Chapter 19: Battle for Aurora
Fan Fiction inspired by Pokemon, Pokemon Conquest
Rating: Young Adult
The next morning, Shuichi and I marched into Aurora to have an audience with the warlords Hanbei and Kanbei. A messenger had already been sent to declare a challenge on them the night before, and the two of them obliged. No one had briefed us on what kind of people they were, other than they don’t like to fight particularly, since they were once strategists. In any case, Shuichi and I had to be prepared for anything.
I thought entering Aurora’s castle would be just as difficult as arriving in Greenleaf, but surprisingly we had no trouble entering at all. The security detail was missing and the gatekeepers let us in without any argument. I know that the two warlords normally control Ignis, the kingdom north of Aurora, but this still seemed to be too lax for a warlord to rule.
“So they’re here at last,” said a gaudy-looking man in a dark cloak. “These foreigners the Greenleaf kingdom supposedly call the ‘bringers of peace.’”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” said a young man who looked more like a boy, standing next to him. “They don’t look so tough. Why don’t you handle the two of them, Kanbei?”
“We were entrusted to rule Ignis together as both warlords of Ignis, Hanbei, or have you forgotten? We’ll fight them together.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right. But I feel like it’ll be too much trouble for me.”
So the man in the cloak is Kanbei, and the boyish man is Hanbei. They both also had with them a Lampent and a Pikachu, respectively. The two don’t seem to see things eye-to-eye, but they worked together under the same warlord once, so I couldn’t underestimate their teamwork. Shuichi and I, on the other hand, have never fought together in a warrior battle, at least not on the same side.
“Lords Hanbei and Kanbei,” I shouted, “We challenge both of you to a battle for the kingdom of Aurora. Winner takes control of the castle and this land.”
The two warlords eyed each other, as if they couldn’t believe what I had said.
“You wouldn’t be much of a challenge for us, ball-lovers!” said Hanbei. “But I guess it’ll give us an excuse to exercise our power, huh, Kanbei?”
“I wish you would take your job a little more seriously sometimes,” grumbled Kanbei. “Very well you two, we accept your challenge. Prepare your arms and your pokémon.”
“That won’t be a problem,” said Shuichi, grinning.
Shuichi released both his Muk and his weapon, Ginkgo no kusari. I released Hotaru and my weapon Sangen. Hanbei’s eyes widened in surprise and curiosity.
“Ah, so these foreigners do know how to fight?” he said, winking. “I guess I’ll play along with them for a little bit.”
“So we shall,” said Kanbei gruffly. “But Lampent and I get the girl, if that’s okay with you.”
“Oh is that so? What is it, did you fall in love with the priestess or something?”
“Hanbei, you’re such an idiot, sometimes! I’m not after her because she’s a girl. I want to test her abilities as a staff wielder. Lord Hideyoshi’s weapon of choice was the Bo, as is mine. That shakujo of hers can be a handful for you, but it’s a perfect match against me. And besides, Hanbei, she has a Flareon, another fire type, just like Lampent.”
“Well, if you say so,” said Hanbei. “Don’t come crying to me if you can’t handle her though. I’ll be finished with the man in that silly coat and trousers long before you finish your match. And since my Pikachu is way faster than that abomination, we’ll be done in no time.”
“This kid likes to underestimate the professor that designed the Pokémon Warlord Database, huh?” he said. “That’s fine by me, but don’t underestimate my Muk. He’s a veteran of many cases I’ve been on with the Special Investigations Department. He won’t go down so easily.”
“Don’t underestimate him either, Shuichi,” I said to my brother. “That ‘kid’ isn’t as young as you think, I’m sure of it. And because he looks like a kid, he’s definitely more agile than you.”
“Not a problem. So, what kind of weapon do you suppose he uses?”
Hanbei and Kanbei got into combat positions. Like Kanbei had said to his warlord partner, he held a Bo in his two hands. Hanbei, on the other hand, held out two fists, completely unarmed, but make no mistake, he was in a full guarding stance.
“Be careful, Shuichi,” I said, “he’s a master of hand-to-hand combat! Most of your techniques won’t work on him!”
“Let’s take ’em down!” said Shuichi, completely ignoring my warning and charging directly at Hanbei.
Hanbei just stood in one place, ready to dodge or defend any attack coming his way. His Pikachu, however, charged for him directly at Shuichi and the Muk crawling steadily behind him. He certainly will be in for a long, hard fight, if he plans to win.
But I couldn’t keep my eyes on Shuichi the whole time. I had a fight of my own I had to deal with. And so did Hotaru.
“Come at me at any angle, priestess,” said Kanbei. “You will not be able to touch my cloak no matter where you strike.”
I summoned Hotaru to charge in front of me with a quick attack. One of the rings on Sangen glowed bright red to channel my control over Hotaru and he obeyed. With as much speed as Hotaru’s other possible evolution, Jolteon, my fire pokémon dashed at lightning speed at Kanbei. Kanbei readied himself for a frontal assault to block Hotaru’s attack, but then my pokémon used double team and vanished by dashing behind him. With Sangen in my hands, I stayed on the offensive and charged at the warlord from his left flank.
Kanbei blocked my attack with his own staff, as expected, and I anticipated Hotaru’s next strike. However, the Lampent that accompanied Kanbei appeared from behind him and attacked Hotaru with a hex attack! Hotaru took a direct hit from the ghost pokémon and limped around in circles, as if it had been possessed.
Now that the Lampent was free, the pokémon fired a flame burst attack at me. I was still preoccupied with Kanbei, as we had escalated our attacks to up to twelve consecutive strikes. At the very last moment, Kanbei struck my staff one last time to give him the resistance to push himself away from me. Flame burst usually attacks an opponent with collateral damage to other combatants around the target. With Kanbei out of the way, however, he didn’t have to feel the attack.
I wished for Hotaru to come to my aid and channeled more of my affinity to him through the red ring. Without another thought, Hotaru dashed in front of me and took the fire attack. Instead of taking damage, however, he absorbed the attack and the flames that surrounded his body grew stronger. This is the effect of a Flareon’s flash fire ability. I of course, still took small hits from some residual flames, but I was still able to put them out with my hands.
“Good job, Hotaru, now let’s counter it with your flamethrower!”
Hotaru used his newfound flame energy to spit out an incredible stream of fire at Lampent. But Lampent, too, absorbed the fire and increased the power of its flames. As the fire attack made contact, Kanbei used the opportunity to attack me again with his bo. Still having my guard up, I blocked his attack and traded blows in another series of combo strikes.
“Silly girl,” said Kanbei, clearly unimpressed as he attacked me. “Your Flareon may have the flash fire ability, but so does Lampent. And since Lampent’s a ghost type, normal attacks won’t work either. I suggest you come up with a new strategy if you hope to beat me.”
I looked over to Shuichi to see if we could work something out. Unfortunately, it seemed like he had his hands full, too.
Shuichi was trying to find an opening to hack at Hanbei with a melee strike with his fan-shaped blades, but the boyish warlord kept dodging him. Of course, Hanbei found openings of his own and jabbed Shuichi square in the chest or face which made my battle partner dizzy. His Muk was no better either. The Pikachu was dancing circles around the pokémon, and while the rodent pokémon’s thunder bolt attacks weren’t nearly as effective, it seemed that Muk couldn’t land any attacks on it either.
I would have switched my pokémon out, but both Ujitaro and Mizuna were at a type disadvantage against both of their partner pokémon. That, and I was afraid switching out my partner would look like a coward’s move developed by foreigners, and that would not look good for my ambitious campaign.
“Shuichi, we can’t fight these two separately!” I said to my brother. “We’ll have to work together!”
Kanbei continued to strike at me as I found an opening to kick him as I blocked. Of course, he anticipated the kick and countered it with a dodge followed by a hooking strike from his bo. The strike hit my face and I recoiled, giving him the upper hand. And with one more strike, Kanbei pushed me backward in the direction of Shuichi and Hanbei’s fight.
Meanwhile Shuichi was also kicked in the stomach by his unarmed opponent, causing him to fall to the ground, Lampent managed to hit Hotaru with another hex attack, and Pikachu used volt tackle on Muk, causing more damage.
“Well, that was certainly fun,” said Hanbei, laughing at us. “I think I may have broken a sweat, too. Or maybe it was just yours spraying on my face.”
“You were no match for us from the start, Priestess,” said Kanbei. “By deciding to work separately like that, you were doomed to fail. Of course, if you worked together, I would not guarantee that you would be any better.”
Shuichi picked himself up as he grunted in pain. I held him in a relaxed position to ease his injuries.
“You shouldn’t strain yourself, Shuichi. We weren’t a match for them after all.”
“No, Shuko,” he croaked as he stood. “This fight isn’t over just yet.”
“Oh really?” mocked Hanbei. “Both of you are unable to fight us in your current state, or rather I say, you shouldn’t. I dislike killing people, but I still can’t ensure that I won’t accidentally kill you, ball-lover.”
“Besides, your pokémon don’t fare as well against the two of us either,” said Kanbei. “I pity them for being trapped inside your technology.”
It’s true. No matter what angle we looked at it, the two warlords and their chosen pokémon partners had a complete advantage over us as individuals. The only thing that would make us stronger than them would possibly be by fighting all of them together, not four one-on-one matches, but one four-on-four match.
But even then was a gamble. Shuichi and I are amateurs in comparison to these two. They worked together as strategists! There was no plan the two of us could outmatch them against.
“They’re wrong,” Shuichi grinned.
I grabbed Shuichi’s shoulder and looked him in the eye, focusing my attention on him to see if he really had lost his mind.
“Just look, Shuko,” he continued. “Muk hasn’t given up yet. That last physical attack the Pikachu used only hit his substitute. Pikachu doesn’t know that yet, though, because it’s too fast to realize it’s actually hitting a dummy that was already laid out. The substitute broke just now, leaving that pokémon in a state of disbelief.”
Sure enough, the Muk dummy that was placed on the ground disappeared. The Pikachu stopped and turned its head in several directions quickly, wondering where the Muk had gone. It appeared that Shuichi’s pokémon completely vanished. Hanbei also seemed to be worried, realizing his pokémon had been tricked.
“It’s like you said, Shuko, I have a poison type affinity. I’m still a little surprised that Muk is in fact my best linked partner, but that doesn’t matter. He didn’t have to tell me anything, but I just know exactly how he planned to attack that Pikachu. I felt it. He doesn’t give up a fight very easily. And neither will I.”
Muk revealed himself behind the confused Pikachu and slowly overshadowed the rodent with his sludgy body. The acid armor technique allowed him to sneak away and increase his defense by solidifying the sludge, also blending in with the ground like camouflage.
“You got this one, Roku!” shouted Shuichi.
“Roku?” the two warlords and I said in unison.
And with that, Muk found an incredible strength from hearing Shuichi’s words and smothered the Pikachu with his body, using the slam attack. When Muk crawled away from the pokémon, it had been knocked out unconscious.
“No way!” exclaimed Hanbei. “My Pikachu should’ve beaten your Muk! He’s faster than it!”
Shuichi shook his finger at Hanbei while smacking his tongue.
“Speed isn’t everything in a battle, kid. Sometimes, what makes the difference is strength, resilience, and the link one has with their pokémon!”
“A link?” I echoed. “That means–”
“That’s right, Shuko. My Muk has a name, though I’ve never called him by that name before. He is Specimen 617, but I would rather just call him by his first number, ‘Roku.’ I think it fits him well too, don’t you think?”
The Muk called “Roku” crawled toward Shuichi and stood by his side as he crouched down in another attack position.
“How about we have another go at this, boys?”
“I think he’s referring to you, Hanbei,” said Kanbei. “Clearly he has no idea how old you actually are.”
“Well that’s just absurd! I’ll have you know I look like any other strong men of my age. Besides, he’s referring to you, too.”
“Indeed. And it pisses me off to no end.”
I couldn’t tell, of course, because his face remained very expressionless. But now that Shuichi is ready to fight, I couldn’t be outdone.
Hotaru appears to also have been raring to go. The Pikachu miraculously recovered, but looked significantly weaker than before. Lampent seemed to have enjoyed itself as it hovered around Kanbei.
“Shuichi, let’s try this again,” I said. “But this time we fight together, if that’s okay with you.”
Shuichi grinned. “That goes without saying, sister.”