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Fire and Ice

By Misgel

Mystery / Adventure

Prologue

The dragon flapped her wings, stirring the still air. She slightly lifted her head, staring into the glare of the morning sun. But it didn't bother her. After all, she was a fire-type. The sun's light reflected off her brilliant electric-blue eyes, and made her vast while fur glow. The dragon purred, soaking in the light and warmth. She fluttered into a hover, absorbing her surroundings.

Over half of the sun poked over the horizon, while the rest of its body hid submerged in the sea. Great rays of light beamed from the sphere, reaching toward everything in sight. The sun even reflected off the ocean, looking like an awesome fire rippling in the waters. Clumps of wispy clouds floated around the dragon, gleaming and darkened at the same time. They hung motionless, as the air refused to move, only obeying their true nature when the dragon flapped her mighty wings. Miles below, a forest spread across the land, cushioned between the ocean's beaches and the mountains to the west.

So peaceful. This was Reshiram's favorite thing to do: fly high in the sky just to see the world's beauty.

It had been several months since she had been awakened by her hero, Ash. He had told her he had no desire to rein her and her powers; that he wished for her to go free. So Reshiram—along with her partner, Zekrom—did just that. They traveled across the Unova region, either together or apart. Now Reshiram was alone, as Zekrom retreated to a lair deep within a mountain to slumber.

After staring at her surroundings for several more minutes, she flapped her wings to move. It was time to go. But a noise stopped her. Reshiram hovered again and extended her senses. Only two seconds of silence past before she heard a cry. Reshiram blinked. It belonged to a small one, deep within the forest. Most wouldn't have heard it, but as a dragon with sensitive senses and a Legendary, Reshiram heard it as clearly as if it was right next to her. And she understood well it was cry of pain and fear.

Reshiram slightly curled her lips in a snarl. Ever since her birthdate, she was raised and trained to protect all creatures. Plus, it was just part of her nature. No, she wasn't going to ignore this cry. It could simply be a game of hunter and prey, but this seemed like more.

Without second thought, Reshiram flapped her wings and dived towards the forest. She folded her wings flat on her sides and kept her body straight; her head aiming straight for the ground. She looked like a giant arrow made of white marble shooting from the sky. At the very last second, Reshiram's wings snapped open to their full length, almost stopping her fall entirely. Riding on the air currents, she swooped over the forest and began to glide above the thick canopy.

Thankfully she finally came to a clearing. With a snarling roar, Reshiram shifted her wings and slammed onto the grassy ground. Her claws dug into the earth as a cloud of dust engulfed her. It only took one flap to clear it. When her vision was sharp again, Reshiram looked over to see several Deerling huddled on the clearing's edge, near some rocks. At first they stared at her with terror, but relaxed when they realized it was the Legendary Reshiram. But the fear was still in their eyes.

Reshiram was just about to ask what was wrong until she sensed something was to her left. She turned her head to see a group of a dozen Cryogonal. They came to a halt when they noticed Reshiram, but still swarmed, floating and spinning in all directions. They swallowed their nervousness and began to fan out. Their hard expressions and glares were colder than usual. Reshiram could feel their thoughts to kill and determination to carry out their mission. They were too dark for a regular hunt. The dragon narrowed her eyes. Cryogonal can be aggressive sometimes, but they usually didn't cause trouble. They especially weren't found in this type of habitat.

Hmm, time to put them in their place. Reshiram turned her entire body towards them. She snapped her wings open, making her appear twice her size. The Cryogonal winced, but resumed their advance. This caused Reshiram to let out a long, deep growl. The Cryogonal hesitated longer this time, but like before, they continued. The Deerling behind Reshiram whimpered. The dragon's eyes narrowed even more to needle-like slits. Now she was getting angry.

Aware of the Deerling were frozen in fear and their safety was endangered, she slightly turned to them. She ordered them to run with a couple growls. The largest one, probably the natural leader, nodded. The Deerling ducked into the forest, but the Cryogonal noticed their escape. The nearest two dashed towards them, but Reshiram was quick to react.

Flapping her wings and warming the air with her tail, she manipulated the air to cluster the Cryogonal together. They spun in a mini-tornado for a few seconds before pulling themselves together. Reshiram decided to give them one last warning. She took a step forward and thrust her head towards the group. She opened her jaws wide and let out her signature roar. But this time the Cryogonal were unfazed.

Now Reshiram was outraged. What in the world was happening? Why were the Cryogonal acting this way? Why were they testing her? Reshiram was usually gentle and kind, but all Pokémon understood that she could become a fierce warrior knowing no mercy in seconds. Fine, if they wanted her rage, so be it.

Her silent challenge was answered when suddenly all the Cryogonal fired an Ice Beam at her. Reshiram took another step and opened her jaws again, this time unleashing a jet of fire. The fire quickly destroyed the beams and engulfed the entire Cryogonal swarm. The Cryogonal's screams could barely be heard over the violent storm of fire.

Peering through her own attack, Reshiram saw the Cryogonal begin to melt. Steam hissed from their crystal-ice bodies, not even turning into water. Their forms shrunk rapidly and their features blurred with each second. It wasn't long before they were nothing but vapor. Reshiram finally closed her jaws, extinguishing the flame.

But the battle wasn't over. Cryogonal were just as deadly as vapor as ice. Reshiram had simply warmed their body temperature to where they lost their physical form. She hoped that her attack had both weakened and scared them, but she still sensed the Cryogonal's sinister thoughts. They were weak, but they were not scared. No, they were preparing for a counterattack. But Reshiram would not let them.

Heaving a deep breath and even activating her tail engine, Reshiram released a massive storm of fire. The wispy forms let out more screams as the inferno swirled around them. Reshiram felt their pain like her own, but their thoughts to destroy were just as great. The dragon intensified her attack—it being flashy having nothing to do with it. Finally, Reshiram diminished the flame. All that was left of the Cryogonal were wisps of useless gases. It was over.

Reshiram stared on, guilt nipping her heart. She didn't want to take that far—she rarely killed. But the Cryogonal just wouldn't stop. Reshiram folded her wings on her back and began to ponder the situation.

Those were real and natural Cryogonal, but a newborn Caterpie could understand something was very wrong. There was no reason for the Cryogonal to act that way. Reshiram would have to figure out what was going on by herself. She didn't really know where to start, but that would not stop her quest. As she took off and soared thousands of feet into the sky, Reshiram wondered if she should involve her hero. Ash. She decided against it. She didn't even know how critical this all was yet. But she will call for Ash if it ever came to that.

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