Chapter 23: The Dancing Warlord
Fan Fiction inspired by Pokemon, Pokemon Conquest
Rating: Young Adult
I helped Amy put on her pink kimono that she borrowed from the gym. She insisted that she would help me out with mine as well, but I refused.
“You don’t trust me with the folds and knots, do you, Shuichi?”
“No, it’s not that,” I said embarrassingly. “I just don’t know what you would do if you saw me dress up.”
“What’s the difference? It’s not like I haven’t seen your indecent parts before. Now hold still and let me do it.”
Amy rapidly took my clothes off until all that was left was my underwear. She ignored any signs of arousal from me, even though they were clearly shown.
“How long are you going to take, Lord Shuichi?” said Gracia’s voice outside of our bedroom.
Gracia opened the door slightly and took a peek.
“At this rate we’re going to be late for the show and—what the?”
Gracia screamed at the top of her lungs as she proceeded to call me a pervert who couldn’t control his sexual desires. Amy grew furious and pounded me over the head.
“What was that for?” I asked. “It was her fault!”
“No, it’s your fault you’re so hesitant in changing in front of me! We could’ve been done by now if you didn’t argue with me, and Gracia wouldn’t have seen you like this! You really do enjoy making me feel this way, don’t you?”
Amy recklessly finished tying my obi as my kimono had been complete. It was tight, but I could still breathe and move toward the mirror.
“Wow, you did a pretty good job,” I said to Amy.
“See? I can do this after all, because I’m a genius.”
“Yeah, except that all of these folds are wrong.”
Amy glared at me, as if challenging me to admit that she made a mistake. Normally I would let it go, but for something as important as dressing up for a distinguished warlord, I had to tell her.
“You dressed me up as if I was a girl, Amy. I’ll fix it myself now, thanks.”
“Like hell you will!”
As I started doing the correct folds on my kimono and the obi, Amy quickly took my hands away and finished them herself. She managed to fold the men’s style correctly, but the knots felt tighter than ever! I tried walking around, but felt too tense to take a single step. Amy sighed.
“Let’s go, Shuichi. We have a show to watch.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
We arrived in Spectra promptly, thanks to a couple of carriages drawn by powerful Bastiodons, lizard-like rock and steel type pokémon with thick thick skulls like shields. Amy and I came to the castle along with Ina and Gracia. Hanzo stayed behind with some of the other assassins to protect the Valora kingdom.
I never did mind having a bunch of girls around, seeing that that’s how I grew up in the Celadon City Gym as the only male member. Of course, back then, none of the girls gave me the time of day and proceeded to find ways to make my life miserable. Now I have a girlfriend, a retainer, and a stalker that all seem to be interested in me in other ways, and they were trying to get rid of each other rather than trying to get rid of me. I felt so miserable.
“Hurry up, Lord Shuichi,” said Ina. “Let’s get our seats quickly.”
We entered Spectra’s castle to a large amphitheater. Statues of the ghost pokémon Misdreavus aligned every aisle. The seats had been crowded with the men, women, and children of Spectra, all of them cheering for the coming of their warlord’s performance. The dimming light of torches guided us to our seats at the very front of the stage. The show hadn’t started yet, so we managed to sit down on time.
Amy sat next to me on my right as Ina sat on my left. Gracia sat next to Ina, glaring at the three of us. Oh, Hanzo, why could you not be here to balance things out between these women?
“And now, the moment you have all been waiting for,” said a male announcer on stage, adorned in a wonderful kimono. “Please welcome your one and only, Lady Okuni, the Dancing Warlord!”
The crowd applauded around us at the opening of the show. I sat back to try and relax, given my current situation, so that I may watch the show.
And then she came out. Lady Okuni, a petite-looking woman, carrying a parasol, standing in a poised position before me. She had also dressed in kimono, as the four of us also were, with elegant charms in her hair that chimed as she moved. Accompanying her were a few other actresses, but clearly she was the main event.
Erika organized the Celadon City Gym to refine girls in four different classes. Diana went to flower arranging on Mondays. I occasionally went to poetry on Tuesdays. Rika, Amy, and I graduated from Tea Ceremony on Thursdays. The only other activity was traditional dance on Wednesdays, just like this.
As a senior member and one of Erika’s only vassals as a pokémon warrior, I had the privilege of watching some of the girls dance for the senior member exams. They were pretty good, but Lady Okuni here was truly in a class of her own.
Every step, every movement, every expression felt graceful and pleasing to the eye. And what’s more is that she looked completely relaxed as she smiled warmly during the entire performance. The girls I saw during the senior member exam always looked stressed, wondering if they were doing the right steps and making the right moves. Lady Okuni, on the other hand, not only perfected her routine, but she recovered beautifully from even her most obvious mistakes, as if it was all intentional and part of the act.
Lady Okuni glanced at me from the stage and gave me a charming wink. I watched in awe of her as she moved. Amy, however, noticed a bulge coming out from below my waist and glared at me sinisterly. I shook my head violently to calm down. Amy seemed to feel a little better about that.
And then came the star pokémon of the performance. Lady Okuni held out an object in her hand that looked unfamiliar to Ransei.
“Could it be?” I said under my breath.
And before I could grasp the words for it, the warlord released her pokémon from the object. Out came a Volcarona, a bug and fire type pokémon that was larger than most others with its warm body. But more importantly, Lady Okuni used a pokéball! Was she like Amy and me? Was she, how the others would put it, a ball-lover?
The Volcarona twirled around at the center of the stage along with the twirling of Lady Okuni’s parasol. The pokémon’s wings fluttered gracefully to match its trainer’s movements. It was an incredible sight to watch.
And then came the finale. The Volcarona released a massive level of fire from its warm body and spun around rapidly. This was the fiery dance technique. It does a fair amount of fire damage, but the technique also empowers the pokémon eloquently and makes it more vibrant than ever before. This was the first time I laid eyes on this beautiful attack, and to think I saw it as part of a stage performance.
As the flames died down and the sky lit up from the remaining sparks, the show had ended. The crowd roared in excitement, as did Ina and Gracia. Amy and I also applauded. That Lady Okuni truly was something else.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
We thought the show was over, but then Lady Okuni surprised us all. She closed her parasol and pointed it directly at me.
“So, you must be the new leader of that group that’s been threatening Lord Takahiro around here, am I right?” she asked me.
I gulped. I didn’t have the courage to answer her.
“And you want the kingdom of Spectra to join in your Resistance, am I right?”
I nodded shyly.
“Well then, pretty boy, why don’t you join me on this stage and let the people decide if that’s what they really want.”
I thought this was a trap, but Lady Okuni’s smile was sincere and kind, as if this is what she had intended this whole time by having us be here. But before I could get out of my seat, Amy stood up quickly and pushed me back down.
“Don’t do it, Shuichi, she intends on battling you for the kingdom. And if what Lady Ina’s been saying is true, it’ll be a regular pokémon battle, just like the ones in Kanto and Sinnoh.”
Lady Okuni kept smiling, not denying that this was indeed her intentions for me. Ina had a look of indifference, as if she had known all along about this plan as well. Gracia looked around at everyone nervously, as if she had no idea what was going on.
“As Lord Shuichi’s girlfriend, I will challenge you on his behalf.”
Lady Okuni opened her mouth wide, in shock. But then she quickly returned to normal and smiled again.
“So, you’re the new warlord’s girlfriend, huh? And such a lovely lady you are, too. I guess it can’t be helped that you would want to protect your precious ‘Shuichi.’”
“Don’t use his name so casually! You don’t even know him!”
“Oh, I’ll get to know him. As soon as I get this over with.”
Amy climbed onto the stage in her bright pink kimono. She already had her pokéballs ready at her side. Lady Okuni stood opposite of her and faced her with perfect posture, but still focused on a fight.
“I accept your challenge, Ms. Shuichi’s girlfriend,” said Okuni. “I’ve traveled a lot already, even beyond the shores of Ransei. I know about your trainer battles and your pokéballs, and I am happy to say I enjoy those kind of battles over the warlord fights that ravage this land. We’ll have a singles match with two pokémon each, right here on this stage. The winner gets this castle and Shuichi’s heart.”
“You can’t be serious!” I cried, sweating profusely. “Leave me out of this!”
“Very well then, Lady Okuni,” said Amy.
I held my head down dejectedly. I can’t believe Amy would go for such a promise like that.
“But I’ll have you know that you’ve made a mistake accepting my challenge,” said Amy. “I work in the administrative branch of the Pokémon League Trainers Association, and I was a champion in three regional tournaments! I won’t lose, even with one pokémon.”
The announcer from earlier stood at center stage for the trainer battle, acting as a judge. I don’t know where Lady Okuni learned about our battling customs, but she seemed to be a master of it herself already. Amy had better be careful.
Amy and Okuni released their pokémon. Amy released her Rhyperior as Okuni released her Volcarona. This was an obvious choice for Okuni, seeing that she has a strong link with it already. However, Amy’s Rhyperior is a rock and ground type, which has a clear advantage against Volcarona. Amy also has a strong bond with Rhyperior since she also has a rock affinity.
The announcer restated the rules approved by the two combatants to the audience. I shouldn’t be too worried about Amy, since she is a genius. Still, I wasn’t very certain what Okuni was capable of yet. And if Amy’s not careful enough, any mistakes she makes could be crucial. Please Amy, please win this.
“Let the battle begin!”
The crowd went wild as the announcer shouted the words, and the two opponents on stage prepared their strategies.
“Volcarona, let’s start things off with your quiver dance,” said Okuni.
Volcarona twirled its body around nervously, but still coordinated a pattern within its awkward steps.
“That’s no good,” replied Amy. “Let’s finish this with a physical attack, Rhyperior! Use rock slide!”
Rhyperior obeyed as she grabbed some Misdreavus statues near her and threw the debris at Volcarona with one shot. The stone debris fell around Volcarona, but the large bug pokémon dodged every last object as it quickly maneuvered around the area. Rhyperior’s attack missed!
“Good job, Volcarona, my girl!” said Okuni cheerfully. “Now attack Rhyperior with fiery dance!”
So Volcarona’s a female, too. Interesting.
Volcarona twirled around, releasing fire around her body, just like during the performance. The audience cheered as they watched in astonishment for the pokémon’s dance a second time. This time, however, the fires were more dangerous, as Volcarona danced ever closer to Rhyperior.
“Rhyperior, counter it with bulldoze!” Amy retaliated.
Rhyperior stomped about and aimed her head at the fired-up pokémon. Both of them made contact with each other to do some damage. Volcarona slowed down considerably, but appeared to still be ready to fight. Rhyperior didn’t have much of a scratch on her.
“Volcarona, hit that Rhyperior with silver wind!” commanded Okuni.
Volcarona let out a violent storm of insect spray that spread directly around Rhyperior. The silvery mist had also clouded Amy’s vision on the stage as she shielded her eyes with her sleeve.
“Rhyperior, burrow underground now!” said Amy.
With her massive claws, Rhyperior dug into the stage and dug a hole beneath it. Volcarona and Okuni looked around, wondering where the pokémon would pop up. When opportunity struck, Rhyperior revealed herself directly behind Volcarona.
“Good job, Rhyperior,” said Amy. “Now finish off that Volcarona with rock wrecker!”
Rhyperior lowered her head and with all her strength rammed into Volcarona, forcing the pokémon unable to battle. Rhyperior had grown tired and had to rest from the impact. The crowd jeered as their beloved warlord lost the first pokémon of the match.
Okuni returned Volcarona and smiled.
“You did a good job, Volcarona. I’ll give you all the snacks you want when this is all over.”
Amy, on the other hand, started to feel nervous. Rhyperior may have won the match, but she did not look so good afterward. She had also taken a considerable amount of damage.
“By the way, Shuichi’s girlfriend, I suggest you return your Rhyperior as well,” said Okuni.
“I have a name, it’s Amy! And like I said before, I only need one pokémon to finish you off!”
“So you would let your pride get in the way of your pokémon?” said Okuni. “You so-called ‘pokémon trainers’ take pride in the peace you have in battles such as this, but neglect the conditions of your pokémon. I like the lifestyle, but I will always put my pokémon first. That is the burden that we must face as pokémon warriors.”
Rhyperior had been too tired to move, but not just from the rock wrecker technique. Rhyperior had also been burned from Volcarona’s flame body ability. Still, Amy did not want to return her because she promised herself to win with only one pokémon. She let her pride get in the way.
“If you won’t return your Rhyperior, then I’ll just go on the offensive again!” said Okuni.
The dancing warlord released her second pokémon: a Scolipede. I remember encountering one before while I was in the Unova region. Scolipede in a large poisonous bug type with multiple legs. Its strength not only lies in its poison, but also in its exoskeleton that it uses to ram enemies down when it curls into a ball.
“Scolipede, finish off your opponent with steam roller!” said Okuni.
Amy looked nervous, but still shouted a command.
“Get up Rhyperior! Attack with rock slide!”
Rhyperior was unresponsive. She was still tired from the rock wrecker attack and she was burned. Meanwhile, Scolipede came in at full force, curled in a giant ball. Amy looked away as the Scolipede rolled right over Rhyperior for massive damage. Our judge ruled Rhyperior unable to fight and the crowd cheered again.
Amy fell on her knees and wept as she returned her injured pokémon.
“I’m sorry, Rhyperior. Please forgive me.”
I couldn’t sit idly by any longer. I got up on the stage and put my hand on Amy’s shoulder.
“Come on, Amy, it’s not over yet.”
“It is too, Shuichi! I promised her I would only use one pokémon!”
I shook my head.
“You promised yourself that, Amy. Promises aren’t easy to keep, especially when you make it to yourself. This match is still a two-on-two battle, and you still have pokémon that can fight. Okuni is still ready to battle, agreeing to a trainer’s battle in Ransei. Are you still ready to fight, Amy?”
Amy nodded as she wiped away her tears. I smiled and helped her up by grabbing her hand.
“Show that warlord what it means to be Pokémon League champion.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Amy released her second pokémon, Luxray. This was definitely her best choice. Her Sneasel would be at a disadvantage against a bug type, not to mention he wasn’t fully evolved; not to mention, Shuko explained to us earlier that Luxray is her best linked pokémon.
“A Luxray, huh?” said Okuni. “I can feel the atmosphere of this battle changing already with that pokémon. She must be your strongest pokémon.”
“Not only that, but she is also the one partner I trust the most,” said Amy. “I won’t lose for sure this time.”
Okuni grinned without a reply. Scolipede simply stomped on the ground with some of its feet to provoke the opponent.
“Luxray, quick attack!” began Amy.
Luxray increased her speed and dashed directly into Scolipede.
“Alright, Scolipede, use toxic!” said Okuni.
Scolipede secreted a poisonous liquid from its legs and came into contact with Luxray. Luxray had been poisoned.
“Luxray, come back to me now!” said Amy.
Luxray returned to her trainer who had already prepared an antidote from an item ball. Amy applied the antidote onto Luxray and healed her.
“Ah, so you do have some love for your pokémon,” commented Okuni. “That’s very good of you, Ms. Amy. However, it’s still not good enough. Scolipede, prepare yourself with defense curl.”
Scolipede curled up in a ball to protect itself and harden its shell.
“Alright, let’s get back in there, Luxray. Hit that Scolipede with thunder!”
With new-found energy, Luxray emitted a large electrical pulse from her body to cause a storm around her. She aimed a series of thunderbolts directly at the Scolipede, but the attack missed because it’s more uncontrollable.
“Perfect, Scolipede, now use rollout!” countered Okuni.
“Avoid it with double team.”
Scolipede stayed in its ball form and malevolently rolled about the battlefield. Luxray tried to dodge it by confusing the target with afterimages, but Scolipede couldn’t see its opponent in the first place. Scolipede made a direct hit on Luxray, knocking her aback with a decent amount of damage.
“Attack with shock wave.”
Luxray let out another burst of electric energy. The blast followed Scolipede and hit it perfectly. Despite the damage, Scolipede continued to use rollout and hit Luxray for even more damage.
“Hang in there, Luxray,” said Amy. “Discharge!”
Luxray let out all the energy she had stored up and attacked within a large radius around her body. Scolipede was hit by the attack, but endured and used rollout again.
“Avoid it with double team,” said Amy one more time.
Luxray quickly made evasive maneuvers again. Scolipede went for another strike, but missed and uncoiled its body.
“No, Scolipede!” shrieked Okuni.
“Perfect!” said Amy. “Now attack it one more time with spark.”
Luxray dashed into Scolipede as she charged her body with more electricity. Scolipede curled itself into a ball again to protect itself, but it was too late. Luxray tackled into Scolipede with an extra jolt, making a critical hit.
Scolipede fainted and was declared unable to battle. Amy had won.
Amy grinned from her victory. Okuni sighed sorrowfully, but still smiled as she returned her Scolipede. The crowd cheered for the completion of the pokémon battle.
“Well I guess I lost, fair and square,” said Okuni. “As promised, the castle belongs to you, Shuichi. And if you would like, you may also have me, too.”
My face felt like it got warmer from embarrassment.
“Thanks for the offer, Lady Okuni,” I said shyly.
“Oh please, you can just call me Okuni,” she replied coyly.
“Right. Well actually, I want you to join the Resistance. The other warlords and I want to reunite the eastern kingdoms from the tyranny of Lord Takahiro. We believe that you, a warlord that envisions peace and has the love of the people would be a great asset to our cause.”
“Oh, that’s so disappointing,” pouted Okuni. “But no matter. I will gladly join the Resistance.”
My face cooled down and lit up in a different kind of excitement.
“You really will?”
“That’s right, Shuichi. I never had a problem with the Resistance before, but I needed a convincing leader to join their cause. And you seem cute enough. From now on, I will follow you and only you, Shuichi, as a member of the Resistance.”
Amy, who had stood quietly for a while, finally burst into anger.
“You will not get anywhere near Shuichi, you hear?”
Okuni backed away with an uneasy smile. I didn’t want to intimidate a new ally, but I’m glad Amy can stand her ground like that. That’s what I love about her.
“You know, Ms. Amy, you’re pretty good with your pokémon,” said Gracia. “I’m so pathetic, I can’t even battle alongside Gothorita as a warrior.”
Amy patted Gracia’s head as if she were a child. Gracia didn’t particularly like that.
“Don’t worry, Gracia. I’ll be glad to teach you my techniques in being a pokémon trainer.”
Gracia’s eyes lit up, almost as if they were sparkling.
“Of course. Shuichi will need all the help he can get from all of you. And I will support him in the best ways I can. After all, I am his girlfriend.”