The Path of the Aura: Intertwining Crossroads

Chapter XVI (16): Intersecting Crossroads

Location: Saudi Arabia (Desert)

Date: January 10th, 60 A.D.

Time: 11:42 AM

On his search to locate the one and only person who can help him return home, Xeno Lucario traveled across the Earth, equipped with his entire suit of battle armor and the utility belt that contained the Poké Balls of all of his colleagues—as well as his own. He traversed across all forms of terrain—massive grasslands, frigid tundra and scorching deserts—in record time, his Fighting-Type attribute supplying him with the stamina that his ambitions require.

All throughout his travels, the only lead that he had to follow was the one that he speculated.

"(If this 'Eduardo' person is as powerful as both Costas and Ian said, then his aura should be plentiful enough for me to home in on, no matter where he resides on this planet. It should be a beacon of light that not even a Dustox can ignore.)" He pondered to himself as he strolled through the barrenness of the unforgiving Saudi Arabian desert heat. "(And I don't believe that he's dead either, not for a second. After all, if Eduardo possesses traits similar to my own, then he should be robust enough to survive critical situations that have occurred throughout his life.)"

Xeno never showed signs of heat stroke as he wandered across the massive desert. He used, every once in a while, an Ice-Type technique to cool and equilibrate his body temperature. He knew that he had a powerful resilience to heat, however he wasn't betting on his willpower overpowering the constant heat that the desert presented to him with each step that he took. He played it safe and cooled his entire body with occasional exhalations of ICY WIND when needed.

"(Of course, Earth is a massive planet.)" Lucario realized mentally, just before he exhaled ICY WIND on his arms. "(Searching for his specific aura signature on this planet would be the equivalent of hunting for a Relicanth in an ocean.)"

He then recalled the time he'd spent on this personal expedition.

"(I've been on this journey of mine for over a month, and still I've sensed nothing of him anywhere. However, I know better than to just give up. After all, a chance to return home—to see my friends again—is on the line, and I'd be shattering that chance of mine into fragments if I ever decided to relinquish my morale.)"

All of a sudden, his stomach began to rumble. He stopped in his tracks upon feeling this empty feeling in the core of his body, and placed one of his paws on his belly.

"(Of course, as persistent and powerful as I am, I have limits and I need to respect them.)" He pondered, tapping his belly with the individual digits of his paw.

Xeno decided to look over the horizon for any sign of fauna life, anything that stands out from the ocean of sand that he treaded upon.

Sure enough, with the help of his helmet's visor's zoom function, he spots a solitary tree atop a grassy hillside, miles away from his current location. With the visor amplifying his vision, he's able to spot fruit in abundance on the tree, as well as the coastline of the body of land he was standing on, the Red Sea just further ahead of him.

"(A quick lunch break, and then I'll resume my search.)" Lucario pondered before he used EXTREMESPEED to dart over towards his current destination.


22.1: The Hooded Figure's Spite

Location: 28°N, 34°E (Solitary Tree atop a Hill)

Time: 12:03 PM (Three Past Noon)

Xeno Lucario reaches the tree within a very short period of time, thanks to his EXTREMESPEED technique giving his running speed an exponential speed boost. He wastes no time in plucking a Berry from its foliage, using PSYCHIC to do so, rather than climb the tree to pluck a Berry.

When he has his plucked fruit held before his face, he is suddenly overcome with a sense of nostalgia, for the fruit that he had hovering in front of his face is a Sitrus Berry.

"(You reside even in this world, you plump, yellow delicacy.)" Xeno pondered warmly before clutching the Berry with his paws, no longer using his mind to hold it.

As he was eating the Sitrus Berry, he eyed the tree from which he obtained it in broader detail. When he did so, he was able to see some natural wildlife residing within the tree's foliage.

He saw five green iguanas and five white cockatiels, all of which were huddled together and were chattering contently amongst each other.

Lucario recalled that, through his recent travels on this parallel planet Earth, the wildlife vastly differs from the Pokémon wildlife that he's grown familiar with back home. The core difference between the species of this parallel Earth and the Earth where he originally came from is that the species of wildlife here are referred to as "animals", and don't possess any supernatural traits whatsoever.

"(All of the wildlife on this world seems so basic…)" Lucario pondered before finishing the miniscule bit of Sitrus Berry that remained on his paw. "(…Well, compared to Pokémon anyway.)"

Before Xeno could telekinetically pluck another Berry from the tree, his sense of aura perception suddenly tingled sharply within his mind when he sensed a sudden concentration of aura around him. He activates his Aura Vision ability automatically and inspects what he's detecting.

He senses a pool of aura beginning to form nearby the Red Sea's coastline.

Before he could even begin to ponder the possibility of having finally found his target, Xeno realizes something abnormal about this aura that he was sensing.

The aura that he sensed reeked of malicious blackness, and was dense with extreme odium. The color of the aura represented this, appearing darker even than the sable night sky.

"(What is this?)" Lucario pondered while sensing this occurrence. "(This black aura… It's the epitome of malice!)"

Before he could make sense of this aura, the pool of black aura that he was sensing spontaneously formed a black sphere above it. The sphere appeared as large as a Roman chariot, and easily capable of enveloping one.

Lucario, deciding to take precautions against this bizarre phenomenon, took cover by stepping behind the tree before him. He concealed himself completely behind the tree, making sure that it concealed every part of his body. His Aura Vision ability allowed him to bypass this bulwark, so he was still able to see what was occurring.

The sphere of black aura radiated forebodingly in the air with fire-like intensity, and continued as so for as long as it remained. However, as quickly as it appeared, it suddenly disappeared.

And when it did, it exposed the hooded figure that had unexplainably entered the black sphere from the inside.

Xeno Lucario, still sensing the pure essence of malice from the hooded figure, looked onward and discreetly.

The hooded figure, once his presence was brought to this space via the black sphere of aura, remained physically stagnant, and eyed the Red Sea that he sees before him, through the black hood that he wore over his head.

"Look at all of this cerulean water…" The hooded figure began to talk to himself, "…encumbering over two-thirds of this planet with its surplus, and hand-feeding life to its ever-present users."

The hooded figure walked forward a few steps, stopping once the waters of the Red Sea reached his feet.

"See how its tender coolness refreshes the body of those baking in this oven of a desert. See how the wind pushes and pulls it on this beach, constantly causing the waters to proceed and recede thousands of times in the sunlight."

"(Why is he soliloquizing?)" Xeno attempted to make sense of the actions of this being.

The hooded figure backtracked a few steps, once he felt the water soak the bottom portions of his sable robe. When he stopped, he eyed the sky, the sun in particular—albeit indirectly, since its light proved too strong for his eyes to compensate.

"See the sun, how it constantly encircles this planet with its light, and bathes us with its rays of warmth."

The hooded figure did an about-face, and eyed the tree that stood tall before him. Lucario's body twitched when the hooded figure faced the direction of his presence, his body instinctively ready to act while his mind attempted to comprehend the hooded figure's behavior. However, he had enough self-control to remain still, and he continued to eavesdrop what was occurring in his general direction.

"This tree, with its thousands of leaves and hundreds of groceries…" The hooded figure noticed the green iguanas and white cockatoos within the foliage. "See how it provides an adequate home for those aviary and reptilian creatures. See how they pass their everyday lives, content and lackadaisical."

"(The hell is going on here? Where is the malice that I'm obviously sensing from him?)" Xeno wondered as he continued to hear this haphazard soliloquy.

The hooded figure, all of a sudden, clenched his fists tightly. His knuckles cracked somewhat under the force of his strength.

"How I hate all of this so much!" The hooded figure shouted with deep stalwartness in his tone of voice. "How ecstatic I will become when I see all of this assimilated into the darkness, and obliterated from existence!"

"(…Now that's more like it. That's what I'm sensing from him.)" Lucario pondered when he connected the hooded figure's true emotions to his aura.

The hooded figure released the tight grip he had on his hands and looked down at the base of the tree. His eyes, despite looking at the roots of the tree, weren't focused on so. He was able to transcend the physical existence of the tree and look at what resided behind it.

And we all know what likes behind that tree.

"I know you're behind the tree, Xeno Lucario," the hooded figure spoke nonchalantly.

The plain realization that the hooded figure knew of his presence caused Xeno's body to react negatively and suddenly in a few ways. To begin with, his eyes opened wider than he physically thought possible. His concentration to his Aura Vision ability was disrupted and departed from his use. He also could've sworn that he felt his heart skip a beat, and sink to his stomach. However, all that his heart did was pound at his sternum harder than normal, nervousness assaulting his circulatory system.

The hooded figure continued speaking warmly to him. "Come out from behind there. There's no reason for you to hide."

Lucario hesitates as first and remains where he is for a few seconds, allowing his body and his heart rate to stabilize. Eventually, he complies with the hooded figure, and exposes himself before him. He sticks his head out first, and then the rest of his body. He walks around the tree until he is directly in between the tree and the hooded figure.

"That's better." The hooded figure said with his hood shrouding his current countenance.

"How do you know my name?" Xeno asked, clueless as to how a being that he'd never met before knew his personal information.

"Let's just say…that I have my sources." The hooded figure said vaguely.

This answer proved to be inadequate for Lucario and he decided to use his Aura Vision ability to read his mind. He reactivates said ability and attempts to lock on at the thoughts of the hooded figure's mind. However, he can't bypass the aura of darkness bulwark that the hooded figure has enveloping him. He can't discern who the hooded figure is underneath that sable cloak either.

"(Impossible…!)" Lucario was in disbelief at how his powers failed him. "(His aura is so dense that it's a shield to my eyes?!)"

"What's the matter, Xeno?" The hooded figure began to taunt the Aura Pokémon. "Am I too tough for your feeble abilities to crack?"

Lucario just scowled at his haughty remark, his fangs exposed somewhat when his face shriveled in frustration.

"Mindreading will get you nowhere with me. You'll never know what I'm thinking. It's far too much for you to fathom anyway, and would drive you to insanity in a heartbeat."

What the hooded figure just said about mental comprehension sparked a thought in Lucario's mind, a thought that centered against his intentions. He didn't want to say what was on his mind, but he also didn't want to have this thought nipping at the back of his brain. He decided to just say it and see what the hooded figure's response to it is, and hope that it was just mental nonsense.

"Are…are you…Eduardo?" Lucario asked the hooded figure, dreading getting his words out of his mind, for fear that it might be the truth.

"Eduardo?" The hooded figure responded. "You mean that inventive genius of geniuses, that person who single-handedly annihilated a Roman armada with abilities that he unconsciously acquired?"

"…Yes…" Lucario muttered, dreading what the hooded figure's response would be.

The hooded figure shook his head in response to the Aura Pokémon's question. "No, I'm not him. I'm not Eduardo."

Xeno couldn't help but exhale a sigh of relief after hearing that.

"I'm not Eduardo…" The hooded figure chuckled ominously, "…or at least…not yet anyway."

Xeno's curiosity peaked at what he just heard. "What's that supposed to mean?"

The hooded figure just briefly held out his right hand and waggled his index finger at Lucario, as if the Aura Pokémon was his pet dog and the hooded figure was scolding him. "No no. I can't tell you. It's not time yet, and anyway my mind is far more closed than yours is."

Lucario took that as an insult. "What, are you saying that my mind is easy for you to read?"

The hooded figure shook his head again. "No, I'm not. I can't read minds. However, I don't need to. I know enough about you as it is."

"…Such as?" He said skeptically, his cynicism enveloping his countenance.

"You don't reside in this world. You come from a parallel planet Earth, one where the animals of that world are called 'Pokémon'. And said 'Pokémon' possess supernatural traits, some greater or lesser than others, but always distinct and diverse. You were born from an egg in the middle of a forest north of Celadon City. You trained for thirty months under the guidance of two other Pokémon—a Sceptile and a Riolu y the nickname of Tiny—, in order to defeat a genocidal Absol that plagued your respective species. You met a light-furred Lucario that nicknamed itself Wanderer, whom decided to live alongside the three of you. Afterwards, when you turned sixteen years of age, a human crime syndicate by the name of Team Rocket invaded your forest home, and laid waste to your friend Sceptile's tree house residence. You and Wanderer were captured by Team Rocket, shortly after they severely wounded Sceptile and killed Tiny. Once part of Team Rocket, you met a Lapras that was nicknamed Aqua, and a Garchomp that was nicknamed Terra. The three of you formed Team Liberator, hoping to escape from Team Rocket with all of the Pokémon that they held and had their way with. You befriended many other Pokémon in your brief career in Team Rocket, including a gene-spliced man-made Pokémon creation by the name of Mewtwo. You and all of your colleagues successfully escaped from Team Rocket. However you were deliberately the last Pokémon to escape, staying behind to ensure that the Rocket Boss Giovanni wouldn't follow. You encased him in ice and made your escape. You befriended a few more Pokémon before you returned to your forest home, where you confronted your friend Sceptile again, as well as a Latias, Latios, and the Absol that you defeated in the past. All of you reunited with your Team Rocket colleagues at Mirage Island, and then Latias and Latios disbanded from your party. Afterwards, you and your friends spent just over eight-and-a-half years in undoing the Pokémon pillaging that Team Rocket did, and fortifying those Pokémon so that they don't have a repeat outcome. After that, you and your friends hiked over to Spear Pillar, where you learned of a great prophecy involving you, just before Dialga, Giratina, and Palkia sent you over here to this world with their combined power. You met Eduardo's friends Costas and Ian and protected their village from Mars's battalion, and then they told you of that user of Elemental Aura. And as of now, you're searching for Eduardo, whom might be able to help you return home, though the exact probability of that remains an enigma to you."

"…" Xeno's eyes were widened and his jaw was dropped after hearing a full summarization of what he's done in his life. He was left greatly puzzled as to who the hooded figure was, and just where he learned about his accomplishments. "Where did you get all of that information on my life?" Xeno said with his flabbergasted facial expression.

"As I stated before: I have my sources." The hooded figure retained his status as an enigma.

Lucario, in an attempt to get to know more about this hooded figure, tried a different tactic.

"What is your name? You know mine. Don't I at least deserve to know yours?"

"…" The hooded figure paused for a moment and pondered if he should truly answer Lucario's question.

"Well? What is your name?" Xeno repeated himself.

"…My name? I don't have one." The hooded figure said truthfully.

"You don't have one?" Xeno said, finding it unusual for someone to have no name. "Well then, what are you?"

"I'm just a nameless emissary of the Dark One." He stated truthfully this time, letting the identity of his source of information slip out of his mouth, though it didn't bother him in the least that he did so.

"…The 'Dark One'?" Lucario said, immediately remembering where he heard those two words from. "(…Just like in that prophecy!)"

The hooded figure could tell from Xeno's facial expression that the mention of the "Dark One" struck a mental chord in Lucario's head, much as he expected it to.

"(This being must serve the Dark One.)" Lucario began to fit these puzzle pieces together in his mind. "(And if that's the case, then he must know something about the 'Void of the Dark One'!)"

Lucario, deciding quickly on his next action, removed all of the equipment that he had on his body by using PSYCHIC. He telekinetically set it all aside and placed it neatly on the base of the trunk of the tree behind him. Afterwards, he formed a battle stance towards the hooded figure, his eyes brimming gold—from his active Aura Vision ability—as he stared at the face of his target.

"You hold vital answers that I need, for my questions relating to the Void of the Dark One," Lucario spoke righteously. "And if you decide to keep them locked within your mind, as you made clear to me earlier, then I'll just have to pummel them out of you!"

"…" The hooded figure didn't show any signs of the Aura Pokémon deciding to act martially before him. He showed no martial intent in response, nor fear or vindictiveness. He simply remained still and listened.

"You, as the emissary of the Dark One, will repulse all of your knowledge of the Dark One before me! I will defeat you in battle, in order to obtain what I must know, and fulfill that prophecy!"

The hooded figure decided to break his stillness by elevating his hand towards his head, gripping the tip of his hood in the process. "'It shall be bestowed with the key to unlocking the true potential of Pokémon. It shall be the catalyst to shattering the limit of four moves. It shall know unfathomable power that will rival the Original One. It shall save the world from falling into the Void of the Dark One.'"

Lucario didn't stagger back this time at what the hooded figure knew, for Xeno already accepted the fact that the hooded figure knew every single detail about him: what he's accomplished, what he's befriended, what he's endured, and what he's learned.

The hooded figure's hand, already gripping the top of his hood, pulled it down and behind the back of his head, exposing his face in its entirety before Xeno.

Xeno remained calm and focused, never undoing his battle stance when the hooded figure pulled down his cover. All he did was cement the hooded figure's countenance into memory.

"…Yes, I recall that prophecy quite well. To put it simply, it refers to a Pokémon that is Arceus's equal in power. A Pokémon that, as it grows more stalwart, makes those that it comes into contact with more stalwart as well."

Lucario didn't show astonishment at the fact that the hooded figure knew the name of the Original One—and the reason why was one he recently committed as fact.

"You show all of the traits that the prophecy foretells: potential, power, and prevention. You are clearly aware of your destiny, as the Pokémon of Prophecy."

"…The 'Pokémon of Prophecy'?" Lucario repeated this phrase, having heard it mentioned before when he encountered both Dialga and Palkia.

"However, you've yet to acknowledge your full power. In fact, you're leagues behind your peak."

Lucario, after hearing this, slacked off in his stance somewhat. What the hooded figure said about him stunned him. However, he didn't remain off-guard for long. He regained the rigidity that his martial stance held, and continued to listen.

"As powerful as you've become, and as conscious as you are of what you're destined for, you're still an infant to your own strength."

"(Is this for real?)" Xeno learned something new about himself.

"And as an infant, you're much easier for me to defeat."

"…'Defeat'?" Xeno repeated the hooded figure's last word. "I'll take it then that you're willing to fight?"

"I must, for the Dark One ordered me to do so." The hooded figure formed a stance of his own, and then grinned evilly. "In His eyes, He sees you as a viable threat to His ambitions, and you must be eradicated before you reach your true potential, before you genuinely become a danger that stands a chance at compromising Him."

"Come at me then, with everything you've got." Lucario said, moments before he charged towards the hooded figure.


22.2: The Adopted Brothers' Request

Location: My Village (Limit)

Time: 12:37 PM (Thirty-seven Past Noon)

Within the outermost boundaries of my home village, my brothers and I resided, facing away from the village and eyeing the horizon before us. We stepped out of here after I told my brothers that I had a method as to locate Xeno Lucario. Of course, since I never explained to them what my method was, they asked me again out of curiosity.

"So, what exactly did you have in mind?" Costas inquired.

I remove my S2-PTSDOv.2 device from my left-side holster and open its interface. "Just watch and learn," I tell my brothers.

"Alright then," Ian responded. "You know what you're doing after all."

I set my handheld device's TCP—Total Control Program—and VCP—Voice Command Program—on in tandem, and then I said "S2-PTSDOv.2, connect to all twenty-six S3-OSS devices" with an authoritative tone of voice.

As I commanded, all twenty-six of my S3-OSS devices flew off from their respective holding slots on my S2-PTSDOv.2's shoulder strap. And just as well, they darted straight upwards, thousands of feet towards the sky, before flying off in all directions at Mach 2.

With all twenty-six of the S3-OSS devices out of our optical reach, I observed their locations through my S2-PTSDOv.2 device's GPS feature. And once the devices traveled through their individually programmed supersonic flight patterns, what they were able to see through their optical lenses, I was able to see.

As I scrolled through each and every S3-OSS device's optical lens through my S2-PTSDOv.2 device, my brothers couldn't help but ogle the device that I was holding, and marvel at its otherworldly appearance.

Off of the corner of my eyes, I could see my brothers at both sides beside me, attempting to make sense of what I manufactured. I couldn't help but smile at their child-like curiosity, and decided to feed it.

"You both want to know what I just built, am I right?" I said with a friendly, supportive tone of voice.

They both nodded their heads, in complete agreement at what I said.

"Alright then, but I'll just give you the key details, and I'll explain the rest later," I said before recollecting my thoughts and simplifying my latest installment of "S-Rank" devices. "This device in my hands is version 2.0 of my S2-PTSDO device. The 'PTSDO' stands for 'Personal Two-Screen Digital Omni-computer', or you could just call it 'Different System' for short. It's a supercomputer of supercomputers, and is capable of controlling and becoming other technological devices, excluding my S1-GS device."

"And what were those spherical capsules that darted off into the sky?" Ian wondered.

"Those were my S3-OSS devices, the 'OSS' standing for 'Optical Surveillance Sphere'. I manufactured twenty-six of them, each of which I assigned a different letter of the alphabet—as well as a different aesthetic design—to distinguish them individually if they cluster. They are able to fly off at Mach 2 because of the powerful, nano-compacted, electromagnetism technology—which reacts only against the Earth's gravitational field—that allows them to hover and dart in any physical direction. They serve me as separate eyes in the sky, and are capable of seeing an object as small as a grain of sand from a distance of five miles in the sky."

Ian stood in mild confusion at what I just told him, but couldn't shake off this feeling of me. "You practically have a sixth sense with technology." Ian complimented me.

"I suppose I do," I believed. "It's easily one of the strongest topics that I dedicate my mind to after all."

Costas, rather than show the same feelings as Ian, stood in place and pondered something about the S3-OSS devices that I had. "(Why can't I help but feel as though I've seen those same designs on something else before?)"

I decided to get back on topic. "So what exactly does this 'Xeno Lucario' character look like?" I inquired, never seeing this creature for myself with my own eyes.

Now it was my brothers' turn to describe him to me in key detail.

"Xeno is clearly unlike anything else that this world has in terms of wildlife." Ian said.

"Just look for anything bipedal, dark blue, and jackal-like with those Optical Surveillance Spheres of yours," Costas said. "It shouldn't be too hard a task with the unbelievable specs that you gave them anyway."

"Alright then," I said before typing in those three key words—bipedal, dark blue, and jackal-like—into the touch-screen keyboard interface of my S2-PTSDOv.2 device.

Once my S3-OSS devices received these key words, they began to locate objects that applied to all three key words. They darted back and forth across the Earth's landscape, scanning each and every piece of land that they hovered highly over. They even automatically resorted to using their various lens functions—Infrared, Night, X-Ray, and Zoom—during their observations, depending on their current location. Their optical eyes allowed them to scan the areas that they flew over thoroughly, even when flying at Mach 2.

"Now, this might take a while, considering the grand scale of this planet." I explained to my brothers, before closing my S2-PTSDOv.2 device and storing it away. "We should probably return home and have some lunch while we wait."

My brothers agreed with me, and we returned home to take advantage of this impetus hiatus.


One hour and lunch later…

Moments after my brothers and I finished our midday meal, my S2-PTSDOv.2 device received feedback from one of my S3-OSS devices. I was immediate in responding to it, and retrieved my S2-PTSDOv.2 device before opening it.

"What is it?" Costas asked me.

"Did Xeno turn up?" Ian inquired.

"Let's see…" I checked the information provided to me through my device and read it out loud. "Feedback received from S3-OSS.X. Coordinates location is approximately…twenty-eight degrees north and thirty-four degrees east."

"…" My brothers didn't know what to make of that chain of numbers, and simply continued to listen.

"How queer…" I recalled. "This is the same exact place where I clashed with that dragon almost a decade ago."

My brothers, choosing to listen to me, now wondered what they just heard me say.

I could tell from their countenances that they were curious to what I just said. "Yeah, you two heard right. I clashed with a fire breathing dragon almost a decade ago. It looked eerily similar to what I transformed into earlier. The only core difference between the one that I confronted and the one that I became is our color scheme. The dragon I clashed against was night-black, while I appeared pure white."

"My God, you've been through so much during your banishment," Ian said with a sincere tone in his voice.

"I know," I responded. "And as a parting gift, it left me blind in my left eye, which is what this eye patch is for." I said before lifting the patch off of my eye and showing my brothers the complete whiteness of the sclera that my left eye possesses now, with a complete absence of an ash-black pupil or iris within it.

The look on my brothers' eyes showed that they had pity to my injury. They knew that this type of injury wouldn't have occurred to me if I remained here. However, if I remained here when the village citizens decided to drive me out, I would've likely sustained more damage, and perhaps even lose my life in the process.

Of course, with my power that seemed unlikely.

Regardless of what could and could not have occurred, the fact that I'm here is enough for them to shake off the past and ponder more interesting matters—such as the dragon clash that I had.

Knowing that my brothers will ask me later about that fight, I decided to set it aside and manually operate my S3-OSS.X device through my Different System.

Using the Zoom function of my Optical Surveillance Sphere, I homed into the area of land that I grew familiar with during my banishment. The terrain of the land remained relatively unchanged. The Berry-budding tree that I placed on the tip of this hill remained there. The five green iguanas and five white cockatoos nestled within its foliage were there as well. The Red Sea that this body of land resided nearby remained pristine and tranquil. And even the grass that resided on the hill remained green and undisturbed.

However, there were a few abnormalities to this peninsula of the Red Sea that I couldn't avert my S3-OSS.X's eyes from.

A bipedal, dark blue and jackal-like body was left lying on the hillside, staining the grass sanguine with blood. And just nearby this scene, there were five Roman nomads traveling close by to this scene. Those five nomads stopped themselves in their tracks once they noticed this abnormality, and approached the scene.

"(Bipedal, dark blue, and jackal-like…)" I pondered these key words as I stared at this hemorrhaging canine-like organism. "(This is indubitably…)"

"Xeno Lucario!" Costas shouted unexpectedly when he identified the body lying on the grass on my S2-PTSDOv.2 device's screen. "Oh my God, what happened to it?!"

The shout that Costas made delivered a sharp jab to my ears and startled me somewhat. However, I remained strong and wondered where this was going.

"Eduardo! You need to take us there right now!" Ian begged me, speaking with panic in his voice. "Who knows how long Xeno's been bleeding like that."

Remaining calm through this likely crisis, I say "I understand" before inputting the command for all of my S3-OSS devices to return to me.

Because my S3-OSS.X device already locked onto its intended target, all of the other S3-OSS devices were already on their way back. The command that I inputted merely called back my S3-OSS.X device alongside my other devices. And with the head start that the other twenty-five S3-OSS devices were given, they all arrived back to my location within a minute, quickly reapplying themselves to their respective slots.

Once they were all back on my shoulder strap, I close and put away my S2-PTSDOv.2 device within its respective holster. Next, I pluck four of my S3-OSS devices—uncaring as to which ones I grasped specifically—and lend them to my brothers, two for each of them.

"Now, as I've stated earlier, these devices can travel at twice the speed of sound," I explained with greater alacrity in my voice. "However, neither of you are capable of withstanding that. So instead, I'll travel ahead at full speed so I can reach our location quickly. And, if you're aerodynamic, you'll follow behind me at ten percent of that speed."

My brothers held an S3-OSS device on each hand and nodded in understanding my statement. They didn't show fear at all of being taken for a ride by the devices that I lent them, for they knew that fear would impede this critical situation.

"Alright then," I said before plucking two more S3-OSS devices from my shoulder strap, and then emanating my Light Green (Wind) Aura in moderate quantities. "I have an Aura Pokémon to save."

With those last words, we all rushed outside of my home and ran towards the village's outside borders, myself ahead of my two brothers. And as we ran, I commanded my Light Green (Wind) Aura to form the Aero Sphere Twister technique—the very same technique that I used against that dragon clash years earlier—around me, using said technique as a windscreen to bulwark my body against the wind that would normally slow me down as I fly at Mach 2.

I gave the command to the six S3-OSS devices that we all held in our hands to fly over to the coordinate location that my S3-OSS.X marked. In an instant, the devices that we all held catapulted us into the air and launched us forward once we reached an appropriate height in the sky. We all flew northwestward, I at 1400 mph and my brothers at 140 mph.

Within our minds, we all hoped that we weren't too late, to save the Pokémon that my brothers loved and that I've yet to meet.


22.3: The Unique Boy's Rage

Location: 28°N, 34°E (Solitary Tree atop a Hill)

Time: 2:05 PM

The five Roman nomads that my S3-OSS.X device pinpointed noticed Xeno Lucario's stagnant, stained body on the hillside. They all approached him and surround his body with their presence, each and every one of them taking note of his injuries.

"Look at the magnitude of its injuries," The first nomad said.

"They cover every square inch of its body," The second nomad continued.

"Some just graze the skin, while others are scratching into the bone," The third nomad noticed.

"With the amount of blood that it's lost, it's most likely dead," The fourth nomad believed.

"Dead or not, I've never seen such a creature before. It might be an extremely rare species, one which we'll never see again," The fifth nomad assumed, before looking back at his associates. "How much do you all think it'd be worth—its bones, its fur, and its meat—if we salvage it and sell it back at the Roman market?"

All five of them ponder an economical value on Xeno Lucario's body. And within seconds, they grin at the thought of what he'd be worth. The solitary thought that he's an extremely rare species would guarantee the five Roman nomads his exact weight in gold.

Before they could begin to fantasize themselves living luxurious lives, I make my presence know to them in a heartbeat.

I touch down about a dozen feet from their exact location, almost leaving a crater with the force that I landed down with. The Aero Sphere Twister technique that I had in effect was quickly dissipated and deliberately directed towards the five Roman nomads. The power of the technique was more than enough to blow them all off of their feet and knock them backwards about twenty feet and onto their rears. Xeno however, was spared from a similar course of action—he being low to the floor as is, the wind just shuffling his fur—and remained unmoved, likely from his Steel-Type defense mechanism in effect.

I disengage my Light Green (Wind) Aura and simultaneously put away the two S3-OSS devices that I held on each hand within their respective slots. With that out of the way, I directed my full attention towards Xeno and proceeded over towards his body.

I stopped before him just as my foot was about to tap at his side. I looked down at the solemn sight before my functioning right eye, and take into account Xeno's critical injuries.

"(Your flesh butchered deeply… Your blood hemorrhaging profusely from each and every assorted lesion inflicted upon you…)" I diagnosed the horrific damage below me and my mind began to boil and tighten with elevating rage. "(I can't even hear your heartbeat… is it beating too faintly for me to hear?)"

I decided to crouch down to Xeno's level of lowness and place two fingers to the side of his neck, hoping to feel for any signs of life.

For the few seconds that my fingers were on his neck, I felt nothing that could be classified as a heartbeat. Only the coldness of his skin and the dampness of his blood-soused fur were what I could feel.

I stood back upright and looked at my hand, Xeno's blood marking my fingers a noticeable red. Accepting this clear as day, I set my hand to my side. Both of my hands tightened themselves out of building madness, fueled from the fact that what I reluctantly assumed is true.

"(…I guess not…)" I thought solemnly, my countenance as stagnant as a rock at the moment, my right eye staring down at the Pokémon that I was too late to save.

Ahead of my field of vision, the five Roman nomads shrugged off the gale knockback that I inflicted upon them and stood back upright, never thinking otherwise at how I was able to do so. They all knew me—or to be more precise, my actions—through wildfire news about me, and couldn't help but ponder what I was doing here.

They took notice as to how I was looking down at the Aura Pokémon, and mentally taking note of his injuries. They, being as avaricious as they were earlier, were all quick to assume that I pondered what they pondered. And with no sense of mental reluctance, they decided to speak to me.

"Say, do you think you can do us five a favor?" The first nomad spoke up.

"We believe that creature is dead, and would just go to waste if left here for the buzzards to devour." The second nomad added. "It seems like an extremely rare species as is."

"So we thought that it'd be a good idea for us five to salvage it and take it back with us to Rome." The third nomad preferred.

"With your abilities, you can dice it up to the bones, fur, and meat that it's consisting of in record time." The fourth nomad speculated.

"But before you do, have you any idea how much it's worth?" The fifth nomad inquired.

The solitary fact that these people would put wealth over life caused my mind to seethe in spite. I looked back at the Roman nomads with a silent, spiteful countenance. A hateful glare was present on my right eye. My fists, clenched as tight as physically possible, suddenly began to spark small amounts of aura. The aura however, appeared as a color different than all of my previous ones.

The aura sparking from my hands was as black as the night sky.

"(To disrespect something as precious as nature, over something as squalid as money…)" My mind spoke with an unnerving malevolence rising from within my being. "(…That's a death wish that I'm more than willing to fulfill.)"

The black aura that my hands were emanating quickly started to emanate from other areas of my body. The aura eventually surrounded my entire body, with a field that stretched about two feet from any given point of my body. The strength of the aura surged around me like a typhoon of malice, with enough force to fluster my hair, as well as the grass that resided around me.

My body, out of vindictiveness, had unlocked a new Elemental Aura ability that lied dormant within me.

FATAL MALICE THAT RETURNS ALL TO THE DARKNESS FROM WHENCE IT CAME!

EDUARDO HAS LEARNED HOW TO USE BLACK (DARKNESS) AURA!

CHAOS-KINESIS UNLOCKED!

Before the Roman nomads could make sense of this, I decided to answer the fifth nomad's question.

"…Worth?" I said with an uncanny calmness in my voice, despite my mind drowning in my temper. "…About five lives."

"'Five lives'…?" The fifth nomad repeated my words, unsure of what I meant. "What do you mean by—?"

Without a sound in my footsteps, I dashed over to the closest nomad from my general placement—the first Roman nomad. With my right hand stretched forward from my body, and forming the shape similar to the tip of a spear, I jabbed straight towards that nomad's sternum, and had my hand come out between his shoulder blades, completely coated in the victim's blood. His heart was split into two from within his chest, my arm having to reach elbow-deep into him in order to do so.

The nomad never saw me coming, and his body went limp when his heart no longer functioned. He would likely ponder what met his end during the afterlife.

"(Chaos impale…)" I thought with a monotone mental voice.

The other four nomads didn't see me move from one place to the other. They only saw me suddenly present myself before the first Roman nomad, with my right arm piercing the chest cavity where his heart once was. My reaction time was far too great for their minds to comprehend, and caused their better judgment to lag severely.

With a dead Roman supported only by the rigidity of my right arm, I decided to dispose of his body in the only way that I could see fit. I retract my arm from his chest and kick him forcefully into the Red Sea nearby our presence. His body sank into the depths of the water, leaving a bleeding trail as he descended.

Before setting my sights on the other four Roman nomads, I look briefly at my right arm and notice how it's completely coated in the blood of my first victim. To rid my right arm of this immaterial sanguineness, I cause my Black (Darkness) Aura to flare more powerfully on the targeted area of my body. The blood quickly smoked away in the form of black and red vapor under the intensity of my aura.

With that out of the way, I glare at my remaining enemies. "Four lives…" I counted down, speaking with a frightening nonchalance in my voice.

The second Roman nomad didn't take too kindly to this action of mine, and decided to respond verbally.

"What in Jupiter's name is your problem?!" The second nomad spat spitefully. "We ask you to help us, and you suddenly decide to pierce one of my friends through his heart! What the hell would compel you to—?!"

My right hand suddenly clasped onto his face, causing himself to silence at the sheer astonishment at my speed in reaching him. His eyes, through the gaps of my fingers, clearly picked up on my facial countenance. He noticed that my facial expression clearly showed signs of vengeance, but of what he couldn't fathom.

Before he could begin to fathom my reasoning however, my right hand—the one blinding some of his field of vision—suddenly began to concentrate small amounts of my Black (Darkness) Aura.

With the same Elemental Aura ability giving me strength, I lifted the nomad off of his feet, gripping the sides of his face tightly with my single-hand grip while simultaneously building up power in the palm of my right hand.

Once I felt as if I'd generated a sufficient amount of energy, the words "(Chaos Palm…)" echoed once within my mind.

The helpless nomad never expected when this attack would come, and sustained the full force of this attack when it occurred. His entire face was consumed by a mid-size sphere of Black (Darkness) Aura that I let loose from my palm, and then it was clouded by a thick layer of smoke that the Black (Darkness) Aura became once it dispersed into the air. The rest of his body jerked somewhat by the attack, before it fell limp and lifeless.

Once the smoke cleared, the remaining three Roman nomads could see the full range of my Chaos Palm technique. They noticed that the entire face of the nomad victim was charred and smoldered from the pointblank range of my technique. Any hair that the nomad had was gone, and any form of facial recognition was rendered null.

Before throwing his body into the Red Sea, I noticed the sheathed sword that he had strapped onto the right side of his waistline and obtained it with my free left hand. Afterwards, I threw his head—and the remainder of the body that his neck connected—into the water, where he met the same end as my first victim.

"Three lives…" I counted down again, facing the remaining three nomads with a sword in my left hand.

The third Roman nomad now knew that words wouldn't change my reasoning, and decided to resort to offense. He reached for the sheathed sword strapped to the right side of his waistline and charged straight towards me with his sword in hand.

Rather than do the same, I hold my ground and anticipate his arrival.

The third nomad, once he closed the distance between us, began to swing at me from every possible angle. However, I was easily able to anticipate each sword swing, and act accordingly against each type. So whenever he swung towards me vertically, I side-stepped. And whenever he swung at me horizontally, I held my sword defensively to parry his swipe. And when he decided to lunge forward, I stepped back, just narrowly avoiding the tip of his sword.

Seeing how he is the one on the offensive while I'm on the defensive, the Roman nomad let his cockiness overshadow his better judgment.

"What's the matter? Am I too formidable for you to retaliate?" He smiled smugly before resorting to forward sword lunges, watching me step back as he moved forward.

"…" I remained calm and focused on his technique, waiting for a proper moment to retaliate, and with fatal results.

"All you can do is lunge back at my might! You can't even lay a finger on—!"

He suddenly silenced himself when I decided to side-step from his lunge, and then grabbed his sword arm with my free right hand, tightly and with considerable energy emanating from my Black (Darkness) Aura.

Rather than attempt to struggle from my grip, he looked at my face, noticing how transparent it was to whatever taunts he threw my way. He noticed the severe solemnity of my countenance, the pitch blackness of my eyes that my Black (Darkness) Aura bestowed upon me, an overall facial expression that was single-mindedly focused on retribution, for the desire of what has been lost.

…A retribution that will only be quelled with the death of these five nomads.

However, before he could make sense of this, I turned the tables on him and went on the offensive.

Having properly immobilized his sword arm, I mutilated it with my blade, severing it cleanly off of his body, and disregarding any blood that was flying out from either end, and any cries of pain that resulted. And still holding onto his arm, I reconfigured it so that I was holding onto the end of his arm, effectively wielding two swords now—one sword held onto by his arm, which I held onto with my own.

Before he could take into full account his mutilation, I quickly hacked off his other arm with a vertical slice of my left sword, then both of his legs with a low horizontal sweep of his former sword, and finally his head when I brought both swords through his neck with a scissor-like motion.

Again, death was quick for him. His assorted body parts lay on the grassy floor, bleeding profusely and seeping into the dirt. His sword arm that I held onto was quick to join this pile of flesh and bones, his sword still remaining in my possession and his arm no longer.

Deciding to dispose of this corpse in a different manner, I decided to raise the swords that I held onto high above my head, my Black (Darkness) Aura engulfing them both and giving them power.

"(Chaos Impact…)" Those two words echoed in my mind before both swords came crashing down onto the corpse, quickly engulfing the area in front of me with a sudden updraft of explosive black aura.

The detonation of the energy that was concentrated within each of my blades was violent and instantly injurious on the lifeless corpse. His body parts were obliterated and no longer physically existent. All that remained of him was the blood that seeped into the dirt.

"Two lives…" I countdown again, vehemently eyeing the remaining two nomads with both blades in a tight grip on my hands.

Both of these nomads, after seeing the brutality that occurred to their three fellow comrades, finally decided to show their survival instincts. Before my eyes, they suddenly began to run away from my presence, whining as if they were terrified puppies with their tails between their legs, each of them fearful of my power and protective of their insignificant lives.

Seeing this made no difference in my thoughts towards them, and I'd kill either of them as I did with the three nomads before.

I ran after them, my Black (Darkness) Aura leaving sable streaks of smoke before my treaded path. Before I begin to approach them, I toss one of my swords over to the nomad that was closer to me, launching it horizontally and having it rotate around its center, as if it were a buzz saw run amok.

The fleeing nomad that I targeted had no chance of seeing this attack coming, for he never looked back as he continued to run forward. So when the spinning sword lopped off both of his legs—just above the ankles—, and caused him to fall onto the ground, he knew now that there was no escape.

He could only see me run towards him, jump high into the air, and then descend down onto his torso with the other sword that I held onto, holding it pointed downward with the drive of impaling him.

The remaining nomad decided to gamble his life by stopping in his tracks and looking back. When he did so, he could see that I'd killed the fourth nomad, having landed directly on top of him, the sword stabbed through his ribcage, and left there deliberately when I stepped off of him, as if his body were a slab of stone for my acquired sword to rest upon.

Now the fifth Roman nomad resumed running, fearful for his life. He was so terrified in fact that he tripped over himself a couple of times as he ran. However, he was quick in gathering himself back upright and continued running, panting and whimpering somewhat from fatigue and fright.

"One life…" I counted down, looking at the fleeing nomad and never looking away from him for even a moment.

Making sure that his presence was directly in front of me, I outstretch my arms and clasp my hands together, aligning the tip of my knuckles so that they were pointing at the fleeing nomad.

Deciding to put in most of my energy for this final attack, I channeled my Black (Darkness) Aura within the palms of my clasped hands. The energy that I decided to spend was still plentiful, and would make for one devastating—and likely overkill—attack.

My hands began to forcibly separate as a black sphere—with a menacing swirling energy core in the center—began to form between my palms. The sphere grew greater and greater in diameter, so long as I kept feeding it my power. As it simultaneously grew, my aura field diminished in intensity—all of it transferring over to my palms and becoming the black sphere. And once the sphere grew to the size of a compact car, I stopped channeling energy into it—having next to nothing to give anymore—, and held it high above my head.

With whatever leftover Black (Darkness) Aura I had, I transferred it over to my legs, in order to leap dozens of feet high into the air. The instant that my feet no longer touched the ground, I rotated my body forward, front-flipping a few times—gripping tightly the black sphere of energy against gravitational forces—, using centripetal force to strengthen my throwing strength.

"(Chaos Aura Sphere!)" Those three words echoed strongly within my mind before I fired the black sphere towards my target.

My technique menacingly homes in on the fleeing Roman nomad with surprising speed. And despite its massive size, he is surprisingly unaware of its presence. Not even the fact that the sphere was large enough to temporarily distort the field of space that it passed through—creating indescribable warping sounds of the air that it cut through—caused him to turn around to face it.

His fear kept his eyes forward, fully focused on getting from Point A to a far enough Point B without tripping over himself once more.

However, no matter how far he ran, or how quickly he was running, he couldn't evade my Chaos Aura Sphere for long. Eventually, my technique caught up to him, consumed him, and warped his body away into nothingness. My technique disappeared after flying a few hundred feet farther forward, leaving behind no trace of its existence, or that of its victim in any way whatsoever.

When I landed back on the ground, only one phrase escapes from my mouth, in response to vanquishing the last Roman nomad.

"Xeno's life is Incalculable."


22.4: The Mysterious Pokémon's Agony

Time: 2:17 PM

As soon as the battle concluded, both of my brothers caught up to my general location. They hovered down towards the ground and landed gently rather than spontaneously—as I did when I arrived here—unable to withstand greater forces of impact than I am. They landed nearby Lucario and approached his cadaver, looking down and assimilating the damage that the Aura Pokémon had sustained into their mental comprehension.

"My God…" Costas muttered in bewilderment at Xeno's injuries.

"What happened to you…?" Ian did the same, unsure what exactly was the primary cause of this.

Both brothers suddenly heard footsteps across the grass and tilted their heads level so that they were able to see me walking towards them. They noticed that I had a serene countenance, as if I had taken care of an errand.

This made them recall the five Roman nomads that were around this area when they glimpsed at my S2-PTSDOv.2 device. Both brothers looked around the area and noticed no trace of any of the five Roman nomads nearby.

…Well, aside from their spilled blood across the grass, as well as the deceased body of a nomad, with a sword stuck through his torso and left there without any further need.

"Did we miss something?" Costas inquired me.

"What happened to those nomads?" Ian did the same.

I stopped walking when I was within reach of my brothers, as well as within kicking distance of the Aura Pokémon. And with a faint smile on my face, I told them both "Let's just say that they can't harm another miracle of nature ever again."

The fact that they were able to see evidence of bloodshed around the vicinity—bloodshed that was not Xeno's—quickly allowed the both of them to realize what occurred here.

"I see…" Costas mumbled.

"There's hardly anything left of them…" Ian did the same, attempting to locate the other four nomads with his eyes, only to give up within seconds.

The three of us all looked down at the Aura Pokémon before out feet, noticing how badly wounded he was and how pale his color was starting to become, with his lack of blood causing his overall manifestation to fade.

My brothers handed back to me the four S3-OSS devices that I let them borrow, and I strapped them back onto my person.

"So this is Xeno, huh…?" I inquired rhetorically, storing away my devices in their respective slots simultaneously.

They all mutter faint sounds of agreement to me.

"My God, look how anorexic it is." I spoke with mild concern.

"Oh no, Eduardo," Ian looked up to tell me. "It's always been like that."

"…Seriously?" I said dubiously, looking up at his face.

Ian nods in response to my skepticism.

"Are you sure it didn't just starve itself over the past month in trying to locate me?"

Now Costas tilted his head level to look at me. He shook his head in response to my assumption.

"Jesus Christ…" I look back down at Xeno's body, eyeing in particular the hourglass shape of his torso, showing further astonishment at his natural constitution. "I could form a circle as wide as physically possible with my fingertips connected together, and its waistline wouldn't even fill in the gap within my hands."

After that statement, I decided to get back on topic, and focus on Lucario's extensive lacerations. I kneel down to his level and counted each and every laceration on the front side of his body.

"In total, I see about fifty lacerations on the front side of Xeno's body," I said. "Each one has varying depth to them. Some just graze across the outermost layer of skin, while others are deep enough to have sunlight reach directly into the bone."

"…" My brothers remain uncomfortably silent as I stated Lucario's diagnosis.

"And this is just the front side of its body," I said before causing my eyes to momentarily flash Purple (Psychic) Aura, allowing me to lift Lucario up a couple of feet off the ground, rotate his body 180 degrees, and then set him down—gently—on his belly.

"…!" My brothers' eyes were immediately widened at the sight of Lucario's backside.

Xeno had an entire second collection of lacerations across his backside, just as plentiful—and as sanguine—as the set on his front. They were mostly concentrated on his back. However, there are a few on his legs and the back of his head. There were even a couple that cut across the dreadlock-like appendages that dangled behind his head.

"Oh God, it's as I feared…" I said with an elevated level of concern. "Xeno has another fifty lacerations on its back, just as varied in depth as the ones on its front."

"…" My brothers showed signs of emotional distress as I continued giving my expert opinion on Lucario's injuries.

"And judging by how pale its materialization has become, I'd say that it's been losing blood within the time span of an hour."

"…" My brothers were within their threshold for breaking out in tears.

"I don't want to be the harbinger of dreadful news, but…" I pause to inhale and exhale once, knowing well enough where I'm going with this. "…Xeno Lucario is clinically dead. We came far too late to save it."

For some reason, my brothers didn't break into tears as their solemn countenances suggested. Rather, they looked at me with distrust, and had this to say to me.

"You're lying, Eduardo." Costas said lowly.

"I don't believe you." Ian frowned at me.

"What's not to believe? The evidence before us is as clear as day." I said, pointing my finger at Xeno's lifeless body. "Xeno Lucario is drained of almost all of its blood due in part to the lacerations plaguing its body. It doesn't have enough blood for its heart to function properly. The proof of this is the loss of color of its skin."

Their frame of mind remains unchanged.

"Xeno is stronger than this," Costas said, speaking from experience.

"You'd never know because you've never met it." Ian told me.

I found all of this to be utterly ridiculous, and my tone of voice began to reflect on this.

"Why can't you both accept the fact that Xeno Lucario's injuries are far too great for its body to tolerate?" I spoke boldly.

"We can't because Xeno's still alive." Ian spoke his mind.

"If you feel for its pulse, you'll know that it's still alive." Costas suggested.

"I already palpated its neck for a pulse earlier, and I felt nothing more than fresh blood on my fingertips." I stated. "I didn't even need to do so. My hearing is sensitive enough to detect its heartbeat from a distance. Not that it matters, because Xeno Lucario's heartbeat is no longer present."

"Check again," they said in unison.

I wanted to further reprimand my brothers for such infantile nonsense. However, I couldn't bring myself to do so anymore than I had already. So instead, I just shook my head, exhaled once, and relinquished myself to their suggestion and crouched down once more to Lucario's level of height. I put the same two fingers that I used before on the side of Lucario's neck, and concentrate of feeling for a pulse.

"See, it's just as I established earlier." I stated, never removing my fingers from Lucario's throat. "There is no longer any sign of life…"

…Ba…dump…

"…emanating from Xeno Lucario's b—"

When I silenced myself abruptly, my brothers looked at my face with a hopeful facial expression. They waited for any further word from me, as I still had my fingers on Xeno's throat.

…Ba…dump…

"(A full ten second gap between heart pulsations…)" I thought, my body frozen from the sheer astonishment of this Pokémon's moral fiber. "(A gap in time that I kept my fingers on its neck too briefly to notice...)"

…Ba…dump…

"(Still alive…but only just…)" I pondered, finding myself believing this impossible physical feat.

My brothers could read my shocked facial expression like a book, and knew what was exactly on my mind.

"Xeno is still alive, isn't it…?" Ian smiled.

"…" My body was too frozen in disbelief for me to speak.

"What are you going to do about it?" Costas inquired.

From my stillness, I suddenly began to burst forth in a rush of movement. To begin with, I quickly removed my fingers from Lucario's throat and reached for my S1-GS device. Once the device was in my hand, I said the words "S1-GS withdrawal: S4-BW device," almost twisting my tongue with the speed that I spoke.

"…S4-BW device?" Costas repeated, barely catching the words that I said.

"Is that another one of your 'S-Rank' inventions?" Ian assumed.

Once the verbal command was inputted, I held the S1-GS device above my head and pressed the center button to open the device. The instant that I did, the black hole core of my S1-GS device ejected the S4-BW device that I named, sending it high into the air.

"Of course it is," I said before tucking away my S1-GS device back into its respective holster, and then holding my hand above my head, catching my S4-BW device when it came back down to me.

My brothers notice the S4-BW device in my hand and quickly analyze its appearance.

Because they're already familiar with many of my previous inventions, they already connect its appearance to what they remember from the laboratory. To put simply, the S4-BW device appears to be a polymerization of a spray bottle and a blowtorch. It contains a slot within the handle that allows for a liquid-filled capsule to be inserted, as well as a gun-shaped trigger to allow that liquid to be utilized. The tip of the S4-BW device is metallic and syringe-shaped, for reasons that quickly become understandable when they realized that its appearance was semi-similar to that of a blowtorch.

"What does it do?" Ian wondered.

"Its better I show you first before I explain," I said before pointing at the Aura Pokémon before me. "I have a life to save after all."

My brothers were quick to understand this and remained quiet and attentive at what I had planned to do next in order to save Xeno's life.

With my right hand clutching the S4-BW device, I used my free left hand as a spark lighter to this blowtorch offshoot. Having my left hand emanate faint amounts of Red (Fire) Aura, I snapped my fingers repeatedly in front of the nozzle of my S4-BW device, causing sparks to form every time my fingers rubbed briefly against each other. And once I pulled the trigger on my S4-BW device to commence spraying the liquid within its equipped capsule onto these sparks, the tip of the device quickly ignited and formed a blowtorch-style plasma fire.

With my S4-BW device standing by for use, I disengaged my Red (Fire) Aura and eyed the larger lacerations on Lucario's backside. And as soon as I decided which one was the largest gash, I homed in on it and began to repair it with the plasma fire emanating from my device's nozzle.

My brothers noticed how it only took a few seconds to fully seal off any one laceration on Xeno's body, before I moved on to the other slits of flesh. They both have a fairly concrete idea as to what I manufactured.

"You built a welder?" Costas guessed.

I nodded at my brother without looking away from my work.

"…When?" Ian wondered.

"During my free time when preparing the Apicot and Petaya Berries needed for my healing tank." I explained as I continued using my S4-BW device on Lucario. "The solitary purpose of my fourth 'S-Rank' invention is to seal biological injuries, hence the name 'S4-BW'."

"…'BW'…" Costas muttered those two letters, wondering what they represented. "…It stands for 'Bio-Welder', doesn't it?"

"Precisely," I said before finishing healing Lucario's backside, and then flipping him over—gently—onto his freshly-healed back with the telekinetic abilities of my Purple (Psychic) Aura, so that I could continue working on his front half.

"What kind of fuel is it utilizing?" Ian wondered.

"My S4-BW device utilizes supplemental Berry juice extract for its fuel," I explained while sealing Lucario's largest incisions first. "However, it also requires the combustible properties of Spelon Berries within the mix for it to ignite."

"So with that 'S-Rank' device of yours, you're cauterizing Xeno's wounds closed." Ian assumed.

"You'd be quick to assume that because of the plasma fire tip, yet you're actually quite far from the actual truth." I was about halfway done in sealing Xeno's wounds. "What I'm actually doing is exponentially accelerating the cells' regenerative capabilities."

"And how is that helping Lucario?" Costas questioned me.

"Under normal circumstances, these types of injuries heal within a week." I was eyeing the final few lacerations on Lucario's body and sealing them shut. "However, my S4-BW device chops down the healing rate to a few seconds, rendering serious injuries like these, if treated quickly enough, null and void. And the best part is that this device's plasma fire tip isn't capable of causing any form of burns, or even leaving a scar at whatever it helps heal. It's simply a beneficial supplement to the body's natural healing capabilities."

As soon as I stopped talking, Lucario's last laceration was properly sealed by my S4-BW device, leaving no trace of its existence whatsoever. The liquid-filled capsule that my device contained was almost empty, a sure sign that it was used to its fullest—as well as a sign that I should prepare more fuel for it soon. And after checking to make sure that I didn't miss any wounds, I stored away my S4-BW device back within my S1-GS device—having yet to manufacture a proper slot for it to place alongside its other "S-Rank" invention brethren.

"And now, for the moment of truth," I said before placing two fingers on Lucario's throat.

My brothers awaited a positive response from me.

…Ba…dump…ba…dump…

"(Its heart rate…)" I began to ponder.

…Ba-dump…ba-dump…ba-dump…

"(…is gradually returning to normal.)" I formed a smile before removing my fingers from Lucario's neck and standing back upright from my crouched physical position.

My brothers knew what I was going to say, and awaited me to say it already.

"There, I just saved its life," I said with utmost confidence in my work.

My brothers both let out a couple of sighs of relief, knowing well enough that their recent friend was away from any critical danger.

"Thank you for saving Xeno's life," Ian said, thankful of my success.

"You are the only one who could've," Costas said, speaking from past memories of my achievements.

"Don't mention it," I spoke humbly. "I'm just here to help those that require it."

After those words, a few seconds of absolute silence slipped by, neither of us having anything to say during that time. So, to break that silence, Costas decided to change the topic.

"So…what do we do now?"

My response was immediate. "We should just stand by Xeno Lucario's side and give it time to recover, as well as make sure that it awakens."

"What do we do to pass the time?" Ian asked.

"You both wanted to learn about my time during my banishment." I suggested. "You both wanted to know more about that dragon, the hooded figure, and those S2 and S3 inventions, right?"

Both of my brothers nodded, their curiosity desiring to be fed.

"Alright then," I said before recollecting my thoughts.


"What I see in nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that fills a thinking person with a feeling of humility." —Albert Einstein

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