title // Heart of Stone
pokemon i'm going for // Ralts
difficulty // medium
minimum length // 10k-20k characters
total length // 13246 characters
This is ready for a grade.
It uses the horns on its head to sense human emotions. It is said to appear in front of cheerful people.
Heart of Stone
Blood is vital, immortal, nurturing, effervescent, precious, abundant, and equitable.
Red is forgiving, warm, compassionate, encouraging, reassuring, hopeful, and serene.
Blood is red. Red is blood. This is what keeps everyone alive and breathing and together.
And Soyonoe cherishes it all more than anything else in the world.
(Don't let yourself just pay the price. Please, do anything but that.)
Soyonoe has been told on more than one occasion that he should be more cautious when it comes to his emotions. The main cause for this worry is that he's easily attracted and attached to overwhelming exuberance and simple satisfaction to the point where it's dangerous. He trusts anyone and everyone as long as they have the right aura emanating from them, and the worst part is, he doesn't even attempt to try to stop himself.
He keeps doing whatever it is that he desires. He never listens. Instead, he blocks them out and imagines a different time and place that he'd rather be in, a place with a sky the color of a ruby, a time in which he wants to last forever and ever. Instead, he allows himself to make his way to all kinds of people and creatures, despite what the consequences may be.
It's all so very curious and so very careless and it's flowing through his veins--and he doesn't want it any other way.
(Humans and other Pokémon can be happy for all the wrong reasons.)
(With every passing second, I'm letting the deepest part of your heart down, over and over again.)
It's just another day. It's no different than anything he's experienced before--really, truly.
Soyonoe can't see the joy radiating as he makes his way through the grass that's too tall for him to witness it all with his seemingly non-existent eyes. Still, he knows it's everywhere. He can feel it as his chest pounds harder and harder and faster and faster. He can hear it with the wind rippling through the grass, with children telling jokes and adults laughing and other Pokémon enjoying their first meals of the day. He can taste it with the pleasure of feeling the morning dew falling from the nearby glowing pants into his mouth. He can smell it, and it's all so fresh and so new and so exhilarating.
And Soyonoe? He knows, without a doubt, that this is perfection at its finest, and that he absolutely can't remain hidden in the shadows for long because of all of this.
What he doesn't know, however, is that perfection can either be a perfect Heaven, or a perfect Hell.
(I'm no better than the ones before me.)
(Everybody run now! Everybody run--)
Soyonoe's farther away from everything now, but the delightful emotions are still present, and he thinks that he's ready. He'll step out into the light, and he can finally see--and then, he'll walk closer and closer, until he can't anymore, until he is completely exposed to those who have been making him act this way all of the time.
He intends to see it through--just as he always has, just as he always will. He hopes for no intervention, because he's tired of that, and he just wants to live with the peace that he has been so generously given to him.
That's what he's thinking as he makes his final step out of his one and only obstacle keeping him from freedom--but it quickly changes when he sees a human just standing still with time with a peculiar creature that's using its red and purple claws to mercilessly tear at the flesh of another small, defenseless Pokémon. The dog-like Pokémon being attacked directly tries not to whimper every single time the enemy's sharp forelegs makes contact with his skin, tries not to be prove that he's weak every single time another part of the surface of his body is ripped open for the world to see, but not for the world to help in this desperate situation that he's in. As he tries not to cry out, his face continues to become nothing but a mix of blood and tears. The human accompanying the Zangoose thinks that it's a flawless combination as the corners of his mouth are turned upward, and the Zangoose doesn't seem to mind as more and more of the vital fluid splatters onto his white fur, onto his scars that are already colored a dark, unforgiving red.
Soyonoe can only watch with expressions of both disbelief and delight. He still feels as if he's floating high above along with the clouds, but it's different in some way or another, but he can't quite figure it out as he stands by, watching--and he hears, "I told you so," somewhere in the back of his fragile mind. It only confuses him more.
Soyonoe only understands when the human is finally aware of his presence and looks at him. He only understands when the human's eyebrows become furrowed and when he asks why he's there, why he's interrupting the Poochyena's punishment, why he won't just go away and leave them be, because it's none of his business. He only understands when the feeling he's held on to for so long is gone and replaced with the human's hostility, fear, and resentment, which all intertwine to keep him frozen in that same spot he longed to reach just a few moments ago.
For the path of towering grass, the end has come, and the sky is still as limitless as ever. For Soyonoe, the beginning of everything at all has come, and the sky is suddenly crimson.
(What could possibly make you think that you are so invulnerable?)
(Would you let him die for the fantasy in your mind? Would you let him bleed for the belief that you hold so dear?)
The human's Zangoose finally stops his assault against the Poochyena, who now lies motionless on the ground with no apparent intentions on attempting to rise above this cruel and heartless challenge anytime soon. He looks back and forth between his owner and Soyonoe, who refuses to move, who refuses to breathe.
"You! Ralts! Where'd you come from?" the human demands angrily after a few moments of agonizing silence. To Soyonoe, his voice booms and sounds like lightning which only creates more thoughts and images about his fleeing as soon as possible, about him finding safety--wherever that is now. Whatever it is, he'll find it somehow, someway, because this? This isn't right. This isn't real. This isn't happening in his imaginative mind, in his closed world.
"Could this Ralts possibly belong to a trainer?" Zangoose asks curiously, lifts up his claws and looks at the blood stains present on his white fur worriedly. "If so, we can't stay here."
"I don't know, but if it does, it wouldn't be good for us, would it? You know what that means, don't you, Zangoose?" the human replies. His dark eyes shining in the light of the scarlet sun and the twisted smile on his face only causes Zangoose to nod and grin widely.
"Good. When we're done here, this Ralts won't say a thing, no matter who he knows or where he goes. Just do the same thing you did to that annoying Poochyena over there." He points as if it's nothing but a mere object, nothing but a useless doll.
"No problem at all," Zangoose says.
And suddenly, he's gone.
Soyonoe quickly finds himself panicking. He doesn't know where the other Pokémon is anymore, and he doesn't even know how to battle very well at all. He was trained by his parents in order to protect himself when he was younger--but he's never had a need for any of it, and it's been so long...
Zangoose appears only a few inches away from Soyonoe's face before he has a chance to think things through. All the Ralts sees before being knocked backward is a vicious smirk. The image remains in his mind as he struggles to stand up and maintain balance on the grass that he wishes was tall enough to hide him again, and this is something that he had never previously realized was so difficult with his diminutive legs. The smirk is no longer a simple picture as Zangoose comes for him again without mercy, without allowing any time to heal, and Soyonoe knows that this can't go on forever. He knows that he has to act, or it's all over--and perhaps it already is, but maybe, it can all be redeemed and all can be peaceful again.
"What are you doing...?" Zangoose asks. The expression on his scarred face swiftly changes from being pitiless to being shocked as he sees several Ralts surrounding him when there had only been one just a few seconds ago. Soyonoe sighs with relief in response to the fact that he can still use this move, and to the fact that he's temporarily set up a puzzle of sorts for his enemy to solve. Still, he knows it can't last long, so he doesn't do anything more and tries to think clearly, and his heart sinks when Zangoose's smile returns. He wants for him to be at least somewhat confident once more, wants for the other Pokémon to be confused again, and--
he thinks, and soon, all of his red horns--which are the same horns that had given him a world of tranquility for so very long--begin to glow and turn into the real color of the sky. Solemnly, Soyonoe also thinks it fits the situation well, considering that he himself is quite confused at all that is happening, and he hopes that maybe, just maybe, this will all disappear and take him back to reality, because he doesn't want to be like this anymore, doesn't want to be here ever again.
Soyonoe doesn't pay attention to the enemy, and tries to convince and reassure himself about what he can do next. He notices that it's not the best battle strategy, however, when he sees one of his copies being shocked and eliminated out of the corner of one of his eyes. Zangoose is hardly harmed at all, and Soyonoe can't even see any minor marks or scratches--and if they're there, the blood is present and covering them for their master.
The blood still prevails.
(You're so speechless, so cold on the outside. This is such an uncomfortable silence, such an unfortunate sight.)
(All the world is waiting for the sun.)
The lightning bolts are still coming--slowly, but surely. One by one, they demolish the fake images that Soyonoe had created for his own protection. They shock the non-existent surface and the non-existent heart that each and every one of the copies has, and Soyonoe is well aware that his turn is approaching. If he stands still, he will surely be hit eventually. He'll be hit as soon as Zangoose is finished taking care of everyone else. If he moves, his cover, without a doubt, will be ruined.
Either way, he doesn't think he can win and escape and live again.
Soyonoe could try to teleport out of this, but his power is simply not strong enough. He could attempt to put both of the enemies to sleep, but he doesn't even remember how. He could try to start an attack that will cause damage to Zangoose in the future--but that is then, and this is now, and time is moving fast and time is running out.
He doesn't get a chance to do anything that will succeed, doesn't get a chance to do anything that will fail.
He doesn't get a chance to do anything at all as the electricity proceeds to reach him, the real him. It pierces through his skin and his heart nearly stops, and soon, he can't move any part of his body. His legs can't carry him to where he wants to be, and his arms can't reach out to somebody or someone in an attempt to ask for assistance.
They always could before, but not now, and not ever again.
"All right, Zangoose," the human says, clapping his hands as if he's just finished watching a show that he found to be quite entertaining. "He's paralyzed. So, slash--"
"Be quiet," Zangoose commands harshly, and he stands still and listens intently.
"What did you just say?"
"Someone's coming," Zangoose replies simply.
"What? They can't see you like this, and this Ralts... We're not done here yet!" The human looks around frantically, and Soyonoe prays that this is the moment where everything turns right again, the moment where reality returns to his side.
"Let's take the Ralts with us."
While fumbling through his bag, he says, "That's not a bad idea. I'll return you to your Pokéball for now, and take the other two with. Can't leave either one of them here only for them to find me here and report me." He takes out three red and white spheres, and soon, Zangoose and Poochyena are engulfed in a crimson light and disappears into a world that is completely unknown to Soyonoe.
"If you don't belong to a trainer, this shouldn't be a problem at all. If not, I'll... figure something out," the human says, and he extends his arm with one of the peculiar items in hand.
Soyonoe cries out, begs for the human to not take him away, because this place is everything and this world is everything and the joy that he feels is not the same as the one he's so familiar with and he doesn't want this feeling of hostility to return, but his voice can't be understood, and it all becomes nothing but an echo on the wind as the light comes to take him away from everything and everyone he's ever known.
(What if there was nothing wrong? What if there was nothing right?)
Blood is bitter, piercing, forbidden, sadistic, sanguine, graceless, and ill-fated.
Red is enraging, aggressive, insensitive, shameful, dishonorable, and penetrating.
Red is blood. Blood is red. This is what keeps everyone alive and breathing and together.
And Soyonoe would do anything in the world to be able to change it all.