Chapter 16: “You are Never Alone”
Fan Fiction inspired by Pokemon, Pokemon Conquest
Rating: Young Adult
Shuko and I were very tired from all the events that happened today. I know it was Amy’s intention to let us have our space to learn more about each other, now that we knew we are brother and sister, but we also had a big day ahead of us.
Shuko was busy making her futon for the night as I made a call to Jun on my video phone.
“I’m glad you managed to tell your parents about this trip, Shuichi,” he said. “There’s no telling what will happen to us when we get to Ransei, let alone what will happen if we stay there. You probably already know, but it could be your last time to see your family.”
“I know, Jun,” I said. “Ransei is the land of warriors, after all.”
Erika, who had been sitting in the background, shoved Jun aside to talk to me. Her gown looked disheveled, as if she had just been nursing the baby.
“Erika, you should straighten yourself out a little more before you talk to him,” said Jun. “It’s not like you to–”
“I’m not talking to you, Jun!” she said annoyed. “Besides, I’m sure Shu-chan has seen my embarrassing parts before and he’s never gotten aroused by it. It’ll be fine.”
Jun had a disgusted but surprised look on his face, probably wondering why Erika had revealed that kind of information. Sure, I’ve had to help her dress wounds when we used to spar for my training, and I may have seen a few parts of her once or twice. But that didn’t change the fact she also saw my embarrassing parts even more, when she used to help me change into my kimono. I hate to admit it, but I can be a little too subconscious.
“What’s going on, Erika?” I asked. “Did you guys just get in a fight or something?”
“Never mind that, Shu-chan,” she replied. “I’m here to talk to you because I won’t have the chance to see you in the morning.”
That bad, huh? Jun must have said something to really upset her for her not to even see us off. Her face also looked flushed as if she had been crying for a long time.
“Anyway, I had Diana come by your place earlier today to drop off a few things. They should have been left on your desk.”
I looked at the top of my desk and saw a box there. While I still had Erika on the line, I took the box and opened it. Inside was a set of lab coats and khaki pants in my size. As I inspected the clothes further, I noticed that the insides were lined with chain mail.
“What is this, Erika?” I said. “Do I really need this kind of armor in Ransei? And why a professor’s lab coat?”
“Well Shu-chan, I think becoming a pokémon professor fits you better, and you look very good in a lab coat. And Ransei is a very dangerous place. Who knows what will happen? I’ve also left you with something else.”
I inspected the box further and found a pokéball. It looked worn, as if it was well-used by another trainer. With it came a note that said “release outdoors only.”
“Inside that pokéball is Mei Jia’s Dragonair.”
Mei’s Dragonair, the first pokémon she received upon becoming a Celadon City Gym senior member. Our gym typically specialized in grass pokémon, but Mei was an exceptional case and received the pokémon back when it was a Dratini.
“I don’t understand,” I said to Erika. “Why are you entrusting her to me?”
“You only have three pokémon right now, and one of them isn’t combat-ready. I decided I should give you that pokémon for your protection.”
“But Dragonair is Mei’s pokémon.”
“I told you once before that Mei Jia’s wish was to be by your side, even in her death. I’ve been taking care of her as a keepsake, but I don’t need her anymore. Dragonair is yours now, Shuichi. May she always be a reminder to you that you are never alone.”
Dragonair is a dragon type pokémon from the Kanto region whose life expectancy exceeds that of humans. She may have been Mei’s pokémon over fifteen years ago, but in comparison, she was probably still a child. I could tell just by holding the pokéball that Mei’s love still lingered on this pokémon.
“But Erika, you already know that I’ve been going out with her sister Amy now,” I said. “Why give this to me now?”
“Amy’s a good girl, Shu-chan. But even you should know that Mei Jia left a hole in her heart as well. You’re going to Ransei together, right? Dragonair will serve her well, I’m sure of it. Think of her as a gift from the gym.”
“Thank you, Erika. I will take good care of her.”
Erika noticed that Shuko had been behind me and wanted to change the subject.
“I see you have Ms. Shuko with you. How are things going between you two?”
“It turns out she is my sister after all,” I said in relief. “Not only that, but a twin sister!”
“I’m so glad, Shu-chan! I had a feeling you two were that close. I can send you off to Ransei without any worries then. Have a good night.”
“Erika, please let me talk to Shuichi,” said Jun in the background.
“Forget it, you can talk to him all morning tomorrow and you’ll have him around for a while out there, too.”
As the couple continued to bicker at each other, Erika ended our call. I gave a heavy sigh. I wanted to discuss with Jun what kind of things we should be prepared for, but I guess that won’t come to pass.
“Well they’re an interesting bunch, aren’t they?” said Shuko laughing. “But it only makes sense, Shuichi. They both care about you deeply. You’ve made some good friends in this town.”
“Yes, I guess I have,” I said to her, getting ready to change into my pajamas in the bathroom. “I just feel sorry that you didn’t get a chance to meet them all these years.”
“That’s alright, really,” she said, trying to play it cool. “I mean, I have had good friends, too. Maybe you’ll get to meet them someday as well.”
“Yes, I think I’ll do that.”
Shuko had already put on her night gown when I finished changing in the bathroom. I turned out the lights and laid in my bed, eyes wide open. I sensed Shuko was also wide awake on her futon.
“You know, Shuko, if everyone is saying how bad Ransei is, why are you going back?” I said.
“I already told you, Shuichi, I need to see what happened to my home.”
“I understand that, but now you know you have a home here, too. What compels you to return this time?”
We had a long period of silence, and I thought she had finally gone to sleep. But then she spoke up again.
“I know it may sound foolish, but I actually like Ransei. It may be a war-torn country without any hope for its people. And yet, I feel as if I’ve always belonged there. My home, my old home that probably doesn’t exist anymore, still beckons, Shuichi. I don’t think a city boy like you would ever understand.”
“No, I think I do,” I said. “Even if Celadon City were to ever change and the gym replaced by the worst possible gym leader, I would still call it my home. So many fond memories of mine come from this place. I’ll never forget that.”
“I’m glad to hear that. And I’m glad I was able to come to your home. When we get to Ransei, I would love to show you around my home, too. Have a good night, brother.”
Brother, huh? I’ve never been called that before, but it had a very nice sound to me, coming from her.
“You too, sister. Sleep well.”