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.

Revenge and Loss

Dark storm clouds flashed with lightning over the ocean as a sense of tension descended upon the three ships. Archibald looked on in curiosity at the sight ahead of him. Ashton was becoming covered in flames, yet did not seem to be in pain. "It feels like a storm's approaching. But not the likes of any storm I've ever weathered."

Ashton wailed as he clutched Serra's corpse, "HOW COULD THEY?! WHAT RIGHT DID THEY HAVE?!" The flames that had crept over his body began to blaze intensely, but did not seem to affect the deck or Serra's body. "SERRRAAA!!!" The viscount screamed in rage and loss as he held the body of his fiancé in his arms, who had died while defending from a fatal attack. A pair of large rainbow wings of fire emerged from his back.

Serenade shuddered in horror at the sight of Ashton's most fearsome power manifesting itself once again. ", not again!" Black Mist yelled, "What the devil's going on here?! What is this guy?!" Aurora replied as she endured the waves of hot air that were being blown from the flames. "Do you know of the Vulcan Warrior?" The pirate captain replied, "Kinda.....wait. Are you saying he...?" The Suicune nodded, "Yes. Ashton is the Vulcan Warrior, slayer of the Night Hawk and the man who destroyed the Black Wing." Black Mist slowly looked back towards the furious knight. "No way... That HIM?!"

Ashton slowly turned around and glared towards the Leviathan and the Kyogre that floated before it on water vapors. Despite being well over 1,000 yards away, Archibald felt cold sweat trickle down his face. He felt as if he was staring into Ashton's eyes from just a few inches away. And they spoke very clearly. "I'm going to kill you and there's nothing you can do to stop me."

Ashton raised his face to the sky and screamed, ropes of fire lashing out all over the place and igniting a few spots on both the Flying Duskull and the Perla Celeste. His rainbow wings opened wide as he lowered his gaze to the Kyogre that floated before him. In a blink of an eye, Ashton soared right up in front of the Kyogre with a raised fist. Then, with one blow, he sent the Sea Basin Pokemon smashing through the front of the bow of the Leviathan! There was a mighty crash as it went barreling through the hull, well over 2,000 feet, and out the other side at the back of the stern! The Kyogre skipped across the ocean for a moment before stopping itself. Not the least bit satisfied, Ashton soared through the opening in the hull and past hundreds of frightened crew members as he chased after his prey.

Archibald shouted, "Fire at will! Do whatever it takes to bring him down, Kyogre!" This was the captain's signal for the Pokemon to fight however it saw fit. It replied to this by sending a Hydro Pump towards Ashton as he emerged from the hole in the back of the stern. But as the water struck him, Ashton's shroud of flames surged with such intensity that the Hydro Pump was reduced to steam! "STRUGGLE ALL YOU WANT! IT'S NO USE!" Ashton screamed as he passed right through the torrent as if it was not even there. He slammed into the Kyogre with a kick to the chin, but he looked up in surprise to see a sphere of orange energy forming! (Does it not feel pain?!) Knowing that his flames would not endure a Hyper Beam, Ashton flew away from the Kyogre.

The Pokemon fired the Hyper Beam at the fleeing viscount, but Ashton spiraled out of the way at the last second, even without looking over his shoulder. He flew sideways just inches above the sea. The Kyogre sent a flurry of Icicle Spears at Ashton as he closed in on it. He dodged and rolled to evade the barrage and was on the verge of reaching the Kyogre when a tidal wave rose up before him! "What the...Surf?!" Ashton could not fall back quick enough and was crushed underneath the massive wave.

Aurora and Chiara rested to catch their breaths after using Water type attacks to put out the flames that had spread to the ships. Meanwhile, Black Mist and the other six girls watched from the bow of the Flying Duskull. Laura screamed, "ASHY, NOOOO!!! DON'T DROWN NOW!" Cassandra prayed, "You can't die now... You just can't..." Laika gritted her teeth and whispered, "Don't die on us now....."

Ashton sank beneath the waves, dazed from the force of the impact. "No....not yet! Not until I avenge her!" Ashton's burning wings spread open and began to flap, propelling him like a pair of fins. He then went into a spiral as he neared the surface. "A human can't take on a monster like that. Only another Pokemon of legend can handle the job!" Ashton prepared himself as he neared the surface.

Ruby gasped as she saw an orange color fill the sea near where Ashton had gone down. "Wha...what's that?!" Zandria clenched a fist, "Yeah! No way would he've stayed down!" But to everyone's shock, a towering vortex of flames shot up from the ocean and into the sky. Serenade shuddered, "A waterspout of fire? This...this is beyond anything the likes I've ever seen. Even when our parents were attacked, he's never shown this kind of rage." But inside of the vortex, Ashton made three hand signs and shouted, "TRANSFORM!!!"

Streams of fire began to jut out of the vortex, each a different color. A moment later, something emerged from the very top of the vortex and took a nosedive towards the sea while being enshrouded in flames. The form seemed to be a large avian creature. But just before striking the ocean, the creature changed course and veered towards the Kyogre, its flames being blown off. There was an audible gasp as everyone who was witnessing the battle observed the creature that was charging the Kyogre. Black Mist yelled, "What the hell?! That's not Ashton!" But Aurora, being a Suicune and having distant connections with the creature, whispered, "Ho-oh?"

To the shock of everyone that was witnessing the battle; the Kyogre was not facing off against Ashton now, but a Ho-oh! The phoenix soared across the sea with eyes filled with rage. Not the least bit phased, the Kyogre fired a potent Ice Beam at him. The Ho-oh let out an earsplitting screech as a massive Fire Blast was fired from its beak, overwhelming the Ice Beam and scorching the Sea Basin Pokemon. While the Kyogre was stunned, the Ho-oh screamed in a familiar voice, "WHY WON'T YOU DIE?!" It then became engulfed in flames and soared by the Kyogre while slicing it with a Sky Attack! It then rose up into the sky and hovered in place, frustrated by the lack of damage it was inflicting.

Ashton growled as he realized that this Kyogre did not seem capable of feeling pain. "Is it brain-dead?" Just then, pillars of water shot up at him in the form of a Water Spout! Ashton was not able to escape all of them and was knocked out of the sky. But as he fell back towards the sea, he decided to cancel his transformation and was engulfed in a sudden puff of smoke. Once he fell out of the cloud, he sent a rope of fire from his right hand towards the Flying Duskull.

"Oh man, that's coming right for us!" Zandria yelled as the massively long rope of flames reached towards them. But it only grabbed the hilt of the Flamberge, which had fallen where Ashton had been knocked down by Serra. With an upward flick, the zweihander went spinning through the air towards the two dueling masters of water and fire. Just before Ashton hit the water, he spread his wings and swooped toward the Kyogre. He then intercepted the Flamberge just before it could hit the ocean. The Kyogre once again sent a flurry of Icicle Spears towards Ashton. However, the enraged warrior dodged what he could and shattered what he could not evade with the Flamberge.

Ashton swooped just below the Kyogre's face and sent it upwards with a mighty underhand swing of his massive blade. With a mighty flap of his wings, he pursued the Kyogre. Once he was eye level with it, Ashton began to slice and dice away with his weapon, intense flames heading every which way with each swing. The heat of the flames could be felt as if the sea around the three ships had become a desert. After a moment of nonstop slashing, Ashton slammed his blade into the head of the Kyogre with both hands, sending them plummeting into the ocean below.

The two combatants hit the water with a huge splash, but the Kyogre quickly resurfaced, many cuts adorning its flesh. But by this time, Ashton was both furious and baffled. "No blood?! What the hell?!" He then sent the Kyogre upwards once again with an underhand swing, but just after that Ashton placed the Flamberge on his back. "Let's see just how much blood is in that heartless shell of yours!"

Ashton reached out with his hand and sent a rope of fire towards the Kyogre. Once it touched the Sea Basin Pokemon, the rope of fire wrapped itself around it. But the creature struggled and tried to extinguish the flames. Ashton then held out his other hand and wrapped another rope of fire around the creature. Serenade covered her mouth in horror, "No, not again!" Ashton then closed both hands. "Crimson Blossom!"

In a split-second, the Kyogre was engulfed in a massive cataclysm of fire as bits and pieces of ashes fell from the sky. But Serenade noticed something different. "Strange... It doesn't look the way it should. Something's missing." Chiara then added, "You mean the proverbial 'Blossom'? The petals are made of burning blood. But if there's no petals..."

Ashton watched in confusion as the Kyogre was reduced to ashes. "Something doesn't add up. Where's the blood?!" He then noticed a piece of the Kyogre falling towards him and caught it. It was the left eye and the area of skin around it. As the fire consumed it, it crumbled into a small pile of dirt. Ashton closed his hand and crushed whatever remained. "It was just a lifeless golem?! That type of magic is the most forbidden in the world!" But after he said that, Archibald shouted, "All port cannons, open fire!"

Ashton turned just in time to see every cannon on the port side of the Leviathan roar with cannonballs, as his battle with the Kyogre golem had drawn him over there. "I'm not done with you yet!" Ashton then swooped towards the Leviathan, cannonballs exploding around him. At one point he nearly ran into one, but split it in two with one clean stroke of the Flamberge. Once he was close enough, Ashton flew upwards and out of reach of the cannons. After placing the Flamberge on his back again, Ashton growled, "It's time that I send this flotsam to the bottom of the sea!"

Archibald strained his eyes as he searched the dark clouds above him. "Where'd that landlubber go? I can't scuttle his vessel until he's dead!" Just then, a fiery glow lit up the clouds. At that moment, a scream was heard, "PHOENIX MAELSTROM!!!" At that, Archibald looked around and noticed at the last second a massive spinning arrowhead of flames diving towards him! "No...get away!" Archibald panicked and made a run for the center structure atop the main body of the Leviathan. But just before he reached it, the captain looked up and froze with utter terror in his eyes as the Vulcan Warrior went spiraling towards him.

The instant after striking Archibald, the Phoenix Maelstrom struck the Leviathan itself. There was a deafening crash as the entire ship was split in two, the bow and stern angling upwards from the impact at the center. But when the rapidly rotating Phoenix Maelstrom struck the ocean after crashing through the bottom of the hull, a whirlpool began to form, sucking the two severed halves of the Leviathan and all her crew into it. Worse, the Perla Celeste and Flying Duskull were starting to be drawn into it as well. "Chiara, we must stop this!" Aurora shouted as she focused, trying to keep the water that the two ships were floating on from being drawn into the vortex. Chiara nodded and her eyes began to glow a light blue. Over the course of three minutes, the whirlpool steadily shrank. Before long, the Leviathan was gone, taking with her the most hated pirate crew in the world. But Chiara looked around over the side, "He's not coming up!" She then dove into the ocean with a look of panic in her eyes.

As Ashton sank with the wreck of the Leviathan, he asked in his mind, "Serra.....did I do enough? Was to avenge your death? I knew this would not bring you back......but it had to be done..." The viscount slowly drifted into unconsciousness as the form of a Lugia swam towards him.

"Easy now... He needs to rest. He's still weak from lack of oxygen." Ashton's eyelids twitched as Serenade spoke while looking over him. When he looked upwards, he saw that the moon now adorned the sky. "Serenade... Where am I?" Although surprised to find her brother awake, she replied, "You're on the deck of the Flying Duskull. Just try not to overexert yourself. That was quite a duel you had." Ashton sat up and sighed, "That's right. Somehow.....I sank the Leviathan because....." He then looked towards the stern. Serra's corpse lied right where he left it.

Ashton struggled to his legs, the Flamberge falling from his back. Serenade spoke, "No, Ashton! You're not strong enough to walk yet!" But the viscount groaned, "Don't bother me now." He then staggered over to Serra's body and dropped to his knees. Slowly, he removed the Icicle Spear from her body, even though it had mostly melted by now. He stared at her as everyone watched. Then he whispered, tears flowing from his eyes, "I avenged your death.....but my heart still feels empty..."

The viscount gently took the Salamence's head into his arms and wept. "Why?! Why did you throw your life away for me?! It should've been me! I should've been the one to die. I deserve it! I deserve it like all other humans do!" Black Mist walked over to Ashton and laid a hand on his shoulder. " going to be OK?" The viscount replied, "I'm sorry, but I need to ask you all to let me be for a while." The pirate captain sighed and raised a hand, "You heard him, boys. Give him some room." The crew replied, "Aye, Captain." They all began to head below deck while Black Mist walked over to the eight Pokemon servants. "That means you girls too." She then followed her crew below deck.

Cassandra sighed, "I don't want to leave him alone when he's so upset, but if he commands it..." The Absol then turned and headed inside the Flying Duskull, followed by six of the other girls. However, Laika remained. She walked over to Ashton and stood behind him. After a moment, the viscount spoke, "Leave me alone, Laika." But the Mightyena replied, "I must guard you at all times. I can't leave you." Ashton then said, "Just this once. I need to be absolutely alone right now. Please leave me."

Laika continued to stay behind Ashton, even after he commanded her to leave him alone. Ashton spoke, a hint of irritation in his voice, "Laika, don't force me to make you leave me alone." The Mightyena then coldly replied, "It's my duty. I must stay by your side. No matter what. I don't allow emotions to interfere with my objective. I must..." Laika stopped when Ashton turned and stared at her with a great deal of anger in his eyes, "And that's the problem! Your heart is like a stone! You can't understand the pain I'm going through because you can't love anyone! You don't care about how others feel! You'll never know what it's like to lose the love of your life! Now begone!" At this outburst, Laika eyes began to fill with tears and her body trembled. The normally cold and silent Mightyena turned and ran inside the Flying Duskull.

Ashton held Serra's body tightly against him and sobbed, "It shouldn't be this way... You deserved to live more than I do. Why must you leave me?!" Out of nowhere, a voice replied, "I died for you because I love you." Ashton looked around frantically. Just then, everything went black. "What is this? Why can't I see anything?!" A moment later, a holy light appeared before Ashton. And standing in that light was what appeared to be a humanoid female Salamence. But unlike a typical Salamence, her wings were covered in white feathers instead of red scales. She was also clothed in a white tunic. Ashton spoke, "S...Serra?"

The angelic Salamence before Ashton smiled, "Yes, dear Ashton. It is I. Serra." Ashton gave her a relieved smile, "You look so beautiful... I don't know what happened, but I can't describe how elated I am that you're still here!" However, she raised a hand and said, "No. I am already dead. What you see before you is my soul. I do not have long before I ascend into Heaven." Ashton then screamed, "Why?! Why must you leave me again?!" He continued to weep, "Every day that went by since we departed at the castle gates, I wondered when we would meet again. And finally, after five long years, we were reunited. But it's been less than a week! Why must you leave so soon?!" Ashton fell to his hands, "I loved you! Why must you leave me when we vowed to spend the rest of our lives together?!"

Serra walked over to Ashton and kneeled before him. She caressed his face, "It pains me as well that we must now part ways, but I have one final request to ask." Ashton nodded, "Name it, and it will be done." She then spoke, "I want you to go on with your life. Find love anew. I want you to find another true love and to raise a family with her. Don't wallow in misery forever just because I'm gone. We will meet again someday." Ashton asked, "Why would you want me to find love with someone else?" She then smiled, "I want you to succeed and be happy because I love you. It pains me to see you in so much pain." Ashton sobbed again, but nodded, "Very well. I will never forget our love, but I will seek out love anew. Someday I will marry, but it will be out of love, not just because you wanted me to."

Serra held Ashton in a tender embrace and pressed her lips against his. Even though her mouth was now occupied, her voice spoke, "I love you, Ashton. Don't dwell on the past forever. Move forward and embrace the future. Farewell, my love." As she spoke, her body began to fade away in a pillar of heavenly light. Once she vanished, Ashton found himself on the deck of the Flying Duskull. He wiped his tears away and whispered, "Goodbye, Serra. And thank you."

Ashton carried Serra's body down to the mess hall and found Zandria with a plate of fried calamari waiting for him. "Feeling better, Ashton? You must be hungry. Eat up. Just caught this squid a few hours ago." Ashton sighed, "Thanks. But do you have space in the cold storage compartment?" Zandria nodded, "What? For her? Sure. Cassandra just finished freezing it up too." She then led Ashton over to a large chamber that was filled with ice. "This will keep her preserved until we get back home." He then laid Serra's corpse down inside and closed the chamber. He then took a seat and began to enjoy his calamari. "I never was very fond of squid, but you can make anything taste good, Zandria." The Zangoose chuckled, "Anything to put a smile on your face."

After finishing dinner, Ashton made his way up to his cabin. But when he tried to open it, he found that it was locked. "Locked? I don't recall locking it when I left it." He then pressed his ear to the door and listened. He could hear what sounded like crying. He knocked, "Whoever is in there, open this door. It's my cabin, you know." There was no response. "Look, if you don't unlock this door right now, I'll have no choice but to break the door down." After a moment of no reply, Ashton cracked his knuckles and said, "Fine. Here goes!" He took a step back and rammed his shoulder into the door. After a few more tries, the door flew open. But what Ashton saw surprised him. "Laika?"

Lying on Ashton's bed was Laika. But what was truly shocking was that she had her face buried in a pillow while crying her eyes out. Ashton sighed, knowing that it must have been something he said, and took a seat next to her. He rested a hand on her back, "Laika, why are you crying? I've never seen you like this." The Mightyena looked up and back at him, her eyes swollen from all the crying she had been doing. "It's OK. Tell me what has hurt you so."

Laika sobbed, "You were right about one thing. My heart is a heart of stone. All the pain I had to put up with every day of my life killed my emotions. All I ever knew was hatred. It's hard for me to show emotions when all I ever felt in the past was anger and pain. All of these pleasant emotions are new to me. And you're right about another thing. I can't understand the pain of losing the love of your life because I have never lost anyone I cared for. But I am capable of love! I just can't show it very well. It's who I am!" Ashton then asked, "If that's so, is there someone you love?" The albino Mightyena nodded. "Then who do you love?" She spoke, "I love you."

Ashton sighed as he heard Laika speak those three special words. "And not just you. I care for the other seven too. Especially Ruby. She's someone I have no trouble opening up to. They are the first real family I've ever had. I don't even want to think about what I would do if I lost them or you." Ashton silently took Laika into his arms and held her tightly. "I'm sorry if what I said hurt you. The pain of losing someone who was your best friend in childhood can make you feel helpless and angry at yourself. If I seemed angry, it was towards me, not you."

Ashton whispered to Laika, "Are you feeling better?" She sniffed, "Yes. I feel much better now." Ashton then asked, "Laika, may I ask a favor of you?" The Mightyena looked up at him, "Sure." He then spoke, "I want to see you smile. Please smile at me at least once a day from now on. You don't have to start a conversation. Just smile for me." Laika sighed and tried to follow through with his request. After a moment of trying, Laika looked up at Ashton with a slightly awkward, yet genuine smile. Ashton nodded, "Very beautiful." Laika raised a paw to her face and blushed, but Ashton grabbed her paw and shook his head, "No. A thing of such beauty should never be hidden." She shed another tear, but out of joy. Ashton chuckled, "Shedding all those tears must've dried you out. Head on down to the mess hall and get some water. Can't use the ocean, you know." Laika nodded and hopped down from the bed. She then ran out the door and down the hall.

Ashton walked over to the door and checked the damage from barging through it. As far as he could tell, the damage was very minor, almost nonexistent. "That was close. Almost thought I wouldn't have any privacy for the rest of the voyage." Just then, Laura peeked in. "Lord Ashton?" The viscount looked up and spoke, "Ah, Laura. Why the long face? It's not like you to look so depressed." The Latias sighed, "I know. But even I can't stay in high spirits after seeing a companion die." Ashton sighed, "I know. But is there something you wish to ask me?" She nodded, "Yes. But please don't tell anyone I brought this up." Ashton nodded and closed the door behind them and locked it.

Laura began, "Serra... Back home, she told me that you had proposed to her and that she had accepted. Is this true?" Ashton bowed his head and turned around. "It is true. I was too young at the time to fully understand the concept of a marriage, but when I became old enough and read about it, I chose to go through with my vow. Once the queen decreed the equality of Pokemon and humans, we were to get married." Laura felt tears building in her eyes, (So it's true.) But Ashton turned to face her, "However, I spoke with her just before she went on to Heaven. It may have been a I know it was her. Serra. She told me that she wanted me to move on with my life. To find love anew. She may be gone forever, but I will press on and find a new love. Someday I will get married to a woman I truly love."

Laura breathed a sigh of relief. "I'm glad. I really hope you find the right girl someday. Is there anything I can do for you, my lord?" Ashton shook his head, "No. I just need to wait for Laika to return and then I'll be heading off to bed." Laura smiled, "OK. Please try to cheer up at least, Ashy." As she left the room, Ashton grumbled, "Where in the world did she come up with that nickname anyway?" But just outside the door, Laura closed her eyes, "Serra, I know the kind of love you felt towards Ashton all too well. I promise that when we marry, I'll make him happy like you intended too. Rest peacefully. Your love for him lives on in me."

Over the course of 40 days, the Flying Duskull and the Perla Celeste continued on towards the Far East. Ashton was still a bit quiet with mourning from the loss of his beloved Serra, but all eight of his servants did everything they could to cheer him up. Even Black Mist did what she could to lighten his mood. And every night before bed, Laika would stay true to her promise and smile for Ashton.

"Captain Ashton? Hey! Wake up!" A pirate of the Perla Celeste pounded on his door. Ashton groaned, "What the devil is it? It's barely dawn!" The pirate replied, "Sorry to wake you so early, but it's Captain's orders. She needs to see you up on deck! Get dressed and hurry!" Once Ashton could hear his footsteps walking away, he sat up and stretched. Laika asked with a yawn, "What could be so important?" Ashton yawned as he got out of bed, "Don't know, but this better be good."

Once he was dressed, Ashton and Laika made their way up to the deck. Once they were outside, they saw Black Mist standing at the bow. She turned and waved, "Ahoy, Ashton! Oh, hey there Laika." Ashton grumbled, "Let's cut to the chase. Why'd you want me up here?" The captain then pointed out from the bow. "Land ho." Ashton's eyes opened wide and he ran up to the bow and looked out from the morning mist. In the distance was definitely a landmass. "We made it. The Far East."

Black Mist then turned to Ashton and said, "The reason why I needed to see you was because this is as far as I can take you. We're pirates, after all. We're not exactly a welcomed bunch." Ashton nodded, "I see. But if this is where we part ways for the time being, I have a favor to ask." Black Mist smirked, "Lay it on me." Ashton nodded, "OK. But just give me a minute. Laika, wait here." He then headed back inside and down to the mess hall.

Black Mist paced the deck for a few minutes before she noticed Ashton come outside again. But when she saw what he was carrying, she gagged, "What the?! What's the deal?!" Ashton spoke, "I want you to bring Serra home to Rohta. Take her to the queen and tell her that I, Ashton Redford Crimson, sent you. The royal guards and soldiers shouldn't bother you if you tell them I sent you. Tell the queen that Serra died protecting me from pirates. I want her to be properly preserved so I may give her a proper burial when I return."

Black Mist looked down at Serra and sighed, "You and she were really tight, huh?" Ashton nodded, "More than you could ever know. We were practically soul mates at one time." Black Mist bowed her head, "I see. You and she were supposed to be a team of the Dragon Masters Unit. OK, but I'm only doing this for you, Ashton. I have a Starmie scout that can use Ice Beam. I'll make sure Serra here stays frosty throughout the voyage." Ashton smiled, "I'm in your debt."

After having a crewmate take Serra's body below deck, Black Mist sighed, "I know what it's like to lose someone who looks out for you. We pirates have had our share of scuffles and I've had to watch a number of my shipmates die. Not pleasant." She then turned and held Ashton in a tender embrace, "We'll be back in about two months. Archibald may be gone, but that doesn't mean the seas are that much safer." Ashton held her close, "I hope we meet again. Take care, Black Mist." Black Mist then gave him a sweet little kiss on the cheek, "Stay alive for me."

Black Mist and Ashton shared one long gaze of respect and friendship as the crew of the Perla Celeste untied the ropes that held the two ships together. As the Perla Celeste began to leave the Flying Duskull's side, Black Mist closed her eyes and whispered, "I love you, Ashton." She then waved goodbye as the two captains lost sight of each other.

Ashton made his way up to the stern and called down to Laika, "Awaken the others. Tell them we'll be reaching shore within the hour!" Laika nodded and went back inside. Ashton took the helm and guided the ship towards the landmass before him. "Ruby's homeland. And the home of Master Koga as well. I can hardly wait."
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