(After this chapter is fully put up, I'll put up something to explain the whole complexity of the Nexus much better, as you're probably scratching your heads over something
at this point. Plus, I messed up a bit at the point where Avalon discovers the text at the Tomb of Misery.)
Chapter 25: The Council of Legends
Good news? We had an excellent map of Alto-Mare, several well-trained snipers (Issac in particular), three ingenious strategies for each location, and overall good morale. Bad news? No target. Anywhere. At all. Either the Exio Void killed Valio Kyte, the Exio Void was holding him hostage, he wound himself up in the Nocturnal Lands, or he simply slipped in under radar, something hard to do for an aged Tyranitar Pokemorph. This particular assassination wasn't entirely critical to the cause, more so than repairing the barrier that would keep us safe from asteroids, but for those that wanted him dead, the issue was that we only had truly one day to kill him, the last day we could spend, and the instant we did, we had to get our rears over to the Calypso: We'd be taking off shortly after the kill.
All of this was made plain via telepathy by Ohnal, who called in everybody to hit the hay. Karazin had already done thus, and I was about to, when one last thing came to mind: The treasure from the Temple of Misery. Wealth could certainly come in handy.
Getting the book out of Hammerspace was easy. However, removing the strap didn't immediately do the trick. I opened it up. Still nothing. I turned the totally blank pages from one end to the other. Still nothing. I picked up a pencil and tried putting a mark on one of the pages. The pencil was sucked in the instant the lead touched the paper, but nothing else.
Me and Latries bounced back some ideas, and tried them all: clicking my fingers, trying a Light-based Volteer trick, saying random magic words, simply demanding the book to spit out the treasure, saying "I am Justice Incarnate," trying to step on the book while it was open, poking it with the new sword-which Latries reconized as a blade named "Shynehart"-they were all met with utterly nothing. I tried using it as a pillow, and slept for an hour before I awoke again, having no result or dreams. At last, in frustration, I simply punched the air a few times.
I then looked at the book, then at Latries. Then something came to me, and I looked back at the book. Then back at Latries. Then the book. Then Latries. Then the book. Then Latries. Then the book. Then Latries.
Was it really that simple?
I tried transforming into FULL-Latries form, immediately found myself far too tall for the room, and I had to bend over. This was my first time, after all. But it felt wonderful. I wasn't liking my loss of legs, restricted to whatever those things Latries had for feet for, well, feet, but outside of this, I felt full and free. My appendages that were supposed to function for arms comfortably retracted into pouches, which didn't feel as awkward as it sounded. They weren't very short either. I defiantly was bigger than Latries, for some reason: He could float upright in the confines of my room.
But that was unimportant. I poked the book's open page, just a light tap.
Suddenly, I was not in the confines of my room. I was in the Lati Gardens, but a much grander and even more welcoming version, and I was basking at it in broad daylight, warm, joyful sun streaming down my back like a liquid river of warmth, only not liquid. Latries was there, of course, and he looked around with nostalgia in his eyes. I looked into the pool of water that was nearby, and see the differences between me in Latries form and Latries himself: That counted for many.
To start, I was bigger. That probably was already an easy change for you to guess. I also had an even darker shade of indigo, dancing on the line between a indigo-tinted black and a black-tinted indigo. Spikes were on the indigo colored segments of skin, not totally great stabbing weapons, but defiantly handy for defense. Said indigo colored segments of skin were probably harder than steel, but that was nothing compared to the razor-sharp claws: Standing on the absolute best point for precision and power, these could do accurate surgery, and could easily tear you to shreds in seconds flat. Weird platinum rings were also upon the appendages that had these lethal claws, obviously my arms, as well as on my chest and head, along with the symbol of Justice put inside the ring on the chest. As if to add to it all, my simple thought as to where the Illicit Blessing and the Shynehart went were answered with blades jumping out of an unseen hole in the arm-appendages, both positioned to make wielding these weapons as literally a part of my body very easy, and both looking like incredible weapons (as if they weren’t before), morphed specifically to accommodate the form I had taken (the Shynehart in particular), and were equally incredible weapons, practically.......Perfect
You should have seen me laugh about me having to put down that they seemed perfect. Perfect is a delusion for idiots that don't know about something called reality. Where I was wasn't exactly reality, either, but that wasn't the point.
After soaking in my bodily changes, I soaked in the view a little longer, and then it hit me: I was somewhere beautiful, relieving, pleasant, and most important, somewhere where I was...Free. For a brief moment, the cares of the outside world failed to breach my mind, even the threat of existance being terminated by the Arbiters, and I flew about without a care in the world, no worries, no burdens, just flying around, carefree...Oh, it was fun to be unburdened by reality. It really was. For everything about myself to, however briefly, not apply, was like a ten-ton weight was lifted from my whole being.
As does everything else in the world end, so did that moment. The sound of stone moving attracted my attention, and I focused in on an archway that appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the garden, with a symbol of a weird ring atop it, the same one that ha, a kind of bluish energy forming a half-clear veil upon it. I was wary: Surely something was wrong here. Latries, on the other hand, gave it a look, and gestured to me.
"Something about this is familiar...A good familiar, I guess..."
Latries said to me.
"...So, we're going into that, which is probably a portal, and is probably someplace we don't fully know about, to do something that we don't know of?"
"...Something important...Council...Of...Ugh, I'm forgetting something! Please, let's go in!"
Latries said, half-ignoring my reason.
"...I'm still not entirely sure.......Oh, what's the worst that could happen? I guess..."
I said, totally reluctant. Latries and I went in without further hesitation. For the sake of my sanity, I should have listened to myself.
Now, we were somewhere else, somewhere obviously important. It seemed like a very large place, a kind of massive map of the whole Nexus in the center of the floor of the room, and a large ring of Platinum keeping the portal arch that brought me here, as well as several other different sized ones, separate from the centerpiece. The place was utterly unmarked outside of that, pure stretches of white being beyond the portal arches.
This sight was quickly interrupted by the sight of something else.
A massive beast suddenly appeared in our presence, from where impossible to tell, and it's form nearly incomprehensible at this range: All I could tell was that there was white fur, a gray face, and four eyes, two without pupils, and all four staring at me with an outraged look, as though my very existence was a crime beyond crimes. It also looked like it expected me.
"You. You are the foolish twit that wound up with the powers of Latires, something obviously beyond you…"
The massive beast said, not doing anything other than manipulating sound itself to make it's regal, proud and commanding voice.
Arceus is exactly ten feet tall and weighs about 700 pounds, which both seemed to not be the case in this instance, the way he decided to make himself appear. It seemed more like his head was ten feet tall in itself, his body seemingly hundreds of feet tall. Outside of that, however, you could expect the wierd form that Arceus took, with all of its curves and bumps, and the ring of creation being sported on his torso-exactly matching the same (much smaller) rings I had as well. Four legs, all ending in tips that could be used for sword-tips or sewing, they were so sharp, had caught my attention as much as Arceus's four green, unblinking eyes, the upper, larger two with red pupils.
"Well? Is the Master Influential suddenly mute?"
Arceus asked, obviously pissed off at something, making the remark harsh enough to keep it from being any kind of mocking.
I said, very simply. Enough to make it sting.
"...Are you playing dumb? Even you know what role Latries serves, and his unfortunate past..."
Arceus said, still insulting me without being totally direct.
"No. I know. But giving Latries an 'unfortunate past' while I have to dodge deathtraps at the age of twelve really doesn't make me sentimental about it. It's a tragedy, but it didn't sound like torture. One you contribute to."
I said. "Common knowledge here, twit: The people that help someone are the people that someone likes."
I said, deciding to be less indirect.
"And yet, no matter how deep down you've shoved it, you still hate Eon Sky's former leader, Teal, for dragging you into the conflict at all."
Said another voice.
Unlike the (currently) massive Arceus, Uxie-the speaker-decided to not appear as anything more than she was: very small body, nothing like fingers or toes, and barely legs, but definatly a yellow head, closed eyes, two tails, and red gems poking out of the tail tips and the forhead. She must have been using Aura-Sighting, else she couldn't have seen. Of course, she knew almost everything, emphasis on almost. Even she admits that.
But her comment did more damage than I realized. I might have opened my mouth to argue, but that was something that I couldn't deny. She nailed it like a bullseye.
"And so? At least he's got the common courtesy to NOT want me dead."
That was equally true: The Herobrine, Teal, Eon Sky, and my own conscious being had settled on one thing: My survival is needed, period.
"That wasn't something you thought of when you thought of that. You know it."
Arceus, although his head had backed up enough to not make me feel like I was pressed against a rock and a hard place, was defiantly hiding something, and was easily capable without having to make any odd movements: Just standing there was enough to hide smaller entities behind his tree-trunk like legs.
"And I know that there's more than you two here. Move. I want to see the other Legends that want me equally-"
They were obviously trying to make me shut my d**m mouth: If an Influential speaks, he can control a conversation. What better way to shut up an Influential than to give him an impossible topic to argue?
Latios and Latias, in the flesh. I was NOT related to them, not even slightly, outside of Latries. That didn't help. They were smaller than me, of course, six-foot-seven and four-foot-eleven respectively, but they WERE the angels holding me in my dreams, even if their bodies resembled jets more than angels (as did mine). Their expressions, however, weren't the ones I'd want staring at me: Latios looked like he wanted me dead, and was restraining his mouth with extreme difficulty; Latias looked like she was on the verge of tears. Brother and Sister came to mind sharply. There were also a few other Legends there: Azelf and Mersprit, probably here strictly from Uxie being here as well, The sacred swordsmon (Coballion, Virizion, Terrakion, and Keldeo), and-guess who-Meloetta.
I don't care who DOESN'T know that the chic's a legend, and I don't care for your excuses into the matter, even if it's the passable 'She only came around to keep the other Legends from being depressed,' or 'She came really recently compared to the other Legends' stuff.
The only issue was, to add to the situation, she was the only thing here in a true human form, not even the Avatar crud most other Legends use: That contradicted itself, as most people find her other forms infinitely more attractive if they've ever met her, simply by her single purpose: embodiment of the better characteristics of sentient creatures. I immediately guessed she was here to comfort me and everyone else less willing to see something that wasn't fun. That contradicted itself even further when I found myself more attracted to her now than when she was in her half-Legend form at her little siren gig at Povinal: Long, curvy, brown hair, and sharp emerald eyes, as well as a smooth, face, only a few freckles, plus a very simple dress in black and white, all added up to...Well, I decided to keep those feelings down too. If my assumptions were correct...
"...You assumed this was an execution I'd comply with?"
I said, not wavering slightly on the outside.
"No. Not even a little. We both know at this point that you know every weakness a Legend has. Then Uxie came with a solution-."
"Use the few rare cases of people that were Legendary Pokethrobes, and use their human forms to counteract your knowledge. As it happened, Meloetta was the best and only one to fit the bill."
Uxie finished. "The alternative is-"
I cut in. I transformed into human form, and crossed the distance to Meloetta, both of us approaching slowly. Uxie seemed to be raising an eyebrow, Arceus seemed to get slightly angrier, and Meloetta was slightly shocked. Latios and Latias, miles distant to my whole being, and thirty yards away in truth, still caught my eye. But now, my eyes were boiling with rage.
Uxie shouted, getting in front of me before I took the step onto the image of the Nexus, moving with it's orbit ever so slightly. "Do you really want to see if you can honestly win? Meloetta knows every Martial Art in existence, is physically stronger and faster than you, and is probably smarter than you. This place doesn't allow for any of your own abilities aside from physical might to work: No Volteer powers, no tricks from Latries, not even the special qualities of your weapons, just your strength. And you don't even want to die at all, you'd rather live. I personally don't want to see blood, I'd really, really rather save you than kill you. We can help you, we don't want you dead."
Uxie said, showing signs of not wanting this to turn into conflict.
Latries' role was to be a failsafe in case a Legend went corrupt, and was given the knowledge of every Legendary Pokemon's weaknesses and strengths, and was given power that could trump them, take their Powers away, and use them until the Legend was reborn: Knowledge Latries remembered on the spot, thankfully. As for Uxie's help, I didn't know what was going on there.
But…That was when a thought hit me: Who was I? I tried answering.
One part of me was Latries, basically a deity, something totally pure, sinless, in knowledge of the exact laws of justice, powerful, revered, loved by all, blah blah blah...But was it really me? I wasn't Latries to begin with, why was I now?
A second part of me was my still confused self, nearly mirroring my personality before I was sucked into the world of Volteerism. I was still confused about many things. I was raised in Reol for twelve years of my life, raised as regular as any other, and nine months of Volteer culture, where I was given extreme attention due to my traits, barely computed in comparison. Was it an illusion? A really bad dream?
The third part was the fury, the anger, or rather, the emotion that a combination of Influency and wanting to blend in more, attempted to bottle up. But what was all that pent-up emotion all about?
I tried to answer all of them, but another popped up. Why? Why was I even put into this situation at all?
That one couldn’t be answered. It just couldn’t. Was it because of Teal, whose plans included warping me into the darkest bowels of a conflict I barely wanted to participate in? Was it because I met Gear? Was it meeting Eon Sky? Too many variables, not enough solid facts. I couldn’t find solid ground in my position at all, in fact, it was all just luck of the draw that I got to the point where I joined. I could have protested joining, and just given them the facts, but that could mean that there would be casualties, ones I'd technically be responsible for. That meant that I was either insane, or else this was literally impossible to advert. The Herobrine alerted me that the latter wasn’t so likely: Destiny isn’t. That left one alternative: My willing participation with ALL of the events that occurred, where an alternate action wouldn’t get me killed, was a position of insanity: I was doing the thing I hated the most, and paying for it with my mind.
Or did I hate it at all? And was I paying for it? A man that says he is insane, or could conclude he is isnane, cannot determine he is insane. That was it. My last certainty of anything non-Arbiter related, and a few things that were, were now gone. I had lost everything on Eon Sky...I gambled with it and lost...
...Or...Did I lose it at all?
That last sentence was where I found the answer. I didn't gamble with it, I was gambling
, a major difference: I didn't lose it yet, but I could. Equally likely, I could get it back, and even more stuff with it. My decisions, and my ability to see them through to the end could potentially give me back everything, but I had to see it through. I had put everything on Eon Sky: I would NOT turn back now.
"Out of my face."
I said, finally, shoving her aside, to the extreme displeasure of everyone else. Latios was so mad that Latias started talking to him, probably in an attempt to make him leave. He looked to be refusing. I stepped in the 'ring,' as said ring of energy was formed around the map of the whole Nexus below us. Escape was impossible, until one of us died.
"What the...Well, I'll credit you for your devotion...But I can't respect your stance on this. I cannot."
Meloetta said. The part of her voice that made her voice identifiable as siren-like (as well as the siren-like qualities) were gone. It proved she had a very nice voice nevertheless. "The cause of fighting the Arbiters can be done in many ways, and you've chosen the worst. That's the reason behind this."
"I don't care. You want me dead, they want me alive. Reason enough."
I said. "I don't care what your reason behind killing me is...You must know the big reason for working with Eon Sky, and if you don't, then I'm not telling. It's your mistake at this point."
I was literally ignoring every shred of common sense I had, not caring for the result: Destiny isn't.