Chapter 20: Working Together
Fan Fiction inspired by Pokemon, Pokemon Conquest
Rating: Young Adult
I held an offensive position with my weapon’s chain held in my right hand, and its blade in my left. Roku staggered two steps in front of me, to make up for speed, at a diagonal so that he wouldn’t get in my way. Shuko held her shakujo with two hands, also in an attack position. Her Flareon, Hotaru, crouched a step in front of her to get a good lead off of us.
Our opponents faced us, positioning themselves in a similar strategic fashion. Pulling off teamwork for the first time would not be easy, but I have fought in a warrior battle with Roku before, and I’m sure Shuko has done the same with Hotaru. And maybe it’s because we are biological twins, granted fraternal ones, but sometimes I can feel like I know exactly what Shuko is thinking. We can manage to pull this off.
“Ready, sister?” I asked my battle partner.
“Of course, brother,” she replied.
“Then let’s finish this.”
Shuko and I charged at our opponents side by side. I spun the chain in my hand to prepare for another mid-range attack. Shuko’s Hotaru dashed at the same flank as Roku, while Roku steadily crawled his way forward.
Hanbei and Kanbei also charged at us at the same time with their offensive positions. The Lampent stayed behind their formation as the Pikachu took on Hotaru head-on. Pikachu made the first strike with a quick attack.
Hotaru jumped high up before Pikachu could make contact. Pikachu could not stop itself fast enough and hit Roku instead. Roku already prepared for that, of course, and countered the pokémon with his payback technique. Pikachu was sent flying backward in mid-air. Then Hotaru aimed his flamethrower on the ground where it would fall to make a direct hit.
Meanwhile, Shuko and I quickly switched places so that I would attack Kanbei and she would attack Hanbei. The two warlords anticipated this move and switched places also. The Lampent stayed closely behind both of them. Kanbei got ahead of his battle partner and readied his strike on Shuko. Shuko would normally have blocked his swing with her own staff, but she dodged it instead, leaving Kanbei open for my attack.
With enough momentum, I swung my chain at Kanbei’s bo. The chains tethered around it as planned, as I tightened it from the blade in my other hand. Kanbei had dropped his guard and was stuck without being able to freely swing his staff. I tugged further on the chain and forced the bo out of his hands.
Hanbei had been kicking away at Shuko, but Shuko dodged or blocked every attack he used with her shakujo. She in turn swung a few times at him with the staff, but he also managed to dodge them. He was certainly very agile.
“Roku, conceal yourself again!” I shouted to my Muk.
My pokémon obeyed and vanished temporarily with acid armor.
“Planning to attack me from behind with that pokémon?” said Hanbei, still preoccupied by Shuko’s swings. “I’m well aware of your Muk’s tricks now. You won’t be able to use them on me again!”
Shuko swung one last time and jumped backwards away from Hanbei. Hanbei moved to chase her, knowing that if he stayed in one place, Roku would trap him with his sticky sludge body.
Lampent used the incinerate attack in front of Shuko’s path, mainly to stop her from moving on ahead so that Hanbei could catch up. Shuko’s back had been turned the whole time, but not once did she drop her guard. Hanbei crossed her at her left side and went for another hooking punch. Shuko pivoted her torso to face him and countered the attack with the back end of her shakujo, leaving a heavy impact on his stomach!
Hanbei recoiled and stepped backward while holding his slender gut. Roku revealed himself from the ground at Hanbei’s feet and grabbed him.
“Good job, Roku!” I cheered. “That’s my pokémon!”
Hanbei gave me a disgusted look, both because he had realized he had been tricked and because Muk really smells once he comes into contact with someone.
In the meantime, Kanbei managed to pick himself up and grab his bo again. Lampent, too, had accompanied him. Pikachu was left alone, but appeared to have lost all of its energy from the battle against Roku and Hotaru earlier.
“Just two of them left, huh, brother?” said Shuko calmly.
I nodded and signaled Roku to stay where he was and make sure that Hanbei didn’t move. He obeyed.
“So that’s how it is,” said Kanbei. “Very well. I will use an ability of my own.”
Kanbei held his bo above his head and twirled it horizontally in the air with amazing rotary speed. The winds around him seemed to pick up as the dirt clouded around him. Lampent, of course, was unaffected, since it’s a ghost type. What exactly did he mean by his own ability?
Shuko ordered Hotaru to attack Kanbei from behind while he was still in his alleged trance. Hotaru refused, probably thinking there was some kind of trap. Shuko had tried to channel her affinity into the rings of her shakujo when she had realized something.
“My rings aren’t glowing!” she said surprised. “That’s never happened before! Hotaru can’t understand how I feel now.”
Kanbei gave a subtle and not so obvious grin.
“That’s because of my ability,” he said. “By channeling my own affinity on the field, all other warriors’ affinities are negated. I call this ability ‘extinguish.’”
“That’s impossible,” said Shuko. “I’ve never heard of a warrior being able to use his affinity for something like that!”
“Well then it’s best you learn it now then,” said Kanbei. “Many warriors of Ransei can attune to their affinities through spiritual training and with their weapons for unique abilities such as mine, and believe me, some of theirs are far more powerful too. That’s why I have to compensate by negating them.”
Kanbei stopped twirling his bo and returned it to a defensive position in front of him.
“If you wish to defeat Lampent and me, you will have to try something else. Your bond with your pokémon means nothing now!”
“Well, that’s too bad for you if that’s what you think, Kanbei,” I grinned. “Shuko, you won’t be able to fight him as a warrior. However, you might have a chance if you fought him as a trainer.”
Shuko turned to me in astonishment.
“How can you be so sure?” she asked.
“Hotaru might share a bond with you through your affinity, but he’s still a pokémon caught with ball technology. Pokéballs are useful in concealing pokémon so that you can travel easier with them, but they’re also designed so that the creature inside can share a friendship with the person who carries it. Use that to your advantage.”
Shuko nodded. Hotaru may not be able to understand Shuko wordlessly, as most warriors do when multitasking with commands and fighting at the same time in the heat of battle, but Hotaru could still potentially obey commands if Shuko said them out loud.
“Hotaru, use quick attack on the warlord from behind!” shouted Shuko.
Hotaru cringed, still thinking it was dangerous.
“Don’t worry, Hotaru, I will protect you. He won’t stand a chance if we work together!”
“Silly woman,” said Kanbei. “By announcing your commands to your pokémon, I know what kind of strategy you’re about to pull. Lampent and I are prepared for it all.”
Shuko didn’t say another word. She kept her eyes on Kanbei and dashed toward him in an attack position, shakujo in her hands. I also dashed at Kanbei, chain in my right hand, spinning to gain momentum. Kanbei appeared to be ready for a counter attack against both of us, and Lampent was also ready for an attack. Hotaru seemed to have figured out our plan and obeyed by dashing from behind Kanbei.
Shuko made the first contact with Kanbei by swinging her shakujo. Kanbei blocked her with his own weapon as he quickly countered her. They went off on another trade for blows, blocking and countering, countering and blocking.
Lampent stayed behind Kanbei, keeping a watchful eye on Hotaru. As Hotaru continued to dash toward both Lampent and Kanbei, he jumped forward for his next attack. Lampent countered the attack with hex.
“No, Kanbei, you dolt!” shouted Hanbei. “That’s exactly what the enemy wants you to do!”
Hanbei was exactly right. Without another thought, Shuko forced Kanbei into a dodge by low-kicking him. This gave Shuko a small break in the crossing she had done so that she could give another command.
“Now, Hotaru, use the crunch attack on Lampent!”
Since Hotaru is a Flareon, most of his attacks are normal and fire type. Normal attacks don’t work against ghost types, and because of Lampent’s flash fire ability, fire attacks only boost the power of its own fire attacks. The ability known as crunch, however, is a dark type move by nature. Not only can ghosts become susceptible to this attack, it’s quite effective against them.
Hotaru grabbed hold of Lampent and bit his opponent with his fierce fangs. Lampent shrieked from the attack and revealed its solid state. That’s when I took the opportunity to swing my chain length directly at the pokémon and make contact with its normally amorphous body. The chain wrapped around Lampent’s body, immobilizing it from making any more attacks.
Shuko and Kanbei had been in another crossing match as this had gone on, but Shuko made the final blow by knocking her opponent out with a counter to his torso. Kanbei let go of his bo from the impact. Shuko turned her shakujo around, with the pole end in front, and feinted her last blow against Kanbei’s face.
Kanbei didn’t move or say another word and froze. The battle was over.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Shuko and I returned our pokémon and helped our opponents up from their shocking defeats. Hanbei and Kanbei were disappointed in themselves, but accepted their loss.
“I hate to lose,” said Hanbei, “but I guess it’s better than having to kill someone. The castle is yours, Lady Shuko, as is the kingdom of Aurora.”
Shuko and I cheered as we gave each other a high-five. It seems that Jun, Amy, and the other warlords had been spectating above us the whole time, also cheering from their overhead seats. There were also a few other folks watching, probably other dignitaries, as they gave us smiles as well.
With the battle over, the warlords and some other spectators came to see us. Jun and the warlords in Greenleaf came to congratulate us personally. Amy shook Shuko’s hand and gave me a huge hug.
“I’m so glad you’re safe, Shuichi,” she said.
I couldn’t respond. I felt like I couldn’t breathe from the fatigue of battle as well as her embrace.
“Well done,” said one of the female spectators who had been standing behind Hanbei, Kanbei, and their pokémon. “I was very impressed with your performance, Lady Shuko. And yours as well, Sir Ginkgo.”
Sir Ginkgo? I guess Jun had spoken to her while the match was going on and told her my University alias. The “sir” part I don’t quite get, but it was nice to know I had some kind of title amongst them.
The lady introduced herself as Ina. She was once an officer to the former warlord of Valora, a kingdom to the east. She had a very beautiful face, as well as a slender figure, that was covered in steel armor. Her partner pokémon was an Empoleon, a water and steel type that had a very small beak like a bird, but fins and webbed feet for appendages.
Amy gave me a sinister stare, as if threatening me if I showed any sign of being aroused by her. I bowed before Ina without staring instead.
Ina was accompanied by two men and a young woman who looked more like a girl. All of them were once officers of previous warlords, and they all seemed adamant about getting their kingdoms back, just like Muneshige, Kanetsugu, and Oichi.
The handsome-looking guy who seemed to enjoy sweet-talking Shuko and Amy is Magoichi. He was the top officer of the previous warlord of Avia, south of Valora. Despite his charming demeanor, his body appeared to have been tattered over the years, probably from the many battles he had participated in. With him were two pokémon of his own: Carnivine and Grovyle, two grass types.
The masked figure with them is Hanzo, an officer of the former warlord of Viperia, a kingdom of ninjas southeast of Avia. He didn’t say much, but he also seemed to be very fit from battles he had been in for so many years. With him is his pokémon Gengar, a ghost and poison type.
The girlish one of the bunch is Gracia. She is the daughter of the former warlord of Nixtorm, northwest of Valora. While she had an elevated social status from her father, she did not appear very good in combat at all. With her is Gothorita, a humanoid psychic type pokémon.
“So if you are all from kingdoms to the east, what brings you here to observe these two in Aurora?” asked Jun.
“We are officers of the warlords during our brief period of peace,” replied Ina. “We are the leaders of the Resistance. And we have a proposal for you, Sir Ginkgo.”