“H-how could you say that? Kryal was my best friend. My best friend.
He was murdered before me, because of me. How could I not
regret it?!” The Elekid glared at the Larvitar, a steel edge glinting in his eyes, his voice cold. “But I don’t regret obeying my father that day and making the choice to silently follow him. If I didn’t, no doubt he would have killed me, too, and I would not be here. Now that I am, I can finally exact my revenge. The revenge he deserves.”
“And what is it that he deserves?” Eon pushed, her grin widening. “Would you kill your own father – your flesh and blood – to avenge my brother? Would you really
go so far? I don’t believe you have it in you, Rye. You never had it in you to kill.” She paused and laughed again. “You were always such a crybaby! Remember when I tripped you and you fell face first into a muddy puddle? You cried over that. You even cried when I took the last cookie Khrono had offered us. You could never kill, least of all your father. He –”
“He deserves all he has coming,” Rye cut in sharply, ignoring Eon’s words. “It is true; I used to cry over the littlest things, but that was a long time ago. I have not cried since then, save for once recently.” For Zanna
, he spoke to his mind, not wishing to divulge this sacred information to a mere illusion. “My father needs to be taught his place and I want to be the one to do it. It has to be me. It always was.”
Rye marvelled at the determination in his voice. Had it just appeared out of thin air, like Darkrai’s illusions? He did not remember having this resolve before Eon pushed him to admit it. Though somewhere, deep inside him, he admitted he had always thought it would come to this; when he would have to destroy his father in order to prevent further harm from coming to the world. If he was still creating a dark army like he suspected, then Rye would have no choice but to put an end to his actions. If not willingly, then through brute force. But was Eon right? Could he really kill his own father, even to save the world?
The Larvitar’s smile faded at his words. “It was always you. Well at least that, I believe. Tell me, Rye,” she said in a blunt tone, cutting out all attempts to be charming, “would you keep that promise you made to me all those years ago? On your honour, you swore it. Or have you none of that, either?”
Rye shuddered ever so slightly, hoping it was not visible. “I remember my oath, yes. Indeed, I intend to keep it.”
“Then why are you here and not with me?” Eon cut through before Rye could continue. “Why were you travelling with that Pikachu – your enemy – when I was the one that needed help?” He flinched at the mention of Zanna but kept his calm composure, eyes locked with the Larvitar’s. “Why did you abandon me, Rye?”
“I did not abandon you!” The Elekid clenched a fist in front of him, breathing hard. “Eon, I –”
Tears entered her eyes. “No! Save your sorry excuses for someone else who cares! You said you would protect me, Rye. If your attempt is going to be the same as it was for Kryal, then – then I don’t want it!” The illusion of Eon whirled and ran off down a path, disappearing hastily into the darkness, and away from Rye’s view.
“EON!” he shouted into the void. “Eon, wait! Arrgh!” Throwing aside all fears, Rye raced after the Larvitar, following the path where he’d last seen her hazy shadow. “I won’t lose you again,” he cried into the darkness. “Once was already enough!”
Eon sat by a lake, but not one that was filled with clear reflections and bright blue water. This lake was covered with ice and looked very dreary. Almost an imitation of his thoughts, Rye presumed. The Elekid panted from trying to keep up. She was fast, even as an apparition. Despite the fact that he knew this Larvitar wasn’t real, he couldn’t help but feel everything he would have if it were the real Eon. He needed to say these things, even if it was only to clear his head. Perhaps it would help his conscience, if he were to confide in this illusion.
The Larvitar did not look up as he approached, but stayed in the same seated position, staring intently at the ice covering the frosted lake. Rye peered once at Eon before lowering himself onto the ground next to her, though never making eye contact. He hated to admit that he was
afraid of this illusion, because it made him empathetic again. He hated to feel emotions.
“The ice is cold,” Eon stated coolly, echoing the lake’s dreariness. “You’re cold, too.” She stated it simply, but Rye felt it pierce through his barrier yet again.
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” He spoke through gritted teeth, still not glancing at his companion. “‘I’m cold?’”
The Larvitar closed her eyes and let a smile tug at the edges of her mouth. “Not your skin, if that’s what you thought, stupid. Your heart. Your emotions. They’re cold, Rye. Why did you let yourself be cut off from the world for so long? What could you possibly gain by being all alone?”
She spoke distantly, eyes still closed, but Rye felt something of the real Eon within Darkrai’s clone. This is exactly what she would have said to him had she been here in this very spot.
“I gained a shell,” he explained. “Simple as that. I needed to become untouchable, so nothing would ever hurt me again. I never wanted to experience that same torture my father gave me so many years ago. My shell protects me from that.”
“Your so called shell isn’t doing such a good job then, if that girl was able to break through it.”
Rye stiffened in an instant, suddenly wary. “How do you know about that?” Then he bit his tongue. It was an illusion, of course. Darkrai knew it, and so did this Larvitar. It knew all Darkrai did. “It was doing its job fine,” he corrected, calming his composure. “It was perfect. And it never broke; I allowed her to draw near, that was all.”
“And once your shell was breached, that was your undoing,” Eon replied. “But listen, Rye. You can’t hide from everything forever. This shell of yours is only good if it can protect you from your enemies. If it blocks you from your friendships and happiness as well, is it really a shell you ought to have?” The Larvitar opened her eyes and turned to study him. She had hit his fear head on.
“No, it isn’t…” Rye said slowly. “But if I withdraw my shell, what is left to protect me from the thorns in the world? What will happen to me then?”
“Let your friends fight for you, Rye. What else are they there for? Let them help you; let them carry part of your burden. If you depend on yourself all the time you’ll only be crushed under the pressure. Every time you get hurt – every time a thorn reaches you – lean on those around you. Trust in them to pick you up each and every time. If you fall.” She smiled again, though this time it reached her eyes. “If you fall, at least remember you are not alone. Riley.”
Rye blinked once, eyes wide, then sighed and let a slight smile consume him. “No, I am not alone. Thank you, Eon.”
As he reached out to the Larvitar, its smile widened and the apparition disappeared before him, leaving a thin layer of green matter in its wake.
“What the –” Rye recoiled, paw in midair as the smoke hovered around it. “Why did it disappear?!” Jumping to his feet, he thought of raising his shell when it hit him. A sudden realisation. This shell – the very same that was his defence all the time – was no longer needed. All he needed now was to rely on his friends. This nightmare was nothing! It could not get to him, nor could its thorns ever hope to reach him. As long as he held a goal, he could escape this place stronger than before, and in control. He would keep rising, because he had a reason to.
“Hear me, Darkrai!” he shouted into the blackened sky, his own echo taunting him. “You cannot ever hope to bring me down because I have something you do not! I have a reason to be alive, and I have a reason to be strong. Your thorns will never reach me!”
The Elekid glared across the vast ice lake with fierce determination and spread his arms wide. Nothing can harm me now. Not even my own nightmares.
“Wait, I can’t do that… I can’t dance…” I rolled over fitfully, cringing at the scene forming in my mind, when a dull sound broke through my thoughts. Without a second’s delay I sat bolt upright, resting heavily on my paws. “What a dream that was,” I muttered drowsily, turning to face the door of the tent. “But what was that I heard just now?”
We’d stopped for the night just on the outskirts of a nearby lake. It was rather beautiful the way it shimmered and glistened, even in the moonlight. Lakes like this always held me rather entranced, and so by my desire I had stayed perched by the edge of the water for the remainder of the day. Lani had kindly told me that the lake’s name was called Siuryen, which in the ancient language meant something along the lines of ‘rebirth’. That was just what we all needed right now: the rebirth of a happier time, something far from this abomination Deoxys had turned Talzere into.
Whilst I was happily seated by the lake my thoughts had wandered, but this time in the direction of the erratic Buizel. It was no surprise that Tali did not share the same fondness that the others had for me, but I could not discern why. I hadn’t done anything to hurt her. The only explanation I had come up with was that it had something to do with Dash. He was her partner, after all. Had I somehow roiled her up by bringing them along with us? In any case, no one was forcing her to stay here; she could leave anytime she wanted. Though I got the feeling she would follow wherever Dash went – I could see they were close.
When I had first encountered the pair, she had been the one so intent on retrieving the Orb of Sorrow. Why was it so important to her, if Dash had left it in my care? And what was so great about a shiny orb? I had a total of three now in my possession – two entrusted to me by Rye – yet I had no idea what I was supposed to do with them. Not for the first time this week I had tried to contact Altair by telepathy, to see if he had any information regarding them; after all, they were called the ‘Orbs of Altair’. The Pikachu had neither answered nor returned my pleas, which I could feel was odd. Especially for him.
Despite the fact I had no kind feelings of empathy towards the Buizel, I put up with her because I had to. It was not my desire to get to know her, that was for certain.
Hauling my heavy body to its feet, I stumbled out into the night to investigate the noise which had sounded not too far from camp. In fact, it seemed to be in the direction of Lake Siuryen, where I had been earlier. Figuring I could use some stealth training, I dropped to all fours and darted between a few of the bushes that scattered the roadside. I hadn’t been too far when the thud came again, louder than before. This time curiosity got the better of me as I reached the lakeside, slowly peering between the fronds of my hideout. It was surprising to see a familiar face, and the relief I felt upon recognising that face was drained by what it was doing.
Tali stood by the lapping water, a dark aura surrounding both her arms, on which two lithe, onyx bands were attached. My eyes widened in interest, wondering what on earth they could be. I had never seen such bands before, least of all ones that emitted a dark aura. I could only feel a slight prickling in my fur and a deep sense of foreboding. Though I could not explain it, I knew those bands were bad news.
My teeth gritted of their own accord as I dashed into the clearing and tackled the Buizel to the ground, sending us both sprawling into cool depths of the lake. For a split second I had no control over my actions, but I knew – I just knew – that I had to stop her.
“W-what the?!” Tali’s agitated cry reached my ears as she floundered in the water, spluttering. “Pikachu!” she snapped, meeting my gaze with a fierce glare. “What the hell is your problem!?
“What the hell is your
problem!?” I snapped back, surprised at the sheer force behind my words, and the fact I had cussed at her.
Tali recoiled in shock, fear flitting across her eyes for a mere second before she rebuked. “You’re my problem! You and Dash and everyone else who’s always gettin’ in my way!”
Dash? He’s part of her problem?
I had thought for sure that the two were close, but to hear her say that he was a problem to her… Just what was going on?
“Tell me what those things are on your arms,” I changed tactic, nodding towards the bands. “What were you doing?”
The Buizel gathered herself, snorting and rising fluently from the water, her back to me. “What’s it to you what they are? You’re not getting your dirty paws on them anyway.” Tali took two brisk steps towards the lake edge before I bounded after her with another tackle.
“Who said you could leave?!” This time when my body made contact the onyx bands snapped from her arms and flew into the water, disappearing under the surface.
“The bands!” Tali cried out, panicking and pushing me harshly aside with a paw. “Rakai!”
I froze immediately in the water, all the wind knocked from my chest, watching as Tali dove to retrieve the bands. I knew that name, and it was a name I would scorn for as long as I lived. Rakai, one of the Hunters, had been the Weavile who had poisoned Rye. Whatever affiliation he had with Tali could not be good. And neither were those bands.
The Buizel reappeared from beneath the surface of the water clutching the two bands to her chest tightly. It now seemed she had forgotten I was here; her gaze and attention were all occupied by the objects within her paws. But I was not about to let her forget I still had business.
“Tali,” I said shakily, trying to make my voice sound firm. “What has… what has Rakai got to do with this?” My body stood lifeless in the lake. It was cold; far too cold to be comfortable, yet I could not bring myself to move. All that mattered now were the answers I so desperately wanted.
A certain hollowness entered Tali’s eyes at the name, but she shook her head brusquely, refusing to meet my gaze.
“Tali,” I repeated firmer still. “Tell me.”
For a moment the Buizel’s mouth opened, then it closed rapidly as she shook her head yet again, turning to face me. “You wouldn’t understand!”
They were the last words that echoed through the clearing as Tali fled from my sight. I had no wish to pursue her, because for once I felt she needed to be left alone. All my body, my entire being, felt were those echoing words. So distant. So pained.
You wouldn’t understand!
Tali. What trouble had she gotten herself into now?
SO. Zanna finally admits her true feelings to someone, finding a mother-like figure in the ever doting Lani. Jarre finds he's missing Raze more than he let on, and Rye's past has caught up to him again when Eon visits him via his own Nightmare. What is it that's got the Elekid so spooked? Tali's mysterious bands make a reappearance, only this time Zanna wants to know what they are. And now Rakai. Where did he come from? What's he got to do with Tali? That Buizel is hiding something... >.>
Stay tuned! n__n