Monday, March 28, 2011

Pokemon Supernova CONTINUED

PART TWO- LIGHT AND DARKNESS 24. NEWBORN LEGENDARY The small white pokemon cooed like a baby Pidgey in Kaira's hands. It stared up at her with calm, intent blue eyes of a newborn. Kaira could barely breathe. As she stared into its eyes, memories of Dovanna flowed through her mind, filling her with a strange sense of deja vu again. This was just like a small version of the very legendary Dovanna itself. And it was in her arms. Kaira couldve stayed frozen the entire time. But she suddenly looked up as she heard a small groan. Dawn was lying on the floor, her face against the ground with her arms at the sides of her head. She shifted, and slowly sat up."Dawn....." Kaira gasped, her voice shaking. "Doooouuuu...." The little dove pokemon cooed like a lovebird, sounding like a musical flute. Dawn's eyes were cracked with red, looking extremely tired and nauseous. Kaira noticed she wasnt wearing her white cap anymore. The stick bug was nowhere to be seen. Dawn suddenly turned to Kaira, and it took a moment for her to widen her eyes in astonishment. "Oh....Kaira! Isnt that.....""Dovanna!" Kaira held the little bird tightly against her. "Dawn, I just had the strangest dream. It reopened my mind to how I had been connected to this world! Apparently, I'm a living being from this very dimension, and even though i havent figured out everything on how I was really created, or what was my purpose, I did learn one thing! I was sent away by Prima Dona......destroyed and broken-hearted to become what I was back on earth, and kicked out of this place by Prima Dona herself. Dovanna is the pokemon of love.....without it, my spirit was easily broken, and Prima Dona kicked me out of the entire dimension.""But why?" Dawn stood up, staring with awe at the little dove. "What have you done that's made Prima Dona want to get rid of you?""That, I still have no idea.""And what about your parents? I thought you were from Johto, and that your father wanted to get a better job in Sinnoh know.....your mom passed away.""Actually, I've never exactly remembered anything past the day I arrived to Sinnoh," said Kaira, her eyes looking pass Dawn and becoming clouded again. "I might have been told of what had happened before I came to Twinleaf, but those werent really REAL memories." She looked at Dawn. "It's like when you're reminded of something you've done when you were a baby. You dont remember it at all, though you were told about it and it's stuck to your mind, believing it. Well...that's just how it's like with me and my past.""What do you really remember?""I really dont remember anything past the day my father and I were.....on the road to Sinnoh, traveling in our own boat. I-- I still have a lot to figure out. But at least I've discovered something important. I must keep following Chibo. Phandolia, the pokemon of peace, has the power to restore Chibo's powers to travel through the portal of the fifth dimension and back to earth. I must try to find the pokemon Dovanna, who is possibly out there in the other dimensions. Somehow....I'm connected to Dovanna....which was probably why I was affected so badly when Dovanna lost its feelings of love."Dawn blinked at the baby pokemon as it nuzzled comfortably in Kaira's arms. "So what's with that pokemon?" She suddenly gasped, recognizing how pure the white of its feathers were. "It was from my egg, wasnt it?! It hatched!"Kaira nodded, her eyes remaining their dazed, intent gaze. Dawn met Kaira's eyes. "Could THAT be the real Dovanna somehow? Maybe it's disappeared to start its life a newborn?""No," Kaira replied quickly. "This isnt the real Dovanna. Dovanna's magnificent...much bigger and greater than this." She recalled her vision in her dream of the pokemon forming in this dimension. "The real Dovanna was banished and sent away from this very dimension by Prima Dona.....just like I was. This pokemon is probably no more than just a possible child of the legendary.....born from some kind of matter and spirits from this strange dimension. This is a very complex dimension-- you never know how anything couldve been created or born.""Perhaps Dovanna dreamt it up from another dimension?" Suggested Dawn. "Maybe......dreamed and believed in a new pokemon to grow up and become just like it to take its place?"Kaira shook her head. "I really dont know yet. There's still a lot I need to figure out. We really should head back and continue following Chibo....with Delaine and Seth and all the other warriors."Suddenly, something crashed from the front door behind them. Chimchar tumbled over head over heels, stopping to sit in front of them with an excited look in its eyes. "Chimchar!" Cried both Kaira and Dawn. The baby Dovanna started cooing with happiness at the sight of Chimchar. Dawn huffed. "What are you doing here? Have you followed us?""Chi-iim!" Chimchar was jumping up and down, pointing towards the front door. An Infernape was making its way in, and slowly coming up to Chimchar's side. "An Infernape?" Said Dawn.Kaira felt utterly surprised. For once, it wasnt from the sight of a new pokemon. Perhaps the love and the warmth developing in the newly born Dovanna was taking over her. Infernape was looking straight at Kaira with worried, lost eyes. Then it turned quickly away to face down. It gave a low cry, as if trying to convince Dawn to give it something. Kaira couldnt take her eyes off the Infernape. Those eyes.....they looked shockingly familiar. It suddenly hit her. "I saw the same pair of eyes in the fire! That Infernape-- it was staring at me from the fireplace.....before I was knocked out."Chimchar continued to jump up and down. "Chim! Chim!"But then Kaira looked closer at it. The eyes still reminded her of something....or someone.Dawn chuckled and gave the Infernape a pat on the head. "This one's quite content compared to all the other Infernapes back at the league. Chimchar, is this one of your friends you've made with the warriors' pokemon?"Chimchar was shaking its head. "Chim!" It was trying to tell them something.Kaira suddenly gasped. "No.....that's Lucas!"Dawn blinked and gave Kaira an unconvinced look, but Chimchar started jumping up and down, a smile on its face as it clapped its hands in the air. Dawn turned to the Infernape. "Really....?"Infernape was nodding. It suddenly held out its hand towards Dawn, and sure enough-- there was a poketch around its wrist, exactly identical to Lucas's. Dawn gasped. "Oh wow...Lucas..."Kaira gave the baby Dovanna a glance. "It must be the curse of the fire. He has been touched by the element. He's one of the Three."Suddenly, baby Dovanna flapped its wings, escaping Kaira's grasp. Kaira gasped. It flew up from her reach, its white wings already able enough to fly. The litle bird was no bigger than a Starly, but it was just like a duplicate of what the real Dovanna was pictured in Kaira's memories and recent dream. Chimchar jumped up, looking energized and excited. "Chimchar!""Douuuu," baby Dovanna flew towards Chimcahr, and then over its head, flying towards the front door to escape outside. Chimchar followed its gaze, and then happily dashed after it. "Chimchar! Wait!" Dawn called worriedly. Kaira blinked. "No....we can't let that pokemon escape."Dawn turned to meet Kaira's gaze. Kaira was making her way towards the front door. "It may have the most important connections with Dovanna itself, and it can even help me find out how and why I may be connected to the pokemon itself."Kaira didnt look back as she stepped through the broken front door to peer outside. Behind her, Dawn was giving Infernape a sorry look, and then took its fiery hand carefully, walking it out after Kaira. Kaira took a deep breath, feeling the spirits of the trees around her. She felt more connected to this world more than ever now. The morning breeze flowed through her hair, and a line of leaves blew through the air, circling above her. Kaira opened her eyes and saw the baby Dovanna chasing after the wind of leaves curiously. Chimchar was just below it, staring up and with a happy daze. The pokemon's pure white feathers glistened brightly in the air. "Ahh! Seth, look at THAT!" Yelled a loud voice with surprise. Delaine and Seth suddenly appeared from the bushes, Seth slashing a branch of a tree in his face with his fire sword. Seth widened his eyes. "Whoa--! Kaira, where'd you find that thing?!"Dawn gasped and Lucas growled. "Delaine! Seth!" She and Lucas ran towards them. Kaira remained her place under the circle of leaves. "Oh!" Delaine crossed her arms and frowned. "So you really did come to this place! Didnt Seth and I WARN you guys why the hell you shouldnt be here?! You have know idea what Talia could do when--""Hey! Calm down, we found Lucas....believe it or not, this is him," Dawn laid a hand on Lucas's head with a sorry expression. Seth gasped and came up to him. "Oh, no Lucas! Why you? Sheesh, I'd be laughing if it were Barry, but..."Delaine huffed. "This is the work of the planet. He's been touched by the element." She looked up at the fluttering Dovanna above Kaira. "But hey! Kaira, where'd you guys find that pokemon?"Kaira shook her head slowly. "It hatched......Dawn had its egg.""Hey, I knew it needed care...." said Dawn quietly. She turned up to it. "I had a feeling it would help influence us. Whenever I looked at that egg, I had feelings of nausea....and overprotection."The baby Dovanna slowly landed towards Kaira's shoulder, and Kaira blinked slowly, her eyes recovering fom their clouded state. It cooed in her ear, its eyes shut tight. "We should follow Chibo." Said Kaira. "This really is the hatchling of Dovanna's telling me to take it to the mountain of Phandolia."Kaira couldnt communicatewith it telepathically, but from the way it cooed and tweeted in her ear, the feeling of Phandolia and Dovanna was overwhelming her. Clearly, this newborn pokemon had a big conection to the legendaries...somehow.Delaine raised her eyebrows. "That's what we came to find you guys for. We were leaving first thing, and Malidorius has already set out with the league. Seth and I hurried over to look for you guys since the king didnt want to waste time.""What?! You left without us?" Gasped Dawn."Hey, we can still catch up. They shouldnt have gone too far." Said Seth.Kaira suddenly shuddered and felt something watching over them. The leaves above her disappeared and scattered higher in the sky. "Hey, someone's coming," said Dawn, staring out at their left. Kaira turned to see the figure of an old lady slowly making her way towards them. A Mismagius accompanied her side, its eyes slowly opening and closing with a gleaming look. The old lady wore a green cloth over her back, with a red bandana ovr her dark black curly hair. Her eyes were wide and beady, staring right at Kaira's direction. Kaira felt crept out-- she couldnt tell whether this strange lady was staring at her or the babay Dovanna. But from the way Dovanna was trembling and making small whimpers, Kaira sensed the aura within this lady wasnt the spirit to trust. Delaine let out a sharp gasp and whispered something Kaira didnt catch. "Oh, my sweet!" The lady raised her arms towards Kaira. "Are you the trainer of that dear little bird?""uh...." Kaira couldnt bring herself to speak. Instantly, Dovanna rose from her shoulders and shot up, its wings glowing, ready to use its first wing attack move."Muuuhhhhhhh....." Mismagius moaned a creepy cry and sent a Hypnosis attack on Dovanna. The little pokemon slowly fell from the air like a feather. "Dovanna..." Kaira murmured, her gaze still meeting the old lady's."Who are you?" Dawn spoke in a fearful voice. " sweeties," the lady cracked an ugly smile. "I am Talia. I own the house you just infiltrated. You seem to have been trespassing my property....all of you.""Hey, Talia, it's cool," Seth was backing away. Lucas stayed by his side, eying Talia. "We were just gonna leave, we havent done anything to your house at all.""Really? You seem to have dropped by with an interesting pokemon for me." Talia was slowly taking small steps towards them. She suddenly took out a bottle and met Kaira's gaze. "My look so pale and thirsty. Would like to have a drink?" She held the bottle right towards Kaira's face, and Kaira took a step back, arching her neck from the bottle. "No....I'm fine...""Kaira!" Dawn gasped. "Hey, leave her alone!" Delaine took Kaira's arm and pulled her overto her side, taking out a pokeball from her pocket. "We'll fight you outta our way if we have to."The lady's gaze suddenly narrowed ad turned sharp. "Fine then. Have what you want. Mismagius..." Talia snapped her fingers and Mismagius sent a strange flow of darkness over them all, sparkling silver dust over their heads. Kaira looked around with horror, and watched as her friends all breathed in the sparkles, and fell over in an unconscious faint. "No! You guys..."Talia was glaring hungrily at Kaira. "Now my dear. About that little pokemon of yours....""No! You'll never take Dovanna!" Kaira instantly grabbed the sleeping Dovanna and as soon as it was in her hands, the pokemon awoke and blasted a bright light towards Mismagius and Talia, and the two disappeared into nowhere. Kaira stared with awe at the little pokemon. "What did you.....""Douuu!" Dovanna suddenly escaped Kaira's hands and fluttered into the woods. "Wait!" Kaira chased after it, finding herself running through a more open area with less trees, until she realized she was surrounded by the strangest looking plants she had ever seen. She held her breath in horror when she realized some of them were fly-traps. "Uhhhh" Kaira flinched and let out a quick startled cry as she was facing the back of the stick bug again. It suddenly turned is big ugly head, its giant eyes staring at her with a million eyeballs. The sky suddenly thundered above, and a blast of lightning struck the bug, turning it to ash. Kaira looked up in surprise as she caught the baby Dovanna cooing and flying around near the tick clouds. "Kaira...." A deep familiar voice uttered her namein front of her. Kaira looked and saw just a few feet from her....stood Paul, stepping out from the muddy pool of water he had been standing on. the thick mudy water disappeared into the ground as Dovanna flew over it. "Paul!" Gasped Kaira. "So it's true? Are you really....with Team Solar?" She couldnt believe his eyes from the way he was dressed. He looked darker and more secretive than ever. "Well, of course!" He was glaring at her with serious eyes. "This world's all about living your life with pokemon, even more than our world does! I've found my place, and I'm not---""You can't!" Kaira protested, not believing what she was hearing. "There's a human out here....besides Dawn, Lucas, Barry, and I. One human that is not wanted, one that will be consumed and defeated by the power of ice. Don't be that one Paul.....dont find your way into that."Paul chuckled. "You really think I would believe in that so-called prophecy that's been going on for like, what? Centuries? Even if it were think you'd rather have one of your other friends be the unwanted one rather than me?"Kaira raised her eyebrows. Paul was gazing into her with challenging eyes, and he cracked a smirk. "Think about it Kaira." He suddenly made his way up to her, and pulled out a bluish piece of isoscele, holding it in his hand. "Prima Dona wants me to find all of you. It's my duty that I find you guys and defeat you. And you especially. What's your purpose here, hmm? Have you found out yet?"Kaira was staring right at Paul, just a few inches from standing nose to nose with him. She didnt take her eyes off him, but she felt the strange coldnes from the isoscele nearing her side. " wouldnt," she spoke contentedly and seriously. Prima Dona was driving him to this. He was going to kill her, and then set out to do the same with Barry, Lucas, and even Dawn."Oh, but I would. I'd do anythingfor pokemon power." "PAUL!!!" Dawn's scream sounded from behind, and Paul turned to look over Kaira's shoulder, where Dawn suddenly appeared from the bushes with Dovanna above. Kaira turned to meet Dawn's terrfied gaze. Paul's isoscele was a mere inch away from stabbing right at her side. Dawn gasped and her eyes grew clouded, gazing into Paul with disbelief. Paul stared back with the same surprised look, then snatched the isoscele back in his pocket, and dashed away, disapearing down the hill behind the grove of trees.Delaine, Seth, Lucas, and Chimchar appeared up to Dawn. "Kaira! You okay?" Delaine shouted. Kaira turned and saw that Dawn shouldve been the one to be concerned about. she looked more in a state of shock and confusion than Kaira did herself. Paul had just tried to kill her......and he had stopped at the sight of Dawn. "I....I'm fine guess. He will grow stronger now that he's failed yet again, though. We havent seen him for the last time yet."Kaira suddenly felt Chibu's voice echo in her head. " careful.....something out there is still watching you all..." Kaira suddenly stood upright and widened her eyes.Delaine andSeth exchanged glances. "Well! Whatever hapened, we can discuss it while we continue following Chibo. Let's catch up while we still can!"A sudden sparkle of blue glowed in the horizon, through the thick gray clouds towards where Paul had disappeared. "There!" Set pointed. "Let's hurry! Come on, Dawn.""What? Oh....." Dawn snapped into focus and Dovanna cooed in her ear, urging her on as she walked after Seth and Delaine downheartedly, passing Kaira without even noticing her. Kaira stood there, still trying to regain communication with Chibu. But all was lost. 25. THE TUNRA’S RIVER Barry was aware of Chibu’s watchful stare over him. The pokemon could communicate telepathically with Kaira, and he felt like he was being watched from his very own friends far away. The symbols on his forearm hurt bad, and every time he even tried to think about doing the right thing and help the others get to Phandolia to try and restore Dovanna to the planet, the mark stung on him as if reminding him that there was someone else he really should be helping. He glanced up to where Prima Dona was sitting a few feet in front of him on her Lapras. She was beautiful. She was stunningly dangerous. She could literally kill him with a blink of her eye. “Chibu….” Barry muttered, looking at the little yellow pokemon. A thin yellow veil glowed around it, keeping it from escaping anywhere from Prima Dona’s spear. The football-shaped pokemon turned and met Barry’s eyes with its cute, concerned gaze. It hovered over to Barry and he spoke in a low voice. “Is….is Kaira safe? And Dawn? And Lucas too?” “Chii….” Chibu’s button eyes saddened and nodded. Barry raised his eyebrows. “Has something happened? Are they still together?” “Chiii…” Chibu nodded. Even though Barry couldn’t understand Chibu’s language the way Kaira could, he still felt a strange feeling that Chibu was telling him that they were together—all of them—but something had happened to them all at once as well. Barry gasped. “So Lucas is with them also?” He hissed, hoping Prima Dona couldn’t hear him. he glanced over to where she was yelling at her Ghastleon over something. “Chi!” Chibu nodded. Then it gave a low, wailing cry. Barry found himself understanding what it was trying to tell him. “But….they’re still following Chibo and….they’re on a dangerous trail?” Chibu shook its head with frustration. “Chi!” It cried, trying to make him listen carefully. “Barry!” Prima Dona’s cold yell shot his attention over to where she was standing at the shoulder of her Lapras, her left arm raised in the air, holding her spear as if she was aiming to shoot something in the sky. “When you’re finished talking your little secrets with that impudent, come over here and see our little surprise here!” “I’m sorry…..” Barry got up and hurried over, feeling strangely ashamed to be whispering behind Prima Dona’s back. Chibu watched him go with a saddened gaze again. Prima Dona smiled coldly again as he stood in front of her. “Now, I want you to meet a good partner of mine.” Barry raised his eyebrows. “Is it another one of your pokemon?” He felt excited. Prima Dona had the most interesting pokemon he had ever seen from anybody. Prima Dona chuckled. “Not exactly. It’s a pokemon of my creator, Ultramaur. This is Chiba, our good little messenger who has come to pay me a little visit.” Prima Dona took a step to the right and a red glowing little pokemon hovered in the air, gleaming its little eyes at Barry. It looked just like Chibu ith the same football shape and cute button-eyed face, only it was red and had its ear dents sticking up. it had no halo like Chibu did, instead it had tiny little horns sticking from next to its ear dents, with a stringy sort tail that had a triangle at the end rather than a diamond. This pokemon was smiling deviously also, not sweetly like Chibu did. “Chiiii…….” Chiba’s voice was small and mischievous, and it looked ready to fling itself and Barry. Barry tried not to look scared. This was one of the devil messengers, he remembered. The messengers of Ultramaur. “Um…..that’s tight!” He tried to sound excited. “Wh-what’s it doing here?” “Well, it just came from a portal in the Spirit Garden,” replied Prima Dona. “We are nearing the place at the moment. Chiba has just arrived to tell me what’s been going on with my Team Solar leagues all around, and how Paul is doing.” She narrowed her eyes into an evil smile as she mentioned Paul’s name. Barry suddenly remembered seeing Paul back at the fight with a squad of Team Solar grunts. The sight of him harassing Dawn and nearly killing her….he couldn’t bear to forget it easily. He couldn’t help narrowing his eyes and looking away. “Oh. I guess Paul’s doing fine then? He’s perfectly happy with--” “Chi!” Chiba suddenly grew angry and shot a red blast of light at Barry’s face. barry flinched. “Ah!” He put a hand on his cheek, frowning. “What’s your problem? That hurt!” “Now!” Prima Dona raised her voice before anything else could start something. “I know how much you feel about Paul, my dear.” She met Barry’s eyes with a calm, understanding gaze. Barry almost found himself lost again. “But you must remember: there will be one human upon this earth that shall be unwanted, and shall be defeated by the power of ice.” Chibu hovered over Barry’s shoulder, wanting to listen carefully. Barry blinked. “What? Is that supposed to be me?” He muttered. “I never said that,” snapped Prima Dona. “And I will make sure that if it is you, you shall NOT be defeated by the power of ice. I’ve promised to watch over you and protect you. Your so-called ‘friends’ are no longer to be trusted, though. Can’t you see what they’re up to? they’re trying to find a way to stop Ultramaur—to stop ME. Without me, what woud YOU be?” Barry felt intrigued and captured by Prima Dona’s intent voice. “Remember, you’re on my side. You’ve promised to help me, to keep me safe from becoming any weaker than I can get. You are helping me find Ultramaur, to find all three messengers of Dalyah, along with the three beings of earth, and destroy them all before they can find a way to destroy me. They can’t be trusted, Barry. They want to destroy me.” Chibu whimpered next to him. Chiba snickered and casted the yellow pokemon a mischievous smile. “Chiba here,” said Prima Dona, her gaze lighting up, “has told me that it’s found your friends, and was examinging their traillast night.” “Are they still following Chibo?” “Oh yes,” Prima Dona was smiling. “At least they think they are. See, Ultramaur’s messengers tend to look exactly like Dalyah’s….” Barry gasped. “They’re following….devil Chibo now?” Prima Dona raised her eyebrows. “How’d you figure out so quickly? Hehe, yes my dear. Your friends have gone a little off trail and have started following what they may think shall take ‘em to Phandolia’s Peak.” “Where will the devil Chibo take them?” Barry tried not to sound worried. “Oh, where devil Chibo belongs probably,” said Prima Dona innocently. “That way, Ultramaur won’t have to use YOU to try and lure your friends over.” Barry kept himself from gasping. Now he had no purpose to follow Prima Dona. The only thing it would lead to…..was betrayal. “The unwanted shall betray the others, and then become defeated by the element of ice.” The words rang through Barry’s head, spooking him and making him feel sick and guilty. But part of him wasn’t wanting to leave Prima Dona anyway. Part of him was urging him to stick by her side—no matter what the consequences. His mark stung his forearm, and the feeling soon grew stronger. “”So I have no reason to stay with you, don’t I?” Barry said with a sigh. Prima Dona raised her eyebrows. “What’s that? you’re thinking of leaving me?” “No!” Barry spoke quickly, meeting her ice cold glare. “I was just saying! I—I never want to leave you.” Prima Dona smiled. She reached out her long arm around his shoulders and pulled him closer to her side. Barry looked straight ahead, feeling dazed and scared to be so near her like this. “Of course, I never want you to leave me either,” she spoke nicely. Chiba hovered over her shoulder, snickering and Chibu watched Barry with an intent look. Ghastleon crept around Prima Dona’s heels and growled at Barry. Prima Dona looked on ahead of them. “Ah! Here we are!” “Chiii-heee!” Chiba gave Chibu a rude push and hovered around with a smirk. “Barry, this is the place known as the Garden of Spirits. It’s a sacred place up in the tundra where spirits from the dead gather. See, it’s as if you miss a long-lost relative or pokemon that’s no longer alive. Well, in this dimension, here in this place, they are alive here. anyone you think about everyday to be kept alive in your mind, they will be kept alive in this part of the world.” Barry stared out at the place that they slowly flowed by. It was beautiful. The grass was the lightest green Barry had ever seen, and trees grew here and there, spread out with plants growing all around. there seemed to be small pokemon like Bidoof an Shinx running around, chasing after each other. there seemed to be no sign of people up here to control them, and there was a strange sweet smell to the air that made Barry feel as if he could almost run across the grassy garden with the pokemon without ever stopping. The aira smeled like apples, though the fruit that grew on the tree didn’t look much like apples. They were red, but Barry saw that on every tree, a number of a red circle shaped fruit grew rather than the shape of an apple. Barry looked down and saw that the river was a clear calm blue, almost as blue as the welcoming sky above. Though the sun wasn’t too bright right now, Barry still felt a warm sense of happiness and the urge to just throw himself in the water to cleanse himself and feel refreshed. He suddenly felt chilly all over again as he felt Prima Dona lay a hand on his shoulder. “Like the place?” She said calmly, her expression unreadable. Barry swallowed. “Um—yes, I do actually. Hehe, should I not?” Prima Dona chuckled. “Oh, my dear! Enjoy this place as much as you can! It’s like a heavenly place where all your memories of lost ones come to life. I bet you’ve got some people or pokemon in your life you’d like to have around again, don’t you?” Barry’s gaze faltered and he looked down. “Yes…I do.” He remembered his dad’s first pokemon, a lively little Shinx he had been training, but it had died of bud fever, a sickness that went around usually during the winter when the Budew would released more pollen to help it keep strong. He also remembered his grandmother, who had once been a great mentor of his father before he even became the Tower Tycoon. The Lapras suddenly stopped. Prima Dona helped Barry climb down. Ghastleon dashed off after them, and Chiba gave Chibu a shove to hover down beside Prima Dona. Lapras yawned and gave a narrowed stare as Prima Dona put her arm around Barry again. “Well, you can feel free to wander all you want in this place.” Barry looked up at Prima Dona. “Really? Where are you going?” “Well, the reason I’m here…….” Prima Dona was staring out at the small waterfall in the distance that trickled down a clean, earthy cliff where Wingull and Shellos played by the stream. “……I’m here to check with some of……my old acquaintances.” Barry blinked. “Old acquaintances?” “In the past I’ve encountered a many number of people and pokemon whom have influenced me greatly…….both good and bad.” Her icy blue eyes flashed. Barry didn’t think she would be telling him much. He suddenly gave a raised look as he remembered that Prima Dona was probably almost as old as the beginning of time, for she had been created by Ultramaur when it had been trapped in the dark hole. “Oh,” he replied. “Well, I bet if they’ve done anything wrong, you can still be able to just come up to them and kick their butts for it, whether they’re dead or not.” Prima Dona chuckled. “That’s right. This IS the place of dead spirits, though they are only alive here if they are kept alive by the minds of someone who had once loved or cared about them….” Barry gave her a calm look, speaking carefully as he could. “You’ve loved someone before?” Prima Dona’s eyes flashed a darker color of blue. Her expression didn’t change. “Dear…..I’ve loved lots of beings before. You arent the first.” Her voice was soothing but cold and deadly. Barry felt the tension around him as he saw Prima Dona’s long black hair flow from behind, though there was no breeze. “It’s just that……most of the ones I loved—they have either betrayed me or have made me angry in some way that I’ve stopped loving them.” “Both people and pokemon,” said Barry, looking into her eyes. she wasn’t looking down at him, but staring out at the lush blooming area around them. Prima Dona nodded. “Both people and pokemon.” She turned and struck her spear at one of the red fruit from the nearest tree. She held the fruit on the end of her spear, and stood it upright, so that Barry could get a better look at it. it was nothing like an apple. The juice that leaked from it was red and gooey, and the skin seemed to be turning brown already, around the part where Prima Dona had stabbed it. “This is known as Gaiyah’s fruit,” said Prima Dona rashly. Ghastleon was hissing and glaring up at the fruit as if it were an enemy pokemon, ready to attack it. Chiba hovered behind it, eying it closely. The fruit was almost its exact size. “It’s called a Gaiyah apple. You must watch out for these things. They can be both good and bad. Some are sweet and so full of taste; some are bitter and rotten to the core. Some are good for you with nourishment that can cure the most deadly sickness nothing else can cure, and some are so poisonous, one bite can cause a fever within a few minutes, killing you within an hour.” Barry made a face at the fruit, wincing as strange bubbles started to fizz as the red juice dripped down Prima Dona’s spear, thickening around it. “Wow. I bet this one’s a poisonous one. How can you tell?” “You don’t,” hissed Prima Dona. “You don’t find out unless you take a risk and eat it. that’s why so many are growing on these trees, no matter what time of year. Thankfully, the longer they stay, the older they will get to just rot away and literally disappear.” Prima Dona banged the bottom of her spear to the ground, and the fizzing stopped. The fruit turned to ice and broke off into little glass pieces, dissolving and disappearing into the grass. Ghastleon sniffed curiously at where they had disappeared. Barry huffed. “Wow. Must be pretty weird having all this fruit growing around you, but you can’t be sure what will happen if you eat some.” “Just warning you if you get hungry while wandering around here. I don’t wanna see you with a fever or anything when I see you later on. And be careful with the spirits also. This is a place for anyone’s memories to come alive, where any unforgotten beings may flourish.” Barry looked around him. “I just wanna stay here forever,” he was smiling. “This atmosphere is so sweet and welcoming! You sure you’re gonna let me run off for a while and go wherever I want?” “I’ll find you, trust me. I can sense your spirit like a psychic. Don’t worry, you won’t get lost here. I’ve got bones to pick with my own memories as well, and some of it won’t look pretty.” She gave him a dangerous glare and then smiled again. “You really don’t want to see me at my rage. I’ve been so kind to you lately.” Barry laughed nervously. “Oh, I’d love to see you in action any day. It doesn’t matter whether it’s from anger or anything.” Prima Dona gave him a nudge on the shoulder. “You go and enjoy your own memories. This is the place where you can litereally walk with the ones that have been on your mind since the day they had passed away. this is where they are literally alive and seen by EVERYONE here. this is where you can enjoy what you can with them. Go, enjoy yourself. And by the time I’m finished with my little business, I shall bring you back to this very river where we will be heading out again.” Barry met Prima Dona’s gaze, letting himself fall into the beautiful cold color of her eyes again, which were a clear silver kind of color now. then he smiled and nodded. “Thanks Prima Dona. And I won’t end up like the others who have loved you….and then betrayed you. I won’t let you down.” And behind him, Chibu gave a tiny gasp. Chiba gave the yellow pokemon a nudge, smiling with wickedness. It was the same thing Paul had said the last time he had seen Prima Dona. 26. GARDEN OF SPIRITS The air was as fresh as Barry had ever imagined. All around him, there were lush rolling hills and meadows where different pokemon pranced around and chased playfully after each other. the rushing water fell from the large cliff next to him, and he felt like he was in a world of pokemon heaven. “So this must be what heaven feels like,” he said happily. There probably was a better place though. This place was only where the ones remembered would go. There was probably a real, much better place where EVERYONE went when they died, whether they were forgotten or not. All the same, he felt like he was in the happiest place of his life. He wished he had his pokemon with him so he could take them out and share the goodness with them. But Chibu was with him, at least. Before Prima Dona had left, taking her Ghastleon and Chiba with her, she had let Barry keep an eye on Chibu and make sure it didn’t leave his sight. Barry gave the little yellow pokemon a smile, not wanting to think about its importance of what it can do to Prima Dona. He wanted to have fun. And from the look on the pokemon’s eyes, it did too. “Come on, Chibu! Race ya down this hill!” He shot forwards, Chibu dashing right by his shoulder, crying happy squeak. “Chiiii!” Barry had forgotten how cute the little pokemon looked when it was happy. He and Chibu chased after a flock of Starly, feeling hyped up and excited, wanting to grab one of the pokemon and fly away with them. He stopped and took a better look around him. he realized there were strange tall figures in the trees around him, some peeking through the branches, and then disappearing. He looked over to where the river had followed him, and caught one of the figures staring at him, before disappearing under the water. She was a ghostly long haired lady, and had no color to her entire body, even on her eyes or clothes. She met his gaze for about two seconds, and then slowly sank herself underneath the running water. Barry stared at her curiously before she disappeared. The look in her translucent eyes seemed inviting and intent, as if trying to tell him to follow her. Barry felt the strange urge to walk up to the river, and peer into the water. He kneeled down to where she had disappeared, and gazed into the water. It was as clear and clean as can be, and he could see the sand and plants that grew underneath. But there was no sign of the ghostly figure. Barry was probably a spirit of someone who had died back in his own world—someone who was still kept alive by memories of the ones who had loved her. He looked around, hoping he could find the Shinx his dad used to have, or his grandmother. They, too, have also been kept alive by his memory and feelings. He had dreamt about them almost most of the time. Suddenly, something rustled in the bushes at the other end of the river. Barry looked up and saw a spark of electricity. Chibu hovered over to his side, staring curiously. “Chi….” “It could be the Shinx,” muttered Barry. He stood up, and watched as something flashed out of the bushes towards the rocks by the cave next to another small waterfall. The pokemon was a blue blur when it ran, with a sparkle of electricity as it disappeared behind a large rock near the cliff of the small trickling waterfall. “Yep, I bet that’s Shinx,” said Barry. He carefully stepped over the stepping stones, though he didn’t fear having to fall into this water. It was probably as warm and refreshing a running brook can be, and he felt like he could do anything without watching his every move, and still feel safe. Chibu followed him with caution, uttering little noises to remind him to still be careful. Barry peered around the rock. “Nothing here….” he glanced at the hole next to the waterfall. Something was sparking. He entered the cave, and looked to the right where a blue pokemon sat with its back turned towards him. It was not a Shinx. The pokemon was the obvious shape of a Pikachu, sitting upright with its head looking down as it washed its face with its front hands. Barry let out a gasp of amazement. The Pikachu was blue. “Whoa! It—it’s a BLUE Pikachu!” The startled pokemon whipped around to face Barry, standing on all fours. It lowered its head and frowned. “Pika…..” Its Cheeks were a dark navy color rather than red, and its body was a light sky blue. It started sparking again, ready to release electricity. “No! wait!” Barry held out his hands, trying to calm the pokemon. Chibu hovered around, signaling the Pikachu to stay calm. “Wha—how are you blue? Are you….are you from MY world?” It can’t be. Not even a rare Pikachu would be blue. It was just impossible. This pokemon was obviously born from this dimension, not a dead spirit from his own world. “Pika….” The Pikachu calmed down as if understanding his words. It sat up on two feet again, closing its eyes and slightly bowing its head. Then it dashed passed Barry and jumped into the water, swimming away like a water-jet. “Hey, wait!” Barry called, immediately following it. “Chi!” Chibu dashed after him. Barry followed the river to where the water formed different paths, leading to different parts of what looked like a strange, beautiful garden place. Barry looked around him and saw that he was in a quieter place where nothing but grass, a few trees bearing the Gaiyah fruit, and bodies of water were present. Just a distance in front of him, a large fountain was running, stacking three layers of gray carved stone where water trickled from the top. The center of the stacks was the picture of a strange carving of a pokemon Barry couldn’t make out clearly. The blue Pikachu suddenly hopped out from the bottom of the fountain, shaking itself. “Pika!” It called happily. Barry gasped and quickly ran up to it. “Hey--” But the Pikachu hopped up high, bounding onto the next layer of the fountain, and then hopped to the third one, disappearing into the small pool of water up at the top. “No!” Barry stomped his foot with frustration. He gave Chibu a frown. “I bet it’s gonna appear in a body of water at the other side of the mountain now?” “Chiii….” “What is this place anyway?” Barry looked around. the place seemed dead silently, though at the same time, he could feel the heartbeat of life around him. the trees were alive, the water was clean, and the only real noise was the trickling fountain in front of him. He looked up at the top of the fountain. A pole struck out from the center of the bottom part of the fountain, holding up the other two stacks above it. He could now see the pokemon that was carved on the pole near the top where Pikachu had disappeared. Barry widened his eyes with astonishment. There were three of them, all carved in upright positions, their hands clasped together. The three pokemon were none other than Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf. Barry slowly looked down at the last stack, where the pole held up the first largest pool of water in front of him. what he saw on the bottom one surprised him a little more. He had never seen the pokemon here. But from the looks of it, it looked fierce and deadly-- it looked like a combination of Dialga and the monstrous form of Giratina, along with what looked like extra claws growing along its back, some actually looking like plants. Overall, it resembled some kind of dragon pokemon, looking like a mixture of all the other types combined. The pokemon looked ugly and powerful, and it scared Barry glance at it any longer. He quickly met Chibu’s gaze with narrow eyes. “What in the world…” He whispered, shaking his head. “Chi….” Chibu replied calmly, and Barry knew. The pokemon was Gaiyah, a mere carving of it around the very fountain in the heart of the Garden of Spirits. The beings of Uxie, Mespirt, and Azelf had some kind of connection with it as well. Barry gazed up at them again. while the feeling of pain and overpowering astonishment came from staring at the carving of Gaiyah, the feeling Barry got from the Three Beings was uprising, calm, and steady. Barry almost felt as if the carvings were coming to life. “Dream, Barry….” The voices echoed all around him, both from his head and in the garden he was srurrounded by. “Dream……dream of your life……..of our life…….of the world of pokemon…….both in……and both out…..” Chibu settled on Barry’s shoulder, cooing a calm, “Chi…..” Barry found himself slowly getting to his knees, trying to keep himself awake. “You sure…?” He uttered sleepily, trying to focus at the carvings of Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf. He suddenly collapsed onto the green grass, feeling the warmth and hearing the heartbeat of the region within. He fell into a deep sleep. Barry was back in a familiar place. The aroma wafted through his nose of a garden, but he wasn’t in the Garden of Spirits. The place was a lush valley of flowers, and he was surrounded by endless sights of tall mountains and vast lands. He recognized this place. He was in the Flower Paradise, near the borders of Sinnoh. He recalled visiting this place once before, with his own pokemon and Ash Ketchum long ago. It was one of the happiest times of his life. The Flower Paradise had been entrancing. He caught sight of his Empoleon, just a distance away. “Empoleon!” He shouted, running towards his old partner. He and his pokemon both hugged each other tightly, and Barry looked around, seeing all his other pokemon peeking from the grasses and flowers here and there, hiding behind the trees. Then he caught sight of an old friend standing next to a tall tree. A Pikachu stood by his side. It was Ash Ketchum, gazing at him with an eager, determined look on his face. “Ash!” Called Barry with surprise. Pretty soon, he found himself running along a trail, with Ash by his side. The trail lead up to a strange mountain, none other than Mt. Coronet. Pretty soon, Lucas was suddenly up to his other side, and on Lucas’s other side, was Dawn. They were all determined, ready and excited to reach the top. Barry felt the same surge of exhilaration as he was surrounded by all his friends again. But then he slowed down, realizing something was missing. His expression faltered. Kaira wasn’t here. where was Kaira? One of his closest friends was missing, and it didn’t feel right. “Guys…..wait!” He yelled, coming to a full stop. Everyone else ran on, and then suddenly stopped, looking back at him. Pikachu, who had been running at Ash’s heels, glanced with concern. “Pika?” “What’s wrong, Barry?” Said Ash. Barry panted, suddenly feeling strange. He leaned on his knees. The air around him started to feel different and the mountain suddenly seemed to have stretched even farther away. “Someone….! Has someone seen…..KAIRA!” He gave out a cough and then collapsed to his side. “Barry!” Dawn’s startled voice cried. “Guys….look!” Lucas gasped. Barry’s vision spun, and when he came into focus, he saw a strange shape of a pokemon hovering in front of him. but then he flinched with concern. This was no pokemon. It was….a mere shape of blurriness, about four feet tall and a foot wide. But it was flat and shiny, like a rectangle-shaped disk. It was like a flat surface of a broken television that was crackled and on the wrong mode, making a strange buzzing noise as the strange blurry gray colors flashed along the shape. “Pika-piiii…” Pikachu was staring at the shape with astonishment. Barry was lying on his cheek, and he faced the shape with a narrowed, weak expression. He felt as if the thing was draining the energy out of him. it was like a broken TV trying to zap the force from him to repower or something, Barry thought. But something about this thing reminded Barry of a pokemon. Perhaps it WAS pokemon, but it had been shut down and broken into pieces, and was slowly trying to find its way back…….Barry didn’t know what to think. He felt the shocking power of the blurriness come closer towards him, and he felt his head whirring and dying off. “Barry!” Voices of his friends echoed through his mind before his entire vision went blurry like the shape. A light blasted in front of him and a two strange human figures appeared in front of his vision. “Barry!” Whispered a female voice he had never heard of. The figure to the right let out a hand. “Hurry…….we can save you.” Barry found himself grabbing the hand, and immediately, his body appeared again through the state of blurriness. “What?!” he sputtered in confusion. “What the hell’s going on?!” The figure to the left spoke. The man sounded strangely familiar. “You are being overtaken. Your body is close to becoming lost in a state of confusion. You are being attacked y the being of Missingno.” Barry gasped. “Theodore!” It was Kaira’s father speaking. “Come….” The female voice spoke. “We must save you…..” and she pulled him further in, away from the blurriness and painful gray colors. 27. THE REGION OF LLUYAN Lucas looked around him with wonder. They had been traveling for days now, and had finally come to a strange region of Lluyan, a place where the dreams are said to have come alive. “This is the place where the dreamworld is,” said Delaine. “It’s like falling asleep back in your dimension, and then when you have a dream, it really takes place here. this region contains the strangest and most vivid of all spirits.” Dawn raised her eyebrows. “Wow. So does everything come true here? I mean—if I were to suddenly dream up a pokemon that would fly me to the moon or somewhere, it would really happen here?” “Well, yes. But it doesn’t mean it’s permanent. See, all around this planet of Gaiyah, anything that takes place in your world is contributed to this world somehow. If you think you’re a pokemon, and that belief is truly unstoppable and very strong, then it shall come to life here, as a spirit of you as a pokemon. But dreams, on the other hand, if they are just normal nighttime dreams that you have randomly every night, those just take place in this particular region.” “Basically, they just come and go,” said Seth. “It will become true as long as you’re asleep and dreaming it on to keep it alive and happening in this place, but once you awaken, you’re pretty much leaving this world where your dream was taking place, waking up back in your own dimension where you were sleeping.” Delaine nodded. “But! The only way to keep it alive is to keep it in your memory so that you let yourself dream up that certain dream over and over again, until it truly becomes part of this world and a real live spirit that has entered through the portals between the dimensions. That’s how most of the spirits in this planet are formed. They start by being created by dreams of another dimension, coming to life into this region and eventually becoming stronger and more alive as the person keeps on dreaming. This is the other side of your world, on a very different and faraway dimension, where the pokemon Gaiyah roams.” Kaira was suddenly at Lucas’s side, her eyes gazing out ahead of her. “But there’s a problem. The portals that lead to the fifth dimension have always been blocked. Spirits can come in, but they can’t get out. Unless they came by dreams, they can leave through those dreams, simply by being forgotten.” Lucas looked at her. she seemed to be gaining more knowledge about this world every day. Each time Lucas looked at her, she seemed to be drifting farther and farther away from them, lost in her own little world of memories and the past of her own world. “So then…..” Dawn started to speak to her, “……since we’ve entered this dimension through the portal, we aren’t able to leave or anything?” “No,” replied Kaira distantly. “We were taken here by Chibu, and since Chibu is one of the three messengers, it’s the only few pokemon that are able to pass through the portals. That’s why they are seeking Dovanna…..somehow it’s broken through the portals and it may just be that the portals are weakening so that beings are able to come through to this world.” Lucas and Dawn glanced at each other with interest. “What Kaira says might actually be true,” said Delaine seriously. Karia blinked slowly. The environment felt so full of energy and mountainous hills all around that Lucas thought it even made Kaira look like she was ready to express her strength. “If Dalyah is to be restored together with Ultramaur, it must be done in this very dimension. Gaiyah must not come alive back in ours, or any of the other dimensions. The whole reason why this world was created was because of Gaiyah itself.” Suddenly, Lucas stepped over a hole and flinched back as it let out a puff of hot smoke. Delaine raised her eyebrows. “Careful. This place is known for strange things happening outta nowhere. Remember—this is the place of dreams, so anything can be dreamt up.” Dawn huffed and put a hand on Lucas’s head. Lucas felt a pang of sadness. If only he were a boy. He really didn’t feel the same next to Dawn….as an Infernape. But he tried to look on the bright side. She did seem to be taking in more notice of him than she used to. she seemed to feel bad for him and slightly become watchful and protective about him. “I guess our goal is to get to those higher mountains in the north?” Said Dawn, frowning ahead of them. “This place scares me. And I hope I don’t accidently walk into one of my parents’ dreams. I bet they’ve dreamt of me every night to come back to them!” Seth laughed. “Don’t worry! If you happen to make it true so that you find them again, fight back with it and escape! It’s just a dream, so you could say or do anything you want to them. it’s not like they’ll help you escape this dimension or anything.” Dawn narrowed her eyes. “What if they truly believe in it? What if it does get stronger than the force that holds us to this place, and eventually, we find ourselves back at home suddenly?” “It won’t get stronger,” said Kaira. “People may believe in their dreams, but it takes a lot more than just a strong belief for them to actually make it come true AND break the portals to the fifth dimension.” Lucas let out a low growl. He watched a strange looking pokemon that seemed to look like a Burmy crawl through the arches of rocks nearby. They traveled on, discussing strange dreams. Seth made up some humorous stories of a pokemon suddenly being dreamt up to take them all to a planet of aliens. He joked and scared Dawn how he would believe in that dream every night so that it could come true. They came to the end of a rocky cliff that arched up and down ahead of them. Bridges were made over and under each other, leading to the other side of what seemed like a deep ravine. Dawn chuckled. “Pretty wacko stuff here.” Delaine was wincing. “Hey….across is the Valley of Stones. That place has been deserted and empty for years. Why would Chibo be heading this way towards north?” “This isnt north,” the gasp came from Kaira. She had stopped walking, her eyes full of shock and disbelief. Everyone stopped to look at her. “Say what?” Said Seth. Kaira slowly shook her head. “I’ve just got a message from Chibu……finally. We aren’t heading north. This is south. We are in the right region, but the paths we’ve taken lead south. We are far from Phandolia’s mountain right now.” Delaine stomped her foot and threw out her pokeball. “I knew it!” She yelled. Her Ninetales popped out of its pokeball and blew out a rage of smoke. “We’re not really following Chibo, are we?” Kaira shook her head, narrowing her eyes. “Whatever that blue light is….it’s not Chibo. I’ve been warned that something peculiar is luring us to the south.” Lucas started jumping up and down. “It’s the devil Chibo! Devil Chibo!” He cried, though he knew everything he said only came out in Infernape calls. Only Chimchar understood him. “What?! Chibo! Are you sure?” Delaine and Seth turned to face Lucas. “What’s with you?” Said Seth. “We haven’t gone too far yet. we can just turn back and try to head north.” Delaine groaned. “We need to follow CHIBO though! Heading towards Phandolia’s mountain on our own won’t do. we have to find Chibo and follow it to the right place up there! The mountain’s as huge as half this region!” Lucas huffed. “If only you can understand me!” He yelled deliberately. “Chibo spoke to me the other night and told me to follow the North Star until it shines directly over our heads! We just need to look for the North Star!” Chimchar met his gaze. “I’m good at making them see what we’re tryin’ to say. Want me to tell ‘em?” Suddenly, something shot over them like a jet, and Lucas and the others nearly lost their balance. “Oh my gosh, what was that?” Gasped Dawn. Delaine clutched onto her Ninetales. “Who knows? The only places safe here from getting attacked by random occurrences is by hiding in Strata Grotto rocks. They’re sparkling silver like those against the cliff.” Delaine pointed over to where a cave opened in the cliff to their right. Suddenly, something flashed over their heads again and Lucas looked up to see what he thought was a Flygon or a Salamence, but then he widened his eyes in shock. It was a Starly—the size of a six-foot tall dragon pokemon. It landed on the top of the cliff above the cave. Dawn and Kaira both flinched. Dawn was staring up with shock. “Oh my...what in HECK is that Starly--” “Might I remind you?!” Screamed Delaine, suddenly grabbing Seth’s hand. “Run!” Instantly, the Starly took flight and hovered above them, flapping its large wings and creating a force of wind over them. Lucas and Chimchar ran over to a tree to avoid the strong gust of wind. But as Chimchar climbed up the tree first, Lucas whipped his head around. “Wait! Dawn!” Dawn and Kaira were headed towards the left of the ravine, trying to fight against the wind against them. the Starly blinked its large curious eyes and let out a loud tweet, swooping down and extending its feet to grab at them. Dawn and Kaira ducked and avoided the grasp, and Lucas hurried over to save them. “Dawn! Over here!” He cried, holding on to a nearby tree branch and holding out an arm towards Dawn. She lifted her head form the ground and met his gaze with shock. Kaira wasn’t next to her. As soon as Dawn took his hand, Chimchar leaped above him and landed on her shoulder. “Lucas! You can fght this giant monster! Use your awesome power with fire!” Lucas remembered how powerful of an Infernape he was. he looked up at the Starly with challenging eyes, and then blew out a huff of flames, and instantly, the place blew up with a bust of fire and shaking energy that sent Lucas and Dawn rolling over the shaking ground. A tree that was caught on fire fell over and fell on Lucas with a blast of burning redness in his eyes before he blacked out. The lonely waves of the Murgrou Beach were quiet and calm. The water was moving upon the sand so slow that Paul wouldn’t have even noticed it if he wasn’t looking forward. The night was purple and dark, and even at the crack of dawn, the sun still didn’t seem to peek through the horizon. He was all the way near Murgrou City, a place where strange dark and ghost type activity took place within both the people and the pokemon. Team Solar were investigating the connection the ghost types could have with the wandering dark spirits. He wandered over to the side of the cliff where the public restrooms were. The showers were in front of the doors by the brick walls, and one to the right was dripping noisily. Paul winced and shut it off. The handle was wet and surprisingly warm. Paul shivered. He really did feel cold, and the weather had been chilly for the past few days as Team Solar neared the north. He and Dionza had been discussing plans on their journey to the north. It was where the three beings were headed, and it was where the mystic pokemon Phandolia itself was headed. Thoughts about Dionza sparked him and made him feel intrigued. She was amazing….and his type. She really had him focused when he saw how much she liked to flirt with those new pirate jerks she had hired. A crash suddenly sounded on the other side of the brick wall. Paul heard the shower on the other side turn on and then immediately turn off. Paul narrowed his eyes. Now was his chance to capture another strayed human or pokemon for Team Solar. He took out his psi blade Dionza had given to him. one stab could let any being go unconscious and easily prone to the spirits of darkness at night. And the moon was still out and full. Paul crept to the other side, keeping an eye out for anyone hiding. He stopped, and then slowly took a few steps back. Paul bumped into someone and the both of them yelled in surprise. paul whipped around and struck out his psi knife, and barely missed the human behind him by an inch. He then widened his eyes in shock as he realized the person…..was Dawn. She had ducked out of his aim and had slipped, falling on her bottom. She was looking up at him like a lost little girl, and Paul just stood there, frozen. His mind had gone blank. “Paul!” Breathed Dawn. He noticed a bleeding cut on the right side of her forehead. The wound seemed new, and the rest of her face was covered in dirt and drops of water as if she had fallen into a puddle. Her hair, which she had always kept so neatly brushed and shiny, was a mess and tangled as if she had been through a storm. Paul winced. The area had been as still as death lately, and he couldn’t imagine what couldlve happened to her—unless she was attacked by something. Paul slipped his knife back in his pocket, turning away. he couldn’t kill her even now, not in this state. “Just leave.” He muttered. He didn’t even bother helping her up. “You’re distracting me from my business.” Dawn sighed and stood herself up. “I’m not trying to distract you in any way.” She said calmly. “Paul…..the only things distracting you….is Team Solar and—and Prima Dona.” Paul stopped and looked down. He said nothing and cursed silently in his head. He could be killing her right now like he was supposed to, but he just couldn’t. he squeezed his eyes shut and then opened them again. “What the heck are you doing here anyway?” Dawn was silent for a moment, and then spoke carefully. “Well……I was just off in the region of….of Lluyan. It’s a region of….dreams.” Paul turned to meet her gaze. He suddenly noticed how her eyes hadn’t changed from their shocked, crazed expression. They weren’t just shocked—they were dazed and faraway, as if she were blind and staring into another place. Paul had heard of the region of Lluyan. “You’re dreaming, aren’t you?” Dawn gasped and stepped back. Her eyes stayed the same, unblinking lost stare. “I am…..but it feels so real. Paul…..this is happening for real, isn’t it? when I close my eyes and dream, I enter another world where I’m awake and doing certain things in my dreams. But…’s coming true, isn’t it?” Paul narrowed his eyes. “The region of Lluyan …..isn’t that only where dreams from the other dimensions go to? you’d have to be asleep and dreaming back on earth in our world, in order to come awake and arrive to that region.” Dawn nodded slowly. “Unless….unless this is none other than a normal dream. I’m probably just passed out again….and just having another dream that I’m—with YOU for some reason.” She looked down, and if her eyes weren’t so clouded and blank, Paul would’ve expected her to be wincing with confusion. But Paul suddenly felt a longing sense of sympathy. He looked at her, and realized how much he had missed her. “You’re not dreaming anything fake,” he said calmly, stepping towards her. “Trust me…..I am as real as I can get. I can feel myself as the real live being I am……or at least what I’m becoming.” A pang of regret shot through him. Dawn looked up and met his eyes. He stared back down at hers. “You may be dreaming, but if you are, you have awakened in another place, a truly real place, and you’re awake and living in your dream right here, still in the fifth dimension, still on the planet of Gaiyah.” Dawn backed away. “But—but how is that possible? Dreams only come to life HERE if you’re from ANOTHER dimension! Am…am I dead?” Paul clenched his teeth and frowned. “No, you’re not dead,” he said seriously. “The only thing that’s supposed to kill you….is me.” He took out his psi knife. He had to get this over with. If Dawn was really sleeping somewhere else, far away across this planet, and this body was just a mere illusion of her spirit living in her dream at the moment, then he could kill off her spirit, and she could die in her sleep. At least it was less painful that killing her for real, and in front of everyone else who had trusted him. He stepped forward and neared her. Dawn looked at him, her eyes still dazed, yet there was a glint of fear that changed her expression. She gasped and backed away, and stopped as she hit a wall behind her. Paul was in front of her, and she was trapped. His eyes glinted through the moonlight, and his psi knife shone in his right hand. Dawn was slowly breathing. “I’m not scared……I’m not scared.” She was speaking calmly to herself. “It’s just a normal old dream, and when I die, I will awaken alive back where I was at the Kaiyar region, hopefully with Lucas and the others….” Paul raised his eyebrows. She still thought this was just a normal old dream, one that wasn’t coming to life in another place and that when she did wake up after he killed her, she would really be dead—never even finding a way to wake up. he lowered his knife and gazed into her eyes with a glare. “Dawn……you’re not just dreaming.” He slowly let go of his knife. It hit the ground with a single clatter that echoed through the walls of the shower area. He slowly brought himself closer to her, grabbed her face, his hands holding her by the cheeks. She felt cold as snow. Dawn’s eyes slightly widened with awe, and then slowly calmed, blinking sleepily. Paul slightly bent over, and gave her a single kiss on her head, making it long enough so that she had time to notice how real the kiss was, and that she really was right here, right now, with him. Paul suddenly found himself lost in the daze of his kiss. Though her hair was probably dirty as a bird’s nest, he still felt like he could smell the sweet scent of her soul and spirit so close to him. the world seemed to spin around him, and Paul found himself becoming dizzy, until the spin became real, and the wind blew around him like a small tornado. He gave a gasp and fell to the ground, landing on his side, and blinked his eyes shut a couple times. He opened them and looked around him, seeing no sign of Dawn anymore. Her spirit must have vanished. She must have woken up on the other side of the world. Lucas blinked his eyes open, and found himself tangled in branches of sticky leaves and oozing purple sap. “Ugh….what in the world….?” He felt dizzy as ever, and for a moment, the world almost looked like it was literally running around him. He looked around. his back was stuck against the branch, sticking to the gross purple stuff. “Ew! Gross!” Complained Chimchar. Lucas looked up and saw Chimchar in the branch above. He was stuck and plastered with some of the purple. “Ugh! What in the world happened after you spit fire at that giant Starly?” Chimchar yelled. “Did the world throw up or something?” Lucas winced and cursed as he snapped his back off from sticking to the branch. “I have no idea. But whatever happened, we ended up all the way over here. and from the looks of it, we’re still in the stupid region of ‘dreamworld.’” He recognized some sparkling colored rocks in the distance, just right next ot the cliff to their left. He looked around. “Where’s Dawn?” He heard her voice faint from below. “Oh……uh……what happened?” She murmured. “Shh…….dont be scared. You’re just waking up. I’ll help you here,” a strange familiar voice sounded. Lucas tried to peer through the annoyingly stick branches, and looked down to try and get a glimpse of Dawn and the strange person who was talking to her. Dawn gasped quietly. “Oh no….it can’t be. It’s you.” Lucas peered closer, and then widened his eyes with shock. Dawn was lying near the trunk of the tree—and the person that kneeled by her side, was Riley. 28. KAIRA’S PAST Kaira ran through the trees and over the rivers of the strange region. Despite her fear of being chased by a giant Starly, she was still able to notice the strange plants that grew around the area—some trees had blue leaves and some parts of the grass had turned a sick, purplish color. Kaira stopped and hid behind a tall cliff as she jumped over another river. She panted, and waited a few seconds. She turned to look back. The giant Starly seemed to have disappeared. She turned back and closed her eyes, heaving out a sigh. She looked around. Dawn, Lucas, Delaine, Seth, and Chimchar were all gone. She had lost them. Kaira narrowed her eyes in frustration and angrily kicked a pebble ahead of her. the moment when Dawn was finally out of her hair for a while—it was the wrong time. Kaira was starting to feel a little proud of herself. Throughout their journey, since Barry had gone missing, she had gotten used to Dawn and experienced what it was like to get along with her. and perhaps Dawn had also opened her eyes to see how much of a pretty cool person Kaira herself could be on the inside as well. But then Kaira sighed and walked forwards, feeling the need to keep herself in motion in a place like this—where dreams literally came alive. The presence of unearthly spirits seemed to flow around her, and every time the wind blew through her hair, she felt like she was walking through another soul’s dream from another world. She had lots on her mind. First, she thought about Barry, and how he could be doing—while he was under Prima Dona’s grasp. Ever since Chibu had managed to tell her that Barry was becoming more and more intrigued in that evil witch, Kaira felt more and more drawn away from him. She wondered how much he ever thought of her—or Dawn. With the little information Chibu had been giving her, it seemed as if Barry had entered a strange part of the region, known as the Garden of Spirits. Chibu hadn’t been able to explain much, but Kaira was told that it was somewhat similar to the region of Lluyan. It was where the dead spirits of the other dimensions went to for the rest of their peaceful life, if they were somehow kept in the memory of anyone. Kaira thought of her mom—for she recalled many times of her father reminding her about how her mother had died of a strange sickness that only went around in Johto, and he had taken her all the way to live in Sinnoh so that they could never lose each other again in a sickness like that. strangely, Kaira knew she could never truly remember anything of her past. She didn’t even exactly remember her mother, though she had seen many pictures of her. But she didn’t feel like she had even known her enough to feel a connection with her so that she would keep her spirit alive when she died. “Kaira…” whispered a voice in her head. Kaira stopped walking and looked ahead of her with surprised eyes. “Chibu!” She gasped in her thoughts. She looked around, realizing the area she was in had changed from a strange, dreamy-like kind of place that blossomed with never-before-seen plants, to a deep, ancient and earthly environment where nothing grew and the ground was covered in dark brown rocks where dead, bare trees grew. There were bones of pokemon here and there, and boiling magma flowed through the dead bodies, erupting from strange holes that oozed a bubbling lava. “Don’t fear……you are in the ancient part of Lluyan—this is like the lower part of the spirit world where the oldest dreams find their way. dreams can be created, and kept alive by memory and belief—but they can also get old as well and start to drear off. When they are brought to life, and then slowly become forgotten, this is like the place where they disintegrate, either mentally or physically.” “That explains these strange leftovers and fossils then,” said Kaira. “So how’s Barry? Has….has he found anything in the Spirit Garden?” Chibu took a while to answer. But then suddenly its voice exploded in Kaira’s head so loud that she flinched and closed her eyes shut, wincing. “Chibu?!” She said aloud. “Kaira! I’m coming! You won’t believe it! Kaira…I’m coming!” Kaira opened her eyes with a frown and Chibu’s sudden outburst. But suddenly, a gap of bright light exploded in the air just a few feet in front of her. The light was blinding, and Kaira strained her eyes and backed away, gazing at the two figures that stepped out of the light towards her. from behind, another figure appeared, and as it came to sight, she realized it was Barry. Kaira gasped. “Barry!” She cried. His eyes were dazed and lost for a moment, as if he had just risen from the dead. But suddenly, Chibu appeared hovering above his head with its cute smile on its face. Barry blinked his eyes and put a hand on his forehead, looking down and squeezing his eyes shut. Kaira stood there with awe, and then couldn’t help herself. She ran towards Barry and threw her arms around him, hugging him tightly and closing her eyes. “Barry……I thoughtI’d never SEE you again!” Her voice was breathless and relieved. She felt her heart pound even more when he slowly stood upright and hugged her back. “I—I had the STRANGEST dream…” he was panting and sounding dazed as well. “Chiiii!” Chibu squealed happily and threw itself higher in the air, swirling down to circle around Kaira, glowing a shining yellow light with glee. Kaira opened her eyes and smiled happily at Chibu, and then let Barry go, staring into his eyes. for a moment, he seemed to look calm and happily relieved to see her, and she felt her heart burst with a new pang of excitement. But then Chibu hovered over behind him, and the two figures that had stepped out of the light with them suddenly became clearer. Kaira’s expression faltered, and Barry raised his eyebrows, turning to look behind at what she was staring at over his shoulder. The figure to the left was a tall mad with a dark brown leather jacket, with dark gray hair and a mustache. To his right was a pretty, pale-skinned lady in a blue and white thin dress and a flowery, expensive-looking hat. But Kaira was focused on the man to the left. She couldn’t catch her breath. He was none other than her own father back at Sinnoh. Kaira let out a quiet gasp. “D-dad…” Barry was staring at him with the same look of awe. “Mr. Flockheart! Wha--? Are you….are you dreaming or something? This can’t be real—you’re none other than another spirit of yourself in this dimension, right?” “Chiii….” Murmured Chibu, staring intently at the couple. Mr. Flockheart was gazing at Kaira with an understanding look. “My dear….Kaira. So you’ve found yourself back to your own world, haven’t you? Where you belong.” Kaira was slowly shaking her head. “What are you talking about? I mean……yes, I am from this place—the fifth dimension…..but how do you know?” The lady stepped forward. “Parents know, child.” She had a calm, beautiful voice. She was somewhat like Prima Dona in a way—only the exact opposite, and the good, angelic version of her. “We have a lot to tell you.” Kaira met the lady’s blue eyes. “You……you’re my mother, aren’t you?” The lady closed her eyes and gave a single nod. “But we are here to tell you something. Something you must know of your past—and something that can help you in your future. I am Eleanor Flockheart, and I was married to your father, Theodore. Because I have passed away, I was kept alive by his memories of me, and his misery and hope for me to come back to him one day was what kept my spirit alive in this world, where I can live peacefully in another dimension in which can only be seen on the other side of the fifth portal. I could visit your father in his dreams, and together, we can really be together in the place of the Spirit Garden, where I can thrive eternally and he can see me in his dreams and hopes to be with me again. You, on the other hand, come in a more complicated way to explain….for you really don’t have much to do with us, like you’ve been told.” Theodore nodded. “Kaira, we have come from the Spirit Garden to visit you in the region of dreams, where we can take you back to your real past with us, based off of our own memories.” “So why are YOU here?” Kaira asked her father. “You didn’t…..die, did you?” Theodore closed his eyes. “That answer will come to you as we explain our presence and the real reason behind your past.” Barry turned to look at Kaira. “When I met them in the Garden of Spirits, they had saved me from this strange pokemon creature—Missingno. Chibu and I were traveling through my dreams together, and then this strange disk shows up and disrupts my memories. Then these two show up and save me, taking me here all of a sudden!” Barry suddenly looked frustrated. “Man, I just hope by the time Prima Dona--” “Prima Dona shall not notice what’s been going on of you,” said Eleanor calmly. “Now…..take my hand, both of you. I shall show you both back to the life Kaira had lived—the life she has never remembered or truly believed in.” kaira hesitated as her mother let out a pale, ghostly-like hand towards her and Barry. She gave Chibu a glance, wondering what would come of her if she saw her real past—and what she would think of the truth. Chibu gave an encouraging nod. Kaira and Barry looked at each other and then both took Eleanor’s hand, and a white shine of light glowed from both her parents. Kaira felt a sudden rush of feelings surge through her. Pain, loss, misery, depression, hope, honor, and will, all the feelings she had felt throughout her entire life were coming through her all at once. She closed her eyes and let the force of the dimension take over her. Kaira opened her eyes, lying on her side on dirt ground. Barry and Chibu were by her side, and there was no sign of her parents. Kaira blinked and looked around. The area was warm. Empty. Deserted. In front of her was a single strip of black road, and it was obvious that Kaira was awake in the middle of nowhere—on the same route to Sinnoh that her dad had taken so long ago when they had first left Johto. Barry got up and grunted. “Ugh, geez, if I could count how many times I’ve blacked out in the past couple weeks--” “Barry! Do you realize where we are?” Gasped Kaira, grabbing his arm. “We are home. I mean—we are back in our own dimension, our own planet earth. This is the rout my father and I were driving through to move into Twinleaf. This—this is the only memory I can really truly remember whenever I think back to my own past.” Barry sat up and met her gaze. “So…you don’t recall anything of your life back in Johto? No wonder you never even liked to talk to me about your past.” Kaira nodded. “I just knew I was always so unsocial and depressed just like I was in Sinnoh, and that I never liked to be around pokemon. But…all the things I was told about my mother and our old home, I could never remember them as something I’ve truly experienced before.” “Chiii.” Chibu hovered next to Kaira and she smiled, holding up her hand to let the little pokemon settle down. “But I’m glad to have found a pokemon like Chibu,” said Kaira softly. “It’s…’s too bad I can’t feel the same about other pokemon. There’s just something stupid about me.” “Hey,” Barry gave her a nudge. “There’s nothing wrong with you. And this is why we’re here to figure out your past. I wonder where your parents went? How are we supposed to figure things out without them?” “Kaira,” Chibu spoke in her head. “This is the past. You aren’t really back on earth. This is just the illusion of earth in its past. This life has already been lived, and this time has already been done with. The only reason why you can still live in it or be part of it—is because your father and your own memories have remembered it, and have kept it alive importantly so that it can form in the fifth dimension on the planet Gaiyah, so that you can relive it again.” Kaira widened her eyes. “Can I actually change the past?” Chibu giggled. “No. It’s not as simple to come to that. This is the life in the past—a mere illusion memory brought to life in the fifth dimension. You can’t change it, since it’s already happened. But you can come back to it and live it again, just like you rethink it and remember it.” Kaira turned to Barry, and he was staring at Chibu with a slightly wide-eyed intent look on his face. Barry couldn’t hear Chibu’s voice, but from the way he was looking at it, he seemed to be understanding something. Barry met Kaira’s gaze. “We’re not really back home, are we?” Kaira shook her head. “We’re in my father’s dream—or memory. This is still the region of Lluyan, the place where dreams are brought to life, and if strong enough, they will become part of the world and live on as real spirits. The memory of my father have been kept strong and unforgotten, he has created it to come alive again in this other dimension. We are here to experience it and see what’s really behind my life…..on earth.” “Agh! This thing with dreams and spirits! So confusing, it’s like you have to literally be careful what you wish for!” He kicked a pebble, rolling it over to a nearby bush, where a young Hippopotas rustled its way out and gave a yawn. “Ooh, a Hippopotas!” Said Barry, turning over to Kaira. “Well… do you feel? Still scared?” kaira gave him a wince. But his tone wasn’t teasing. She sighed and took a step forward. Chibu hovered by her side, and she felt its happy smile urging her on. “I…..I don’t know.” She stopped walking. “I guess I’m not that scared…but..” “Hey! I’ve missed pokemon like these,” said Barry, coming up to her to look down at the Hippopotas. “With all those whacked up pokemon in the fifth, I’ve missed the original forms and abilities of normal pokemon. Hey, buddy, are you lost or something? It’s awfully lonely out here.” The pokemon didn’t seem to take notice of Barry. It yawned again and slowly walked away. Barry watched it go. “Huh? Hey, where you--” “I don’t think it sees us,” said Kaira quickly. “We’re only here to see our past again. We can’t change it. Whatever has happened before can’t be affected by us now. We can only watch it again.” Chibu nodded. “Chi….” Barry watched the Hippopotas cross the road to the other side. It looked to its right, sensing an approach in the distance. To their right, a van was heading towards their way, making its way slowly along the lonely road. Kaira let out a gasp. “That’s my father’s moving van.” Barry joined her side with a curious look down the road. “That’s you guys?” Kaira nodded, not taking her gaze off the car. As the van passed by, Kaira was suddenly seeing into her own memory, of her riding in the car right next to her father. She was sitting there, halfheartedly gazing out the window, wanting to fall asleep, but unable to drift off into unconsciousness. She said nothing to her father, and he was the only one to be doing the talking. “Kaira,” he said finally after a long moment of silence. “When your mom passed away, remember how she said to keep taking good care of yourself, and to always look forward to a better future? Well, they’ve got a lot going on in Sinnoh. I can get a better job and afford more income with the things they provide with pokemon there. I can pay for a better house, and offer you a better future. Please try to understand……I know you have no liking for pokemon, but this can be a good experience for both of us. You’ll learn to love the region of Sinnoh.” Unfortunately, Kaira never got to explore to much of the region. She didn’t belong there, nor did she belong to Johto, or any other part of the pokemon world on earth. Her memory suddenly whisked away, and her parents’ spirits took her to an even earlier time before this very moment—the time when they had first had her as their child. “Pay attention, Kaira,” Chibu’s voice echoed in her head as she closed her eyes and let her mind drift off to live in the memory of Theodore. Kaira knew that she, herself, had never lived on earth her entire life. She was truly born on the planet of Gaiyah, born on the other side of the dimension, in the fifth. The reason behind her appearance to suddenly be a human on earth, living with two parents who had cared for her without an explanation to how she was really created or why she was with them—was about to be revealed. Theodore and Eleanor had a baby. They’re only daughter they ever wanted to have, after all the pain Eleanor had went to give birth to this child, was named Kyra. They had spelled it with “Y” rather than an “AI” in her name, so that it was read “Kyra,” rather than “Kaira.” Eleanor held their daughter in her hands. She and Theodore both smiled down at their little child. “Kyra Elizabeth Flockheart,” she murmured. “She will be the apple of our eye forever.” Kaira’s eyes were unseen in the air of the past. She watched carefully as their daughter grew into a beautiful human child of the earth. She looked just like Kaira herself. Kyra had pale white skin and light brown hair that she always kept down and neatly brushed. She had the same hazel green eyes and very thin figure, and Kaira almost thought she was watching her own reflection. “Kaira…..she looks exactly like you,” Barry was watching also, his unseen presence in the air right next to Kaira and Chibu. But then Kaira looked more carefully into their daughter. Kyra resembled everything about Kaira’s looks, but there was something about her eyes. They were the same hazel green, but instead of the clouded, lost and emotional expression that she always portrayed in her eyes, there was a big difference. Kyra’s eyes betrayed a strong, coldhearted glint in them that immediately told Kaira that their real daughter was nothing like her on the inside. Kyra turned out to be as selfish and rambunctious as a girl could be. As Eleanor and Theodore raised her, she became nothing more than a spoiled, immature brat, and whenever her parents tried to punish her or reason with her, she threw a fit and even physically fought back. By the time Kyra was ten, she was about to get her first pokemon. She had been begging and forcing her parents to finally get her one, and on her tenth birthday, Professor Elm of Johto had offered her a Cyndaquil, a Chikorita, or a Totodile. Unlike Kaira, Kyra wasn’t scared of pokemon. She was the exact opposite. She loved to control them, and after picking out her first Cyndaquil, she learned to force the little shy pokemon to use all kinds of moves that destroyed her parents’ belongings and her neighbors’ property. Her neighbors had even complained to her parents that if they didn’t keep their daughter under control, they would call the police to arrest both of them. So they took Kyra’s pokemon away from her, and Kyra grew angry. She snuck away, and stole whatever pokemon she could find in the lab of Professor Elm. She took a handful out in the wild, and forced them to obey all kinds of things she wanted them to do. She found enjoyment out of commanding pokemon, and eventually started torturing them with endless battles and intolerable training. She tortured her Cyndaquil until the poor little pokemon couldn’t take it. Kaira and Barry couldn’t believe what the pokemon was going through. Whenever it wouldn’t obey, Kyra would give it a kick and scream at it until it reluctantly obeyed. Theodore and Eleanor had tried desperately to calm her down and teach her to train and treat pokemon the right way, but she constantly ignored their advice and called them names. Eleanor and Theodore were helpless. If they tried to punish her, she would only go crazier and force her pokemon to fight back meticulously. Within several months, Cyndaquil ran away, and they never found it again. Kyra was devastated, but her parents and Professor Elm swore to never lend her another pokemon again. Angry and full of rage, Kyra grew even worse. She didn’t have her pokemon to fight back her parents or destroy anything out of anger, so she just became even more of a trouble to them than they could handle. She was coldhearted and cruel to the kids her age. She was especially mean to her closest neighbors, Jimmy and Kris. She scared away every pokemon other people had, jealous of their bond with their partners. She tortured both her parents pokemon, that some had either run away, or had ended up being given away to keep from anymore pain from Kyra. She was even cruel enough to try and poison a schoolmate’s pokemon before the pokemon managed to escape and fight back. By the time Kyra was sixteen, she had met a new trainer named Ethan, who was about to choose a Cyndaquil himself. Jealous and conflicted, Kyra poisoned the Cyndaquil right after Ethan had chosen it, sneaking a toxic potion in the pokeball. She didn’t care if she got caught. Professor Elm knew it was her. He couldn’t stand another minute with Kyra around their neighborhood. Theodore and Eleanor were even thinking of giving up their daughter for adoption. “We can’t do that,” sighed Eleanor. “It won’t change her. She’ll only become a problem for someone else, and then later on, she’ll come back to haunt us again.” Eleanor was catching a cold. A sickness was going around the eastern parts of Johto, and some people like Ethan and Silver even started a rumor about how the sickness was caused by Kyra herself somehow. Eleanor eventually died within a week with the sickness, and Theodore was very devastated. He didn’t know how Kyra felt about the death of her own mother, though she never seemed to portray any sadness or any feeling after Eleanor’s death. Theodore had finally gotten a mail from the house he had auctioned in Sinnoh. They had accepted him, and they knew nothing about the problems his own daughter would cause. Theodore didn’t care. He wasn’t wanted in Johto anymore. Everyone always kept away from him and Eleanor since they hated their daughter Kyra. He would leave and start a new life in Twinleaf. He packed up all their stuff. He and Kyra left Johto and headed on the road to Sinnoh. Kyra was strangely quiet in the car. She stared out the window with her usual, angry, intent glare, as if trying to kill anything her eyes looked at with their cold stare. “Dad, I want a pokemon in Sinnoh,” she finally said, looking at him with a forceful glare. As Kaira stared at the eyes into her own twin, it felt strange to be looking at a totally different side that she herself had never become. The look of stone-hard coldness in Kyra’s eyes…..Kaira could’ve never imagined herself portraying her own expression that way. Theodore gave his daughter a glance. “You want a pokemon,” he said in a hard tone. “So you can torture it and poison it the way you do with Cyndaquil and the other pokemon?” “I need my own pokemon!” She raised her voice in a snappy tone. “You give me my own pokemon, and I’ll whatever the hell I want with it. I haven’t had a pokemon in six years! It’s NOT fair!” “I’m not going to face the same problem with you and pokemon again,” said Theodore calmly. “You need to learn the true meaning of friendship and loyalty. You have to be loyal to your pokemon, and your pokemon will be loyal to you.” Kyra rolled her eyes and clenched her teeth, her eyes blazing fire. “Urghhh! I WANT my own pokemon! Can’t you ever ONCE think about your daughter? I never get what I want! You hate me! I wish I had a more reliable and caring father! ARRRRGHHH!” Kyra gave a single rapid bang at her window with her fist, and the window gave a large crack. Theodore whipped his head to face her side with a look of shock. He swayed around in the car on accident, causing the tires to screech as he tried to straighten out his driving. “Dammit, Kyra! You need to learn to behave yourself. I’ve done nothing but try to love and reason with you. Please.” He blinked slowly to calm himself. “Please. I love you. No matter what you do, you’re still my daughter, and I want what’s best for you--” “SHUT UP! IF YOU WANT WHAT’S BEST FOR ME YOU’D GIVE ME MY OWN POKEMON AGAIN! I HATE YOU!!” Kyra screamed, grabbing the rearview mirror and throwing it towards her father. Theodore ducked and let the mirror crash out his window, and he suddenly glared with rage. A look of desperation glinted in his eyes, and he stopped the car to a halt. Kyra looked to her window and then glared at her father. “You stopped in the middle of nowhere.” She hissed. Her eyes grew narrow and she clenched her teeth. “I WANT MY POKEMON IN SINNOH. YOU DON’T GIVE ONE TO ME, I SWEAR---” Theodore gave a yell and leaned over to open the door to Kyra’s side. Kyra gave out an angry scream. “ACHH! What the hell you doing, you stupid son of a--“ The door opened and Theodore gave his daughter a shove, and Kyra fell out the door, hitting the ground on her side with a grunt. Theodore gave his daughter a glare. “And until you think about everything you’ve done and choose to be a better person, I’ll come back for you!” He slammed the door shut and sat back upright in his seat, and drove the car off, speeding away without looking back. Kaira felt a twist in her heart. She wanted to see what Kyra had done after that, but she kept her gaze focused on Theodore. Theodore was frowning with frustration for a minute or two, but it didn’t take long to realize what he had done. How could he? How could he have been so ruthless as to leave his own daughter stranded at the side of a road, in the middle of an empty desert? He squeezed his eyes shut and brought the car to a stop. “What have I done….?” He muttered. “She’s my daughter……I can’t give up…” She could destroy the entire world of pokemon and he wouldn’t stop loving her. She was his daughter, and there was nothing he can change about that. He looked up and narrowed his eyes. “I’ve promised Eleanor to keep taking care of both of us. I promised to never stop trying to help Kyra, no matter what it takes. And this isn’t something that’s going to help her at all.” He started the car again, and turned around on the strip of road, heading back at the same speed he had driven away. He couldn’t just leave her out there. She could be a terrible child, but he would never be a terrible father. He had left her near a strangely shaped tree. He remembered perfectly how the tree looked like—bare and out of shape. He hoped he could still find her there. His eyes raised with hope as he saw the tree just ahead, but then his gaze faltered when he saw no sign of Kyra. He stopped the car and got out. “Kyra? Kyra! Please….forgive me. Come out right now!” He wasn’t going to sound apologetic yet…..he expected her to be hiding and ready to jump out and attack him with anger. But he saw no sign of her. “KYRA!” A warm airy breeze flowed through him, and he suddenly felt the presence of Eleanor. The breeze flowed farther away around the tree, and Theodore followed it, drawn by the scent of feeling of his lost wife. The spirit of Eleanor was leading him to a nearby ravine. Theodore stopped and widened his eyes in horror. “Oh no… dear Kyra….” He looked down at the ravine, which wasn’t more than seven or eight feet deep. But Kyra’s body lay in the ravine, dead. There were sharp pillars that poked up, and the terrible sight was too much for Theodore to bear. Her body had fallen down the slope, and had pierced into the pillar, splayed and lying sideways, her face paler than ever before, her eyes still open in a wide-eyed, dead stare. Theodore looked away, tears streaming down his face. For a moment, he thought she had committed suicide. But then a pokemon approached from behind. Theodore turned and met the gaze of a Lucario, looking limp and wounded, holding its left arm as if it had recently twisted it. Everything came to him easily. Kyra had always tried to wound pokemon by twisting an arm or a leg. Theodore knew what had happened. Kyra must’ve tried to harm this Lucario, and it had fought back, ending up pushing her down the ravine. Theodore looked away from the pokemon and gave a yell at the sky. He should’ve never left his daughter here. A pokemon could’ve harmed her—or she could’ve harmed a pokemon. And in the end, she had harmed both, and had suffered more. Theodore carried himself limply back to his van. He felt the life drained out of him, and he didn’t care what was to happen to him next. He had lost everything-- his pokemon, his wife, and now his daughter. The Lucario appeared by Theodore’s side, and gave a low growl. Theodore met the Lucario’s wounded gaze, and suddenly, the pokemon started glowing. It shone brightly, until it transformed into a beautiful, silvery, ghostly horse, taller than a Rapidash, and far more elegant, beaming with wisdom in its eyes. Kaira herself suddenly felt a jolt run through her, and Chibu uttered exactly what she had thought. “Phandolia.” Theodore stared up in awe at the silver gray horse. Phandolia had a sharp, spiral horn poking from its forehead, and its silver mane flowed in the wind with great beauty. “You’ve made a terrible mistake, Theodore,” the pokemon spoke in a surprisingly calm, wise male voice. Kaira let out a small gasp and felt her heart soften in the sound of the pokemon’s voice. It spoke as soft and beautiful as she could ever imagine. Theodore bowed his head down. “Yes…..I have. And I regret it badly. But…..who are you? What pokemon are you? I……I have never heard of a legendary like you.” Phandolia closedits eyes and opened them again. “I am Phandolia. I come from a world…..far more complex than this. I’m from the fifth dimension, and I’m here to have delivered something in need of help. After I had met your daughter, I realized you would be the best for this.” Theodore blinked, not fully understanding. But Phandolia stepped aside, and something glowed to its right. “Please make the right choices this time…..and never give up.” The pokemon disappeared in the breeze, turning to dust that faded away in the air. The glowing spot had revealed that of a girl’s body. Theodore gasped hopefully. “K-Kyra?” He kneeled down by the girl’s side, and lifted her in his arms. Her eyes were closed, but everything about her was exactly like his own daughter. The girl slowly blinked open her eyes—and one look into her green eyes told him everything. She was not Kyra. She was another being—from the same world as Phandolia, and had been brought to this world unexpectedly. Phandolia was counting on Theodore to protect her and look after her. Her eyes were as lost and soft as a doll’s, and their beautiful, calm hearted gaze reminded Theodore that of Eleanor. Theodore looked with awe, and then smiled. “I shall call you Kaira. I will raise you the way I’ve always wanted to raise my daughter, with the same easy spirit and love I had given her.” And Kaira watched with wonder as he carried her to his van, where she really blinked open her eyes to complete life, and realized her surroundings, unaware of her past and everything that had happened behind her and Theodore. Kaira suddenly felt herself drawing away from the memory. Pretty soon, she could see herself again, visible next to Barry and under Chibu, sitting under a strange tree in the region of Lluyan. The spirits of Theodore and Eleanor stood in front of her. Kaira was staring with disbelief. “I knew it…you really aren’t my real parents.” 29. THE TOWN OF SILENCE Images of Kaira ran through Barry’s head. From the moment he met her as a shy, lost lonely girl, to the point when he witnessed another version of her play as a cruel, ruthless character. Kyra and Kaira were two different people, and Barry couldn’t erase the fact that they looked exactly alike on the outside. It turned out that when Kaira had been kicked out of her real world- the fifth dimension—Phandolia had managed to let someone take care of her on earth so that she was safe and kept from harm. “But why didn’t Phandolia take her back to the fifth dimension?” Barry spoke. “If it found her, then why didn’t it take her back? Did it not want her to come back where she belonged?” Kaira was slowly breathing, lost in thought. “I bet it’s because it thought it was best for me,” she murmured. “Prima Dona would be after me again….and if she ever finds that I’ve come back, she’ll stop at nothing to kill me.” Eleanor nodded. “And as you can see, it’s already happened. Barry……you were with Prima Dona, weren’t you? she’s on the verge to destroy Kaira….especially since she’s brought the three beings of earth with her. she’s planning something sinister, isnt she?” Barry couldn’t bring himself to speak now. he felt a lump in his throat as he tried to speak, and his mark on his forearm started to sting again. chibu was looking at him with a halfhearted look. “Chii…..” Barry just looked down and held his forearm tightly. “Y-yes. She’s—she’s in the Spirit Garden right now…..but I really don’t know what she’s doing.” Theodore gave him a studying look, as if he was reading into his real feelings about what Prima Dona was trying to do. “Prima Dona does not belong in the Spirit Garden. That’s how we realized your presence. Her dark aura is stirring up the place, disturbing the peaceful spirits of the Spirit Garden, and driving tension through the dark ones.” Barry looked up. “Dark ones? In the Garden of Spirits?” “Well, of course,” replied Theodore. “That’s the place where lost ones are kept alive by memory and treasured belief. Those who have done rash things in their life may keep a hero they look up to alive and thriving here, whether it was a good soul or not. Prima Dona apparently, has gotten into acquaintances with certain souls and loved ones, some that have passed away and are still kept alive here by her own memory in which she couldn’t escape nor forget. She’s probably most likely to have come to defeat those memories that haunt her—or at least use them to help further in her plan to destroy Kaira and the three beings.” Eleanor gave them both an intent look. “Kaira…..I’m glad to have finally met you for you.” she laid a hand on Kaira’s head. “If you were to ever meet our real daughter…..” Eleanor closed her eyes bitterly and then shook her head. “I’m just glad Theodore has raised a perfectly good girl like you. you are much more than just the opposite of our own daughter.” Kaira’s gaze narrowed with confusion. “I’m not perfect. I had a stupid fear of pokemon. No wonder they all hated me—I was the mere version of the one who would actually find fun in torturing them.” Barry looked at Theodore. “Is Kyra still alive? Is she HERE? You said if a soul from our own world were to die, they may physically be gone there, but if they are kept alive in memory, they can find their way on this planet in this dimension, to live and become part of the dimension themselves.” Theodore nodded slowly. “Kyra has been kept alive in my dreams. No matter what I had gone through with her, I will never want to forget her, and that she is my daughter.” “But…” Eleanor cut in. “She is living through strange conditions in this world….chased by the pokemon Missingno.” Barry narrowed his eyes and felt his head hurt again. “Aw, great. Just the name of that so-called pokemon……” “Missingno…”Kaira uttered the name mysteriously. “That rings a bell…’s no real pokemon, though, is it?” “It is a pokemon,” said Eleanor carefully. “But it is a pokemon of loss and confusion. How can I explain this… a way, it’s like a dream that has been created to fall through the portals and enter this dimension as a live spirit, fully living in a condition in this region of Lluyan, but somehow it’s presence has been disrupted, and didn’t fully quite make it.” Barry winced and tilted his head. “So….it’s like a missing dream?” “It’s like half of a dream,” said Theodore. “When dreams are dreamt, they come here to fully become alive and play their part in this region. But when the soul is awakened, the dream goes away and fades, no longer part of this world unless dreamt up again by that being. Missingno is created if a certain soul has one of the vaguest dreams in which it is becoming dreamt up night after night…..until finally, it finds a way to stick to this world as a spirit of the dream itself. It tries to become a pokemon, but since it hasn’t been entirely dreamt up yet, and has somehow been corrupted to come through the portals, it is none but a mere disfigured vagueness of a pokemon, living under solitary conditions as a disk of confusion. Beware when you find it—sometimes it can become powerful enough to mess up your mind if you stare into it too long.” Barry raised his eyebrows. “Dang….like what it was trying to do to me.” “We can take you to meet your lost twin,” said Theodore. “But you must be careful. She is in the Town of Silence, the particular part of the region in which most Missingno are found.” “Town of Silence…” echoed Kaira, her eyes going dazed again. “Not a living soul or ghost pokemon lives there,” said Eleanor. “But you may find her lost spirit walking along. But be careful…….try not to make any contact with her whatsoever.” “Does she have any idea who Kaira even is?” Said Barry. “Of course,” said Theodore. “Her spirit still watched over the first dimension, though she’s no longer part of it. kaira, she knows you better than you know yourself, probably.” Barry saw Kaira tense. He gave a glance at Chibu, who was looking down at her with a sad look in its eyes. barry suddenly felt a sense of regret in him. To think that he was finally here with Kaira—to take part with her when she finally met her parents again—it made him feel somehow even more connected to Kaira than he really was. He knew he had to get back before Prima Dona noticed his absence with Chibu….but he didn’t want to leave Kaira’s side. Eleanor and Theodore were holding hands again. “We must leave now…..” Said Eleanor calmly. “Your father has to wake up in his own world pretty soon.” Kaira raised her eyebrows. “Dad…..” Theodore gave her a hug before fading away with his wife. “Sweet dreams, Kaira,” he murmured before they both disappeared. Barry, Kaira, and Chibu were alone in a deserted town where the mist seemed to rise around here and there. Barry looked around. the place was like a ghost town, and he was reminded of their first visit to this dimension in the empty town of Rendridge. “Where are we?” He said, looking all around. “This is the Town of Silence,” said Kaira intently, staring up at the thick blank sky. Barry whipped his head to face her. “What? Already?” “I guess Eleanor and Theodore have taken us adrift to the north of this region. I can almost see the north star through these clouds.” “Chi….” Chibu stared up in wonder with Kaira. Barry looked up and then winced. “I don’t see anything. The sky is as empty as a blank sheet of paper. But now I’m pretty glad I don’t live here. Man, so many complex things with dreams in this world! I’d lose my mind—wonder what that would do to the spirits my mind has created in this world!” Kaira gave him a humored look. “This world is just earth on the fifth dimension. That’s why it’s called the planet Gaiyah. Gaiyah is the earth pokemon, and one that keps this dimension alive and thriving due to the mental spirituals of the other dimension.” Barry shook his head, giving a sideways smile. “You’re like an alien,” he said teasingly. “You weren’t even from our world. Deep down, you’re used to the weirdness in this dimension.” Kaira gave him a playful grimace. “Of course I am.” Then her gaze faltered. “But I wish I knew how my life used to be like in here. that’s one memory I can’t find out in this region, and a memory that my parents even know about.” “Chi!” Chibu gave a nod and gazed into her eyes with determination. Kaira smiled. “That’s why I must find out.” Barry found himself smiling at her. She really was more than just the quiet lonely girl she always portrayed in front of the others. He and Kaira started walking through the strange empty city, heading north again with each other. “Why are you so naïve around the others?” Barry asked as simply as he can. “I mean… around Dawn and Lucas. Anyone who tries to talk to you or befriend you…you’ve always ignored them or said something to make them think of you as a shy, strange…outcast.” Kaira met his gaze, and Barry couldn’t tell whether her expression was full of sadness or offense. “Oh…..I don’t know.” She looked down, halfheartedly kicking a pebble through the layer of mist that hovered above the ground. “I guess…’s just natural for me. Ever since Prima Dona banished Dovanna, my own love faltered without that love pokemon, and Prima Dona easily kicked me out of the entire dimension so that I found myself on earth….to be looked after by Theodore.” Barry nodded, and kept his gaze fixed on her. he was aware of Chibu keeping a studying watch on both of them as the little yellow pokemon hovered above in front of them. “I’m very glad to have met you, though,” said Kaira after a long moment of silence, suddenly turning her gaze on him. Barry blinked and then focused his attention on her, and she had stopped walking. Barry stopped to meet her gaze, and he stared intently at her green hazel eyes. she was looking at him with intent as well. “Hehe, of course,” he said. “I was the one who opened you up….kind of. You’re still not your real self with the others……or are you?” Kaira gave a smile. “I’m starting to like pokemon a lot better, and becoming to be more social with other people. you’ve missed out on quite a lot since you left.” “Oh, how’s Dawn?” He suddenly asked, feeling a pang of excitement rush through him. he had missed her so much….he had to know how she was doing. “Is she alright? How’s Lucas treating her? I bet Seth’s talking to her about me behind my back!” Barry was confused to see Kaira’s expression drop all of a sudden, and her eyes narrowed. “DAWN…is okay…..” she replied somewhat tartly. She looked away down at the mist. “I mean……I’m starting to like a her a bit better, and she’s starting to treat me nicer……” “Oh that’s good,” said Barry quietly. “What about Lucas?” “Chi!” Chibu let out a startled gasp and gave Kaira a surprised look. Kaira suddenly raised his eyebrows. “Well…you won’t believe it…..” “He’s been turned to an Infernape, hasn’t he?” “How’d you know?!” Barry shrugged. “Prima Dona watched everyone,” he gave her a wink. But Kaira didn’t take it as humored as before. She stared at him with a slight look of disbelief. “Hey…..I’m not really being kidding or anything but--” Kaira interrupted him and pointed over his shoulder. “Look!” Barry turned to see a spark of gray behind him. A Pikachu was hiding behind an old dumpster near an abandoned building. Barry gasped. “The Pikachu…’s gray!” First, the blue Pikachu in the garden, now a gray one here. What next? A giant Pikachu back where Kaira had been chased? “It’s not a Pikachu,” hissed Kaira, suddenly grabbing his arm and keeping close to him. “There’s no pokemon whatsoever in here…..remember? only….Missingno.” Barry took a step back. “Missingno?” The gray Pikachu’s face suddenly gave a twisted flinch, like a screen of a broken computer. It gave a strange, “Pika…” and then ducked behind the dumpster. A swirl of wind suddenly thundered ahead of Barry and Kaira in the middle of the road. The mist was swirling tremendously, blowing away all the strange litter and leaves on the ground around it. Barry and Kaira were no longer than just several yards away. “What’s going on?!” Cried Barry, holding tighter to Kaira’s hand. “Uh…! Missingno!” Yelled Kaira, trying to hold herself from being blown back. Suddenly, a flash of scratchy grayness shot through the twirling mist. A figure appeared in the middle of the pale swirl and stepped forward to slowly reveal itself. The figure was tall and very lanky, with hair that remained straight down behind its shoulders despite the blowing wind. Barry took a step back. At first, he thought it was Prima Dona, coming to grab him back with a punishing attitude for leaving her like this. But then he realized the figure wasn’t as tall enough. Then he was even more surprised. The figure finally revealed itself. She looked exactly like the reflection of Kaira herself, except for the blazed looked in her eyes as she stared at both of them with a cold, hard smile. 30. AN OLD FRIEND Lucas traveled by Riley’s side, listening carefully to the trainer’s story. Lucario kept on casting suspicious glances at Lucas, as if he didn’t trust him to be a real pokemon. Chimchar was on Riley’s other side as he carried Dawn in his arms. Lucas worried for Dawn, for she was feeling very sick and feverish since the dangerous attack from the giant Starly. She had even twisted her left leg somehow, and found it very difficult to walk. But she was awake now and listening intently to Riley as he told of how his adventures had been through the Iron Islands and his recent discoveries of strange traces of the strange pokemon of the fifth dimension. “I was fantasizing a place far away,” the trainer was saying, “and I had dreamt of finding myself in a world where the very dust originated from. The dust I had found was red—bearing the same substance and textures that were described by Professor Rowan when he told of how he had discovered yellow dust.” Dawn gasped quietly. “That must’ve been….Chiba.” Riley nodded. “You guys have learned all about the basics of this world, haven’t you?” Lucas let out an agreeing cry, wishing more and more that he could discuss things with Riley like a normal human being. He wished he could just get this over with and become his real self. Dawn had explained everything to Riley about how they had ended up here in the fifth dimension, and how Lucas had turned to an Infernape. She told about the egg she had found, and how it had hatched into the baby Dovanna that was probably the hatchling of the very missing pokemon itself. She even explained Riley’s presence to them—how he was probably nothing more than a mere illusion spirit to them that had come to visit them in his own dream—as he dreamt his way into this world to wake up and find them in his own dream. Dawn sighed. “Well, we’re trying to anyway. We have taken a wrong turn and are much farther away from the Fire Squad and Malidorius than before. Riley…’ve been to this region more than once, haven’t you? your dreams come alive to this region just like any other powerful dream. You probably know your way around here—or at least in the dreams that you keep believing in and coming back to.” Riley nodded and looked up to the red, sunset sky. Lucas admired the trainer’s wisdom and strength to help them along. He had a strong belief in what lay behind pokemon—and what else could be out there. He and his Lucario have dreamed together of conquering the world of steel type pokemon, and to understand what lay behind their presence. “We should follow the north star. hopefully, when I come to the end of this region, you will meet your friends there. They should be waiting for you.” Dawn looked ahead. She looked like a princess rescued by a knight, laying in Riley’s arms. Lucas was surprised he didn’t feel any envy for the way she and Riley were getting along. He still had concerns for who Dawn would really look up to for her life. “There’s a volcano in the distance….” She murmured. “Is that where you’re taking us?” “The volcano’s the very heart of the region,” said Riley. “From that point on, the journey will become easier, for most of the strange eruptions going on around this area will stop once you pass the volcano.” Dawn looked with concern at the smoky atmosphere in the distance. The volcano didn’t look too far away from them. the sky seemed to darken and thicken up, and Lucas sensed the strange fiery scent of uninviting danger. The fire was probably what burned away any chance of dreams or memories coming to life in this region, and most of the live dreams of other souls from their dimension obviously took place in a more reasonable area away from that volcano. “You will stay with us, won’t you?” Dawn looked at Riley with worry. “The place really doesn’t look at all inviting, and you’ve always been an incredible hiker.” Riley chuckled and looked at her with determination. “Of course I’ll protect you guys.” He cast Lucas a wink. “Miss Contest Trainer here would never survive once she’s been crippled down.” Lucas snickered and Dawn flinched, giving Riley a playful slap on the shoulder. “Hey! I’ll recover before you know it—you’ll be surprised! I’ve already been through fire tornadoes and giant stick bugs already, and now I can take on giant pokemon and volcanoes!” Riley laughed. “You think you’re ready enough to take on other people’s dreams? For all you know, you could encounter something dreamt up by Team Galactic, or anyone out there with a wild imagination.” Riley coughed. “Ahem….Barry…” Dawn laughed. “No, I’m serious. I’ll be ready.” It wasn’t long before Riley arrived by the volcano with Lucas and Dawn. Just passing by and being a distance away from it made everyone feel weary and alert. Chimchar curiously jumped around the holes that erupted here and that, running away frantically every time a crack in the ground bubbled with intense lava. Riley chuckled at the little pokemon. “Adventurous little guy, isnt he? Is he from Rowan’s lab?” “Mm-hm,” nodded Dawn. “I’m surprised it made it this far with us. To think that was the little pokemon that first found Chibu in Kaira’s room! It followed us to this dimension, and has stuck with us since. I’ll be happy for Kaira if she ever chooses him to be her pokemon—if she ever comes back to our world.” Lucas saw the concerned look on Dawn’s face as she mentioned Kaira. Lucas suddenly remembered the intense feeling he had gotten when he had witnessed Kaira perform that magic sorcery on Braan back at the forest of Auburn Leaf. Had that really been her? or were they just the Shadows? He suddenly ignored the rest of the conversation Riley and Dawn were putting on as they passed through the dangerous grounds around them, avoiding and stepping over any stream of red fire—or what Lucas hoped was red fire. Lucas tried to keep an eye on Chimchar as well. The little pokemon seemed to be the only one enjoying itself in this heated place, seeming blissfully unaware of the toxic smokes and deadly eruptions that could happen underground. Lucario suddenly snuck up to Lucas’s side. “Huh? Whoa!” Lucas nearly jumped as he realized the pokemon next to him. “Thinking about the Shadows?” Spoke Lucario deeply, not turning to meet Lucas’s gaze. Lucas blinked. It was always creepy the way some pokemon could just read thoughts and feelings just like that. “Uh….yeah. Just about that one night. I havent seemed to have had any other problems with Shadows since then—it just makes me wonder more that it was probably true and that Kaira…could be as close to a witch or something.” Lucario’s eyes were focused ahead of itself, staring out at the dark mountains ahead of them. “Well……from the aura of the spirits that inhabit this particular region, I sense that there is more to this place than just dreamt up spirits that can find their way around.” Lucas tilted his head. “Do you know anything about the Shadows? I know Chibo told me that they are just mere reflections of us that like to play tricks—and that’s it. they’re just mischievous troublemakers that just like to twist things around.” “That’s probably correct then,” replied Lucario. He turned to meet Lucas’s gaze with an intent look in his deepening amber eyes. “You have been touched by the element of fire—havent you?” Lucas raised his eyebrows and nodded. “Yes.” “Well, you won’t be encountering much with the Shadows then. The Shadows…..they probably have more to do with the element of darkness rather than the elemnt of fire.” “How do you know?” Lucario let out a deep growl. “I’ve encountered Shadows before. So has Riley. But we used our smarts to see beyond the Shadows, and that when I tried ot read the Shadows’ aruas, I found no aura contained whatsoever. That just meant they weren’t even living souls—just mere shadows that reflect one’s actions. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to watch out for them.” Chimchar suddenly jumped by Infernape’s side. “Ahh! It’s alive! It’s alive!” Chimchar was waving its arms at a tiny flame that fluttered through the air like a firefly. Lucas turned to give a laugh at his mischief again, but then winced with concern at the flame. It really did seem to be chasing at Chimchar. The spark of flame was no bigger than half a fist, and it was floating around CHimchar’s head, avoiding Chimchar’s swats at it. Riley turned to look at the flame and Chimchar. He let out a gasp and Lucario stepped forward. Lucario threw a bone club at the flame and put it out. “Agh! Thanks!” Chimchar huffed, frowning at the bone. “Geez, to be chased and scared by your own type of element—that’s humiliating! But I swear! It was ALIVE and chasing me!” Lucas winced. “Did you see a face on it or something?” Dawn gasped. “What was that?” Riley suddenly whipped around, his eyes narrowed. “Live fire. The volcano is just as alive as any tree or plant could be. It’s fire summons life just like trees summon life in leaves. We have to get away from here.” He turned to Lucas and Lucario. “You guys keep up with me. Take Chimchar in your hands.” And before anyone could ask questions, riley had dashed off, carrying Dawn, while Lucario and Lucas kept up with Chimchar clinging onto Lucas’s back. Riley stopped by a large fossil of what looked like a dead Garchomp. Riley let Dawn settle on the ground and sighed. “It’s best to stay away from the volcano’s fire as much as possible. Any fire that flows through it can easily become alive and find a way with the dream spirits that are lost in this region, and commingle to form live fire.” Dawn gasped and winced. “So if dreams do wind up over here, they either get destroyed by the fire—or become part of it to wander as live fire?” “In a way, yes,” said Riley. But then he glanced at Lucas. “Only the one with firesight can read the spirits within fire, and control the matter of freeing that spirit from fire.” Lucas looked at Riley in awe. There was so much he still didn’t know. “I wish I had firesight,” muttered Chimchar. Suddenly, a rumble was heard in the distance. Dawn, Riley, Lucas, Lucario, and Chimchar turned to the distance where a herd of Rapidash were running together, whinnying and crying with terror and fear. They were headed towards a cliff where fire was leaking out, entering the mouth of a dark, uninviting cave. Chimchar huffed. “That doesn’t look like a safe place to go. They stupid?” Riley looked up as a loud, eerie caterwaul of a bird echoed the thick smoky sky. “Braviary!” He hissed. “What?!” Dawn gave him a quizzical look. Riley grabbed her arm and immediately helped her up again. “It’s a rare pokemon from the region of Unova. Whatever it’s doing here—I have no clue. But we gotta stay out of it’s sight.” Lucario let out a low growl and crouched, but Riley signaled it to stop. “No, don’t fight it, Lucario. You’ll anger it.” Lucas gasped. Through the smoke and dark black and gray clouds that covered the sky, sparks of fire seemed to be flying through the top, and the form of a large bird pokemon appeared through. it was like a carnivorous beast, and it had claws as long and sharp as a Weavile’s, and a beak as strong as a Garchomp’s mouth. The Braviary suddenly made eye contact with Lucas, and Lucas felt it’s sharp gaze pierce through him as hard as it’s claws can. It let out a loud, angry screech and swooped down towards them. “Quick! Into the Garchomp!” Riley shouted, ducking under the bone of the dead pokemon and entering inside its large, open mouth. Lucas, without thinking, followed after them in horror, ignoring the disgusting smell that wafted through the passageways in this dead pokemon. This was pretty dang huge for a Garchomp, he thought. Probably the size of three school buses, or even bigger. But the bones seemed strong enough to keep them from the attack of the Braviary. Lucas gasped and flinched to the left as the Braviary banged at the bones on Lucas’s side, nearly breaking in. He was in the ribs of the Garchomp, and he could barely see around him through all the bones and the shadows—where Dawn and Riley were. He let out a cry for their help. Dawn’s scream sounded in the distance. “Ahh! Help! Riley!” Lucas pushed his way through, heading towards her scream. “Ugh!” Lucas nearly vomited with disgust as he swatted away a stick, slimy substance from his face that was probably a dead organ of the Garchomp that had been left uneaten. He yelled as the Braviary’s claws suddenly crashed behind and caught the gooey stuff, pulling it out and tearing it to shreds. Lucas hurried on to find Dawn. He found here laying on her side in a more open area of the Garchomp. This was probably the stomach, Lucas thought. It was like an empty tunnel and he could just make out the rest of the bones around it and ahead of them. “Dawn!” Lucas hissed, kneeling to her side. “Where’s Riley?” She gasped, staring with horror into his eyes. “I can’t find anything through here!” He shouted, even though his replies only came out as terrified cries. Suddenly, the Braviary’s beak crashed through the top bones above them, and pierced through between Dawn and Lucas. Dawn let out a scream, and Lucas growled, swatting a powerful Close Combat attack at the bird, nearly breaking its beak. But the bird squawked and instantly pulled its beak out, screeching angrily. Lucas helped Dawn get up and suddenly, Riley and Lucario appeared behind a column of bones just ahead, behind them. “Lucas! Dawn! Over here! There’s a tunnel burrowed down near the end of the hip bones! We’ll be safer underground for now.” Lucas and Dawn hurried after Riley and Lucario, ducking and climbing over and under passageways of bones. This Garchomp really was five times bigger and longer than a normal one back in Sinnoh. Whatever killed this thing must’ve been fire—or a pokemon that was even more powerful than the Garchomp itself. The Braviary’s eerie cry was still screaming outside above, and Lucas braced himself for letting out another powerful attack at the pokemon. They finally stopped near the edge of the Garchomp’s hip bone, and Riley pointed down a burrow. “Down there. We can still travel out of this place underground. We’ll be safe from any predator birds. There are more than just this Braviary out here.” “Is it safer?” Dawn asked. “I can’t say yes to that. But we’ll be safe for now. Is Chimchar with us?” Lucas gasped and looked around. suddenly, he heard Chimchar’s cry in the distance. Lucas heard it come from around the corner to the right. He dashed back for it, and found the little pokemon with its foot stuck in between two dislodged bones. The Braviary’s cry was above them, and it was poking in random parts of the Garchomp, trying to sense the presence of its prey through the strong smell of smoke. “Lucas! Help!” Cried Chimchar. Lucas immediately blew fire at the bones and burnt them, so that Chimchar could easily lift his foot through. Just as the Braviary’s claws crashed through just above Chimchar, just right at the position to where it could just wrap its claws and grab hold of the pokemon, Lucas snatched Chimchar in his arms and ran through the bones, finding his way back with Riley. He let out a cry of triumph and urge. Above them, the bones were rattling and shaking. “It’s going to collapse,” gasped Lucas. The Braviary had been striking at it all over, ruining it. “Quick!” Riley and Dawn made their way under the ground with Lucario right below them, and Lucas jumped in right after them. they barely managed to escape the terrible crash of bones above them as the Garchomp fell apart. Riley and the others found their way to solid ground underneath. Dawn was panting, and her face looked terribly smoky and flushed. She collapsed on her knees, narrowing her eyes. lucas could tell she was trying hard to push herself to be tough and to not look so weak in front of them, and especially in front of Riley. “Dawn…”Lucas started to speak, coming over to lay a warm hand on her shoulder. Dawn coughed and wiped her eyes. “Uh…..I’m fine, really.” Riley turned to look down at her with an understanding look. “Dawn, we can rest if you’re hurt. I’m not at all going to push you through this region as quick as I can.” “No…I’m fine, I can keep going,” said Dawn, looking up with a forced smile, trying to stand. Her legs were shaking and she was keeping a hand on her left knee that she had broken. Riley gave a frown and came over to put an arm around her shoulder to keep her up. “Hey, don’t push yourself. If it’s going to take time getting you across this region, I’ll be glad to spend as much time as I can with you guys. Remember—I’m only here eight hours every night when I dream myself into here. Pretty soon, I’m going to wake up and disappear, and live for real in our own world where I belong. And when you reach the end of this region, you won’t be able to see me at all—even if I do dream my way here.” “He’s right,” said Lucas, hoping his language in Infernape cries were still just as encouraging to Dawn. “The region of Llyuan is the only region we can meet anyone from our own world in their dreams.” “And it’s time Riley and I are about to wake up,” said Lucario seriously, focusing intently at Dawn. Riley nodded and chuckled. “Lucario says it’s time we should be waking up back in our own world right now.” “Oh….” Dawn looked up into Riley’s eyes. She had grown almost as tall as him now, and if Lucas were his real self again, he probably would’ve reached his height by just an inch or two shorter now. it had been a few years since they had seen him. “I really don’t need much more than just rest, really. My leg just feels horribly cramped and…..” “Come off it,” Riley said, giving her a playful smile. “Your fever and sickness cannot get better in an atmosphere like this. Here,” he took out a bottle from his pocket and settled down with her, kneeling by her side on the warm, earthy ground. “Drink this. It will let you rest as well, so that you can heal yourself through sleep and feel a little better when you wake up. it won’t do too much since there’s so much fire and smoke, even underground, but it will do some.” Dawn drank that bottle. “Thanks.” She gave him a small smile. Riley nodded and slightly smiled back. He let her head rest on his lap and she fell into a deep sleep. Lucas watched them with admiration. He wished one day Dawn could feel about him like that. riley gave him a smile and gave Chimchar a pat on the head. “We should all sleep. Lucario and I are the ones who should be waking up now, and we shall be awake in our own world. We’ll be back soon, though. Goodnight, Lucas. I hope you find goodness out of being a pokemon.” Paul traveled through the harsh blizzard up the Furogh Mountain. He and Dionza were pushing their way through the stormy snowstorm up the mountain that would lead to the summit at Crescent Peak—the very place where Dovanna had vanished. Paul and Dionza were leading their strongest force of Solar grunts towards the top. It had been four days since their travel, and they were going to stop at nothing to reach the Crescent Peak. Dionza was ahead of Paul as she hiked her way up the trail. She turned to give him a narrowed look of determination through the storm. “Keepin’ it cool?” She called. Paul grunted and took another heaving step forward against the storm. “Not really! It’s not that cold yet!” He yelled jokingly, knowing that the higher they would go, the colder it would get. Dionza laughed. “Need a hand?” She held out an arm towards him. Paul gave her a smirk and grabbed hold of her. She yanked him up by her side. Behind them, the Solar grunts were keeping up and complaining to each other. Half of them included the nine crew members Dionza had invited to accompany their gang. Paul wasn’t very fond of them. their leader, Kidou, was extremely gross and ridiculous. He couldn’t believe Dionza’s ex-boyfriend was one of his stupid crew members—Trevor Dentou. Dionza held Paul’s hand tightly by her side. “This mountain’s so huge, it covers half of two regions!” Paul squeezed his eyes shut from the stinging snow that got into his eyes, and then yelled back, “Really? Which ones?” “Oh, half of the Tunka Region in which we were just in, and then this mountain cuts through the region of Lluyan.” Paul’s heart lifted at the mention of Lluyan—the very place where Dawn was, as well as Lucas, Barry, and that strange Kaira girl. “But! Amazingly, these mountains cut around the regions, drawing their way around the borders of Tunka and Lluyan, and even cutting through to the region of Askip. These mountains are also found on other platelets of the regions as well! The mountains are in a never ending ice, though, and they have been created with everlasting snow that they’ve been considered to be regions themselves. They’ve become long known as Yonga—region of ice mountains. Just the other side of Crescent Peak will be the region of Askip! You will like the region very much – it’s dark and quiet, a lot like you and I.” Paul thought he saw her give him a glinting wink, but he couldn’t tell through the stormy wind. “Well, once we get to the peak, we know what to do, right?” “Of course!” She brought him closer to her. He gazed at her through the chilly storm that blew all over them. “I hope you do,” she said quietly. “Without Prima Dona, we’re going to have to do things more complex by ourselves. Crescent Peak was the very place that Prima Dona banished Dovanna. We want to find out where she has banished it. we want to make sure it never comes back. We will use this as a key element to see into the past of how Prima Dona had performed her acts on the legendary.” In Dionza’s hand was a blue sparkling gem, no bigger than a paperclip. Paul gazed down at the gem. “That’s the gem Prima Dona stole from Chibo, isn’t it? The gem she stole so that Chibo couldn’t find its way out of this dimension unless it got it back.” Dionza nodded. “Mm-hm. This gem can help us see through the portals, and look into the dimension of the past. We can witness the moment when Prima Dona banished Dovanna, and then follow it to the dimension it was taken to. we can see ourselves how the pokemon is doing at the moment, and stop it from ever coming back. With our very pokemon,” she held up a dark purple and black pokeball, “we can destroy the very legendary—so that it never comes back again.” Paul gazed into her eyes. Destroy it? For a moment, he felt uncertain. He didn’t want to destroy it—he wanted to capture it. but for now, he was freezing and couldn’t think straight. He just wanted to play along with Dionza. “Okay then,” he gazed satisfyingly in her piercing purple eyes. “I’m in this with you.” After another long hour of traveling, Paul and Dionza stopped the squad to rest where the blizzard had calmed down, in between a group of tall steep mountains. They rested in a cave and as Paul gazed out at the wide sight around him, he could see what looked a little like northern lights above in the sky. Paul looked over his shoulder. Dionza and the others were already sleeping. He flashed a glare of envy at the sight of Dionza sleeping in the arms of Kidou. He snored noisily, and his dirty gray beard looked tangled with snow. Paul sighed and stood up, making his way out of the cave. The lonely mountains around him made him feel even more alone. He looked to the sky. once he studied the lights more carefully, he could make out that they were scenes of pokemon dancing in the light, along with figures of what looked like people happily chasing after them. But then he realized the people weren’t playing with them. they were chasing them—to hurt them and capture them in their grasp of force and slavery. The people treated the pokemon no more than slaves. “It’s sad how some people could think of such ways to treat pokemon,” said a voice behind. Paul turned and saw that Dawn had appeared out of nowhere, standing behind him with her hands behind her back, dressed in the same clothes as the last time he had seen her, and she had no cap again. Paul raised his eyebrows with hope. He couldn’t bring himself to speak. Dawn made her way up to him and stared up at the sky. Her eyes were full of the same cloudiness and distance again. “You’re dreaming again…?” He muttered. “I guess…” she replied. “I mean…..what I’m dreaming is really happening right now, isn’t it?” Paul remembered the kiss he had left her—on the head—before she had parted to wake up. “Yes…..yes it’s happening. I am what I’ve become.” “How can I do that?” She asked breathlessly. “How can I actually put myself in a live position somewhere else when I dream? The region of Lluyan is the only place where dreams will ever come alive for real.” Paul sighed, turning to meet her gaze. “Perhaps it’s got to do with your destiny. The three beings from earth have a destiny to fulfill, don’t they?” Dawn gasped and looked up to the lights again. “Both blessed….and cursed….by the element of light…” For a moment, neither of them said nothing. Then Paul shook his head. “So. How was your travel through the region of Lluyan?” Dawn breathed in a distant sigh. “Oh, it was great. Lucas and I met Riley in his dreams—can you believe it?” “Well, yes of course,” replied Paul tartly. “That’s the region of dreamworld, isn’t it?” Dawn huffed and gave him an indignant look. “Well, yes. But we were still surprised. Riley and Lucario saved us and took us pass the volcano, and we found our way underground to rest from the dangerous pokemon that chased us.” She told him all about the Braviary and hiding in the body of a Garchomp. Paul listened intently. “I’m sure Lucas felt some kind of connection to that part of the region? He does have the connection with the fire in him, doesn’t he?” “Yeah…..probably. He does have the firesight and everything.” Dawn sighed. “I just hope when this is all over and we do what we were destined to do—we could just return home afterwards. I really miss being part of Sinnoh, back in our own world and dimension.” Paul turned to look at Dawn. “Do you think we’ll ever return?” Dawn met his gaze. “I hope so. I’m not so sure about one of us, though.” Paul raised his eyebrows. “What do you mean?” “Remember the one that shall perish in ice?” She looked at him intently. “That one was a mistake—an unwanted one for this dimension. I don’t know what will come of that one back in our own world, though.” Paul blinked, and then looked down at his feet. Pain and regret pierced through his heart, but with Dawn’s presence, he felt safe and strangely hopeful. “Do you… you think that one could be me?” “What?” She gasped. “Hey, we can’t be sure…” “It’s already pretty obvious by now,” he muttered. “I’ve done things that this dimension doesn’t want. I’ve joined Team Solar. I’ve tried to….kill you and everyone else. I’ve….ordered the rules of Prima Dona. I shouldn’t be wanted in this world any longer.” Dawn gasped, staring at him with shock. “Don’t say that! You can still make a choice. You can choose to change…” A howl echoed in the distance, and eerie screams pierced the air. The lights flickered intensely and Paul gasped, looking all around him with horror. “Weavile,” he muttered. Dawn gasped and flinched as a Weavile jumped down behind her, snarling menacingly at her just three feet behind. Paul grabbed Dawn and pushed her into the closest cave hole in the cliff. She let out a shocked grunt and fell to her side, for her knee was still broken. “Quick! I’ll deal with this.” He pulled out a pokeball that Dionza had lend him, and prepared to battle the Weavile. But suddenly, more Weavile appeared from the snow and the rocks in the cliffs around them. One was creeping up to Dawn, glinting its menacing eyes and flashing its long, deadly claws at her. “Ahh! No!” Dawn flinched away and ducked at the Weavile’s swat. “Hey!” Paul threw a pokeball toward the Weavile and a growling Purugly appeared at the Weavile’s side, snarling with a challenging stare. The Weaveile hissed at the Purugly and lashed out a claw at Dawn, barely missing her leg, causing a single slashing cut at her ankle. Dawn screamed with pain and Paul didn’t even have to say anything. The Purugly threw its head back and yelled a feline rage that scent a purple wind around the pack of Weavile, blowing them all against the cliffs and making them flee with terror. The Weavile dashed out of sight, their eerie cries faint in the distance. Paul had a look of awe on his face. He gave the Purugly a nod. “Nice job,” he muttered. He couldn’t think of anything else to say. The Purugly gave a low growl and blinked its narrowed eyes. Paul returned the pokemon in its pokeball. He hurried over to Dawn under the small cave. “Are you okay?” Dawn gasped, her eyes wide and awestruck. “It just….stings!” Paul widened his eyes at the bleeding cut that marked her ankle. “Here……this is my fault. You shouldn’t have been dreaming about me; I’ll take care of this.” Dawn huffed in pain. “No! It’s fine! I chose to dream about you!” Paul gave her an indignant look, and then pulled out a white cloth from his pocket. “Here, this won’t do much, but it’ll help a little.” He took her ankle and wrapped the cloth around it, making sure it was attached. Dawn raised her eyebrows. The cloth was as cold as snow, but it would ease the pain. “Thanks,” she looked at Paul gratefully. Paul shook his head. “I havent done anything for you to be thanking me about. Please….just do what’s best for you, and try not to dream about me….please.” Dawn’s gaze faltered. “But…..” “Listen,” Paul squeezed his eyes shut. “She was about to leave again, and he could feel it. “Listen, I’m leading a squad of Team Solar to the top of this part of the mountain. We are headed towards Crescent Peak, and we are going to find out where Dovanna has gone—and defeat it.” Dawn gave a look of shock. Paul put a hand on her shoulder. “Please…..I’ve chosen a path I cannot turn my back on. I don’t want you to get caught up with me….and end up with me like this.” “But don’t you WANT to turn your back on what those brutes are planning?” Paul looked deeply into her eyes. “Maybe….” Dawn touched his hand. “Paul, you’re better than this. And I’m never going to turn down that belief—that you can choose better than what you have chosen.” Paul was at a loss for words. He stared at her blankly, not knowing what to say. Dawn suddenly blinked her eyes for the first time. “I’m….awaking now. I’ll see you…soon.” Paul watched with a faltering gaze as Dawn’s body grew transparent and she faded into the air. His hand fell to the ground below him, and he was leaning over towards nothing. He slowly got up to his knees. Thoughts about Dawn flashed through his head before he turned to head back to his cave. On a region not too far away, under the grounds, Lucas awoke to a whimper he thought had come from Dawn. He turned to see that she was awake, leaning her head on Riley’s shoulder as he and Lucario slept soundly. Chimchar was asleep on her lap, and she stroked his head softly. Lucas felt a strange sense of suspicion as he stared at her. Her face looked paler and cold. He glanced over where her legs were stretched out in front of her. He couldn’t help noticing the white cloth that bandaged around her left ankle. 31. EVIL TWIN Kaira stared at the figure in front of her. It was like gazing at the face of her own reflection. Her own twin-- the real daughter of her parents-- was standing just a yard's length away. Her eyes were a blazing cold fire. "Kaira," she spoke in a voice exactly identical to her own, except for the threatening menace in her tone. She was smiling deviously. "So we finally meet. I've been looking forward for this moment-- for SUCH a long time." She widened her creepy smile. Kaira blinked once. This was the spirit of the dead daughter back on earth-- Kyra Elizabeth Flockheart. The REAL daughter of Theodore and Eleanor. Barry was the first one to speak back. "Hey! If you're the real daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Flockheart, why is it that you look exactly like Kaira? You're no identical twin, nor do you guys have ANYTHING in common on the inside. Why do you guys look so alike?"Kaira felt a strange sense of deja vu surge through her. "It's got to do with the portals between our worlds," she breathed, her eyes become clouded. Chibu hovered above her, whimpering worriedly. Kaira cast a glance up at the pokemon and Chibu gave her a nod.Kyra gave a small laugh. "Hmm! Think of it as this. You took my place on earth-- in MY natural born dimension. I had died, yet the memory my father kept of me in his heart and in his dreams, that's what brought me to life here, faraway in the fifth dimension on the other side of the portals. So! We were even. You take my place-- I take your place."Kaira was meeting Kyra's piercing gaze. "What WAS my life like here? What is it that you've taken my place in?"Kyra raised her eyebrows and stepped forwards towards her. "You wanna know your true life on this dimension? Hah! Do you think I have any idea, or that i even care how you lived? I'm only here for the sake of my father's stupid imagination. He thinks of me every night-- believes that i am still alive somewhere-- in another world. That belief came true, and my spirit came to life through the portals of the fifth dimension, so that I can live my shitty life as a broken, lost spirit wandering this dimension. Here-- in the Town of Silence...." She looked around the misty, empty city around them where not even the slightest blow of air was alive. Kaira huffed. "I must've lived SOME kind of life in this dimension."Barry sighed. "Well, we're not going to figure anything out just standing around here, discussing everything we already know." He turned his gaze to Kyra. "Hey! I hear you were a real pokemon killer. You used to torture your neighbor's pokemon, and throw fits at your parents. No wonder you'd end up in a place like this-- where you could never bother pokemon or people ever again."Kyra flashed a stony glare at Barry, and Kaira felt a rush of shock through her. Kyra just smiled. "Hah! I can do whatever the hell i want in this dimension-- whenever i can find my way to wake up. You spirit is always at rest whenever my father loses hope in my presence. Only the pokemon Missingno can confuse my spirit to awaken anyway, whether my father thinks of me or not."Barry laughed. "I'm just saying! I couldnt imagine having you as my new neighbor in Twinleaf instead of THIS Kaira."Kaira couldnt help blushing at his nudge. Kyra gave Kaira a wicked smile again. "Yeah. I really wouldve made your life a living hell. Your pokemon wouldve been destroyed before you knew it."Barry gave her a challenging look. "Not if i can help it."Kaira looked at Kyra, then at Barry. For a moment, she felt a strange feeling rush through the both of them as they made eye contact, and Kaira didnt like it. If Barry was ever going to fall in love with a girl that looked exactly like her, it really had to be HER. Kyra gave a sarcastic grin. "By the way, I was expecting your guys' presence. I heard about the three beings from earth-- as well as the strange soul that walked with them." She flashed Kaira a glare. "Prima Dona was the one who had banished you, huh? The prophecy stated that the banished one would come back, arriving with the three beings of earth that would fulfill the coming of Gaiyah." Kaira blinked at the flash of envy that sparkled in Kyra's eyes. "Yes....I was banished before.....I'm here to find out about the pokemon Dovanna, and help the humans find their blessing through the elements of light, darkness, and fire. I am here to recreate Gaiyah itself." As she spoke, she felt like a sudden hero that had arrived to fulfill a destiny. She could feel Barry's gaze fall on her, and she hoped he understood. She took hold of his hand. "Barry and I are finding our way to the north. We will reunite with everyone else at the other side of this region, and then continue together towards the mountain of Phandolia, so that we can fulfill each of our destinies."Kyra snickered. "Fool. Do you really think i showed up just to hear you recite your whole journey? I'm here to stop you." She was staring at Kaira with a menacing, wicked smile. Kaira winced. "Stop me?" "You replaced everything about me," she hissed. "You replaced my spot in the family, exploiting the same looks, everything. But there was one thing you missed-- one thing that you dont share in common with me. You have no rashness in your heart. You can never become as headstrong as me when it comes to doing what you want—you are wayyy to soft spoken and calm compared to me.” Kaira’s face turned red with anger, and her eyes narrowed. She wanted to spit back a stinging reply to show this snob how defensive she could really be. Barry gave a nervous chuckle. “Hehe, hey! Don’t underestimate her like everyone else does! Kaira isn’t so soft once you really get to know her.” Kyra just continued to smile evilly. “Oh, trust me. I know way more about the inner spirits than you do. I may haven’t been in this dimension as long as you had, but I sure do REMEMBER a whole lot more.” “What do you mean ‘inner spirits?’” Snapped Kaira, taking a step forward. Kyra sighed. “I’m not going to explain everything like your teacher.” Kyra suddenly gave a nasty glare at Kaira. “All I want from you—is revenge.” “What have I ever done to YOU?” “You took my place back on earth—the place I can never return to since I am dead in that world. Now, I will take your place on this dimension—the place where you weren’t supposed to return to as well. Prima Dona banished you—just like she did with the pokemon Dovanna. You are NOT going to come back and become part of this place—ever again.” Barry gasped and gave Kaira a nudge. “Kaira! I know what she’s trying to do. once you restore the pokemon, Dovanna and recreate Gaiyah again, Dovanna will banish all the spirits that weren’t supposed to have come here!” “Exactly,” Kaira was understanding this clearly. She could feel Chibu’s tension in her mind and heart. “Kyra, your spirit doesn’t belong here. The angelic pokemon Dalyah keeps track of all the good spirits and keeps out the souls of evil from ever entering this dimension in any way. now that it has disappeared, you were able to have broken through. You’re scared of having me restore the pokemon Dovanna so that love can reign equally—and that Dalyah will come back to recreate Gaiyah, coming back to banish evil spirits like you.” Kyra’s eyes flashed a look of pure hatred. “I’m not letting you take my place in this dimension either.” “I don’t have to take anyone’s place,” said Kaira. “You can choose to change—you can be good. You can learn to love pokemon and respect the beings around you. You can become a good soul and remain your place.” “Hah!” Kyra gave a sarcastic smile again. “It’s too late for that!” “Chi!” Chibu gave a disappointed frown. Kaira huffed. “It’s never too late to change.” “It doesn’t matter,” hissed Kyra, leaning her face towards Kaira so that the two of them were standing nose to nose. “I’ve made my choices. Nothing can stop them. I will always be Kyra Elizabeth Flockheart—with a ‘Y’ and not an ‘AI.’” She whipped up her arm to grab Kaira’s wrist. Kaira let out a gasp of shock as she felt how cold Kyra’s hands had wrapped around her, squeezing with a force that would eventually cut her blood circulation. Kaira was already feeling nauseous. “Chi!” Chibu let out a shine of light, trying to attack, but the veil that still surrounded it stopped it from any outside contact. “Hey!” Barry jumped back in surprise at Kyra’s strike. Kaira yanked her wrist back and gave Kyra a kick on ankles as she fell forwards, making her let go and fall to the ground flat on her face. “Whoa there…..” Barry was watching with a surprised gaze. Kaira, shocked about what she had just done, shook her wrist with pain and then met Kyra’s pissed off glare as she slowly rose up, fire burning in her eyes. “Douuu!” A sweet sounding coo suddenly sounded from above, and Kaira looked up with astonishment. The baby Dovanna had found them. it had an urgent look on its face, and was wanting Kaira and Barry to follow it. “Barry! Run! After Dovanna!” Kaira shouted, immediately dashing after the small white bird in the sky. Kyra let out an angry scream behind, cursing with fury. Barry was at Kaira’s side in a rush. “That kinda came outta nowhere! Look at your wrist!” Kaira winced as she noticed the red Indian burns that had formed around her left wrist. “Ugh…is she gaining on us?” Barry looked behind from their running. “I….I don’t see her anywhere.” Kaira gasped and Chibu flew around her head. “Chi! Chi!” the little pokemon was looking frantically towards the river in which they were heading towards. Kaira looked forward at the river. The water suddenly rose up to a huge wave, and instantly, Kaira and Barry ran towards the side, avoiding the huge splash the wave gave, barely missing them from behind. Kyra suddenly appeared in the distance, ahead of them, just a few meters away. “Hah! You think I’m not so powerful? I’m wayyy more bad than you think!” Suddenly, the tree to their right started moving, and its front branches started swaying towards Kaira as if to grab her. Kaira screamed and Barry grabbed her hand, pulling her back and around the tree, running as fast as they can. “Douuuu!” Dovanna cooed above, and started flying towards the large hill in front o them. Kaira gasped and looked up ahead. The pokemon was leading them up a mountain. “Quick….we have to follow it up to the northern mountains.” Pretty soon, they would enter the cold ice peaks near the top of the mountain, where the region of Yonga lay. Barry huffed. “That girl’s crazy! I’m sooo glad I met you instead of her.” Kaira stepped over a sharp bush, feeling a pang of affection at his comment, though she was too urgent to let herself feel dreamy again. Dovanna was starting to fly higher and higher up, and Kaira could barely see it through the clouds. “Dovanna! Wait!” Kaira yelled. “Ahh!” Barry suddenly slipped off a ledge and tumbled through the bushes, disappearing in the thick brambles and mist. Kaira whipped around with horror. “Barry!” She looked frantically around for any sign of Chibu to help her. there was no sign of any pokemon or person. She felt completely alone on the steep, misty mountain. “BARRY! DOVANNA! CHIBU!” She screamed. Suddenly, something crashed right into her face, pinning her down to fall into a hidden hole just behind her. the creature was soft and fluffy, obviously a pokemon. Kaira screamed a muffled cry, and threw the pokemon off her. She was in a small dugout, and she could see the opening not too high above her. she shipped around to face the pokemon that had crashed into her. It was a Luxray, glaring at Kaira with a low, snarling growl. Its eyes were narrowed and piercing—green as the hazel color of her own. “Kyra!” Kaira shouted, narrowing her eyes back at the Luxray. The Luxray suddenly stopped growling, and turned its fierce expression to what looked like a nasty smile. The pokemon suddenly twisted itself sideways, and let out a creepy howl. Kaira backed away with an uncertain look, and the pokemon suddenly transformed back into a human that resembled exactly Kaira herself. Kyra rose up with a proud look. “Clever. How’d you know?” She said innocently. Kaira huffed. “What’d you do with Barry?” “Oh! Worried about your little dream boyfriend?” Kyra pushed back her hair indignantly. “Please! I wouldn’t have killed him if he destroyed the living likes of me.” She sighed and stared up at the opening. “He really is that cute, isn’t he?” Kaira’s eyes grew wide, and then narrowed to a look of hatred. “What do you plan on doing to him after you’re finished with ME? My spirit still lies in this dimension—I can still watch YOU!” “Oh, come off it!” Kyra met Kaira’s gaze with the same look of disgust. “You know that if it weren’t for Phandolia itself, I wouldve still been alive to have met him first!” Kaira’s eyebrows raised. She remembered Theodore showing how she had killed herself, distracting a Lucario that turned out to be Phandolia. Kaira suddenly felt dazed with awe again. “But that’s all in the past!” Kyra shouted. “I can’t change that! But I can change the future. You really love Barry, don’t you?” Kaira narrowed her eyes. “I……I do….” she hissed honestly. Kyra gave a sideways smile. “Well, then. Has he even noticed?” Kaira blinked a couple times, her heart pounding with fear. “I—no, he hasn’t! but I know I’m very close to--” “Listen! I can get him to love you,” she was looking at Kaira intently. “I can make him see your feelings, and easily let him see how much you really care for him. but by doing that, I would betray my goal of ever getting rid of you. if you ever learn to love and feel loved, your spirit could change.” “What do you mean?” Kaira huffed. “Have you ever loved before?” Kyra spoke intently. “Tell, me Kaira. Have you ever felt the love for another family member—as a REAL family member would? Have you ever felt the real love for a pokemon yet? have you ever even felt what it’s like to LOVE?” Kaira’s mind was flashing through terrible, depressed memories of her life in Twinleaf. Rejected, looked down upon, unwanted and deliberately letting herself be the outcast she was. But through all her emotion and misery, she had never cried, or shed a tear. She didn’t know how to cry—no matter how sad she felt. She just couldn’t cry. but at the same time—she had never loved. She never knew what it was like to bond with a reliable pokemon, even though Chibu had helped her along her journey so far. She had never exactly loved Chibu. She had enjoyed its presence and felt thankful for it overall, but those feelings weren’t exactly what love felt like for her. she had never felt the feeling to love in her whole life as a lonely human on earth. “Perhaps I haven’t,” said Kaira calmy, and ferociously. “But I know that I may ONCE have. Before Prima Dona banished the love out of Dovanna, I knew I must have felt love, for when the spirit of Dovanna did go away, the spirit of love left ME, and I could never feel it…again….” But then memories of her and Barry—the times they had spent together, becoming friends and relying on each other, the time when he had saved her from jumping into a river back before they entered the city of Caravel, Kaira realized that she had gotten close. Yes—her feelings for Barry were what were bringing her close to feel love again. She suddenly felt a strange sense of strength well up inside her, and she realized her feelings for Barry could become unstoppable and powerful over any feeling she could ever feel. Kyra was snickering as if she knew exactly what was going through Kaira’s head. “See? We have much more in common than you think. Neither of us has ever LOVED. And I’m sorry. But I’m not going to let you get away with your stupid feelings for him. He doesn’t even love you back, does he?” Kaira huffed and looked to her feet, her eyes narrowing. If she could cry, she would be shedding hot tears of anger. “Shut up. He loves no one in particular—except for Dawn.” Kyra flinched. “Wait….whaaaaat?” Kaira whipped her head up to face Kyra again. This time, she really looked shocked. “Who—who is SHE?!” Kaira suddenly saw a flash of fire shoot through her eyes, and this time, Kaira suddenly felt proud. “Oh, she’s just a girl from Twinleaf,” she said tartly. “She’s way prettier than YOU, I have to admit that. And she’s way more outgoing, happy, and suitable for Barry.” “Oh?!” Kyra was fuming. Kaira had to snicker visibly at the way her hair seemed to be swaying with anger, with no slight breeze or anything in the air. “Let me guess! She’s one of the three beings from earth, isn’t she?” Kaira’s gaze suddenly faltered. She probably shouldn’t be giving too much away. she didn’t want anything to hurt Dawn—she was even starting to feel more comfortable around her herself. But the thoughts of her and Barry together, spending time and treating each other like unseparable friends made Kaira feel all the worse again. “She’s HERE, isn’t she?” Kyra’s voice was raised. “She’s on this very planet, isn’t she?” Kaira just crossed her arms. “Why should you care? You got nothing on her.” “Oh, shut it down to Ultramaur’s dark hole!” Cursed Kyra, stomping her foot. Suddenly, the place around them shook, and Kaira saw that Kyra’s face as gasping with shock. She looked suddenly scared. Kyra suddenly took an urgent step forward, and then fell to the ground. Kaira let out a gasp of horror as roots started growing from the ground, wrapping around her ankles. She screamed and kicked them off furiously. Kyra dodged them and leaped to the top of the hole like a Chimchar, and disappeared above. Kaira leaped after her, managing to catch the edge of the hole with her hands, and heave herself up out of the hole. As she climbed out, she looked back with a dreadful feeling as the hole filled up with roots, covering itself so that no hole was seen again. Kaira immediately dashed forward, running for her life. She suddenly climbed higher up the mountain, where she met up with Dovanna and Chibu. Chibu looked sad and worried. “Chi….” Kaira looked at both pokemon. Baby Dovanna’s expression was unreadable, but Chibu looked hopeless. “What? What’s going on? Where’s Barry?” She gasped. “Kaira! I’m sorry…” Chibu’s voice was speaking in her head. “I have to go….Prima Dona’s waiting….” And the shining veil around the little yellow pokemon suddenly glowed intensely, and then disappeared. Chibu was out of sight and nowhere to be seen. 32. CANNIBAL Barry tumbled through the sharp needle-like brambles. He suddenly bumped into a bare, dead tree. “Ugh!” He sputtered. “What the heck….” He brushed himself, imagining what a mess he must look like now. He looked around with a wince. “Kaira!” He called. Then he squeezed his eyes shut. “Damn! Can’t call her by that…..” “Callin’ somebody?” Barry looked up with dread, expecting to see the figure of Kyra, rather than the real Kaira he wanted to see. But instead, an elegant looking Staravia circled nearby. Barry watched with awe as the Staravia landed by his side, transforming into a tall, familiar human—Kyra Elizabeth Flockheart. Barry huffed. “Oh great. You.” Kyra giggled. “I thought you wanted to see me. Well, I’ll tell you something. Your dear little friend is alone, and wants to see you too.” “Well, of course she does! We’re traveling together!” “Oh, but it’s way more than that,” said Kyra calmly. Barry shook his head, narrowing his eyes in confusion. “What the heck are you talking about?” Kyra rolled her eyes, still smiling. “Can’t you see? Kaira’s had feelings for you…..feelings that you’ve been ignoreing all along.” Barry stared at her, not saying anything. Kyra took a step forward to him, looking deep into his eyes with a calmer, mystified expression. For a moment, she was almost starting to look like Kaira herself—once she took off that sharp, wicked glint in her eyes. “Here….lemme show you in a more suitable place.” She suddenly took Barry’s face with her hands—her cold, spine-chilling hands—and gave him a sudden kiss on the lips, a kiss that made Barry’s heart freeze with shock, and then go into a confusing range of blankness. His head was spinning, and his eyes closed dreamily. Barry suddenly opened his eyes, seeing into the feelings of Kaira. He was watching through all the things they had been through with each other—from the moment she had first moved into Twinleaf. “Mom! Dad!” He was stomping down the stairs in a hurry. He watched himself with a vague feeling as he replayed the memories. “New neighbors are here! just right next to Lucas’s house!” He was standing in front of the house of the new people. Lucas wasn’t even here to greet them yet. But Barry saw them—just two people, a man and a daughter about Barry’s own age, and their single moving van. There wasn’t much for them to unload. He gave the man a friendly greeting, letting him know that the neighbors would soon eventually be back from pokemon training to welcome them. “Well, nice to meet you,” Theodore greeted him. “The name’s Theodore Flockheart. And that’s my daughter, Kaira, over there.” Barry turned his gaze to see her. She was standing by the van, not helping move anything in. Her eyes were clouded and lost, unblinking. It was like she was in her own world. Barry approached her and gave her a smile. “Hi, I’m Barry.” She took a moment to notice him. But she turned and met his gaze. “Hello…..” her voice seemed distant. All the same, Barry couldn’t help being his talkative self, even around a person like her. He introduced her to the town of Twinleaf, and told her exciting things about him and his family. And as he went on talkatively, Kaira was starting to feel a new sense of relief to have met, him, listening with more intent to his blabbering than she seemed. Pretty soon, Kaira and Barry got to know each other better. It was mostly just because Barry himself was always out on his feet, meeting people everywhere, and whenever he got the chance to see Kaira, he would let himself become friendly and welcome to her, and pretty soon, even she grew more friendly and comfortable towards him. But there was something passed all that comfort she felt around him. Kaira loved him almost—secretly having feelings and thoughts about him as someone…..almost more than a friend. Barry’s mind replayed back to when it was just a few days after their arrival to the planet of Gaiyah that he had jumped into the cold river to save Kaira, after she had foolishly and purposely thrown herself in. She had feelings for him—she was almost close to loving him. And with his determination for her, she had become a stronger hearted person along their journey. He recalled all the times she had grabbed his hand, and those looks she had given him when she stared at him in the eyes. Barry suddenly felt drained and sorry for himself. He suddenly found himself falling through the air, and then landing with a thump on a hard, wooden surface, indoors of a strange house. For amoment, he lay there, squeezing his eyes shut. “Chi……” Chibu’s small voice sounded behind him. Barry slowly lifted his head to turn and look behind him. Chibu was hovering with a calm, saddened look, as if it were understanding what Barry was going through. Barry sighed. “She loves me….doesnt she?” “Chi…..” “I’ve been unnoticing it all this time,” Barry suddenly felt angry and stupid for himself. “How could I?” He looked out the window, realizing the place he was in. he was back in the Spirit Garden. He recognized the trees that grew the strange Gaiyah fruit. Chibu hovered closer to him, and gave him a saddened, understanding look. As Barry gazed at its button-eyed face, he realized that the little pokemon was trying to tell him something that told him not to be afraid and that he still had time to show Kaira how much he really cared for her. Barry sighed. “What do you mean I still have time? I’m all the way here—south at the Spirit Garden. I’m probably most likely in the region of Tunka again, in the mountains far away from where Kaira is now.” “Mm-hm-hmmm, you still have me,” cooed a sly voice. Barry turned to the right, where Kyra stepped through the half open door behind. She was approaching him with an untrusting smirk. Barry felt a strange feeling run through him at the sight of her. She had kissed him—taking him through back in the Garden of Spirits. He rose up and took a step back, meeting her gaze with an intent expression. “You…..what are you doing here? what do you want from ME?” Kyra laughed. “Oh, nothing much. Just the feelings you would’ve given me if I were the daughter who had moved into Twinleaf rather than Kaira.” Barry winced visibly. “Huh! I would’ve stayed the hell away from you! my dad would’ve done something about your stupid behavior.” Kyra giggled. “I like your spirit.” She stepped towards him, and Barry was backing away. Chibu glared at Kyra and started shining brightly, but Kyra just walked passed it, giving it a flick with her fingers. Chibu gave a small cry and tumbled away in the air, and then dashed after her and Barry, entering the next room with them. Barry suddenly stopped and flinched, looking all around him. What he saw scared him almost as much as Kyra’s presence. “Whoa--! What the…” all around him in the wooden room, the walls were covered with bodies of humans and pokemon, pinned to the wall with their arms and legs spread out so that they looked like an X stapled. The people were clothed, thankfully, though most of their clothes still stained with the dried blood from a long ago brutal sacrifice. They were lined evenly against the walls, in a pattern of human and pokemon, and their eyes were eithr closed tight with long time deaths, or wide open with clouded, nonliving expressions. The bodies were pale and shriveled, frozen from being dead and pinned against the wall for so long. Whoever had done this—was none other than a coldhearted, terrible soul, even worse than the devil itself. Chibu shivered and backed away from the dead figures hung on the wall. “Surprised much?” Kyra spoke in a sassy voice. Barry turned his head forward to face her with an awestruck look of horror. “Did….did YOU do this?!” He nearly choked out the words in disbelief. “Ahah! Of course not! Come on, Barry. Don’t you recognize the way those bodies are pale and icy cold, as if SOMEONE had struck them with a power so terrible that it frozen their hearts out, turning them a pale, deathly color?” And then it struck him. Barry’s heart lurched. Prima Dona. The name ran through his head and he suddenly felt the burn on the mark of his arm. It had been a while since he had felt the burn. But he realized something more in Prima Dona than just an evil witch of dark matter—she was an impossible soul, with an icy, cold heart that would never melt. She was what she was, and she couldn’t be changed. She had done this to the people and pokemon on the wall. He recalled what she had told him about the conflicts she had in the past of the ones that used to love her—ones that she had tricked and had brought into complete misery. Barry stared at each of the pokemon and people on the walls on both sides of him. there were probably about thirty or so altogether, and they all bore the wounds that showed they had been stabbed by the spear of Prima Dona, freezing their hearts until they died. They couldn’t live with a frozen heart like Prima Dona. They had died for her lies and trickery. Kyra was smiling at him as if enjoying his look of disbelief. “You’re so cute when you’re surprised.” “What happened to them?! what did Prima Dona DO?!” Barry demanded with a slight desperation in his voice. Now he knew why Prima Dona had wanted to pay a visit to this place along the way. Apparently, she still had spirits of the ones that she had loved, and even though she had killed them, her memories couldn’t fight the thoughts of wanting them back and alive—which eventually led to their formation here in the Spirit Garden as new spirits. Now, she had come back to kill them once and for all—to find the spirits of each of these dead bodies—and end their lives as spirits once and for all. Kyra just stood there, her devious expression unchanging. “Oh, come on! Aren’t you happy? You love Prima Dona, don’t you? Kaira didn’t have to mention THAT for me to figure it out.” “Happy?!” Barry suddenly shook his head and widened his eyes. “What did Kaira tell you?” He suddenly feared what Kaira could know, for the whole time he was traveling with Prima Dona, Chibu had been with them, and could’ve told Kaira his every move and feelings while he stuck with the terrible sorceress. “She didn’t have to tell me much,” Kyra tilted her head with a raised look. “Just that she thinks you’re in love with Dawn, and that you’re too focused on her and your pokemon to even notice her feelings.” Barry’s gaze suddenly faltered, and he felt the pang of sadness pulse through him. he recalled the times when he and Dawn had their moments as well—despite the way they were always treating each other like playful friends that thought each other careless and stupid. “But anyways!” Kyra’s voice snapped him out of his thoughts. “She didn’t have to mention Prima Dona. One look at that mark on your arm told me EVERYTHING about your feelings and relationship with her.” Barry tensed, and slowly put his arm over the symbol on his forearm. Kyra giggled. “You’re captured by Prima Dona’s beauty and power. You’ve fallen in love with her—just like a many of these foolish pokemon and people on the wall. They’ve fallen under her power, and she led them to follow her, and do her will, until they suddenly realize what a witch she is and turn their backs on her. She will take advantage of you, and use your feelings of love for her to obey her and do what she wants them to do for her. If they continue to love and obey her, she will keep them by her side and let them stick with her. If not……she will turn on them and get rid of their worthless asses. If they don’t obey her and become like a slave to her, she just throws them in the garbage can like a worthless piece of junk.” Kyra cast a glance around her to gaze at the embodied figures on the wall. “Poor price these particular people had to pay,” she added in a simple tone. Barry thought he would be sick. Chibu was glowing at his side, focusing its gaze on him, understanding the feelings he was going through. Barry suddenly felt all hope washed away from him. To think he had a love for that evil woman….. Kyra gave him a raised looks. “Having second thoughts?” She looked satisfied and excited. Barry met her gaze. “I……I can’t let this happen to me…” His symbol suddenly stung badly, and he winced, grabbing it tightly and trying to ignore the pain. “I can’t…..I can’t let myself become what Prima Dona wants me to be for her. I……I don’t want to end up like those people on the wall….” He forced the words through, feeling strained and torn apart, both by the symbol on his arm and the fear he suddenly felt about Prima Dona. He no longer felt the heart beating sense of admiration and love for Prima Dona. Instead, his heart beat with fear and regret, wanting to get out of this terrible place and away from Prima Dona’s grasp forever. “Hah! I’m glad,” Kyra gave a small clap with her hands and then took a step forward. “Now……what about those feelings for Dawn?” Barry gasped, taking a step back. “No—shut up about that! it’s none of your business, and you have no right to question me!” It was obvious to him that Kyra was going through each of his feelings for other people one by one. She wanted to rid his feelings for anyone else but her. but his love for Prima Dona hadn’t stopped because of her. from the moment he laid eyes on this room, he knew his feelings were completely washed away. he could never love any soul that would do so much as to kill pokemon and people in cold blood this way. Not even a chick as hot as Prima Dona. And now, Kyra wasjust wanting to test his feelings for Dawn….and then it would be Kaira next. But Barry backed away, feeling the fear of her lips pressing against his again. “No, get away from me!” He turned to flee, with Chibu by his shoulder. But as he opened the door to the next room, he held a gasp, and closed it again. he turned to meet Kyra’s gaze with a wide-eyed expression, and then slowly turned to face the door again. He quietly opened it, peering into a room of darkness—where everything was pitch black, except for the fire that lighted in the fireplace at the far end of the room. He could make out two figures standing in front of the fireplace—one tall and glitteringly beautiful, no other than Prima Dona herself. The other was a slightly shorter man, with long hair that hung over his shoulders. The man was shirtless and pretty buff, good looking for girls of any age to squeal over. Barry could see him gazing into Prima Dona’s eyes with a lost expression. Prima Dona was smiling wickedly at him, her eyes cold and a icy pale clear color in them. her pale skin was so white and cold compared to the fire, Barry thought she would melt. But she was uttering something with intent to the man, and he dropped to his knees, bowing his head at her heels. Prima Dona suddenly gave a creepy laugh that pierced across the dark room. She uttered something in a scary sounding language, making Barry’s blood run cold. She raised her arms and the room seemed to grow cold, and Barry could feel the draft that blew through him. the fire seemed powerless against the temperature. Prima Dona suddenly stopped speaking, and the room was silent again. her chant was over, and she dropped her arms to her side. The man lifted his head up, gazing up at her with fear, and then Prima Dona gave him a kick at the neck with her sharp heel, making him gasp and tumble over. instantly, Prima Dona let out a devilish scream that turned into the roar of a Palkia. Barry grasped the doorknob tightly with horror, and suddenly Prima Dona leaped at the man, her face a terrible twist of rage and an inhumane, demonized new look. Her face was no longer fully human, but an ugly devil that bore the gross look of evil and bloodthirst. She devoured at the man, tearing his flesh apart, ripping his insides out and slashing at him with a rage of unbelievable fury. Barry almost threw up right there. It was like seeing an animal predator tear at its prey. Prima Dona was devouring the man like a hungry lion. The fire to her side suddenly erupted with extreme intensity, and it wasn’t long until his blood and leftover organs suddenly melted and disappeared into the wooden dark floorboards. “Ugh…” Barry covered his mouth, quickly shutting the door, his heart thudding with fear. He was pretty sure Prima Dona had seen him before he stopped watching. He whipped around to face Kyra, who was standing there with a look of sadness on her face. “D-did you SEE that?!” Hissed Barry with disbelief. He almost felt sick. Kyra’s eyebrows raised and then she gave him a look of disgust, wincing and shaking her head, rolling her eyes. in the split of a second, her body twisted and she disappeared out of sight. “Hey!” Barry spoke aloud with surprise, reaching out a hand. “Chi!” Chibu gave Barry a warning cry and Barry suddenly heard Prima Dona’s footsteps approach the door he had just closed. Barry gasped and instantly made a run for it. He ran through the house, looking for any suitable place to hide, or to escape. The rooms were empty, with nothing but useless piles of logs and old shelves. “Where’s the way out?!” He hissed, looking at Chibu with desperation. He felt like he was just going through the rooms endlessly. “Chi!” Chibu shook its body, and Barry suddenly got the feeling that this was a strange, never ending house. Chibu was trying to tell him that the only way out, was to break out. There was no door that led to the outside of the house once you were inside. “What?!” Gasped Barry. He heard Prima Dona’s steps come closer. “Barry? My dear……is that you?” Her voice was edgy and sarcastic. Barry flinched and headed towards the closest door to his side. He suddenly tripped with confusion as he realized he had entered the room of darkness, where he had just witnessed Prima Dona. But before he could turn back, he had tripped and fell to his chin, and the door closed shut behind him. “Chiiiii!” Cried Chibu, glowing with fear. Both of them were right by the side of the fireplace, which was quietly burning with a touch of blue, calm flames. “Chibu…” Barry turned to look up at the pokemon with a worried look. “Whatever happens to me make sure you get to Kaira……and tell her--” The door across the room suddenly flung open and Prima Dona’s tall figure suddenly entered in. A small red glowing pokemon hovered by her shoulder, and Barry recognized it as the little devil Chiba. “Ah! There you are! I was wondering why Chiba was being so bitchy and trying to tell me something. You’ve gone to see your little earth friends, haven’t you?” Prima Dona was speaking in a raised, cold voice, and Barry couldn’t tell whether she spoke with anger or pride. She was making her way up to him with Chiba hovering by her, smiling with its devious little snicker. It’s gaze was more focused on Chibu, who was frowning and narrowing its eyes bravely at the devil messenger. Barry’s heart skipped a beat, and he replied with a quick, “Yes.” Prima Dona stood by his side as he sat up to his knees. She was smiling coldly down at him, her eyes now a blue, hazy expression. Her piercing gaze did not lift his heart now. it struck him with a pain that made him want to leave her forever, and never gaze into those eyes again. To think what she had done to those people and pokemon….. Prima Dona kneeled down and kept her wicked smile on her face. “So,” she spoke in a calm voice that scared Barry more than it would have if she’s screamed at him. He could tell she was angry for him to have left her like that, and that she probably knew every move he had made when he was gone. The symbol wasn’t hurting him, though it was giving him an uncomfortable tingle. “Are you proud of what your little friend is going thorugh? And how did you like my little project in that room?” Barry felt sick again. his wide-eyed gaze suddenly narrowed. “Y-you killed them. everyone of those pokemon and people who had loved you and served you—they were only trying to do it for YOU. And then you kill them like that…” Prima Dona chuckled wickedly. “They were mere fools!” She raised her voice, her crown suddenly giving off a strange glow Barry had never seen before. “As soon as they realized what would come of them if they continued to serve me—they turned their backs on me! They swore they would try to stop me, rather than stay by my side! I had to kill them when I had the chance.” “The pokemon you have now…” Barry was looking at her with horror. “…..those are just the only ones that you have under you power, created by YOU yourself. They have the hearts of darkness and evil, as well as the power that no other pokemon their kind could have. And that’s because you created them…” “Exactly!” Prima Dona was smiling at him evilly. “My dear pokemon with me will always be my partners—ones that will always stick by my side, no matter what.” She looked into his eyes with a piercing icy gaze. “Just like you, right? Didn’t you make a promise to me, Barry? That you would always stick by my side and do what you can for me no matter what?” Barry tensed, feeling queasy. Prima Dona leaned closer to Barry. He could smell the surprisingly sweet aroma scent that wafted around her face, feeling cold and refreshing to smell. Her eyes were a glittering menace, and Chiba was watching intently with the same look in its eyes. "You promised me, didnt you?"Barry met her gaze for a moment, and felt a chilling horror creep up his spine. His symbol started to glow with pain, and he shook his head slowly. "I....I can never trust you again. You-- you're a.....cannibal."He tried to turn and escape, but Prima Dona shot up and grabbed his shoulders. Barry froze as he felt the cold grasp of both of her hands on each side. His eyes went wide, and he was lost in a daze of memory and dreams. Prima Dona was still beautiful to him-- whether he wanted to trust her or not. She bent down to whisper in his ear. "I'm not just going to let you escape, you know," she murmured dangerously. Barry blinked slowly and dreamily at the feeling of her cold breath on his neck. "You know what I do to people who don't listen to me-- and to pokemon.""Chi....." Chibu was watching helplessly as Chiba taunted it, hovering around the little pokemon with a mean look. It couldnt do anything to help in its locked veil. Barry said nothing. He was holding his breath, not knowing what to think. Prima Dona was ready to kill him-- eat him and tear him part with gore, just like she had done to so many other pokemon and people. He felt Prima Dona's face become fierce and twisted, as sharp fangs began to grow and nearly touch his neck. He heard her inhale softly, and then it happened. "CHIIIII--YAHHH!" Instantly, Chibu crashed itself into Chiba, making the red pokemon flinch and strike it back with confusion and anger. Chibu broke out of its veil and immediately hurled a shine of glowing yellow light towards Prima Dona, and threw her back off of Barry. She let out a quick scream and crashed into the side of the wall, her cold iced body nearly breaking. The fire by Barry exploded with intensity again, and Barry dropped to his knees, regaining his senses. "Uh...." he gasped, panting. "Chi!" Chibu dodged the angry Chiba next to it, and shot up to Barry. "Chibu...." Barry was gazing up tiredly at the pokemon. "Chi..." Chibu suddenly closed its eyes and aimed its arms at him."GrrrAHHHH!" Prima Dona easily fixed up herself and recovered without pain. A nasty look of ferocity glared in her eyes. "YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO GET---"Barry couldnt hear the rest of her angry voice as he and Chibu disappeared from the room, traveling through a portal of darkness. 33. DEATH FIELD The underground tunnels were much bigger than Lucas expected them to be. In fact, they were about the size of a ten foot tall tube that made its way in front of them. He, Riley, Dawn, Chimchar, and Lucario were traveling on foot through the strange place, heading towards north. All the while, Lucas had been feeling a strange, itching feeling in him about the presence of this place. He felt like he connected to this part of the region somehow, and felt the fire in his soul burn up whenever he spotted a single flame. To think that he, as an Infernape, could see into fire itself and read its warnings and signs for him, he felt like he was a special specimen for this place. Lucario suddenly let out a low growl. “Feeling burned up yet?” He muttered. Lucas turned to him. “W-well, kinda. Riley says these underground passageways lead to a world of their own if you travel down deep enough. He even says it may even lead to the very core of the planet.” Chimchar turned to meet his gaze. “Ooh, boy that sounds interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised about ever finding myself in the center of the planet in a dimension like this.” Lucario wasn’t meeting his gaze, but he remained firm with a determined look in his eyes. “Hmm, you pay close attention to the fire that burns within you,” he said intently. “I may just be a mere soul you’re looking at from the fifth dimension, but I have enough knowledge to know about certain things within the aura. I can especially feel what’s burning in yours.” Lucas raised his eyes at the pokemon. Whatever he meant, it sounded important, and it made Lucas want to become more aware of himself. If he was an Infernape and one of three to complete the prophecy of bringing back the souls of Gaiyah together, then he must be ready. Lucas looked up to where Riley and Dawn kept in front of them. Riley was no longer carrying her. Dawn’s leg had recovered enough so that she could walk again, but strangely enough, she had woken up with a wounded cut on her ankle. It had already been wrapped around in a bandage, but Riley was sure that he hadn’t bandaged it himself. Dawn just reassured them that perhaps she must’ve cut it when they were trying to escape the Braviary in the dead body of the Garchomp, and that she woke up, noticing it and wrapping it around with a cloth she had. Lucas didn’t believe her. if she had a cut on her ankle that bled enough to be bandaged, Lucas wouldve noticed it. whatever had caused that cut must have happened just recently when they had been sleeping—and Dawn wasn’t exactly telling them the truth. It also seemed strange that her fever had healed so quickly also. She was traveling almost perfectly fine again by Riley’s side, eagerly sharing her adventures with the trainer, and listening happily to his stories of his own adventures through the Iron Islands. Lucario had sensed Dawn’s feelings as well. The pokemon closed its eyes and whispered to Lucas, “There really is something Dawn isn’t telling us. But not even I am strong enough to read it. It’s as if there’s something blocking my visions to read any further into her aura, and that’s probably the influence of being in another dimension.” Lucas sighed and nodded. “Well, if I were a human again, I would deliberately ask her myself. she’s not going to keep anymore secrets from me, and I wanna be more aware of her feelings, just like I was when she first found the egg of baby Dovanna.” Riley stopped and then looked around. “Wait……there’s something up ahead.” Dawn looked forward. “Hmm? Could it be another pokemon?” “Aw great!” Groaned Chimchar. “If it’s another pokemon, I swear it’s gonna be a big one again. I feel so small in this region! First, that giant Starly, then the dead, four bus long Garchomp. And then that Braviary--” “I’m sure it’s no pokemon,” said Riley, casting a glance over to Lucario. “But Lucario scents something also. Let me take a look first.” Riley headed towards the corner of the tunnel way, leaving Dawn, Lucas, and everyone else near the other side of the wall. When he finally peeked his head around, he had a look of relief in his eyes. “It’s alright, come and take a look. you’ll be surprised at who I found,” he cast a wink at Dawn. Lucas raised his eyebrows hopefully and the rest of them peered behind the wall, looking into an enclosed area of boiling hot magma and a large pool of lava. The area was a dead end, and there was no way to the other side of the pool of lava. But what Dawn and Lucas saw surprised them even more. “Oh my gosh!” Dawn cried happily. “Buck!” There, standing in front of the lava pool, was Buck. By his side, was his own Infernape, burning with fierceness and power. Lucas felt so small next to it, and he kept himself from taking a step back with nervousness. Buck was standing with his arms crossed, looking his proud, determined self. “Well! Hello there, Dawn. I’m surprised to find you in the very world of my dream.” Dawn laughed. “Oh, you have no idea.” She gave him a small shake of her head, and Lucas felt that if he could walk into the fiery depths of Buck’s dreams in this region of Lluyan, he could feel even more intensified by the spirit of fire. Buck just let out a loud laugh. “Well, I knew Riley would bring me a surprise. this is one of the most strangest places to be in when I dream—but YOU guys are really in here for real? You aren’t just traveling here through a dream? Wow……I gotta say, you’re making me burn with curiosity!” “Hey, Buck?” Riley walked up to him with a serious look on his face. his dark eyes still gleamed with a deep look of observing. “Perhaps you could help take us out of this place and towards the borders of this region? Since this is a dead end underground, we would have to be traveling above on foot again, and we could use some extra help on the environment above.” “Huh!” Muttered Lucas. “Not even Buck could withstand a giant pokemon.” Chimchar huffed. “Yeah, at least if the pokemon kills him or Riley, they can just wake up alive back on their planet where they were sleeping. The rest of us have a disadvantage since our real spirits from earth are here for real, not from dreaming.” Buck let out a haughty breath and looked at his Infernape. “Well, what do ya say, Infernape? Care to add a little bit of excitement to our dream?” Infernape let out a ferocious cry and blazed with fire that made even Lucas’s face feel hot. “Alrighty then! Help us Dig our way outta here!” And Buck’s Infernape leaped to the ceiling and dug out a large hole with its strong fists. Pretty soon, Lucas, Dawn, Riley, Lucario, and Chimchar were climbing out of the underground tunnels, and entering a wide open space where the sky seemed to have cleared from all the smoke, though the thick clouds covered up any bright sunshine. The blank sky made the grassy meadow around them look uninviting and secretive. As Lucas looked around, there was not a single tree in sight, and probably wasn’t one for miles. They must have traveled a great long way from the volcano, for he scented no more smoke in the air. Ahead of them towards the north, were the icy mountains of the Yonga region. They seemed so far away, yet Lucas felt like here, in the region of Lluyan, he could run and run forever without ever getting tired. Even here, in the soft grasslands, Lucas could yet feel the heartbeat of the planet from its very core. He felt even more connected to this place. Buck and his Infernape jumped out of the hole behind them. “Okay, so after you all cross this very meadow, you will find yourselves crossing the border of Lluyan into the mountains that shall lead to Yonga. Right when you pass the border before the mountains—that must be when we shall part.” Dawn turned to look sorrowfully at Riley. He was gazing down at her with a calm, admiring look. “Riley… really can’t escape your dream into this world, can’t you?” Riley shook his head. “I’m only present here in my dreams when I dream myself here. But I’m only able to show up in the region of Lluyan. It’s just the matter of the portals in this dimension—they work in a way so that they keep track of the certain spirits that can come and go.” Dawn nodded and chuckled. “You seem like you know this place as well as a real person from here would.” Lucas nodded, casting Lucario a raised glance. He wished he were as observant and clever as Riley and Lucario. They traveled along again, and Riley and Dawn told Buck their whole story again, and pretty soon, Buck figured out that Lucas himself really was an Infernape. He seemed to have treated Lucas with a much better authority, as if respecting his sudden change to be a pokemon. Lucas felt hotly embarrassed, though he was happy that at least he could still feel welcome even though he was a pokemon now. “Ho!” Buck called, looking out behind them, covering his eyelids with his hands. “Look over there! I see the light! And it’s coming from the grass, as well!” Everyone turned at his sudden exclamation, and Lucas widened his eyes in awe. The sky was glowing a bright hole just a little ways behind them, shining down on the ground and making the light green grass sparkle. A lady emerged from the ground, rising with a green, bright, glowing intensity. Her arms were slightly spread out to her side, and her beautiful green hair blew around behind her. Chimchar let out a gasp. “Is it the earth goddess or something?” Lucas shook his head, staring in awe at the lady. He knew exactly who it was. “No….it’s…” “Cheryl!” Dawn cried out with glee, nearly jumping up. Cheryl gracefully made her way to them as the light started fading form behind her. Her eyes were a strange blankness, for she was just entering her dream and hadn’t become fully awake yet in her dreamworld. But pretty soon, she slowly blinked her calm, beautiful eyes and met her gaze at Dawn. “Oh…..Dawn…..Lucas….it’s so great to see you all again.” Lucas flinched. He hadn’t expected Cheryl to know that he was a pokemon already. “What are you doing here?” Riley asked, with the same awestruck look in his eyes. Cheryl met his gaze, and shook her head quickly. “You all should get away from me. I’ve had a terrible dream already—and now I’m entering it myself. I’ve dreamt up to see my own pokemon to terrible things, and now I’ve entered it myself.” She was speaking with urgency, and fear in her voice. Buck winced at her. “What? Are you saying--” “I don’t know—it’s just one of those nightmares one can have for no apparent reason,” said Cheryl quickly, narrowing her eyes and putting a hand on the side of her head. “You know those random dreams of terrible things happening for no real reason? Well…….I just had one of those.” Lucas widened his eyes. Uh-oh. Walking into somebody’s nightmare? He didn’t want to be part of a nightmare—for real. Dawn gasped. “What did you dream about?” Suddenly, the meadow rumbled with a low thundering noise, and Lucas looked around to see that a herd of Stantler and Sawsbuck were dashing towards the north, all headed in the same direction, all crying out with fear and terror. Something was chasing them. Cheryl gasped. “I’ve dreamed of my pokemon fighting a terrible bunch of poison types. They were hurting all my dear partners……and now I’ve come to see those monsters hurt others as well. Poison types and vicious little monsters…..” Cheryl was speaking in a distant voice. Clearly, she was too scared in her dream to notice how Lucas and Dawn had gotten here themselves. She was probably in a state that she didn’t exactly recognize herself in her own dream—or the people around her. Lucas guessed she must be half dreaming. Her body was transparent and still slightly glowing, making her look like a nature spirit. “,,,,,,you must all get out of here as soon as you can,” she warned, suddenly walking forward. “Run……run before they catch you!” And she took off, running towards the north. Everyone watched her go with a confused look. “Huh!” Said Buck, crossing his arms. “I guess she’s having an awkward dream.” Riley and Lucario both tensed, and then both narrowed their eyes. Lucas admired their sudden sense of awareness. Riley spoke with intent. “No……something’s coming. We must follow her.” Suddenly, a herd of Stantler bounded around them, their hooves stomping the ground in a rush. Dawn gasped and looked around frantically at all the pokemon that surrounded them, running past them in a stampede. Suddenly, a Stantler was instantly pulled to the ground, and disappeared into the tall grass with a cry of horror. Something had grabbed it and brought it down, and Lucas couldn’t even see what it even was. pretty soon, pokemon here and there were tripping and falling into the tall grass, never getting back up again. A Deerling was headed towards Lucas’s back, but instantly, it let out a cry and fell to the ground, disappearing in the tall grass. Lucas immediately sensed what was happening. He heard a creep hissing underneath him and leaped into the air before the mouth of a Seviper snapped out to grab at his heels, barely missing him. “Seviper! Arbok! Run!” Lucas cried, landing onto the tall grass and making a dash for it. everyone was immediately at his heels as Dawn screamed from an Arbok creeping up at her heels, hidden in the tall grass. Lucas, Dawn, Riley, and Buck eventually caught up to Cheryl, who was running at full speed. Stantler and other grassland pokemon were all around, all spread out. “Hey!” Riley was at Cheryl’s side. “You dreamt this up, didn’t you?” “I’m terribly sorry!” She gasped. “I just wanna wake up, right now! but I can’t!” “Let yourself be killed!” Yelled Buck. “Allow one of the Seviper to catch your heels and pull you down into the tall grass! You can wake up and erase this whole thing!” Lucas huffed. “I’m afraid it’s not as simple as that!” He yelled, even though the humans couldn’t understand him. something about the fiery hearth within this place seemed to holding onto certain spirits—and keep them from getting erased once they entered the dimension. If they were dreamt up by someone from their own world all the way from earth—the fiery soul may sometimes even keep it and stop it from becoming erased once the dreamer wakes up. this very meadow—it was filled with a fire soul within that allowed that. he could feel it burning inside him. Suddenly, a Stantler that had been running next to him was pulled into the tall grass by a snarling pokemon hidden beneath. Lucas winced, and then suddenly felt the presence of another species creeping up by their heels, stalking the frantic pokemon all around them. In the distance, a Rapidash leaped into the air, avoiding a pull from the slinking pokemon beneath the tall grass, but a figure leaped out and bit at its heels, pulling down the pokemon with incredibly fierce strength. The pokemon had been quick to leap up and pull that Rapidash back down into the grass, but Lucas had made out the shape of a four-legged feature with a dark cover over its face. “Ahh!” Riley yelled. “Dawn, watch out! Lucario!” Lucario growled and dodged a stalking Arbok, and Buck’s Infernape blew a bust of flames at the pokemon. It was looking all around its heels as it ran on, spitting fire at any pokemon that was creeping beneath the grass. Suddenly, it flinched to pause and punch at the same four-legged pokemon before taking off again, and Lucas realized that there were Deino as well, slinking under the tall grass after the running pokemon, dragging down their terrified prey. Lucas ran on with everyone else, feeling suddenly small and helpless. Just before, they had been terrified of encountering pokemon that towered the world, too big for the eye to see. Now, they were being stlked and chased by sneaky little pokemon below the grass, as well as the snakes. Lucas watched helplessly as pokemon from all around were randomly being pulled to the ground, disappearing in the tall grass to be eaten by the predators hidden benath. Lucas didn’t want any of them to be next. He kept by Dawn’s side with a determined look towards the mountains. Their speed was getting faster, and they seemed to be almost there. How long would these pokemon chase them? “Ahh! Look out!” Dawn cried as a Deino crept behind her heels, disappearing underneath the grass to try and snap at her ankle. Lucas let out a cry and blew a Flamethrower at the pokemon. The Deino gave out a helpless cry and seemed to stop stalking after them, but suddenly, another one was making its way up to them. as Lucas focused on the tall grass behind Dawn, trying to run and keep up with the others at the same time, something suddenly struck him from the front. He had tripped over a Seviper, and a Deino managed to leap out from his front, headed towards Dawn. Dawn didn’t even get to scream as the fierce pokemon crashed into her face, and she fell down into the tall grass, crying a muffled yell as the pokemon snarled and fought with her underneath the hidden grass. Lucas gasped and tore through the tall grass, managing to slash at the Deino before he even knew where it was hidden. He found Dawn’s body laying through the grass, lying on her face. “Lucas! Dawn!” Riley’s yell was suddenly distant, and the rest of the group were already ahead of them in the distance with Cheryl, still running for their lives. Lucas immediately picked up Dawn’s body and dashed after them both. “Dawn……no!” Lucas gasped, running at full speed, and gazing down at her unconscious face. her eyes were closed and her body was already beomcing paler. She was still alive, but Lucas could feel that something terrible must have happened to her. there was a bite on her throat, right at the very center. The Deino had bitten into her, and something as ugly as the wound itself seemed to have entered her. Far across the mountains of Yonga, Paul was sitting at the edge of a lonely harbor. The Solar grunts he and Dionza were leading had stopped to rest in a strange, lonely town called Exim Lodge. The place was merely a rest area, with barely any houses and people living around. There was a river that led from the ocean, all the way up to the harbor in the town, and Paul found it strange for part of an ocean to ever lead to one of the highest elevations up in the mountains. He sighed and got up, taking a stroll down the deck. He narrowed his eyes at what seemed like a small raft floating in the distance. Suddenly, he gasped and took a step back, realizing what was floating towards him. the raft was a mere flat surface, and attached to it on top—was Dawn’s unconscious body. 34. LONELY SPIRITS The baby Dovanna flew high up among the misty air of the mountains. Kaira followed halfheartedly, deep in her thoughts about everything that had just happened to her. wherever her stupid twin, Kyra, had gone, she was probably off to screw with Barry. The look in her eyes after she had mentioned the way he must’ve felt about Dawn, there was probably no mistaking that she was conflicted and jealous over her—just as angry as Kaira herself had felt about Dawn. “I hope it’s not going to be my fault,” she muttered quietly to herself, kicking a rock in her way as she hiked up after the Dovanna. “If anything happens to Dawn……I just hope….” Kaira couldn’t say it. she had to be honest with herself. She did want something to happen to Dawn, for she was the whole reason Barry probably didn’t even notice her feelings for him. but Kaira never wanted anyone to get hurt. She just wanted that if Barry had any feelings for someone, that someone would be her—not that Dawn who had treated her like some kind of weirdo that didn’t belong in Twinleaf. Dovanna suddenly flapped its wings at Kaira’s face, snapping her out of her thoughts. The little white bird was chirping an accusing tone, and had a look of irritation in its eyes. kaira instantly understood what the pokemon was trying to tell her. “You’re sayin I should just lighten up and feel thankfull around Dawn,” said Kaira a little snappishly. The pokemon cooed in agreement. Kaira huffed. “I try to…..I mean…she and I actually have become better friends along our journey…but….whenever I just think about what she’s doing to Barry inside, I just….” Dovanna suddenly flapped its wings roughly, giving Kaira a narrowed look through its loving, blue eyes. kaira looked up to it, and reached out a hand. it settled quietly on her finger, and looked into her eyes. kaira suddenly felt calmed and happy with the spirit of the pokemon beside her. Dovanna was the love pokemon of the fifth dimension, and this young hatchling was none other than the same thing. Kaira felt her heart lighten up again—though she knew something was still missing. She still didn’t feel the love in her. of course, she did feel admiration and happiness around this pokemon, but she still hadn’t felt any love in her heart, to love the pokemon and keep that feelings within her eternally. She had literally lost all her urge to love anything again ever since the real Dovanna had been banished. Ever since Prima Dona had banished Kaira herself. And the young Dovanna was telling her something. Dovanna was trying to reach its love towards Kaira’s heart, though it was still too young and not powerful enough as the real Dovanna, to actually bring the love back. It was telling Kaira to find it herself. Kaira breathed a small breath. “Dovanna……I must find love….I must find a way to love again, don’t I? I….I can never obtiain the feelings back, and I can never find the real missing Dovanna if….if I don’t learn to love the way it can myself.” The little Dovanna let out a cooing fom its throat, gazing into Kaira’s eyes with shining understanding. Kaira closed her eyes. barry was the closest she had ever come close to loving. He was the spirit that lightened her heart, and made her feel like her real self when she was around him. she wanted so badly to see him again—to love him and have him love her back. She suddenly felt herself drifting to sleep as she walked on, carrying the baby Dovanna on her fingers. The pokemon was closing its eyes as well. Pretty soon, Dovanna spread its small, feathery white wings, and Kaira found her body drifting slowly through the misty air. Her body felt cold and washed away as she felt herself drift higher and higher, feeling herself move through the mountain until the Dovanna lifted off her fingers and cooed. She woke up in a warm, soft area where she found herself lying on a smooth rug. A fireplace burned in front of her, and she realized she was in a small log house, where the only room inside was the one she was in. the door was loose and creaking open from the wind outside. She looked out a window and saw that she was high up in the snowy parts of the mountains, where she had finally entered the region of Yonga. The young Dovanna had flown towards the door, hovering with an intent look in its large blue eyes. kaira slowly got up and made her way towards it. she opened the door to the cold area around her. there were small log houses around, though she doubted if anyone even lived in there. The place was as quiet and deserted as a town in the mountains can be, and she felt like she was the only one at the top of this large mountain right now. “We still have to get to the other side of this place, so that we can cross the terrain that leads to Phandolia’s mountain,” murmured Kaira. Unless we want to follow east of this region, and stay along the mountains, we’ll eventually find the Phandolia Spear, but it would treacherous. I….I don’t want to lose anymore than I already have. We have to get off to the other side and continue on flat ground to find the other side of the Yonga mountains.” “Douuuuuu,” Dovanna cooed, pointing its beak forward, towards the strange river in the distance. Kaira winced. “Strange to find that a river hasn’t frozen all the way up here,” said Kaira. She suddenly had a memorable feelings of what the river actually was. “To think that it lead from the ocean….” Kaira followed the river downstream, and then stopped to fill a small pond. There was a harbor at one side of the pond, and Kaira neared the small lodge by the deck, feeling a strange feeling as she got closer. Suddenly, she gasped at the sight of what seemed to be a human kneeling by the edge of the deck. She nearly lost her breath as she realized the person was Paul—and he was still dressed in that dark purple black suit that Team Solar wore. She looked around frantically. There must be other Solar grunts around here as well—Solar grunts that must have been on their trail. She thought she had lost the Solar grunts long ago back in Aubrun Leaf City! Apparently, Paul had found himself here…..but how? Dovanna was hovering above her head, and remained quiet. Kaira crept closer and kneeled down behind a small rock that jutted out at the corner of the lodge behind Paul. He was observing something that looked like a flat square surface, with a body on top of it. “Shh…it’s me,” his voice seemed to say. And Kaira widened her eyes at the sight of who he was speaking to. “Dawn…’s me. It’s Paul.” A small groan sounded from the body. “Uh…..what? where am I? I’m dreaming again, aren’t I?” “I believe so,” said Paul quietly, laying a hand on her forehead. “Am I dead now? the last time I was awake, I was….I was running from a bunch of pokemon hidden in the tall grass—they were sneaking up after Lucas and the rest of us and……one of them managed to catch me.” Paul raised his eyebrows. “Well…..if you were dead, you wouldn’t have come to me like this. You woudlve passed on to a different dimension, where you can never return to me again. apparently, you’ve found your way back to me in your own dream, where you could wake up in the same world, not too far away.” Kaira was listening with disbelief. Thoughts were racing through her mind. Dawn—able to dream herself to another place. Able to sleep in one part of the world, and then wake up in another place in her dream. Kaira could imagine her body lying somewhere else, asleep, while another part of her spirit was right here in a dream. But how was that possible? Kaira knew that the only way to find another soul in its dream was if they dreamt from another dimension, waking up in the region of Lluyan only. Kaira narrowed her eyes, looking deeply at Dawn. This must have something to do with the three beings of earth. Dovanna was cooing intently and quietly. Kaira cast a glance at the pokemon and nodded. There was a shine of light glowing around Dawn’s body as she lay on Paul’s lap, showing that this particular spirit was just a replicate of herself, while her real body was not too far away in the region of Lluyan. The light glowed brightly and her body was like an angel, showing that this was just another spirit part of her soul that was alive and awake in a dream. Kaira suddenly raised her eyebrows. she remembered….one of the three beings shall be blessed and cursed by the element of light. Dawn must possess the strange power of winding up somewhere else as she dreamt, for the light in her soul that she possessed allowed her to pass through the portals of finding herself in another part of this very dimension in just a simple dream. The light in her was what let her do things like this, and here she was, lying in front of Paul, resting her head on his knees. As she shifted her head, Paul let out a gasp. “Your forehead…….there’s a terrible cut. That Deino really slashed at your face, didn’t it?” Dawn sighed. “It’s nothing, it will heal--” “Stop saying that,” said Paul, a little snappishly. “Come on, I have to help you. The other Solar grunts are asleep in the back cabin. You can rest in this cabin right here.” He turned to nod at the harbor. Dawn turned with a frail look in her eyes. “Oh….Paul…..” Kaira held her breath as Paul carried her in his arms, lifting her off the raft. He didn’t notice Kaira’s presence behind the rock to his left as he entered the small cabin at the end of the deck. Kaira snuck in right behind him as he opened the door. She hid behind a tall chair that stood y the window of the cabin, and Paul let Dawn rest on the couch in front of it. Dawn shivered. “It’s terribly cold, this couch.” Paul looked at her. “If I could light a fire, I would.” Dawn shook her head. “Please, you’ve done enough to even care about my safety. You’re supposed to kill me, aren’t you?” Paul sighed and looked away. “Prima Dona’s probably watching me. I……I havent received any warning signs—from Prima Dona or Chiba.” “Chiba?” Kaira listened carefully at this. Paul turned to meet Dawn’s curious gaze with a narrowed look in his eyes. “The devil Chiba. You see…..back in that route near Floaroma Town—back in OUR dimension on earth, I discovered traces of a peculiar pokemon that I thought was similar to Rowan’s strange discoveries. I ended up meeting the devil Chiba in Mt. Coronet, and I….I was immensely transfixed by the pokemon, captured by its power and red glow. It tricked me and got me into obeying it, driving me to do the craziest things to prove how worty of a trainer I could be. It even made me want to join Team Solar…” “You really wanted to catch that pokemon for your own, didn’t you?” Said Dawn, looking saddened and surprised. Paul closed his eyes and looked down. “I……I was lost in a daze of ambition and power, and Chiba was telling me some pretty important things that made me feel even hungrier for power, and to control pokemon. It told me to prove how strong I could really be, to make it happy and see if I am worthy enough to become that pokemon’s own partner. I served Prima Dona, joining Team Solar and turning my heart against all of you who tried to stop me. I’ve…..i’ve became the failure I really am. I really shouldn’t have done what I have done….and now….” “You’re no failure,” said Dawn, sitting up. “Paul… can still change. You don’t have to impress Chiba—it’s a devil. Don’t you see what it wants you to do? it isnt looking for all the recklessness you can do to impress it. It doesn’t care about all the cities you take over, or all the pokemon you gain power over. it cares about your inner soul—whether you can really become as dark as it wants it to be. It wants to see if you can really find your way to become as demonized as itself—finding your own way to become as evil as Team Solar. It’s trying to open up that dark spot in your heart.” Kaira raised her eyebrows at Dawn. She was voicing almost exactly what Kaira was thinking. So Paul HAD some kind of contact with a devil spirit-- and it was the very pokemon messenger, Chiba, itself. And it was no wonder he was driven this far to bond with Team Solar and become even more coldhearted than he really was. Chiba had been lifting his spirits up to do become more and more ambitious, wanting to see if Paul really had a dark side that would open up and overcome him. Paul was staring at Dawn with a dazed look in his eyes. “You’re right……Chiba doesn’t want to see what I could do physically-- it wants to see what I can do mentally, deep inside of me.” Dawn nodded. “You’re right. You can keep serving Prima Dona, becoming her slave and capturing as much pokemon as you want, but it all won’t mean a thing if deep down inside, you believe it’s the wrong thing. You have to accept those actions, and become as evil as they are themselves. don’t let Chiba do that to you. You don’t have to make choices like this-- you can bond with pokemon and stay strong at the same time. You don’t use them just for battling tools. They’re more than that-- they are friends that stick with you loyally whether they are physically strong in battle or not.” Paul was gazing at Dawn, and Kaira could tell by the look in his eyes that he was seeing a new light in her. Dawn was shining with a brighter intensity, and Paul was suddenly looking hopeful. Dawn rose up and stood just a few feet away from him, and then slowly took a few steps forward. Paul kept his eye on her gaze, and the both of them were standing right in front of each other, looking into each other’s eyes with a shine of hope and longing. Kaira watched with intensity, She almost expected them to kiss. She had never realized how much Dawn could’ve felt about Paul. How many times could have she been seeing him like this? Did Lucas even know about this? Kaira wondered how Barry could feel about this. Kaira herself had always wanted Dawn to stay clear from Barry, and somehow end up with Lucas so that she could have Barry all to herself. But with Paul? Kaira hadn’t really expected their relationship to be this close. Just to the window behind them, she could see the young Dovanna fluttering with an alert look in its eyes, watching them with a loving kind of intent. Perhaps the love pokemonitself could be summoning all their feelings and love for each other, making them feel more strongly about each other’s presence. “Paul…….you can make a choice,” spoke Dawn. Paul nodded. “I know….but I can’t just abandon Team Solar right now. You don’t understand--” “You don’t have to abandon them. You can just play evil with them. Pretend you are still on their side, when really, you can try to--” “No, you don’t understand. I mean….there’s someone in Team Solar……someone who looks to me as….as someone more than….” Dawn gasped. “No. it’s her, isn’t it?” Paul said nothing, but the look on his face exposed what he meant to say. Kaira blinked, a strange thought suddenly occurring in her head. Was Paul in love with someone in Team Solar? Or was someone in Team Solar in love with him? The look on his face looked regretful and wary. He was staring at Dawn with a sorry look. Dawn was beginning to falter. “Oh…..” Paul sighed. “Dawn, she really isn’t that special to me……anymore. I….I don’t know if she even cares for me anymore. She’s recruited some strange pirates off the coast back in the region of Tunka, and apparently, she’s been quite flirty with them. I don’t know if I really trust her anymore.” Dawn shook her head. “You think about it. I don’t want to confuse you with any decisions….if you’re really engaged with someone in Team Solar.” She headed back towards the couch and sat down, lying on her side. Paul looked sorrowfully at her. “Are you going to rest?” “I….I really can’t wake up back where I really am right now….I might as well just stay here and recover.” She turned to him with a longing gaze. “You’re the one who should really rest, and think about what you should do. I hate to see you so torn between this. It makes me feel…..far away from you.” Paul sighed and walked towards her to give her a blanket. “Dawn….I really do care for you. I-- I just can’t bear to kill you, even if it means gaining power over pokemon stronger than the world itself. I think….I think I’ve known my real decision all along. I couldn’t give you up for the sake of that little devil pokemon…” Dawn was staring into his eyes as she took the blanket. “Well….it’s really up to you.” Paul turned away and looked out the window. If Kaira wasn’t hidden behind the chair, Paul would’ve seen her. Suddenly, Kaira saw the young Dovanna fly from the window, and suddenly swoop pass the window behind her. Paul’s eyes suddenly widened, and he started making his way towards the door. Kaira held her breath, her heart beating at what he could’ve seen. “Paul?” Dawn’s gaze followed him towards the door. “Did you see that? Was that just…..” Paul opened the door, letting a draft of cold air sweep through. Kaira narrowed her eyes at the stinging wind, and crept out the door as Paul made his way out of the cabin. Kaira caught a glimpse of Dovanna heading towards the bare tree that stood to the right of the cabin, hiding up in the thick, dead branches. Paul whipped his head over to catch a glimpse of something moving in the tree. He started walking towards the tree, his eyes fixed and narrowed. Kaira couldn’t let him see baby Dovanna, whether Dawn had told him about it or not. Who knew what the heck Dawn could’ve discussed with that traitor? Kaira understood what Paul’s feelings could be going through. But that didn’t mean he could still betray them by exposing whatever Dawn told him about their journey. Perhaps that was why Paul and the other Solar grunts were on their same path! Kaira rose up, glaring at Paul from behind, her light brown hair blowing in the chilly snowy breeze. “Paul,” her voice was firm and demanding. Paul stopped and turned slowly to meet her gaze. His eyes widened and he clenched his fists. “Kaira…? It’s you. What are YOU doing here?” He was speaking in a low voice. His expression suddenly darkened and he looked more like his arrogant, angry self rather than the dazed, soft person he had been with Dawn. Kaira’s eyes flashed in the moonlight. “Same as you. We’re still heading north. What’s been going on with you? Still keeping with Team Solar?” She pretended like she hadn’t seen anything of him and Dawn together. Paul blinked and looked uneasy. “Uh….well, yeah of course.” He narrowed his eyes. “So where’s everyone else? Where’s Barry? Or Dawn?” Kaira bit back the stinging feeling that welled up inside of her as he pretended as if nothing had happened in the cabin either. It was probably obvious that he knew what had happened to Barry since he still kept contact with Prima Dona, and also everything Dawn must‘ve told him. “You havent figured it out yet? We’ve separated. Barry’s with Prima Dona. Lucas and Dawn are traveling separately, as well as Seth and Delaine.” “Oh, yeah….I know what happened to Barry….” Paul looked down with a distracted look in his eyes. Kaira raised his eyebrows. “So… have things been going?” She spoke in a curious tone. “How are Team Solar treating you? Do you think you’re fit for them? Do you ever think about…..turning your back on those evil dark souls?” Paul looked up at Kaira with a narrowed look. “What I am doing with Team Solar does not concern you.” “Oh really? Well, it seems as if what we’re doing concerns YOU. What were you doing in that cabin over there?” Paul crossed his arms. “None of your business. You know, I would be calling out the rest of Team Solar out to take care of you for showing up like this-- but I’ve chosen to not. Your sudden presence concerns me. I was expecting you all to still be trailing in the region of Lluyan still. How’d you make it up here so fast?” Kaira huffed. He was concerned because Dawn had told him that everyone else was back in the region of Lluyan, still trying to find their way up to this mountain. Kaira wondered if Paul thought she herself had the same ability as Dawn, to wake up in a dream that took her to another place. “That’s none of YOUR business,” replied Kaira. Paul opened his mouth to snap back something rash, but then he couldn’t think of what to say. For a moment, they both stared at each other with a narrowed look of uncertainty, expecting each other to make a sudden move. The snowy wind blew around them and Kaira felt like she could stand there like a frozen statue forever. From behind, the baby Dovanna flew from the branches of the bare tree, disappearing high into the dark sky. Kaira suddenly felt the urge to go. But before she left, she wanted to tell Paul something. “Whatever happens, just remember…..” she was gazing into his eyes with a glint of fierceness. “….you can always change. You can always make a choice. You don’t have to keep going on like this-- you don’t need a pokemon like the devil Chiba to be your partner.” As soon as Paul’s eyes widened with surprise, wondering how Kaira even knew about that, he took a step back, and Kaira turned to walk away back down the hill, her body disappearing in the distant falling snowflakes. Kaira was aware of Paul’s gaze watching after her. She looked up to the sky, and the young Dovanna was swooping down, and she followed the young pokemon, walking alongside the running river. As Paul watched her leave, he felt a queasy feeling enter inside him. How had Kaira known about…..the devil Chiba? Had….had she been spying on him? The more Paul thought about Kaira, the more she crept him out. According to the prophecy, and what Dawn had told him, she was supposed to be a natural born of this very dimension-- and she had returned to fulfill the whole prophecy about the three beings from earth, to restore the pokemon Gaiyah. Paul was supposed to stop her-- and especially her. “What have I done?” He muttered through clenched teeth. “I had my chance to catch her alone, and kill her in cold blood to stop her from making the prophecy come true.” He looked up, suddenly feeling the urge to run after her and find her again to destroy her. He still had the dagger in his pocket. One stab would kill the soul of a being, and replace it with a dark spirit. She could become like one of them-- like one of Team Solar. And he had just let her go like that. “Prima Dona will be angry with me.” He cursed at himself for being so stupid. He dashed after where Kaira had disappeared, and looked around through the cold falling snow with a look of determination in his eyes. Suddenly, he stopped. He was by a large icy cliff by the river. “What am I doing…?” He muttered. He had been hoping to give up what Team Solar had driven him-- and listen to what Dawn had told him. He couldn’t go on like this. He couldn’t kill Dawn, so he couldn’t kill Kaira. He couldn’t kill anybody, and he would never listen to Prima Dona or Chiba again. His mind was spinning with confusion. He was just ready to turn back, until he heard a strange laughing around him. Paul turned with an alert look in his eyes. His heart started racing with fear. “Chiba?” He whispered. Had the devil messenger suddenly found him to punish him for fraternizing with his victims he was ordered to kill? But the laugh didn’t sound like Chiba. The strange laugh was murmuring and soft, not devious and squeaky like Chiba’s. it sounded feminine, like a girl-- like Kaira. “Kaira….” Paul looked around fearfully. “Oh yes, it’s me, Paul…..” replied a sarcastic, murmuring tone. Paul turned to see the figure of Kaira walking towards him from the cliff. She had appeared out of nowhere, and she had a look of wickedness to her face-- a look he had never seen on the strange girl’s face before. But one look at this person told him one thing-- this was not Kaira, as much as she resembled her looks in every way. “Who-- who are you?” Paul said carefully. The girl giggled. “Oh, please. Can’t you see me? I’m Kyra. The REAL Kyra that you should’ve met FIRST.” Paul narrowed his eyes. “What are you talking about?” Kyra chortled. “You should know exactly what I’m talking about. Use your head,” she flicked a finger towards him, and suddenly, Paul felt a spell cast over him. Instantly, thoughts flashed through his head about when he had fist met Kaira in Twinleaf. He had first encountered her as the strange girl that was by Barry’s side as he introduced her to him. He had been with Dawn and Lucas, and had met Kaira for the first time a week after she had moved in. As his mind suddenly became clear again, he suddenly knew. “You’re the real daughter, aren’t you?” He gasped, taking a step back. “You….you were the total opposite of Kaira. You KILLED pokemon and treated them like dirt.” Kyra snickered satisfyingly. “Please don’t remind me of my past, you’ll make me miss it all the more. Now! About that Dawn you’re keeping secretly with you…” Paul flinched. “You leave Dawn alone. What do you want? Why are you here?” Kyra laughed. “Come on! You ain’t protecting Dawn from anything in this dimension. She’s not even in love with you.” Her eyes flashed. “She loves Barry.” “That’s not true,” Paul snapped. “She wouldn’t even dream her way towards me if that were the case.” “Oh, but perhaps Barry loves her then? Whatever’s the reason, she must be destroyed. She has made Barry become so vague when he’s around her, and pretty soon, Barry will be all over her like snow in a snowstorm. She must die.” Paul widened his eyes at the deadly look in Kyra’s eyes. He suddenly realized many things that he had been missing as he looked through this spirit of Kyra. Kaira herself had been in love with Barry. But he had seemed to have been taking interest in Dawn, barely noticing Kaira’s true feelings for him. Now that Kyra had met Kaira and Barry herself, she felt the same love for Barry as well. And unlike Kaira, Kyra wasn’t going to let some eyecatching girl like Dawn to walk over her and take over Barry’s interest. Kyra was going to fight back-- with a fierce power of hatred that Kaira herself could and would never do. And Paul nearly fainted as he put the pieces together. He suddenly figured it all out with Kaira, and he wondered if she herself even knew. He finally understood her presence-- he figured out the truth of her life here in the fifth dimension. The truth nearly took Paul’s breath away, and barely recovered to see that Kyra had disappeared, off to find Dawn. 35. THE AID OF A SPECIAL POKEMON The land around Barry was wide and luscious. The trees stalked tall and huge around him, spread out to make the place look like some kind of mountainous valley. Chibu was hovering above him. “Chi…..” the little pokemon was panting and staring down intently at him. Barry kneeled down, regaining his senses. Images of Prima Dona nearly tearing him apart haunted him. he felt utterly betrayed and regretful. “Chibu….”he muttered, not loking up to meet the pokemon’s gaze. “Where have you taken me? Are we in the mountains still?” “Chi…..” Chibu gave Barry an intent look, and as Barry met the pokemon’s eyes, he seemed to understand what it was trying to tell him. they were in the mountains, but not the ones close to the south where Prima Dona had been taking him. they were in the mountainas that lead north, and if he climbed any higher, he would enter in the region of Yonga—an icy cold place that stretched around all the world’s regions. Chibu had rescued him. the little messenger of Dalyah had saved him from being eaten by a dark sorceress he had once been in love with. Barry looked up at the pokemon with a new look in his eyes. he suddenly felt safe around this small, football-sized yellow pokemon. “Chibu…thanks,” he gave a small smile. Chibu smiled cutely back. “Chi….” Barry rose up. “I bet you’ve told Kaira about me now? how I’ve actually changed my feelings towards Prima Dona?” He still knew that the little pokemon could communicate telepathically with the person it had heart-bonded with. “Chi! Chi!” Chibu nodded, glowing with pride. “Well…..tell her I’m sorry, and that I’m headed towards the other side of this mountain—over the Yonga region to meet up with her and everyone else at the base of the mountain so we can all continue to head north—together.” Chibu nodded. It seemed as if they had all been separated for so long. Barry missed his friends bitterly. He missed Kaira. He missed Lucas. Most of all, he missed the comforting presence of Dawn. Barry suddenly widened his eyes. Dawn! She was the reason why Kaira had been hiding her feelings for him for so long. Had she really believed Barry himself would be so interested in someone like Dawn? Barry thought it silly for him to ever have anything as close to a relationship with Dawn rather than just friends, but the more he thought about it, the more he was feeling intrigued by the feeling. He and Dawn HAD been pretty friendly and teasing towards each other, treating each other like brother and sister, but to actually have a closer relationship? It seemed awkward to Barry, yet, at the same time, he felt like it would make sense as well. He really did have feelings for her, whether he noticed them or not. “Chi….” Chibu tilted its head, as if observing what was going through Barry’s mind. Barry looked up at raised his eyebrows. “Hey! you trying to read my thoughts? Mind your own business!” He gave the pokemon a friendly swat and then walked away, heading off towards one of the tall trees. He wanted to be alone in his thoughts before going any further. Chibu followed him with a focused gaze. Barry was scraping off the bark of the tree, distracted by the feelings that went through his mind. Prima Dona would be after him, he thought. He still had the terrible mark on his forearm, and with that symbol, Prima Dona could trace him like a computer. She would be on his tracks before he knew it. he had to do something about the mark. He wondered if there was something Chibu could do…. Barry turned to look around for the pokemon, but he couldn’t find the little yellow messenger. “Chibu?” He looked around in confusion. He headed up towards a ridge near a cliff. “Chibu!” Suddenly, the vines that hung from the top of the cliff swayed, and seemed to be reaching out towards Barry. “Huh?” Barry winced at the vines, for there was hardly any wind to make them move. Suddenly, the vines caught Barry’s arms, and he let out a yell. “Ahh! What the--?! Chibu!” The vines yanked him forward, and he would’ve hit the cliff in front of him if he hadn’t tried to pull himself back, skidding on the ground. “Ahh! Help!” He was sure Prima Dona had spotted him. she was probably ready to let out the anger over him pretty soon. The vines here wrapping around both his forearms, and he felt the mark on his left arm sting underneath the grasping vines. Chibu suddenly shot up to his shoulder with a look of shock on its face. “Chiii! Chiiiiiii!” The little pokemon was squealing, raising its tiny arms up and down, focusing on something hidden above the cliffs. It was trying to tell something to someone above. Barry gave the pokemon a look. “Chibu! What’s going on?!” “Chi!” Chibu pointed up at the cliff, and the vines started loosening their grip on Barry. He turned to look up to where Chibu was staring. A blue glow lighted above at the edge of the cliff behind a bush that the vines hung out from. Barry raised his eyebrows and let out a surprised gasp as a small, blue, oval pokemon appeared from inside. It was Chibo—no bigger than Chibu itself, resembling the messenger pokemon almost identically, except with a blue glow and drooping ear dents rather than the yellow color and straight out dents to the side of its small, football-shaped body. it had cute small button eyes just like Chibu, only Chibo’s were a worried, alert look in its eyes, as if scared and expecting something to jump out and attack it. “Hey! Chibo!” Cried Barry, his expression starting to light up again. Chibo was shaking, and staring at the mark on Barry’s left forearm. Barry blinked. “Huh? You scared of this? Haha, this is nothing….just a mark from…..Prima Dona…..” “Chi!” Chibu hovered over to Chibo, and tried to convince it that it was safe to be around Barry, and told it what he had been through. chibo seemed to be saddened and unsure, listening carefully. It turned to look at Barry with a look of intent. “Chi…..”Chibo’s tone was much quieter and careful than Chibu’s, and the little blue pokemon hovered over to Barry. Barry met the little pokemon in front of his face. “Hehe……yeah, I’ve been looking forward to following you—like I was doing before I started following Prima Dona. Listen, I’m terribly sorry about that, I hope Chibu has told you how much I feel about what I’ve done. But I’m really looking forward to Kaira and the others now, to help them along their journey.” Barry suddenly thought about the prophecy and gasped. “Wait! What does that mean about…the prophecy? Am….am I still one of three beings?” “Chi….”Chibo was suddenly glowing with intent, closing its eyes and raising its tiny arms. Barry suddenly stared at the little pokemon, trainsfixed. He felt a new sensationfor the little messenger, and then suddenly, he felt as if he were much closer to this pokemon than he intended to be. He felt himself glow with the blue brightness, and then he realized what was going on. Chibo was heart bonding with him. Finally, the little blue pokemon stopped glowing, and waslooking at Barry with a calm, satisfied smile. “Barry…..” It’s voice was small and quiet, and speaking to him in his head. Its tiny mouth didn’t have to move. “……I’ve heart-bonded with you. I will always be there for you, no matter how far apart we are. I can help guide you, and keep you from Prima Dona’s grasp ever again. you don’t have to worry about that symbol on anymore.” Barry raised his eyebrows. “What?!” He spoke aloud. He cast a glance over at Chibu, who was looking at him with a happy smile, nodding. He turned to look at Chibo with a look of surprise. “Why did you just heart-bond with ME? Does that mean I AM what of the three earth beings?” “Shh….” Chibo’s voice echoed in his head. “Remember—if you heart bond with one of the messengers, you can speak to them, but only through your mind.” Barry blinked. “Oh, right.” He spoke in his head. “Why have you heart-bonded with me?” “You have been through a lot with Prima Dona—but trust me. You havent been through ENOUGH. Prima Dona will be back for you—and if she captures you again, you will go through another state of turmoil even worse than what you have been through already.” “Huh! I can imagine!” Replied Barry. “She’ll be one pissed off witch.” “That’s why I’ve come for your help. I see a spirit in you—a spirit that can light up the saddened soul of Kaira herself. I’ve seen the way you are, and how much you can really do. you’re a remarkable human, Barry. And whether you are one of the chosen three or not, you still possess something special—something valuable that I must keep safe. I will not let your spirit go to waste with that……wicked Prima Dona.” Barry sighed. “She’s taken your ability to travel through the portals, hasn’t she? That’s why you’re stuck in this dimension.” Chibo nodded. “My inner-gem, the Plathora, Prima Dona has it, and she’s wearing it as a ring on her icy finger. I bet you’ve noticed it before? It’s stuck to her, and I can never get it back. I must fing Phandolia and let the very legendary restore it himself.” Chibu hovered up to Chibo’s side, making a low squeaking noise as if understanding what was going on through Barry and the little blue pokemon. “Phandolia…..” said Barry in his mind. “The pokemon of peace and harmony….” “Exaclty,” said Chibo. “I am still on my way, for I must find Phandolia so that the pokemon itself can grant me another way to travel through the dimensions again. You guys will need it to get back home as well—but not until you’ve completed your tasks as the chosen beings for this dimension. You’ve been prophesized for something important, and you must fulfill it.” Barry nodded. “Why haven’t you traveled with us, though? You’ve been fleeing farther and farther away every time we try to catch up to you. Why? are you shy or something?” Chibo chuckled. “I am shy, I’m sorry I can’t help that. I wasn’t too sure about the people who were following me, and I didn’t want to take any chances from the one who might possibly be the ‘unwanted one.’ When I saw that mark on your arm, I was scared especially of you, for I knew that was the mark of Prima Dona, and I can sense her aura within that mark. That’s why I attacked you like that. But now, I’m here for you.” Chibo looked up at Barry with an understanding look in its button eyes. “I will be there for you. Because of my heart-bonding power, Prima Dona can no longer keep an eye on you, even through that symbol on your arm.” Barry raised his eyes hopefully. “Wow really? Hehe, you can’t get rid of the mark though, can you?” Chibo sighed. “I don’t know how to particularly do that, but at least I’ve washed away the powers that kept Prima Dona bonded with you.” “Chi!” Chibu was hovering around, looking up to the sky. The bright clouds were thick, though small amounts of sunlight were starting to show through. Chibu gave both Barry and Chibo an urging look that they must go on and continue their journey. “We should hurry,” said Chibo, hovering higher. “Hey, are you going to stay with me once I get back with everyone else? Kaira, Dawn, and Lucas will be happy to see you with me.” Chibo laughed. “Maybe. For now, I’ll stick with you and keep you safe. Prima Dona could still be on your trails—just because she’s lost contact with you doesn’t mean she won’t predict your next move. She can read the spirits around this world, and use them to trace you. There are spirits all around us, whether you can see them or not. They can be on her side, and even the leaves that blow around us can betray our secrets.” Barry looked around himself. He felt like the world was so complex, and anybody could be watching him. ”Huh! creepy. Well then……let’s get outta here! I wanna get this mountain over with and see everybody.” Chibo and Chibu traveled along Barry’s side, watching over him with intent. Barry was aware of Chibu’s watchful gaze over him, and telling Kaira how everything was going. He spent a lot of time talking with Chibo along the way, and for a shy pokemon, the little messenger was actually a fun pokemon to talk to and laugh with. Barry felt like he was always the one that the shy creatures could look up to. By sunset, Barry looked around, feeling as if he had reached the summit. “Hah! I’ll enjoy this while it lasts,” he said aloud. “It’s getting pretty cold, and the Yonga region doesn’t get a lot of sun through those thick clouds.” He gazed up at the sky, which seemed so close, yet so far. The clouds were pinkish and gray-white, looking like something was going to come down from the wondrous heavens. “Barry…..look carefully,” Chibo was speaking in his head with awe, staring up at the sky. Chibu was excitedly flying around, looking excited and focused. “Huh? What is it?” Barry looked up and then widened his eyes with the same surprise. There, above in the clouds, a silvery shape started to dance around the clouds, and as Barry looked more carefully, he realized the way the shape became the form of a horse—a unicorn at that. It’s swirled, pointy horn stuck out of its forehead, and glistened like fragile glass as the pokemon leapt over the clouds, its body thin and silver, transparent and ghostly up in the heavens. It was like a ghost—a silver, phantom unicorn, but as Barry watched the pokemon leap over him, he felt like he could almost jump up and grab onto its back, and ride the horse through endless clouds. “That….” Barry was so transfixed he didn’t even know he was speaking out loud. “Is that….” “Yes,” Chibo replied calmly. “That’s the pokemon Phandolia, the bringer of peace and harmony. It’s the pokemon that keeps the balance of the good spirits in the dimension.” Barry stared as Phandolia stopped to look back and cast a glance at Barry. It’s eyes were blue and calm, and just staring at them made Barry feel happy and peaceful. Phandolia swished its silvery tail and arched its neck higher, letting its beautiful silver mane blow in the wind. It let out a harmonic, musical cry—not sounding much like a horse at all—and then hurried up higher in the clouds, disappearing in the heavens. Barry watched with a calming look of awe. Phandolia was the bringer of happiness and peace. Dovanna was the bringer of love. If the two pokemon were together, they would make the dimension an almost perfect place, but without Dovanna, there was no love. There could be peace, but no love. Phandolia was alone without the love pokemon, and pretty soon, its loneliness would take away the happiness that Phandolia could bring. There needed to be both of them—both of them in order to summon back the angel pokemon of Dalyah, and restore Gaiyah to the world. 36. IKARISHIPPING MOMENT Lucas hurried up to where Riley, Lucario, Buck, and Cheryl awaited at the other side of the meadow. He found them huddled in a small cave behind a thicket bush, up a few feet on a rocky ledge. Carrying Dawn in his arms, he hurried up at top speed over towards the cave. Chimchar ran at his side. “Ahh! Look out!” Chimchar cried, leaping up in the air as an Ekans snapped its head from the tall grass, barely missing Chimchar’s feet. “Chimchar!” Lucas felt the fiery rage burn in his heart. As an Infernape, he felt like he could run as fast as he can, like he had never run before. But he felt heated with rage as well as exhilaration. Some of these pokemon had hurt Dawn, and she was unconscious with a bleeding wound at the corner of her forehead. Lucas blew an angry Flamethrower towards one of the Deino that tried to creep up at his heels, but then widened his eyes with shock as the Deino snapped its mouth at Chimchar’s burning tail, making Chimchar squeal with surprise and fall to the ground. Lucas skidded in his tracks and looked behind him. “No! chimchar!” He saw the little pokemon leap up and dart away, disappearing behind the nearby trees in the forest in front of them. a herd of Stantler hurried pass by, making Chimchar disappear out of sight. “Lucas! Hurry!” Riley called from the cave. Lucas dashed forwards towards the cliff ahead of him, leaping up the rocks and approaching the small cave where everyone huddled. Everyone crawled out and looked down at the unconscious body of Dawn in his arms. Riley looked crestfallen. He put a hand on her forehead. “No…..” Lucas gasped and looked up at the trainer. He gave a whimpering cry. Riley sighed. “She’s still alive…..but she’s suffering from an illness that has brought her into a coma. She will recover…..but only if you let her rest and keep her warm.” “And you might wanna git rid of that ugly scab on her forehead,” added Buck, raising his eyebrows as the wound started to drip to one side where Dawn’s head was tilting. Lucas nodded, understanding. He wished they could understand him—now he knew how bad pokemon could feel when trainers don’t understand their language. Cheryl stepped forward, holding both her hands under her chin. “Please….I’m terribly sorry. I would never wish to dream a nightmare like this….” “Nah, it’s not your fault,” said Buck with a huff. He was clasping his pokeball tightly, where his Infernape was resting in. “We can’t control the dreams we have.” “Sometimes we can,” said Riley carefully, still focusing his gaze on Dawn. “But for now…..we really can’t do anything but hope. Lucas…..I must leave pretty soon. You are so close to the boundaries of this region—next stop will be the bas of the mountains before you reach the high tundra region of Yonga.” Lucas raised his eyebrows, and looked crestfallen. Riley was leaving them already….he didn’t want to say good-bye, at least not before he got to become a human again and show Riley how much he has grown up. Riley gave Lucas a nod, his intent eyes focused and understanding, as if knowing what Lucas wanted him to realize. Lucario was also giving him the same intent look. “Be brave, Lucas. I’m sorry I couldn’t get to meet you as your real human self, but I believe in you just as much as I would have. You can take care of Dawn, and take her up into those mountains where you can hopefully reunite with the your friends. Have faith, Lucas.” “And hey! that little Chimchar of yours,” Buck was looking at Lucas with a hearty smile, “I’m sure you’ll meet up with that one again soon enough. That little guy has spirit—I’m sure it won’t be long until it finds you yet again.” Lucas nodded, uttering a hopeful sound in his throat. Chimchar always seemed to keep appearing and then disappearing at the most random times. He hoped this wouldn’t be the last time. “And here,” Riley handed Lucas a navy blue cloth. “You should keep that tied to Dawn’s wound. Tell her it’s from me.” He gave a quick wink at Lucas. Riley and Lucario were starting to fade, as well as Cheryl and Buck. “Take care, Lucas,” Riley said, giving him an encouraging look. “Remember your aura within,” growled Lucario, blinking its sharp, yellow eyes at Lucas once again before they all totally disappeared into the air. Lucas watched them go with a sinking feeling, but he didn’t feel alone. He looked down at Dawn in his arms. She didn’t seem to be breathing, but Lucas could hear her heartbeat quite faintly. He tied the blue cloth around her forehead, covering up the wound. He looked up ahead towards the mountains, barely a few miles away from the forest he was in. he leapt forward, running at his fiery Infernape speed, headed towards the Yonga region ahead. Paul was running through the chilly atmosphere of the Yonga region. Dawn……she could be in huge trouble right now. That evil spirit of Kyra…..who knew what she could do to a mere person like Dawn? Paul clenched his teeth, narrowing his eyes. It had stopped snowing and had brightened a little in the clouds this morning, but the air around him seemed to chill him with a cold, uninviting feeling of dread. Kyra was jealous for Barry’s love for Dawn, and now she was going to destroy her—or at least find some way to ruin her life as she wouldve done if she were still alive back in Twinleaf—back in their own dimension. As soon as Paul arrived back in the small town of the Eskimo’s lodge, he stopped in his tracks. The Solar grunts were outside of their lodge, looking packed up and ready to leave. They were huddled in a group, uttering something to each other. “Hey, you,” hissed a sly, narrowed voice from behind. Paul flinched and turned to meet Dionza’s gaze. Her eyes were a dazzling, sharp red, and she was looking at him with intent. “The team’s gettin’ a move on. You ready?” Paul met her dazzling gaze for a moment, and then nodded. “Yeah….I have to check something first…” Dionza seemed to show no interest. She shrugged and blinked her long eye lashes. “Make it quick, then. We’ll meet you at the other end of this town.” And she walked away, strutting in a model-like manner. Paul watched her go with a tense feeling. She loved him. He knew it. He could feel it like a wound. The way she looked at him, treatedhim, spoke to him, she was obviously into him, and probably more obsessed than he thought. He almost felt the same way for her as well—but then he flinched and shook his head, narrowing his eyes, turning to the small cabin by the harbor. “Dawn…” he hissed, running towards the log house. He banged the door open, and looked around with horror. Dawn was nowhere to be seen on the couch where he had left her. What had Kyra done to her?! Paul was just about to cry out her name, until he heard a soft voice from behind. “Oh, but…….I think he feels for me too……” “Dawn?!” Paul whipped around, and widened his eyes in surprise. there she was—lying on her side and half her body sitting up. her head was turned to face Kyra, who stood tall and proud by her feet behind her. her eyes were hard as stones, as she smiled down with that antagonizing look. “Well, you think about everyone else before you focus on your own future,” said Kyra proudly, crossing her arms and grinning with satisfaction. “Dawn! What are you doing to her?!” Paul demanded, glaring at Kyra. Dawn let out a gasp and Kyra turned to meet his gaze with a raised look. then she sighed and rolled her eyes. “Oh……I don’t want to repeat everything I just gone over with. I’ve got other things to do,” and she whipped her head to face away from him, turning her back and fading into the breezy air. Paul blinked a couple times, confused, and then turned to face Dawn, kneeling down to help her up. “What did she do to you?” He said a little softer as she stood up. Dawn looked dazed, and she was shaking her head. “No—she didn’t do anything. She only told me…..ugh, you don’t have to know—it’s not that important.” “No, you tell me,” said Paul firmly. “I want to know. I know who she is--” “Of course!” Snapped Dawn, distractedly. “She’s Kaira—and she’s arrived to tell me how much she hates me for taking away Barry from her.” Paul huffed and narrowed his eyes. “Dawn, are you as blind as you are with Lucas right now? that isn’t KAIRA. That’s Kyra—the other spirit that should’ve come to Twinleaf Town instead of the one we met. That’s the Flockhearts’ real daughter, and she was killed right on the way to Twinleaf.” Dawn looked up at Paul’s eyes in surprise. “WHAT?!” Paul explained to her about the past of Kyra, and how Kaira had really been brought into the world. Dawn was looking at him in disbelief. “How—how do you know this? You just met her last night!” Paul sighed. “It’s hard to say…..but as I stared into those eyes in looked within her—I realized the strange dark past she had come from. I……I could read the truth in that dark heart of hers. That wasn’t the Kaira you know.” Dawn was staring at him in awe. “Oh…..well….then why was she telling me….” Paul suddenly heard a strange yowl in the distance behind them. He glanced behind, not knowing whether it had been a pokemon or a spirit. He looked at Dawn urgently. “Come on…..let’s go. They’re going to wait for me, and you must be kept hidden if you are to stay with me.” Paul took Dawn towards the end of the town, and followed on Team Solar’s trail through the tundra landscape. Paul and Dawn were climbing higher, and pretty soon, Paul glanced back to meet Dawn’s gaze. She was looking down with a distracted feeling, but he could tell that the medicine he had given her the other night had really worked to heal her. she was beginning to look less pale and brighter again, and the only thing that didn’t seem unhealed were the inner feelings inside of her. “Okay, so tell me what happened,” said Paul, slowing down their hike. “What did Kyra say to you?” Dawn huffed, biting back tears. Paul gave her a soft look, feeling a light spark in his heart that hadn’t been lighted in a long time. “I’ll help you, whether it will be physically or emotionally. I’m here for you, right? That’s why you’re with me in the first place.” Dawn still didn’t meet his gaze, but she narrowed her eyes and spoke with a bitter, heartbroken tone. “She—she came to me through the front door of the cabin, standing there, and then disappeared. I was barely awake, but I thought someone had come in, or maybe you had returned. I ventured out of the house, and then felt myself roughly pushed to the ground. I fell—but when I looked behind, I saw no one behind me. And then……she appeared. Her spirit seemed to have appeared out of nowhere—and then she told me things—things that made me feel nauseous and transfixed. She…..she mentioned a lot of things about me and Barry……and then Kaira herself.” Dawn shook her head. “Ugh……I swear that when she started mentioning Kaira, it sounded as if she was talking about herself indeed—not the Kaira I know.” Dawn said no more, and Paul didn’t want to press her on. Kyra had told her things she knew about Barry—things that had made Dawn feel deeply enhanced somehow. She must’ve taken Dawn’s own feelings and twisted them around, making her feel regretful and ashamed about her relationship towards that annoying pokemon trainer. But Paul didn’t want to press her on. He stopped to let her look into his eyes. “Hey……don’t worry about her. She’s just here to ruin things for us. I bet she’s got no importance to Prima Dona, Gaiyah, or the prophecy at all—except for her jealousy over you and the other Kaira. Don’t let her get in your way.” Dawn was staring up at him, and she seemed to be looking up at him with a new brightened feeling. Paul wished he could read her thoughts—but the effect that had happened between him and the dark spirit of Kyra didn’t seem to be working on him this time. Dawn was too bright—too good-spirited for him to read into, shining like the light in her eyes….. “Oh, Paul. You’re starting to remind me of….” Paul tensed, wondering if she was speaking with a disappointed feeling. “……of Riley,” Dawn looked up at him with a calm smile. Paul raised his eyebrows. “Riley?” “Yes,” she almost chuckled. “You’re dark and mysterious like him—except that arrogant attitude you’ve always kept around me and everyone else has made a big difference between you two. But now… seem to be reminding me more and more of him. I…..I wonder where I am with Riley now.” She looked down. “And with Lucas. I wonder if….we all escaped that meadow safely. I…miss them.” Paul said nothing for a moment, letting his own heart beat with wonder. Then he looked to the side. “Well…..hopefully if I’m taking good care of you, you will wake up soon enough and find yourself back where you really are. And don’t worry—when you awake, I bet you’ve gotten no farther than I have gotten on this mountain, and you probably will be closer to me than you think.” Dawn sighed and looked into his eyes. “Yes…..I bet I will.” A small breeze blew over them, and Dawn suddenly put her hands around Paul, leaning to his chest. Paul hugged his arms around her, feeling the coldness of her dream-like spirit. “Oh, I’m so glad this dream is real and actually happening right now,” she sighed. Paul nodded. “There’s no question you’re the earth being blessed with the power of light. Your spirit can break through the portals and light up in the very place you dream yourself to be—for real. You really are the one with the element of light.” And they both stood there, both understanding the same thing. Paul knew he would have to catch up with his Solar grunts sooner or later, but for now, he let himself fall in the daze of Dawn’s presence. She was the one with the light, and Lucas, with fire. Now there was one left—the being blessed and cursed with darkness. Paul was almost positive that could be him—though he wasn’t sure if he would be even wanted. There was still Barry—and he hadn’t betrayed them in any way like he had—yet. he had been very close to, but he hadn’t done anything to the world that had made him become unwanted. The unwanted one would be destroyed by ice. Lucas hurried on, and then felt the presence of someone running by his side. “Huh?” He looked around as he ran on, and saw glimpses of figures dashing through the trees, racing by his side. He suddenly flinched at the burst of flames that shot through the trees, and then let out a shocked yell at the sight of a Houndoom that appeared by his side as the trees cleared. It seemed to be glaring at him with a devious, playful smile. “Hey, what--?!” Lucas sputtered, clutching Dawn tighter and glaring at the Houndoom. Suddenly, the strange call of a Ninetales cried by, and to Lucas’s right side, a fierce Ninetales appeared running at equal speed, with a girl on her back. Lucas widened his eyes in astonishment. “Delaine!” He cried happily. “That’s right, you little Chimchar!” She replied back, giving him a sassy smile. “Hey! Still haven’t found Kaira, or that hyped up turd?” Seth suddenly appeared running by his Houndoom’s side, speeding up to glance at Lucas. Lucas felt excited and relieved to finally find some of his friends at last. “Well—no! But where did you guys come from? And hey! Are—are you understanding me, or what?!” Delaine threw back a laugh which made Lucas realize with a shocking feeling—that yes, they did understand his pokemon language. “Hey, don’t worry,” reassured Delaine coolly. “We were born from this world with our own pokemon. Remember that we were born from the fire—with the pokemon that we’ve got, so we’ve got a stronger bond and connection to them—especially fire types. We can hear you loud and clear.” “Hah! Unlike those other naïve guys. Barry will never be as special as me,” said Seth teasingly. Lucas chuckled, feeling satisfied. “Well, you tell him that when we find him!” They ran on, headed up the mountains and over the Yonga region. 37. PHANDOLIA Kaira watched with a devious feeling at the sight below her. Clutching to the bare branch at the top of a dead tree, Kaira felt like a vulture stalking a carcass. Except instead of a carcass, she was envying something even more eye opening. Dawn and Paul were huddled together, hugging each other like a couple that chose to die together. They had been standing there in silence for almost fifteen minutes, and Kaira could watch them with envy all day. Her heart was burning with anger. Finally, Paul was whispering something to Dawn before he turned to leave. She followed behind him cautiously. Kaira predicted they would be catching up with the rest of Team Solar without the notice of Dawn's presence. Kaira huffed and shifted her feet on the branch of the tree. Part of her wanted to expose Dawn's presence to Team Solar, and let them know Paul was fraternizing with her. But even if she were killed, it would be different than getting killed in a dream. Whatever was happening to Dawn in her dreams was real-- and current. Even though Dawn's spirit was just a mere illusion of her real self portrayed in a dream, and than her real body was asleep not too far away, she could still possibly die whether it was from the dream or not. Kaira looked up to the sky as the young Dovanna swooped down. "Douuuu..." it cooed with emotion, looking disappointed and sad to feel Kaira's feelings. Kaira sighed and let the little white dove land on her finger. "I'm sorry, Dovanna....I....I just can't help it." And she thought of Kyra-- her evil twin. She was like the literal opposite of her-- despite her looks. She was probably after Dawn with a more dangerous attempt than Kaira herself. She would probably take care of Dawn for her. "Kaira!" Chibu's voice echoed in her head, startling her. "Shame on you. How could you wish for someone like Kyra get at Dawn?"kaira huffed. "I never wished for it. I just wouldnt be as sorry if it did happen.""Well, I'll have you know-- Barry's doing fine and we're getting closer to the other side of Yonga. You hurry up and catch up, if you want to see him again so badly."Kaira looked up hopefully, staring into the blue eyes of Dovanna. Chibu had told Kaira how Barry had escaped Prima Dona's gasp with Chibu itself, and had fled in the same mountains she was in-- seeking her and the rest of their friends to continue on their journey together. Kaira was relieved and thankful that Barry was alright-- but she really wasnt looking forward to his reaction towards her-- or Dawn's."Hey," Chibu's small, sweet voice was unusually edgy. "You better get a move on. You're wasting your time standing there, cursing silently at Dawn. She's done nothing wrong to you."Kaira squeezed her eyes shut and felt bitterly ashamed. She gave Dovanna a flick off her finger and leaped to the ground from the top of the tree, feeling light as air as she drifted down. Dovanna blinked and watched her run towards a nearby lake, where the water was frozen under thin ice. Dovanna cooed and flew after her. Kaira sighed and stared across the lake. The moonlight shone beautifully on the far reflection on the ice, and Kaira felt almost as frozen as the water. "Who the heck am I?" She murmured to herself distantly. She closed her eyes. "I still havent found out. All I know is that I'm a big influence on the missing pokemon, Dovanna somehow. But who AM I....?" She wasnt Kyra-- the daughter of Theodore and Eleanor back on earth. She wasnt even another person on earth, or that dimension. She was a natural blood from the fifth dimension, on the planet Gaiyah, and was somehow connected to Dovanna. Suddenly, a low, creaking growl sounded from the lake. Kaira opened her eyes and looked around. Baby Dovanna hovered above her with intent. She gasped as a figure crept up to her from her left, appearing from the sharp bramble bush by a dead tree. The figure was dark and shadowy, and growled in a pokemon kind of snarl. It rose to its full height, standing on two feet. It stepped forward in the moonlight, and Kaira could see it clearly. It was a Weavile-- or a person. Kaira blinked and couldnt believe what she was seeing. the creature just a few feet from her side was like a cross between a Weavile and a human. The face was circle and dark, but its eyes were like human's, as well as the nose and lips. It had two ear dents sticking from the side of its head, out of its dark black curly hair-- resembling the ears of a Weavile. The red feather was behind its ear as well. It's hands had the long claws of a Weavile, and she realized it wasnt wearing any clothes, though its body was furry with the short, dark fur that Weavile had. Kaira looked the creature up and down, her eyes in awe. The body shape was just like a human, with small features of Weavile here and there. Kaira muttered something, taking a step forward, curious to peer closer at the strange creature. The creature had been uttering a low growl, narrowing its eyes, and then suddenly flinched as Kaira neared it. It gave a loud yowl, and turned to flee, disappearing in a flash as fast as a Weavile could run. "Wait..." Kaira let out a hand after it. She felt the urge to chase it, feeling the chiling breeze suddenly become colder. Behind her, something was coming. A shining beam of light shone from the moon, and was glowing on the snowy ground from behind. Kaira turned to see that a slender, beautiful form of a horse was coming down from the moonbeam, its long, thin legs gracefully motioning towards the ground. Its silver mane blew around it, and Kaira noticed the sharp, glistening horn that stuck out from the top of its head. It was Phandolia. And right when Phandolia was just a foot or two from the ground, Kaira saw the pokemon begin to glow and transform. Wings grew out from its back, large, white beautiful wings that were each the size of its own body as it spread out. The body dissolved into the light, and the wings slowly disappeared, and there stood the tall figure of a man, standing there in the moonbeam light as all the brightness faded away. Kaira stared with a clouded look in her eyes. The man was silver-haired, with pale light skin and dressed in a pale gray-white satin robe, as pale as the fur on Phandolia. There was no question that this person was Phandolia himself. His eyes, even from a distance, were distinctive enough to show that they were a soft light silver color that resembled Phandolia's. He started walking slowly up to Kaira, his footsteps in the snow leaving a silver glow at every step. His hair shone a bright silver as the breeze slowly blew it around the sides of his cheeks. His eyes were looking right at Kaira, and as Kaira looked back at those beautiful, peace-loving eyes, she could see the glint of goodness in his heart as the very pokemon Phandolia. "Hello, Kaira," he had a soft voice, and he spoke with such manner and warmth that Kaira felt as if she could be blown away in the breeze of his voice. He stood right in front of her, tall, handsome, and godly. He looked as legendary as the pokemon he had just transformed from. "Oh....hello....Phandolia," she murmured breathlessly, her eyes still clouded and dazed, though her heart was beating more and more. Deja vu flooded through her once again at the forgotten memories she had of this dimension. She felt as if she had known this guy once before-- not just as Phandolia, but as the wise looking person he was right now. The man looked down into her eyes and gave a small smile. "Please. You remember my real name. Call me Lan, for that is the name I always go by....when I'm not in the form of the very pokemon Phandolia, and when I am with you."He spoke with such calmness that Kaira felt as if just a few seconds talking to him would ease away all the problems she ever had on her mind. She let out a small sigh. "Lan.......I'm sorry....I...I can't remember much, I wish--""Shh...." Lan was looking at her with an understanding glint of peace in his silver eyes, and he let his hand rest on Kaira's cheek. "You've been through a lot....but it hasnt been as much as you think. Do you remember me?” Kaira looked up into his silver eyes, trying so hard to remember. “I’m sorry, I don’t…….but you’re awfully familiar, I wish I…..” “Prima Dona has banished you. You’ve forgotten what it had been like to be a natural born o this planet,” Lan spoke softly, and he was gazing down at Kaira with a loving gaze. He looked up behind her. “That Weavile creature, that is a Giinka.” Kaira couldn’t help flinching. “Giinka?” The word sounded so familiar. “Giinka are crossbreeds. They are a human-pokemon hybrid. You recall the way pokemon are born from the world within, born of the planet to adapt to the environment and nourish its natural surroundings as they come in all their different types, forms, and abilities. People, too, were naturally born from the planet withint, with the pokemon that surround them. just like your friends—Delaine and Seth—they were born from the earth’s core with those mighty fire type pokemon. They’ve bonded with those pokemon and have become almost like them—nourishing the world with fire and becoming more connected with their pokemon. Sometimes, people and pokemon are born from the earth in the formation of a crossover, when the born one is born from the planet as both a pokemon and a human, portraying both features from both kinds.” Kaira was nodding. “You’re no Giinka, though,” she let her hand rest on his shoulder, feeling the warmth from his glistening silver robe. Lan nodded. “I am Phandolia, the pokemon of peace and goodness. I have a human form, but it is no such Giinka. I can either be one or the other—not both.” “This tension of déjà vu is killing me!” Huffed Kaira, squeezing her eyes shut, wanting to jump into his arms. “Oh, I wish I could just remember everything as easily as I could! You’re so familiar! I mean….I look at you and see you as a person I’ve seen once before…” “That’s because you have, dear one,” said Lan smoothly, giving her an understanding wink, smiling. “You’re more connected to the pokemon Dovanna than you know.” “Oh, Dovanna…..” Kaira gave a slight kick at a small lump of snow by her feet. She glancved up at the sky to see the little hatching of Dovanna circling above them, cooing with happiness and lighting its eyes up with obvious excitement at the sight of Lan. Lan chuckled, and looked up at the bird, letting the small dove pokemon land on his pale finger. Dovanna looked at him with admiration and eagerness, shaking its pure white body with a happy glint in its eyes. “That’s just the hatchling,” said Kaira, unable to keep herself from smiling at the little bird. “It possesses nothing compared to what the real Dovanna can do. it hasn’t grown an inch since it first hatched out of its egg.” Lan nodded, gazing at the bird. “This little one is the child of love, the child of Dovanna the love pokemon. It can bring up love as it travels around the environment around it, and as it gets older with more experience, it can help others gain more love in their hearts, though it is not going to become as powerful as the real Dovanna itself. The real pokemon born from the very planet must return—to restore the peace with Dalyah and let it come together with Ultramaur.” “And create Gaiyah,” added Kaira, looking at Lan with intent. “Lan….as the pokemon of goodness, Phandolia can’t do as much without Dovanna, the pokemon of love. That’s why the world’s falling apart, and the good spirits are more prone to the evil within, without the power of love. I feel as if Dovanna is calling me somehow, since the moment I set foot on this very world. You… were more connected to Dovanna than any person or pokemon could ever be.” Lan nodded. “Yes, I was more complete and connected with that pokemon more than any loving heart could ever bear,” he murmured, his eyes clouded with a sudden look of sorrow. “Well……perhaps you know why I, myself, am so involved with Dovanna? Please…..if there’s anything I need, it’s an explanation. What was my life really like in this world? Who am I—or who was I?” Lan gazed down into Kaira’s eyes. Her melancholy, pale green eyes met with his bright, shining silver eyes, and Lan took her hand softly. “Come. I will take you with me, and reopen your eyes. what Prima Dona has done cannot exactly be reversed, but it can be relived again. I will help you open your eyes and realize. Come with me.” His eyes were full of trust and sincere. The young Dovanna was hovering above his shoulder. Kaira watched as the light of the moon shone upon him again, and Lan closed his eyes, transforming back into a pokemon again. pretty soon, he became the graceful silver ghostly unicorn, Phandolia, gazing at her with the same, silver, warm eyes. Kaira didn’t have to be signaled. She knew she was to climb on his back. She had the strong urge of happiness, to just leap onto him and let him take her for a ride over the dazzling clouds above and make her feel the happiness she hadn’t felt in such a long time. Kaira was on Phandolia’s back, and the pokemon slightly turned its head to speak to her. “Now….hold on tight. You’ll be safe, trust me.” And the pokemon leaped into the air, letting the brightness of the clouds suddenly become wondrous and alive. The young Dovanna seemed to be following them not too far behind, occasionally hovering above and keeping at their pace. But the young pokemon was enjoying itself as well, as it journeyed through the pink clouds after them. Kaira felt joyful and inspired. Phandolia was leaping over pale white and pink clouds, like in a dream. But this was real. It was more real than Kaira could’ve ever felt. All around her, there seemed to be visible angel-like spirits that danced around them, both small forms of pokemon and people, and even giinkas. Kaira felt the exhilaration rush through her, and pretty soon the feeling of happiness turned to excitement. She suddenly felt giddy like a young child, feeling as if she could run with Phanodolia forever and ever, without ever stopping. “Oh, Lan!” Kaira breathed, smelling the sweet scent of the clouds as they graciously pranced on. “This is beautiful……I suddenly feel more like….like…” “Like yourself?” Said Lan in a humored tone. Kaira was smiling, feeling dazed again. Feeling like herself…….was she ever this happy? Before she had arrived to earth, banished from her world and lost from her memory, had she really felt this happy? “Douuuu…” the baby Dovanna was landing on some of the spirits’ shoulders, letting itself land on the hands of some of the small forms of people. it flew up to where Lan had slowed down, standing in the midst of more pale pink clouds in the heavenly place around them. It gazed into Kaira’s eyes with an intent, happy look. Kaira stared at the love pokemon’s eyes. Then she looked back at Lan, who had his head turned to smile at her calmly. With the power of Phandolia’s harmony in its heart, and the power of love from the young Dovanna, Kaira suddenly felt reopened. She had loved before. She had loved long ago—before she had even met Barry. She had been happy, thankful, and loving before she had been sent away from her world—before the love pokemon Dovanna had gone. She suddenly realized why the love in her heart had been drained away without the presence of Dovanna. It suddenly all made sense to her. “Lan….” Kaira’s smile faltered and she blinked her dazed, cloudy eyes. Lan met her gaze. “….I know where Dovanna is….” Lan gave a raised look, and Kaira felt her heart beat faster and faster. She spoke with a breathless voice that was barely more than a whisper. “Dovanna is trapped within me……I am Dovanna. I was the pokemon of love…..I was the one who was…..banished from the fifth dimension and the planet Gaiyah.” Lan was nodding slowly. He gave his tail a swish. “Now you know,” he spoke soothingly. “Who was the one Prima Dona banished from the fifth dimension? It was Dovanna……and it was you.” Kaira was staring out ahead of her. it was all coming back to her. She remembered finding herself upon the top of Crescent Peak, in a snowy mountain filled with loneliness and death. Phandolia was battling Prima Dona’s vicious pokemon, while Dovanna itself was facing Prima Dona. Prima Dona had drained the love from her heart, using not her pokemon, but her own icy powers to strike at Dovanna with a paralyzing stab that froze her heart, and made her feel lost and hopeless, unable to feel the warmth of love in her. The pokemon Dovanna let its body go limp in the air, and slowly drifted down to the ground in front of Prima Dona, panting with a struck look of disbelief. Prima Dona was smiling coldly at it. The evil icy witch closed her eyes and uttered something strange in her strange language—the language of Stlitha. Dovanna was shrinking, and changing form, until it became nothing but a lonely, frail girl with clouded green eyes and pale white skin. Her hair was the light brown color of dissolved cocoa, and she looked exactly like a girl named Kyra Elizabeth Flockheart, a girl who was the complete opposite of her on the planet earth. She banished Dovanna through the portals out of the dimension, sending it to the dimension of earth. Phandolia couldn’t bear to live without the love by his side. It fled the killing blow of Sheer Cold from Prima Dona’s Lapras, and hurried after Dovanna. Phandolia could do nothing to bring back the love of Dovanna. It can only promise it to keep the goodness in its heart, though it would never be happy again without the love in its spirit. It followed the human form of Dovanna to earth, knowing there were parents who could be willing to care for it. Phandolia was in the disguise of a pokemon—a Lucario. It was just barely after the terrible girl, Kyra Elizabeth Flockheart, had tried to kill him with a stab of a sharp, piercing rock. Phandolia had accidently struck at the girl out of shock, and she had died in the ditch behind her. she had looked exactly like the human form Dovanna had become, and her father was just nearby. Phandolia felt the goodness of Theodore Flockheart’s heart. He had tolerated Kyra’s ruthlessness, and he had tried so hard to help her become a good person, and she died, never finding a way. Phandolia brought the form of Dovanna towards Theodore, happy that the man had accepted the lost, lonely girl. it told Theodore nothing of its past, except for that she was lost and alone, honestly from another world. And after Phandolia disappeared, the form of Dovanna blinked open its eyes to see Theodore looking down at her. she was named Kaira Elizabeth Flockheart, named after his real daughter that would never come back to this world. And Kaira was sitting atop Phandolia, barely breathing. Lan’s expression was saddened and intent, feeling her awe for her past. “I’ve missed you so much,” his voice was an audible whisper. “Peace and a good heart isn’t enough for happiness. There needs to be the love and spirit as well as a good soul.” Kaira blinked and met his gaze. “Of course……now it makes sense.” No wonder Prima Dona had hated her presence since the moment she and Barry had fist encountered her in the fifth dimension. She recognized her, not just from the outside, but from her inner aura that she had taken and drained the love out of once before. Kaira was still unable to love. “And…..I’ll never find a way to love again…unless….” “There is a way,” said Phandolia carefully, his silver sparkling eyes blinking softly. “You may have all the feelings of love taken away from you….but it can somehow be restored.” Kaira listened carefully, feeling her spirits start to lift as the calming fresh air around them blew against her face. “You must find a way to love again,” spoke Lan. “You must teach yourself to love, and have faith in yourself. Look deep into your feelings. Maybe there’s something or someone you admire out there. Maybe there’s something that you’re happy and thankful for. Turn those thankful, admiring feelings into love—to find what love is really like again and bring the love back in your heart. Then you can become Dovanna again. Then you can officially find the pokemon, and its inner aura, that has been missing—inside you—for a very long time.” Kaira’s mind was spinning. Of course….there is someone out there she loved—or at least almost loved. Barry was the one who had made her feel welcome and outgoing again, each time he saw her. He was there for her, and she had always looked forward to seeing him every day of her life in Twinleaf. She admired him, she liked him—almost more than a friend. If only her love can be complete for him…….she would feel equal again. the only problem was, was that he didn’t seem to notice her feelings—or feel the same way about her. “I….I actually do have something to look forward to loving, though…” Kaira spoke distantly. Lan understood already. “That Barry from Twinleaf Town?” He spoke with a tender voice. “Yes….I can see you’re very close to loving him. I have been watching over you all, watching over each of you all. When you had all arrived here on this planet, I was certain that three of your friends will turn out to be the three in the prophecy. I watched over you all as you journey to my mountain, where I will await you all and grant Chibo what it needs. I can see that Barry has been developing deeper feelings for even you too.” Kaira’s heart lightened. “Oh, really? Lan, would you tell me? Does he really feel that way for me?” Lan blinked his eyes slowly. “Child…..remember that I cannot tell the feelings of love. Only Dovanna can do that—and in order for you to become Dovanna again, you must reopen those feelings of love and be able to withhold those feelings in your heart again. Keep your love for Barry, so that it can grow stronger until you can officially feel it—and understand it. It wouldn’t just be for the benefit of becoming Dovanna again, but for YOUR benefit as well. You love Barry for him, don’t you? It’s not just for the mere heck of finding someone you want to love.” Kaira nodded. “I….I almost love him…..but it’s just heartbreaking when I see that he hasn’t realized that yet. Chibu’s told me he’s realized that, and that he wants to see me again and apologize…..but I don’t know if that will do anything about his feelings. It doesn’t mean he can love me back, anways. There’s still……Dawn…..out there.” Kaira looked down and tried to fight back the bitter feelings in her heart, biting her lip. Lan looked at her deeply. “Well, don’t let any feelings of jealousy or dislike come over you. that will only slow down your chances of feeling the love in you.” Kaira met his gaze with a narrowed look. “I’m NOT jealous of Dawn! She’s just…..making it difficult for my feelings to come through for Barry. That’s just what bugs the heck outta me.” “Kaira… honest with yourself. Look deep into your feelings, and realize what’s true.” Kaira huffed and slid off his back, looking down with a feeling of sourness. He was right. Kaira didn’t just reject Dawn. She was jealous of her. It was plain obvious. Kaira had been trying to ignore the feeling, telling herself that it was just Dawn’s fault for the way she used to treat Kaira when she had first arrived in Twinleaf. But she had to admit—she was jealous. She didn’t even want to think of it in her head. Lan was looking at her with clear understanding. He was the only soul she ever wanted to admit that she really was jealous of Dawn. Kaira had been strange and trying to avoid Dawn whenever she came to be friendly towards her in Twinleaf, and because of Kaira’s strange behavior, Dawn treated her like she was some kind of naïve, weird outcast. But she thought of how their relationship had slightly grown better after Barry had been taken under the grasp of Prima Dona. Dawn had become a little friendlier with her, and Kaira had taught herself to be more accepting and social. She looked up, feeling determined and ready. “I can do it. I can find a way to love again, I know it.” Lan smiled and swished his tail. “I’m glad to hear you back in spirit, Kaira. You know… a Dovanna, you were very loving, and at the same time, very outgoing and spirited.” Kaira met his gaze with a raised look. “Really?” She almost chuckled. Lan nodded. “Believe me, you and I were the perfect pair of legendaries before you were banished. You were happy and determined, ready to take on anything with a feeling of love and gratefulness. Even now, when I look into your eyes, I still recognize the same soul of Dovanna, except with a broken, lost glint. You’ve lost your love, but you can get it back. You must continue north, find your friends—Barry, Lucas, and Dawn, and take them after Chibo, to my mountain in the north, in the region of Zan-xuin. I can grant Chibo its ability, but at the same time, let it realize that what it’s been looking for has been in this very dimension the whole time.” “How come the messengers havent realized that Dovanna is really me? Why hasn’t Chibu known anything?” Lan raised his eyebrows. “How do you know what Chibu knows?” Kaira winced. “Chibu wouldve told me a long time ago! If it knew… wouldn’t have kept me waiting until--” “If Chibu’s heart-bonded with you, it can see even deeper into your aura.” Said Lan carefully. “If it told you what it’s known about you, then it wouldn’t have been the same. You wouldn’t have found out your own way, and it would’ve become more difficult to try and find your true feelings again. here…’ve realized the truth with the aura of goodness and peace. You’ve been uplifted to realize who you are, and have been given a boost in your determination to keep going on.” Kaira stared at him, realizing how much Lan had already done for her. “You’re right,” she breathed. “Oh…..thank you Lan. I’ve been so…..I don’t know.” She turned away, thinking about what will happen the next time she saw Barry. “I just hope….I just hope things will turn out in the end. once we all get to your mountain, we can find out who the three beings are, and those three beings will summon Gaiyah again—but not until Dovanna has come back with Dalyah so that it can be done.” “And you have yet to find out who the three are—before it’s too late,” said Lan. Kaira nodded. She already knew two. Lucas was the element of fire—traveling as an Infernape, able to read the aura within fire and even control it with strange power. And not too long ago, she had just seen the way Dawn could actually light her way through the portals of the dimensions, and make herself appear wherever she dreamed herself to be, even if it was the same dimension. She was the element of light. Now, there was one more being out there, one that was the element of darkness. It would either be Paul…..or Barry. Whichever one it was, the other one would be destroyed by ice—as the unwanted being in the dimension. “Have no fear for the unwanted one—yet,” said Lan mysteriously. “I’ll tell you now, that no one knows who the three are in the prophecy. And no one but me, the three messengers of Dalyah, the three messengers of Ultramaur, and Prima Dona know that you are the pokemon Dovanna. No one else, though, knows who the three beings will turn out to be. That is for the rest of you all to find out as soon as you can….before it is too late—before the evil of Prima Dona and the devil pokemon Ultramaur take over the planet. Spirits are rising and falling, Kaira. Pokemon are becoming possessed, and people are turning their backs on the world. Team Solar is getting stronger, and the uprising of Ultramaur will create a rampage of darkness like never before. Dalyah must come back so that it can stop Ultramaur forever. It must bond with it this time, for it is the only way to stop it. together, they will become equal—become the pokemon Gaiyah again so that the world will become an equal place again. Remember that whatever happens to the dimension where earth lies, whatever happens there affects this very dimension. But also……whatever happens here can affect your world as well. If this dimension were to become overtaken by darkness, think of all the dreams that come alive here. they will come alive to this place, only to be destroyed or return back with the same darkness that’s taken over here.” Kaira nodded. “Only Dovanna can restore the angelic pokemon of Dalyah, and when the three beings commingle the angel and devil pokemon together, there will be Gaiyah. The three beings must perform in their elements.” Kaira suddenly felt her understanding become stronger. “The element of light is what shall bring Dalyah forwards. The element of darkness is what brings Ultramaur forward. And the powerful force of the burning fire will commingle the two together, and create Gaiyah once again.” Phandolia was taking Kaira down from the clouds. She floated by his side, headed towards the snowy ground by a tall, thick bare tree. As soon as Kaira touched the ground and Phandolia was just half a foot above, he transformed dazzlingly into the handsome silver human as Lan. He and Kaira looked at each other and felt a strong bond already. “I’ll help you find your friends, for I’ve seen them just around this border. They aren’t too far away.” He said with a calm smile. Kaira smiled smoothly back, feeling warm and grateful. “Thanks, Lan.” A cooing call sounded from above, and Kaira looked over Lan’s shoulder to see the baby Dovanna swoop down towards her. Kaira chuckled and let the small white pokemon land on her finger. “Who knows how I had created this little hatchling……my own little child…” Lan laughed. “It wasn’t long before Dovanna was banished—before YOU were banished that you told me you wanted to create a child of your own, one that you can look to raising and feeling the strong bonding power of love for a child you’ve given birth to yourself, just like the other regular pokemon of this world could do. I thought it silly for you to actually give birth to a hatchling without the presence of another one of your kind as a legendary. But believe it or not, I guess you had done it. out of the strong feelings of love and your strong ability to make love come true in any way, you created your own egg.” Kaira was staring into the young Dovanna’s eyes with a happy daze. The young Dovanna was giving her a delighted “I told you so” kind of look. “Of course you knew, too,” said Kaira with a playful gaze. “But…..I didn’t exactly give birth to this pokemon’s egg—at least not in the way a regular pokemon would. It’s egg was….created out of the matter that can be controlled in this dimension. Just like how dark matter had been summoned, a matter out of love, or any kind of feeling can use matter to create a living soul out of strong belief and feeling.” She looked at the little Dovanna with warm eyes. She felt a new sensation for the young pokemon. It was no wonder that Dovanna was quite attached to her. The young Dovanna flew off her hand, calling out happy cries and fluttering high above them. Kaira watched it fly, and then met Lan’s silver, glowing gaze. He was like an angel, his silver robe glistening even in the morning light that portrayed from the blank, white clouds above this mountainous region. For a moment, they gazed at each other, filled with long ago feelings of spirit and happiness together. Suddenly, something was approaching in the bushes behind. “Kaira! Kaira? Is that you?!” Kaira flinched and turned to look behind. It was Delaine, stepping out from the bushes behind the tall tree. She had a raised look of concern on her face. at the sight of her, she instantly lit up with surprise. “Kaira! It’s you! Hey, guys, I found her!” Suddenly, Seth stepped out with his Houndoom and Delaine’s Ninetales by his side. Lucas appeared in his Infernape form, carrying Dawn’s unconscious body in his arms. Kaira gasped with relief at the sight of them all. “Lucas! Delaine! You’re all here!” She ran up to Delaine, and then stopped to turn and see the reaction of Lan for her to have found everyone at last. But Kaira’s mouth dropped open in shock. Lan was gone. Out of sight. There were no footprints on the snow where he had been standing, as if he were never there. “Hey, are you alright?” Delaine gave her a nudge and then hugged her. “I’m so glad we found you! now if only we could just--” “Hey!” Kaira was still looking behind her. she turned to Delaine with a look of surprise. “Didn’t you see who I was just with…..?” “Your dear little baby Dovanna?” Said Seth with a raised look. “No!” Kaira gasped, her heart racing. “I was….I was with Phandolia….he was in the form of a man…” Had it all been a dream? It CANNOT have been a dream. Kaira felt the blood rush through her veins. Delaine was noticing the look of shock on her face. “Um….well…..I’m sorry, but no. I really didn’t see anyone but just lonely old you standing out here.” Kaira’s expression widened and she turned even paler. “No…..! He was here……I was with him….” She turned to look behind with a blank look of sorrow. “Hey…don’t stress,” Delaine’s tone was encouraging. “I didn’t say I don’t believe you. Phandolia’s like a phantom. It can appear and disappear when it wants to. I thought you already knew that?” Kaira was panting. “I don’t know…..but I KNOW I was with him. he was in human form. His name was Lan. He took me above the clouds. We were riding together…..” “Whoa, whoa, looks like someone was in dreamworld,” said Seth. “It wasn’t a dream!” Kaira nearly yelled. How could Phandolia just appear for her, and then just leave like that? “Hey, calm down,” Delaine put an arm on her shoulder. “We need to get going. I’ve spotted evidence of Team Solar around these parts, and we need to head forwards as fast as we can.” Kaira nodded, losing her breath. She knew how strange it was for them to see her like this, in a state she had never been in front of anyone else. “Right….Team Solar. I’ve seen them too. Paul’s with them.” Delaine raised her eyebrows and Lucas gave a low cry. “Well then! We should get a move on right now. you explain to us everything that has happened since we were separated. I’m all ears. And so is Seth!” She flashed her boyfriend a playful glare. Seth made a teasing face back at her. Kaira and the others started walking on, though Kaira needed time to get her thoughts together. The young Dovanna was circling above her. she looked up at the pokemon. “Dovanna…..he was there, wasn’t he? Phandolia was just with us, and he was Lan, wasn’t he?” A voice suddenly spoke in her head. It was Chibu. “Yes, Kaira. Don’t feel afraid. Phandolia wouldn’t just let something like that happen in a dream. That was for real.” “Oh Chibu!” Kaira gasped in her thoughts. “Are you sure? How can you be sure?” “I’m sure, Kaira. I know it.” The young Dovanna was cooing and looking up at the sky with wonder, trying to get Kaira’s attention by hovering back and forth. Kaira looked up to the sky. the thick white clouds were starting to clear just above her, and a form of a ghostly unicorn pokemon appeared standing on the clouds. It was Phandolia, and he was gazing down at Kaira with wamr silver eyes, and he gave her a wink. Kaira suddenly felt her heart soften with relief. Phandolia really had taken her through everything she had just realized. She finally figured out the truth, and she must tell the others. It hadn’t all been a dream. 38. CLASH AND REUNION Barry was making his way through a foggy valley, feeling the atmosphere chill around him. “Barry! Just a little closer! I can sense Malidorius’s squad nearby!” Chibo gasped with excitement, glowing above his head by Chibu’s side. Barry looked up and widened his eyes. “Oh goody,” he muttered. “I feel like I’ll be travelling in this fog forever! You sure I’m not going in circles?” Chibo answered through his head. “Shh! Hey wait…someone’s coming!” Chibo suddenly shook with fear. Barry turned from a rustle behind. Something was approaching him through the mist. Barry narrowed his eyes and his heart lifted up. “K-Kaira?” But as he spoke the name, immediately, his feelings faltered. There was no mistaking the presence of Kaira’s figure as none other than the spirit that stalked him. A snicker came from the blurred figure. “Mm-hmm, oh yes, it’s me, Barry,” her voice was cold and sarcastic, and as she took another step forward, she was no other than Kyra Elizabeth Flockheart. And she was gazing at him with the same untrusting smile as before. Barry blinked and narrowed his eyes. "Hah! I knew it. What do YOU want now?"Kyra blinked her green, cold eyes. "What? Are you expecting me to make out with you again? You're the one trespassing MY dimension now, what's YOUR excuse?"Barry huffed. "I'm here to find the rest of my friends, and continue to head north to fulfill the prophecy." He spoke with determination. "Whether I'm part of it or not, I want to at least see that my friends make it and fulfill their destiny. Not to mention i know for sure that Dawn herself bears the element of light within her, as well as Kaira-- my REAL friend Kaira-- plays an important part for this dimension.""Oh?! And I bet You're willing to apologize to HER, and tell her how much you really feel for her feelings the same way?" Kyra's expression suddenly glared with intensity. "You dont belong to her." She spat with venom. "She's in love with you, but your stupid apology won't change your real feelings for her."Barry gave her a look. "Oh yeah? And how would you know that?""Please, I can read you like a book," her tone reminded him so much of Prima Dona. "You dont love her. You love that witty, ugly playmate, Dawn. Admit it loud and clear as it is in your thoughts."Barry clenched his fists and Chibu and Chibo started glowing with anger. "Patronize me one more time and I'll have Chibo and Chibu take care of you, you nagging--""Aha!" Kyra's expression lighted up. "You think those mere shapes can hurt me? Well! I'd like to see them try!" And suddenly, from behind her head, a yellowish-greenish glow appeared. A small football-shaped pokemon that looked identical to Chibu itself was hovering above Kyra's head, though its yellow color was a more dark yellow, unbrightening kind of glow. Instead of a halo, it had two tiny red horns near the corners of it head, and an isoscele shape at the end of its short string tail. Chibu squealed and Barry flinched. "The devil Chibu!" He cried. Kyra's smile widened. "That's right, earth-boy. You think you've escaped Prima Dona that easily? Well, I'll make sure she has you back, so she can teach you the true meaning of loving someone."Barry stared at her with disbelief. To return to Prima Dona and feel the capturing intent of her beauty would be enough to make Barry fall for her all over again-- and he wasnt going to let it happen. Kyra Elizabeth Flockheart wanted him for herself, and she was willing to let him forget his friends-- especially Dawn-- by letting Prima Dona take over his head again. Suddenly, a fiery flash darted right at the devil Chibu as it glowed with more intent. The little pokemon gave an angry squeak and feel to the ground, a few feet from Kyra's side. Kyra gasped as the sounds of men yelling and pokemon crying suddenly came closer. "Hey! I see it! The devil messenger!" Called an angry voice. Barry turned to his right, and spotted a rampage of fire pokemon and metal-dressed warriors running towards them. Barry widened his eyes in disbelief. It was King Malidorius's squad. Instantly, Kyra vanished and Chibu flew forwards, colliding the devil Chibu with a spark of bright light. The devil pokemon hissed and its little buttons eyes became more devilish. A Magmar suddenly shot up from behind, ready to throw a Flamethrower, but the devil Chibu let out an angry blast of dark light, sending Chibu and the Magmar back a few feet. It disappeared in the smoke of the light. "Barry, my boy!" King Malidorius appeared by his Arcanine, running up to him with surprise and delight. “King Malidorius!” Barry rushed up to the fire king. His Arcanine growled with surprise and the squad of warriors were looking at him with surprise. “Oh-hoh! How’d you find yourself all the way here? I thought you all were wiped out due to foolishness, along with Delaine! I was going to curse the living existence outta ye!” Barry blinked and gave a nervous laugh, wondering for a moment whether the king was more happy or angered to see him. “Eheh, well, it was back in Auburn Leaf Town that we encountered a strange experience with that gypsy Talia and--” “Talia!” Said the king gruffly. “I thought Delaine was strict enough to keep you kids from going anywhere near there!” Barry crossed his arms and smiled. “You ask her. I don’t know much about what happened to my friends, but I know that I had been through some pretty tough times when I disappeared from the desert back near Caravel.” “Aye,” the king eyed him carefully. “Prima Dona?” Barry nodded. “Yes.” “And I see you’ve met up with two thirds of the angel messenger pokemon!” Malidorius turned his sharp gaze over to where Chibu and Chibo hovered just a few feet behind Barry. Chibu let out a cry of welcome at the king, and Chibo uttered a small noise and looked a little shy again. “Yep! They saved me from Prima Dona! You won’t believe what--” “Aye!” The king cut him off. “Tell us along the way! I bet these creatures can lead us to where the rest of the missing ones are? I just need at least Delaine and Seth back! The others can burn to their own ways for gettin’ lost with my children!” Barry raised his eyebrows. “Huh! Okay then. I bet they can help us out perfectly well now.” He turned to give Chibu and Chibo a determined look. The two pokemon glowed with brightness and headed farther up the mountain. Barry and the fire squad followed the pokemon higher into the region of Yonga. 39. THE RETURN OF PRIMA DONA Lucas walked on, the thought of Kaira still ringing in his head. It had been several days since they had met up with her again, and he had lost count of how long had they exactly been going on this mountain. Everything Kaira told them—about Phandolia, about the prophecy, about her encounter with the pokemon as Lan, it was all mystified in their heads. But the biggest part was when Kaira mentioned the secret behind her true identity—that she, herself, was the pokemon, Dovanna. She was the pokemon of love. The story she had explained to them had intrigued Lucas and everyone else, and he wondered how effective she could be for them now. Every time Lucas even looked at Kaira, he felt a strange, heartbeating feeling of fear and wonder, for he was both terribly curious about her, though at the same time, cautious. He still hadn’t forgotten the memory back by the forest in the Tunka region, when he had witnessed the shadows performing a terrible act that Kaira could’ve possibly done. Now that she really was more than a human from this dimension, more than a human at all, Lucas realized how much it could’ve been true—whatever she had done to Braan. “Hey!” Delaine gasped, clutching to Seth’s arm. “Giinka!” Lucas turned to catch a glimpse of a strange shape of a human dash through the trees around them. it peaked its head out, and then made a dash towards the next bush farther up ahead. It had the two-footed, human-like future of a person, but it also had leaves growing from its spine and around its waist. The feet were like hind paws, and it had the face resembling a cross between a female human doll, and a Leafeon. It was a giinka. The Leafeon giinka disappeared into the ferns, letting out a strange cry of surprise. lucas approached it with cauton, but its tail disappeared into the bushes and a second later, it popped its head out of a tree behind Lucas. “Lucas! Quit it!” Delaine huffed. “You’re scaring it! giinkas are very easy to scare.” Lucas narrowed his eyes and his tail burned. It was probably scared just because he was an Infernape. He looked around and sensed the cold, empty scent in the air, smelling like dead leaves of trees. The land around them had a few clumped trees here and there, but it was mostly tundra and snow. Lucas looked behind him. the Leafeon giinka was gone. He wondered what it could be doing all the way up here. “Hey, wait…..” Kaira spoke quietly. “It’s not running from Lucas….look.” Lucas turned to glance back at Kaira, where she stood next to Delaine’s Ninetales. Dawn was resting on her back, still unconscious as can be. Day after day, Lucas worried for her. He suspected there was something else behind the strange state she was in—as if something were happening to her as she slept peacefully. She would sometimes look like she was smiling as she slept, and sometimes it looked like she was tense and scared. Sometimes her eyes looked tightly squeezed shut. Lucas wondered what kinds of dreams she could’ve been going through in a state like that. the pokemon, Deino, that had bitten her—who knows what it could’ve had that affected her? But Seth suddenly flinched and jumped up and down. “Look! Look! it’s that nosy ball of fire again! it’s Chimchar!” Lucas whipped around to see that the Leafeon giinka had popped out from the bushes in the distance, and was chased by small, fiery pokemon. It was no other than the same Chimchar Lucas had had following by his side almost the entire journey. “Chimchar!” Lucas cried out, dashing over towards the little pokemon. The Leafeon giinka let out a shrieking cry and whipped around to give Lucas a swat on the nose with its human arms—that had sharp blades on the sides for a powerful Leaf Blade attack. Lucas fell back head over heels, and let out a cry of confusion. He shot up to his feet, glaring with embarrassment. He heard a laugh from either Seth or Delaine behind him. “Get back here, you little human pokemon weirdo!” Chimchar tried to leap at the giinka with a huffing Ember attack, but the Leafeon giinka turned to tackle at him, and then let out a terrified cry, its strange pale human-Leafeon eyes wide with unaware shock. It turned and fled, hurrying behind a cliff. “I swear, if I was a human and I had my own pokemon--” Lucas started to mutter angrily under his breath, staring after where the giinka disappeared. Chimchar cut him off. “Lucas! Hey, am I glad to see you! where—oh! You’ve found Kaira?! And Seth and Delaine?!” “Lucas! Chimchar!” Delaine called after them, hurrying up to Lucas’s side with everyone else behind her. “Oh my gosh! We found you again!” Kaira stepped up, looking down at Chimchar with a clouded smile. “You know your way around the world much better than the one you came from by now.” Chimchar gave Kaira a glance, and Lucas realized how much Kaira had changed. She didn’t seem to possess the same fear for pokemon as she had before. She was still distant and strange, but something seemed to have happened to her, something that changed her and made her become more sophisticated and intelligent. Perhaps her story of meeting Phandolia a few nights ago had really happened. She had described it in such an intent way that Lucas had never seen her speak before. She even sounded dreamy at one point when she described the clouds they galloped through. the main part that convinced them all, was when she mentioned who she was. Chimchar met Lucas’s gaze with raised eyebrows. “Well, you won’t believe where I’ve been! I just spotted Chibo….AND Chibu! Just over this lumpy hill! And they’re with Malidorius too!” Lucas gasped. “King Malidorius?!” “Yeah! and Barry, too!” “B-Barry?!” Lucas couldn’t believe it. it was all happening so quickly. He turned to look at Kaira, Delaine, and Seth with intent eyes. they could understand his pokemon talk. Even Kaira could appear to understand his own language somehow, even though she couldn’t understand any other regular pokemon language besides his, like Chimchar’s. Lucas spoke with shock. “King Malidorius is just over this hill! He’s got Barry too! and Chibo and Chibu!” Kaira flinched, and her eyes looked up ahead with a blank expression. Delaine’s mouth dropped open and she and Seth exchanged excited glances. “You serious?!” Delaine cried. “Take us to him! As fast as you can!” Without much of another moment, they were already dashing over the hills, feeling like new creatures that could run fast as the speed of light. Lucas thought of what an…..inhuman group they were. Lucas himself being a mere Infernape. Kaira supposedly the love pokemon Dovanna. Seth and Delaine—humans born from the earth within, with their pokemon, or at least descended from ancestors that were. Lucas wondered what else would await them next—he couldn’t wait to hear what had happened to Barry, and if anything about this dimension made him more than the person and soul he really was. But suddenly, Chimchar stopped in his tracks in the middle of an open meadow. The snow was flat around them, and Lucas nearly slipped onto his chin as he skidded to a halt behind Chimchar. “What’s going on?” He cried as everyone else stopped. Chimchar gasped. “Shh! Don’t you sense that?” Kaira gasped. “No……” she was looking around with a startled look in her eyes. Lucas turned and winced. “What? No, what?” Seth’s Houndoom suddenly growled with agitation, and the baby Dovanna suddenly lowered from the sky, landing on Kaira’s shoulders with an uncomfortable cooing. Then Lucas sensed them. the strange, nauseous smell of a dark spirit and transparent living matter. Team Solar was here, and they had attacked the squad of fire warriors. Lucas could sense their presence scattered around, as well as the hot fiery smell of the fire squad. Lucas looked down and widened his eyes. there was a drop of green liquid in front of his feet, just an inch from his front toes. He felt his tail burn with intent. “Ichor…..” “They’ve attacked my father and his squad,” hissed Delaine, looking around her with caution. “And they’ve used a strange power at it, too.” “Of course…” murmured Kaira. “What? Caught what?” Lucas felt childish to ask so many questions, but his head was whirring from sudden excitement to sudden shock and nostalgia. The scent of Team Solar seemed much stronger than he had last scented them. Kaira spoke as Seth drew out his fire blazer.“Team Solar… of them has caught the strange power of Achorin.” “Acorn—what?” Lucas narrowed his eyes. “Achorin,” Seth spoke. “It’s like a virus. If it is caught by a human or a pokemon that was born naturally from the world and the inhabitants of it, then it can cause symptoms such as mental craziness or brain disorders.” Delaine nodded. “It causes one to go crazy as if living a seizure for the rest of its life. They get nauseous, and their blood can even become a nasty color if they’re affected too long. They can throw up the blood, which comes out as that gooey greenish color right there in front of you.” “Ahhh,” said Chimchar with wonder. “So it’s not ichor.” “But….” Lucas glanced at the green blood again. “That’s only if it affects humans and pokemon, right?” “Exactly,” Kaira was speaking with haughtiness. She was looking ahead of her as if expecting a storm. “Team Solar aren’t humans or pokemon. They’re mere living auras, traveling around in the form of humans. Same goes for natural Team Solar pokemon as well. They were born from matter itself, and if they were to catch Achorin……..” “They can do so much as to replicate it and spread it amongst the creatures around them,” Delaine continued. “Achorin doesn’t make them go mental—instead it helps them develop the mental powers of a brain disorder, able to use pretty strange sorcery on their victims to help spread it so that real living things do catch the virus.” “Dou….” Dovanna suddenly hovered up above Kaira’s head. Kaira sighed. “Dovanna says we must split up and look for each of the grunts. There are only about a dozen, and if we split up, we have a better chance of hiding from being sensed all at once.” Delaine nodded, giving Lucas a confident look. “You’ll be alright with that, won’t you?” Lucas sighed. “I…I’ve got the power of fire in me….I can sense the fire within each of the warriors’ hearts. I can help find who I can.” “The rest of us can lure Team Solar so that they all meet up together at the top of this cliff. We can battle ‘em all at once and defeat them and their pokemon before the disease spreads.” Said Delaine. Seth nodded, raising his eyebrows. “Dang, how old is this disease? It hasn’t been going on for like…..two hundred years or something.” “I don’t know,” said Delaine. “But we’ve got to stop it before we go on.” Paul snuck around the thicket with his poison dagger. Team Solar had split to defeat the last of Maildorius's warriors, and they already had a third of the entire squad wiped out by the terrible sickness of Achorin. Now, they were just in search for the two messengers that were traveling with them, aiming to destroy the two pokemon of Dalyah. Dionza was by his side, and she was creeping up to each of the warriors like a Glameow, and Paul couldnt help admiring her slyness and cunning personality. But he knew Dawn's spirit was still wandering around him, able to become transparent towards those she didnt want to see her. it was amazing what things she could do in her anonymous dreams, even connecting with the real world and making things come true. Paul just hoped Dionza could split with him as soon as they can so he can be alone with her one last time. She was starting to feel better, which meant she would be waking up in her real part of the world-- which wasnt too far away. "I've spotted the fire king's daughter!" Hissed Dionza, pausing to eye the sight in front of them. Paul raised his eyebrows at the sight of Delaine and her Ninetales, disappearing behind the cliff in the distance. "Kaira must be here then," he muttered, his eyes flashing. Dionza huffed and gave him a narrowed smile. "Of course. That girl is probably more valuable than the three beings combined. I sense a strange aura within that soul. She's more contributed to this world than we know."Paul nodded, trying to hide the agitated feeling that was biting at him. He knew the real truth of Kaira. He saw it through the spirit of Kyra Elizabeth Flockheart, and by observing her past, he somehow got around to realize Kaira's own identity as well. He knew she was the pokemon Dovanna. "Hey, you alright?" Dionza turned so that she faced him directly. "You seem troubled lately, like something's distracting you. Tell me, is something bothering you? Or.....someONE?"Paul tried not to gaze into her purple eyes. "No.....I'm just very focused on what we're trying to accomplish. I mean...we're so close to stopping those three beings and putting an end to that prophecy so...."Dionza chuckled. "Well, I'll leave you alone to your thoughts for a minute. I'm gonna go check around the corner for that dear little daughter of the fire king. Meet me there as soon as you can, kay?"She tossed him a raised smile over her shoulder before disappearing around the cliff. Paul watched her go and turned with a frustrated look. He gave a sharp kick at a small pebble and watched it fly through the trees and disappear into the bushes. Suddenly, something rustled in the bushes in front of him. Paul tensed. He saw a red glow and then took a step back, but suddenly stumbled over a dead branch that jutted from the ground. He let out a quick gasp and found himself tumbling down the slope below, sliding to the edge of a trickling ice cold stream. He shot up and brushed himself of snow, cursing in his head. "Well! Looks like someone took a wrong turn in ambition!" A sharp, chilling voice spoke from behind. Paul tensed, and then slowly turned around. Prima Dona was standing there by the river, just a few inches right behind. Her tall figure arched up as she glared down at him with her hands on her hips, her eyes piercing as blades as she focused on him with intent anger. Behind Paul, the devil Chiba hovered above his head, snickering and glowing with a bright red pride. "P-Prima Dona..." Paul uttered breathlessly. "You fool!" Prima Dona whipped out her left arm and gave him a smack on the face, sending him falling backwards and hitting the slope a few feet behind. Paul was knocked dizzy. He suddenly felt his heart beat with dread. Prima Dona knew everything about what he had done-- she knew how he had been seeing Dawn through her dreams and even thinking twice about turning his back on Team Solar. "You've decided to play dumb with me, havent you? Well, i'll have you know-- your pokemon are as good as DEAD. They are nothing but mere, banished particles of flecks, disappeared into the world of nothingess!""You've gotten rid of my pokemon?!" Paul shot up with a look of disbelief. Prima Dona smiled and gave a sharp laugh. "Hah! You'll be more than welcome to join them in the black hole of nothingness and dark spirits! But! the only problem is that you have no real darkness in your heart! You've been confined to that terrible light of the chosen one-- of that stupid, irritating female fiend of yours!"Paul flashed his eyes. "Don't you ever call Dawn that! I've had darkness in me-- I knew it! I knew it when I felt myself lighten up and feel changed every time she was there to be with me. She can light the darkness in any kind of spirit! She'll be more powerful than you'll ever be!"Chiba flinched and let out a snarling growl, suddenly looking strictly angered without its devious smile. Prima Dona just stood there, staring at Paul with stone hard eyes. "Say watcha want, Paul!" Chiba giggled, riding up and suddenly glowing with a darker redness. "We'll take care of any of the consequences to punish you."Paul suddenly felt the wind freeze to a chilling temperature, and the clouds above suddenly became dark gray and thick. Prima Dona was glittering with a terrible icy shine. "Prepare for the unthinkable, Paul. In the region of Yonga, strange rituals can be performed when the time's right. And right now, I feel the power of darkness overcome me with the virus of Achorin around." Chiba chuckled. “Prepare for the pain, Paul.” Paul suddenly felt a strange twisting pain in his chest that cramped so badly, he flinched and dropped to the ground within a second. Instantly, he knew how much trouble he was in now, for Prima Dona could do a thousand times worse than the devil Chiba. “You failed!” Chiba’s voice was echoing in his head. “You failed me, fool! You will never prove to be as dark as you think you can be! I’ll never be yours! But….you can be mine.” Paul squeezed his eyes shut and clutched at the ground, feeling the life out of him slowly drain away. Suddenly, Prima Dona let out a scream. “Agh!” She fell back with force, and the lights around Paul’s body suddenly disappeared and he was panting on his knees with throbbing pain. “Prima Dona!” Gasped a voice. Paul looked up and saw that Dawn’s spirit was hovering up to the ice witch from behind. She glowed like a shine of light from the moon. Her eyes were a narrowed glare as she looked down at Prima Dona. “Should’ve known your presence was here…” “Gah!” Prima Dona was up at her feet, her eyes blazing an adamant look. “Oh! It’s the foolish little girl! Listen, you! why don’t you go back to your own world and mind your own business? You think you’re really that special?” Her voice was an edgy taunt. Dawn’s eyes softened. “I know my business is to find my place here in the fifth dimension to fulfill the prophecy. And you can’t stop me—or any of us.” Chiba glared and looked ready to charge. Prima Dona etched a narrowed creepy smile across her face. “Hah! You really think you’re going to outsmart ME? Try it, fool! you’re way too weak to confront powers like mine, whether you’re part of the prophecy or not!” Dawn’s glowing eyes were shining angelically down at the evil ice witch, and Paul could feel the tension pressing up just by having the two of them stare at each other. Suddenly, something fluttered over Dawn’s head and flashed a white bright light between her and Prima Dona. Chiba flinched and hovered closer to Prima Dona. “Chi!” Prima Dona hissed and glared up at Dawn. “What is it now, you impudent?!” Dawn’s expression suddenly lighted as she followed the bright white flash of light that flew around her. it suddenly formed into the shape of a pokemon and Paul widened his eyes. The pokemon was the very form of Dovanna, except smaller and the size of a Starly rather than a majestic glamorous dove. “Douuu!” The baby Dovanna cooed with delight, its eyes meeting Dawn’s, and then turning over to gaze at Prima Dona. “Cheeehhh!” Chiba spit out a nasty hiss at Dovanna and Prima Dona gave the little bird a menacing, heartbreaking glare. “Ah! So you’ve brought a friend! Well, nice to see that there’s at least a replica of the pokemon whom I had planned to banish forever!” Paul slowly got up and spoke. “No! Wha…’re not going to kill it, are you?” He felt a strange longing for the little bird, feeling its inspiring spirit and importance of existence. For some reason, Paul felt terrible at the thought of having to do anything rash to this innocent looking little dove. Prima Dona turned with a sarcastic smile. “Oh, you worried for this little newborn? I’ll do what I want with it! Dovanna was banished long ago, and now a newborn has hatched to fly in its path! NO! I’ll tell you one thing. I will let NOTHING take place of anything that I’ve done. NO ONE will ever replace whatever I had taken care of for good.” Paul swallowed. He wanted to say it out loud that the real Dovanna really wasn’t banished at all, but he knew Prima Dona knew that. it was the huge reason why she was even after Kaira. Prima Dona whipped around to face up at the baby Dovanna. “Now! Prepare for the morbid!”And without another word, Prima Dona aimed up at the pokemon with her tall spear and zapped it with a freezing bolt of ice. Dawn let out a terrified gasp and the baby Dovanna flinched open its wings, stretching its small body out as the spear struck it. Paul felt a dreadful feeling overcome him, and he felt the urge to just sneak up on Prima Dona and tackle her from behind. But every time he tried to move a muscle, his bones felt weak and worn out from the force Prima Dona had tortured him with. Prima Dona was uttering an evil sounding chant under her breath, and at each word, the light around the baby Dovanna seemed to glow with more intensifying darkness. Chiba turned to meet Paul’s gaze and gave him its devious smile. “Heehee, pretty soon, she’ll send the little dove back to where it came from—to become matter again and become sucked into the dark hole! She’ll use its loving abilities and destroy them over you, so that you can feel what it’s like to be pure darkness!” Paul struggled to rise up, but he couldn’t heave himself up from kneeling down with weakness. “No!” Cried Dawn. “Dovanna! Help yourself!” Dawn shined a light towards the pokemon, aiming a hand towards it, narrowing her eyes with focus. Suddenly, the baby Dovanna beamed with white light and let out a sharp cry, destroying the dark light around it. It shot up in the air and swooped down, glaring its eyes towards Prima Dona, ready to attack her. Prima Dona let out a huff and swatted a hand towards the bird, causing a wave of ice spears hurtling towards baby Dovanna. The pokemon spread its wings and let the ice spears shatter, and tried to strike at Prima Dona with a fierce Wing Attack that sent the sharp blades of ice back towards her. Paul watched with awe. It was a pokemon battle against—not a human—but a sorceress, a force of matter that had come to life as the dark icy Prima Dona herself. Her jet-black hair whipped around her in the wind and she struck out powerful blows of ice at the small, swift pokemon. Paul saw that Dawn seemed to be fading away, her eyes shocked and dazed at the sight of the battle. “Dawn! No! don’t leave me!” He tried to take a step forward, but Chiba whipped around and shot itself at him, pinning him against a tree and hovering right in front of his face, keeping a magnetic force that stuck him to the tree. “Oh, I won’t leave you!” It spoke menacingly, smiling with wickedness. “I would never escape your memories! I will always be alive in this world—whether you think of me or not!” And Paul felt a painful grasp around his neck. the devil Chiba was choking him as it summoned bright red lights around him. “Chiiiii!” A higher familiar squeal suddenly sounded in the distance. The devil Chiba was suddenly shoved to the left, and it let go of Paul, making him fall to his side, barely conscious. Paul’s vision blurred, but he managed to see that it was the messenger of Dalyah—the yellow, small pokemon Chibu. It was battling devil Chiba with a determined glare on its face. Paul gasped and looked behind him. Something was burning and growling with shock. It was an Infernape, but something about this pokemon seemed disturbingly familiar. It was gazing down at him with a narrowed gaze, growling, though it loked tense, as if holding itself back from harming him. “Lucas! Get over here! We need help!” Came a shout from behind. The Infernape turned and dashed away, and Paul lifted his head up to see that it was Seth and Delaine, looking smoked and wounded. They must have battled Team Solar. Then Paul widened his eyes at the limp figure in the Houndoom’s mouth. It was Dionza. “No….” Paul suddenly felt a sensation of anger and betrayal. He couldn’t let anyone hurt Dionza. Not even if it was for….his own friends. But then Dionza startedto glow and disappear. The Houndoom growled and looked around in confusion, and then let out a cry as Dionza appeared at the other side of the river where Prima Dona was battling the baby Dovanna. Seth and Delaine were rushing up to help the baby Dovanna. The Infernape followed them with aggressive speed, and pretty soon, Prima Dona was surrounded. But she wasn’t deceived for long. A huge Lapras rose from the waters, and from the skies, a huge, monstrous dragon pokemon flew down with a terrible cry. the pokemon was three headed, snake-like, and none other than a Hydreigon. Suddenly, Paul turned to see that Delaine’s Ninetales had crept out from the bushes behind him, narrowing its eyes and burning cautiously. It seemed to be holding back from striking at him as well. Paul let out a gasp. On its back, was Dawn’s body—her real, live-like form. She was still in a deep sleep, though her eyes were tightly shut, as if feeling herself in her terrible dream. “Dawn…” Paul muttered. He looked back to where Prima Dona battled. Dawn’s dreamlike spirit was no where to be seen. From behind, Chibu and Chiba were still fighting vigorously, each looking like unstoppable little shapes of danger. The Ninetales suddenly flinched at turned to snarl, and a purple ghostly shape darted out from the bushes, leaping over the river to fight at Prima Dona’s side. It was her Ghastleon, and Paul caught the red stain along its snout as it crouched and darted the attacking strikes. Paul turned to see a glow form where it had leaped out from. Ninetales was peering down at it, and Paul raised his eyebrows as he saw that Dawn’s dream-glowing form was kneeling over at limp body. it was Barry, laying on his side and looking pale as snow. His lips were a strange grayish color, as if the blood had been sucked out of his entire body. “Dawn……?” Paul approached her and knelt down by her side to the right of Barry. “He’s still alive…” Dawn put a hand on his forehead. “He just needs…warmth. Ghastleon attacked him with a strange dark power that weakened his heart and then…..she came.” “Prima Dona?” Paul winced. Prima Dona was still fighting, and he could still hear her shouting curses. “No. Dionza came. She struck him with a blade and tried to transfer the disease of Achorin. He’s….he’s barely obtained it but….it will slowly start to replicate within him and take over.” Paul looked at her helpless face. he knew someone had to find a way to take out the disease from him, but Dawn couldn’t do it herself. The disease of Achorin would have nothing to do with the light that Dawn could bear. “I’m…I’m so sorry,” he didn’t know what to say. He didn’t want to see Dionza hurt, nor did he want to see Dawn so downhearted. He turned to look up at her body upon the Ninetales. “You know……you’re awfully close to your real soul in the real part of the dimension.” “Of course…I know.” Murmured Dawn. “I will soon return…but not before I fel better in this state—knowing that Barry will be okay.” She looked down at Barry’s unmoving body with sadness. Paul felt a stab of sympathy. A feeling sparked slightly inside of him, wondering how much she really cared for Barry. “Oh, Barry will be alright,” murmured a voice. Paul and Dawn turned to see that it was Kaira, standing with an intent, cloudy pale gaze. “Kaira!” Gasped Dawn, rising up. Paul suddenly felt a strange tension occur between the two, and he eyed Kaira as she stepped forward without changing her unreadable expression. “He’s in the unconscious state of the Achorin disease. He will heal—but he must be left alone and let his own body fight the disease himself. We have better things to take care of right now.” Kaira spoke with strange intent, and Paul felt more crept out by her presence by the second. Dawn stared at her blankly for a moment, until suddenly, Dionza crashed in through the trees. “Paul! Let’s get outta here! Find the rest of our Team Solar grunts! They’ve been attacked and wounded! We’ve got to find each of them!” Before Paul could say another word, Dionza grabbed his hand and he was fleeing away from the scene behind him. “Wait! Dawn!” He cried out loud. Dawn’s voice echoed in his head. “Shh…don’t worry…I’ll still have time to visit you a few more moments…” Back at the fight, Lucas was chasing after Dionza. He cursed under his breath as he saw that he had lost track of her. he whipped around, and saw that Ninetales was standing there, with Dawn hovering by its side. “Dawn!” But then Lucas’s spirits faltered. It was only the dreamlike spirit of Dawn—and she was staring down at her own real life body like a spirit from another dimension. Barry was lying on his side, unmoving. Kaira was kneeling at his side, and she was holding his face with a look of sorrow on her face. “Barry, please….” She almost looked ready to kiss him….but then suddenly, a wave of energy seemed to blow around them, filling Lucas with the power of love and happiness. He was looking at Kaira with a strange feeling of sensation, and pretty soon, Barry was blinking open his eyes, sitting up and looking around. “Uh……what? What happened…?” He barely got to meet Kaira’s gaze before the spirit of Dawn gasped with delight. “Oh….Barry!” And within seconds, her spirit seemed to fade away. “Dawn?” Barry looked behind him, and raised his eyebrows as the unconscious body of Dawn started to move. Ninetales burned with delight, and sat down to let Dawn slip off its back, heading towards Barry with a relieved smile on her face. her eyes looked dazed, and Lucas wondered if she was still in a trance, lost by whatever she had been through in her dream. Barry rose up, left Kaira without a single notice, and met up with Dawn, holding her hand. “Oh, your hands are cold,” gasped Dawn. “Are they?” Barry chuckled. “Well….I was going through a tough time with that Solar Grunt…” Lucas blinked and turned to see Kaira. She had rose up, an envied look in her green eyes. in a flash, the strange dreamy feelings of admiration and peace vanished from Lucas and he looked at Kaira, feeling the devious feeling of jealousy well up inside her. “Well, all’s well that ends well…?” She seemed to be muttering something strange. But Lucas felt a nauseous feeling as her fists clenched. Suddenly, the baby Dovanna flew from the sky above them, battling a new opponent in the sky. it was a strange vulture-like pokemon that was ten times the size of the Dovanna. Prima Dona’s voice suddenly pierced through. “Finish it, Mandibuzz! Slice its neck!” She appeared from the trees with her Ghastleon and the devil Chiba by her side. Above, Chibu and Chibo were helping the little bird fight off the terrible bird. Chimchar ran up to Lucas’s side. “Oh! I sure wish I could fly right now!” “And as for YOU!” Lucas flinched as Prima Dona turned, gazing towards where Kaira was standing. Prima Dona’s expression suddenly turned into a haughty smile. “Dear, you really wouldn’t want to see your child get hurt, would you? Well, it was your fault for having brought it to this world! It would’ve been different if you had let it hatch where you were supposed to be!” “I’m supposed to be HERE,” spoke Kaira quietly, meeting Prima Dona’s gaze with narrowed eyes. “And I’m gonna do what I’m supposed to do in this world.” Everyone watched as Kaira suddenly turned up to the young Dovanna and focused her eyes on it until the little pokmon was glowing. Then, Kaira closed her eyes, and the young Dovanna stopped flapping its little wings and spread them wide open, calming down its opponents and allies at its side. Pretty soon, Lucas felt dazed and pretty soon, a bright white light over came them all, then suddenly faded away within a minute. And as Lucas looked around, slowly flashing his gaze from Seth and Delaine behind him, the fire type pokemon by his side, to Dawn and Barry, and to Kaira, Lucas realized with a sudden feeling, that Prima Dona, devil Chibo, and all her pokemon, were gone. 40. LONELINESS WITHIN Kaira had gone into another trance again. the world around her seemed to be spinning, but she knew it was just her imagination. Her heart thudded with regret at what she had just done with Barry. She had rescued him….but he had not even taken a single glimpse of notice towards her. “He just saw right through me,” she thought bitterly and despairingly, wanting to cry out to the world. “He didn’t even SEE me—he went straight to Dawn when he woke up!” To think that was right when Dawn had awoken from her sickness too! “Kaira!” Chibu’s voice echoed in her head, and she regained her senses. The little messenger pokemon was hovering right in front of her face. she had barely seen anything through the midst of all her thoughts. “Kaira, snap out of it! Malidorius has arrived! Everyone is cleaning up!” “Malidorius?!” Kaira spoke out loud. She looked around. Fire warriors were appearing around them, and Delaine and Seth were already in the king’s arms, and the massive muscled fire king hugged them both like an Ursaring. “Oh, my kiddie prince and princess! What would I have ever done without you both?!” He was yelling out his happiness at their reunion. Lucas and Chimchar were socializing with the other fire type pokemon, some looking flabbergasted at the sight of Lucas himself being an Infernape. Barry and Dawn were still by the tree, together, looking lost and nervous to confront the people and pokemon around them. it was as if they had just woken up and had forgotten who they even were. Kaira fumed, but then calmed down slightly, realizing she was just imagining them holding each other’s hands at the moment. It sure did look like it, though. “Kaira!” Chibu was frowning at her again. “Hello? Do you have to be reminded twice? Come on! We’ve got to help some of the fire warriors—many are sick and injured from that Achorin disease like Barry was!” Kaira flinched and then huffed back in her thoughts, “Did you see what Barry did once I helped him escape his stupid trance?” She was glaring at the little pokemon. “He didn’t even notice me! He got up and the first thing he did was come and give that Dawn a big smooch on the lips for seeing her again.” Chibu’s eyes went wide. “He did NOT kiss her, Kaira.” Kaira rolled her eyes. “Well, in my eyes he did. He gave her some kind of kiss from the inside.” Chibu gave what sounded like a small chuckle and winced. “What’s that supposed to mean? Kaira, come on, please. You’re acting up for nothing. You can deal with Barry later, but you’ve already saved him. there are others that need to be saved. Baby Dovanna and Chibo are already helping them out right now. come on, we need to help ‘em too.” “Why not tell that to Romeo and Juliet?!” Kaira nearly said the snappy reply out loud. She was starting to feel her own glare heat up her face as Chibu started to look scared. “They’re standing around like idiots with just as much useless as I am!” “Hah! Come on, remember that they don’t contain the natural planetary powers within this dimesion that can be used against diseases like Achorin.” Chibu gave her a sideways look. Kaira glared and started walking away. “What? I don’t remember. Is Achorin caused by the spread of crazed up dreams?” “It’s a virus that comes to the fifth world when….not when a person has a crazy, unexplainable screwed up dream—that’s to do with Missingno. But Achorin comes when a crazy person has a dream. It is a virus that is unseen and microscopic like pokemon protists in this dimension. If a pokemon or person from your earth dimension on the first side has a brain problem, such as down syndrome or a mental disability, when they have some sort of strong dream, they cause a virus in that dream that comes alive with it in the fifth dimension. Usually, the virus doesn’t travel anywhere further than the region of Lluyan. But sometimes, just like any other dreams that grow to become strong, they can reach the outside world in this planet, and if any natural being catches it—whether they are from this place or not—they will suffer from brain problems like Barry had in his frozen trance. Luckily, when he woke up, it didn’t get to take over him yet, though it was really close to planning to. so don’t worry—Barry’s no more than the idiot he originally was.” Kaira wouldve chuckled, but she was still fuming about his reaction with Dawn. “Aye! We must all gather towards the summit of this hill! It shall provide a rest area for all, and that’s our next destination!” Malidorius was raising his mighty voice. “There, we shall rest and recover. Then discuss further plans!” And pretty soon, the squad was moving. Kaira stood, watching all the fire people and pokemon leave around her. “Come on, Kaira,” Chibu was giving her a nudge. “We should get going.” Kaira rolled her eyes and walked on forward, eying Barry and Dawn from behind as they muttered a conversation to each other as they followed with the squad. Everyone settled near a cave close to the edge of a cliff. the view was tremendously exotic and wonderous, and Kaira felt like she could jump off and float through the sky forever, above the beautiful view. the cave was already crowded with the most wounded and sick warriors, but it wasnt too crowded, for the squad only contained only about fifth warriors with them. "This is so tragic," growled Delaine, kicking a rock off the edge of the cliff. Kaira watched the stone disappear into the misty air below. "We've lost like...two thirds of what we had started with. Actually, maybe even more than that! What are we going to do?""All this loss is moslty caused by the rampage of Team Solar, I bet," said Kaira with a sigh."Yeah...but Malidorius has also encountered many problems with the seasons and wild pokemon. The spirits seem angry at us, and have been acting up. There have been more fire tornadoes and strange sandstorms occurring on the west side where they have been traveling.""Oh yeah.....they took the other route..." Kaira remembered how they had been separated by the encounter of the devil Chibo leading them through the region of Lluyan. Delaine gave a long sigh. "Well, if you pay attention, you may feel how close the spirits are to become angered and corrupted." She gave Kaira an intent look. "If anyone as important as my father is suddenly being tortured by climate changes, and quicksand swallowing up a huge amount of our squad, as well as having random pokemon-- even fire pokemon-- jump out to attack them and slow down their journey, then the spirits must be taking over, driving the pokemon crazy and possessing their minds to attack them like this. The weather too is very fragile in this fifth dimension. You feel it, dont you?"Kaira paused and gazed bacck at Delaine with calm, dazed eyes. "Yes....I do. I've always felt how strange the atmosphere of this place was-- wherever i went. The weather itself is so dense to become affected by any changes or influences and inspirations from the first dimension on the other distant side of this place....this planet of Gaiyah is like earth-- it IS earth-- but just in its fifth dimension form, behind the portals of a distant...""Hey! You! Delaine!" Kaira and Delaine turned to see one of Malidorius's servants heading over to them with a Magby following by his side. "The king wants to see you. Seth and his pokemon are in the cave, helping the fire type pokemon recover, and he wants you to help him with the warriors and trainers. He wants this done immediately-- to have everyone rested and taken care of by midnight."Delaine looked to the sky. The sun wasnt setting yet, though the sky portrayed a dim brightness that told it was almost ready. She huffed and gave a sideways look to Kaira. "Well, take care of yourself. You're more than welcome to help others recover too, but I understand if you want to be alone."Kaira gave Delaine a raised look. Delaine was looking at her with understanding in her firm green eyes. "I noticed what happened with Barry. You rescued him all by yourself...with your own power of love and life-- though the power was still vague and unintended. But it was still enough to have save him."Kaira felt hot and angered again and she wanted to frown and look away. "I can talk to him if you want," Delaine's determined tone was suddenly calm. She crossed her arms and gave a raised look. "I can stand up to anybody and make anything noticeable to anyone. Trust me, I'm good at putting things to notice.""No," Kaira spoke tartly and looked away, wincing. "I....I can handle it by myself. Thanks, though."Before Delaine could say anything else, Kaira was already walking away towards a tall tree to the left of the cave. She didnt look back to see Delaine's watching gaze before she hurried away to help her father. Kaira sighed, scratching her fingernails at the weak-looking tree bark. The skin was easy to peel, and if Kaira were angry enough, she felt like she couldve scratched up this entire tree. But she felt too emotional and dazed to do anything strong. She felt both angered and weakened, and at the same time, as she gazed at the tree, she felt like she was looking at the past of an extraordinary being. This tree, she thought, is as valuable as anything that has lived in this planet. It had a beginning, caused by the influences of the inspiration and spiritism in the first dimension all the way back on earth. Something had influenced it to grow here, or at least it had been part of something that had to do with its growth. Maybe it had appeared in a dream when two pokemon had met each other on earth. Maybe two Staraptors had met and had a long generation of a family back on earth, upon a very tree like this, and because of its great influence on the pokemon, it had stuck through so many minds of each pokemon that was born on it, and eventually finding a way to appear in the fifth dimension on Gaiyah, where it grew out of importance and influence from another world. However the tree had grown, Kaira felt so alone. Not everything in this planet had to be born out of dreams and memories from earth. She, herself, as the pokemon Dovanna, had been created by the matter of love, simply by all the strong feelings that were felt through the souls of planet earth. She had a big influence both on earth and on Gaiyah....and she still had a destiny to fulfill.Someone was approaching her from behind. She bit her lip, expecting Delaine to be creeping up on her and surprising her with a greeting poke at the shoulder like she had seen her do to Seth, but as Kaira turned around, it was Barry, standing there with a blank look on his face, looking slightly concerned and nervous to have her notice him."Hey," he let out a small smile. Kaira blinked and turned away, narrowing her eyes. Strange, she thought, for Barry to have approached her with such a calm greeting. She suddenly felt nauseous, remembering how Chibu had told her that Barry finally knew how much she had cared for him, and that she almost loved him more than friend. Kaira felt betrayed and regretful. She wondered what that must've made Barry himself feel.Barry was up to her side, gazing at her with a longing look. He sighed. "So....I was just arguing with Seth about how I knew a Houndoom back in Sinnoh that could kick his Houndoom's butt. Remember how my father used to have a Houndoom? Now that pokemon could really--""Where's Dawn?" Kaira asked sourly, not in the mood to share humor with him. "I thought you were both sick and you both had to rest in the cave...together. Why aren't you resting?"Barry met her gaze, and chuckled. "Nah, dont worry. It's not like I'm suddenly prone to the slightest invisible spirit out here hitting me on the head." Barry was looking around. "Hey, why are you out here all by yourself? Don't you want to socialize with Lucas and everyone else? I mean...we're all back together again! Back with Malidorius's squad!"Kaira looked away at her carving on the tree, visualizing the sloppy scribbles to be forming the shape of a broken heart. "Or what's left of it."Barry winced and gave her a hearty nudge. "Hey, come on! I thought you became more lovable and outgoing since you met that baby Dovanna, not to mention that awesome secret you just recently found out about your past!" Barry suddenly spoke with excitement. "I heard about your meeting with Phandolia. Care to tell me about it? I bet you had a wonderful time with him."Kaira looked at Barry, feeling rage pulse through her. But as she stared into his blue eyes, she noticed the spark of admiration in them. She knew he knew how angry and upset she must feel about his feelings, and she wondered if this friendly approach was to show her how much he was satisfied with her feelings, or if it was just because he was still blissfully unaware about everything she was going through. Kaira narrowed her eyes. "Phandolia showed me how I had lost my love as Dovanna....and he told me how I can get it back.""Oh? And how's that?" Barry was speaking politely with her. Kaira was starting to feel weird. "I have to learn to love naturally, dont you?" Kaira held her breath. The way he had spoken so softly and so nicely reminded her so much of Phandolia-- of Lan when he had spoken to her. Kaira's narrowed, untrusting eyes suddenly became wide and dazed. “Yes,” she uttered, barely more than a low whisper. “I do have to love….but apparently, it hasn’t happened yet.” And she turned away. Barry raised his eyebrows. “Well… can always keep looking.” Kaira’s heart suddenly pounded. What the heck was that supposed to mean? She felt his hand rest on her shoulder and she couldn’t help flinching. She felt fragile under his touch. “Kaira…..I’m sorry for the way I was,” he spoke carefully and in a low voice. “I…..I was stupid to have not realized how you really wouldve felt about me. Especially since you’re more observant and canny than one would think.” Kaira slowly turned her head to meet his eyes. his expression was sorry and intent. She felt her own heart beat so hard, she thought he could’ve heard it. “You….” she couldn’t think of what to say, and she felt a lump in her throat when she tried to speak. Barry sighed. “I understand you now. When I was trapped with Prima Dona….I was transfixed by her evil and beauty, I would let myself get carried away with doing things for her. But then when I was whipped away with you for a while…..I realized how much I could’ve cared for you….and how much you could’ve cared for me. Especially after Mr. and Mrs. Flockheart explained the truth about their real daughter—Kyra Elizabeth Flockheart.” Kaira felt the blood rush through her as she heard the name of her evil twin. But she gazed into Barry’s eyes with wonder. “So… already knew?” “I had a feeling once we were together, trying to escape Kyra in the Town of Silence. You and I—fleeing together, with no one else but Chibu by our side. I felt that we had gone through so much together, and I even thought twice about our feelings for each other, but it wasn’t enough to make me exactly realize. And then SHE came and told me.” Barry’s expression narrowed. “Kyra told me everything, and she….” Kaira could see he was drifting into a daze at the memory of his encounter with Kyra, alone. She may not have known what it was like for him to be alone with that brat, but she felt a strange tension waft around her. A coo sounded above them, and the baby Dovanna was fluttering above them both, filling the air with the happy scent of fresh blossoms and nectar that wafted from its pure white feathers. Kaira suddenly felt enlightened, almost as she had with Lan, as she stood there side by side with Barry, next to the tall tree. Barry looked up at the dove pokemon with a smile. “Ha! The thing hasn’t grown any bigger than a little Starly since we last saw it!” He chuckled. Suddenly, an arrow shot pass baby Dovanna, missing it by a centimeter. The pokemon suddenly gave a startled cry and flew around with fear, and then disappeared up in the trees. Kaira gasped. “Dovanna!” she turned to her left and widened her eyes with surprise. there stood Kyra Elizabeth Flockheart, eying them with envy. “Well, well! Reunited and it feels so good, huh?” She crossed her arms as she focused on Kaira with a glare. Kaira said nothing. Her presence was enough to have her forgetting all about her strange feeling with Barry. “Aw! Great, it’s you!” Barry huffed. Kyra raised her eyebrows and met Barry’s gaze with a naughty smile and gave him a sideways look. Kaira saw how Barry’s face turned a red, nervous color and he took a step back. Kaira clenched her fists. Whatever had happened between those two, she knew she wouldn’t have ever forgotten it if she saw it. “Chiii!” “Chiiiiiii!!!” Chibu and Chibo suddenly appeared from around the cave and started nudging at Kyra, and she let out a grumpy scream, trying to wave her arms and shoo them away. “Achh! Get away from me, you small pieces of--” Kaira and Barry watched as she was herded away into the bushes. Kaira turned to look forward, panting. She felt dizzy. “Hey….” Barry was looking at her with a concerned gaze. “I….I need to rest,” Kaira replied distantly, not meeting his gaze. She walked forward, not paying attention as she stepped up to the end of the cliff. She was aware of Barry’s shocked expression, but before he could react, she stopped herself before she walked right off the edge. She stared ahead, lost and deep in thought. 41. MALIDORIUS’S LAST CELEBRATION The next morning, Malidorius had arranged a reunion party. He, Delaine, Seth, and their fire pokemon of the royal court had assembled a celebration in which he allowed the warriors to relax, socialize, and have fun with their pokemon around the area. Everywhere around, people and pokemon were running around the trees, hanging out by the cliffs, chatting or playing games with each other. they were celebrating their last night of being with their arrivals, Kaira, Barry, Dawn, and Lucas, for by sunset, they would be at the bottom of this mountain and parting ways to head on north. Apparently, Malidorius had to take his squad to the lair of Heatran, which lied in the region west in Askip. They were curious about the strange warm weather patterns going on, and wondering why the climate had been so roughly cold, even for them. Kaira couldn’t find herself enjoying any of the activities. She sat on a jutted rock in front of the cliff, staring out into space, watching as Dawn playfully tagged around with Lucas and Chimchar. She was still thinking about her moment with Barry the other day, and how he had been gazing into her eyes. did he really accept her for her feelings with the same return? She saw Barry walking up to her form the corner of her eye, carrying a slice of pizza. “Hey! Believe it or not, they got pizza here in the fifth dimension! I guess that was one thing that was able to make its way into this world from influences and strong feelings!” Kaira blinked, looking straight ahead, and said nothing. Her hands were in her lap, and she was as unmoving as a statue. Barry looked at her with worry. “Are you okay? why don’t you enjoy the fun with us? This will be our last night with Delaine and Seth….” Kaira slowly shook her head. “I’ve had the fun I can have. I’m fine….thank you.” Barry raised an eyebrow. “Well……okay then.” She guessed he didn’t want to press her on anymore. “Do you… least want some pizza? Here! I got this just for you.” He handed her a plate with a single slice of what looked like cheese and pineapple. Kaira didn’t even glance at the plate as he held it by her side, but she took the plate and sat it on her lap, still gazing into space. Barry watched her for a moment. “Um…well, I’ll be over with Dawn—“ he added quickly, “—and Lucas! And uh…Chimchar! And everyone else back there….see ya.” She could tell he was trying not to offend her again, trying obviously pretty hard. He turned and walked away, but looked back behind himself to glance one more time at Kaira. She sat up straight and lost with the plate in her lap, and she slowly brought the pizza to her mouth, taking a one and tiny, careful bite. Her face looked pale and flushed, and her mouth was slightly hung open as she slowly chewed with a dazed, clouded look in her eyes. Barry blinked, looking worried, and then walked away, watching his steps as he left. By sunset, the squad of warriors were already off the mountain. Kaira, Barry, Dawn, Lucas, Chimchar, Chibu, Chibo, and baby Dovanna were all at the front, by king Malidorius’s side, and chatted on endlessly with Delaine and Seth. The fiery warm spirit of the two warriors lightened up Kaira’s heart to be around them, and even Chibu urged her to socialize and enjoy her last time with the fire warriors. Baby Dovanna even helped cheer her up, and unlike Chibu, Kaira was able to automatically feel happy and calm around the little pokemon just by hearing its cute cooing. Kaira hadn’t talked to Barry much, for she was trying to stay clear from him and keep from becoming all dazed and confused by his presence again. she managed to associate with Delaine and Seth, and even Dawn as a normal friendly person would, and she did realize how much more positive she had become from when she had first met the warriors. Finally, they stopped at a corner of a lopsided cliff. The forest around them was tall and dark green, revealing bright leaves here and there in the late autumn season. Malidorius and his Arcanine both looked ahead of them with a stern frown. “Mmm….aye….this is where we shall part.” Dawn gasped. “Oh, must we really?” She looked to Seth and Delaine, and their Ninetales and Houndoom with a longing look. Seth sighed and gave her a sideways look. “Hey! who knows? Perhaps we’ll meet again when the time comes.” He gave them a wink, and they knew exactly what he meant. The king Malidorius had no idea about who Kaira, Barry, Dawn, and Lucas even were, for baby Dovanna, Chibu, and Chibo had been traveling high above the clouds above them, unseen by any of the warriors. Only Kaira and her friends knew of their presence, and the purpose of her, Barry, Dawn, and Lucas. “You guys know you must head north, following that Chibo,” said Delaine. “And in the meantime, we must carry on our plans to stop that Team Solar. We have discovered some disturbances in the weather that only fire-types could read, and because of that, we must venture into the west of this region to seek the lair of Heatran.” Barry raised his eyebrows. “Huh! Heatran in its fifth dimension form. I wonder what that’ll look like?” Seth gave him a teasing look. “Much more powerful than your average ol’ Heatran back on earth.” “Hey, you take that back!” Barry remarked playfully. “Aye…..” Malidorius was looking at them with a stern look. “You’d all be safe, wouldn’t ya? Without me daughter n’ Seth?” “Of course,” Kaira answered carefully. “We know our way now. we’re in the region of Askip, the plentiful region of hope and spirit. We can find our way.” “Of course ye will. Make sure ye fulfill that prophecy too.” They all gasped. “H-How did you know?!” Barry cried. Malidorius raised his eyes. “Ye think me stupid? I saw that girl heal you like a sorceress. I know what she’s capable of. Me heart is as clear and heated as a lightbulb, and I can see what’s goin’ on. I may not show it, but aye…..” Everyone looked at each other with wonder. Kaira wondered how long the king had known how valuable they were, and she wished she had known what they had gone through in their journey after they had gotten separated. “Now we must go,” Malidorius looked ot the sky, and his Arcanine gave a low growl. “You head north, and follow the blue light. We shall turn west and find Heatran, and confront it with the spirit of fire. You guys complete yer destiny….and stay clear from HER path.” Kaira narrowed her eyes. Prima Dona. She had a feeling she wasn’t going to be too far off from now. wherever the force had sent Prima Dona, she couldn’t be too far off. Not even Kaira herself knew where she and Dovanna had sent her. But she knew it was temporary—it wasn’t too far away. “We’ll do it, Malidorius,” said Dawn, nodding her head. “Yes,” added Kaira. “Thank you for accompanying us, and staying by our sides. Delaine, Seth, we’ll miss you, but we’ll see each other again.” She gave a small smile at the two of them, holding hands. She had almost forgotten they were a real couple. They both smiled back. “Thank you, Kaira.” Said Delaine. Seth just gave Barry a naughty smile and turned away. Delaine and Seth took their king’s side and the fire squad gathered around behind them. Kaira saw how small the squad looked from the huge band that they had first started out with. But all the fire people, all the fire pokemon, they all looked burning and strong, ready to take on any challenge with the force of fire within them. Lucas gave a low Infernape cry, feeling their spirit burn within them. she gave him an admiring glance. He seemed to understand his part in the prophecy. He would be the fire that brought the light and dark together when the time came. He would be the fire of the commingling heart of Gaiyah. Delaine gave Lucas and the little Chimchar a pat on the head. “Be good, both of ya. You little fiery pokemon. Lucas, I believe in you!” And with that, she gave him a quick kis on the head, as if kissing a toy or a pet pokemon. Barry flinched and gave a surprised, “Ooh….” And Delaine just flashed him a sideways smile. She took Seth’s hand, and hurried off around the cliff after the king and their fire squad. The fire warriors were gone within a few seconds. Kaira stood, alone with Barry, Dawn, Lucas, and Chimchar behind her. “Huh!” Dawn huffed. “Well, I’ll be missing them. Now we’re out on our own. Who are we going to look up to now?” Barry raised his eyebrows. “Kaira, of course,” he said simply. Kaira raised her eyebrows and turned to meet his gaze. “Chim-cha-ha!” Chimchar gave a leap of satisfaction and was gazing at Kaira with playful, determined eyes. Dawn looked at her with an unreadable expression. Then she chuckled. “Well, of course, I should’ve known. It’s….it’s still kinda hard to believe you’re really Dovanna though… offense.” Her expression was calm and trying to look friendly. Kaira blinked slowly and shrugged. “Well……it’s true…” And Chibu flew from the sky, circling her with excitement and happiness. “Chi! Chi!” Chibo appeared and hovered above Barry’s head, glowing with pride. Baby Dovanna came down and flew through all of them, avoiding Chimchar’s playful swat at the little bird as it shot passed him. Dawn giggled and Barry laughed. “Kaira, this is what the prophecy means!” He said, looking at her with shining eyes. “You must lead the beings of earth to their destiny, and take control of the coming of Gaiyah.” Kaira raised her eyebrows with hope. Chibu was smiling and Lucas was burning with determination by Dawn’s side. Baby Dovanna landed on her shoulder and cooed. Kaira looked at her friends with admiration in her eyes. They had come this far… might just possibly be that the friends she was looking at could be the earth beings of the elements of light, darkness, and fire. “The elements of light, darkness, and fire,” murmured Kaira. “The three of you……you’re all….” Suddenly, a flash shot between Kaira and the three of her friends. Chimchar and Lucas gave low cries of surprise and suddenly, baby Dovanna flew off her shoulder, hovering with a startled coo. Chibu was screaming, and Kaira widened her eyes at the pokemon it was battling behind her. the devil Chibu was holding it down, choking it and squeezing the life from its tiny body. “Chibu!” She cried. “No! Chibo!” Barry yelled after the little blue pokemon as it shot to the tree as it collided with its enemy look-alike, the devil Chibo. Dawn gasped. “Oh no! the devil messengers of Ultramaur!” And Kaira felt the presence of her own evil twin, Kyra Elizabeth Flockheart. She looked around with fear, though she couldn’t see her. she heard scary, faint echoes of evil laughter and giggling, and she heard the whispers of the spirits and Kyra herself. Barry’s symbol on his forearm started to glow. “!” “Barry!” Dawn gasped. He looked back at her with a shocked look, and then collapsed to the ground, his eyeballs rolled back. Dawn screamed and Kaira widened her eyes, turning to the left to meet the presence of who had encountered them. the devil Chiba was hovering in the distance, a few yards away, smiling deviously. To its left, was Paul, lying unconscious on the grassy ground with his head pressed to the earth. Behind him was Prima Dona. CONTINUE ON TO PART 3 ------>

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