Chapter 8: Flight to Kanto
Fan Fiction inspired by Pokemon, Pokemon Conquest
Rating: Young Adult
That Prof. Ginkgo and his partner from the Trainers Association seemed to be relieved that their case was over, but somehow I, a third party bystander, was not. That trade agreement they spoke of came from a kingdom in Ransei, my home, a home torn apart by endless war. How could those two sit quietly knowing the pokémon were sent there?
“Well, it’s time I take a break from this line of work,” said Prof. Ginkgo’s partner. “How about we get out of here and go home, Shuichi?”
Inconceivable! That woman says his first name so casually! I see there is more to their relationship than just being partners in their line of work.
“Yeah, maybe you’re right, Amy,” said Prof. Ginkgo back, just as casually.
So her name is Amy, huh? It’s a pretty name for such a beautiful woman like her. That long, wavy hair that flowed in the wind. That curvy bust of hers hidden under her unassuming overcoat in the middle of Spring. So this is someone that Prof. Ginkgo admires.
Oh, what am I saying? I’m not in love with that man! He just seems to be an interesting person. And I still can’t rule out the possibility that he’s the one I’ve been searching for.
“Excuse me, Professor,” I interrupted.
Professor Ginkgo and Amy turned toward me simultaneously, as if in uniform.
“I know it sounds kind of weird, but as a wandering priestess, I have nowhere else to go and I have some more questions for you. Do you mind if I join you wherever ‘home’ is for you?”
Home couldn’t be very far for them. That Amy wore a coat with the Sinnoh Pokémon League’s emblem on it, so they must be from around here. As I looked at Amy, she gave me a sour face, like I was posing some kind of threat to both of them, or rather just her.
“I don’t mean that I want to go home with you guys or anything, I just want to talk, that’s all,” I said, more flustered than usual.
“It’s okay,” said Prof. Ginkgo. “I actually have some more questions for you, too. I’m curious about who you are and the things you know about. Professor’s curiosities, I guess.”
Amy made a fist and pounded the top of the professor’s forehead. He lowered his head and covered it with his hands, as if he had been hit by some kind of bully.
“We can’t spend anymore time here, Shuichi!” said Amy. “We’re taking a plane out of here soon and last I checked, our budget doesn’t allow us to take some strange girl with us.”
Strange girl? The nerve of that woman! I’m just as old as she is!
“Or could it be you think she’s cute? Are you two-timing me, lover-boy?”
Amy continued to strangle and tease the professor as he tried to deny any connection between us. I had no idea what kind of relationship these two have, but their act still amused me. I found myself laughing without thought.
“What’s so funny?” said Amy to me.
“Forgive me, Ms. Amy, I guess I haven’t had so much fun with people like you in so long.”
Amy seemed to calm down and back off from her hostility, but she still had a pout on her face. Was it because I called her Amy? I didn’t know what else to call her. All I heard was her first name.
“It’s alright, Ms. Shuko,” said Prof. Ginkgo. “It may not be in our budget, but I just got a bonus from the University. I can pay for at least some of the plane ticket. You know that I’m interested in you as well.”
“Thank you, Prof. Ginkgo.”
The professor scratched the back of his head in embarrassment and smiled uneasily.
“Please, Ms. Shuko, just call me Shuichi. We’re all friends here.”
“I knew it!” exclaimed Amy. “You are in love with her! And you just met! What is wrong with you?”
Shuichi shrugged and I giggled quietly. That Amy may have jumped to conclusions, but I felt like I could understand why Shuichi would be so kind to me. And I had a suspicion that I knew exactly what he was so curious about when it comes to me.
It was like we had already known each other for a long time.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Shuichi and Amy were heading for a place called Celadon City in the Kanto region. Shuichi agreed to pay for a one-way ticket to Kanto while I provided a trip back to Sinnoh on my own when we were done. I insisted that I would pay for a little more, but he refused my offer. What could he possibly be after?
The plane we sat in had two rows and three seats on either side. Amy took the window seat as Shuichi took the middle. I politely sat next to him and took the aisle.
Once the plane was in the air, Shuichi and I had a little chat.
“So Shuichi, you’re a professor and a warrior?” I started off. “How does that work out for you?”
“Well, I’m not officially a warrior,” he replied. “I was trained to fight like one, but I’m not very good as one, as you could see. My master who trained me likes to keep our work and my studies separate. I agree with her.”
“Ah, so this lovely lady is your master?” I asked, referring to Amy.
“No, not Amy. That would just be too weird.”
“I see. So who is it then?”
“I would tell you who she is, but I’m afraid she doesn’t want people to know that we are master and student in the ways of a warrior. On the other hand, you seem to be a warrior yourself. Maybe you could meet her someday.”
Amy scowled as she was listening to our conversation.
“Doesn’t want people to know, yeah, right,” she said. “His master’s name is Erika. She’s the Celadon City gym leader. If she wasn’t preoccupied with her newborn son, Shuichi would be doing things for her all the time. Ever since he joined our gym, she’s had him on a leash like a Growlithe or something. Trust me, they’re always together!”
I gasped. A warrior master and student? Having a forbidden love? What’s going on with this professor?
“Don’t get your hopes up,” assured Amy. “Nothing like that ever happens between them.”
Did Amy just read my mind? She’s very peculiar herself.
“For the record, Shuichi and I are the ones who are dating, but he’s a coward and can’t tell anyone about it. If it weren’t for me, he’d still be a hermit, cooped up in his studio apartment office, surrounded by papers and research materials.”
Shuichi felt embarrassed by all of her words and I laughed again. Seeing those two together was amusing as ever, just like how I felt with my brothers and sisters at the orphanage, so long ago.
“So how did you two meet?” I asked.
“We’re childhood friends, actually,” said Shuichi. “We both became members of the Celadon City gym at around the same time. Of course, she became a Pokémon League champion and I became a professor as we grew older.”
“I think I remember you now. Amy Chien, the genius girl that won in the Sinnoh League ten years ago!”
“You better believe it!” said Amy cheerfully, giving me a wink. “And I’d still be the champion in that tournament if they hadn’t decided to put me in the Association’s administrative department.”
“Well that’s enough about us,” said Shuichi, trying to change the subject. “How about you, Shuko? Where did you hone such great combat skills?”
That’s the first question that popped into the professor’s head? How simple-minded of him, but I answered him anyway.
“I trained under the instruction of my master at the shrine in Eterna City,” I said. “All priests and monks there take up martial arts as part of our daily regimen. It’s what we do to please the guardians Dialga and Palkia. It’s also great exercise and ensures protection of our shrine all the time.”
“I see. I also noticed that your weapon is unique from other shakujos. Why is that?”
The professor seems to be like a very friendly guy, but all he could talk about are things about combat techniques and warriors. Is he that stupid? Or is this why they say professors in general can never talk about anything other than their field of expertise? Still, I couldn’t help but answer him, because I never get to talk about these things with anyone else.
“It’s called Sangen, ‘The Three Elements.’ It’s a shakujo designed to invoke a stronger link with my pokémon. Each ring on Sangen glows a different color for a different type of pokémon, depending on which power I wish to channel. The three rings contain elements of fire, grass, and water, and they each control my pokémon, Hotaru, Ujitaro, and Mizuna: my Flareon, Leafeon, and Vaporeon.”
“Three pokémon of the Eevee evolutions? You must be one very lucky trainer.”
“The three of them are siblings, born of the same mother, an Eevee that stayed by my side when I was little. Unfortunately their mother passed away from natural causes years ago. These three are what remain of my memories of her. I love them so much.”
“You must’ve been a very lucky girl to have an Eevee. It’s a very rare pokémon where I come from.”
“Rare, huh? I guess I never thought of it that way. My family raised Eevees when I was little.”
“You raised them? Where did you come from then?”
“From the faraway Kingdom of Aurora, in Ransei,” I said without a thought of how he would react to my words. “I lived in an orphanage at a sacred shrine.”
“You mentioned Ransei before, when we were back at the Yamazaki Corporation office. Where is that?”
Amy, who had tried to ignore us this whole time, suddenly leaned over to listen to us carefully. I guess she didn’t hear the conversation we had with Yujiro while she was arresting Yusaburo.
“Ransei is a beautiful country on an island, far from the Sinnoh region, or anywhere for that matter. But it is a land that still upholds the way of the warrior, and all of its people suffer from the endless wars set off by greedy, relentless warlords. It is a violent country that clings to tradition, and people and pokémon die everyday to keep their way of life from fading away.”
As I continued to describe to him the land of Ransei, more feelings of sorrow and regret filled my heart. I hated that place. Not the people I had met there, but the circumstances that suffocated all who ever lived there. I managed to escape the torment, but leaving my home did not come without a price. I was ashamed. For eighteen years, I regretted turning my back on my home. My father and mother. My brothers and sisters.
“Wow, for a priestess, you sure know a lot about warlords,” he said.
“And for a professor who studies them, you’re surprisingly an idiot! How could you not know about Ransei?”
I get that Shuichi is a friendly guy, but he doesn’t have a clue. I needed to enlighten him about his studies.
“I get it. You’re a warrior. You fought an old friend who turned out to be your enemy. You suffered when you saw your friends and your enemies die. You may have even killed them yourself. But you’re living in a land of peace, Shuichi! You don’t have to worry about your friends or family dying, unless you have some control over it. You can train and work at your own leisure without the fear of some rival or higher power trying to kill you, as if you have a target on your back. And now you have come across a system that allows you to manipulate the acts of warriors, just like you, in a peaceful modern world.”
Shuichi tensed up, feeling like he had suddenly been attacked.
“I study warriors and warlords so that I can bring an end to their selfish acts!” he argued back.
“This isn’t a game, Shuichi!” I cried. “The lives of others aren’t yours to control, be it bystanders or warriors. They are people, too. They are alive like you and me, and their pokémon are alive as well. You shouldn’t expose them on that database of yours and have them fight under your control! You want to control or prevent war, Shuichi? Go to Ransei! See what the people are like. Fight in a real battle for your life and your pokémon. Then tell me if that’s what you really want. I’m sure you’ll regret it.”
We sat in silence a little longer as the plane continued to approach our destination. Then Amy spoke again.
“You said you lived in an orphanage in Ransei, right? So if that’s true, what brought you to the Sinnoh region?”
I was relieved that the woman Shuichi was with finally asked a more personal question. And why I decided to join them on their way back home in the first place.
“The orphans of Ransei are all children who had lost their parents in battle or in the factories and other labor facilities,” I said. “But as it turns out, my parents weren’t from Ransei. In fact, they had sent me there. I don’t know why they would do such a thing but somehow, I knew they were still alive. So one day, I just left. I left Ransei and came to Sinnoh in search of my family. The family that gave me away.”
I didn’t want to tell them how I was forced to leave Ransei. It was a memory too painful for me to recall. And they didn’t need to know the details anyway.
Then I remembered what Prof. Ginkgo said to me when I asked him for his real name. He didn’t bring it up ever since we had that exchange, maybe because he doesn’t know yet. I had to know. I wanted to know if he’s the one I’ve been waiting for.
“You said your name was Shuichi Oda, right?” I said as I grabbed his hand.
Shuichi looked at me, studying my face again, surprised by my actions. I refused to let his countenance get to me. I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to know.
“Shuichi Oda, are you my brother?”