AGNPH Stories

Rukario Romance by XD385


A Devil's Redemption Part 2

In a local bank in Sandgem Town, numerous security guards made their rounds. But as one guard rounded a corner, he suddenly heard the sound of glass shattering somewhere up ahead. Cautiously, he drew his weapon, a silver revolver and checked that all six slots in the cylinder were loaded. He then quietly made his way towards the area the sound originated from. Upon arrival, he found the front door had been shattered as it had been locked and made of glass. He then grabbed his radio and spoke into it, "The front door is busted. Be on the lookout for an intruder." After placing his radio back in its holster, he stood watch at the bank's entrance. But he soon noticed what seemed to be an orange glow coming from around the corner where he had just come from. (A fire?!) After looking to his left to see if the intruder was nearby, he ran towards the suspicious glow at the end of the hall with his revolver loaded and ready to fire.

The instant the guard rounded the corner, something tripped him up by swiping at his feet, causing him to fall forward facedown and drop his weapon. A second later, he glanced up to see a strange apparition coated in flames snatch up his revolver and make a dash past the corner and towards the shattered front door. "That son of a..... HEY! GIVE THAT BACK!!!" As the guard climbed to his feet and ran towards the end of the hall were the creature had dashed towards, he grabbed the radio on his hip and shouted into it, "I just ran into him! Get someone over here nooOOOOOWWWW!!!!" The second the guard rounded the corner, he ended up slipping on something and fell on his back. "Ow... What the hell happened...?" A moment later, an alarm rang out through the bank as the sounds of footsteps began to approach the guard.

"Bob, you OK?! Did he get ya?!" The guard sat up, "Naw, I just slipped on something. Anyone got a flashlight?" Several guards gathered around him as one turned on a flashlight and began to point it around. "Looks like he got away. How much did he take?" Bob replied, "That's the weird thing. He didn't take any money. All he snatched was my gun and made a run for it. He didn't fire it, but what the heck did I slip on?!" The guard with a flashlight glanced around and noticed four small objects lying around the floor. "Hey... What're these?" Bob noticed them and gathered them up. As he held the tiny objects in his hand, he raised an eyebrow, "What the..... These are four of my gun's six rounds! But why eject and leave behind all but two of them?"

On the outskirts of Sandgem Town to the east, Ash huddled against a tree as he shuddered from the rush of escaping from armed guards. In his hands was a silver revolver, all but two of its chambers empty. Once he calmed down slightly, he whispered, "That's all for now..." He then looked around and curled up in a large bush before drifting off to sleep.

The next morning, Ruby awoke with a yawn before reaching over to her side. But to her shock, she found that it seemed no one had slept beside her. "What happened? Did Ash never come back?" She looked around and found that his backpack was still where he had left it. "I doubt he ran off again..." She then left her hotel room and made her way to the lobby, hoping that the others may know of his whereabouts.

Upon arriving in the lobby, Ruby noticed that all of her companions had gathered around a television that had been placed in a corner while Lucash and Sapphire enjoyed some doughnuts nearby. She tapped on Chiara's shoulder, "What's up? Something good on?" The Lugia replied, "It's a most peculiar report. Apparently, there was a bank robbery last night in Sandgem Town, where we are now. Only thing is that no money was stolen. Just a handgun used by one of the guards." Ruby then inched closer to see and hear the television better.

The reporter onscreen held a microphone to what seemed to be one of the bank's security guards, "Now, what exactly happened to you last night?" The guard replied, "I didn't see much. I was knocked down and something that looked like it was on fire snatched my gun and made a run for the front door." Pearl's eyes went wide, "Something covered in flames?!" The guard then added, "But what was really weird is that it left behind four of my gun's bullets. I don't see the logic in this theft. If someone were to steal a gun, they should try to get as much ammo as possible, not less." The reporter then asked, "What kind of gun was it?" The guard replied, "A revolver. If that thing left behind four of those bullets, then he only has two left. Makes ya wonder what someone would need just two shots for."

Shadow turned the television off and turned to his companions, "Am I the only one here who thinks that Ash was the thief who robbed that guy?" Everyone's gaze showed that they also thought Ash was the culprit. Ashton then asked, "Still... What is this 'revolver' that man spoke of?" Chiara explained, "It is a type of handgun, a small firearm." Ashton cocked his head to one side, "Firearm? Handgun?" Chiara frowned slightly as she sighed, "Right... You're 500 years out of touch with this world... Well, do you know what a crossbow is?" Ashton nodded, "Of course. I was trained to use them, you know." Chiara then explained, "Now imagine a crossbow with many smaller bolts contained inside it. With every pull of the trigger, one bolt is fired while another moves forward to take its place. Only after firing all bolts does it need to be reloaded." Ashton brought a hand to his chin, "A crossbow that holds many bolts instead of one? Sounds like magic." Chiara nodded, "Many advances in the use of gunpowder have revolutionized weaponry over the past 500 years. Firearms are just one of several results of it." Ashton nodded, "So this revolver is a type of small crossbow that holds multiple shots instead of just one? And it can fire them one after the other before needing to be reloaded?" Chiara nodded, "That's not quite how it is, but you do have a good idea. The greatest difference is that firearms tend to be quite loud and can be heard from far away."

Kazeerah then spoke up, "Still, I don't get it. Ash nevah seemed like the kinda guy who would wanna be packin' a peacekeeper." Lucy nodded, "True. I never once saw him as someone who was ever interested in guns. Why now? And why would he be desperate enough to steal one?" Ashton then asked, "And why only take two rounds?" He then had an idea and turned to Ruby, "Ruby, does he even know how to fire a revolver?" She shook her head, "No, never! I've never even seen a gun in his hands before! And I never once saw one lying around his house back home." Zandria then spoke up, "He must've taken one of those so he could try a test shot to see how it works. But that would leave him with just one round left. What would he want to shoot with just one shot? Especially when he could miss?" Chiara bowed her head, "He would only have one round left after that test shot. What could he possibly want to use it on? It would have to be something that only needed to be shot once, but also could not evade the shot. He must only want to use it once. But on what? What could he hope to use it on without even the slightest possibility of missing?" Everyone began to think hard at this, thinking of every possibility. But after a minute or two, everyone began to show a look of fright on their faces as one possible target flashed through their minds. Ashton muttered the answer, "Himself."

Ruby's eyes began to quiver in horror at the thought of her lover committing suicide. But she was also aware of his deep depression following his purification of Soul Edge. "How could I have not seen this coming.....?" Lucy then ran to Ashton and grabbed his arms, "You can't be serious! Ash would never do that to himself!" But the viscount grabbed one of her hands and spoke, "He has not been himself since yesterday. I saw it too. He has become depressed and even sorrowful for some reason. And when someone loses the will to go on living, suicide becomes very easy to consider." Lucy then staggered back, sick at the thought of her friend dying by his own hands. "He wouldn't..." But Ashton spoke, "Even so, we may still be able to stop him. If we can find and restrain him before he fires the second round, he can still be saved." Kazeerah then spoke up, "I say we split up. Better chances if there's more than one pair of eyes lookin' for 'em." Ashton nodded, "Sounds good. Zandria, you remain here and watch the children. Make sure they do not suspect that something is wrong." The Zangoose nodded, "Got it." Ashton then beckoned the others to follow him outside.

Once they were just outside the hotel, Ashton spoke, "We will split up into four groups. Kazeerah and Lucy, you search to the south. Shadow and Pearl, you search to the west. Chiara, you search north. Ruby, you're with me. We will search to the east. We will meet up back here in one hour, Ash or not. Understood?" Everyone readily nodded. Ashton then shouted, "Good. Let's move!" In a flash, the seven companions bolted towards the four borders of Sandgem Town. In her mind, Ruby pleaded, (It can't end like this.... You can't do this to yourself, Ash... Stay alive... For me...)

To the east of Sandgem Town, Ash walked aimlessly until he came to a small clearing in the forest. Light was shining down from a gap in the cloudy sky, giving a sense of tranquility to the area. And growing throughout the clearing were numerous flowers of different hues. Ash stopped as he surveyed the area. "It's perfect..." He then slowly walked towards the center of the clearing and stopped. "What a perfect place to end it all."

Ash raised his right hand and stared down at the revolver he was holding. He then reached into his left pocket and pulled his hand out before opening it. Resting in his hand were the two remaining bullets. Placing one bullet back in his pocket, Ash looked at the cylinder and the round gaps at the back. He tried sliding the bullet into it and pulled the trigger, only to find that it would not budge. He then noticed the hammer just behind cylinder and tried pulling it back. Once it was fully cocked, the cylinder slightly rotated clockwise. Ash could still see the bullet in one of the slots and tried pulling the trigger, this time with success. There was a click as the hammer snapped forward. Once he pulled the hammer back again, the cylinder rotated once more, causing the bullet to vanish from view as it aligned with the barrel. Ash then held the revolver's grip with both hands as he aimed towards the ground. "Let's see if that did it." With a gulp of anticipation, he pulled the trigger.

After running for several minutes, Ashton and Ruby came to a sudden halt as a sudden loud pop rang through the forest. Ashton looked around in a panic as various bird Pokémon flew away all around them. "Was that it? The sound of a revolver?" He then glanced over at Ruby, who was trembled violently while tears cascaded down her face. She whimpered, "No..... Oh, please, no......" She then dropped to her knees as she sounded like she was about to have a mental breakdown, "This is happening.... That didn't really..." She then sobbed loudly, "You can't be gone, Ash! Not after all we've been through together!" She began to cry hysterically, unable to bear the thought that the boy she loved was gone forever.

Ashton sighed as he laid a hand on Ruby's shoulder, "Get a hold of yourself. Chances are that was only the first shot. He still has one left." Ruby glanced up at Ashton, "You mean... He's still alive?" Ashton nodded, "Most likely. I doubt he would try to kill himself unless he knew exactly how to work that thing. However..." Ruby then became worried at Ashton's pause. He then spoke, "If what Lucash said is true, then Ash has been dead once before. If he dies a second time..... I don't think I need to explain what will happen then." Ruby's eyes then shot wide open with horror. She then scrambled to her feet and closed her eyes as she focused her Aura. A moment later, she opened her eyes and glanced to the southeast, "Over there!" A second later, she broke into a mad dash using Extremespeed, leaving Ashton behind. He shouted, "Hey! Wait for me!" He then focused his Chakra into his legs and took off after the Lucario as quickly as his feet would carry him.

Ash panted as cold sweat trickled down his face. In his right hand, the revolver's barrel was giving off a thin trail of smoke. "Man... That was pretty loud." Once he had calmed his nerves, Ash reached into his left pocket and pulled out the last bullet. He then slid it into the empty slot just to the left of the barrel and pulled the hammer back, causing the loaded slot to disappear from view as it became aligned with the barrel. Ash then slowly kneeled with his hands gripping the revolver. He paused for a moment as tears began to fill his eyes. "I'm too dangerous..... My family will never be safe from me..." He then slowly turned the revolver around until he was holding it backwards, his thumb resting on the trigger. He then opened his mouth and inserted the barrel inside it. But after a moment, Ash removed the revolver from his mouth and paused, "It just doesn't feel like the spot I'm aiming for..." He then aimed a little higher and rested the mouth of the barrel against the very center of his forehead while angling it slightly downwards. "Goodbye, Ruby..... I love you..." Ash then closed his eyes as a profound sense of peace came over him while he began to slowly apply more pressure to the trigger.

Ruby ran nonstop towards the spot where she detected Ash's powerful Aura. After a short time, she came within view of a clearing. And her blood chilled as she saw Ash from the left with a revolver pointing at his forehead. An indescribable feeling of dread filled her soul as tears began to pour from her eyes and she could not even breathe. Without a word, she sprinted towards her lover as she readied a Mach Punch. Praying that she would make it in time, she lashed out with her fist as she neared Ash. A second later, her fist connected, sending the revolver flying out of a startled Ash's hands and to the edge of the clearing. But after bouncing along the ground for a few seconds, the revolver went off on its own and fired its last round. A loud bang sounded, followed by a sudden spray of blood. Ash gazed ahead in shock as a blood-coated bullet hit a tree on the other side of the field, leaving a splatter of blood on the bark. Ruby groaned in pain as she clutched her left upper arm, blood oozing from where the bullet had passed through the muscle and flesh.

A moment of silence passed as Ruby's right hand began to glow blue with her Aura. Her breathing became calmer as the wound on her arm began to rapidly heal. Ash asked, "W...why...?" Ruby gazed down at him while trying to hold back her tears, "Why? What made you want to do this to yourself?" Ash turned away in shame, "I still remember....." Ruby asked, "Remember what?" Ash cried, "Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about! I saw everything!" He brought his trembling hands before him, "I still remember..... I saw it all..... I tried to kill Sapphire...... I even almost killed Lucy....." He then buried his face in his hands and wailed, "I even killed my ancestor with my own hands!!!" Ruby could only silently watch as her lover wept bitterly. "I'm a monster!!! You'll never be safe as long as I live!!!"

Once the gunshot wound on her arm had healed, Ruby took a few steps towards Ash, but kept her distance for the time being. He wept, "My hands are stained with the blood of my loved ones... I'm a threat to my entirely family..." But Ruby then shuddered, "No..... You're wrong." Ash slowly lowered his hands from his face and gazed at his lover with bewilderment. Ruby struggled to hold back her tears as she explained, "A year ago, I was saved and befriended by a wonderful boy. A boy who eventually came to mean the world to me. I know him well. He is, and never could become, a monster. He makes mistakes on occasion, but he learns from them. I love him. And I know he loves me." Ash began to tremble violently as he watched the love of his life break down and begin to cry. She sobbed, "I can't live without you. To go on living without you frightens me. It's a life that is not worth living. Is that why?" Ash was silent as he was confused by Ruby's statement. She shouted, "Was it because you wanted to hurt me?! Do you really hate me so much that you would destroy the one person who gave me true happiness?!" By then, Ruby had lost all strength and dropped to her knees, "How could you....."

Ash felt a terrible chill in his heart as he saw just how much he had hurt the love of his life. As Ruby cried her eyes out, Ash crawled over to her and reached out. But the Lucario smacked his hand away from her. Rejected by his lover, Ash felt his last remaining will to live die. He then began to dig his fingers into his neck, almost as if he was trying to strangle himself. Ignoring the pain, he pushed harder to the point where his nails began to draw blood. Ruby soon looked over at her lover and saw what he was doing. Without a word, she leapt at him and pinned his body to the ground while restraining his arms. They paused a moment as they shared one long gaze into each other's eyes. Ruby then gently applied her right hand to Ash's bleeding throat as it began to glow blue with her Aura. She then whispered, "Please..... No more..... Do you really hate me that you would destroy yourself?" Ash could no longer hold himself back as his vision became terribly blurred from his tears and he threw his arms around his lover and held her close. "Never again... I'll never hurt you again....." Ruby then gazed into his eyes with a glimmer of hope in hers, her Aura sealing the cuts in his throat. "Do you really mean that?" Ash sobbed, "Yes..... Oh, Ruby... Forgive me..." He then sealed lips with her as Ruby tightly embraced the boy she loved. (I do... I forgive you.)

After a silent moment, Ash and Ruby suddenly looked around at the sound of a metallic click. They looked to the edge of the clearing and saw Ashton holding the discarded revolver in one hand. He then cast his gaze down at Ash before closing his eyes and slowly shaking his head. He then walked over to them and held out the revolver, "Ruby, return this to its owner. Ash and I need to have a very long talk." Ruby slowly stood up and took the revolver in hand. But before she turned to leave, she cast another worried gaze upon Ash. Ashton noticed and spoke, "Do not fear. I will not allow any harm to come to him." Ruby turned back towards Ash and gave him a stare that Ash understood perfectly. "I'll be waiting for you to return." She then turned back towards Sandgem Town and walked away.

Once they were alone, Ashton looked down upon Ash and sighed, "Why? What in the world possessed you to do this?" Ash hesitated before replying, "Because...I'm dangerous. I tried to kill my family. And I even killed you with my own hands....OW!" Out of nowhere, Ashton kicked Ash across the face with the tip of his boot. He shouted, "Idiot! What will it take for you to understand the truth?!" Ash backed away from Ashton while rubbing his face. Ashton asked, "Tell me. Why were you spared from that blow while Soul Edge was erased?" Ash offered no reply. Ashton then spoke, "Because there is little evil in your soul. Salvation is a technique that only kills those who are consumed with evil intent. You were spared because you were worthy of living."

Ash quietly spoke, "Even if that attack spared me... I still..." But Ashton let out a growl, causing Ash to cower in fear of an impending kick to the face. However, Ashton instead spoke, "You still don't understand. It was not you who killed me. I died at the hands of Soul Edge. It was your body, but not by your will that I was murdered. You have absolutely no fault in my death." Ash only gazed downwards at Ashton's words. The knight continued, "If it is anyone's fault for what became of you, it is mine. I was certain that I had destroyed Soul Edge once and for all 600 years ago. I should've been more thorough after the battle had ended." He then dropped to one knee and bowed his head, "Forgive me."

Ash could only stare silently as his own ancestor kneeled before him, begging for his forgiveness. He spoke, "Ashton..... It's all right... You couldn't have known either..." Ashton slowly stood up, "And you should stop blaming yourself. It was my own carelessness that led to my demise, if anything. Even if you did have a hand in my death, which you did not, I forgive you. And besides, Soul Edge is now gone forever. You and I are now safe from its malice." A relieved smile slowly crept across Ash's face. He wiped his tears from his face, "Thanks..... I owe you one." Ashton then held out a hand and pulled his descendant up to his feet. He asked, "Would you like me to carry you back?" But Ash shook his head, "No... I think I'll take a walk by myself for a while to clear my head." At this, Ashton gave Ash a very stern glare. But the boy smiled, "It's OK, Ashton. I'm fine. Tell Ruby I'll be back in a little while." Ashton could sense no sorrow in Ash's voice. Only relief. He silently nodded and walked west back towards Sandgem Town.

With his hands in his pockets, Ash took an aimless stroll through the forest, trying to cleanse his mind of the bad decisions he had made recently. But after a short while, he thought he heard someone's voice. He soon came to a small gap in the trees. Standing in the tiny clearing was what seemed to be a Lucario that was clearly female. However, there were strange anomalies in this one. The fur on her upper torso that was supposed to be yellow was instead a deep red, almost the same shade of blood. And the fur on the upper legs, arms, and head that was supposed to be blue was instead grey. The three spikes on her hands and chest were also an unusually dark color as well, much like her grey fur. But what caught Ash's eyes the most was the weapon she was carrying. It was a long pole-like weapon with a wide curved blade at the tip. The blade itself was single-edged while the pole was mostly blue with a few spots of gold embroidering, especially near the spot where the blade fused with the pole. The weapon itself was also quite long, standing over a foot taller than its wielder.

While Ash watched silently, the Lucario took the weapon in hand and held it in a reverse grip near the blade before angling the blade toward her chest. Before Ash could call out, she plunged the blade of her weapon into her chest, most likely impaling her heart in the process. Ash froze in silent horror as blood oozed down her fur. But a moment later, the Lucario let out a disappointed sigh and pulled the blade from her chest. Seconds after the blade had been removed, the deep cut in the Lucario's chest vanished completely, leaving not even a scar. She then spoke with the voice of a young woman, "Another failure..." At this point, Ash shouted, "What the heck is wrong with you?!" The Lucario jumped and spun around to her left to face him, her hands holding her weapon out from her body like a lance. Ash spoke, "What's wrong with you? Trying to kill yourself?" But he soon noticed that the Lucario was trembling with fear. And now that she was facing him, Ash saw that her eyes were very pale, leading him to suspect that she was blind, even though she was completely aware of his presence and location. She soon whispered, "A human..." As he wondered why the Lucario was so frightened of him, Ash heard the Lucario begin to whimper in fear. Ash sighed and took a step forward, "Are you feeling all right? You have a cold or something?" But with the first step Ash took towards her, the Lucario dropped her weapon and scampered towards a tree nearby before falling and curling up like a frightened child at its base.

Ash felt a little bad as he saw the Lucario flee from him. He looked down at the pole weapon and took it in hand before walking towards her. As he approached, the Lucario pleaded, "Stay away!" But once he felt that he was close enough, Ash held out the weapon's long hilt towards her and spoke, "I think you dropped this." The Lucario wasted no time in taking back her weapon before clutching it tightly to her chest the same way a frightened girl cuddles with a stuffed animal. "Now go! Go away!!!" Ash grumbled, "What's your name?" The Lucario stuttered, "" Ash nodded, "Yeah, what is it? I'll go first, if you want. I'm Ash Ketchum. Now, what's yours?" The Lucario hesitated for a moment before replying, "Ru.... Rukaria."

Near the wreckage of Hunter J's airship, forensic and investigation teams closely examined the wreckage inside and out while retrieving the bodies of J's henchmen from the wreckage. But in the center of the battlefield, a lone Lucario closely examined the ground while lightly sniffing the air. He soon smirked, "She was here." He then looked towards the east, "And she's probably close...... Hm?" He noticed a faint scent on the wind and dashed towards the far end of the battlefield before climbing a tree. He noticed another familiar scent right were a black dagger of sorts was embedded in the tree near a branch. "They were here too?" He then frowned, "I must remain cautious. If they find me, I'm dead. But if I can capture and return with her..." He then smirked, "Don't go too far, hopeless case. Our clan will be most pleased to have you back." He then vanished before the human investigators could notice him.

Cruising across the sea was a cargo vessel in route to Canalave City in Sinnoh. But hiding in the depths of the cargo holds was a figure concealed in a long trench coat complete with a hood. He muttered to himself, (That dark presence..... There is no mistaking it.) His black hand reached for the black and red hilt of a curved sword on his back, but he soon pulled it away as the sword gave off a vile presence. "No... Must resist... I must not give in..." A stray ray of light shimmered across the spike on his hand. His golden eyes closed as he drifted off to sleep as a means to wait for the voyage to end. "I know you're out there. I will find you..... Sister..."

Far across the sea in a distant land, the sun had set and night had fallen. Deep underground below an office building, a man held a gently flickering reddish orange light between his hands that gave off a malevolent presence. There was very little light as large red orbs on the back of his gauntlets gently illuminated the dark narrow stairwell around him. Once he reached the bottom of the stairs, he stepped into his private office. After turning on a light switch, he approached his desk and reached under it with one of his thick muscular arms. With the press of a concealed button, one of the walls at the sides of the room slid open, revealing a dark room filled with a musty smell. He smiled, "And here I was thinking I would never need to use this chamber again."

The man stepped inside the hidden chamber and snapped his fingers, causing many candles to illuminate the room, the walls composed of old limestone bricks. There were many bookshelves of ancient tomes containing arcane secrets, and various tools favors by wizards and alchemists of lore. He soon approached an altar of shorts on one side of the chamber and released the flickering wisp of light between a pair of crystal orbs that radiated a dark purple light. A moment later, a glass dome rose up around the wisp and covered it, as if cradling an unborn life. The man ran a hand through his pale hair, his red jacket and pants concealing his powerful frame. As he walked to the entrance to the chamber and snuffed out the candles, he looked over his shoulder with eyes that gave off a bright glow. He then spoke, "Sleep for now, Soul Edge. I will have much need for you in the years to come." He then sealed the chamber and began to head back up the staircase that connected to his office. "I wonder what those Crimson fools will say once they find themselves face-to-face with the Azure Knight in five years time. Of course, if I am to make certain that this is fail proof; I will need IT as well..." The man let out a sinister chuckle as he imagined the day that the Azure Knight would walk again, slaughtering all in its path.
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