AGNPH Stories

Rukario Romance by XD385


A Devil's Redemption Part 1

The Skydiamond Oracle came to a halt and dropped to the ground to catch her breath. Noticing her stop, the six escorts turned back and gathered around her. One asked, "Oracle, what has happened?" The Oracle replied, " not know. The evil presence..... It vanished entirely." Another escort asked, "And what of the Angel of Doom?" The Oracle nodded, "She has become dormant once again. There is no immediate danger." The six escorts breathed a sigh of relief. One spoke, "Thank the stars... I really wasn't looking forward to facing her."

The Oracle spoke, "It seems our presence was not needed after all. The threat has been dealt with. However..." The escorts listened closely. "We are fairly close by to where the evil presence manifested. The Angel of Doom may still be there." One of the escorts, a young male, spoke, "I'll go on ahead and survey the situation. I will also capture and return with the Angel of Doom, if possible." The Oracle and her escorts nodded and proceeded to return home. But before they could leave, the volunteer spoke, "Oracle, a moment please." The Oracle turned back to her escorts and signaled them to go on ahead.

The Oracle turned to her escort and asked, "Yes?" The escort then spoke, "I'm sorry that this has nothing to do with the situation at hand, but I felt a need to bring it up." The Oracle nodded, "And what is it?" The young male Lucario explained, "I have noticed that a small number of our people refer to you as a female, even though you are male. Why have you never corrected them?" The Oracle calmly shrugged her shoulders, "I have more important things to tend to." The escort replied, "Um... All right?" He then turned and headed south while the Oracle followed her (or his) comrades north.

Near the smoldering wreckage of Hunter J's airship, Zandria wept as she buried her face in the bloodstained shirt of her lover. "You can't die... Not so soon after we were reunited! I didn't linger in this world for 500 years just to lose you again!" Chiara sighed, "You know he can no longer hear you..." She and Aurora were also struggling to stop themselves from screaming from remorse. After succeeding in purifying Ash of the evil Soul Edge, Ashton succumbed to his injuries.

Ruby glanced down at her lover and whispered, "Don't be too hard on yourself. It wasn't your fault." But Ash said nothing as he squinted his eyes closed as tears began to fall down his face. They winced at Zandria's screams, "We were going to start anew! To start a new family! Is this your way of saying that it was all a lie?! Are you just going to leave me again?!" She collapsed onto Ashton's corpse as she sobbed uncontrollably, "I loved you, Ashton. You were the only man I ever loved! Come back! Don't leave me alone again!"

As she cried, Zandria failed to notice a steadily rising heat swelling up in Ashton's corpse. All of a sudden, his body burst into flames, startling everyone nearby and forcing Zandria back! She shrieked, "What the?! What's happening?!" But Lucash then spoke up, "Hey... This is just like..." As the flames flared up, the wounds on Ashton's body began to close as the bloodstains in his clothing were burned away. After a moment, the flames quickly shrank until there were not even embers left.

A stunned silence filled the air as Zandria cautiously inched towards her lover's corpse. She then scanned his body and found that his face was not as pale and that the wounds on his torso where he had been impaled had closed. With a glimmer of hope in her heart, Zandria shook Ashton's body and quietly pleaded, "Love, say something..." A moment later, Ashton let out a mumble as he lazily opened his eyes before looking up at Zandria. He then asked, "Is this.....really the afterlife? Doesn't feel the same..."

Aurora asked, "Zandria, what is it?" The Zangoose's only response was a shout as she plunged her fist into Ashton's gut. He grunted, "Ergh! What was that for?" Zandria growled, "Got me all choked up for nothing..... You could've told me!" But a second later, she threw her arms around him and sealed lips with her lover, tears flowing from her eyes. Aurora gasped, "He... He lives!" She, along with Chiara, dashed over to his side as Zandria broke the kiss and sobbed, "You scared me half to death..."

Ashton sat up and looked around at his three lovers, who were all in tears as they huddled against him. His gaze then met those of his other companions, which were a mix of disbelief and relief. Ashton asked, "Why are you all with me? Did you all die as well?" But Zandria looked Ashton in the eyes and shouted, "You're not dead! And don't you even think about dying anytime soon!" Ashton raised an eyebrow, "But I..... I know I perished just after purging Soul Edge from Ash's body. How..." He then recalled what Lucash told him just before the fight against the possessed Devil of the Eternal Flame. "A resurrection that occurs once every lifetime..... Does it apply to ALL hosts of the Eternal Flame?" He then looked to the sky and whispered, "Mother Ho-Oh....."

Aurora tenderly nuzzled Ashton's face while shedding tears of relief, "I feared we lost you, my lord..... I was not ready to go another 500 years without you..." Ashton brought a hand to her face and sighed, "My apologies. I vow to never worry you like this again." Chiara then gave Ashton a tender kiss on the cheek, "You had best keep your word, Ashton." A moment later, Ashton stood up and returned Soul Calibur to its scabbard after it reverted to its smaller resting form while placing the Flamberge on his back. He then walked over to Ash and looked down at Ruby, "How is he?" Ruby smiled, "Just a little more to go. All that's left is to tend to his legs. But... Are you really all right?" Ashton nodded, "Yes. I won't be dying anytime soon." He then looked down at Ash, who was looking up at him with an insecure gaze. Ashton smiled at his descendant reassuringly, "Are you well?" Ash quietly replied, "Yeah..." However, Ashton could see great remorse in Ash's eyes. He then spoke, "Do not blame yourself."

As he sat up while waiting for Ruby to heal his legs, Ash let out a sigh. But he soon yelped as someone grabbed his head and held him close. A voice cried, "Daddy, are you OK?! You scared us! Don't do that again!" But Ash could only sit still as he felt the side of his face being caressed by two round and soft mounds. (Whoa... What are these?) A second later, Lucash giggled, "Wow, you sure got big, Sapphire." The voice then spoke again, "I did? Oh... Um... I guess so." Ash then pushed away from whoever was holding him and scanned the person's body. But his eyes were greeted by what seemed to be a beautiful Lucario who seemed much more human than any he had ever seen. She lacked the three spikes of a Lucario, and was kneeling with legs that were less reverse-jointed than those of a canine. But what stunned him the most was that she did not have four black dreadlocks, but very long shimmering black hair that reached the base of her tail. Ash turned to Ruby and asked, "Uh... Who is this?" She giggled, "You don't know? That's your daughter. Sapphire. She evolved during that fight." Ash gagged, "S...SAPPHIRE?!" He then looked back at his daughter's new body as she smiled, "Guess I'm a big girl now. Right, Daddy?" But Ash said nothing as he gazed at his daughter's beautiful body. After a moment of silence, Sapphire spoke, "Um... Daddy? Are you feeling all right? Your face is turning really red." Ash snapped out of his trance and blushed, "Oh... Um, I'm fine. Just dozed off there for a second." Sapphire raised an eyebrow, "Really? It looked like you were gonna faint or something. Do you have a fever?" She then reached out and held a hand to his forehead, causing Ash to shudder from her tender touch. "Aha! Your face is turning red again!" Ash then pushed her hand away and laughed nervously, "Really, I'm fine! little overheated." As they shared a little laugh, Ash gulped, (Oh man, she's gorgeous. She's even prettier than Ruby and Pearl put together!!!)

After a moment, Chiara spoke to Ashton, "Ashton, a word with you?" He turned to face her, "Yes?" The Lugia spoke, "It concerns Lucy. She was..." But Ash shouted, "Lucy?! Is she OK?! Where is...OW!!!" As he tried to stand up, he fell right back down. Ruby restrained him, "Not yet! Your legs still need to heal some more. They're still pretty bruised." But Chiara shook her head, "That's the strange part. She is just fine." Kazeerah asked, "Really? Even though she took......THAT head-on?" The Blaziken pointed to the crater left by the Aura attack that Soul Edge had blasted Lucy with at pointblank. Chiara nodded, "I know what you are thinking, but the truth still baffles me. When I tried to tend to her injuries, I found that she was already healed. Aside from a few tears in her clothing, she was completely fine." Ashton asked, "Kazeerah, you have known Lucy much longer than any of us. Are you sure there isn't something about her that we don't know yet? Something important?" Kazeerah was silent for a moment as she sighed to herself, (I'm really sorry.....) She then tried to give them a reassuring smile, "Naw. Don't know a thing about what she pulled back there. Yer guess is as good as mine." Ashton nodded, "If you say so."

Ashton approached Lucy and gazed down at her. "Should we wake her?" Aurora smiled, "Allow me, my lord." She then sprayed Lucy's face with a Water Gun, prompting her to sit up while coughing, "Ha! Gac... What was that for?!" Ashton smiled, "Glad to see you're in good health." She glanced up at him, "Huh? Why do you....." She then glanced around, "Ash! Is he all right?!" Ashton pointed towards the boy, "He's fine. Just give him another minute." But the young Lucario maiden made a desperate dash towards Ash before dropping to her knees. Ash silently looked up at her out of the corner of his eye, almost as if he was trying to evade her gaze. After a moment, Lucy asked with tears beginning to form in her eyes, "Are you all right?" Ash looked away and replied, "Yeah... I'm OK." But a second later, Lucy snatched Ash up in her arms and held him tightly against her chest, "Thank goodness..." Ash blushed a bit as he asked, "Uh... What're you doing?" Lucy's eyes snapped open as she slowly set Ash back down, "Um..... Just glad to see you're fine..." But just before she was about to back away, Lucy reached down and placed a tiny kiss on Ash's cheek. He glanced over at her with a slight blush as she gave him a relieved smile, "I was afraid I was going to lose you..."

After a moment more, Ruby finished healing Ash's legs and looked over at Lucy, "Are you sure you're fine?" Lucy nodded, "I'm fine. Really." But Pearl then asked, "I thought you said you couldn't fight." Lucy nodded, "True. I can't use any moves at all." But Ruby then spoke, "But then what was with all those crazy moves you used back there? I saw a Mach Punch, Aura Sphere, Vacuum Wave, Focus Blast, and maybe a few more. Seriously, who knew you were so tough!" Lucy gave her 'sister' a baffled gaze, "Um... What are you talking about?" Pearl asked, "You...really don't remember?" Lucy cocked her head to one side, "If I did, I would've used those abilities a long time ago." Lucy then turned and walked a short distance away, but soon held a hand to her chest as she shuddered, (I don't want to believe it... I don't want to believe that was me...)

"Ash, you should be all better now. Come on, sit up." Ruby helped her lover up, but the boy only seemed to gaze down at the ground with a lifeless expression. Kazeerah walked over to him and patted him on the back, "Yer fine, kid. I'll bet yer just starvin' by now. Want some more Gyarados steak?" This made Ash become a little blue in the face as he gulped, "Uh... No thanks." Kazeerah smirked, "I thought that'd perk ya up a bit." Zandria then pointed towards Hunter J's airship, "Last I checked, your gear was blown over there. Go get it." Ash scanned ahead and noticed his backpack lying against the side of the wrecked airship as the fire that had engulfed the stern had nearly fizzled out. He silently stood up and walked over to it before slipping his backpack on. He then reached for the Safari Ball inside and pointed it towards Aurora. "Thanks for your help." The Suicune nodded with a smile, "It was a pleasure, Lord Ash." A ray of red light shot out from the front of the ball and engulfed the Suicune as she became a part of the light and was sucked back inside; awaiting the next time her master needed her aid.

Chiara spoke up, "I believe we should leave this place before the local authorities arrive to investigate the explosion that originated from this airship." Shadow nodded, "Yeah, we wouldn't want to be mistaken for criminals." Ashton pointed to the east, "Let's head through the forest to avoid detection as we return to that town." But before they could head back to Sandgem Town, Kazeerah spoke up, "Got room for one more?" Ash asked, "Huh?" The Blaziken smiled, "I usually drift alone, but would ya'll mind if I tagged along for a while? Ya'll seem like an interestin' party." Ash looked over at Lucy, "She's your sister. What's your thought on this?" The young maiden smiled, "Of course she can come! I wouldn't have it any other way!" The Blaziken ran over to her sister and threw an arm around her neck, "Glad ta hear to hear it! We can catch up on lost time over supper."

As Ash and his entourage were about to head back towards Sandgem Town, Ashton suddenly froze as he glanced to his left out of the corner of his eye without turning his head. Zandria noticed Ashton's sudden wary expression and asked, "Something wrong?" Everyone stopped and looked at Ashton. He whispered as his right hand reached into a pouch on the back of his hip, "Be silent. Someone is near....." A second later, Ashton spun to his left and threw something from his right hand, followed by the sound of something striking wood a few seconds later from the northern end of the battlefield. After a moment of silence, Ashton shrugged his shoulders, "Nothing..... My mistake. Let's carry on." As they headed east through the forest, a lone Lucario leaned against a tree while standing on the base of a branch. His eye twitched nervously as a black kunai dagger was stuck in the tree between his legs, just barely missing the center of his crotch. He shuddered, "When did he..... How the hell did he know I was here...?"

After emerging from the forest on the outskirts of Sandgem Town, Ash and his companions began to search around for the closest hotel. But while walking down a street, Ash noticed that Sapphire was fidgeting constantly, as if she had a bad itch somewhere. He asked, "Are you feeling all right?" The young Lucario grumbled, "It feels.....stuffy. I don't feel like I always do." After a moment more, Sapphire came to a stop near an intersection while fumbling with the blue fur on her lower torso. Everyone noticed that she had stopped and turned to face her. Sapphire grumbled, "What're these doing here?" A second later, Sapphire slid off her blue 'fur' and stepped out of it, revealing her slender black legs and blue buttocks. Ash gagged as his face turned red, "What the?! Sapphire! Put your pants back on right now before... What're you doing...?" Sapphire was then fumbling with the layer of yellow fur that covered her upper torso. "It feels the same here too! Maybe if I just..." As she began to pull her 'fur' up, Ash shouted, "Sapphire, stop! Don't..." But he was soon interrupted by an explosive nosebleed as Sapphire pulled off her yellow vest and dropped it to her feet as the sounds of whistles and automobile crashes filled the air. "Haaaa... Much better! But where did these things come from.....huh? Daddy? Why is your nose bleeding?" Ash and the rest of his companions stared wide-eyed at Sapphire's nude body. A second later, Kazeerah burst into wild hysterical laughter as she fell over. Lucy covered her eyes in embarrassment and turned away while Zandria whistled, "Whoa. I've heard of growing up fast, but... Wow."

"Um... Why is everyone looking at me?" Sapphire asked with an innocent puzzled expression. Sapphire's body bore a noticeable hourglass figure with broad hips. Her entire back and sides were covered in blue fur that reached just a little past her hips while the front of her body was coated in yellow fur. The yellow fur on her front reached all the way down to her genitals and just barely up past her breasts, which were quite large at the bare minimum size of DD cup. Her nipples were barely concealed under a thin layer of fur. She asked again, "Why are you all staring? You're making me nervous." Ashton gulped, "Good lord.... Ruby, is she truly your daughter? If so, I can see where she gets her beauty." Ruby blushed a little, "I know. I'm even a bit jealous!" Lucash then walked up to his sister and gazed up at her, "Wow, those are huge!" He then reached up and gave one a squeeze, "Huh? No milk?" Sapphire giggled, "That kinda tickles! Do it again!" But before Lucash could keep going, Ruby yanked him back, "When you're older. Besides, she doesn't have any milk for you, Lucash. I'll feed you when we get to a hotel." The young Lucario nodded, "OK. But let's hurry! I'm hungry!" However, the sound of police sirens soon filled the air as a motorcycle that was being piloted by a woman with turquoise hair came into view. She came to a screeching halt at the sight of multiple vehicles crashed into street poles, fire hydrants, and various other stationary objects at the sides of the road. There were no injuries, and the overall damage was minor. But the woman shouted, "What the...?! What happened here?! Some sort of prank?!" Ashton gulped as he began to sweat profusely while reaching for the Flamberge's hilt, "Sapphire, do not move!" As he pulled his sword out and plunged the blade into the ground beside him, using the wide blade to obstruct the view of Sapphire's body, she asked, "Don't move?! Why not?!" But the viscount growled, "Just...DON'T." Sapphire nodded at the strict tone of his voice, "Uh..... OK."

The woman drove her motorcycle over to Ash and his companions before coming to a screeching halt just inches from them. Her red eyes glared sternly at them, "All right, what happened here? The pedestrians around here pointed me towards you guys. Did you try something weird?" Ash blushed nervously while trying to stop his nosebleed and grinned, "Er... We don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about, Officer Jenny! Just...uh...passing through! We're only looking for a hotel to stay in for the night since it's starting to get late." The policewoman was silent for a second while eyeing the nervous and otherwise odd facial expressions of Ash's companions. She then noticed the large sword of Ashton's and that he was constantly leaning the blade back and forth, as if he was trying to keep it from falling over. She pointed, "Is that a real sword?" Ashton replied with a hint of frustration in his voice, "A zweihander, to be precise. Why?" She then asked, "Are you authorized to use that weapon?" Ashton nodded, "Of course. I'm an honorary member of the Knighthood of Rohta. I was knighted at the age of 15 and chose this sword as my primary weapon." Jenny raised an eyebrow, "Knighthood? Rohta? I don't have a clue about what you're saying, but you don't sound like you're lying." Ashton then glanced over at Chiara with an annoyed gaze, prompting her to nod as her eyes began to glow a faint shade of blue. Ashton then stood his blade straight up and gave Chiara a grateful smile.

Officer Jenny nodded, "Well, you don't seem like the troublesome kind, so I'll let you of with a warning. Just stay out of trouble." With that, Officer Jenny got back on her motorcycle and drove off after making sure the drivers of the crashed automobiles were fine. Ash breathed a sigh of relief as Chiara released her Psychic on Sapphire. The young Lucario girl cried as she looked out from behind the Flamberge, "What was that for?! I couldn't move! I couldn't even open my mouth!" Ashton growled, "You were SUPPOSED to remain still and stay silent. I just had Chiara keep you still to make sure that sheriff would not see you." But Sapphire complained, "But why?! I wasn't doing anything wrong!" Ash then shouted, "That's not the point! Did you want to get me arrested for public indecency?! Now put your clothes back on before someone comes over here!" Sapphire took a step back as her father raised his voice to her. But he soon walked over to her and placed his hands on her shoulders, "Please. You need to get used to wearing clothes." Sapphire nodded, "Um... All right. I'll try to get used to this new stuff." While Ash and Ashton tried to block the views of anyone who might pass by, Sapphire slid on her yellow vest and blue shorts. Ash smiled, "That's better. But once we get our rooms, you can take them off. Just don't go out into the hall without your clothes on." Sapphire smiled, "OK. I'll be good."

That night, Lucy stood just inside the bathroom in her hotel room while Zandria sat by the door. The Zangoose knocked, "You done yet?" The Lucario maiden replied, "Yes. Here they are." She then handed her yellow vest and blue shorts out to Zandria. The Zangoose spoke, "OK... Just some rips here and there. I'll have these patched up by morning at the latest." Lucy replied, "Thanks. And do you know where Ash is?" Zandria shrugged, "Nope. I thought I saw him go into this room, but I never saw him come out. Anyway, I'll have these ready by the time you wake up." Lucy then heard Zandria shut the door behind her. Lucy then closed and locked the bathroom door to keep others out while she bathed.

Lucy approached the shower and was about to open the glass door when she thought she saw something move from behind the blurred glass. When she was about to speak out, the shower turned on as steam and the sound of water hitting the floor filled the air. Lucy gulped as she took a step back, (How long has someone been in here?! I've been here for almost five minutes and never saw anyone come in!) Lucy then gently knocked, "Is someone in there?" However, there was no answer. Lucy then spoke, "Is that you, Ruby? Maybe Pearl?" A voice replied, "No..." Lucy recognized the voice immediately. "Ash..." After gathering her courage, she asked, "Um... I know this sounds silly, there room for one more in there?" Ash replied, "Yeah. Do whatever you want." Lucy became worried as she heard the severe lack of emotion in Ash's voice. (I've never heard him sound like this...) She then took a deep breath, "Ash... I'm coming in. All right?" Ash did not offer a response. Lucy turned her gaze to the ceiling, (Just don't look down...)

Lucy opened the glass door to the shower and stepped in while keeping her eyes closed to keep the water out. Once she closed the door behind her, she opened her eyes and saw Ash with his back turned while slowly washing his hair. Seeing that he was facing the other way, Lucy felt it was safe to let her eyes wander. She glanced down at his body. For his age, Ash was well built. The miles of walking he had done during his first three years as a Pokémon Trainer had toned his body well. But unknown to Lucy, Ash was finishing up with his hair and turned around rather abruptly. He asked, "What do you want?" Lucy's eyes went wide with shock as she found herself staring at Ash's manhood. As a deep blush filled her face, Lucy took a step back as she began to hyperventilate. Ash asked, "What's wrong?" He soon saw fear begin to fill Lucy's eyes as she pressed herself against the wall. He sighed, "OK, seriously..... Do I really look like I want to rape you or something?" Lucy gulped as she shook her head, "What?! No! I just..." Ash turned around, "Well, whatever. You can leave if you don't want to see me right now." She noticed the sudden lack of emotion in his voice again, as if he no longer cared about anything. Lucy reached out and placed a hand on Ash's shoulder, "It's not like that. I want to be here. It's just.....I don't like...seeing boys naked..." She then asked, "So... Um...this is what you look like?" Ash turned to face her, "Yeah. Why? Am I ugly?" Lucy glanced down at him again before looking back up at his face with a blush of embarrassment, "No... You have a good body... I'm just...shy." Ash then asked, "But you don't mind guys seeing you without any clothes on?"

Lucy's eyes shot wide open at the mention of her being nude. She glanced down at herself in horror before throwing her hands over her private areas, "How could I forget?!" But Ash rolled his eyes, "Gimme a break. I've seen Ruby with her pants down and Pearl with her shirt off. Not to mention Sapphire with both pieces of clothing gone. You think I care about that?!" Lucy gulped, "So you...don't mind?" Ash sighed, "I just want to wash up. And I don't think you can hold a bar of soap if you keep your arms clinging to yourself. Besides, I showed you my body. Wouldn't it be fair for you to show me yours?" Lucy gave Ash a very nervous gaze, "Do you promise not to laugh? Or to make any advances?" Ash sighed, "Do I look like I'm in the mood for either? You didn't laugh at me, so I won't laugh at you." Lucy braced herself as she slowly removed her arms from the front of her body and stood up straight with her hands clenched into fists from fear.

Ash only slightly reacted to Lucy's form. Like Ruby and Pearl, she was very petite. However, she was in some ways the polar opposite of his lover. It was only without her vest that Lucy's breasts were visible. Like Sapphire, her front was covered with yellow fur from her womanhood up to just above her breasts. Her breasts were quite small, an A cup at most. And like Sapphire, her nipples were concealed by a layer of yellow fur. Her chest spike extended from the top of her chest and rested atop her cleavage. Lucy blushed, "Not the kind of figure you were hoping for, is it?" Much to her shock, Ash replied, ".....Don't really care."

Lucy looked up at her friend, "You...don't care about how I look?" Ash said nothing as he turned around and went back to washing himself. Lucy pleaded, "Talk to me! What is wrong?! This isn't like you!" Ash quietly muttered, "You can stop acting like you care..... I know you must hate me..." Lucy, tears beginning to form in her eyes, asked, "Why..... Why would I ever hate you?" Ash explained, "Even though I was not in control of my body..... I could still see. I saw my hands strike you. I saw my hands.....try to kill you..." As Lucy stayed silent with tears streaming down her face, Ash sighed, "I'm not what you think I am..... I don't deserve your friendship."

Lucy could hardly believe what she had just heard. For the longest time, she had felt that she was unworthy of Ash's kindness. Now she had just heard him claim that he was undeserving of her companionship. (I never knew.....just how much those words hurt...) After a moment of silence, Lucy threw her arms around Ash and held him close with the side of her face pressed against him, "It wasn't your fault..."

Ash silently looked back at his friend with a profound sorrow in his eyes. Lucy sobbed, "I don't remember that battle very well, but I do recall one thing... As you struck me, I could feel your sorrow... It was not you who was striking me with those blades. If anything, you were the chains that were trying to restrain the blades that were lashing out at me..." She cried, "You have done nothing to deserve my anger or scorn... I don't want to lose you... Not again..."

Ash, after a moment, spoke, "Let go of me..." Reluctantly, Lucy obeyed and released Ash from her grasp. But once he was freed, Ash walked behind Lucy and kneeled behind her. He then reached out and folded his arms over her. She gasped, "Ash..." He replied, "I'm sorry... I still feel like it was my fault... I'm sorry...for hurting you..." Lucy brought one of her hands to Ash's right hand and gently laid it upon his. "I forgive you." After a somber moment, Ash brought his right hand to Lucy's chest and tenderly set it upon her right breast while his left hand went to her smooth belly. While still embarrassed, Lucy felt comforted by Ash's tender caresses. (This different from then... I don't feel scared... I Ash then whispered, "Would you like me to wash you?" Lucy smiled, "I would like that. But leave my front to me." He nodded as he reached for a bottle of shampoo, "OK. If that's what you want, that's what you'll get."

To the north, a lone Lucario scout kneeled before the Oracle of the Skydiamond clan and the Alpha female while surrounded by numerous guards of the highest ranks among the clan. The Alpha wore a bandage of sorts over her left eye that was tied to her head in similar fashion to a bandana. Her left ear had a small chunk taken out of it on the outer edge, as if lightly nicked by a stray claw from an opponent. She also wore a cloak over her back like a cape and kept a middle-length sword at her side that was single-edged and slightly curved. While seeming to be an ordinary sword from a glance, it gave off a reassuring presence as it was the clan's ultimate weapon against the demons they were charged with combating.

The scout bowed in silence as the Oracle spoke, "You returned without the Angel." The scout nodded, "Forgive me, Oracle, Lady Tia." The Alpha female, Tia, replied, "Do not apologize just yet. What did you see when you arrived at the battlefield where the Angel of Doom and that unnamed evil presence were detected?" The scout replied, "It seemed as if I arrived just minutes after the battle had ended. Along with the Angel, there was one human boy, four other Lucario, a Suicune with a deep blue mane, an unusually small Lugia, a Zangoose, a Blaziken, a very strange female Lucario that almost seemed half human, and a young human male that was probably around his mid teens. It looked as if that young human teen had just regained consciousness as he was sitting up with the others gathered around him." He then nodded, "I saw no trace of whatever that unnamed evil presence could have been. That group may have been the ones who destroyed it before we could arrive."

Tia asked, "What was the condition of the Angel when you arrived?" The scout replied, "Out cold, probably caused by the Angel of Doom being suppressed once the duel was over." The Oracle then asked, "If the Angel was unconscious, why did you not retrieve her?" The scout gulped, " seemed that the others had become quite attached to her. The Lugia seemed to be tending to her before she awoke, and she immediately ran to the side of the human boy, who seemed to be wounded. And judging by the appearance of his attire, he was most likely a Trainer." Tia raised her right eyebrow, "A Trainer, you say?" The scout nodded, "It seems that the Angel has come under the care of that human boy. And it seems that they have formed a strong bond of friendship. If I had tried to take the Angel with me by force, they would likely have ganged up on me." The Oracle nodded, "Most wise. And if she has people who care for her, it is much less likely that the Angel of Doom will manifest. It would probably be in our best interest to leave her be for now." However, the scout spoke, "Actually..... There was one other reason why I was hesitant to reveal myself....." Tia asked, "What?" The scout hesitated before speaking, "That human teen... There was something about him that.....made me uneasy..."

Tia frowned, "You were afraid? All warriors of the clan are trained to suppress their fear when performing their duties." But the scout shook his head, "No, I felt no fear. I could see that there was no malice in his eyes. He seemed to be a noble man. However, while he seemed young..... His eyes... They looked like those who have witnessed decades of combat. And he had two large swords at his sides. If I had tried to get by him, I would likely have lost a limb in the process." The Oracle pondered this, "Someone so young.....with the eyes of a veteran warrior?" But the scout added, "What was more, I doubt he would be carrying around a pair of great swords unless he could wield them both at once."

Tia asked, "Two? But if they were ordinary great swords, I suppose it would be possible. Most swords of that size are long, but not very wide. That cuts down on their overall weight." But the scout spoke, "No... These two were colossal. Larger than any blade I've ever seen." The Oracle spoke, "How large? Describe them." The scout continued, "They differed greatly in appearance, but they both had wide blades and were rather thick, probably to increase the sturdiness of the blade and for defensive purposes. One of them seemed to be made entirely out of glass...... No. It was surely a type of light blue crystal. The other seemed to be an ordinary steel sword with a wave pattern along the side of its blade." Tia asked, "A sword composed entirely of crystal?" The scout added, "Not only that. A moment after I arrived on the outskirts of the battlefield, that human male took that crystal sword in hand. At that point, it began to glow and shrank. It seemed to have taken on the form of a smaller sword with two blades separated by a small gap. And instead of crystal, it was composed of a blue metal alloy with a tinge of green to the color. He seems to carry this sword on the back of his hip. And that's not all..." He then pointed to the sword on the Alpha female's side, "I could feel a type of reassuring presence in that sword, not unlike that radiating from the Skydiamond Sword. Almost as if it was a holy weapon." Tia glanced down at her sword, "A holy weapon..... A Sword of Salvation....."

A moment later, one of the elite guards stepped forward. A young female, she spoke, "That sword you mentioned with a wave pattern along its blade....." The scout nodded, "Yes, that's the best I can describe it. Why?" The young female frowned, "It something I saw in an illustration." Tia asked, "What was it? And where did you find it?" The maiden explained, "In a document kept by the Ironspike clan to the south. I came across it while searching for records and information regarding potential threats from demons we are unaware of." Tia sternly spoke, "Were you careful to avoid detection?" She nodded, "Yes. The Ironspike clan, like all other clans of the Sinnoh region, is hardly aware of our existence." The Oracle then asked, "And this illustration of that sword... What did it show?" The maiden explained, "There was some text along with it. That wave pattern on the blade? That is, in fact, a flame blade design. And according to the text I found with it, that sword was the primary weapon of a human warrior from a far-off land many years ago. It was titled 'Flamberge' and was even buried with its master upon his death." Tia's left ear twitched, "Flamberge? And who was this man?" The Lucario maiden replied, "It seems the Ironspike clan reveres this warrior as a legend. They have kept many records and lore about his life and the evils he faced. According to the documents I found, he was known as the 'Angel of the Eternal Flame' and served the Kingdom of Rohta around 600 years ago in the Kanto region across the sea. He was apparently a knight who few opponents could hold their own against."

The scout asked, "Are you saying that the man I saw may have been this 'Angel of the Eternal Flame' reborn?" Tia spoke up, "Impossible. I too have heard some gossip about that legend, and the possibility of it being true is none. While he may have been a mighty warrior, he was still human. And humans are not immortal. He died over 500 years ago." But the Oracle spoke, "However, he was not the only Angel we know of. The Angels of Doom and Hope are forever bound in a cycle of samsara. It would not be surprising if this 'Angel of the Eternal Flame' shares a similar fate." However, Tia shrugged her shoulders, "I would not be so sure of that." She then faced the scout and asked, "Before we wrap this discussion up, were you detected before leaving the battlefield?" The scout hesitated, "Not really..... That man I spoke of threw some sort of dagger at me from several dozen yards away, even though he could not actually see me from that distance." Tia glanced up suddenly, "Were you harmed? And did he take any further action?" The scout shook his head, "No. I remained silent and held my position until he left the area with his companions, making it seem that he had thrown that knife at nothing. Still......." He then held a hand to his groin while looking a little sick, "That was an extremely close call, I swear....." Tia frowned as she stared downwards with a slightly disturbed expression, "That's all we need to know... Dismissed."

On the roof of the hotel, Ash sat with his back against a wall as he stared out over the rooftops of Sandgem Town. He was sitting in a semi fetal position with his arms holding his legs close to his chest. The cool night air helped clear his mind, but he was still haunted by his actions while under the control of Soul Edge. He had told Ruby that he would join her after a short while, but he was beginning to wonder if it was right for him to even show his face to her. But as he stared ahead, his right arm began to tremble violently without him being aware of it. After a moment, Ash noticed his right hand being raised up in front of him with his fingers curled. A second later, his hand suddenly changed in the blink of an eye. Instead of his familiar human hand, Ash found himself staring at a large and grotesque three-fingered hand that soon let out an inhuman groan and lunged for his throat!

Ash panicked as he grabbed the malformed hand with his left hand by the wrist as it tried to reach his throat. He fell over while trying to restrain himself as a familiar voice began to echo in his mind. "You will pay... For what you've done..." Ash began to shed tears of fright and remorse, "Shut up... That wasn't even me!" The voice of Soul Edge rang in his ears, "You will never run away from your sin..... You have no right to live!" Ash began to scream in horror as visions flashed through his mind from when he became possessed by the awakened spirit of Soul Edge. He saw when he slammed Ashton into the ground over and over again, when he tried to obliterate Lucy with a corrosive Aura blast, and the moment when he fatally wounded his own ancestor by impaling him through his back in two spots. The voice of Soul Edge roared, "It is a sin for you to be alive!!!"

As the possessed hand closed around Ash's throat, he let out a terrible shriek that rang over the rooftops, startling various canine Pokémon into barking and howling and spooking anyone who happened to hear it. It was at that instant that Ash came back to his senses and found his hand back to normal. He was sweating profusely as he dropped to his knees, weeping bitterly. As the memories continued to flood his mind, he sobbed, "It's true...... It's a sin for me to be alive..."
Chapter End Notes:Can someone PLEASE tell me what the maximum is for the size limit of text documents?
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