A young boy and girl strolled through crowded streets. Both were wearing matching kimonos, dark red with white flowers dominating the full body, they matched perfectly. As the little girl giggled and snickered, brown eyes bright with joy, the boy of the group remained quiet, looking down towards his best friend who trotted happily between him and his sister. He never liked wearing this thing. He cringed, pulling at the collar with disgust.
"Cheer up Cole!" The boy looked to his left, his little sister was smiling up to him, as usual; he smiled back softly. "You look like daddy when you wear your kimono!"
"Thanks Ky." Cole scratched the back of his head, clearly embarrassed by the compliment. Even having his name in the same sentence as his father filled him with pride.
Cole winced, a sudden tightness around his left arm. Opening his brown eyes with caution he giggled once he felt something tremble against his hand. "It's okay Ky!" He laughed, patting the girl's head softly. "It's just the fireworks starting, you know that!" His sister sniffled, rubbing her nose with the sleeve of her kimono before glancing up to the dark sky.
The two stood there, together amongst a sea of people, gazing upon the beautiful display of fireworks that sparkled in the darkness. They remained close to each other, enjoying the warmth between them as more fireworks danced in the night sky in a cascade of colours.
The young boy looked down, dark brown eyes sparkled up to him with the burst of each flame in the night sky. "What's up?"
"You're going to be leaving soon...You're going to be a Pokemon Trainer..." A small frown graced her features before she looked down to her brother's first Pokemon. She picked up Houndour as the small puppy blinked at her with curious eyes. "...But I can't come with you. I'm...I'm going to be lonely."
Cole smiled softly before rubbing Kyra's head, earning a childish wine in response. "I'm going to come back, don't worry!" He laughed, tickling her softly which easily brought a smile back to her round face. They were always like this, you could not see one without the other.
They were the best of friends, but it was going to end...for now.
"You promise?" Kyra asked before reaching out with one free hand to raise a pinky towards him. "Pinky?"
The little girl batted her eyelashes innocently before her brother scoffed at her words, only to clasp her small hand in both of his. She squeaked, blushing slightly as Cole leaned towards her face. "What does a pinky promise do?" He squeezed her hand lightly in his. "How about a whooole hand promise!"
Big brown eyes widened with happiness from the words. Placing the barking puppy on her brother's head to the boy's confusion, Kyra then nodded repeatedly as she clasped her other hand onto his. "I'll get a Pokemon too! Then we'll always be together! Hand Promise!"
Cole smiled brightly as Houndour wagged its stubby tail. "Hand Promise!"
A flash of white light.
The small group of onlookers held their breaths as a massive deep blue coloured Pokemon materialized onto the lush grass of Ethon's ranch. It slapped its large hands onto the thick green blades with a thud, earning small gasps from the audience before eyeing the Trainer that boldly stared into its own deep golden eyes. The orange gills that protruded from its cheeks twitched slightly as the Trainer held out his own Poke ball, the scratches on the surface, revealing years of battles evident in the fading sunlight.
Ethon gasped, taking a step back; she was really serious. He had not seen that Pokemon battle ever since Kyra's Gym battle with Flannery.
"You see that son!"
The voice breaking his train of thought; Ethon blinked, only to turn to Mark who was leaning down at his son. "You'll be doing this soon enough! Pokemon battles, now watch!"
Cole eyed the Water/Ground type, his face holding no emotion as Kyra's fists trembled. Looking at the thick muscle of its massive arms, the confident glare in its eyes, and the heavy air around its form; there was no mistaking it. This was her first Pokemon. Her best Pokemon. Cole smirked.
Kyra's first Pokemon was a Water type.
"You were good enough to get a Starter Pokemon from Littleroot Town." Cole's voice was loud, he looked passed Swampert's form to his sister. She bit her lip slightly, clearly answering his question. "...I knew you'd make an excellent Trainer."
"I didn't come all the way here to listen to you ramble!" Kyra shot back, "Send him out now! I know your strongest Pokemon!"
Cole's eyes narrowed from her words. 'She's only thinking about strength...' He smirked again, throwing the red and white orb into the air.
In a flash of bright light, a dark, four-legged figure materialized onto the grass. It shook its head slightly, shaking off its fatigue before bright red eyes opened to take in its surroundings. Once Swampert's hulking figure came into view, its snout pushed back, revealing bright white teeth. The fire hound growled as its triangular black tail slapped the ground, prepared for a fight.
"Houndoom!" Ethon gasped, now fully aware that his only two children were about to have their first ever Pokemon battle. He felt a small burst of pride, only to have it followed by a pang of sadness as the Pokemon took the field. 'My kids...'
"Cobalt-" Kyra's voice caught Cole's attention instantly, "Mud Shot!" Slamming its massive palms into the thick grass, Swampert released a powerful jet of dense mud towards Houndoom, yet the fire hound remained still.
"Faint Attack!" In a sudden blur, Houndoom vanished in a blink of an eye. The stream of thick mud spitting onto an open field in front of Cole as he continued to stare down towards his sister. Seconds later, the fire hound reappeared in front of Swampert to its surprise before slamming into the Water/Ground type with a heavy thud.
"That's just like you!" Kyra barked as her Pokemon slid across the grass with a groan, yet shook off the attack with a growl. "If you're so strong, fight me head on!"
Cole's dark brown eyes narrowed as Houndoom landed back onto its side of the field. 'Kyra...She's only going for offensive moves...' Thinking back to his journey through Hoenn, most of the Swamperts he faced were mainly defensive. 'Her battle style fits her perfectly.' She turned into the exact type of Trainer he believed she would become. 'I'll need to bate her.'
"Hide yourself with Smog!"
A thick cloud of purple smoke erupted from Houndoom's nostrils to the surprise of the audience as they all took a step back, covering their faces to prevent themselves from suddenly inhaling the poisonous gas. Yet the cloud hovered around the Dark/Fire type only, enveloping the Pokemon completely as Swampert eyed its movement silently.
Kyra nearly laughed at Cole's command as the Smog drifted towards her side of the field. "Idiot, have you been gone so long that you don't even know the basics about Hoenn's Starter Pokemon natural traits!" Cole's eyes narrowed as his sister pointed to the thick clouds. " A Swampert's vision is fifty times stronger than a humans! Dynamicpunch now!"
Ethon and the rest of the group gasped as the hulking Mud Fish launched itself into the thick cloud with a swing of its flipper tail, its fist flaring a dark yellow. "Cole should have known that!" Ethon panicked as a thunderous explosion erupted from the Smog cloud. Turning to his son, his surprise surged to an even greater height. His face was hard as stone; Cole showed no expression. 'Does he know that he lost? Houndoom couldn't have escaped that!'
"Easy win!" Kyra smirked, waiting for the smoke to clear.
However, deep within the thick smog, Swampert growled as it looked down only to have its eyes widen in shock.
Then, as if the excitement was not high enough, a monstrous jet of fire erupted from the thick gas cloud. Kyra gasped as the painful cry of her Pokemon was heard, its entire body lifted high into the air by a stream of fire before slamming into the thick grass.
The entire audience gasped in shock as Swampert panted heavily, struggling to stand from the flickering embers as the Smog cloud disappeared, revealing a Houndoom who remained hunched on the ground, yet not a single scratch was on its slick black fur. It stood just behind a deep crack in the ground where Swampert's fist had struck.
"Ho-...How..." Kyra breathed as her Swampert growled angrily towards its opponent. "How did you miss Cobalt!" Her fist clenched again as the cloud finally vanished to reveal her brother's face. It was emotionless...calculating. He was picking her a part with his eyes.
She hated that.
"The Starter Pokemon were the first that I ever studied. I didn't forget about Swampert's abilities..." Cole's voice sounded, catching everyone's attention as Houndoom stood tall, its dark red eyes glimmering in the sunlight. "But how good is eyesight if light doesn't work in your favour?"
Kenna's mouth opened slightly in awe as everyone gaped at Cole and Houndoom. "Smart move..." She then cracked a smile.
"...He used Smog to refract the sun's light around Houndoom." Ethon took a step back. It had been so long since he had seen his son battle, yet those battles of Cole's run in the Hoenn League Championships came flooding back in an instant. He quickly turned to Mark and his son's astonished faces. "Make sure you watch him carefully!" They nodded silently to the old man's words.
"That Smog allowed him to dodge Dynamicpunch..." Kyra glared at her brother who matched her intensity. "Water Gun!" Swampert obeyed, slamming its palms into the charred grass again before releasing a powerful stream of water towards Houndoom.
"Dodge that now!" Cole yelled quickly. Houndoom barked as it jumped into the air, narrowly avoiding the powerful jet of water. With the icy water zipping by him just a few feet into the open field, Cole watched carefully as the fire hound rose higher into the air.
Eyeing the Dark/Fire type descend to the ground, Kyra snapped her hand up towards Houndoom's open form. "You left yourself open! Take it down with Mud Shot!"
Kyra bit her lip as the fire hound disappeared yet again, Swampert had missed completely. Her brother was beginning to expose the only weakness of her Cobalt.
"Stop running away!"
"Then stop me!" Cole snapped back as a sudden heavy thud was heard. Swampert cried out in pain as it slid across the grass, right by its Trainer before it dug its palms into the grass, halting itself. He could not keep up with Houndoom's direct attacks.
Another monstrous jet of fire was released, although extremely powerful to the eyes of a Trainer, Houndoom's aim was exact. The stream of fire did not even warm the grass as it connected directly to Swampert, another cry of pain filling the ranch as it attempted to protect itself from the intense heat.
'He's...He's too fast.' Kyra's mouth moved, a desperate attempt to say something, but she could not even mutter a simple command as she stared in awe at the powerful Fire attack that continued to push Swampert back towards the edge of the ranch. She was losing, yet her mind remained blank. She did not fight like this. She was better.
Better than him.
"Cobalt! Get out of-" She blinked. A flash of black zipped by her; it was Houndoom running with its Flamethrower attack!
"Crunch!" Cole's voice was strong, confident, the complete opposite of her. Houndoom leaped into the air to Swampert's surprise before snapping down onto a burned arm. The fire hound's fangs were flared with a black aura as they sunk into the Water/Ground type who howled in more pain, flinging its arm back and forth to try and free itself from the Pokemon, but it was no use.
Before Kyra could even attempt to call out an order, Houndoom suddenly slammed all four of its legs into the grass, its body shaking from the impact; then in one jerking motion, it lifted the hulking Mud Fish Pokemon off the ground, whipping it back to the center of the battlefield with a sickening thud.
"Cobalt!" Kyra gasped as her Pokemon remained on the lush grass, its arms sprawled out as swirls dominated its eyes. The flustered girl could only mumble incoherent words as Houndoom trotted back to its Trainer, only glancing back at Kyra with only a look that displayed concern.
"Cole and Houndoom are the winners!"
Kyra turned around in surprise as Kenna walked onto the battlefield, her hands folded in her traditional red kimono as she glanced at her granddaughter with a disappointed look. "You couldn't see it?"
"Huh?" The young girl blurted out, "His attacks were too strong, I-"
The older woman's voice was sharp, cutting the defeated Trainer off. "He exploited one of your many weaknesses."
"I know already! Cobalt was too slow-" Kyra gave her grandmother a blank look as she walked away from her, eyeing her grandson as he petted Houndoom in the distance.
"If you knew Cobalt would be too slow, then you should have played defensive." Kyra gave Kenna an angered look as the old woman continued to watch the victors. "You're too aggressive and think in a straight line. I've told you this many times..." Kenna announced, she did not bother to look behind her, knowing that her granddaughter would be glaring at her. "Didn't you think, for once, that Cole would know your strategy to battling?"
Kyra's eyes widened slightly, finally noticing Cobalt groggily get up from the lush grass. "B-But...he's never seen me battle!" Her voice was hurt, she clenched her fists angrily as she glanced at her brother. "He wouldn't know anything about me-"
"He's known you ever since you were born."
The young girl gasped, her now soft eyes beginning to tremble from the words. She knew that, but that could not mean anything, right? "So what if he has?!"
"Cole has always watched over you, don't you remember?" Kenna started, now turning back to Kyra. "He always talked about you, to everyone. The feisty one that always stood up to every person bigger than her. The little girl that never remembered her manners, the little girl that always clung to her big brother." Her deep green eyes flickered in the red sunlight. "The girl that was his little sister. The one he loved...and always will."
"He...He..." Kyra's eyes were beginning to water, every word hitting her at the core. He knew that much about her? Back then, she used to think that he thought of her as nothing but a bother. She was always getting them into the trouble, yet he always paid the price. She had wanted to apologize to him for the longest time.
But he had left them, all for the power that of Team Magma.
Slapping away her tears, earning a small smile from Kenna, Kyra bolted by her grandmother, only to hug her Swampert who looked back at her with obvious surprise. "I-I'm sorry I pushed you so hard Cobalt!" Kyra sniffled before taking out her Poke ball. Suddenly one lesson that her brother had told her came back to her. "I always need to work with you Cobalt." She smiled softly.
"Swaam.." Her Pokemon smiled, its face thoughtful as Kyra returned the expression.
"I'll make sure we're in sync next time." She smiled softly as her Pokemon returned into its Poke ball, its body engulfed in a dark red light that matched the brilliance of the setting sun. Suddenly something jabbed at the side of her face.
"Huh?" Kyra blinked.
Something cool... and wet.
Glancing up, a small smile graced the young girl's face as she met a long time friend. "Houun!" The fire hound wagged its tail happily as it nuzzled against Kyra's face to her surprise.
"I know you won already! Don't have to rub it in my-S-Stop that...I said stop!" She protested, yet the giggle in her voice said otherwise. She continued to snicker lightly before she heard footsteps in the lush grasses approach her. She looked up, only to see her long lost brother, now found, gazing at her softly. His dark brown eyes were sparkling in the sunlight as he gazed at her.
He remained silent, making the young girl avert her eyes shyly. It was not until he leaned down next to her that she took a peek back to his smiling face. "Still feisty, eh Ky?"
Kyra blushed, glaring at his emerging grin. "S-Shut up!" She sneered at her long lost nickname as Houndoom licked her face happily, attempting to cool her down. "I-I'm not a tomboy!" She fumbled with her comeback, her anger fading fast as her brother's smile shattered any hatred she had bottled up over the years. He always knew how to get to her, just another reason she loved him.
"I didn't say that, did I?" He asked, his brow furled with thought to the girl's anger as she punched him in the arm. He snickered lightly at her reddening face before his smile faltered, catching her attention. He hesitated slightly, as if unsure how to form a sentence before speaking up, "...I-I'm sorry."
Kyra took in a sharp breath, inadvertently grabbing onto Houndoom's body as her brother gazed at her thoughtfully. She wanted to say the same thing but remained silent as he continued.
"I left you alone when you were about to start with your very own Pokemon...I didn't stop to think how you would feel if I joined Magma..." His voice soft, he continued, "I broke our promise to travel together...and..." His throat formed a knot which he mentally kicked himself for. He was truly being honest with his words, yet he just did not know how to express himself. "It's just that-"
The young man turned to the source of the sweet voice. Kyra was looking deep into his own eyes, her own quivering slightly as she slowly took his hand in hers. "You got stronger..." He blinked from her words, his heart beginning to race as she smiled sadly.
"That's all that matters."
He felt as if someone just stepped on his chest without mercy. That did not come out right... He had left them in order to get stronger. But he forgot about his promises to her. They would have travelled the Hoenn Region together, battle all sorts of Trainers, be a family; yet he pushed those dreams away for the life of Team Magma. Cole held his breath, the weight of guilt bringing his whole body down. 'She doesn't care about that anymore...' He should have known.
The siblings looked up, their father's charcoal eyes gazing at both of them softly. "It's time to head back home. Mom's waiting for us." Ethon turned his head to the side slightly once he noticed the sad looks in his children's eyes. 'Guess they'll need some time to get back on the same page-'
"Funny one." A soft voice suddenly called, earning a despised look from Ethon. "Your friend is leaving." Ethon turned around to see Mark, his son and the Skarmory standing by the entrance of the ranch, all smiling brightly at him.
"Thank you for raising Skarmory!" The boy called, waving his hands frantically before hugging the large steel bird.
"I'll see you at the festival Ethon!" Mark waved his thanks as well before the three began to walk down the hill back to Lavaridge Town.
"You bet! Raise him well!" Ethon called back, his smile emerging once again before he turned back to his children. "Are you two going to sit here forever, you'll catch a cold! Get a move on!"
"Yeesss dad..." The pair mumbled in unison, earning a grin from their father. It was good to be wrong sometimes.
He loved this.
He really did. Opening a large wooden door slowly, the creaking of steel earning a sneer, dark sapphire eyes darted back and forth between the stone walls of a large room. Flicking a switch that brought a single light bulb to drone to life above him, he shuffled his feet, grinning at the ease of the needed break in.
"Let's see here..." Voice steady, his large hands slid across a chipped wooden desk, ravaged by time. Sitting down onto the surprisingly comfortable chair, he slowly opened a drawer, revealing a small brown envelope, the Magma symbol stamped on its front.
"Rayquaza Project..." He smirked, carefully opening the delicate folds to pull out a few sheets of paper. Groaning at the sight of so many words and funny pictures, he finally noticed a bold heading near the bottom of one page.
"Earth Plate?" Could this be related to those Dragon Plates he heard about? 'Tori...that little-' His fist inadvertently clenched, crumpling a sheet to his surprise. He swore to himself as he quickly tried to straighten the sheet before his eyes scanned over the letters beneath his rough fingers.
Earth Plate: A Dragon Plate that is believed to connect with the Continent Pokemon, Groudon.
His brow furled, 'I thought this was about Rayquaza?' Yet he read forward.
This plate is considered the bridge that bonds Rayquaza to the lands. With the power of this plate, Groudon may be controlled with the assistance of Rayquaza's power and the Jade Orb...Further research is needed.
The man pressed his face further into the sheet. 'Rayquaza can be used to control Groudon?!' This was unbelievable! Reading further, he sneered again once he read the last few words of the report.
Earth Plate Location: Desert Ruins...Confirmed by Magma Admin: Cole.
Earth Plate Retrieval Team-
He snapped his head up.
His shoulders slumped slightly from their excited state. It was only the flicker of the light bulb...
"Shitty lights..." He barked, the fear of his leader still fresh in his mind. 'Last thing I need is to get my Pokemon taken away...' His heart finally beginning to slow down, he smirked to himself. 'I wonder how Tori is handling it.' Sadly, before their battle could be completed a couple of days ago, Holland had interrupted them right when it was getting good.
With the Magma Leader seeing Tori's outburst first hand, and her blatant order to finish off Cole's Nidoking, Holland had stripped her of her Pokemon, leaving him with a slight warning to his surprise. The glare of the light bulb hitting his eyes, the man sighed thinking back to how the girl nearly went insane when Holland tried to take her Ninetales.
Although it was the strongest one, and most feared by everyone, Tori begged, and he meant begged to keep her Pokemon. He almost laughed, forgetting the rest of the document as he stuffed the pages back into the envelope before tossing it back into the drawer. 'She'd die if Ninetales was taken from her.' He smirked again before heading for the door.
Reaching for his belt, he smirked once he felt 5 Poke balls grace his fingers, all intact. Looking back at the old wooden table, he scoffed. He was the one that was supposed to be involved with this project, not Cole. He was the leader of the 3 New Magma Admins, it was his right to capture these Dragon Plates. 'I'll show Holland how easy it is to get one of these things. Tori's probably still moping around like a loser. I'm the only one that can get something done.' He closed the door silently, his first objective finally assigned.
"You better stay out of my way Cole, I'm paying a visit to the desert."
Two women continued to walk down a hallway, the patter of their feet against the hardwood shallow as they neared their destination. The older of the two sighed softly, finally reaching the last door at the end of the hall, the small silver handle displaying small patches of rust in the hallway's light. The woman then looked back to the bright hazel eyes of the girl next to her.
"I tried to ask Kyra but..." The woman blushed slightly, too embarrassed to continue.
"It's okay!" The younger woman waved off the explanation, her dark brown hair shaking back and forth with her head. "We don't really know each other, so I think it would just be too weird for both of us!" She averted her eyes from the thoughtful look she was receiving. 'I think Kyra hates me actually...'
"Thank you Elisa!" Deep brown eyes glinted slightly in the hallways gentle light before they turned back to the wooden door. A large symbol of a Hoenn poster was plastered on its front, the edges of the sheet beginning to peel from the surface. "Cole hasn't used this room in five years."
"Five years?!" Elisa blurted out, shocked as she stared at the door in awe. 'He's been away from home for that long! What was he doing?!'
A small creaking sound snapped her from her thoughts, Cole's mother was opening the door slowly, as if not to disturb sacred grounds. Peeking behind the older woman's shoulders, Elisa smiled slightly at the sight before her as the small light flickered on above the room.
Looking forward, the first thing that caught her eye was a massive, furry object that centred the room. The large object was sitting over a dark brown mat, which she believed was coated with dirt until further inspection; it was just the design of earth. Blinking softly, her eyes trailed to the right of the room, noticing a beautiful glass desk that sparkled from the light above. Two similar glass chairs accompanied the large desk as she looked further down, passing the window that revealed the outside world painted by the night sky.
She finally noticed the edge of a bed, and a bookcase the same height, just sticking out from the monstrous object in front of her before she turned to Katherine. "This is his room..." Elisa sighed, a small smile gracing her face to Katherine's amusement.
"What is that?" Elisa quickly asked, pointing to the dark blue and cream coloured object that had strange circular feet sticking out from each side.
"His Snorlax doll." Katherine giggled, earning a jaw drop from Elisa.
Katherine laughed a little bit harder before turning back to the room, her face thoughtful as she leaned in with her hands on each side of the door frame. "That's right. When Cole finished the Hoenn Championships, he received a very generous amount for his place in the tournament. He made more than his parents combined that year!" She snickered at the thought, remembering the look on her husbands face when Cole taunted his father with the prize money.
Elisa blinked, Wattson's words suddenly coming back to her. 'He competed a long time ago...'
"What place did he come in?" She asked, now curious about the young man's past. His battle at Mauville Gym still fresh in her mind, she didn't need to know that he must have done well.
"He never told you?" She turned around to Elisa, almost in shock. "Third Place!"
The young woman gasped, gripping onto Katherine's shoulders now. "W-When?! This had to be recently, right?" Elisa muttered in awe, but she quickly thought it over. The past Hoenn Championship games were two years ago, and she remembered those games very specifically; it was broadcasting on pretty much every channel to her chagrin because of the people that had entered that year. May, Brendan and someone green haired fellow...Wilbert was it? Anyway they were in that tournament; but it was a professor's daughter and a Gym Leader's son that brought so much excitement to the country.
They were the saviours that stopped Groudon and Kyogre.
"Not really," Katherine's soft voice snapped the researcher from her thoughts, "May Birch won the last Hoenn League Championships two years ago. She was a very wild girl. If I remember correctly, Cole last participated in the games when he was thirteen."
"Thirteen!" Elisa cried, clearly surprised now as Katherine smirked to herself.
"So about six years ago..." Katherine nodded her head happily as Elisa continued to listen. "He went so far, but he lost in the semi-finals...He was so sad that day too..." She glanced at her with a small smile. "But he still managed to win the bronze before coming back home. We were so proud of him!" Katherine smiled brightly this time, making a small fist to Elisa's surprise before turning back to the room.
"...Strange that he didn't tell you, any Trainer would love to talk about such accomplishments." She peeked back at Elisa's face for her reaction. "But I haven't seen him in such a long time, I must have forgotten that he's so modest." Katherine managed to snicker, earning another smile from Elisa. "Alright, let me show you the bed."
"Oh..." Elisa nodded slightly, walking forward slightly-
A smooth hand suddenly slammed into the door frame. "W-What happened?" Elisa squeaked, eyeing the surprising muscle in the woman's arm before glancing at Katherine.
"N-Nearly...forgot...J-Just watch your step." The grinding of teeth could be heard, earning another confused look from the younger woman.
Peeking down, Elisa tilted her head to the side. "...Isn't that?" There, just at the front of the entrance was a small mat, about the size for a pair of feet. Centered in the middle was a massive swirl taking up its entire surface.
"Well you know teenagers..." Katherine's voice rang in Elisa's ear as if the older woman was explaining some horrible nightmare. "Cole was just starting to get to that age, but his sister was always bothering him..." She grimaced. "When we came back from Lilycove's blowout sale, he bought this to prevent her from always coming into his room."
A Spin Mat.
A playful item to use on others, yet by the haunted look in Katherine's eyes, one would beg to differ. "Look behind you."
Elisa perked up, turning around to see nothing but the wall of the hallway. She was about to speak up before she noticed that a patch of the wall was slightly a different shade of mahogany, as if it had been re-painted many times. "What happ-"
"I tried to get his dirty clothes..." The woman's voice cut her off, "Clean his room for him sometimes...or...or just try to say hello..." She hung her head in defeat, tears now falling from her closed eyes. "But this stupid thing just kept throwing me back! I hate it!"
"I uh..." Elisa did not know what to say, she could only pat the woman's back softly as Katherine trembled slightly before suddenly standing up straight, her face blazing with determination.
"I-I'm fine!" She stammered, carefully stepping over the small mat before leading the younger woman over with her hand. Walking into the room that had not seen any activity in over 5 years, Elisa's lips parted slightly once she noticed the left side of the comfy room.
A magnificent bronze trophy stood on a small pedestal by the wall. Yet it did not shine in the room's gentle light, years of neglect evident as a coat of dust crowned its top. Walking closer to the object, Elisa brushed some of the dust from the bottom of the trophy, words appearing before her curious hazel eyes.
Hoenn League Championships
Elisa smiled thoughtfully at the words before she looked up, her smile widening once she noticed the pictures that spanned the length of the entire wall.
"Family pictures..." She breathed as Katherine walked up beside her, the older woman silent as she followed Elisa's gaze. There were so many, more than she could count. Hazel eyes brightened as they darted from frame to frame, every picture a window into Cole's past.
Family picnics, Pokemon battles, Gym Leaders, Kenna, Katherine, Ethon, Kyra; all of them were taken interacting with the young boy. Elisa traced her finger over one that centred the wall, just above the bronze trophy. It was a picture of his entire family, sitting on a large bench with a large group of Pokemon around them. Elisa felt her chest constrict once she noticed a small pup cradled in Cole's arms, a Houndour; but what really surprised her was Cole's face.
"I've never seen him smile before..." Elisa muttered aloud, oblivious to the shocked look coming from Katherine. By the look of it, Elisa assumed he was about 8, maybe younger, she did not know, but the bright smile coming from the boy she never knew of back then made her heart flutter. From cheek to cheek, his smile seemed to brighten the room by itself as Elisa peered closer, memorizing every feature of the young boy.
"Is that so..." Elisa turned to Katherine who was revealing a small frown, her eyes soft as she gazed upon the same picture. "He always used to smile..." She opened her mouth slightly, as if to continue on, but she stopped herself before turning away from the younger woman as she headed for the door.
"It's getting late Elisa...I'll be going to bed now..." Katherine did not turn back as she walked towards the door, only to glare at the floor one more time. "I'll make you a really tasty smoothie tomorrow!" She quickly offered, a bright smile on once again. "Goodnight!"
"...Oh? Um, Katherine wait-"
The door closed gently, cutting off her words before she could even start. "I forgot to ask which way's the bathroom..." Now standing alone, she sighed before taking off her grey backpack to place gently beside the massive Snorlax doll that took up the middle of Cole's room. "I guess I'll just try to look over this one more time..." Elisa trailed off, opening the zipper to pull out a magnificent blue plate that sparkled in the room's gentle glow.
Sitting down against the Snorlax's furry arm, she trailed her hand over the puzzling text before a gentle knock was heard at the door.
'She came back!' Elisa beamed, "Come in!" Due to the obvious girth of the doll she was leaning against, Elisa could not see the person who entered the room as the door creaked open. Suddenly, a rather loud yelp came from the front door and a twisting sound which was then followed by a heavy thud into something rather hard.
"Are you okay!" Elisa jolted up, snapping her attention to the open door only to see a large figure slumped against the hardwood floor, groaning in pain.
Her heart skipped a beat, the man she had not seen all day finally was now in front of her across the hallway, clutching at his throbbing head.
"I've been waiting six years to hear that happen to you!"
Cole's face contorted with confusion from the sudden voice that called from down the hallway, only to have a bead of sweat drop from his forehead once a surge of laughter from his mother followed.
"How could I forget about that..." Cole muttered as he glared towards his room door, yet it was not Elisa's feet wrapped in white socks that he was focusing his anger towards. He suddenly looked upward, hearing a soft sound ring in his ears.
Elisa was laughing at him.
"You think this is funny?" Cole snapped, glaring at the young woman who was clasping both hands over her mouth.
"I'm not-I'm not laughing!" Her voice was muffled as Cole continued to glare at her.
The Trainer huffed slightly, brushing himself off before forcefully stepping by a giggling Elisa into his room. Standing just above his precious Snorlax doll, he gazed softly at the wall of photos he and his father had assembled long ago. He eyed the pictures, his expression softening as Elisa finally stopped her fits of laughter before closing the door behind her.
"...Your room is very nice." Elisa started, resisting the urge to look at Cole while she sat down against the Snorlax doll.
Cole though did not respond, instead only at the wall as the young woman watched him. 'These look so old...' Cole sighed before turning around, catching Elisa's attention as he dropped down beside her.
She squeaked, her body beginning to shake as he huffed, rubbing his shoulders tiredly. "H-Had a long day?" Elisa attempted to joke, trying her hardest to avoid looking down to Cole's rather tight black t-shirt that revealed large, yet slim looking arms and grey sweatpants. Thinking back, she had never really seen him wear such revealing clothing. 'Maybe its a good thing he always goes to bed after me...'
Cole glanced at Elisa, his dark brown eyes half closed, "I had to clean up the whole town...What do you think?" His voice was deep, tired, the sound alone enticing the nervous girl to blush slightly before turning away. It was definitely starting to become harder...Just talking to him was making her heart race twice as fast.
"M-Must have been hard then..." Elisa muttered, hazel eyes trembling slightly as Cole stretched out his long legs, his bare feet reaching the end of the round fissure mat.
"I didn't see you all day." His words caught her off-guard, jolting her back to him, "Anything new with the Ocean Plate?" He asked, nudging her knee with his to her surprise. Ignoring her soft squeal which nearly made him laugh, he glanced down towards the young woman who was still wearing her grey jogging pants and long-sleeved blue shirt, hiding her frame as usual. He smiled slightly, unnoticed to her.
Cole's smile faded, yet it was not the information, but the sadness in the researcher's voice. "Still can't read it, huh?"
"I don't know if I'm supposed to try and read something...Or use the book to translate some other language from this one..." Elisa sighed, her small brow furling with annoyance as she stared at the Ocean Plate. She finally managed to get enough courage to turn back to Cole; his eyes were drooping slightly as he leaned back against the massive doll.
"I see..." He mumbled, stifling a yawn to her surprise. "...What about making your own words from it?"
"Eh?" The young woman tipped her head to the side, dark strands falling further onto her shirt before she turned to the treasure. "...You mean like an anagram?"
"A what?" He mumbled.
"Something where you rearrange the letters to produce a new word...I guess...that could work." Elisa pursed her lips in thought, surprised that she did not think of it before. She picked up the beautiful plate, gazing at the markings before turning slightly to the open black book beside her. "Umm...yksdna? ...aeshtrae...laesew?..." She huffed again, "How am I supposed to get full words from these-" She suddenly lost her voice once something very warm landed on her shoulder.
As if her heart wasn't getting enough of a workout with Cole beside her, she turned her head slightly, feeling something soft tickle her neck. "...C-Cole?" She managed to squeak out cautiously, only to finally notice that the boy's head was on her shoulder.
"C-Cole!...W-What-are-" She panicked, nearly fumbling with the Ocean Plate in her now shaking hands. Elisa finally managed to turn completely, but sadly, inhaled the young man's pleasant scent as his hair brushed against her nose.
Eyelids drooping, Elisa let out a soft sigh. He smelled...Delicious.
'Nonononononono!' She blushed crimson, angrily stomping down the ludicrous thoughts. What was she thinking? He was just playing some sick joke on her!
The flustered girl was about to slap the intruding young man with the treasure itself before a soft sigh came from parted lips. Elisa stopped mid-swing. Another soft breath, his head felt heavier against her shoulder.
"He's sleeping..." Elisa managed to mutter before a small smile graced her lips. "What were you doing all day to fall asleep like this?" Another soft exhale came from his nose that twitched in his sleep. Her red cheeks heating up, she slowly leaned back into the massive doll, Cole's head tipping back as well. Their heads rested on one another, granting the young woman's surprisingly greedy wish.
Taking controlled breaths, she had never felt something like this; hearing his soft inhaling and exhaling, the enticing warmth from his cheek against hers that made the pit of her stomach flutter, his wet hair dripping onto the top of her head, his scent fresh from a shower. Just his presence alone made her feel so...so relaxed...
'This is not right.'
A sudden voice, a stern voice at that snapped the young woman from her trance as Cole let out another soft breath. As much as she wanted to not believe it, that voice was right. Elisa frowned, sad at the loss of warmth as she pulled away slightly for Cole to rest back against the doll. How could she do such a thing?
He was just a Trainer from Lavaridge Town. She blinked. What else?
'We don't have anything else in common...' Huffing slightly, she looked back at Cole's sleeping form, yearning to touch him once more before shaking the thought angrily from her mind.
"We're only working together to get the Dragon Plates..." She repeated sadly, "Just for the Dragon Plates." Now looking down towards the sparkling treasure in her hands, Cole's words suddenly slipped into her head once more as she looked over the markings.
"Rearrange, I can try that..." Elisa breathed, she tipped her head slightly to the right, reading the letters she had already memorized to translate without the book. "What if I..." These were not forming words, could she make her own? "..aes...htrae..." Her eyes narrowed, each marking separating on its own to her calculating hazel eyes.
'No way!' Elisa gripped onto the plate as if it would be pulled from her clutches any second. Her lips moved slowly, as if learning to speak for the first time, her heart pounding against her rib cage relentlessly, the answers were right there!
"Sea...earth..." She repeated those words, every syllable resonated within her to the very core.
"Where is it!" She snatched the black book, hands trembling as she glanced between the Ocean Plate and Jin's translations. There were words, finally words formed as she read the markings from right to left, the letters themselves were backwards as her wide eyes scanned them over and over.
"We...seal...the power...of...earth sea...and sky..." She felt a knot in her throat. Elisa trembled with excitement before she turned back to Cole, only to frown remembering that he was still asleep. She hurriedly turned back to her new discovery.
She frowned yet again, the next few lines of the ancient text were blurred, not matching with Jin's translations to her dismay. Elisa sighed, sad that she had lost that excitement as quickly as she had found it before finally reading further down to the bottom of the tablet. All of these markings were perfect.
With every word, her hands shook more violently, she was finally doing it.
"The...endless droughts of the...sun shall not...con..control my will...Waves that never fall are the... harbinger of my...rebirth."
She looked further down.
"...God...of the Seas..."
Elisa jumped from the eerie voice that filled her ears, gasping as she turned back to Cole.
"D-Don't scare me like that!" Elisa pouted, turning around. He must have been spending too much time with Noah again.
Hazel eyes widened slowly as they landed on the young man. 'He's... still...asleep-'
Someone, no, something was humming...
"Cole..." Elisa murmured warily. She did not like this. The humming sound began to drone louder in her ears and she winced. Where was it coming from?
A red aura then began to radiate from Cole's arm to Elisa's shock, its light so heavy, so thick, she believed it was some gas as it slowly hovered above her. The Ocean Plate began to resonate as well, a dark blue aura rising towards the ceiling. "W-Who's there?!" The researcher dropped the Plate, the treasure burning her hands like solid ice as she trembled.
"What?!" She cried, her heart was already pounding in her chest, all the way up to her ears. Elisa crawled back to the edge of the wall, hitting the back of her head against the hardwood as the ominous red and blue lights began to drift towards her. "What do you want! G-Get away! Stay back!" Her voice cracked, laced with fear as she shielded herself with her shaking hands.
She had really done it this time. 'Is it because I read the scripture!' The light was coming closer to her now, she could feel its cold claws begin to pierce at her tense skin through her clothing.
"No..." She whimpered, she was losing her voice; her body felt hot-
It was getting louder, colder-
Elisa let out a dry gasp, her lungs crying for air.
The humming had stopped. Pressing her small hands onto her face, she literally pulled at her eyelids to open them as the fear within her began to dwindle. 'What was that!' She gasped for air, her lungs burning.
"...Cole?" Her voice came out rasp, Elisa let out a small exhale as she leaned back, only to jump from a furry object that rubbed against her back. "H-How...did I get back here?" Her mind was playing tricks on her. "That light pushed me back to that wall...I'm sure of it." She exhaled roughly, eyeing the wooden wall for answers. She felt like her chest was about to explode.
'That red light...' She eyed the sleeping man in a daze. She had screamed just a minute ago, yet he never woke up. Her eyes widened. "Cole!" Despite her buckling knees that threatened to give way, she dropped down beside Cole's sleeping figure.
"H-He's still...breathing..." Elisa sighed, relieved that the man was still with her as she pressed a hand against his relaxed chest. "...Cole?" She shook him lightly before turning back to the Ocean Plate that lay on the floor just behind her. Its light was gone too...
'...Could that have been a hallucination?' Her brow furled in thought as she glanced back at Cole. She had literally screamed at that light when it approached her, and that humming sound was so loud too.
So why in Hoenn did Cole not wake up?
"Something...spoke to me..."
Cole suddenly let out a snort, earning a fearful yelp from the woman. She glared at him as he turned slightly in his sleep, only to have the Snorlax doll groan from the shift of weight. He really did not hear anything?
Elisa finally managed to slowly move over to the Ocean Plate before picking up the treasure that sparkled innocently to her. "The same description is there...So I can translate it now." She breathed, her hands still shaking, they felt like needles were piercing her, yet she did not let go. Her mind was blank, what was she supposed to do? She finally got her answer, but what now?
"Accept our light..." She repeated the words. Thinking back to her experience, it was almost as if that voice was asking her to. But why?
As the young man continued to sleep just behind her, Elisa remained quiet as stared at the Ocean Plate with a mix of emotions. Something happened, but she did not know what she had unlocked that night. Someone...or something spoke to her when she read that scripture.
Elisa bit her lip slightly before turning to the black book that lay on the floor, its loose pages splattered on the floor. She was now beginning to believe that the small translator of ancient texts was not just handed to her by pure luck any more.
She was in a new territory now. Her words now unlocked something that should have never been opened.
"...What have I done."