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The Eternally Guilty Sun: Revival

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"Hm. Coolio. Moon goddess and all..." Alex remarked. In all her lives, she'd never met a moon goddess. Really, there weren't any tangible deities in her world unless you counted Naga, but she wasn't a god, really.


"So none of this has anything to do with the Old Gods?"


"Neh. Like, there are some gods here somewhere, and Ascension called them the Old Gods, but I don't think they're your Old Gods." Alex rocked on her heels and grinned. Hopefully, she wouldn't some how take that as proof that her gods were here.


"So I assume this building was destroyed by one of those foxes? Then one of my questions still lasts: How did I get here? And a new one: Why is it so important that these foxes are defeated? If it's some personal grudge of that small fox over there, I really don't have the time for this."


"Well, see, I'd love to say you don't have to deal with this, buuuut you're sorta in a position where you don't have a choice. See, about the mansion?" She motioned to the entirety of what was left of it, "Nix did that. He tore the place apart and we miiiight have set a fire in it too. He's also the one that's supposedly responsible for all the multiverse-folk like you being dragged here. He killed a bunch of people, but I don't even know who all there was. All royalty." Alex flipped open Cereal Killer and started idly charging the tome, making the pages turn as she passed her hand over them. That was right...her Lucina had been excited over receiving a letter to come to Smash. Alex hadn't heard her make a decision on whether she'd go or not, but she didn't remember seeing her at Castle Siege or the tournament. Maybe she'd stayed home...or...?


Her eyes wandered to any spaces she could find to not make eye contact with Tyrande. She had those wide, glowing eyes.


"I might have missed it somewhere, but I think those two will end up destroying the multiverse because of all that unchecked power they got. So...yeah, you unfortunately have a stake in this game."


She paused as she sat and thought on Lucina's whereabouts for quite some time. It wasn't until she snapped back to reality and re-noticed Tyrande standing there that she renewed the shocked look on her face.


"O-oh! Sorry! I'm not trying to act like I don't care or anything! Forgive me if I seemed like that!"



Now that the dust had settled and he'd gotten the better part of the soot off his clothes, Ike looked in the direction of where the shadow had went. Unfortunately, he couldn't find what it was that had flown over, but could tell it had to be massive. There were plenty of objects and monsters that populated the lands here, so Ike couldn't rightfully guess as to what it was. The thought of turning around to check on Soren crossed his mind, but he knew he could take care of himself. He'd probably already retrieved his tomes and staves and was going to work tending to his wounds. It'd be a waste to come back with nothing so much as a confirmation that the area had indeed been set on fire.

"...he'll be alright. No sense in worrying about it; I should try finding the others for now."





After a while of jogging, the trees parted and he could see a group gathered in front of what he recognized as the remains of the Smash Mansion. Looking upon it was nostalgic--he recalled walking in what were once grand doors, shaking hands with heroes from across the land, whose techniques were all so foreign to him. Sure, the resplendence was suffocating, but getting to engage with so many different personalities and cultures had been incredible. It had been one of the last distractions he'd had from the turmoil of his world.


He could see several forms, two beorc and a woman with glowing eyes and purplish skin, accompanied by a dragon, of all things. He recognized the female beorc, and just the realization alone was enough to drag a distressed groan from him. He didn't know her well, but she'd left an impression on him the one time they'd met. She was nice...just, very...very taxing.


He walked up to the group, giving the dragon who was growling to himself a wide berth, but tapped him on the haunch before moving to get his attention.


"Hey there. Is there any way you guys could tell me what's going on here?"




"My name is Solar. Erm... nice to meet you. I kinda have some questions... Why are there so many humans here, what is this place and its orange sky, and what's with the bug dragon and the orange thing? They don't look like any Pokémon I know. And... uh, have you seen a Herdier named Kain? I was with him, and then I'm here and he's disappeared..."


"Good to meet you, Solar," he gave her a brief bow. "This is a place we'll call Smashland. People from across reality are invited here to participate in fights for glory, and the winner is rewarded and crowned champion." More rain could be heard hitting against the grass. The sweet smell of petrichor was wafting in; if it weren't such a serious situation, he'd enjoy the weather. He looked at Solar as he spoke again.


"The sky is an effect of my sister Eos rising. She's an Espeon, a deity incarnated in the likeness of the sun in these lands. She's curently losing her mind, and I've been sent to stop her and my brother Nix, the Umbreon, who's associated with the Moon. Nix's power has been pulling the humans and others like the dragons from their homes, including you, unfortunately."


Ascension noticed that the "bug dragon" wasn't with them. The blond--Owain--and the twintail--Severa--had caught up at some point and were rambling as they were before. He sighed.

"As for your friend Kain, I'm loathe to admit that he isn't here, or that I haven't met him yet. We have other Pokemon trainers here, so maybe they would be one of yours, or someone you know?"



And lo, as he said this, the "orange thing" Solar was speaking of started to talk. He liked Ratchet so far.



"If you jump on my back I can get us there faster." he said, "But...I can't carry everyone."


"Solar, this is Ratchet. I have absolutely no idea what he is, but I can assure you he's not a Pokemon." Ascension then regarded Ratchet.


"I...might take you up on that offer. I don't know why..." He shook himself out and pawed the ground, "but, I feel a little strange. Maybe it's just me being off balance...or the solar energy overhead. But our friend here, a Pokemon called Torracat with the name Solar, is a Fire Type. I'd be concerned for her health out here."

Edited by Sugar-Free

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Solar was stunned. An Espeon who was the sun? An Umbreon who was the moon?


Aloud, she muttered. "Is there any connection... to the old legend? The beast that devours the sun and the beast of the moon..."


She shook her head, feeling the rain. Her ears flattened - being a Fire type, she wasn't much for the rain. This Sjashland was a curious place, and this Nix seemed... powerful. Way more powerful than your average Umbreon. Or was Nix even an Umbreon?


Was it something pretending to be an Umbreon? If Pokémon could transform...


But Ascension seemed pretty sure.


And... given that bit about dragged from their universes... these weren't Pokémon? That was curious to her. But she was used to Pokémon.


This Ratchet was a xurious creature to her, owing to the fact he was no Pokémon. Ascension didn't seem to know what he was... but at least he wasn't a BUG. The Torracat wanted to ask what he was, but there was a more pressing matter. Kain.


Maybe one of the other trainers' Pokémon knew where Kain was... but who were the Trainers? "Which of the humans are Trainers?"

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Doey wanted to smirk at Ascension, but resisted the urge. A god? He had to do everything to stop himself from laughing. A god wouldn't be able to measure up to his precious shadow Tapu Koko! The dragon was yelling at him telling him not to treat him like a hatchlings. "Ah," he said. "My apologies, I was only trying to help you calm down. I didn't mean to treat you like a hatchling."


Hopefully the dragon would accept his apologies, if not, then why should Doey care? He ignored the guy who started talking halfway normally and yelling. What a bother. Doey frowned as the guy spouted nonsense. He had followed the Eevee and kept quiet as he walked. He noticed a Torracat besides the Eevee.


Zoey decided to follow the group heading to the castle after the dragon incident. She wasn't about to let Doey out of her sight. She smiled as her Reuniclus moved forward to talk with the Eevee and the new cat Pokemon that had appeared. "I couldn't help but overhear you talking," Globbers said to the two smaller Pokemon. "But I have an answer to your question. Zoey, the girl who is wearing Reuniclus like clothing is a trainer. She's really sweet and you absolutely have to meet her."


Globbers paused. "I think Doey might be a trainer as well," he said a bit hesitant. "While he seems okay, there's something...off about him." "Is it okay if I walk with you guys?" Arctic asked as she crept up. She looked back to see Vulpes looking around. Ratchet had made mention he could carry some of them on his back. "I might be able to carry a lot more if you're willing to fly," Vulpes offered. "But Arctic has to stay with me so that'd be one less creature able to ride on me."

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Ratchet nodded, looking back at the little red and black cat. "A fire type? A fire type of what? a pokeman? Whats a pokeman? he shot off, not pausing between questions Must be another alien species like himself. Speaking of that, something the Eevee said made him remember, 'Lombax. I'm a Lombax. we're kinda a big deal where I'm from" he explained. He figured mentioing being the last one in the know galaxy was a little self centered ad a useless detail in this situation.


Ratchet turned to walk backwards so he could talk to the Torracat. He nearly tripped when a weird floating embryo creature was suddenly there. It seemedto be speaking with the cat in a strange launguage that consisted to repeating the same word over and over. His translator was crackling in his ear, haivng trouble translating the inflections on the words. He gave up trying, it would catch up eventually...maybe.


Ratchet noticed the discomfort of the Torracat's face everytimea drop struck her fur, resulting in a wisp of steam. Fire type must mean an affinity of fire. Well thats obvious now that he thought about it. He felt stupid now for not getting it sooner. He looked at the red and black cat"You can jump on my back, Torracat. I can get us out of the weather' he offered again like the eevee suggested. Now that the wing beast offered to also carry some of the party, he felt less bad leaving them in the dust. He winked at the dragon, " betcha i'll beat you there" he teased. A little friendly competition never hurt.





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Solar turned to the Reuniclus. At least, that was what she thought it was. Still, maybe he knew something about Kain...?


"Oh, okay. Have you or your trainer seen a Herdier? His name's Kain."


Solar paused to await an answer. She then turned to the Eevee.


"Can you tell Ratchet that his offer sounds good to me?"


Solar hissed as more rain fell on her. And in annoyance that she couldn't talk to half the people here herself. At least this group seemed like it'd stick together for awhile... seemed being the key word.

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He had always wanted to be a hero.


She had always wanted to just be enough.


He'd always wanted to prove himself to those around him.


She had just wanted to be someone other than "mother's daughter."


It was quite funny, really. The day Grima came. All those worries and fears seemed to just... fade away as anxieties paled to the fear of the Fell Dragon. But did those inner conflicts matter when you just wanted to survive?

They weren't even sure if their parents had died. They could only assume they had.

For Owain, he at least had his sister, someone to call family as their world fell around them.

But Severa had had no one. She had clutched to only a saddening reminder of the future she had lost and the past she couldn't escape. And the dragon kept destroying, and they were too weak to stop him.

Ports burned, and cities fell. Kingdoms they had been proud of collapsed and drifted into ruined memory.

And he had met her, in his timeline. And she had met him. He wondered if he could have called it love then. She would have called him an idiot even as she kissed him. They knew their devotion would never survive in this land. Family? It would be just more to die to Grima's fire.

So they merely stayed near each other, unable to leave the other, waiting for their lives to end...

Unfortunately, they did. But only halfway.. somewhat.

In his timeline, Owain managed to convince a blacksmith to forge him a powerful sword that held within it the power of the Sun, Solas. With it, he could defeat Grima, if he could find its sister blade, the one with the power of the Moon. But the Blacksmith died before he could forge him that lance...

In her timeline, Severa managed to convince a blacksmith to forge her a powerful lance that held within it the power of the Moon, Lunis. As with Owain, all she needed was Solas... but the Blacksmith perished before he could give them the other half.

Owain fought with tooth and nail, but could not save her. Severa died in his arms as he bore Solas, the blade seeming weak without her to help him bear it.

Severa fought so desperately but he died from Grima's assault. She wept deeply for him, finally showing her emotions, Lunis laying by her side without anyone to hold it.

But Naga would not allow their fates to end so coldly...

In her compassion, she found a Severa who had lost the one who'd needed her to keep him in line, and found an Owain bearing an empty soul without someone to impress. So she asked them,...

"Would you sacrifice everything, to get it all back? Would you help me to save them all?"

The destined two didn't believe it could be real. They didn't believe this sort of miracle could happen. But a world without their other half meant little...

Whatever it meant, the past had to be better than this, right?...


But when he saw her again, and she saw him, at first...

They were unwilling to speak of that dark time.


- Legends of Naga: The Tale of the Aetherus.




"I shall smite this evil... NIX! WITH THE POWER OF MY ANCIENT SWORD ARM!" Owain held out his hand, clasping his fingers for dramatic effect. "I feel the power, COURSING THROUGH MY AR-"

She smacked his shoulder.

"NOW I FEEL ONLY PAIN!" Owain cringed. "Why did you DO that, dearest one?!"

"Stop making a fool of yourself for the moment, Owain." Severa commanded, crossing her arms. "I'm trying to think."

"Of what? New weapon names?" Owain asked, eager.

"Not right now." she waved him away dismissively. "No. I'm trying to understand the story this little beast is speaking."

"It's quite simple really." Owain said with a flourish. "Long ago, there were apparently three of these little fox things, and one got mad and killed that one, and then another one got revenge, and then that one is now back to rectify things. Easy.

"....That makes no sense at all." Severa put a finger to her forehead. "That's honestly your final answer?"


"Why not. I'm not really concerned with the past anymore." Owain shrugged. "I'm more concerned about the present. As in, cool skill names we can yell when we beat the DIRT out of this Nix. Hmm... MoonBREAKER! LUNAR DESTROYER! Final Seal: Tide Bringer!"

"I liked the second one." Severa suddenly said, pondering.

"Then THAT shall be yours, my beloved! But certainly I must follow it up with something just as astounding, THOUGH not to steal your thunder, of course! We are a duet, not a solo pair."

She sighed, defeated.


"Sky Cleave."

"VERY nice!" Owain said, nodding. "See, it's fun!"

"Last Light."

"Hmm... good vibes. Slightly missing something."

"Broken Star?"

"I... I love that one." Owain said, looking at her with awe. "That one is EXTREMELY loud in and of itself! It speaks volumes! A story to be written about it!"

"Oh please, it was nothing." Severa said, hands on her hips, nose in the air. "Wait, why am I getting so proud about this?! This isn't solving anything!"

"What do we need to solve?" Owain asked, hands behind his head. "I see no problem here."


"Name one."


"New adventure!"

"We're surrounded by strange beasts and following a TALKING FOX!"

"Why do you keep repeating that part, my love?"

"I can't... I really don't get how you see no issue with this scenario. We can't get HOME, Owain!"

Owain shook his head.

"My home is with you, always." he said, smiling. "But there is always a solution. Father always taught me that. There is always a strategy, always a plan."

"Ugh. That does sound like something that arrogant dastard would say. Him and his stupid books and tactics. I never found a problem my sword couldn't solve."

"Or a few mean words." Owain added facetiously.

"Look, if you can't handle verbal abuse you shouldn't be on a battlefield." Severa stated flatly. "Like, why even bother trying to fight if you're going to cry about a few insults? Besides, I never insulted anyone who didn't deserve it at the time. I'm not going to apologize."

"So I did?"

"At the time, YES. But now, no." Severa said, turning away. "And don't expect any apology. You're not gonna get one."

"I don't expect one. That's not who you are, Severa of the Moonlight." Owain replied, gesturing to the sky. "You are the cold beauty, the untouchable, yet a warmness hiding within."

"I'm not sure if I like that or not." Severa said uncomfortably. "I feel that's some kind of insult, somewhere in it."

"I would never speak ill of you." Owain assured.

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Ascension nodded and looked at Ratchet.



"Ratchet, Solar says she'd be delighted to ride on your back. Make sure you take care to keep her out of the rain as best that you can. I thank you from the bottom of my heart." A sense of hope--hope?--grew within Ascension's chest. Already, connections were being made between his comrades. And Solar seemed like a very nice Pokemon, as well. He decided that he liked her, too. Maybe things would be alright...


He called out to the others, announcing their flight, and took off at a run following the dragons and Ratchet. As he did, he focused his thoughts on the form of a Jolteon, with its stiff fur and streamlined body, and felt for the familiar coursing of electricity that would envelope him as it would. He felt and he grasped for it--



--but it would not come to him. Confused, he slowed his pace and tried to channel the currents of the earth to help, but no. He shook his head, confused.



I can't evolve? What is this?



He stopped as the others came to rush by him. He inspected his body, finding faint rifts where the panther had marked him the night before. Lucas had healed him...but the suppressed and sickly feeling in his skin and bones reminded him to what had happened. Ascension could not feel his power, only a linger blight. He growled at the sky and the shadows below him.



Nix! You coward! I won't forgive you for this!



But there was no time to dwell on it now. He picked up the pace again with renewed fervor. What Nix had stolen from him he would return in full force. So long as the Stars hung above, he would not be overcome so easily.



The dragon seemed not to notice Ike below him. He sighed and turned to the next best idea--the woman wearing the white ensemble. He walked over to her--



"Hey th--OOWAGH!"



Ike was thrown a bit by the sudden attachment of an overly-excitable girl clinging to his side. Her arms were a vice around his bicep, and he had the hardest time trying to peel her off.



"Would you stop it? Get off!"


"No," Alex said, and she began squeezing on his arm in a very uncomfortable manner.


"Alex, cut it ou--" "Damn son! Are those steaks in there? I mean, you were pretty sculpted last time I saw you, but HOLY NAGA what have they been feeding you?!" She pulled down on him hard enough that he bucked forward, nearly face to face with her. She has this completely out-of-place look of suspicion in her eyes.


"You sure you're the same Ike I know?"


"What?! I never said I wasn't! Now would you please take your hands and arms and other body parts off me?"


She scoffed and flung her hands up much to Ike's relief. At least she listened. He watched her plop down on the ground and fold her arms and legs with a pout on her face.

"Fine. But," she pointed a finger at him, "that whole protein supplement/performance enhancer thing you're doin'?" She then pointed to herself with a mischievous grin, "I want in."


Ike shook his head and turned back to the woman he was regarding before. He looked at her with a bit of sympathy.

"Sorry about that. Now, are you the commander of this group? My strategist told me there was a group of people here that needed assistance. I'm happy to offer anything I can to help."

Edited by Sugar-Free

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Stormcatcher turned, snarling at the Beastclan who'd tapped him. A little late, because it was already talking to two other Beastclan. He growled in frustration and roared at them again.


"What is this place?! And what are you lot plotting?!"


He was sure they were planning something. What he wasn't sure. And if they were the ones who stole his magic....


He wanted to hear explanations, and he was getting impatient now. He didn't have time for this - the Spire was probably already lowering on productivity. Dragons were probably slacking off without him there. He needed to get back.

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Ike turned back to the dragon who was snarling at him. His tone was really grating, and it reminded him of the senators who he'd tired of years and years ago. But seeing as this was a dragon, he couldn't help but be amazed by his sheer size and likely strength.


Just looking at him took him back to the time he'd been aboard a boat that had run aground in the shoals of Goldoa, the lone and resolute kingdom of the Dragon Laguz. When their prince Kurthnaga, a exceptionally kindhearted and forgiving man amongst the unsympathetic minds of his people, had given them his favor, he'd been able to bear witness to several Red Dragons transform before his very eyes, and lift the boat back to the sea with ease. They were as tall as buildings, even taller...and while this dragon was nowhere near them in sheer mass, he was still just as imposing. Something about him made his skin prickle all over.


"If you'll stop shouting at me, I'll try to explain the best I can. This is a place where fighters come to participate in a tournament. Though, it seems like there's been a falling out between the three gods who run it, and we've all been dragged here to try and stop the two named Eos and Nix." He paused, seeing there was likely much more this dragon would ask. He wished he had the full spectrum of what was happening and why, but those questions could be better directed to Soren later, who had firsthand experience with the aforementioned.

"I know it's a lot to take in, and I'm not the best one to explain it, but you'd make a valuable addition to the force if you'd join us. I promise none of us are conspiring to hurt you or take anything from you."

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Rathet took the weight of the Torracat on his narrow back. It placed her paws on his shoulders in order to get a grip. He could feel her claws biting into his suit for traction. IT didn't hurt but it still made him ticklish. The weight on his baack reminded him of Clank. He wondered if this cat could turn into a helicoptor. Glancing back, he aught the eye of Solar, "Hang on. It's a smooth ride but I can get moving pretty fast.".


Rathet clicked his heels and his hoverboots came to life with a sudden woosh. Ratchet rose about a foot off the ground, the bottom of his boots quantum locking him at that height indefinitely. A stream of light blue vapor pushed against the ground. Ratchet bent his knees to stabalize himself. A second later, he leaned his weight forward and shot across the ground almost silently.It was


It wasn't long before his ionic propulsion allowed him to overtake the others. He pushed on a little extra speed for the rain was begining to pick up the pace. Ratchet couldn't see the dragon but assumed it was somewhere above him. He wasn't going to lose to a lizard.


As they came over te hill, the full majesty of Peach Castle was in view. It's white brick exterior was a harsh contrast against the dark sky. The terrain changed to patterened sotne as they reached a path that seemed to lead them to a stone bridge. Ratchet rounded the corner and stopped on the opposite side of the bridge. He turned off his hoverboots and dropped to the ground. They came to a stop just outside the main doors. A gable protected them from the rain, which was now falling in a steady patter. "last stop. Everyone off' he said with a chuckle, imitating a conductor.







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"Come on Doey," Zoey said as she dragged the scientist towards Vulpes. Doey found it amusing that the girl was ordering him around. Vulpes lowered himself as he narrowed his eyes at Ratchet. So the guy wanted a race did he? "You're on," he said, a hint of a smile forming on his face. "Come along Arctic." Arctic looked up at her older brother before climbing up on his face. "You two okay back there?"


"I'm good!" Zoey said, returning Globbers to his Dusk Ball. "Same," Doey said right before Vulpes took off. Zoey hated the fact she had to wrap her arms around the wires scientist as Vulpes flew after Ratchet how moved pretty fast for the dragon to keep up. Then again, he did have a lot more passengers and a lot more bulk then Ratchet.


"That was pretty impressive," Vulpes said as he soon landed next to the Lombat. "That was fun, maybe we can do it again soon. As long as I'm not carrying anyone." He laid down to let Zoey and Doey off, carefully keeping an eye on Arctic as she also got off to have a look around. Zoey frowned at the scientist and moved away from him, releasing Globbers once again. "Well, since Globbers and I are the only original two here at the moment," Zoey said. "Welcome to Princess Peach's castle. I can show you guys around a bit if you want to get a layout of the castle just until Ascension gets here.

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About the time that the dragons had landed with their cargo, and Ratchet had just before arrived at the castle, Ascension trotted up beside them, still stewing at the prospect of having his power taken from him. It was unlikely that it was permanent--Nix did not have the means to take his celestial affinity away from him--but that it was more of a passing affliction. Still, it wounded him in more ways than one. Hopefully, Eos was still reasonable, but Nix was far from it.


"Vulpes," he regarded the great orange dragon towering over him, "Valerie, Kali, Blossom and Shawn remain back at the clearing. Could I trouble you to return and gather them for me?" Now, the rain was coming down at a steady, increasing pace. He looked around, seeing no signs of the others from the mansion. His mind flipped back to the one in the robes that had berated him for his injuries--he remembered through his lengthy introduction that his name was Soren--and he wondered if he would ever return. Same went for the dragon woman--there was nothing beyond the ocean but the Customlands, which were mostly barren, strange and ever-changing, and bearing nothing that she could hope to find to send her home.


He nudged the door to the castle and pawed it twice, looking to Zoey.


"If you'd like to give us a tour, please do so. We'll be here awhile as we wait out the storm."

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Shawn saw Ascension run off in the distance, followed by the more human-like fox creature that carried the steaming black cat and the big dragon that was carrying the smaller dragon and two people.


"Wait for me!" Shawn yelled at them as he started dribbling and zigzagging his way through the forest as fast as he could. One with the wind. Be one with the wind.




Valerie, Kali and Blossom were quite caught off-guard by everyone moving away this fast. First the Eevee started to run surprisingly fast, then the lombax, if Valerie had picked that word up correctly, carried the Torracat away on his back, reaching speeds way greater than Ascension's, and the big dragon carried the smaller one away, as well as the young trainer girl and the old professor. Next the white-haired boy started swiftly dashing his way past the trees, moving his ball with him by repeatedly kicking it. Lastly the two armored people took flight on a creature that had the body structure of a Rapidash, but black and winged and without the horn or flames. Every departure was an amazing sight.


"I think they don't feel like we're good enough and they're just leaving us behind!" Kali said.


"Don't you think they'd appreciate all help?"


"Then we'd still just slow them down, it seems. We'd be more trouble than we're worth, according to those people! I knew we should've gone back to Laverre City immediately!!"


"Immediately? Weren't you tired as well?"


"I meant immediately after waking up, Blossom!" *sigh*


"When all of the other people were showing up out of nowhere? Well that's polite!"


"I don't see why we shouldn't leave them behind if they leave us behind anyway!"


"Shush, ladies!" Valerie interrupted them, getting a little bit frustrated herself, but mainly staying calm. "We don't even know how far away it is. I'm certain they will send someone back to get us. Spritzee and Sylveon have done very well in the first fight."


"Sprrrr Sprrritzee?"


"Yes you did! Sprrit, Sprit- Spritzeee. So I don't see why they'd leave us behind.


"Did you also tell them what you've done? Fights can get quite chaotic, so there's a very good chance they didn't even think it was you who helped them!"


"That would be bragging, Kali, you know that."


"Well did someone thank you for it then, Valerie?"


"Uhm, well, no. Nobody did. It seems that I may have been misgui-" "Valerie, look!" Blossom interrupted with great amusment as she saw the big dragon flying back to them. "They are coming back for us!"




A muscular man appeared and started talking. It seems he was familiar with the interesting young lady. Odd, because he didn't appear to be that strange at all. He seemed very serious and polite. They were opposites, but somehow related. Now where has she seen that before?


"Do you mean to say that this woman was speaking the truth when mentioning the evils of two fox-lixe gods?"


Suddenly a thought came up in her head. A terrifying one, even more so as she knew it was possible. If these gods weren't defeated now, and they did not "destroy the multiverse", what she assumed would be the end of reality, it could still just be a matter of time untill they'd appear in Darnassus. That put the lives of many night elves at threat. She couldn't let that happen.


"Then I will fight with you, for the safety of the kaldorei. I may just be at a minimum of my powers now, but I'm convinced it would still be a decent aid in battle."

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"Do you mean to say that this woman was speaking the truth when mentioning the evils of two fox-like gods?"


Her gaze seemed to shift to a far-off place beyond where Ike was standing. He recognized the look well--contemplating the fates of her people and homeland, her friends and family, weighing this heavy burden against their health. He sympathized with her already; even when leaving behind his own family was his choice, he couldn't shake the residual worry he had for them, even if he had the ultimate trust in them. He couldn't even imagine just how much she must care for them.


But she seemed to shake from her ruminations, her expression fortified.


"Then I will fight with you, for the safety of the kaldorei. I may just be at a minimum of my powers now, but I'm convinced it would still be a decent aid in battle."


He nodded and smiled at her, offering out a hand for her to take. He had a feeling he'd just made a powerful ally, and he was happy to assist her in her ambitions do long as she did the same.


"Good to hear. The name's Ike, by the way. Well met."


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((post delay again because I got sick and hit with homework))


Just as she thought she was getting somewhere, Cyil noticed a sudden tension in the man's face. It happened for a split second - all it took was a sudden breeze, a movement of hair, and the man's face had changed. Automatically, she reached her hand out to brush the errant strands behind her ears, grazing her earlobe - was that it? Her ears? She wasn't unused to a few strange looks here and there, but somehow the expression on the man's face seemed deeper than that. It was more than mere disgust or surprise. It seemed... angered, strangely enough. But just as quickly as it had come, it passed, leaving her unsure if it was simply her imagination or a play of light.


"Soren; mage and strategist; from the continent of Tellius."


When the man next spoke, his voice was calm and collected, carrying no trace of the sudden tension in his face. The name of the continent he hailed from was strangely familiar, but she couldn't place where she had heard it before. Perhaps one of the other participants in the tournament had mentioned it? It wasn't important now. At least she knew that he was indeed a mage and a strategist if the tomes and orders hadn't been convincing enough. However, for all the questions the information answered, it only brought up more. Why hadn't he used one of his tomes to defend himself instead of a staff? They couldn't have been too far away from him if he was as cautious as he seemed. He had even raised his hand in a casting pose when he first saw her, despite his obvious lack of a tome. Was it a habit?


Come to think of it, she had noticed a few welts on his palm as he had held it out. She had nearly forgotten them in the wake of the events that followed, but she recalled it now. They had been in circular shapes, something akin to the runes that surrounded mages when they cast magic. Were they magical burns? None of the circles were scabbed over, likely indicating that they were fresh. Still, a few burns wouldn't stop a mage from casting magic. Magic wasn't like wielding a sword or swinging an axe. It didn't require contact and could be channeled regardless of the state of the user's hands. So why would he choose to wield a staff instead of a tome, even when it put him at a disadvantage? She paused her musings when she noticed him open his mouth again, hopefully to provide more information.


"Where are your weapons? I'll have to confiscate them until you've underwent a due inspection from my commander; in return, I'll allow you to make base here for the time being. As you can see," he held out a hand, letting the rain fall on it, "there's a storm coming fast, and I doubt you can afford to wander about in the elements."


Unfortunately, he only issued another question in return. She didn't bother to correct his perception of her water resistance, but she did take note of the fact that he had a commander.


"If you choose not to let me locate your arms, then you will leave this area and not return. Any attempts to deceive me will be met with force. Stand, and make your decision."


Naturally, she didn't want a stranger to be anywhere near her weapons, so she almost immediately settled upon the latter option. However, a glimpse of something yellow caught her eye before she could inform him of her decision. The object was sitting on a dry riverbank, propped over what appeared to be... food? It had a distinct artificial look to it, reminiscent of the food that sometimes appeared on the tournament stages to restore a battler's health. Of course! It was a Party Ball, propped over food! This new prospect of sustenance caused her to reevaluate her previous choice, tilting it in favor of staying. She still wasn't happy about letting someone else take her weapons, but the chances of finding food or stumbling across another Party Ball were slim, especially in this weather. Speaking of weather, she would have to make up her mind fast, as the river was already rising from the rain and would soon engulf the food.


"Very well, I shall retrieve my weapons and surrender them."


With that, she began to head into the forest, keeping her hands visible and pace steady in case Soren decided to follow her. Soon, she arrived at her pile of equipment, which was thankfully still untouched. After making sure her tomes were clean and dry, she picked up her sword and handed all of her weapons over to Soren. "Be careful with the chainsaw," she warned, laying the Yato and its holster gently atop her tomes, "especially near flammable objects. The fire isn't just for effect." She had learned that the hard way after several of her old tomes caught fire. Since then, she made sure to always cast a fireproofing enchantment over her tomes and other belongings, especially those she carried with the Yato.


While she didn't quite want to leave Soren alone with her weapons, getting food was the whole reason she chose to surrender them. Her actions would be wasted if she didn't retrieve the food soon, so speed was of utmost importance. Keeping an eye on Soren for as long as she could, she quickly made her way to the riverbank and picked up the food just as a wave washed over the edge of the bank. A nimble hop back onto the grass later, she was enjoying the strange but satisfying food. Although the food should have been filthy from spending time on the ground, it remained oddly untouched and seemingly safe for consumption. Even if it were slightly dirty, she would still have consumed it, as it would have been the only confirmed source of sustenance for her besides hunting animals. Though she was part dragon, she didn't quite want to reduce herself to consuming raw meat yet. Dirty food was still better than animal guts.


((I want Cyil to ask Soren about his reaction to her ears, but this post is getting really long and I don't want to control Soren or leave a bunch of vagueness.))

Edited by Silverphoenixx

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(( Did Tyrande just make an Illidan and Malfurion reference? ))


"Remember, idiot. I'm your burden now. So don't you dare go running off without me, anywhere you go. I have to keep an eye on you. Y-you signed up for this!"


"You? A burden to the hero of the epoch? Surely you jest. You're a treasure I'm glad I discovered."




Owain and Severa stared at the massive structure in front of them with a mixture of awe and trepidation. Great glass windows adorned stone walls, but some of them had an oddly... female shaped mosaic within them.

"Is that the princess?" Severa asked, rubbing a hand through her hair.

"Apparently dead Princess, my dear. We should show some respect." Owain added, bowing for a moment of silence.

"Even if I didn't know her, apparently she was held in some high regard... Pity. To be risen on a pedestal, only to be made into a target." Severa said, sharing his gesture.


The two stood for a long moment, mourning the loss of someone they had never known. But to them, death was a meaningful event. They had seen many die. They had tried to prevent as many as possible from dying. But death took someone, somehow.


Caeldori neighed sadly, shaking the feathers from her wings slightly.

Finally, Severa turned to Owain and sighed.

"Well, we won't accomplish anything out here. Let's get inside and get some shelter with the rest of them." she suggested, pointing at the group. "Though I'd rather we kept our distance from them. I still don't trust them enough to sit near them, let alone sleep."

"Are we going to sleep?" Owain asked, concerned.

"No, thankfully. I'm not tired yet." Severa assured, stepping to the castle bridge. "But we should be prepared for it if we end up needing to do so."

"I brought SLEEPING BAGS! As a prepared hero should!" Owain pointed to the bag on Caeldori's side.

"You tied things to my horse when I wasn't there?" Severa asked.

"Uh... yes?"

"....You're the only one I would let do that. But don't get uppity about it." Severa grunted. "Anyway let's get inside. My hair's soaked."

"But you look so beautiful in the rain." Owain said sorrowfully. "Perhaps, but a moment more, so I may manufacture some poem or legend of it..?"

"....I'll walk slowly to the door." Severa said softly. "So that's all the time you'll get for it."

She gracefully stepped with Caeldori behind her towards the entryway, where the bigger fox thing had already appeared with a passenger. But Severa ignored him, save giving him a small glance that said "Don't try to say hi to me. I'm not going to talk."

She tapped the door a few times, then shrugged.

And proceeded to flip on her heel and slam a heavy, booted foot into the door with as much force as a tsundere princess-to-be could possibly give.

The door crashed open, both panels slamming aside to reveal a staircase and multiple levels with stairs of their own. Other doors lead to other parts of the castle. A grand candelabra hung over, illuminating the inside beautifully.

"I don't give a damn about locks, especially not in this kind of weather." she sneered, rubbing her armor off. She gave a glance to the fox beast.

"What? Get your arse inside." she grimaced. "Weird beast thing..."

She stomped into the door, leading Caeldori inside the castle regardless of what anyone else thought. Owain paused for a moment outside the door, then looked at Ratchet.

"Apologies, on her behalf! Though she is so graceful when she does something like that. The pure fury! The raw power! My sword arm is pleased!" he commented, holding up his hand. "Now, if you'll excuse me. I have a castle to search! Ugh, the desire to seek out hidden rooms is all compelling!"

With that, he stepped into the door and left the rest of the group to follow.

Edited by Thaelasan

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Solar slid off Ratchet, glad to be under the gable snd out of the rain. She would've thanked the Lombax, but he couldn't understand her...


Solar decided to go towards the door, wondering if she could open it.


--and then a human kicked it down, another behind her. Solar hissed at the female human's tone, but quieted after the male apologized.


She headed into the castle, claws clicking on the floor.




Stormcatcher processed the information the Beastclan had given him. This tournament it spoke of reminded the lightning dragon of Dominance, the eternal competition for dominance in Sornieth. Rather on the nose name - for Dominance, that was.


"Falling out? We're seriously getting involved in a godly dispute that doesn't seem to concern us...?" He added, under his breath but still loud enough for the Beastclans to hear, a "Reminds me of my family..."


He still had more questions, and his wing still hurt, but he didn't want to admit either. The dark dragon snarled slightly. His tail whipped, before returning to its stilled state. "And WHAT is with the sky... orange where the clouds don't block it, but that sun isn't low enough for this colour of sky...


And why are there Beastclan everywhere... argh, this place is... and how do I get back to the Spire... I'm sure they're already slacking off now... and of course someone's going to claim the Expanse, the only question is who.


And when I find whoever stole my magic, they will pay. I'll teach them not to steal my magic. Not to take a deity's magic and immortality! When I find the jumped-up little...


And why even am I here and not at the Expanse? Whoever dragged me here..." He trailed off into incoherent snarling.

Edited by Dusky_Flareon

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ratchet lightly tapped the dragon in the side with his fist playfully. Ratchet was a competitive spirit so he would race anyone that would give him the chance, "Anytime. Anywhere, Vulpes.", he said with mock aggression, "You're pretty fast, even with carrying passengers." Ratchet was impressed. This team was looking pretty good. He had yet to see what the apes they left behind could do, but he assumed it would be amazing. A sound at the end of the bridge caused Ratchet to glance over his shoulder. It was the other apes, the loud one and the pompous one. Ratchet was immediately glared at.


Ratchet shot back a look that screamed, "Why would I want to talk to you, censorkip.gif*" In retaliation to her turning up her nose at him. you're not that great to look at either, sister he thought. If it had been a couple years earlier, he probably would have blurted it out and gotten himself in a firefight. In all honesty, the reason he didn't shout it out was because he was unsure if he could purchase ammo on this planet. He would have to check once they got inside.


Ratchet smiled at Solar when she hissed at the duo, " My thoughts exactly, buddy" he grumbled. At least the annoying one apologized. I guess now he would look like a dick if he vaporized her. Ratchet followed Solar into the castle and was taken aback by the sheer size of the main room. He could fly his starship in here! He could host his own Battledome™ in a room this size! He couldn't wait to wander around.




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Ascension bounded out of the way as Severa's boot darted past him, striking the polished wood with such force that it splintered under her pike, the doors falling in and smacking the walls behind them. He growled at her hastiness and harsh belittlement of Ratchet, and even Owain's half-hearted attempt at an apology on her behalf fell flat. As soon as those two made their way in, Ascension stood next to Solar and looked to Ratchet.


"Ugh...Ratchet, thank you so much for helping us out. I'm sure Solar feels the same way. Just try to keep the peace for now, and if things come to a head, I'll be sure to take care of it." He watched as Owain started to regard the doors beyond. There were multiple halls and rooms to explore, and this castle had the unique feature of having accessible paintings, if the place was still functioning correctly. He doubted the full selection was up--the castle was tied just as much to Peach as it was the Power Stars--but maybe there was...something?



...something. There was something.



From somewhere in the castle he felt it--the draw of celestial energy. Maybe it was their closeness to the north effecting his perceptions, but it was definitely there. He wondered where exactly it was...and why.



He shook out his fur and padded around the inside, looking at the large star door on the top left and the double doors just up the stairs. The other doors likely didn't function, as the ones that had had stars now lacked them, and the wooden doors looked to be sealed up. When the entire congregate had gathered, he leapt up on one of the pedestals near the stairs and looked out at them.


"Everyone, I know we've had a long walk, but I sense the presence of celestial energy coming from the large Star Door or the double doors. It's faint, but definitely there. I suggest we continue our search here while the storm fades."





Alex sat. And she sat and sat and didn't say a word.


The rain felt nice. Something about the scent and the rhythmic pattering, the soft hiss as it fell...it was numbing. Clarifying. It drove away thought, it erased one's burdens, it kissed the skin with cool, but not coldness. No, rain was familiar. It made her feel...empty. It made her feel closer to how she really was.


Rivulets began to pass down her face as droplets meshed and became heavy on her scalp. They fell, some to her cheek, some to her eyelids, some to her mouth. She licked away those stray few--something about the taste was uncomplicated. Devoid. More whole. Her eyes leveled out far out of focus, and she didn't feel there.



It was on a day like this that she had met him. Her, alone and wandering in the frigid winter amongst the pines, shortly after the rain had come. Water had went to ice, and snow was falling--yet another wholesome, devoid structure, one of her favorites. But she was in nothing but her typical wear, and the chill was settling into her bones and making her slow, tired. Even now, her eyelids were growing stiff and heavy, and the pain in her fingers from grasping each other for security hardly registered. She had at least herself to hold onto now.


She'd found a good spot with a nice view, one beside a leaning cedar where the hill fell down to cliffside, over the lands she was damned to destroy. She could see almost all of them from here--Regna Ferox, the tall spire of Ylisstol, even a bit of the sands of Plegia, if she squinted hard enough. She remembered their respective associations: a great arena, the home of her friends, the suicide of their beloved sister...She piled up the snow behind her and reclined, looking at the sky--orange with falling dusk, and dark clouds devouring the remaining light...




"This timeline's no good."




She sighed and closed her eyes, welcoming the warmth as she submitted to another fate. All sounds seem to mesh into the soft hushing of wind over the wintery ground.





"Traveler...are you weary?"




She looked up.




His eyes were what she first loved. Gentle and caring as his lovely face, she was lost in the seafoam green that looked down on her from high. His hair was just as fine, a shimmering flaxen color that was long and kempt, braided in two around the back of his head just at eye level. Maybe it was a shallow attraction that drew her first. Maybe he was like an angel to her. Whatever the case, it was crucial, and for longer than intended, it held her fast. She had to tear her eyes away from his form to hide her weakness. She only deigned to placate him with a short, curt answer.



"Of living." She ignored his plaintive gasp.



"Whyever would you say that?"



She'd snuck in a look at him again, eyeing his resplendent clothing. It wasn't exactly overstated or anything, but her common sense decided it simply just suited him so well. Such an astute rainment could only be indicative of a holy man or a samaritan. If he was here to preach, she'd have none of it.


"Leave me alone."



His face drew tight, and he placed the staff in his hand firmly in the snow.



"As a servant of Naga's will, I cannot comply in good faith. You are obviously under distress and have brought yourself out here under-dressed for what I'm certain is no good reason!" And then, sympathy, "Please, allow me to offer my cloak to you. I beg of you."



She'd rolled her eyes at him. Her observation was right on the money. But...for whatever reason, she felt a crack in her facade. An opening where the light could stream in. She knew it was a mistake. This couldn't be happening. She wouldn't let it happen.



"...fine. Do whatever."



But she did. And he knelt down and took off his furred cloak, showing more of the sculpted armor and its cream-and-yellow palette. He'd wrapped it around her and helped her to stand, and she found herself so numb that it was no small feat. After a bit of struggle, he resorted to simply picking her up, because her legs had left her in the cold. She was surprised; she'd thought him infinitely more frail. She was too empty to care that he was a complete stranger, that he was so close that she could feel him breathe. She was too empty to care that he was regarding her as if she was the most incredible object he'd lain eyes on. She was too empty...wasn't she?



"Naga be praised that I found you. Any longer...and I loathe to think of what would have become of you."



She wanted to tell him then. You're making a mistake; I'll ruin you and all that you love. And your god can do nothing to stop me. She wanted to tell him, All I want is to go to sleep. I don't want to wake up. She wanted to say, I'm so lonely. I don't mean what I'm saying. Please don't leave me. She wanted to tell him a great many things, like how she wanted things to be "normal", "uncomplicated", "easy".



But she didn't. He held her closer. She didn't complain.



"Do you have a home to return to, miss?"



A home? No. The concept was asinine. After so many millennia...she shook her head.






He nodded in response, and without tiring a bit, he began his descent down the great cliff. For the most part, he was quiet. But just as she was considering how to repay him, he spoke.



"May I know the name of my passenger?" His eyes fell to her. She wondered if he could see through her. She wondered if he thought he could.



"Alexandria. 'Alex', for short." A soft chuckle passed his lips. Like bells.



"'Alex'? A fine name. It's very elegant...very befitting."



Alex ignored him. She pretended to, at least.



"My name is Libra. I will serve you with the fervor of my patron until we part."



And suddenly, it started to rain. She reached up and wiped her face, but a stray drop met her lips. She licked it away, but this was different. It was salty and heavy, painful. Broken.



"Is...something the matter? Did I upset you?" He had. In the best and worst of ways, he'd wounded her beyond repair. She knew he didn't understand. She didn't want him to. The damage was done, and no matter how selfish it was of her, she couldn't be happier.


"Hh...heh heh...no...must be the weather."




"--take a deity's magic and immortality! When I find the jumped-up little...and why even am I here and not at the Expanse? Whoever dragged me here..."



Alex looked up as Ike was speaking to Tyrande. The dragon was talking to itself, wanting a reply, from what she could tell. She managed to get to her feet and put on her best friendly of faces. There wasn't a lot to feel, but at least she could fake it until everything returned.


"Again, probably best to send your questions to the people who've had the most experience with it. Just know that the evil guys are who turned the sky orange and made you...mortal, I guess?" She shrugged. A sudden sparking at her side made her grab Ilyana and start smacking her palm against the jagged blade.


"Hey! You stop that! Stop fritzing out on me!"


She smacked and smacked and smacked at it, trying to get it to stop, when--



"Pull yourself together, sword! This is no--AGH! NOOO!"


And a blast of lightning shot forth from the blade's tip and she was knocked forward, aiming the shot in the dragon's direction--




((Adding Soren later, if someone doesn't post before.))

Edited by Sugar-Free

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Solar looked around at the pastel-coloured castle. This is an odd place... really pastel. It certainly wasn't her type of building, but then she was used to smaller, earthier buildings, or else white.


A large door was visible up the stairs. A double door. Then Ascension started talking.


The Torracat's ears twitched. Given Ratchet had given her a ride, she wasn't all that tired, so she decided to pad up the stairs. She caught sight of a door with a star on it - was that the Star Door he spoke of? The fire-type didn't know, but she decided to go check anyways.




Stormcatcher narrowed his eyes. So apparently a bunch of these Beastclans don't fully know what's going on. Are you kidding me?! Not in Sornieth, Beastclan are everywhere and talking about these gods in a fight, apparently someone's turning the sky orange and stole my immortality... and they don't seem to fully know what is going on. They don't seem to know much! ... He also didn't trust these Beastclans. The one had said they weren't planning anything... but most of the Beastclan tribes he knew wanted dragons' hides. Including the Eleven's.


That was when lightning leapt out from the Beastclan's weapon, though he didn't notice it. That was also when the pain in his wing dissipated.


Stormcatcher wasn't interested in sticking around to see what these Beastclan were up to. He'd rather track down the coward who'd stolen his immortality. With that, he leapt into the sky -


- his left wing didn't quite open right - he was falling - his right wing flapped as his left wing twitched, its arm twisted towards the earth -


And then he tasted dirt as pain exploded across his chest and gut. The dark dragon groaned in pain, his sore underbelly souring his mood. At least, more than it already was.

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"You ain't seen nothing yet!" Vulpes said, smiling at Ratchet. He folded his wings back as he stood up straight. "Maybe when we have some free time we can." "Big bwother!" Arctic said in awe as she looked around. "This place is big!" "I know," Vulpes said as Arctic yawned. "I think it's time you had a nap little sis." He then had to regret that immediately as he realized there could be danger soon. What should he do!?


"Umm...Vulpes, I don't mean to be a bother," Zoey said hesitantly. "But it seems Valerie and the other two haven't arrived yet. Do you think you can go back and get them? Globbers and I can keep an eye on Arctic till you get back." Vulpes had to sit down and think for a moment. He really hated the idea of being away from Arctic and she really did need a nap. "I...guess I could," Vulpes said. "But if anything happens to Arctic I will kill you." "Globbers may not look it, but he's powerful," Zoey said. "So don't worry about a thing."


Vulpes nodded before he turned and flew off, making even faster progress then had originally since he literally had no one on his back. "Sorry about that ladies," he said. "I would have come sooner had I known." He laid down and patiently waiting for them to climb on him, worried about Arctic.




Zoey and Globbers sat with Arctic as she curled up next to Zoey. "You nice!" Arctic muttered before falling asleep. Zoey gave Arctic a smile and placed a hand on her snout. She looked around and noticed Doey had slipped away. She gritted her teeth in frustration.


Doey looked around the mansion, randomly hoping there would be just a random Pokeball just laying around. But first, he looked around to make sure no one was around. He released his Gastrogoo out and it stared up at him in slight fear. That fear was quickly erased as Doey started stroking behind one of the long antennas. He would have to get rid of Zoey eventually, that girl caught on quite quick and was immediately suspicious.

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Ratchet smiled at Eevee, " I'll do my best Ascension. If you can't handle it, I will. my methods are less diplomatic, but much more spectacular" he winked at the pokemon then following him inside.


Ratchet followed Ascension's gaze up the stairs. at the top, Ratchet could make out the red double doors with the large start embossed inot the surface. He followed Solar's lead up the stairs and inspeted the door. It wasn't anomalous and seemed to be n ordinary painted door. It wasn't even made of metal. Ascension said he felt someting important in here so thats where Ratchet intended to go. He touched the door. Nothing happened. ratchet tried to get his fingers into the crack between the two doors. Nothing. Ratchet constructed his wrench and tried to pry it open. It resisted. Ratchet kicked the red door, "Open up!" He yelled. He was answered by a disembodied voice


"You don not have the star power to enter theis part of the castle. Now SCRAM!" the deep voice bellowed, echoing in the empty room.


Ratchet took a a few steps back and looked annoyed at the ceiling, "I'll show you star power!" he yelled back. He held out his a hand, which his wrist com constructed a blue, metal plated glove over. A black sphere about the size of a grapefruit was constructed by the gloove, "Fire in the hole!" He yelled to the group in the room before lobing the gernade at the door.


the gernade exploaded in all of its destructive glory, leaving a black layer of soot the door and floor. The door didn't have a scratch. Ratchet shook his hand and in vanished in a flash of blue light. He held his hands low like he was holding something heavy. His pyrociter constructed into his waiting hands. he squeezed the trigger and a jet of superheated plasma erupted from the tip, The blast spread in a cone and compleatly covered the door. After about five seconds, Ratchet let off the trigger. The door was fine. Not even resudue from the superheated gas remained. Ratchet switched weapons again, this time hefting a large rocked launched on his shoulder. He sighted the door and fired. Four small missles flew wide, converging onto the door and exploding, the concussion wave blew Ratchet's ears back.


The door still stood.


Ratchet yelled in frustration and hurled his warmonger at the door. It bounced off and vanished in a flash of blue light. That was the biggest gun he had and it didn't even leave a dent. rathet took a moment to compose himself before turning back to the group at the bottom of the stairs, "anyone else want to try? he asked calmly, his meltdown seemed to have passed as quickly as it came.








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Owain and Severa watched in wonder as the poor humanoid fox thing began berating the door with explosives and all manner of equipment, only to fail. He walked off, challenging everyone else to try their own luck.

"Gawds, trying to compete with Owain for loudest idiot?" Severa grimaced as the fox thing walked off, her arms crossed. "Though I can agree that I'd want to destroy it too." She added, under her breath.

She proceeded to walk up the stairs, Owain still trying to examine every part of the castle.

"By the Gods, nothing here matches anything back home! Such strange architecture!"

"That's a banister." Severa said, continuing her march up the steps.

"Oh. Right. No wonder it seems meant for us to use to climb...." Owain said. "Sorry, I'm getting easily lost in all of this beauty."

"The only beauty you should get lost in is mine." Severa smirked, looking back at him. "Now hurry up! We're going to find out how to open this door and rub it in that human-fox thing's face!"

"Is that truly our main goal here?" Owain asked.

"It is now." Severa responded, stepping in front of the door. She waved her hand in the air, trying to clear the smoke. Whatever the beast had done, it was definitely worse than a bad Bolganone. Weird weapons for a weird creature, she supposed. But she might have to be ready to fight those same weapons.

"Owain... say for instance we have to fight that guy.." she whispered, giving him a glance. "What do you propose?"

"He seems based on large-scale weaponry meant for sheer destructive power. Gods know what it is, for I've never seen anything like it, save magical things of course.." Owain said hastily. "But let it never be said my sword arm shied away from any challenge. We just have to be faster than him."

"Ugh, knowing he can make them come out of thin air doesn't make me any less nervous."

"You? Nervous? Severa, since when have you ever been anxious of anything?"

"Ugh! Stop rubbing it in!" she said a bit louder, then got quiet again. "Anyway, open the door. It's your turn."

"Why not kick it-"

"DID YOU SEE WHAT THAT GUY DID? Why would my foot do it?" Severa asked seriously.

"I don't know. I'd like to think your leg strength is nigh omnipotent."

"...Are you being sarcastic?"

"No. I've seen you kick down trees."

"...True. But this isn't a tree."

"It's a door. Made of wood. I feel that it has similar properties."


The two stood in silence for a moment, then looked up at the door. Which was speaking. Severa raised an eyebrow.

"I don't care if you're a magic door or not. Shut up and ignore us if we're irritating you." she said at first, then her tone got angry. "You know what? Actually, how dare you eavesdrop on us, you wooden load of garbage!?"

"GARBAGE? I am a magical door, you ignorant wench! I possess-"

"What the hell did you just call me."

The door was silent for a moment. Owain was silent for a moment. Owain then proceeded to back up slowly.

Severa's hair raised slightly, her twin tails elevated by an unseen wind. The ground underneath her seemed to be pressured by an unknown force. She stomped her leg down on the ground, wind picking up around her body and electricity popping from the tome on her leg. The carpet began to be singed, lightning cracking more sporadically as time began to move on.

"...All I said was... ignorant wench..." the door whispered, slightly shaken, if a door could be afraid.

Severa held up a fist, tightening her hand until the knuckles were white under the armor. She brought her leg back, her face invisible under her hair, strands of red flapping around her face.

"Severa, weren't we going to keep Galeforce a secret...?" Owain asked, but he already knew it was a loss. Even Caeldori, at the bottom of the stairs, was nervous.

Then came the fist. And then another. More and more fists impacted the surface of the door, propelled by the wind. Each one slammed with unseen force before being pulled back and being replaced by another one.

"YOU NEED - THE POWER - STARS!" the door tried to shout above the flurry of blows.

But each fist kept forcing itself to find purchase on the door's frame, and the sound of splintering could be heard. But as though it was healing itself, the wood moved back into place the moment she broke it. But she kept going.

"SEVERA, you can't destroy it that easily! You're wasting energy!"

"OWAIN, SHUT UP!" Severa shouted, punching faster. Sweat dripped from her brow as she continued to pummel the door endlessly. Minutes passed, and she kept going.


"Hah! Now you see the power of my defenses! Get back, wench! You can't destroy me that easily. Go call a hundred more of ya."

Severa stopped a moment, breathing heavily, as every impact she had made began to heal itself. She pointed at the door, infuriated.

"You think you're being cute, wood arse?!" Severa screamed, bearing her other hand. "I'm going to see you compacted! SHREDDED! TORN INTO PIECES! I'M GOING TO HAVE ANIMALS USE YOUR REMAINS AS A DAMN STABLE! I WANT TO HEAR YOU SCREAM AS THEY-"



She breathed in and out, steadying herself. Both hands were back in position now, but Owain grabbed her shoulder.

"WHAT? You want some too!?...." she began, but her eyes began to become adjusted, her hair moving out of the way.

"Let me help." Owain said, patting her shoulder. "If you really want, I can use.. that."

"...No. He isn't worth it." Severa replied, her hands falling to her side, finally resting. "....He isn't worth your effort... or mine."

"So you're good now, my beloved?" Owain asked, taking her hand.

"...Am I a wench, Owain?" Severa asked, uncomfortable.

"...You are so far from that, so above that, so beyond that, that for you to even speak or think of it causes the cosmos to weep. For you to even consider it breaks my heart in twain. Please, never think that of yourself again."

"I don't. I just wanted to make sure." Severa smiled. "But there is still a door in the way. A very... very agitating one."

"Hmm.... I have a solution." Owain said, holding up a finger. "One moment."

He withdrew a sword from his back, and then proceeded to step to the right of the door.

"Oi, what are you doing?"

"Testing a theory." Owain began, tapping the wall slightly. "You see, we could go to the trouble of finding your stars but your personality doesn't make me really want to help you. YOU'RE an ignorant pile of wood who treats ladies as less than they should, and you're far too demanding for any hero to desire to help. So instead, I apologize, but even the hero of epoch will not serve your needs."

"Pft! I don't need any stars, dimwit. They're a joke, an unattainable goal. They're scattered across this castle, and I LOVE watchin' people try to get 'em." the door laughed.

"Oh good. Now, I'm sorry to tell you you're not going to be seeing that today because my theory was right. The great OWAIN HAS DISCOVERED a SECRET! The FLAW in your armor!"

"What?" Severa began, but then began to catch on as she watched him work. "Ohhhh... Oh ho ho..."

"What?! WHAT!" the door asked quickly, angry. "What are you laughing about?!"

"Whoever devised or enchanted you, door, was an idiot really." Owain began, kicking the wall a bit. "Because he only made the DOOR impenetrable. Every other part of the castle can be broken like anything else. So, we're just going to do that. Hey, Fox-guy!"

He called down to Ratchet, now loud again.

"Come shoot this part of the wall! I marked it with my sword!" Owain grinned. "Ignore the door! Use your Apocalypse-Blaster Breaker Beam!"


(( Sugar-Free, if you meant for this to be harder, tell me and I'll edit my post. I just thought it was pretty good. ))

Edited by Thaelasan

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By now, the rain was coming down in sheets. Soren hadn’t brought a cowl to throw over his head, and the water was beginning to plaster his bangs to his face. He smoothed them away as Cyil made her decision. For a moment, her eyes wandered him, passing behind him as her attention was caught by something else in the background. He saw the cogs turning in her mind as the water began to rise nearby, and it wasn’t long before he finally got an answer from her.


"Very well, I shall retrieve my weapons and surrender them."


She then turned from him, keeping her palms visible as she began walking toward the forest. Soren followed suit, strapping Ike’s satchel over his shoulder and making sure to keep her in front of him as they went. His past experiences with other mercenary groups, as well as his shift from a simple advisor to manager over the Laguz Alliance, had taught him that with every form of authority came a new, or at least opposing, method of action. While he wasn’t so superstitious to believe she was leading him into some trap—there was absolutely no reason that a woman ignorant to his position in his world would use an army to capture one mage—he remained wary of her movements. Were she to turn at any time, he would only have a second to strike her with his staff and render her unconscious.


Soren slowed to a stop as Cyil knelt to take up her weapons. He tensed, knowing how easy it would be for her to attack, but to his surprise, she merely lay her tomes and an oddly-bladed weapon he was hesitant to call a “sword” in his arms. As she lay them, he recognized one as a Thunder tome, the other as something akin to Fire, but somehow aligned close to Dark magic, as well. Next came the bladed weapon, which sizzled with a power that felt akin to the Fire Emblem, an artifact in the form of a medallion that once bound the Goddess of Chaos—otherwise known as Lehran’s Medallion. How that was possible, especially in this world, baffled him. He kept his arms tight against him as he hefted the load, unwilling to let it touch him provided it would cause the same effect.


"Be careful with the chainsaw, especially near flammable objects. The fire isn’t just for effect.”


A ‘chainsaw’...there was something not unlike a chain running the length of the blade, moving in perpetual motion and seemingly powered by nothing. He’d never heard of a ‘chainsaw’ in his entire life, but he figured it mustn’t seem out-of-place in her world if she assumed he’d know what it was.


What was equally as curious was when she took away her hands, the prevalent sensation of intense, primordial magic suddenly disappeared. He glanced over the pile to see if something had changed, maybe she had taken something...but he had made a full account of everything she’d picked up, and she’d removed nothing under his gaze. Odd...a woman named Micaiah had once described his magic as feeling “ancient”; this presence was not different. It was so similar that it overlapped his and he almost mistook it as his own--the sudden absence as she backed away was as jarring as the first time his alignment had been severed. Dizziness and nausea overcame him for a moment as the void in his arcane pathways simultaneously filled and emptied, and he had a hard time trying to make his stumble read as the burden of her weapons.


Thankfully, she chose to take her place at the growing river’s edge and started to gather what she wanted from the Party Ball’s remains. A short jump later, and she was up on the grass, and Soren made his way up as well. He didn’t dare get as close as he had been to her in that moment again—he realized he’d made an error about his suppositions. But what that entailed, he had no idea. Soren’s eyes went to her ears again.



What...are you?



“We need to make for higher ground. I’d like to await my commander’s arrival, but I see that simply isn’t possible now.” He took away his focus to search the treeline for some form of shelter, finding what appeared to be a great spire of grey-blue stone in the distance. It wasn’t far enough that it would be burdensome, but they needed to make haste. A grumbling of thunder overhead signaled the severity of the situation.


“There’s what appears to be a tower just over there. If we hurry, we can take shelter before the river consumes this area.” He motioned to its location before stepping aside for her.


“You will lead us there. I’m certain you understand my position.”



"NO! No, no, no, stop! What do you think you're doing?!" Ascension immediately placed himself in front of the Star Door, flattening his ears and raising his hackles. These idiots were truly willing to demolish an entire forest for a single tree! It was at moments like these that he wished he had control over his evolutions again.


"Oh-ho? And now the tiny fox wants a piece of this? Come at me, kid! You ain't the first and you sure ain't the last!"


Ascension offered a bow to the door, trying not to lose his temper at it's supposition.


"Excuse them, Star Door, for they know not what they do! We're seeking the location of a celestial presence here in the castle. I'm Ascension, the chosen of the Stars Above, and these are my companions."


The door seemed to muse for a moment before replying with shock in his voice:


"The...'Stars Above?" Well...I'll be! What the heck are you doing here? Aren't you 'sposed to be flittin' around in the Underworld right about now?"


"Well...yes, that's the general consensus, but I'd rather not explain the details right now." He turned to the rest of the group, especially directing his voice at Severa and Owain.


"I'm going to have to ask you not to destroy any of the doors in Peach's Castle. If the Power Stars and their paintings are indeed active, which I have to assume if the Bowsertron is still functioning and quipping away, any damage done to the wall surrounding the door will render the room inactive, and that could block our paths to the celestial energy!"


"You heard the man, princess," the Bowsertron spat, "you gotta play by the rules. MY RULES!" The door indulged in a hearty guffaw before Ascension could continue.




"Well, with that being said, I think we should get a move on. The rain's only getting w--"




The sound of something incredibly heavy hitting the ground and scraping up the dirt made Ike turn to see the dragon from before landing in an inelegant fashion, with Alex staring onward awestruck. Ike called out to the two; what could have happened while he'd had his back turned?


"Hey! You guys alright?!"





Alex scampered up to the fallen dragon's side as he lay there, sparks shorting off of his as he grumbled and hissed. Alex's eyebrows were raised and her teeth bared, as if she'd just broken the most on-point replica of a Falchion one could get. She tried to lay her hands on the splayed wing, but was deterred by the dragon's malicious maw. She settled for fidgeting around in place.


"Agh, geez, man! I...I'm so sorry! I-I didn't...I didn't intend on doing the thing, but I did and it happened and I can't take it back even if I wanted to and so I reallydont haveanythingIcandotherthanjustsayimsorrybutireallyam--"


But to her surprise...and dismay...the wing didn't look broken! It didn't look...unbroken, but it looked like it somehow set and magically healed into the wrong place! But how?!--


"WAIT. Did...did Ilyana heal you when I hit you with that bolt??" He was distinctly electrified...and some monsters had some exceptionally odd abilities...so it wasn't too out of place...but that meant...


"You heal when electricity heals you! A dragon that's impervious to Thunder magic! Whowuddathunkit? MAN." She thought about how it would be possible to make that a feature of the wyvern mounts back home, but now wasn't the time for once! She got close to his head where he could see her and cupped his jaw. Now she felt bad.


"Hey, can you stand? I'll try to help, 'cause I'm pretty strunk if I put my back into it...and what's your name, precious? I'll need a reference for when I start owing you for medical costs..."


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Severa twitched an eyebrow, but stayed silent. So far, the fox-beast seemed to be agitated by them and the fox-humanoid thing didn't like them either.

"Look here, fox-beast." Severa grimaced, ignoring the door for the moment, "We followed you to help you, NOT to get chastised like a pair of children! We don't know anything about this universe or anything inside of it, so stop yelling at us. You're just as weak as we are to this situation, aren't you?! You wanna chide me, then I'll be more than happy to let you do this on your own! ..And that door REALLY needs to shut the hell up!"

She sneered, rubbing her fist a moment as the soreness began to set in. Punching wood rapidly - even with her strength - wasn't a good way to keep the knuckles from pain. She really wanted to punch this fox thing right now though. The idea was quickly gaining traction in her mind. No matter how cute it was...

But Owain stepped in, his face stern.

"I'll kindly ask you to refrain from yelling at the light of my life, small fox-beast. Her words, just as yours, ring true in this situation. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean we should yell at each other at all, not even you, Severa."

"You're taking HIS side again!?" Severa asked in disbelief.

"I will never take his side over yours, beloved." Owain assured, flourishing his hand. "He's not nearly as cute."

"You're damn right." Severa replied, arms crossed. "Then what's your plan here?"

"We split up for now. This door seeks stars? Then let us find them! We can help from the shadows, Severa. If you wish it, we do not have to deal with these people at all! Or more Star Doors!" Owain gestured widely with his hands. "Besides, we're powerful enough as a pair to handle any obstacle this door may throw at us on our new adventure! Ascension."

He turned to the fox-beast, giving him a half-glance.

"For now, count on our assistance but not our hand in your conversations - not until you learn to be less condescending. You seem to still believe yourself a god, but if you are such a god, then why isn't this problem already fixed?" he asked, frowning. "If you want followers and respect, then learn to give respect in kind. Even to crazy people like me or Severa."

He grinned at the last part, then turned and slid down the banister, heading for one of the doors further into the castle as she followed behind, placing a hand on the banister. She almost thought better of it, but then shrugged and slid down it as well.

The two of them found themselves at one of the many doors....


(( Note: If we find Bowser, can Severa proceed to break him into several pieces? :3c

Currently, my plan is to take them to Hazy, Maze Cave or Whomp's Fortress. Because them dodging bullet bills would be hilarious. ))

Edited by Thaelasan

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