Ok, I lied. School was cancelled. Hooray. I still don't have chemistry done, though.
Regardless, new chapter, startling turn of events, usual stuff.
Reading and writing this chapter while listening to "Welcome to My Life" really helps. That song inspires me, it really does.
My subconscious was preoccupied with the presence of two Chikorita, one of which was Odd and the other I assumed to be Celebi’s temporary form. I woke up with a sore heart, although I wasn’t in a very deep sleep to begin with, despite the fact I could not remember what I dreamed about. I missed Umbra deeply; somehow, knowing that she existed in my mind was enough to keep me sane. I looked over at Odd when he sighed. He adjusted himself in his sleep and sighed again, relaxing. Rae mumbled something in his sleep, but adjusted and snuggled closer to me. I sighed and leaned in closer to Rae, but sat up again when Salty muttered something in his sleep.
I looked over at everyone to see if they were awake, but I was the only one. Salty winced in his sleep, and then awoke suddenly, startling me badly. I backed up into the wall, then recovered and bounded to the center of the room, seeing the Kingler crawl out of the hole.
I called out, leaping up at the hole and struggling to pull myself up. The stronger Kingler was capable of climbing through without a problem; I kept slipping back down into the hole, growling and forcing myself to move farther. It felt like ages when my sore muscles pulled me out of the hole. My eyes adjusted to the pre-dawn light, and my heart raced when I couldn’t see Salty right away. I heard some rustling beside me and braced myself for trouble, but the sound was moving away from me. I leaped over the fallen log before me and pushed my way through the foliage, screaming out the Kingler’s name as I ran, my breath freezing in my chest until I collapsed from fatigue. Gasping for air, I panicked more. Why was I capable of fighting Legends, but instantly crippled when one of my friends was in trouble?
I felt a cold chill, looking up in alarm. Some of the plants were tinged with a layer of ice. My muscles tensed, preparing for a fight, and I backed into another tree. I sniffed feebly at the air, but my nose had frozen as well. My heart dropped into my stomach when I came to my next realization: Regice was here. I began to panic more when I realized the entire reason that Salty was leaving. He was drawn to Vapor’s final Shard. With that final shard, I could allow her soul to rest in peace. As her lover, he was instinctively attracted. This could kill him if he wasn’t expecting a fight.
I pressed my way through the foliage, ignoring my throbbing chest, my stinging eyes, and the fear that could stop me if I acknowledged it. I kept my eyes, nose, and ears open for any trace of life, either the Kingler’s or the Legend’s. I then approached the edge of a water pool, collapsing at the edge when I could see nothing. I looked into the water, but only saw my own reflection. The water’s surface then began to ripple. I backed away, startled, and a dark shape flew up out of the water and landed before me on the shore. I stumbled backwards and looked up at the figure before me, my heart sinking when the enormous Swampert loosed a bellow. The human behind the Swampert, though, gave me a real scare.
“Swampert, mud shot!” he commanded. The Swampert sprang into the air with a height that surprised me. It opened its mouth, and the most I could do was run as a ball of mud flew through the air at me. I let out a cry when the mud coated me and knocked me to the ground. I shook it off and turned around with a growl.
“What have you done with Salty?” I growled at the Swampert.
“Salty? Who’s that?” the Swampert asked, smirking at me. “I’ll tell you if you let my master capture you.” I balked at this proposal and demonstrated it with a fierce yelp. Swampert raised his brow at me, then thrust both of his hands on the ground before him and let out a roar, sending a shockwave through the ground and knocking me off of my feet again. I looked up at the Swampert, shaking before this imposing, trainer-controlled bulk of a Pokémon, then watched it go flying. I looked over to my right to see Salty, having emerged from the water.
“Leave tha’ lass alone,” Salty growled, narrowing his eyes at the Swampert.
“Salty, don’t do it! Get away! That trainer is going to catch you!” I shouted at him. Swampert turned to Salty and roared again, the trainer now excited at the prospect of capturing this other water type. He no longer seemed interested in me.
“Swampert, take down!” the trainer commanded. The Swampert thrust his entire body weight in the general direction of Salty, the two tussling underwater. I rushed to the edge, splashes of water soaking me every once in a while. I watched Salty lift up a glowing claw, then throw it forward, again sending the Swampert flying. Swampert opened his great jaws, summoning an orb of water, then sent a wave of water from it, knocking Salty backwards. The Kingler loosed a groan, struggling to stand.
I yelped. The Kingler looked ready to collapse, drifting closer to the shore. Instead, he gripped me in his huge claw and powered down the stream with me in tow, screaming. The trainer swore loudly, and then yelled another order at Swampert, the Pokémon leaping into the water, allowing the human onto his back (as far as I could tell).
“Ye ‘ang ih’ thar, lass!”
Salty cried out, then let out a whooping battle cry. I couldn’t see, and my eyes watered from the speed. I never knew that something as heavy as a Kingler could swim as fast as Salty seemed to be going.
“Swampert, hydro pump!”
the trainer commanded. The blast of water hit Salty’s back, forcing him to falter and fall face first into the water. I was sent flying, slamming into a tree and collapsing on the ground. Once I regained my sense of balance, I looked up at the trainer, sitting on Swampert’s shoulders, smiling at Salty. Salty let out a fierce battle cry and swung another crabhammer at Swampert, failing to make the creature lose his balance. Swampert stood back up, springing into the air. I galloped forward and launched a shadow ball attack at Swampert, catching it by surprise. The well-trained Swampert landed on his feet smoothly, roaring and sending another shockwave through the ground that rocked by entire body, forcing me to collapse on the ground. Salty glared at Swampert, panting so heavily that I could hear it from where I was. The trainer lifted a red and white sphere from his pocket, which expanded to about the size of an apple. I gasped and took off at a run, knowing what that sphere meant.
“Pokéball go!” the trainer shouted, hurling the ball at Salty. I let out a cry, stopping at the edge of the water when Salty dematerialized into red light and was snared between the two halves of the sphere. The ball dropped into the water, bobbing as all of us waited apprehensively.
The ball trembled violently, rocking to one side, then the other. The ball rocked a third time, and I kept my hopes up. Salty was a fighter; there was no way he could be trapped at the complete mercy of the trainer! Swampert smiled at me, and I glared at him, waiting for Salty to burst free from the ball and proceed to give the Swampert and his human the beating of a lifetime.
The ball stopped moving and bobbed in the water, otherwise perfectly still. Its precious cargo, weakened by the fight, had lost the will to escape and no longer would accompany me. I let out a furious cry and leaped into the water, grabbing the ball in my mouth and running for it, the trainer shouting curses at me, ordering Swampert to follow.
“You’ve done it now, Eevee!” Swampert bellowed after me, alarming the forest inhabitants. My heart was racing, and it felt as though the Pokéball had a pulse of its own. I knew that it did; there was a powerful soul in there, and I needed to help him free before his powerful pulse was gone. I leaped over a log nimbly, hearing Swampert barrel straight through it. I made a sharp turn and galloped into the darker parts of the room, away from Suicune’s hideaway. The last thing Salty would want me to do was to lead a trained Pokémon directly to two Legends, Rae, and Odd.
The darkness of the deep forest set in, almost as a fog that I could feel. I couldn’t get enough air to continue running because my mouth was full of Pokéball, so I stopped for a moment and dropped Salty. I knew that I had lost Swampert, at least for a moment. My breath turned into cold vapor, and my chest heaved, throbbing from physical and emotional pain.
I glared at the Pokéball and bit into it, growling fiercely, trying to crack the wicked sphere open with my teeth. My jaw throbbing, I gave up this endeavor, but continued to pant and growl. I had to help him free. I picked it up in my mouth, tossed it in the air, and tackled it, slamming it against a tree, but the sphere refused to give.
“Salty, you can do this! Please!” I begged, tears stinging my eyes. I heard the thunderous bounding steps of the Swampert, let out a scream, and picked up the ball, running away with it. I almost stopped when the pulsing energy from the ball weakened; he was submitting to his prison. I let out a cry, hoping to give Salty the will to keep fighting, running from the Swampert as fast as I could. I stopped in an open clearing, nearly dropping the ball at what I saw and felt.
Six stones with messages carved in Otnak surrounded a large, central cave, which was obviously blown open by force. Despite the fact the forest around these relics was green and lush, the ground I was standing on was covered in painfully cold snow. The rocks were coated in a thick layer of ice, and I could see the bodies of forest inhabitants that dared cross the path of the Legend I knew resided in that cave frozen in chunks of ice as well, faces frozen in panic. I whimpered, and then felt myself thrown into one of the ice-covered rocks, causing the ice to crack. I let out a cry, landing in the snow, looking up at Swampert, who roared triumphantly. His trainer ran up, grabbing the ball.
“It’s about time! Now to catch you,
you damn—!” he started, then stopped, seemingly noticing the snow and ice. His breath quickened, releasing several consecutive puffs of vapor from his mouth. Swampert shuddered.
“You tricked us!” Swampert shouted accusingly. I flattened my ears against my head.
“I didn’t know Regice was here, you subservient, overgrown Mudkip!” I shouted, not daring to approach. Swampert raised his front legs, as though to use another earthquake attack to kill me, but hesitated when an earthquake seemed to happen on its own.
“Great, you bipolar dust bunny! Look what’s happened!” Swampert shouted at me, gesturing at the cave.
“You’re the one that chased me! You only have yourself to blame!” I summoned a shadow ball attack and struck him with it. He flinched; it wasn’t enough to kill.
“Well, maybe you shouldn’t be sticking up for slowpoke Kinglers, then,” Swampert spat, shaking off the shadow ball as though it were a water attack. My fur bristled, but I felt pulsations in the ground, seemingly several seconds after Swampert did, and decided fighting with Swampert was not a wise choice for either of our survivals.
The snow directly in front of the cave froze into solid ice, and a blue blur rushed out and stopped in front of Swampert, gripping his throat in its icy claw, and then hurling it easily into a rock behind it after several seconds of hesitation. Regice hovered closer to the trainer, and without a face it was impossible to tell what he was feeling. The trainer realized then that he still had a Pokéball in his hand, hurling it over Regice’s head.
“Kingler, go!” he shouted. In a burst of white light, Salty was released from the ball, but what I saw made me ill. He was no longer the Kingler that saved my life or fell in love with Vapor. He had become a projection of his new trainer, and would eventually take on the same personality as Swampert. Regice turned around, staring at Salty, who glared back with his soulless eyes. It was about to be a battle involving Pokémon without souls: I could see Swampert recover and stand beside his new teammate. I looked closer at the navy blue-tinged Regice, seeing where the Shard was; the Shard was embedded right in the middle of his body, clearly visible because of his transparency. The fifth and final part of Vapor’s restless spirit would be controlling Regice, evidenced by the pulsating glow demonstrating the anger of the being.
“You can do this, guys! We’re going to catch this thing!” the trainer shouted. I almost vomited when he said this. He wasn’t aware of the Shard that was controlling Regice; he was determined to capture the Legend to complete some sort of twisted collection of water and ice-type Pokémon. Regice was going to kill anyone involved, and once he was captured, it would be impossible for me to extract the Shard. I knew I would have to fight both sides of the battle. But what of the final Shard that would complete Vapor? How could I fulfill my promise to Umbra and reunite Salty and Vapor for one last time if Salty no longer cared?