Re: Mirror, Mirror; Chapter Three [WWC]
It didn't take long for the group to reach the end of the tunnel. As they stood in the entrance to the actual den, Draco understood what Clair had meant when she said it was an isolated body of water. They stood on what seemed to be a bank, which turned into a U shape as it lined the square innards of the den. Where the ground abruptly cut off was a body of water. Draco knelt, dipping his hands in to test the temperature. Even though Clair had said it was going to be warm, he hardly expected it to feel like tropical water.
While the apprentice was checking on the environment, Clair clapped her hands together twice. The sound echoed off the surrounding walls. It seemed to do nothing until lines of torches lit at the audible command. Adorned in five foot increments along the bank were wicker torches, dancing with a newly lit blaze. Melee smiled, allowing her collective glow to fade in favor of the provided lighting.
"That's amazing!" Draco said, looking up and down the bank. "How do they do that?"
"Well now, it's pretty amazing wiring. That one guy who works with electricity - from Sunnyshore? Yeah. He and his Ronald McDonald pal set this up. We did pay them well for it, so I'm glad it looks this nice," she explained.
"Yeah. It looks pretty nice... But even now that we can see, how are we supposed to find Luvdisc in this water?"
"And that is where the problem lies. I haven't seen any Luvdisc in here in years," Clair explained. "The last time I saw one was when I was seven or eight. Grandpa brought Lance and I here to bond with the Dratini. When we were fishing, we accidentally caught a Luvdisc."
"So we need to fish for it?"
"Do you have a fishing rod under your hat?" The woman paused, as if to give a dramatic effect. She was answered with silence. "I didn't think so... Besides, we don't even know how long it would take to snag one of them."
"You have a better idea on how to catch one?"
"Don't be a fool! I just explained to you that we don't have a fishing rod!"
This time around, it was Draco who had the upper hand. Instead of being pulled around by Clair's numerous riddles, he had one of his own. With a smug look of satisfaction, he threw a thumb over his shoulder towards Azul. The small orb on his tail was resting in the water, somewhat like -
"A lure," she gasped, arching an eyebrow in curiosity. "That's... innovative. I didn't expect something like that from you. Good job, kid."
"Er... Thank you, Master," the boy replied. "Azul, think you could uh... fish for a Luvdisc?"
"Azu," he replied, forcing the buoyant ball to sink deeper in the water. It danced quite elegantly under the surface, occasionally popping to the top before sinking again.
"We're not getting anywhere," Draco sighed, tapping his foot in impatience.
"We've only been here for five minutes," Clair scoffed. Her Altaria mimicked the motion, as if to give it more importance.
"And that's five minutes that those poor Pokemon have been suffering back at the Center!"
"I understand your concern, Draco. However, whining like a child isn't going to make a Luvdisc appear any faster."
"I know that," he said, stubbornly. "But we need the Luvdisc now!"
"Azumarill!" I'm trying... As if to make his point, Azul pushed his tail down as far as it would go. He tried to pull up so he could use the momentum on the way down to sink deeper, but he was caught on something. The end of his tail acted like velcro, having something deep under the surface stick to it. As the water rabbit pulled up, he winced in pain. It was tearing the rubber hide of his tail!
Draco seemed to notice the Pokemon's struggle and promptly took residence by his side to help yank the tail free from its prison. "Come ughn, on," he grunted, pulling with two hands.
Azul cried, trying to remove himself from the water.
Just as Clair noticed the struggle, there was a surge of bubbles erupting from the small indoor lake. Something was coming up! "Could it be...Luvdisc?"
"I... UGHN! I don't think..." Draco gave a final tug with all his might, pulling Azul from the shallow depths and onto the shore. Imbedded in his tail was an odd looking piece of coral. Instead of the usual red coloring and flat body structure, this one was shaped like a ball and was painted a myriad of pink and white polka dots.
"Corsola," it glared, tiny peg-like feet flailing. It looked as if it were trying to dislodge its antlers from Azul's tail.
"A Corsola," Draco groaned. "That's certainly not what we came for..."
"Then you're missing the most important part of the discovery!" Clair's eyes light up, excitedly pointing at the hooked Pokemon. Attached to the hind end of the Corsola was the object of desire. Entwined within the gnarly coral was a small, heart shaped fish.
Azul raised his tail, smashing down to the wet sand. He was struggling to break free from the Corsola. Hit after hit, the multi-colored coral still held on - yet the small Luvdisc buried in the back flew off in another direction. After another powerful blow, Corsola tore off from the bulbous tail and returned to the water, grumbling in annoyance.
The Azumarill sat, nursing his wounds when Clair rushed by to corner the Luvdisc.
"Melee! Get over here! I'm not loosing this chance! Besides, if we take one, the other can't be far behind. Now!" the Dragon Master commanded.
The Altaria nodded, stepping up to the plate. Melee glared at the intruder, not welcoming the heart-shaped fiend. She growled menacingly, obsidian eyes staring at the other. However, no amount of tension would allow her to slack off in the ensuing battle. She was determined to succeed for her master. With a smile of her own, large cloud like wings clapped together in a fearsome Astonish. The sound that was produced mimicked thunder, driving the water Pokemon closer to the shore.
The Luvdisc couldn't move. His eyes were glued to the noisy bird in astonishment. He quaked in fear, not being able to turn and flee into the water as the angry Corsola did.
It was then that Melee saw her chance to launch an ambush. A thick haze began to seep from underneath the bird. It filled the cave almost instantly, rendering the torches useless. Both Draco and Azul coughed from the intrusive Mist but Clair, having seen Altaria use such an attack in previous battles, yanked her cape upwards to cover her mouth.
Yet even through the deep fog, Luvdisc saw his chance to escape. He leaped into the air, displacing the surrounding Mist and tumbled head over heel into the small body of water.
The Altaria looked around wildly, wondering where her opponent had gone.
"Clear the Mist! I want to see where it's gone!" Clair shouted through the white haze.
Melee obliged, batting her wings as fast as she could. It was a valiant attempt to produce a large gust - one just powerful enough to clear the area. Intense winds flooded the area, dispersing the Mist. The group scrambled to find the missing Luvdisc, only to spot more bubbles coming from the enclosed body of water.
"Damn it," Clair shouted. "It's retreating! Go get it Melee! Bring it back to the surface with an Attract!"
She stuck her head under the water, holding a large breath in her puffy cheeks. Her porcelain colored beak pursed as if she were giving a kiss to a suitor. As she blew outwards, several heart shaped bubbles appeared, sinking downwards through the twisted reefs.
Unknown to Melee, the Luvdisc was waiting. He hadn't retreated to flee, but to launch his own ambushed attack. Tiny eyes watched the aimless hearts, swirling in the warm waters. Even if they had hit, it wouldn't have done any good. This Luvdisc was bound to another emotionally - and no Attract would hamper his undying love. He was just about to emerge from his hiding spot when another Luvdisc appeared. It was his mate!
"Luvdisc," she smiled. What are you doing?
"Luv, Luvdisc," he responded. "Luvdisc?" Something attacked while I was taking a snooze among the Corsola. Care to help?
"Disc." I'd love to.
The two grinned, sidling up next to one another. They counted internally to three before rising on a jet of bubbles to the top. Melee, who had finally come up for air, didn't see the two Luvdisc speeding towards the surface. They erupted from the dark water, hitting the Altaria with an intense Waterfall. The trail they left behind soaked Melee to the core. She cried, flapping her wings in protest from the unexpected attack.
"There are two now!" Draco cried, pointing at the newly discovered Luvdisc pair.
"Excellent!" Clair shouted, taking a battle position. "Do you hear that, Melee? Two for the price of one! Go get them!"
"Azu!" Azul, who had spent the last few minutes caring for his wounded tail stood to fight. He wasn't going to miss out on the only opportunity he had joined the group for. Cerulean hands balled into fists as the rabbit like ears bounced up and down. Yes, he was ready for a fight.
"Fine," the Dragon Master said. "It will be a doubles battle. Go, Azumarill!"
The twin Luvdisc stood idly by, already in sync with one another. They knew just what attack to launch before the others had a chance to team up correctly.
"Luv," cried the male.
"Disc," shouted the female.
"What are they doing?" Draco asked, watching the two water Pokemon begin a dance. They sashayed around one another, as if it were a courting ritual. Left and right the two lovebirds went, waltzing about the shore... However, one couple turned to two. Two turned to four. Four turned to eight. Before Melee and Azul could react, there were dozens and dozens of Luvdisc everywhere!
"It's a Double Team!" Clair groaned. "Hurry up and find the originals! We need to get back soon."
You get rid of the copies! Melee told Azul. If you do, I'll launch a Twister.
"Azu!" Right! The Azumarill thought carefully about what to do. It wouldn't be possible to hit the numerous copies with just one attack, even with something as expansive as a Surf. He needed something that could reach in all directions, rather than just one or two.
"Ria!" Now! the Altaria demanded.
He was at a loss for ideas. None of the attacks he knew would be effective against the Luvdisc copies... unless it was one of the Luvdisc's own attacks! Although he didn't know Waterfall per say, he had watched when the massive spray generated from the attack flew in all directions. Perhaps the same sort of spray could eradicate the copies. Azul leapt into the air, somersaulting over the bank to get into position. As he came down onto the lake, his tail broke the surface with a powerful thrust. It was as if a wave machine had been turned on, as numerous waves crashed against the shore. They went one after the other - rising higher with each hit. Soon, they pelted the cave walls - sending the desired spray over the makeshift arena.
Draco and Clair watched on the other end of the shore, amazed at the power exuded by the injured Azumarill.
"Altaria!" That Aqua Tail was impressive! Melee crooned over the damp battlefield. It was now her turn, as she took flight.
The Luvdisc were taken completely off guard with the downpour, rendering all their copies useless. They were still in shock when Melee, who saw a perfect opportunity for a strike, soared towards them at an incredible speed. She halted about several feet away, to prepare for a weather based move. The Altaria then began to move in rapid circles, stirring up sand from the shore. She was attempting to create a Twister from the warm waters and cool winds produced from her flight pattern.
"Luvdisc!" The female Luvdisc, who had recovered from disbelief, saw the beginnings of the Twister. She tried to think of a way to counter the swirling terror - when she was reminded of a rogue Dratini she had once encountered. The last time something had sent a Twister her way, she counter-acted the rotation with a Whirlpool. With a smile on her lips, she dove into the water and began her own 'Twister' of sorts.
Arising from the depths, like Neptune on a war path, emerged a giant Whirlpool. It was just as tall as the Altaria's Twister and just as vicious. Both towers, one of wind and one of water, clashed as if it were a battle of the titans. The resulting explosion sent all four battlers to the shore. They had been blown back from the intense scuffle and all were strewn about the sandy bank, motionless for a short period of time.
Melee was the first to stand from the aftershock. There had to be a quick way for retaliation.
"Come on, girl!" Clair called. "Use Ominous Wind!"
Taking the advice from her master, the Altaria began to concentrate. Normally, her plumage was the color of freshly allotted snow. Yet now, it was turning a deep violet, almost onyx in color. Melee began to hum, bringing her puffy wings closer to her chest. She closed her eyes on the inhale, readying the attack. On the exhale, her coal eyes snapped open. It was then that her wings opened fully. Melee had released the pent up energy, the darkness leaving her form. A strong tailwind arose from nothing, carrying the dark energy across the cave in the form of an Ominous Wind.
The Luvdisc had nothing to stop such a brutal attack, as they were pelted by strong winds. The pain brought about by the Ominous Wind doubled as the violet color began to dislodge from the wind - and in a ghostly manner, took on a life of its own. It wrapped around the Luvdisc pair in an unfortunate struggle. They moaned as if having an endless nightmare, slowly sinking into the hands of the devil. The male Luvdisc grunted, trying to pull away. With a twist of his body, he succeeded in evading a nightmarish hand to retaliate against the Altaria.
"Watch out!" Draco cried, seeing the Luvdisc weasel his way out of the attack.
The male Luvdisc only smiled, taking aim at the large, blue bird. His pointed mouth opened, revealing a swirling ball of mist. Soon, the mist solidified, creating a narrow thread of crystal ice. It shot towards Altaria, burning with the intense passion of a scorned lover.
Melee, finally looking up from the Ominous Wind, saw the Ice Beam heading her way. She cried out for help, knowing she wouldn't be able to move out of the way in time.
Azul noticed the Altaria was still trying to gather enough energy to move. It seemed the Ominous Wind had taken a lot out of her. Although he couldn't risk being hit by the Ice Beam himself, he could help deflect the blow. He spat at the incoming beam twice, the first producing a small ringlet of water. The second was much more powerful, as if the first was merely for practice. The Water Pulse collided with the Ice Beam at the last second, sending a few rays of ice in different directions, though the majority still ravaged Melee.
Seeing that both Azul and Melee were occupied by the Ice Beam, the female Luvdisc decided to pull a move rarely seen by water Pokemon. She used her small body as a spring, crouching down before jumping into the air, where she remained on pure power. Bounce was her last chance against the dueling duo - as the odds were falling into their favor.
The male Luvdisc glared at Azul, having been interrupted enough by the last minute Water Pulse. The second Ice Beam was going to hit the target. He opened his small beak, releasing another frigid gust of air. It was soon accompanied by a bolt of ice, weaving through the crisp air to strike the haughty Altaria. It struck hard, ice crusting over the delicate wings, covering them in a nice glaze.
The Altaria groaned, trying to get the ice to fall from her wings. Most of it cracked and fell to the ground without much problem, but several pieces clung tight. As if to prove to her opponent she wasn't damaged by the second Ice Beam, Melee bent forward, using her strong beak to pick away any remaining chunks. She looked flustered from being hit twice, but Clair had trained her well in the Icy Path. Her downy wings expanded as she lifted from the ground. Higher and higher she rose, gathering power with each foot she soared. An impressive Fly was in store for the male Luvdisc who had continually used the Altaria as his target.
Azul too began his own attack. The water rabbit started to pull in a massive breath, his balloon-like body swelling with the intake of air. He smiled, body becoming as round as his pre-evolution, Marill. While Melee was launching an aerial attack, he figured she'd be able to dodge anything coming her way, therefore reassuring him of his decision to aim for the female Luvdisc who used Bounce. All the air which had built up inside had become a pressure system for a massive Hydro Pump. A swirling cascade of water shot like a cannon up at the ceiling of the Dragon's Den when Azul opened his mouth.
The female Luvdisc was focused on the Altaria, who was flying towards her mate. Seeing how intent Melee was on hitting him, she felt confident that the bird wouldn't notice her own Bounce. Yet, in watching out for her mate, she neglected to see Azul, who had fired an intense Hydro Pump her way. Waves of freezing water pounded the Luvdisc into the top of the cave. If she hadn't been able to breathe underwater, she may have drowned. Though once the onslaught of water had subsided, she fell to the ground with no fight left in her.
"Good job, Azul," Draco cheered from the sidelines.
Melee saw out of the corner of her eye that the Azumarill's attack had hit. She smiled, knowing that her attack would be the one to end the intense battle.
The male Luvdisc was going to attempt another Ice Beam when he noticed his mate was no where to be found. She wasn't up in the air as she had been a few seconds ago! He looked around wildly for the other Luvdisc.
The momentary distraction was just enough for Melee to strike. Soft, cotton like wings turned to iron as Fly collided with the opponent's rosy frame. Luvdisc cried out as he hit the shore, Melee following close behind him. She landed gracefully, looking no worse for the wear.
"Marvelous, Melee," Clair smirked, always having full confidence in her dragon Pokemon. She quickly pulled two Pokeballs from her belt, tossing them in separate directions. One hit the sand, opening to absorb the male Luvdisc. The other bounced off the cave wall as it pulled the female inside.
"We... We did it, Master! We captured the Luvdisc!" Draco Tom leapt up and down in excitement.
"Of course we did! I-" Clair was abruptly cut off when a low rumble wracked the den. It seemed to be coming from above. The quartet glanced upwards, trying to locate the source of the sound. That was when a few pebbles began to fall from the ceiling, near the wet spot Azul had created with his Hydro Pump.
"It's alright," she said, curtly nodding - as if to assure herself. "It's just a few rocks and pebbles."
"Yeah," Draco laughed nervously, watching a few more rocks come loose and slide into the water. "We should get going now, right?"
"Of course," Clair agreed. She gathered the fallen Pokeballs from the ground, holding them tight. It was only then that she noticed an odd feeling... as if something were starring at her.