Hidden Truths- Part I
“Congratulations,” my opponent muttered quietly.
Huh? I was surprised. No outraged yells? No clever comebacks? Just ‘congratulations’? Something was wrong, yet I didn’t know what.
“You passed the test!” he replied, grinning.
“Test? What test? Was this whole battle just… a test?” I asked, jaw dropping.
My opponent grinned. For the first time, he stepped out of the shadows, and I got to see him properly. He looked a lot like Logan, now that I got a good look at him in the sunlight.
“Welcome to the Temple. My name is David. You passed the final test,” David smiled, an approving look on his face.
“Hey, do you know someone called Logan?” I asked the older trainer.
“Know him?” David laughed. “He’s my moronic younger brother!”
I laughed- it was now obvious- Logan was just a mean person, instead of his whole family being like that. Suddenly, some shadows fell over me, and I turned around. Shielding my eyes with my forehand, I saw that an elderly monk had entered the room.
“Has he passed?” the monk asked David.
“Yep… it was an intense battle, as well.” David observed, looking over at me.
David walked over to the monk, and they continued to talk. For the first time, I cast an eye over the room- it was in bad shape, with shattered glass on the floor and burn marks on the walls. I guess Pokémon battling inside could do a lot of damage to the arena… oops.
“Yes. We shall tell him.” I heard the monk say.
Both David and the monk nodded promptly, and walked over to me. I felt myself shaking… why on earth was I so nervous? Salamence noticed my nerves, and walked over to comfort me as well. However, David stopped walking, and the monk approached me, holding a headband and wearing a big smile.
“You have passed. Welcome to Badr al Din, Lee Yuwei.” the monk said simply, handing me the headband.
Lee Yuwei… must be my dragon trainer name. I took hold of the headband, gazing at the headband. Filled with nothing more than pride, I put it around my head. I was part of the dragon training temple! I looked over at the mirror, and noticed that I looked like a black belt.
“Good job.” David smiled, as he walked off.
“Dragon training isn’t just about keeping the dragons strong, Lee,” Melody informed me, as she walked beside me in the bright sunlight. “It’s also about keeping the trainer themselves powerful and fit in combat.”
“How’s that done?” I asked, curious of the techniques used in the temple.
It was a fine day- I had got into the temple, and won my first battle on my first try. Also, it was an excellent, cloudless day. Anyway, we came to a large gate, accompanied by two tall columns carved into the shape of griffins. She opened the gate, and I saw a massive amount of tricky obstacles. It was just… almost impressive, if it wasn’t for the danger.
“Here,” Melody pointed to an elevated platform, about two metres squared, with two long sticks on each side, “grab a stick.”
I jumped up onto the platform, my legs landing on the hard concrete surface with a slight thump. Hands shaking, I bent over and picked up the wooden pole. On the other side of the platform, Melody was doing the same.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“This is a sparring session,” she explained, smiling. “To win, you must force your opponent off the stage, knock them over, or hit the staff out of their hands. Now… at the beginning of each match, you must bow to your opponent, and then say ‘Battle well’ and then their name.”
I nodded, the sunlight still shining brightly. Grasping the staff with both hands tightly, I bowed, just as Melody did the same.
“Battle well, Lee Yuwei.” Melody mumbled, staring into my eyes.
“Battle well, Melody.” I replied.
“No, you have to say my dragon trainer name… it’s a part of tradition.” Melody reminded me.
Nodding, I gazed out over the horizon, then back at Melody.
“Battle well, Zhu Yan.” I said confidently, getting into a combat pose, just as Melody did the same.
Melody tried to trip me with her staff, but I leapt above her strike, hitting her hard in the back. She gasped, beginning to drop her staff. Falling, she managed to flip back onto her feet, ready for more battling. As her staff fell next to her, she caught it, smirking.
“Not bad,” she admitted.
I tried a sweeping strike to her left side, but she took advantage of my momentary weakness, slamming her staff into my own left side. Pain shot through my body, but I did not let it faze me. Once again, she tried to trip me, this time making contact with my right foot. Closing my eyes against the pain, I hit her in the stomach, and she stumbled back, winded. She coughed, resting on her staff. I moved in, brandishing my staff. She then got up suddenly, going for a dangerous downward slam. I grasped the other end of the staff with my free hand, using my weapon as a shield. However, she saw a weak point, thrusting her own wooden staff upwards between me and my staff; a brilliant move.
“All right,” she breathed.
Momentarily checked, I could neither attack nor defend. Suddenly, she flicked her staff away from mine, carrying my own staff with it. I stumbled, as my staff went flying out of my hands. Falling forwards, I went flying off the platform, my field of vision nothing more than many colours and shapes, jumbled into one picture. Suddenly, with unfair reality, my body hit the ground, my field of vision coming back into focus.
“Ow.” I cried, laying there.
Then, as I was about to get up, my staff hit me on the back of the head, a blow that caused me to fall over again. Ouch. It really hurt. I heard Melody jump off the platform, kneeling down beside me. She looked concerned.
“You just can’t avoid trouble, can you?” she laughed. “You alright?”
I nodded, slowly getting up and making a mental note to check for any more falling staffs. No more fell. Breathing a sigh of relief, I sat up.
“That was fun… except for the whole falling off the platform and getting hit by a wooden pole thing.” I smirked. “Are all training schedules this hard?”
You could almost see Melody wince. I laughed, but stopped after seeing the, uh… obstacles. Obstacles!?!?! More like, torture devices…
“Sort of,” she answered, laughing at the expression on my face. “Are you ready to go to the next one?”
I sighed, nodding wearily.
The sun was even further down in the sky than before. The cloudless, azure sky from before was now a red sky with violet coloured clouds. Underneath the sun, Melody and I were walking back from a hard day of non-stop work; training both dragon and trainer.
“And then, I swung around, and dodged the disc! It was awesome!” I recounted, as Melody laughed.
“See? You grow to like the daily routine, especially when you know someone who’s also here.” she smiled.
After laughing, we both fell silent. I guess life at the temple wouldn’t be that bad… besides, I’d have tons of experience in training and combat. Suddenly, a thought went through my head- was Bagon still okay?
“Hey, I’m going to check up on Bagon,” I told her, and she nodded.
“Be careful, though, dinner isn’t served after 7.” Melody warned me, walking towards the dinner hall.
Waving, I turned back to looking at my destination. It was a small hut, with a large red cross stuck onto the front wall, above the door. The wooden door was slightly ajar, with a nametag on it. It read- ‘Oakley’. For some reason, at that moment, a shiver ran down my spine. Banishing any doubt, I pushed open the door, peering inside.
Out of the twelve candles that had been lit before, five had been extinguished, leaving a total of seven. I continued to look around, the sun casting shadows over the floor. Perhaps the most intriguing thing was that there was a small piece of paper on the table. What I saw was weird… all I saw on the paper was the letter ‘R’ in red, bold print. Wait… it wasn’t just any paper, it was an envelope!
“What’s in here?” I wondered aloud, ripping open the top of the letter.
Inside the envelope was an A4 sheet of paper. It looked official… but, when I unfolded it, I wondered what it all meant. On top of the letter was the same ‘R’ as before.
Teme em tae eht Ckteor eBas earn het moeMliarof flCif.
I looked out into the horizon, wondering what this letter was all about. Obviously, it was a code… but could I crack it? The answer was uncertain. Sighing, and stuffing the letter in my pocket, I walked off, certain that Bagon must be saved.
“It does seem fishy,” Melody admitted, laying down her cutlery with a clatter. “I sure hope Bagon’s okay…”
“Me too,” David agreed, from the other side of me. “I think that ‘R’ means something… something sinister... possibly a scheme.”
The bustling dinner hall was the perfect conversation point, with various monks eating and discussing various issues, and trainers eagerly recounting their first battles to their slightly bored friends. However, this issue was far too pressing… being overheard was no problem.
“I wonder what it stands for,” I muttered, looking at Melody to my left and David to my right.
We sat in silence, eating a wonderful chicken teriyaki dish. I stared across the room, directly out the window and out into the moon-lit courtyard. I could swear that the Latias poster was shining, its wonderful ruby glow gleaming in the limited light supply. And- whaaa? It appeared that the curtain winked at me! I shook my head… it was back to normal. I let out a relieved sigh.
That evening, I was sitting alone at a table in one of the various rooms at the Temple, watching Pidgeys fly by, carefree. Monks and trainers walked past, each discussing various events. Suddenly, I heard shoes pounding against pavement, and David entered the room, breathing heavily.
“Lee,” he breathed, “I’ve got a lead.”
I sat up, immediately interested. If the riddle was solved, then I could possibly save Bagon from whoever had taken him, and also find out why Oakley was not present, and this letter was.
“It’s addressed to Oakley,” he began, “and it seems to just be reorganised letters. It seems the sender of the letter wants her to meet at some kind of base. Also, I think I found the word memorial in there… but it just doesn’t make sense.”
David handed me a piece of paper, and I took it, breathing heavily. Happy and excited, I read the revised letter. It now made more sense.
Meet me at the Ckteor Base earn the moeMliarof flCif.
Despite the revision, it was still rather jumbled.
“I thought you found the word memorial?” I quizzed him. “I can’t see it.”
“There’s too many letters.” David sighed. “It has ‘f’ and ‘o’… yep, too many.”
Looking again at the letter, I was struck by inspiration.
“The next word… it has a double ‘f’, as well as a beginning of ‘cl’. Maybe it’s ‘cliff’?” I thought aloud, as David nodded.
“It makes sense,” he admitted, “but I’m not sure quite how. That would basically say Memorialfo Cliff. There’s no such cliff I’ve heard of.”
“Ah, well… I’m tired, I’m going to bed.” I informed David, stifling a yawn and standing up.
My head hit the pillow like a sack of potatoes, and I closed my eyes, turning over in my bed. The thin blanket kept me warm, and I smiled, comfortable in my small but cozy room.
“Time to go,” I heard Melody mutter quietly, as she stepped out of her room.
Surprised, I opened my eyes. I saw Melody’s shadow walk past my bed, and I heard a door open with a small creak. This was suspicious… I got up, quickly grabbing my temple uniform. The door slammed shut with an echoing bang, as I quickly got dressed. Eyes narrowed, I ran across the room in pursuit of my friend.
Last edited by Ultima Shadow; 11-30-2006 at 10:09 AM.