Chapter 6: Familiar Battle
Fan Fiction inspired by Pokemon, Pokemon Conquest
Rating: Young Adult
That face. Professor Ginkgo’s face. I knew he was about my age and was probably not very fit, but it can’t be denied.
The professor wore squared-rimmed glasses to cover his brown eyes. None of his other features could be recognized when I saw him from afar, as he was beaten easily by Yusaburo. But as I blocked his next attack on the seasoned warrior, I couldn’t believe what I saw.
As I was fighting Prof. Ginkgo, I felt like I was fighting myself. How could this be?
The young professor backed off as soon as I did and gasped the same time I did. We were in perfect synch. I have never met him before, and yet it was as if we rehearsed this meeting a thousand times over.
“Why are you protecting him?” he asked as he focused on me again.
“Why are you fighting him?” I snapped back. “He clearly defeated you, so you should just accept it and stay down! If you attacked him like you did, you would’ve been killed for sure!”
Did Prof. Ginkgo even notice? Yusaburo may have turned his back, but he had a knife in his left hand, unconcealed, and clearly visible. Only a fool would try to attack someone like that.
“It’s people like him that ruin our world!” said Prof. Ginkgo. “He uses people and pokémon like tools, with no regard to how they feel. He’s probably using you, too.”
“Using me? Why would his company ‘use’ a priestess like me? And even if they were, it doesn’t matter to me. No one in this world is independent of others. Using and being used is but another relationship we have with others.”
“Stand aside and let me finish, lady,” he said ignoring me.
“If you want to fight alongside your pokémon against your opponent like a warrior, then fight me. Yusaburo Yamazaki is far too much for you to handle.”
“Okay, then I will!”
Professor Ginkgo called back his Politoed who was ready for another fight. He could have used other pokémon of his, but he chose this one again. Was it his only partner?
I decided to take advantage of his water type pokémon and released Ujitaro, my Leafeon. Leafeon is the grass-type evolution of Eevee, and most formidable against his Politoed.
Professor Ginkgo guarded himself and his pokémon in a defensive stance. He was already tired, but foolish enough to challenge me. Even so, he needs to be taught a lesson on a true battle.
Ujitaro started things off with a razor leaf attack, releasing a whirl of leaves sharp as blades at his opponent. Naturally the professor blocked each one of them with those fan-shaped blades of his, so as to protect he and his partner. I rushed toward him as he was left distracted for a frontal assault.
He then raised his right blade against my attack and parried it. Then he prepared for a counter attack by spinning the chain in his left hand to attack me. My shakujo allows me to attack him at mid-range, but that chain weapon of his does also. I held my staff with both hands about my width apart, trying to block his lunging attack like holding a wall in front of me.
But he saw through that. That bastard of a professor hurled the chain not at me but at my weapon! The chain tethered around my shakujo perfectly as he tugged on the other end to tighten its grip. I could not attack him with my weapon.
Ujitaro dashed around Prof. Ginkgo’s formation and used the leaf blades on his legs to slash Politoed. The dancing Politoed lucked out in dodging my pokémon’s attack and countered it with a double-slap. Ujitaro stepped back to regain its balance against the water pokémon. He charged again at him, but the Politoed deafened him with hyper voice.
Meanwhile, Prof. Ginkgo refused to let me take hold of my weapon with a strong grip, so I had to separate him from his weapon instead. I gave his chain more slack by rushing at him and giving him a roundhouse kick while still holding onto my staff.
The professor blocked my kick with his own leg as he swiped my attack away. He then took his right blade, free of the tension that he had placed on my staff to slash at me. I dodged so that the attack would miss my torso, but he managed to slash my sleeves instead.
He may have been beaten easily by Yusaburo, but his techniques were undoubtedly formidable against mine. His movements earlier were sloppy and unsophisticated, so he couldn’t have trained as a warrior for too long. And yet, even with the techniques he mastered, the reflexes were slow and inaccurate, as if he had not fought like that in so long. Just who is this Prof. Ginkgo?
Professor Ginkgo’s chain relaxed against my shakujo so that I could use it again. Having freed my weapon, I jumped back to give us more distance. I was exhausted; but so was he.
His Politoed had also been worn out, but Ujitaro was still ready to fight. My pokémon looked away from his and charged straight for the professor. Professor Ginkgo held his blades for another counter attack. Ujitaro would clearly get hurt if that man is as experienced a warrior as I have witnessed now, but my pokémon acts impulsively and would attack anyway. I can’t let him get hurt.
“Ujitaro, stop!” I shouted as I pointed my shakujo directly at him.
One of the three rings on the end glowed a vibrant green to channel more of my link to Ujitaro. Ujitaro slowed his pace down but he had already leaped forward to attack the professor. My opponent looked surprised that my pokémon had tried to attack him prematurely and rested his blades again. Ujitaro stopped his attack before he could hit the professor and stood firmly, awaiting orders.
The professor turned to me and finally noticed my glowing ring.
“What did you just do?” he asked, sounding out of breath.
I rested my weapon, showing no aggressive position, and the ring returned to its normal state.
“I commanded my pokémon to hold his attack on you, professor,” I said. “You should be thankful.”
“So you can communicate wordlessly with your pokémon as well, huh?” he said.
Communicating wordlessly with pokémon is a complex situation where a human can instinctively interact with a pokémon. They can coordinate attacks together without saying a word to each other. Some people think it’s a form of telepathy, but those who have the ability never actually hear what the pokémon is thinking; rather they feel it. Wordless communication is common practice among warlords who battle faithfully alongside their pokémon. I shouldn’t be surprised that a professor who studies warlords knows what wordless communication is, but I wasn’t aware that he was capable of it as well.
“I would continue to fight you, Prof. Ginkgo, but I have a lot of questions for you,” I said.
Professor Ginkgo obliged as he returned his Politoed and his weapon and wiped away his brow. I also returned Ujitaro and my weapon.
The woman that Prof. Ginkgo came with finally showed herself once the battle was over. She ignored her partner and approached Yusaburo, probably to ask him a few things herself.
“You possess a great deal of knowledge and skill as a pokémon warrior,” I said. “Why would you want to create a program that keeps records of other warriors?”
“I want to see a world where people can always live in peace without ever having to witness the violence we have,” he said. “However, I also know that some people will always revert to violence to fulfill whatever desire they have. With that database, only warriors will have to fight other warriors, and no one else will ever have to know about it. It may be exposing warriors that exist all over the world, but at least it will allow them to fight each other without anyone else seeing it.”
“So you would allow these warriors to fight each other while you stand idly back and watch over them in peace?”
“I can’t say that I would be standing idly,” said Prof. Ginkgo. “My hands are already stained with the works of the warrior’s way.”
“How could you understand anything about the warrior’s way? You have lived in peace all your life, haven’t you?”
“Of course I haven’t.”
“How could you understand the way of a warrior, Prof. Ginkgo?” I cried, ignoring him. “How could you live peacefully as a professor as there are people still out there constantly living in real war time?”
“Being a warrior takes a great deal of responsibility.”
“You built that library to monitor warriors like players in some kind of game? How inhuman can you possibly be? You stand around analyzing your trusted and suspicious warrior characters when there are entire countries that suffer from real war! And you can still casually make that an illusion? How can you live with yourself?”
“You don’t understand, Miss.”
“You’re the one who doesn’t understand! Tell me, have you ever killed someone? Have you ever had to see a loved one killed in battle? Have you ever–”
“I have seen it, alright?”
I flinched when he screamed at me. What could he have meant?
“I fought my enemy. I saw my pokémon die before my very eyes in a battle! I saw my enemy die. And yet, she was not my enemy. She was a fellow student at the university.”
Professor Ginkgo suddenly burst into tears. I didn’t realize that something like that could have happened to him. None of the articles about him and his project stated anything about him being a warrior, let alone what experiences he had seen as one.
“I have some questions for you, too,” he said as he calmed himself down. “Who are you? What is your name?”
In my conversation with the professor, I had neglected to ever give him my name. I guess it’s natural for him to want to know something like that. I wanted to tell him, but then I saw his face again. He was tired, full of tears, and panged with the sorrows he had to bear as a warrior. His face was just like mine. What could this mean?
“It’s common courtesy to give your name before you ask someone else’s,” I said sincerely. “So what’s yours?”
“Well that’s easy, I’m Professor—”
“Not that name. I know that all pokémon professors have aliases for their publishing purposes. I want to know your real name.”
The young professor gave up and let out a heavy sigh.
“It’s Shuichi Oda.”
I was shocked. Is that why we had the same face? Is that why I felt like we were well coordinated with each other? Tears flowed from my eyes, as if I was finally relieved of a lifelong burden. My knees fell to the ground as I tried to cover my face, but the professor held my hand as if he thought I would faint.
“What’s wrong? Are you okay, Miss?”
I cried, but I could still answer him.
He looked at me in surprise and confusion, as if he couldn’t believe what he was hearing either.
“My name is Shuko Oda.”