Disclaimer:

          This work is fiction. The work is presented under fair protection where applicable.

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         You should not read this work if you are not of legal age where you reside. This work may contain concepts or written actions that some readers may find excessive or disturbing. This may include (but not be limited to) rape, BDSM, or death.

 

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Chapter 30

Champion of Champions

 

 

 

         Vika gasped when Nicholas’ dick penetrated her again. After so long, she had finally joined his Weyr…

 

         Nicholas wrapped his legs around her lower body, holding her squirming tail in place as he slid along her scales. It was a trick he’d learned with Kary and he put it to good use now, the position allowing him to sit up as he thrust.

 

         “So, Lili.” Nicholas looked over at the Tyranitar as he almost casually fucked Vika. “Are you ready for today?”

 

         Lili was entwined with Kary, both pokegirls at rest after their almost nightlong struggle. It had ended in a tie… for now. “We battle today, right Weyrleader?” Lili smiled. “I can’t wait.”

 

 

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         Vira looked up when Nicholas called. The field was empty compared to the day before, with most of the gym leaders having gone back to their respective cities. All except for Gary and Sabrina.

 

         “You actually came back.” Vira got to her feet. “I, I’m sorry for acting so rashly yesterday.”

 

         “Thank you for the apology.” Nicholas nodded at Cassidy. “You remember what to do?”

 

         The Alakazam smiled. “Of course, Master. When should I pick you up?”

 

         “Come back as soon as you’ve contacted everyone.” Nicholas turned away when she teleported. “Sabrina, make sure the RTF is ready.”

 

         “They’re standing by.” Sabrina glanced at Vira with a small smile. “They’ll be very disappointed if you win, Vira.”

 

         Vira smiled slightly in return. “You’d hate to disappoint them, wouldn’t you, Topolski?”

 

         Nicholas smiled back. Now that she was calm he could feel the same confidence she had shown him outside of Kali’s hiding place almost two years ago. “Two former champions. Is this place going to survive our fight?”

 

         Gary chuckled. “It survived yesterday, didn’t it? It may just be a community arena but it’s built to code.”

 

         “Then there’s no reason to delay, is there.” Nicholas lifted a pokeball. “Gary? Would you mind officiating?”

 

         “Gladly.” Gary raised his hands. “Nicholas! Vira! This will be an unlimited battle with free substitutions. On three, release your first pokegirls! One! Two! Three!”

 

         Nicholas released Lili and grimaced. Vira had released her Blastoise. “Shit.”

 

         Vira’s eyes lit up. “Ha! I knew you’d lead with her!”

 

         “And I was hoping you’d think I knew you’d know…” Nicholas rolled his eyes. “Whatever. Lili, stay ready.”

 

         The Blastoise was charging an attack as he recalled Lili. Immediately he’d given Vira the momentum. Who could take it back?

 

         Memories of Michael’s Blastoise, Vanessa, flicked through his mind. This Blastoise would probably be just as skilled at using her shell for defense. That meant he really only could choose between Miyuki and Hana.

 

         It was an obvious choice but he didn’t like letting Hana get hit. The Ampharos materialized, hearing Nicholas’ urgent warning and raising her hands to block. “HANA, DEFEND!”

 

         Water blasted her off her feet and she tumbled across the ground until she was tossed free of the stream and could get her bearings. Everything hurt as Hana composed herself, sparks zipping through her hair to indicate her gathering charge.

 

         “Before she can attack! Kamie take her down!”

 

         Hana spluttered as another wave of water crashed into her but this one was weaker. She held her ground, pushing past the pain as plasma began to form in her hands.

 

         She couldn’t take another hit. So she needed to finish this in one blow. Lightning speared from her hands, sinking into Kamie as Hana poured everything she had into one desperate attack.

 

         It wasn’t enough. Electricity surged through Kamie’s body but the Blastoise still raised her arms again. Hana was knocked unconscious by another wave, her attack snapping off and leaving Kamie standing. Heavily injured, but standing.

 

         Nicholas recalled her. He had to assume that Vira had a balanced harem and numerous calculations flashed by before he grabbed another pokeball. “Miyuki! Finish her off!”

 

         Miyuki sprinted towards Kamie and before the Blastoise could react shadows burst from her jaws. Kamie let out a keening scream as she collapsed, Miyuki ripping her fangs free from the fainted Blastoise and dancing back as Vira released her next pokegirl.

 

         Just as Nicholas had feared it was a Fire-type. A Ninetales, to be precise, and Nicholas recalled Miyuki before the girl could attack. Vira shook her head when Nessa appeared and recalled her own pokegirl. “Stand and fight.”

 

         Nicholas’ eyes lit up when he saw a Victreebel appear. “I’ll try to give my girls the best chance they have, Vira. Nessa!” His voice dropped so Vira couldn’t hear him. “Remember what you did to Thorn.”

 

         Nessa growled. She remembered. The bitter cold of Miyuki’s ice in her hand. She clenched her fist, feeling a slight twinge as she did.

 

         “Well you’d better get your Feraligatr to safety, then,” Vira taunted. “Mya, fill the air! Do not let her escape!”

 

         “She expects you to cower. To hide in fear from her attack,” Nicholas said quietly. “Show her, Nessa. Show her what you are.”

 

         Nessa roared and charged forwards, Vira’s confidence wavering when she saw Nicholas standing apparently unconcerned. “Mya, hurry up! Blast her!”

 

         Nessa clamped her teeth together. A small puff of cold air pushed between them, fogging in the morning air as energy began to glow around her fist. Mya raised her hands, leaves shaking free from her hair and vines and beginning to swirl around her. Neither Pokegirl even considered defending. Whoever struck first would win.

 

         It was Nessa. She slammed her foot down when she reached Mya, torqueing her entire body to whip her fist straight towards the Victreebel. The cold radiating from it froze the whirling leaf storm and Mya choked when Nessa’s fist punched into her throat. Ice exploded from the impact point and Mya crashed back.

 

         Vira recalled her with a curse, leading Gary to call the point. Vira’s next pokegirl was a Gengar. This one was completely nude, no clothing, no mask, nothing. The Ghost-type surveyed her opponent and drifted forwards, her body diffusing slightly as she did.

 

         Nicholas frowned. They had the momentum now. He’d have preferred to have Lili fight this Gengar but Nessa would have to do. “Be careful, Nessa. Remember that she can warp her body.”

 

         Nessa grunted. She didn’t have a very good track record against Ghost-types. This was her chance to change that.

 

         The Gengar flickered for a moment and Nessa scowled, tracking the slight disturbance in the air. Almost like a heat haze. “I still see you.” With a shout she lunged, tearing the apparition apart and turning when the Gengar formed again behind her.

 

         “You see… what I wish you to see,” Nysa hissed quietly. “I am.” Another flicker and the voice came from the shimmering air. “I am not.”

 

         Nessa snorted. She dove at the immaterial clone again, tearing through the shadows and turning to scan for the Gengar.

 

         Nysa materialized in midair, just out of Nessa’s vision, and began charging an attack. Nicholas didn’t say anything at first, believing Nessa to be fine on her own, but when the roiling shadows expanded around the Gengar’s outstretched hand, and Nessa didn’t react, he shouted. “ABOVE YOU!”

 

         Nessa whirled, her eyes widening when she saw the dark sphere. With a cry the Gengar fired her attack and Nessa screamed when it engulfed her. Voices whispered in her ears, the shadowy energy tearing at her body, and with a tormented cry Nessa burst free, barely able to stay standing. Nysa smirked when Nessa planted her legs, breathing heavily as she tried to recover. “Fall.” She was raising her hand again to form another sphere when Nessa slammed her hand against her knee and snapped her gaze upwards.

 

         “Nice… shadows,” Nessa snarled, slowly pushing herself upright again. “Bitch, I can do that too.”

 

         Vira started to shout a command before hesitating. Nicholas saw Nessa bracing herself as her aura surged and clenched his fists. “They’re faltering. Nessa, do it now!”

 

         With a scream Nessa threw her hands towards the ground and sent jets of water blasting into the dirt, propelling her skyward and towards Nysa. Nysa had been distracted by Vira’s half command and was caught out, forced to cancel her attack just to make an attempt to dodge. Nessa’s crazy flight ended when the Feraligatr stopped using her energy to create water and instead drew it back into herself, focusing fully on her jaws as roiling shadows burst free. Still screaming she smashed through Nysa, her shadow-infused fangs ripping into the Gengar’s incorporeal body. Nysa let out a keening wail and fell, crashing to the ground as Nessa went head first into the dirt and went still.

 

         Nicholas quickly recalled her when he saw how badly she had fallen and looked for Nysa. Unfortunately, the Gengar was still moving. And he could see Vira readying her pokeball.

 

         “No!” Vira glanced up when Nicholas ripped another pokeball from his belt and triggered it. “LILI! STOP HER FROM BEING RECALLED!”

 

         Vira swore when the Tyranitar materialized. “Nysa, get up! Hit her before she can hit you!”

 

         Nysa struggled upright and tried to focus on the charging Tyranitar. Aura, actual aura, not her shadows, pooled in her palm as she took aim. Lili ducked lower, forcing herself to run faster as her own dark energy eagerly reached for its prey. She wasn’t going to make it-

 

         Nysa fired her blast and Vira sighed. Lili blinked, feeling where the energy had cut a gash across her shoulder but otherwise… Nysa had missed. Nysa didn’t get a chance to do anything else before Lili arrived, reaching out and grabbing the Gengar before slamming her into the ground. Lili’s shadowy energy surrounded Nysa, keeping her from dispersing, as she struck, again, and again-

 

         Finally the recall beam found Nysa and Lili jumped back. Sweat glistened across her skin from her exertion but she didn’t feel any fatigue. On the contrary. Her eyes narrowed and she began to growl as Vira debated her next pokegirl. She wanted to fight NOW! To tear apart whatever pokegirl this woman sent against her Weyrleader!

 

          Nicholas laughed when Lili let out a roar. The morning had been such a whirlwind of activity as he tried to get her battle ready. A new set of clothes, or in her case underwear, new protective wraps, finding a reusable binder for her chest, and most importantly… his eyes danced when he saw the rippling energy covering Lili’s hands. Training her to use the technique the Blackthorns had given them.

 

         But he wasn’t just appreciating Lili’s body. He also calculated. Vira had a Ninetales, but there was no way she would send her out against Lili. That Ninetales was dangerous. Both Miyuki and Ryuko were weak to fire, and he had a feeling Vira knew his harem. He didn’t know hers. That meant whatever came out next would be new and it would be someone Vira thought could handle Lili.

 

         Who could it be? Another brawler? A dragon of her own? Nicholas watched Vira raise a pokeball. Maybe a tough pokegirl who could take hits…?

 

         The pokegirl that materialized gazed across the arena. Lili’s roar slowly died, giving way to confusion when she saw what faced her.

 

         The girl was short. Barely even five foot. Furry ears and tail, sure. Nicholas knew pokegirls came in all shapes and sizes. But this one just… looked cute. He didn’t know how else to describe it. She was all dolled up in a nice white and pink dress with ribbons streaming from her hair. And Vira expected her to face Lili?

 

         “What the hell is this?” he asked. “Vira?”

 

         “Don’t judge Eve by her appearance,” Vira replied. “Eve. You have a dragon to slay.”

 

         The girl blinked. “Ah, if you say so, Mistress.”

 

         “Seriously?” Nicholas shook his head when Eve began fiddling with her ribbons. “Lili. Don’t hold back. Destroy her.”

 

         “Yes, Weyrleader,” Lili growled. Vira watched as the energy focused into Lili’s claws and smiled.

 

         “Kalmiya? What is she?” Nicholas asked as Lili charged. “She looks kind of like an Eevee, but I’ve never seen an Eevee with white, blue, and pink hair.”

 

         “Scan is compiling, Master,” Kalmiya replied. “Using proposed similarity to Eevee… scanning… match. Sylveon. The intertwining pokegirl.”

 

         “Sylveon? I’ve never heard of that pokegirl before,” Nicholas mused. “Whatever. Lili is about to take her down.”

 

         As Lili got close her eyes narrowed. Eve hadn’t made any move to dodge. In fact, the cute little girl was still messing with her ribbons. Waving them about in the wind. “HEY! FIGHT ME!” Lili snarled when Eve didn’t even look at her. “FINE! THEN TAKE THIS!”

 

         Lili brought her glowing claws slashing down with a triumphant roar. Eve had done nothing to stop her. There was no way she would still be standing after…

 

         Eve’s clothing, body, everything was completely unblemished and she slowly looked up as Lili went pale. The little girl, completely unassuming, flicked Lili’s hand away and finally turned her attention to the Tyranitar. Her eyes, once innocent and bright, had gone dead. Lili felt an unnatural fear take hold of her when Eve spoke. “Dragons are all the same.” Eve’s ribbons shot out, binding Lili tightly as the Tyranitar tried to claw them apart. “Arrogant. Stupid.” She braced and Lili screamed in agony when energy poured down the ribbons and into her body. “DISAPPEAR!”

 

         Within seconds Lili’s screams were drowned out by Eve’s. The Sylveon’s voice grew in volume as her attack grew in strength until nothing could be heard across the arena except the single piercing note. Until finally Lili’s knees gave out.

 

         Eve released her to crash to the ground. Nicholas was frozen as he tried to understand what had happened. Lili had hit, hadn’t she? Why was this girl – this Sylveon, Eve, why was she completely unhurt?

 

         “Point to Vira!” Gary yelled. “Nicholas, release your next pokegirl!”

 

         “Not… yet…” Lili rasped. Eve looked down with a cold sneer as the Tyranitar stirred. “Not… done… yet…”

 

“You grovel at my feet. As it should be,” Eve taunted. “As all dragons should. So dependent on their ‘power’. Disgusting. Weak.”

 

         Lili slapped her hand against the earth. “Fuck… you.”

 

         Eve was snickering when Lili seemed to go limp. That was until the ground beneath her shattered.

 

         With a scream of pain Eve was blasted into the air, sharp stones slicing apart her dress before she abruptly caught herself in midair and zipped back down with fury in her eyes. Lili didn’t make another sound when Eve grabbed her again and heaved the much larger girl into the air before falling back and sending a barrage of rainbow energy tearing into her.

 

         Nicholas quickly recalled Lili as her blood painted the grass. With her dress ruined Eve’s mask had vanished. The pokegirl that landed in front of Vira still had a cute charm to her but her face was twisted in an angry scowl. He’d judged her by her appearance and here she was punishing him for it. At least Lili had forced a hit in while being utterly demolished.

 

         “Ryuko can take her, Master,” Kalmiya urged. “Pokedex entries suggest-“

 

         “I can’t use Ryuko. Vira will just send out her Ninetales.”

 

         “Then Sera, Master.”

 

         Nicholas nodded. They’d been backed into a corner. Vira could just wait, wearing out Sera with this Sylveon and her last remaining pokegirl before sending her Ninetales to clean up Miyuki and Ryuko. Their only hope was that Sera could take both Eve and the Ninetales. It wasn’t looking good but he wasn’t going to give up on them. Never again. “Sera! It’s up to you.” The Crobat materialized and shook out her wings. “She took Lili down without any trouble.”

 

         Sera bared her fangs in a grin. “Without any trouble, Master Nicholas? Her broken body suggests otherwise.”

 

         Eve’s eyes narrowed at Sera’s taunt. “My body is unbroken.”

 

         “Well then I’ll just have to fix that,” Sera snarled before taking to the skies. Eve dove out of the way of her first dive, whirling back to build energy and send arcs dancing through the air around Sera. Sera wheeled through the multicolored lightshow, dodging every single beam as she turned back towards Eve. The Sylveon’s ribbons sprang to life when she got closer, weaving into a tangled net that sought to ensnare the diving Crobat, and Sera gritted her teeth. All of the training she’d gone through the day before had taught her a very important lesson. She was frail. Even though she now could fly and fight her light frame was not built to take many hits. But it made her fast. Scanning the lattice she identified a slight gap and folded her wings, focusing completely on speed as she rocketed towards Eve.

 

         Eve screamed in pain when Sera blasted past her ribbons. Before the Sylveon could form a new defense Sera snapped her wings open, throwing herself into a spin that tore past Eve and brought the wicked barbs on each wing slicing through her flesh.

 

         Instantly Eve collapsed, grabbing at her wound as the blood that spurted out slowed and began to congeal. She raised her eyes to Sera with one last act of defiance before she thudded to the ground with Sera’s poison coursing through her veins.

 

         Nicholas felt a thrill run through him as Sera wheeled back around. She could do this! All of the savagery, the power she had gained after her evolution was in full effect now. If she could just stop the Ninetales…

 

         Vira spat and pulled out the Ninetales’ pokeball. “You’re lucky that Ghislaine can’t fight very well at range.” She looked up at Sera and triggered the release. “Kunou! Don’t make your Alpha come out here and finish this fight.”

 

         Kunou came to attention. Her waving tails also flicked, stopping their movements as she locked onto her opponent. “Yes, Mistress.”

 

         If she wins- Nicholas chased the thought away. That was a massive if. He couldn’t assume that Sera would win this fight cleanly. “Sera! If you can take her down, we win this battle.”

 

         In the air Sera felt a slight smile tug at her lips. They’d truly come so far together. “Whatever your order, Master Nicholas, I will follow. I trust you.”

 

         Nicholas shivered at her affirmation. “You’ll get hurt.”

 

         He could hear the laughter in her words when Sera replied. “I look forward to it.”

 

         “Then… there’s a way to guarantee she falls.”

 

         “Tell me what I must do.”

 

         Vira shifted when Sera’s flight pattern changed. “Get ready, Kunou. Here she comes.”

 

         The Ninetales hummed. Behind her, appearing over each one of her tails, orbs of flickering light sprang to life. As Sera winged closer the orbs began to dance, flicking from tail to tail in a hypnotic rainbow.

 

         “I’ve seen Ninetales do this before. She’s trying to distract you. Don’t look at the light.”

 

         Sera smirked. “It’s pretty, but more annoying than anything.” She got closer and closer, keeping her eyes fixed squarely on Kunou’s chest. Just a little bit more…

 

         Suddenly the flames entered her vision. With a curse Sera wheeled away, dodging the orbs the best she could but still feeling as fire licked across her wings. With a tortured cry she dropped, spinning out as she tried to douse the flames. It burned! Her wings-!

 

         -It didn’t MATTER that it burned!

 

         Sera snapped her wings out, howling as they caught the air and the burned sections screamed in protest. She was crippled, so she couldn’t finish this on her own. With tears welling in her eyes Sera flew directly at Kunou. She needed to give the others a chance!

 

         “Kunou, stop her!” Vira’s eyes widened when she saw Sera’s mouth open. “Throw everything at her! NOW!”

 

         Kunou’s hands shot up as fire erupted from the ground around her. The plumes converged above her head before expanding into a five-pointed star that Kunou sent directly down Sera’s path.

 

         Sera felt the blistering heat evaporate the venom that had begun beading on her fangs and she screamed as the flames licked over her body. By the time she had emerged on the other side of the attack all of the hair on her body had been burned away, but she was still flying. Kunou choked when Sera smashed into her, using her hands to grapple with the Ninetales before she lunged forwards to sink her fangs into Kunou’s neck.

 

         “Die… DIE!” Sera thought feverishly, releasing her bite for a moment only to take another at the base of Kunou’s neck. Finally she felt Kunou’s carotid pulsing against her tongue and she pressed as hard as she could, urging the venom pumping from her fangs to go faster.

 

         Pain. Sera was thrown backwards as fire burst in her eyes and she crumpled, sobbing as her hands feebly clawed at the blackened skin of her face.

 

         Nicholas recalled her with a look of horror. Kunou had fallen to one knee, one hand pressing against the wounds on her neck, but besides that she seemed fine. Had it worked?

 

         Kunou shuddered. “Mistress. She has… poisoned me.”

 

         “Hang in there, Kunou,” Vira whispered. “I still need you. Both of his remaining pokegirls will fall quickly.”

 

         Kunou closed her eyes with shallow gasps. “Yes… Mistress.”

 

         “Shit,” Nicholas muttered as Kunou pushed herself back to her feet. Of course it was too much to hope that the poison would work instantly. But Kunou’s face had gone white. Her breathing was labored. She was fading, that was for sure. If they could just stall for time…

 

         “Miyuki!” Nicholas winced when the Glaceon appeared. “I’m sorry, Miyuki. But I need you to fight a Fire-type.”

 

         Miyuki sighed. “Why not Nessa?”

 

         “I didn’t play this perfectly,” Nicholas replied. “It’s just you and Ryuko left. But you don’t have to fight her directly. Sera’s poisoned her. Badly.”

 

         Miyuki surveyed Kunou before nodding. “I understand. I’m stalling for time.” A wry smile tugged at her lips. “Not the first time I’ve done that this month.”

 

         “Do you need me to help you?”

 

         Miyuki focused as the air around her misted. “On the contrary. This pokegirl must be strong.” Ice crystals began to form around her as she stepped forwards. “I need to pour my everything into resisting her.”

 

         “No distractions. Got it,” Nicholas muttered.

 

         With a roar Kunou threw flames across the arena, seeking to end this battle immediately. In response Miyuki slammed her hands to the ground, pushing everything she had through her crystal as a thick wall of ice sprang up between her and the Ninetales.

 

         Kunou’s fire easily melted the barrier but by the time it had Miyuki was gone. With a battle cry she appeared from the mists, ice shards spraying from her fingers before she tried to dodge away. Miyuki screamed when the next Flamethrower caught her and focused again, causing Kunou to howl in frustration when another wall of ice blocked her attack.

 

         Can’t keep this up, Miyuki thought desperately, rolling away from the melting wall and stumbling with another scream when flames washed over her back. I need a moment to recharge but she’s giving me none!

 

         Kunou took more careful aim with her next attack. She could feel her heart thumping. The poison spreading through her body. It hurt. So bad. With an angry scream she watched her attack shatter another ice wall, sending a blast of steam through the area. The Ice-type would attack again now. The next time she did she would fall.

 

         Kunou slowly scanned the battlefield. But where was she…

 

         Miyuki panted. She had no energy left. The constant heat and damage from Kunou’s flames had drained her to the point of exhaustion already. But she needed to buy time. More. Time…!

 

         Kunou flicked to the shape in the mist and snarled. Flames built in her jaws, joining with the pillars she formed in her hands, as she took very careful aim at the unmoving Glaceon. It was over.

 

         Miyuki looked up to see the inferno bearing down on her and tried her best to focus again, but the ice she managed to form only rose about a foot before Kunou’s attack vaporized it and crashed over the Glaceon kneeling behind.

 

         Nicholas recalled Miyuki when the flames cleared and took another look at Kunou. The Ninetales was still standing. How long was she going to hold on?”

 

         “Mistress…” Vira blinked when Kunou began to sway unsteadily. “It… hurts, Mistress…”

 

         “Hang in there, Kunou!” Vira yelled. “One more! Just one more!”

 

         “…I’m sorry, Mistress,” Kunou murmured, sinking to her knees before her eyes rolled back and she crashed facedown onto the dirt.

 

         Nicholas realized he was panting as Vira recalled Kunou. Miyuki had done. She had actually done it. She and Sera had taken Kunou down.

 

         Five to five. Nicholas took hold of Ryuko’s pokeball and watched Vira remove her final pokeball as well. This was it. Who had Vira kept for last? Could Ryuko take her?

 

         He felt calm wash over him when he released the Scizor. Why did he doubt her? His First Blade, as he had named her, and a pokegirl who had grown alongside him almost from the beginning of his journey through Johto. She had stood up to Kali. She had fought fanatically at every step. All for him.

 

         She was not going to let him down.

 

         “RYUKO!” Ryuko whirled, her hand drifting to her sheathe as she stared at Nicholas. “It has fallen to you, Ryuko, my First Blade. You stand as the final line between me and defeat.”

 

         Ryuko’s eyes flashed and she gripped the hilt of her sword tightly. “HAI, MASTER! Your enemies will fall!”

 

         Vira growled. “I had been hoping to avoid this.” She raised her own pokeball. “Let’s go, Ghislaine.” The pokegirl that materialized towered over the battlefield. Nicholas had seen her breed before and he grimaced. Kangaskhan.

 

         “Why have I been brought in, Mistress?” Ghislaine asked in a low rumbling voice. “Is there something my family can’t handle?”

 

         “Your harem has fallen, Ghislaine.” Vira pointed at Ryuko as the Kangaskhan went completely still. “That tamer is to blame.”

 

         “They dared hurt my sisters?” Ghislaine snarled. Her head snapped to Ryuko. “You will PAY for what you have done! ALL OF YOU WILL PAY!”

 

         “She’s all that’s left, Ghislaine,” Vira replied. “The rest have already fallen.”

 

         “I expected nothing less, Mistress,” Ghislaine growled. “But SOMEONE must pay. SOMEONE must suffer for what has been done to my family.” Ryuko’s grip tightened when Ghislaine strode forwards with a furious expression. “YOU! YOU WILL SUFFER FOR EACH OF THEM!”

 

         “She’s a juggernaut just like Nessa,” Nicholas hurriedly explained as Ghislaine stampeded towards Ryuko. “Watch out!”

 

         A juggernaut, Ryuko mused. If that was true then precision was not what she needed. Inhaling deeply she pulled her sword from her hip, the metal melting down and pouring over her hands as her light armor grew over every inch of bare skin. When Ryuko settled back down in a ready position her ninja-esque look had been transformed into something similar to the armor she had first created upon evolution. However instead of being a blank suit of armor this time it was refined, crafted into something that was uniquely Ryuko.

 

         Ryuko sliced her hands forwards, the excess metal from her sword forming two gauntlets that had sharp blades set above her wrist. “Come!” she screamed at Ghislaine. “Fall before my Master!”

 

         Ghislaine was almost on top of her already and screamed her own challenge before the two pokegirls clashed. Ryuko felt her entire body twist from the force as Ghislaine hammered her shoulder and rallied back, grabbing Ghislaine’s striking arm and squeezing her vice-like gauntlets down while her wings formed behind her.

 

         Ghislaine howled in pain when the sharp edges of Ryuko’s gauntlets cut into her skin and seconds later Ryuko was flying through the air, her grip dislodged by Ghislaine’s strike. She caught herself, reorienting and buzzing a bit higher to avoid a glowing punch.

 

         Both pokegirls reset, Ryuko in the air, Ghislaine on the ground, before clashing again. This time Ryuko had the speed advantage. Ghyslaine’s head snapped to the side when Ryuko swooped in to land a punch squarely against her cheek. Ryuko tried to slip away but felt fingers close around her ankle and was yanked back, struggling to escape as she was dragged through the air over Ghislaine’s head. With a massive thud she slammed into the ground, the impact shattering her wings and leaving her stunned while Ghislaine slowly stepped over her.

 

         “Get up, Ryuko!” Nicholas yelled. “Your duty is not complete!”

 

         Ghislaine positioned herself over the struggling Scizor and pulled a fist back, energy flaring around it as she brought her arm down with a roar. Ryuko gurgled as Ghislaine’s fist sank into her breastplate, the metal bending from the impact and leaving a dent when Ghislaine pulled back. More energy surged across the Kangaskhan’s body and she pulled her fist back again, her aura flaring as she moved to finish Ryuko off.

 

         A wet crack could be heard and Ghislaine staggered backwards, howling in pain as she clutched her mangled hand. Ryuko stirred, pushing herself to her feet while Ghislaine continued to focus on her injury. The front of Ryuko’s armor had grown jagged spikes and those structures had been what Ghislaine punched into. Her hand was completely ruined.

 

         In the pokedex, disconnected from the action, Kalmiya was enraptured. She watched the battle closely, gasping when Ghislaine staggered back, cheering when Ryuko got to her feet. But the Kangaskhan wasn’t down. “She tried to use too much power,” Kalmiya whispered to herself. “Ryuko turned it against her!”

 

         Deep within her processes a fractured path flickered. As Ryuko stalked towards Ghislaine more connections formed within Kalmiya’s programming until a new prime directive had taken shape.

 

         Kalmiya felt the new buzz of activity in her psyche and focused even more intently on the last moments of the battle. She needed as much data as she could get to satisfy the new order that had been written through her brain. ‘Be a tactician’ it said, and along with her core, it gave her new purpose. To be her Master’s tactician.

 

         With a new piece restored to her Kalmiya felt some of the darkness in her mind recede. It had been all she had known after Team Rocket experimented on her. But the first light had shown, her Master, and now, bit by bit, she was regaining what she had lost.

 

         It strengthened her conviction to the shining light that had first freed her. Kalmiya clenched her hand to her chest, devoting everything to analyzing the limited data she had. She would become his tactician. She would help him however she could.

 

         Ryuko approached Ghislaine. The Kangaskhan growled, blood dripping from her shattered hand, but the difference was clear. Ryuko had endured Ghislaine’s hits, and she had not endured Ryuko’s.

 

         One last effort. Ghislaine roared, charging Ryuko and throwing a desperate punch. Ryuko quickly blocked, sliding in on Ghislaine’s weak side and smashing Ghislaine’s neck with a hammer strike. Ghislaine choked and Ryuko grunted when the Kangaskhan’s knee punched into her sternum. But Ghislaine was desperate, her strikes no longer coordinated, and the knee she had thrown had left her standing precariously on one leg.

 

         A leg which crumpled when Ryuko drove her armored foot into its knee. Ghislaine fell, two limbs disabled, to lie in the grass. Unmoving, except for her twitching tail, the Kangaskhan slowly slipped into unconsciousness.

 

         Gary called the point just as Ryuko sank to her knees as well and both Nicholas and Vira ran into the arena to tend to their pokegirls.

 

         “Ryuko!” Nicholas grabbed her and peered into her helmet. “Are you okay? Do I need to recall you?”

 

         The armor melted away to show a bloodied Ryuko. The constant beating Ghislaine had given her had broken the skin all across her head and face, and as the armor continued to recede into her body more and more lacerations could be seen. The worst were of course all up her front. Horrible yellow bruising, wounds from where her broken armor had been shoved into her chest, she had not won easily.

 

         “…Master,” Ryuko breathed. “I am… victorious.”

 

         “You look terrible,” Nicholas gasped. “I’ll recall you and get to a healing machine right away.”

 

         Ryuko started to protest before doubling over with a low cry of pain and she vanished into the recall beam. Vira had already recalled Ghislaine and Nicholas looked up when she approached him. “Not enough, Topolski.” Vira looked conflicted. “That’s not enough to beat Ash.”

 

         “This harem keeps growing, every day,” Nicholas replied, getting to his feet and matching Vira’s eyes. “It may not be enough today. But it was enough to stand against you, against a harem that I can confidently say has been the toughest challenge I’ve ever faced. Who knows what the future will bring?”

 

         Vira looked down at her feet. After a few seconds she spoke. “That’s true. Nobody knows the future.” She looked back up again with a solemn expression. “You said you’ll help him.”

 

         “I said I’ll try my best.”

 

         Vira nodded and wiped a tear from her eye. “Please.”

 

         “Sabrina!” Nicholas looked over. “Think I’m ready for Koga?”

 

         Sabrina barely nodded. “I think at this point you’re the strongest tamer in the League.”

 

         “Well, then,” Nicholas chuckled. “Once Cassidy returns I’ll be on my way.”

 

         “What is she doing?” Sabrina asked curiously as she pulled out her pokedex and began sending messages. “What are you planning?”

 

         “You’ll see,” Nicholas replied, starting towards the pokecenter alongside Vira. “Just focus on the assault. And be safe.” He glanced back. “I can’t afford to be worrying about you right now.”

 

         Sabrina smiled back at him and nodded.

 

         A few minutes passed before her phone rang and she answered. “Matis? Good, finally. Green light. Go.”

 

         Lt. Surge laughed uproariously. “Green light, boys and girls! All aboard!” He led the way onto the S.S. Anne, checking the crowd of tamers before waving at the crew. “Cast off! Next stop, Fuchsia City!”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

         “Is that the Anne?” A Team Rocket grunt peered at the massive cruise ship slowly traversing the harbor. “I don’t remember a shipment coming in today.”

 

         “It runs normal cruises as well, you know.” His partner replied.

 

         “I know, but look.” The grunt handed his binoculars over. “She’s flying the drop colors.”

 

         The other grunt scanned the flags flying over the ship. “Huh. That’s the drop code all right.” He turned to a radio in the hidden guard post they were manning. “I’ll figure out what’s going on.”

 

         “Should we bother Master Koga?”

 

         The other grunt snorted. “If you want to die then go right ahead. I’m going to see what they’re doing.”

 

         Matis waited in the S.S. Anne’s radio room. The first two waves had already launched. Comprised entirely of underwater capable pokegirls and a smattering of tamers in SCUBA gear, they should be nearing the shore by now. The next assault wave would be launching within minutes and he had no idea if the Rocket forces on shore would welcome the boats or destroy them.

 

         Then a hail. “Dockmaster to Anne. Hello, Anne. Wasn’t expecting to see you today. Over.”

 

         Matis unhooked the microphone. “Afternoon, Dockmaster. We had some extra bookings today and need a berth. Over.”

 

         “Ah, that might be a problem, Anne. Lots of debris over here. Warden isn’t letting anything through until it’s cleaned up. Over.”

 

         Debris? Matis thought. What could they be referring to? “Eh, I’d rather not lose these VIPs, Dockmaster. We’ve got some…” he checked the code book next to him, “…big fish among them. Priority for delivery. Over.”

 

         The grunt set the microphone down with a curse. “Hey! You’re sure they’re flying the right colors?”

 

         “Yeah!”

 

         “It’s a load of Dratini. What do we do?”

 

         “Dratini?” the other grunt gasped. “Are you kidding? If Master Koga hears we’re the ones who turned them away we’re dead!”

 

         “Well go and get some handlers, then!” the grunt yelled. “Uh, roger, Anne. We’ll find something for you. Over and out.”

 

         Matis let out a breath of relief and set the microphone down. He’d bluffed through the guards. But what had they meant by ‘debris’?

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

         Cassidy stepped back when she and Nicholas appeared outside of the Indigo Plateau. Nicholas squeezed her hand before letting go and turning up the stairs. “Been a while since you’ve seen this place, huh.”

 

         Cassidy nodded. “Will you be all right, Master?”

 

         “Why wouldn’t I be? I’m just here to challenge the Elite Four.”

 

         Cassidy squeezed back. “The last time you did that you needed help.”

 

         Nicholas turned back to her and Cassidy sighed when he drew her into a deep kiss. “I’m better now, Cass. I’ll be okay.”

 

         “I’m so glad, Master,” Cassidy whispered back with tears in her eyes. “You feel so calm. So confident.”

 

         “It’s almost over. All of the stress. Once I’m done here today I intend to retire with all of you. And there’s nothing that will stop me.” He smiled when Cassidy shivered. “That’s what you feel.”

 

         “I know, Master.” Cassidy kissed him back before stepping away. “I will return to instruct Kali on her part.”

 

         “Remember. I order you, to order her in my name, to follow the plan I have created.”

 

         Cassidy smiled. “And I may freely show her this memory so there is no question as to your authority.”

 

         “You got it. Good luck.” Nicholas watched her vanish into thin air before turning to the stairs once again. He should have everyone out for this. They deserved to experience this walk just as his Kanto harem had.

 

         Miyuki, Nessa, Sera, Ryuko, Hana, and Lili all materialized around him and Nessa took his hand. “This is the Indigo Plateau?”

 

         Nicholas nodded. “This is it. Home of the Elite Four. Where I used to stand as Champion.” He looked around, focusing on Sera and Ryuko in particular. “A title I no longer hold, nor want.”

 

         Rumbling chuckles could be heard as Lili moved in front of him. “No, Weyrleader. You desire something greater.”

 

         “I desire it, but without all of you, I can never achieve it,” Nicholas replied. “We’ve all come so far together. I’ve become so much more because of you. No matter what happens today I want you all to know how happy I am to have gone on this journey together.”

 

         “I believe I speak for us all when I say the same to you, Master,” Ryuko replied. She glanced at Miyuki for a moment. “Yes, Alpha?”

 

         “You speak for me, so you speak for us all,” Miyuki replied with a smile. “This journey isn’t over, Nicholas. We’re going to keep winning today. The whole world will learn who you are.”

 

         Nicholas smiled back. The entire harem looked excited. Energized. “Then let’s…” something in the conversation tugged at his attention and he trailed off. After a second he whirled to Ryuko. “Wait. You speak for Miyuki?”

 

         It was very rare for Ryuko to lose her composure but the sudden accusatory question did the trick. “Ah-“ she started, her eyes widening and face flushing as she struggled to find a response. “-Master?”

 

         “I trust Ryuko to do what’s best for you,” Miyuki explained, moving in and resting her hand on Ryuko’s arm. “And the others trust her too. So I asked her to help me.”

 

         Nicholas nodded. “As your Beta.”

 

         “That’s right.” Miyuki’s eyes were worried. “Did we do wrong?”

 

         “Why would I have any say in who you trust to be your Beta?” Nicholas asked. “This is just the first time I’ve heard about it.”

 

         “Ah.” Miyuki giggled. “We discussed it after your… meeting with Ho-oh. On the way back to Ecruteak.”

 

         “Congratulations, Ryuko,” Nicholas smiled. “Now. Let’s keep winning.”

 

         Scattered chuckles followed them up the stairs. But as Nicholas crested the peak he saw another familiar face waiting for them.

 

         John and Thorn were seated outside the Indigo Plateau doors and, when Nicholas came into view, John sprang to his feet. “N-Nicholas!” He swallowed when Nicholas came to a halt and his harem spread out behind him. “Um. Hi.”

 

         “John. Why are you here?” Nicholas asked. He held out a hand to stall Nessa before she could take more than a single step towards Thorn. “If you’re here to try and fight me the answer is no. I don’t have time to play your games.”

 

         “I… I’m not here for that,” John replied. “And… I know we’d lose even if I tried.”

 

         Nicholas slowly nodded. John’s bravado was nowhere to be seen. And Thorn was watching him just as quietly. “How did you get here? I knew you were challenging some gyms but I didn’t think you’d made it to eight badges.”

 

         “I, eh, didn’t get here legitimately. That’s why they haven’t let me inside.” John grimaced. “I saw the news. Who you are. And… I needed to meet you again.” He looked up. “You’re Nicholas Topolski. Previous Champion. I’m nothing compared to you but you never lorded over me. You never… never gave up on me.” His eyes wavered. “Why?”

 

         “You’ve come to your senses, then?” Nicholas asked. “You’ve decided to be a better person?”

 

         John looked away. “I still don’t understand what I lack. But… I know that I lack it. I know that I’m missing something. Something you have.” He looked back. “I don’t know.” Thorn placed a comforting hand on his shoulder and John leaned into her with a sniffle. “I don’t know.”

 

         “You don’t lack it, John,” Nicholas replied gently. “You just haven’t accepted it yet. Ever since you attacked me in Ecruteak I’ve known that in your heart you’re not a bad person.”

 

         “But how?” John whispered. “Why? I’ve done nothing but insult you. How can you not hate me?”

 

         Nicholas sighed. He looked at Nessa, tears beading in her eyes as she stared at Thorn, and spoke. “Because at the end of the day you aren’t my enemy. You were lashing out. Helpless against something else and I happened to be in the way.” He looked back. “It was Team Rocket, right? You were so focused on destroying them and you’ve finally realized, now that they’re almost gone, how empty you feel without that rage fueling you.”

 

         Tears dripped down John’s cheeks. “My last name is Razzo.”

 

         Nicholas frowned. “Okay?”

 

         “My father is Giovanni Razzo.”

 

         Everything clicked into place. John’s single-mindedness, his attitude towards his pokegirls, his win-at-all-costs mentality. His hatred of Team Rocket. His rage when Nicholas had talked about Giovanni…? “Your… father? Is Giovanni?” Nicholas blinked a few times. “What?”

 

         “I hate him,” John sobbed. “All he was, all he EVER was was a leader of the weak. He pretended to be strong but he wasn’t. He lost once and abandoned everything. Abandoned me.” John angrily wiped his eyes. “I swore. I swore that I’d destroy everything he hid behind. That I’d show the world what a coward Giovanni Razzo really was.”

 

         Nicholas watched John cry. Thorn was doing her best to comfort him but he was inconsolable. Eventually, once his sobs had slowed, Nicholas spoke again. “John, you’re not your father. Giovanni was a coward and a bully, and when I first met you in New Bark Town I thought you were one too. But you’re not.” He looked at Thorn. “You’re a good enough person for your pokegirls. And that’s good enough for me.”

 

         John raised his puffy eyes to Thorn. “Thorn?” he croaked.

 

         “He’s right, Master,” Thorn whispered. “I believe in you. We all believe in you. We always have.”

 

         “Team Rocket is dead,” Nicholas stated firmly. “Giovanni has vanished. The last time I saw him he said he was going into exile. He may never answer for his evil but he is no longer able to hurt you. Or anyone else. Ever again.” He smiled slightly when John hiccupped. “You’ve destroyed him.”

 

         “…not yet,” John whispered. “You, you said… you thought I was like him. When we first met.”

 

         A brief flash of worry crossed Nicholas’ face. “John?”

 

         “No, not like that,” John choke-laughed. “You’re right. I, I was like him. I still am. But… I don’t have to be. Right?”

 

         Nicholas slowly nodded. “That’s right.”

 

         “Then I won’t.” John wiped his face on his shirt and turned to embrace Thorn. “I want to be better. To be like you. Like, that dragon tamer. Lance.” He pulled away from Thorn to look up at the Indigo Plateau. “One day… I’ll beat this place too.”

 

         Nicholas smiled and walked forwards to take John’s hand. “Go for it, John Razzo. I believe you can do it.”

 

         John clenched his hands together. “Th-thank you.” When Nicholas let go he fumbled with his belt before releasing Ellen and Nicholas’ smile grew.

 

The Crobat that had appeared looked at her Master questioningly. “Master John?”

 

         “I’m all done talking to Nicholas, Ellen,” John explained. “Are you okay to fly back home?”

 

         Ellen turned to look at Nicholas and his harem. “…I am, Master John.” She blinked at Sera before breaking into her own smile and whirling back to him to draw him into her embrace. “Let’s go home!”

 

         Nessa had slipped past Nicholas and John while they were distracted and now stood in front of Thorn. The two pokegirls stared at each other until Nessa opened her mouth. “Fleur-“

 

         “I’ve told you already, René,” Thorn murmured. “I am Thorn. Master John’s Alpha.”

 

         “You really won’t leave him?” Nessa croaked. “But he hurt you.”

 

         “He is my Master,” Thorn replied simply. “He is not a bad Master. He has grown, and I love him for it.”

 

         Nessa sniffled. “I’ll miss you.”

 

         A pained look flashed through Thorn’s eyes before she embraced Nessa, her vines joining her arms to completely wrap the Feraligatr in a cocoon of green. “Master John seems to respect your Master,” she whispered. “This doesn’t have to be goodbye forever.”

 

         “It… doesn’t,” Nessa whispered back. “But if it is…” she took a shuddering breath. “…my name is Nessa, Th-Thorn.”

 

         Thorn squeezed her tightly. “Be safe, Nessa.”

 

         “Be safe, Thorn.”

 

         Thorn let go, her vines pulling back from Nessa, and turned to join Ellen and John. Nicholas stepped over when Thorn disappeared in a flash of red and Ellen took to the air with John in her arms. “Are you all right?”

 

         Nessa rubbed her eyes. It was a few seconds before she looked at him but when she did she had a smile behind the tears. “I… I am. I think.”

 

         Nicholas smiled back and stroked her cheek. “We’ll keep in touch. Okay?”

 

         Nessa’s eyes filled with fresh tears and she buried her face in his chest. “Thank you.”

 

         Nicholas stroked her hair for a bit before kissing the top of her head and pulling away. “Back to business, girls.” He let Nessa compose herself before nodding at the doors. “We’ve got battles to win.”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

         The lead boat motored down, drifting towards the waiting group of Rocket grunts as the men on board began preparing ropes. One of the grunts caught the bowline, walking back and securing it as the boat came to rest against the shore.

 

         “You’ve got the pokeballs? How processed are they?” the head guard asked. “I’ve gotten word to the Warden. We’ll need to hold them for a little while before your boss can get paid.”

 

         “What’s the holdup?” one of the men asked in a gruff voice. “Lieutenant said there was debris to be cleared?”

 

         “Ah, just some minor BS between Master Koga and his daughter,” the guard replied. “Koga didn’t want anything passing through until she’d settled down.”

 

         “Makes sense.” The man turned to the boat, rifling through a bag before speaking again. “Execute.”

 

         Two of the men tore their clothes off, the padding and masks they had used to hide their identities crashing into the water as two pokegirls leapt from the boat and instantly dropped half of the startled grunts. Before any of the others could retaliate the water had erupted, dozens of forms stampeding on shore and securing the rest.

 

         “Coastal landing successful.” Matis stripped his own disguise off and coughed, dislodging the modulator he’d been using to disguise his voice before tapping his radio as the other boats cruised towards them. “Hey, Sabrina! Get to Janine ASAP. Grunts here are saying her daddy’s watching her.”

 

         “Got it.” Sabrina looked around at her own strike team. “Remember. Besides Janine and her harem, every person in that city is an enemy. Let me deal with the fallout later. Don’t get tricked and take a knife in the back.”

 

         The man in front of the team gave her a crisp salute. “Yes Ma’am.”

 

         “That means you too, Marcus,” Sabrina warned. “I like you. You’ve been a damn fine tamer. I’d hate to hear you got yourself killed now.”

 

         Marcus chuckled. “If I do that who’s going to be your head of security, Ma’am?”

 

         Sabrina smiled. “I’m sure I’d manage.”

 

         “Ouch.” Marcus grinned. “Ladies and gentlemen let’s MOVE!”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

         Nicholas grinned when Koga’s Crobat fell from the sky. Sera alighted in front of him with hardly an injury as Koga recalled his final pokegirl.

 

         “Congratulations,” Koga said mockingly. “Former champion Topolski, you have once again defeated the Elite Four. Defeated me. But no matter how hard you fight, we'll keep coming back. All of us."

 

         Nicholas stopped to look at the smirking man. "All of you, huh? You and your ‘team’, right?"

 

         Koga pretended to look surprised. "Team? Why yes, my harem and I. We may have lost many battles against you but you’ve already lost the war.”

 

         "Mmm." Nicholas turned back to the exit. "Your daughter is an excellent gym leader, you know."

 

         Koga's eyes narrowed. "And?"

 

         Nicholas smiled. Koga was still cocky, even after his harem had easily swept through him. Sabrina had contacted him before the battle, letting him know that Fuchsia had fallen. Only minor pockets of resistance were left. It was time to put the plan into action. “She has excellent allies. In Kanto. In Johto. She protects her city quite well."

 

         It took a moment before recognition dawned on Koga's face. "No-"

 

         "Your warden is gone. The ship no longer sails. And while I can't prove you were behind it all, I can guarantee you this." Nicholas turned to look Koga dead in the eye. "You're nothing but the leader of the Elite Four now. The Elite Four of two regions where Team Rocket no longer exists."

 

         Koga struggled to respond. "You’re… you’re lying. Team Rocket is-“ he caught himself, rebuilding the façade with a cough. “Team Rocket is still out there, a threat.”

 

         "Give it up. You’ve lost everything. The weapons Team Rocket attempted to control have fallen… to me.” Koga went pale but didn’t speak. This whelp must be lying… “Oh, and Koga?" Nicholas turned again to leave, recalling Sera as he did. "I recommend focusing on becoming what you pretend to be. Or we'll be back." He smiled when he heard the scream of fear from behind him. "All of us.”

 

         “My Master has won your war.” Kali gave the cowering man a sinister smile before she vanished just as quickly as she had appeared. Koga fell to his knees as Nicholas left the room, the truth finally overwhelming him. Everything he had ever worked for. Gone.

 

         Nicholas shifted slightly when Kali appeared mid stride next to him. “Please let me kill him, Master Nicholas.”

 

         “Death is too lenient for him,” Nicholas replied. “The answer is still no.”

 

         Kali closed her eyes and shivered. When she opened them again they held a manic glee. “I feel it. His despair. He is broken. Yes, this is a much greater gift than his life.” Nicholas slowed when she kissed him. “Master Nicholas. My Master.” Kali’s tail wrapped around his waist and brought him to a complete stop. “What will you do next?”

 

         Nicholas cupped her chin, locking eyes with her as he spoke. Kali shivered at his touch, his new power opposing her own. “I go to declare my intention to the world. To fulfill what you have wanted of me since the beginning.”

 

         “Let me be there,” Kali begged. “Please, Master Nicholas.”

 

         “Not today.” Kali started to open her mouth to argue and Nicholas pushed up on her chin to stop her. “I said not today, Kali. But there is another battle. One you have wanted for a very long time.”

 

         Kali’s eyes questioned him until realization slowly dawned. Then she giggled. A happy noise that was followed by her lunging forwards and crushing her mouth to his. Nicholas lowered his hand, caressing her body as they kissed, until Kali finally let go with a growl. “You are no rumor, Master Nicholas.”

 

         “No. I am not.” Nicholas smiled. “And neither are you. Mewtwo. The ultimate pokegirl. My. Pokegirl.”

 

         Kali held back the ecstasy that rippled through her body, instead watching Nicholas turn and continue towards the final arena. It was true. In him, she had finally found purpose in life. Now more than ever.

 

         Nicholas stepped into the Champion’s arena and looked around. Once again he stood in the challenger’s box. But this time the atmosphere was completely different.

 

         Lance had transformed Gary’s standard arena into a glistening hall reminiscent of the dragon shrine in Blackthorn. And thanks to Cassidy contacting every major news agency in Indigo the stands were crammed full of cameras and spectators.

 

         When he appeared a roar came from the crowd and the announcer began screaming into his microphone. “There he is! Champion Topolski has waltzed past the Elite Four on his way to reclaim his title from Champion Blackthorn!”

 

         Nicholas tuned out the noise and focused on the group waiting for him. Lance had a slight smile fixed on his face and spread behind him were the many, many dragons of his harem. Nicholas even knew some of them, either from their previous battles, or from their experiences together in Johto. Today they stood as a final test for his new harem.

 

         “You kept us waiting, Nicholas,” Lance chuckled. “Three hours to demolish the Elite Four? You’ve gotten slow.”

 

         Nicholas chuckled back. “What’s the rush?”

 

         “Well this Alakazam has been talking. Claiming her Master is coming for me.” Lance’s smile never wavered. “As you can see, that rumor has attracted a lot of attention.”

 

         “Hm. I’d hate to disappoint all these people.”

 

         “I’m sure you would.” Lance raised his hand and six of the pokegirls behind him broke from the group. “Rika. Kyrie. Lead your sisters to our victory.”

 

         The twin Dragonite snarled, taking a pose that intertwined their bodies and turned them into a single two-headed dragon. “Yes, Master,” they chorused.

 

         Nicholas could feel Rayquaza’s blood – his blood – begin to boil at the promise of a challenge. And though only a select handful of the people in that arena could see it, his aura began to rise.

 

         Lance’s met Nicholas’ challenge by coalescing as well. Two snarling dragons. One long, sinuous, with streamlined features and vicious teeth, and one with outstretched wings and a waving tail. Two dragon masters, descended from the same blood, finally meeting in battle.

 

         Kalmiya was speaking in Nicholas’ ear but he didn’t hear her. He didn’t need to. He’d already identified Lance’s six. Rika and Kyrie, Sharra’s twin Dragonite sisters. Doremi, his Gyarados. Edan, his Charizard. Arya, his Kingdra. And Samira, his Tyranitar.

 

         He only had one dragon with him today. Lili. But she would be more than enough. This battle would be decided by Miyuki and her ice. Hana would easily take Doremi and Arya. Nessa, Edan and Samira. Lili would be able to hold her own against Samira or Edan, whoever Nessa couldn’t handle, and in a similar vein Sera and Ryuko would be able to help against Hana’s main opponent. Miyuki would have the hardest time with Rika and Kyrie. He had nobody else who could stand up to the twin Dragonite. Hana and Lili might be able to put up a fight, but they would be needed for the rest of Lance’s harem. It all came back to Miyuki.

 

         Nicholas bared his teeth in a snarl as he raised his first pokeball. The path towards victory was crystal clear in his mind. Lance had nothing to slow Hana down. She would lead and the rest of the match would fall into place.

 

         With a howl from the crowd the first two pokegirls entered the arena. Arya, the Kingdra, cursed when she saw an Ampharos materialize in front of her. Hana straightened, feeling the energy in the arena, before she heard Nicholas’ voice in her ear.

 

         “You share my heart, Hana,” Nicholas murmured. “A dragon’s heart. Embrace it now. Show this enemy weyr your power.” He threw out his hand, raising his voice to a deafening roar. “STRIKE NOW!” The sinuous dragon in his aura reared back with a silent roar of its own as he continued. “PAVE THE PATH TO OUR VICTORY!”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

         POKEDEX UPDATED

Tamer: Nicholas Topolski

Badges:

         Zephyr Badge

         Hive Badge

         Plain Badge

         Storm Badge

         Mineral Badge

         Glacier Badge

         Rising Badge

         Fog Badge

Harem:

         Miyuki, Glaceon (Alpha) – Level 57

         Nessa, Feraligatr – Level 56

         Sera, Crobat – Level 57

         Ryuko, Scizor – Level 57

         Hana, Ampharos – Level 56

         Lili, Tyranitar – Level 58

 

Non-Com Harem:

         Kalmiya, Porygon-Z – Level 5

         Celine, “Bellossom” – Level ??