"Latries, I just thought of something."
"And that is?"
"Why, why why, why why why, why is it that you called me out like I personally and guiltlessly murdered the footsoldiers, that still kind of aren't really alive, when I had no clue the explosion that killed them all was even going to happen, much less control over it?"
I asked. Sometimes, all it takes is time to realize that there was less (or more) blame to place on yourself than you'd credit out of the gate.
"Ever heard of involuntary manslaughter? Plus, you still kind of wanted them dead. I am a part of you, you know, and you know I should know other parts, including the darker ones. Even if they're really deep down and mostly subconscious."
It's kind of weird how morality incarnate (in a sense) was a part of me, yet still separate enough that even I felt like I was mostly innocent over that. That being said, as Latries was a part of my mind, I still felt guilty about the thing, but now the guilt felt foreign. It was hard to describe, other than it now felt more than ever like Latries was an intrusion, not a real part of me. And yet, Latries, despite these current thoughts, was definitely a true blue part of my mind. I must have been going insane.
And those were the thoughts I had to keep myself distracted from everything else.
It had been a few hours since our departure into the D**med Forest. Everyone else sans Blizzard was calling it D**med because of Shaymin. I was calling it D**med because of the D**med size of these freaking trees and their freaking roots. The sheer, tower-like tallness of these trees seemed to dominate the landscape, to the point that the roots could make hills of their own accord, as well as caves and holes. There was barely any daylight-the fire from the other Knights was still the primary source of light, despite it being the dawn of a new day. Zubat were flying around like it was pitch-black, for crying out loud!
I was tired, hungry, and King Bavaden refused to stop until we found a clearing. Yhea, like it would ever happen.
Fortunately (in that sense, anyway), something did happen to force Bavaden to stop. A knight, having started to breathe heavily for some time now, had now fallen down entirely, and refused to budge.
"Knight?! Get up! Your king asks of it!"
Bavaden said. No response.
"Knight, what's came over you?! Rise to your feet! I see the clearing!"
Bavaden added. The knight did nothing.
"Knight, this is insubordination!"
the King said, taking his helmet and throwing it off-but not before changing his angry face into a disgusted one.
The poor dude's entire face was covered in the vines of what could have only been a Leech Seed. Anybody that was sane immediately started taking off other's armor, just so they could open up their own. I checked all my Pokémon and myself for any seeds, and we were thankfully clean. The rest of the Knights and the King, after stripping their own armor (revealing similarly flame-patterned chain mail), also checked out okay, unfortunately.
"You two Knights, drag the body to the clearing and set fire to it! We'll split into groups from there."
Bavaden said, pointing to the two 'lucky' Knights. They immediately grabbed the body, disarmored that one, and revealed a worse scene-the vines had literally taken over his chain mail as well. The two Knights quickly moved on towards the clearing, and now that I could see their faces (These Knights had some pale skin), they were even more so disgusted-but not in the angry sense Bavaden was.
"The Grass-Types, probably under orders from Shaymin, or else, the demon herself...the D**med demons will be off to hell, afterwards. We'll lead an army to extinguish this menace, once and for all...But we are no army, mind you remember this!"
Bavaden declared. "We've lost two already...We split into three groups. Mind what I said before! I will go with these seven! set yourselves up in groups of six, one Volteer to each of you."
Bavaden added. He acted like we were slaves.
The Knights, however, were eager to group around the both of us, six taking to me, and six taking to Blizzard. I did the math in my head: Six Pokémon and me...Versus Six Knights, and each of their Pokémon, which totaled six. Blizzard had 5 Pokémon, so he was a little worse off than I was for beating the knights, if he wanted to. The difference was that I wasn't going to be defeating the knights.
We split up-My group was heading North, Blizzard's was heading South, and Bavaden's continued eastward. I'd watch for a burning inferno of a forest to the South, I thought right then and there: Blizzard's whole strategy (when his foe isn't capable of a foolproof counter to the Die) was to drain the heat out of whatever he could, then using his sudden excess of energy to burn everything. Ironic, given that rarely he does get to do the burning part, that he's codenamed Blizzard. Or at least nicknamed Blizzard.
Once out of earshot of the King, however, the whole group of knights seemed to humanize. They started muttering to each other, noticeably vocal yet still hushed somewhat, as if they could be heard if too loud.
"Crazy a**. I got into this whole Volteer s**t because of my wife, and I did not elect to be an elite guard because of that. Throw f***ing Shaymin
into the mix? If he told me that up front, I'd have just committed suicide." Said the Knight closest to me.
"On the other hand, I ain't betting to wager a victorious matchup even hypothetically, but it'd be nice to be known as a Demon-slayer." Said another Knight.
"Please. It's mad, even with him
on our side." A third Knight pointed out. "I've seen what a weak Volteer could do, mind you, and I can tell this one's strong: It's almost a tension in the air, like a presence. The kind Legends make." Said a third.
"Does kind of prove Bavaden's right: They did get their powers from Legends. Whether or not they're stolen is debatable, but we've proven something." Said yet another.
"It's the Holy King, and it's blasphemy to insist that he’s wrong! The Volteers wrongly stole the powers from the Holy Legends, and there is no debate to it!" Said yet another.
"Alright, alright, al-S**T!!!"
Suddenly, a Massive splinter-the size of a javelin, and extremely pointy. And it was hurtling too close to me for comfort. I ducked out of the way, barely in time. It missed all potential targets, though did come close to a Knight's crotch. The unfortunate Knight behind me that nearly got his crotch ripped off was thankful no further lethal spikes were fired. At that moment, anyway.
"...Wow. Missed. And you'd think Legends like Shaymin are accurate." one of the Knights said.
"...I'd say blasphemy, but..." Said the lucky Knight who was lucky his crotch wasn't removed from his body.
<"Blasphamy my rear end.">
Mario telepathed. <"Oh, we're getting close! Just a day away...Hopefully.">
"Hopefully? That better not be a kind of joke."
<"Sadly no. We've got to be stealthy. We didn't exactly escape the Onlisk ships in full, a ship saw us take off. I think we lost it, but they may still be following us more discreetly. We need to be alert and cautious, but we're coming to you as fast as possible.">
<"Which means that, unless this guys such a ba****d that I feel I must immediately shoot his crotch, you're going to have to bunker down, and endure the second most Volteer racist country in the world-and definitely the most religiously whacked.">
Issac said, popping in. <"What did they write their Hylos on, weed?">
"I wouldn't be so quick to say that, whatever's shooting massive roots from the ground and sending massive splinters at my a** is probably pretty strong. They're coming fast enough to spear people."
<"Well, Arceists in less technologically advanced civilizations have known that Giratina was a Male and Shaymin aren't evil demons, at least.">
"Wasn't doubting that much. I wasn't immediately referencing the rosebushes either."
I thought. "What's the only other person in here that we know of, aside from the traveling party and Blizzard?"
<"If all f***ing known laws of literature and television play out that way, it would make s**t common sense the Princess is the most likely suspect in this hot d**m lovely case of what's trying to murder you, and-Wait a minute...THIS ISN'T A TV SHOW OR A BOOK, DUMB***!">
<"On the other hand, clues already point that way. Reading literature on Shaymin from other countries, signs of Split Personality disorder, running directly to where Shaymin are supposed to be...For the queen-to-be of Crimit, she's got quite an interest in the Shaymin, and kind of acts like them too.">
"I'm only stating a logical possibility. Legendary Pokémon can revive themselves, it's also a logical possibility that the same Shaymin was revived twice but retained her prior personality, managed to live up to this point, and is being smarter about her tactics. And that's just assuming the suspects are only who we know."
<"I get where you're going. People with magical powers, People with Volteerism, People with Pokemorphism or Pokethrobism...Considering what kind of culture predominates the society around them, this could be a safe haven for all sorts of stuff Crimit's racist locals wouldn't like. And you're invading their home turf. The Splinters and the Roots could be the result of two different people working for the same goals, but not coordinated with each other.">
"And it doesn't even have to be that-We could just be upsetting the local Pokémon, that have known Crimit's local Knights as something equivalent as to how we view Arbiters: The forces of Armageddon, brainless and deadly."
<"Only f***ing Arbiters actually are the f***ing forces of Armageddon, and have a f***ing excuse as to why they are so d**m brainless.">
"Yes, these Knights are absolute phonies when it comes to heralding the Apocalypse of the Nexus. And having an IQ that breaches above 1."
"Stop!" Said a Knight, jolting me back to reality.
Fortunately, it wasn't me he was speaking to: A weird monkey with blue fur and a Geyser for it's head was blocking the way. It didn't look pleased by seeing the Knights. Maybe it thought that the Knights were Fire-Types? It clearly looked the part of a Water Type...
"Simipour, in the name of Arceus and the Holy King of Crimit Bavaden, please stand aside!" The Knight closest to the Monkey said.
Eyes closed, the Monkey crossed it's arms, and said nothing.
"This is a holy mission!" the Knight added. "We must not be stopped!"
The Monkey immediately shook his head, and did an odd gesture: It put it's right hand and pointed it towards the ground, arm pointed directly forward at the Knight, and Pointed outward the Index, Ring and Pinky Fingers, while Tucking in the Middle Finger and pressing down on it with the Thumb. Apparently, that was the Hykidas version of the Middle Finger.
"I would ask of you, this instant, to stand aside, or else face us down!"
The Simipour refused to budge from the insulting hand gesture. I looked around-holy s**t, we were in trouble.
Pokémon-A LOT of Pokémon-were surrounding the whole Group, in plain sight, not bothering to hide themselves, looking about as pissed off as the Monkey blocking the way. Every Knight in our cheery party was looking directly at-and only at-the immobile Simipour. Every other Pokémon was focused on the Whole Party. Type diversity was handled well. Everything was silent.
"Scyez. Kill the Simipour."
I whispered quite simply to the Nearest Pokémon. Scyez complied very quickly, with an Aura Sphere sent straight at the Simipour before further reaction could be made. It was only knocked out, but was still very unable to battle.
"WHAT WAS THAT UNDERHAN-Oh...Oh, oh my!" Said the Knight at the head.
"OH S**T! WE'RE SURROUNDED!!" yelled another.
Before further reaction could take place, the Knights and I drew arms, their Pokémon and mine started Charging attacks, and the Pokémon surrounding us looked ready to brawl.
<"Do these knights even bother to look around them?!">
<"They probably haven't faced a foe that wouldn't take them on from the front instead of the back. Crime in Crimit must be low.">
"That is some d**m effective Knighthood training! Make sure NOT to look at enemies you're not facing, they won't attack until you see them!"
I Telepathed sarcastically.
And then, they charged at us. Time for battle.