Chapter 4: Encounter in Sinnoh
Fan fiction inspired by Pokemon, Pokemon Conquest
Rating: Young Adult
After leaving my home eighteen years ago, I managed to find my way to a land called Sinnoh. For days, weeks even, I wandered streets, routes, and wildernesses, accompanied only by my precious Eevee. She was not very good at fighting, but she made me happy those days. We often stayed in forested areas, where she and I would gather fruit and other herbs for sustenance. She always had her fill while I often starved for her sake, but it didn’t matter to me. I only thought of one thing those days, and that was to find a home, my home.
But it seems that I still had much of the Creator’s favor despite having left my family, or what I called family, in Ransei. After days of wandering roadsides, avoiding wild pokémon and trainers alike, a very kind man dressed in traditional priestly garments, recognized my clothing.
He inspected me, not like a pervert, as most men tend to be, but noticed that I was wearing a white robe and red-orange hakama, the traditional garments of a priestess. But my clothes were soiled and tattered because I had not washed them in days. I think that my short hair also gave away some clue about who I was.
“Are you a priestess, child?” the man asked. “Which shrine do you belong to? And why are you out here, of all places?”
The man showed grave concern and quickly handed me a bottle of water. I was thirsty, but I didn’t have the strength to take it from him and drink it myself.
He grew impatient and tilted my head so that I may drink from the bottle and held it to my mouth. I gulped down as much as I could. My throat felt swollen, so it was painful just to swallow, but I drank as much of the water as I could.
“Eevee,” I murmured.
“You can speak, child?” he asked.
I held out Eevee’s pokéball with the intent of releasing her, but I could not move.
“Eevee is thirsty, too! Let her have some, too!”
The priest stepped back, surprised by my shouting voice, but he understood. He took the pokéball from me and released Eevee himself. Then he poured some water into a small saucer from his belongings and let her drink.
I was satisfied. I could tell from this man that he was truly kind and had no other motivations other than to help another priest in need.
“So child, what shrine are you from?” he asked again. “What’s your name?”
I hesitated to catch my breath, still dazed from this man’s kindness.
“Ikeda,” I told him. “My name is Shuko Ikeda.”
“Ikeda? There’s only one priest I would know by that name, and he’s from a faraway region called Ransei. That old coot, I’ll bet he’s still preaching to folks out there about the Arceus prophecy.”
The priest suddenly realized he had shoved his foot in his mouth and acted like he needed to apologize.
“No way, are you Ikeda-sensei’s daughter?”
I shook my head.
“Father Ikeda runs an orphanage. I’m one of the orphans.”
“I see. So what brings you all the way out to the Sinnoh region, Ms. Shuko?”
I blushed. I know he’s a priest, but he’s also a stranger. Why would he call me by my first name so easily? Still, I had to answer him.
“I had to leave. I didn’t belong there because my parents were not from Ransei. I was not a child of Ransei, so I left the region hoping to find them.”
That was not entirely true. I couldn’t tell him that the real reason I left was because I was forced to leave out of circumstances from our warlord. I shouldn’t let a stranger know too much about me, even if he was a priest.
“Well my name is Kazuhiro Saito. I’m from the shrine in Eterna City. Unlike Ikeda’s shrine, we worship Dialga and Palkia, the Guardians of Time and Space. Our shrines often rival one another, but I still respect Ikeda’s ideologies. I guess you can say we’re old friends.”
Saito-sensei gave me another smile and started to walk back toward the city.
“I hope you find your family someday, Ms. Shuko,” he said. “But I need to get back to the shrine.”
“Wait!” I shouted.
Saito-sensei stopped in his tracks and turned to me again.
“Don’t worry about the water,” he said. “It’s on me this time.”
“Actually,” I said, trying to gather my thoughts, “Please let me stay at your shrine. I don’t have any leads to where I can find my family yet. So could you let me stay? I’ll be your servant until I can take care of myself.”
Saito slowly stepped toward me, but instead of warmth and kindness, it felt unfamiliar and haughty.
“You would deny the favor you are given from Arceus, the Creator, so that you can worship Palkia and Dialga?” he said sternly.
I bowed to him as low as I could while still standing, affirming my resolve.
“Clearly you don’t have any understanding of the gods, child,” he said. “But then again, you are still a child, perhaps.”
Saito reached out his hand, as if in a striking position. I meant no disrespect to his shrine or his gods, but I didn’t expect him to raise his hand against me at a time like this, even after helping me. But then he did something unexpected yet again.
“You’re an interesting one, you know that?” he said smiling, as he patted my head.
I kept my face down, still in a bowing position, but I was also confused. What could he possibly mean by this gesture?
“Alright, child, you can stay,” he said. “But please, just call me Kazuhiro from now on, or Uncle Kaz, if you’d like. I’m not taking responsibility for you just because you’re one of Ikeda’s kids.”
“Thank you very much, Uncle Kaz,” I said hugging the priest.
“Right. Then I’ll go ahead and call you Shu-chan!”
I released my hugging and pounded my tiny fists on his chest.
“I didn’t give you permission to call me that, you big meanie! And don’t shorten my name like that!”
Uncle Kaz simply laughed as we walked back to his shrine, and my new home.
I spent the next fifteen years at the shrine, working for Uncle Kaz and the other monks. I was even married briefly to another one of the monks who had joined us in his adulthood, but we divorced after a few months. He was kind of a jerk anyway.
Uncle Kaz passed away when I was twenty-seven, and it came time to change administration at our shrine. One of the older monks became the chief priest to replace Uncle Kaz, and he wanted to change our way of life dramatically. Many of the other monks left the shrine because of it. I was among the ones who had left as well.
And so for the past three years, I have been a wandering priestess, bringing fortune to other wandering trainers and pokémon that would need my help.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I happened to be in Pastoria City, visiting one of my personal sponsors, the Yamazaki Corporation. Just because I’m a wandering priestess doesn’t mean that I can manage my life’s needs, such as money, on my own. The corporation’s president Yuichiro Yamazaki has taken a liking to my combined philosophy of keeping balance between Arceus, Palkia, and Dialga. He once told me it was like the balance he has with his three brothers and himself, making sure that the family does not try to cause trouble for everyone just because they often disagree with each other.
“So, Ikeda-san, I’m very pleased to see that you’ve made it all this way yet again,” said Yuichiro.
“Spare me the formalities, sir,” I said impatiently. “What do you need this time?”
The company’s president cleared his throat. “As you know our company is celebrating our annual customer appreciation festival. We’re planning a grand parade with lots of dignitaries affiliated with our company. However, with all the high profiles we have, we require much more security.”
“I don’t see how that’s a problem. Your security team is already one of the best in all of Sinnoh. Ever since your brother Yushiro has been detained, the company appears to have no problems at all.”
“That’s true, but I’m worried about a few recent developments we have had.”
Yuichiro paced around his office, as if something terrible was on his mind.
“I’m sure you have heard of the University of Pokémon Studies’ plans to have every warlord exposed on one of their super-computers, am I right? I feel like their actions are threatening the very lifestyle that we carry. I don’t know how they are going to act, seeing that our entire clan was born into that ideology. I want to show the world that even though we are warlords, our way of life is not a threat to people or pokémon anymore.”
I have known for a while that the Yamazakis are warlords by tradition. They train their pokémon in relentless combat situations and issue them to their security force. Various weapons adorn their walls as an homage to their way of life, but they are also there because if anything were to ever happen to the company, this building would become their personal stronghold.
But all of it is just an act. A facade. The Yamazakis never experienced what real war is like. They have lived all their lives in a peaceful region, where they can live without fear of losing a loved one, or being used simply like another tool. Yuichiro is not a warlord. He is nothing like the ones from Ransei.
“I want you to act as one of our undercover security detail. I know you’re a priestess by trade, but you are also well-versed in combat routines. If you can do that for us–”
“I thank you for the offer, but I must decline, sir,” I said.
Yuichiro seemed a little angry at first, but then calmed himself down.
“Well as one of your faithful sponsors to your cause, not to mention my pride as a warlord, I can’t force you to do this. But could I at least know why you wish to decline?”
His pride as a warlord? What a joke, but I can’t say that out loud.
“It is my hope that peace and stability come of this world. Mere acts of violence should by no means be exploited or exalted, in your case. I fundamentally disagree with why I would have to fight.”
“I’m sorry, sir. Making a spectacle of your warlord ideologies is simply a mockery to its true nature.”
As I was on my way out the door, a personal secretary came in to deliver a message.
“Mister President, two representatives from the Pokémon League Trainers Association and the University of Pokémon Studies are here to see you,” he said. “I’m sure they’re here about the recent shipment you had approved.”
“A shipment?” said Yuichiro confused. “I never authorized any shipments recently. It must’ve been Yusaburo. That cheeky little brother.”
“I’ve already sent Yusaburo to greet them,” the secretary continued. “But there is something of greater concern at work. The University system’s representative is Prof. Ginkgo, the man behind the Pokémon Warlord Database.”
So the rumors were true. That professor is inspecting all the warlords and warriors that still exist and analyzing them with that super-computer of his. I wanted to leave as soon as I could, but I wanted to give that man an earful. He’s truly the one making a mockery of the warlord’s way of life.
“You stay here, sir,” I told Yuichiro. “I’ll see these two in your place, and protect your reputation.”
With three pokéballs and an item ball at hand, I left the office to pay this “Prof. Ginkgo” a visit.