Chapter Three: Story Telling
Dinner came around once more, and everyone begged for another story from their intrepid guest. Troy just chuckled at their enthusiasm.
“Come now,” he said. “I feel like I spent too much time talking about myself. May I hear a story from you today?”
“Nothing much exciting ever happens around here,” Aislyn muttered.
“Hmm, well,” her father ignored his daughter’s comment. “I could tell you about the time I tamed a wild Dotrio with my bare hands. That was quite the adventure.”
“I could tell you about the day I found a river monster,” Freddie added.
Aislyn’s mother thumbed her necklace charm, deep in thought. “I don’t know why, but I fell impressed to tell you about something,” she said.
“What is it?” Troy leaned forward in his chair.
“It’s a story about Aislyn’s birth,” she explained. The entire room fell silent, but Aislyn’s thudded in her ears. Why on earth was her mother going to tell this story? She felt her cheeks grow hot and knew she was blushing.
“It was thirteen years ago,” her mother began. “Around harvest time. There was a blue moon the day she was born, and we each that this meant good luck to our daughter. But as the days passed, she began to have health problems. The doctors didn’t know what was ailing her. We were becoming scared that she wouldn’t make it, but she held on for a few more years. The next time there was a blue moon on her birthday, however, she disappeared. By then, she was a small little toddler, and we figured she must have wandered off. We sent all sorts of search parties around the area, but they all came back empty handed.”
“I went out searching for her myself, growing more desperate and worried. As I ran towards Fish Hook lake up towards the north, I finally found her. She . . . She was just laying off shore, and she. . . Wasn’t breathing,” her mother’s eyes began to well up with tears. “I picked her up in my arms and tried to wake her up, but nothing worked. I. . . I had thought that I had lost her. Then, suddenly . . . There was a bright light. I looked at the lake, where the moon was reflecting in the calm water. The reflection itself began to glow as if it was becoming another moon, and it lit up the forest. I shielded my eyes from the light, but then I heard a voice. Looking back towards the lake, I saw a figure emerge from the reflection of the moon.”
Aislyn was suddenly drawn into the story. She had never heard this part of it, nor had any idea that this all happened.
“It was a Pokémon, shaped like the crescent moon. It spoke to me, saying, ‘Have no fear, Mary Bright. I won’t let your daughter slip away. Bring her to me.’ At first, I was a little scared, but the warmth of the Pokémon’s glow was inviting. I held Aislyn close, and walked as far into the lake as I could go. Suddenly, she began to glow. I looked up at the Pokémon, and it had its eyes closed as if concentrating. A thread of light grew from it and floated across the water towards Aislyn. It melded with her being, and suddenly she began to breathe again. ‘Aislyn Luna Bright,’ the Pokémon spoke again. ‘Your life is yours again. Learn and grow, and be a beacon that shines through the darkness. When the time comes, however, I will need your help.’”
“After that, the Pokémon disappeared, and so did the bright light. The lake looked as if nothing had ever happened. Then, Aislyn woke up. I took her home, and since then she’s been free of her health problems. There she stands now, the picture of health.”
The room was silent for a long time before Troy voiced his thoughts.
“A child of the moon,” he said cryptically, his arms folded in thought. “The hero of the light. . . Thank you for sharing that story, Madam Bright.”
The reverence dissipated when Aislyn’s father began telling his story, but Aislyn was still in wonder. Her mother never shared that part of the story before, and the Pokémon she talked about . . . It had to be . . . Cresselia? It had appeared to her before, and had saved her? And now it was appearing to her in her dreams again. What did this all mean? What did this make her?
After dinner, the storm clouds had finally parted. Aislyn snuck out of the kitchen to stare at the stars. Tonight was a new moon, allowing the stars to shine their brightest. Out here in Lunnori, there was hardly any light pollution. One could see each star in the sky wherever they were at. Aislyn admired the starlight. It was as if they were trying to make up for the moon missing.
“It’s much nicer out now, isn’t it?” a voice interrupted her thoughts. She jumped, but saw that it was just Troy.
“Don’t sneak up on me like that!” she scolded.
“My apologies,” Troy bowed, looking ashamed. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Aislyn smiled. “Just like when we met.”
“Indeed,” Troy smiled back, then joined in the stargazing. “What a beautiful sky. I haven’t seen them this bright for a long time.”
Aislyn just nodded, her thoughts returning elsewhere. “Troy?”
“What did you mean back there? You know, when you said those things?”
Troy didn’t answer right away, seeming to be deep in thought. “There is a certain legend that I have heard. It says that there will come a time when darkness will begin to reclaim the world. It is called, simply, the Eclipse. The planet is said to become paralyzed as the warriors of the light are conquered by agents of the night. But in this legend, it says that a hero will rise to finally defeat the onslaught of darkness. The hero is supposedly a child chosen by the moon, but no one is sure what that could mean.”
Aislyn shivered from more than just the cool evening. A child chosen by the moon. That could mean her, could it? “But its just a legend, right? It‘s not really going to happen, is it?”
“It could, or it couldn’t,” Troy shrugged. “But many legends have some truth in them.”
“But it can’t,” Aislyn interrupted. “There’s just no way!”
“Aislyn? What’s the matter?” Troy looked worried.
“It’s just that. . . I . . . I don’t know,” she looked away, fighting within herself. Should she tell Troy? Could she trust him? She couldn’t take it anymore! She had to tell someone or else she’d go crazy! Troy seemed to know more than what he revealed. Maybe he could help her?
“Troy,” she began, “I’ve had the strangest dreams lately. In them, I met a Pokémon named Cresselia. She spoke to me, saying. . . Saying that she’s been captured. And she told me. . . She told me that the only person that could save her . . . Is me. I think that I‘m supposed to be the hero from that legend.”
Troy thought long and hard, saying nothing to her for a while.
“Let me see your hand,” he asked. Aislyn hesitated, but complied, revealing the birthmark she had since her disappearance as a toddler.
“You are the one,” Troy’s eyes grew wide, and he stared at her. “You are the one I’ve been looking for.”
“You were looking for me?” she recoiled.
“Yes, I’ve been traveling around the world looking for the hero told in the tale,” Troy checked his surroundings, making sure there was no eavesdroppers. “Do you trust me?”
Aislyn stopped, truly wondering the answer of his question. “Y-yes, I do.”
“Then follow me,” he stepped off the porch. “I have a lot to explain, and we need to find someplace secret.” Aislyn followed him to the barn where the Milktank were sleeping. He climbed up into the rafters and waited for her to join her. Afterwards, he spread out his arms and a force field appeared around them.
“What is that?” she asked.
“This is a Light Screen. This way, no one will overhear what I’m about to tell you. Aislyn, I know you have placed a lot of trust in me by telling me about your dreams. I will, in turn, tell you my real identity. Long ago, before the invention of the Poké Ball, when humans and Pokémon lived side by side in a different way than today. These were the medieval times, when there was much confusion and wars. However, there was a kingdom far away that fought to end those dark times. From there arose a group of elite soldiers of both men and Pokémon who possessed special abilities. They were called the Knights of the Aura, because they could control their exceptionally strong auras.”
“What is an aura?” Aislyn asked.
“It is the force that surrounds all living things, the energy emanating from within us. These Knights could not only see and control auras, but some could see it around others. They had sharper, keener senses, and stronger powers, but they all used their talent for one purpose: Peace. The Knights still exist today, secretly fighting for the common good. Aislyn, I am one of these Knights.”
“You are a Knight?” Aislyn couldn’t believe her ears. A knight was standing before her, as if out of a fairy tale.
“I can control aura, and I can discern it as well, after years of training and practice. After becoming knighted, one of our elders, an Alakazam, had a dream in which he saw the legend of which I have spoken of before. He sent me on my first quest to search out and find the hero of the prophecy. I have traveled far to find you, and I believe I’m just in time. Tell me, what do you know of Cresselia?”
“All I know is that what she told me,” Aislyn quietly answered, still a little disturbed by this whole thing. “She’s the Lunar Pokémon.”
Cresselia slowly came to, barely able to glance around the prison she was kept in. Someone nearby was laughing, his voice full of cruelty and maliciousness.
“Good morning, Cresselia,” it said. “Or perhaps, maybe not so good for you.”
“Indeed. Cresselia is the lead in the fight against darkness. She has the ability to banish darkness at just a touch. For years she has been fighting against a sinister force known as the Night Chasers, who is led by a notorious Pokémon known as Darkrai. Darkrai is her sworn enemy, being darkness itself. He plans to bring about the Eclipse and rule in a world created in his vision. Now, Cresselia has been captured by him, and nothing can stop him. No one. . . Except you.”
“D-darkrai,” Cresselia gritted her teeth.
“Who else?” he emerged from the shadows, holding an purple glowing sphere in his hands. “What do you think of my contraption? Makes a wonderful prison cell, doesn’t it?”
“You won’t get away with this! You’ll regret the day you were born!”
“Such fierce words, mistress,” Darkrai smirked. “But I’m already getting away with this. It especially helps when there’s a new moon, I might add.”
“Coward!” Cresselia spat.
“Okay, this has gone too far!” Aislyn sat up, turning to leave. “I can’t see how I should be a part of any of this! This is just crazy!”
“Aislyn, wait!” Troy moved to stop her. “You heard your story tonight! A part of Cresselia lives in you! It is because of her that you live and breathe!”
Aislyn stopped, trying to take this all in.
“You owe her for that, and now it is your turn to return the favor. You need to release her from her prison!”
“And how am I suppose to do that?” she whirled around. “Look at me! I’m just a plain, ordinary, fourteen-year-old girl. I can hardly grow a garden! How the heck do you expect me to go off to fight some darkness?”
“You are no ordinary girl, Aislyn bright,” Troy said quietly. “Your life has been touched by Cresselia. As I told you, I can discern auras, and I can see it clearly around you. Most individuals have green or blue auras. Some have red or purple. But you . . . Your aura is pure white, and shines like the moon. It is what attracted me to this place. At first, I didn’t think that you were the one I was looking for. As time went on, and I found out more about you, I began to have some suspicion. It was not until tonight that I knew for certain who you were.”
Darkrai laughed to himself, circling around the captured Lunar Pokemon. “Let’s see, we got Reaper Clothes and Spell Tags nailed in place by Iron Thorns, creating a strong force field of negative energy. Check. We got the Griseous Orb, keeping your light from shining brightly. Check. Heck, we even have a piece of a Red Chain thrown in the mix, keeping you immobile. Check. Now what are we missing?”
He began tossing the sphere in his hand up then catching it, pretending to be deep in thought. Cresselia gasped when she finally realized what it was.
“Oh, I remember now! The Life Orb to slowly and painfully suck away your life! That’s what we need.” Darkrai stroked the marble-smooth surface with an evil glint in his eye. “I’ll just put it into place now.” He spread his hands apart and the Life Orb began to float between them. Thrusting his hands forward, the orb began to travel over to Cresselia, easily passing through the force field.
Aislyn’s eyes were beginning to tear up. She was becoming so frustrated and confused. How could she believe any of this?
“I-,” she started to say, but suddenly she was attacked by a sudden fit of pain.
“Aislyn!” Troy shouted, but she didn’t even hear him as she collapsed onto the floor.
“Check,” Darkrai smirked as he watched Cresselia writhe in pain. “It seems that all is in order. Now only one thing remains . . .” He turned his back to face a pack of fierce Houndoom, all who fidgeted in anticipation.
“Find the girl,” he told them, “and bring her to me. Just the girl.”
The leader of the pack snarled, and led his ranks away from their master, anticipating a new hunt.
Aislyn slowly came to, her head pounding with a horrible headache. As her vision cleared, she could see Troy leaning over her. His eyes were closed, and he held a glowing hand over face. As far as she could tell, she was till in the rafters of the barn.
“Troy?” she inquired. “What are you doing?”
The Gallade exhaled a sigh of relief and opened his eyes. “Good, you’re alive. I was quite worried.”
“What happened?” she tried to sit up.
“Slow down, don’t do it so fast,” Troy warned. “I’m not sure what just happened. Are you feeling better now?”
“I think I’m okay?” rubbed her eyes. “But I got an awful headache.”
“You did fall rather hard,” Troy scratched his head. “But you have me puzzled. Maybe you can tell me what happened.”
“I just remember suddenly feeling this pain and then I blacked out,” Aislyn frowned, then tried to stand up. Troy jumped to his feet and tried to assist her. “I’m okay. The headache’s going away. I feel better now.”
“You sure?” Troy hesitated.
“Yes, I’m sure. Let’s get back to the house.”