New chapter! *Confetti*
Actually, this one is a tad gorey and dark. On the plus side, though, it features Umbreon. And we finally get done with the whole time-traveling thing; I'm not sure what possessed me to mess with the timeline for, like, five chapters. *Shiver*
Also, a lot of complicated stuff regarding the spirit realm. If you get confused, I won't be the slightest bit surprised.
“I forgot that Espa and Umbra’s days of death coincided!” Celebi blurted from next to me. “It would be too late to travel back now… I hope you didn’t want to see Umbra before her…”
“I already know what happened the day before her death.” Rae and Celebi both gaped at me for a moment, and without thinking for an instant, I continued.
“Umbreon was in love with a Sneasel named Katana. They were together the night before, and she never got the chance to see him again,” I told them. “She shattered the gems in trying to protect them. She was strangled by the human’s Arbok.” I bowed my head, hearing gravel crunching outside. Leaping up into the mouth of the cave was Umbreon, her glowing yellow rings penetrating the dark around her. She looked beyond me, seeing right through me, it seemed, to the body of her sister.
“Espa?” Umbra called into the cave, looking around at the innards of the cave. There was some evidence that a fight had gone on, but it was subtle; a scratch in the rocks here, some loosened pebbles there, but the most obvious thing must have been the blood. Umbra lifted up her paw and gasped, looking over at the body.
She sprang in one leap over to her sister’s body, nuzzling her. “Sister, please, wake up!” Umbra furrowed her brow, red eyes tearing. She closed her eyes and trembled, swaying.
“…Who…Who did this to you?” Umbra murmured to her dead sister. “Why didn’t you tell me you were the next one? Why didn’t you try to prevent this? Why?” Umbra glanced up at the prophecy scrawled onto the wall, looking from Espa’s body to the carving. She mouthed the words to herself, then recoiled in shock and disgust.
“Damn it, Espa,” Umbra swore under her breath. “For Mew’s sake! An Eevee? An Eevee
is supposed to save the entire world? Who says that the gems are going to be gone for that long?” Umbra looked down at her sister, then glared at the carving. “I’m going to change this future, Espa, and I don’t care what you think, so help me if I end up in Purgatory.” Umbra turned and bounded away, leaping gracefully over the wall of the cliff down into the forest below. Still a bit taken aback that the Umbreon normally trapped in the gem around my neck had thought so poorly of me, I was not expecting Celebi to grab me and pull me along, following Umbra’s path through the forest.
“…Should have at least given her a decent burial,” she growled under her breath, glaring at the forest before her. She leaped up into the air, seemingly vanishing and reappearing on the other side of some tangled foliage, using her quick attack to avoid struggling through the plants. We simply passed our way through, and Umbra continued dodging the undergrowth of the forest. The black gem around her neck flashed, and she tripped suddenly over a log with a yelp of pain. She forced herself up, hissing, teeth bared.
she swore, getting up. The gem’s glow pulsated harder, Umbreon staggering against the strain of the gem’s power. “I know they’re dead, just please leave me alone!”
Umbra growled, thrashing to try and release the gem. She panted and fell onto her side again with a moan. I shot an alarmed glance up at Celebi.
“The Eon Sisters were directly tied to their gems. Their powers are what caused them to evolve, so their energies are chained to the gems. If the gems are captured, destroyed, or their contact with the Eons is severed by death, the negative energies affect the rest of the gems. This is what kills Umbra; she wasn’t strong enough to stand up to the death energy. No one but the vessel of darkness felt the impact when Vapor died, as there wasn’t enough death energy involved. But Umbra has to carry around the burden of four deaths with her, and she couldn’t reasonably live with that much darkness,” Celebi explained.
“That’s why they’re all trapped in the gems,” I murmured quietly. Rae raised his brow at me, and I looked away. I figured it would be better if he didn’t know where I went every night when he was asleep. Umbra tensed up her muscles and leaned on a tree, trying to stay standing in spite of the energies from the severed crystals.
“You’re wrong, Celebi,” I said, realizing only too late that I had actually spoken. Celebi and Rae both looked at me. “Umbra was strong enough for it. Mew gave her the power of darkness because she needed a vessel for it to balance the positive energies of the other Eons. She knew Umbreon could handle it. Maybe there really was too much death energy for her to handle, but don’t you ever insist that she was weak!” I finally snapped at her. Celebi folded her arms impatiently at me and raised her brow.
“I have no reservations whatsoever against Umbreon. I understand that she is a revered figure in Eevee mythology, and I apologize for whatever puphood fantasies of yours I may have destroyed,” she told me, “What I’m trying to say is that Mew had no right to give Umbra darkness powers. There is too much darkness in the world for one vessel to handle, and here she was, struggling with four deaths around her neck and her own inevitable demise! Perhaps if Mew had taken some responsibility for her own freaking actions instead of leaving this crap for all of us to clean up, the pompous glorified Rattata!” Celebi shouted up at the sky, as though hoping that Mew would hear and swoop down to challenge her words. I looked away from Celebi, ashamed to have exploded at the Legend, and looked over at Umbreon, my idol, just as a Natu flew over her head.
“Manny! Manny, Manny, come quick! Bring Master!”
the Natu shrieked. Umbra yowled at the Natu, fur bristled as she accepted the challenge. Natu let out a loud twittering, and a Manectric emerged from the undergrowth. I felt a twinge of hope; Umbra wasn’t about to die. Not yet.
“Master!” the Manectric barked, circling Umbra. Umbra growled, her yellow rings glowing, waiting for a chance to strike. Her gem still pulsated with the evil energy, and I could see her brow furrow as she tried to fight this back. Umbra leaped into the air suddenly with a yowl and vanished into thin air. She reappeared above Natu, using her pursuit attack to bring him out of the air. She bit into him and tossed him aside, dodging Manectric when he sprang. She let out a yowl and opened her mouth to launch a shadow ball attack so large I feared for the stress she was putting on her body. The Manectric was knocked into some thorny bushes, and Umbra took this opportunity to run.
By the time we had caught up to her, she was panting hard at the base of the mountain where she had come.
“Espa,” she panted, swallowing hard. She looked over her shoulder, the Natu and Manectric having since recovered from her attacks.
“I thought I smelled her scent!” Manectric growled, Natu fluttering by his head.
“Manny, do we have to wait for Master? Why can’t we just grab the shiny now?” the Natu twittered.
“Don’t call me Manny, first off, and secondly, we need to wait for his permission to strike. Arbok is the team leader and will probably have dibs on her before we do,” the Manectric explained, one eye trained on Umbra’s shaking, weakened body.
“Why doesn’t she attack?” Natu asked, squinting at her.
“I’m not sure. Why don’t we ask the beast herself?” Manectric replied, turning to Umbra, who was aware that this discussion was going on.
“You really think I am more brutal and beastly than you are? You serve another! Isn’t that against the nature of a Manectric? Don’t you feel ashamed to have been associated with these killings?” Umbra glowered.
“You’re just angered because we defeated your sisters and took your precious stones. What exactly do these things do, anyway?” Manectric neared her, but Umbra opened up her throat and loosed a horrible screech attack that made my fur stand on end.
“These are the embodiments of the elements! We have been charged with guarding them, and here you are, serving the humans that don’t know what havoc they could cause if they handle these incorrectly! I will avenge the death of my sisters, and I will uphold the duty Mew entrusted me with!” Umbra turned and leaped again up the cliff, back towards the cave.
“Natu, get her! I’ll catch up!”
Manectric howled at the bird, who had already started flapping his way up behind Umbra. She clambered across the rocks with surprising agility, but her gem flashed again and struck her with temporary weakness. Natu swooped down at her and pecked a few times before she leaped up, sweeping her tail across her body and striking Natu down. She leaped up into the mouth of the cave, then turned to see the two pursuing her just as hard.
She opened her mouth up wider, summoned another shadow ball, and launched it at Natu. His weakness to the ghost-type attack and the ensuing collisions with the rocks beneath him caused the downfall of the small bird, which merely lay defeated even as Manectric leaped up into the cave in complete disregard of his partner. Both of the Pokémon glared at each other, sizing the other up, waiting to either make or defend against the first move.
Manectric struck first, Umbra diving out of the way and springing again to use quick attack. Manectric nearly fell out of the cave, Umbra panting hard as she tried to remain standing.
“You brute,” Manectric spat at her, claws digging into the ground. Umbra glowered at him, unaware of the slithering figure behind her.
“You are more a brute than I,” she replied. She whipped around, as though sensing something, then turned back to Manectric. I was not sure if she had seen Arbok or not.
“No need to worry. You can trust that there is nothing behind you. Don’t you trust another Pokémon?” Manectric smiled at her. Umbra unleashed a tormented scream and sprang at Manectric, fangs digging into his flesh until the blood spurted from under her lips. She released him and snarled, continuing to speak in a shrill, tortured scream.
“Trust? Why should I trust anyone?
You killed my sisters! Ever since I’ve evolved, even they
rejected the darkness Eon at first, but they loved me for who I was! We were bound together for this cause, damn it, and they were all taken! By what, you wonder? By Pokémon like you who are too damn weak-willed to listen to their own hearts and have to listen to humans!” Manectric could only gasp and sputter while this was happening, and Umbra stared in horror at his throat, which was coated in a layer of blood. She climbed off of the barely-alive Pokémon, tears pouring from her eyes.
“…I’m just like him… What have I done
…” she cried, collapsing into a heap on the ground in convulsive sobs. “Forgive me! I didn’t ask for this! I never wanted this! If there is anything I can do to change it, please! Tell me!”
Umbra sobbed into the sky. An Arbok’s head lifted over her, thrashing its body around to slam her into a wall.
“Manectric, Natu, return.” Both Pokémon vanished into flashes of red light. Umbra looked up, and I followed her gaze to a human, who held the two Pokéballs and their prisoners in one hand. In the other was a sack, and he nodded at Arbok, who sprang at Umbra. Umbra leaped up and onto the man’s arm, biting his wrist and forcing him to release the bag. The bag hit the ground, and the gems tumbled out. Both glanced at the shards, and the man dove, Umbra leaping on him and using the most ferocious crunch attack she could summon. She missed the human’s neck, and the blow hit the gems instead.
The gems shattered into pieces, the energy trapped within them unleashed. The man gasped in horror and tried to grab at them, but with each shard he touched the more the auras around them darkened. The corruption that resulted in their theft and ultimately destruction was manifesting within them, and they would travel to the greatest power source they could to expel these powers; the Legends. They all vanished. The man glared at Umbra, who was laying on the ground in crippling pain now, the gems and the souls within them having been destroyed.
“If I can’t have all of the gems I’ll have yours! Arbok, wrap!” the man commanded. The purple snake slithered around Umbra, squeezing her more tightly than what a battle should allow for. The air was forced from her lungs, and the man did nothing to stop this but remove the gem. I watched her life ebb away…
I shouted, sobbing loudly. “Celebi, take me back! I can’t stand this anymore! Please, just leave them in peace!”
Celebi’s hand landed on my shoulder, and I felt the uncomfortable sucking sensation of returning to my own time. I collapsed onto the ground sobbing; the real ground, not the figments of the past in which the sisters were senselessly murdered. I could feel the weight of the gem return, and I knew Umbreon’s consciousness was within it once more.
“Ami, it’s time to go now,” Odd told me. I felt his foot nudge me, but I rolled away from him crying.
“Just let her be,” Celebi told them quietly. “Her destiny is a large one to absorb.” I lay on the ground, alone at first, but I could eventually feel Rae’s body inch beside mine and his hot tears dripping into my fur.
“How could you, Amethyst?” I had no answer to Umbreon’s inquiry, mainly due to the fact that I couldn’t speak in her world. This was her own confinement, her own prison, and no one else’s. “Do you know, Amethyst, how the spirit world works? Do you realize
what you have just made me relive?” I looked up at her, shocked. Relive?
“Yes. Relive. Celebi’s powers allow her to travel through time, but she has to use limbo to do so. All spirits trapped on earth in any
form are stuck in limbo, and therefore are affected by what happens during time travel.” She took a breath and prepared to continue.
“I was not in your gem the entire journey; I was inside of my body again, very much alive, reliving every one of my sisters’ deaths again. I relived the time before I died. I murdered,
Amethyst, do you understand that? I wanted to forget that! I didn’t want to remember how much of a hypocrite I was! I never wanted to look back on those horrible days, and how I’m
the reason this whole mess began! It was my
attack that destroyed the gems; it wasn’t the humans, it wasn’t their Pokémon, it was me. This is all my fault. I’ve been trapped inside of this gem for however many years it took Horus to find it and give it to you, thinking about this, and you actually have the nerve
to watch what happened to us?”
I began to convulse with more sobs at this point, but no sounds emerged from my throat. Umbreon turned around, exhaling, then turned to me.
“Get out. Now. And I don’t want to see you until after you’ve learned to respect your ancestors,” she snapped at me. I kept my head bowed, but looked up just as her rings began to glow more brightly. She let out a screech and leaped at me, and I scrambled out of the way, feeling myself being pulled from the gem as I forced myself awake. Umbreon watched my figure fade and collapsed on the misty ground, trembling from her mix of emotions. I didn’t dare for an instant to think that I could begin to empathize.