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.

A Dream Realized

Ashton stood just outside the cottage as he waited for his eight lovers to join him. It was around noon as they had just finished lunch and Ashton was dressed in his armor with the Flamberge on his back. He looked up at the sky through the trees. He could almost feel the many souls thanking him after they had been released from Soul Edge after Night Terror's demise. He also smiled, knowing that the people of Verdant were probably already returning home.

"Did we keep you waiting, brother?" Serenade asked as she emerged from the cottage. Ashton turned to face her, "Not really. Are you all prepared for the walk home?" Ruby answered as she also emerged from the cottage, "Yes. We're all rested and ready." The other six also emerged and stood near Ashton. Starlet then ran out of the cottage, "Serenade, just a moment." The Gardevoir asked, "Yes, Mother?" She then approached her mother. Starlet smiled, "Just let me take a look at you."

Starlet kneeled and examined Serenade's abdomen. "Um...Mother? What are you doing?" Starlet looked up at her daughter and grinned, "I heard you are carrying my grandchild." Serenade blushed as she smiled. Starlet sighed, "I am very proud of you." She then ran her hands over a certain area of Serenade's belly and stopped. "Oh my. You're starting to show." Serenade gasped and carefully traced her fingers over her belly. Sure enough, she felt a firm gentle curve. She glanced over to Ashton and smiled, "Ashton, our child is growing well!" Ashton blushed as he chuckled, "Was there any doubt?!"

Ashton walked over to his mother and embraced her, "You take care. I'll try to visit more often from now on." Starlet giggled, "That would be lovely. Your father and I would love to see you more often." She suddenly froze as one of Ashton's hands snuck down to her belly and rested against her. The Gardevoir blushed and gently whispered into his ear, "I will let you know when I start to show." Ashton gave his mother a tender kiss on the cheek and walked back over to his eight lovers. "All right then, we'll see you some other time." But before they could leave, Siegfried emerged from the cottage, "Hold on. You're forgetting something important." In his hands was a familiar blue sword. Ashton gasped, "Soul Calibur?"

Siegfried carried the sword to his son, "You weren't really going to leave this behind, were you?" Ashton chuckled, "Sorry. I only just got this thing last night." But when he took the sword in hand, a voice spoke, "Good day, young master." Ashton smiled, "Good day, Soul Calibur. Did you sleep well?" Starlet heard the voice and asked, "Did that sword just speak?" Ashton nodded, "It did. Soul Calibur has a soul of its own." But as he gazed at the sword, something came to mind. "I'd best hide this for now." Cassandra asked, "Hide it? But why?" Ashton explained, "Soul Calibur is a sword of legend that is known along with Soul Edge. If someone learns that I am in possession of it, they may try to steal it. Even though not many know of Soul Calibur, it's for the best that we take precautions. Serenade, hold this for a moment." He then handed the sword to his sister and walked back inside the cottage. He soon returned with two long white strips of thick cotton.

Serenade asked, "Ashton, what do you intend to do with those?" The viscount smirked, "Watch and learn." He then took Soul Calibur from his sister and approached Aurora. He seemed to be examining the large hexagonal crystal that was fused to her forehead. He then aligned Soul Calibur with the very center of the gap in the crystal. "Ashton, what are you doing?" Aurora asked. Without answering her question, Ashton spoke, "Aurora, tilt your head back." She did as she was told and raised her head until the crystal was perfectly flat along her flowing blue mane. "Thank you. Chiara, could you give me a boost?" The Lugia nodded and levitated Ashton a little as her eyes glowed a faint blue. "OK, hold me steady." Ashton said as he tried to get used to not touching the ground.

Ashton rested the hilt of Soul Calibur against the bottom corner of Aurora's crystal and wrapped one of the cotton strips around it until it was tightly secured. He then did the same with the tip of the sword as it rested against the top corner. Once Soul Calibur was secured, Ashton signaled for Chiara to lower him. "So, what do you think?" The other seven ladies smiled as they observed what Ashton had done to the Suicune. Laura giggled, "Oh my, you look lovely! Even lovelier than usual!" Aurora tried to look at herself, but she just could not see her crystal. She turned to Siegfried, "Please, I need a mirror!" The Gallade laughed and ran inside. He soon emerged with a full-length mirror in his hands. "Careful. You know what happens when you break a mirror, right?" But Aurora quickly stood before the mirror and looked herself over. She blushed as she saw the bluish metal of Soul Calibur shimmer along with the blue crystal upon her forehead. She giggled, "It's like an oversized hairpin!" She then turned to Ashton and gave him a quick kiss on the lips. "I love it! May I wear it for the rest of the day?" Ashton grinned, "Absolutely. And I doubt anyone will suspect it's really a sword now." The nine of them then thanked Ashton's parents for their hospitality and left for Green Mile. But when they were out of sight, Siegfried whispered, "So, did you and Ashton have a good time last night?" Starlet blushed as she brought a hand to her belly, "It was like a dream."

When Ashton's entourage neared Verdant, Ashton signaled for them to stay behind him. But once they passed through the north gate, Ashton stopped. "Is something wrong?" Chiara asked. Ashton replied, "This place... I don't hear anyone, but it doesn't have the feel of a ghost town either." Just then, a voice called down from above them. "You there! State your business!" Ashton looked up and noticed two guards looking down at him from atop the stone walls near the gate. "I am Ashton of Green Mile! I request that you allow us to pass!" The two guards gasped as Ashton spoke his name. "A-A-Ashton?! Please, do go on! We owe one, lad!" Ashton smiled as he signaled for his lovers to follow him. The townspeople of Verdant had begun to return.

As they passed through the central square of Verdant, Ashton and his lovers noticed that it was fairly quiet with only a few dozen residents going about their lives. It seemed that the entire population had not yet returned. But a moment later, Ashton stopped as he nearly stepped on something. "Hm? Someone there?" Standing at his feet was a Pichu eyeing him with a smile. "Pichu!" The little rodent said with a grin. But a voice soon shouted, "Tina! Don't run off like that!" A little girl with long red hair ran over to the Pichu and scooped it up in her arms. "I'm sorry. I hope she didn't cause you any trouble. Tina can be a little naughty." Ashton chuckled, "It was no trouble at all. She's a cute little sweetheart." He then gently tickled the little Pichu under her chin. But it was then that the little girl saw his face. She gasped, "Wait... Are you Lord Ashton?!" The viscount nodded, "I am. Why?" The little girl squealed, "I saw you! Everyone saw you! Even Tina saw you! That place was so scary, but you saved us!" Ashton gave her a puzzled stare, "Saw me? Doing what?" The little girl smiled, "Fighting that monster last night! You were amazing, and pretty too!" Ashton blushed, "Ah, you must mean when I was dueling Night Terror. Well, I'm relieved to see that you and little Tina here are doing well." But the little girl then asked, "Lord Ashton, may I ask you something?" He nodded and kneeled before her, "I'm all ears, my dear." She then whispered, "Can you please show me your wings?"

Ashton glanced around; worried about what would happen if the other townspeople saw him. But he soon closed his eyes and smiled, "As you wish." To the surprise of the girl and her Pichu, the Z-shaped scars under his eyes became bolder. Then a pair of rainbow wings of flames began to emerge from his back. He then gazed at her with his red eyes, "Well, are you satisfied?" His wings spread wide for her to admire. He then folded them forward until they were at both sides of the girl. She whispered, "They're beautiful..." Without even thinking, she reached out and touched one. "It's so warm." She then grabbed a feather and plucked it from his wing. "Hm? I didn't know my wings had actual feathers." Ashton grumbled as he examined the feather the girl held. She then asked, "May I keep this?" The feather she held continued to flicker in a rainbow of colors. He nodded, "Sure. It is my gift to you." He then dismissed his wings and gently rubbed her head. "Be a good girl and head home What's your name again?" The girl giggled, "It's Marie! Oh, and here's a gift from me." She then leaned forward and planted a kiss on Ashton's cheek. But the little Pichu reached out and placed a kiss on Ashton's other cheek. Marie then bowed and ran off with Tina in her arms and the rainbow feather between her fingers. As Ashton reeled from the unexpected kiss, Zandria asked, "Thinking about adding some more girls to the harem?" Ashton coughed, "Uh, no. I just did not expect a double kiss, thank you very much." He then signaled for them to move on to the south.

A few hours later, Ashton and his entourage stood at the north gates of Green Mile. Along the way, they had passed multiple families returning home to Verdant. Ruby sighed, "Home sweet home." But Ashton then spoke, "You girls head home for now. I have some business to attend to." Laika glanced up at him, "What sort of business?" He then smirked, "It involves the creation of a new law." Serenade gasped, "Ashton, you're really going through with it, aren't you?" He nodded, "I have waited years for hardcore evidence. And now I have it. Before the sun sets today, humans and Pokémon will become equal throughout Rohta." He then turned to face them, "Stay together, OK? Just to be on the safe side." He then made his way towards the castle while his eight lovers headed south towards the Crimson estate.

Before long, Ashton stood before the moat that surrounded the castle. But before he could shout to the guards that stood atop the battlements, one called out, "He's here, lads! Drop the bridge, and be quick about it!" A moment later, the drawbridge hit the other side of the moat with a crash. "Hurry along now, Sir Ashton! The queen's expecting you!" Ashton nodded in confusion and hurried inside. After passing through the courtyard and a hall, he stood before the entrance to the royal hall. The two guards pushed the doors open without a word. But when Ashton walked inside, a familiar voice called out, "Get over here, Ashton. There is much to discuss." He recognized the voice immediately. "Garyson..."

Ashton dashed to the end of the royal hall and found Garyson standing before the empty throne that sat beside the queen's throne. "Garyson!" He ran over to his old friend and grabbed him in a tight embrace. Garyson patted his friend on the back, "I owe you big, Ashton." The knight chuckled, "You sure you're not hurt? I saw that your rapier was broken. You must've been mad to take on the Azure Knight." Garyson laughed, "If I had known what that beast was, I would've made a run for it. To be honest, I thought that thing was you at first glance! You're the only knight I know who uses a sword that large." But the queen then spoke, "That will do for now, Garyson." He then took a step back and leaned against the throne, "Right, right. Ashton, the queen wishes to speak with you now."

Ashton stood before the queen, "You wished to see me, your highness?" She nodded, "Yes. I was going to send for you, but you saved me the trouble. I wish to discuss the townspeople of Verdant." Ashton listened closely as the queen began. "Last night, I witnessed many wisps of bright blue light pass through the ceiling and walls of the castle. They then descended into the bodies of the people and Pokémon of Verdant that were being tended to throughout the castle. And with every wisp of light that entered the bodies, the people awoke. Tell me, what were those lights?" Ashton smiled, "Those were the souls that had been devoured by Soul Edge. They were released when I vanquished it in the Dead Forest." The queen breathed a sigh of relief, "So the souls returned to their bodies. Even the souls of the Pokémon returned. I suppose that's enough evidence to bring this dishonorable era to an end."

Ashton and Garyson glanced at the queen. Ashton asked, "Evidence?" The queen smiled, "The fact that the Pokémon of Verdant have souls means that every single Pokémon in the world has a soul as well. Just as humans do. It is time to end the discrimination that has plagued the Pokémon of Rohta for so long." She signaled for one of the shinobi guards to approach her. "Come. I need to write." The shinobi nodded, "Oh, yes. One moment." He ran over to her and unfurled a blank scroll. He then handed her a quill pen. She then began to write into the scroll while the shinobi held it from underneath. After a few minutes, the queen stamped the document with the Rohta crest in red wax. The shinobi then cut the document from the rest of the scroll with a kunai before returning to his post. The queen then handed the document to a servant nearby and he carried it out of the royal hall. She then turned to Ashton and smiled, "It is done. I have decreed that all Pokémon are equal to humans."

Ashton began to tremble as tears began to fill his eyes. Garyson noticed and asked, "Ashton, what's wrong? You should be thrilled." But the knight dropped to his knees and sobbed, "My lady, words cannot describe what it means to me that you have finally made my dream a reality." The queen sighed, "Arise, dear Ashton. This is not a time for tears." He brought himself to his feet and took a deep breath to calm himself. But the queen giggled, "But it was not entirely your doing that this proof was discovered. The Azure Knight would have never bothered targeting the Pokémon unless they had souls of their own." Ashton chuckled, "Amazing. Even though that monster was a being of pure evil, its actions helped pave the way for a new era of understanding. Guess I should've thanked it before I destroyed it." But the queen then smiled, "And since humans and Pokémon are now equal, you are no longer guilty of bestiality. I hereby release you from your house arrest." Ashton then bowed before the queen, "Thank you. I owe you much, my lady." He then turned and left the royal hall. He could not wait to tell his lovers the news.

Ashton gave a knock at the door when he returned home. When the door opened, he found Laura floating in the hallway. "Welcome home, Ashy! Oh? Did something happen? I usually don't see you with such a big smile." Ashton suddenly embraced her, "It's done. The queen has decreed that humans and Pokémon are now equal. Our children can at last be born without fear of the outside world." Laura was silent for a moment. Ashton glanced over to her to see that she was frozen with shock. "Ashton....." Laura tried to bring herself to speak, but was unable to bring words to her mouth. So instead, she sealed lips with her beloved. When they broke the kiss, Laura rested her head on Ashton's shoulder and shed a few tears of pride. "Thank you... I was so worried for my babies, but now I know they won't be scorned for their halfblooded origins." Ashton gently rubbed her back while ruffling her feathers, "Same here."

Ashton proceeded to his bedroom and found Ruby inside. "Ashton, I found this note from Master Koga. It said 'For Ashton's eyes only', so I waited for you to return." Ashton placed the Flamberge on the wall and removed his armor before taking a seat in a chair. When Ruby handed him the note, he unfurled it and looked it over. It read, "Ashton, I regret to inform you that your lovers saw through my disguise and immediately left to find you. I can only pray that I was able to buy enough time for you to find and vanquish the Azure Knight before they could interfere. I hope that you I am certain that you succeeded in slaying that abomination. I have faith in you. After all, you are the Angel of the Eternal Flame. Am I right?" Ashton sighed as he read his mentor's message, pleased to know that Koga indeed had the utmost confidence in him.

Ashton continued to read the note as a strange expression began to crawl across his face, "I would like to stay here and welcome you back, but I am going to have to lay low for a while. During your absence, your eight lovers became unusually lustful. And they.....well... Let's just say that I would prefer NOT to go into detail about what they did with me. And when they discovered that I was not you..... I'll just say that if I did not tell them that you were hunting the Azure Knight, they would have likely pummeled me to death. For that reason, I must stay away from the Crimson estate for a few months. But we will meet again someday. I swear it. Signed, Koga of the East."

Ruby approached Ashton as she heard him begin to snicker. "Did he write something funny in that note?" Ashton's only response was a barrage of laughter as he fell out of his chair and began to roll across the floor. Ruby gave him a nervous stare, "Would you mind telling me what was in that note?" Ashton came to a stop and steadily stopped laughing while gripping his stomach. Once he had wiped his tears from his eyes, he asked, "My god, Ruby. What in the world did you and the others do to Koga?!" Ruby could tell what Ashton was referring to and clutched her stomach as her face turned green. "You just had to remind me! I'm gonna hurl....." But Ashton laughed, "Don't say it! I'm not so sure I even want to know what you girls did with him. But then again, I wouldn't have had to enlist Koga's aid if you had a little more faith in me. You really brought this upon yourselves." Ruby cried, "I know, I know! I wish I had more faith in you at the time! And to think that I..." But Ruby stopped when Ashton barked, "Ahahah! Don't say it!" Ruby sighed, "Right... I don't even want to remember that."

A few hours later, Ashton, Ruby, and Laika finished a tasty turkey dinner and thanked Zandria as she carted the dirty dishes back to the kitchen. But a moment later, Laika's ears perked up as she heard something. Ruby noticed and asked, "Something wrong, Lady Laika?" She approached the door, "It sounds like we have a guest." She then made her way to the front door while Ashton and Ruby sipped some tea. But a minute later, Laika ran back to them with an alarmed expression. Ashton asked, "Something wrong?" Laika replied, "There's a man at the door with a large scythe in hand." Ashton nodded and grabbed the Grass Long Sword before making his way to the front door with Laika at his side.

With the Kusanagi's scabbard in his left hand, Ashton slowly opened the door while keeping his distance. Standing before him was a man with a large silver scythe in his right hand that also had decorative gold markings. He wore a sleeveless robe of sorts and long white boots. The skin tone of his exposed arms was quite dark, much like those of desert-dwelling people. He also wore a hooded cloak that only exposed his face. But what shocked Ashton the most was his left eye, which shone like an orb of gold. Ashton grabbed the hilt of the Kusanagi with his right hand, but the man raised his left hand and spoke, "Away with your weapon. I mean you no harm, Knight of Soul Calibur."

Ashton jumped at the mention of the spirit sword. "Who are you?" The man replied, "Soul Edge spoke of me, did it not?" He then grabbed his hood and lowered it, revealing his bald head. "I am the one who crafted Soul Edge a new body after its fall at the hands of Wolfkrone." Ashton scowled as he slowly drew the Kusanagi from its scabbard, but the man once again spoke, "I mean you no harm. And I had my reasons for aiding Soul Edge at the time." Ashton then demanded, "Reasons? Fine then. If you really mean me no harm, come in. But hand me your scythe." The man nodded and handed his scythe to the viscount after he had returned the Kusanagi to its scabbard. Once he had taken the scythe, Ashton asked, "Now then, just who are you?" The man replied, "My name is Zasalamel."

Ashton and Zasalamel sat at a table in Ashton's bedroom while Zandria poured them some tea. "So, you are the immortal who crafted Soul Edge a new body?" Ashton asked as he sipped at his tea. Zasalamel nodded, "Yes. It was to insure that it would make its way to this kingdom so you would destroy it." Ashton raised an eyebrow, "You actually knew I would be born? How?" Zasalamel explained after tasting his tea, "It began several months before Soul Edge fell before Wolfkrone. I had been devising a means to free myself from my eternal cycle of reincarnation. And it involved the two soul swords. I lured the Azure Knight to a remote location as well as its previous host, a knight named Siegfried Schtauffen who became the new owner of Soul Calibur. As they dueled, the power of the two soul swords radiated throughout the area. And as I tried to gather the two forces in a way that would shatter my immortality, I saw it." Zandria asked, "Saw what?" Zasalamel sighed, "The future of humanity."

Ashton asked, "The future of humanity? Just what did you see?" But just before Zasalamel could speak, Ashton spoke, "Actually, don't tell me. I'd prefer to wait and see for myself." Zasalamel chuckled, "I see. Then I shall keep it to myself. But anyway, when I saw the future, I was filled with the will to live for the first time in centuries." But he then frowned, "But along with the future of humanity, I also saw the future of Soul Edge. It would continue to slaughter thousands and be defeated, only to arise later and continue the cycle. I felt I had an obligation to shatter the cycle. But when I looked deeper into the future, I saw someone who would have the means to destroy Soul Edge for the final time. I saw you, Ashton."

Ashton asked, "Me? You saw me? And then what?" Zasalamel continued, "I saw that if history was left unaltered, Soul Edge would continue its massacres time and time again. I needed to insure that Soul Edge would come to this land during your lifetime. So I waited. I waited for the warriors of my time to grow too old to seek out Soul Edge so they would not interfere. By then, I too had grown old. I then returned to the tower where the Azure Knight had fallen and restored Soul Edge. But only so it could make its way to this land. Later, I followed the Azure Knight to this kingdom and waited. When it wandered into what would come to be known as the Dead Forest, I knew then that Soul Edge's permanent end was secured. But I also took part in that battle to try and keep the casualties to a minimum. I lasted just long enough to witness the demise of the Azure Knight. I met my end in that forest, but my cycle of rebirth protected me from Soul Edge's clutches. And a little over a century later, Soul Edge disappeared forever. All thanks to you, Ashton."

Ashton marveled at Zasalamel's tale, "Amazing. Although I cannot say that I support the fact that many died because of your intervention, I see that it was to prevent the loss of even more lives in the future. And now that Soul Edge is indeed gone for good, the souls of its victims have been released." Zasalamel nodded, "Yes. When I saw the souls of Soul Edge's victims rising into the sky, I knew that the deed was done. I wanted to tell you the truth. I just hope my weapon did not frighten you." Ashton chuckled, "It did surprise me. Just where did you get that thing anyway?" Zasalamel explained, "I have owned that scythe since my first life. It has seen me through battle for countless years." Ashton smiled, "Sounds like a trusty weapon."

After finishing his tea, Zasalamel stood up and walked over to his scythe. "Thank you for your hospitality, Ashton. But I must be going." Ashton asked, "But where are you going?" Zasalamel sighed, "Somewhere... I wish to help guide humanity. Perhaps I will remain in this land as a supporter of this kingdom." He then took his scythe in hand and turned to the viscount. "Farewell for now. We just might meet again someday. Another time, or perhaps another lifetime." He then made his way down the hall to the front door. The immortal then left the Crimson estate and wandered off into the night.

About three weeks later, Ashton visited a local swordsmith to pick up a scabbard for Soul Calibur after claiming a few days earlier that it was an ornamental sword. But as he headed home, Ashton overheard a number of townspeople discussing something. They seemed to give off an unsettling presence, so Ashton hid as he approached them. One muttered, "Tonight at the castle, got it?" The others nodded and went about their business without even noticing Ashton. The viscount scowled as he pondered what it was that they were plotting. After making certain that no one noticed his presence, Ashton quickly made his way home.

Upon returning home, Ashton made his way to his bedroom and put on his casual armor, which only covered his shoulders and chest. But as he reached for the Flamberge, a voice asked, "Dear? Why are you wearing your armor?" Ashton turned and saw his fiancé standing in the doorway. By now, her belly had swelled to the point where she looked as if she was nine months pregnant. Ashton sighed, "I just have a hunch that something's going to happen at the castle tonight. I'll be back in time for dinner. All right, Ruby?" The Lucario nodded, "OK. I have faith in you." Ashton placed a tender kiss on her muzzle before leaving the manor with the Flamberge in hand. But once Ashton passed through the iron gates of the manor, Ruby clutched her belly as a sudden jolt hit her. She could feel her child moving around in her womb. "I must be getting close... Is today the day?"

Hours later, the sun disappeared over the horizon as night fell. Standing near the edge of the moat that surrounded the castle was Ashton and many other elite knights, including Garyson. One knight asked, "Sir Ashton, are you certain that the townspeople are plotting something? We've been standing here for over an hour." The viscount replied, "I just have a bad feeling about this. If nothing happens for one more hour, let's call it quits." But less than ten minutes later, a faint murmur was heard from the direction of the city. Garyson gulped, "I've heard something like that before." Ashton nodded, "Looks like my hunch turned out to be correct." A few minutes later, a mob began to form near the moat with torches held high.

Ashton spoke, "May I ask what you gentlemen are doing over here at this hour?" The ringleader of the mob shouted, "I think you know full well why we're here, Ashton! You think we're just gonna sit by and let such a ridiculous law be created?! Think again!" At this, all the other knights readied their weapons in preparation for a confrontation. Garyson shouted, "Ridiculous?! After what the Azure Knight did?! I think you fools just don't want to accept the truth! Ashton here almost got himself killed digging up the evidence necessary for that law to be passed! And that law was well overdue! Just accept it and learn to live with it!" One of the townspeople replied, "Don't tell me he's got you thinking that too?! Are you blokes really going to listen to a madman?!" One of the knights answered, "Sir Ashton is first and foremost a loyal defender of Rohta! That includes the Pokémon that reside in the kingdom as well! And any subjugation of Pokémon is an act of slavery! And the penalty for slavery is death!"

The mob began to grow restless as they tried to inch around the knights that blocked access to the drawbridge. Ashton finally grew impatient with the mob and shouted, "ENOUGH! You idiots better give this new law a chance! And if you do not....." Ashton then raised the Flamberge above his head and enshrouded the blade with flames. "We, the knights of Rohta, will burn the city of Green Mile to the ground!" The other knights raised torches as Ashton lit them all with a rope of flames. "Well, gentlemen? What is your decision? Will you give this new law a chance? Or will you be burned alive?" The mob began to cower in fear as the knights stood ready to torch the city. After a moment of discussion among them, the ringleader groaned, "Fine, you win. We'll give this crazy law a go and see if we like it. But I still think the queen has lost her mind." But Ashton placed the Flamberge on his back and grinned, "Trust me. In just 30 days, you'll learn to love it."

As the mob began to disperse, a voice shouted, "Ashton!!!" The viscount looked up to see a figure flying towards him in the moonlight. "Laura?" The Latias flew down to her lover and spoke, "Ashton... It's Ruby." Ashton asked, "What about her?" The Latias then looked at him with panic in her eyes, "She's gone into labor!" Ashton's eyes shot wide open as he made a hand sign. He turned to the mob and shouted, "You heard the lady! Stand aside!" At that instant, he took off at high speed as he ran past the townspeople and through the city with Laura by his side. He turned to the Latias as he ran, "Laura, fly ahead and let them know I'm coming." She nodded, "I'm on it!" She then flew over the rooftops towards the Crimson estate as Ashton ran along the forest path towards his home.

When he reached his manor, Ashton did not even bother going through the gates and simply jumped them with a Chakra-enhanced leap. He found Laura floating at the front door while holding it open. "She's in the bathroom!" Ashton nodded and plunged the blade of the Flamberge into the ground. "I'm leaving you to deal with that!" He then ran inside and dashed down the hall. When he reached the bathroom, he barged in without knocking and shouted, "Am I too late?!" Serenade replied, "You're just in time." Ruby was in the bathtub with her legs spread wide, her blue pants lying nearby. Ashton kneeled next to the tub and gently caressed her face, "Ruby, I'm here." She opened her eyes and gazed at him while breathing hard. "Ashton... It's coming..." He grabbed one of her hands and held it between both of his, "I know. And I'm here for you."

Ruby groaned as she pushed, a gush of liquid splashing from her womanhood. "You're doing fine. Slowly now." Serenade spoke as she gently massaged Rudy's shoulders in an attempt to calm her. Over the next two minutes, the other six ladies entered the bathroom to observe the birth of Ashton's first child. A moment later, a pair of ears emerged from Ruby's womanhood. Ashton whispered, "I can see it. It's almost out. Just a little longer, Ruby." The Lucario could only groan as she continued to push. Another moment later, the entire head of their child emerged. But Cassandra asked, "The head's out, but why isn't it breathing?! Is it...dead?" Chiara explained, "It's that way with all babies. Until they completely emerge, they seem lifeless. Just wait until it's completely out." Less than a minute later, the child slipped out of its mother's body. And almost immediately, it began to cry like a puppy. Ruby breathed a sigh of relief as her child left her body. Ashton reached down and lifted up his child and held it to his chest. "There now, little one. There's no reason to cry." The tiny Riolu slowly stopped crying and looked up at its father. Ashton thought it was adorable how its fur was still soaked in its own birth fluid. After a moment, he spoke, "It's a boy."

Ashton handed the Riolu to his fiancé, "Say hello to your mother." When Ruby looked up at her son, the little boy reached out to her with a look of curiosity. Tears began to flow from Ruby's eyes as she took her son into her arms. "My baby... My very own baby boy....." Ruby tenderly licked her child's face, prompting a tiny coo from him. Aurora whispered, "Ashton, he has your eyes." The viscount smiled, "True. He also has my hair." He noticed his dark brown eyes and the spiky dreadlocks at the sides of his son's head. Laura could not help herself and squealed, "So cute! I can't wait to have my babies!" The sudden outburst from the Latias startled the baby as he let out a cry. Ruby tried to shush him and brought her breast to his mouth. As the tiny Riolu began to suckle, Ashton and Ruby simultaneously spoke his name. "Lucash."

A short while later, Ashton carried his fiancé and son to his bedroom for the night. He then noticed that Laika was walking alongside him. He stopped and spoke, "No. Not tonight, Laika." The Mightyena asked, "Is it about your son?" He nodded, "I want it to be just me and Ruby tonight. I want our son to know who his mother and father is. It would be quite troublesome if he mistook someone else for his mother." Laika nodded, "I see your point. All right then. I'll just rest in one of the guest rooms." She then turned and headed down the hall. Ashton whispered to Ruby, "I think she's jealous." Ruby giggled, "I think you're right."

Ashton brought Ruby to one side of the bed and covered her body with the blanket. He was careful to not cover his child as it might scare him. After he partially undressed, Ashton climbed in bed and snuggled up to Ruby. "What's it like to have a family of your own?" She sighed, "If I had to describe it with one word, it would be 'beautiful'. I've never known my parents, but now I am one." She then gazed at Ashton, "Ashton, thank you." She then gave him a tender kiss. He tenderly caressed her face, "You don't need to thank me. I want this as much as you do." He then caressed the head of his newborn son. "My little boy. Little Lucash." But just then, the tiny Riolu reached out and curled his hand around one of Ashton's fingers. They then shared a long glance. And then their mouths curved into smiles. Ashton wiped a tear away as he gently rubbed his nose against Lucash's, who giggled a little at his father's touch.

Ashton and Ruby fell asleep with the result of their love. The boy who would carry on the Crimson family name.
Chapter End Notes:Once again, happy new year
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