Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon or Harry Potter

BloodyKitsune: So no update last month, I had a busy month and lost track of time not to mention the chapter didn't want to come. When it finally did, I managed to write it.

Words: 5,600


ShadowWolf223: Who knows.

Goldenfightergirl: Interesting idea.

JaxTheRipper: Thank you.

frankieu: Mhmm.

Jostanos: *Snorts* Who's Jackson?

Silbernudelbohne: That has been a thought on my mind before though no idea if I'll go through with it.

QUEENVitch: No idea.

Ether02: Mhmm.

syft3land: Thank you for the offer though I do need to decline. Perhaps if I do start a new story, I'll ask you to proofread it.

Ada1229: We'll see.

SadDummy: That is your opinion. I do not know when I'll be continuing Calla's story at some point soon, but reviews like this give me little reason to even do so.

Chapter 30

Vali sat on one of the hills settled near the Volcano on Cinnabar after her most recent doctors visit, "So you're already heading to your Blackthorn?"

"Yup, it'll take me until right before the Conference to get my gym badge though since my Uncle won't make this easy," Lance shook his head lightly, "So how are things over there?"

"Not too bad, I've finally got a name for not only Houndour, Litwick, Seel, but also Litleo," Vali answered earning a surprised look, "I got a bit busy with everything going on, but they've been working very hard for it. Houndour is Eowyn. Litwick is Galadrial," She figured it fit the little ghost the best even if a psychic-type might be best of for the name, "Seel is Bombur. Litleo is Irmo mostly because he prefers to dream most of the time,"

Lance looked a bit confused, "Where did those names come from?"

"A story from my old world though the details have pretty much faded," Vali admitted with a wry grin, "I couldn't tell you much about it,"

"Shame," Lance shook his head, "But it's good you've finally named them," He looked at her curiously, "So what's going on with you?"

"Since I've had so much progress over the last four months since everything happened and the doctors did clear me, I might be heading out with Blaine on his next bit of League business to see how things are done again," Vali answered with an awkward smile earning a sharp look, "I'm not looking forward to it exactly, but it's to be expected given that the League is eager to see what I can do,"

"You'll be careful?" Lance asked with a slight frown.

Vali nodded as she felt Aragorn's warm body cuddle into her side, "As careful as I can be."

"Then I can't say anything else," Lance replied with a shake of his head.

Blaine called Vali into his office two weeks after she'd been cleared. She joined him and found a scowl on his face, "They're calling for me to join you?"

"Yeah, Brat," Blaine held out a packet of papers, "The information you need to know and what needs to be packed," Vali took it and began to read over the information, "It's another supposed milk-run, but this time we're going to the Johto boarder right by Blackthorn. We'll be meeting up with the current Blackthorn Gym Leader Ulric Blackthorn. Seeing as the spot is basically nestled within Mount Silver, you best be on your guard and ready to fight powerful territorial pokemon,"

Vali inwardly swore at that though supposed it would be interesting to see how they faired against powerful wild pokemon. She wondered if they would find any new pack members while out there, but pushed that thought away. With a small frown as she read the list of items, the fire-type master-in-training commented, "I might have to do some digging to find some of this gear. Though I know for a fact that my winter coat is about ready to be changed out, I might need to get a new one before the end of this,"

"We'll see about doing so before we get to out meet up point," Blaine told her, "We'll check over your winter and climbing gear once you've gotten everything gathered. We're not expected to be right at the meeting spot for another two weeks. You and I will be traveling together before then. During this time, we'll fix up your gear,"

Vali nodded while looking at him curiously, "Are we going somewhere special during that time?"

"We'll be traveling to the meeting spot without teleportation until the last day or so," Blaine answered as he looked back at his paperwork, "Rather than stick around here for the next two weeks waiting for the meeting time to hit us, I decided to spend the time wisely. I get to observe you as we travel, you're able to train, and we're not stuck on Cinnabar simple waiting around like the League planned on,"

"What about the gym?" Vali asked him in a soft tone.

"Jackson can easily run the gym in my absence and has since he became the head gym trainer," Blaine replied as he typed something on his computer, "He'll be fine for up to two month after which I'd need to return for a couple minor and cosmetic reasons,"

That explained a lot, Jackson was someone everyone in the gym trusted and looked up to by everyone there. It made a lot of sense. Vali closed her eyes for a brief moment as she absorbed the knowledge that she'd be traveling with Blaine, "Will we be going through Kanto, Johto, or both?"

"Johto," Blaine answered earning a surprised look, "It holds the easiest path towards our destination and you'd do well to experience it now while you're able to," He waved her away, "Now get packing, we're leaving tomorrow morning,"

"Right," Vali grimaced at the short time frame though it was far better than the one she'd had to deal with before, "I'll get started on that,"

Vali left the room quickly and quietly headed to her bedroom. Elrond spoke as he floated beside her shoulder, "This is not going to be good."

"No, but we can only pray our preparations have been enough to ensure we'll be able to survive," Vali replied in a low tone, "Survival and getting stronger, Elrond," Elrond nodded his head with a slight sigh, "Let's enjoy the travels ahead though, Johto is a new region. It'll be exciting to see it for all that some parts are somewhat familiar according to Lance. It's a somewhat colder region than Kanto,"

"Great," Elrond groaned softly, "Just what I wanted to deal with right now,"

Vali giggled softly and patted his shoulder, "It'll be fine, Elrond. You'll enjoy it once you're used to the temperature. If you want, you're welcome to spend any time out of your pokeball cuddled up to me."

The almost musky smell of sap was thick and heavy among the Johto maple trees outside of New Bark town. The crisp air held the scent aloft and mixed it heavily with that of the nearby sea. It lead for an interesting mix of scents as Vali followed Blaine down the path outside of New Bark town in the early hours of the morning. The old man spoke as they moved further away for the town, "We'll be stopping briefly at Cherrygrove city to grab your winter gear as well as stock up on some supplies that we haven't before backtracking to the entrance of Route 46. We'll head down that path and see how far we get down it and into 45. If we manage to reach Blackthorn by the end of two weeks which we might, I'll consider you ready to try your hand at earning the right to raising a Magby."

"Don't you mean catching one?" Vali asked with a raised eye brown as she released Balto and Smaug who immediately began stretching themselves before the Charizard took off into the air while Balto began to race around them at a soft trot.

"No, Brat," Blaine smirked at her, "You have to earn the right to raise a Magby. Catch one at your own risk and have a colony of Magmar on your ass, you need to prove yourself capable of raising one. Thankfully for you, you have a teacher able to help find a colony that's usually willing to part with some of their Magby. It's the one I tend to get my Magmar when my current lower badge ones get too strong,"

Vali found that she was surprised by that even though she should've been, "How did you manage that?"

"My own Magmar came from this Colony and breeds with them every season. They tend to have a large population boom every couple of years," Blaine looked amused, "He might be old, but his children are certainly strong bastards. You might end up with one depending on how things go,"

Vali didn't know what to say about that. Magby were cute pokemon and Magmar certainly powerful especially when trained right. Was she strong enough to handle one right now though? Vali wasn't sure, but Blaine certainly seemed to think she was getting to that point.

Wandering through the wildest route of Johto that only the eight badge trainers usually dared to tread, it was surprisingly soothing even if Vali was traveling with Blaine. She found herself feeling a sense of calm settling over herself the longer they traveled even as a few trainers challenged her to a battle. Despite the powerful pokemon they used, she managed to win with limited injuries to her pokemon. Blaine took any problems he saw with her strategies and helped mold them into something far more potent. Any time Vali had a chance, she took a ride on one of her pokemon's backs whether it was Celina, Smaug, or Balto much to their enjoyment. After one such ride, Elrond spoke to her as the group began to settle for the night, "Empress was watching you fly on Smaug's back. She was feeling jealous, longing, and sadness."

"It's not surprising considering the fact she's a Shelgon that will one day become a Salamence," Vali replied with a slight shrug as she took the harness off of Smaug prompting him to shake his body, "But I'll go speak with her for a bit. If only to see if I can provide some comfort,"

After petting Smaug a bit and hugging him, Vali headed over to where Empress had settled herself. She sat down beside the almost round form of her dragon-type pokemon. Empress shifted a bit to look at her and Vali place a hand on her shielded head. She felt Elrond connect them and sent a mental smile to her Alolan Raichu, "Hey, Empress. How are you doing tonight?"

"I'm fine," Was the almost curt response.

Vali shook her head lightly, "Now we both know that's a lie, Elrond told me what you were feeling earlier," A slight discoloration appeared on Empress' face earning a soft giggle from Vali, "It's okay, Empress. No need to feel embarrassed about it, it's only natural to feel like that. You want to fly badly, but given your body is still changing right now, you're not able to. Give it time, Dear heart. You will one day fly among the clouds and if you're willing, I will be with you just as with Smaug and Celina,"

Empress nodded as the discoloration faded slightly and she leaned into Vali slightly, "Promise."

"Promise," Vali rubbed a hand against the smooth white bone mixed with scale.

Empress purred lowly in her throat, "Alright then, I can wait a while longer I suppose, Vali-Sister."

The Blackthorn hills was an area just below where Mount Silver truly started and Route 45 ended. Where there wasn't forests with ancient pines and berry bushes that looked more like trees, the sloping hills were little more than rocky pebbles and sand with a few precious patches of grass that just managed to grow there. An Inn sat at the base of it all right next to the sign post that told you which way to get to Blackthorn, Mount Silver, and Route 45. Blaine led the way into it after they'd returned everyone save for their chosen couple of pokemon. Entering the inn led revealed a rather homely looking farm stead-like look, they headed to the front desk where Blaine spoke to the woman sitting there, "Blaine Katsura of Cinnabar. I reserved two rooms a week and four days ago."

The woman looked through a book on the desk and hummed softly before nodding, "Yes, you did. I'll get your keys."

The woman slipped away for a brief moment before returning with the keys. After receiving them and directions to their rooms, Blaine spoke as they began making their way up the stairs, "We'll be staying here for a day before heading to the meeting point. We made it in my time frame, so after we're done with the job, we'll be heading somewhere to see about the Magby."

Vali almost stumbled at that and felt a sense of anxiety hit her.

The meeting point turned out to be a Ranger Base that was rather small. It regularly only held two teams of rangers from either region at a time to promote companionship between the two though both tended to avoid the other. One team from each were both out patrolling at a time. Vali looked around the small tree-house like buildings curiously as she walked behind Blaine. They stopped as a pair of Dragonites dropped from the sky to land not far from them. From the two males that dismounted, one of them was very familiar to Vali. Vali stared at the familiar figure just as the Dragonite he'd been riding caught sight of her and promptly let out a loud coo before rushing over to hug her. Letting out a laugh as she hugged the great beast that was being careful while her pokemon jumped ship, she said, "I missed you too, Diaval. Lance has been making sure you've been getting enough battles in and eating enough Aguav berries, right?"

Diaval nuzzled into her letting out a deep groaning coo while Lance spluttered at her. The man beside him let out a booming laugh while Vali grinned at Lance over Diaval's shoulder while gently petting the dragon's shoulder. Lance shouted, "He doesn't need that many berries!"

"I beg to to differ. His scales shine so much better when he eat them more frequently," Vali grinned at Lance as a giggle left her, "I've got some in my bag though, so you can definitely have some,"

Diaval let out a joyful cry as his antenna waggled and he gave Lance a grin. Vali found another Dragonite in her personal space that she didn't know within seconds and had to lean back a little though she met the powerful beings eyes. Diaval made a deep sounds in his throat that halfway threatening and hugged Vali a hair tighter. The other Dragonite stared for a bit longer before moving forward with a small whine and pout. She stared at it for a moment while Diaval let out a grumble and pulled her away from the other Dragonite. She looked at the man that was with Lance as he said, "Drogon likes you and is hoping you'll be wiling to spare some of your berries with him."

"I could if you're okay with that," Vali said as Diaval let out a heartbroken whine, "Not the Aguav, Silly. I know those are your favorite,"

Diaval let out a low grumble and eyed the now named Drogon before nodding his head as he let go of Vali. The man chuckled as he said, "I suppose a few berries wouldn't be too bad. I assume you're Valkyrie Potter-Black?"

"Vali," Vali replied with a light smile, "You're Ulric Blackthorn, right?"

"Indeed," The man nodded with a slight grin reveal a sharp k-9, "I'm the gym leader of Blackthorn City and Current Drake of our clan. Lance here is my nephew," He looked towards Blaine as his dark golden eyes darkened, "Why don't we leave these two out here for a bit to catch up? We've got things to settle with the Rangers and I need to speak with you on some matters anyway,"

Blaine frowned slightly for a few moments before nodding, "Very well," He looked at Vali, "Brat, we shouldn't be too long. Do not cause too much trouble. I highly suggest just sitting down right here and talking."

"Alright," Vali nodded as Eevee jumped onto her shoulder.

Blaine and Ulric headed inside with the blue haired dragon-tamer ordering Drogon to stay with the hatchlings. Lance spoke once the two had disappeared from sight, "So this is your next job?"

"Yup," Vali plopped onto the ground and began digging into her bag looking for the berries she'd grabbed, "What brought you this far?"

"Uncle decided to bring me with him," Lance explained as he took a seat beside her with Diaval sitting down in front of Vali and Drogon plopping down beside the smaller Dragonite, "He wants me to get used to how a Drake needs to act. I might not be the next gym leader, but I'll be the next Drake,"

Vali looked at him in confusion as her hands found the bitter berries. She tossed them to the two dragons though made sure to save the ones she knew Empress preferred. She smiled slightly at the sounds of them enjoying the berries, "You don't sound happy about it."

"I'm not to a point," Lance admitted after a beat of silence, "I love my family. The people, our dragons, the history, and everything in-between it all. I truly do love it," He looked sad, "But when I become champion of the two regions, I won't be able to give them my full attention like a drake needs to. When a Drake is just a Gym Leader or the Champion of Johto, it's stressful though they're able to handle it. But two regions? I won't be able to give them the attention I need to."

"Well, you ask for help," Lance gave her a look, "I'm not saying all the time, but when you're feeling overwhelmed. When you're the champion and I'm one of your Elite, you'll be able to count on me to help out,"

Lance smile slightly, "That does help even if it's awhile off, I just worry that it won't be enough."

"And that's part of why you'll be a good leader," Vali grinned at him, "Worrying over it, wanting to be enough, it shows you you have the makings of a good leader already,"

Lance snorted softly, "Your logic is odd."

Vali stuck her tongue out at her.

"That friend of Lance's, she's an odd one," Ulric commented as they finished discussing everything and began heading back to the children.

"My brat of a student is bright, but quirky," Blaine replied with a shake of his head, "She can be a gentle hearted, but when her temper is stroked, a flame rages. She is bull headed, but as understanding where it counts,"

Ulric smiled slightly as he ran a hand through his short blue hair, "She's definitely got a spark. Anyone that can get a Charizard, Shelgon, and Larvitar to listen to her has to have one. Granted only the Shelgon was truly wild from what Lance told me, she still has guts to have such pokemon," He slowly began to grin, "Kid can handle dragons though. The way she treats Diaval and Drogon was perfect."

"She's been around Oak's beast of a dragon long enough," Blaine shook his head lightly, "Not to mention his Charizard,"

A laugh left Ulric at that, "Both perfect examples of their species," A slight frown formed on his face, "That air around her, I've never seen Drogon take to someone so fast."

Blaine glanced at him out of the corner of his eye and chuckled softly, "When it comes to certain pokemon, they're drawn to her. If you ever come to Cinnabar and go to the Pokemon Mansion, you'll find Vali practically surrounded by the Vulpixes and Ninetales' that live around there. Until the day I actually went to go check on during one of those day-trips, I didn't realize that she effected even the wild pokemon with that air of her."

Ulric's brows furrowed, "That's so odd, I've never heard of anything like it save for maybe reading something back in the family archives."

Blaine had to wonder what was written there and if it would explain anything about Vali's uniqueness. He knew it wasn't her magic as Sirius didn't seem to draw any pokemon to him save for his partner. The way she could drawn in even the most aloof wild pokemon. He had seen her pet and interact with the Ninetales that rarely deigned to involve themselves with humans. It was something that filled him with disbelief and amazement. Only when other humans approached did the Ninetales and Vulpix practically abandon ship, it was amazing to see.

"Alright you two," Vali looked up from where she was gently rubbing the scales under Smaug's chin, "We've got things set up. Let's get going,"

Vali patted Smaug's head after a final scratch before standing up earning a low grumble. Ulric let out a low whistle, "Damn, he's a nice yearling. Based on what I can see and without a blood test, he definitely has had a dragon in his blood-line. At least one parent back, I'd say. I can't say how far or which dragon ended up being in parentage."

Vali looked at him in surprise, "You can tell that just by a look?"

Ulric nodded with a grin, "When I'm not acting as gym leader, I'm a breeder more often than not. Most of the starter pokemon in the clan come from the pokemon breed, I've gotten pretty good at picking out a pokemon parentage thanks to some accidental breeding batches occurring."

Smaug eyed Ulric for a moment before snorting in dismissal when Vali placed a hand on his scaled shoulder. Ulric looked a little surprised by the action. Vali spoke as she looked at Blaine, "So where are we headed?"

"Towards the mountains, we'll be traveling to a specific pathway," Blaine answered as he grinned slightly, "Odd reports have been surfacing warranting attention from a Gym Leader, the position of it is straddling the regions border which is why we," He jerked a finger between Ulric and himself, "Are both here. Let's keep things fairly quick, huh?"

Nods were given by the three standing there, They began getting ready to take off. Vali got on Smaug's back. Soon enough they were in the air, Vali found herself flying next to Ulric. He spoke over the wind, "I wasn't expecting your partner to act that way."

"Smaug's the Beta in my pack," Vali answered as she leaned into Smaug, "Balto is the Alpha. Seeing as its been this way since the beginning of our journey, Smaug hasn't decided to change things even back when Balto was a Growlithe. Especially when you consider his general attitude, a lot of people would think he'd be the leader simply because he would never wish to bow down, but he defied those expectations without giving up his spirit,"

Smaug let out a growl of agreement and Vali snickered as sparks dusted the air around them. It was by chance that they passed by her head and hair. Ulric looked a bit shocked, "How in the world can an Arcanine lead a team with a Charizard on it?"

"Meet my pack and you'll see," Vali grinned at him.

Rather than stop right at the route, Blaine and Ulric had them touch down not far away in a semi-clear area. They set up camp with them all releasing some of their pokemon as protection. As soon as they were settled, Ulric started explaining what the Johto side of the League had heard as they all gathered around a campfire, "Most of the reports have been a higher number of trainer related injures/deaths. Granted this can happen some times, it usually happens in the spring though when eggs are hatching or late fall. It's still too early,"

"We've been getting the same reports with a couple missing trainers mixed in," Blaine replied earning a nod from Ulric.

Vali looked between from her place leaning against Balto's warm side, "So that means something set off the pokemon? Maybe some kind of unexpected evolutions might be the cause? It has been known to be the cause in the past."

"Very true especially considering the area," Ulric nodded in approval towards Vali.

"But that wouldn't have two gym leaders sent this way," Lance pointed out.

Ulric and Blaine shared a long look before the elder began speaking. Blaine's expression was stern and wary, "Within certain areas of the regions, the Leagues keep track of pokemon released by trainers of various levels. Within the Silver Mountains, a few of the pokemon have made their home among them is a specific one that many would do anything to get their hands on," Vali looked at him in surprise, "Craggy, the Garchomp of former Champion Rolland Hunchans, made his nest here."

"Shit," Lance breathed out with a shocked looked on his face.

A powerful Garchomp like that nesting in the Silver mountains? Vali inwardly shook her head at that, "If it's nesting here and all this activity is happening, does that mean something might've pissed it off?"

"Maybe," Blaine inclined his head, "Which is why we're here to check rather than the Rangers or Aces,"

"So where do we start then?" Vali asked with a curious look.

A map was unrolled and Ulric pointed to a few dots marked on it, "We'll begin there."

Smaug let out a joy filled roar that was slightly sadistic as he beat back yet another Rhydon that decided to challenge their travels. Vali smiled softly with a low chuckle while rubbing Empress' smooth shell. Empress watched the fight transfixed while Elrond kept up a psychic barrier around them. She heard approaching footsteps and looked to find Lance with Diaval, "Smaug is living it up out here."

"Your team is getting much stronger," Lance commented as he watched the Rhydon finally decide it was better to fall back and lick its wounds, "Seeing them now, it's a clear difference from the conference,"

"Yeah," Vali nodded as Smaug returned to her side with barely any scratches, "Nicely done, Smaug,"

Smaug let out a light purr of pride while Empress moved towards him and butted against his side. He snorted softly and patted her shell. Lance spoke after watching the sweet moment, "I finished up with my end of the area. Have you found anything?"

"Nothing yet, we keep encountering Rhydon, a few Donphan, and Dodrio," Vali shook reached up to scratch behind Eevee's ear, "I did find some signs of Onix and Steelix. Around the higher areas, I've seen a couple signs of that rare Skarmory that you sometimes hear about. That's pretty much it, I can't find anything else,"

"Pretty much what I've found," Lance frowned slightly, "I wonder what we're supposed to find here,"

Vali shrugged, "No idea, I'm just hoping that we're not going to run into Craggy. A territorial Garchomp is not something I want to run into especially when it's champion level."

Lance grinned a bit, "I don't know about that. Seems like a fun challenge to me, I've always planned on going up against it one day. If I can beat it to at least a standstill, I'll have managed to become a proper champion, ya known."

Vali shook her head, "You're crazy," A small smile played on her lips, "I guess when that day comes you better tell me. I need to be there if only to ensure you're and your pokemon aren't killed."

Lance nodded with a laugh, "Sure thing, it'll help to prove I've won too."

"This way," Elrond urged rather gently.

After two days of searching through various areas, they'd finally found something. Vali had sent a message to Ulric, Blaine, and Lance while heading towards where her pokemon had found whatever it was. She climbed up the rocks carefully, "Mind helping me climb a bit faster?"

Elrond's psychic power wrapped around her and immediately boosted her up. She grunted softly while hefting herself on top of the cliff. She paused for a moment to relax her muscles and breath. Elrond radiated anxiety though let her relax for a moment. When she was ready, they began moving towards a cave and she felt a bolt of anxiety. She steeled herself though and kept moving. Moving into the cave, she immediately grimaced and covered her nose with a scarf as a sickly sweet stench mixed with something rotting wafted towards her. As soon as she made it a couple steps into the darkened cave, she spotted the rotting corpse of a someone impaled with a mixture of earthen spikes.

A nauseous feeling filled her stomach though she pushed it down as Elrond urged her further, "It's further in. Sorry for not warning you, Vali. I just... It's hard to concentrate on protecting you and also ensuring that whatever this thing is won't effect any of us."

Vali shuddered softly, "It's alright, but next time, I'd like to be warned."

They soon reached the caves back. Within it, a few other corpses rested. Vali barely kept down the food she'd eaten. It was only the machine in the center of the room that kept her from puking. It took up almost the entire center of the room and looked rather ugly. As she walked further into the room, a low humming sound emanated from the machine alongside a rather piecing whistle that made her ears ache. Vali's head hurt more and more as she slowly stepped closer to the machine. As if to rebel against the pain, the fire within her rose up and coiled around the tips of her fingers.

Vali slowly reached out towards the machine and watched as the fire slowly began to waft towards the machine. She concentrated on it and felt the fire actually responding for once as she willed it to move towards the machine a bit faster. It reached the machine and began to burn melt the outer portions of it slowly. The hiss and spitting of melting metal echoed through the air. She closed her eyes feeling the fire move within her body in a way it hadn't before. The way it moved to basically burn the machine was rather amazing. Much like her magic, it followed a set of paths within her though they didn't seem fully established just yet which is probably why her body had reacted the way it did during the tests.

As soon as she broke the machine and the pain it caused died off, the fire immediately receded back into her body. Unlike before though, Vali could feel the pathway it had taken within her. It felt just like her more mature magical paths did meaning she'd be able to use it to a point. Though she'd have to be careful, it would be dangerous to train it. If she ended up damaging it, she didn't want to think of what could happen.

Elrond's anxiety faded, "That feels much better, Vali."

"Good though where did that thing come from," Vali asked with a frown, "And what is it doing here?" She looked at her partner in concern, "Can you contact the others and tell them we're here?"

Elrond nodded lightly, "They're almost here and I warned them of the bodies. They're worried, Vali. Blaine and Ulric especially. This place, they seem to recognize it as something special though I cannot tell you how."

Vali shook her head lightly, "I do not know, Elrond. It's an important place, but for now, let's head into the open air."

Lance arrived first with Blaine and Ulric following after. Lance looked at her in concern as Blaine and Ulric lanced, "Vali, are you alright?"

"I'm fine other than feeling a bit strained. I managed to melt the machine that was causing the disturbance enough to shut it down," Vali told them as she leaned against Balto, "It's in there at the back of the cave,"

Blaine nodded to her as he and Ulric rushed into the cave. Lance walked towards her, "Are you okay?"

"I feel sick," Vali told him, "Seeing those dead bodies plus the machine giving me a killer headache, it hurt. I'll be fine, but it was a lot to find just by myself,"

Lance laid a hand on her shoulder, "I'm sorry I wasn't there for you, Vali."

Vali shook her head, "You couldn't have known."

Soon enough Blaine left the cave and looked at Vali, "I'm going to be contacting the League at once, but this is exactly what we were sent here to find. Nicely done, Vali."

"Thank you," Vali said softly.

Rather than head back to Cinnabar immediately, Blaine decided that they'd head to Blackthorn to recover from their time on Mount Silver.