AGNPH Stories

Forbidden Love by XD385


Story Notes:

This may become a bit of a Naruto crossover, but no characters from the series will appear, this I promise.

Murder on the High Seas

"Hope ya like sea bass! That's all I caught today!" Zandria called as she started serving out dinner in the mess hall aboard the Flying Duskull. It had been two days since they departed from the Kingdom of Rohta for the Far East on a royal mission. Laura giggled as she snacked on her grilled sea bass, "We almost never eat together like this. Yummy! The food always tastes better when you eat next to me, Ashy!" The viscount spewed his tea across the dinner table. "Laura, please! Don't call me that!" The Latias giggled, "Well why not?! Such a cute name should more than suit a cutie like you!" Ashton brought his face down into the table and groaned. Chiara laughed, "I told you he wouldn't like it! Pet names are for pets, not your master!"

After dinner, Ashton made his way up to the deck, the sun setting over the horizon. Once he got there, he noticed Ruby at the bow just staring off into the distance. He casually approached her and asked, "You seem a bit quiet this evening. May I join you?" Ruby turned to face him and smiled, "Yes, please do." He then stood at her side and scanned the horizon. "In a while, we'll be where you were born. Think we'll see any familiar faces there?" Ruby frowned and replied, "I honestly hope not. No one loved me and I was labeled a misfit. You know all about that, don't you?" Ashton sighed, "Ah, yes. I recall what the merchant who gave you to me said."

Ruby continued, "My favorite times of the day were when we were allowed up on the deck. I would just stand at the bow and gaze out at the horizon, wondering when and where my life would take a turn for the better." Ashton then rested a hand on her shoulder, "And then you found me. Do you think your life changed for the better?" Ruby looked up at him with tears in her eyes and smiled, "Yes. I think my life can't get any better now." She then threw her arms around him and held him tightly. Ashton caressed her face, "Now there, you need not cry. You should be enjoying this pleasure cruise." Ruby looked up at Ashton with a grateful stare, "Oh I am, my lord. I am."

That night, Ashton was resting in his cabin while reading over the details of the mission. Laika rested at his feet while Serra too rested near him. Up in the crow's nest, Laura kept watch. " icebergs. No pirates. No nothing. I really don't know why I'm acting as the lookout. I think Zandria has better eyes than I do." The Latias grumbled as she floated from one side to the other. But then she suddenly felt a sense of malice. But she could not see very far at all. "Uh oh. That can't be good. Maybe....ah! I know!" She then flew down from the crow's nest and entered the ship.

Ruby was about to turn in for bed in her cabin when there was a knock at the door. When she opened it, Laura floated before her. "Hi, Ruby! Could you come with me for a minute?" The Lucario nodded and followed Laura up to the deck. Once there, the Latias asked, "Ruby, can you sense the Aura of other creatures?" Ruby nodded, "Yes. I haven't done it in a while, but I can." Laura then asked, "Could you search the area for others? I think we're not alone." The Lucario nodded and closed her eyes. Her Aura became visible as she focused. She soon spoke, "There's another ship approaching from the right. There are many occupants. And they seem to be armed."

Laura gulped, "Pirates. Sounds like trouble." She then told Ruby, "Wait at the back of the stern and lie low. I'm going to round up the girls." She then flew back inside as Ruby made her way to the back of the stern. Laura first stopped by the mess hall. "Zandria, we've got trouble!" The Zangoose put down the plate she was cleaning and asked, "What kind of trouble?" The Latias replied, "Pirates." Zandria got an excited twinkle in her eye and snickered, "Pirates, huh? Sounds like fun. I'll be right up." Zandria then ran down the hall while Laura went the other way to spread the word.

It did not take long for the word to spread to the other girls. But as Cassandra made her way up to the deck, she peeked into Ashton's cabin and found Serra and Laika there. She looked up at Ashton, worried that he would get hurt if drawn into the battle. She then nudged the door open and asked, "Laika, Serra. Could you two come with me, please?" The Salamence and Mightyena looked up at Ashton and saw that he was too immersed in his reading. They silently walked out of the cabin and shut the door behind them. It was then that Cassandra revealed to them the imminent pirate threat. Laika growled, "Pirates? Fine. I'll protect the master from them." Serra also nodded in agreement and followed Cassandra up to the deck.

Several minutes passed as a ship pulled up along the starboard side of the Flying Duskull. Many ropes were then lassoed to the railings of both ships, holding them together. But a wave caused the pirate ship to gently bump against the side of the Flying Duskull. In Ashton's quarters, the viscount felt the sudden jolt and looked around. "Did we run aground?" He then walked over to a window and looked outside. To his surprise, all he saw was a wooden wall. Only one thing crossed his mind. "Seems that we have some guests." He then grabbed the Flamberge, which he had hanging from a wall, and made his way down the hall towards the deck.

Up on deck, a number of men crossed over from the pirate ship and boarded the Flying Duskull under the cover of night. One whispered, "Kinda quiet." The one who seemed to be the leader replied, "Aye, but this only has ten crew, so it's only natural. Just be quiet. Don't want to risk damaging the booty." At that instant, a female voice called out, "But that means we can still kick YOUR booties, right?!" The pirates looked around in frenzy before the leader lit a match and held it to a torch. Once the deck was being illuminated, the gangs of pirates noticed nine Pokemon looking down at them from the stern near the helm. The Zangoose of the lot shouted, "You picked the wrong vessel to pillage, boys!" With that, all nine leapt from the stern and landed before the pirates.

"One, two, three.......what the?! Are these whelps nine of the ten crew?!" The leader of the pirates yelled as he counted them. Chiara rudely spoke, "What? Is it that hard to count to ten and notice one is missing?" The pirate grumbled, "Just because we be pirates don't mean we're stupid!" But as he drew his cutlass, a young woman's voice shouted, "Stand down, boys!" The pirate removed his hand from the hilt and stepped back, "Uh...aye, Captain."

Aurora gasped as someone walked forward, "Is the captain...a woman?" Standing in front of the pirates was a young woman who seemed to be only slightly older than Ashton. She wore a turquoise blue jacket and high heel boots. On the back of her waist was a short sword. She had orange hair that had a single ponytail at the side, but for some reason stuck straight out without drooping, possibly from being tightly held in place by the ribbon. She asked, "So, nine of the crew are Pokemon? What a motley bunch. But where's the captain?" Before any of the Pokemon could speak up, a voice spoke from behind them, "I'm right here."

Standing behind the nine Pokemon was Ashton, who had snuck through the door leading inside. Laika spoke, "We'll handle this." Ashton shook his head, "No, Laika. Leave these thugs to me." He then pushed his way past them and stood before the captain. "Now then, to what honor do I welcome this unexpected visit?" Ashton asked, but the captain remained silent. A moment passed before Ashton asked, "Well? What do you have to say?" One of the pirates even asked, "Captain? You come down with scurvy or something?" Ashton then noticed a slight trail of drool oozing down her chin. "Er.....are you drunk? Too much rum, perhaps?" At the mention of being drunk, the captain snorted, "Of course not! I'm as sober as a monk in Lent!" Ashton chuckled a little, but also noticed that she was blushing slightly. "Are you sure you're not drunk? You're face is red." The captain then yelled, "Shut up already! I'm not drunk!" The nine Pokemon behind Ashton giggled at the captain's response.

After everyone had stopped laughing, Ashton asked again, "I'll ask again. Who are you? It's not everyday that I encounter a female pirate." The captain smirked, "I am Black Mist, captain of the Perla Celeste. A real beaut, wouldn't ya say so?" She pointed over to the ship that was attached to the side of the Flying Duskull. Ashton nodded, "A fine vessel indeed. She seems as large as my own." He then faced Black Mist, "So then, when do you plan on leaving?" The captain giggled, "Once we're finished loading up the booty within your cargo hold." Ashton then reached for the hilt of the Flamberge on his back, "And if I were to refuse?" The pirates then began to chuckle as they drew their cutlasses. But they stopped when the captain threw up a hand. "Normally, I would order my boys here to storm the place, but I have a better idea." She then gripped the hilt of the sword on her hip and drew it. "You and me. One-on-one. Winner takes all."

There was a low murmur as the pirates conversed among themselves. "Is she serious? She's never done that before!" The captain called out, "All right, boys! Make some room!" In a tizzy, every pirate made their way back over to the Perla Celeste. Laura cried, "Lord Ashton! Let us help you!" But Ashton threw up an arm, "Do not fear. I will win this duel. Now get to the top of the stern." Reluctantly, all nine of them went up to the helm and watched. Ashton noticed the sword that Black Mist was holding. It was unusually thick. (Is it that way to endure heavy hits?) He then drew the Flamberge and held it in his right hand. Black Mist shuddered, (He's holding that with just one hand?! Blimey! Well blow me down if he's no Hercules. But even though that sword has great reach...) She then widened her stance and smirked, (My reach is greater still.)

Ashton made the first move. With a wide swing, he lashed out at Black Mist's shoulder. But the wily pirate brought up her sword to block the blow. She then shoved the Flamberge away and made a lunge at him. She took a few swings before Ashton kicked her away. It began to seem that Black Mist could not get near enough to truly make the best of her weapon. But suddenly, she thrust her sword out at Ashton, even though she was about 15 feet away. To everyone's surprise, the blade extended like that of a whip, the tip going straight towards Ashton's face!

"What the hell?!" Ashton yelled as he fell backwards to evade the shot, the sword flying just above his face and lightly nicking his nose. He landed with a thud as Black Mist yanked the blade back towards her and draped it over her shoulder. Ashton climbed to his feet and observed the strange weapon that his opponent was holding. Unlike before, it was now much longer and the blade had split into multiple fragments with a strong leather or steel string winding through the center of each. Ashton gulped, "Holy crap, is that a snake sword?!" Black Mist giggled, "Sure is. This particular model is the Viper Edge. And it BITES." Ashton shuddered as he looked at it. The blade was an icy blue and had a spike on the back of each section of the sword, now split in half with a half for each fragment.

Ruby turned to Chiara and asked, "Snake sword? What's that?" The Lugia smiled, "You really know who to ask when you have a question. Of course I know. The snake sword is a type of sword that can function as an ordinary sword or can take on the form and function of a chain whip. But due to how difficult it is to use it well without the wielder harming itself, they are somewhat unpopular. But a master of this bizarre weapon can hold their own against virtually any opponent due to the long reach of the snake sword when it is in its whip form." Ruby then looked back towards the deck and spoke, "Then that means Lord Ashton might not win this one!" But Laura shouted, "That's absurd! C'mon, Ashy! Show her that you're the number 1 knight in the kingdom!"

A vein bulged on Ashton's forehead as he turned towards the stern and shouted while shaking his left fist, "For the last fricking time, stop calling me that!" But Black Mist called out, "Never take your eyes off the prize!" Ashton turned around just in time to throw up his blade to block a wide swing from the Viper Edge. But the sword wrapped around the blade and locked in place. Ashton noticed and performed an upward swing, sending Black Mist upwards. When she came down overhead, Ashton nailed her in the gut with an uppercut, causing her to gag.

"You...brute! How dare you hit a girl?!" Black Mist wheezed as she hung from her abdomen over Ashton's fist. He replied, "Does it matter? I don't discriminate against my opponents, especially lowlife scum like pirates." He then pulled his arm away quickly and kicked Black Mist away before she could hit the floor. But the Viper Edge came loose in the process. Black Mist climbed to her feet while gripping her stomach, "Ouch...that's pretty good." She then looked ahead at him and smiled while panting, (The harder he fights me, the more I want him.) She then shouted, "Don't disappoint me!"

Black Mist took several swings at Ashton before striking low, wrapping the whip blade around his ankle before tripping him. She then released her hold and tried to bring the whip blade down into his head, but Ashton rolled out of the way and stomped his foot down on it, holding it in place. "Too bad, eh?" But Black Mist giggled, "For you, yeah." With a good yank, she pulled the blade out from under him, nearly tripping Ashton again. "A versatile weapon, I must admit. I never dreamed I would face off against someone who could use a snake sword so efficiently." Ashton applauded. Black Mist blushed, "It takes natural talent, believe me."

The duel continued on for another twenty minutes at the very least, Ashton having the stronger weapon, but Black Mist having the greater length of attack range. The two of them panted in exhaustion. It was then that Black Mist lashed out once more, wrapping the Viper Edge around the Flamberge's blade. With all her might, she pulled the sword out of Ashton's hand. "What?! Drat!" Ashton staggered back from the change in inertia. But before he could react, Black Mist lashed out and wrapped the Viper Edge around the viscount's throat! "You're mine now!"

Serenade screamed, "Brother, do something!" But as Ashton reached for the blades around his neck, Black Mist spoke, "Don't even think about it. One good yank of this hilt and your neck will be shredded." Ashton froze in utter horror at the thought. Cassandra felt tears build in her eyes at the thought of her beloved losing his head as his blood spilled across the deck. She screamed at Black Mist, "Don't you dare!" She prepared to leap down towards Ashton from the stern, but Black Mist replied, "Stay back! He's at my mercy now! If any of you try to step in, you can kiss your precious captain goodbye!" At this, all nine of them had tears in their eyes, certain that their beloved was about to meet his end.

Black Mist commanded, "Now then, kneel. And do it slowly." Ashton gulped and slowly lowered himself to his knees while keeping his arms out to his sides. (I can't believe this. How could I be brought to my knees by mere pirates?!) Ashton grumbled to himself. As soon as the viscount was at his knees, Black Mist began to walk towards him. All the while she kept a close eye on Laura and Chiara, making sure they were not using psychic forces to aid him. Their eyes would be glowing if they were. As Black Mist approached Ashton, the blade fragments closest to the hilt began to lock back in place in order to keep the noose around Ashton's neck taut.

Ashton was sweating profusely as he looked up at his executioner. Above them, Ruby clasped her hands together and prayed hard. "Please no. Please no. Please no." Slowly, Black Mist began to bend over towards Ashton. In fear of what was about to occur, Ashton closed his eyes. But he opened them abruptly at the feel of Black Mist placing a kiss on his forehead. All nine of the girls above them watched in stunned silence. Once Black Mist broke the kiss, she smiled gently at him and whispered, "Never before has a man given me such a good fight."

The grip of the Viper Edge released and retracted back to its standard form. Black Mist then called over to her crew, "OK, boys! We've got some new mates! Make sure they feel right at home!" Her right-hand man replied, "Aye, Captain! Look alive, lads! Make 'em feel welcomed!" The pirates began to head inside the Perla Celeste while others seemed to be searching through various cargo boxes that were on the deck. As Ashton stood up, all nine of his servants jumped down to him. "She's one brazen seadog! You OK, Ashton?" Zandria asked. Ashton simply replied, "Um...she sure is. As far as pirates go, they're pretty friendly."

As some pirates began to play music on harmonicas, bongo drums, and a flute, Ashton followed Black Mist up to the stern of the Perla Celeste. Ashton asked, "Perla Celeste means 'Celestial Pearl', does it not?" Black Mist nodded, "Sure does. And she's a real beaut. Never seen a ship as sleek and fast as her." Ashton joked, "So that's how you caught up with us." Black Mist let out a laugh, but soon noticed Laika at Ashton's side. "Didn't notice ya there. What's your name?" Laika muttered, "I protect the master." Ashton added, "Don't mind her if she seems quiet. Her name is Laika."

A short while later, Serenade passed by Ashton's quarters while he rested inside. She then noticed Black Mist coming down the hall towards her. She spoke, "Don't mind me. Just coming through." Serenade replied, "Oh that's quite all right." But as they passed, Black Mist's hand brushed against Serenade's fingers. As soon as they touched, Serenade stopped cold. Without the two red horns that Gardevoir are known to have, she could not sense emotions and intentions from afar, but could still sense them by touch. And there was only one thing going through Black Mist's mind at the time. (Lust.) As if to confirm this, Serenade heard the door to Ashton's cabin close behind her. "Oh no!"

Ashton looked ahead from his reading chair next to an oil lamp. "Ah, good evening Black Mist. May I help you?" The pirate smirked, "Actually, yes. Come here for a sec." Curious, Ashton put down his book and walked over to her. "So, what can I do for you?" Black Mist then placed her hands on his shoulders and smiled with an amorous gaze, "I just need you to let me take you." She then threw him towards his bed, causing him to fall backwards onto it.

Ashton groaned, "What the?! What's wrong with...urk!" He stopped short when Black Mist pinned him down by kneeling on his abdomen. Serenade was peeking through the keyhole to the cabin and gasped, "Oh no...what should I do?!" Black Mist blushed deeply, "You're the only man who has ever been my equal in battle. You are the perfect match for me." She then removed her jacket, revealing her large breasts. Ashton froze as he blushed a deep red. (They.....they're just as large as my mother's!!)

Black Mist then began to slide off her pants, but Ashton grabbed her leg and pleaded, "No, wait! This is! I'm not ready for this! I'm only 15!" Black Mist merely smirked and replied, "So? I'm only 18." Ashton gulped, "Well...what I mean is...I'm..." Black Mist giggled and stroked his face, "I always loved shy men. You're exactly my type." Ashton shivered as he began to sweat nervously, (Oh crap, I'm only making things worse!)

Black Mist began to reach for Ashton's groin area as she felt a slight erection bump her knee. Ashton was on the verge of panic as he finally shouted, "STOP!!!" This startled Black Mist as she asked, "What?! Don't you like what you see?!" Ashton panted, "It's not that. It's do I put this?" Black Mist asked, "Is there someone else?" Serenade felt her heart leap at this. (Could it be?! Is Ashton resisting her because he has already chosen one of us?!)

Ashton sighed, "I really do believe that you and I can become husband and wife someday, but not now. It's just too soon. Please, give me some time. When I have fallen for you, if ever, I'll seek you out." Black Mist chuckled, "If ever indeed. I get it. You're still undecided. No worries. If a little time is what you need, then I won't deny it to you. You handsome stud." Black Mist then climbed off Ashton and put her jacket back on. Outside the door, Serenade breathed a sigh of relief, (I can still win him over. I hope.)

As Black Mist buttoned her jacket, she asked, "Now that I think about it, where were you heading?" Ashton replied, "We were on our way to the Far East. I'm on a mission for the queen herself." Black Mist grinned, "In that case, I hope you don't mind if I escort you. We're not the only pirates on the high seas, you know." Ashton nodded, "That would be much appreciated. I'll see you in the morning." Black Mist waved at him with a wink thrown in, followed by a yawn as it was very late.

Just after Black Mist left his cabin, Ashton heard the door creak open and saw Laika come in. She gave him her usual cold gaze. Ashton sighed, "You don't always have to look so angry." Laika shrugged her shoulders and bounded up to Ashton's bed. But he surprised her by pulling her up to him. "Sir...what are you doing?" Ashton whispered, "I want you to understand that you are not alone. I love you. I love each of you and will never allow anyone to take you away from me."

Ashton held Laika very tenderly for a moment, but soon felt her tremble. "Laika?" The Mightyena faced him and buried her face into his chest while sobbing silently. Ashton caressed her head, "Shhh... I know it hurts. I can't even imagine the hell your life was before we met. But please understand. Your life of suffering has ended. I want your life to be filled with joy from now on." The Mightyena calmed down slightly at his words, her sobbing slowing and her trembling stopping entirely.

Ashton brought a hand under Laika's chin and raised her face to his. "Tell me. Are you happy now?" The Mightyena gave Ashton a very rare smile and whispered a single word. "Yes." She then pressed her head against him again. "Laika. There is no one here to harm me. Please sleep tonight. You need" Ashton felt Laika's chest rise and fall every two seconds and her eyes were closed. "Wow. She really was tired." Ashton then tucked her snugly into bed next to him. The bed was quite large and could contain all ten of them if necessary.

Ashton prepared to turn in for the night, but he was once again interrupted when he heard the door shut. This time it was Serra. Seeing his old friend brought a smile to Ashton's face. Ashton patted a space next to him. Serra nodded and walked towards him. With a quick bound, she jumped up next to Ashton and lied down next to him. She then gave him a gentle lick on the face.

As Ashton reached to turn off the oil lamp, he asked, "Serra, do you remember our vow?" As the room turned dark, the Salamence thought back a bit, trying to recall what he was referring to. Ashton then spoke, "Your proposal to me." Serra recalled right then, but sighed, knowing that Ashton was too young to fully grasp the concept of marriage. But Ashton caressed her face, "I have not forgotten. I'll admit that I was too naïve then to understand, but I eventually came to realize what it means to be husband and wife. Serra, I still wish to follow through with my promise."

Serra let out a gasp as she heard what Ashton just told her. He still loved her enough to marry her?! He embraced her, "Once the queen decrees the equality of Pokemon and humans, we will get married. Is that what you want?" The Salamence sighed and folded her wings over him in an embrace of her own. Ashton whispered, "I love you, Serra." He then pulled the blanket over them before falling asleep in his fiancé's embrace.

Over the next few days, Ashton and his entourage enjoyed the company of Black Mist's crew. They were a very jolly bunch and gave them live entertainment every night, although Ashton made sure to stay away from the rum. The same could not be said for Black Mist as she would frequently get drunk, only to strip her clothes off and try to put the moves on Ashton. It would take the whole group of nine Pokemon to keep her away from him whenever that happened..

Sometime in the afternoon, Ashton came up on deck to get some fresh air. "Ahoy, Ashton! No signs of trouble today!" The lookout in the Perla Celeste's crow's nest called down to him. In order to make sure that the faster pirate vessel would not cruise off and leave the Flying Duskull behind, they had left the two ships tied together. Soon Ruby came up on deck.

Ashton turned to face his friend and waved, "Good day, Ruby. Oh?" He noticed a worried look on her face. He asked, "Something wrong?" She replied, "I tried searching around us for other Aura, and I sensed a lot of them coming from ahead. Or rather, they're just standing there. It's like they're waiting for us." Ashton grumbled to himself and spoke, "Ruby, go fetch the other ladies. I think this might be a serious threat." Ruby nodded and went back inside to round up the others.

Ashton went back inside as well and fetched the Flamberge from his cabin. When he went back up on deck, he went to the front of the bow and scanned the horizon. After a moment, he turned towards the lookout and called, "I have a hunch that we're in for some rough times. Let the rest of the crew know to come out on deck." The lookout replied, "Aye!" He then slid down a rope with a pulley and ran inside. A few minutes passed before the entire crew was out on deck.

Black Mist walked over to Ashton and asked, "So, what's happening?" Ashton replied, "I have reason to believe that we're in for a fight." Right when he said that, a small figure was spotted ahead. As they approached it, the nine Pokemon of Ashton's entourage came up on deck. Ruby shouted, "There! I can sense! HUNDREDS of Auras there!" Black Mist looked at Ruby with a look of panic. "Did you...say HUNDREDS?!" Ruby nodded. Black Mist groaned, "That scum's found us! C'mon, boys! Ready the cannons!"

The two ships began to turn sideways so the cannons of the Perla Celeste could face the target. It seemed to be no larger than a typical merchant vessel. But before the cannons could fire, something began to happen. It seemed as if a massive whale was rising up under it! After a moment, everyone stood aghast at the sight before them. What they had presumed to be a ship was in fact the very top of a truly massive sea vessel! It was the size of a large whale! And if that was not bad enough, a row of cannons adorned each side. Black Mist groaned, "Archibald. Never thought he'd catch up to us."

Before long, a man came out from a hatch at the base of the structure that was on top of the rest of the ship. He wore a blue bandanna over his head and an eye patch over his left eye. He wore black pants and boots and a black jacket that opened halfway up, revealing his muscled chest. He also had a stubby black beard adorning his broad face. There seemed to be a long falchion at his side. He called out, "Black Mist, it's been a while. And I see you brought along some new friends."

Black Mist shouted, "You scum, Archibald! You are a total disgrace to seamen everywhere!" Ashton then asked, "Just who is he? A rival of yours?" Black Mist growled, "He's the captain of the ship before you. It's known as the Leviathan. You won't find another bloke more heartless than him. When he captures a ship, no matter if the crew resists or surrenders, he has them all slaughtered before sinking it after removing the cargo." Aurora cringed, "Such brutality. This man is truly the scourge of the sea."

Archibald pointed towards the two ships before him and shouted, "Open fire!" But after a moment of silence, he yelled, "What's wrong?! FIRE!!!" A crewman called out through the hatch, "Captain, we have no cannons on the front side!" Archibald brought a hand to his face. "Fine then. In fact, this is very convenient." He then called back to the crewman, "Release it!" The crewman ducked back inside and closed the hatch behind him.

Cassandra tilted her head and asked, "What do you suppose he was referring to when he said to release something?" Black Mist gulped, "Crap... I thought it was just a legend..." Ashton then asked, "Well what is it?" Black Mist shuddered, "Wait and see. We're about to find out."

Unbeknownst to them, a compartment underneath the surface of the ocean opened at the front of the Leviathan. A pair of eyes glowed a cruel red as it swam out and began to surface. With its two large fins that resembled wings, it rose up upon an updraft of water vapor, giving it the appearance that it was flying. As soon as it floated in front of the three ships, Archibald shouted, "Behold! My ultimate weapon!"

Chiara was the first to speak. " can't be! Kyogre?!" Ashton gasped, "Impossible! Kyogre only appears in legend! There's no way that a mere mortal can be in control of it!" Archibald then laughed, "Well then, if you need convincing, allow me!" He then pointed towards the two ships. "Kyogre! Send these fools to the bottom of the sea!"

The Kyogre began to gather cold energy for a Sheer Cold attack. Chiara screamed, "Get behind me!" She then flew in front of the two ships and hovered in place. As soon as Kyogre launched the deadly Ice type blast, Chiara projected a massive barrier before her. The Sheer Cold attack crept over the barrier, forming a spectacular dome of ice, which collapsed into the sea when Chiara dispelled the barrier. "We Lugia are known as the "Guardians of the Sea". I will not allow you to harm my family as long as they float upon my domain!"

Chiara began to gather what seemed to be a deep breath as the Kyogre seemed to be preparing a Hydro Pump. "Begone!" The midget Lugia screamed as she sent a potent Aeroblast at the Kyogre. Even though the attack struck the Hydro Pump, the wind-based blast blew right through it and struck the Kyogre in the forehead, pushing it downwards with a powerful shockwave. But it soon floated back up to its previous height above the ocean. Chiara gasped, "Does it not feel pain?! In fact, judging by that blank expression, it doesn't feel anything at all!"

Archibald pointed towards the Lugia, "End this. Skewer it and the entire crew!" At this command, a number of thin pillars of water rose up around the Kyogre. They then soon solidified into many Icicle Spears. Chiara once again created a large barrier before her, but when the Icicle Spears struck, their streamlined form and sheer force of impact shattered the barrier!

"No! I must...ARGH!!" Chiara screamed as a Hyper Beam nailed her in the chest, as the Kyogre's mouth was not occupied for the Icicle Spear barrage. The Lugia went flying into the stern of the Perla Celeste as the Icicle Spears crashed into the hulls of both ships. The pirates hit the deck to evade the higher shots. Ashton turned towards Chiara and shouted, "Chiara! Just hold on!" But as he was about to run towards her, Ruby shouted, "Lord Ashton! Behind you!"

At Ruby's words, Ashton turned around. His face became filled with utter terror as an Icicle Spear was barreling directly towards his face! Time seemed to move in slow motion as there was no time for Ashton to evade it. He closed his eyes as the distance narrowed. But at the last second, something or someone slammed into Ashton at the side, knocking him down. There was a sickening sound of flesh being torn followed by a number of thuds as the creature was knocked backwards along the deck.

Ashton stayed still for a moment and opened his eyes. He looked around in a panic as he tried to figure out who had saved him. But when he looked towards the stern, his heart stopped at the sight of his beloved Serra impaled on a thick Icicle Spear, her blood oozing across the deck. "SERRA!!!" He dashed over to her and fell to his knees, his eight other servants gathering around him.

"Serra, look at me!" Ashton pleaded as he held the Salamence's face in his hands. Her eyes opened slowly and she gazed up at him. "Thank God... I thought I lost you..." The Salamence tenderly raised a foreleg to his chest. Ashton took it in both hands and spoke as tears flowed down his face, "You saved me. I am in your debt. Just rest for now. Serenade will tend to your wounds and..." Ashton stopped speaking as she placed a sweet kiss on his lips. Where Laura would have been filled with jealousy, she was now filled with pity. She could tell that this was Serra's way of saying goodbye.

Serra's body fell limp once she broke the kiss, her eyes casting one final gaze of love upon her fiancé before they closed forever. Ashton pleaded, "No, stay awake! You're not going to die here! Do you hear me?! You're going to be fine! I promised that we would be together forever! Wake up! Wake up!" Ashton screamed as he shook her frantically. Steadily, the truth began to sink in. There was a solemn silence as the crew of both the Flying Duskull and the Perla Celeste honored Serra's final moments with her fiancé.

Ashton shuddered as tears cascaded down his face. "Serra...?" He gently stroked her face, but felt no life. He fell forward over her and let out a wail of rage and loss, having failed to protect the woman he loved. "WHHHHHYYYYYYY!!!" The sky began to turn stormy and dark as lightning streaked through the clouds. Flames began to climb over Ashton's body as he trembled uncontrollably. His eyes, still pouring tears, were now filled with rage and hatred on levels that even Serenade had never witnessed before. Archibald had stolen the woman Ashton had vowed to spend the rest of his life with. And soon, the Vulcan Warrior would have his revenge.
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