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Pure Vanilla Chapter 11
Aria immediately backpedaled to avoid Kali as the Houshe bounded forwards and teleported, her momentum translating into a devastating Body Slam attack that Aria only barely managed to spin out of the way of. Daniel almost thought she was going to ring out before Kali unnaturally slammed to the ground and her claws dug in to stop her momentum.
“Wha-“ Daniel winced. “Aria, incoming, too fast!”
Aria managed to get turned around and braced her body, but couldn’t get her legs set in time. Kali Pounced, the surprise attack knocking Aria off her feet and to the ground.
And kissed her.
Aria stared up into the Houshee’s eyes in surprise as she felt Kali’s tongue probing her own mouth. Narrowing her eyes, she made to shove her away when a feeling in her groin made her freeze.
“Get her off of you!” Daniel yelled. “Hey! Aria! Come on!”
“She’s gone.” Jay called, a smug smile on his face. “Kali’s got her in a Bond. She’s about to be too busy squirting to worry about fighting.”
“I said GET HER!” Daniel screamed, gritting his teeth as Aria’s back arched and she cried out, the sound muffled since Kali still held her in a kiss.
Aria’s breath caught as she felt the sensation intensify. It felt… it was if there was a vibrator, pulsing and churning her most intimate places. As she felt it intensify her body tensed in orgasm and she screamed again before falling limp. Her eyes still open but unfocused, it was clear that the pleasure had completely taken over and drowned out anything else. She didn’t even twitch when Kali raked her claws down the front of her body, splitting her bodysuit from just below her neck all the way above her vagina. Even as the deep wounds began to seep blood onto the ground she did nothing but moan, feeling only when Kali’s tail push past the remaining material and slide over her clit.
“Aria, please forgive me.” Daniel muttered, pulling the radio from his ear and disabling the automatic gain control before sliding the lever to the maximum setting. “Oh, she’s going to kill me.”
On the field, Aria had been reduced to a weakly moaning shell. “Kali.” Jay gestured at the lack of a response from the Houshee’s continued thrusting. “She’s done. Knock her out and let’s get going.”
Kali nodded, her tail still pounding into Aria’s vagina as she raised her fist and began to charge a punch. Behind her, Daniel closed his eyes, brought the microphone to his mouth, and braced himself.
The scream was loud enough to begin with. Daniel could feel his throat rattle from the vibration and started coughing immediately. The radio, usually set to prevent overly loud transmissions, first checked for the automatic control. Finding it off, it cheerfully forwarded the signal at its set amplifier, which had just been set to max. A more expensive piece of equipment would have probably had a failsafe, something that would prevent damaging sounds from being transmitted. Fortunately, there was no such failsafe in place.
The signal Aria’s earpiece received was innocent enough for the programming. It quickly fed it back into the speakers, tweaking it only to raise the amplification again to conform to its own setting. The resulting motion proved too much; mechanical failure occurred near instantaneously when the offending signal was fed into the speakers. The magnets inside pulsed once before slipping out of sync, sending a pure wave of sound blasting down the ear canal, which shattered Aria’s eardrum and severely damaged her inner ear. The next pulse smashed the magnets into each other and tore the device apart, sending shrapnel deep into the already damaged ear.
For Aria, it was if she had just been shot. The pleasure which had taken over her body was instantly blocked out in favor of the tremendous injury. ‘Ear’, her brain warned. ‘Warm.’ ‘Failure.’
Above her, Kali finished charging her attack and struck, aiming to finish the unmoving Kamichu in one hit. As the blow fell, Daniel could only scream on last word in desperation.
Aria’s eyes snapped open and she redirected the punch, twisting her head to let Kali’s fist impact harmlessly beside her. The Houshee’s eyes widened in shock at the sudden response, her indecision allowing Aria to steal the momentum and send a strike directly into the catgirl’s throat.
“yeAAAAA!!!” Daniel felt himself leaping into the air as he screamed and pumped his fist in celebration, the adrenaline coursing through his body while he watched Aria take Kali down.
Aria shot another punch at Kali’s throat which the Houshee blocked, her hands desperately grabbing at her crushed windpipe. Seeing her opponent focused on one area Aria switched tactics, bringing a knee up and into Kali’s solar plexus before taking leverage and throwing her away. The Houshee hit hard, her face twisting as she tried to force air into her lungs.
“I’m going to kill you.” Aria rasped, grabbing Kali’s tail and sliding it out. “I’m going to destroy you for what you just did to me.”
Kali tried to respond, struggling to her feet and lunging forwards before sprawling to the ground, her oxygen-starved muscles giving out under the strain. Aria slowly walked over to the struggling Houshee and raised her hand. With a wordless, berserker shout she drove a clawed fist into Kali’s chest, the pressure shooting up her windpipe. Kali twitched, a thin trickle of blood flowing from her mouth. Aria’s form glowed with her fury as she struck again, and again, before the referee sprinted into the arena and grabbed her, forcibly pulling her away from the unconscious Houshee. “Aria is the winner!”
Daniel stared at Aria as she stepped back, her torn outfit glistening with her sweat. The lights around them shone off her form, and he knew he was wrong. She was already a battle goddess.
Suddenly Aria threw her head back and roared, the reflected light intensifying into an evolutionary glow. Jay quietly recalled his pokegirl and walked off, leaving Aria to stand on her own. The process took nearly a minute before the light died, returning to merely reflecting off of her hair and body.
Daniel nervously stepped forwards. The evolution had been kind, filling out her body everywhere she had been unhappy with before. She now stood easily 6 feet tall, possibly more, and her chest threatened to burst from her clothing, even with the freedom the slit provided. The wounds Kali had inflicted were gone, leaving Aria’s skin unblemished. “Congratulations.”
She slowly brought her gaze down and he winced at the look in her eyes. It reminded him of Lea, the day she had evolved. Piercing, challenging him. But this time there wasn’t anything to temper it. Just as he had feared, Aria was gone.
Suddenly her composure broke and she began to giggle. Daniel was completely taken aback at the sound coming from the otherwise stoic face. It seemed… wrong.
“Damnit, I had you. I had you.” Aria’s eyes danced as she continued laughing, the new height having changed her voice to a lighter, more melodic sound. “I lost it when I couldn’t figure out what to say. ‘Humph. So you’re supposed to be my Master?’ Doesn’t work. Neither would ‘Prepare to prove yourself worthy of me.’ or something similar, because you already have, damnit.” Her eyes grew serious for a moment. “Just remember. I won.”
“I’m still your better in combat.” Daniel tried.
“I’d drop you without a second thought now and you know it.” Aria replied good-naturedly, a huge grin on her face. “By the way. Did you have something to do with this?” She asked, pointing at her left ear and the dried blood beneath it.
“I was, uh, responsible for whatever will keep you from hitting me?” Daniel squeaked.
“Well, whoever was responsible snapped me out of a haze and gave his pokegirl the chance to become what she is.” Aria’s voice lowered and she stepped closer. “Whoever it was helped me turn into a goddess.” She smiled. “His words. Not mine.”
“I think I can take responsibility for doing that, then.” Daniel’s hopeful grin instantly vanished when Aria stomped on his foot. “OW!”
“IT FUCKING HURT, ASSHOLE!” She screamed in his face.
“WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE LOST?” Daniel screamed right back, daring her to retaliate.
Aria shook herself. “Uh. No. But it still hurt. Also, a comment from earlier is sitting in my head, but so is a memory of having my pussy absolutely obliterated. So I’d like a rain check on the Goddess bedding, if you can manage.”
“I can wait.” Daniel nodded towards the hallway. “I think he’s waiting for us.”
Aria turned to see Jay lounging against the wall, Kali’s pokeball on his belt with the Houshee nowhere to be seen. “We’re not actually going to talk to him. Are we?”
“Aria, he is a county champion and a runner up for the regional team. Apparently some of his pokegirls are at our level, too. So yes. I want to get to know him better.” Daniel smiled. “Plus, it’s always good to have friends around when you’re in a tournament. If we’re going for this cycle I’m sure he is, too.”
“But… she’s going to hate me.” Before the fight, and her evolution, Aria probably would have said that with fear, but now she said it with complete confidence. “And hate isn’t a good way to make friends.”
“Well, let’s find out. C’mon.” Daniel began pulling her towards Jay and was surprised to feel her let him. “Hey, Jay. Nice battle.”
The other man didn’t make any move to offer his hand. “I guess. Your pokegirl was incapacitated. How the hell did she move so precisely?”
Daniel looked at Aria and shrugged. “She did the same thing against an Abomasnow. Fighter’s instinct?”
Jay looked the newly evolved Neo-Iczel up and down before sighing. “You know, if I still saw you as a rookie with a strong pokegirl, I’d call bullshit. But I looked you up while Kali was getting healed.” He stuck out his hand. “Let’s start over. The name’s Jacob. Jacob Richards. And you’re Daniel Adams, son of the legendary Laurel Tamer Emmanuel Adams.”
Daniel stuck out his own hand and shook. “That’s right, although I’m doing my best to compete without being in my dad’s shadow. I really am a rookie.”
“Maybe, but a rookie with a battle sense.” Jay took his hand back. “And that’s extremely powerful. Like just now, you decided to injure your own pokegirl and cripple your communications in order to break her out of Kali’s technique. The fight was over; we had won. But you found a way out, and your pokegirl played it perfectly in order to take the win.” He smiled. “Not to mention what she was doing before the fight. A battle hardened Master willing to make whatever decision brings victory, and a smart, perceptive pokegirl who is able to keep her master on track. You deserve each other, and she deserves that evolution.” Jay laughed. “Now, would you please come back and meet the rest of my harem? I’d like to keep this friendship growing, because frankly I don’t want you as an enemy next year.”
Daniel chuckled, doing his best to ignore how puffed up Aria was getting from Jay’s words. “Would you believe me if I said that I was just saying the same thing?”
Jay grinned. “No, but I’ll take the compliment. Do you need to go get your girls?”
Daniel lifted his shirt to show his belt. “Right here. I didn’t want them too far if we were called for the prize tournament.”
“I can respect that." Jay gestured for Daniel to follow. "Follow me, I'm set up in the next section over."
The trio skirted a few groups that had taken positions in the main hallway before Jay ducked into a side door. "Ladies, I'm back."
Daniel followed and had to squint while his eyes adjusted to the unexpected light. Five pokegirls sat in a loose semicircle with a glowing orb nestled in the unfinished ceiling. "I'm impressed. How'd you get them to give you this room to use?"
“I didn't. As long as nobody official needs it, we're fine." Jay chuckled. "Ladies, this is Daniel Adams, and the pokegirl behind him is his Neo-Iczel, Aria. She just got done trouncing Kali."
The five bobbed their heads in unison. "Hello master Daniel."
“Oi! He's chill, so give it a rest." Jay growled. "Ann, Zoe, I've already told him about you so introduce yourselves."
The Alakawham in the front inclined her head. "I am Zoe, and this is my Alpha, Andrisha." She gestured at the silvery blue furred fox girl beside her. "It is our pleasure to meet you."
“The fox is the Alpha?" Aria looked surprised. "I'd expect the other way around."
“She's not a fox." Daniel watched the pokegirl warily. "I don't know what she is, but I know a wolf when I smell one."
Ann cocked an eyebrow as she looked at him. "Ah, from your mother. Smell and sound, eh? A potent combination." She got to her feet, her moderately sized form quickly expanding until she towered over the room. "It's true. I am a Dire Wolf, and it truly is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Daniel Emmanuel Adams."
“I'm Lisa!" A bunny girl leapt to her feet and pointed at the long tailed girl beside her. "And that's Synne, and she's, uh," she hesitated on the draconian pokegirl. "...Sssaaallyy?"
“My name is Yssyl." The girl replied, a pained look on her face.
“Yea, Sally." Daniel chuckled quietly when Yssyl just rolled her eyes. He could tell she was used to Lisa's antics.
“Do we have room for another six in here?" Daniel glanced around. "I don't want us to be crowded."
“Based on what your profile listed, I think we'll be ok. You're not going to pull out a random Leviathaness, right?"
Daniel snickered. "No, though that would be pretty epic." He quick-cycled the belt. "Noeth, Leah, Cyrene, Trish, Lily, meet Jay. Jay, likewise." He took a deep breath but was cut off when Jay raised his hand.
“It's my pleasure. Daniel and Aria just beat my Houshee in a 1v1. As for introductions and who I am, well, we have some time for that. That Dire Wolf over there is Ann, my alpha. Next to her are Zoe, my Alakawham, and Synne, my Atelesia. Continuing down the line is Lisa, my Gun Bunny, and Yssyl, my Draco." He held up Kali's pokeball. "And this is my Beta, Kali." He triggered the release. "She's a Houshee." He looked around at the twelve pokegirls. "Any questions?"
“Who exactly are you and why should I care?" Leah looked genuinely curious.
“I was a county champion last cycle. Daniel and I thought it best to have a mutual friendship."
“And it’s always better to have friends than enemies." Daniel glanced around to see the attention shifting from the two tamers to the harems. "So Jay. How'd you manage to get a Dire Wolf?"
“Hey Aria, you beat her? Nice job." Daniel was vaguely aware of Leah squeezing past him. "Looks like she took a chunk out of your outfit, though... wait..." She looked Aria up and down. "Hold on, you weren't taller than me this morning. Or... bigger..." she gasped. "Yo, you evolved! GIRLS! ARIA EVOLVED!"
“JUST LIKE MOST CELESTIALS. SHE FOUND ME." Jay had to yell over the sudden cacophony of voices as Daniel's harem clustered around Aria and gave their congratulations. "AND I CAN ASK THE SAME. HOW'D YOU GET A PANTHRIDUCIA?"
“No need to yell, Master." Daniel heard the noises die to a whisper as Ann stepped in. "There. I've muffled the sound around us. Because I am curious - how did you receive a redeemed paladin?"
“She was a gift, as a Tigress." Daniel looked over at Lily. "I had no idea what her past was. I just knew I had a broken pokegirl and worked to bring her back to where she could fight."
He wasn't looking so he missed the slight nod Jay and Ann shared. "You're a kind man, Daniel Adams." Daniel glanced back to see Ann smiling at him. "I almost regret that we will meet in battle one day."
Daniel blinked. "Why? You mean Lily? She'd sooner smack you than look at you. She's feisty."
Ann laughed. "No, I just mean that you deserve success in your life. Unfortunately, you will sometimes find failure. I see some of it coming from myself."
“Yea, well, that's what Jay said before Aria choked Kali out. So who knows? The future isn't set." Daniel’s eyes challenged Ann to say anything else.
Ann chuckled. "True." She stepped away, the noise around them returning to a normal level. "They seem to be done screaming. I believe I'll offer my own congratulations as well."
“So you're as strong as Annie?" Lisa jumped into the air and latched onto Aria's arm. "Cuz she's, like, super strong."
“Potentially, yes." Aria looked at the Dire Wolf and raised the giggling Gun Bunny to their height. "But I'm not used to my strength yet."
“I have honed my strength for centuries. You have had that form for less than an hour. So no, you are not as strong as I am." Ann shrugged. "That doesn't mean that you aren't powerful." She looked around. "Probably more powerful than any other in this room."
“She’d like teh think so.” Cyrene replied under her breath.
All activity ground to a halt as the tension between Cyrene and Aria ratcheted off the scale. “Oh, I know so.” Aria replied cheerfully, still holding Lisa off of the ground. “Even if you talked only about skill and experience, I’ve studied and trained for more hours than I think you’ve even considered close combat a style.”
“Is that so.” Cyrene stepped in close, prompting Lisa to let go of Aria’s arm and scramble to a safe distance. “Ah lost a lot a few months ago. Ah don’t even know if it started when ah can remember. But ah do remember one thing.” She glanced out the door, forgotten memories clouding her eyes. “Ah was undefeated here. In this building, ah was the Queen. And in this harem,” she continued, turning her gaze back to Aria. “that title is the same.”
“You are nothing.” Aria hissed. “Nothing but a petty woman who thinks she knows best because our Master gave her power. He has given me power, too. And I have surpassed anything you can even comprehend.”
“Then settle this.” Both girls started at Daniel’s voice and turned to see him watching them evenly. “Don’t kill each other for a moment. I’m going to go pull some strings.”
The crowd watched as he exited, a slight feeling of confusion beginning to seep into the tension. “What did he mean by pull some strings?” Synne stage whispered.
There was silence for a few minutes before the loudspeakers chimed. “Attention all contestants, spectators, and general populace. The first round of the prize tournaments will continue shortly. However, it is our pleasure to announce that there will be an exhibition match beforehand. Please turn your attention to the main ring, or any viewing monitor throughout the stadium. Former lightweight 1v1 undisputed champion Sere- Cyrene will be facing off against a challenger to her throne. Thought to be lost in the wilds, she has returned to prove once and for all that she is the Queen of this dome!”
Cyrene’s face drained of color as the loudspeakers clicked off. “Ah was… what? We’re going teh WHAT?”
“You seem scared.” Aria jabbed, though her own expression nearly mirrored Cyrene’s. “Well, I guess we, uh-“
“Get going.” Daniel replied, opening the door and fixing the two with a deadpan stare. “You wanted this, Aria. Can’t back down now.”
“Why would I back down?” Aria snarled, stalking past him and glancing around before pushing towards the main stage. “Now everyone gets to watch Cyrene lose.”
“Master Daniel.” Cyrene pleaded. “I’m not… This isnae who ah am anymore.”
“Cyrene.” Daniel soothed, gently laying his hand on her shoulder. “Have I ever sent you into a fight where I didn’t think you could win?”
Cyrene stood silently as she thought before finally shaking her head. “No.”
“Well why would I start now?” Daniel smiled. “I know that you want to forget who you were, but that isn’t healthy. You need to grow and learn from your past self, not try to destroy it. Go. Close this chapter.”
Cyrene hesitantly nodded and followed Aria out the door, leaving Daniel standing with the others.
“I’m sure we could stand here all day, but I really don’t think we want to miss this.” Jacob piped up. “How’d you manage to make it happen?”
“I dropped my dad’s name and explained that my Alpha needed to defend an old title. Once I explained who Cyrene was, the man I was talking to nearly knocked himself out grabbing for the phone. She was seriously some kind of star here. I should look up some vids of her fights.”
“You there.” Daniel paused, the others streaming around him as he turned to see Marcus approaching him with interest. “You are the Tamer of the legendary Maelstrom?”
“That’s not her name.”
“Do you know who I am?” Marcus asked, his ElfQueen stepping back to allow the two men space. “I am the National Team Captain. When I call a pokegirl by something other than her declared name, it is not an insult.”
“I know who you are.” Daniel replied, trying and failing to keep his voice from cracking. “Who was she, that she was so important here?”
“I’ll tell you, on one condition.” Marcus held out his hand. “Sell me your Airmaiden.”
Daniel didn’t even have to respond; the utter cacophony of laughter from his harem as they pulled him along answered for him. Marcus watched them go. “He’s dangerous.”
Thas’Alan nodded. “Who was this Airmaiden, that she interests you so?”
“Exactly as I said to him. She was a Maelstrom, a force of destruction more powerful than anything else under this dome. But she disappeared years ago. Before I met you.” He turned. “If this is truly the pokegirl I’m thinking of, our position on top is no longer secure.”
Thas’Alan stared at him in shock. “Master Reed, there’s no way a single pokegirl could threaten us all.”
Marcus stopped in front of a viewing station, the screen showing the empty stage and a roiling crowd. “We shall see.”
“And she’s done it again!”
Serena twisted past the falling form and watched as it was picked out of the sky by a recall beam. Behind her the scoreboard flashed, showing a perfect victory. On the far side of the ring she could see him jumping, laughing. She smiled, floating down to embrace her Tamer.
“You’ve done it again, Serena.” He cried, his grip surrounding her, comforting her. “My wonderful, wonderful Angel.”
Serena’s eyes snapped open and Cyrene gazed down the tunnel in front of her. Who he had been, she didn’t know. But she knew what the crowd expected her to do. And she would give it to them.
“’Scuse me, pardon me, coming through.” Daniel muttered, pushing past a screaming gaggle of pokegirls and collapsing into a seat, his harem haphazardly clustering into seats around him. “Lost track of Jacob, but that’s fine. We’ll find each other later.”
“Sir, shouldn’t you be down there?” Lea nodded at the ring, Aria’s shadow barely visible beyond one side. “Since it’s our sisters down there, after all.”
“No need.” Daniel sat back, his eyes watching only where Cyrene would be emerging. “Besides. I think I need to watch this, not experience it.”
Lea was about to ask him what he meant when the noise swelled, Aria stepping out onto the ring and glaring around her. There were a handful of boos, but the majority of the crowds seemed content just to cheer, caught up in the excitement of the moment.
“Where are you?” Daniel muttered under his breath, eyes still fixed on Cyrene’s tunnel. “I can feel you blocking me. What’s so important that I can’t know?”
“Could it truly be her?” The announcer suddenly shouted as a tune began to play, the crowds quieting slightly as the atmosphere grew. “The Maelstrom, the Queen of Blades, the Maiden of Gusts. Has the most decorated fighter of the dome’s history truly returned???”
“I remember. This is who I was.” Daniel heard clearly as Cyrene released the emotions she had been holding from him and stepped into the light.
The entire stadium fell silent as she appeared. Her aura was draped over her shoulders, forming a pair of brilliant green wings that idly twisted behind her. Without warning she vaulted upwards, the wings snapping out to catch the light, sending a shower of green sparkles cascading around her as she flew towards the ring.
“IT REALLY IS!” The announcer roared, matched by an equal roar from the crowds. “THE ANGEL OF THE WIND! BUT WHO IS HER OPPONENT? WHO WOULD BE FOOLISH ENOUGH TO CHALLENGE THE GREATEST FIGHTER THIS ARENA HAS EVER SEEN?”
“Get those cameras out of my face.” Aria snarled, slapping a drone away. “This whole thing is stupid.”
“I’ve got some information here… Ah, I see. It appears we have more than just an old title on the line here, folks. Since her disappearance Serena has since joined a combat harem, changing her name to Cyrene and acts as its Alpha. This fight isn’t just to remain undefeated under this roof, this fight is for that title as well.”
A low murmur began to supplement the cheering but quieted down as Aria stepped forwards and gestured at the referee. “WELL?” She spat. “LET’S GO?”
“Contestants, please enter the ring.” The referee called. “This fight is until KO. Are the contestants ready?” Cyrene nodded her assent while Aria made a ‘get on with it’ motion. “Very well. The fight will begin in three! Two! Begin!”
Aria immediately lifted off the ground and blitzed Cyrene, but was far too slow. Cyrene lazily flipped past her opponent, her aura surging as she peppered Aria’s back with an Empty Dagger attack. The damage did little more than anger the Neo-Iczel, Aria snapping around and answering with a Power Bolt volley of her own.
“Yeh are embarrassingly slow.” Cyrene noted, idly twisting to let the bolts of magic impact harmlessly behind her. “I’m sure you’re stronger than me, but if yeh can’t hit me, what’s the point?”
Aria grit her teeth and dove in again, hissing in frustration when the Magic Knight simply slipped past her again. “Come on! I know you love to fight! FIGHT ME!”
“Before my evolution, ah would probably have dove right in and let yeh knock me out.” Cyrene replied, ducking another bolt and smashing Aria in the face with her response. “But see, the thing is, ah don’t need to do that. I understand that now.” She used Agility, adding to her already superior speed. “Ah can hit yeh, and yeh can’t hit me. Ah can’t lose.”
Aria’s eyes flashed and she threw her hands forwards. “THEN SLOW DOWN!”
Cyrene wavered slightly as the slow spell took effect, but as Aria began moving in she sped right back up and continued battering the fuming Neo-Iczel. “Yeh really think yeh can pull that off on the one who taught it teh yeh?” Cyrene sneered. “Just a little shift and ah can regain all the speed yeh take away.”
“You’ll never knock me out with that.” Aria countered, throwing her arms to the side and taking the next Empty Daggers head on. “See? No damage. You’re tickling me.”
“It doesn’t need teh do damage.” Cyrene smiled. “I mean, it’s just there to prove yeh right, after all. You’re stronger than me, better than me. Yeh should be Alpha, really.”
Aria had begun to puff up her chest at Cyrene’s words and completely missed the magic she was weaving into them. She was just starting to open her mouth to gloat when the room began to spin. “Wha-“ She started before stumbling and collapsing to her knees. “What the fuck?”
“Ah take it back. Ye’ll never be better than me.” Cyrene muttered, stepping forwards and dodging an errant swing. “Not as long as you’re so utterly stupid.”
“I think the battle might be over, folks.” The announcer cried, watching as Cyrene stepped closer to Aria, the Neo-Iczel still trying to get her bearings. “Looks like Cyrene will be holding her title for one last fight.”
“NO!” Aria screamed, slamming her hands into the ground. Or at least attempting to. The disorientation instead sent her arms flinging to the side, completely negating the Tectonic Slam attack but forcing Cyrene to leap away before they could hit her. Taking her chance she stepped back in, her armor snapping into place as she grabbed Aria’s chin and forced her eye to eye.
“Who am I?” She hissed, her eyes glowing as she used Call Me Queen. “Say it, bitch. SAY IT!”
Aria’s entire body shuddered as she fought the influence, but she was far too disoriented to put up much of a fight. “You’re a b… b… a-a-Alphaaaa.” She cried, clutching at Cyrene’s hand and feebly trying to pry it loose. “Alpha! My Alpha!” She screamed in pain from the psychic assault. “I GIVE UP!”
“That’s what ah fucking thought.” Cyrene growled before slamming Aria’s head into the ground. “Sleep that off, yeh bitch.”
“NEO-ICZEL ARIA LOSES!” The referee roared, raising his hand and pointing to Cyrene. “MAGIC KNIGHT CYRENE IS THE VICTOR!”
There was utter silence as every camera in the arena focused on Cyrene’s new, statuesque figure, the crowd trying to reconcile the armored pokegirl with what Cyrene had been as an Airmaiden. The silence was broken as someone began to cheer, and soon the entire stadium was shaking from the combined voices. So loud, in fact, that the announcer couldn’t even be heard as he screamed into his microphone.
“And with that, I think it’s time to go.” Daniel muttered, withdrawing his pokeballs and beginning to return his harem.
Daniel paused and glanced at Lily, the Panthriducia watching their surroundings intently. “Why?”
“Let me be your bodyguard.” Lily looked to him. “Please?”
“Is there a reason you want to stay out?”
“Can the reason be that I want to be close to you?” Lily murmured. “I pushed you away for weeks. Please.”
Daniel lifted his arm, straining slightly to allow the taller girl to snuggle up to him. “Cyrene won’t be happy.”
“She gets her time. Right now, she’s preoccupied.” Lily moved forwards so Daniel could wrap his arm around her waist as they began walking. “While we’re in town, can I get some new clothes?”
“You seemed to enjoy being naked as a Tigress.” Daniel paused. “I suppose I can’t make any assumptions about then, though, can I?”
“I…Could learn to enjoy it.” Lily’s expression was pained. “It wasn’t my choice. And I wasn’t able to ask you to fix it.”
“Mmm.” Daniel gave her a comforting squeeze. “We’ll get you some clothes. In fact, we can go right now, if you want.”
“But, what about the tournament?” Lily glanced to her side as a door opened. “Oh, she found us.”
Cyrene emerged from the arena, an unconscious Aria hoisted over her shoulder. “There yeh are, Master. Pokeball?”
Daniel triggered Aria’s release and nodded to his Magic Knight. “Well done, my Alpha.”
Cyrene chuckled. “Thank yeh, Master. I remembered some things while I was in the arena. They are behind me, as yeh said they would be.”
Daniel smiled back at her. “I’m glad.” He held out his free arm, allowing Cyrene to mirror Lily’s position and huffed. “I’m surrounded by giants.”
The two pokegirls looked over their Tamer’s head at each other and shared a wink. “The bigger the better, Master?” Cyrene teased.
“Somehow I don’t think you’re still talking about your height.” Daniel resisted the urge to turn as he felt something pressing against his head. “Lily, get your tit out of my face please.” He waited but the Panthriducia didn’t move. “Lily?”
“Lily?” Cyrene repeated, her voice worried. “Are yeh ok?”
Lily stood completely frozen as she stared at a group of people nearby. After a few moments the group split enough for Daniel to see who Lily was staring at. “Lily. Hey.” He snapped his fingers in her face, startling her back to reality. “Who is he?”
Lily’s chest vibrated as she growled. “Bastard. Torturer. Evil.” She took a shaky step forward, seemingly unsure as to what to do. “Those eyes. That face.”
Daniel took another quick glance before the crowd closed again. “Is that… your old Master?”
“No.” Lily’s response was immediate. “He is dead. That was one of his… friends.”
“Lily, stop.” Daniel quickly grabbed her arm. “I don’t know what you’re going to do right now, but you can’t. He’s a civilian. A human. You’re a pokegirl.” He glanced around. “If you attack him, you’d be…”
That got through, Lily instantly relaxing, although the tension was still evident on her face. “He’s… There’s something I cannot remember. Something dangerous. Deadly, about that man.”
“Whatever it is, you need to let it go.” Daniel hissed. “You did things. Terrible things while you were a Panthress. Humans do terrible things. But unless you want to be labeled a menace again, you need to work within the law.”
The anger in Lily’s expression was inescapable as she let Daniel pull her a few feet away. “That man does not deserve to walk free.” She whispered. “I long to tear him apart, piece by-“
“BE QUIET.” Daniel hissed, clamping his hand over her mouth. “Cyrene, get information on him. A name, something. I need to get Lily away from here.”
Cyrene nodded grimly, watching as the other two made their way down a short hallway where Daniel started conversing with the Panthriducia.
“Lily. He is here for one reason. To fight.” Daniel shook her. “Listen to me, dammit. If he’s still who you remember, there will be signs on his harem. Mental, if not physical. We will watch, and we will wait, and we will most importantly record. And when we have evidence, we will go to the police, and we will make sure he can never harm anyone ever again. Do you hear me?”
Daniel whirled in time to see Cyrene stepping backwards, her armor summoned. The crowd in front of her had parted, showing the man holding a woman, his fist still raised. The pokegirl, Daniel thought it was probably a peekaboo or some other kind of rodent pokegirl, was bleeding from her nose and her eyes were unfocused, though Daniel could see a glint of liquid on her face.
“Back up. NOW.” Daniel fumbled with his belt and successfully recalled Lily as she stepped forwards towards the man. “Get out of there!”
Cyrene swiftly turned away, taking long but measured strides back to him. As soon as she was close she put her arm around him, steering him away. As Daniel turned he could see the man watching them, but thankfully he made no move to follow.
“Numbers 11, 32, 26, 22, 14, and 1, please report to the main stage. The prize tournament will now resume.” The voice over the loudspeaker interrupted their impromptu escape, causing Daniel to glance down at the badge on his shirt.
“Shit. That’s us.” He looked up at Cyrene. “Do we forfeit?”
“Why would we do that, Master?” Cyrene looked back, but the crowd had vanished. “We kinnae go teh anyone. There is no proof. And even if there was, he is likely within the law.”
“I was afraid you’d say that. Alright. Let’s get to the ring.” Daniel wrested control back and held out her pokeball. “Here we go.”
After recalling her he made his way to a stage entrance, showing his badge to the guard before walking into the staging area. There were two other Tamers there, each changing or in some way preparing. Daniel didn’t have anything to do so he just continued through the marked door.
“Number 22?” An attendant waved him over. “You’ll be in arena three, facing number 26. Your format will be a regular unlimited match. You may begin as soon as ready.”
Daniel stepped into the box and nodded to the referee. His opponent was already there, the other man tapping at his pokedex while he waited.
“22, 26, are you ready?” The referee called, prompting 26 to put down his pokedex and raise a pokeball.
“Uh, one second.” Daniel replied, starting his recording before widening the camera so it covered all three arenas. “Yep!”
“This will be a one on one unlimited battle. This battle will continue until one Tamer reaches six points or forfeits. Ready? Begin!”
Daniel led with Lea, the Armsmistress taking a moment to get her bearings before easily blocking her opponent’s first attack. The Whoretortle looked thoughtful as Lea swatted away her water gun before charging forwards and spinning, her shell impacting against Lea’s guard and sending a crashing sound resonating through the arena.
Daniel and the other Tamer both gave commands simultaneously, causing the Whoretortle to dodge backwards as Lea planted herself and missed with a Master Blow. The turtle girl didn’t get off without taking damage, however, as Lea used the momentum from the failed attack to send a rapid string of Chi Blasts across the arena which impacted the Whoretortle squarely.
“Nice hit!” Daniel yelled, still cringing from the ranged attack but not letting his pride get in the way. “Don’t let her turn her back on you!”
Lea stepped in, her feet sweeping as she rapidly shifted her balance until the erratic movements stopped, the punches barely blocked by the Whoretortle, who was blown back from Lea’s enhanced strength. “Orabel! Defense!”
The Whoretortle focused on her shell at her Tamer’s command, causing Lea to scoff in frustration. “Tch! You’re just prolonging the inevitable.” She called, hopping in on one foot before swiftly dancing to her other leg to avoid a sweep. “Stop that.” Lea snapped her body back horizontally to avoid a Water Gun, the attack causing Daniel to duck as it fizzled against the protective wards in front of him. “You’re embarrassing yourself.”
The fight continued for another few minutes, and Daniel quickly saw the real reason Lea’s opponent was taking so long; Lea’s breaths began getting ragged, and though her punches never faltered, it was clear that she was becoming exhausted.
Finally Lea managed to down the Whoretortle and stood, chest heaving as the referee called the point. “Fucking… Tough… Bitch.” She gasped out.
“You did your job, Orabel. Thank you.” The other Tamer recalled her and held out another pokeball. “Cindi! Let’s do it!”
The pokegirl he released stood a good few inches taller than Lea, her white wings initially making Daniel think she was an Angel. As he opened his mouth and started to direct Lea forwards, the pokegirl’s furred tail lazily flipped into view. The sight caused Daniel to choke on his words as he tried to call Lea back, but it was too late. The Armsmistress managed to get in range just to be immediately set upon by the Griffon’s claws, the catgirl switching to her battle form to meet the surprised Armsmistress mid charge.
Daniel quickly recalled her before she sustained much damage, choosing to concede the point immediately.
“Hold, Cindi, hooold.” The other Tamer yelled as the Griffon growled and paced, making abortive motions at Daniel as he reached for Cyrene’s pokeball. The Magic Knight materialized already armored, taking one look at her pacing opponent and settling into a guard stance.
The Griffon roared and lunged before her Tamer could say anything, grappling Cyrene’s arm. Cyrene roared back, her body torqueing as she shifted her strength and attempted to fight back. The Griffon was too strong though, and Cyrene was slowly forced to the ground as she continued channeling her shift.
“Cyrene, get out of her way!” Daniel yelled before switching to the bond. “Stop resisting, let her push past you, then twist aside.”
Cyrene grunted her assent, slackening her muscles for just an instant. The lack of resistance sent the surprised Griffon twisting past her, wrenching her arm free and bringing her axe whistling down with her free hand. She was still shifted primarily into strength, so the heavy war axe made a sickening crunch as it cleaved cleanly into the Griffon’s shoulder, causing the girl to scream in pain and clutch at her now motionless arm.
“Cindi- Fuck, get her!” The other tamer screamed as he panicked. Cyrene was too slow to get a second hit off, the Griffon stepping inside her guard and unleashing a weakened set of Fury Swipes before tottering out of range and charging a Feather Shuriken, her wings glowing as the chi built.
“Two can play at this game.” Cyrene called calmly, her own aura flaring as she sent an Empty Daggers attack stabbing into the Griffon, who opened her mouth soundlessly before collapsing, blood pooling from her fresh wounds.
The other tamer quickly recalled her and scrabbled with his pokedex, only reaching for his next pokeball when the referee called him to hurry up. “She’s… Uh…” He fumbled as the referee began counting. “Shit! Uh, Drayil! Finish this up!”
Daniel gasped at the immense form that materialized. “Cyrene, dominate, NOW!”
Cyrene hesitated, which was more than enough time for the Drakaina. The dragon girl pulsed her fear aura, unfolding her wings and roaring fury at the suddenly cowering Magic Knight before rushing forwards and ripping straight through Cyrene’s armor with her claws. Cyrene’s body flew another few feet before slamming into the ground, blood and organs spilling from the wound in her stomach as Daniel instantly recalled her.
“HOLD!” The referee screamed, turning to the other Tamer. “WARNING! Do NOT use lethal attacks!”
“Sorry, I didn’t want to use my Drakaina against such weak pokegirls.” Daniel bristled at the Tamer’s words. “I was afraid something like that would happen.”
“If it happens again, you will be disqualified.” The referee motioned. “Continue!”
“Weak, huh?” Daniel spat. “Lily. Rip and tear.”
Lily materialized still in mid stride from earlier and glanced around before shooting daggers at Daniel, who merely shrugged and pointed at the Drakaina. “You were going to do something you would have regretted. Take her down, please.”
“Master.” Lily acknowledged, fury still burning in her eyes as she brought it to bear on the dragon girl.
The two were tensing to clash when a scream rent the air.
Daniel sighed internally, prepared to hear more shouts about Lily being a Panthress, but when he instead heard the sound of running feet and more screams, he turned.
The man from the crowd, the one Lily had identified, stood in the first ring’s Tamer box. As Daniel watched, he raised his hand in slow motion, something glinting in his hand. Daniel wasn’t able to process that it was a gun until it fired.
Across from the man his opponent crumpled, blood and brain matter spraying from his head. In the ring his pokegirl also fell to what appeared to be some sort of inhumanoid pokegirl, gore spraying in a glinting arc before splattering against the referee as he turned to flee.
Daniel was dimly aware as the two pokegirls in front of him each reacted. Lily reached her tamer first, with the Drakaina reaching hers a moment later. Both were already in motion as the second shot fired.
The second bullet impacted the ground harmlessly; the man’s aim was soured as the second arena reacted, slower than Daniel and his opponent but fast enough to survive as a sword-toting pokegirl knocked her tamer out of harm’s way.
“Team Massacre in the HOUSE!” The man screamed, laughing as he fired a third and fourth shot into the packed stands.
“Hey, so, I technically win, right?” Daniel asked the other tamer. “Since I hit two points first.”
“You’re really talking about the match NOW?” The guy cried, his Drakaina hunkered down over him. “We’re going to die!”
“He’s probably after rare pokegirls. As most of these team attacks are.” Daniel flinched as the gunman fired the remainder of his magazine and started to reload. “There we go. Hey Lily, isn’t there something you wanted to do?”
The Panthriducia glanced at him in surprise before her face changed and a savage grin took over. She didn’t bother responding to him; one moment, she was huddled over his body acting as a shield, the next, she was halfway to her target. Daniel quickly released Trish and pulled her down next to him to act as his guard.
The man’s pokegirl saw the threat and reacted, pieces of metal slicing through the air to intercept. Lily merely shifted to let them fly harmlessly past her as she rocketed towards the man, a furry missile, eyes glowing pure savage rage and her tail coiling towards the pokegirl.
Daniel peeked his head up in time to see her impact, her jaws crushing the man’s wrist and sending the gun skittering across the floor as she continued to gore him. The pokegirl didn’t stay distracted by her tail for long, but it was long enough for Lily to shift her jaws to the man’s neck, nearly decapitating him. As she released the corpse the head lolled, most of the skin and tendons severed as she dove into the pokegirl. She was slower this time, taking a few bites and a generous clawing to take her opponent to the ground.
“Holy fucking shit.” The tamer next to Daniel breathed. “I am suddenly very glad that lethal moves aren’t allowed.”
“Lily would only ever do that to someone that deserved it.” Daniel dove back down as more shouts echoed. “Ah fuck, there’re the rest of them!”
Lily spun to view the two Tamers and their pokegirls that had appeared in the stands. She stood for a second as attacks impacted next to her before she dashed back to Daniel, grabbing him in her jaws and barreling towards the exit.
“WAIT FOR US!” The other tamer screamed, his Drakaina bundling him up and sprinting behind the dashing Panthriducia. Trish held the rear, managing to deflect two shots but getting nicked by a few more before she could get behind cover.
“Daniel! Over here!” Daniel glanced over to see Jacob gesturing at him from a door that he recognized as the utility closet they had been staying in. With a cursory glance to make sure they weren’t being followed Lily ran inside, depositing Daniel on the floor before shifting back and heaving Trish in behind the other tamer while Jacob slammed the door shut.
“I heard gunshots. What’s going on out there?” Jacob asked, his harem clustered around.
“Team attack.” Daniel replied, rubbing at where Lily’s teeth had nicked his shoulder. “At least one dead. But Lily got the bastard who did it, so that’s a plus.”
Jacob motioned for silence as feet could be heard running past the room. After a minute he spoke up. “There are tons of strong Tamers here today. I wonder what the hell they’re thinking.”
“It’s just after noon.” Daniel glanced at his pokedex to confirm. “The low tournament is running right now and it’s lunch time. All of the really strong Tamers are out at lunch.”
“Most.” Daniel glanced up at Jacob, the other man affixing a jaunty grin to his face. “We’re still here, aren’t we?”
“I don’t have a death wish.” Daniel snorted. “We’re safe in here, so let’s just wait it out until the police handle the situation.”
“Can’t do that.” Jacob chuckled. “Ann would never let me. And I doubt yours will either.”
Daniel glanced at Lily and his hand twitched towards her pokeball. “Lily…?”
The Panthriducia gave him a flat stare. “We must, Master.”
“Fuck.” Daniel released Lea, spraying down the injuries she’d sustained during the fight and quickly briefing her. “I’m keeping Aria and Noeth in reserve. Aria probably would love this but she hasn’t trained with her new body at all.” He glanced at his three pokegirls. “We are not here to die heroically. We are here to live through this.”
“Well said.” Jacob recalled Lisa, Synne, and Yssyl. “I’ve got my three. You’ve got yours. Together we make a full team.”
“Yea, I’m just going to sit this one out.” The two looked over at Daniel’s opponent and his dragon girl. “I’ve got absolutely no desire or Celestial drive to run out there. But, I’ll keep the door open. Watch your back, and if you need to run…”
Daniel nodded. “Thank you.”
“Right.” Jacob stretched. “Zoe, hold pattern beta until otherwise instructed. Ann, you have command.”
Daniel gulped but nodded. “We’re behind you. Lily, let’s go.”
Enhanced Senses (Auditory, Olfactory)
Cyrene (A) – Magic Knight, LV 34
Trish – Samurai, LV 30
Lea – Armsmistress, LV 28
Noeth – Loner, LV 32
Aria – Neo-Iczel, LV 33
Lily – Panthriducia, LV 38
Jackie (A) – Amazon, LV 25
Abilene – Venuswhore, LV 29
Eirene – Dark Kitsune, LV 24
Sabrina – Ka-D-Bra, LV 23
Zoe – Marylith, LV 28
Parija – Pyrothon, LV ??