Well... the wait is finally over. I still have one more week of school, but I don't want to keep you all waiting any longer! It's been a huge burden to write this story, but I had a lot of fun, and I hope that you all enjoy the final installment of the Blazing Hearts Trilogy, PMD: Infernal War!
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Infernal War
He sat down on the barren stone floor, leaning his head against the vine-laden wall, taking in the feeling of being a physical Kirlia. But even with Valerie beside him, and his Mismagius form absorbed into his past body, he couldn't help but think: What was next? He had no idea. His past had been brought to light… the terrible things he'd done… but he'd righted his wrongs. Or so he thought. He still didn't know what his purpose was at this point. At first he thought it was to help Dawn… Then she betrayed and killed everyone he'd held dear. That left him confused. Hurt. Broken. Why was he still here?
"Valerie… I still don't understand…" he murmured from the ground. The silver-skinned Delphox formed a seat made entirely of flames and eased herself into it while looking at him quizzically. "What do you not understand, Roy?"
"Why am I here? Why are we going through this… this living hell?"
"I'm gonna be honest here; I don't know. No-one deserves what your team is going through."
"What can I do to change this?" he asked. "I want to make it right."
"I think… that it's for you to decide," she responded with noticeable hesitation. "I'm done trying to rewrite your team's fate. I will help where I can… But what happens from here on… is up to you."
"Wha-?! No! Valerie, you can't do this to me! I'm not a leader! Connor was! Vulcan was! That's not me!"
"Roy, if there were any other way of doing this, then I would… But there are things that I cannot do and places I cannot be. The temporal fabric on this branch of the Temporal Tree is paper-thin. If I do much else to directly interfere… then the results could be catastrophic."
"I don't care! Valerie, you have to help!"
"My duty was to prepare you for everything you could possibly face. And, quite frankly, this is the worst path I could have foreseen. I'm doing everything I can."
"And yet you didn't say anything to me about any of this..." Roy wiped his eyes and stood up slowly. "Valerie, the entire continent is about to erupt into war, and you're standing here telling me that you can't do any more. How is that okay with you?"
"First off… No, not the entire continent. The Desert and the Mafia. It's not that big, so don't blow it out of proportion. Secondly, it's not okay with me. That's why I'm still helping you and your team."
Then she placed her hand on his arm and took a deep breath. "...Your power is still there. I have no idea how, but you're just as powerful as her now. Isn't that lovely?"
"It doesn't help if I don't know how to use my strength."
"I think you'll find that it comes rather naturally," the Delphox said with a small smile. "And in order for you to succeed... It's going to take everything you've got. Are you up to the task?"
"I don't know, Val; I… I don't know if I can bring myself to harm her."
"Roy, listen to me; She holds no love for you any more."
"But that's what you don't understand!" Roy cried. "I still love her! I don't know why… It might be denial, or… me just not accepting that she's not the girl I knew… But I still love her. Even though I don't want to..."
"Roy, this isn't one of those 'love is stronger than evil' stories. If she is given the chance, she will kill you!"
"I can't die!"
"...What?" she asked after making sure he heard correctly. "You… literally can't?"
"No! It's a curse I've had to live with! I can be on the verge, and even pass on temporarily, but I always bounce back until my purpose is fulfilled! And I don't know what that is! She can't kill me... No one can..." he choked back a sob and covered his face in shame.
"You say that like you're disappointed," Valerie said with a concerned look in her eye.
"Maybe I am! Maybe I just want to fade away! Maybe it can numb the pain I'm feeling!" the tears fell to the stone floor with barely a sound as he wept, covering his face with his hands.
"But maybe not." Valerie's expression hardened as she leaned forward in her chair, getting dangerously close to his face and appearing to be staring straight into his soul. "Roy, if you die before you revive your team… then we're all doomed. Every single one of us. Mortal and Immortal. The kind of death you're talking about is a permanent fix to a temporary problem."
"How are you all doomed if I fail? The Mafia can't touch a single one of you!"
"I'm not talking about the Mafia," Valerie clarified. "I'm talking about something in the future; Something that needs Connor."
"What does Connor have to do with the future?" he asked as he brushed the hair out of his face.
"He's the leader of the most well-known outlaw hunting team the world has ever seen. And he's the most powerful mortal being in this branch of the Temporal Tree right now. That will play a key role in the next decade or so."
"Key role… in what? What are you talking about?! You do this every time; you go off on a rabbit trail and tell me something completely irrelevant! Two decades won't matter if I don't make the right choice right now!"
Then her eyes flashed white, and she leaned back in her chair. "Well, it looks like you're gonna have to choose soon. The Temporal Guardians only have a few more days at max before Dialga brings them back to their assigned eras. So you won't have help for much longer."
"Valerie… I don't have the strength to do this," Roy whimpered. "I can't do this… Everything is going so wrong…"
Valerie sighed and stood up. "Right and wrong are a matter of perspective. I've explained this to several others like you. But we can't dwell on what's happened. We have to focus on what lies ahead. And what lies ahead is the completely cliché ending where the good guys live and the bad guys get what they deserve."
"Really...?" Roy's voice broke at the mere prospect of his friends all surviving.
Valerie pat his shoulder gently whilst giving him a motherly smile. "I think so, yes. But my vision's been off before, so don't get your hopes up."
"NO." his response was short and decisive, his voice echoing across the ever-changing landscape. She knew in that moment that he'd made his decision long before she came to him.
"Lord Dialga…!" she knelt on one knee as the Temporal Lord towered over her. She looked straight at the ground, unable to look him in the eye. "Please, I humbly beg of you-"
"AMBER, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WISH TO SECURE THAT TEAM'S FUTURE."
"For all of our futures, my lord. You know of his importance!"
"I DO. BUT THAT DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT MY FATHER HAS GROWN WEARY OF THE STRAIN ON THE FABRIC OF TIME. I HAVE STRETCHED MY POWERS EXTENSIVELY IN YOUR ABSENCE, AND EVEN THEN… IT IS NOT ENOUGH. THE TEMPORAL TREE IS DYING, AMBER. I ALONE AM NOT ENOUGH TO KEEP THE BALANCE. NOT ANYMORE."
"What…? The Temporal Tree..." her eyes welled with tears, and Dialga planted his feet on top of Temporal Tower. "RAISE YOUR HEAD, DAUGHTER OF TIME."
Amber slowly looked up at the Temporal Lord, and she covered her mouth with her hands. His eyes were sunken and had small dark blue circles beneath them. He looked… tired. Exhausted, even. The essence of time flowing through his veins was slowed to a crawl, and his steel armor had lost much of its luster, as though it had been through hundreds of years of wear and corrosion, cracking and splitting at the joints and corroding around the edges.
"L-Lord Dialga… you-"
"I AM AWARE OF MY PHYSICAL CONDITION. AMBER. NINE OF THE TWELVE TEMPORAL GUARDIANS ARE EXISTING AT ONE MOMENT IN TIME. IF YOU DO NOT FINISH THIS SOON, THEN I WILL BE FORCED TO WITHDRAW ALL OF YOU FROM THAT ERA. I WILL NOT SACRIFICE EVERYTHING FOR ONE BRANCH OF TIME, NO MATTER HOW IMPORTANT ITS INHABITANTS ARE."
"B-But my lord, how can we help them without our temporal manipulation?"
"TEAM FIRESTORM'S NAME WILL CARRY ON FOR CENTURIES. YET THEY HAD NO SPECIAL STRENGTHS. THEY WERE ORDINARY, MORTAL POKÉMON. I CHOSE EACH OF YOU TO PROTECT TIME FOR A REASON. PROVE TO MY FATHER THAT I MADE THE CORRECT DECISION."
"How? The fabric of time is paper thin in that timeline!"
"THAT IS PRECISELY WHY I MUST WITHDRAW YOU ALL IN NO MORE THAN TWO DAYS." then he stared into the horizon as the wind picked up and the clouds warped across the orange sky. He closed his eyes and emitted a pulse of temporal energy that resolidified the horizon, which had begun to fade and reveal the outside world. "THEY ARE ABOUT TO MAKE THE JUMP… THEY WILL ARRIVE IN SEVERAL DAYS' TIME."
Dialga sighed and absorbed some of Temporal Tower's power into his skin, then laid down on the spire and closed his eyes. "YOU WILL FIND OUT SOON ENOUGH. NOW LEAVE ME. I MUST REGAIN MY STRENGTH."
"...Who is responsible for this?" the King turned to Heimdall, then to the Blissey and Audino, who both looked scared for their lives.
"There was a… a Gallade. It hypnotized us into leaving the premises..." the Blissey cried out. "My lord, there was nothing we could do… Please, spare us…"
"You are fine," The King fought back tears as he looked over the massacre before him. "Where is this… this Team Skull?"
"They left in search of Connor and Roy, my lord," Heimdall quickly put in.
"And you allowed them to leave…" the King seethed. "After we had already deemed them untrustworthy." He scowled and took several deep breaths as Gabriel lifted Alice, Vulcan and Mirage's bodies bodies from the floor while peeling the blood off of the sandstone tiles with psychic, restoring them to pristine condition.
"This… this Mafia… They've taken everything from us."
Heimdall turned away from Gabriel as he levitated the bodies out of the room. "My lord… the congregation is tomorrow. What do you intend to do?"
The king took several deep breaths, holding back the tears that formed along the edges of his eyes. "Peace is no longer an option. I intend to destroy this Mafia."
-Chapter I: Revenge-
He awoke to a light knock on his door. "What?"
"Master Victor, she wishes to speak to you." Mordred's voice carried across his room, and he rolled his eyes lightly before gesturing with his wing to the Bisharp. "Bring her in."
His eyes narrowed to adjust to the light that poured into his room from the now open doorway. The six-foot tall female Gallade strode across his room, and he laid his head down. "What do you want, child?"
"Victor… This is wrong. I-"
"If that's what you wanted to talk about, then I would suggest leaving," he deadpanned. "I'm not negotiating with you any further."
"You didn't let me finish," the Gallade said defiantly. Victor arched an eyebrow and sat up, slightly caught off guard at her brash approach. "No, I didn't. What else could you possibly have to say?"
"I wanted to say that when we go to the congregation… You may want to bring me with you."
"And why would I do that? You might attempt to talk to them with your telepathy."
"No; I killed Mirage. She was the princess. Ending this peacefully is going to be impossible."
"Okay, I was already anticipating that. But why would I want you with me?" he asked again.
"Because the king has the most powerful psychic I have ever seen in his command. A Claydol by the name of Gabriel. If he's anything like me, than he can attack Dark Types as well. I can shield you from his telekinesis."
Victor paused at that statement. "Why would you protect me… After everything I've had you do?"
"Because they disowned me. Mordred will lead me to Aaron, and my vision…" she paused and shook her head. "I'm already past the point of no return. I've destroyed them. You're my only option."
"Hm. Your thought process is strange," he murmured. "You want to protect me because I'm your only option… for what?"
"I've destroyed everyone who used to be my friend. No-one else is left."
"I thought that you'd rather stand alone than serve me… what changed?"
The Gallade looked in his general direction as she seemed to be thinking about what to say. "It's better to live life with a terrible purpose than to live with no purpose at all."
"Hmph." Victor folded his wings against his sides and stared at her incredulously as he stood up. "So what do you want? A modification to our agreement?"
"No; My end of the bargain is complete. I helped you one last time. Now I want my vision restored." the Gallade said.
"Your binding oath was not with Mordred; It was with me." Victor said with a confident smirk. "Nice try, though."
The Gallade clenched her fists in defiance. "It was with the both of you; Either one of you could modify it at any time, so long as I agreed."
"Dawn… I work with nothing but technicalities. You said that you'd help us until they were all destroyed. And 'one more mission' entails whatever Mordred told you to do. Which, in this case, was finish the original job. Or was it to find them and tell him where they were? Regardless, in return, I would give you an opportunity for revenge that you would have never had otherwise against Aaron, which I did, and that your vision would be restored, which was fulfilled as well."
"Roy did that! And I don't have it anymore!"
"But that is not my fault, now, is it? Your vision was restored. That is all we agreed to. By whom and whether or not it was taken away after the fact doesn't matter."
He smirked as he saw Dawn's eyes tearing up. "My end of the deal is already complete, regardless of your situation now; You destroy them all, and you're free to leave."
"No…" Dawn whimpered. "I won't…"
"You don't have a choice in the matter," Victor growled. Then he stood up and looked up at her as she glared at him. The Gallade clenched her fists, and Victor chuckled cruelly. "Also, to answer your original question: Yes. I want you to accompany me at the Congregation tomorrow. But if I sense anything I do not like from you… I will make sure that we go to war with this kingdom. And I will see to it that Roy is executed before your very eyes after I've beaten you to a bloody pulp. Understood?"
"Yes," the Gallade seethed.
The Gallade took a deep breath and exhaled through her nose, obviously filled with rage. "Yes… sir."
"That's better. Now, if you're done wasting my time, you should rest, if this Claydol is as powerful as you say he is."
"Wasting your time-?!" Dawn took a step forward, and Victor readied an air slash, the bright blue blade of condensed air floating menacingly between them. "We are done here."
Dawn growled and teleported out with noticeable force, shaking his room and leaving a scorch mark on his wooden floor.
"...Whatever," he grunted. "She'll get over herself."
"Your highness, if there is anything we can do to help, please, allow us to lend our assistance." She said as she knelt in front of the king of the Northern Desert, who motioned for her to rise before speaking up.
"And how do I know you are to be trusted?"
"Because nobody else has come to help besides us?" Galvantula proposed.
Amber's eyes widened slightly, but she didn't turn to scold him. The King exhaled through his nose and leaned back in his throne. She noted that the chairs on either side of him were vacant.
"The last time I trusted foreigners… less than three days ago… I lost my queen and my daughter at the hands of this 'Pokémon Mafia'... This team brought nothing but conflict to my kingdom, and I foolishly listened to my daughter's pleas for help."
Amber sighed and closed her eyes for a moment. Great…
Then she shook her head slightly as she felt a psychic force take hold of her mind. She fought it with all of her strength, eventually taking a knee and glancing up at the Claydol that hovered next to the King. She used her telepathy to speak to it before it finished sifting through her thoughts.
She felt the psychic hold falter, and she used that opportunity to force her words out. "I promise that we are not the enemy! We are here to help!"
*How do you know my name?*
"Because I can read minds, too. Your best friend is Andreas, the Alpha Garchomp. Until this week, you two were tomb raiders, taking treasures from long-lost remains of ancient civilizations and selling them in the kingdom."
She saw the Claydol's eyes dimming, but before she could get her hopes up, she felt her mind being torn to shreds. She couldn't even think in complete sentences anymore. Then, just before she lost consciousness, she heard the king's voice. "Stop."
She gasped for breath and coughed uncontrollably as the psychic hold was released, collapsing to the ground without preamble. She struggled to remain a Charizard while she laid there, completely exhausted. She didn't want to have to explain her human form.
When she looked up at the king, she could tell that whatever had just happened… it was a test. And they had passed.
"Amber, was it?" the King stepped down from his throne and fluttered next to her, handing her a sitrus berry. "Apologies for that; I had to determine whether or not your group was to be trusted."
"What… What did you do?" she mumbled through the mouthful of berry. She stood up as her energy was restored in an instant and looked him in the eye. "How did nearly killing me prove anything?"
"You are their leader, correct? The one in command?"
"Well… Yes, but-"
"That is why I attacked you. The pink pokémon could have negated the psychic hold over you, yet she did not. The Tyranitar could have caved in this entire chamber and saved you, yet he did not. The two Weavile could have made a blizzard that froze all of us. Yet they kept their bearings. That proves to me that they are truly here to lend their assistance; If they had any other intentions, they would have tried to attack us when they realized that you were being harmed, only to meet their end at the hands of Andreas and Heimdall."
A colossal Garchomp emerged from behind one of the pillars, as did an Aegislash, with his arms tucked behind his shield in a defensive position.
Amber remained silent. She knew her place here. This was an entirely different culture. One that has been isolated for hundreds of years, and functioned entirely different from the rest of the world. They could only understand the king because the Claydol was translating his speech into english as he spoke. She could tell because his lips didn't match up with what he was saying. It kind of threw her off at first, but she figured it out relatively quickly. And the psychic-type was most likely translating their words into whatever language it was that the desert Pokémon spoke as well.
"Regardless, that is in the past," the king said whilst moving past her and looking at each of the Temporal Guardians. She smiled internally as she watched his body language. Completely at ease. This king had no idea who they were.
"What kind of pokémon are you?" he asked Celebi, who tilted her head, but answered truthfully. "I'm a Celebi."
"I've never heard of you," he replied before flying back to his throne almost faster than they could follow. "But you have earned my trust for congregation is to take place in less than three hours. Are you willing to fight with us?"
"I thought that the purpose of the congregation was to prevent a war?" Amber asked.
"It was, originally. Then they killed my daughter, along with the remainder of Team Firestorm." then he narrowed his eyes at them. She followed his gaze and came to Connor, who was a Swampert. "...Except this one, it seems."
Connor tilted his head, and Amber cursed under her breath. He doesn't remember the palace...
"Yeah… Um… Hi."
The Flygon shook his head lightly and waved them away. "If you wish to fight with us, then I have no issue with that. Just know that this congregation with the Mafia will not end without bloodshed. They are beyond redemption."
Amber's eyes widened, but she nodded as the Aegislash beckoned them out of the throne room. "This way, Insurgo. Your sleeping quarters are on the second story of the palace."
They followed the steel-type single file up the winding staircase until they came to a single wooden door, easily large enough for Tyranitar to walk through without having to lower his head. When they entered the room, the Aegislash gestured to the bunk beds lining the walls all around them, each of them easily large enough for the colossal rock-type as well. "Your sleeping quarters for the time being."
"Thank you…" Amber murmured before the door closed and the Aegislash phased through the floor.
Then she turned to Connor and sighed. "We need to figure out how to get your memories back."
Wow, it's good to be back. Did you guys miss me? :P
I'm kidding. But in all seriousness, I sincerely appreciate all of the support I've had thus far from you all in my extended absence, and I hope that you all enjoyed this chapter! As always, if you have any questions, comments, concerns or theories about what might happen, go ahead and post them in the form of a Review or PM! It's always appreciated!