Ash's Just Reward Chapter 46
"Entire sentence." = Normal talking.
"Entire sentence." = Psychic talking.
"Entire sentence." = Powerful being talking.
'Entire sentence.' = Person's thoughts.
The Hall of Origin was filled with activity as the various Legendaries of the Pokémon world waited patiently for the abrupt meeting to begin, having been summoned rather suddenly by Arceus.
Most were complaining about this, the call to her plane of residence having interrupted many of their plans and arrangements, including many revolving around gifts for the Chosen One as arranged during the prior meeting. Others were more subdued, concern encroaching in as they dwelled on what possible reason Arceus could have for summoning them with no obvious cause.
This was eventually worsened when the meeting was finally called, despite the fact that not every Legendary was present. Unlike the prior meeting, one that was arranged, planned and had a clearly defined topic, this one was for every Legendary in their pantheon rather than for ones who had interacted with or owed a debt of gratitude to the Chosen One: Ash Ketchum. But despite that, the meeting was still being called prematurely, with multiple Legendaries noticeably being missing. While for some this was a minor relief, with very few missing Hoopa's annoying voice, for most this was deeply concerning. Lunala and Solgaleo were not often absent from these meetings, and their ability to travel through Ultra Space gave no obvious reason as to why they were unable to attend. The four guardian deities of Alola, the Tapus, were also absent, meaning that not a single Legendary assigned to the Alola region were in attendance.
To make matters worse, others still were missing. Regigigas had yet to show its face, though that was easily brushed off by many as the lumbering Legendary being late, the old powerhouse often arriving during the middle of meetings in the past. Also missing were a number of the Legendaries that had been present only days ago for the meeting about the Chosen One, such as Azelf, Mewtwo, Latias, one of the Mews, and Suicune.
So as the Legendaries began to fill the court in which they'd be hosting this meeting, many of them were apprehensive, filled with concern and dread over what may be happening.
A feeling that was only solidified as Arceus entered the court, an aura of guilt following her. Though no one said a word, only sharing a few looks with one another as Arceus cleared her throat and began addressing the present Pokémon.
"Esteemed Legendaries, I apologise for the abruptness of this summoning, but I assure you I only do so for the most critical of reasons. And the first amongst them is that I owe you all an apology."
The Legendaries all began mumbling amongst themselves, the various deep and powerful voices still being audible despite being their attempts to keep their tone subdued. Nearly all of them participated in this, save for Giratina, who simply gave an approving smile under his golden crown.
"Many of you, I am sure, are familiar with the Ultra Beasts," Arceus started, effectively silently all but the youngest of the pantheon, leaving only stunned silence to linger in the air heavily as Arceus continued. "And you're probably aware of the conflict we had eons ago with them, due to the actions and involvement of Necrozma. It is not something we often dwell upon, but as I'm sure you're all aware, the threat they posed has long since dealt with."
Many of the Legendaries gave a hearty agreement, which Arceus allowed to play out and die down before she spoke again.
"You are all mistaken."
This silenced everyone, leaving many questioning glares aimed at her.
"The Ultra Beasts have been building their strength for the past few centuries, filled with a lust for revenge against me and my actions against their people. And now, they are ready. I've been keeping this secret from you all, desiring to keep the matter under wraps so I can deal with it myself. Which is what led to me calling the last meeting.
"I ordered the commission of various gifts and presents for the Chosen One to ensure that he remained neutral in the conflict, staying out of my way and keeping him safe. Though by doing that, I have been lying to you all, keeping you in the dark about the truth and fooling you all. And for this reason, I must apologise. I had little faith in you all, feeling like I had to shoulder the burden alone, refusing to acknowledge the mistakes I've made or the assistance you all have offered. You all are much more deserving of respect, and so, I am truly, from the bottom of my being, sorry."
The response to this was incredibly mixed, with some entering a sobering silence as they allowed this reveal to wash over them, slowly processing this new information, while others began yelling at the top of their lungs, curses and insults thrown abundantly at the creator of the Pokémon world. And with a poised stance and a level face, Arceus let it all wash over her.
Eventually the vocal Legendaries tired themselves out, having exhausted their arsenal of verbal attacks and not having the will to follow them with any physical ones, allowing Arceus to finally speak up again.
"I understand your anger toward me, and I wholeheartedly understand if you have reservations about serving or helping me going forward. However, I beseech you to hear me out, since we have a genuine issue on our hands. The Chosen One is missing."
This shocked everyone present, particularly those who had interacted with Ash personally, and many worried looks were shared as Arceus continued.
"Despite having now dispatched both the recently revived Genesect and Hoopa (who I should add is the one responsible for why the Chosen One is missing) to try and find him, no trace of his existence has been found. And with the imminent threat of the Ultra Beasts looming above our heads we cannot afford to leave him unprotected. So please, I beg of you, help me. Help me to find him, and if you were already arranging him gifts, try and use everything in your power to ensure he receives them. He'll need them now more than ever. And to those who have no prior interaction with the Chosen One, I ask the same. Please help him, since he will very likely be crucial in the coming conflict, and he will need as many tools at his disposal as possible to help him in his trials. I am counting on you all."
No one said anything at first, the air hanging heavy with the guilt of someone who had made so many mistakes, while also being entwined the with genuine remorse of someone who was trying to make it right. And it was this secondary feeling that was mixed in which eventually enticed a response from the gathered Legendaries.
With just those two words, the court was in uproar, shouting and bellowing their support for the Chosen One, before they broke off from the court entirely, returning back to the normal plane of existence and beginning to undertake the necessary preparations. Not a single one of them pledged their allegiance directly to Arceus, something which irked her to no end, but she dismissed this with a deep sigh: they were going to help Ash, that was all that mattered in the moment.
Soon, she was left all but alone, with only her first three children, Palkia, Dialga, and Giratina, and a trio of Pokémon that had been explicitly summoned on a separate order. And it was these three that Arceus decided to address first.
"I thank you three for waiting behind, I know you aren't particularly attached to me or this pantheon, especially given some of your histories with members of it," she addressed the three, prompting them to float to the centre of the court so that they were in the centre of Arceus' vision, "but now I must ask a favour of you that will most likely prove to be highly dangerous. So if you have any objections to my request and refuse to do it, I will understand."
The three didn't say anything to this, instead just hovering there with passive stares as they waited for Arceus to carry on.
"The only reason I ask you three for this task is because, save for the other individuals in this room and the remainder of the Light Trio, who I am reluctant to ask this of, you are the only ones who can travel through space, which makes you ideal for this task I have in mind."
The three nodded at this, before the lead of the trio finally spoke, their tentacle like arms writhing as they did.
"We understand. What task would you have us do?" The Deoxys said in a sing-song voice, the melodic tone echoing in the massive chamber, which greatly relieved Arceus as she responded.
"I need you three to send a message to a group of Ultra Beasts."
Everyone was staring at the five new Legendaries that were now circling around Ash's childhood home, marching silently and solemnly along, either unaware or simply uncaring of the many eyes that watched them.
Ash in particular was fascinated by this, unsure of how he felt by this new development. The very fact that Regigigas had travelled all the way to his home to administer his gift was a rather concerning development, if only because it implied that the Legendaries were well aware of where he lived.
Which he kinda already knew from Mew's admission before she allowed him to catch her, but the implication sounded much less imposing when coming from a small pink cat-like Pokémon than a towering continent towing superpowered Pokémon.
But he was also amazed that Regigigas had apparently arranged a gift that had zero need for his involvement. The admission that Regigigas had not expected to see Ash was a curveball, since it meant Regigigas would have done this with or without Ash's presence being required.
There was also the fact that there were now five Legendary Titans patrolling his house. The fact that there were Titans outside his house at all was a mental development, but there was the additional wrinkle of there being five of them. In his years of travelling across the many regions of the world, meeting (and saving) the Legendaries of the regions, he had encountered the Titans a few times now in different regions. But throughout all of those encounters, he had only ever seen three: Regirock, Registeel, and Regice. He'd not seen these other two before, and their existence was something that just left him completely captivated.
Apparently he wasn't the only one, as Gary walked up to him with a slack jaw, his eyes glued to the new Legendaries.
"Ash, all I'm going to say is this: whatever you do to end up in these situations, you need to start inviting me."
"Trust me Gary, I have no idea how I end up involved with all of this. If I had any clue, believe me when I say I would one-hundred present invite you. All of this just kinda… happens," Ash responded, earning a dry chuckle from his ex-rival.
One of the new Titans was now closing in on Ash and Gary's current position, though it made no sign of wavering from its patrol, not even sparing a glance in Ash's general direction. The Titan in particular was the one that seemed to be an electric type, with multiple tendril like arms which had the physical appearance of bolts of lightning, which were bound together by its side as it marched on slowly.
While it made its way past Ash, he decided to try something, curiosity and a need to start clarifying the situation driving him to start interacting with the Legendary.
"Hey, excuse me?" Ash asked, causing the Titan to halt suddenly, slowly pivoting in order to face the young trainer. It remained silent for a moment, the multiple dotted eyes that formed an 'X' on its face staring blankly at Ash before it spoke, the voice distorted by an underlying layer of static.
"Ash Ketchum: identified. Greetings, Chosen One. Regieleki at your service."
Ash looked at the electric type for a moment, before he shook off his shock and pressed on.
"Hi. Sorry to bother you, but I've got a few questions if you don't mind me asking?"
"I am designed to protect and serve the Chosen One within the grounds of his home. I can answer any inquire you might have about our capabilities, functions, and goals in regard to this matter."
Ash nodded at this, before he cleared his throat.
"Great. So first off, what exactly is it you're meant to be doing? I get that you're kinda like bodyguards for my house, but beyond that, what's your main goal?"
Regieleki didn't respond at first, before its eyes started flashing and it spoke yet again.
"Myself and my fellow Titans have been created for the sole task of ensuring you have a safe haven. Much like our creator, the great and powerful Regigigas, we recognise that even one as powerful as you needs a place to rest and recuperate. Our creator has its temple, and you have this structure known to you as 'a house'.
"We also have been charged with protecting those you care about, especially within the grounds of your safe haven. Individuals such as your mother have been identified as a Very Influential Person toward the Chosen One, and as such will be protected by the full might of the Titans. Any companions of the Chosen One share the same moniker, and so long as it remains within our power, we will protect them."
Ash smiled at this, a sense of relief washing over him as he shot a quick glance at his mother, who was staring at the Titans marching around her home with wide eyes.
"That's great," he sighed, "thank you for that. My next question is about how many of you there are. I'm not going to pretend I'm an expert, but I could've sworn that there were only three of you. Was there always five or are you two new?"
This time, Regieleki responded much quicker, and if Ash didn't know better, he would have said that he could hear a sense of pride in the deep mechanical voice.
"No, our creator Regigigas had only ever created three in the past. They only had need for three, but determined that this was not a satisfactory number for this task. So Regidrago and I have been created specifically to aid in the defence of your home. Regidrago was designed to posses the powerful energy of the Dragon type, fierce and hard hitting to destroy any threat that makes itself known. And I, Regieleki, have been designed to emulate the limitless power of the Electric type, fast and precise, capable of striking any threat with near lethal force. Combined with the powers of Steel, Rock, and Ice, we will be adequately equipped to deal with any threat which presents itself."
Ash didn't say anything more, instead just releasing a heavy exhale as he slowly nodded.
"I… fair enough, I guess? Thank you for your service?"
This seemed to placate Regieleki, who simply turned back to its patrol and continued marching on, paying no further mind to Ash's presence.
Gary stepped forward again, scratching his head as he walked.
"Ashy-boy, I have one question: are all Legendaries as eccentric as that? Or is that a first?"
"It definitely ain't a first," Ash replied, before he chuckled, "and I'm not so great with big words like eccentric, but I'm pretty sure if they're all like that, then you can't really call them eccentric."
Gary couldn't help but laugh at that comment.
"Was that Regigigas?" Mew asked as she floated through the treeline, marvelling at the giant Legendary as it lumbered through the woods.
Shrugging it off as a slowly normalising event that happened in proximity to Ash, she and Poipole continued their way along the treeline, going around the edges of Pallet Town to arrive in the field behind Ash's childhood home without being seen by the other remaining residents, all whilst playing tag with one another, causing the two to dart and zip through the trees with a nimble grace.
After a few minutes, the two finally made their way to the field filled with Ash's friends and Pokémon, and they paused for a moment at what they were seeing.
Around Ash's house there were a quintet of Legendaries walking around Ash's house, circling it like a pack of Mandibuzz. Mew turned her head in confusion, as she recognised three of them, though she didn't know why they were here of all places. She recognised Regirock, Registeel, and Regice, having seen them plenty of times when visiting her cousin at the Tree of Beginning. She doubted these were the same ones, but she also didn't know why the stoic defenders would be here of all places. And then there were the two that she didn't even remotely recognise, looking to be somewhat related to the Regi family. Though they seemed to be made of types that were usually unrelated to the Regi's, which made Mew even more confused.
But that wasn't important, she wasn't here to see the Regi's. She was here to see Ash.
The two then darted to Ash, who was currently walking away from his house toward one of his groups of Pokémon, a sense of weariness hanging over him as he strode across the field, saying a quick parting word to another human, Gary Oak, as he started his short journey. So with an eager energy, they zoomed in front of his face, catching him by surprise and almost tripping him up.
"Ash! Ash! Ash!"
"Ash! Ash! Ash!"
Ash just blinked as the two floated in front of his face, waving their short arms around erratically before they began circling his head, leaving him to stand there with a confused yet slightly bemused smile.
"I'm Ash, yes."
The two then latched onto his head, tightly squeezing his head as they playfully pushed against each other for the right to sit on his head. Ash, having no real say in the manner, just started walking again.
"So where have you two been? Haven't seen you all day."
"Mew was showing me all of her things!"
"Yeah, including my photo albums, my memorabilia, and my collection of merchandise. Which reminds me, can you sign all of my Ash Ketchum merchandise?"
"I have merchandise?" Ash wondered aloud. The fact that he had both a mythical Pokémon and an Ultra Beast currently hugging his head while he walked between his group of Pokémon which now included Legendaries and clones went completely unnoticed.
As with many abnormalities in his life, Ash just accepted it as the new norm.
"I like the new look," Latias said with a smirk as she and Latios sat aside from the rest of the Pokémon, choosing to spend more time with each other in order to make up for the last three years. "I'm surprised how much it suits you."
Latios rolled his eyes, as he relaxed in his Ash disguise, making use of his temporary human appendages to adjust his hat. As much as he didn't want to admit it, he was starting to enjoy his new disguise, being much more preferable to his old one. As much as he loved Lorenzo, almost like a father, he was never overly fond of using his face in Alto Mare. But this one felt natural, fated, making it easier to remain in the form for longer periods.
Though he would never let Latias know that. She'd never let it go.
Taking a deep breath, Latios leaned up against his sister, basking in the warm air that they could feel even from the shaded spot under a lone tree near Ash's house, simply enjoying each other's company. From the point of Latios' revival, and after Latias had returned from Alto Mare, they had spent copious amounts of time questioning one another on topics as varied and nonspecific as they came, which for him were a way of catching up on events since his death, and for her, he suspected, a way to simply hear the voice of her believed dead brother. But now, they were content with the basic action of keeping each other company, no longer needing to question each other more and more.
As they sat there however, Latios had a sudden thought, one that piqued his interest as he gazed at his sister.
"Hey Latias," He started, getting a quiet 'hmm' as a response, "have you thought of changing your disguise at all?"
This caught Latias' attention, as she shot him a disbelieving look.
"No. Why would I change it? I like my disguise, it makes me feel like Bianca's sister," She said defensively, which Latios had to raise his hands defensively against.
"That's not what I meant. I mean, why don't you mix you up? You and I both know these disguises aren't especially difficult to maintain or change between. The hardest part is creating the look in the first place. Once you've done that, you basically can swap between them whenever you want."
Latias pursed her lips at this, raising a claw to her mouth as she considered this.
"That's not a bad idea," she started, tapping her chin as she thought it over, before chuckling slightly, "but who exactly would I use as a disguise?"
Latios just shrugged.
"I dunno, I didn't really have anyone in mind. I'm just surprised you hadn't already done that. Maybe one of Ash's friends?"
Latias giggled at this, as she gazed over at the group of heroes with an over-dramatic theatrical act to go with it.
"But who would I choose?" She half shouted, getting her brother to laugh at her performance. "There's so many to choose from!"
She then stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes twinkling with the basis of an idea. By the time Latios had noticed this, his laughter had died away and Latias was focusing intently, her form slowly shimmering and changing.
As she began taking a more humanoid shape, Latias slowly began to reveal her intention. Instead of the green shirt and white skirt she wore when disguising herself as Bianca and replaced them instead with new clothes. A white short sleeved shirt, with a blue sleeveless jacket worn on top. To replace the plain white skirt, Latias seemed to have replaced it with a pair of jean shorts, which went down to just above her knees. And even her hair, which priorly had been very short and light brunette in colouration, was now long and black, falling down her back freely as her form finished changing.
Sighing contently as the light faded away, she stretched out her arms, allowing Latios to see the fingerless gloves she was wearing. After letting herself get comfortable in her new disguise, she shot a cheeky smile at Latios as she threw her hands out, putting her new form on display.
"How about this for a disguise? Ash looks pretty good as a girl," She said, though Latios didn't react. At least, not immediately. It took a short while as he processed it, but he eventually managed to get a reaction out.
A laugh which caught everyone's attention.
"Oh my Arceus, that's incredible. You have to show everyone this. Now!"
Latias tried to keep a straight face, but she didn't last long, before she finally cracked, her arms wrapping around her stomach as she burst out laughing, leaving a bizarre image to onlookers of two versions of Ash, one male and one female with both wearing similar style clothing, bent over in howling laughter.
Which made it all the stranger for Looker, who was watching with wide but tired eyes.
Though he couldn't pay attention for long, as his phone began ringing. Knowing who it was without looking, Looker pulled his attention away and answered, with a curt and level tone.
"Special Agent Looker, ICOP has a new task for you. One that will ensure the safety of our world as we currently know it. And don't worry, it's one that falls well into your realm of expertise. We are preparing to send agents to… interact with Ash Ketchum. All we need you to do, is keep us updated on his location. If he tries to leave Pallet Town, we want to be the first to know. Succeed, and we'll see you're rewarded… generously."
They then hung up, not waiting for Looker's confirmation. As he stood there, phone still held up to his ear, Looker could feel his throat go dry, his lips smacking against each other as a brief wave of faintness washed over him. He reflexively went for his flask, but before he could swig from it, he paused.
Because deep down, he knew the dryness in his throat wasn't something that could be cured with drink. Guilt never could.
So instead he shot a sad look toward Ash, indecisiveness dancing in his eyes. For the first time in his professional career, he didn't know what to do.
It was nearly time.
Necrozma could almost feel the light, brimming in the distance just beyond its sight, but oh so close.
It was only a small source of light, a meteor that had absorbed the radiation of a solar flare, leaving every molecule coated in the converted energy that Necrozma so desperately needed.
Weaving through another barrage of attacks fired by the chasing Ultra Beasts, Necrozma ripped open another Ultra Wormhole and popped back into real space near the targeted source of light. Seeing the meteor, Necrozma rocketed toward it, smashing straight through it.
The explosion sent a shockwave which temporarily halted the group of Ultra Beasts, as it slammed into them. By the time they recovered, they were greeted with a terrifying sight, as Necrozma had transformed into… something else. Something much larger and more monstrous.
The next thing they experienced was nothing but blinding and agonising pain, which crippled and knocked out the collection of Ultra Beasts, leaving their unconscious forms floating in space, surrounded by nothing save the remnant of the smashed meteor.
And by the time any of them recovered, consciousness slowly returning to them in a slow trickle, Necrozma was long gone.
Ash flipped the small pebble gently in his hand, critically analysing it silently as he ran his thumb over the ghostly ribbon that was tied to it, a reminder of who gave him the remarkable artefact.
"So, this can basically take me anywhere I want, right? Just like that?" Ash asked, earning a nod from his starter, who was sitting on his shoulder contently.
"That's more or less it, yeah. It's a little more complicated than that, because you do have to travel into the Distortion World a little bit before you can use it to teleport somewhere else, something which took us a little bit to figure out, but it does work. We managed to travel across a lot of locations in the last day, from Sinnoh, to Alola, the Hidden Village, Alto Mare, Mount Quena, and eventually here. I think that's everywhere we've been with this; I may have missed a location or two."
Ash whistled in appreciation, wrapping the ribbon around his finger while he nodded away absentmindedly, shaking the two small Pokémon still clinging to his head. Though as he did the thoughtless action, his mind was running a hundred miles a minute, mainly about Mewtwo.
The psychic Legendary had all but isolated himself since the other Mewtwo (whose existence was still causing smoke to blow out of Ash's ears) had reversed the mind wipe that had blocked out their first encounter, as everyone else broke off into groups. Even the Pokémon who he had brought with him, clones of both his own and other people's Pokémon that had been created with the sole purpose of replacing the current Pokémon population, seemed to have broken off into a group distant from their creator, scared of being associated with the rage and hatred directed at him.
Which left Mewtwo alone, seemingly stoic but Ash could tell that deep inside, the Pokémon was hurting. Regret, remorse, and a lingering weight which was weighing him down as he sent the occasional gaze toward the other groups, a faint trace of longing present.
As Ash watched the Legendary, he pursed his lips as he quickly asked himself a quick question. Which after a bit of thought, led to a surprisingly quick answer. So without much need for further contemplation, he pushed himself up, pocketing the little gem and interrupting whatever Pikachu was currently saying, much to the yellow mouse's chagrin.
Though after a mild bout of protest, which was accompanied by the moaning of the two Pokémon on Ash's head as they were jostled by the sudden movement, Pikachu simply bounded after him, curious as to what had possessed Ash to get up. And as Ash strode with purposefully across the field, Pikachu became less curious and more agitated by the second.
Ash paid no mind to it though, and so found himself next to the Legendary, who seemed to be surprised by his presence, though he tried his best to hide it.
"Hello Ash, how may I help you?" Mewtwo greeted, which Ash simply waved off dismissively.
"Look, Mewtwo, I came over to apologise," he started, earning incredulous looks from both Mewtwo and Pikachu.
"No, I'm sorry," Ash repeated, as he frowned heavily, "because I shouldn't have let this go on for as long as I have. I know what happened now, and honestly, now that I think about it, it doesn't bother me."
"No. Not really. Especially since I know that you have changed from the person you were during that time. I've seen how you care for Pokémon, and how Team Rocket have hurt you. And even now, you still act to redeem yourself. You saved me from the Ultra Beasts and brought Pikachu back to me. And despite being attacked by my own Pokémon, you still stay; because I need you. Which led me to asking myself a simple question: Do I see myself forgiving you?"
Mewtwo and Pikachu paused for a moment, as Ash flashed a small smile at the Legendary.
"And yeah, I'm not the kind of person to hold grudges. So let's put this behind us, for good." To punctuate this point, he stuck his hand out, holding it level in front of the psychic type for a moment as he allowed him to process what was happening. After a moment, which was longer than Ash had expected, Mewtwo took him up on the offer, taking his hand and shaking it, a small smirk gracing his normally blank face.
"You continue to shock and amaze. If all humans were like you, the world would be a merrier place."
Pikachu snorted at this, before he climbed up Ash's body and sat on his shoulder.
"Alright tough guy, I'll be straight with you. I still don't like you, but I trust Ash's judgement. And if he says you're alright, then we'll call it even. But I'm keeping an eye on you." To punctuate this, he pointed at his eyes and then pointed at Mewtwo, glaring with wide eyes as Ash simply chuckled. Though Mewtwo couldn't help but chuckle as well, which he tried his best to stifle.
"I'll keep note of that," He said, and as Ash turned around, with a massive grin on his face, Mewtwo allowed a solitary tear to drop freely, before he wiped away the evidence and followed the young trainer to the other groups, eager to return to the equilibrium he had with Ash's Pokémon earlier that day.
Hey everyone, TWoS here, and I'm back.
This chapter took slightly longer than expected, but I've been thinking over this story a lot recently and have been pondering on what to do next. I've realised many things about this story over the last six or so months, mainly that there are a lot of things I would have rather done differently about it, especially in regards to the pacing of the general story, the focus on the gifts being more prominent, and the structure of the plot points I've introduced in general. And while I don't hate what I've done before, I do wish I had done it better.
This realisation came to me as I was rereading it and, coupled with the fact that I've now been writing this story for three years as of the seventeenth of November, I've realised how far this story has come, and how much I've developed as a writer since starting, and I wanted to sincerely, from the bottom of my heart with as much enthusiasm as I can express through these words to you as you read this now; thank you. Thank you for sticking with me for all this time, with all the ups and downs of the story, the inconsistent gaps in uploads, and the various mistakes sprinkled throughout the story. God there's a lot of mistakes.
But with that in mind, and the realisation that I've set up a lot of plot points that I haven't even begun to take full advantage of, I'm going to be making a statement about this story here and now: We're moving into the last act of the story. I've been doing nothing but set up for who knows how long now, and it's time to bring them to a head. So the next few chapters I'm going to be bringing up every unresolved plot point, reintroducing it into the current situation of the story, and kickstarting the final stage of the story. I'm not sure how many chapters that'll take, but I'll say quite confidently that by chapter 50, we'll begin entering the final stage of the story.
So that's something to look forward to at the very least.
Hopefully I take the story in a direction that you all like, and hopefully you'll enjoy the ideas that I have coming up. As always (which must sound so repetitive at this point, but I'll keep saying it) thank you all for putting up with me, especially recently as my upload schedule declined noticeably. This chapter should be a pretty fun read, and I hope you all enjoy it. If you could let me know via a message or a review, I'd deeply appreciate it.
That's it from me for now, I'll see you all in a bit. Much love and peace – TWoS.