AGNPH Stories

Leon: Rebirth of a Hero by noxxi


Story Notes:

My first story.Please Review and comment on my mistakes so I can fix 'em!It starts out a bit short and bad on the earlier chapters, but rewrites for them are being done as I write this. So, if you don't get too hooked by them, please read on, and give this a chance.Reviews are very much welcome. But, if It's gonna be a bad one, please explain what went off so I can work on it. If It's just like 'Hey your bad I dun liek you 111eleven', then please refrain from reviewing.Anyways, enjoy.Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.Comments, questions, or anything like that? I can be reached by pressing that 'contact' next to my penname and sending me an email.

Chapter 27


"Enemies?!" The Flygon smashed a mug against the table of the great hall in the Midnight World. Though the red of his goggles prevented it from being so noticeable, his eyes spoke of both anger and surprise. "What do you mean 'Enemies'?! We're the guys who are attacking towns here!"

"I'm telling you, they came out of nowhere and began attacking Neri! And I swear I saw VII with them!" XI answered. He was more relaxed than his colleague was, but he was just as surprised. The Blaziken sat with his legs crossed on the table and continued, "They called themselves 'Black... Something. I can't remember."

"I think it was 'Black Seraphs'," The Houndoom answered from the other end of the table, "I don't know, it was all too weird."

"Well, I want them gone!" XVII commanded, raising his hand and pointing at the hall's door, "If the professor or any of the others comes back and this problem's afoot I'll get in trouble!" He looked down and shook his head in bother, "Ugh, this has to happen just when I take command..."

"How are we even going to do that?!" The gigantic voice of the Aggron rumbled loudly across the hall, "We know nothing of these guys! Not where they're settled, assuming they are, not who leads them, nothing!"

"Well, what are the Shedinja good for?! Put them to use!"

'Black Seraphs...?' The Vaporeon thought in the midst of his idle daydreaming. The others were too busy going over the matter, but he had heard the name somewhere before... 'Where...' He slowly sat up a little from his curling position and got to think. "Black Seraphs!" He suddenly spoke out loud, and the other four looked at him.

"You know about them?" XVII asked, focused on XIX. He had to admit it: If the Vaporeon knew anything, he'd be very surprised.

"Yeah, they were this group of bad sorts that went around trying to overtake and darken the world until they were stopped by this 'Silver Hero' dude!" XIX replied, shuddering a little as everyone's eyes on him were too unnerving.

"Guy can't tell the difference between his tail and his brain, but this he knows," XVII said cynically, bringing out a chuckle from the others. "How do you even know this?"

"Well, excuse me!" The water-type answered, faking indignation, "I happen to know a lot of-" He stopped when he saw everyone's expression and knew they wouldn't believe him, "-XVI gave me an ancient history book telling me it was a dirty magazine."

"Oh, that's right!" The Houndoom laughed, "I had totally forgotten about that one!"

"Well, if it's in a book..." XVII added in a thoughtful way. He fell silent for a while before speaking up in a commanding way, "I don't care! I want 'em gone! XI, XII! Go see what you can find out about them!"

"But what about XV?" XI asked, "You and I both know these other two yahoos," He gestured at XIV and XIX, "Won't get anything done!"

"Page twenty one of the command procedures handbook states that full attention should be given to matters regarding rivaling organizations in case one is to arise!" XVII recited the page exactly as it was written in a patronizing way. He knew that would just make the others laugh, but that was what he wanted, "Now, move your ass!"

"Okay, 'Professor'," XI chuckled, saluted the Flygon goodbye, and left with XII.

"Well, got a busy day ahead of me," XIV said to himself as he got up as well.

"Now, where are you going?" XVII asked. The Houndoom had no duties for the day, and he and XIX were the kind who just stayed at home when that was the case.

"Tail hunting," the dark-type indifferently replied.

"Sounds a little aggressive, you know?"

"That's just what I'm planning it to be like," The Houndoom answered with a grim and perversely desiring expression as he walked out of the hall and made his way to the gate, thinking of Sasha all the way; going over a plan to draw her away from the others... 'You'll be mine soon...' He thought, 'Wintry Demoness...'

"Aye, what a mess..." XVII shook his head as he blew a puff of smoke from his nose, "Maybe I should unwind... Go to Dragon's Peak, play a race..."


Sun rose high above the skies of Neri as morning came, making the darkness of night disappear and filling them with a beautiful clear blue. As this happened, light shone in through the window of Anne's house at Leon, waking the Pikachu up.

He slowly opened his eyes and saw Tiffany lying next to him. He got up, careful not to wake her and stretched, letting out a yawn. It was still too early to set out, and Tiffany was still asleep, so he decided he'd just go for a walk and take a look around. But, just as he headed for the door, he stopped.

"Hey, where are you going?" Tiffany told him. Leon probably woke her up without noticing. The Buneary got up and rubbed her eyes before walking up to him.

"I was just planning to take a walk," Leon replied, kissing her good morning, "You know, get some fresh air and... Hey," He added, poking at one of the fluffy tufts of fur on her flopped right ear, "When did this turn white?"

"Huh? What are you talking about?" Tiffany answered, feeling her ear and noticing whatever it was Leon was touching was not hers. "Now what's this...?" She said as she removed the unknown object from her ear and looked at it. Just as she did, however, the cotton-like ball of white fluff unrolled, revealing a very, very small Pokémon.

Apart from the white cloudy fleece that he had originally wrapped himself in, his body was a light blue, with two small feathers coming from the top of his head and a very small white beak: A Swablu.

"Well, what do you know?" Leon said excitedly as he stared at the chick, "The egg must have hatched overnight!" He carefully took him from Tiffany's paws and looked at him.

"He's cute, isn't he?" Tiffany looked at the Swablu as well, and just then, the question popped in her mind that would in any case like that. "So... What's his name gonna be?"

"You know?" Leon looked at her, still holding the small flying-type, "In the time we had the egg, I never stopped to think of that..."

"Well, his mom was called Aria..."

"His dad was... Bolero, I think?"

"So, any thoughts?" Tiffany asked.

"Well, I'm a little dense on the music deal, but... Minuet?"

"That works!" Tiffany nodded, looking at the Swablu she was holding, "Little Minuet..." She looked at Leon, "Guess we'll be raising him for a while, huh?"

"Seems that way," Leon replied, "So, we're going out for a walk, or would you rather stay with the little guy?"

"Hmm... Walk's fine!" Tiffany answered, placing the Swablu back on her ear like he was before, "I'll bring him along!"

"Good morning," Came from behind them as the Espeon walked up to them, "If it's just a walk, can I come along?"

"Good morning, Phoebe!" Tiffany greeted her, "Look!" She took Minuet from her ear and held him up so she could look at him.

"So, the egg hatched, huh?" Phoebe said dully, looking closely at the chick, "Sort of cute, I guess."

"Is everything okay?" Leon asked, noticing the way in which Phoebe was talking.

"Yeah, I'm fine," She answered, "I just... I get like this whenever I meet with my mother, that's all."

"You must be feeling pretty bad... Hey, come walk outside with us. Some sunlight and fresh air may be all you need!"

"Okay," Phoebe nodded, "Let's go."


Sun shone on Sasha's face, waking her up at the same time as Estelle. With a yawn, both got up and looked at the sea below the cliff they were on, then back at each other, and smiled.

"Good morning, Lexy!" Estelle greeted, still feeling a little sleepy. Not like it'd be that noticeable with all that energy.

"Hey," Sasha answered, smiling back at the Absol as she stretched, the tensing of her paws against the grass causing it to freeze over, "Heh... I'm having a little trouble standing after last night..."

"It was totally awesome!" Estelle replied, "I didn't know it could feel so good..."

"Like I said, I have SO much to teach you!... By the way, where's Richard?"

Both looked to the right and noticed the Luxray sitting on the grass by the edge of the cliff, looking down into the ocean so far below with a tense expression.

"Hey, you!" Sasha greeted the Luxray, brushing affectionately against his right side with a soft purr, "Sleep well?"

Richard didn't answer. He just looked at her for a moment before looking back at the ocean and sighing.

"Hey, what's up?" Estelle asked, mimicking Sasha's actions on his left side, "Why so down? Didn't you have fun?"

"I... Did, I guess," The Luxray muttered. When he woke up that morning and saw the Glaceon and Absol next to him, he thought of what he had done, and, again, Phoebe was right: He got carried away and now he was regretting it. "it's just... What we did? It was wrong."

"Well, that's the first time anyone tells me that," Sasha answered, "what was bad about it?"

"Don't get me wrong, it was great," Richard quickly replied, "It's just... Well, it was wrong. Doing something like this implies commitment. You," He looked at Estelle, "I promised you I would never do that to you. And you," he then stared at Sasha, "Why don't I just take you dancing over the memorial they built for all the soldiers that disappeared during the Blood Valley incident? I mean, you're his sister and I already-"

"Hey, there's no need for commitment! No one else has to find out!" Sasha interrupted, brushing some more against him, "It can be our secret!... Except Phoebe. I'm gonna tell her."


"Well, I don't know about that," Estelle answered thoughtfully, "But Lexy's right! It can be our little secret! And you agreed you would never do what the Mightyena did. And you didn't do it! It was totally different!"

He looked at the two of them, then sighed again, looking down at the ocean. Slowly, he turned around and began his walk back into town. "Look, let's just... Let's go back. We'll talk about it later."

"He's an awkward fellow, isn't he?" Sasha laughed softly as she saw the Luxray walk away. The attitude he had... It just gave her an idea. "Hey, Estelle..." She told the Absol as she drew closer to her, "I've got an idea... Wanna totally freak him out? Listen..."

Estelle listened to her, giggled lowly and nodded.

"But let's go back to town. We should hear how Leon, Tiffany and Phoebe spent the night."


"Town's busy, packing everything now that the festival's over." Leon pointed out, looking at a group of Volbeat by the side of the street pick up and pack some rings they had used the night before, "You've gotta admire all the effort."

"Where do you think they go once the festival ends?" Tiffany asked, walking next to the Pikachu as she held the newborn in her paws.

"Back to their hometowns," Phoebe answered, "Or at least, I think they do. I mean, where else could they go?"


"So now that the crowd's cleared up a little," Leon asked, looking at the Buneary next to him, "Wanna go make a wish? The river's clear now."

"I'd love to!"

"Hey!" Sasha greeted as she approached the three, running, "Hi!" She stopped in front of Leon with a broad smile. "How was your night?"

"It was good," Leon replied, smiling awkwardly at the Glaceon's attitude, "Seems like yours was too, huh?"

"Like you wouldn't believe!"

"Lexy, wait!" Estelle came running from the other side of the pearly-paved street, stopping in front of Leon as well and looking at the Pikachu, "Hi!"

"Hey, Estelle," Leon answered. "Sounds like you had a pretty good night too."

"Yup!" The Absol nodded, "Great!"

"That's great, but where's the guy you had with you last night?" Phoebe asked, "Shouldn't he be here?"

"Right..." Sasha answered, "He's coming from that way," she said, gesturing at the path she had come running from, "Or he should be."

Short after, the large figure of the Luxray appeared coming from that direction. He was moving at a pace so slow a Slugma could have outsped him, looking down and worried. He walked up to where the others were, slowly looked up, and muttered a low "Good morning".

"Now what happened to you?" Phoebe asked, looking at him, "You look like you got hit by the train... Again."

"Nothing," Richard answered, "Did some stuff I'm feeling bad for... How was your night?"

"It was good," The Espeon replied, "That egg hatched."

"Oh, that's right!" Tiffany said excitedly, holding the Swablu up for the others to look at, "See? Isn't he lovely?"

"He is," Leon nodded.

"Wanna hold him?" She asked, holding Minuet out for the others.

"Nah thanks!" Sasha quickly answered, shuffling back, "Seriously, he's cute, but I don't wanna come near him."

'And again with that...' Phoebe thought, slowly shaking her head as she saw her reaction.

"Get him out of my sight," Richard said, "Any little ones around me die. True story."

"Think he'll like me?" Estelle asked as she slowly took the Swablu in her maw, careful not to hurt him, and placed him in her back, "Awww, cute!"

"So, where were you heading right now?" Sasha asked, trying to divert her own attention from the Swablu.

"Well, we just decided we were going to make a wish at the river," Leon answered, "You're welcome to come along."


All seven began their slow trip towards the center of town, where wishes were cast. The day was clear and good, and the streets were near empty except for the occasional passerby or guard. Because of how different the town was from the night before, making their way to the center was easy and didn't take much time.

Finally, they arrived. The center of town was a round street that was connected by several others to the other areas of town. In the very middle was a round spring from which the river seemed to start flowing. The clear water of the spring reflected the blue of the skies above them. Next to the spring was a pile of perfectly round stones marked with stars. Those were the ones used to make wishes.

"So, here we are," Leon said as they arrived from the south street. He paused for a while, caught his breath, then walked up to the spring, "I guess this is where we do it, right?" He looked down into the spring, then back at the others, "Anyone know how?"

"It's like this," Sasha answered, walking to the edge of the spring and sitting next to Leon, "You take a pebble," She said as she picked one of the rocks up and placed it at the very edge in front of her, "You think your wish, and you throw it into the spring! It's that simple." She closed her eyes and thought her wish. 'Hey again. It's me... Well, my wish hasn't changed one bit: I wanna be the world's best adventurer! So give a paw, kay? Thanks!' Once she finished, she pushed the pebble into the spring.

"Okay," Leon said as he took one, "Let's see..." 'I wish to become a hero, like Leon wanted! And that Tiffany and I never come apart...' He cast the pebble into the spring and then looked back at the Buneary behind him with a smile. "Come on, you're next!"

"Well..." Tiffany answered, stroking her barrette as she held the pebble in one paw, "Here goes!" 'I know it sounds silly, but... I just want all these travels with Leon to go on forever... Life's so exciting! And let me learn more about my mom, please...' She threw the pebble into the spring, where it bounced twice before sinking.

"Come on, Phoebe!" Sasha told the Espeon, nudging her towards the spring, "Your turn!"

"Alright, alright!" Phoebe answered in response to Sasha's rushing, "My wish..." She muttered as she closed her eyes and a bright blue aura enveloped the pebble. 'I wish for him to come back to me... And that he and I can finally live our dream together as we promised we would...' Once she was done a blue aura enveloped the pebble, which slowly hovered until it was above the spring, then fell. She turned around and moved aside while Estelle hopped towards the place where she was standing.

"My turn!" Estelle cheered, taking the pebble. 'I just... Well... I want my problems to go away... All of them... And I hope Kitty likes me... He's so sweet...' She pushed it down and looked at Richard, "Your turn, Kitty!"

"I'll pass," Richard growled, "A river being able to grant wishes is total bull; I don't believe it."

"C'mon, it's fun!" Sasha told him, "Will you quit being so... Weird!"

"Weird?" Richard answered awkwardly, "What do you mean, 'weird'?"

"Just give it a try!" Estelle nudged him, "Please? For me?"

"Alright," The Luxray grunted, pacing towards the spring and taking a pebble, "I...Guess I can try it..."

"Be honest!"

**You hear?**

"Alright, alright!" He said, annoyed, looking at the pebble. 'I wish... Well, where to begin? Just put things right.'

**Is that all?**

'Don't push it. It's rare enough I even did this.' The Luxray turned to look at the others. "What now?"

"Nothing," Phoebe replied with a hint of sadness, "Where were you going?"

"I was gonna go get my things," Richard answered, "The sooner we can get out of this town, the better. Too many memories, and I know I'll get in trouble."

"Well, I guess we should get moving," Leon said, looking back at the street they had walked from, then at Tiffany, "What do you say?"

"Sure, but let's say goodbye to my grandma first! She DID give us a place to stay..."

"Okay, then!" Leon replied, starting his walk back to Anne's home as everyone else followed along.


"All packed here!" Sasha called as she rushed into the sitting room at Anne's house. Phoebe, Richard and Estelle were there already. The Espeon and Absol were talking calmly while the Luxray looked out the window towards the streets, idle on something else. "Now we just have to wait for Leon and Tiffany, right?"

"They're saying goodbye to Missis Anne," Phoebe answered, "They'll be here any moment."

"Come on, Sunny!" Estelle pouted, nudging the Espeon, "Play with me!"

"Estelle, I've lost your game thrice," The Espeon answered in a serious tone, staring in a scolding way at the Absol's yellow eyes, "It doesn't even make any sense. No matter which way I say, you always turn the other way after I say so."


In their room, Tiffany and Leon had been getting ready to leave when Anne arrived. The Buneary took that as her chance to say goodbye before they left town. Leon just sat and watched.

"Thanks for everything, grandma!" Tiffany told the Loppuny, hugging her, "It was nice to meet you!"

"It was good to see how much you've grown," Anne answered, hugging her granddaughter back, "You've become a fine young lady, no doubt. Where are you planning to go now?"

"We're going to Selenia!" Tiffany replied, letting go of her grandmother and looking up at her, "Everyone we're traveling with has a reason to go there. I want to find out more about my mom's life there!"

"Oh, yes..." Anne answered sadly, looking down, "Alice... She always had so much energy... I've always felt everything that happened to her was my fault for not giving her enough attention... The day she and Zoey left... At least Zoey bothered writing, telling me how they were doing, but Alice went apart from me. I'm really sorry, Tiffany; I wish I could tell you anything..."

"It's okay, grandma!" Tiffany answered, "Don't be sad..."

Anne looked down, still saddened at her granddaughter, and smiled faintly, stroking her ears, "Thanks... You're a good girl, you know that? Now go. Your friends are waiting for you."

"Okay!" Tiffany nodded, picking up her bag and taking Minuet with her, "Thanks, grandma!" She stopped by the room's door and looked at Leon, who was busy picking up the contents of his own bag after dropping it. "Leon, hurry up!"

"In a minute!" Leon answered, packing 'The Tale of the Silver Hero' as Tiffany left the room. "That's it," He said, brushing his hands in a satisfied way.

"Packing?" Anne asked the Pikachu, sitting on the bed.

"Yeah," Leon answered, "Just finished. Thank you for giving us a place to stay."

"You're welcome," Anne answered, patting Leon on the shoulder, making a few small sparks come out. "Hmm... You're a pretty nice kid," She told him, smiling, "In a way, you really remind me of Tiffany's father."

"Her father?" Leon asked, a little thrown-off by Anne's words. When Tiffany told him what her mother said about her father, he thought of him as some uncaring, cold and shameless criminal. He didn't expect her grandmother would think that. "But I thought her father wasn't exactly... Well, he was bad."

"Tiffany told you that?"

"She told me that's what her mother used to say."

"Ahh..." Anne sighed and slowly shook her head, "Of course she'd think that... Isaac was a sweet kid. Alice just... Well, she grew up without a father. That's probably why she left him. You see, Tiffany's father came from a tribe, over at the wasteland. I heard they were really harsh, but the few times I got to see him, he was really kind. Alice thought he wouldn't be a good example."

"I see..." Leon answered thoughtfully, "But... What happened to Tiffany's grandfather?"

"He was a sea adventurer," Anne answered furtively, as if fearing anyone else would hear her, "The kind the law doesn't like."

"You mea-"

"Yes. A pirate."


"One day he went out on a trip with a bunch of his treasure towards the northern seas and he never came back... Alice had just been born. She grew up without him. Unlike Zoey, she never thought a father was a necessary thing."

"I see," Leon answered, thinking of what she had just told him, "And what became of Tiffany's father?"

"After Alice left him, I heard he went back to his tribe," Anne replied, "Please don't tell Tiffany any of this. Her father was a really good boy, but I think meeting him would only hurt her... And, as Alice's mother, I'm forced to look at him as the jerk that knocked up my daughter and left her. Even if that's not the case."

Leon didn't reply. For some reason, he felt that anything he said would only sadden the Lopunny. He finished packing his things and looked at her again in awkward silence as if waiting for her to say anything else.

"So you're done packing," She told him, patting him on the back, "Come on. Let's get you on the road."

"Thanks," Leon nodded as he hopped off the bed and headed for the sitting room. He stopped by the door to look back at her, "And thank you, once again, for giving us a place to stay."

"It was nothing. Now let's go."

The Pikachu left the room followed by Anne and walked into the sitting room. "Hey," He greeted as he walked in, looking at everyone, "Ready to keep moving?"

"Sure thing!" Sasha nodded in enthusiasm. There were few things she enjoyed more than the feeling of taking off after resting somewhere. The magic of wondering what fate had in store for her was something she adored. "Say when!"

"Okay then!" Leon cheered, "Let's go!"

They stepped out the house's door towards the streets, ready to continue their adventure towards Selenia. If they moved fast enough, they would be able to reach their destination in a week or two. As they left Anne stood at the door, waving goodbye at them. She was smiling, but there was something about her expression that said she was recalling a bitter memory.

The streets were almost empty now except for the locals, and the silence somehow matched the cold air. They walked down the white, paved road following the river's course and letting the whisper of the running water relax them. As they reached the town's exit, they happened upon a large group of soldiers, gathered around a single spot.

"Uh-oh," Leon said as they approached the soldiers.

"Do you think it's anything bad?" Tiffany asked, placing the newborn Swablu on her head.

"Well, they can't do anything to us, anyway," Sasha answered.

"I don't want no trouble..." Estelle said, walking closer to Richard in hopes of feeling safer.

"I know what this is..." Richard commented, keeping calm as they moved closer and closer to the3 soldiers, "Phoebe, isn't it-"

"-My mother," The Espeon answered, "Taking a walk through town."

"Nothing to worry about, then?" Tiffany asked the princess.

"Not at all."

They kept moving, walking towards the crowd and knowing that there was no danger for them. As they were passing by, however, they were stopped when called by someone in the crowd.

"Leaving so soon?"

They turned around to see the aged Umbreon looking at them, the silver she was wearing along with her purple rings standing out. Apparently, while the guard was busy moving on, it failed to notice the queen was gone. She slowly walked up to them and sat in front of Phoebe, looking at her friends.

"Hello, Mother," Phoebe greeted with a bow before looking back at her, "We were just leaving."

"I can see that," The queen calmly replied, "back into the muddy trails of the outdoors." She took another look at Leon, then quickly turned to look at Estelle, then Sasha, Tiffany, briefly focusing her attention on the Swablu, and finally at Richard. "So, these are your friends? Well..." She told her, examining everyone, "you, I know," she told Richard, then looked at everyone else, "but the rest... Well, I will never understand your mind. But I suppose they look kind enough for me to think there's no danger to you."

"She's safe with us, your highness." Leon spoke out to her, stepping forward. His words were met by an analyzing gaze from the queen, who eyed him up and down twice before answering.

"Yes... I suppose..." There was a strange, secretive hint to her voice the Pikachu couldn't quite understand, "You might... Keep her safe..." she was incredibly interested in something about him but he could not make it out, and he knew trying to figure it right then could make for an awkward moment. The queen seemed to realize that and immediately left him to turn her attention towards Phoebe again, "Well, you're off, I guess. I-"

"-Your highness!" The General came running in a hurry towards the Umbreon, calling her in an alarmed fashion, "Your highness! Queen Selene!"

"Oh, what now?" the queen asked nonchalantly, rolling her eyes as she watched the Houndoom run toward her, stopping in front of her.

"I got her!" The general barked back at the crowd, "Watt! Birman! Come here right now!"

"Oh, please!" The Umbreon replied, laughing a little, "Can't a girl wander off for a while without stirring panic?"

"But your majesty, you know it's not proper for you to jus-"

"-I've been bad, I know..." She replied, brushing against the Houndoom's battle-scarred chest, "But then again, that's something you can punish me for later, eh, Doomie...?"

"There's an image..." Phoebe said, looking down in embarrassment at the way her mother had just talked.

"For the both of us," Richard added, frowning at the thought himself.

"For everyone," Tiffany finished.

"You call, sir?" The Manectric arrived followed by the Purugly. His arrival and stance would have been perfect if the overfed feline behind him and not failed to stop and crashed into him, causing both to fall and roll until they stopped, more dazed than aware, in front of Leon. After getting up and stretching, their attention went back to the general.

"Yeah, I did. Escort the queen back to the group. In the meantime, I will jus-"

"-Birman, Alan," The queen interrupted, "Take a ten-minute break. Catch up with your friend if you want." Saying this, she turned back to look at Doome, "You can't challenge that order... Now, let's go take a, say... Half-hour break ourselves."

"e-er... Yes, your majesty," The Houndoom followed with a nervous look on her face. However, as they were leaving, the queen went back to Leon and whispered something faintly at him.

"Do take care," She told him, "and know this... A page can cast more light than the brightest of all flares, or the glorious moon itself... Bye, Phoebe!" Finished, she left, leaving a much-too-confused Leon wondering what she meant.

"Bye... Mother..."

"And there she goes," Alan said as he watched the queen leave, followed by the general, "We'd better get moving, too. I know she told us to take a break, but knowing Doome, he'll grill us anyways."

"Yeah, plus she wants to stay for a few more days, so Doome wants us to make sure security's tighter than a Hariyama's-"

"We get the picture!" Sasha stopped him before he could finish his words.

"Right, sorry... So, anyways... Bye!" As he was leaving, he turned around to look at Estelle and Sasha with a slight grin on his face, "Bye, pretties! See you in my dreams!"

"You always do that," They could hear Alan tell him as they headed back into the crowd, smacking the Purugly on the side, "As if anyone would ever answer."

"Bye, other Kitty!" Estelle yelled at him just in time for both to turn around, then look back at each other with a puzzled expression before moving on.

"Okay," Sasha commented once they were gone, "Okay, what the hell was all that about?"

"Yeah," Leon added as they began to walk again, heading towards the exit of town. "Who were they? I know the queen, but the rest?"

"Myron Doome, Alan Watt and... Birman. Come to think of it, I never learned the bastard's first name." Richard answered.

"They were with us in the war," Phoebe added.

"That other Kitty's so cute, too!" Estelle said adoringly, "He's so huggable!"

"Not once did I think of the guy as anything near huggable. Seriously."

"Seems like your mom and the general have something going on!" Sasha told the Espeon, laughing a little.

"Don't start," Phoebe answered in the same way, "If we go into the subject of who has what with whom, you end up losing!"

"Okay, fine."

"Hey," Tiffany commented, "I was thinking: Do we even know where we're going?"

Sasha replied confidently, "Why, of course we," She stopped with a stunned expression as she realized the Buneary was right.


"Okay, let's see:" Sasha said as she lied down on the grass at the side of the road, followed by everyone else. Estelle and Phoebe seemed quite interested in the piece of parchment she had just unrolled, while Leon seemed apart, focused on something else. Tiffany's attention was also away, focused on the Pikachu and wondering what he was thinking of. Richard didn't seem to care about anything as he just sat with his back towards them, looking into the grass, deep in thought.

"Well," The Glaceon continued, pointing with her dainty blue paw at a spot near 'Neri' on the map, "There's three paths that will get us to Selenia: This one," She pinted at a 'railing' of sorts that had been drawn crudely on the map with the words 'get here soumdae!!!' written on it, "means going through the forest for just a little bit, then following g the Riale train's tracks. That's not hard in the least, BUT."

"There's always a but," Phoebe murmured.

"It'll take us an INSANELY long time to get to Selenia. While there's no way we could get lost, we'd have to go through the mountains and pass through Isa Yuka in the wasteland. Now that's far."

"So that route's bad... Right?" Estelle asked.

"Safe but boring. Next... We can take this little road south," the Glaceon pointed her paw at another direction, "Going through here will have us in Selenia in three days. Problem is it goes through an abandoned fort that's been occupied by bandits of every sort. Now, we could take them out an-"

"-Forget it," Richard grunted in interruption, "Those guys are the Vile Gang. I know them, and I know they're too dangerous."

"So, since mister know-it-all soldier Richard A. Raymonds says no, we scratch this path entirely. And that leaves just this one path:" She pointed her paw at a dark shroud that had been drawn on the map, "It's quick, it's somewhat quiet, and it'll have us there in about a week."

"So, what's the catch?" Leon asked, putting what the queen said aside for the moment and deciding to participate.

"You knew there was a catch, huh? You'd make a nice adventurer! The catch," Sasha said, holding her words for a moment for the purpose of added mystery, "Is that this place is also known as 'The Fallen Forest'. Travelers go missing, mysterious voices are heard, and some freakish monster attacks others inside. Those that get out are said to be too close and they're never the same once they do."

"Superstitious crap," Richard mumbled, "There's nothing there."

"If we don't want to go against the bandits, and we want to still be young when we get to Selenia," Sasha continued, "There's just one path: We take the forest on. Right?"

"Bring it," Richard grunted.

"I guess..." Leon said, a little distracted before fully focusing again, "I don't guess, I know we can! Let's take that forest on!"

"Oh, an adventure!" Estelle cheered.

"I know we can get through this," Phoebe nodded, "After Blood Valley, I don't fear a bunch of trees."

"Let's go, then!" Tiffany hopped to her feet, holding the newborn Swablu in one arm as she raised her paw in the other, "To Selenia!"

"To Selenia!" Everyone but Richard imitated her gesture as they got up and made way to the Fallen Forest. There was a mystery in wait for them. The forest held things that would drive anyone insane. For they did not know: Pokémon change in the forest. Best friends try to kill each other and sworn enemies emerge as brothers. Many a thing would happen in that place, and, should they manage to come out, they will discover many things about the world, and many others about themselves...


The gilded, shining walls of the overly luxurious palace did nothing against the shadowy presence of the dark creature sitting at the throne at the end of the ivory aisle. The red irises of his eyes, devoid of any shine, stared at the Roserade in a way that made him feel as if he was going to suddenly burst in flames.

"And you failed?" He inquired in his deep voice.

"Y-yes, Master," Ereith answered, kneeling and whining. "I—I got carried away in my revenge at Axel to remember..." He shivered, "And I forgot!"

The shadow didn't even seem disturbed by his underling's answer. He simply looked at him in the eyes and spoke so low it was almost heard like a hiss, "I want that Absol."

"Y-Yes, Sire..."

"And what about Nox?"

"He is calling himself 'Duke Noxrit Hollow of the western continent' now, Sire," Ereith replied and sighed, glad the master's attention was drawn away from him, "Apparently, he has seduced some princess he met last night. They are due for marriage in two months."

"That is efficiency. Nox will gain us power through his actions. Learn from this, Ereith," The shadows hissed again, "I want no failures. Go and find me that Absol."

"Yes, Sire," Ereith bowed again, his black roses shedding some petals, probably out of his nerves. He looked at the water at the center of the throne room and asked: May I request the Sire helps me see where they are?"

Annoyed by the way in which the Roserade talked to him, the shadow raised his hands and the image made itself clear of the Pikachu walking down the sunny roads near Neri while chatting with a Buneary that was holding a Swablu as a Glaceon and Espeon followed behind. And there, behind them was that pathetic, barbaric excuse for a creature... Axel... And, finally, bent on lifting his mood, was his target: The Absol.

"They are heading towards Wish Forest," The Shadow spoke, "Now that you know: Come back with the Absol, or do not come back at all."

"Yes, Sire..."

"But wait,"

"Yes? What does your omnipotence desire?"

"If they are heading to Wish Forest... Perhaps I could arrange for an old friend to greet them... Fortune smiles upon you, Ereith. Go rest. I have a different plan now. One that will stop these growing heroes short of anything."

"Why, only your brilliant mind could come up with such a grand plan!"

"*sigh*... yes."


"Leon, what's wrong with you?" Tiffany asked him as they kept traveling down the sunny path. If it could still be called that. The more they advanced down it, the darker it seemed to become. Clouds formed in tighter formations above them and the air itself got colder and colder. Something was wrong in that road, and they could all feel it. "I've been talking to you for a while now, and all you do is nod and answer either 'yes' or 'uh-huh'."

"Yeah, you've been awfully quiet," Sasha added, noticing the Pikachu's condition, "Did something happen?"

"The queen," Leon muttered, "She told me...

... A page can cast more light than the brightest of all flares, or the glorious moon itself."

"Now that makes no sense!" Estelle said, confused. Her doubt reflected in her bright yellow eyes in an almost adorable way as her expression was no different than that of a pup wondering something, "How can a page cast light?"

"It's a metaphor, Estelle," Phoebe replied, "Mother usually says stuff like that when she wants to tell you something she thinks only you would understand."

"Well, then," Sasha pointed out, "Maybe she's just saying 'you look like a bum. Read something so you get a little more culture'."

"Just think," Phoebe told Leon, trying to help him out of his questioning, "Pages. How can they cast light on you?"

"Through knowledge?" Leon guessed.


"So, if knowledge shines," Tiffany said, "and only you would get this... How long since you read that book the elder gave you?"

"That might actually be it," Leon looked up, feeling satisfied and glad his friends had helped him find an answer, "but then again, it might not. How did she even know I had that book?"

**Believe the girl, boy. She is right.**

"But still, it might not do me any harm to read it a little, huh?"

"Boo, reading!" Estelle frowned, "What does reading get you? Nothing!"

"It's actually an interesting way to pass the time," Phoebe corrected the Absol, "There are great pieces of literature that actually make for good entertainment."

"Well, I've had to read to learn a lot of stuff," Sasha added her own opinion, "But, overall, almost everything I've read has managed to do nothing but bore me."

"Really? What have you read?"

"..." Sasha fell silent before ashamedly admitting: "The Amazing Adventures of Jason Goldwing."

"So comic books don't count."

"I don't think I've ever read too much, either," Leon said. Now that he recalled it, he really hadn't. Back when he worked with the Midnight Voices he didn't read too much as he would spend most of his free time with Carmine and Lapis in that snowy hill, and in other times he simply would find more interesting things to do. "Actually, the Tale of the Silver Hero might be the only thing I've ever even read a little from out of my own desire."

"I love to read!" Tiffany sighed, "It's so good to just fly away to old, mystical lands and hear the exploits of all those great heroes! I remember I'd climb up the elder's tree every week so I could get something new to read!" Her comment was met by a short huff from the Luxray that was trailing behind them. Almost immediately everyone looked at him, waiting for him to make one of his negative and pessimist remarks, but he did not.

"What?" He asked uncomfortably.

"Nothing to say?" Tiffany asked him, "Really?"

"Nah." He grunted, but, even as they kept going forward, everyone kept looking at him until he finally gave up, "Fine! I don't know how to read."

"You don't know?!" Phoebe and Tiffany asked at the same time.

"Well, I used to because Morrison Fortune taught me, but then I forgot, and let's face it: What good does it do to you knowing how to read when you're fighting a war, or when you're a broken shell of a Mon who just wants to disappear?"

"Aaaand there it is." Leon finished just as they arrived upon the forest's entrance. It was easy to tell that was the famous Fallen Forest by the tree's dark colors and overall shroud of dark clouds and fog that covered it. The air was now chilling even more than before, and a strange presence could be felt in the air. Standing next to the forest's entrance were a Quilava and Vigoroth, looking into it with worried looks.

"You're planning to go in there?" The Quilava asked shakingly as he noticed the group approaching. On a closer look, it was possible to see he was wearing a Selenian guard badge.

"Why? What's the situation?" Richard asked.

"Since last night, soldiers all around the forest have gone missing, sir. They say the forest itself took them away!"

"And they're not friggin' getting out!" The Vigoroth jumped angrily.

"Well, tough luck for them," Richard shortly replied as he ventured into the woods, forcing the others to follow him and leaving the soldiers outside, "I guess that's what they get for being so superstitious."

It hadn't been even five minutes since they had ventured inside that Leon was already thinking of going into the forest as a bad idea. Blue fog filled the place, flowing in an eerie way amidst the dead, darkened trees that reached so high up they covered the sky. He wasn't the only one to react like this, however. Tiffany was feeling the same, which was why right now he was holding her close to him as they moved forward.

"There's something odd about this place," Leon said, "I feel like we're being watched... Like... A Presence."

"I know," Phoebe answered, "I can feel it too."

"Same here," Estelle nervously nodded, walking as close to the Luxray as she could.

"So, are the psychics and super-sensitive ones done complaining?" Sasha asked, "I don't see why you're complaining. It's the best kind of adventure! The kind where you don't know what happens next! Besides," she continued, raising her head and taking in the freezing-cold air, "The weather's delicious!"

"Yeah, for you..."

Time kept going on until, finally, night fell. This could be told because the trees got even darker than before and the forest fell even quieter. By this point they had done the ususal, lighting a fire and setting up camp. This time, probably to lift the mood a little, Sasha had decided to sing 'The ten worst things about you' with a voice that, sadly, failed to enchant anyone. From that moment onward they took turns doing something to keep everyone entertained. During that period of time Phoebe had performed her own brand of divination (with some hilarious predictions), Tiffany sang with a much better reception than Sasha, and, finally, Sasha, once again, got to tell everyone the Amazing Adventures of Jason Goldwing, the manliest Pokémon ever. While all this happened, Leon, still unnerved as he felt he was being watched, sat apart and began reading a fragment from the old book. To his surprise, there was a part that was, indeed, marked by a moon.

"Brighter than the glorious moon," he muttered as he began reading:

"A forgotten legend, by time his glory gone, has awakened to a world entirely foreign to him, even as he has been living in it for all the years of his imprisonment. In company of others unaware of the same fate, he faces one of the past. An arrow through the legend's heart as he realizes who his adversary is: The children of the future shall fight a legend of the past. And black and silver feathers will litter the land and sky."

"Okay, what?" He thought, puzzled even more than before as he looked at the book.

**Oliver. Find Oliver Erin.**

"So, you're into Jason Goldwing?" Phoebe asked Sasha as the two sat by a nearby tree.

"Used to. Not anymore," The Glaceon answered, "I grew up and realized he was a pretty lame hero."

"Yeah... But, you know, when I was little, I used to read a lot about him too."

"Wings brighter than the sun!" Sasha quoted.
"Muscles bigger than a Bulked Up Machamp!"
"So manly he has hair growing under the scales in his chest!"
"And he can fight Kyogre and Groudon in different parts of the planet with just one hand and win... At the same time!"

"Yeah, that was fun at first..." Sasha smiled. "Boy, did I use to be dumb... I was this tiny teeny little wimp that would fantasize about boys while sitting in my bed singing 'Marsh Flower.'

"That's funny," Phoebe answered, "Because, you remember that Leafeon we met in Desina? She used to-"


"Speak of the devil," Phoebe finished, looking in the direction the scream came from. "She's here and she's in trouble! Quick!"

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