Heir To The Throne
Chapter 1: The Tyrannical King
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon.
A/N: My first Pokémon story that I've ever had the guts to post online. This is a mid evil tale. Most of the characters in chapter one are recognizable. I hope you all enjoy this. And if you like it, please review.
The brilliant morning son glinted off the shimmering royal palace in Kanto's capital of Viridian. In the mote around the castle, several water Pokémon splashed about. Although they were beautiful to behold all knew that if anyone were to attempt to attack the castle that the water Pokémon would retaliate with full force.
In the palace's garden the first born son of King Giovanni and Queen Delia was walking with his mother. Though the palace was beautiful and the gardens majestic, Queen Delia knew that she and her son were basically prisoners.
"Mother?" young Prince Ash asked, looking up at his mother "Why must we stay inside the palace walls? I wish to see the world."
Queen Delia looked down at her six year old son "You are too young yet my darling. The palace walls keep us safe."
"But father travels near and far all over the world," Ash objected "I wish to go with him."
Delia sat on the ground and pulled her little boy into her lap. She knew what Giovanni actually did when he was away. He lead his armies of soldiers and Pokémon in battles to conquer lands and enslave Pokémon for the sole purpose of increasing his empire. She hoped that her precious son would not follow in his father's footsteps.
Delia had been hand picked by the King himself from all the maidens in her village. He had never been kind to her and she hated him with a passion. But she loved her son more than anything in the world.
"Now come along," Delia said as she stood up "It's time for your morning lessons."
"Lessons," the young boy repeated with a smile. His father had employed the region's best intellect to educate his son. The old man, known simply as Samuel, taught Ash about the world. It was because of these lessons that Ash was so eager to see the world. Ash loved his lessons and his teacher.
Delia smiled at her son "Come along then," she said as the little boy skipped along beside her.
Far away in a place known as Cerulean a young girl stood beside the graves of her parents. Her three older sisters stood with her. They were all still children, orphaned by the cruelty of the King. The King's soldiers had been hungry and looking for a place to sleep when they had come upon the Waterflower house. The captain had demanded that the poor family give all of their food to the soldiers. Misty's mother had said that anyone who would steal food from the mouths of children was nothing but a coward. The captain had smacked her and when Misty's father had tried to help his wife a full fledged fight had broken out.
Daisy had grabbed seven year old Misty and she, Violet and Lily had huddled together in the corner. When the soldiers had stopped both of their parents lay dead on the blood stained floor of the house. Then the soldiers ransacked the place, taking all the food and supplies that they could find before burning the home to the ground.
The older girls had managed to retrieve their parents' bodies and Misty had helped dig the graves. Now she stood, looking down at the graves as she and her sisters threw handfuls of dirt atop the burnt and barely recognizable corpses of their parents.
"I hate the King," Misty stated as tears cascaded down her cheeks "I hate him!" she dropped to her knees.
Daisy went to her sister and took her into her arms. "We will be alright," she assured her baby sister as she held her.
The four sisters gathered whatever they could from the remnants of the house and, having nowhere to go and no one who could help them, they left. Hoping to find a place to call home.
Ash was playing in the garden again with Samuel's grandson Gary. The two boys ran and laughed together. At the edge of the mote Ash came to a hault. He pointed across the mote "I'm gonna see the world someday Gary," he stated as he beamed.
"Why do you want to?" Gary asked "Grandfather says that it's dangerous out there. There's war out there Ash."
"I know," Ash replied "And when I'm old enough, I'll travel to help my father fight it."
Queen Delia stood nearby listening to what her son said. He was just a little boy with dreams of playing soldier and dreams of gaining his father's favor. One day he would understand that the war that his father waged was evil.
She heard footsteps approaching from behind her and turned to see those whom Giovanni had assigned to watch her every move while he was away. She didn't like them in the least.
"Milady," Lady Jessica greeted with a bow of her head. Delia suspected that Lady Jessica served as Giovanni's secret mistress. That alone did not bother Delia, she was glad that the King sought physical comfort from women other than herself but she did not like Lady Jessica's snide attitude. Lady Jessica looked down upon the Queen because she had grown up in a poor village and not in the walls of Viridian as Jessica herself had.
"We bring news from your husband The King," Sir James, a man deemed unfit to serve in His Majesty's Army, added.
"He says he will be returning soon," Meowth, one of the many Pokémon that His Majesty had left behind, concluded. Though Meowth had been handpicked by Giovanni to keep a watchful eye on his wife, Delia had overheard Giovanni refer to the poor Pokémon as useless.
"Father is coming home?" Ash asked, running up to where his mother stood.
"That is correct young prince," Sir James said, looking down upon the boy. "In fact, he should arrive by morning."
Ash jumped up and down, finally jumping into his mother's arms "Father's coming home Mother," he said excitedly.
"Yes my love," Delia forced a smile "How wonderful."
"The boy is destined to be ruler of this land," Giovanni scowled at his wife "And you coddle him. His teacher speaks of the beauty of the world but not of how to rule it," he stomped his foot as he advanced on Delia.
"He is just a boy," Delia protested "He is too young to know the truth of war or what it is his father has done to this once great land-"
"You will not speak to me that way," Giovanni smacked her with such force that she fell to the floor "He isn't just any boy, he is my son and he will learn how to be a great ruler. I will teach him myself."
"I will not let you mold him in your own image," Delia said bitterly as she struggled to her feet "He is not like you."
"He will learn," Giovanni snapped, striking Delia again "I will hear no more of your gibberish. You no nothing of the things you speak of," he gave her a good kick in the side before walking away from her.
Unbeknownst to Giovanni, his son had been standing in the shadows and had heard and seen everything. When his father was gone from sight, he ran to his mother's side. "Mother…?" he asked in a whisper "Has he hurt you badly?" his voice was so small, so unlike the carefree child who only a day before had been playing in the garden and overcome with joy at the thought of his father returning from battle.
Delia sat up, albeit with a bit of pain in her side "I am alright my darling," she whispered as she drew her son close "Do not concern yourself with me."
"Why did he hurt you?" Ash asked "Why is he angry about my studies?"
"He wishes you to be like him my love," Delia whispered as she held him close, rocking him gently "You will be King someday and he wants you to grow up to be as cold and ruthless as he himself is," she said honestly.
There on the floor of the main hall in the palace, six year old Prince Ash made his mother a promise "I will never be like him."
The King allowed Samuel to continue to be the Prince's instructor but he insisted that Samuel put more of an emphasis on battle tactics and the history of war. Samuel reluctantly obliged. He and his young grandson had no place to live outside the palace walls and he was the only family that the boy had. Appeasing the King was the only thing he could do."
Giovanni returned from battle every few months and he would test his son's knowledge as well as the boy's skill with a sword and his talents when it came to facing a Pokémon bare handed.
These tests often left the young boy with bumps, bruises and broken bones which Giovanni said built character. Queen Delia however was horrified and believed that what the King put her beloved son through was somehow meant to punish her as well as test him.
One day, when Prince Ash was ten, upon Giovanni's return to the palace he had brought several of his troops with him and a collection of captured wild Pokémon that he had deemed too week to be of any use to him but he believed that they could be useful to him a servents in the palace.
The Pokémon did not take well to captivity and the soldiers were in the process of whipping them into submission when the drawbridge was lowered to allow them to cross. Prince Ash had been sent by Lady Jessica and Sir James to greet him.
Prince Ash beheld the Pokémon who were being mercilessly whipped. They were already too weak to fight back with their special abilities. What caught his eye was a downtrodden yellow creature, a Pikachu as Ash remembered Samuel teaching him. The poor thing could barely stand as the soldier continued to whip it.
"Move, you worthless rodent," the soldier hissed. The Pikachu collapsed.
Giovanni turned and looked disdainfully at the Pokémon "This weakling isn't worth the effort, finish it and throw its body into the mote for the Gyarados have him."
The soldier pulled out his sword and raised it above his head. The young prince gasped and ran forward "No!" he screamed as he flung himself protectively on top of the weakened Pokémon.
The soldier halted in mid swing "Your Majesty," he gasped, staring down at the Prince.
Ash stood up, holding the injured Pikachu in his arms "This isn't right Father," he said, turning to his father.
"Son," Giovanni said sternly "What are you doing?"
"You've beaten this poor Pikachu so badly it can barely stand," Ash's tone was close to fury as he faced his father down "You've beated them all so badly they can barely stand. It is not right. They're living creatures."
"They are my property," Giovanni said, glowering at his son "And I will do with them as I please."
"No," Ash stood strong, even though the look on the King's face made him believe that Giovanni was about to order the soldier to throw his son to the Gyarados.
Giovanni took a step toward his son but Ash stood firm "You dare defy me?" he asked, none too pleased.
There was fire in Ash's eyes as he stared the King down "This isn't right. You can not own a living thing."
Giovanni stared his son down for a long time. After several minutes he growled "Fine, take the blasted thing if you want."
Ash looked down at the other Pokémon that stood with the soldiers "Treat these Pokémon well," he commanded the soldiers "Make sure they get rest and are fed and their injuries taken care of."
"Yes, Your Majesty," the soldiers who had accompanied Giovanni to the palace.
The soldiers continued on their way, no longer whipping the poor creatures. Giovanni too, moved toward the palace, casting disdainful glances over his shoulder at his son.
"The poor thing," Samuel observed as he examined the Pikachu "Those brutes, the horrific things they do to Pokémon and humans alike…" he trailed off realizing that he was in the presence of the Prince "Forgive me Your Majesty," he said softly.
"Do not apologize," Ash told him "I know of my Father's cruelty." He stroked the Pikachu's head "I will take care of you Pikachu," he promised.
"Pika," the small electric Pokémon cracked a small smile up at him.
"You'll be feeling better soon," Samuel said as he gave Ash a small box full of herbs and a jar full of something smooth and mushy that smelled sweet. Samuel said that Ash should apply to Pikachu's cheek sacks every night.
"I am sorry for my Father's cruelty," Ash said as he rubbed the balm that Samuel had given him on Pikachu's cheeks "I wish he wasn't like that. I'm not like him though."
"Pika, Pika, Pikachu," the yellow Pokémon said. Somehow Ash understood that the creature was telling him that he knew that Ash was nothing like his Father.
"Ash," Delia enered the room "I found this for Pikachu," she handed him some blankets from when Ash was an infant. She took a seat beside her son.
Ash looked up at his mother. Though she was trying to hide it, he could see a freshly forming bruise on her cheek "Did he hurt you because of what I said?" Ash asked as he reached out with one hand to tenderly touch the bruise.
Delia looked away "No," she replied but Ash knew she was lying.
"Pika…?" Pikachu questioned, looking up at the Queen from where it lay on the bed.
Delia smiled down at the little creature "You must concentrate on your recovery little friend," she said gently before rising and leaving the room.
Pikachu turned to Ash "Pikachu pika chuu chuuuu," it said.
Ash nodded "Yes, little friend, my Father's cruelty truly does know no bounds."
A/N: So, there you go, that's chapter one. I'd better wrap this up and post it before I lose my nerve. Please review.