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.

Tears of Flames

As the audience looked on with bated breath, Ashton, the Vulcan Warrior, had begun to reveal his darkest secret. A veil of flames had engulfed his body as rainbow colored wings of fire began to unfold from his back. The Night Hawk, an assassin who had claimed the life of the late king of Rohta himself, felt as if she was staring at the very embodiment of fire.

"Now...disappear, you cur!" With wings spread, the Vulcan Warrior charged his prey without even touching the ground. "Just fire? Big deal! I'm a master of ALL elements! Observe. STONE WALL!" The sorceress planted her hands on the ground. As her gauntlets glowed purple, a towering slab of bedrock jutted up in front of her! Ruby yelled, "He's not stopping! Lord Ashton, just go around!"

The Night Hawk giggled, "Let's see ya get through that." As if to make her eat those words, Ashton charged right into the wall. To the shock of everyone, especially the Night Hawk herself, there was a massive crash as the wall of stone crumbled as Ashton smashed his way right through it! As the Night Hawk looked on in disbelief, her target was right up in her face.

"Now you're mine!" Ashton released a stream of fire from his mouth, just barely missing the frightened assassin. "You freak! What the devil are you?!" Ashton roared, "What's it to you?! Does it matter what I am to a black hearted waste of space like you?!" To his surprise, the assassin smiled, "You know what? You're absolutely right. You're my prey and nothing more. It's been a long time since I had to use this."

The Night Hawk put her hands together as she chanted an incantation of sorts. Her gauntlets began to glow a sinister black as what seemed to be black mist encased her body. However, Ashton was not in the mood to allow his victim to get any ideas about escaping this alive. He suddenly thrust his right arm into the mist and grabbed something.

"What the...?" In an instant, Ashton yanked his arm out of the mist as a sickening sound was heard. The Night Hawk let out a blood curdling scream as the mist began to fade. "!" Zandria brought her hands to her face in utter horror as she saw what Ashton was holding in his hand. He had completely ripped the Night Hawk's left arm from its socket! Blood was still oozing from the end.

The Night Hawk shuddered in pain and shock as she clutched where her arm used to be. She looked up at her opponent with a look in her eyes that she had never shown in her infamous career. Pure fear. But what topped it off was the amused smile on Ashton's face. "Aww, what's wrong? Do you want you arm back?" Suddenly, intense flames engulfed the arm, reducing it to a pile of ash in just a few seconds. "Oops. Looks like it's gone. Such a tragic shame." Ashton let out a laugh as his eight servants tried to make sense of his demonic change.

"'re a freak! You can't be doing this to me!" The Night Hawk screamed in combined fear, anger, and frustration. However, Ashton smirked, "You still don't get it. You are going to die here." With that, he kicked her in the face and sent her flying a good distance away. "Arrogant brat...I still have one!" The Night Hawk struggled to her feet and saw Ashton swooping towards her on rainbow wings.

"No one can survive the fires of Hell! Not even you!" The Night Hawk began to wave her hand as what seemed to be blood red flames began to swirl around her. Ashton noticed this and made a quick landing. "Let the power of Hellfire sink into your soul!" The dark flames surged toward Ashton in the form of a fiendish serpent. However, Ashton just began to chuckle. "Heheheheh....HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!!"

The instant the hellish snake engulfed Ashton, the young viscount yelled, "FOOL! I COMMAND ALL FIRE, REGARDLESS OF THE REALM IN WHICH IT ORIGINATES!" The serpent seemed to be coiling around Ashton as he spoke. In a moment, it had been compressed around his right arm. "This...this isn't happening! You can't be doing this!" The Night Hawk was in a state of delirious terror as she realized that she was already as good as dead.

"Now, I will show the humans of this village what awaits them!" The dark flames surrounding Ashton's arm raged towards the Night Hawk and entangled her in an instant. However, she was baffled that she could not move and that the hellfire flames, which are hot enough to sear the soul itself, were not burning her. Ashton began to raise his arm as the rope of fire raised his victim above the coliseum.

"Don't worry all that much! You'll be going out in a blaze!" Ashton cackled as the Night Hawk understood that there was no hope left for her. Overcome with terror, she abandoned her pride and pleaded for her life. "Wait! You win! I surrender! I'll even pay double of what this tournament is offering! Come on! You believe in mercy, right?" This seemed to get Ashton's attention and he replied, "Yes." A look of relief spread across the assassin's face, as well as Serenade's, for she did not want to see that horrifying abomination again. However, their relief was short lived when Ashton's smirk became an angry scowl. ".....but not to humans."

Having nothing left to say, Ashton closed his hand into a fist and whispered, "Crimson Blossom." In a spectacular flash of fire, the Night Hawk met her end in a magnificent blossom of flames. They quickly spread out and shaped into a flower. Cassandra was surprised by this beautiful display and exclaimed, "It's so beautiful! I knew Ashton was a talented artist, but this goes beyond any expectations I had!" However, Serenade was beginning to convulse as her face started to turn blue.

Chiara saw Serenade's reaction to Ashton's artistic finishing blow and asked, "I know it's beautiful, but there's no need to get that worked up about it, Serenade." The young woman whispered, "'s not that...the petals..." Laika asked, "What about the petals?" Serenade went on, "They seem...beautiful...but they're.....they're really made of......burning blood..." Aurora was blue in the face at this revelation. "You mean...those flower petals are formed from the blood of Ashton's opponent?!" Serenade nodded weakly. Aurora shuddered as she looked back at the flower, which was beginning to burn itself out. "What a horrible way to die....."

The Crimson Blossom soon fell to the ground in a plume of ashes. Ashton sighed in satisfaction as he savored the pleasure of the kill, but it still was not enough. He looked all around at the spectator seats and shuddered in anticipation of the sight of countless human corpses. "So many humans lined up in a row. This is all too easy."

Serenade immediately saw what Ashton was doing and shouted, "No! Aurora, you must stop him! He's going after the audience!" The Suicune yelled, "WHAT?! I can't bring myself to hurt Lord Ashton!" Serenade pleaded, "Just douse him with a blast of water and I'll do the rest. Please!"

Ashton sneered, "Now, I shall erase all of you human filth from this world! Farewe...AUGH!" Ashton screamed in shock as a Hydro Pump slammed into him and sent him smashing against the wall! The force of the torrent held him there as the flames enshrouding him died down. Once the flames were gone, the Hydro Pump ended. "Who would dare...huh? Serenade?" Ashton's sister was holding his face as she gazed into his eyes. "You've done enough, my lord. Please. Rest now." Ashton felt his mind starting to become hazy as Serenade used Hypnosis on him. Soon, the Vulcan Warrior fell into a deep sleep, oblivious to what had occurred.

"No. It's for the best that we keep that a secret from Ashton." Ruby objected, "But...Lady Aurora! Shouldn't he know how the tournament ended?" Aurora frowned, "That is enough! I am the head maid here, so I decide what happens when Lord Ashton is not able to! Please understand. He would not want to know about this." Aurora then proceeded out of Ashton's bedroom, leaving the young Lucario with an unconscious Ashton and Laika, who was standing guard.

"Lady Laika? May I ask you something?" The Mightyena gave Ruby an emotionless stare, "I guess so. What is it?" Ruby held her hand to her chest. "I don't know why, but after seeing Ashton that way during the duel, I felt.....terrible. I can't describe what I was feeling, but it felt like some kind of burning sensation in my heart. Do you know what it might be?"

Laika closed her eyes as she thought of the sensation Ruby was explaining. If she had been rescued by Ashton just yesterday, she would be just as baffled as Ruby. However, Laika knew the feeling very well, as it was a feeling that all of the servants felt for him. "Lady Laika?" The albino Mightyena opened her eyes and surprised Ruby with a very warm smile. "That feeling is 'love'. You were feeling love for him and did not want to see him become something else. I know that feeling. Even though I don't show it, I love Ashton very much."

Ruby looked at the peacefully resting face of her master and thought about Laika's words. (Do I really love him? Enough to mate with him?) Laika interrupted Ruby's daydream, "Just remember, humans are forbidden to mate with Pokemon, so you must keep your love concealed." Ruby was a bit surprised at that, but simply grinned, "That's fine! I only just met him, so it's not like I want to mate with him or anything!" Laika smiled to herself, (Great. That means more for me.)

"Cassandra? Are you in?" Zandria knocked as she slowly nudged the door open. "As promised, here's your..." Zandria stopped as she saw the lovely Absol crying her eyes out in a pillow. "Cassandra?" The young Zangoose approached her friend and took a seat next to her. She gently patted her back, "Come now, there's no reason for someone as cheerful as you to cry."

Cassandra continued to sob into the pillow as Zandria whispered, "It wasn't easy for you to see someone you love become such a hateful demon, was it?" Cassandra simply nodded. "I know that feeling. I could never imagine him to be something so hateful towards his own kind. It was scary to see him that way for all of us. But still, he would never hurt us. You must understand that he holds us too dearly to inflict any harm on us."

Cassandra began to calm down and looked up at Zandria with her face matted with tears. "Oh, look at you. Ashton would be heartbroken to see such beauty marred by tears." Zandria proceeded to dry her face with a paper napkin. "You really...think I'm beautiful?" Cassandra asked. Zandria gave a big toothy grin, "You bet I do! And it's not just your beauty either. Take it from me. Out of all the girls here, I think you have the greatest chance of winning Ashton's heart!"

Cassandra was surprised by the praise that her own rival had given her. "You honestly think that?!" Zandria smiled, "Yep! Believe me, there are human woman in this village that would KILL for your gardening talents. You're also the sweetest girl of any specie I've ever met. That face. Those eyes. That fur. Everything about you screams BEAUTIFUL! Especially that tail."

Cassandra looked back at her tail. "What about my tail?" Zandria crawled over to it and held it in her hands. "I've seen Absols before, but I've never seen one with a tail as long and wide as yours. But why is it this color?" Zandria asked as Cassandra's tail glistened in the sunlight. It was a shiny silver color. "I don't know. It's always been that color." Zandria then pointed out, "It's the same color as a sword's blade. And if I recall correctly, it's just as sharp." She recalled the quarrel they had a few days before when Zandria learned of Cassandra's feelings for Ashton.

"Well, it is usually very sharp, but I had Serenade file it until the edges were dull." Zandria then noticed that the edges were quite dull indeed. "OK, but why?" Zandria then noticed that Cassandra was blushing deeply. "Because if it was sharp, Ashton would get hurt." This puzzled the Zangoose for a moment, but she quickly understood why. "I see. That way, he won't impale himself when he mounts you from behind." Cassandra nodded. "Hey, just because you have the greatest chance of him choosing you over everyone else doesn't mean I'll be giving up on him!" Cassandra gave Zandria a fierce smirk. "I wouldn't have it any other way!" The two rivals laughed, knowing that they would have to work hard to outdo each other.

"Oh yes. I almost forgot." Zandria hopped off the bed and went to the door. "As promised." She then pulled in a cart with a freshly baked Triple Chocolate cake. Cassandra's mouth began to water at the sight of her favorite dessert. "And I remembered to use caramel filling too. Anything else you need?" Cassandra snapped back into her senses and nodded, "Yes. Please take a piece to Ashton. I'm sure he'll love it." Zandria laughed, "Trying to get to him through his stomach, eh?! Clever."

"Ugh.....huh?" Ashton grunted as he rose from his bed. "Man...what happened?" A familiar voice cried, "Lord Ashton!" He was suddenly tackled by Ruby in a sudden embrace. "We were so worried!" Ashton chuckled as he patted her on the back, "Hey, I'm just fine. Hm?" He saw Laika lying at the far end of the bed while looking at him out of the corner of her eye. Although her face showed no expression, he could see relief in her eyes.

"So, seeing as how I'm still alive, my match ended in my favor?" Laika smirked, "Yeah. Your opponent perished in an unsuccessful suicide attack. You were knocked out, but won since she was dead." Ashton laughed, "Heh, serves her right. No one calls my family Beasts and lives." Laika smiled to herself, (He cares so much for us, yet kills anyone who would badmouth us. Lord truly are something else.)

"Oh, welcome back, Lord Ashton!" Ashton looked ahead and saw Zandria with a plate in hand that held a slice of cake. "Is that for me?" The Zangoose nodded. "Why...thank you!" Zandria brought the slice over with a fork. "Cassandra wanted me to save you a slice, so here you go!" Ashton smiled, "Give her my thanks!"

Once Ashton had finished the cake, Zandria took the plate back to the kitchen while Ruby went about her business as the maid. She had finally gotten into the habit of always wearing her uniform while on duty. Ashton always thought she was just too cute while wearing it. As he checked the amount of prize money from winning the tournament, he noticed Laika looking at the four paintings in his room.

"I see that you like my work. I painted each of those." Laika saw Zandria, Serenade, Cassandra, and Laura in the paintings. Then, she turned to Ashton and asked, "Master, will you paint me a portrait?" The young knight smiled softly, "Of course. Just give me a minute." Ashton went over to a chest and began rummaging through it. "OK. Pastel. Paint. Brushes. Canvas. Easel. I do believe I'm ready." Laika saw Ashton set up the easel and pinned the canvas to it. "Now then, where would you like me to paint you at?" Laika looked around the room and saw a sofa. "Over here."

Ashton turned the easel to face the sofa as Laika got comfy. "Is there a particular pose you would like me to paint you in?" Laika thought this over and came up with one. She rested against the back with most of her underside visible. Her left eye was half closed to show how relaxed she was. "Magnificent! Hold that pose!" Ashton dipped his brush in white paint and went to work.

A few hours went by as Ashton tried to get a perfect rendition of his loyal guardian on the canvas. During the process, Ashton noticed that Laika was smiling. "I see that you enjoy posing for your portrait!" Of course, Ashton had no idea why Laika had taken the pose she was showing. She was actually displaying herself to her master in an attempt to entice him. Naturally, he could not tell.

"There. It's complete. Would you like to see it?" The Albino Mightyena bounded off the sofa and trotted over to the canvas. "What do you think?" Ashton nearly laughed as Laika's jaw dropped. "Is that.....really me?" Laika could almost see where every single brushstroke happened. But more than anything, she was amazed that she could make out the texture of her fur.

"Laika...?" Ashton had never seen such a look of amazement in her eyes. Much to his shock, the Mightyena began to shed tears. "It's.....fantastic..." Ashton asked, "Is it...truly that good?" She looked up to him and cried, "I can't explain it. I don't know where this feeling came from. Your art simply moved me to tears." Ashton dried her face with his sleeve. "Now there, this painting will always be here for you to appreciate. Once the paint dries, I'll be framing it and will hang it on the wall with the others." Just then, Ruby came in and said, "I think I've dusted everything that needed it, Lord Ashton. Huh?" She walked over and saw the newly finished portrait. "Hey, when are you going to do mine?! I was here first!"

In the study, Serenade was pouring over books. "How was he able to do all that? It doesn't add up....." She was desperate for answers to Ashton's strange pyrokinetic powers, but had found no leads so far. Suddenly, she heard someone behind her. "I can save you the trouble. I've read every book here."

Serenade turned and faced Chiara. "You heard everything?" The midget Lugia nodded, "You were searching for answers to Ashton's mastery over fire. Were you not?" Serenade frowned and nodded. "I'm sorry, but whatever means he used to acquire that is not mentioned in any of the books here." She then asked, "Serenade, just how long has he harbored that power?" The Gardevoir whispered, "I honestly can't say. The first time he ever displayed it was when he was five years old."

Chiara thought this over. (Five years old? Then perhaps...) She spoke to Serenade, "The only ones who could possibly know of its origins are his parents." Serenade sighed, "I was afraid of that. I was hoping to never have to ask them, but it seems there's no other option. Thank you, Chiara."

Later that night, Ashton was reading a message from Garyson by candlelight in bed while Laika rested at his side. Just then, they heard someone knocking at the door. "Lord Ashton, are you awake?" He replied, "I am. Please enter, Serenade." The door creaked open and his sister came in with a candle in hand. "I've never seen you up at this hour, sister. What's on your mind?" The graceful Gardevoir took a seat next to her brother as Laika listened in.

"Lord Ashton, I..." Ashton cut her off, "Please, we're siblings. There's no need to be so formal." Serenade giggled, "Sorry, but I prefer it. Anyway, I have a request." Ashton nodded and listened. "Tomorrow, may we visit Mother and Father?" This surprised Ashton greatly, but he smiled and said, "Of course! It's been almost three years since I last saw them! Shall we leave at around noon?" Serenade grinned, "That would be grand! So, I'll see you then. Good night, Ashton."

As Serenade left the room, Laika asked, "I thought you were an orphan." The viscount nodded, "Yes. My biological parents died on the day of my birth, but I was fortunate enough to be taken in by Serenade's parents. I couldn't have asked for a better mother and father." Laika grinned, "So I see. I'll have to see them for myself tomorrow." Ashton yawned, "Of course. Well, it's gotten late, so I'm turning in. Good night, Princess of the Snow." Laika blushed heavily at the compliment. (You have no idea how much it tickles me when you call me that!)

As Ashton fell asleep, Laika stayed awake. She looked over the body of her master and savior. "More than ever, I want to protect you. Be it beast or assassin, I will never allow anyone to take you away from me. Sleep well, my love. I will make sure that you live a enjoyable life."

At an undisclosed location, a Black Wing spy reported to his commanding officer. "So, the most notorious assassin in the kingdom was mutilated and then destroyed by him?" The man grinned wickedly, "He is proving to be better prey with each passing day. I can hardly keep my lance calm." The man, clothed in black with long spiky orange hair, rose from his seat. "The time is near. Soon, he will either join us, or disappear."

The evil knight proceeded down the corridor as he plotted. "It would seem that I've taught you well, Ashton. You've come far. My only hope is that I do not have to kill you. I couldn't have asked for a better student. But what will you do when the ones closest to you are put in peril?"
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