Chapter 28: Thunderclap
Fan Fiction inspired by Pokemon, Pokemon Conquest
Rating: Young Adult
There was no time to waste. I did not like the situation I was placed in, nor did I want to witness what I had seen. Still, I had to know why. Why Lord Jun was so adamant on taking control of this campaign. What are his plans? What is he aiming for?
Who are you, Lord Jun?
Ujitaro and Hotaru dashed on my left and right flanks, while Muneshige and his Emolga held the front. Magoichi and his Carnivine took care of the rear.
Our small squad rushed through the streets of Violight, quickly fending off friends, foes, and bystanders alike in haste. I ordered them to not kill any humans or pokémon. We seem to concur with that, even if their reasoning was only because it would slow them down.
It was terrifying. I thought the smells were bad, but seeing it up close only made it worse. Soldiers on either side stabbing each other. Greenleaf soldiers looting abandoned homes, and then setting fire to them. Reckless soldiers on both sides, harming civilians inexplicably. Pokémon fighting with much harsher intent than the pokémon found in Sinnoh, ordered by their partners to kill, used like tools.
This was the conditioning that pokémon and humans had centuries ago, before implementing rules from the Pokémon League Authority. Ransei has kept up with that tradition to this day.
I felt even worse for Ujitaro and Hotaru. We trained for years at the temple for potential combat situations in the case we had to fight together, but never in our simulations did we encourage them to kill another. What was going on in their heads?
Two rings on Sangen glowed green and red as their feelings channeled to my own. Our experiences were no different, but we continued to run together.
We wept in silence, but steeled our hearts as we made our way to the castle. This, too, was part of our training.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Muneshige and Emolga ran up the castle steps to the throne room. That was where we expected to find Lord Shoun. Magoichi held our backs for a while as he fended off Violight guards and electric pokémon. It comes to no surprise that the Greenleaf forces were already causing pandemonium within the castle walls. As soon as we noticed this, Magoichi broke formation to assist the rest of the forces.
Lord Jun had to be here. He may be a ninja, but he will draw himself out eventually. He had to.
After running countless flights of stairs, we arrived at the highest point of the castle. My pokémon and I panted as we climbed to the top. My energy was significantly drained, but Muneshige stood on guard, eyes focused solely on our enemy.
And there he was: Lord Shoun, the current leader of the Tachibana clan, the warlord of Violight. He was much older than I had imagined him in Muneshige’s telling of the stories, a generation older than us. In his frail, but burly hands was a war fan. On his back was a long sword, much like Muneshige’s. Standing before him was a single pokémon: a tall and proud Ampharos. Lord Shoun stepped forward, his boots loudly making contact with the floor.
“Ah, Muneshige my boy,” he said. “I never expected to see you alive.”
Muneshige remained steadfast, sword drawn.
“I always knew this day would come, Father.”
“Father?” I exclaimed. “You never mentioned he was your father!”
“He isn’t!” said Muneshige defensively. “He merely impregnated my mother, only to have me live under the care of the Tachibana clan. I always thought it was a political pact between our clans, but I was wrong. You were after the throne this whole time, weren’t you, Shoun?”
Shoun grinned wickedly.
“That’s no way to speak to the man who gave you life—”
“Enough! Let’s put an end to this, here and now!”
Muneshige switched to an attacking position. His Emolga followed suit and hovered in the air before him. Shoun and his Ampharos responded in a similar fashion.
“Well, if you’re in such a hurry to die, allow me to do the honors,” he said.
Emolga and Ampharos charged at each other first, thunderous energy surging from their bodies. Emolga flew high up to the ceiling as Ampharos unleashed his first attack. Lightning from within the throne room shook the flooring and damaged the walls. Emolga is an electric type, but he is also a flying type. He was clearly at a disadvantage in this battle, but if Muneshige had brought Staraptor instead, there would have been much more trouble.
“You always were a failure to Violight, Muneshige,” said Lord Shoun. “Say goodbye to your flying rodent!”
A bolt of lightning from Ampharos hit Emolga square in the chest. Emolga felt it, but instead of falling from his flight, the charge around his body grew in intensity. The thunder bolt attack didn’t damage him, but rather helped him! Emolga swiftly absorbed the rest of Ampharos’ lightning strikes before producing a ball of electric energy for himself. He collected all of the energy into a single round, just a few centimeters in diameter, and hurled it at the enemy pokémon.
Lord Shoun responded quickly by drawing the long sword from his back, raising it like a lightning rod to deflect and absorb Emolga’s attack. Ampharos remained unscathed as Emolga flew around aimlessly, confused as to what just happened. As this all happened, Lord Shoun let go of the war fan in his other hand to guard himself and gain more control of the sword, gripping both hands around it. Muneshige charged forward with his own weapon and crossed his father. As they clanged, the metal burst into a loud cackling, with sparks resonating about them. I had never witnessed such a sight before, until I realized the striking resemblances between their weapons.
Muneshige’s and Shoun’s swords looked exactly the same.
“How dare you use her blade,” said Muneshige angrily. “Was taking the throne from her not enough?”
Shoun backed off from Muneshige as they both caught their breaths.
“Look at you, boy,” he said. “All those years, and you still think you’re part of the Tachibana clan. They never accepted you, boy. Dosetsu was fool enough to take you in as his own, but you were always mine.”
Muneshige stood on guard as Emolga hovered by him with the same, aggressive intent.
“Put down the blade, boy. You’re not worthy of its power. You never were! These twin blades, Raichi and Raiji, were forged from the Thunder God himself. Only one with an electric affinity like me is allowed to wield it. Now put it down.”
Muneshige frowned and sweat profusely, but he ignored his face and held a firm grip around his weapon.
“I will not,” whispered Muneshige.
“What did you say?”
Muneshige regained his strength and stood high.
“Ginchiyo and I wielded these blades all these years with pride for the Tachibana clan, for Violight. We shared many victories and losses, even to the very end. And even after we parted on that day, she had only one heartfelt wish: that I would live for her!”
My heart jumped as if the very sparks from Muneshige’s aura resonated with me. Did what I say to him truly make him stronger? Or has he always felt that way for his wife?
“So long as I still draw breath,” said Muneshige, “I will never let go of this sword.”
I was still tired from the trip we made to get to the throne room, but Ujitaro, Hotaru, and I already knew not to intervene. This was Muneshige’s fight. This was for him alone, the successor of the Tachibana clan, the Champion of Violight. I stepped back to observe them; and it seems their pokémon did the same without question.
“Then I guess it’s pointless to get our pokémon involved, huh boy?” said Lord Shoun. “No matter how many times they attack, Raichi and Raiji will absorb every last blow.”
Muneshige held Raiji with both hands with every intention to strike his father down.
“You want this blade, you’ll have to fight me for it,” said Muneshige. “I’m ready for you, Lord Shoun.”
The father and son shouted in rage as they crossed each other again and again in their duel. Emolga and Ampharos waited patiently as more thunder clapped from their swords than from their pokémon. Muneshige seemed to have the upper hand as he was much more youthful, but Shoun clearly held on by demonstrating his level of experience.
After a round of over twenty strikes, the two backed away to regain their energy.
“You’ve always been a troublesome child,” said Lord Shoun. “I was going to kill you right away, but maybe I’ll tell you about what happened after you left. What happened to your beloved wife, Ginchiyo!”
My eyes widened. Lord Shoun’s deceiving talents could not be underestimated.
“No, Muneshige! Don’t listen to him!”
But Muneshige didn’t listen to me. His eyes were solely focused on his father’s.
“After forming a pact with Lord Takahiro, I personally had many high-ranking members of the Tachibana clan assassinated,” he began. “I originally wanted to succeed by having you, my son, move up within their ranks, but you started to like them and I grew impatient. Sure, I spared the lives of some of the clan members who supported me, by turning them against their clan leader, Ginchiyo. But after you left us, I decided to spare her life, too.”
“Don’t let him get to you, Muneshige!” I cried. “That’s what he wants!”
“After she had found herself alone and defeated, I held her frail body in my arms and gladly took her to her bedroom myself. And boy, did we have lots of fun.”
Muneshige held a tighter grip on his weapon as his aura escalated into a frenzied rage.
“But I guess, she was a poor sport,” shrugged Lord Shoun casually. “She was very uncooperative and never said a kind word. I planned on keeping her as the Queen of Violight, but she decided to take her life instead. Well that’s too bad for her.”
“He’s lying, Muneshige!” I shouted, trying to get him to snap out of it.
“Am I, young priestess?” said Shoun as he turned his gaze toward me. “You can’t be certain of that yourself, can you? Maybe Muneshige has been sleeping around with you, hasn’t he?”
I reached my limit. Lord Shoun needed to be stopped right away. Even if his words were true, his actions could not be tolerated.
“Making light of such things is wrong and immoral!”
Ujitaro and Hotaru responded to my anger by charging directly at Lord Shoun and his Ampharos.
“People like you make me sick! I’ll send you to Hell myself to pay for your crimes!”
Hotaru fired a flamethrower attack at Lord Shoun as Ujitaro swiftly used leaf blade against Ampharos. The Ampharos responded with a thunder punch while Lord Shoun dodge the flame. I took advantage of this by charging at Lord Shoun myself, ready to strike him quickly with my shakujo. I never felt this much hate before. I wanted him to hurt. I wanted him to feel the pain. I wanted him to suffer in retribution!
But then, Muneshige burst from his standing position and attacked Lord Shoun in haste. He was brisk, but his actions were reckless. Lord Shoun had successfully blinded his judgment as Muneshige attacked him without any precision. The warlord grinned as he dodged and parried all of Muneshige’s attacks. I could not intervene, for I would be attacked too.
Ujitaro had a strong hold against Ampharos as Hotaru jumped forth and bit the opponent with fiery fangs. They, too, were blinded by the rage I had built up. Was this the path I wanted to forge when I started this ambitious campaign?
I shook my head and held my shakujo toward them once more. The rings glowed red and green as I tried to calm their rage with my own feelings. The two of them didn’t stop, but they pushed back their aggression and left the Ampharos mangled.
One problem solved, but how can I reach Muneshige? He wouldn’t be swayed by his father’s words so easily, could he? What if it was true? What if Lord Shoun did rape Lady Ginchiyo? How would Muneshige make amends? How could he find his own justice through an unforgivable act?
Please, Muneshige. Don’t let the past get to you. Do as your wife has wished.
Muneshige swung his sword one more time when Lord Shoun left himself wide open. This was to be the killing blow, but for some reason, he stopped. There was no indication to me that he heard me, but he also showed no signs of wrath from before. Muneshige had taken a step back and finally took a breath. Perhaps he was trying to regain his focus?
“You’re a fool, Muneshige,” said Lord Shoun. “Farewell.”
Lord Shoun stepped back as he repositioned himself for a counter attack. A bright, visible aura surrounded his body as he infused his energy with Raichi, the other twin blade. He was using a warrior skill.
The power was incredible, and it seemed to make Lord Shoun more youthful. Even if he looked like an old man, his movements were more energetic than before. From what Muneshige told me, his ability was called “rally,” which allowed his pokémon to gain strength. But this power was different. It seemed much more powerful than what I had imagined. This was something new.
Lord Shoun quickly swung his blade as an aura around it charged up Ampharos again. Ampharos roared as he surged with power, using it to quickly dash into Ujitaro and Hotaru. Both of them were struck with a headbutt, sending them flying across the room. Lord Shoun attempted to complete his swing and end Muneshige’s life right then and there.
However, Muneshige used his own blade Raiji to block the attack. More sparks flew, and the weapons clashed loudly like thunder. Muneshige had developed his own visible aura as he released his own warrior skill. Lord Shoun looked surprised as their eyes met, but Muneshige looked intensely into his, with utmost focus.
“That blade doesn’t belong to you,” said Muneshige.
Muneshige pushed himself back from Lord Shoun and immediately prepared himself for the counter attack and killing blow. Muneshige would have gotten his revenge.
But suddenly, a masked person appeared from behind Lord Shoun and pulled on his head backward, leaving the warlord in a vulnerable position. The mysterious ninja then held a kunai to his neck. Muneshige stopped his attack midswing. Lord Shoun gasped for his own breath from the shock.
“No, wait, this isn’t over!” he pleaded. “I will not go down quietly!”
The ninja gave a hand signal, as his familiar pokémon swiftly revealed himself. The Absol delivered the final slash to the Ampharos.
“Forgive me,” said the ninja in an all too familiar voice. “But your reign ends here.”
In no more than a second, the ninja slit Lord Shoun’s throat mercilessly. And as the blood splattered on the floor, the battle was over.