaste for 'Z-Moves', after thrashing a particularly cheeky trainee on one of the rare times she'd visited. He had a feeling she didn't consider his new variant any better.

Darkness formed one half of the condensed ball, and the Electrium flared, powering the other half. Leo swirled the energy in his maw, condensing it. That, more than anything, was what made these moves so deadly. Unfortunately, they were also a bit flashy.

The Dragonite leapt into the air and hovered there on his tiny wings as the Hyper Beam built in his own maw, and Alex suddenly had an idea. Leo growled, but affirmed that he could at least try to do it.

The sky boomed, and had the clouds not been overhead, Leo likely would've had a much harder time calling electricity down from it. Especially while he was trying to use a complicated move. The Thunder attack slammed into the Dragonite, and it gave a pitiable whine as the electricity struck its wings.

The Hyper Beam shot at Leo then, and seemed to make contact, but after the smoke cleared, only a crater remained. Leo appeared behind the Dragonite then, not dissimilar to the way a Greninja did. The dual-typed Electro Ball was smaller than he could make it if he had time to properly focus and prepare, but it was still quite powerful. Powerful enough to slam into the Dragonite, and send it spinning into the soft earth below them.

When the dust cleared, a crater with horizontal swirling patterns surrounded the fainted Dragonite, who was lying on the bottom. Leo landed, and let his Mega Form fade as he trotted towards his trainer. Alex fed him one of his preferred treats, and the large cat purred, then rolled on his back, expecting a belly rub.

Alex obliged him, grinning, even as he felt the static charge run up his arms, and make his hair flair out. It was curly, so often it was deceptive as to how much he actually had up there, but when he pet his electric lion, it became quite obvious. He needed a trim. "How did you keep dodging, anyways?" Alex said, speaking mentally to his large cat. "You looked like that Zoroark for a minute."

Leo didn't respond for some time, during which the purple-haired examiner healed her partner, and made her way towards the two. "I did what the fox did. Used dark energy to make an approximation of my image that's so lifelike, it can fool the eyes of a Luxray. I call them Shadow Clones."

He purred as Alex broke into a laugh. "No. Just…no. Call them Anything but that. Please." Leo rolled onto his stomach then, purred against his trainer, and tapped his ball's button with his nose. He rather enjoyed the inside of his Pokéball, and he'd earned a nap. And he was definitely still calling them Shadow Clones. Alex sighed.

Looking up, Alex noticed the examiner waiting for his focus to return, and once he stood, she spoke. "Well done…I admit, I didn't think you had a chance. Not without your Charizard, and a type advantage. You've improved while you've been away."

Alex nodded. "I got some training from Tao and my Rayquaza…who should be here by now…but yea. I went to Norstad, too. Saved the world. Met some Legendary Pokémon."

She gave him a smirk, and that feeling of nervousness returned. "So basically, the same thing every other Trainer did."

Alex grinned. "It really is the best job in the world."

A smile cracked the usually stone-faced woman, and she gestured to the Swamp behind her. "Fly on in. The others know not to shoot you down."

As he stood atop his massive dragon's head, holding onto a head-spike that was taller than him, he could see he needn't have worried about Shruikan being able to fit in the Swamp. The Swamp's trees were gargantuan. They might leave a dragon-sized hole in the canopy wherever they descended, but he should be fine battling.

The air above the Swamp was, surprisingly, full of trainers. Evidently, he really wasn't the only one who'd improved. The examiner had demonstrated early in their training that they had no chance against her, something the usually proud Champions had not accepted until they'd actually lost to her. Alex had been no exception. Now, it seemed, many had passed the test to earn the right to fly. He sensed many more trainers below, however.

There were likely some who assumed they could follow the guides to the Sage without attracting attention, but Alex knew better. He'd spent three months in this Swamp, and had learned early on that the Swamp did what the Swamp wanted. There were no shortcuts to the Sage, not for those who, like the other Champions, had come to try and become his honored student.

Shruikan, as always, gathered looks wherever he flew, and thanks to his size, they created a swathe through the many flying types in the air. More than a few looked irritated enough to attack, but a glare from the massive dragon usually made them think otherwise. Deciding to check on his 'home' first, Alex had the large dragon descend on the western side of the Sage's Isle, only to find that his home away from home was occupied.

Alex felt Arthur's irritation rising, and sighed. He also spotted Red, and figured he could let the second most well-known trainer in the world give a chance to explain why his Mewtwo was sitting atop his wrecked home. The cat-like psychic type was meditating in the midst of the ruins of their little 'house' that had been made of wood, bark, and no small number of vines. A psychic barrier encircled the meditating Pokémon, who had evidently landed on the roof, and then pushed it downwards, demolishing everything.

It was repairable, but it would never be the same. Hydrus was just as irritated as Arthur, and as the rest of his team noticed, all except Terra were genuinely mad that their sleeping space had been crushed by the Pokémon arrogant enough to claim to be as strong as Arceus. Red's Mewtwo was something of a legend, and after Blaine had passed on and given his ball to Red, the only trainer he trusted with Mewtwo, the psychic type had grown…vocal. And disobedient. There was a reason Red usually kept him in his ball.

As Shruikan landed, he snarled at the meditating Pokémon, who opened one eye, and then the other as he did a double take. "You're going to pay for crushing our home…" Shruikan's snarls only made the Mewtwo smirk, and Alex patted his horn, before leaping down.

"Peace, Shruikan…" he said, speaking to the dragon's mind. "This is Arthur's fight…"

The dragon grumbled, but spoke to their Gallade. "Make sure my words ring true, sword-hands."

As if in response, Arthur popped free of his ball. He'd been quiet on the trip south, and Alex knew Xerneas' words still rang in his head. The Sage knew who he was. Why had he not told him? That thought had steadily grown more and more irritating. Thus, now that they were finally here, he was ready for some answers, and was in no mood to deal with Red's Mewtwo.

Blue psychic power surrounded Arthur as he walked up to Mewtwo, who blinked in irritation as the Gallade marched through his barrier. Arthur stared him down, his face an inch from the genetic Pokémon's. "Get. Out. I won't ask nicely again." There was a low 'oooo' sound from the few trainers besides Red that had come to, evidently, see what the Mewtwo would do next.

Red came up to Alex who was already moving towards the two psychic types. "I'm sorry, he just…he randomly popped free of his Pokéball a few minutes ago and vanished. Then I found him here. I have no idea why he's doing this…"

The Mewtwo gave his trainer a brief, irritated glance. "This does not concern humans. Go away. This is between me, and the little prince. The Dragonslayer." Mewtwo smirked again, and before anyone could blink, he was suddenly sent flying to his right, and everyone else's left. Arthur's Night Slash was humming, and radiating dark type energy.

He glared towards the hole in the foliage the Mewtwo's body had caused. "I told you to get out." His right arm, the arm which had struck first, was shaking, and Alex blinked as he sensed his Gallade was dangerously close to losing himself to rage. Where had that come from?

Given that their telepathy was being broadcast audibly, everyone noticed how mad Arthur looked. Around the compound he'd been, by far, the most active of Alex's team. Sparring every day, with humans, Pokémon, anyone really. He'd trained relentlessly, as he had been convinced that he was their team's weak link at the time, due to his inability to mega evolve. That was no longer the case now, though.

This Mewtwo in particular had often mocked the Gallade, 'sparring' with him in his Mega Form, which gained the fighting type. Arthur had withstood the verbal abuse though, and kept his cool, something everyone had admired. The Gallade's noble demeanor and nickname had only irritated Mewtwo, and Arthur had become the focus of his irritation on a daily basis. It had been good training, but the harsh words often struck a nerve he had, until now, ignored.

The other Champions around the area, evidently brought by Red, or just curious to see what his Mewtwo was doing, all visibly flinched as the genetic Pokémon's voice rang through the area. "So…you've gotten proper training…" The two sides of the Mewtwo-sized hole in the foliage were wrenched apart with psychic power. His eyes were shining blue, and the Mewtwo approached Arthur slowly, levitating above the ground.

The gathered trainers, Alex included, winced again as the Mewtwo turned his gaze towards Red, lifted the human into the air, and forcibly drew a Mega Stone from his bag. They all knew which one it was. Mewtwo raised a finger, and Red's keystone activated the Mewtwonite X. He sighed contently, as he finished mega evolving, and flexed his larger muscles as he landed before the Gallade. "Go on then, little prince. Hit me with everything you have. Make your dead mother proud."

Arthur's eyes flared blue, and the area between the two psychic types began to break apart as each one called on their power. Sparks flared as their auras brushed against each other. Arthur did not mega evolve however, despite being given the chance to do so. Mewtwo's eyes narrowed, and he began to form a sphere between his palms. Arthur did the same, and his sword arms were glowing gold.

The gold light formed a similar orb between his palms as he condensed the energy into a sphere he knew his opponent could not match, and though Mewtwo's grew darker as he poured more of his awesome power into it, Arthur's only grew brighter.


The force of the psychic shout disrupted Mewtwo's concentration, but Arthur's held fast. He gave his opponent a grim smirk as the Aura Sphere Mewtwo had been forming vanished without his focus. The Foggy Swamp Sage descended through the canopy above them, staring down each fighter, before focusing on Arthur, who had kept the shining ball of power between his hands. "I said that's enough, Arthur…"

The Gallade seemed to growl, but then paused as a single, massive claw rested on his shoulder. Shruikan brought his head down to the Gallade's level, and met his gaze, nodding once. Arthur sighed, and let the energy go.

The Sage sighed, and pointed at Red, specifically one of his Pokéballs. A red light shot at the Mewtwo, who seemed ready to attack the Sage, but was forcibly returned to his ball instead. It shook violently, but the Sage's deep pinkish aura of psychic power kept it shut. He turned his gaze to the Gallade, and his trainer.

"You two. Come with me."

Alex gave a nod, and bowed, but the Sage had vanished with what he assumed was Teleport. He let the rest of his team out of their balls, and then turned to Red. "They're going to start reconstructing my home. Help them out, if you can, hmm?" He gestured to his wrecked hovel. "This is partly your fault." Red simply nodded, keeping the brim of his hat covering his face.

Arthur gave Red a pat on the shoulder before following Alex. "Know that I blame your Mewtwo for this. I know you wouldn't do something like this with no provocation. You're a good trainer. One of the best, in fact. Many have failed to tame a Mewtwo. Don't let this incident keep you from trying. You'll reach him…eventually." Red met the Gallade's gaze for a moment, and then nodded.

The walk to the Sage's chamber would take several minutes, and Alex spoke quietly to his Gallade as they moved. "Are you okay? I've never seen you that angry…"

The Gallade flinched, a frown on his usually happy face. "I…I just…I have no excuse. I lost control, for a moment…I let his words get to me…"

Alex stopped, and faced his Gallade, putting a hand on each shoulder. "Anyone would have. I know how much you liked meditating in your room, and I know my own emotional turmoil hasn't helped with yours."

Arthur looked up, at that. "That's no-"

Alex cut him off. "We've had a rough week, my friend. Focus on the positive. Nobody got hurt, and you kept your head, in the end. Which is good because that attack, which was incredibly cool, would've seriously hurt an Oranguru."

Arthur looked down again, and sighed. "I don't know what it was…I just used Sacred Sword and pooled the energy…"

Alex grinned. He'd thought that's what had happened. "We'll work on it. Now let's go."

The Sage's compound was, they realized, much larger now. Several dorm buildings had been added, and several more were being built, just to accommodate all the new people. There was even a second mess hall, built onto the side of the first.

The Sage's chamber seemed unchanged, at least. They found him where he usually was, meditating in his wooden bowl-throne, perfectly balanced upon one of Swamp Tree's roots. Alex reached out to the tree, grinning. "Hey, Swamp Tree."

"Redwood, my man. Welcome back."

The tree's voice was as casually chill as it always was. "Thanks Swamp Tree. How've you been?"

A hint of sarcasm entered the tree's voice as it responded. "Pretty good, you know, pretty good. I've just been sitting here for two months. Being a tree. Winters over, so that's good. I love spring. It makes me grow taller."

"Yea?" Alex said, resisting a chuckle. "Do you ever, y'know, consider maybe not growing? You're already pretty large, Swamp Tree."

"Asking a tree not to grow is like asking the sun not to shine, Redwood. Trees gotta do what a trees gotta do." Even the Sage was smirking now, though Alex could tell he was trying to hide it. "You're one to talk. Look at you. Last I saw you, you could barely lift a pebble. You were smaller, too. What happened?"

"I'll tell you all about it." Alex said, as he walked up to the throne, and bowed. Arthur did the same.

The Sage opened his eyes, examined his student, and raised a brow. "So. A dragon. Well, nobody saw that coming, I'm sure." He shifted his gaze to one of the rafters in the hall, and the lead Passimian guard dropped down, and reluctantly handed over a very large, very juicy looking Sitrus fruit.

Alex had a feeling he'd just seen the conclusion of some sort of berry bet. The Sage split the fruit in half, and offered some to Alex, who broke his piece in half, and gave some to Arthur. They munched quietly, sitting together as Alex recounted their adventures in the land of ice and snow.

"So. Tao trained you to use your psychic powers, did he." Alex nodded, and the Sage sighed. "Well, he didn't teach you anything too damaging, so that's something. Besides, you showed control in Norstad. You could have that region worshiping you as a dragon-god hero, but you didn't stay."

Alex nodded again. "Norstad's better off being led by a hero of their own. And, Jess was better at using her powers. She surpassed me during our training. She also had help from her partner. Mine refused to teach me anything because you forbade him from doing so."

"For good reason," the Sage mumbled, "You had yet to unlock the other half of your potential. Now, we can move forward. Arthur, consider my ban lifted. Teach him whatever he wants."

Arthur smirked, as did his trainer. "With respect master," he said, "I think you already know what he wants. He's determined to learn it from you, and if I'm honest…it's been a while. I've kind of forgotten how…and I wouldn't have the first clue about teaching it to a human…"

The Sage raised a brow, and looked between the two. "Why? What does he wish to learn now?"

Alex grinned. He'd been shielding his thoughts, and it was nice to know the Sage hadn't pried, though he had no doubt his mental defenses would be no match for his power. "I want to Teleport, master. It seems like something that could be incredibly useful, to a trainer. Especially one with a power base to manage."

The Sage tossed the last of the fruit into his mouth, and raised a brow. "How?" It was weird, seeing his mouth occupied, and yet hearing him speak, undeterred by it.

Alex blinked. "Well, for one thing, I could continue my duties as Champion, and study here."

The Sage nodded, and then a look of understanding came over his face. "I see what you're after…it also lets you visit your woman. And anywhere else you can remember. Hmmmm." The large Pokémon stroked his chin, which had a respectable white-furred beard on it. "Very well. I see no reason to keep you from such a skill. You have proven that you can handle power. I'll expect you to bring her here, for training. If what you say about Pravus is true, she will need it as well, before you venture to Fornia."

Learning to Teleport wasn't exactly difficult, as he was, after all, a psychic type. It was an ability most of them had, and one Arthur was glad to remember. It would be incredibly useful in a battle. The trick, as the Sage showed them, was to tap into the global field of energy surrounding their planet, and use their psychic power to move along it. It was, in actuality, quite simple. All you needed was a clear image of your imprinted destination, though Alex soon realized, he could only go to places he'd already been, and remembered quite well.

That was fine, as it gave him a reason to travel the world. He'd gone back to his room once he'd gotten the hang of it, and while there, grabbed extra clothes, and shoved them into his bag. His shirt, pants, and robe didn't really need washing since they were clothes from Tao's world, but having extra underwear was always a good thing. He appeared back in the Sage's hall, grinning. "This…is amazing. Thank you, master." He bowed low.

The Sage seemed amused that the human was so glad to get underwear. Naturally, the Sage didn't need any. Teleportation was something most unevolved psychic types did with ease. Seeing a human use it was interesting, but his student had no issues picking it up. Once he'd done it successfully, he had the move down. "Remember there's a limit to how many times you can use it. Don't forget. Or you'll have to spend time resting wherever you end up."

Arthur glanced at his trainer once he sat back down, and Alex nodded. "Master, there's something else…when Xerneas thanked us for saving her, and her home, she told Arthur about his origins…or rather, she told him that you knew of them."

The Sage sighed, but shifted his gaze to the Gallade, who was looking down at his crossed legs. "She was correct. Since the moment you arrived, I had a feeling, but seeing you both now…it's clear my instinct was spot on. I did not tell you because…the situation is…complicated."

Arthur looked up at the Sage. "Who am I?"

Oranguru usually prided himself on being emotionally distant. Unattached. Wise. But seeing this Gallade, the sadness in his eyes, the lack of understanding…it moved him in ways he thought he'd been immune to. "Settle in, both of you." The Sage said, "This is going to be a long story…"

"Arthur, you hail from the land known as Albion. I'm sure you've heard of it. It's a nice place, really. Rolling fields of green, kind people, the weather is terrible, but then, that's just a part of living there. In actual fact, Albion is where your species first originated from, though you've all spread out over the eons. Your ancestral roots are in Albion, and you, young Arthur, were likely born there." The Gallade looked ready to respond, but stayed quiet. He needed to hear this.

"As I said…the situation in Albion is…complicated. Fragile. You see, the humans of that land have lived there for uncountable millennia, but, unlike any other society on the planet, they actually allowed Pokémon to rule over them, and hold positions of governmental power. Specifically, your line, Arthur. You are, in my best guess, the Lost Prince of Albion."

Arthur blinked. "What…? I…hmm…tell me about my mother."

The Sage nodded. "Your instinct serves you well. Several years ago, there was…a shift in the balance of Albion's power. A group of humans, for no discernible reason, rose up against you and your family. I know for a fact that your line always ruled with the inherent grace and kindness your species is so naturally imbued with. These humans though…they had a benefactor. A woman in the shadows, pulling their strings. She became Queen once your mother was forced to run, with a Houndoom on her heels."

The Sage sighed, and sank into his throne. "I will be honest…when they drove your mother to flee her home after they'd killed your father, I did not allow her to stay in the Swamp. She came to me with an egg, I'm assuming it was yours, but I could not let her stay. You see, to this day, there is a…dedicated…group of humans and Pokémon alike under the new Queen whose sole purpose is to hunt you down, and end any chance of the old line returning to power. Anyone who helps refugees of the 'royal family', is severely punished. I wasn't willing to start a war." The Sage kept his gaze on the floor. "I know that her egg hatched, and that she fled to Unova, seeking the protection of four Pokémon, three of which had, in the past, served her family."

Alex broke in then. There was only one quartet that could possibly fill that role. "The Swords of Justice…but they've-"

"Disappeared." Oranguru said, nodding. "I am aware. I know this much, young Arthur. Your mother fell to the hands of this group that hunts you, even now. I also know that shortly after she died, the Swords went missing. When you return to Unova, go to their grove. That is where my Future Sight led my gaze when I meditated on this. If there are answers, you will find them there."

The Gallade glanced at his trainer, and Alex nodded. There was no question. Arthur was going to the Grove immediately, to remember what he'd forgotten. He teleported away, and Alex sighed at his master. "He never stops."

The Sage smirked. "I know. I wonder who he gets that from."

Later that night, as Arthur handled his business, Alex returned to his 'home' to find that Terra had seriously outdone himself with reforging their hovel. The design was essentially the same, but the combined mastery of the earth and water that made up the Swamp from Terra and Hyrdrus allowed it to be molded in ways humans could never dream of achieving. Not without years of work. It was even big enough for Jess, and had passable shelter from the rain that would no doubt come as summer approached.

He recalled his tired team amazed at their work. Blaze and Leo had also helped sculpt the stone, so everyone was thoroughly exhausted, which was perfect, because Alex had a feeling his belt wouldn't be on all night.

He was finally free to Teleport wherever he wished. His possibilities were limitless. He went to Alola first, and bumped into Percy at a restaurant their family had visited on an earlier trip. Percy suggested he get something for his lover, and deciding to actually trust the fairy type, he let his random, wandering gaze, and the universe, guide him. It was a trick he'd picked up from Tao. Once his eyes read the familiar, and hilarious words on the random package they'd settled on, Alex knew what he'd be getting her.

"Thanks for the Tapu Cocoa." Jess said, smirking. He'd returned to the lady's dorm, only to find that her new roommate had invited her boyfriend as well. Naturally, Alex had enough to share.

Her roommate smirked. "Yes, thank you…it's seriously good." She pouted at her partner. "He never gets me anything."

Jess buried her face in his chest suddenly, and she stifled a giggle fit as Alex nonchalantly sipped his drink, and said, "I know what the ladies like." The boyfriend, whose name he hadn't been told, nodded, as he got the joke. Alex chuckled as well.

They'd Teleported away then, as upon hearing he could take her anywhere, his better half had demanded to see Lumiose again, namely because she needed to shop or something. He didn't mind. The great thing about Kalos, he discovered, was that everyone was ready to battle, and with mega evolution. Those fights were always interesting. Especially since he was down to Hydrus and Terra, whose stamina was quite impressive. Everyone else was still tired from constructing their home again.

Chapter 23: Taunts, Tales, and Teleportation (1)
I love it when extra stuff slows down chapters. But it's worth it.

Pokemon (c) Nintendo

Pokemon World MK4
Figured I could update things again. Give an idea of what governments are where. Pretty satisfied with the supercontinent for the moment, which leaves what, 3 more to go? Hoboy.

I'm going to add some lore here, because why not. Talking about this all mid chapter is...tedious.

The Pokemon League:

While not marked on the map (yet), I figured I'd mention that the League itself is not really a government, but functions more akin to a business. Except instead of being wholly focused on profits, they mainly prevent disasters, hold tournaments, and try to keep the world in balance. Given how insanely popular Pokemon battling is, they have no shortage of currency (in most places), and can afford these noble pursuits without fear of bankruptcy. They have HQs in each hemisphere, and naturally, the north-western's is in Unova proper, in the building that will some day hold the World Tournament.

Unova Alliance:

While not an actual coalition, these are the regions that depend on the balance of the world to continue thriving. Their citizens also usually understand the importance of maintaining this balance, thanks in large part to the Unovan Dragon. In his day, he traveled the world, teaching humanity how to live harmoniously with nature, rather than trying to dominate it.

Because of this, it is safe to assume that, were war to erupt, these regions would band together to make sure the world remained safe. More than a few would also gladly join at the behest of Tao himself, and need minimal convincing. He has many allies in these areas, and has, in the past, called on them to prevent, and end, armed conflicts.

The Arcean States:

Despite what you'd expect, these regions are much the same as their eastern counterparts, though they don't have an overseas presence, except in Sinnoh. The main point of contention between them and the Unovans is the view that Arceus is a deity, Arceus has a 'plan' for humanity, and the method of enacting said plan is known as the 'Will of the Prophet'. In a world of rational thinking and dimension-bending science, these are the hardcore believers in fairytales. They disregard anything scientific, claiming it to be tainted by the 'minds of the Psychic types'.

These regions were not always like this, and many still have ties to their former cultural roots, but to anywhere that isn't Fornia, not following the Prophet's word has serious punishments. Fornia is, to many living in these 'support-states', a green, fertile paradise where families stay together and everyone is happy. Very few Arceans ever actually see Fornia though, as the 'divine mission' requires them, and their offspring, to stay put, and work. Usually at mind-numbing jobs for very little pay, if any. The Church has a tendency to make its followers dependent upon its vast wealth, and it's this control of finances, housing, and other assets that keeps new converts in the cult. Leaving is quite difficult, and untangling one's assets from the bureaucratic cesspool that is the Arcean Church often takes years, if it happens at all. Pokemon Trainers are chosen by the Church, and the Leagues within these states are little more than steps on the way to becoming a Hand of the Prophet. There is a Champion, but it's generally believed that the Prophet himself is the strongest trainer.

The Imperium of Man:

Before you ask, no, they don't have a space program. Yet.

The Imperium has been around for...pretty much ever. They were in the heart of the mountains when Regigas, at the command of Arceus, pushed the African continent into the Eurasian one. The Mediterra Mountain range obliterated thousands of cities, entire cultures, even belief systems. All was crushed under the unforgiving power of tectonic plates. All cities, but one. Olympia. These mountains are the highest in the world, and none is higher than Olympia, home of the Olympia Plateau, which is generally considered the second hardest Pokemon League in the world.

With Olympia being the largest city on that part of the continent, it gets many tourists, and more than a few see the structure and precision that is the undying machine of the Imperium, and willingly join it. While some do end up in houses with marble columns, many, many more are sent to the Pits, where trainers are told to either prove themselves in fierce battles on the sands, or go home, and find another way to contribute to the glory of the Imperium.

For most people, this means finding a menial job that is but one cog in a machine so large they can't rightly understand their own importance in maintaining it. But maintain the order they do. How, you ask? This task falls to those Trainers who do manage to win in the pits. Olympia's technology remains as advanced as Unova or Japan, but instead of focusing on Pokemon, they focused on improving the humans who fight alongside them.

The culmination of these improvements is known as a Thunder Warrior. They are loyal, immortal (supposedly), and are some of the best battlers on the face of Terra. Their loyalty is to their Imperator, and only their Imperator. Any who deny the will of the Imperium fall under their jurisdiction.

The Eousian Empire:

Founded, allegedly, by a Tamer who shared the blood of dragon types, the Eousian Empire is the largest in the world, in terms of landmass at least. Much of their land is harsh, but this only makes strong trainers. It is said that there are so many regions in Eous, that trainers who enter the empire seeking to challenge them all are soon lost, sometimes for decades, and only re-emerge from those lands as old men, if they emerge at all, their lust for adventure sated. Many trainers who take a tour in Eous do so as a sort of 'final destination' for their journeys. It is seen as a land of enlightenment, and ancient battle customs, for alongside Unova, the Eousian Leagues have always existed. It is fair to say that without their infrastructure, the Pokemon League would not have survived the Dark Times.

While typically similar in structure to the Japanese Pokemon Leagues, the Eousian Leagues do not allow mega evolution, though that rule can be overturned by the gym leader, or trainers participating in battle. It's typically expected that trainers not mega evolve their partners in public, unless the situation demands it. These laws are recent, and only came into effect once Eousian trainers realized that mega evolution was having unforeseen effects on their partners, often detrimental to their health. They're expected to remain in place until mega evolution can be used safely.

That does it for random region lore. Expect more in my next distracting attempt to world-build.



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alic1a02 Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Student General Artist
Have one Llama back Llama jump by Droneguard

Llama Stamp by Mel-Rosey
J-K-123 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist
Thanks for the fave! I'm fixing my stories up, and I've taken a lot of inspiration from your writing style.
PokeFan1337 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Glad to be helpful lol in my experience, editing can only be a good thing.
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my-new-account Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2018
✦✦✦ Thank you for LLama Badge! Valentine Llama by Lost-in-Hogwarts✦✦✦
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Glinel Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2018  Student Interface Designer
Thank you so much for the +WATCH!
It's very much appreciated!

BTS Kawaii Suga 

If you haven't already, check out my cosplay page @SharpAmethyst
Adiim Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2018  Student General Artist
thanks for the Llama, very good art, keep it up . . . ;)

3D Llama Badge by cezkid
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Llama By Tiauzumaki-dcbvpia by JazminandJazz 

Love your page. Keep up the writing
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